Undertale Review

If Undertale had been left to fly under the radar as a kind of hidden gem to be discovered, recommending it would absolutely be a safe bet. It is, after all, thoroughly enjoyable and easily one of the best games of 2015 (though there haven’t been very many amazing games released compared to 2014’s releases, admittedly). However, fans of the game have done it a huge disservice by rambling on about how it’s the best game ever released in the history of gaming, and about how it could totally beat up Earthbound’s dad and cure every known gaming ill like some kind of coked-up panacea. There’s such a thing as overselling, and the fanatical praise for this game definitely qualifies, turning an enjoyable—though occasionally inconsistent—game into a polarizing thing for no reason. It deserves better, honestly. Read more →

Lifeline Review

This is going to be less a review than a murder, but know that Lifeline deserves every bit of it. Designed as a quirky little choose-your-own-adventure game, it popped up on mobile devices and was gobbled up by game reviewers whose train of thought went something along the lines of “this is something different, therefore 10/10.” Never mind that the game’s big innovation—stretching a 10-20 minute game out to where it lasts 3 days by forcing you to wait for hours whenever you make a decision—accomplishes nothing but guaranteeing that the game’s pace resembles a freemium game that you’re given access to piecemeal. Even that might not be fair; freemium games have the good sense to try and give you enough gameplay to hook you before making you wait. Lifeline, on the other hand, provides little more than a few sentences that wouldn’t be out of place on Twitter (and that are completely out of place given the in-game circumstances) before giving you a meaningless decision and leaving you hanging for an hour or longer. Yes, the game playing out at the main character’s pace is a novel inclusion, but it’s embarrassing that I’m the first person to point out that it’s not actually fun. This is just one problem on top of many others that ensure that Lifeline is undeserving of your time in addition to being a complete and utter waste of money. Read more →

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Review

I’ve been a huge fan of the Witcher series since I played the first game, so much so that I wound up following the second game’s release back in May 2011 and became an active poster on their forums. I even managed to win a contest they sponsored, which netted me a copy of the official Witcher 2 game guide with a bunch of developer signatures. That being said, I’ve been hugely critical of the games and developers because my enjoyment of the series causes me to expect more out of it than most people, so I made an effort to play through this absurdly long game three times in order to get a feel for the choices and consequences and determine which of the choices aren’t choices at all. In some ways I’m impressed by the game, most notably in the quest design that effortlessly trumps the boring simplicity of other open-world games’ quests. In other ways I’m blown away by the laziness of some of the underlying systems given all of the potential the series had in terms of your actions having consequences. At the end of the day, The Witcher 3 is a lot of fun, but I can’t shake the feeling that it’s a shadow of what it could have been. Read more →

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