Nidhogg 2: Progress Log #1

I never got around to playing the first Nidhogg, mostly because it released in 2014 and I’m still catching up on all of the great games from that year that I originally missed. That’s kind of a good thing, though, because it means I get to experience the sequel as someone completely unattached to the original game, and then I can play through the first game and see how the sequel stacks up comparatively. Read more →

Trapt: Progress Log #3

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

Welcome to Mission 3: Sexist Guys And Annoying Thief Get Murderized, Random Lady Gets Smashed, And Then Unexpected Bounty Hunters Have Boulders Dropped On Their Stupid Heads While Rachel Acts Weird. Read more →

Trapt: Progress Log #2

[Click here to start from the first progress log]

Trapt’s missions don’t have names [update: yes they do, and I’m an idiot for somehow not noticing], and the mission-by-mission structure of the game doesn’t offer many opportunities to do things between missions to catch everyone up on in these little pre-log writeups, so I’m going to instead spend this time giving them accurate names. This is Mission 2: More People Come To The Mansion So Allura Kills Them With Giant Boulders, Floor Bombs, and Buzzsaws. Read more →

Trapt: Progress Log #1

The unfortunately-named Trapt (which was niche enough before deciding to also share its name with a band) is known in Japan as Kagero II: Dark Illusion according to Wikipedia. As in, a sequel to Kagero: Deception II, which is hands-down the best game in the Deception franchise and my personal favorite. I love this series of killing groups of hapless villagers and soldiers with elaborate Rube Goldberg trap chains, but my Playstation 2 was broken for the longest time and capturing video for it was always a hassle, so Trapt remained just out of my reach. After a cleaning binge, however, the system magically fixed itself, and the PS3 component adapter I have even fits into it to make recording nice and simple. This is fate: I’m destined to massacre a bunch of virtual people with traps. The universe wills it. Read more →

But why old games?

The site has been a bit neglected over the past week, but I needed the time to embark on a psychotic, OCD-driven cleaning spree. In the process of organizing and Tetris-ing various suitcases and tubs full of stuff collected over the years, I came across numerous games that had gone missing. Games like the unexpectedly great Game Boy adaptation of The Lion King. The surprisingly enjoyable racing game that is Beetle Adventure Racing. The greatest baseball game ever made (Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.). I also found two copies of Goldeneye despite having no memory of ever re-buying it. That’s not even mentioning all of the SNES games discovered, all of which still have perfectly functional save batteries despite being 20-odd years old now. While going through and testing all of my newfound treasures—including a once-broken Playstation 2 that somehow de-broke itself over years of neglect, opening up an entire new gaming library to explore—I was overcome with a sense of longing for these older games. Nostalgia isn’t even a factor, because I suddenly wanted to buy copies of games I’ve never played and see if they still hold up. That’s normal for this site, of course, but I’ve never really talked about why I like playing old games and new games side by side so much. Read more →

Pyre Mini-review

It’s probably best to start this off by explaining that I make a serious attempt to finish every game I start, but always give myself the option of quitting anything purchased with my own money (games I’ve received a key for naturally get a bit more effort because of the expectations behind them, but even they aren’t entirely immune). That this is an option I’ve only exercised a small handful of times out of the 300+ reviews up on this site speaks to the grating nature of the few left unfinished, and Pyre definitely deserves its place in that ignominious pile; while other critics may drool over this game for their own subjective reasons, my experience with it is one of constant irritation over its confused design. Every potential positive is overwhelmed by an accompanying negative, such as how the more elaborate and explained story compared to previous games ends up wasting a ton of time with meaningless trash-tier conversations that accomplish nothing. There are supposedly multiple endings and story branches, and yet the gameplay loop that gets you there is painfully simple and underwhelming, the kind of thing that became almost unbearably repetitive even in the few hours I spent with the game. The combat “rites” that play out like an e-sport are a lot like a short game of NBA Jam, but rules and limitations are sprung on you in the middle of games, and story happenings greatly limit your agency as far as who you choose to use and how their stats end up being impacted by the arbitrary decision of which area to travel through. Pyre is a (Super)giant waste of time, energy, and money featuring gameplay so irrevocably interwoven into trends of its time that history is unlikely to treat it as kindly as Bastion and Transistor. Read more →

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