Yet another Metroidvania type game with a name that I have no idea whatsoever what it means. Gotta be good, right?

I only now heard of this game since it was nominated for game of the year from what I can gather. It was right up there along with Undertale (which maybe you know is one of my all time favorites) so the bar is set quite high for this. Apparently, just like Undertale, everything in this game was created by one single person and strangely, I have come to accept that such games are generally better than the multi million dollar productions publishers like EA and Ubisoft dish out.

It’s strange – as all my friends played Metroid, I never really gave it a chance. I tried it a few times and did not like it at all. Quite a few years later, I started playing other games influenced by Metroid (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night for example) and really liked the Metroidvania conecpt. I then started playing Super Metroid and found that hey, this is not bad at all! So I have kind of taken the reverse course here.

Stages of the game

First impressions

This game sure has some pretty SNES graphics. The music contributes to the mood with its heavy bass and space sounds. It is quite influenced by Metroid and Castlevania; it does not take a genius to tell. I miss Metroid’s spinning jump sound and animations though.. wooshwooshwooshwoosh!

I have become a very easily bored gamer. Most games can’t hold me interested for very long. This is one of those games that still can, however, it seems. I’m having a blast.

Somewhere in the middle

The music and some of the art is creeping me out for real. To be perfectly honest, as I lay in my bed last night before going to sleep, I realized I was reluctant to continue playing because of this. Still, this is the first time in a while that I haven’t been bored with a game, even for a minute. There were even moments in Undertale (!!) that I felt boredom come creeping a little bit. So, despite being a little shaky, here I am, continuing playing this great game.

Like I’ve already stated, this is a very Metroidvania game. One of the cool features is glitching: the protagonist can use his cool space gun to glitch enemies and certain objects. When I talk about glitching, think NES games fucking up resulting in weird graphical glitches. Different kinds of enemies react in different ways to glitching. Some become much easier and some actually become harder. Some become moving blocks that the player can stand on. It’s all very strange, very creepy and very unique.

Just drillin' the old the drillin' drill.

Just drillin’ the old the drillin’ drill.

I quite like the boss battles. They are very much “hey, just stand in this corner and fire and you’ll be fine” but it does take some effort to find that sweet spot. I have read some complaints online about this, but they people complaining must not have played many older games. The bosses are all patterns in old NES games, and I’d much rather have that than random bosses shooting projectiles and fire all over, making me feel clumsy and bad at the game.

I’d say it’d take something very drastic to keep me from recommending this game to everyone in the end. It’s just great.

After finishing the game

Yes, yes, yes. Buy this, play this, love this. This, along with Undertale, is by far one of my favorite games of the year (and the year is almost over, so they will likely stay that way).

There are some downsides. For one, the final boss battle was pretty anti climatic. I expected some big monster with several different forms, each harder than the previous one. Well, that wasn’t the case. Also, there may have been a bit too much running around the somewhat large map which got a bit tedious at times. A lot of people seem to have gotten stuck a few times in the game, but that didn’t really happen to me.

Verdict

Play!

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!

Ok, so I find that my usual review format is rather awkward for the type of games that doesn’t really have an ending, like online games for instance. Such is also the case for Euro Truck Sim (at least I think so), so I created a new category for this: “Endless”. I will just briefly talk about these games and then put a verdict on them. Now, let’s put on that beard and get on with Euro Truck Simulator…

I never sat behind a wheel in my life. Well, maybe I did, but I certainly never drove a car. When I saw Euro Truck Simulator 2 in a bundle on Steam, I couldn’t resist. I have heard surprisingly good things about this game.

I decided to go with a manual gearbox (hey, this is a European truck sim, not American!) which of course was not going to do me, the inexperienced (to say the least) driver, any favors. Sticks and stones may break my bones, and the stick certainly broke me at first.

Guess what? I really like this game. It’s very relaxing, and I think I may even be learning some things about traffic. The controls felt a bit clunky at first, but that’s probably just my inexperience showing, because after having played for about an hour, I did just fine.

I pick up this game from time to time now, put some Lynyrd Skynyrd on in the background and go crazy on the roads by OBEYING THE LAW, BABY! I certainly recommend this to anyone who wants a nice little piece of zen in their lives. Play this with a controller though (or I guess a wheel and pedals).

Verdict

Play!