This review contains spoilers

very solid mystery game. enjoyed going through most of the story and watching the routes intertwine, and the various pieces for the most part came together in a natural and engaging way. also an immensely beautiful game audiovisually! i think it could have done entirely without the jumpscares, though, and the story kind of fumbled at the end - i appreciate the little mindfuck time warp idea but it was kinda disappointing to basically undo the whole rest of the story just for that, especially when the "false" ending was just starting to feel special. i really wish there was some other way they could have gone about it. but still, a very good game overall, 8/10

I loved this game so much more than I expected to. It's relatively short, and the gameplay is fairly basic outside the novel part, but I'm perfectly fine with treating this as a regular VN with a few extra sprinkles. I loved pretty much every character from the start, and aside from the very first death each one really felt like a loss to me. The dialogue oozes with charm, and the development of the MC alongside best girl was really enticing, making it really hard to put this down sometimes. And, even though it all happened pretty quickly, the messaging throughout the final reveal definitely resonates. I would love to see a sequel that puts more emphasis on the gameplay, since I think there's plenty of potential there.. and I just want more of this world, honestly. 9.5/10

honestlyyyyy this game is way better than people seem to give it credit for, it's probably now my second favorite of the main series games (after AA3 of course). i thought going in that i was going to dislike the change in environment but i really ended up liking khura'in and the change of pace it provided after the slog that was dual destinies, and I didn't dislike any of the cases (though case 2 was by far the weakest). honestly my only big problem with this game is that it still suffers a bit of the oversaturation syndrome that DD did - we have all of phoenix, apollo, and athena's gimmicks at play and it feels like none of them really get to shine (it's kind of wild to still be getting mechanic tutorials in the second-to-last case...). that being said, story-wise, i loved everything that happened with those three. phoenix felt more like phoenix again, especially toward the end of the game. athena was more of a side role but the whole 4th case made her inclusion worthwhile. and it goes without saying that apollo's arc conclusion was fantastic. this just hit all the notes that DD completely missed the mark on for me, and maybe comparing this to DD directly is biasing my thoughts on it, but i don't care, i really enjoyed myself and i'm very glad to have finished off the main series (as it is currently, anyway) on a high note. 9.5/10

absolutely incredible in every way. even as short as it is, the story it tells is enthralling and tear-wrenching and it takes no time at all to become completely entrenched in the world. the music is phenomenally beautiful and the art is out-of-this-world fantastic. i love that the "jrpg" gameplay is a story-driving element in itself, and that it doesn't need to be super challenging to be as effective as it is, especially with the constant shifts in the ways the battles play out; every individual battle feels special, and makes the amount of heart and soul that went into this game abundantly clear. i firmly believe that everybody should play this game. 10/10

came into this having only played mystery journey so this was a pleasant improvement lol. the story is simple but effective and the small world has so much charm. the puzzles are also generally decent, although the slide puzzles are all terrible and there was maybe a tad too much repetition more generally. i would also say the pacing is kinda weird, especially when all the buildup resolves to layton just exposition-ing the whole plot at the end instead of like getting you to piece things together yourself, but maybe i'm just too ace attorney brained
anyway, still a very solid 7/10 i think

it's a silly mindless way to waste a couple hours, what else do you want! i mean yeah it's pure trial and error but the charm makes up for it, a bit of immaturity aside

honestly a lot more fun than i expected it to be. i still have problems though
biggest issue for me is that everything is... well, too big. legends arceus did "open world" really well - each area felt distinct and open with plenty to explore, without being overwhelming. paldea on the other hand just feels massive and unwieldy, with way too much open space and next to no notable landmarks. the cities fall victim to this too; every single time i walked into one i felt immediately lost and there wasn't enough in each city to motivate learning the layout - i think this is also a fault of the giant open world, in that there isn't much reason to go to the cities except for the gym and maybe to buy new clothes; they don't feel at all like part of the progression, which really sucks compared to previous pokemon games. it doesn't feel like there are grounded objectives until the very endgame, and it doesn't help that there isn't any level scaling. i really really think if they want to go the open world route again for gen 10 that they should take more notes from legends arceus. area zero is by FAR the best area of this game and a big part of that is how self-contained it is
i also think the team star "raids" are really awful. i get that they wanted to force you to use the auto battle system but man its literally just "spam the R button for the next 2 minutes". on the other hand, the tera raids are a big improvement from the dynamax raids in swsh. still though, the shield is annoying and the fact that they can wipe stat changes and even uncharge the tera orb is total BS and makes the high level raids a lot less fun.
it's also really annoying that trading is still required in any way to complete the pokedex. like, they're already keeping the size of the pokedex pretty small to make it more accessible to fully complete, so why keep the biggest and dumbest blockade of all? either give each version its own pokedex with version exclusives, or better yet, stop making two fucking versions, the concept is way past its prime and we don't need it anymore!!!!!
and obviously performance issues. i actually didn't run into any major glitches (the worst i really saw was pokemon spawned inside a wall a couple times, and a couple really wonky hitboxes), but the fps is a whole other story. everything feels so, so sluggish, either because of the framerate or just because things take forever to load sometimes. the camera also controls really badly
a couple nice things to end off:
- the characters and their stories are great! while the main plot is whatever, arven and nemona and penny are all great. i liked all the different personalities at the academy itself too, especially clavell - it is really really nice to see an old man character in a position of power who is not just a good guy but also just really awesome - he's one of the best characters in the whole game
- the music is so, so good! i also was really impressed by how much effort was put into the transitions, whether going seamlessly from field to battle music or between gym leader phases or from battle to fanfare, it always felt shockingly natural, and the motif use is super super well done in this game overall
- it was still generally a very fun game, even with all its issues! i just wish game freak would get their shit together, really

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