Bio
Please be nice to me, I'm 5'6"
Personal Ratings
1★
5★

Badges


Replay '14

Participated in the 2014 Replay Event

Elite Gamer

Played 500+ games

GOTY '23

Participated in the 2023 Game of the Year Event

Pinged

Mentioned by another user

Organized

Created a list folder with 5+ lists

2 Years of Service

Being part of the Backloggd community for 2 years

Famous

Gained 100+ followers

Shreked

Found the secret ogre page

Listed

Created 10+ public lists

Gamer

Played 250+ games

GOTY '22

Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event

Busy Day

Journaled 5+ games in a single day

Trend Setter

Gained 50+ followers

Treasured

Gained 750+ total review likes

Adored

Gained 300+ total review likes

N00b

Played 100+ games

Popular

Gained 15+ followers

Well Written

Gained 10+ likes on a single review

Gone Gold

Received 5+ likes on a review while featured on the front page

Loved

Gained 100+ total review likes

Donor

Liked 50+ reviews / lists

Best Friends

Become mutual friends with at least 3 others

Noticed

Gained 3+ followers

Liked

Gained 10+ total review likes

Favorite Games

Metal Gear Solid
Metal Gear Solid
Final Fantasy IX
Final Fantasy IX
Sonic the Hedgehog 3: Complete
Sonic the Hedgehog 3: Complete
Snatcher
Snatcher

590

Total Games Played

081

Played in 2024

220

Games Backloggd


Recently Played See More

Mario Golf
Mario Golf

Jul 21

Ranma 1/2: Hard Battle
Ranma 1/2: Hard Battle

Jul 14

Mad Max
Mad Max

Jul 14

New Pokémon Snap
New Pokémon Snap

Jul 10

Slipstream
Slipstream

Jul 07

Recently Reviewed See More

My last experience with a golf game was Golf Magazine: 36 Great Holes Starring Ted Couples, which didn't emulate so well. Not that it matters, because I am notoriously bad at golf both in and out of video games, and at this point it's pretty rare for me to pick up a club and try. Yet, Mario Golf has been calling to me lately, and I figure hey, it's Mario so it's probably designed for children, which is exactly where my skill level is at.

I spent the better part of my Saturday morning on hole 2 of Koopa Park smacking the ball too hard out of the rough and watching it whizz right by the hole as I knocked it between opposite ends of the green over and over again. I was 20 over par, Mario fucking killed himself.

Seeing as the biggest barrier here is the terrible misfortune of being me, Mario Golf is otherwise pretty good! Maybe the best golf game I've ever played bearing in mind my fairly limited exposure to the genre. The presentation is fantastic and gets by on a lot of that Mario charm, and the controls feel good and intuitive without babying you so much that I can place higher than 30th in a tournament, so you know... the skill ceiling is set high enough to give you some overhead! I also played this with a N64 controller that I placed an 8bitdo hall effect joystick in, and it made finessing the position of my putts and swings feel much better than it does on a stock analog stick.

I've seen quite a few people complain about how tedious and demanding course and character unlocks are, and I think that's a very fair criticism, but you can also plug in a code at the title screen and unlock almost everything. After being humbled several times by Luigi, that's what I did. I have no pride, there's nothing I hold sacred about this sport. I don't need to participate in an agonizing unlock system, I have nothing to prove to you, Mario Golf, or God.

BUT IS IT A SUMMAH GAME?

I hope your feet are kicked up under the cabana, a cool fruity beverage in hand, because I'm about to rain some Summah philosophy down upon you. Golf is a year-round sport, which makes it both Summah and Not Summah at the same time.

How can that be? Is it possible that Summah and Winter can co-exist? This is a question that has baffled Summah science for centuries! But perhaps we can get closer to the truth by examining Mario Golf and extract, separate, and measure its seasonal essence. To carry out this experiment, I put my copy of Mario Golf into an Amazon Basics juicer and it broke immediately.

Testing Mario Golf against the Summah Index Scale also yielded poor results, leaving much needed answers out of our grasp, like a parasol carried by Summah winds towards open waters. But maybe we're thinking of it all wrong. Why should the seasons co-exist when we have the means of making Summah eternal? Once it's 90 degrees in December, you'll be havin' a Summah forever.

Ranma 1/2: Bakuretsu Rantou Hen, not to be confused with Ranma 1/2: Chounai Gekitou-hen, still has jump mapped to a button. I am going to douse myself in hot water and transform into The Joker.

That aside, unlike Chounai Gekitou-hen, Bakuretsu Rantou Hen actually came out here as Ranma 1/2: Hard Battle, leaving Rumiko Takahashi's designs intact as opposed to Gekitou-Hen's localization, Street Combat, which threw characters like Ryoga out for the likes of... G.I. Jim. Christ. To be fair, I never thought Gekitou-Hen looked all that good to begin with, and it certainly doesn't play very well. Hard Battle thankfully improves on both fronts, even if it's a bit too simplistic for its own good.

Characters are still weighty and slow but nonetheless move with more fluidity than the previous game. Attacks are responsive, I never had any trouble judging where a hit or hurtbox was, and the impact of your punches and kicks feels satisfying enough to make this an easy weekend morning pick-up-and-play fighter. I just wouldn't come to Hard Battle expecting anything technical, it's a very straight-forward fighting game. You can mash out your special at basically zero penalty by tapping P+K, just corner your enemy and melt them, it's baby's first fighter and that's fine cause I'm a big dumb baby and I suck at these, generally speaking. It also has Ranma in it, and as I've established plenty of times elsewhere, I love me some Ranma 1/2.

That being the case, your own investment will likely depend on how much you like Ranma 1/2, too. On a system that's certainly not wanting for fighting games, Hard Battle is as white bread as it comes, perfectly competent and well-executed if lacking depth.

Side note: the timing of me playing this is a bit serendipitous, as a trailer for a new Ranma anime just dropped a few hours ago. The Urusei Yatsura remake was fantastic, so I'm really hopeful for this.

The main loop of Avalanche's Mad Max reminds me of those long nights fixing up an old sports car with my dad. Working together in the garage, listening to the radio and bonding... Except dad is a hunchbacked zealot named Chumbucket, and I'm busy welding spikes onto the side of the car so I can commit grand acts of vehicular terror.

I slept on this game when it came out. Pretty much had my fill for this particular brand of open world with all its tiny icons and repeating activities, and I found the Arkham Aslyum inspired combat about as played out. I'd also only seen roughly half of one Mad Max movie up to that point, and it was Beyond Thunderdome. Specifically, the part with the kids so I thought it sucked. There was nothing there to draw me in besides Larry Davis' repeated insistence that it was fantastic and worth my time, but I just wasn't having any of it, and it probably didn't help that The Phantom Pain was vying for my attention around the same time. That Kojima can put together a game unlike those HACKS and FRAUDS at Avalanche!

Whatever George Miller expected from Avalanche - unreasonable as it was - they put together a damn good Mad Max game, and I found it to be the perfect way to cap off the series-wide bender I started with Furiosa. Even at its most temperamental and finicky, Mad Max is so attuned to how I approach playing games that I was constantly running into something funny or exciting. Ramming into convoys, hooking War Boys out of the cockpit of their vehicles, chucking thunderpoons into the hoods of approaching cars and watching them burst into some of the best looking fireballs I've seen in a video game... it's is full of spectacle, and yeah, very little comes in the form of carefully controlled set pieces like George Miller wanted, but I'd argue that the organic chaos of Avalanche's Mad Max is what makes it appealing as a video game rather than a movie.

That said, as a product of 2015 game development, Mad Max is held back in some ways. The Arkham-style combat is very dry and one-note, reduced down to its barest state with little in the way of enemy variety to keep it interesting. The various side activities littering the world are also uneven in a way that's pretty typical of this sort of game, ranging from fun and engaging to busy work you'll only do out of some obscene obligation to completionism. Or because you want a level 6 harpoon (all but necessary by the third act) which someone decided to lock behind getting Jeet's territory to Level-0 and yes i'm mad about it, i hate disarming mines so much, i got this dog yapping in my ear the whole time and i keep getting blowned up because i'm Dumb as Fuck, also why can't i fast travel with the buggy, why do i gotta go to a safehouse and drive alllll the way out every time i want to use the buggy with the mine detecting dog it SUCKS! I take it all back, George Miller was right and he should be allowed to drive a war rig straight through Avalanche's studio.

Despite feeling somewhat limited and at times repetitive, I still had a lot of fun. Anytime the game started to drag, something wild would happen out in the open world and I'd perk right back up. Every lull punctuated by finding some dude standing in a minefield going "oy, don't come over here, there's boom traps all around and one of thems already got me buddy Pube Tubes-" before exploding like Tarantino in Django Unchained. Slowly assembling the best murder-mobile possible, then hauling ass across the desert, ramming into War Boys trying to fix up their rides on the side of the road, or peeling out from cover and t-boning a convoy's lead rig just feels good. I frequently found myself thinking "damn, the oil crisis can't come fast enough!" while careening into water-starved pilgrims during off-road chases, grinding them up in the wheels of the angel combustion herself: the Magnum Opus.

Still, I can't help but wonder what this game would look like if it released just a few years later with a more robust stealth system and a greater number of tools at the player's disposal. Sure, being a blunt instrument of vengeance is what results in the very pandemonium I've been praising the game for but imagine a version of this where you could play Mad Maxwell as being a bit more cunning, setting up traps, sabotaging fuel supplies before the enemy can detect you, or creating more elaborate ambushes to take out convoys. This isn't an Original Thought but I'd kill for a Mad Max game that implements something like the Nemesis System with a more diverse cast of regional warlords to take out. Mad Max is great, but it's also the bones of a better game.

The Phantom Pain, which launched alongside Mad Max, is comparatively more forward-thinking, and provides a much wider degree of freedom to its players. Maybe George Miller isn't wrong to say Kojima could make a fantastic Mad Max game, but you know, Kojima couldn't lock down his energy drink deal whereas I'm ambushing convoys in my Rockstar Energy buggy so... Gonna give this one to Avalanche. Sorry, George!