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Old 03-24-2021, 10:58 PM   #61
Hateandhatred
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 24th

Today's challenge is: “Not usually my thing, but...”

Last one from the original template image, and the last 7 themes of the challenge will be ideas given to me by various friends!

Soooo, today could have been two things. Either a turn based RPG, which I universally despise, but I've had enough of those in this challenge. The other option would be a very very passive game, like a visual novel that doesn't have any real skill required (therefore, not like Ace Attorney or Zero Escape). And I decided to go with the latter.



Not too long ago, a friend of mine asked me about a great anime that had H-scenes in it, because a friend of his wanted to watch that, and apparently I was the man of the hour to him for this stuff. I'm not really into hentai, it doesn't really bother me, but it's almost always complete shit. I told him that, but also said I would think about it. A few days passed, and I thought of the Grisaia franchise. Told him that while the anime had some sex, the visual novel had the hardcore stuff, at least the PC version did. I actually had the Grisaia Trilogy on Switch, so around that time, I decided to give it a shot to see if I recommended something that at least made a bit of sense (the Switch version doesn't have porn in it).

Sooooo I started the whole thing, and... Well, at first, I wasn't really impressed. It was entertaining at times, and didn't mind the cast at all, but the cringe was real. However, a few hours in, I found myself in the Amane route, and then this big dramatic flashback started. And holy fuck did the whole thing start blowing my mind.



When it comes to anime, I'm FAR more of a slice-of-life guy than an action/drama/whatever person (so, like, the opposite of what I like in video games I guess), but this massive change in tone got me hooked instantly. The narration was superb, and savored every minute of this 8 hours long arc. There wasn't any choice involved for this whole section, just followed along as the girls (and their teacher) tried to survive their bus crash in the middle of nowhere in a rather relatable fashion, and they all had great personalities as well. This flashback alone made the game worth playing, and that was only one of 5 routes, which all split into 2 other routes each for a bad and good ending each. The other ones aren't quite as good I'd say, but most of them were still really nice.



Once you're done doing all of the routes, you can move on to the second title in the series, which is litterally just a background read for the protag, and I thought the whole thing was quite nice, even though it was a little over the top dramatic. The reason I thought it was great is because I'm not a fan of flavorless protagonists you're just supposed to project into, and I much, much prefer a well constructed character whose perspective you're supposed to warm to and understand separately. I wouldn't say he was a super well constructed protag, but hey, I'll take what it can give me, and I support the design choice.



Then, in the third game, the protagonist is captured and the girls from the previous games unite to save him using the skills the protagonist taught them back then. I thought the whole operation was an incredible thrill ride from start to finish, and the “final fight” at the end was also pretty good. Again, this game is almost all story and no interaction, aside from a few things at the very end, but this convinced me I absolutely had to watch the anime (it wasn't quite as good, but there was no way it could live up to the whole thing anyway, so considering that, it was alright).

Lastly, you have some “what if” and “after story” special features, which are either extentions of girl routes, or silly fanservice, and other stuff like that. Overall, the whole thing provides almost 100 hours of reading content, which may seem like a lot, but I was totally captivated by the whole thing. I guess I did suggest my friend something legit after all!



On a last note, I had actually played a game from that franchise before, a spinoff title on Vita (Japanese only), which was called “Grisaia no Kajitsu Spin-out!? Idol Magical Girl Chiruchiru Michiru”. I got it because it was only text, and I got the platinum on it after like 5 minutes of holding R on the console. I made a silly video out of the whole thing, which I will link after this paragraph. A lot of my friends actually got that platinum using my copy, so it was totally worth the 40$ I paid for it! I think an English version of this was released somewhere at some point, but I've never seen anything about it anywhere.



While the original games were released on PSP, Vita and Windows, the English trilogy is only available on Switch and PC. You'll have to play the PC version if you want the pornographic scenes, and you'll also have to look somewhere other than Steam to find it.

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something something nate lever
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

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Det är okej om djuret är större än du.

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Old 03-25-2021, 10:35 PM   #62
Hateandhatred
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 25th

Today's challenge is: “Best game recommended to me by a friend”.

All right, now we're onto the additional themes that were suggested by friends of mine. This theme was suggested by T-Force.

A couple years ago, I asked Felix if he'd want to do a little challenge with me. We'd each give the other a retro game to complete/master, and go back and forth like that in hopes of expanding our gaming experience beyond what we naturally feel drawn to (reserving a right to veto dumb suggestions, of course). He gave me Atomic Runner, which I beat fairly quickly (found out that the spiky balls were OP against bosses, something Felix was surprised to hear), then he gave me Eternal Champions on the Genesis (he said I could use any character, and only had to beat the game once, but more on that later), and I gave him Keio 2 on the Sega Saturn (and the fucker never even beat it). I went to a local game store, bought the game for 5$, then I completed the Eternal Champions challenge in a rather ridiculous way: I got to the roster in arcade mode which only shows one character at a time, scrolled right twice to see this circus girl called Jetta, didn't even bother to look at the rest of the cast and grinded her until I could beat the game like once every two tries. When I told Felix, I don't know how he felt about it exactly, but he probably thought it was fucking retarded.

After that, I said he could still do Keio for the next round (I don't think he even played it again), and he gave me another childhood game of his, which is the game I'm gonna talk about today: Rocket Knight Adventures, for the Genesis as well.



I didn't own this game, but my friend Phil had it and he agreed to lend it to me for a while. At first, I wasn't too impressed with it, and I thought the first 3 levels had great variety, but were a little boring. Things picked up after that with the 4th level, which was the flying battleship level. There I thought the design was starting to look like something I wanted in a game like this, then on the next stage, it started out with a shmup section, then you were attacking the main enemy base, then you saw your rival, who climbed into a giant robot that's several time the height of the screen and tried to crush you, and then you found a robot of your own while running away, jumped in the cockpit and your cutesy face turns into a pissed off frown, then the screen says “FIGHT!” and then the two robots engage in spiky ball fistycuffs and OH MY GOD WHAT IS THIS GAME?!



And guess what? It only gets crazier from there. You go into outer space (yes, shmup level), the rival is there, and has a laser cannon that can cover almost all of the screen, and then a giant spaceship that can warp and morph into pretty much anything as you destroy its parts, then it's on to the mothership, which has a ton of bosses. You settle the score with your rival, he gets frustrated when you defeat him and blows up the wall behind you, and now you're being sucked into outer space. You have to hold onto some bars to avoid dying while the enemy is trying to make you fall, but eventually you succeed and he's the one who gets sucked outside to die a miserable death.



But oh dear god, you've haven't even seen the best yet. Now you have to defeat the true mastermind, a pig uploaded into a computer that controls a giant robot. A cute boss fight plays as you start beating it up, but then it gets pissed and the regular boss theme plays, but faster and in a very eerie way. You still break it down and the whole mothership gets destroyed. You manage to escape into a tiny escape pod, BUT IT'S NOT OVER YET! As you plummet towards earth, the boss chases you to kill you before you escape, but you're out of ways to attack, so all you gotta do now is survive and hope that atmospheric reentry friction gets the best out of him...



When I first saw that, I had no fucking words to explain what happened. This is stuff made from dreams, and this being one of Felix's favorite games ever is no nostalgia goggles issue, because it definitely stands as one of my favorite Genesis games as well now.

Rocket Knight Adventure is just your average platformer. With a very unique and fast paced rocket mechanic. With incredible and diverse level design across the whole game. With the most unbelievable set of bosses you've ever seen. With some fairly great music and graphics slapped on. No, really, it's crazy good, and you should play it. Felix, thank you for making me play this, although you should finish Keio 2 you stupid fuck kthx.



The OG Ossum 'Possum game is exclusive to the Genesis. The Super Nintendo “version” is called Sparkster, but it sucks anyway.
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FMO AAAs (click on title for replays):
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something something nate lever
Quote:
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I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
Det är okej om djuret är större än du.

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Old 03-26-2021, 04:52 PM   #63
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 26th

Today's challenge is: Game that no ones seems to know.

This theme was suggested by Hakulyte.

Honestly, I could have picked a lot of things if we were talking about your average gamer. I mean, most people I know know at the most about 5 games in this entire challenge so far. Even with some of my more connoisseur friends, I could still have picked some obscure Japan only modern game, and it would definitely qualify. However, I have something better in mind for today.



The game I picked is Blue Reflection, a turn based RPG (yes, another one of those, that doesn't really please me lol) that's very similar to the Persona games. It's also published by Koei Tecmo (the people behind Ninja Gaiden) and developed by Gust (the guys who make the Atelier games). Not exactly small studios, but despite that, and despite the fact that a lot of my friends are into these kinds of games, only one of them had even heard of the title before, and all he knew of the game was a shitty trailer for the Vita version (which is only available in Japanese). I personally had never heard anything about this game either; I just saw it sitting on a shelf in one of my preferred modern gaming hunting spots, and since it intrigued me, I ended up picking it up blindly.



In this game, you play as a former ballet prodigy who can no longer dance due to an injury. She meets with two strange girls and gains the power to transform into a mystical warrior or something (magical girl style) to fight against emotion monsters, predominantly in the other dimension, which she is quite thrilled about since in that form, her leg is no longer injured. The game has two main segments: one is the real world (which is mostly limited to her school and some cutscenes at home) where she can talk to other students, text people on her smartphone, start quests, improve her friendships and whatnot, and the other is the other world, which is governed by strong emotions, and depending on which emotions are in play, the world changes accordingly. You can also find a girl in the real world, trigger an event that will overwhelm her with an emotion, and you'll have to go defeat enemies to bring her back to normal. Really, it's a Persona game. Sometimes, big ass monsters will attack the school in the real world, and you can attack them there as well.



The music is pretty great honestly, and I think the graphics are fantastic, especially in the other world, where everything looks incredibly vivid. The combat system is also surprisingly satisfying, even for a turn based hater like me. Even when it's not your turn, there's a bunch of shit you can do and there's always some kind of passive strategy you have to keep in mind. By the end of the game, you manage a ton of gauges at the same time in order to give yourself an edge, so you really are always doing something, which is great! The attacks you use are also super flashy, and that's also a huge and welcome distraction.



There's one more thing this game is known for (among its small dedicated fanbase, at least), and it's the ungodly amount of fanservice the game gets. It's ridiculous how often you see characters half naked or bathing or trading underwear or grabbing each other's boobs or doing other stupid anime girl shit, to a point where it can become an annoying distraction, but I'd say it doesn't hurt the experience too much if you can deal with this kind of stuff. Personally, I'd say I didn't mind the game taking every excuse to turn the entire school into a gigantic wet t-shirt contest because it never felt like it was the real meat of the game, and there's always something going on I guess.



While I honestly liked this wayyyy more than Persona 4 (the only one I played and completed), I'm not gonna pretend that this is a better product overall. Sure, the dungeons are far better, the visuals are uncomparable and so is the gameplay, and the main character is honestly cute and fun to get into, but it's not without its shortcomings. You do so little stuff in the real world, it can feel pretty constricting. There are also only 3 playable characters, so there's not much room for variety or customization. The biggest flaw is probably how the game is all about emotions, but sucks ass at conveying anything other than depression. But hey, I still liked it, and I think any Persona fan should check it out and give it a shot as they'll probably have a great time with what this has to offer.



Blue Reflection is available on Vita (only in Japanese), PS4 and PC.
__________________


FMO AAAs (click on title for replays):
ETERNAL DRAIN [Heavy] (67)
,
Fast Asleep (67)
,
dr1 (73)



Quote:
Originally Posted by rayword45 View Post
something something nate lever
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Humor, pls keep away if easily triggered
I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
Quote:
Originally Posted by the sun fan View Post
SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
Det är okej om djuret är större än du.

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Old 03-26-2021, 06:53 PM   #64
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

I really like the transformation!
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[sven]: martin va remplacer la luzerne de son ragout de pelouse par du weed
[sven]: y va manger ca en souriant comme le dude de quaker
[haku]: that quaker dude looks like he just got laid
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Old 03-27-2021, 07:00 AM   #65
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

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I really like the transformation!
I rly like ur sig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayword45 View Post
something something nate lever
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Humor, pls keep away if easily triggered
I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
Quote:
Originally Posted by the sun fan View Post
SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
Det är okej om djuret är större än du.
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Old 03-27-2021, 08:01 PM   #66
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 27th

Today's challenge is: Dead franchise you wish would be revived.

This theme was suggested by Evascythe.

I had a lot of options going into this one, yet I kinda knew from the start what I wanted to talk about. I'm gonna talk about Atlus' Trauma Center series, and besides general talk about the franchise itself, I'll focus on my my favorite game in the series (which is also my favorite game on the system itself), which is Trauma Center: Second Opinion.



I was never a huge fan of motion controlled games (until recently, as VR is a completely different experience), so I definitely had a weird relationship with the Wii. There were a few things I really liked about it, such as being able to play Gamecube games on it, and having an open arms setup with the controllers (with the Wiimote and the nunchuck, something I could only replicate using the weird Phantasy Star Online Keyboard Gamecube controller). That being said, It is still the only console my family went for during that generation.

Soon after it became obvious we would be getting one (and my dad did buy it on a whim at Walmart, which pissed off my mom), I started looking up games for the system, not wanting to be stuck with Wii Sports for like 2 years before I got anything else, and while watching trailers and other gameplay videos on a French video game website, I immediately became interested in Trauma Center after watching the French dudes play it. I ended up renting 3 games soon after we got it, which were Mario Galaxy, the Trauma Center game, and some other game my sister got for herself that I can't recall (I don't think I even played that other one and I'm pretty sure it was just some gay shovelware, and just in case you find my previous statement weird, know that video renting stores are still alive and well across Quebec).



I played Mario Galaxy for a bit, then started playing Second Opinion on hard difficulty and beat it in one sitting through a 30 hours session (excluding the extreme stages, I sucked at them). I just couldn't put the game down, I was too engrossed in it. I thought the difficulty scaled very nicely, yet always remained very challenging. I loved the storyline and the characters themselves, and the last level made me hold my breath for most of it because it was simply too epic.

That's about it for how I was introduced to the game, now let me explain what it actually is. It's basically a surgeon sim game, where you use a bunch of medical tools to perform operations on patients. At first, it's all about regular procedures, just to warm you up to the many tools at your disposal, then you start using a special power called a Healing Touch (its effect varies depending on the character you're using), then you start doing some unconventional stuff like fighting against bioengineered giant bugs (called GUILTs) causing lacerations all over the place and stuff like that (you also have to disarm a bomb). The key thing that made the game great (gameplay wise) in my opinion is that it's all about speed and precision, and it does a great job at sharpening your gaming instincts.



Upon finishing the game (or getting stuck on the extreme stages, but that's just an extra), I went to bed, then I looked up the series a little more, because I was still craving what it offered me. Turns out that besides the DS game that Second Opinion was a remake of, there was another game about to come out, New Blood, so I eagerly waited for it to be released, then got it pretty soon afterwards. It wasn't quite as good as the other one, and I found it to be much harder, but it was still a ton of fun.

Not too long after, I moved, and the third Wii game in the franchise (Trauma Team) sort of flew under my radar. I did get it eventually, and... It was really weird. I thought some of the characters sucked, and there were some drastic changes in flow and gameplay. But I still liked it. It's great, but doesn't shine when compared to the rest of the series. Then many, many years later, Felix gifted me a coral pink DS Lite that came with a ton of shovelware and a hot pink jewel box, which gave me a chance to play the only game in the series I hadn't played before, which was Under the Knife 2 (or Second Opinion 2 going by the Wii title). Now, maybe I suck ass with the DS, but this was way, wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy harder than the Wii games, mostly because you couldn't simultaneously switch tools while operating. It was still pretty fun, but I couldn't even beat the last stage on normal difficulty, and I felt like this had little to do with my reflexes or anything, so I chalk that one up as a slight disappointment.



All that being said, every game in the series was released in the same time period. Under the Knife 1 and 2 are available on the original DS, and Second Opinion, New Blood and Trauma Team are Wii exclusives. Considering how wildly the Switch has taken off, I'm very surprised that Atlus hasn't tried to bring it back, as it seems like a perfect console for that. I'd really, really like to jump back into it, preferably with a more modern take on the concept. But we'll see if it ever does.

__________________


FMO AAAs (click on title for replays):
ETERNAL DRAIN [Heavy] (67)
,
Fast Asleep (67)
,
dr1 (73)



Quote:
Originally Posted by rayword45 View Post
something something nate lever
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark Humor, pls keep away if easily triggered
I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
Quote:
Originally Posted by the sun fan View Post
SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
Det är okej om djuret är större än du.

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Old 03-28-2021, 09:03 AM   #67
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 28th

Today's challenge is: Game with favorite music.

This theme was suggested by xMUSICxMASTERx (aka Volupture).

Alright, this is the big one I had to stretch my interpretation of certain themes for, since it fitted almost everywhere. And I'm actually going to cheat and pick two games for this one, as there's a lot to say here. That being said, the games are closely related, so it's not much worse than it was on Day 2, and they're games made by the same company, actually. Still, this is going to be a heck of a post, so let's get into it right now.

I'm talking about Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana and Ys IX: Monstrum Nox. Although if I'm being completely honest, Ys VIII is the one with the ever so slightly superior soundtrack, so I'll focus on it a little more. It's not exactly an obscure franchise, but it was never super popular in the West, despite how the recent titles were critically acclaimed. Before VIII came out, the only one I had played was Ys: The Vanished Omens on the glorious Master System, and it kind of sucked. The bump combat (basically, you don't have an attack button, you just hug your enemies to deal damage) was just really weird, though I still thought it was cool for what it was.



Fast forward a few years, and I ended up hosting Keith at my dad's place to help him ease into his new Quebec life. I was definitely intending to stimulate his interest into a broader spectrum of video games as well, and I'd say it worked out rather well. Among other things, he mentionned being a huge fan of Final Fantasy, which honestly made me cringe a lot, so I tried to introduce him to other franchises. I made him play the demo for Tales of Berseria, and it definitely worked out as he got the game himself pretty soon afterwards. On that high note, I told him to keep an eye on NIS America's games, as they were porting a new Ys a few months from then. I had seen screenshots and some online talk about it, but that was it. We looked up some trailers together, and I ended up being the one whose interest spiked this time around.

I preordered the Vita version at a local store, and picked it up on release, as I was absolutely stoked about this one. I mentionned in a previous write up that I've rarely felt let down by a game I was anticipating, and this one sure as hell isn't an exception. If it wasn't for Gravity Rush 2, this would probably be my favorite game of all time. I was actually the second person in the world to platinum the North American Vita version, and then while looking up the trophy lists and regions of the game, I found out you could platinum the game a total of 6 times. There are three regions with separate lists, those being Asia, Europe and North America, and they all have two versions of the game in the PS4 and Vita versions. “Cool”, I thought, “time to buy the same fucking game 5 more times”. I did just that and completed all of them for a total of 12 playthroughs. I also bought a 7th copy just because I wanted one with the Collector's Box. And I'm probably gonna buy an 8th copy in the future (for the Switch, this time), just because the reversible cover art is incredibly gorgeous. I have problems. On a side note, I did the same thing for Ys IX, but I preordered all three versions as soon as they were available. But more on that one later.



It's a little hard to explain what the story is without spoiling the entire thing, so BEWARE OF SIGNIFICANT SPOILERS IN THIS PARAGRAPH. True to Ys tradition (with the sole exclusion of Ys Origin), the story covers a travelogue written by a man known as Adol Christin, the crimson haired adventurer. While travelling on a ship on his way to the unknown and working as a sailor to pay for the fare (along with his partner in crime, Dogi the wall crusher), a giant creature showed up and wrecked the ship as they were passing by the cursed isle of Seiren. Finding himself stranded on said island, he tries to round up survivors to work with them and figure a way out, though he himself is more interested in exploring the mysterious area than in saving his own skin. Soon after arriving however, he starts being plagued with weird dreams in which he observes an unknown civilization and its Maiden of the Great Tree, Dana Iclusia. While scouting the island, he figures out that this Dana is actually from the Jurassic era, and was a leading religious figure for her dragonkin people. Somehow, both Adol and the Dana of the past learn to communicate, and she helps him progress in his adventures. They eventually find the lady in question sleeping in a tree, seemingly for millions of years, and the group now tries to figure out what happened to her people, and what are all the strange things happening on this island, such as the resurgence of the dinosaurs, which should have been impossible. It turns out that Dana was chosen as the eternal watcher of her entire civilization as her people was brought to extinction through a process that was occuring once again in the current time. Dana fought valiantly against her fate, but even though she failed, she refused to ascend with the other watchers of the past, and managed to stick around until Adol's time to fight the process once more. With their new friend, Adol's party shifts to a new focus and hopes to find a way to stop the extinction event and thus save humankind. I'm not gonna go so far as to say what happens from there, but it's a great story in my opinion.



While this is undoubtedly a RPG, this is NOT of the shitty turn based variety. It's a high flying, blazing fast action RPG, almost like a Musou game. Each of the 6 playable characters has a wide array of offensive skills, and a decent amount of movement based skills as well. Design wise, the dungeons are mostly designed to look like natural formations, and it's therefore not just a bunch of crypts and temples that exist just to be dungeons basically. You'll instead have jungles, forests, mountains, caves, stuff like that, and I think this is one of the strongest points of the game. Hell, this is probably the only game in which the “water temple” is arguably the best dungeon. Along the way, you also gain adventure gear, which lets you progress to new areas in different ways, much like Link would with his hookshot, power gauntlets and whatnot. Speaking of Link, I want to say that as a life long 3D Zelda fan, the new Ys games shit on the entire Zelda franchise. So please, take notes and give them your attention. Praise Falcom. Oh and as side note, sure, the graphics arent super detailed or anything, but considering it was designed as a vita game originally, it holds up really well. And it's bright and colorful, which is personally all I could ask for.



But what about today's theme itself? The music? Oh fuck yes. It's the very best, at least to me. The majority of the game is balls to the walls power metal, with some tasty violin licks mixed in, and it works incredibly well with the gameplay and context. I honestly think I could round up my top 3 video game music tracks of all time with this game, and my top 5 by including Ys IX, and I wouldn't feel like I'm pushing it. Mitsuo Singa might take some flak for his hentai work, and he may be a one trick pony, but he and the JDK Falcom Band are fucking geniuses. “A-to-Z” is the true ending's final boss' theme, and hands down the best video game track I've ever heard in my life. “Deadly Temptation” is the regular boss theme, and probably my favorite boss theme as well across all of gaming. Then you have stuff like “Hope Alive” which plays at the climax of the prehistoric Dana side of things, which is not really the greatest track on its own, but within story context and with the accompanying visuals and sound effects, it carries a lot of weight. You also have the orchestral theme song, which brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. And that's already 4 all time great songs, and there's more than those in this game for sure.









This seems like a good place to start talking about Ys IX as well, as the fantastic music found in this game doesn't really need much context at all. All you need to know is that it's set in a fictional Paris of yore, specifically in the gothic era. And you can again hear some of that glorious power metal, coupled with harpsichords and even fucking saxophone, and yes, it works really well. All of the Grimwald raid themes are fantastic battlefield themes, like “Lacrima Crisis”, then you have stuff like “Cloaca Maxima”, which is just a very interesting track overall, and is a dungeon theme in-game. The theme that plays when facing strong enemies is “Feel Force”, and it has more of a prog metal feel instead, and it's really great too. The big, killer song from this game is “Norse Wind”, which is a loop that lasts over 2 minutes long and acts as a theme for... A gigantic open field. If this was Ocarina of Time (pardon the Zelda references, but both franchises are quite similar, so it's only fair), this would be Hyrule Field's theme. That is absolutely crazy. Like with VIII, there are also a ton more legendary tracks in here, like the main city theme, but I don't think the soundtrack (or even the game as a whole) is quite as legendary to me as what you had with the previous title, but it's just a tiny difference. The game itself did a few things better, but overall I think it gets outshined. Ys VIII has better colors, slightly better music, better level designs, better story, but Ys IX has better balance, movement, exploration and graphics. Opinions vary a great deal on that topic, but I think we can all agree they're both fantastic.









I'm not gonna go too much in depth about this one, but I'll still say a few things about it. I actually started playing the Japanese version as soon as it was released, and it took me just under a month to complete it. If you wonder how it's possible to 100% a game that's only in Japanese without a walkthrough, let's just say it's the kind of skill you might develop if you're a kid growing up without knowing a word of English. I remember having to “brute force” Metal Gear Solid as a kid, so it was a similar kind of experience, and I still have the luxury of using Google Translate whenever I wanna read what something is saying. This was also not the first time in recent history I went in blind into a huge foreign game, and another game like this might be coming out sooner than you'd think. Wink wink nudge nudge.



And speaking of walkthroughs, being the insane fuck that I am, I'm actually the one who wrote and posted the 30 000+ words walkthrough on Playstationtrophies.org, about 2 months before the English release. I bought the very computer I'm using right now just to do this, and I'm actually in the process of writing a new one that's better suited for the English version. And since I don't do things halfway, I also decided I wanted to be the first and fastest person to platinum the North American version of the game, since I had an obvious edge over everyone else. It turned out to be impossible to be first, because a couple journalists with review copies already got the platinum trophy, and I couldn't do anything about it. However, I did manage to be the first to do it post release, and also the fastest to do it as well, which I performed on stream. A 32 hours long stream, for a 32 hours long run.



I FUCKING love Falcom's modern games.

Ys VIII is out on Vita, PS4, Switch and PC. Ys IX is out on PS4 only, but will be coming soon to PC and Switch as well. And you should play them. Hell, Ys VIII even came out on mobile, and it looks great! You could always give that version a shot!

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something something nate lever
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

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Old 03-28-2021, 01:21 PM   #68
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

ok blue reflection looks cute as hell WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE
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Old 03-28-2021, 05:56 PM   #69
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ok blue reflection looks cute as hell WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE
It is cute as hell! And I have no idea why this game is still crazy expensive. Sure, the physical version, I can wrap my head around, considering how there's rarity in play, but I have no idea why the digital version is so expensive. Hakulyte checked out the DLC set for the game, and it's all some serious bullshit as well.

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something something nate lever
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Old 03-29-2021, 06:59 AM   #70
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 29th

Today's challenge is: Game you played as a joke but enjoyed unironically.

This theme was suggested by sanzath.

As was hinted yesterday, today's another Japan exclusive, and a game I'm about a thousand hours in and that I'm trying to make a decent strategy guide for. It should be the Magnum Opus of my “guide” career, because I don't think I could ever top this project. And all this for a game I bought because I thought of it as a joke...



To be fair, I wasn't the only one who thought of it as such, and I learned of the game the same way everyone else did. I randomly asked a friend of mine to introduce me to a game I had never heard of that I'd absolutely need in my collection, and he introduced me to this insanity: there's a sandbox picture mode in the game that our lovely nerds in the land of the rising sun have taken in a very cursed and you-are-going-to-hell direction. Also, the game is notorious for having the longest title in gaming history, which, when translated, reads as follows: Summertime High School: A Young Man's Notes—How a New Exchange Student Like Myself Ran Into His Childhood Friend on the School Tour, Then for Some Reason Became Super-Popular with the Girls for His Daily Scoops on the School Photography Club Even Though He Only Takes Panty Shots, and What He Thinks as He Goes on Dates During His Summer of Island School Life.

Doesn't exactly roll right off your tongue now, right? But what is it? Well, it's pretty unique, so I can't really compare it with any one game, however I can try to explain how it works. It's an open world game in which you play as a student attending summer classes on an island. The world advances linearly (like it does in Majora's Mask, except over the course of almost 3 months instead of 3 days) at a slightly faster rate, but there are way to make it skip ahead to avoid having to waste time idling or something. You can take a leak to skip ahead about 15 minutes, take a nap in the nurse's office, work a day shift at a summer job, stuff like that. An interesting aspect of this is that there's “almost” no real way to tell the time other than finding a clock on a wall somewhere and looking at it. I say “almost” because you can make a save, then look at your savefile, and it will say what time it is.



This game isn't really about studying however, but interacting with the students, citizens and island workers, so it's a bit more like Animal Crossing if I have to compare it with anything. It's fairly big too, and there's a decent amount of stuff to do in there. It can also get pretty crazy, like meeting a god at a shrine or whatnot. The main set of quests would be those having to do with the photography club, which the main character is a part of. Those usually involve interviewing various people on the island in order for the club to write a blog article about it. Despite what is hinted in the game's title, taking pictures of panties, while being something you can do, is super counter productive. It permanently messes up your diary entry for that character by displaying a photo of whatever underwear they were wearing during that day instead of their portrait, which, if you care about trophies, makes it really hard to complete the whole album of every single person that visits this island over the course of those 3 months, plus, if you are noticed, it damages your reputation, and might lead someone to call the cops on you.



There is no huge, long term consequence for being arrested other than having your reputation lowered a lot, but it's better to avoid it anyway. You can raise your reputation by completing sidequests, giving gifts, selecting the best options in dialogs, returning lost money, and being an overall good person. You can lower it by raising havoc, bumping into people, running them over with a bike, crawling on the floor, looking at women's underwear, kicking people and so on. You could say the whole thing is a mix of Majora's Mask, Animal Crossing and Grand Theft Auto. With a huge anime slice-of-life skin. And even though the game is made by the same people who are behind Senran Kagura (the character models even look like they're from the same franchise), it is actually quite wholesome overall.



It's a shame I cannot understand a word of what is going on, because honestly I at least feel like I'm playing something really interesting. I've gotten a grasp on how to get every ending (there are over 300 characters on the island, and about 15 of them have their own ending with the main character, some of which are exclusive to NG+) even though it was an absolute nightmare to figure out. I like that there is so much to do in your free time as well, and even though the game's mechanics are a little clunky, it feels like you're playing something that the devs put some serious efforts into. I really hope to finish my guide for it, which might make the other trophy hunters consider importing the game, which in turn is the slightest chance I've got to help the game getting a western localization (it's incredibly unlikely to happen, but I'm doing what I can).

On an aesthetical note, while the game itself doesn't quite look like the sharpest thing ever made, it is still bright and colorful, which is not unlike the modern Falcom games. The main theme can get a little repetitive, but it never ended up bothering me a huge lot.



The game is available on PS3 and PS4. While there's no region locking on these systems, do know that this game is extremely import unfriendly, mostly due to how much Japanese you need to know in order to truly play it. Lastly, major shoutouts for the dedicated Japanese wiki of the game, which at least lets me know where something is happening on any given day. If I didn't have that, I'd be looking at a 10 000 hours project instead.

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something something nate lever
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I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

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Det är okej om djuret är större än du.
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Old 03-30-2021, 10:43 AM   #71
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 30th

Today's challenge is: Cereal Box Game.

This theme was suggested by xXOpkillerXx.

I'm a little disappointed today. I really wished to have my entire grid free of PC exclusives, but Oppiie really threw a wrench into those plans. While doing research on it, I was counting on Japan to have some sort of Famicom cereal box release, but no dice, since apparently that's a Western thing. That's too bad, because I would have taken any weird mahjong/pachinko garbage over a PC game (you know, the kind that littered those illegal multicarts in the late 80s and early 90s). Then, upon learning how Europe was also into cereal box bonus games, I hoped that they at least had some micro computer game, since that would be a bit more interesting to talk about. But that didn't happen either. There were some DOS games early on, so at this point I'll just throw the white flag and talk about a DOS game you can actually say a bunch of things about.



I don't actually hate computers or PC gaming, far from it. I think they're the most powerful machines to play on, and with certain genres, like FPS and RTS games, they're by far the go to platform, and I'm 100% ok with that. If you're into modding or fanmade stuff, they're also the first choice, and they come with insane multiplayer, multitasking and broadcasting convenience. Really, PCs are great. But my personal love for pc gaming has long since died. It died on the day I became a video game collector, where my focus has shifted primarily to beautiful plastic and dedicated systems, which became a necessary part of the experience to me. I know a tiny bit of PC games do get physical releases nowadays, but it's a dead art in my mind. I can respect a collection featuring many individual builds from a variety of eras, since in my mind it works like having a collection of micro computers (one of these days, ZX Spectrum, one of these days), but I can't buy and store everything. And since this challenge is also a very personal thing to me, well... That's why I was so adamant not to include PC games. Oh well.



Anyway, I'll talk about Chex Quest. I know, I know, very predictable, but there's a very good reason why I picked this one. Not because it's the best one, I haven't even played it, I've only watched part of a speedrun of it after seeing the AVGN's episode on the game. Also not because it's the one cereal box game that's still being played by a significant amount of people to this day. I picked it because LimitedRun Games rereleased a massive collector's edition of the game for 150 fucking dollars, and it's the most amazing thing ever. If this was a console port with the same amount of goodies, it would be sitting on my shelf as we speak.

For those who don't know, this is a DooM clone that is breakfast themed (too bad that's not today's theme, else I would have picked Captain Novolin (or Captain Diabetes, you pick) for the SNES instead, which has a lot to be said about, starting with how it was never sold in stores, but given to diabetic kids by physicians to teach them how to manage their sugar levels and insulin dosage). Like I said, I haven't actually played it, but it looks pretty cool, and all of Doomguy's arsenal is in there as mods for the Zorcher, a special remote that pacifies breakfast aliens. Other than that, well it plays like DooM, but it's not like they were straight up reusing levels or anything, it's its own project. And there's no E1M1 theme in there, or anything close to that, which is really disappointing.



And that's about all I'll say about it, since that's all I know about it, and this challenge should be more about my knowledge of the game rather than me doing research on games to then talk about them. That by itself is kinda sad, because I used to collect these games as a kid. I'm pretty sure I had all of the cereal box games released in Quebec from 1995 onwards, but despite that, I must admit that Chex Quest is the King of the “genre”. RIP to the Tycoons and Age of Empires of the world.

Chex Quest is a PC exclusive. Today was kinda lame, I apologize!

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something something nate lever
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I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
Det är okej om djuret är större än du.

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Old 03-30-2021, 11:23 PM   #72
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge



March 31st

Today's challenge is: Favorite Sports Game.

This theme was suggested by thesunfan.

Here we are, FINAL DAY OF THE CHALLENGE! And this another obvious one, so no need to think about it too hard. It's also pretty funny, since both Evascythe and T-Force wanted to give me a sports game theme, but they both had second thoughts. Greg is a little bit of a major tool for being the one to suggest the theme since he asked me about it a few months ago, unless he wanted me to talk about it some more. I do not mind that one bit however, since today, I'm talking about Windjammers. And Windjammers kicks ass.



Before getting into it, I have to explain an additional rule I made for myself when I got this suggestion. It wouldn't have changed anything since I love Windjammers, but I wasn't going to include non “ball” sports games. It's unfair to compare a football game with a racing or fighting game, so I don't want anyone thinking “Herp Derp, you didn't even think about F-Zero GX, woooooooooooow what a gamer”. Besides, when people mention sports games, they're not talking about games like that, but instead whatever FIFA, NHL or NBA 2K whatever game is out.

While planning for this challenge, I tried to at least have one game representing every major player in the video game industry. There's been games for Nintendo, SEGA, Sony, even one each for Microsoft, NEC and Atari. I feel like this list is missing one more company, which mostly left its mark in the arcade market, but who still released what was once hailed as the Rolls-Royce of home consoles, the Neo Geo (AES or MVS, but I'm not going into that, nor am I qualified to). And that's what Windjammers is on.



I've known about Windjammers ever since LimitedRun announced they would release it for Vita and PS4, but I had never actually played it. My first time having a crack at it was while I was in Montreal. I was wearing a Hatsune Miku wig that a friend gave to me because he found it uncomfortable to wear, then we went to an arcade bar. When I saw that they had this game there, having at least seen how it works, I immediately asked Felix to play it with me. We did just that, and I was really impressed at how fast it went, how the power moves worked, and how you could just slide all across the field. I sucked big time at it, but I thought it was awesome.

Shortly after that, a friend of mine who works in an independent game store messaged me and asked me if I was interested in a collector's edition of Windjammers for the PS Vita. Naturally, I said I was, and picked it up not long after. I immediately started grinding for it, and even borrowed someone else's console (and bought him the game too) to grind away at that online multiplayer trophy on my own. Getting the platinum trophy was actually really hard, as the arcade mode is no joke, but I enjoyed every second of it.



That's it for my experience with the title, now about the game itself. The game is actually a Frisbee game, and is known in Asia as “Flying Power Disc”. There aren't any differences between the Asian and western versions other than one of the characters (who represented korea) was palette swapped to represent the UK instead. Your goal is to either shoot the disc in the opponent's goal (sort of like how you play air hockey) or have it land on the ground with your opponent unable to catch it in time. There are some bumpers in between the fields for an element of randomness as well. A game is won by winning 2 sets, and a set is won by getting 12 points. Goals either give 3 or 5 points depending on where the disc goes through, and throwing it on the ground on your opponent's field is worth 2 points.

You should also know that this is to Frisbee what the Prince of Tennis anime is to Tennis, meaning you can expect all sorts of fireball launching and physics breaking moves in this game, complete with attack names typical of a Japanese anime. There are also 6 playable characters. They each represent a country, and all come from a different sport. There are guys from Germany, Spain, the USA, Italy or the UK/South Korea (depending on which version of the game you are playing, as mentionned before), and also a Japanese girl. They all throw, receive and move differently depending on their builds, but the real difference lies in their special attacks. The Japanese girl throws can throw it in a snaking pattern reminiscent of an Asian dragon, the UK/Korea guy can throw it against the wall which makes it go forward like an electric buzzsaw, and so on. Some characters are also more likely to be thrown in the goal along with the disc if it's thrown hard enough at them, and you can reverse special attacks against their original users.



Graphics wise, like most of what is on Neo Geo, there is absolutely nothing to complain about. It looks perfect, and I also love the referee maknig the calls. I wouldn't listen to the soundtrack on its own, but coupled with the sound effects, I can almost feel the arcade excitement as though I was playing in an actual arcade, much like the way I felt the first time I played it. One more thing to say about this is that there is a sequel to Windjammers that was announced 2 years ago and that is supposed to come out sometime soon on the Switch, which, like Cuphead, was also a title that factored in heavily in me buying the Switch earlier that I otherwise would have. It doesn't look all that great in comparison, but since I haven't had my fill of the original game, I'm looking forward to that one as well.

In between some of the matches on arcade made, you also had some minigames. One involved throwing a disc with a dog by your feet, and you'd control the dog as ran for the frisbee while dodging and jumping over various obstacles. The other one was a bowling minigame, and you'd just throw the disc at some bowling pins.



The modern console version of the original game is quite faithful to the old school version, and you should feel obligated to watch the trailer for it, as it ranks among the greatest game trailers of all time in my opinion, and I'd say it is tied for my favorite trailer along with Ace of Seafood.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IuCM-L5Um4

This is another ludicrously expensive game on the original system, costing a 4 digits figure, but honestly that's par for the course for the Neo Geo nowadays. Otherwise, you can get the rerelease on PS4, PS Vita and Switch.

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something something nate lever
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I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

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Old 03-31-2021, 06:55 AM   #73
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D A T A Y E E T
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Charu the red-nosed Snivy
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All of the other Snivies
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All in all I would say that Charu not only won this game, his play made me reconsider how I play it.
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Old 03-31-2021, 11:08 PM   #74
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

April 1st

Today's challenge is: Recap and afterwords.

Wow, it's finally over. I've gotta admit, it was really fun to write these, though sadly, with my messed up, overloaded work schedule (I haven't had a day off since like halfway through February, with sometimes multiple shifts per day) it ended up being extremely strenuous to keep up in the second half of this challenge.

There are a few interesting things I'd like to point out. First of all, even though a lot of this was about my personal experiences with gaming in general, I haven't actually picked anything from the 5th and 6th generations, which are probably the most well represented in people of my age group, and I'm no exception to this. There are a lot Nintendo 64, Playstation 1 and 2, Xbox, Saturn and Gamecube games I could have talked about, but I guess that wasn't happening this time around (No, fuck the Dreamcast, retarded overrated console, that's it I said it, shots fired). I'll probably have to do another challenge like this with a similar set of rules, with an additional one being that I shouldn't be allowed to use any title I've used in this one, because it feels just wrong. I can tell myself that I've had a Neo Geo and a GBA game, which sort of counts for each of the missing generations, but that's not a very satisfying perspective. Plus, there isn't even a Mario game in this thing, and that was in consideration for favorite active franchise, lol. So yeah, sometime in the future, I might do this again.

Another thing that's strange to me is the genre representation in this challenge. Sure, ok, I was bound by the themes and rules and could not freely talk about everything, but it was still pretty bad. There isn't a single rhythm game in all of this, and it's my favorite genre of all time. I did have consideration for the Project Diva games for “Favorite Active Franchise”, and I would have loved to talk about the spinoff games as well, like Uta Kumi 575, IA/VT Colorful and Miracle Girls Festival, but the fact that I'm not a huge fan of Future Tone ruled it out, unfortunately. I also did mention that the game I was always coming back to could have been either Stepmania or FlashFlashRevolution, but my “no PC” rule killed those options. There are also 3 turn based RPGs (and fucking Heavy Rain), and that's just awful proportional representation of my personal interests. Finally, I also feel like I started leaning too deep into the anime games in the second half, and I know some people really dislike those, so a little more variety wouldn't have hurt.

Despite this, most of the games on this list are among my favorite games of all time, many of which were my #1 picks on whatever systems they were on, and I'm really curious to know if people who have kept up and read all of my entries have a better understanding of why I like video games and what I like in them. Speaking of this, I have gotten feedback that I was picking too many “obscure” titles from a few people, and I'm wondering if this is a problem. I don't think the majority of them are all that obscure, but very few are what you'd call “mainstream games”. I can see Cuphead and Breath of the Wild being that, with maybe Heavy Rain and Other M being slightly in that territory, and the rest being games that, say, my parents would have have never heard about. On the flipside, It's not like I only talked about unreleased prototypes and shit like that, and that's probably what some other people would have prefered reading about. At the end of the day, I was mostly putting myself through this for my own satisfaction, as it's yet another way to do something out of my general interest in video games. I still like to hear what people think, however, since that's also a super fun part of the hobby.

I also feel a little sorry that my approach to this challenge was rather inconsistent, but to be fair, I went in a little blindly. The only days I knew for sure what I was gonna write (or had anything else pre written for) were the final 5, the rest I just crammed in on a day-to-day basis. I also wanted to keep these short and easy to do daily, but that quickly went out the window. I also wish I started making gifs earlier on, since those are so much more fun to watch whenever they're appropriate, as they tell far more than still images without making people have to click links or anything. That sucks, because some of the earlier games I talked about, I would have gone far more in depth with (looking at you, Gravity Rush 2). That being said, I still feel satisfied with the end result.

Lastly, special thanks to Phil and Felix among others whose names came up many times through this challenge, and this really did put into perspective the influence you and a couple others have had in my gaming life. Most of you guys are friends I made through our shared interest in the field, and that too led me as a gamer and a human being. Y'all r0xx0r my b0xx0rz off. Can't wait to expand dong some more with you bromingos.

Again, I'm open for suggestions for whenever I decide to do something like this again, so please slide into my DMs if you have anything to suggest or if you simply wanna talk games, since that shit gets me fired up.

Hope y'all enjoyed!

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something something nate lever
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I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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Old 03-31-2021, 11:09 PM   #75
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

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D A T A Y E E T
Rest in pepperoni
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something something nate lever
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I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
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SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
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Old 04-8-2021, 05:32 PM   #76
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

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as a huge zelda fan I hate botw for what it does to traditional zelda
I love wind waker though it's the best give it a shot
if this is the case then oot must be your least favorite for being as on rails as it actually is
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Old 04-8-2021, 06:46 PM   #77
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if this is the case then oot must be your least favorite for being as on rails as it actually is
What? Oot is very traditional
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seriously everything i wrote went way over your head if your reading comprehension is so far below third grade level while people may care about your opinion you should refrain from giving it because it's worthless
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Old 04-8-2021, 08:05 PM   #78
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wait is this thread broken, can't see next page

rly good thread, I have not played a vast majority of these; basically it's just the "big" ones I've played lol. share teh sentiment about star ocean too
ys music rips we need more charts for it
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Old 04-10-2021, 02:55 PM   #79
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Default Re: March 2021: 31 days game review challenge

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if this is the case then oot must be your least favorite for being as on rails as it actually is
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What? Oot is very traditional
I dunno how that's the case honestly, it doesn't compare much at all with the previous titles. I'm not saying it's bad, in fact I think it's fantastic, but traditional is probably the last word I'd use to describe it. It was more "groundbreaking" than anything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by choof View Post
wait is this thread broken, can't see next page

rly good thread, I have not played a vast majority of these; basically it's just the "big" ones I've played lol. share teh sentiment about star ocean too
ys music rips we need more charts for it
I dunno why it says there's another page, Haku thinks some posts were deleted or something.

We absolutely need more Ys music holy shit. I think there's like only one on FFR (god bless zagh)

What sentiment are you sharing from my Star Ocean post?
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something something nate lever
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I don't fucking know there is apparently more genders in 2019 than there are concentration camp victims
Quote:
Originally Posted by the sun fan View Post
SHUT UP SVEN I KNOW I'M PLAYING BAD

Quote:
Det är okej om djuret är större än du.
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