Shadowrun: Dragonfall DC Review

When I first had the Shadowrun series recommended to me, the general consensus was that it was a smart move to ignore Shadowrun Returns entirely and go straight to Dragonfall, the expansion that by that point had been unchained from Returns and turned into a standalone game. I ignored this advice because people are historically stupid when all agreeing on something, and yet again, failing to buy into this type of groupthink served me well; Dragonfall is decent, but I honestly liked it less than Returns for a variety of reasons that I’ll get into fairly exhaustively. It’s still one of the better sRPGs out there, and it’s full of enough good-to-great moments to be worth a recommendation overall, but it’s also nowhere near as flawless or wonderful as the hordes of random internet people would have you believe. Read more →

Tales of Illyria: Destinies Review

Not too long after putting up my screenshots for this game, I received an email from developer Little Killerz that clarified why they chose to go the route they did with the third game. This was surprising, of course—I only write up a little blurb about each game as a teaser for the upcoming review, and even then only because the added text helps the screenshots to rank higher in search results and drive traffic to this site. As you’d probably expect, there were some interesting tidbits in this email, such as the fact that Destinies has already made as much money as the second game has to date. Apparently players weren’t too keen on playing as a fixed dark-skinned female character and the reception to the second game was therefore less-than-stellar, which is incredibly depressing because I really think the second game is my favorite in the series. None of the information in the email affects this review, of course, and the developer having understandable reasons for moving toward in-app purchases doesn’t change the fact that I loathe IAPs with a fanatical passion, but it was nevertheless nice to have that all-too-rare added perspective. Read more →

Shadowrun Returns Review

Shadowrun Returns has been on my radar for some time; I finally picked up both it and its sequel/expansion Dragonfall awhile back despite having both recommended long before that, but it wasn’t until I realized that the newest entry in the series was set to release this month that I decided to actually play through them. I figured going on the same kind of series binge I went on when Sacred 3 was released would give me a better understanding of the series as a whole without having to deal with the time between game releases blurring my memories and making the differences between each less pronounced. That was the plan, at least—I got distracted by another game’s release after finishing up Shadowrun Returns. I’ll definitely dive right back into the Shadowrun universe once I’m done with that, though, because this is a game that got me to warm up to a world that’s like the bizarre lovechild of Dungeons & Dragons and Blade Runner, and that’s really quite impressive when you think about it. Read more →

Monsters Ate My Birthday Cake Review (slash ragequit)

Let me be perfectly honest right now: this is more of a public service announcement than an actual review, as I gave up on this pathetic excuse of a game before I had even reached the third world. It’s tedious, its controls are as imprecise as a drunk driver, and the cutesy dialogue and aesthetic clashes with the fact that no child on earth would enjoy playing this game unless they had literally nothing better to do. I almost always make notes while playing so that I have access to in-the-moment impressions of certain sections, and my note right before I ragequit mentioned that I’d rather scoop out my eyes with a melon baller than play a minute more of this agonizing dreck. I stand by that statement. Read more →

The Last Express Review

I bought The Last Express from GOG years ago during a summer sale (I think it was called The Battle of the Games or something to that effect). The purchase was impulsive, driven by player promises that the game is unlike anything else before or since. Trying to play it for the first time, however, was hair-pullingly annoying; the vanilla version offered at GOG doesn’t have any hotspot indicators or anything that could possibly help out a new player, so you’re very much left wandering in the dark, trying to figure things out as you go along. Eventually I became hopelessly stuck and gave up on it, making a mental note to buy the “gold” version that includes hints and give it another try at some point. That didn’t actually happen until this year, and I ended up being glad that I had both versions of the game since they both come with their own pros and cons. Read more →

Broken Age Review

Note that this is a review for the completed game instead of the single, incomplete half of Broken Age that was first released. I’ll never understand why other sites are willing to review portions of a game before it’s complete, especially since they invariably run up against the problem of recommending a game that becomes loathsome in its later hours, or fails to deliver on its initial promise. Take Telltale’s The Wolf Among Us as an example: it begins well enough, only for the end to roll around and disregard all of your choices despite its initial claims of reactivity. Double Fine’s Broken Age falls into a similar trap, brimming with promise and potential early on (which caused many sites to write glowing reviews about it), only to drop the ball in its second half and become downright embarrassing. Read more →

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