Tag Archives: reviews

Lousy, Shoddy Fun

GODZILLA

Being a Godzilla fan for virtually my entire life has shaped me in a way that I’m only starting to become aware of in recent years. I prefer practical effects over CG. I don’t trust movie and videogame reviews all too much. While a lot of fans—especially in comics—obsess over continuity and timelines, Toho Studios never gave much of a damn about such things for most of the Godzilla movies, so I’ve learned not to care much either. Playing a perfectly designed videogame, reading a perfect comic, listening to a perfect album—all of that is awesome, when everything falls into place and works so well, looks and sounds slick, but…I don’t know. For some reason, that isn’t as appealing to me as something that isn’t quite so perfectly put together. I like seeing when mistakes are made. I like awkward translations, weird cuts, proportions that are somehow off. It feels more human to me. I can relate to it better as an imperfect artist and imperfect person myself. I like it when things get occasionally sloppy. Continue reading Lousy, Shoddy Fun

NaNoRenO 2015 Review

It’s been way too long since I’ve had a major love affair with a quality visual novel, so to whet my appetite while I wait for the next major release, I decided to have a few flings from the array available from this year’s NaNoRenO. My plan is to just sample a few from this appetizing buffet of games, instead of gorging myself on everything that’s available, and here are my thoughts on the first two little morsels that caught my eye.

*****

Speed Dating on the Citadel

Speed Dating on the Citadel

SPEED DATING on the CITADEL??!?!?!?!? Ermahgerd! Sputter! I am nearly incoherent with joy at the prospect!

(Time passes)

Wait.

What?

It’s over already? I played through that in less than 15 minutes. I mean, I read quickly but that was *short.* Continue reading NaNoRenO 2015 Review

Theif

Screenshot 2015-08-20 12.12.48

Ed.: In accordance with Hannah’s wishes, we have refrained from copy editing her review of Thief.

thief 2014

Thief the game

With my short lived life as a gamer girl, I have not heard of the Thief (2014) before, until it was available for free for Xbox live gold members for 360 a few weeks ago. (I have to admit, even with my constant Elder Scrolls Online playing on Xbox One I still check back with good ol’ 360 for free games bi-monthly. Besides, there are way better free games for 360 than One, which is relatively new system and there aren’t as many “good” games that are out of season yet.) The almost monochromatic, mysterious cover art where the guy looks like the merchant from RE4 in his golden days. I knew I would be all in for this game. And who doesn’t secretly adore a shady pale guy covered in black eyeshadow that competes with your favorite raccoon of the backyard? As I’ve stated earlier, my gamer life is pretty new. I’ve never played any games seriously (watching my brother play Nintendo 64 and Sega back in the 90’s doesn’t count, unless it ever did) until the release of Skyrim (2011). I could go on about my first experience playing a console game seriously now and it would be funny to you but I am gonna save that for later where the story is more relative to what I’m writing. Back to our Thief talk, knowing my background, I did not know of the earlier games. All I knew was that I was going to enjoy this game VERY MUCH. Continue reading Theif

SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT

by Brett Marcus Cook

I bought Splatoon a few days after it came out. I’ve been playing it every night since, barring one or two days. I’ve been trying to write about it for a week now. I’m in love with this game and its world and I can’t figure out how to articulate it.

To start, I love the world that this game is built around. The title screen when you load the game is an empty bedroom, presumably belonging to your Inkling character (I chose to play as a girl, of course), with a map of the room on the gamepad’s screen and spots of ink indicating you’ve gone out. Inkopolis is this bustling, lively place where player characters hang around. Music blasts across the hub area from speakers set up in front of the building, which serves as the game’s multiplayer lobby. It feels like Tokyo­to from Jet Set Radio, or the way Shibuya was depicted in the World Ends With You, and I love that the music is actually a part of the world, that what you hear (some of it is known as “squidcore”) really is what everyone listens to in this particular ink­splattering game culture. Continue reading SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT

Life is Strange Episode 1: Totally Angsty Teenager

life is strange

I reached an epiphany about a month into gaming with my deliciously relevant PlayStation 4, and it was pretty depressing. I crunched the numbers—since the new Batman and Star Wars: Battlefront are coming out, and shit, I still haven’t played Inquisition, and Until Dawn looks freaking spectacular—and oh yeah, I basically realized I can’t afford AAA game titles.

I am a grown-ass woman, and making what I make at my full-time job, I cannot afford AAA game titles. I have bills to pay, cats to feed, a roof to keep over my head, yadda yadda yadda—and yet, I do feel the pressing need to be on the edge of entertainment, to keep up with the newest must-play games, to have relevant opinions OK, that living organisms outside of the two furry ones I shovel shit for will actually want to hear.

The solution? Indie games! Apparently they’re a thing on consoles now, too!

(A/N: For everyone’s safety, just assume I’m a time-traveling Martian who hasn’t really touched a console since 2002, and you will understand my dumbshit excitement about things like independent games being sold digitally or streaming television on my gaming system so much better.) Continue reading Life is Strange Episode 1: Totally Angsty Teenager

Let’s Get It On: Seduce Me Style

Previously: Gettin’ On Pigeon Style, Gettin’ It On Detective Style

If you’re a sweet, innocent young(ish) thing like me, finding out that there is a male counterpart to succubi—the incubi—will make your friggin’ week. And then when you find out there’s a free game wherein you can romance one of said hot, sex-demon dudes—now that made my freakin’ MONTH.

I like to give everybody fun nicknames.
I like to give everybody fun nicknames.

Seduce Me Otome Game is a visual novel/dating sim available as a free download for all three operating systems. It’s probably a 15 or so hour game, depending on how fast you read and how many routes you want to finish. It was funded through Kickstarter and has some great things going for it: decent art, good voice acting, and nine romantic options. It’s open-minded about same-sex relationships, and was created with the belief that consent is key to healthy romantic encounters. Continue reading Let’s Get It On: Seduce Me Style

Let’s Get It On: Hatoful Boyfriend Style

all_pigeons

Congratulations! You are the only human (and apparently only female) who gets to attend St. Pigeonation’s illustrious academy for sentient pigeons as its human ambassador. Here you will meet 9 eligible bird-bachelors just waiting for you to woo them and find your soul mate…or are they?

Hatoful Boyfriend is a short dating sim that starts out as a fun, fluffy little game. It’s quirky and doesn’t take itself too seriously, as you can tell by the fact it’s a dating sim wherein you romance PIGEONS. You play as Hiyoko Tosaka (name can be changed to protect her identity) who is a simple, warm-hearted, and unpretentious hunter-gatherer. Per the stereotypes of your average school dating sim, you are starting your first day of the new school year, and everyone you meet just happens to be a hot anime guy…ahem, I mean, bird. Sorry, I get confused because I opted to use the “powerful visualization model” so I got to see the human souls behind all the birds. Continue reading Let’s Get It On: Hatoful Boyfriend Style

Perfect Organism

by Brett Marcus Cook

I can only play Alien: Isolation for an hour or two at a time, once every couple of days usually. And when I do play it, I have a hard time sleeping at night. It isn’t necessarily because of how scary and stressful the game can get, although that is part of it given that I now jolt at every little sound I hear. It’s just that, once I’ve played it a little bit, I spend the rest of the day being unable to think about anything else. Not even Taylor Swift’s brilliant new music video can stop it. It may be a bit of a problem.

For one thing, it’s impossible for me to predict what’s going to happen in this game. First, there are the other people stranded on the Sevastopol with you. Some of them will shoot you on sight without a moment’s notice. Others will yell at you to back off and, if you listen and do so, will leave you alone after that. I hid under an operating table as a man whose partners I’d witnessed the Alien murder came into the room, gun drawn, shouting “I know you’re in here, I just want to talk!” I had no idea if he really wanted to talk or if he was going to kill me for letting his friends die. I didn’t have much time to think about it either, as a big problem with shouting is that you give away your position to the Alien, and, well, the Alien is obsessed with killing. Continue reading Perfect Organism

A “The Last of Us” Review I Meant to Write Months Ago and Now Can’t Remember the Details For

The Last of Us

Several months ago I  had the opportunity to play through The Last of Us, a post-apocalyptic game developed by Naughty Dog. If you haven’t played this game, you really should and soon. Why? I can’t remember because I played it months ago and forgot to tell you about it then, but trust me when I say it’s worth your time.

OH MY GOD! At the beginning of the game, something HUGE happens. If memory serves, it’s terrifying, and you spend a lot of time biting your nails and screaming in terror as you try to navigate through some stuff that has totally slipped my mind. Was it a car crash? Were some guys chasing me? I CAN’T REMEMBER. But it’s possible that both those things happened, and you would be a total idiot to not play that game and re-live the experience that I can no longer remember.

I recollect that I spent a lot of time in hiding, scrounging for ammo and tools to help me along my path to wherever I was going. I seem to remember shooting guys and throwing bombs and running away and running away some more. But it’s possible that all these months later, I’m mixing The Last of Us up with another game, and it was really one of those puzzle games where you swap candies until you can’t anymore and then pay your phone 99 cents for more turns.

Now, maybe at some point the Joker showed up as well, but I can’t verify that at this time, as I’m also trying to write a review of Arkham Asylum.

In short, if you like running away from clicking zombies, throwing bombs, shooting stuff, voice actresses that aren’t Ellen Page, brooding main characters who make questionable moral decisions, a pretty engrossing storyline that I can no longer remember, and possibly the Joker, The Last of Us is for you.

 

Bethany Bryan writes funny things at Welcome to Bethville! and xoJane.