5 reviews liked by goldenxp

Really nice to see Ubisoft take a break from open world slop to make an actual ass videogame again. Steals a lot of good ideas from some notable indie games [complimentary] and adds some of its own puzzle-platformer sauce to make an engaging metroidvania with snappy action and a really unique set of abilities. Plot and characters aren't half-bad either. Being able to use screenshots as map markers is so smart and I hope literally every game like this steals it in the future.

Only filing this one now because I want to use it for GOTY, but let it be known that this is the best Street Fighter has been in ages. New mechanics are smart, the character designs are good again, it just feels great to play.

I don't even know what to say about this game TBH. I guess I'll give it a 3.5, but just know that it's a very low 3.5 because this shit is kinda all over the place and im rating this on a more overall level, as opposed to how I felt after I finished.

Probably the least accessible game ever, Lords of the Fallen (better known as Eldenborne: Dark Souls Dies Twice: Scholar of the First Sin) literally just assumes you already know how the other souls-likes work and doesn't bother trying to onboard new players, throwing you straight into a gauntlet of platforming and projectile spammers without so much as explaining what any of your stats mean (Souls players can figure it out obviously, non-souls players are completely left in the dark). Of course to make this fair, the damage balancing is also totally fucked for a starting area, where you just die in 2 hits to almost everything. Now personally I actually didn't find this that hard (Maybe because I am a DS2 enjoyer), and I actually kinda liked the section, but it's undeniably a horrible way to introduce people to a game and it's no wonder why so many people were immediately off put by it. Which is a shame because this game does have a lot of good stuff to offer. The levels are super dense, with tons of secrets and branching paths similar to DS1. The Umbral plane mechanic is pretty cool, essentially giving you a whole other level to explore. The combat is a little jank but mostly really solid, and there are a ton of really cool weapons to find. And for the first 15-20 hours, I was genuinely having a really good time, despite the rough edges.

But unfortunately the game just starts to fall apart in the 2nd half and it really does not justify its long runtime, with the main culprit being the very low enemy variety. If this game was only 20 hours, it would scrape by without too many complaints about the enemies, but being 30-40 hours, yeah that shit is not enough. I mean the final 2 levels literally just contain the same enemies you've been fighting since the very start of the game, with no real variation. And its clear they knew they had a problem with variety because their solution towards the end starts to become "Well IDK just put a fuck ton of them in this one small area, that counts as variety I think".

This game also loves to have "bosses" which are just big enemies with a health bar at the bottom of the screen. They're all really easy to fight and usually just end up appearing as a normal enemy literally 5 minutes later. To me that has massive "We made this game too big and need to fill space somehow" energy and its another reason why I think this should just be 10-15 hours shorter. Speaking of bosses, this game actually starts off decently with the first fight being good, and the next few being solid. Then for some inexplicable reason, the quality drops off a cliff and each boss starts to have a PITIFUL amount of health. It got to the point where I was literally able to just spam charged heavy attacks, and genuinely stunlock the bosses until they were dead (which often took less than a minute). I have no idea how the fuck this passed inspection, but it is truly baffling how poorly some of this game is balanced. Though even if they were better balanced, a lot of these bosses are just not good and the game ends with a super lame final boss which leaves a really bad taste in your mouth.

Of course the game has its fair share of technical issues too, with lots of performance drops, visual glitches, small bugs, and general jank.

IDK I wanted to like this game, and I kinda still do but I was so fucking over it during the final 5-10 hours. It's really hard to recommend to anyone who isn't a big souls fan, and honestly I don't even blame souls fans for not liking it. There is a lot of good stuff going on here, but man is it disappointing how hard they dropped the ball in some areas.

Oh yeah and the story stuff is just "What if we copied Dark Souls but made it lame, corny, and boring".

A game that feels really mature in its themes and tackles them with a lot of thoughtfulness and sincerity. A lot of these puzzles are somewhat standard “use thing on other thing” affair for an adventure game like this, but a few of them use the DS in SUCH a cool and creative way (if you’ve played the game you know the ones I’m talking about), and it felt really rewarding uncovering the game’s mysteries bit by bit through figuring them out. I like how it balances character interactions with its plot, I think the stuff with discovering D’s past being optional to the ending actually adds a lot of pathos to that side of the story in the way only an interactive medium can achieve, makes it feel less like an artificial “video game-y” completion necessity and more like genuinely going out of your way to be helpful and kind to a friend.

Also it takes place on my birthday and me and Ashley share a birthday! That was a fun surprise haha

Would have probably been more enjoyable drunk or while eating lasanga