This is probably gonna be one of those games I play every now and then, perhaps getting to the credits after about 2 years or so? Because trying to play it on a regular (weekly) basis was just a bit too repetitive and monotonous, I'm sorry to say. :/ It's genuinely got fun combat and gameplay, but it's let down by bland level design and a sense of variety that's drip fed a little too slowly for my liking.
See you in a couple years then, once I beaten the damn thing!
Another sidescrolling classic from Nifflas, with the short, succinct level design and stupendous soundscape you'd expect from his works, though this time with a wonderful 'PSN circa late 00's' graphical style with a Danish flair. It's the kind of game you have to get your hands on to really appreciate though, as it just feels oh so smooth and buttery on a gamepad! He's come such a long way since Within a Deep Forest, that's for sure...
A great puzzle platformer a la Wario Land 3 and Donkey Kong '94! The regular enemies and boss battles are more annoying than complimentary, but ultimately the core challenge of figuring out any given room's solution with your surprisingly robust moveset more than makes up for it. There's plenty to get through, too, with 10+ large-ish levels that encourage replays via a ranking system, time-to-beat and hidden coins to find. Fantastic graphical presentation as well, like everything's so fluidly animated and colourful and expressive, more like a Neo Geo Pocket game than anything on GBC! Can't say the OST lives up to it, but it's still fitting enough.
Kinda shocked this one isn't talked about more often, even with a recent English patch! It's well worth looking into, especially if you want something to chip away at over time (helps that the game picks up at the exact room you turned the game off, nifty feature that).
Can an incredibly cathartic combat system paired up with the rawest, most unhinged art direction seen yet from Grasshopper Manufacture make up for... everything else about the game? Sure! but I'd be lying if I didn't slightly regret playing this over the numerous other sequels that came out in 2021, each (I imagine) having deeper connections with their forefathers and more thoughtful development of their mechanics and themes than this...
XINGISKAN II (if you know, you know)
...And for everyone else, a wonderful little arcade style game that's easy to pick up and smooch your way through. Unlocking the 'true ending' is a little tedious, due to RNG, but that same RNG is what helps keep the game entertaining on regular playthroughs, so it's not thaaat big an issue. Not with such a such a charming, cheeky presentation! The music in particular's gonna be stuck in my head for months to come, I just know it...
Overall, it's an easy recommendation for those who want to play something simple & sweet (yet slightly saucy) between larger games. Another Onion Games classic!
The overly punishing, needlessly trial-and-error nature of the EMMI sections and some notably amateurish cutscene direction cannot spoil what is ultimately my favourite game of 2021. Slick and snappy movement, thoughtful level design and some truly difficult boss battles are complimented by a stunning attention to detail and a sense of scale unlike any other 2.5D game before it. I honestly had no idea how they'd ever continue the series after Fusion, but this is absolutely more than worthy of carrying the torch!
See, I usually love the WarioWare games with all my heart, but unfortunately this one missed the mark! :(
Building the titular microgames around multiple characters and their unique movesets sounds like a great idea, considering how large and varied the cast has gotten, but in practice? It felt less like a rapid fire smorgasbord of ideas and more like... a rapid fire series of sidescrolling platforming challenges? And, realizing that, it kinda drained a lot of the fun and surprise out of the experience as a whole, considering that so many of these challenges/characters felt identical mechanically. The novelty wore off well before the credits rolled, which is exactly the sort of thing you want to avoid in this sort of genre...
So much of this game felt similarly half hearted, as well. The surprisingly listless script really sucks the life out of the multiple, monotonous cutscenes during the game's dull story mode. A weird lack of variety in the minigame graphics, which feature a noticeable amount of reused assets between minigames (and not in a 'hidden lore/narrative' way, like in past entries). An online mode that honestly feels more like an obligation than anything with passion put into it? It's such a shame, considering how otherwise lively and charming the presentation as a whole is. the UI work is so quirky-yet-clear, and I can never get enough of the bizarre soundscape the series as a whole has created for itself!
...I just wish it were in a better game than this. It's hard to be spontaneous after nearly two decades of existence, and no doubt COVID-19 impacted it in some way, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't leave me feeling a little disappointed overall. Here's hoping they don't rush out a Rhythm Heaven in the same vein, ey...
An enjoyable and cathartic top down action game dripping with atmosphere and adrenaline that's let down by being half baked in a number of small-yet-crucial ways. A lack of voice acting in cutscenes cripple what's already an otherwise threadbare narrative and setting. An inconsistent, busted scoring system ultimately sucks the fun out of learning (and experimenting with) the game's various mechanics. A general sense that the game was hastily scaled down from 'Cyberpunk Diablo' to 'Devolver Digital 4 hour romp' that leaves a hubworld barely visited and underutilized...
...But even then, I still found myself with plenty to love. I'm absolutely blown away at how gorgeous the visuals are, both in terms of fidelity and in art direction. This is punctuated pitch perfectly by one HELL of a soundtrack, with the highlight being 'Island Door (Paranesian Circle)' by Susumu Hirasawa of all musicians. And yeah, I'm ultimately a sucker for this type of 'Devolver Digital 4 hour romp', blood, gore, ethically questionable narrative and all.
It's yet another game, then, that I'll recommend when the sales start again. It's a damn shame, while also being a damn good time, too!
(...Dunno what all the Puppy Play shit's about tho, put a leather dog mask on the MC and get it over with lol)
Haters really aught to take Spring Yard's advice and learn to COPE with the fact they cannot enjoy a classic like this B-)
...Nah but for real, thanks to the recent android decompilation, it's nice to finally beat this game after years of 'just not getting it' and quitting in the middle of the second zone. Having that small safety net of saved progress does a lot for playing a game of this vintage for the first time, and now that I know the lay of the land I'm interested in trying it out 'the original way' sometime.
Otherwise? Not much to say that hasn't already been said many times before. The big open stages with ramps and loops really fun; the ones between them tend not no be (Labyrinth Zone is by far the worst set of the lot); Graphics and Music are a timeless aesthetic; Sonic himself is very charming and cool. Well worth the hassle it is to set up!
What starts out as a humble JRPG lampoon quickly becomes an engrossing, utterly unique experience of it's own accord. It genuinely brings tears to my eyes, seeing a game I fell head over heels for as a teen not only hold up a decade on, but have the exact same power over those playing it's very recently English version for the first time.
It's a high recommendation from me, and one best experienced as blindly as possible. Just know to rest often, take your time, and Open the Door when the time comes...
A fun, exhilarating Luftrausers-like that could do with a bit of narrative trimming and a control scheme that didn't hurt my hands. Sometimes less is more when it comes to a story, especially in an action game, so having constant interruptions before, after and during missions winds up disrupting the pace more than accelerating it, especially with writing this flat and overconfident. Feels more like a TVTropes page come to life more than the 90's anime it wants to be...
But who's actually playing this for the narrative when you have dogfights this chaotic and boss fights this imposing? Adding a dodge function and a more traditional heath system to an already solid base makes for some truly tense and amazing missions to scrape by in, and coupled with risk/reward upgrade modules and a ranking system that actually explains itself logically, you've got one hell of a game to try and master! That is, if your hands don't give out after about 20 minutes of play...
Yeah, this is the other big problem, which isn't easy to explain and might just be me? But it genuinely impacts the replayability of the game in a negative way.
There's too many vital functions tied to the shoulder buttons (the biggest culprit being the left bumper, imo), which leads to a lot of uncomfortable moments where you're holding down too many buttons at once and it all starts cramping painfully.... It's a shame, too, because there's so much content to get through (NG+, Arcade Mode, just SSS-ranking all the missions without losing health, etc.) for those who love this sort of thing!
The New Game + seems genuinely interesting though, in a Nier/Ico sort of way, but I think I need a break to properly appreciate it. For now, though, I enjoyed what I played of it, and look forward to what the team puts out next! Might go grab the OST at some point too, because damn, that's some good Math Rock...