Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Final Fantasy VII Remake

If you’ve been in the video game community long enough, you’ve likely heard of Final Fantasy VII and its impact on the perception of RPGs. While I wasn’t really around for the initial hype, I wasn’t even five years old when it released, I had always been fascinated by the lore of the game and the subsequent Compilation of Final Fantasy VII media. When I did try to play it on PS1, I didn’t get very far into Disc 1, so I saw Final Fantasy VII Remake as a chance to experience the full story and jumped at the opportunity, even with the hard sell of its episodic release plan. I enjoyed playing this first game, which covers and expands on the Midgar portion of the original game, but I have to admit that it wasn’t quite what I expected.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (Dreamcast)

Note: This review contains spoilers for JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Part 3: Stardust Crusaders

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki may be more well-known now than ever before, but the earliest attempts to bring the series over to the US generally flew under the radar. The first of these attempts was the US release of the JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure fighting game, based on Stardust Crusaders, on PlayStation and Dreamcast in 1999. It released to fairly good reviews, but didn’t seem to sell that well, considering secondhand copies go for at least $90. We had missed the opportunity to get the 2012 PS3 port, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure HD Ver., before it was delisted in 2014 and even though emulated versions of the game exist, we bought a physical Dreamcast copy when we actually saw it so that we could have the most authentic experience. Now that we’ve finally had the chance to play such an expensive game, I can say that it’s very fun, but I wish it didn’t have to cost as much as it does.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

TY the Tasmanian Tiger HD (Switch)

Note: This review contains spoilers for TY the Tasmanian Tiger.

Last year, developer Krome Studios announced a Kickstarter to bring an HD remaster of the original game over to the Nintendo Switch, with the possibility of PS4 and Xbox One ports that would eventually become funded. After having played through all four games in the TY the Tasmanian Tiger series, I found it to be an enjoyable series of games that deserved more general attention, and so I jumped at the chance to support this endeavor. I pledged enough to get a digital copy of the game, since physical copies weren’t an option, and even got a physical soundtrack and digital art book through BackerKit. When asked which system I wanted it for, I opted for the Switch version, both as an excuse to use the Switch and because the Xbox One version wasn’t an option at the time (since I played TY 1-3 on the original Xbox). After getting the chance to play it, I felt that the game held up pretty well and benefited from all the HD improvements.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Stubs - Little Big Man

Little Big Man (1970) Starring Dustin Hoffman, Faye Dunaway, Martin Balsam, Richard Mulligan, Chief Dan George, Jeff Corey Directed by Arthur Penn. Screenplay by Calder Willingham Based on the novel Little Big Man by Thomas Berger (New York, 1964). Produced by Stuart Millar. USA Run time: 150 minutes. Color Western, Comedy, Drama

Before there was Forrest Gump’s retelling of the 1960s and 70s through the eyes of a simpleton who just happened to be at the most critical events, there was Little Big Man’s Jack Crabb as a witness to the Indian Wars of the 1860s and 70s.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Gears 5

Note: This review contains spoilers for Gears 5.

Since I’ve played the previous Gears of War console titles, including Gears of War 4 (a game I never gave a full review for), it felt inevitable to me to play Gears 5, the second installment developed by The Coalition. I even went out of my way to get the version with the Terminator: Dark Fate DLC. When I finally got around to playing this game, I was curious about where this presumed second trilogy was heading, but I left very wary of how a Gears 6 will turn out.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Doom Eternal

As a fan of both Doom (2016) and Doom VFR, Doom Eternal was an easy buy for me, as I immensely enjoyed the fast-paced FPS action of those games and wanted more like it. I also ended up going in partially blind, as I hadn’t seen anything after the initial E3 trailer, so this was a very fresh experience with no unrealistically high expectations. After a delay in receiving my copy, due to a miscalculation related to COVID-19, I sat through and proceeded to rip and tear through the forces of hell. While I had an absolute blast most of the time, I found myself more frustrated during the final stretch, as the minor flaws in this installment’s approach to game design magnified greatly by that point.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Moss - Twilight Garden (DLC)

Last year, a year and a few months after the release of Moss for the PlayStation VR, a free update was released that added access to a special level known as Twilight Garden. I will admit that I honestly did not know about this new content until recently, however once I learned about it, I booted up the game again so I could check it out. After doing so, I felt that, while short, it was an interesting way to expand on the story and gameplay.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

While I have not formally reviewed Ori and the Blind Forest (Blind Forest) as of this writing, I wholly enjoyed the experience due to its gameplay and art direction. When a follow-up game, Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Will of the Wisps), was announced at E3 2017, I was immediately eager to play it to see where developer Moon Studios would take Ori’s story next. Overall, I found Will of the Wisps to be a worthy successor to the previous game, though not without some minor frustrations along the way.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Second Look - Jopo Saves the Universe (PS VR)

Following the announcement of Jopo Saves the Universe, from the mind of Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland (and developed by his studio, Squanch Games), I wasn’t sure exactly what to make of it. I did, however, warm up to it over time once I got a better understanding of its plot and characters, which made it sound as though I might get an experience similar to Rick and Morty. Upon actually getting to play the game, I can safely say this game met those expectations and possibly more.