Street Fighter 6 had one of the best final brackets of any year at Evo ever after barely barely two months of being out. If that ain't a sign that we're witnessing the dawn of possibly the greatest Fighting Game run of all time then I don't know what is.
Thank you, Capcom.

Harry Whatsapp
Kim Kitsuragi: You should kill yourself NOW.
Titus Hardie: You should kill yourself NOW.
Kim Kitsuragi: I NEED cock detective
Cuno: You should kill yourself NOW.
Garte: You should kill yourself NOW.
Sans Undertale: Can I borrow 500 réal

The American box art for this game looks AI generated

Man, Arcane is really great! Can't wait for the video game!!

That really was a The Great Ace Attorney Adventures...

Persona 3 FES is one of my favorite games of all time. When I finished it midway through last year, I fell in love with a story that touched my heart and left me completely fulfilled in a way that few pieces of art have in a long time. More interesting to point out than my love for the plot and characters, though, would be my entire lack of desire to replay the game anytime soon or AT ALL, even. Despite how much I had grown to respect, admire, and even adore this game, that love came with its own set of caveats and conditions. The most notable of those being the sheer length of the game in conjunction with my indifference towards the gameplay. Y’see, my first playthrough took me around 80 hours to finish which, on its own, is already a massive time sink, but then you also take into consideration that the gameplay, while honestly not terrible, did not leave me particularly thrilled to give it another go in second playthrough.
To put it simply, when those credits rolled for the first time at the end of my journey, I was ready to move on from Persona 3 entirely. That’s not to say that I was burnt out by any means, I just saw it as a one and done thing, and there’s no problem with that.
Even long before I actually started Persona 3 FES, I knew about Portable. I’ve seen plenty of discourse regarding people debating which version of the game is the superior experience, but to me, FES always seemed like the no-brainer. Sure, having a controllable party, the most notable combat feature absent from FES, did give it one solid point of appeal on a surface level. However, from what I could gather, there was just so much that seemed lacking when compared to FES at a glance that I felt (and still do feel) that Portable would be an inferior game to experience first, at the very least.
Looking past just an initial playthrough, though, I generally had no interest in Persona 3 Portable in its own right for some time. The cutscenes being restricted to just the character sprites and background graphics seemed to me as though it would severely undercut many of the more hard-hitting scenes in the game, and that did not do it any favors as far as appeal is concerned. So you take that in conjunction with my overall indifference towards the game’s addition of a female protagonist, and it’s not a stretch to say that I had a rather notably negative view on this version of the game. Surprisingly though, after much convincing from my good pal HiTheHello, I decided on a whim, half a year after completing FES in fact, that I’d look past these preconceived grievances I had with the game, and just see firsthand if it was worth it or not.
And you know what? It fucking blew me away.
I now realize that Persona 3 Portable should NOT be seen as an attempt at a replacement or upgrade from base P3 or FES, but instead as a sort of lighter, more easily digestible way for fans of those first two games to experience them again but with a fresh, new lens. Looking at Portable in this new way made so much of what seemed to be baffling in design on paper make SO much more sense. Because that’s all it was, baffling on paper. In execution, Portable works beautifully as a companion piece to the original games. This is for a myriad of reasons of course, but the two most important of these are, funnily enough, the exact issues that I ignorantly looked down on the game for: the changes to the presentation and the inclusion of the FEMC route.
Now, there’s an elephant in the room that needs to be addressed here. If you compare scenes from P3P to FES on a one-to-one basis, then yes, FES wins that comparison in every example. But looking at it now, Portable’s commitment to sacrificing a bit of that impact in its story presentation for shorter, more concise cutscenes has an unexpected, but surprisingly strong benefit. That benefit being a more streamlined and fast-paced experience that lent itself magnificently to a more casual, relaxed playthrough of the game. The exact kind of playthrough that I, with my good friends in voice chat, could enjoy to the fullest. It’s by trimming the fat that Portable is able to keep me going for six hour sittings at a time, when, prior to starting, the mere thought of replaying tired me out.
This is why this game works so well as a better way to re-experience P3, and, after having played through the original already, I can more easily immerse myself into this world again BECAUSE of how fast things are coming at me. To a new player, this might come off as a story failed by its cutscenes and presentation, but I’m able to simply sit back and have a laugh with my friends while essentially lite versions of my favorite cutscenes in gaming are playing. And it can’t be overstated just how much snappier this game is in its pacing. When all was said and done and I finally finished this version of the game, I ended up with around 60 hours of total playtime. Still definitely a meaty game, but that’s a whole TWENTY hours less than my initial playthrough, and I can guarantee it wasn’t at all because I got better at the game since my initialy playthrough and was just faster at doing the same shit because I essentially FORGOT a good chunk of the game in the past 6 months from FES to Portable that wasn’t story or character-related. The game was, by nature, much more digestible than if I had opted to merely replay FES, and that’s something I don’t see Portable getting enough praise for. That it was able to successfully (albeit a bit clumsily at times) reintroduce me in a way that felt inviting and fresh, not draining and cumbersome.
There’s just this noticeable effort to make the game in general feel less tiresome with Portable’s many mechanical changes, too. Of course you’ve got the aforementioned addition of controllable party, which is obviously a very welcome change and goes a long way in making fights more manageable. But there are also a lot of smaller, quality of life changes that do loads to make this game generally more approachable for a replay than FES which, again, I believe is the intent and how Portable should be viewed as a whole. A lot of smart things are brought in from Persona 4 as well. You can now guard in battle, which is a lot nicer than simply waiting and wasting a character’s turn in battle, allowing you to remain engaged with a fight even while taking more defensive maneuvers. Multi-target spells are also now capable of triggering One Mores, which honestly feels like fixing an oversight from the original game, and also feels really great. And speaking of which, downing enemies or allies in Portable no longer requires a full turn to recover from, which comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. On one hand, it’s more in line with the rest of the series and keeps fights as a back and forth where neither side can COMPLETELY stop the other from doing anything to fight back, just because a weakness was hit. But on the other hand, I LOVE STUN LOCKING ENEMIES INTO OBLIVION. This is overall a good change for sure though, and the stun lock capabilities have been relegated to the dizzy status effect, albeit in a less absurdly broken state than in FES. There were also plenty of other changes made outside of combat, such as the introduction of fast travel from anywhere, certain items removing fatigue, and even part-time jobs you can easily take on in order to kill time, make a quick buck, and get some social stat increases, adding some welcome variation to the more monotonous parts of the game where you’re waiting for the Full Moon to arrive.
So yeah, Portable is a cleaner and less tedious in its gameplay, and it has a plethora of things it does well or even better than FES, which add to its status in my eyes as the perfect casual Persona game. And it’s something that honestly works better if you’re already familiar with the story because, as I said before, that makes the downgrade in presentation actually work to its benefit. However, these changes, while solid improvements on their own, needed one more HUGE addition to justify Portable’s existence. And they got that justification with the existence of the female protagonist.
FEMC adds SO much to this game, I can’t give her enough praise for just how fresh her existence made Persona 3 feel again. You get new tracks that shift the entire mood and fit her character like a glass slipper. Songs that replace the softer, melancholic, atmospheric tracks from the male MC’s route with more exciting, upbeat bangers that brilliantly reflect the new perspective of this entirely different protagonist. A Way of Life and Time are fantastic overworld themes that I’m rarely able not to bop my head to, with the former song especially filling me with a dense feeling of nostalgia and wonder even after just a couple of listens, it’s seriously magic. After School is a great addition to the already existing social link themes that does wonders in maintaining that high energy vibe unique to FEMC, while Tender Feeling accentuates emotional beats with a wholesome, warm sincerity seldom found in other social link themes of this type. And if I’m keeping it real, Wiping All Out and Danger Zone are, without a doubt in my mind, THE BEST normal and sub-boss battle themes in the series that translate the high energy, upbeat vibe of the overworld and SL songs into hard-hitting, bombastic fight themes.
So yeah, with the additions to FEMC brings to the table in Portable’s soundtrack, it’s no stretch to say that P3P’s soundtrack is a straight up upgrade from FES. And you wanna know something else that FEMC excels in where even the normal route kinda flops? Social Link CONSISTENCY.
Y’see, Persona 3 FES has one some of the absolutely highest highs and lowest lows as far as Social Links are concerned. With it containing absolute favorites of mine like Akinari, Aigis, and Mutatsu, as well as horrific mediocrity/atrocity like Kenji and Nozomi, this selection of social links was handily the most hit or miss in the series. But with the FEMC, there’s a MASSIVE overhaul in that selection, replacing many of the aforementioned stinkers with new, BETTER SLs to choose from.
First of all, unlike in the male route, every male party member INCLUDING KOROMARU now has a Social Link, and they are all a delight to behold. I can’t speak for Ken’s (since I refused to interact with the little shit), but every other member was given a storyline that complimented their preexisting arcs in the main story in a way that felt natural and organic, enhancing what was already there, when they could so easily have been forced retreadings of superior stories. My favorite of these was Shinjiro’s who, while avoiding spoilers, managed to elevate him from an already strong character who the story used extremely well to knock down the first domino that led to the game’s immaculate final act, to one of my absolute favorites in the series, that I resonated with on a personal, fundamental level. It’s all because of how absolutely sky high the quality of writing for these SLs now is. They keep all the ones that made the game great, and replace the bad ones (Kenji, Nozomi, etc.) with ones that make it EVEN BETTER. And this led to an experience where maxing out every arcana felt meaningful and fulfilling, because no matter who I talked to, I wasn’t just getting an exp bonus for fusions, but I was also inviting myself to experience some of the best side stories this series had to offer.
So yeah, FEMC route is kind of a slam dunk already. Music? Banging. Social Links? Cracked. And to end off this overly long thesis about why this route is totally worthwhile, let’s dive into the star of the show herself: FEMC/Kotone Shiomi/Minako Arisato.
To me, FEMC is where the character of Persona 3’s protagonists finally really clicked for me (yes, BOTH of them). Initially, I just kinda thought that Makoto, the original protagonist, was a cool embodiment of the game’s themes without really thinking much of him as an individual character. In contrast, and despite being a “silent protag”, FEMC’s personality felt incredibly well-articulated to me with every new addition or change in dialogue and music doing so much in conveying her as this bubbly, energetic, positive force in the lives of her peers. She is so fundamentally opposed to the original protagonist in characterization, bringing so much new life to what was originally such a grimy, dreary, and unwelcoming world. This was exactly what I needed to keep the slow burn nature of Persona 3’s story from ever feeling monotonous this second time around: something new. And funnily enough, FEMC doesn’t fit the themes of this story quite as perfectly as Makoto did and, in fact, she feels rather static in terms of progression compared to her predecessor, but this is something that wraps around to working in Portable’s favor. Because we already experienced the story of someone at their lowest point trying to find meaning and purpose through the bonds they forged with those around them. FEMC couldn’t just retread that, because it’d be fucking boring. Instead, she largely seems to have retained her understanding of the value of life early on despite finding herself in the same tragic circumstances that Makoto did. And it’s in keeping her positive mental state that she’s able to be the rock that she is in so many of her relationships. It’s through her determination and vigor that she can face all the tragedy and loss that the story throws her way and still remain the chipper ray of light that her friends need her to be.
Retroactively, she was able to make me appreciate Makoto’s more dynamic character progression in a way I hadn’t really considered before, as well. And this is the power of a game like Persona 3 Portable. Sure it’s not always perfect in how it presents itself and, yes, despite all of this crazy praise I’m giving it, you should still absolutely play through FES first. But god dammit, I appreciate it so much when I’m given the opportunity to look at something I love in a new way, from a new angle, with a new perspective, and come out adoring the new and old experiences I had more than I ever would’ve if I had only picked one.
So, from the bottom of my heart,
Thank you, Persona 3 Portable.

This review was written before the game released

They brought back Sayama!!!!!!

Recently been playing this a decent bit (after over two years off) with some friends on PS4 and while I am moderately enjoying my time, I feel like it's very much a social experience where I turn off my brain and just giggle with some buddies than any kind of compelling, competitive or strategic multiplayer engagement. More like how watching paint dry with friends could possibly be fun, and even then there are times where it still pushes me into mind-numbing boredom as I go through one overwhelmingly one-sided steamroll into the next (whether I win or lose).
I feel like the mark of a good competitive FPS is that you're having fun even when you're losing. That push and pull between both sides in a constantly changing environment forcing both teams to adapt to each other's playstyles, forming new strategies as matches go on in order to secure wins. The tragic comedy of Overwatch is that even winning is made to be unsatisfying, primarily due to a roster so bafflingly unbalanced that it makes my head hurt.
You have characters like Junkrat who win by pressing and holding down one button and then get rewarded with an ultimate that's almost always GUARANTEED to get at least 3-4 kills in even the most braindead of player's hands, Roadhog who has one of the largest healthpools in the game, an easy one-shot kill on most squishies having a very small cooldown with his hook, and a SELF-HEAL THAT MAKES HIM TAKE 50% LESS DAMAGE, or Moira who can routinely out-heal other healers and out-damage the team's DPS despite being an incredibly low-skill cap character, it's unreal. Meanwhile a character like Cassidy's only saving grace, the flashbang (which Overwatch 2 bewilderingly strips him of), is on a ten second cooldown, and is easily baitable, boasts very low mobility, a mediocre healthpool, and struggles to get any mileage out of a very predictable, easily counterable ultimate. This feeling of being underpowered is taken to its most hilarious and exaggerated degree with the character of Widowmaker who, to paraphrase Dunkey's adept description of her for a sec, is the worst character in the game and has the worst ultimate in the game.
A lack of general polish and balance with this game's roster severely kneecaps any chance of that exhilarating push and pull I described earlier. You either steamroll the enemy or the enemy steamrolls you, that's it. There's very little fun to be had in decimating enemy teams and watching them scramble to group up and play for these boring ass objectives, all while the game clearly expects way too much cooperation and coordination from a team usually comprised mostly or entirely of randoms. And it goes without saying that being on the receiving end of these annihilations is anything but enjoyable.
So you've got a horrifically unbalanced cast of characters, with matches that very easily stagnate, feel tedious, and are ultimately unsatisfying to lose OR win, and you group all that with ABSURD queue times for competitive matches that regularly reach twelve, thirteen, and even FIFTEEN minutes? It all combines to make an FPS that, while I can still enjoy it with friends for some fleeting, mindless fun before getting frustrated or bored and hopping on something many times better, that's all it is. Fleeting and mindless. A game you play because it's the only thing you can play with your friends. It's not an experience with any real substance or value that'll stick with you after you put your controller down and turn your console off. It's only a matter of time before my friend group tires of it completely and drops it altogether.

This game is impressive in how it is one of the most soulless, industry plant-type creations I have ever bared witness to, but it is depressingly getting exactly what it wants in the longterm:
-Massive, influential YouTubers and content creators covering the game and giving it publicity it doesn't deserve
-Dronelike theorizing about nothing lore, with TWO videos by MatPat (where even he subtly decries the shady, scummy business practices of some of the people behind this game) regarding the same played-out bullshit story you can imagine
-And massive financial success from greedy, moneygrubbing marketing and merchandising.
The concept of this game being anything resembling "indie" has been entirely erased at this point.
This game is now the Warner Bros. of indie games. And it's genuinely depressing that a game like Five Nights at Freddy's that (while undeniably flawed) was a piece with so much genuine heart, passion, and drive to its creation ended up inspiring such a bland, but unfortunately successful DISASTER of a video game that ends up being just another "children's toys but with a dark twist" product to add to that homogenous glob of indie horror, all while reaping rewards it very much does not deserve.
Fuck this game.

The number 1 review for this game is an 8 page essay that takes a deep dive into the mechanical nuances of the game in excruciating detail that clearly had an insane amount of love, effort, and passion poured into every word, and the number 2 review for this game is literally "SUS".
Absolute masterclass of gaming.

You ever experience something that, after enough time, feels like it contains a part of you? That you would not be who you are now, at this very moment, without this thing? Whether it be a game, book, movie, anime, comic, whatever, I know I'm not alone in this feeling. Of all the hundreds of games I’ve played, I can’t even count how many I’ve once had in my top 10, or 5, or even 3, only to swap them out, shift em around, or in some cases, fall entirely out of love with them. My opinions and tastes change, I grow up, I get more and more in touch with what really speaks to me in media little by little, so it’s only natural that shit like this would change for me. And seeing as I’ve been going through the most formative years of my life throughout the latter part of this past decade, it’d only follow that I’d have had plenty of games hold that number one spot throughout the years, right? Well, that surprisingly isn’t the case because for the better part of six years now, UNDERTALE has been my favorite piece of media. But why is that? Why has this game had such a firm grip on me since late 2015? How could such a simple, small, fucking EARTHBOUND CLONE reshape the way I perceive games as a consumer? Why did I reevaluate the way I treated the people around me? How did UNDERTALE kinda change my life? Well, that’s what I’d like to try and find out here.
I was just 12 when this game dropped. I happened to come upon JackSepticEye posting the first video of his playthrough back in October of 2015, watched around 5 minutes of it, thought it looked ugly and boring, and decided it wouldn’t be a game I’d enjoy. And it’s honestly kinda horrifying to think just how different of a person I could’ve turned out if I just went on like that, never giving it a second thought. It wasn’t till two months later in December when he (I used to watch a lot of JackSepticEye back in the day lol) uploaded a video titled “BECOMING A MONSTER | Undertale Genocide #1” that I got kind of interested. You see, I was pretty obsessed with choice-based games back then, shit like Telltale’s The Walking Dead and Infamous were my bread and butter. I couldn’t tell how shallow the actual choice-making in those games was, of course, I just thought it was the coolest shit ever that you could choose to be a good or bad guy in games (no slander to Infamous doe, those games rock). Now, seeing that I’d probably get more out of doing the “good guy” route first, I decided to pirate the game (a decision I would soon regret) and play through it.
Aside from my weird distaste for the game’s graphics at the time (which I have heavily, heavily switched up on by now), it’s pretty crazy just how quickly this game stole my heart. I beat it in one weekend and could do nothing but think about it for every minute of every day, for MONTHS on end. I became fandom trash (do people still use that term) for this game so embarrassingly fast, but that’s a story for another time. To keep it simple, I was completely entranced by this game’s world, the music that filled it with life, and the characters that inhabited it. But just what about those aspects of the game clicked with me so well? Let’s see if we can find out.
I’m gonna start by saying possibly the most nuclear, unheard of take you can imagine regarding this game:
The music is good. Like, really, really good. The game still has my favorite soundtrack of all time. With so many phenomenal boss tracks that represent the energy and personality of the characters so well. Whether it’s the heart-pounding emotional turmoil caused by Toriel’s Heartache, or Bergentrückung being the soft, somber intro to ASGORE that perfectly embodies the moral dilemma both he and the player are faced with, and how heart-wrenching that is, OR HOW MEGALOVANIA IS THE MOST BOMBASTIC, CHAOTIC SOUNDING BANGER IN EXISTENCE. Every boss theme is perfect in what it sets out to do. However, one thing that I don’t see talked about enough in regards to UNDERTALE’S soundtrack is just how good the music is at fitting the tone and atmosphere of ANY scene or location. Like the aforementioned boss themes, every overworld track sounds different, and feels like a breath of fresh air from the last. My favorite of these (not counting the main theme of Undertale itself because I could write a full-length review about that song in itself) is Waterfall’s theme, of course. It starts out so soft and understated, with a magical aura to it that almost makes it sound like the glowing rocks on the ceiling of the underground are playing along to the music, but then it erupts into this grand symphony that shoulders all the pain and tragedy the monsters have had to endure in their time underground. UNDERTALE’S soundtrack is powerful in this, with each track telling a story that relates to either that area exclusively or adds to the emotional depth and engagement with the overarching plot on the whole.
So it’s got a pretty cool soundtrack, but what’s the point in pretty music without a world to give life to with it? Thankfully, UNDERTALE delivers in that regard as well.
The world of UNDERTALE is one shrouded in a thick coat of darkness without ever really feeling that way. This is a place with people who have had their lives on the surface, with fresh air and wide open spaces, stolen from them by a population of people that didn’t have the capacity or patience to understand, appreciate, or empathize with them. And yet, the monsters that now reign underground still manage to scrape by and find some modicum of happiness, some semblance of hope to latch onto. It isn’t much to speak of, and most might even consider it miserable, but, before even getting to the main meat of the story or characters, just thinking about this small community down in the underground, these people that have been beaten down and broken by forces stronger and crueler than them, and seeing that they still haven’t given up hope? That they still remain an interconnected, tightly-knit family of people in spite of all they’ve collectively been through? Not only does it perfectly line up with the game’s themes regarding hope, perseverance, and determination, but god damn, it’s exactly what kept me coming back again and again to this place, to this world. On paper, it sure as hell is not a world I’d ever want to live in, but that light in the darkness feel that I just described makes me almost wish that I did.
And then you pair that world up with a story that tackles those very ideas head on, wrapped in a consistent spark of empathy, tenderness, and love? Then you’ve got a recipe for your old pal Ofy (that’s me) to cry his eyes out. And it’s those very characters, both major and minor, that would give the game its meaning, and become the defining feature of it for me.
UNDERTALE has a varied, diverse, and extremely colorful cast of lovable characters who’re equally charming as they are compelling. Whether it was Toriel and her overprotective, but well-meaning motherly nature caused by the heartache she endured long ago, Alphys’s heartwarming, but misguided attempts to get closer to you, fueled by a deep-seated desire to feel worthwhile after living with perpetual self-hatred as a result of the terrible mistakes she made in the past, or even Mettaton’s comically homicidal tendencies spurred on by a genuine love for entertainment and need to be seen, the list goes on but you get my point. These characters were gripping, they were funny, scary, witty, awkward, sympathetic and all things in-between. They all had clear goals, aspirations, wants, and the game communicated all of that so effortlessly in the short time you spend with them. And really thinking on it now, it’s kinda mind-blowing just how long you actually interact with these characters. With an average pacifist route netting you, on average, around five to six hours, it’s incredibly impressive just how much you get out of these characters. You learn what food they like, what shows they watch, what they aspire to be, what they fear, their hobbies, all of these and more in such a measly but meaningful amount of time. As short-lived or trope-y as some of them may feel, they’ve always felt more real to me than most video game casts. And by the end of the game’s main route, I felt like I genuinely did meet and connect with a group of peers, cherished friends, and a new, beloved family. Walking through the underground during this sort of “last hurrah” moment, it feels like *I did all this, that I* genuinely accomplished something with these people. I managed to, through warm, tender pacifism, deliver unto them a real kindness. I was able to become the light that the monsters needed to escape what seemed like their final resting place, and gave them the right to fresh air and sunlight that they had been yearning for ages for.
All of this combined for one of the most satisfying and emotionally fulfilling final bosses I’ve ever experienced in a game. I don’t want to get too heavy into spoilers, but there’s a certain moment towards the end of it and just before that previously mentioned last hurrah walk that so brilliantly embodies the themes of this game and I still absolutely fucking bawl my eyes out going through that segment. It ended up being a tragic, but triumphant story about hatred, compassion, and redemption that still has not been topped for me. And all of this makes for an ending that feels earned, that made me close the game with the biggest, fattest smile on my face, awkwardly pumping my fist in the air and going, “That’s how it’s done.”
And since then, I’ve looked at video games in such a different light. They became so much more than mere passing entertainment, or a fun but most likely fleeting hobby that I would eventually grow out of. UNDERTALE awakened a passion for the medium that I did not have before, where I could finally see it for the art form that it was. I could finally begin to appreciate the sheer technical and artistic prowess on display with the games I had already loved in the past, and now I could look forward to playing new games with that same degree of awe and passion when everything clicks for me.
This game is just so much larger than life for me. In a way, you could say that I “woke up” after I played this game, as overdramatic as that sounds. This game helped me discover a part of myself I didn’t know that I had, it inspired me to try every day to be a better person, and to cherish my connections with those I was close with. UNDERTALE helped me understand that even when I fall, that it isn’t the end. I can always pick myself up, I always have people to fall back on that care about and love me for being who I am. That is a message that, almost seven years later, I still think about and value so much. So say what you will about how this game ruined indie RPG discussion or how it has annoying fans or whatever else you’d like, but I will be forever grateful that I got to exist in the same era that such an important, powerful game could, and I eagerly await to see just what Toby Fox does with Deltarune, because that game’s gearing up to be right up there with its older sibling.

This game provides a shocking, horrifyingly realistic depiction of what living in modern-day Canada is like.

Three out of five of the top five reviews for this game mention vore in some major way, and that should tell you just how good this game is.