Soul Calibur 2 Review

The last time I reviewed a Soul Calibur game was in 2012, just a month or so after I started this site. My reviews for Soul Calibur 4 on the PS3 (because my PS3 could still read discs back then) and the Dreamcast original were awful 400-600 word abominations that completely missed the point—as was the case with so many reviews from those days—but while my opinions and review style have evolved over time, there are certain games that I feel as strongly about as I did back then. Case in point, Soul Calibur 2. Awhile back, someone caught me yelling at the game and asked why I was so frustrated given my love of Soul Calibur, to which I instinctively replied, “I love the original, but this is the sequel and I hate this f***ing game.” The fact that I went into both Soul Calibur 2 and its basically identical HD remaster with a totally open mind and came out hating it more than ever speaks volumes about how bad the game really is, and while I’m sure a large number of nostalgia-fueled apologists would be willing to put on their love goggles and argue that I’m wrong about its quality, this is an objectively worse game than what came before and after. Read more →

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker Review

There’s this topic I’ve been toying around with writing about for the longest time, but haven’t got around to as of yet. It has to do with the differences in a normal game-player’s tastes and those of someone who plays through a lot of games to review them (and how that experience with many other types of games that succeed and fail in similar ways makes one less forgiving of flaws), and it’s something that Wind Waker demonstrates wonderfully. Once upon a time, I enjoyed this game greatly and found it to be a refreshing change from the previous games, which is why I decided to replay it in the first place. Going through it again with a critical eye, however, I’ve come to see it as a low point for the series. In fact, I was so disgusted with its busywork that I couldn’t even finish it this time. That’s not to say that some people don’t or won’t enjoy it, but glossing over its flaws because “it’s Zelda and Zelda is good” isn’t possible when you’ve played through enough good and bad games to recognize just how bad Wind Waker’s missteps truly are. Read more →

Conflict: Desert Storm Review

I remember playing through Conflict: Desert Storm (either on the Gamecube or PS2—I honestly don’t remember which anymore) with my younger brother years and years and years ago. There was something strangely fun about playing through the whole game in co-op, helping each other with what we perceived to be a brutally challenging game. Looking back on it now with several games like it under my belt, I see now that it wasn’t really a difficult game so much as it just sucked. Desert Storm is quite possibly one of the worst games I’ve ever played through, and how my brother and I ever managed to finish the game is beyond me. Read more →

Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance Review

Fire Emblem is an obsession for me, reaching down to my very core and bad-touching my soul. It’s crack delivered through sight and sound, a million irresistible things coalescing into something even more amazing, and of all the English-localized games, Path of Radiance is second only to its sequel, Radiant Dawn. This is a game that’s easy to learn, difficult to master, and undeniably addictive to play. Read more →

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time Review

I’m going to say something controversial—The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time isn’t the greatest Zelda game ever made. In fact, it’s not even the greatest Zelda game on the Nintendo 64, an honor that I’d have to give to Majora’s Mask. Still, OoT is probably the most beloved entry in the entire series, and with good reason. Even if it’s technically not the best Zelda game ever, it’s still one of the best games ever made. From beginning to end, it’s full of unforgettable moments that are all but burned on the collective gamer subconscious. It’s also got some tentacle monster stuff, just in case you’ve forgotten that we’re dealing with a Japanese game. I love how willing people are to play into stereotypes. Read more →

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