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Video Game Heardle got me interested. Still not sure this is worth logging. The game takes a minute - literally one minute - to "beat." What does the rating even mean in this context? Great music, though!


Virtually identical to last year's release, right down to the in-game menus and graphical interface. There's nothing wrong with that - hell, there's everything right with that! - but it did contribute to the overall "been there, done that" feeling I had while playing this game every night for the month of April. I think I dumped more hours into The Show 22 than I did The Show 21 last year, but felt like I accomplished even less this time around. As long as I have Game Pass and as long as these are part of it, I bet I come back every April for more. But thirty or forty hours into this particular title, it's just time for me to move on, not out of boredom but self-preservation. There are only so many hours and so many days, and such.


2022

Had a great time with this one. The Zelda inspirations are obvious and plentiful but not ham-fisted and had Nintendo released exactly this game with a few visual tweaks and called it a minor Zelda game, people would have gone apeshit for it just the same. Hits that perfect 10-15 hour length and just as soon as I started to feel the slightest bit like the whole thing was dragging a bit, the endgame turned into this nonstop rush of secrets and formerly hidden treasures and I could have gone for another five. Even busted out some pencil and paper for some of the more challenging puzzles, triggering a delightful and specific nostalgic feeling I haven't had in gaming since The Witness. Just a beauty from start to finish. And if this was truly "Souls-hard" then I can handle Souls games, no problem.


After 25 years, this is as close as I've seen to a worthy Final Fantasy Tactics successor. Feels like something halfway between that game and a Fire Emblem. Every character is unique and there are multiple paths through the story, a Game of Thrones-like web of alliances and betrayals. Slightly surprised by how soon it all ended (thirty, thirty-five hours?) especially after the grindfest that was Octopath Traveler. Likely makes up for that "brevity" on replays, what with all the branching story paths, but I'm content to put this down for now. I expected great things and wasn't disappointed at all. What a gem!


It's the most innovative shooter I've played in years! No but it actually is. Perfectly splits the balance between puzzle game and first-person shooter, A bit short, if anything, but with the decent story and graphics this bare, it's a fine length really.


Part of my old gaming mindset I still struggle to shed is this self-inclifcted necessity to "finish" what I've started. Here's an excellent case in point - a Worms game I downloaded from Game Pass last summer because it checked the hyperspecific boxes I was looking for: local multiplayer with one controller. And as far as Worms games go, it was absolutely fine. It was everything I remember Worms to be, plus or minus a couple of weapons. And that's a very good reason why there's no need whatsoever for me to spend hours blowing my way through whatever semblance of a campaign mode it had. There's no story here, it's just... Worms. I scratched the itch already when I played a couple rounds with my sister last summer. That can be fine! That can be my entire experience with a downloadable video game. The more time I spend here the less I can explore other, better games on my backlog. Still coming to grips with this. Bear with me, fam!


Time for a little spring cleaning on the "now playing" list. Ostensibly I've been playing this for eleven years. That's not true, though. Eleven years ago I played it like, twice, and despite some vague-and-getting-vaguer memories of cute vibes and good times I hadn't touched it since then. Until now! Sadly, it's not a game that aged well. I'm not sure any Wii game has, honestly. I loved the arts-and-crafts aesthetic here but couldn't put aside the thought that LittleBigPlanet was doing the same thing in HD a few years prior. Gameplay-wise, it's Kirby taken to its easiest extreme. You can't die! You literally cannot "lose" here, you can only fail to collect everything you want to collect. I have no beef with that, but it may have contributed toward making this game feel much older than it is. Hey, they can't all be classics.


Fairly quick but impressively immersive and complex time loop game with a couple interesting twists. I liked this better than Outer Wilds - just more my speed and style - but your mileage may vary. Knows exactly when it's run its course, too - five, six hours max? - and never feels thoroughly bogged down or repetitive, which is hard to pull off for a time loop game. Starts out small, gets much larger and deeper in scope like a good mystery ought to. Then sprinkles in just a dash of introductory morality and ethics. Just a lot to like here, really.


So, just because a game pulls a fast one on you, fucks with your expectations, and ultimately "isn't what it seems to be" - that's all well and good and memorable, but it doesn't mean the game itself is fun, enjoyable, or well-made. I respect what this game is ultimately doing and saying, but the NES-era menu scrolling and graphics left me cold. I realize this is an unpopular opinion but, good news, it's also five years too late to matter.


Safely calling it. I complained in one of my last reviews that Unpacking, a game consisting solely of unpacking boxes and organizing contents, was one of the most tedious experiences I've ever had. But at least that game was short and sweet and told a little story! The same can't be said of this game, which is exactly what it purports to be and reminds me of that old Simpsons gag where Bart wants to play Yard Work Simulator at the carnival after blowing off actual yard work to go to the carnival. I can't even say the hour and change I spent on this (three mowjobs, two too many) made for a soothing experience. The ride-on mower handled like garbage and it was way too easy to miss strips of grass and hit flowerbeds. All my best wishes to people pouring actual chunks of time into this game. You only get the one life, you know?


A marked improvement, so many years later, over the Left 4 Dead games. But you'd certainly expect that much! I had plenty of fun and more than a little frustration working through this campaign with two buddies over the past month and a half, starting out mostly just spraying bullets and swinging bats and running from Point A to Point B, ending up having lengthy conversations about deck builds and level strategies. We learned the game together, and taught each other as we went. And that's kind of cool and rare these days, no? All that said, the game itself was repetitive and sometimes felt borderline broken in the early going. There'll be no need whatsoever to go back for this one a few years from now if you pass on it now.


In theory, I understand the appeal. There's something cathartic about organizing your clothes and your books and your liquor cabinet, and a game that consists solely of unpacking boxes and decorating rooms in increasingly large and fancy apartments and houses is probably meant to tap right into that joy-sparking feeling of tidying up. But this has to be just the dullest and most monotonous game I've played in years. I have two kids. All I do anymore is take things out of boxes and tidy up by throwing a bunch of shit in a semi-neat pile. There is no joy for me - none! - in doing a simulated version of that with an Xbox controller. You click a box. Out comes a pair of underwear. You move it to the open drawer in the closet. You put it there. You go back to the box. It's another pair of undies. Back to the drawer. Place.Back to the box. Pick up. Back to the drawer. Replace. And so on and so on. Twenty fucking pairs of panties. Six pairs of jeans. Thirty hangers. Thirty things that go on those hangers. One hundred books. Click, move, click, move. Now the kitchen. Now the bathroom! And now it's time to unpack all that same crap all over again in the next apartment. Good lord, the bore this was! But it was short and it looked pretty enough and there's the vaguest hint of a happy story subliminally told, so, not a total waste of my time!


At least as good as Fusion and a thrill from start to finish. Just wish this were a little bit longer and meatier. 2D Metroid never is, I know, and that frenetic and addicting pace is paid for with brevity. Still, I can't help but feel like this needed just ten percent more story or world or power-ups on the back end. It just stops so quickly!


This game low-key sucks, not gonna lie. It was cool for five or ten minutes to play as some Belmont or other (you know, from Smash) and seeing where all their moves came from, but what kind of Castelvania game is level-based? Just a monotnonous side-scroller, no different from a dozen I've played and forgotten about on Sega Genesis. Big fat boo, stinky.


Plenty of people taking this to the cleaners for the... revelations, let's say, and justifiably so. But my bigger issue by far was just that the pointing-and-clicking - the entirety of the gameplay - was just so repetetive and dull by the thirtieth minute or so. I still love what Annapurna Interactive is doing with the medium, but when their games drag, they drag awfully hard.