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 →

Doom & Destiny Review

There was a reoccurring Chris Farley skit on Saturday Night Live where he’d interview celebrities, only to ask them if they remembered various things and follow it up by stating, “that was awesome.” If you removed the self-awareness from that skit, turned it into a game, and centered it around jRPGs, that game would be the comically inept (but not comically effective) Doom & Destiny, a game that indulges in the same brand of do-you-remember without a shred of irony. Put simply, this is a game that only works if you find lazy references to other games the most hilarious thing in the entire world and are willing to overlook a number of major game flaws regarding the writing and mechanics in order to get to them. Read more →

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 →

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 →

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