Silver Screenshots

Silver for the Dreamcast is a decent action-RPG game. Silver for the PC, however, is an abomination serving solely to offend the sensibilities of right-thinking people, a disaster of ugly controls and unbelievable limitations so profound that I’d dare call it the worst PC port in the history of video games. Where the Dreamcast version allows you to directly control your characters, the PC version has you controlling them like an awkward point-and-click game, the real-time combat and outdated graphics ensuring that you’re accidentally deselecting characters and leaving them to sit idly by while enemies stab them to death. Where the Dreamcast has the decency to pause the action whenever you enter the console-friendly radial menu, the PC version keeps the action running, all but guaranteeing that entering the menu to switch weapons or use an item to restore your health during combat proves deadly, or at the very least, catastrophic to your health.

That’s not even going into the bell puzzle, a timing minigame required to progress that’s rendered impossible on the PC because modern CPUs are so fast that the game doesn’t allow you to click fast enough to keep up with them. You literally have to cheat past this on the PC if you have too fast of a CPU. Meanwhile, I got past this puzzle in less than a minute in the Dreamcast version. These problems are just the tip of the iceberg, too, and Silver simply isn’t worth it; even on the Dreamcast, it’s merely a passable distraction of a game, nowhere near the greatness the nostalgia-fueled hyperbole of its die hard fans suggests. Read more →

Zengrams Review

I don’t know when my love of puzzle games really kicked in, but somewhere along the way I went from ignoring/loathing them to relishing the challenge weirder kinds of puzzle games have to offer. Zengrams is an amazing puzzle game, its puzzles appearing brutally difficult at first glance, but always proving to have maddeningly simple solutions. In fact, a better title for this game would have been “Your Stupid Meat Brain Overcomplicates Everything: The Game,” and Zengrams is absolutely recommendable because of its tendency to use your oh-so-human penchant for unnecessarily elaborate solutions against you. Read more →

Terraria kind-of-Review

Terraria isn’t the kind of game that lends itself well to a review because of its more open-ended nature and the complete absence of anything resembling a story or meaningful characters, so I figured that rather than going the usual route and breaking things down one section at a time, I’d tell everyone the story of my experience with Terraria version and highlight the good, the bad, the ugly, the frustrating, and the wonderful as I discovered it. As such, I’m labeling this as a kind-of-review despite the fact that this is technically my 200th site review (and it totally counts despite the unique format). Read more →

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Review

Final Fantasy XIII wasn’t just the worst game in the series—it was also one of the worst games I’ve ever played, one that left me with such a bitter aftertaste that I spent the following week angry that my time had been so wasted. However, it also failed to explain any of the mythology necessary to understanding the ending, something I was told that its sequel/s improved upon. While it’s true that XIII-2 explains what actually happened at the end of the first game, it also opens up a number of huge plot holes and unanswered questions of its own, many of which dwarf the story-related problems of the first game. Read more →

Final Fantasy XIII-2 Screenshots (and rant)

I don’t think of myself as a violent person, but the world would genuinely be a better place if whoever’s responsible for the writing in Final Fantasy XIII and XIII-2 was run over by a car. Maybe that’s harsh, but they’re wasting everyone’s time with the never-ending psuedo-philosophical nonsense and random acts of magic that they insist on drowning their otherwise boring universe in. Worse, they’re effectively killing what was one of my favorite series growing up, with some of my favorite gaming memories involving Final Fantasy 6 and 8. Every time I play through one of these “Fabula Nova Crystallis” games (as the games using this half-baked mythology are designated), it’s like some annoying person too daft to hold a pencil much less use one to write is spitting on my childhood memories. Point is, these games are so reliant on random acts of magic by deities who are never explained or seen, as well as half-baked plot developments that make no sense whatsoever and exist solely as Shyamalan-like twists at the expense of narrative coherency, that charging for these games is highway robbery, or perhaps some kind of war crime. Between the atrocious, incoherent, amateurish writing and the haughty response those involved took to the widespread criticism of the game, this is unacceptable; writing isn’t as hard as these games make it look, and that’s why I truly and honestly hope that the person behind this game’s writing either quits, is fired, or gets hit by a car for the sake of future games. Whoever’s been in charge of writing for these games is clearly incompetent at their job and needs to go away.

This game is that bad. Yet again, you’re not given enough information to actually understand character motivations or critical plot developments unless you go Wiki-hopping or purchase supplementary reading material set in the same universe (which is no doubt a ploy to milk customers of even more money). Yet again, combat is a clumsy, unfocused mess of mechanics with huge difficulty spikes and patches of frustrating tedium. Yet again, magic occurs at convenient moments, most notably in a sequence where some characters from the first game who are in a crystal sleep project themselves into the playable character’s dream to save her, because apparently it’s possible to not only be aware of things happening outside your own time, but actually invade people’s dreams. Is anything not possible in this universe? It really leaves you feeling nothing during ugly plot developments, knowing that a random twist could and most likely will end up saving the day.

Worthless. Absolutely worthless. I’ve seen a lot of series that I enjoy devolve into parodies of themselves (Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Soul Calibur, Metal Gear Solid, and many more) and yet it’s never hurt quite as badly as seeing the Final Fantasy series change from having consistently high levels of writing and character development to sporting some of the worst in the entire industry. Read more →

Buff Knight Review

I was (and for the most part continue to be) hugely critical of mobile games, but when I’m low on time or playing a game that proves to be time-consuming, they’re a great way of keeping this site updated. Take Buff Knight, for example, which I picked up for 2 dollars after deciding to play Final Fantasy XIII-2 and remembering how long XIII was. Needless to say, I didn’t expect much out of this little side-scrolling game; not only is the hero’s movement and attacking largely automatic, but the game basically revolves around grinding and is littered with more spelling errors than I can recall ever seeing in a single game. Despite all of this, Buff Knight quickly proved itself to be one of the more addictive mobile games I’ve played and wound up stealing more of my time than I’d care to admit. Read more →

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