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Below, you can see the 20 most recent posts in the forums, starting with the most recent post first and working backwards. Signatures, avatars and other related information have been stripped so that the page will load quickly. Each post contains a link to the thread where it was posted so you can click to see it in its original context.

That must be frustrating for you to see that. Hope all goes well with the move.

I am about to make an effort to change hosts. The site was down for most of the last 24 hours. Support was useless, and in fact advised me against rebooting the server as part of an attempt to fix the problem, even though I finally did that and it immediately resolved the issue. I hate when the site is down for even a minute, and this latest outage--only the most recent in a string of them--was the last straw.

Moving servers is tricky. I don't know how well it will go, due to the sheer volume of files the site now relies upon. I have backed up the mysql database to significantly lessen the impact of any move, but please know that if the site does indeed move, any messages and submissions produced after I post this forum post you're reading right now may not make the move.

Of course I will keep you all informed once the move is finalized, and I hope any impact will last only briefly. I just thought you all should know!

Watch Dogs: Legion
PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
https://www.ign.com/articles/watch-dogs-legion-review?amp=1

Title: Grass Cutter: Mutated Lawns
Platform: PC
Genre:
Developer: Nikolai Usachev
Publisher: USANIK STD
Release date: (03/24/17)

Added.

Thanks.

Hasbro Game Night
Switch
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HNST5QL/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_imm_t1_XgSTFbDT2FM59

Added.

Demonís Souls
PS5
https://www.ign.com/articles/demons-souls-review-2?amp=1

Added.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales
PS5
https://www.amazon.com/Marvels-Spider-Man-Miles-Morales-Launch-PlayStation/dp/B08FC5J867

Added.

Thanks for the comments.

I know what you mean about playing a lot of average games, Pick. For me, it's been more in the "good, but not great" category, but it seems like I've reviewed a number of games recently that fit into the "I liked it, but didn't love it..." category that can be trickier to write about.

Dishonored was a step or two above that and New Super Mario Bros. will be, too, whenever I get the time to write that review (another work project, so my review-typing time is a bit more limited). Mafia II will be back in the "decent" category, but at least that'll have a hook (fun story that's basically playing through a mob movie, gameplay is GTA minus all the optional fun stuff that makes sandbox games truly fun).

Bloodborne, though, that will be pure gushing. And won't be that far in the future as, other than the final bosses, all I have yet to do is either finish the Chalice Dungeons or reach my breaking point with them. And I got a big boost early this morning, when after a dozen or so failures, I FINALLY got past Watchdog of the Old Lords in Cursed Pthumeru Defilement Chalice Dungeon. One more floor of that hellhole and I'll be off to the final Chalice! Although, to be fair, I have kind of enjoyed that one with the exception of the bosses because it's been a fun challenge to alter my fighting style to compensate for having half health.

Sorry to hear that about your family. Hopefully that's all that comes from that situation.

I guess I'm the odd one out on this site when it comes to Mega Man 11. I absolutely LOVE the lengthy stages, because that's one of the biggest flaws I had with some of the games in the classic series; just when a stage finally starts using its gimmicks in more challenging, diverse ways.... I get tossed into a boss fight. There's nothing I hate more than an interesting idea that hasn't been fleshed out in a video game.

But thanks for the third placement and comments! I seem to be hitting a lot of average games lately, unintentionally, so I guess I'm getting some good practice when it come to reviewing them. Good going to everyone that submitted this small week, and congrats EmP!

If you haven't read it by now, I am on quarantine because my oldest child and my wife tested positive. We are all fine now, though my wife and my daughter both had at pretty worrying cases. The former was sick for about two weeks before recovering (though she still gets exhausted every now and then), and the baby had a fever around 102 that thankfully broke the night it came along. The rest of us had fairly mild cases and bounced back quickly.

Thanks to this time off (as per the policy of Providence, for whom I work, I must remain at home until Thanksgiving), I've been able to polish off some of the stuff in my backlog: namely Ara Fell, Amazing Princess Sarah, Insincere and Kindergarten. I've also made some progress in others:

The Last of Us Remastered- I'm teetering on the borderline between declaring this game a generic action title that's overproduced and admitting I was wrong about it seeming overrated. On one hand, it perfectly captures the concept of struggling to survive without stomping you into the mud. You actually feel like you can handle any situation, but still get the impression that you're one missed bullet or broken shiv away from losing everything. As for progress, I just met the "crazy friend." People who have played will know whom I mean. On the other hand, most of the scenes are really just the same stuff you play in almost any game: generic stealth, underwhelming crafting, straightforward gunplay... The only difference is everything has that Naughty Dog action movie feel to it.

Azure Saga: Pathfinder- I don't think I've played a more generic RPG than this one. Okay, that's not entirely true, but while this game isn't terrible, it's quite a snoozer. I'm almost done with it, and the story has admittedly picked up a little. However, it remains your run of the mill, turn-based roleplayer without any standout features and with a glitchy shop menu that has caused me to close and reboot the game numerous times.

Mega Man 11- I never in a million years thought I would be disappointed by this one, but the game is really irritating. Like, levels are way overlong and have tons of instant kill segments, plus each stage has a mini-boss. I'll still push through this one, but I predict that it'll join Mega Man 9 on the "I don't have time or patience for this shit" pile.

I'm also hoping to get through The Witcher before going back to work, as well as start (and maybe finish) Bad Dream: Coma.

Anyway:

LEGO Indiana Jones
Overdrive
You know what's funny? My experiences with this game are almost identical to yours. I also bought this in 2008/9 when I got a 360. It was a pack-in that included Kung Fu Panda. However, I didn't wait twelve years to complete it, as this was one of the first 360 games I finished. You hit the nail on the head when it comes to LEGO games: they're only great if you're a fan of the source material. If you don't like Indiana Jones, then you're just going to end up forcing yourself through a generic action game that only exists as a piece of interactive memorabilia. Other than that, you described the game perfectly, so anyone reading it should know what they're getting into when/if they decide to hunt it down. You know, all three people still interested in this one...

Metal Wolf Chaos XD THIRD PLACE
Pickhut
It can be really hard to describe generic video games effectively, but this one does the trick. You get through the most tedious bits efficiently, but give us great descriptions of the things that matter, plus offer criticism where it's due. It's not enough that this game is basic, but it also sound kind of grindy, which doesn't mesh well with basic. But at least it's funny!

Fire Emblem: Three Houses SECOND PLACE
Mariner
The intro is great stuff! Anyway, I'm a big fan of reviews that leave you feeling like you just played the game yourself without giving too much away, and that's absolutely what this one accomplishes. I also like that you explained FE's combat for those who haven't played the series (I've only played through The Sacred Stones, so I'm somewhat familiar), and did so without a dry description. I don't have much more to say about this piece. It gives a lot of good support and its "nitpicks" are relevant to the thesis. Nice work!

Syberia 3 ***REVIEW OF THE WEEK***
EmP
Every time I see a Syberia game on Steam, I think, "Maybe I should play that series." But part of me is always like, "NO.... NO NO NO NO." I think the main reason I avoided it is that I know I'll play all of the games associated with the brand, and that only the first one is certifiably good. Here, your review of the third game tells me that I should heed the NOing voice.

This is the kind of bash review I look for: one that concedes the (few and far between) good points, but gives the bad stuff a good, clever thrashing. Your descriptions are funny, but better than that, they're helpful and informative. This review also bleeds personality, and that's why it takes the top spot this week.

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That's all I got.

Bahahahahar! Thank you for the placement. This game was really close to being just another ho-hum first-person horror stinker, but managed to impress me for the most part. I'm actually looking forward to its sequel.

I appreciate the nod; I did not enjoy my time with Metal Gear Survive, but I continue to play these awful games so you don't have to. Not that anyone would have probably played this mess anyway. I wanted to talk about my time with the series to build up the heights it used to exist at. It worked incredibly hard to convert even its most venomous detractors, and then immediately threw all that away. It's a relief to know that worked, of a sort.

It was a strong week, as Octobers usually are, so props to Joe and less to DE. Congrats also to Rob, who did this entire topic on his own without needing to be prompted once!

A busier week than I've had recently, with six new reviews to get through and one holdover by EmP. Also, there is one from me that gets to go to next week, so some lucky person (ie: Joe; ie: probably not all that lucky) gets to review my review of a Lego game. Anyway, three people place and three people get vague words from me about their stuff that may or may not actually make sense or even relate to their review.

EmP's Gears of War 2 review was a perfectly good bit of writing. I think a lot of us have done this before and know I have no room to be overly critical, but it can get a bit weird when I'm reading a positive-scored review that has a more negative tone. But I think you made it work pretty well, as you made it clear that you love the GoW gameplay and your issues were more with things like plot elements and stuff that is pure gaming tropes. that was inserted to what you describe as a very strong base.

zork86's Gabriel Knight review could use a little proofing. A few randomly capitalized words and punctuation errors and this was one of those reviews that just felt like ran a bit longer than necessary, with a lot of it feeling like a list where you were checking off one topic and then the next. It was an informative review, I just think it could have used a bit of proofing and tightening to get really good.

I really enjoyed vgc2000's review for Chakan. Having played it for a couple minutes and deciding it was crap based on that short amount of time, I was interested in this review from its positive tone about the game. I liked how you mentioned your complicated history with the game, where you liked it until becoming frustrated with its difficulty and then eventually decided to try again to see if you could overcome its challenges. You also had the same sort of sequential approach when describing the game, mentioning how the initial four stages work and then discussing the four harder versions of them you have to beat afterwards. Overall, a good read.

Brian's Amnesia review did a good job of winning me over because of how it approached this game, basically saying that a lot of the horror in the game comes from your perceptions in a smoke-and-mirrors game and then using the review to illustrate that. From mentioning how the early parts of game rely purely on atmosphere than enemies and then mentioning how, when enemies enter the fray, they can mostly be avoided. You also did good work with talking about the story and narrative, where you don't give too much information as far as spoilers go, but still are able to portray how the game might be too subtle for its own good.

THIRD PLACE

darketernal's Dead Head Fred (PSP)

If anything, you may have at least won obscurity points when it came time for you to pen a OctJOEber review. This was just a very solid review that describes the game, from its plot to its gameplay. You did a good job of describing how the Head mechanic works and how a proficient player with that mechanic can really make the game a lot easier. You made this game sound like it'd be pretty fun to play and when I was wondering why I'd never heard of it, you even concluded by discussing why it fell beneath the radar. One of those reviews where I feel like my comments were generic, but I liked it because it did everything it was supposed to do.

SECOND PLACE

Joe's Bendy and the Ink Machine (PC)

Of your OctJOEber reviews, I think I liked this one the best because the game gave you something a bit meatier than another discussion of why cheap-ass crappy Steam games don't really work as far as actual horror goes. And this game, at the least, does seem like it'd be fun to write about. Your description of its premise made it seem like something I'd be interested in at least experiencing. And even when you got to the the inevitable flaws, they felt more like annoyances than game-breakers. It might not be a perfect or even that great of a game, but the combination of its premise and your writing does make it sound like an intriguing one.

REVIEW OF THE WEEK (aka: Overdrive Place)

EmP's Metal Gear Survive (PC)

With all the times you comment on my reviews rambling, I probably should eviscerate you for having a lengthy three-paragraph introduction that details your history with Metal Gear games, including a long paragraph gushing over a completely different game than the one you're reviewing. Fortunately for you, I'm the bigger man and have to concede that you did a really good job using that introduction to utterly bludgeon this game. After your history lesson, you entered "having fun with bash reviews" zone and entered it with gusto, basically alternating between bashing the more stupid elements of it and then simply stating that this game is boring --- a worse fate than merely being bad. I found this to be a really fun review to get through and, while it does hurt, I am giving it the win.


And now, I'll go back to wondering just why I decided to start both God of War II and Darksiders at the same time, since they're so similar, with the most notable gameplay difference being how Darksiders used Zelda as inspiration for its dungeons.

Pikmin 3 Deluxe
Switch
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08FC1GZ62/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_iaZNFb451SRS1?_x_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Added.

Sonic Mania + Team Sonic Racing Double Pack
Switch
https://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Mania-Team-Racing-Double-Pack/dp/B08GHH697V

Added.

Sonic Forces + Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD Double Pack
Switch
https://www.amazon.com/Sonic-Forces-Super-Monkey-Ball-Nintendo/dp/B08GH66MK2

Added.

Another year done -- good work, gang.

Thank you for the victory. I'm glad to take the crown with a first-person horror game, because even the good ones are getting hard to write about without feeling like I'm just copy and pasting material from previous ones. Congrats as well to OD and CTP.

I have an ineligible Gears of War 2 review which I mention here so I can mock Rob all the harder when he misses it next week.


THIRD - F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin [PC] Cpt Thought Process


This is a good short review, but it has a tendency to talk around the game rather than about it. It talks about what the previous game did well, and tries to point out when this game does them better or worse, but itís very example light and often feels like a tell don;t show kind of review. Itís also, as we used to say back in the day, likely that you snacked on thesaurus for breakfast on day of writing, because thereís a lot of grand sounding words included, but theyíre sometimes not the best word choices you could have had. Some sentences feel stuffy and would have benefited from simpler wording to get your point across.


SECOND - Knack [PS4] Overdrive


Robís struggle to talk about a very mediocre 3D platformer is real. Knack really is the kind of game where youíll struggle for much to say because it isn;t exactly good, but itís not awful or broken, either. I think you initially do well with tying that into the review for the first three paragraphs, but you then struggle after the first screenshot and list through stuff quickly in an attempt, I assume, to get to the end and push this nonsense from your plate. Sometimes, you can literally see the enthusiasm you begrudgingly summoned up at the start of the review leaving your writing as you progress. Itís not going to win you any awards this week, old chum, but I salute you for sticking with it and getting it done.


FIRST - Into The Gloom [PC] Joe


Itís a testament to Joe rather than a slight against the rest of this weekís review pool, when I say there were a couple of his reviews that could have taken the top spot this week. It helps his case that heís decided to wait until itís my RotW slot and then go all OctJOEber on me out of what Iíll assume is spite. Originally, I had Ethan Carter as the weekís winner, which I thought was probably the best written review submitted this week, but I;íve swapped Gloom in right at the end, and I guess Iíll tell you why. Iíve spent years reading Joe reviews about awful horror games heís picked up from Steam for $1 and then gently pulls apart for our reading pleasure, and thatís exactly where I thought Gloom was heading. Except it wasnít; Joe likes Gloom and, by reviewís end, he manages to make not only the game heís talking about sound good, but further damn all the other ones because of the similarities between the countless bad and this one good. If Gloom can get it done on this engine, why canít you, Spooky House Window Scare Simulator 6? Shame on you.


TAGLINE OF THE WEEK

Gary Hartley says: "A little elementary, my Gear Watson"
Joseph Shaffer says: "Wight at the Museum"

Hey, thanks for the comments!

Thanks for the comments. Like I remember saying elsewhere, it's so rare that I review a sports game, I had no idea if it would turn out all that quality or not, but you made it sound like I did a good job. Too bad it was a good job on a large week full of strong contributions, so it didn't place, but a good job nonetheless.

I didn't think I had three reviews in a week left in me these days. There's a very decent chance such an outlandish happenstance will never happen again, but thanks for getting on it, as well as all the other reviews this time of year brings out of the woodwork. It's always fun to see new people find their way onto the podium, except when one of those people is DE.

Appreciate the feedback.

I'm behind on this, so I'm just going to cut to the chase.

SOMA - EmP ***REVIEW OF THE WEEK***
Wherein EmP attempts to talk about a game where the less you know, the better. And skillfully handles the material, no less. This review leaves me wanting to play the game while veiling enough of its content to make room for surprises. This is no small feat, as trying to make a great review while remaining as vague as possible is tricky to pull off, but you do so here and make it look effortless.

Tusker's Number Adventure - EmP
I don't really have anything to crit on this one. It doesn't exactly lend itself to a review because it's yet another one of those "the less you know" kind of games. Unlike SOMA, there isn't much you can say without spoiling the whole shebang. It gets the point across and that's ultimately what matters.

Iron Harvest - EmP
I'm always interested on your take on strategy games, because you describe them such that non-strat players like myself can easily visualize what it is they offer. They also sound intriguing to me, but not enough that I'll want to spend any length of time getting used to them. This review takes a look at a lot of intricate nuances and could easily be your best review this week (were it not for SOMA) simply because of how detailed it is and the way you seamlessly take the experience apart, maintaining a voice of expertise the whole way.

Gynophobia - GeoLuz
This is a pretty straightforward review that does a fair enough job of describing its subject. I didn't feel like there was much info here to support a 2/5 rating. I feel this review would've flowed better with criticisms spread throughout the piece, rather than all gathered and lightly touched on in the last couple of paragraphs.

Budget Cuts - Pickhut
I don't really have much to say on this one. It's a good, effective review that describes the game properly and offers strong support for its rating. You do a fine job of making it sound interesting, which says a lot since I don't have much interest in VR just yet.

Super Mega Baseball - OD
There's no better way to tackle a sports game than to dive right in and give the info on features and mechanics. That's precisely what you do here, effortlessly describing the game in a way that demonstrates your enthusiasm for it without anally listing "this is bad, this is good, this is..." As it turns out, I have one of these games in my Steam library, acquired through a Humble Bundle offer. Though I didn't particularly want the game, your review now leaves me looking forward to eventually playing it.

The Witcher - Darketernal ***SECOND PLACE***
I've been playing this game off and on lately, though I think I'll be diving into some other titles while picking at this one. I think of all the reviews I've read from you, this one is my favorite. It flows wonderfully and gives details very fluidly. You raise some really good points regarding the game's flaws, too, which I've noticed some fans are quick to dismiss. (Only one small line crit: "polish" should be capitalized.)


FEAR - Cpt_Though_Process ***THIRD PLACE***
This is one of the most efficient reviews I've read for this--and no, I'm not using "efficient" as a euphemism for "short." You got the point across effectively while wasting little space or breath, effortlessly telling the world why FEAR is good, but not great. Personally, I found the game a little repetitive and short on scares (though altogether decent, at least), but totally dug its expansion packs.

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I now have to return to usual routine of trying to get delisted Steam horror games to work, then hoping I can actually finish them and write without bumping into too many crashes.

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