Devoting a thousand generations to beating up skeletons

Rogue Legacy

 

Tea: Peppermint

 

Since rogue-likes and Metroidvanias seem to be a stable go-to now for indie games, Rogue Legacy (a game I finally got around to playing last week) combines the two and delivers a solid, but far from perfect experience. What is more interesting than a normal review of the game is what can be drawn from this title for both Metroidvanias, rogue-likes and combinations of the two. Continue reading

How to make me not care about war

Dunkirk

 

Tea: Assam

 

The latest movie by one of my favourite directors, Christopher Nolan, is the war-movie-not-really-a-traditional-war-movie Dunkirk. While I am a huge fan of Christopher Nolan, it does not blind me like other fans and I won’t accept everything he throws my way out of sheer gratitude. That being said, I am also not a huge fan of war movies like Saving Private Ryan and I haven’t even seen Hacksaw Ridge, because… well, this will me make sound even crazier than usual, but I think the horrors of war depicted in movies are often rather funny. I can never truly connect with anyone in a war movie because everything is so corny. (Exceptions to these rules are Apocalypse Now and Full Metal Jacket for obvious reasons). The following is therefore a movie review with a big asterisk attached to it that if you genuinely get an emotional punch from war movies with high degrees of realism, you will most likely massively enjoy Dunkirk, for the rest of you, well, I’ll get to that now: Continue reading

And his name is Euron Greyjoy!

Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2: Stormborn

 

Tea: Chai

 

After a disappointingly slow and drawn out first episode, the second one tries to ramp up the stakes, but ends up creating one of the most disastrous episodes in the entire series. Horrible dialogue, overused tropes, and perhaps the most disgusting scene transition to be put on any screen. Follow me through the second episode and brew a strong tea beforehand, because this will be rough ride. Continue reading

Sometimes all you need are squids

Abzu

 

Tea: Pure crystal-clear water (not salt water though)

 

Whenever a game is described as “like game X, but…” I immediately grow suspicious as this either means the game is a direct carbon copy or game journalism has finally breathed its last breath. The new indulgence in calling everything “like Dark Souls” is annoying enough and Abzu was often described as “Journey but in the ocean” and while this does not sound like a solid argument to make you play the game, I played Abzu none the less and can now explain why it is nothing at all like Journey but rather a game on its own. Continue reading

A Crude Attempt

Until Dawn

 

Tea: Cocoa Tea

 

Until Dawn was praised last year as a bold new step in the horror genre with its pandering towards an “old school horror crowd” – a category as vapid and empty as most of the teens in this game. Now that I finally played it, the severe problems are all the more apparent. Being the pretentious-art-degree-holding-hipster that I am, I immediately hate what most people love and will now justify said hate. Continue reading

How can I break this? – Nioh

How can I break this? – Nioh

 

Tea: Mountain Herb Tea

 

The idea of breaking a certain medium apart to reveal its inner workings, the limits of it, and manufacturing new tools out of the remains is an idea I am taking from an excellent short essay by Tim Etchell in regard to theatre. In many ways Nioh sought to break apart the Souls games and the Ninja Gaiden games, and frankenstein something new out of them. As with every experiment like this, sometimes it might fail and somewhere else it might succeed. Today I want to take a look at the successes and failures and what can be learned for the future. Continue reading

Turning Words into Gameplay

Typoman Revised and Type:Rider

 

Tea: Sencha Ginger

 

Remember my visit to Gamescom 2016? I mentioned a game called Typoman, which I praised and could not wait to play. Recently, I finally had the pleasure of doing so and was immensely satisfied. I also played a game called Type:Rider which is overtly concerned with a similar theme, namely language and words, in this case the focus is more on the written word and its history, however. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea to talk a bit about both games and how one fails where the other succeeds.

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Beware of Papercuts

Tearaway Unfolded

Tea: Chocolate Tea

With phantom thieves banging on my window to start playing their game already, I cut out some time to make a little bit of space for Tearaway Unfolded. In hindsight, I couldn’t even tell you why. Partially because it was free and the remaining portion is due to a podcast backlog I have to work through and this seemed like the kind of game to do that. So before I can finally enjoy approximately 100 hours of typical Japanese highschool life, take a quick dive into the paper crafted world of Tearaway and prepare for some nasty papercuts. Continue reading

Falling to new heights

The Fall

Tea: Peppermint

Not every game has a place cut out for it. Sometimes certain elements are lacking to satisfy the palate of the general consumer, or a game is simply released at the wrong time and has to face the towering competition of other titles. When one of these titles soon to drown in the now sluggish swamp of oblivion has won several awards for the best story in the medium, I, of course, grow interested and this is how I ended up playing The Fall by Over the Moon Games. With my nerves still echoing with the tingling sensation of NieR Automata, it was nice to find a title that strikes a similar tone this soon and thus I began the short journey of A.R.I.D. Continue reading

The Weight of the World

NieR Automata

 

Tea: Yakushima (Japanese Black Tea)

 

I want to approach every game as unbiased as possible and judge it accordingly, but NieR Automata is a special case in more than one way. The original NieR is one of my all-time favourites which flew so low under the radar one could reasonably fear for it to go underground any second. The prospect of a second title never occurred to me. Gems like these are released and then forgotten, treasured only by a select few. The announcement of another title was the first dream come true, the second came in the form of Platinum Games whose combat design I always adore. After then hearing that even the composer would return for this title, nothing could contain my anticipation. Without seeing much of the game, it already had sky-high hopes to live up to. Up to the moment that I started the game for the first time, I still was in a dream-like state and could not believe this actually existed. I tell you all of this to make you understand what impossible odds this game faced and had to accomplish and now enjoy my thoughts after spending a lot of time with it. Continue reading