Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine Screenshots

Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine was one of the few games in the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive collection on Steam that I didn’t yet have, so when I saw a bundle that allowed me to pick it and a few other missing titles up, I of course jumped at the opportunity. Turns out I remembered this game being much better than it is. It’s not terrible or anything, but it’s short and has random difficulty spikes that make the last few levels quite a bit easier than those preceding them. Read more →

I Am Setsuna Screenshots

I’ve pretty much phoned in the past few reviews, sticking to smaller, shorter games that don’t require much time to complete. Still, I wanted to end the month with something a bit more expansive, and when I started hearing about I Am Setsuna and its claims of being inspired by the inimitable Chrono Trigger, I knew that it’d be the perfect game to tackle next. For the most part, it manages to be a surprisingly solid game that captures a lot of the comfort of use that CT did while adding its own spin on combat. It’s just too bad that the writing is a train wreck that undermines everything constantly. That’s not the only flaw, of course—there are some questionable design decisions, none of your dialogue choices matter, the whole game takes place in the snow, and the soundtrack is almost exclusively comprised of piano tracks that begin to hammer away at your sanity. All of that could have been forgiven if the writing wasn’t so painfully brain dead, though. Read more →

Spate Screenshots

I can definitely see what Spate was going for. I even like the aesthetic and the way the story ended up resolving. That having been said, there are just too many flaws here to recommend it; as I’m writing this, it’s been out for over two years, and yet there are still a number of spelling problems and weird physics bugs, not to mention a number of occasions where the game seemingly forgets to include puzzles or obstacles. Basically, Spate alternates between being a walking simulator and a platformer, and the gameplay reminded me of Never Alone in too many ugly ways. But hey, I liked the world and the story well enough despite the whole thing only lasting a little over an hour, so a sequel could be interesting. Read more →

Kirby Super Star Screenshots

It’s kind of weird to try and talk about Kirby Super Star because I don’t review many Super Nintendo games anymore. Basically, I’m running out of SNES games I actually own and have been rationing them for those rainy days when I don’t feel like playing through something more modern. It’s been a bit of a rainy month (metaphorically speaking, at least—it’s been so oppressively hot outside that I’d sacrifice my friends to some kind of ancient rain god if I truly believed it would cool things down), though, and I felt like going back and replaying Kirby Super Star. I’d forgotten just how enjoyable it is. Now, I hated on the very first Kirby game way back in this site’s early days, and I stand by it not really being a good game, but Super Star is so thoroughly weird that it still holds up for the most part. It’s also yet another example of a platforming game that includes a mandatory side-scrolling shooter level for no real reason. That’s a bizarre trend that’s lasted over 20 years. Read more →

Amazing Breaker Screenshots

The last game I played was rage-inducingly bad, and the few games that reach that level of badness always knock me off-kilter for awhile. What do you play after something so crushingly disappointing? I tend to gravitate toward simple games that don’t require much of an investment, but none of them caught my eye until I remembered this little Android game called Amazing Breaker that I picked up in an Amazon promotion. I’d played through it twice before and really came to appreciate how well made it was, and while it certainly has its problems, that doesn’t take away from it being an addictive little gem that costs almost nothing. Read more →

Dreamfall Chapters Screenshots

Have you ever played a game that made you angry? I don’t mean the type of anger you feel when you’re invested and affected by a story that intends to make you feel that way, but the type of game so bad that you can’t believe someone can charge money for something so poor and get away with it. Few games have ever made me truly angry like this; Final Fantasy XIII did it, Lifeline did it, Infinity Blade did it, and that’s about it. Until Dreamfall Chapters happened, at least. I loved The Longest Journey and talk about it all the time because it got me into adventure games, and the original Dreamfall was enjoyable enough despite not living up to its predecessor, but Chapters is such a half-baked betrayal of everything that made those games good that it’s rage-inducing. I hate this game, and even that statement isn’t quite strong enough to convey just how pathetic Chapters is. It’s full of plot holes and inconsistencies, padded with some of the most monotonous gameplay I’ve ever experienced, and prone to bugs and performance problems even though this is an episodic game that’s been out in some form since 2014. Lifeline is still the worst game I’ve ever played, but Dreamfall Chapters is a very close second, worse than even Final Fantasy XIII (and they share many of the same story problems). I’ll never buy another game from Ragnar Tornquist or Red Thread Games. Read more →

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