Kirby Super Star Review

I haven’t reviewed a Kirby game since Kirby’s Dream Land, and that was way back in the first month of this site’s existence, back when I still tagged reviews as “spoilers” and “non-spoilers” because it never occurred to me that the former was an extraordinarily bad idea. Yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking, either. Those days are long gone now, and so it’s strange to suddenly delve back into something Kirby-related. Super Star is a game I’ve owned for a long, long time, though, and I was curious to see how well it’s held up since I played it last (I must have left it unplayed for something like a decade). The answer is “surprisingly well, with one or two caveats,” and it’s made all the more worthwhile by the fact that you can see the mechanics and franchises that would eventually coalesce into Super Smash Bros starting to come together here. Read more →

Illusion of Gaia Review

Illusion of Gaia is a game I’ve finished only two times now, with my very first playthrough years and years ago not being a positive experience. Going through it again for this review, I couldn’t help but wonder why I was so opposed to it in the first place; apart from two terrible puzzles, the game holds up surprisingly well under modern scrutiny, combining Secret of Mana’s type of action-RPG gameplay with a system that eliminates grinding entirely. Add on top of that some vaguely spiritualistic themes (a trademark of developer Quintet, who made Actraiser, Terranigma, and other games that revolve around the conflict of a “good” deity and “bad” deity), and you have a genuinely unique game that manages to hold its own against even the best-known games for the Super Nintendo. Read more →

E.V.O.: Search For Eden Review

Before they swallowed my beloved Squaresoft whole and reduced them to churning out a million and a half remakes of Final Fantasy 3, Enix had a knack for publishing games that had really interesting premises while being let down by sub-par gameplay. Actraiser 2 and Illusion of Gaia are perfect examples of this, being interesting, but not quite to the point where they’re enjoyable games. E.V.O.: Search For Eden falls into that pattern perfectly, being a game where you have the freedom to evolve your character in multiple ways, but that’s ultimately tarnished by repetitive grinding and painful gameplay. Read more →

Secret of Evermore Review

Secret of Evermore is a game that I’ve never beaten. Not only have I failed on multiple occasions to get more than fifteen minutes into it, but it’s so monotonous and mediocre that spending more time than that with it ended up making me angry at Squaresoft; from the game’s mechanics to its characters, everything about Evermore is a complete and utter mess. Of course, this isn’t really a surprise once you look up its history—this was apparently an attempt by Squaresoft’s USA branch to make a successful game by ripping off the popular Secret of Mana and trying to Americanize it. It feels like the cheap knockoff it is as a result, though what hurts more than anything is the sheer potential Evermore fails to live up to. Read more →

Super Mario RPG Review

When I started this site, there was this unspoken rule that I wound up sticking to: “don’t review Mario games.” The reason for this was fairly simple—most everyone has either played or heard of pretty much every Mario game ever made, so I’d be helping absolutely no one. That being said, Nintendo has really been forcing Mario down everyone’s throat in an attempt to sell their new stuff, and it’s gotten to the point where the games aren’t even fun anymore. What’s especially sad about this is that some of the best Mario games out there are being totally forgotten in the deluge of new, unimaginative stuff. Super Mario RPG is one of those forgotten games, a Square-developed RPG that’s not only one of the best games for the Super Nintendo, but one of the best Mario games, period. Read more →

Bubsy in: Claws Encounters of the Furred Kind Review

Confession time: I actually like the first Bubsy game despite the fact that it more or less destroyed my entire life. Where once I was an innocent child too naive to know the meaning of failure, Bubsy came along, spiked my youthful joy to the ground, and rubbed my face in constant Bubsy-centric failures until I had been reborn as a jaded, embittered shell of who I once was. Read more →

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