Breath of Death VII Review

This review will probably come across as mostly negative, and yet despite all of my problems with Breath of Death VII I still find myself interested in the developer’s later games. I mean, the humor here is spot-on and avoids being too distracting or falling into the same “look at me I’m so edgy” trap that makes Doom & Destiny so painful to play through, and little things like the combat system being designed to be faster than in most jRPG games go a long way toward alleviating the hassles of grinding (which I only found necessary on one or two occasions) and random battles. The game is also mercifully short, which helps keep it from outlasting its welcome. Still, I found myself finding excuses to not play it because of how barren the world is and how tedious the areas are, and that’s not a very good sign. Read more →

Breath of Death VII Screenshots

I practically grew up on old jRPGs, so a game like Breath of Death VII that pays homage to them while doing its own thing is the kind of experience I can appreciate. That said, it’s pretty bare-bones (an observation that works on multiple levels because the main character is a skeleton) and includes a bunch of annoying mazes that quickly grow tiring. I won’t say I hate this game because I absolutely don’t, and the referential humor is definitely used to much greater effect than in similar parodies I’ve played because the references actually make sense and are cloaked a lot of the time so as to not be distracting for those who don’t pick up on them, but the thought of having to trudge through yet another maze full of random encounters had me finding excuses to not have to continue playing. Read more →

Sparkle 2 Review

I don’t remember when or where I first found this game, or even when the idea of cashing in my “hardcore gamer cred” (which is totally a real thing) for lighthearted match-3 marble popping became something I was willing to do, but at some point in the past I stumbled on Sparkle 2 and fell head over heels for it. In fact, it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that a lot of my disdain for the mobile platform melted away as I played through it for the first time. There’s just something about the game’s music, simplicity, and difficulty curve that struck me as being superbly balanced and enjoyable, with the game constantly straddling that line between accessibility and challenge that so many other games seem to struggle with. What makes this so much more surprising is the fact that the first game sucked. It sucked a lot, in fact, and yet its sequel takes almost all of the same elements and builds something genuinely entertaining and worthwhile out of them. Read more →

Sparkle 2 Screenshots

I’ve covered the abysmal first Sparkle already, but have been saving the endlessly superior second game for one of those weird months where a bunch of stuff happens and I’m not really able to play through a bunch of long games. As it turns out, that would be this month. That’s not to say that Sparkle 2 is a throwaway kind of game, though—it’s just convenient to play, balanced well, and it only takes around 4 hours to complete the story mode. It’s also fairly easy to explain how you play since it’s a simple match-3 game that’s like Zuma, only better and more charming. Read more →

Lost Horizon Review

Lost Horizon is a game that I agonized over for a long time before even buying, often looking up the game page and being tempted to buy it, but never actually pulling the trigger. For months the title randomly showed up in “recommended for you” emails from Amazon. It even went so far as to later show up in mobile form on an app store just to torment me further. Point-and-click games can go very right when done well, but they can also go terribly wrong and become unenjoyable slogs if the pieces don’t complement each other, and while the premise seemed interesting enough, the game’s relative obscurity struck me as a major red flag. After all, if it were the wonderful adventure it appeared to be, then surely it’d be more popular. Granted, that line of reasoning doesn’t hold up considering the many lesser-known games that I’ve enjoyed more than popular AAA titles, but doubt doesn’t have to be realistic to be effective. There was also the widely panned sequel that had to be factored in (because jumping into a series that resolves unsatisfactorily in later entries is never fun), a game that sold incredibly poorly if the internet’s near-complete absence of information on it is any indication. Eventually my curiosity snowballed, however, and I went into full “screw it” mode and bought the first game for PC on a whim. I often come to regret impulsive purchase decisions like that, but Lost Horizon is one of those rare gems that made me wish I had bought it even earlier. Read more →

Lost Horizon Screenshots

Usually, I post these screenshot sections a day before the review for whatever the screenshots are for. I’m sick and sleep-deprived right now, though, so coherent thought processes aren’t in the cards (case in point, I just spent several hours frantically trying to fix the site after stupidly breaking everything), and writing a review is an incredibly unappealing prospect. Still, I figured I’d at least throw up some screenshots to keep the site updated. Ish. And they’re for Lost Horizon! I liked the game quite a bit, even if the item combinations make next to zero sense a lot of the time. It’s pretty, has a good sense of humor, and feels like an actual adventure instead of just a point-and-click. More details to come when I can think straight! Read more →

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