Bio
icon by @FunkySpaceAlien

(he/they) i fucking hate video game

‣‣‣ 2.5 is my median (not bad but not good), anything above i believe is at least "good", anything below i did not enjoy

‣‣‣ i also make music, check my website link
Personal Ratings
1★
5★

Badges


GOTY '23

Participated in the 2023 Game of the Year Event

Treasured

Gained 750+ total review likes

Pinged

Mentioned by another user

Trend Setter

Gained 50+ followers

Adored

Gained 300+ total review likes

GOTY '22

Participated in the 2022 Game of the Year Event

Well Written

Gained 10+ likes on a single review

Popular

Gained 15+ followers

Loved

Gained 100+ total review likes

Gone Gold

Received 5+ likes on a review while featured on the front page

On Schedule

Journaled games once a day for a week straight

Donor

Liked 50+ reviews / lists

Elite Gamer

Played 500+ games

Best Friends

Become mutual friends with at least 3 others

3 Years of Service

Being part of the Backloggd community for 3 years

GOTY '21

Participated in the 2021 Game of the Year Event

Liked

Gained 10+ total review likes

GOTY '20

Participated in the 2020 Game of the Year Event

Gamer

Played 250+ games

N00b

Played 100+ games

Noticed

Gained 3+ followers

Favorite Games

Yakuza 0
Yakuza 0
Hypnospace Outlaw
Hypnospace Outlaw
Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Sonic Adventure 2: Battle
Chibi-Robo!
Chibi-Robo!
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2

947

Total Games Played

040

Played in 2024

140

Games Backloggd


Recently Played See More

Block Hole
Block Hole

Jun 12

Wario Land 4
Wario Land 4

Jun 06

Fortnite: Chapter 5 - Season 2: Myths & Mortals
Fortnite: Chapter 5 - Season 2: Myths & Mortals

May 25

Kirby's Dream Land
Kirby's Dream Land

May 17

Final Fantasy XIV: Death Unto Dawn
Final Fantasy XIV: Death Unto Dawn

May 08

Recently Reviewed See More

I don't feel it's controversial to say this - we are living in the worst era of video games in the medium’s history. In this post-creative type age, AAA games are designed by corporate committees, the bleeding hearts and artists chained to their whim. Here's $10 billion dollars, make a game. Your livelihoods are threatened if it falls beneath our expectations, except not really because we're going to lay off 60% of your team anyway after launch. We want a remake of an old classic of yours now that we've bought the rights from your old publisher - we'll give you no more than five years to finish regurgitating the same game you made in a fifth of the time two decades ago but your game will still come out unpolished, unappreciated, your bloody hands and dried tear ducts for naught. We're your new publishers, we're looking for a change of pace from your streak of critically acclaimed titles - we feel a live service game will be more beneficial to us. We’ll be looking into layoffs and a potential merger if the Metacritic score doesn’t meet our expectations. It cannot be understated or made any clearer - the bubble is not about to burst; the bubble is bursting.

It goes without saying, and there is no exception in this day and age, that if a AAA game is good, it is good in spite of any grievous sins it commits. LEGO 2K Drive is a fun arcade racer. LEGO 2K Drive also costs $60 USD, has five consecutive battle passes each locked behind their own purchase, and in-game currency is drip-fed at a consistency I’ve seen more generous in Korean F2P mobile games.

What is the point of sending obviously hardworking, dedicated game developers to this critical death? Why must creative teams have to be chained to the ankles of executives uninterested in art form - merging, dissolving, firing developers at will off the weights of failures not their own? 2K Drive is fun. Undoubtedly. The divide between the joy of its loving arcadey gameplay and creative spirit to the horror of its fleshy, bleeding abscess of finance-leeching rotting flesh is too palpable. Though leeching it does, because after some time the imbalance grows too great.

User-made custom car creations are downloadable in-game in its current state, but I distinctly remember why publisher 2K had to announce this wasn’t planned to be before release, much to the chagrin of, well, everyone. What’s the point in creating if you can’t share with the world? The answer became obvious almost immediately when looking within. Why do I get 10 Brickbux for getting a gold medal in a challenge, and 50 when winning a race, when a fucking cosmetic car costs 10,000? Oh, that’s an easy answer, because you’d have no reason to be pressed to pay real money to boost your in-game currency if you could just download the cool user-created stuff online. This isn’t counting the five consecutive battle passes. This game also costs $60.

2K Drive’s progression is, by design, torturous, but its gameplay is at a clear odds from it. Cars handle well, its challenge missions engaging and varied, its races variably frantic and exciting, its story a cute and charming melting parody pot of racing story tropes. Despite finding myself growing more and more averse to the tired trend of open world games, this is where the divide is drawn with mile-wide crayon - it’s fun. The plainness of its formula is upended by the sheer joy of absurdity it relishes in - barreling through structures, rocketing through explosions of thousands of LEGO pieces both structural and minifigure (yes, you can just mow down pedestrians in this, it’s hilarious), pun-riddled dialogue both confident as it is surprisingly more endearing than annoying (something I think the LEGO games have always been good at). Unfortunately, its wholehearted spirit is progressively crushed the more time you invest, because you're expected to invest as much money as you do your own time into 2K Drive. Progression stagnates, incentives are diminished, and the only joy you can wring out after you feel closed off completely is just enjoying the online races yourself, outside of the story mode. Oh wait, no you can't, because the online also barely works.

You don’t need to stretch your neck out very far to see the state of the way multimedia is being curated today, and you don’t need a third eye and an all-encompassing andromedatic galaxy brain to see how much art today is dictated by committee - this is just the most obvious its ever looked. Underneath its Financial Terror Shield is a game that’s struggling to exist - an honest core, crying by itself, to just be a game. We’re undoubtedly worse off now, but this game wouldn’t even be much different 10 years ago. Its future also feels all too certain, being under the reins of many alike a publisher more eager to kill off a game’s entire service before they’ll let it live indefinitely without profit. It’s not just developers who’ve been demoralized and dehumanized throughout this process - you are also no longer a fan. You are a demographic, a consumer, a target market, complicit either way you look at it. If you need any further proof of the post-post times we live in, 7 companies have laid off their employees in the week I spent writing this on and off, and it’s only a matter of time before every brick in this failing structure is put back in its box. The most radical action a consumer can perform today is to download a user-made LEGO rendition of the Flintstone's Flintmobile off the content shop and not spend their actual Brickbux on the corporate-mandated seasonal coupes, and hope that when the last brick falls, we can all put a hand towards rebuilding.

Thinking like I had a good fill of the 3DS's library during its heyday, but then I remember I was playing stuff along the lines of Tails Adventure on Virtual Console and Ketzal's Corridors, and not like, I don't know, any of the actual top 20 best selling games on the damn thing. So, somehow, my first experience with Mario Kart 7 happens to be in 2024.

Much like what I feel Smash Ultimate did for Smash 4, I feel like Mario Kart 7 has lost a lot of its identity and purpose in a post-Mario Kart 8 + Deluxe + Booster Course Pass world.

But also much like how I feel about Smash 4, I don't find their experiences inessential, because both Smash 4 and Mario Kart 7 have just enough unique quirks and intricacies worth taking a look at.

The paragliding, as it was introduced here, plays so much more elegantly than I was used to for the past 10 years. It's the poster feature of the game along with the underwater traversal, but it's moreso introduced as a reward for hitting the off-path blue ramps and not entirely the frontfacing feature this game's marketing of yesteryear would have you suggest. Interestingly enough, sailing is more responsive to player input here. You can actually make some intricate moves in the air and keep your altitude, as opposed to how automated it feels in 8. It feels a lot more in-hand with how, unlike the mandatory aquatic karting, paragliding is treated as a reward here and not an automated falling section granted upon every player off the same track-wide ramp as neutered it felt in 8. You can actually take your sails pretty far here, moreso than when on even the same tracks in Mario Kart 8 and Tour. The underwater segments, on the other hand, felt just as weightless in handling as they do in variety and purpose, sadly not much different from how they are now. The trick system takes the runway median here, signified by the fact that they're actually on a humanly possible button to activate this time (You don't remember having to press Up on the D-pad back on Mario Kart Wii? Because I do.) Tracks are garnished with half-pipes and ramps, moreso than they did on Wii, and trick boosting feels more powerful than it ever did in the series here, especially when chained. That final stretch of this game's Rainbow Road that's just a long stretch of ramps on straights to the finish line? Exhilarating; S tier track for that alone.

Balancing changes are definitely felt, what with the attainability of triple mushrooms available all the way up to second place, drift boosts taking just a bit longer to activate so they feel less spammable, and the infamous series CPU rubberbanding is felt here one last time before I feel it was finally nerfed greatly in 8. (I personally never minded the rubberbanding, playing at a high skill level feels too boring in 8, where you can practically lap the back half of Hard CPUs at 150-200cc.)

Unfortunately the biggest hit this game has taken with its age is within its track relevancy - 8's returning track list perhaps favored from Mario Kart 7 a bit too much, so a lot of a first time playthrough in 2024 will be a lot of “been there, done that." (Doubly so if you've played Mario Kart 8 and Deluxe pre-Booster Course Pack, where these tracks dominated the popular vote online. Christ, Piranha Plant Slide makes me physically ill in this day and age.) Though that is not to say Mario Kart 7 would be a pointless retread today, because there's still some great tracks in here exclusive to this title: both Wuhu Island tracks are fantastic, some of the highest tier in the series for me personally, I loved Bowser’s Castle in this one, and my biggest shock of all was seeing the only two tracks in my Booster Course Pass wishlist that didn't make it here - DS Airship Fortress and GCN Dino Dino Jungle. Loved seeing them here again. (Also, to everyone complaining about how Coconut Mall’s aesthetics were "ruined” in 8’s Booster Course Pass, did we just gloss over how it was here? Same thing.) Mario Kart 7's Rainbow Road though? I already mentioned it earlier, but it's the best in the series, or at least tied with Wii.

Mario Kart 7, as it is now, lives a very contradictory existence. As most of its content lives on in both 8 and Tour, the actual intricacies of its mechanics and balancing feel exclusive to itself here. Much like how you can always go back to Smash 4 for Smash Run and Smash Tour (both of which are fun, my comments are always open for discourse), Mario Kart 7 still has its reasons for going back to, and I will be doing so, because God damn those Wuhu tracks are good, I can play as Wiggler and Honey Queen for some reason, and to witness a glimmer of the uber-polished, arguably best era of Mario Kart that was yet to come. Mario Kart 8 ran a long lap before I realized it was my favorite, but before then, Mario Kart 7 refreshed the series in an under-appreciated way. The seeds of the series' current generational quality streak were planted here, though seeds they were.

I think I might have to bend the knee here. Not all the way, but..

New Super Mario Bros. 2 is, metaphysically, a lot of things, and also not much. It's Super Mario at its most ad nauseum. I never bothered with it at launch because, like you, I was feeling the fatigue of the New. I let it pass me by as I did most of Nintendo's catalogue of this era, but a decade later, in this day and age where It's Actually Really Easy To Hack Your 3DS, what's the harm in trying?

I'll get the obvious out of the way, NSMB2 is nothing New. It's a tepid celebration of the passé, a slideshow of the been-theres and done-thats. You've seen it before. At the time, when you didn't even know it, you were gonna see it again (but if you wanna be pedantic, sure, you did know). New Super Mario Bros. 2, like most of Nintendo's exports of the early 2010s, is and was perfectly content being vehemently washed of purpose.

But NSMB2 represents a stubborn truth here, one I think many fellow gamer internetizens who utterly disdain it for its blandness feel obligated to gloss over: it's not bad.

I tend to enter games of this kind of reviled category without any expectations if I can manage that. I don’t go in looking to redeem the perceived unredeemable and vice versa, and my groundbreaking, earth-shatteringly contrarian take here - is that it's fine.

I've gone through the obvious; you've seen this before, but would you deny it was ever bad? More of the same is certainly fatiguing, but is New Super Mario Bros. 2 actually a substantial drop in quality from its formers? I don't really think so. You go through Grass Land, Sand Land, Beach Land, Swamp Land, Sky Land, and Lava Land pretty much in the same order as you've done twice before by this point. Actual new stage gimmicks are few and far between. The new “coin rush” ethos here isn't the most convention-flipping as Nintendo wanted you to believe, sure, but I'd argue some identity is better than none (looking at New Super Mario Bros. U here).

It wasn't until the very end of the game that I realized I was never really disengaged. Even at Super Mario's universally-perceived worst, I can think of plenty of other platformers with much worse level design. My engagement never flatlined, and that goes double for the challenges in going for the Star Coins this time around - they're actually fun, more than I think they've ever been in this series.

All of this text is to just overly extend what was probably my only thought playing this: “This is it? This is the worst Super Mario game?" I can't say it's anything more than good at best, but at its worst (and I'm just preaching to the choir here) it's uninspired. It certainly isn't New, but I don't think that makes it bad.