18 Reviews liked by SmartyPants

Fucking god awful, I'm legitimately offended at how hard this ruined the Saints Row series AND I DON'T EVEN LIKE SAINTS ROW. Apparently Volition and THQ were both under terrible financial troubles at the time, with the latter filing for bankruptcy during SR4's development and the former finally shutting down September 2023 and that's what led to this game that's literally just that one Saints Row 3 Superpower DLC stretched out to an entire game, even reuses the entire landscape and city from 3.
The story in this game is what you expect from a Saints Row game but even more shallow than usual. The game starts, the protagonist saves the world from a nuke and becomes the US President, sure, whatever. Then, the games antagonist Zinyak, an alien, wants to take over Earth with his alien army, sure, you know what, Zinyak is the single most entertaining thing about this game so I'll let it slide (SURELY HE WON'T BE UNDERUTILIZED AND BARELY PRESENT FOR A MAJORITY OF THE GAME). Zinyak eventually succeeds, placing the main character in a simulation instead of killing him for god knows what reason and the majority of the game is spent trying to escape this simulation with the help of your hacker Kinzie (who can do just about anything but actually get you out quickly). The death of Johnny Gat from SR3 has been retconned and the explanation is that he was "abducted by the aliens" back then for some fucking reason but now you save him! I'd be more angry about this retcon if Johnny's death wasn't executed so terribly in 3 anyway. But that's just it, this game has like no emotional value whatsoever, it's Saints Row, so it's going to be emotionally shallow and more focused on crude jokes that won't age well at all (Dubstep gun haha guys so funny) but this one feels like it isn't even trying, at least the games before this TRIED something more. It's just, it's not well-written obviously but it's also not all that funny. There's the one scene where the boys are signing karaoke and Zinyak, that's decent but that's all I really remember in this game that's supposed to be filled with jokes. Some sections are pretty creative presentation-wise but never once did I find myself caring at all about the overall plot.
In terms of gameplay, as I said, this game can get creative sometimes and there's a whole myriad of different simulation-like areas you'll be taking on. Wait, there isn't? Oh, this game needed to be rushed out because every company involved is on the verge of bankruptcy? Okay, well in that case, here's a few simulation-based areas you'll be replaying over and over again to artificially extend the game's length! At least the game can be played entirely in co-op so you can suffer along with a friend... The Johnny Gat beat-em-up style mission is cool, that's all that's really memorable gameplay-wise, even the final boss is forgettable. Wait, every boss is forgettable now that I think about it, why is that... Right! Not only are half of the bosses in this game reskins of each other but this game is so incredibly mindnumbingly easy that you'll beat and forget them within a few minuets at most. I wouldn't take too much issue with the easy difficulty if it were fun but do you think It's even remotely fun? No. The power crutch with the superpowers is so insane that you'd basically have to lobotomize yourself to have any issues after getting them. But you know what, FUCK THE POWERS. This game has a COPIOUS amount of DLC, so let's take advantage of it, actually, let's take advantage of just one. One of the million DLCs adds a weapon called the 'Merica, it's a patriotic weapon that combines the likes of a grenade/rocket launcher and a flamethrower. Guess what? This is the most overpowered weapon in the entire game by far and possibly the most overpowered weapon I've used in a third person open world title. Set the gun to rocket mode, max out the ammo in the thing, it carries quite a bit and ammo is cheap + this game gives you way too much money and you will never need to think ever again when playing this game. If you use the 'Merica you can beat every boss in this game, I'm not joking, in under 30 seconds, not including the time it takes for them to change phases. It doesn't matter whether they're early or late game, you can melt them with ease. As if this game needed to be easier. The rest of the game is doing the same three menial minigames with slight variations for ten hours until you've either made it to the end or uninstalled the game. There's nothing of note to talk about and you might as well just 'Merica your way past it because god knows they aren't fun anyways and considering how rushed this game was, there's tons of glitches too, so the faster you get out, the less chance you have of needing to deal with them.
Did you know they tried selling a version of this game for 1 million dollars? The "Super Dangerous Wad Wad edition" An edition of the game that came with a car, an "IRL Dubstep gun" and some other useless crap. People did the math and everything included was only worth about ~$600K and so, nobody bought it. Pathetic.
In conclusion, fuck this game. Shitty circumstances that made a shitty game in an already shitty franchise full of shitters. Recently, Volition went under and it's not nice to see that happen considering its a company full of real human beings with real lives who will now be losing their real jobs. But it begs the question, was there any avoiding that fate? This is where I stopped playing the Saints Row games but from what I hear they get SEVERELY worse from this point out. Volition went on to make Saints Row Gat of Hell (2.4) after this, Agents of Mayhem (2.3) and of course the infamous recent Saints Row reboot (2.0). If somehow Saints Row IV was the best game you've made in 10+ years and all you continue to do is feed into the same garbage that was giving you commercial failure after commercial failure, refusing to learn from your mistakes it's only a matter of time before the company calls it quits for good. I'm not happy Volition recently went under, I'd rather there be more game studios than less, but with games like these, wasn't it inevitable?
This is my Fate/stay night.

Disgusting porn game that mocks european culture and spawned one of the most horrendous franchises ever made

If you base your whole internet carbon footprint into liking this series you deserve to be hanged

This is legit one of the worst videogames I ever touched if not one of the worst pieces of fiction I ever had the displeasure of experiencing
Generic plot, mediocre to awful characters, corny themes and legitimately awful dialogue

Sonic Shuffle, a delightful and often overlooked addition to the party game genre, brings a refreshing spin to the table with its engaging minigames and charismatic Sonic-themed charm. While undoubtedly inspired by the Mario Party formula, Sonic Shuffle manages to carve out its own identity and leaves a lasting impression on those willing to give it a chance.
The minigames within Sonic Shuffle are undeniably the stars of the show. From heart-pounding challenges like the trampoline escapade with Dr. Eggman's laser antics, to rhythm-infused moments reminiscent of Sonic's adventures, the diversity and creativity of these challenges truly shine. One standout favorite involves bouncing on a trampoline while dodging Eggman's laser onslaught, simultaneously keeping an eye on a chess game unfolding on a second screen – a surreal yet oddly captivating combination. The fusion of dexterity, strategic chess moves, and rhythm synchronization may seem bewildering at first, but once embraced, it adds a layer of engaging complexity that sets Sonic Shuffle apart.
The quirky rule where the winner of a minigame corresponds to the day of the week played, and the ingenious tiebreaker mechanism based on dental records (or vowel count!) infuses the game with an unpredictable and often hilarious competitive edge. These unique mechanics, while occasionally eyebrow-raising, undeniably add an eccentric charm that's hard to find elsewhere.
Nobuaki Kanazawa, the mastermind behind Sonic Shuffle, deserves recognition for crafting a distinctive and engaging experience. The minigames, combined with the unexpected chess integration and rhythm challenges, are nothing short of a stroke of genius, offering players an exciting and unforgettable gameplay tapestry.
However, Sonic Shuffle does have its quirks. The complexity of some minigames and rule intricacies might deter casual players, making it more appealing to those who enjoy diving deep into a game's mechanics. Additionally, the amalgamation of elements might feel overwhelming at times, especially during your initial playthrough.
In conclusion, Sonic Shuffle may not have received the spotlight it deserves, but it's an undeniable masterpiece in its own right. With its captivating minigames, quirky rule mechanics, and a fusion of gameplay elements that might seem odd at first but ultimately work together harmoniously, Sonic Shuffle provides a fresh and exciting alternative to the more well-known party game titles. It's a must-play for Sonic fans and party game enthusiasts alike, offering a unique and memorable experience that's truly one of a kind.
Score: 8.5/10

Monkey Mischief, a game that unfolded in the midst of chaos and controversy, manages to encapsulate both the allure and the pitfalls of experimental gaming. As players delve into this unique experience, they'll find themselves navigating a narrative that weaves together elements of madness, absurdity, and a touch of dark humor.
At its core, Monkey Mischief strives to blend the absurdity of shovelware with an intricate web of characters, events, and conspiracies. The result is a game that can be as bewildering as it is captivating. The Monkey Incident of 2023, a central event within the game's universe, serves as a testament to the creators' ambition to craft an immersive and enigmatic storyline.
The game's portrayal of Racist Duck, a controversial and complex character, stands out as a testament to the developers' willingness to explore dark themes and unconventional narratives. The intertwined conspiracy involving Zooshi Games, Racist Duck, and the nefarious Monkey Mischief: Party Time creates an intriguing backdrop that keeps players engaged, even if they're left scratching their heads at times.
Monkey Mischief's gameplay mechanics, while unconventional, manage to reflect the chaos and unpredictability of its world. The introduction of the "Google bluetooth speaker" as a central gameplay element adds a layer of unique interactivity, as players are exposed to a barrage of eccentric ammunition types, each with its own bizarre effects.
However, the game's ambition can also lead to confusion and frustration. The convoluted storytelling, peppered with references and inside jokes, can alienate players who aren't deeply ingrained in the game's lore. The inclusion of Monkey Mischief: Party Time as a core concept within the game's universe is both a nod to the developers' creativity and a potential point of alienation for those seeking a more straightforward experience.
The visual and auditory design of Monkey Mischief manages to capture the essence of its zany narrative. From the grotesque ammunition types to the absurd scenarios players find themselves in, the game's presentation serves as a testament to the developers' commitment to their vision. However, the chaotic nature of the game's design can sometimes lead to sensory overload, leaving players bewildered rather than enthralled.
In the end, Monkey Mischief's score reflects the undeniable ambition of its creators to craft a truly unique gaming experience. While it falls short in some areas, its willingness to push boundaries and experiment with storytelling mechanics is commendable. Monkey Mischief earns a score of 7/10, an acknowledgment of its potential and the distinctiveness of its narrative, albeit tempered by its occasional lack of clarity and accessibility.

Final Fantasy XIV, a realm that teems with magical wonder and intricate storytelling, is a testament to both the heights of creativity and the depths of frustration. Within its sprawling landscapes, players embark on a journey that balances moments of awe with instances of exasperation, ultimately shaping a unique experience that varies from one adventurer to another.
At the heart of the game lies the enigmatic figure of Rivers Cuomo, a mere one-foot-tall enchanter armed with the power of telekinesis. While this premise might sound intriguing, the execution leaves much to be desired. The frustration of navigating the game world at a sluggish pace, akin to trudging through molasses at a paltry 5 frames per second, creates a stark contrast to the potential grandeur of this character's abilities.
Amidst this mix of brilliance and struggle, Final Fantasy XIV manages to stand above the likes of Team Fortress 2, a game notorious for its stagnant updates. Even at its weakest, FFXIV's worst version outshines the lackluster offerings of other titles, a testament to the dedication of its developers to provide consistent improvements and patches, epitomized by the updates up to version 1.23b.
Yet, it's essential to acknowledge the game's shortcomings. An infuriating lack of functionality can lead to moments of sheer frustration, leading players to humorously contemplate fleeing to the welcoming embrace of Team Fortress 2. This ironic perspective underlines the tumultuous relationship between the player and the game, oscillating between captivating immersion and baffling technical difficulties.
Final Fantasy XIV's journey is an emotional rollercoaster, a complex blend of awe and annoyance that creates a distinct flavor of gameplay. It's a world where a diminutive telekinetic maestro should be able to save a girl's father effortlessly, yet is bound by a sluggish reality. For those willing to endure its quirks, the magic of Eorzea can still enchant, even if the experience is more turbulent than anticipated. Rating: 7.5/10

Final Fantasy XIV, a realm reborn from the ashes of mediocrity, stands as a testament to the power of dedication and genuine care for the gaming community. In a landscape often tainted by subpar shovelware, FFXIV rises like a phoenix, showcasing the true potential of what an MMORPG can be.
From the moment you step into the breathtaking landscapes of Eorzea, you're greeted with an awe-inspiring world that beckons exploration and adventure. Each update is a testament to the developers' commitment to delivering a rich, immersive experience that captivates players. The constant influx of new content ensures that FFXIV never feels stagnant, offering a wealth of gameplay and narrative to sink your teeth into.
One of the most remarkable aspects of FFXIV is its vibrant player base. The sense of community and camaraderie is palpable, a stark contrast to the toxic environments often found in other online games. The absence of youtuber predators and a commitment to fostering a safe space for players contribute to a welcoming atmosphere.
The game's cosmetics, which glow with an ethereal allure, don't come with a hefty price tag, a refreshing departure from the microtransaction-driven culture prevalent in the gaming industry. The diligent developers listen to the community's feedback, resulting in a game that's constantly evolving and improving based on player input.
While FFXIV shines brightly, even the brilliance of Eorzea can't escape comparisons to other beloved franchises. The expectations set by the Fire Emblem series are lofty indeed, and FFXIV, while exceptional in its own right, faces the unenviable task of matching the iconic Fire Emblem: Fire and Ice.
In contrast, the disappointment expressed by certain players is rooted in a longing for what once was. The game's evolution, while embraced by many, doesn't resonate with everyone, and the shift in narrative focus has left some fans yearning for the days of Rivers Cuomo and his unique journey. The combat alterations, while attempting to bring new dynamics, have divided opinions and sparked nostalgia for the telekinetic battles of yore.
In the end, Final Fantasy XIV is a triumph that exemplifies the potential of what an MMORPG can achieve. Its engrossing world, abundant content, and dedicated community make it a standout title in the genre. While it may not fulfill the expectations of being Fire Emblem: Fire and Ice, it carves its own path of excellence. Rating: 9.0/10

List of good things about this game:
Dry Bones
Rituals that Resurrect Ducks

3 Lists liked by SmartyPants