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This review contains spoilers

I still don't really get the chat about this being short. Maybe people want everything to be 60 hours these days, but it was just a nice length for me.
As fun as it is, much of it feels like just a half-step up from the last game. Which makes sense of all the "It's basically DLC" patter, as disingenuous as it was. Now it's been a good two and a half years since I played the last one, so maybe I'm misremembering, but combat and traversal felt pretty much exactly the same. That's not a bad thing, mind you.
Miles is the stand out for me. Such a good dude, still hurting, still wanting to keep his city safe. Struggling with inadequacy and doubt over not being "The Real Spider-Man".
The plot however is just fine. It's not terrible or anything, but Spider-Man in general seems to have that recurring thing of "The masked baddie is actually someone very close to you" and ye can see it comin' a mile off every time. And of course they'll come to their senses late enough to sacrifice themselves because they've done far too much bad shit for even the best writers to wring a redemption out of it.
Overall though it's a decent time. Still a bit too much of the auld "Gather these things scattered across the city to be drip-fed lore" but hey, dat's videogames baby!

what does it mean to "feel like Spider-Man"? after all, that's the refrain we heard time and time again upon the release of Spider-Man for the PS4, and it's the question that I couldn't get out of my head every time I thought about this game.
looking at the mechanics of the game doesn't really answer that question for me, mostly because a shocking amount of the experience of this game is simply lifted wholesale from the Batman Arkham games with precious little alteration. the combat, the surprisingly present stealth sections that involve isolating a group of enemies with a chronic neck injury that prevents them from looking even slightly Up, "detective" segments that entirely involve looking for a yellow line to follow, even an omnipresent voice in your ear feeding you constant info, it's all as it was all the way back in 2009's Arkham Asylum, mostly unaltered. indeed, these games themselves were lauded at the time for "making you feel like Batman" but not nearly to the same hyperbolic memetic extent as marvel's sony's kevin feige's ike perlmutter's spider-man does for the ultimate arachnid-boy. generally speaking I would not consider Spider-Man and Batman to be characters that share an enormous deal in common outside of the very basic concept of fighting criminals in an urban environment, and in many ways there is an argument to be made that spider-man is batman's antithesis. and yet, somehow, essentially the same mechanics that created an experience that made you Feel Like Batman has made a great many people Feel Like Spider-Man.
the one meaningful mechanic which differentiates this from Arkham (though, maybe not as much as it perhaps should given the zip-to-point mechanic is again lifted completely wholesale from Arkham City) is the web-swinging, and it's a useful point in elucidating what the mechanical experience of this game does. web-swinging in this game is pleasing, stunningly well-animated, highly responsive, and also completely effortless. it's a struggle to even call it a mechanic: it is almost completely on auto-pilot, with nothing more involved than successive presses of R2 seeing Miles swing, leap, run on walls, the navigational experience of Spider-Man swinging through a painfully detailed recreation of Manhattan reduced to a single button. much like Assassin's Creed's automated free-running that clearly inspired the rhythms of play here, web swinging in this game looks fantastic - especially on a twitter clip captured with the patented SonyTM PlayStationTM ShareTM ButtonTM - but mechanically vacuous to the point of non-existence.
comparisons to Spider-Man 2's (the 2004 game, not this, the second instalment of the Marvel's Spider-Man franchise, nor the upcoming Marvel's Spider-Man 2, the third game in the Marvel's Spider-Man franchise) much lauded web swinging are passé, I know, but indulge me for just a moment: web-swinging in that game was beloved because it was a system. It had depth, it had a skill ceiling, it had moves that were difficult to pull off and a learning curve that required familiarity with the mechanic. it was enough to make a game in and of itself, and indeed it largely did because the rest of Spider-Man 2 ranges from unremarkable to poor. i don't know if i would go as far to say that this system "made me feel like spider-man" but it was, at the very least, a systemisation of this aspect of the character in such a way that it made for a compelling gameplay experience.
spider-man PS4 has none of this. it's mechanics are intentionally stripped down to the point that essentially the entire game is about pressing buttons at the right time in response to on-screen stimuli, and I know all video games can be boiled down to that, but Marvel's Spider-Man comes pre-boiled: the illusion it creates is so wafer thin that even a minute of thought reveals the 4K smoke and mirrors for what they really are. contrary to the appeals to the fraught concept of immersion the phrase "makes you feel like spider-man" evokes, I've scarcely felt more painfully aware that I am a person sitting on a sofa, holding a controller, than when playing this. when your entire game is frictionless, there's nothing to hang onto, either.
there is one sense in which the gameplay experience of Marvel's Miles Morales succeeds in capturing the spirit of the character, and that's in how his new powers frequently dissolve tension in the gameplay, with his invisibility offering you a fast charging get-out-of-jail-free card if you mess up the stealth (if being the operative word here) and the way almost every fight will end with an overpowered Venom Blast.
indeed, Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales often does feel like a Spider-Man comic, but rarely in ways I enjoy. After tremendous backlash from vocal fans at the time to "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" issue of Spider-Man, Stan Lee (who at this point was increasingly disconnected from the actual goings-on of the universe he helped create to the point that he only knew Gwen was dead when someone at a con asked if she would come back to life) decreed that Marvel Comics should avoid meaningful change, change that might alienate longtime fans or, more importantly, those who wished to turn marvel characters into lunchboxes and action figures and cartoons and movies, and instead only offer the illusion of change. while the obvious response to this is that Peter Parker could only be replaced by his clone, Ben Reily, for a short period of time before the gravity of the status quo would pull Peter Parker back into the starring role, it also had something of a side-effect, which is that as a universe where meaningful change is resisted and avoided, Marvel Comics as a whole has a reactionary and conservative worldview that gravitates towards it's baked-in assumptions and the presumed goodness of those assumptions.
in 2004's Civil War, Marvel Comics sided with the PATRIOT act. In 2008's Secret Invasion, Marvel Comics used evil religious extremist shapeshifting Skrulls who hide among us and could be friends, co-workers, countrymen plotting the destruction of earth as an analogy for islamic terrorism. In 2012's Avengers VS X-Men, five heroes empowered by a cosmic force change the world for the better, curing diseases, ending world hunger, only to have those changes be rejected as unnatural, and eventually are consumed by said cosmic power. In 2019's House of X/Powers of X, the X-Men founded a nationalistic ethnostate for mutants that is an explicit parallel for the apartheid state of Israel and sees this as a good thing.
Whatever form it may take, whatever illusions of change may, however briefly, be affected, Marvel Comics are bound to a reflection of our status quo that is essentially desirable, and a huge amount of Superhero comics are about reinforcing their own status quos as well as our own, with high-profile stories such as DC's Doomsday Clock ultimately being nothing more than desperate appeals to the supposed self-evident relevance and importance of the unchanging status of these characters. All of this does not even mention the aggressive copaganda of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, to the point where Captain Marvel was reproduced unaltered as propaganda for the US Air Force. Mainstream superheroes are always enforcers of the status quo, for good or for ill, but it's when the enforcement of that status quo comes up against depictions and discussions of the injustices of the real world that this becomes most uncomfortable.
There's a bit in this game, once you finish a side quest, where the camera pans up to a Black Lives Matter mural painted on the side of a building, and lingers there for just long enough to feel awkward. I don't object to the presence of this mural at all, but the direction decision here smacks as performative. It's not enough that the building is placed very prominently to ensure you can't miss it, but the game cranes itself to show you the image again, and the feeling of this can only really be described as the cinematography equivalent of "You know, I would have voted for Obama a third time if I could." It's desperate to demonstrate that it knows, it supports Black Lives Matter, but the functional reality of the rest of the game is aggressively at odds with what that movement is materially about.
I knew that the original 2018 Marvel's Spider-Man was in love with The Police but I can't describe how unprepared I still was for how aggressively conservative this game is. The story revolves around Miles Morales, while Peter Parker is on holiday to Generic Eastern Europeaistan, fighting against The Tinkerer and their evil plot to...destroy a product of an Evil Corporation that is giving people cancer. While at the eleventh hour they do contrive a reason why The Tinkerer's plan is #GoingTooFar, for most of the game there's actually no material reason for her to be in the wrong, and Miles Morales - and by extension, the game - is completely incapable of coming up with a single argument against her plan, simply resorting to "it's wrong! blowing things up is against the law!" or the classic "it's too risky! if even one person gets hurt that is too much!" said while Miles gives a Goon a severe concussion.
When I think of what Spider-Man means to me, what it is About, I think I'd describe it as the struggle to live up to an ideal of being our best selves, of always doing the right thing, in a world that makes that incredibly difficult to actually achieve, with our own personal failings and our endless conflicting responsibilities. In that sense, the Tinkerer, instrumentalized into meaningful action against an evil corporation by the death of a loved one, and struggling with how that affects her personal life and the relationships she has, is far more of a Spider-Man than Miles Morales in this game could ever be, given that his job is one of endless praise and assumed goodness facilitated by a hilarious uncritical depiction of the gig economy that sees the responsibility of Spider-Man morphed into a Deliveroo hustle grindset that always makes sure to respect Our Boys In Blue. How can something that loves the Police and hates direct action this much possibly claim to believe that Black Lives Matter?
In attempting to provide an "All-New, All-Different" up-to-date Spider-Man without making any effort to change the underlying assumptions it has about the world in which it lives, all this game does is expose how out of touch and outdated this whole concept is when the illusion of change fades away. Everything about this game is completely surface-level, all a well-presented illusion of Being Spider-Man that breaks the instant you think about it in any way, and you find yourself sitting your sofa, with your expensive toy for privileged people, pressing buttons to make the copaganda continue to play out in front of you.
I finished Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. I had a perfectly ok time. I was rarely frustrated and occasionally found it charming and visually enthralling. I liked stuff with Miles' uncle. It also made me feel like everything about this style of game and this type of story had hit an evolutionary dead-end and had nowhere to go but running on the same treadmill, forever.
So, yes. It made me feel like Spider-ManTM.

This game's key principle is "less is more". Sure, the extremely short story and lack of many side quests is quite detrimental to the experience, but the quality otherwise within those few hours I spent playing this game was no short of brilliant, exemplifying the aforementioned idea.
The themes of being put in impoverished Harlem and being the underdog Spider-Man who has more abilities to work with (which make combat and stealth missions way better!) but is held back by less exposure and experience and a lack of a mentor, the musical score, the short story, and the whole web of maybe only a few interconnected characters throughout the game makes this game shine. There is only a small amount of content, but I'm glad that Insomniac was able to flesh out everything within that small amount of content.
My only real complaint with this game is that accounting for its brevity, it doesn't really feel like a game, but rather an add-on for the 2018 Spider-Man game. It definitely didn't need to be $50. Thankfully, I got it on sale and with the help of some spare gift card change I got the game for a paltry $5, but it doesn't still change the fact that this is nearly full price for maybe only 10 hours of content total.
3.75/5, but I guess I'm forced to round up to a 4/5 because of Backloggd. Still definitely a good game, just play the game from 2018 first before this one. It'll definitely go for cheap now that there's a new one coming out in less than a month.

Certainly an interesting little game.
I can't speak to Crystal Chronicles on Gamecube but I quite liked this.
For a JRPG on DS this game has some decently deep mechanics. I was honestly surprised at how much I enjoyed playing this, I had no idea what to expect and often struggle with finding RPG gameplay engaging, but was pleasantly surprised with what's actually here.
Instead of being turn-based what we have is a little action platformer where each character has some different abilities.
Some characters have more uses than others but I found myself swapping around enough to feel the variety on display. Meeth the potionmaker has the most mechanics by far however not all of them are as functional in gameplay.
There's also a materia system that is accessed on the touchscreen, the idea is neat but it's barely used beyond spamming heal and revive.
The game is engaging, it certainly makes me want a bit more and frankly, I'll have to get around to the original on Gamecube and its sequel on DS at some point.
The story was better than I've come to expect from JRPGs and I'm usually very opposed to these types of games.
There's still the final fantasy tradition of at least two 30+ minute exposition dumps, but on the whole, I found the characters enjoyable and the story compelling.
Square has a sort of standard presentation on handhelds which consists of shifting between entirely text-based dialogue, to text and voiced in-engine cutscenes, and then a few rare pre-rendered cgi cutscenes sprinkled on top. It was the same in Crisis Core. It's a bit jarring a first but I came to like it. The variety of presentation styles can serve to highlight important moments and update the players internal model of how characters sound and the highs/lows of their emotional profile.
The pre-rendered cutscenes serve as punctuation marks and naturally show off that Square was once the undisputed master of presentation.
TL:DR I would recommend this game if you can snag a copy or get DS emulation to run without throwing up. The story is compelling enough and the gameplay will keep you engaged even if it never really challenges you.

A game you’ll want to like more than you can
The subject matter of Manhunt is one I’m enthralled with. Mock found footage snuff films such as August Underground are not good films whatsoever, but they are quite peculiar. I’ve always been morbidly curious in such things and I can’t quite put a finger on why. Maybe it’s a fascination with death, maybe it’s just a desire to see how far the gore can go. Either way, these low quality amateur films have an indescribable atmosphere. It’s quaint, yet menacing. They are without polish, but that’s what makes it so raw and intense. There’s no expert cinematography or editing to create a coherent film. It’s just vile acts and you’re witnessing it. Manhunt, through its expert sound design and brilliant aesthetic, captures this atmosphere flawlessly.
It all starts with the manual. It reads like a magazine for a snuff film site, complete with accurate pseudonyms such as “Mr. nasty”. Then there’s the main menu. It looks and functions like a VHS tape, and the haunting score sets up Manhunt’s dismal aura.
The gore in Manhunt has been topped twice over, but the context of the gore has not. You’ve seen ridiculous fatalities in Mortal Kombat way gorier than anything found in Manhunt, but Manhunt’s snuff film design makes the player feel it even more. The sound design ensure you feel every bone break, every decapitation, and every gargle of blood. The atmosphere creates a melancholic sensation in the player. It’s not a celebration of how far violence can be pushed, although pushing limits is part of its appeal. Manhunt is more of grim reminder of the depravity that goes on in this world.
The banter the Hunters have in this game is great. Each gang is very distinct. There’s white supremacists, mental hospital patients, and those that continually repeat lines of domestic abuse. They all add a ton of personality to each section and help with the variety. Starkweather, the director behind the twisted snuff films the player is participating in, also has lines that hint towards his debauchery. He’s the type of guy to get his rocks off to these brutal murders. There’s tons of lines in this game. Each playthrough you’re likely to hear something new.
The gameplay in Manhunt however isn’t amazing. What starts as an intense game of hide and seek turns into a bad third-person shooter filled with trial and error.
The stealth in Manhunt is fairly well constructed, but unfortunately has simple exploits that dampen its impact. Manhunt has a clear indications of how quiet and shrouded in darkness you are. The game will never lie to you. Finding pockets of darkness makes you invisible unless an enemy runs right into you which can only happen when they’re on alert. The mini map shows enemies you have a sight line on or who are making noise. Making a loud noise will alert enemies to your position. This is where the exploit is. It’s way too powerful to alert enemies while hiding in the dark. Through this mechanic, it doesn’t even matter how the game designers set up the patrols for the hunters. They’ll always come running, and as soon as they turn around you execute them. Sometimes more than one will come and you’ll have to think on the fly, but generally, Manhunt is a exploitable and simple game.
The levels have some nice open design throughout. Some levels are completely linear which is disappointing, but a few such as White Trash or Mouth of Madness have open areas with many enemies. This is where the game is at its best because it isn’t easy and it’s engaging to figure out the best way to tackle the challenge.
Then there’s the third-person shooting. Good lord. Now, I want to preface this by saying I’m not against the third-person shooting in theory. Manhunt is a fairly long game. If it was all slow-paced stealth, it would have suffered. However in practice, it’s terrible. The shooting sections keep what makes Manhunt memorable. The soundtrack and intensity is still there through these sections, but the shooting is bad. You die in very few shots, so shooting without cover is usually suicide. It feels like the only way to succeed in these sections is to use exploits or go through the motion of trial and error. It’s boring and tiring. Enemies stop following the rules and just stand behind cover. A lot of sections feel like the only way to win is to shoot one guy and then run to darkness, rinse and repeat. It’s not engaging or fun.
Manhunt means a lot to me. It’s the only game I can think of that fits this niche of horror. But when it’s all said and done, I’m able to look past the my nostalgia and fondness of the subject matter to tell you that the gameplay is below average. Manhunt is a chore to get through at times. The second half has the worst dip in quality I’ve seen outside of Resident Evil 7. But the atmosphere is peak. It’s one of my favorite aesthetics ever in a video game. It kept me playing until the conclusion, once again.

A game that should get more recognition within the horror genre in gaming. Rockstar managed to craft a hopeless atmosphere devoid of any humanity with tense gameplay from beginning to end. Sound design and stylized violence remains unmatched.
Great concept and premise, this game is very unique and probably will never see anything like it as it explores a very controversial topic.

The atmosphere, the music, the presentation, the subject matter, maaannnn what a game, I love this one unique game here, it gets a bit stupid tough near the end but you can do ittttt either way I love this game a lot, it's very unique and has an unmatched vibe not even Manhunt 2 could capture. This is one of Rockstar's best and a must play for anyone R* fan interested I say.

This review contains spoilers

I'm surprised I never wrote a review on this, but here goes. This game is amazing. I played with the restoration patch, so I don't have to complain about audio and visuals.
What I liked about this game was that it has Kefka, probably the best villain in all forms of storytelling. Also, the fact that Kefka splits this game into 2 acts, with the latter being better, makes this game far more impactful. Most (keyword here) of the characters have their own dedicated development scenes, which allows you as the player to decide which one you feel is the main protagonist. The opera scene of World of Balance was a masterpiece to go through.
What I didn't like was the fact that a good chunk of characters gets zero development, or that their development is ruined by a censoring Nintendo. I understand that there are 14 characters, but Gogo, Relm, Strago, and Umaro didn't need to exist. There are also the characters you don't use who get left out in development. Finally, there's a whole plot point of magic no longer existing and that when your team finally gets magic you use it to stop Kefka, but there has to be a fine line between making magic accessible for plot reasons and making it insanely overpowered. There was a tower in World of Ruin where it felt like "spam Ultima or die."
There's just a lot of missed potential, but this game is still probably one of the best Final Fantasy games ever. Too bad it doesn't get nearly as much attention as 7. I would really love to see a FF6R just like the FF7R.

This review contains spoilers

Wow. The FF7 Remake is real and extremely good. Granted, it's only part of the story remade, but the chunk they took and made it EXTREMELY good.
This game made me love characters I didn't think I'd like, such as Jessie, Biggs, and Wedge, and expanded on characters I already loved. It reimagined Midgar in ways that were only previously left to the player's imagination, such as daylight in Midgar. It took my favorite soundtrack and made it infinitely better. The material system was preserved perfectly while also adding new materia as a whole. The voice acting was phenomenal.
My problems with this game are the stupidly absurd amount of filler there is in the game, Sephiroth, and the ending.
This game's sidequests do nothing to flesh out the world and are extremely generic; I only did them because I wanted specific dresses for Tifa, Aerith, and Cloud. There are also 18 chapters in this game, and there are entire chapters dedicated to just filler content that has no relevance to the actual plot, such as Chapter 4; where you steal the Shinra ID card from Jessie's dad and infiltrate the warehouse.
The point of Sephiroth in this game was to make you, the veteran player, ask yourself "Why is he here? He's not supposed to be here." Even when he is there, he doesn't really have that much of an impact on anything until the tail end of the game. His appearance, for the most part, was entirely unnecessary and could've been taken out with almost no change to the plot entirely.
Speaking of the ending, oh my GOD this shit was atrocious. Destroying the Whispers allows for the game to progress in ways that make the original game better, but it also leaves the factor of uncertainty. We don't know who the Whispers are, and we don't know what Kitase and Square Enix will do after this. It's just a really confusing mess. To top that off, Zack is now alive (probably), which makes the game even more confusing since he's a character of the past.
Overall, however, this was still one of the best games I played in 2020. Highly recommend to only veteran players, however. New players need to play the original first in order to gain the true understanding on what this game tries to accomplish.

My absolute favorite game of all time. I know saying that is like being a sheep in a herd, but I cannot stress ENOUGH how much I love this video game. I remember playing this on my phone for the first time when I was 13 using some loophole to get around the paywall, but I was glad I did.
Extremely interesting and unforgettable cast (with the exception of Yuffie and Cait Sith), Hollywood-inspired soundtrack, probably the best story I've seen in all of the media ever, phenomenal Materia system, and very interesting lore I, as a 17-year-old at the time of writing, still dive deeper into daily.
My only real problems with this game are the minigames (except the highway chase after Shinra Tower), the Icicle Inn portion after Aerith's death, Cait Sith in general, and Yuffie's lack of development. There are also signs of this game's age, like the graphics, movement, and overall load times, but this game was made before I was born so I can quite honestly excuse some of it.

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