I played a demo version of Shank on PS3 years ago. It was pretty damn sweet, but for some reason I never bought it. Well, it is very cheap on Steam now, and apparently there’s a sequel. Might as well try it. Let’s see if it’s as rad as I remember.

Stages of the game

First impressions

The visuals are very nice and cartoony and the controls are responsive. Not much to complain about there. I have a chainsaw, a couple of pistols and obviously a couple of SHANKS!

If you’re a sensitive asshole, you might not want to play this. I mean, some people take offense to someone sticking a chainsaw down someone else’s throat.

Shank seems like a fun enough game. I hope it’s not too long though as I figure it might get a bit repetitive.

Somewhere in the middle

Yeaaaaah, I was right. This is getting repetitive. The combat seems kind of.. I don’t know.. random? I just spam the chainsaw, pistols and shank attacks into combos, get hit by someone and lose some HP, shank/chainsaw/shoot some more, get damaged a lot, get a shitload of HP fills all the time..

I have obtained a few new weapons, but they don’t seem quite as good as just spamming the jump-dive-chainsaw-attack. Except for the shotgun, obviously. The shotgun is awesome.

I can probably keep playing if I just take breaks now and again.

After finishing the game

I would probably not be as happy with this game if I had bought it when it was first released, at a higher price. Now, though, I am quite content. This was a fun little game. A couple of hours long maybe and very violent. The storytelling is pretty intense, even though there’s not much of a story to talk about.

If you enjoy sidescrolling 2D beat’em ups (or shank’em ups as it were), then by all means, play this.

Verdict

Play!

Strange name for a game. I have never heard of this, but it was cheap on Steam and it looks kind of like vvvvvv, so that’s what I am expecting. Let’s see if it is as good!

Apparently this game is “based on difficulty” and has “custom checkpoints”. That is all I know.

Stages of the game

First impressions

Very slick soundtrack so far! Graphics are simple enough that even an artistically void person such as myself could draw them in Paint. They look pretty good, though.

So the “custom checkpoint system” means I can place checkpoints wherever I want to, and then just respawn there whenever I die. Sound easy? You only have 100 lives for all of the game. Unless you play on Easy, where you have unlimited lives. That’s what I’m doing. Yeah, I’m a coward.

Somewhere in the middle

Beat the game. It was short. 15-20 minutes, maybe. It was alright though, I guess.

There’s a remix mode, featuring 8 levels of “varying difficulty” and where cowards such as myself cannot easy mode. Let’s see how this goes…

After finishing the game

Beat the remix as well. I had 100 lives to start with, ended with 79. Too easy I would say; I got a B- score on the first try.

This was a cute little game. Worth my while and it certainly did not overstay its welcome. I’d say it’s worth a playthrough, especially if you can get it really cheap.

Verdict

Play!

I have played quite a few indie games over the years and a lot of them have been awesome. Having just finished Undertale I am in the mood for more wonderful indie goodness, and I stumbled upon Cave Story+ on Steam, which just so happens to at the time of this writing have the average review score of “Overwhelmingly positive”, I have to give this a try.

I don’t know much about the game, but it’s supposed to be a metroidvania type game with fantastic music.

Stages of the game

First impressions

I hate the design of the main character. He just looks so bland and has an ugly, flat head. Also, why is the music so acclaimed? It’s not bad my any means, but c’mon, I just played Undertale, which had the best soundtrack I’ve heard for a long time. I guess it’s cool that you can choose between the original tracks, remastered and “new” versions though.

I was never huge on Metroid, or on Castlevania, but at least Super Metroid and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night are very atmospheric and have good gameplay. This just seems like a cheap game made in Game Maker Studios or something.

So, I’ve acquired a couple of different weapons. They’re okay, I guess. The enemy design is also okay.. I guess. This just about sums up my first impressions of this game. It’s okay.. I guess. I definitely have yet to see the greatness here.

Somewhere in the middle

Uh, so I guess I’m a robot from the surface or something. I don’t know. I don’t care.

I have obtained a few more weapons and seen a few more areas. Nothing impressive. Seems like your ordinary Metroidvania style game without all the content. There was this one part where I had to run back and forth a bunch of times to collect “Jellyfish Juice”. It was excruciatingly boring. Then I had to collect some dogs for an old lady. That was also boring. The enemies are boring, the level design is very “meh” and the characters are also bland and boring (except for Balrog, the toaster guy who is apparently really modeled after a soap bar).

The best thing about Cave Story+ is the soundtrack, and I don’t even think it’s that great.

After finishing the game

Yeah, okay, so I just realized I’d get the bad ending if I’d keep playing this piece of crap. One of the supporting characters fell down a hole, so I thought “well, better check on him”. I thought it wouldn’t be a problem since I had traded my first gun for the machine gun, which fully upgraded can act as kind of a jet pack, enabling me to traverse vertical spaces easily. The gun trade is apparently one of three available ones (which I could not possibly know). Jumping down to check on the fallen guy will actually give me the bad ending, I read online somewhere. Really? REALLY?! Did the maker of this game add the machine gun after this part was done or something? Did he not realize that going down that hole could be a very rational decision if you have this gun? This makes no sense.

I won’t play the last part of this game (which by the way is only 3-4 hours long) and I won’t ever play it again unless I’m forced to at gunpoint or something.

This is seriously the most overrated game I have ever played, and I’ve played some pretty overrated games. This is why it is generally not a very good idea to listen to people on the Internet. This game has a cult-like following and I so can’t understand why.

Do yourself a favor and go play Undertale instead of this shit. Maybe this game was OK as a freeware indie game before indie games were really a thing. I accept that. But as a 15€ Steam game, this game smells. It’s short, ugly, badly designed and has a soundtrack that is only a little bit above average.

Verdict

Don’t play!

adore Earthbound, both the first and the second of the series (I regret not having played the third one yet). When I heard there’s a game on Steam that supposedly is inspired by Earthbound, I knew I had to buy it. Will play it with my XBone gamepad.

Stages of the game

First impressions

The graphics are equally charming and horrifying. The music (well, at least the three tracks I’ve heard so far) is amazing. Reminds me of Earthbound and Final Fantasy 6. The fighting system is obviously inspired by Earthbound but has a cool twist involving moving a heart around to avoid projectiles or whatever.

It seems I don’t need to harm anyone at all.. in fact, I am explicitly told so by the cow/guardian creature I met in the beginning. Well, she also told me not to walk anywhere, which I did. I wonder what would’ve happened if I had not walked anywhere.. I wonder what would happen if I killed a creature instead of drive them into tears or running away from them.

This game is really weird, and it has made me giggle a couple of times already in the first ten or so minutes. I am sure I will love this.

Somewhere in the middle

Hilarious. Really, Undertale is hilarious. It also fucks with my head quite a bit. I don’t want to go into details because this is the kind of game you will enjoy more if you don’t know too much about what makes it special, but I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll know what kind of things I refer to once you play this.

The fighting system is very unusual and it just keeps getting stranger (and more hilarious!) There is no need to kill anyone here; you can just spare enemies based on what actions you perform towards them. I imagine the game is not quite as fun on a homicidal run as it is on a pacifist one.

After finishing the game

It just keeps coming. This game will take you by surprise, several times. That’s for sure.

Just finished Undertale and it is such a unique game. It is a tad short however, so I am hoping for a sequel. The limited length of the game, however, maybe is what keeps the game fresh and continually funny.

Just do yourself a favor and play this game without reading any more about it. Especially if you like the 16 bit Final Fantasy games and Earthbound.

Verdict

Play!

Just having finished the first Witcher game, I have quite high expectations for this one. I expect the combat will be more slick (I certainly hope so, at least), the graphics to be better and the alchemy crafting system to be more refined.

I also expect this tale will be longer than having to sit through someone explaining the dreams they had last night (I really despise having to listen to that).

I read somewhere that it’s possible to import the best sword in the first game into this one. If so, let’s go kick some monster butt!

Stages of the game

First impressions

This sequel sure looks different from its predecessor. The graphics are better, but the the game runs way slower than is should. I mean, this game is not by any means new, and I can play the newest games on ultra settings with my machine. After fiddling with the settings and disabling motion blur, it’s strangely much smoother now. The game must be poorly programmed for the performance to be this bad.

The combat is much more challenging than in the first game as well. I’m sure I’ll get into it. I completed some tutorial, and based on the results (i.e. I died pretty much instantly) the game suggested the easy difficulty setting. What an insult. I manually set it to normal.

I haven’t really gotten into the game still. So far I’m not too impressed though. Inexplicably bad performance (that I managed to make better by tweaking) and a strange, not very smooth combat system. Let’s see if it gets better after I get used to it.

Somewhere in the middle

Yeah okay, so I have changed my mind. This game is great. Very pleasing visuals, more graphic sex scenes (yay!) and the combat system is actually quite cool once you get the hang of it.

The difficulty, I find, is very uneven however. The first boss of the game still is the one I had to retry the most times so far. I guess it’s a combination of me slowly getting better at the game, and also my character leveling and acquiring new skills.

The story telling is very nice in this game. Most of the bad things from the predecessor have been fixed this time. The combat system is better (you pretty much have to use all spells, or signs as they are called, whereas in the first game I only ever used two out of five), the graphics are much better, there are many more NPC models etc.

Let’s see if this is as long a game as the first Witcher. I sure wouldn’t complain.

After finishing the game

So yeah, this game is difficult on kind of a Dark Souls level. I did not expect that. It does, however, with dignity continue the Witcher series.

In retrospect, what bothered me the most was the gameplay mechanics that I didn’t even need to use. Like, I could put out bombs and traps, but I never saw a need to do so. Just dodge, stab, rinse and repeat until dead. Also, the game is maybe a little bit linear, but hey, it tells a great story and is definitely one of the best games I’ve played (well, at least top 20 somewhere I guess).

Verdict

Play!