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 →

Trapt Review

The Deception series has always been an old favorite, with the PS1 entries (Tecmo’s Deception: Invitation to Darkness, Kagero: Deception II, and Deception III: Dark Delusion) being some of the greatest games available for the system. That’s high praise given how much gold exists on the original Playstation, and yet it took years before the stars aligned and my Playstation 2 decided to start working so that I could finally play through Trapt, Deception’s sole Playstation 2 entry. I’m not going to sit here and claim that it holds up perfectly, because there are definitely some glaring technical issues at play that sour the experience somewhat. Even if that weren’t the case, the story, mechanics, and characters aren’t quite as varied and interesting as they were in the previous two games. Still, the joy of setting up three traps per room and methodically wiping out groups of villagers/knights/mages who have no realistic chance against you remains every bit as fun as it was in Kagero and Dark Deception, and really, that’s all that matters. Read more →

Okami Review

Ordinarily, I only use this site’s wider format for games I enjoyed overall, but I’m making an exception here because this is going to be long and I need the space. That’s not to say that I hated the entirety of Okami, though—there’s a slice of this game so good that I was able to see why it’s ended up on so many “best games ever made” lists. The first third of the game was painful and unimpressive, sure, but I was totally on board by the second third when things suddenly got awesome. Then the unnecessary, overlong, underwhelming last third of the game happened. How could I possibly recommend a game that I hated two-thirds of? My notes were overflowing with complaints about almost everything from the mechanics to the story to the quest design and even the graphics at certain points, and why it finally got out of its own way and found its own voice only to suddenly return to the same kind of stupidity that plagued the early parts of the game is beyond me. For reference, I played the 2012 HD version available for the PS3, widely considered the definitive version of Okami, so there’s really no excuse for the number of flaws that still exist here. Read more →

Oni Review

I always make a point to mention when I quit a game before the end, and Oni is one of those rare games that I’ve quit. Given how many unbearable games I’ve fought my way to the end of, that should speak volumes about the entertainment value of Oni. First, some back story: I kept hearing about how awesome and amazing and underrated this game is, so I went through the trouble of tracking it down. Thing is, it really isn’t any of those things. Even calling it a mediocre action game is doing a major disservice to mediocre action games because Oni fails across the board to deliver anything resembling entertainment value. Read more →

Deus Ex Review

Deus Ex is an old favorite of mine, but I hadn’t touched it for several years before playing through it again for this review. As it turns out, I had forgotten everything about it with the sole exception of the first level, so I had a unique opportunity to experience the game as though for the first time. I’m happy to report that I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest, because despite a few annoying hiccups early on, Deus Ex is every bit the amazing game it’s always been. 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 →

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