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 →

NyxQuest: Kindred Spirits Review

The last few reviews I’ve put up have been negative, so I was on the prowl for something that I could enjoy to balance out the scales. That’s when I came across NyxQuest on sale at Amazon for $2.99 (normally priced at $9.99) and figured it looked interesting enough to be worth a try at that price. After looking around the internet a bit, I found the game’s dedicated website where it mentions that it’s “100% DRM-free.” I hadn’t noticed at the time, but the game’s base price on both its website and Steam seems to have been permanently reduced to $2.99, so the sale was a lie. Another red flag turned up before I had even launched the game for the first time; despite the website claiming that the game is DRM-free, it turns out that this is only applicable to the version from that site. The Amazon version with the artificially-inflated base price and Steam version both come with an annoying DRM scheme that requires entering a key, then activating the game via either the internet or phone. Sadly, things only got worse once I actually began playing. Read more →

Endless Ocean Review

As I’ve covered in the past few reviews, it’s been too hot to play PC games, so I’ve been making an effort to tackle older console games and fill out some of this site’s more underrepresented platforms while trying to stay cool. The temperatures are starting to normalize into something a bit more reasonable, but I couldn’t end my little marathon without reviewing a Wii game; at the moment, I’ve only reviewed a single Wii game, that being Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, one of my all-time favorites. Since then, I haven’t covered any despite a stack of Wii games sitting right here next to me. The reason is one of cables: to record Wii gameplay with my HDPVR requires a TV with component cables, and all I’m working with at the moment are HDMI inputs and an older TV that only accepts composite. I got around this by using an emulator for Radiant Dawn and transferring my Wii saves into it, but the tradeoff was that it ran like a slideshow, so I only got screenshots of the first map and the one I was at in my then-current game. I only recently found an adapter that downsamples component to composite, so the Wii and Gamecube are now much more viable to review. Unfortunately for me, I chose to begin with Endless Ocean, a game that I had mixed feelings about when it first released. Those feelings have since deteriorated and snowballed into an avalanche of unbridled hatred toward this boring game and all of the endless stupidity it throws your way. Read more →

Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn Review

When it comes to the Wii, many games stand out among the library for various reasons. Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn is the single greatest of them all, which may be surprising to some given the fact that it doesn’t incorporate motion controls in any way. It can be argued that games on a system so devoted to the motion-control experience should at least have some of that mixed in, but in this individual case it would only serve to distract from the magic, and make no mistake—this game has more magic than a wizard smoothie. Read more →

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