Rating this game and then discussing said ratings for this game always feels like an intensely difficult thing to talk about without anyone from any side of the scale looking at you like you're batshit insane.
Personally, I really loved this game as of finishing my first playthrough. I was able to confidently say it was a 5/5 without doubt. Seeing the sights, completing shrines, fulfilling NPC quests, and overall just appreciating what goes into the game all around. It was quite the experience. Opening that map for the first time and getting hit with a wave of sheer excitement, wonder, and intrigue. For me, imagination has always been my driving factor for finding interest and gleaning enjoyment from the game. How could I not? This is the first truly open-world Zelda, for crying out loud, this shit was ground-breaking. Unlocking towers and scouting out the area looking for as much stuff to do before setting off and envisioning what crazy adventures await me next was definitely a HUGE motivation.
Unfortunately, this is where my enjoyment with the game staggers a bit.
Once I had completed the game, I sat on my thoughts of it being perfect for a LONG time. I had no reason to revisit for any reason, and I never really paid it much thought to think of the game in its totality. That is, until, Tears of The Kingdom's release date drew near. I immediately hit the game up and created a new save file to start all over again. As I progressed through the game, it became blatantly obvious just how much of the game relied upon my own imagination to theory craft about what could possibly come next. Knowing the limited enemy variety, tiny boss variety, and limited combat ability left me a bit perplexed as to WHY I enjoyed the game as much as I did. All of this, in conjunction with the sheer scope of the world and other various mechanics, it became obvious that the game is—for the most part—a one and done deal for me. Exploration is a key part of the game, to its own detriment, and I see it as a main source of enjoyment when I put the pieces together. All other aspects of the game pale in comparison. The story is cool, the combat is alright, etc. etc. but I truly think none of it compares to the feeling of exploration on a blind playthrough. When the learning phase finally reaches its conclusion, all that you're left is with a set of OK mechanics that aren't quite exactly shitty, but they aren't the cream of the crop either.
Don't misunderstand, I love this game. But it's hard to say that without a plethora of problems spawning in my mind. I am proud to say that I still regard my first playthrough of the game to have been a 5/5 experience. Unfortunately, I am unable to say the same when it comes to revisiting the game or looking at it as a whole retrospectively. I'm still able to appreciate this game for what it manages to accomplish as it is the first truly open world for the Zelda series, and I can definitely understand why others are able to regard it so highly. I am unable to say the same on retrospection.
“You can't expect to be surprised by a mystery novel twice.”

Trails in the Sky brilliantly sets itself up for the grander story that is to come in the following game, the Second Chapter. Many elements of this game are masterfully crafted: music, characters, side quests, and many in universe aspects as to how the world functions.
The tools of engaging the player with the world did a lot to immerse me in the world. Countless days I've played where I couldn't put down the game due to how engaging and beautiful the game is. Despite a large portion of the game being optional; the Bracer Guild board postings and the occasional hidden quests that you seek out yourself, with absolute certainty I can say I participated in almost every side quest and a handful of hidden quests. The gratification of stumbling upon a hidden substory is unparalleled. Often times, the side quests, hidden and publicly known alike, offer so much knowledge into the world whether it relates to the history, different branches of society, or relationships between characters. Trails has an amazingly realized world that delves into some truly unique territory. Purchasable newspapers, books, and other various outlets for in world authored texts is truly something I heavily appreciate in the game.
Being a PSP game, it should come to no one's surprise that the soundtrack is fairly limited. Exploration of the world can only be so grand, combat has many hardware limits inflicted upon it, and NPC dialogue can only go so far. That being said, the game utilizes all of these aspects to their fullest.
The soundtrack is about an hour in length, yet throughout the +40 hour duration of the game it ceases to wear itself out. Not once was I able to find myself annoyed with the choice of music or even the existence of a track altogether. I absolutely adore when and how the developers chose to use certain tracks for cutscenes, locations, and events. Sound design is, simply put, superb, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Standard battle music, boss music, and any music played during specific fights always land. I can very easily recall moments where the game uses music to its advantage. The most notable and memorable being a scene in specific where a character snaps, eliciting a reaction from an opposing person, then eerily creeping back into their ominous foreboding song. Contextually, this scene is absolutely fucking loaded with emotion and intense story significance. Typing it this way to avoid spoilers absolutely does it zero justice, you have to witness it firsthand. Music in this game carries a LOT of emotional weight, the use of music to fit regardless of tone or setting is also shown in how music environmentally consistently matches the mood throughout the entire main story. For what it's worth, given the length of the game and the length of the soundtrack, I have an utmost level of appreciation for how expertly crafted the music and environments are built in tandem.
Exploration and visual flair is definitely one of the biggest aspects in my adoration with the game. Areas are beautifully crafted, with each space having such uniqueness to it. Each of the main explorable cities and their outskirts are all uniquely interesting and a blast to explore & learn about their history upon reaching them for the first time. Bracer Quests are equally one of my favorite mechanics for this reason. Should you not feel compelled to explore the lands of your own volition, Bracer Quests act as one of the supporting reasons to explore and familiarize yourself with your surroundings. The 1.3 GB file size for the original PSP release still absolutely blows my mind. I love the unique style in how the world is designed and how it presents itself, that early 2000s JRPG aura is super emphasized, and I'm here for it.
I don't want to delve into the specifics of the combat much to be honest. I enjoyed it for what it offered and that's about the most I can put into words about it, I'm willing to excuse its simplicity for it being the first game in the series. Though I can safely say I'm not the biggest fan of sepith farming, I do however like the payoff. It grants the complexity of crafting your “perfect” orbment loadout for your characters, adding just another layer of strategy to the base combat that I'm definitely a fan of.

Excellent sprite work, wonderfully crafted world building, impeccable voice acting. All of this is let down by the quite frankly frustratingly shitty combat, which leaves a sour taste in its wake.
This review contains some minor spoilers.
1. Bosses
It's very clear that this game draws an astronomic amount of inspiration from Dark Souls in every nook and cranny of the game, all the way down to the design philosophy of the bosses. Unfortunately, it fails to recognize what makes the bosses of the Soulsborne games any good. As a result of the 2D plane this game utilizes, the combat suffers heavily from bosses that use moves which necessitate an eagle eye to determine what course of action to take. Many bosses have moves that use the same animation as a startup for different attacks. Many of your deaths will be purely through RNG and the inability to telegraph what move the boss will use to strike you. It's a majority of guessing until the last frames of the startup, where you can actually determine the attack to be used.
Another facet of the boss that leaves behind a feeling of discontent is the lack of awe they bring. Consistently, vanquishing a boss in most of the bosses featured within the Soulsborne franchise will leave you feeling like you've overcome an insurmountable foe. That triumphant feeling of overcoming a boss is absolutely not present in this game. On every single one I fought, I audibly groaned at my victories. Displeased with the revelation that none of the bosses I encountered were interesting or captivating in any way at all. Beating them just had me feeling like “that's it?” it was upon my 3rd hour playing the game where I came to this realization, regardless, pressing on another 13 hours to actually beat the game. The final boss being the worst offender of this, I won the fight in less than a minute on my first attempt.
1.5. Mobs
Mobs and enemies encountered in the over world are an absolute joke. Genuinely futile. The only difficulty comes from the occasional abominable platform placement. Many times, the platforming will be your enemy more so than actual enemies. More on this later.
2. Combat
The upgrades are absolutely inconsequential, and I wholeheartedly believe you could beat the game without upgrading your weapons at all. The extra moves you get are so trivial, the best of the worst being the ranged weapon or the dash slice. Plunge attack, charge slash, and either of the combo finishers are completely unnecessary and have very few use cases during gameplay. You have to actively look for a scenario to use these because their usefulness depends on your determination to actually find a way to utilize them properly. The plunge attack especially is terrible because your vertical vision is so reduced and isn't helped much by the fact that changing your camera doesn't give much leeway for faraway vision.
3. Exploration
One of the few things about the game I actually enjoyed. Inevitably leading to its detriment. For some inexplicable reason, the entire upper half of the map has no waypoints whatsoever. Once you start truly exploring the lower half of the map, the devs decided to start hurling all the necessary waypoints, entirely neglecting the lack of northern waypoints until the midpoint of the game. Traversing elevators gets especially tiring when you have to run through the elevators with no way to simply teleport up to either of the important northwestern regions. Exploration as a whole is COOL!!! As stated earlier, this is one of the few parts of the game I found enjoyment in. Entering new areas fills you with a sense of awe. The backgrounds are wonderfully crafted. Musical references to its culture are beautifully incorporated. Many areas are eloquently made in reference to Spanish Gothic architecture and design. When you're able to pay no mind to the awful gameplay, it's truly a beautiful experience.
4. Platforming
Platforming in this game is quite honestly one of the BIGGEST fumbles this game makes. Throughout the entire exploration experience, I can absolutely safely say that one area of many gave me an actual challenge with its platforming. The rest of it is piss easy. Often times, the devs opt to use terrible enemy placement or bad obstacle placement to make platforming difficult and a chore to traverse. Namely, the swinging axes of the “Sleeping Canvases” area. Their inclusion is so extraneous and makes 0 sense for being present. Not much else to say other than what has been said. Bugs are also prevalent in quite literally only the platforming. Countless times, I have grabbed ledges from a noticeable distance above or below, failed to grab a ledge my character was pressed right up against, and teleported through floors. Bugs impact purely the platforming throughout my playthrough.
5. Music
Incredibly graceful.The use of Spanish instrumentals paired with the Christian symbology is unquestionably the best part about the game. Cantes de Confesión, Entregarás Tu Rostro a La Señora, and Coplas de Incienso are by far my favorite tracks the OST offers. Simply beautiful work.
6. Story & Sidequests
Not delving into the story/lore because the way that it is handled, it's pretty removed from the actual progression of the game outside the content that is spoon-fed to you through required interactions. That being said, it was okay, I suppose. I feel that too much information is packed into the “lore” button for items and weapons, which is quite annoying. Talking with the dead is a pretty cool mechanic, and some side quests provided a very cool dive into the world of Blasphemous.
Unfortunately, this is a game that doesn't stand up to the expectations that are set by the promotional content. I'm overall displeased with the game and moreover disappointed with the juxtaposition of eloquent visuals & music alongside terrible buggy gameplay. It manages to rope you in and keep you hooked until you realize that it's disappointing overall.

Fairly short and interesting visual novel, if you're a fan of the Milk series you'll probably find some enjoyment to be gained from this. I suggest giving it a try, it's about 30 minutes or so at a leisurely pace and also FREE on Steam.
~ Spoiler content below ~
Honestly, I enjoyed the way that the VN morphs itself from being a silly mockery of the “romance” genre to shifting the focus over to self-love. That aspect is really cool, and I'd say it makes fair use of its allotted time in doing so.
Reflexia is very surface level in how it comes across delivering these themes, they're just straight up spoon-fed to you. But this ends up being through no fault of its own, given that this is a free product, it does severely cut down on what length could be made out of the idea. My playthrough ended up clocking in at just under an hour, getting all (but one) of the achievements. Consequently, it does allow itself to be a very bite-sized experience, which is pretty nice.
It doesn't come without its fair share of minor complaints. The segments where she talks FAST are pretty annoying. Text continually flows, with no time to even squeeze in comprehension of no more than a couple words. Ends up breaking the pace heavily if you actually want to read what's being relayed.
I'm letting this sit at a 3-star rating, though it does border territory for 4-stars. Gonna wait until my eventual replay to decide whether to not, I'll give it the bump up.


Rambling of a person who just spent 6 minutes playing a game about being sperm:
In this “game” you “play” as a sperm
Coil is a piece of media created by the mind behind The Binding of Isaac. Given the gameplay, I don't find this to be much of a surprise, considering the fact that you are literally controlling a sperm on the journey to birth and watching it unfold.
It's an art demonstration as to what could constitute a game, and what I believe to be an additional test to the bounds of interpretation of the medium. The game does have a story of its own, but it is purely left up to the players' interpretation. You're intentionally left in the dark about whatever the hell is happening, so it is upon your judgement to make something of it.
I find the concept to be quite interesting. I think it's fascinating that some have come to a point where they have to question themselves, “what defines a video game.” Thus leading to this being produced, truly a product of its time.
All that being said, I think this is the most conflicted I've been on a game, so I'd say it successfully poses this question. Part of me wants to give it a 1/5 and call it a day, as it is undeniably a lame demonstration of what constitutes a game with a story. But another part of me also wants to leave this alone with the rating, since it doesn't really fit the bill for what a game is to me personally. Ironically enough, I think this is what the game wants you to think, this is probably the intention for how the player/viewer is left to be as their thoughts on the game develop after all is said and done.
Tldr: Uninteresting demonstration of what pushes the limits as to what boundaries interactive media has to cross to be considered a game. I want my 6 minutes back.
I've decided to leave it with a 2/5 and move on with my day. I really just wrote 300+ words about how a game where you control sperm annoys me. Fuck you Edmund

Quite honestly, if the devs let this game cook for like another year or however long, I think they really could've had something special on their hands.
“KAMIKO” is a short level based arcade styled beat em' up. The game consists of four(?) short and simple stages. Each stage requiring a tiny bit more of your puzzle solving skills than the last. It takes a good hour or so to beat the game on your first run and around 30 minutes, even less, for subsequent replays with any character. Once you've completed the first run, the maps become super easy to navigate and become even more and more menial. There isn't much replay value to be found to be honest. I didn't notice any storytelling elements that changed with whatever character you chose, though each character has their own unique way of playstyle. I think this is another one of the missed opportunities this game has. Furthermore, I really wish they would have expanded upon the individual selections of the character's more than just gameplay.
Oh! Additionally, one of the puzzles involves you pressing a switch and narrowly making it across a bridge that persists for just the tiniest amount of time. If you get sidetracked for even the slightest moment, you'll have to retry until succession. Meanwhile, enemies keep respawning. Again. And again. And there's nothing you can do to make them not respawn. Wonderful.
Combat in this game is really lacking in depth, progression throughout stages sees character benefits only in health and stamina. While playing the stages, the buffs may seem trivial due to the fact that there's no punishment for dying, as you respawn back to life with full health and stamina at the cost of 5 seconds of waiting. The final boss is really going to require you to have those health bonuses if you play reckless, though. Honestly, I believe that if they had let this sit in development for a bit longer, we would have had a game with a more compelling story and probably even a better combat system. Mashing “A” while dashing between all 4 corners of the map gets boring, in addition to the infinite enemy respawns and limited health spawn points. 4 times. Without any significant changes.
The gameplay also switches between playing like a Zelda-like game to spontaneously becoming a bullet-hell. That switch-bridge puzzle I mentioned earlier? Yeah, there's like 2 or 3 of those. Grabbing a key to open up a door? Great! Just traverse the entire map while the enemies you killed 5 minutes ago respawn again and make your way to the door without getting hit. Grabbing an orb to place on a pedestal? Nice! Just know that you have to do that twice or else you can't progress. Also, the orbs are located in different areas. You'll have to play this pseudo bullet-hell game 3 times in a level. You can't fight back until you place the item in its respective area or until you get hit and drop the orb. Easily one of my most disliked aspects of the game.
On the contrary, the art and music direction is super cute. I think this is honestly the best part about the game. They really nailed the pixel art for what it's worth, to be honest. I wish they had used the style featured on the game's cover as the style of the graphics. I prefer that and the style of the character CG's much more than the actual sprites featured during gameplay. Not going to complain much on that front since the game is absolutely dirt cheap.
TLDR: Short but sweet beat em' up that I personally believe had the potential to be so much more. Pickup when it's on sale, it ends up costing like $2, I think it's worth the +1 hour of playtime.

This review contains spoilers

Quite honestly, considering this to be one of my favorite stories told in a JRPG. Everything, for lack of a better term, resonated with me and I cannot be more glad. My extensively long journey, encompassing 80 hours throughout the span of 2 months, has finally come to a close. That final screen damn near brought me to tears, I love this game.
Disc 1 just felt… perfect. I can't really describe it. I had so many qualms and issues while playing, but I can't put myself to say I really disliked much. The arena fighter mini-game was legitimately so hype, the game just kept surprising me over and over and the feeling is unrivaled in my experience. I spent so much time engaging in superfluous content that my playthrough was damn near double what I've heard about the playtime of others.
I don't quite fully understand the hatred for disc 2 to be honest, sure, some dungeons were sloppy. But to be honest, I actually kinda liked the change in direction (somewhat)? I will say that a lot of the action taking place through visual novel did stink. Though, it would also be a bit redundant to make the player go back and forth and back and forth, grinding out more and more. The visual novel segments are a great way to give a player a break from the combat without halting progression of the story.
Additionally, I absolutely LOVED the bonus content that takes place before fighting Deus. The interactions based on whom you had in your party were so bittersweet, and I loved that I would be able to have some connections with the characters just one last time. Closer to the actual end of the game (post-killing Deus) was just a constant wave of chills being sent down my spine, the anime scenes at the end just felt like the perfect way to top everything off.
I bought a copy of Xenogears for ~$120 and a PS1 for about ~$10, and I can say that playing the game through that on a CRT was absolutely worth the cost. I regret nothing.

Upon rereading, my thoughts have become a lot clearer regarding “this.”
I'd like to view its existence as something more than only being a game. Yes it's very clear that it plays like a game, it shouldn't necessarily be rated or critiqued and in doing so would be insulting to the author.
This is, in my eyes, a journal entry adapted to fit stylistically in the world of Cave Story. A style much similar to the other game created by Bagenzo, Madotsuki's Closet. It isn't created as a work to be enjoyed in a traditional sense. You are looking into, what I interpret to be, an autobiographical memory or some turning point for the creator.
I think it's best to view this as a creation birthed from self-healing and personal reflection. Intent behind the creation is suited for the creator, not you.
All that aside, I'm disappointed in the lack of sex. 0/5. Also check out Madotsuki's Closet if this game struck you in any way shape or form

I finished the game it's awesome my thoughts down below remain
Ikaruga, a game though I am not quite finished with yet, I find so unbelievably fascinating. At this point in time, I have only completed chapters 1 and 2, and I'm currently going through hell and back to beat chapter 3. My thoughts are most definitely going to change as I progress further, thus I'd like to consider this a "snapshot" of my thoughts with where I'm currently at.
In my eyes, I believe it's more or less a game about what it means to be human and/or the sheer determination of being human. Upon starting the game and entering arcade mode, you're placed right into the action. After getting your ass handed to you a couple of times and learning the mechanics, it's at that point whether you've passed the developer's subtle test. You can either forge on, oblivious to what your true goal is other than “beat the level,” or you can just quit. The game's atmosphere is so powerful to the point where you either quit or you can press onwards with nothing more than the occasional quote to motivate you further. That I find quite beautiful. A game which keeps you playing utilizing the player's determination.
Largely unrelated to the rest of my thoughts; I believe part of the reason I am so gone on with this game is because I think it motivates the player in a manner loosely similar to Dark Souls (I love that game).
Moving on, many aspects of this game are truly timeless and aren't really lost between platforms, which is just incredible. Gameplay being a core part of this, the controls and mechanics are so unique and still hold up well 22 years after its release on arcade. Atmosphere and graphics are also another important avenue which stands the test of time. Though the graphics aren't necessarily heavily stylized and, if anything, are more “realistic” they still hold up surprisingly well charmingly. This in addition to the music sets quite the tone for the game in my eyes. Above all else, I personally think the translation team did an excellent job moving this overseas. Though I cannot possibly fathom the initial weight of the poetry, it still carries quite a heavy and impactful message when moving in between chapters and whatever segments of the game. Thanks localization team!
I can definitely see in some sense how this game has inspired another shmup I've played (ZeroRanger) and I cannot wait to explore more of the shmup genre for this reason.
The music OH MY GOD it's so fucking good man

maybe like 1 or 2 lines resonated with me i think i'll try again later and see if i connect with it better

I keep losing the game from having too much sex 0/10

After completing the game on numerous runs, I can say that I have unfortunately warmed up to this game and like it a bit more now. Original review below.
Enter the Gungeon, but for people who are fans of
-Big boobs
-Crammed rooms
-Big boobs

If Lisa the Painful and Katana Zero had a child