23 Reviews liked by Thanatos
as a devoted lover of Pokemon and the Nintendo 64 who has 100%ed this game both as a child and a 25 year old adult, let me tell you: this game is not as good as you remember it.
HOWEVER: i love me some low poly models of pokemon and delicious secrets. you win this time, NOSTALGIA.
I'm sorry dog, I just can't. I don't like having a different loadout and set of gear for every enemy type. I don't like hitting bosses for 1 or 2 damage until my combo ramps up and I can start maybe hitting it for actual numbers. I don't like having everything come to a screeching halt every two seconds because somebody's casting a spell. The story didn't do much for me, and the environments and level design didn't do much for me either.
Final Fantasy X
Final Fantasy X would serve as the perfection of turn-based RPG combat for over a decade, and even then there are very few games that can claim to have improved on the systems of this game. The Sphere Grid is a marvelous progression system and was groundbreaking in its time. The story is up there with the best of the genre, and although the masses will line up to dunk on the likes of Tidus and Wakka, I doubt anyone will argue that Auron and Yuna aren't great characters. The world-building and lore on display with Spira make it the most compelling world that Final Fantasy has ever seen, and for those who have the patience, the sidequests, minigames, and post-game goodies provide plenty of reason to stay.
Star Fox Adventures
Star Fox Adventures is worse than you remember. Go play it, I'll wait. The combat is braindead, and yet it's everywhere. The controls for shooting with the staff are awful. Dealing with Tricky and switching between staff powers is a pain in the ass. Some of the puzzles are horrible, and there are large stretches of unnecessary backtracking. Complaining that there aren't enough "Star Fox" parts is dumb, because there's plenty to bitch about on Adventure's own demerits, with or without the Star Fox cast being shoehorned into it.
Aside from the art style that was mired in unfair controversy, the highlight of Wind Waker as a Zelda game is the sense of exploration. Unfortunately the actual act of exploring can be frustrating and tedious. As much as I love taking in the art and the music on the high seas, sailing gets old very quickly, and exploration goes unrewarded for almost all of the game. Early on in the game, islands mostly fall into two categories: Islands that are significant later in the story but not now, and side islands that can't be plundered without items from later in the game. Once the player reaches a point in the game where they can be reasonably confident that exploring will not be a waste of time, they end up doing a world tour and uncovering the whole map at once, zone by zone, rather than slowly over the course of the game, which I think is a shame. The last few minutes of the game are awesome and deserve mentioning.
I have over one hundred hours in this Death Stranding, I like it a great bunch. That said, I'm very critical of it's flaws.
For one, the plot is a over-expositive convoluted mass of themes. Wide as the ocean and deep as a puddle, playing this game can feel like a philosophy undergraduate trying to explain the meaning of SOCIETY in one long and badly estructured essay. Kojima really needs to dial it back a tone or two on that.
On the other hand, this game is a superbly unique aesthetical experience. There is nothing in the world like trecking through the inhospitable wilds of post-apocalyptic USA. This is a game for hours of deep, relaxed introspection.
I also need to applaud the audacity of picking the most hated design trends of gaming and turning them over their head to make them enjoyable.
Take, by example, the idea of the 'walking simulator'. It is a poor choice of words to call Gone Home, Dear Esther or Protheus walking simulators, even though that's what they're mostly referred to. I say that because, even though you walk a whole fucking bunch in those games, what you're doing is mostly mindlessly pressing 'W' while paying attention to other stuff. Walking is just the invisible means through which you interact in these worlds.
Death Stranding, on the other hand, is a literal walking simulator. It's a near perfect, gamified simulation of walking through the interaction of various systems. And it's fucking good.