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Topic: Games You Recently Beat?

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Tyranexx

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

I had been wanting to play this action JRPG for several years but had never been able to find a reasonably priced copy; I almost caved for the digital Wii version through the Wii U eshop until this was announced. This game was, without question, well worth the wait. After a little over 100 hours with this amazing game, I have a LOT to say about it.

Note: I have not yet played Future Connected and will not be covering that at this time; I'll be doing a shorter write-up on it when I get around to it later this month. Taking a bit of a break first.

Positives

  • The worlds of both the Bionis and Mechonis are vibrant, varied, and teeming with life (Okay, this last point covers the former). They especially pop with all the graphical updates in the Definitive Edition, especially when compared with the original Wii game and the 3DS port. The game looks better in docked mode (as with many Switch games), but handheld mode is perfectly playable.
  • The soundtrack is phenomenal; I've been listening to it at work on and off for years (Yes, long before I played XC; trust me, this isn't the first game this has happend with. ). It's one of the best soundtracks in all of gaming IMO. While I did opt to play through with the original soundtrack this time around, I did go back and listen to some of the new redone DE pieces. In some cases I think the original soundtrack is better, but in others the remastered track is better. This really depends on taste.
  • While it starts out as your typical revenge story, the plot eventually becomes more than that and is one of the better ones I've experienced in a JRPG. There are definitely some curveballs thrown at the player throughout the campaign, some of which are quite emotional. Looking back, there is some foreshadowing of things to come, but it's hard to catch unless the player 1. has been paying attention, or 2. has played the game before.
  • This is only one of a handful of RPGs that I've played where I genuinely cared about all the playable characters in the party. Their personalities, motives and mannerisms are fleshed out quite well.
  • In that same vein, many of the non-generic NPCs also have some unique personalities and qualities. In a couple of cases, I had wished a few of these characters had also been playable.
  • Much of the dialogue, both in cutscenes and during battle, is thoughtfully written, emotional, entertaining, and/or funny. The English voice acting in this game, outside of a couple of odd moments, sounds convincingly natural and not wooden.
  • The Arts system in this game has a gradual learning curve, but the game (as well as the tutorials) is excellent at easing the player into the action. It's fairly easy to learn, but it does take some time to master depending on the character. Each character plays differently and has a different role to fulfill depending on their arts and, to an extent, how the rest of the three-party lineup is currently set up.
  • Skill trees for each character are fun to experiment with and can unlock different methods on how to use a character. Fiora is especially quite a powerhouse if set up correctly.
  • There's quite a variety of weapons and armor to equip onto characters. And if something doesn't match, there are ways to change the looks of armor or a weapon (I didn't bother with this much; usually I just hid the headgear) while keeping the stats and effects of the original equipped item. This is a nice carryover from Xenoblade Chronicles X.
  • Right before the events of the game, a Homs settlement, Colony 6, was completely destroyed. At a certain point in the game, an optional side activity in which the player can repair and rebuild this area is unlocked. (This took me a bit; I admittedly skimmed through these menus when the prompt first appeared - it was late - and didn't realize you actually had to talk to Juju to get this going...ugh. XD). There are many benefits if the player upgrades and completes Colony 6, such as being able to access certain shops, unlocking new quests in Colony 6, and being able to recruit NPCs from other settlements to help bolster the population.
  • There is a lot of late-game content, such as more quests, Arts upgrades to earn via defeating enemies, and insanely powerful unique world bosses to track down (or run from).
  • I didn't really bother with using the gem machine very much, but it is a nice option for those who want to craft their own gems and use them to augment their gear. However, many quests give out decent gems as well.
  • Nopon are one of the best fictional races out there. Change my mind.
  • Dickson's death scene is one of the best I've seen in all of gaming.
  • The events after defeating Zanza really make the player think. While I liked the ending, it took a bit to digest what all happened to create the universe that the Bionis and Mechonis reside in. Was the universe that Klaus, Meyneth, and Alvis came from really destroyed? Or did something else happen? Since Alvis is basically a computer, is this some sort of...sentient simulation? Hmm....

Neutral

  • The side quests in this game have some great flavor text and do help to make the NPCs the player interacts with more organic; some even border on emotional if some chains are unlocked and completed before certain in-game events. However, that doesn't change the fact that the majority of the quests are either "Kill X amount of enemies" or "Gather 5 pieces of X material". This gets a little old after a while. I suggest not selling too much of a "useless" item as it may come in handy for a quest later.
  • The affinity charts take some getting used to and can be a bit confusing. I didn't really consult these much outside of checking the main party's affinities for each other to try and unlock some Heart to Hearts (which is basically extra character building dialogue).

Nitpicks

  • I really wish that some quest chains weren't tied to affinity links which can only be unlocked by talking to certain NPCs. Plenty of exclamation points indicate quests in any given area, but not all quests appear until certain NPCs are spoken to. I'm used to needing to complete certain quests to unlock more, but this was a new one on me. While I tend to talk to at least most NPCs in any given game, this game has so many that I didn't realize how important it was to talk to ALL of them until it was too late.
  • Swimming in this game is slow. In a couple of areas when I knew the current lead character would be swimming for a bit, I'd turn on auto-run and go off and do something. I really wish there was a way to speed this up.

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is, without question, one of the best games I've played in recent memory. It is easy to recommend for action JRPG aficionados, those looking for an amazing, lengthy story, and for those who want a large world to explore with a ton of collectibles and side content. With graphical updates, a largely rescored soundtrack, some QoL improvements (from what I've read), this is the best way to play this game to date.

Seriously, Nintendo of America, what were you thinking? Thanks to all the supporters of Operation Rainfall, this game was not just a sad footnote in Nintendo's library.

Edited on by Tyranexx

Currently playing: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, Super Mario Odyssey

Switch Friend Code: SW-3478-2466-4791 | Nintendo Network ID: Zelda_By_Night

JoeDiddley

SMT Soul Hackers (3DS).

I was wanting to try an older game in the franchise and I found the core gameplay loop to still be my favourite in the turn based jrpg genre.

The more old school gameplay held up really well, but a couple of frustrations kept this at around an 8/10 for me:

You could only keep demons from one alignment which did make you think about your party more and get more attached to demons. It probably encourages replay-ability. BUT you don’t get different endings based on the alignment. I prefer how Strange Journey did it, where you hit harder having demons of the same alignment in your party. It was fun building a party around that but less limiting.

Magnetite reducing if you have too many demons in your party. Recruiting demons mattered less because apart from boss fights I’d try and just get through everything with the protagonist, Nemissa and the Zoma. This took away some of the fun in the other entries I’ve played.

I really enjoyed the setting and most characters but the story was just ok really. The concept was amazing then the story just did it’s thing.

But it was really approachable and still lots of fun. It seemed relatively easy for SMT apart from a couple of bosses that gave me trouble. The dungeon designs and puzzles were much closer in difficulty to Persona Q than Strange Journey.

I also finally beat Persona 5 yesterday too but I need to reflect on that, I’m still taking it in.

Edited on by JoeDiddley

Switch: SW-2923-8106-2126
PSN: joediddley

Magician

Minit

A minimalist adventure/roguelite game. Just imagine Zelda minus dungeons. Minit is super-heavy on discovering secrets hidden within its tiny world and puzzle solving within the game's ruleset. Which is...your character lives for one minute (hence the given title of the game). Once that minute is up you perish and respawn at your most recently visited abode.

8/10 - A very cool, very dope game. Highly recommended.

Fairy Fencer F Advent Dark Force

It's another jrpg from Compile Heart. Legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu handled the soundtrack, which is the high point for this game. The Switch version looks beyond rough, the 3D zones are a smeary blurred mess. XC2 looks like a polished jewel next to this game. And I don't appreciate having to run through the same zones more than once in the process of telling one story.

6/10 - Not bad, but too many corners were cut here. There are better jrpgs to play.

Panty Party

Mhh hmm, ladies underoos. Dukin' it out with swords, machine guns, rocket launchers, laser beams, etc. It's a third person arena fighter. It's completely ridiculous. But it plays well. It only took a couple hours to power through the story mode.

6/10 - Dumb, stupid fun. It would be a great local multiplayer experience I'd imagine.

Xenon Valkyrie+

Action/platformer/roguelike. To be honest, the looping audio became nauseating with the first ten minutes. The platforming isn't as tight as I would like. And the action bits are easy if you're overly cautious.

5/10 - Just meh. Go play Rogue Legacy rather than this.

Switch Physical Collection - 633 games (as of September 28th, 2020)
Currently playing: Jump Force (Switch)
Favorite Quote: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -Arthur C. Clarke

Ralizah

Paper Mario: The Origami King

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Completion: Beat game (normal ending, not 100%); roughly 35 hours. I imagine closer to 45 or 50 hours if someone wants to 100% it.

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Paper Mario: The Origami King (referred to as TOK henceforth) is the sixth game in the Paper Mario franchise (seventh if you include the 3DS crossover game with the Mario & Luigi series) since the series started in 2000 on the N64. The series has gone through some pretty radical changes over the years: the story-driven, turn-based JRPG series from developer Intelligent Systems has slowly but inexorably drifted from its roots over the years, causing some level of dismay with long-time fans. TOK follows this tradition, being something more of an adventure game with puzzle-based combat. Despite this, I feel like the game is still satisfying to play off the back of an acknowledged classic like the Gamecube's Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (my main reference point for this series other than my almost six year old partial playthrough of Paper Mario: Sticker Star on the 3DS).

The game's premise is an unusual one, and it immediately drew my interest when the first trailer dropped. Mario travels to Princess Peach's castle after he is invited to celebrate an Origami Festival in Toad Town. The town and castle seem abandoned however, and things go from normal to apocalyptic quickly when he discovers that Princess Peach has been folded into origami and inculcated into a bizarre origami cult by a sentient origami entity known as King Olly. King Olly has also partially folded Bowser and has gradually been kidnapping and folding his minions. Mario discovers a sympathetic ally in the form of Olivia, King Olly's sister, who is horrified by the imperialistic and destructive aims of her brother. Mario, an incapacitated Bowser, and Olivia escape from the castle as a number of brightly colored streamers wrap around the castle, rip it out of its foundation, and relocate it to a volcano. Separated from Bowser, Mario and Olivia, alongside a variety of companion characters they meet along the way, set out to to destroy the enormous streamers, which originate from a variety of locations around that section of the world, so that they can confront King Olly and hopefully rescue a world that is quickly falling to Olly's origami army.

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It's impossible to discuss this game without also addressing the controverises surrounding it, so I find it best to get those out of the way first. The first of these is the combat system itself, and the progression mechanics tied into it. Like other recent entries in the series, TOK ditches a traditional XP system, so your characters don't gain levels as a result of battling. What you do gain, however, are coins (and confetti, but more on that later). You need money for pretty much everything in this world, and certainly, if you want to fill out the in-game museum (again, more on that), you'll need to do quite a bit of battling to gain the funds needed to buy expensive treasures. Money can also be used to buy badges which boost your stats and more powerful attacks in order to handle the increasingly powerful enemies you'll encounter across the game. Health upgrades aren't purchased, but can be found in your explorations. The cumulative result, I feel, is something approximating the feel of the character building you'd experience in an RPG, albeit more streamlined than what fans of the older games might be used to. A common complaint about the Paper Mario games since Sticker Star is that there's "no reason to battle," which certainly doesn't hold true here. You'll need money to buy weapons, to gain access to plot-important areas, etc. What the game perhaps doesn't do is provide an incentive to endlessly grind enemy encounters in order to max our character levels, which I don't personally mind. Nobody deliberately seeks out every Moblin in BotW to kill. I also don't recall people trawling the levels of 3D Mario games for enemies to kill. The lack of traditional RPG mechanics might not be ideal for certain people, but I strongly resist the notion that it makes battling enemies "pointless," or that it's even problematic game design.

The battle system itself is fascinating, and probably unlike anything one has ever encountered in a video game before. Mario stands in the center of a stage, surrounded by concentric rings where enemies are situated. You will have to move the rings to line enemies up in certain patterns so that Mario's attacks can attack them. Not only does lining them up efficiently give Mario the ability to kill them sooner, but you're also granted damage multipliers for doing so. The puzzles at the beginning of the game are a bit obvious and mindless, but the complexity of these timed ring puzzles increases as the game goes on. While there are some issues with this system (I'm not really a fan of how you only ever unlock more powerful boot and hammer attacks; although, thinking about it, outside of special attacks, almost every fight in TTYD devolved into boots and hammers as well), but I do like it makes every encounter something engaging, as the fights in TTYD got a bit mindless over time. Mario can pay coins to toads in his audience, who will solve the ring puzzle for him to varying degrees of completeness, depending on how much is paid, although I almost never opted for this.

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Battles against the awesome, gigantic bosses feature a unique system of their own. This time, Mario is on the outside of the rings, with the boss in the middle, and the plumber has to set up a path through the rings ahead of time. Not only does Mario need to navigate to the center of the area, but he also frequently needs to be positioned in a certain way to attack the boss efficiently. Bosses in TOK are a lot like Zelda bosses insofar as they have specific weaknesses to be exploited and attack patterns to be anticipated. Just running up and randomly attacking them might eventually kill them, but it'll lead to an unnecessarily drawn out battle. In that respect, the boss fights are another area of TOK that feel puzzle game-inspired.

On that note, while it's true the bosses here aren't memorable personalities like you'll meet in TTYD, they are quite fun to fight. You'll go between vellumentals, enormous elemental deities that you need to beat to obtain their special powers, and enormous, sentient office supplies that belong to the "legion of stationary." While I'll admit it seems quite stupid initially for Mario to fight against staplers or boxes of colored pencils, these objects are characters in their own right, possessed of specific personalities, and the set-pieces and dungeons leading up to your encounters with them are often creative and incredibly fun, and even a bit foreboding at times.

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Speaking of which, the player will also explore a fair number of dungeons throughout the game, and they feel rather like streamlined Zelda dungeons in terms of their puzzles, numerous enemy encounters, hidden heart upgrades, bosses, and theming, which fit well alongside the game's more action-adventurey approach. To be honest, TOK makes me wish Nintendo would expand the paper spinoff approach to other franchises. I'd LOVE a Paper Zelda game.

The other primary controversy in this game stems from Nintendo's now-infamous policy that developer Intelligent Systems is apparently not to create any original in-universe characters for this game, or for future Paper Mario titles. This... I feel, is a more valid complaint. TOK is a colorful, imaginative game filled with fun writing, great humor, and some superb characterization at times, but the main leg up I feel a game like TTYD had over this is that there are simply aren't a ton of interesting NPCs or even party members to meet in this, which does detract from the appeal of this game. The game's cast of important NPCs is dominated primarily by toads, and is utterly lacking in the vibrant array of unique designs and separate races that proliferated in TTYD. Almost none of the characters you meet (aside from Olivia and King Olly, who are alien to the Paper Mario universe in a very fundamental sense) have a distinct name: you'll find a Bob-Omb as a companion, but he just looks like any other Bob-Omb and insists that this is his name (in a perhaps cunning loophole to Nintendo's corporate restrictions, Olivia ignores this and continuously refers to this particular Bob-Omb as "Bobby"), since Bob-Ombs apparently seem to sublimate their individual identities in a collective identification (there's actually a rather shocking plot twist that, interestingly, dives a bit into the nuances of Bob-Omb psychology, which is weirdly fascinating).

The developer seems to take this as a challenge, however, and goes out of its way to allow Mario the opportunity to interact with a variety of Bowser's underlings (traditional Mario enemies), who are now on the run and attempting to evade the Folded Soldiers that are terrorizing this world. As a result, while it lacks the vibrant individual personalities of some previous titles in the series, the game works well in exploring the mindsets of Mario's classic foes outside of the context of a platformer. Since pre-established in-universe characters are still allowable, of course, you also interact with characters like Luigi, Bowser, Bowser Jr., and Kamek. I do sort of miss the more character-oriented focus of TTYD, but, honestly, I feel like TOK still has enough fun dialogue and interesting interactions that the game still felt like it had something of an identity, unlike the dispersonal toad hell of Sticker Star.

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One of the central complaints about this series is how it has gone from being a series where the characters happen to be stylized as paper beings to being a series ABOUT paper, in some sense, and TOK leans extremely heavily into this element as well. TOK's characters are distinctly aware that they're made out of flat paper, and that their world, more broadly, is one of flat paper constructions. Really leaning into this worldbuilding is what allows the gradual encroachment of King Olly's origami army, which is constructed entirely out of unwilling paper victims, to feel as apocalyptic and uncanny as it often does. It also imbues the Legion of Stationary bosses you fight throughout with an aura of danger that one wouldn't normally associate with staplers, hole punchers, boxes of colored pencils, etc. Which is to say: I'm OK with the change to paper beings becoming somewhat self-aware of their own papery metaphysical nature. Like Media Molecule's Tearaway, the style extends to the entire world the characters inhabit, which feels like one made out of arts and crafts. This is a style employed in a few other Nintendo games as well (recent Yoshi games, in particular, come to mind), but there's a pleasing coherence of theme, story, and aesthetics here, since TOK leans into the 'paper world' concept so completely.

Despite the somewhat more childish premise and tone of TOK in general compared to TTYD, the game is strangely replete with tragic and emotionally potent story beats. I never expected a cutesy adventure game about adorable papercraft characters to have such a high body count by the end, frankly, although I guess it does fit with the underlying body horror this game is filled with (ever seen a giant monster constructed out of the punched out faces of your friends? Paper Mario has, and, even with them being made of paper, it's still horrifying), and the overall creepy tone of King Olly and his borg-like origami cult as well. This is one of those children's games that gets creepier and darker the more you think about it, which I thought was an interesting change of pace for the series. TOK's ending, in particular, is hugely bittersweet (and inspired quite a few tears from my eleven-year-old gameplay companion), which is an interesting contrast with TTYD's much more generic happy ending. The game can be surprisingly thoughtful insofar as it portrays characters grappling with issues related to personal identity, meaning, and death.

None of this, of course, should be taken to mean that TOK is a primarily grim experience. Like TTYD, this game is filled with jokes and humorous situations, often to the point of being something akin to slapstick. And as with that game, TOK can be funny without being obnoxious about it, and the script still manages to maintain a sense of perspective about what's actually at stake for these characters on their adventure. Although I would argue that much of TTYD's biting, often savage wit is missing here: it's a funny, charming game, but it lacks the whip-smart dialogue of its GameCube predecessor.

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TOK's world is reasonably large, interconnected (one larger publication misreported it as being an "open world" game, but progression through the game's landscapes is still as linear as it ever was in previous games), and utterly filled with interactivity. The origami menace has savaged this delicate paper world and left it with holes everywhere. Mario carries a bad of confetti with him at all times, and he can use it to fill in these holes to uncover secrets and advance through plot-important locations. Confetti is everywhere in this game, and you'll need to constantly be collecting it to fill up your confetti bag so that you're prepared to paper over holes you find.

When you're running around these large environments, there are a few different things to do. You'll encounter simple environmental puzzles to solve in order to find chests that contains collectibles. You'll encounter different minigame activities. And you'll be finding tons and tons of hidden toads.

Running around looking for toads sounds horrible, like Sticker Star nonsense. But... it's really not. It's fun. Part of that is just how much variety there is in terms of how you find them. ANYTHING can be a toad in this game. Various animals in your environment can be toads. Toads can hide under rocks and behind walls. Fish you catch can be toads. Things you buy can be toads. Sometimes it's just a matter of running up to something and hammering it to reveal the toad. Sometimes they're simply hidden. Sometimes there's an environmental puzzle required to catch them.

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Some toads you find will be important and run back to town to open shops and services, such as research centers, locations that serve as shortcuts between major zones, item, accessory and weapon shops, a museum, and a battle center where you can practice various functions related to the puzzle battles you'll so often engage in. Others will join your audience in battles, and, for a price, will help you in various ways.

Finding toads awards you toad points, which you can use to unlock art pieces at the museum. The museum also hosts 3D models you can find in chests throughout the environment, origami toad models you unlock throughout the game, enemy models more generally, music tracks from the game (which requires the player to fill in all of those holes located throughout the world, as I alluded to earlier), etc. Rather like in Animal Crossing, I'm finding the gradual development of my museum to be reward enough to consistently engage with the environments. And there's so much to engage with, considering nearly everything in this game feels like it can be collected or reward the player in some way. It's all a bit skinnerian, of course, but it works well in the context of this game.

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The art design and general aesthetic sense present in TOK is phenomenal. Rather like Tearaway or the recent Good-Feel Yoshi platformers, the entire world looks like it was constructed in an arts and crafts class, and nearly every aspect of the environment relates back to the concept of paper in some way. Combine this with the detailed, often dense environments and the overall polish of the product, and you have one of the prettiest games on the Nintendo Switch. This primarily shines through when the game is docked, but it still looks vibrant and clean when undocked as well.

Musically, this is a high water mark for the series, with diverse and frequently evocative tracks setting the mood for your adventure. A track is worth a thousand words, so I'll link what I feel are some of the game's better compositions below.

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Given the series' checkered reputation as of late, along with my own experience with the disappointing Paper Mario: Sticker Star, I approached The Origami King with some level of trepidation, but I was surprised to discover what turned out to be one of Nintendo's best releases of 2020 and one of their better Switch exclusives overall. The Origami King might not be the JRPG long-time fans were hoping for, but it is also absolutely undeserving of the cold reception many have greeted it with. While, pound for pound, I'd say The Thousand Year Door was still a better game overall, I think anyone willing to look past its change in genre will find a consistently creative, engaging, and delightful first-party release.

Current Games:
Super Mario 64 (Switch)
Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 (PS2)
Ys I & II Chronicles+ (PC)

Magician

Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon? Infinite Combate

It's an action/rpg based on the anime. The story follows almost beat-for-beat with the anime, minus the comedy and good vibes from the anime. Sadly the gameplay feels like baby's-first-arpg. Basic, no thrills, no options in terms of gear or skills, linear stat progression. It's all...pedestrian.

5/10 - Not bad, but this would be hard to recommend to even a Danmachi super-fan.

Just watch the anime instead. Much more enjoyable.

Switch Physical Collection - 633 games (as of September 28th, 2020)
Currently playing: Jump Force (Switch)
Favorite Quote: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -Arthur C. Clarke

Magician

Layers of Fear

A walking simulator with a handful of jump scares. Not bad, but aside from some lite puzzle solving there's not much gameplay here. Just interact with a few things, move forward, interact with a few things, move forward. And before you know it the credits roll.

5/10 - A few spring loaded cats, but an otherwise middling horror experience.

Switch Physical Collection - 633 games (as of September 28th, 2020)
Currently playing: Jump Force (Switch)
Favorite Quote: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -Arthur C. Clarke

Ralizah

DOOM 3: The Lost Missions
Platform: PC

The second expansion for DOOM 3, this one being much more recent and exclusive to the BFG Edition. Unlike Resurrection of Evil, though, which felt like a proper expansion with interesting new bosses, new weapons, etc. this one is literally just nine more levels of DOOM 3. There's some thin plot about needing to infiltrate hell to stop a transporter that can allow demons to invade Earth or something, but it just feels like a handful of levels that didn't make the cut for RoE. This expansion includes the grabber gun and super shotgun, although you only need to use the former once.

Lazy expansion (there's not even proper bosses!), but the moment-to-moment of DOOM 3 is decent (when audio logs and NPC dialogue aren't droning on for way too long, anyway), so I don't mind too much.

Edited on by Ralizah

Current Games:
Super Mario 64 (Switch)
Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2 (PS2)
Ys I & II Chronicles+ (PC)

Magician

Giraffe and Annika

A mashup of the adventure, platforming, and music/rhythm genres. This game is high on charm and audo design, but the easy adventuring and sloppy platforming sections drag the overall experience down a tad bit. Graphically, there's a lot of foliage pop-in on Switch, but it looks and runs fine otherwise. The soundtrack by TOMZUIN H is the high point.

6/10 - Easy breezy lighthearted adventuring that borders on "magical" thanks to TOMZUIN H.

Switch Physical Collection - 633 games (as of September 28th, 2020)
Currently playing: Jump Force (Switch)
Favorite Quote: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -Arthur C. Clarke

Tyranexx

The Wonderful 101: Remastered (Switch)

This game...is an interesting one. It's an action game at its core, but it throws in some mechanics from other genres. Overall I liked my time with the game, but there were a few things that hold it back from being a true classic in my book. It doesn't truly feel remastered, more like a slightly altered port.

Note: There is a multiplayer mode, but this was something I did not try and will not be covering here.

Positives

  • The game's setting is wonderfully wacky and insane, much like the comic book source material it loosely borrows from. It's all just so goofy, in a good way. Enemy names are hilarious, the heroes are over the top, and there are some very crazy situations and moments. Typical Platinum.
  • Graphically, the game is gorgeous.
  • The plot is your standard "Heroes save the world from an alien invasion" fare, but it is an enjoyable one. It isn't meant to be taken too seriously, though there are some somber moments related to backstories of some of the main characters. Few heroes don't have some tragedy in their background.
  • There is some character development in the game. None of it is too deep in most cases, but what is there is appreciated.
  • The dialogue is witty, hilarious, and entertaining all around. Some of it nails the T rating quite well.
  • For the most part, the different missions in the game are fun. The controls and structure of missions (particularly later in the game) are shuffled around and feel like different genres. Want an on-rails shooter? Check. Escape sequence? Yep. Light puzzle elements? Present.
  • Many of the boss fights are flashy and feel epic due to the sheer scale and action happening on-screen.
  • Some of the music, particularly the main theme, is really catchy and fits the game well.
  • There are hidden collectibles and members of the Wonderful 100 to find in the different levels, as well as space vegetables; the latter can be added to a mixer to create different useful items. This all adds to replayability.
  • There's also an in-game shop where currency earned from missions can be spent. The player can buy useful items, new Unite Morphs, and containers to augment their abilities and game experience.

Neutral

  • Standard combat in this game isn't always very fun. The controls take some getting used to and can change depending on the mission. Unite Morphs are great when they work, but using the Wonder Liner (how you activate powers, weapons, and abilities in this game) for morphs not assigned to buttons can be a chore. Some morphs are really hard to pull off as the color changes to another you aren't going for. There were several fights where forming the right morph took many tries as the game just didn't recognize what I was trying to do.
  • While the final boss fight was fun overall (and the ending IS very much worth seeing), this dragged on WAY past its welcome. The mission ending clocked this one in at 51 minutes, but that doesn't include all the retries for quick time events.
  • QTEs (quick time events) were a mixed bag for me. Some of these were fun (and the failure clips are hilarious). Unfortunately, some of the QTEs that require the Wonder Liner are easy to fail thanks to the faulty recognition system. Others...I was mashing the A button on my poor Joycon like crazy and STILL failed repeatedly on more than one occasion. This is extremely frustrating; not being able to progress in a game and having to repeat something OVER AND OVER again thanks to a scripted event you can't get past isn't skill, it's just a button-pressing show for the sake of it. Oh, and your health is penalized in some cases, risking a possible death/lower score.
  • While the shop is useful, some things, particularly healing items, seem unreasonably expensive.

Negatives/Nitpicks

  • To be frank: the camera in this game is terrible. Sometimes the Wonderful 100 are behind objects, sometimes the camera is too zoomed in for you to see the action or draw the Wonder Liner properly, and the camera controls for some up close sections in general are atrocious. The game isn't unplayable, but this fault is very noticeable at times.
  • Some deaths, especially later in the game, feel a bit cheap. It also feels a bit unfair that some of these are tied to how many times a player fails QTEs.

The Wonderful 101: Remastered is, for the most part, a fairly decent game, though one that isn't exactly easy to recommend in some cases. I could see more casual gamers having some trouble with this. Fans of Platinum and action games and the other genres that are mixed in (Real time strategy, on-rails shooter elements, light puzzle elements, etc.) may have a great time if they can get past some of the design issues. Difficulty settings are thankfully an option, so those who want to try to experience the game without too many headaches do have the option to play through on "Very Easy". (I started on Normal, then downgraded to Easy at some point)

Currently playing: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, Super Mario Odyssey

Switch Friend Code: SW-3478-2466-4791 | Nintendo Network ID: Zelda_By_Night

RR529

Paper Mario: the Origami King (Switch)
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Gameplay:

  • It continues the turn from JRPG to Action Adventure the past couple games started, and it's really starting to feel comfortable in it's new role.
  • Gone is the level based progression of the past couple games, replaced with a more proper overworld to explore, and dungeons best described as traditional Zelda lite. You'll still be exploring it in a pretty linear fashion, but each area is large and full of secrets to find.
  • The most prominent secret to find are the hidden Toads (they are hidden in creative & imaginitive ways, and while some will return to Toad Town or some other Kiosk out in the world to open up a shop, most will join your in battle audience, which you can pay to help out during battles), who often have a humorous zinger they utter before running off. You also unlock Toad Points for every one you find, which you can spend in the Museum in Toad Town to unlock concept art (which is a feature I always love seeing in games).
  • Other things to find are Treasure Chests & "?" Blocks (which house coins or collectable trophies which can be viewed in the Museum), Not-Bottomless Holes (these are filled in with confetti, which you get when defeating enemies or by hammering objects in the environment, and you get coins for doing so. Sometimes a new path is opened up when you fill one in as well). Lastly you have HP Up hearts, and much like Heart Containers in Zelda, they increase your maximum HP when collected (they come in +5, +10, & +20 varieties, increasing your base 50 HP up to a maximum of 200, and for every 20 HP increase your attack power increases as well, which allows you to defeat some weaker enemies in the overworld without having to enter a battle). If you miss any, you can talk to the "Love Toad" in Toad Town (he has to be rescued first, though) who will give you hints as to where missing HP Up hearts are.
  • Regular battles come in 2 flavors. The most common are turn based battles with Mario at the center of a ringed arena, and you have a small window of time to manipulate the rings and line (or group) up the scattered enemies. It's more of a puzzle game in that respect, where if you solve it you get a power boost and often get to defeat all enemies without them getting a turn, and if you fail you're going to take some damage before trying again (you can spend coins in battle to increase the amount of time you have to solve the puzzle, or you can have the Toads in the audience help you out by throwing you items and/or partially solving the puzzle. The more you spend the better their help is, and I assume the help is better the more Toads you have rescued). The other type of battle is against big paper mache enemies (called paper macho here), which occurs in real time in the overworld. The name of the game here is to get out of the way when they charge you, then whack them with your hammer (they have a weak point on their back that makes it easier to take them out if you hit that first). These are rarely just out there though, and are often scripted encounters.
  • Boss battles as well come in those two flavors as well. The puzzle bosses change things up by having the boss at the center of the arena, and you have to manipulate the rings in order to set up a path for Mario to follow to safely get to the boss to attack. Each boss usually has a unique gimmick of it's own on top of this, resulting in the most engaging & unique encounters of the game. The Paper Macho bosses happen in real time and are often really impressive in terms of scale (these are a nice change of pace, and I enjoyed them as well)
    Untitled
    Untitled
    Examples of both puzzle & real time boss encounters.
  • Your base hammer & boot attacks are unlimited, though you can obtain more powerful versions as well. These have a limited number of uses, though once you obtain one once you can buy more from the Toad Town shop. These get better as you go on, with the hammers & boots you find in one area generally being better than the ones you found in the previous areas. Some have unique effects though, such as Ice or Fire variants that can have an elemental advantage, or reward more coins during battle.
  • There are also items you can use in battle (or sometimes outside as well). The most common are are mushrooms which restore health, but other Mario staples such as Fire & Ice Flowers, POW Blocks, & Tanuki Tails show up as well & do as you'd expect. I honestly only ever used Mushrooms.
  • In some regions you will have a partner who will join you in your adventure (and battle). They all only have one attack, and it'll either hit or miss. They tend to get more useful the further you get though. The first one refuses to join you in dungeons, and their attack is a single target move that seems to have a 50/50 chance of hitting. The later ones tend to follow you into dungeons, and have multi target attacks that seem to get more reliable.
  • You can buy accessories that help you out in battle or elsewhere. Battle accessories can increase the maximum time you have to solve puzzles, increase your HP during turn based battles, or decrease the damage you take. Other accessories have useful effects outside of battle (such as increasing the range at which you can collect confetti or giving you discounts at shops), or are just fun (such as changing your confetti to Sakura petals or enabling retro jump & coin sounds).
  • There is the occasional minigame to take part in as well, whether it be fishing, shooting gallery, or even a game show segment. I found these to be hit or miss, with some I enjoyed (like the shooting gallery), while others I hated (well, just the game show segment).

Audio/Visual:

  • It's a really sharp looking game, with an amazing sense of aesthetic. Everything looks to be made out of some sort of paper craft, and every region is a joy to explore due to some creative theming, whether it be a theme park based on feudal Japan, an open sea segment that's a clear homage to Zelda (particularly the seafaring games), or even paper craft renditions of famous Mario locales such as Bowser's Castle.
    Untitled
    Untitled
    Some great vistas await.
  • I think it was a brilliant move to make the enemies origami versions of all the classics, as this frees up the wide gamut of Bowser's minions to appear as friendly NPCs. While there are still lots of Toads, you'll find yourself visiting a Monty Mole village, a shrine popular with Koopa Troopas, and more (other Mario staples such as Luigi & Birdo show up ocassionally as well). It really seems like they're getting pretty good at working with the "core Mario characters only" rule, and I hope they can continue this trend in the future as long as the rule persists (if anything, Odyssey should open up their options considerably).
  • It has good music selection as well. I'm not one to pay much attention to music in games, but it definitely had some beats I was bopping along to.

Story/Writing:

  • While Toad Town is preparing for an Origami festival, the Origami King, Olly shows up to capture Peach's castle and begin his plan to transform the entire world into Origami. After Mario escapes with the help of Bowser & Olivia (Olly's sister), he goes on an adventure to stop the dastardly king. It's not a terribly deep narrative, but it's surprisingly touching in places, and can even get unnerving at others. It's not as involved as the older JRPG entries (or Super Paper Mario), but it's definitely a couple steps above your typical Mario platformer (or Sticker Star, for that matter), which is appreciated.
  • The humor can be pretty good in spots, and at times it seems like they're giving a sly middle finger to the restrictions in place (such as when Olivia tries to find a name for Bob-Omb, and eventually repeatedly calls him "Bobby", even though he officially doesn't have a personalized name).

Overall

  • I really enjoyed my time with this. While I can see why some would say the battling becomes tedious, I think the puzzle aspects make them engaging in their own right (especially the bosses), and I think it's becoming much more comfortable in it's new Action-Adventure role, despite a few stumbles here & there. I'd place it just under the top tier of Switch exclusives (below Odyssey, BotW, & XC2, same place Luigi's Mansion 3, Link's Awakening remake, & DKC: Tropical Freeze, above Kirby Star Allies, & Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3).
    Untitled
    You're back on top, Paper Mario.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

Blooper987

@RR529 just got this today and I’m really enjoying it! I don’t think this game deserves the hate, it’s beautiful and is easily the best modern paper Mario game.

Blooper987

Switch Friend Code: SW-0772-1845-0995

RR529

Indie Wave!

A Short Hike (Switch)
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Gameplay

  • A simple 3D platformer in which your only goal is to scale the tallest mountain on the small island the game is home to, Hawk Peak. You play as Claire, a humanoid bird, who has the ability to jump & glide, and in order to scale the peak you'll need to collect Gold & Silver Feathers scattered about the game world (Gold ones add an extra jump for every one you find, while Silver ones increase the size of your jumps & glide speed). There is no time limit & no danger, it's just a hike you take at your own speed. The platforming & gliding feels great, but there's an optional speedboat minigame I thought was a tad clunky to control.
    Untitled
  • The thing is, while there is a signposted path to take to the top (with just enough Gold Feathers along the way, you don't actually need any Silver Feathers I believe), the island is a small open world filled with people to help, secrets to find, & minigames to play, and it's best bits are often just exploring around, or making up your own path. You only need 7 Gold Feathers to reach the top, but by the end I had 11 Gold & 2 Silver (collected more Gold after the fact, which you may see in some of my screenshots).
  • As for the minigames, I ran across races, a variant of volleyball, fishing, & a speedboat segment, and they're all simple but fun (being good enough will often net you a Gold Feather). Completing quests for people (really relaxing & simple stuff, like picking up all the litter on a small island) will often net you Gold Feathers as well. You can also obtain optional equippable items such as a bucket to water flowers (which act as springs launching you to higher ground when bloomed), a shovel to dig up treasure, or a picaxe which you can use to open up shortcuts to various points on the island.

Audio/Visual

  • The game has an overhead/isometric view, and it's full of vibrant colors. Whether it be white sandy beaches, autumnal foliage, icy peaks, stormy shores, and more, this small world packs a lot of biomes, many you'll miss if you don't get out & explore.
    Untitled
  • The game has a pixelated sort of retro 3D look (think PS1 or DS), though it looks good as it's intentional. Furthermore, you can make it look cleaner & sharper in the settings if the standard look isn't doing it for you (which is what I did).
  • The musical tone fits the game & the areas well. It really helped set the mood in spots.

Story

  • You're off to summer camp and awaiting an important call, only to learn that there's no reception out here in the boonies, except that is on the island's highest point, Hawk Peak. Thus your journey begins, and who knows, maybe you'll commune with nature along the way. It's a very simple set up with very little words along the way, but man is the ending evocotive. I inexplicably teared up at the end in a way a video game has never before made me.
  • Some of the characters you meet along the way have tiny little narratives of their own that are tied into their minigame or quest if you take the time to get to know them (as an example, there's a character scalping Gold Feathers, selling them for over 2 times the price that the Visitor's Center does, but he's doing it because he's behind on tuition, and you can actually pay it off for him, which then ties in to another character's quest), which is a neat little touch.
    Untitled

Overall

  • A Short Hike was a joy to play. It may indeed be short (I finished it in probably under 2 hours, and if you speed through it, under 1 hour isn't undoable), but despite the speedboat clunkiness, the vplatforming controls are spot on (once you have a good number of Gold Feathers, scaling & soaring through the game's vertical world is one of the best feelings I've had playing a game. It's very Nintendo-like in the sense that getting from one place to the other is fun in and of itself), and it's brief narrative hits hard. Untitled

Gato Roboto (Switch)
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Gameplay

  • A standard "Metroidvania" that's a clear homage to Metroid in particular, though with your playable character being a cat. If you've played one before this won't be radically different, with it playing host to 5 or 6 interconnected "zones", and by obtaining upgrades along the way you'll be able to access later areas & go back to grab collectables you missed out on earlier. The upgrades you get are pretty standard fare, such a Screw Attack like move & Missiles as examples (though your missile supply is unlimited here, there's a cooldown meter so you can't spam them).
  • It does differentiate itself in a couple ways though. Most notably you can exit the power suit and run around as Kiki (the cat), who is quick, can climb up walls, and fit into tight spaces (there's even a dedicated meow button!), but has no offensive capability & dies in one hit. Naturally there are times when you'll have to leave the suit behind and look for a way forward as Kiki (with one of the game's zones almost entirely revolving around that). Other times you will use other vehicles, such as a submarine, as your power suit doesn't play nice with water.
    Untitled
  • Otherwise, the game controls are mostly good, though I felt it was a tad floaty. It's a pretty breezy time mostly IMO, though bosses can be a step up in difficulty (usually took me 5-6 times to beat them, with a few exceptions). As for the collectables you have Heath Modules (increase maximum "NRG", lol), Cartridges (more on these later, but there is a character who will upgrade your basic shot if you collect enough), and Data Logs (more on these later).

Audio/Visual

  • It uses a minimalist black & white art style, though sprites are well animated, and I felt like it did a good job of making each of the zones feel distinct (you're not going to quit playing and wonder if you're in the Aqueduct or the Ventilation area when you come back). Plus it has a handy map.
  • The aforementioned Cartridges unlock different color palettes for use, such as Gameboy (pictured below) & Virtual Boy inspired looks.
    Untitled
  • The soundtrack fits the game pretty well I'd say.

Story

  • A space soldier (Gary, I think) recieves a distress signal from a military research facility, but on his way to investigate Kiki steps on the controls, causing the ship to crash land and Gary to be injured, thus it's up to our plucky feline friend to complete the mission.
  • Along the way you'll run across Data Logs (just one or two per zone, with some being along the main path, while others are more hidden), with messages left by the staff of the research facility before things went bad. They're a nice way to add some narrative to the proceedings without bogging it down with text & exposition
    Untitled

Overall

  • This was nice "Metroidvania" comfort food. Granted, the Switch is full of indie "Metroidvanias", but I think this was a good one, and don't play a ton of indies anyway so I had a good time with it.
    Untitled

Waifu Uncovered (Switch)
Untitled
Probably the only screenshot I can post here, lol.

Gameplay

  • A pretty standard sh'mup in terms of gameplay, it's Arcade Mode features 7 levels of bullet hell action (while Story Mode features 8), with all the typical upgrades (wave shot, move speed, etc.) accounted for and they carry across from one level to the next, so you'll become progressively more powerful during a run. While you'll eventually play through all levels by the time you're through, you'll have the option to play an easier or harder level after you clear a level, so no two runs have to be exactly alike. I found it works pretty well for the most part, but I was never able to clear Story Mode, as it features tag team boss fights (which are way too chaotic) & you heal less health in-between rounds.
  • It's levels feature artwork of anime style women in the background, and for "story purposes" (more on that later) the more enemies you defeat the more uncovered they become. Once they've become suitably stripped you fight that level's boss. While it starts off in "Censored Mode" (where their most intimate bits stay covered up, mostly), the game's most prominent unlockable is an "Uncensored Mode", which as advertised features the women's breasts fully exposed when activated. It should be noted, given the title's theme, that despite the aesthetic direction of the title, it was developed by a western studio and all women are explicably said to be over 18 (with the majority being in their 20's). I figured it should be brought up since it would be the concern of some.
  • It features a ton of unlockables outside of the "Uncensored Mode", including various ships with different stat focuses (though I always did best with the initial all rounder), a One Finger Mode that lets you play with only one finger on the touch screen in handheld mode (I didn't try this, but I believe it features a special hot dog shaped ship, for some crude innuendo), as well as a Gallery which allows you to view the women (covered or otherwise) once you clear their level once in either Arcade or Story mode.

Audio/Visual

  • It's clear that the women are the focus of the game as they are presented pretty well (though your average Japanese developed visual novel has better art), while all the enemies you face look like flash animated knockoffs of emojis & memes (flying cartoon poop, asteroids with off brand "troll faces", etc.). It's clear they were just quickly thrown together to give you something to shoot at as you get to the "good stuff".
  • It has exactly one song, and while it's pretty peppy, you'll probably be tired of it after one run.
  • To it's credit, I never noticed any notable slowdown, even when the screen is absolutely cluttered.

Story

  • Aliens are invading & have infested the clothes of women the world over! You play as a Ninja Horse (a ninja with a horse's head) flying around in a ship to fight them & save the women. It's absolutely absurd, but I guess it kind of has to be in order to justify the goings on. Nothing more to it than that.

Overall

  • It's fun as a novelty just to have something so shamelessly crude & mature (immature?) on console (particularly a Nintendo one), but if I didn't get it for "free" (I got it with gold coins), I probably wouldn't have bothered.

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

Tyranexx

@RR529 Nice reviews. I've been considering A Short Hike since the NL review (though from other impressions I've read, the 10/10 might've been a bit much). Gato Roboto has been an on and off consideration; I like Metroid/Metroidvanias, and cats, but I'm also trying to be very picky about what games I do pick up lol. How much time did you sink into it? If it's on the shorter side, I might give it a shot at some point.

Currently playing: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, Super Mario Odyssey

Switch Friend Code: SW-3478-2466-4791 | Nintendo Network ID: Zelda_By_Night

RR529

@Tyranexx, I will say that A Short Hike's controls were pretty flawless outside of the speedboat (which is completely optional). The only other issue is the camera reorienting itself while gliding around at high places occasionally, but this isn't an issue for the short distances you're required to glide on the way up (and again it's a super chill game, as there's no way to fail). It is super short though, really more about the experience.

As for Gato Roboto, it took me just a bit over 4 hours (the exact time can actually be seen in my last screenshot of it, though I guess that wouldn't take into account the boss fights occasional other segment I had to replay. Probably still under 5 hours all together.)

Currently Playing:
Switch - Blade Strangers
PS4 - Kingdom Hearts III, Tetris Effect (VR)

Tyranexx

@RR529 I think the fact that A Short Hike is a pretty chill experience, coupled with replayability, is what draws me to the game. And it also reads like both experiences are fairly short, which I'm completely fine with. Not that I dislike longer games, but some can be major timesinks. I try to be a bit picky about which of those sort of games I do grab. XD

While I'd love to see your screenshots, I can't; they show up as Untitled on both my phone and my laptop. I use Firefox on both though, so I wonder if I'd have more luck with Chrome?

Thanks for the feedback!

Currently playing: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, Super Mario Odyssey

Switch Friend Code: SW-3478-2466-4791 | Nintendo Network ID: Zelda_By_Night

Magician

Coffee Talk

It's a visual novel. But unlike most vns which are usually adapted from manga or anime, this story is wholly original. The game uses a sprite-based art style rather than stilled images. Which allows characters to more effectively emote, making discussions more interesting beyond being just walls and walls of flavour-text. And that smooth low-fi soundtrack feels just right.

8/10 - Clocking in under five hours, this game and its cast of characters encourages repeat playthroughs.

River City Girls

I had a love-hate experience with this one. The game nails the Kunio-kun vibe. It looks great, sounds great, and it plays well. Unfortunately, combat feels disjointed. There's no consistency with chaining normal attacks into special attacks; sometimes they link together, sometimes they don't. Dojo arts like "human weapon" are more annoying than they are useful. Enemies have i-frames while standing up from the ground? (WTF?!) And boss fights such as with Hibari are aggravating rather than entertaining.

7/10 - A lot done right, but too much done wrong. River City: Tokyo Rumble did things better.

Edited on by Magician

Switch Physical Collection - 633 games (as of September 28th, 2020)
Currently playing: Jump Force (Switch)
Favorite Quote: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." -Arthur C. Clarke

stevejones1981

I completed little inferno, spelunky
Had a lot of fun.

Edited on by stevejones1981

stevejones1981

Nephestinus

Recently completed Steamworld Quest.
Really fun game, I can only recommend it to people.
The story is simple yet direct. The cast is loveable and their fighting styles are unique.
I also really enjoyed getting the perfect combo of cards. If you're a fan of thinking and not only bashing a few buttons to win a game, you might wanna take a look at Steamworld Quest

Nephestinus

JoeDiddley

Ys VIII on Switch and what a joyful and thrilling RPG it was.

I tried Falcom’s Trails Of Cold Steel earlier this year and it was good but really really slow. On paper it was more my thing being turn based and a structure reminiscent of Persona and F3EH.

Ys was the complete opposite with wonderful fast paced combat and the story taking a bit of a back seat.

I didn’t get the true ending which I’m sore about as I only missed a couple of missions. These side quests you wanted to do rather than being a slog. But I’ve cheated and watched it on YouTube.

Unlocking the map exploring the island was so addictive I’m nervous that Ys IX won’t hold up. But if it’s half as good it’ll be worth my time regardless.

Also the soundtrack is fantastic, I’ve downloaded it.

Switch: SW-2923-8106-2126
PSN: joediddley

Tyranexx

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective (DS)

I'll be honest; I had never heard of this game until NintendoLife held a "Best Nintendo DS Games" poll last year. I tracked down a new physical copy on Amazon (paid a bit of a premium, but only a little more than a full MSRP 3DS game) and finally got around to playing it. This game...is an underrated gem. Seriously. There is much, MUCH more to it than just a point & click puzzle mystery.

Positives

  • The premise is an interesting one: You, Sissel, wake up as an amnesiac ghost. You spot a body and believe you recently died. Another spirit possessing a desk lamp ("Ray") tells you about the powers that some ghosts have ("ghost tricks") and that you only have one night to use your powers in order to find out what happened to you before you disappear forever. No pressure.
  • The story here, at first look, seems to be a somewhat generic mystery setup. However, as the player gets deeper into the game, so many random events and happenings...aren't so random. The plot is woven well and keeps the player guessing. There's so much mystery, drama, sorrow, some twists, and a few silly moments. I guessed some of these twists, but others definitely came out of left field. A lot of the content is serious and definitely earns the game its T rating.
  • The vast majority of the characters are fleshed out well; a lot of care went into fashioning their likes, dislikes, personalities, and quirks. Very few of the characters in the game seem generic. Bailey especially needs his own rhythm game.
    The game's controls and puzzle mechanics are explained well and gradually added onto as the game progresses. Sissel can move between objects and, in some cases, make them perform certain actions while possessing them. He can even jump to a recently deceased corpse (barring his own) and rewind to four minutes before their deaths in order to change the situation and save them from a terrible fate. Both touch screen and button mechanics (I primarily used the latter) are included.
  • For a DS game, the character animations are fluid and seamless. The hand-drawn character portraits are bright and detailed as well.

Untitled

  • Much of this game's soundtrack is excellent. It's catchy, fits the corresponding scenes/moments/characters well, and has that distinct Capcom feel to a lot of it. Seriously, I've been listening to the OST at work on and off. Some of my favorites are: Cabanela's theme, Chained Past, Awakening, and Trauma.
  • Some of the sound bits and cues remind me a little of the Ace Attorney series; I haven't played any of the games outside of the two 3DS demos for Dual Destinies and Spirit of Justice (as of this writing), but it's obvious that Shu Takumi had a hand in it.
  • I legitly feel sorry for Yomiel. What he did to young Lynne was inexcusable , but the events that pushed him to that point were sad and could have easily been avoided. And then to live the sad "existence" he dealt with afterward....No wonder his mind went down a dark road. That bit where he walks past all the main characters and explaining how the past decade had been for him...that was deep. "I 'existed' in this world. No question about that...but nobody noticed my presence. What good were my "powers"? They didn't help anybody. Not even the passage of time could heal my pain. In fact, it only made it worse."
  • The ending....Holy cow. That was one of the best endings that I've experienced in a DS game. Everything was wrapped up nicely (for the most part), and that bit with "Ray"....That was on-target in the feelings department. Honestly, what that poor spirit went through was deep and dark. It's sad to learn how things could have been, in a previous timeline. Also, that twist during the very end....While I suspected it, that was still golden. XD

Neutral

  • While many of the puzzle solutions were clever and provided many "Aha!" moments, a few required some leaps in thinking and logic, particularly later in the game. There were a couple of chapters I only got through via trial/error.

Nitpicks (No negatives)

  • There are a couple deus ex machinas, but that's about to be expected with this game's theming. XD We can't keep everything too realistic now.
  • The game can be a bit wordy at times. This usually wasn't an issue unless it was late and I just wanted to end the chapter and sleep, but I also didn't want to miss anything.

I believe Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective flew under many radars, including mine, by releasing so close to the 3DS's launch and by being something completely new (I was also in college at the time, so I would've prioritized franchises I was familiar with then anyway). This isn't "just another point & click" title. I can easily recommend it to those who like a decent, emotional, engaging story, a decent soundtrack, solving mysteries, and solving puzzles. There is very little to NOT like about this game. It will keep you guessing from beginning to end. It is easily worth its 10-15 hour run time.

Seriously, to anyone who has even a passing interest in this game, find some way to play it. DS copies aren't too hard to find, and I believe it's also available on iOS.

Edited on by Tyranexx

Currently playing: Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions, Super Mario Odyssey

Switch Friend Code: SW-3478-2466-4791 | Nintendo Network ID: Zelda_By_Night

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