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"Welcome to the Salty Spitoon, how tough are ya?"
"How tough am I? I beat Man Man 2 on the Difficult setting."
"Yeah, so?"
"Without using Metal Man's power up"
"Right this way..."

allegedly has Tasty Steve commentating but I haven't heard him mention "good ass Tekken" once

Revolutionary, many games recently allowed you to make a penis with the items at your disposal, but none let you be the penis yourself until now.

Developers Mr. Pig and Sertif were handling the pure essence of the late 90's with this one. This was like the sudden resurrection of the Ren & Stimpy show; a speed run through a Nickelodeon slime obstacle course; a junk food fueled gaming marathon with a bean bag chair and a 32" CRT.
There's a glorious level of detail in every inch of this fairly meaty experience. The Microsoft Paint art style transcends its low technical fidelity through heaps of garnish and fun animation work. Character sprites are memorable and often hilarious. Levels writhe with character, almost literally, and almost all 22-24 of them are unique in appearance. And the music accompanying it all is equally as detailed and varied, with a nice mix of classic chip-tune instruments and more modern beats with sampling.
If you have any nostalgia for the heyday of the pizza and X-games world, you'll have a wonderful time even just watching this game.
And under that is a very solid high-speed platformer.
I can't claim a large amount of experience with 2D platformers, as I've always had an odd hangup with them — thankfully I've been getting around that recently — but I know I like Rayman Origins, and the flow of the levels here is reminiscent of that. More... brutal, but similar. I've been told it's like a spiritual succesor to the Wario Land series, and I can easily imagine that with the vibe this game gives off, but I'm entirely unfamiliar with those games.
For the most part Pizza Tower is a smooth experience, and even when it's not "smooth" it's gratifyingly "chunky" with the combat and box breaking. There's also a lot of great variation in the gameplay with the level specific power ups and gimicks. The way they're tailor fit to the context you find them in keeps them from becoming throwaway "nice-to-haves" that you eventually start skipping because you either never get to the "right" time to use it or because collecting it isn't worth going out of your way for.
Doesn't hurt that they're just fun, too.
But sometimes I do feel like there's a bit too much of a conflict between the game encouraging you to go quickly and follow a clear line and it wanting to throw unexpected obstacles at you and have to learn the layout to earn your speed. The result for me was that, for the regular gameplay, there was a lot of whiplash. I also found a few of the control scheme options were a bit frustrating. In particular, a lot of the interactions around wall-climbing and diving.
I also... think the boss fights are too long. 16 hits was a bit past the point of tedium for me.
But overall that wasn't enough to ruin the experience by any stretch. And if you enjoy 2D Sonic, Mega Man, and the like, I wager you'll be much better off than my 3D brainrot crippled self.
So, unless you are particularly averse to platformers or can't understand the appeal of the art style, I would recommend giving this game a go. And if you're the speedrunning crowd, this seems like a very rewarding course to learn.

Arthur and the Invisibles is a game based off a movie of the same name about a 10 year old boy and his romantic endeavors with a 1,080 year old, made by a man who dated and married a 15 year old when he was 38. I don’t actually want to talk about either of those things though, thankfully. I want to talk about possibly one of the most feverish things I’ve ever randomly happened upon in my entire life.
There is a movie called “Arthur, malédiction”, which is a horror movie about a boy who loved Arthur and the Invisibles so much that he wanted to be a minimoy when he grew up. When he turns 18 him and his friends, for his birthday, go and visit the abandoned house where the movie was shot originally. Of course the horror of an 18 year old who’s entire bedroom was decorated with Arthur and the Invisibles memorabilia wasn’t actually enough, they had to at least try to make it scary, and nothing is scarier than french people in a foggy forest. I’m going to spoil this whole movie because you really don’t care. If you somehow do, I’m really sorry to hear that. First tragedy of this movie, their cooler with enough food for maybe 12 hours that they were going to be living off of for a week gets raided, oh no. They send one person back 800 meters to the car to go and get more food. He gets punched in the face in the woods, what could have happened? We cut back half way through the movie to see that his arms are stuck hugging a tree and the rest of his body has been consumed by the tree? Okay. Onto the next part, one of their friends from earlier in the movie from one scene is seen hanging upside down from a tree by 2 of the group, they untie the rope to slowly lower him to the ground, but it was trapped and there was a bear trap by the rope! He gets caught in the bear trap, let’s go of the rope and the tied up guy falls and breaks his neck and dies. The 2 people that tried to help him down go wait in the car to get help, but they don’t have the keys! The rest of the group tells them if there’s danger, honk the horn 5 times. They honk the horn 5 times, they hear him honk the horn, and then go “uhh let’s go the other direction actually”. They both die. Next, a girl, who is allergic to bees, locks herself in a garage with a big bee hive in it, gets stung by all the bees and dies. Probably the scariest part of all, a mysterious hooded man cuts out the rope of a swing one of the girls was sitting on, causing her to fall through the floor of the porch 50 meters underground into a secret underground sacrificial chamber. They end up getting her back but never explain what that was about. And then finally the remaining members of the group are all kidnapped by a very racist indigenous african tribe? In France? The movie ends with the entire tribe being gunned down by a very stereotypical racist white hick with a shotgun. Fun!
Now you might wonder why I just talked about the parts where they all died and not about its relation to Arthur, and that’s because it doesn’t have one. The conceit is that this group of people discovered the house and got cursed by it and went crazy so they started doing racially stereotyped tribal rituals where they sacrifice people to the minimoys I guess? It’s implied that the minimoys are actually real in this setting but who fucking cares. We can now officially set the count for “how many pieces of Arthur and the invisibles media are racist or pedophilic” back to 0. I kinda hoped this would be more self aware being made by a different person but this guy must be the only living breathing Arthur and the invisibles fan left, a real, walking fossil. Oh yea, the game. It’s bad?

Theoretically, you can beat Super Hexagon in 6 minutes, the same way that, theoretically, I shouldn't have lost my sanity by playing it, but, y'know, not everything in life is as simple.
Do not be mistaken, even though I only started to log it on here very recently, my history with this game started many, many years ago, 6 to be precise. I would take me 3 years to beat the first level and another to beat the second, but why? I wasn't exactly constantly trying and failing, but rather every time I came back to it I was left broken and shattered, my will in the dust and my determination gone. So, you may think: ''Oh, is the game is actually that difficult?'' and let me tell you one thing you poor, poor sweet innocent soul, it's so much more than that...
I'm versed and have played many considered ''challenging experiences'', but I wouldn't necessarily call Super Hexagon a difficult game, it's more of a living nightmare test of patience and resilience, one that demands skill of course, but it also asks of you to embrace the defeat over and over again, it asks of you all of your mental fortitude; but even in that camp Super Hexagon shines in a different light compared to the others.
Take a game like Jump King example, one that I beat last year. It's demanding and cruel, and isn't scared of making you lose hours upon hours of progress, but there's always movement: even if you fall down, you are always going up, there's a feeling of progression, both venturing in terra ignota and when undoing a costly mistake. Super Hexagon offers an experience I could only qualify as some kind of cosmic horror, an eternal punishment that beats you over an over, and only has voice to remind you of your swindling temporal progress, when you reach further a past try, to tell you you've failed... and that you'll try again.
With each failure you learn, yes, and there can be a feeling of you getting better at it, yes; but more often than not, the satisfaction is tainted by the thought of having to start over, to fail miserably at a specific pattern, to go left instead of right or right instead of left. The game only asks you one think over the course of its six stages: evade the walls for one minute, and in Super Hexagon you either do it, or you don't, and 99% of the time, you don't.
Only three buttons are used: two to move right or left and one to restart once you've failed. Each level new obstacle, each time new ways to be a triangle for the slaughter, maybe the hexagon will change forms, or maybe the walls will unite in such a way they demand a specific dance, maybe the way the screen turns will change mid movement and cut most of your speed, or maybe the colors and music will unite to overwhelm your senses. One way or another, you are here, in this eternal dance without law or sense, and it's painful as it is captivating, is stressful as it mind-bending, is requires skill as it is sometimes RNG depENDENT GODAMNIT WHY DID THOSE PATTERNS JUST CAME ONE AFTER THE OTHER AND IT HAD TO CHANGE DIRECTION TO CUT OFF MY SPEED FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU- cough... I apologize.
Super Hexagon demands a lot, sometimes even more than you can possibly give it, but that may be part of the joke, an unfunny joke for everyone except for the game itself. Once you think you got it and beat a level, the Hyper stages come and, especially the last one, Hyper Hexagonest, a name I'll never forget despite wanting to, it will destroy you without compassion; it already reminded you at the end of Hexagonest but it reminds you once again: there's no hope, and it's at this exact point where I began to really begin think that this was the personal hell of the shape I was controlling, and when the one question the game asks you each time you lose: willst thou suck?... or willst thou soar?
Once you finally prevail, the game stops, and for a moment, the things that have been tormenting you each attempt, the shape that has been at the center almost taunting you... it gives you a final spectacle, your true final reward: for once, they surrender to you, and everything you have overcome unites to perform this kind of concert that only asks of you to relax... you have done it, and now the game asks no more questions, yet one doubt emerges within you: Was it worth it?
...maybe? I don't know, it must have been clear that I've gone absolutely bonkers, I don't know if in condition to answer that.
Simple, yet flawed, yet fascinating, Super Hexagon is a game that I can only recommend depending on your level of masochism and patience that you can have with it; it will absolutely push you till its entirety is engraved on your brain, and that is a sacrifice I cannot say is or should be for everyone.
It's kinda poetic and even a bit sad to finally finish it, a game that in a way has been with me for so long, only for me to do an existentialist dumb rant on it and say it's only kinda good, but there may be a bit of a stupid beauty on that. A game that made me despise it a time, while others I only saw the sensation of victory and overcoming the impossible.
There may be meaning in the meaningless after all.

Frigate is quite a remarkable game: a real-time/turn-based hybrid ship battle simulator made entirely in a text UI. Radar and sonar contacts are tracked with headings and distances, navigation is via manual coordinate input or relative to your targets and you're constantly outnumbered and outgunned. There's a fair bit of strategic depth as well; ammo is limited, radar can be jammed and damage to the ship impacts the ship's systems.
Going back to replay the game on archive dot org it brings it all back, but in such a discordant way. I remember finding these battles so exciting and so clearly visualizing the play field and the action and now it's like hey fun spreadsheet. Clearly baby Josh had a much more vivid imagination (and smoked a lot less grass... a robust short-term memory is a critical skill here).
I guess I can't really recommend this now unless you're really into text-based games or milsim stuff, but boy did I have hours of fun with Frigate.

You know, sometimes, I like to sit outside on my balcony, in a nice little chair, watching either the sunrise or sunset depending on the time of day, and I like to think "Man... life is good. Life is grand, there is so much to love about humanity and our planet in general, and I am glad to be alive."
And then I remember stuff like this game exists, and then I quickly remember that humanity was a mistake, and that the Earth should have been shot into the sun a long time ago to rid the universe of us.
Game #216



What a difference using a preferred control scheme makes with this game. I started playing on Xbox Game Pass with a controller and just could not get into it. I was apprehensive going into most encounters because I did not feel like I had full control of movement with a controller. After a few missions I set it aside.
I only picked it up again after I made some upgrades to my PC, and what a difference it made. I was able to do what I wanted to do with the controls, and it made every encounter much more fun. The combat is a joy to master with enemy waves becoming overwhelming, only to have you carve your way out.
The story worked, if only to string you along each mission, and the little bits of lore dropped in made the character bios actually interesting to read for once.