peak fiction
also act 3 is good you cowards

i wanted to like this game but it just kept throwing shit in my face lol. some of the stages are pretty fun, others a bit bland, but pretty much every single boss is an utterly unintuitive and miserable disaster of game design, such that even the levels i thought were fun were left with a sour taste. of course this is also true of many megaman games, but i don't recall them being quite as bad as this. i gave up at the boss of iris stage 2; at that point i completely lost any and all desire to continue playing. the iris stages (well, 1 and 2, at least) are the most obnoxious, awful stages in the game too, with garbage bosses as the stupid, rotten cherry on top. if not for the handful of stages i did genuinely have fun with i would probably leave this at a 1/10. even with that factored in though, a 3/10 is more than generous

So, so glad we finally got this game in the west, and the remaster quality is shockingly good. Aside from quite a bit of frame dropping, I was very impressed, especially by the music, which did an incredible job of making a soundtrack I already loved even better. As for the game itself - every chapter is enjoyable in its own way, and I love how much variety and creativity is displayed between them. Distant Future and Near Future were definitely my favorites of the main 6 chapters story-wise, but they were all solid. The battle system is quite fun, though I would have liked the attack descriptions to be a bit more detailed RE actual attack power, what counts as physical vs special, etc.. I also think it would have been nice to have proper maps for each area, instead of just an empty radar with some dots. My only other real complaint is that I just wish the shorter chapters were a little bit beefier; Present Day had almost no story, for example, and I wish that character had more chance to develop.
But yeah, overall - really enjoyed this game. No idea what the chances of a sequel or spiritual successor are, but I would check them out immediately. 9/10

This review contains spoilers

this is definitely the weakest entry in the series up to this point, but i'll start with positives (note: i did not play the dlc case)
- the 3d character models are a surprisingly effective replacement for the 2d sprites. i was worried that they wouldn't be able to live up to the level of expression and sheer absurdity, but they definitely pulled it off
- athena is great, and i do like the way the "acting protagonist" rotates throughout the game
- message log! such a good feature!
- the last case is really good! aside from the wholly unbelievable face-swapping nonsense at the end (and the letdown of never seeing the real face... i get that it's done for a reason but idc i just wanted a fucking payoff that i never got)
- blackquill is hot (and also a solid main antagonist)
- so many of the characters in this game are just so insufferable. it's probably my biggest gripe with the whole thing. i get that you gotta make everyone look suspicious but godddd it made the game feel 10x slower to not care whatsoever who is guilty or not
- on a related note, it was pretty annoying that the "true culprit" was basically handed to you on a platter for the first THREE CASES of the game
- and speaking of those cases, they just.. weren't that interesting. i didn't find myself invested in most anything that was happening until case 4 or 5. probably because the characters sucked
- the lack of "examine" in 90% of areas really shows how important that flavor text was for enjoyability in all the games before this. this one felt really bland a lot of the time without it
- the "dark age of the law" is super BS, it annoyed me every time it was said (which is a lot). literally just a new name for the same shit the series has been about since day 1
- the mood matrix is GARBAGE. like, holy shit that mechanic is the worst thing they've done so far. for me almost every single time came down to desperate trial and error because of how incomprehensible the logic is, and it really soured the mood of the trials (at least there's no health bar, though... i don't even want to imagine)
- i hate that trucy's entire personality for most of the game is just her fucking underwear. it was awkward enough in apollo justice, i didn't need to see it over and over and over again here
- i miss gumshoe :(
ok that's a lot of negatives actually but i didn't hate the game, like, it's Fine. just has a whole lot of problems that really makes it pale in comparison to previous titles. 5/10, i guess?

really glad i played these! gonna keep it pretty short; i love these games. the main gimmick is unique and fun, and for the most part the levels are designed well and flow nicely. the per-level gimmicks are surprisingly varied, especially in 2, although i wouldn't say i loved the boarding levels. i'm also surprised at how well the stories work for such short games - i mean, they're not gonna compare to a 60 hour jrpg, but they're great still in their own respect. my biggest issue with the games is simply that the gems aren't worth collecting; this may seem like a very minor thing but... the games prompt you to collect 150 gems in each stage, but actually doing so is a) a huge chore especially with limited lives, and b) pretty much completely lacking in rewards, aside from some artwork in 2. it's silly too that the double gem multiplier counts toward the collectible total; i just wish collecting the gems was more about exploration and less about dying repeatedly to perfectly execute strictly timed maneuvers (the extra stages have enough of that already!). i also think both games have disappointing and/or annoying final bosses which is kinda funny since i like most of the other bosses.
but yeah, minor complaints aside, i had a really fun time overall and would absolutely love a klonoa 3. 9/10

This review contains spoilers

A masterpiece sequel to a masterpiece game. I thought it would be very difficult to top the first game's story and structure, but I think this just barely surpasses it (I was on the opposite side of the fence until the, well, "twist", near the end of the game, if you catch my drift). The amount of foreshadowing throughout is insane (realizing about the glass statue after the reveal totally blew my mind) and really shows how much effort was put into the details of making this concept work, although that's little new for Uchikoshi lol. I love pretty much all the characters, new and old, and they all have a great amount of depth. I love that Ryuki is an enigma throughout the entire game, whether as the player character or as an NPC, and his relationship with Date is stellar (and I want MORE!). I loved Mizuki, just in general, just as badass (or even moreso) as she was in the first game (AND she shares my birthday, which automatically makes her awesome! like what!!!). I loved that we never truly saw Gen's face, because we never needed to. I loved how Lien went from initial impressions of a cringey weirdo to end up being a really fucking awesome guy. I loved the relationship development between Shoma and his dad, which is very reminiscent of Ota's arc from the first game. I loved the masked character, who I could never truly tell until near the end if was good or bad, and who was an incredible surprise and twist upon their reveal. I loved the villains, who felt genuinely terrifying and evil in the most pure sense of the word. The story goes to some extremely dark and fucked up places and I massively respect how it handles them. Of course, like the first game, I also love the sense of humor that keeps the experience from being 100% dreary; there is once again so much reward for inspecting every possible thing at every possible moment. This game definitely has about 100x more innuendos than the original, which isn't necessarily a good or a bad thing. I do certainly respect the sheer audacity of Tama's design and personality.
On the other hand, I think the Somnia in this game overall are significantly weaker than the original game, with a few exceptions. My favorite part of the original Somnia was the vast array of choices and resulting amount of exploration, even if it meant more failures or more time spent figuring out the right sequence of events; in contrast, although there are some fun escape-room-esque puzzles in this game, I feel like many of the solutions are a bit too linear and don't quite have the same charm. I would much rather a new Zero Escape (or some new IP in the same vein) than the attempt to make AI be more like Zero Escape. That said, the Somnia from an audiovisual and storytelling standpoint were phenomenal and they were still very much enjoyable. I also definitely appreciate the unlimited time feature on replays.
For me though the story outweighs the gameplay in this case, so I think I have to say I prefer this over the original, if just by a hair. I would play the shit out of an AI 3. 10/10

way too much to comment on so just gonna do this in point form
- the camera is horrible in all three games. it floats around like it's constantly on ice. the locked camera during certain bosses/etc also gets really annoying when trying to locate ammo/etc
- the motion blur is fucking awful and headache inducing, thankfully it can be disabled but it shouldn't exist in the first place
- spyro's controls themselves are a bit floaty, but not that bad
- many of the remastered character designs are awful creepy disney knockoff abominations (especially fairies and "humans"). some are okay though
spyro 1:
- the flight stages are god awful. they should not exist
- thieves are purely a nuisance and add nothing
- the (instant death!) water everywhere is super annoying
- some glides are stupidly precise
- while i do like the collectathon nature of things, the stages doesn't feel like they have grounded objectives
- tree tops sucks dick and can rot in hell
- 5/10
spyro 2:
- the flight stages are still god awful
- kinda annoying that cutscenes play every time you enter and leave, and challenges reset
- so glad that water is just a thing now and not deadly for no reason. but also the swimming controls are fucked beyond belief
- much more grounded objectives, which were mostly okay-ish
- surprisingly buggy, often broken text boxes and random lighting and draw distance issues
- gulp is an absolutely garbage boss
- 6.5/10
spyro 3:
- so glad they got rid of the stage cutscenes, and also really glad that the stages don't completely reset every time you enter
- the stages in general are the best designed of the trilogy for sure, with a few exceptions
- the flying stages are actually not that bad somehow!! but the hidden minigames in them are all really bad and control miserably. game would still be better without them entirely
- i liked the gameplay variety with the extra characters, though most of them felt pretty sluggish and a bit awkward to control
- several of the egg challenges are still really, really miserably awful. notably, every skateboard area. final area snowboard zone is the glitchiest most bullshit part of the entire game. also the whack a mole thing was awful
- sparx stages kinda suck
- lost fleet is a horrible stage
- haunted tomb is terrible
- the camera when controlling agent 9 is the absolute worst. also why does he look like the en eff tee monkey i hate it
- by far the glitchiest of the 3 games too somehow. some parts should never have passed QA. felt like i was constantly fighting against the collision detection, randomly getting stuck and so on. the text boxes were somehow even glitchier than in 2, over half of them i couldn't even read and had to rely on the voice acting.
- 7/10
overall, averaging the three games, 6/10 for the trilogy. i haven't played the originals so i can't compare, but the games all just have too many really terrible moments for me to say i thoroughly enjoyed them, even if i did quite enjoy many parts of them.

this was very much a "just okay" game. the core concept is great, it's mostly the execution that flops for me. many of the puzzle stages feel very arbitrary either in the actual objective (which is often unnecessarily cryptic) or in the rules of the given stage (i.e. what you are allowed to kill, what is allowed to be destroyed, etc). i also felt that many of the more creative potential solutions to puzzles were either not rewarded at all or just completely didn't work when they reasonably should have. the action stages are differently flawed, in that many of them feel like repeats of the same thing, or are just big mazes, or are literally just puzzle stages with gates. some other minor issues as well: collision detection is fairly buggy, and a number of times i ended up stuck in walls or had unfair glitched deaths; also, for puzzle stages especially, it was annoying to not be able to see the hint (which often contains necessary information!) again without resetting the stage.
overall not a bad game, but has a ton of room for improvement, which i hope is more realized in the sequels. 5/10

i liked this slightly more than ff1 lol. there are definitely flaws to the exp system but i like what they were going for at least conceptually; it's solid at low levels but the curve for high levels is really absurd. luckily none of that is even necessary, since the majority of the leveling you need to progress is easily acquired just by engaging all the encounters. unfortunately the game is also somehow way too easy; none of the bosses posed a threat whatsoever, and pretty much all of my deaths were from regular enemies, which was pretty disappointing. aside from a couple strangely timed missables i didn't find anything too cryptic, which was nice. i find it kind of hilarious that each new fourth party member gets killed off and the rest of the characters just act like they never even existed to begin with, almost like it was just used as an excuse to force your party to change lol. i didn't mind that part too much but it probably could have been executed better.
i certainly wouldn't call this a "great" game but i don't think it deserves to be called "bad" either. 7.1/10

i think this might be peak ace attorney. the story is weaved so tightly around each case in a way that stands out even compared to the likes of t&t, and it is combined with a ton of great new characters with SO MUCH dimension to them. and so many of them are relevant to the entire plot instead of being relegated to one case and forgotten. i also really love the (initial) antagonists' arcs in the last two cases. and the overall morals feel much more strongly defined than any other game in the series; edgeworth's self-discovery felt very real and grounded, and the relevant characters to that path made it that much stronger. it's also insane how high quality the fan localization is - aside from a few minor things, it felt completely on par with the official localizations of previous titles. the single thing i wish this game had was a fast text option, since waiting for text to advance can feel quite slow as a fast reader, but even with that i was so enthralled by the later half of the game i barely even noticed it after that point. this game is just crazy good. 10/10

about what i expected. very meh. not strictly unenjoyable or anything, but the stages are very much like step n' roll in that they are mostly about being big and mazelike rather than fun arcade-y challenges that the series is known and revered for; this also makes the game very easy and very short with very little replay value. blah. 3/10

This review contains spoilers

riven is definitely an improvement over myst in pretty much every way. the navigation is way smoother just by nature of better scene transitions and the more readable pointer, though i do think it would be still improved with actual movement since it can still be pretty easy to get directionally misguided or just miss important things outright while trying to regain bearings. the world itself felt significantly more intricate and detailed which i really enjoyed, and the visual storytelling is a vast improvement (although there is still plenty of lore dumping); i liked occasionally coming across scenes during exploration even if they had no bearing on the puzzles at all; the voiced scenes really need subtitles though because especially with the existence of the other language it can sometimes be hard to tell if the voices are supposed to be english or not. the atmosphere and MUSIC are also super, super good, even with the limitations of the time. as for the puzzles themselves, i thought they were much better crafted for the most part, which is somewhat helped by the larger world. there were only a couple things i took issue with in that regard (which i suspect are not uncommon): for one, i think the game could have been significantly clearer in regard to the whole animal puzzle; i enjoyed finding the animal shapes once i knew what to look for, but the link between "eyes" and "animal shapes" is kind of a big leap to make without any guidance, and even then it's a bit annoying that even that is inconsistent, with two of them not even fitting the pattern. the other thing i found a bit annoying was the dome puzzle requiring actual guesswork wrt the prison island, which seemed pretty out of place in juxtaposition with the rest of the game. on the other hand though, i really enjoyed figuring out the number system, which was actually probably my biggest "lightbulb moment" in either game haha. and to be clear - i loved that the animal and dome puzzles made use of the entire world in really cool ways - i just think the final execution could have been better.
as a whole - i definitely had fun with this and it definitely deserves "classic" status; like myst, i think i'll probably appreciate it more retrospectively, watching someone else play it and having the full context, and just generally being able to talk about it, but on its own, a very solid 8/10!


This review contains spoilers

i'm glad i got to finally experience this classic, though it is definitely severely dated in many ways. my biggest issue really is the general navigation, which is very inconsistent and rough; i get the limitations of the time but man even just looking around the way you want or going in the direction you want is a major hassle sometimes. i also feel like the game would have benefitted significantly from even a tiny tutorial or introduction instead of just throwing you in with no context; i do like the natural discovery of various things but nothing really "clicked" until i had to look up hints and figured out what the actual goal was, and that just feels like bad design to me, especially when the majority of the story is shoved into one massive exposition dump that isn't technically even mandatory. just feels really sloppy in that regard. as for the puzzles themselves, i did enjoy a good portion of them; most of the ages were pretty decent but were dragged down by one or two nuisances. pretty much all of the "main island" puzzles i thought were good except for the elevator thing which still makes very little sense to me. the stoneship age was pretty good, but the hidden passageway was borderline impossible to find, even trying to click literally everywhere. the mechanical age was pretty basic, but it was very frustrating not being able to see how the tower is moving without tediously going back and forth and back and forth. the selenitic age is probably my favorite except for the maze, which isn't that hard to navigate but is sooooooo dang slow and mind-numbing. channelwood is probably my least favorite age, pretty much everything about it i disliked; navigating the paths was a total nightmare, which also made figuring out the puzzles that much more tedious, especially on the upper levels (i basically had to permanently cross-reference the map to get anywhere), and maybe i'm just dumb but it took me an incredibly long time to figure out that you had to close the door before using the elevators, which is honestly pretty dumb when every other elevator in the game does that part for you. ANYWAY it sounds like a lot of complaining but i did actually enjoy the game to some extent; mostly i look forward to playing the sequel(s) since this sets up a lot of potential and i've heard a number of times that riven is an improvement!!
myst gets a solid 5/10 from me, definitely not a bad game and very clear why it is a classic, but it had a few too many problems for me to give it much higher than that. i am hopeful that riven will blow that out of the water, though!

i love edgeworth but this game is very much carried by the last two cases lol. the first three are pretty tedious and just serve as setup for the ending really. but i did very much enjoy those last two; turnabout ablaze is probably in my top 3 ace attorney cases, i loved how long and elaborate it was without ever being boring, and the reveals were pretty satisfying, although i do hate calisto with all my heart. i grew to like the other recurring characters a whole lot by the end, though, especially badd and kay (and lang, to some extent). i think this format works best with longer cases, since one of my main problems with the earlier cases is that almost all of the case-specific characters end up with not enough development time and feel pretty one-dimensional for the most part; i do think the format is fun though and i look forward to eventually getting around to the sequel to see how they improve on it.
i did enjoy the game overall; with everything in consideration i think it's a solid 7/10

this was my first kirby game in a long time, but i'm really glad i played it. the levels are pretty much all great, with lots of variety in both theming and in gameplay. really liked the ability upgrade progression, and the trials were a cool and (mostly) fun way to show them off. some of the target times are absolutely miserable to get though, kinda disappointed they don't count for anything except a few coins for how much of a challenge they are. it's pretty stupid that the fucking gacha of all things counts for more than they do. mouthful mode was a great (if slightly disturbing) addition, except for the car which controls like a nightmare. the postgame is where the game really shines though; the challenge is great, and the collection aspect is way more fun than the missions in the main game. like i don't hate the missions but it's really annoying that they aren't all revealed at once, especially for the bosses with super arbitrary conditions. they could have just done the soul collection thing with the waddle dees i think and it would have been awesome. the postgame bosses are great too, pretty much all of them except sillydillo were really enjoyable, and especially chaos elfilis was incredibly interesting and fun (and challenging!).
overall i'm definitely impressed, here's hoping kirby continues along this style because i would buy the sequel to this immediately. 9.5/10