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Forums > Contributor Zone > Review of the Week: June 15-21, 2020.

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Author: JoeTheDestroyer (Mod)
Posted: July 03, 2020 (03:25 AM)
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Three reviews to do this week, including a holdover from Rob's week. This should've been done almost immediately, yet somehow I managed to put it off for a long time. Hey, I get a pass, as I did recently move. The relocation itself wasn't troublesome at all because we hired movers. The tough part was putting everything back together: re-establishing internet connection (I needed to have someone actually come over to do this, since the previous occupants had a really weird setup), mounting TVs to walls, mounting heavy furniture to walls because one of my kids is a climber, redecorating, assembling yard toys (swing set and trampoline)... At least it's all done.

I've only made a little game progress over the weeks. I've gotten pretty far in Grandia HD, having recently recruited Liete. I decided to try out the Tower of Temptation, since I didn't even know it existed the first time I played through the game. The enemies there are quite tough, as they're apparently immune to swords and strong against most other weapon types (not whips, though).

I also tried out 1000 Heads Among the Trees, which is a cheapo Steam horror game that's actually pretty decent. No, seriously. Though it uses the familiar rough presentation seen in so many asset flips, it offers a pretty intriguing experience where you walk around Cachiche, Peru and snap photos of ghostly activity, then show your pictures to locals so you can get the backstory behind the phenomena. The only thing stopping me from turning this into an actual project right now is its stability issues, where the game often crashes when you open the map. The last time I did that, I actually had to restart my computer. Neat ideas or not, I don't have the patience for that kind of nonsense right now.

I also tried out 1406, which is another Steam horror game published by Epic. It's visually appealing so far, but it's the kind of game I'll need to play in a single sitting one night, rather than in little spurts here and there.

As for movie viewings, I caught the '80s The Exorcist knock-ff, Mausoleum. This one is pretty standard in regards to plot, where a woman becomes possessed by a demon sealed away in her family's mausoleum. After reaching adulthood, the creature decides to unleash its fury upon any random bit role that comes close to her. The movie wasn't really well-received back in the day, and it certainly hasn't aged any better. It's reached nearly comical levels of badness, where you don't even need MSTK3 to ridicule its content. I mean, her family's name is Nemod? What the hell kind of Troll 2 shit is that? On top of that, the demon's suit is inadvertently hilarious, resembling a henshin villain from the '70s. She even has monstrous faces on her breasts, which only adds to the accidental comedy. Ultimately, it's a campy and fun movie, but definitely not one to be taken seriously.

As for the reviews:

Mariner reviewed Kakuro Magic for third place, and it sounded pretty awful. Kudos for not assuming your audience is familiar with Kakuro and actually filling them in with the relevant details. A game like this really shouldn't be any worse than average because there aren't many places for it to break. Obviously, as you gave this game a 1/5, it had to crack somewhere, and you did a fine job pointing out where the rift starts. The review is well done, but the subject matter doesn't really stack up to the other two on offer this week. Such is typically the case with puzzle game reviews.

Hollow Knight always sounded like a game you either love or hate, and Rob is apparently in the former category. He also takes you second place. This is a good, detailed review that doesn't give away any of its game's surprises. It also drops enough info to make the game sound interesting, giving me a reason to move it a little higher up on my priority list. Were it me at the keyboard, I probably would've bantered about so many specific moments that I wouldn't even realize I was spoiling the game for others, so you did a terrific job there.

EmP takes Review of the Week with Journey of a Roach, This review is both efficient and nuanced. It shows us the glaring flaws, but also discussing other smaller points without making those thoughts feel like clumsy asides. It's also fairly short, but doesn't feel abbreviated or cranked out. It's all one quick, nicely flowing piece, coming to a logical conclusion that's very well supported.

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That's all I got.


The only thing my milkshake brings to the yard is a subpoena.

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Author: overdrive (Mod)
Posted: July 03, 2020 (10:41 PM)
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Thanks for the kind words, Joe. Yeah, you NEED to play this one. The only real question will be if you feel like trying to stick it through to get better than the easiest (lol...) ending to get. Like I said, the game might not grab you initially, but after you beat the plot-important boss of Greenpath (the second real area you get to), things get super-good real quick. I legit feel this game does deserve being put up there with the greatest metroidvanias and credit for that goes to both the great design and the fact this game is TOUGH. I had that "KING OF THE WORLD, BAYYYY-BEEEEE!!!!" feeling more than once after getting through something here and the great thing was that it never felt like pulling teeth to get through those tough parts. I mean, I died more times than I'd care to admit, but it was in that "Lemme at 'em again!" kind of way than a "No, not cool..." about every time (with those "beat to get other endings" fights being the ones to hit me like that).

At least if our tastes in good gaming are as similar as I've gotten the impression they are. And I hope so, because in the (random year in the) future, I likely will play Risen 3 as its enhanced edition is a PS Now freebie and you made it sound better than anyone else has with your "yeah, it's fucked up in ways, but if you like this kind of thing, it'll give you the goods!' review.


I'm not afraid to die because I am invincible
Viva la muerte, that's my goddamn principle

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Author: EmP (Mod)
Posted: July 04, 2020 (11:58 AM)
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Appreciate the nod; it was a curtailed week after the site went all 2020 on us, but all is well again now! Roach was a real slog for a short game, but it's over now. On to the next one.

Props to Mariner and Rob. Thanks for the comments, Joe.


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