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box cover thumbnail FreeCol

FreeCol

The Good
One of the best Colonization games of all time!

The Bad
Still quite buggy; came back recently to try version 1.0 for a bit; can't wait for version 2.0; what, 5 years maybe?

The Bottom Line
I keep coming back when I tire of playing other games

Windows · by DarkNite · Jul 19, 2024

box cover thumbnail Yoku's Island Express

Fantastic Pinballoidvania

The Good
Villa Gorilla have created a seemingly unworkable blend of genres and turned it into a fantastic, chill experience with awesome "water-painty" art style and relaxing OST. It excels in almost everything it does, campaign is short but engaging. It's really the side quests that did it for me - there isn't many of them mind you, but the characters you meet are worth playing for just a little longer. The puzzle are never very hard, but are well thought-out and just enjoyable to solve in general.

The Bad
Lack of jump button felt counter-intuitive for me at first but after an hour or so, you realise that the flippers is all you need really, to enjoy the traversal. The map could be a little bit more detailed, a tad more readable - it's not too bad, but makes backtracking a chore sometimes.

The Bottom Line
Completed it in about 11 hours, that's full 100% - and I was taking my time with the game. All in all - it is a great "pinballoidvania", a blend of genres that should never work together, yet here they do. It's amazing that no one else had thought of a similar game since 2018.

PlayStation 4 · by jackhnatejko (24) · Jul 18, 2024

box cover thumbnail Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy

A great introduction to the Phoenix Wright series

The Good
The game contains the first 3 titles in the Phoenix Wright series originally released for the Game Boy Advance, but is more well-known as Nintendo DS titles because that's when the titles were released outside Japan. That's a lot of content that will take awhile to complete. There are a lot of interesting characters that make the games more engaging to play. You would also think that the music wouldn't be anything special, but it turns out that the 3 soundtracks are worth listening to outside of playing the game. All of this adds up to being a lawyer defending his client very fun and not boring or even insidious like in real life with lawyers defending criminals like OJ Simpson. There's actually a case where Phoenix has to defend someone who did commit a crime but blackmails him due to putting his friend Maya's life on the line which makes it tense, and makes Phoenix Wright a better character compared to lawyers in real life.

The Bad
There are times when you present evidence in court due to logic reasoning but the game will say that the evidence doesn't match with the contradiction. It won't be until later when you can correctly present evidence because the game says so. Some cases such as the last one in the first game aren't well made due to ridiculous accusations against the defendant and overall taking a long time to complete which makes you want the case be over with. Due to being a visual novel, there's a lot of text to go through and no action, so people that have poor reading comprehension skills like Michael Zimnicki won't like this game. The localization is worth criticizing due to the games taking place in Japan, but for whatever reason the English localization decided that the setting is Los Angeles, which becomes problematic especially in later entries because cases involve specific things in Japanese culture.

The Bottom Line
Get this game and fall in love with this series.

No one has rated your review yet.

Nintendo 3DS · by Anonymous · Jul 15, 2024

box cover thumbnail Elden Ring

Masterpiece

The Good
Combat system Huge Map Vast weapon inventory Open World

The Bad
None, no weak points imo

The Bottom Line
Loved it, one of the best games so far.

Windows · by André Moutinho · Jul 14, 2024

box cover thumbnail Total Annihilation: Kingdoms

Excellent but unknown.

The Good
Total Annihilation: Kingdoms was released early-to-mid summer of 1999, before Tiberian Sun and Age of Empires 2, and more than a year since StarCraft, being one of major mainstream real-time strategies of those times. Yet you will not find this game in "top best rts of the past" lists, nor will you find reviews from major sources, which would dare to call it something above "good" and you won't even find it among answers to "best obscure rts worth playing?" question. Amounts of deranged nonsense, lies and obscurity surrounding this game are ridiculous. I will try to counter this.

Aesthetic value of games is often ignored, which greatly devalues many titles. Kingdoms stands out in this area, having truly beautiful graphics (this ranges from little details and special effects to overall look of the game, including loading screen, interface, mini-videos (just animated race emblems) and pictures during narrative sequences), and wonderful instrumental music by Jeremy Soule (Morrowind, Neverwinter Nights, Dungeon Siege 2, Oblivion, Skyrim and other). Sound effects and voiceover are nice too. Weapon-hits-object sounds actually depend on type of target - flesh, stone, wood, which is unusual. Game's plot is presented as war chronicle themed narrative, and leaves very good impression too.

Kingdoms has proper simulation of 3D space (rules of this space apply to everything - no cheating), which allows many interesting things, for example: melee attack can miss if target suddenly moves away, catapult can accidently hit flying unit, walls block all projectiles, but defensive towers can easily shoot above walls (because of height difference) and winged units never hang in one place without purpose, instead flying somewhere or landing if idle. Melee units can attack on the move, and many can hit targets at different ranges (if i am not wrong) and possibly in a wide arc (this depends on weapon and attack animation randomly chosen for current strike).

Maps aren't small and can have cities, villages, forests, lakes, ocean and other, often including lots of "unnecessary" space. All settlements are inhabited by npcs and cattle, and wilderness by various animals. As a result maps feel like proper parts of imaginary world, instead of stupid cage for a player with pre-determined scenario of what will happen and how (excellent example of such approach is Wings of Liberty). Highly detailed pre-rendered 3D landscapes and overall nice and detailed graphics in combination with proper 3D physics create interesting feel of "being there", which isn't possible in much more abstract 2D rts (and interestingly most of 3D rts too). Of course to achieve this you need to play in 640x480 resolution, as increasing it will simply make everything smaller, and very distant.

Kingdoms has amazing quantity of unit types, many with interesting and often very powerful special abilities (permanent petrifying, paralysis, mind control (includes mass-control variant) or resurrection of any units to player's side (which means you can use enemy race), waterwalking, invisibility, raising dead as ghouls, various area of effect damage spells and more). Studio like Blizzard would deem most of units "unnecessary" and abilities "too powerful", but luckily Cavedog had different views, creating interesting and varied gameplay as a result, instead of boring multiplayer-oriented balance. Some of interesting units and buildings are bomber-dirigibles, floating (on water!) towers and trebuchet, game includes early guns and cannons too. Proper naval gameplay is present (for example building land army on a small island to attack continent), as well as possibility of full-scale air attacks (such possibilities depend on race).

Players with imagination are rewarded with interesting sandbox-style gameplay, considering all possibilities available. Resources are infinite, everything (even buildings) slowly regenerates hit points, and units (and defenses!) gain levels (within single mission). AI is often allowed to develop itself (it likes to build multitudes of towers in some missions, which makes enemy base much more fun to attack - you need to give AI enough time to achieve this, and not to hurt its economy, as it may never rebuild it), and is even able to develop your race's buildings and units - if it mind-controls your builder). Obviously if you rush to "complete" the game ASAP, you will miss all this, as many reviewers did.

Controls are very advanced (you will have to check game's readme file to learn all available hotkeys), clearly surpassed only by much newer Supreme Commander. Interesting and fun (and i suspect is largely unknown) unique possibility is to assign multiple factories to control group (for convenience - this way you can select all produced units by selecting this control group), and create "patrol" path (with multiple patrol nodes) leading to enemy base and covering it fully, and then order infinite unit production (of cheap units, zombies work best) - this will produce infinite automatic attack on enemy base, which can be very entertaining. Pure "attack move" function is missing, but is easily replaced with "patrol" function combined with aggressive unit behaviour. You can even drag-select an area to be cleared by a builder, and pressing "tab" will expand mini-map to fullscreen mode, allowing easy targeting of enemy units by "radar" (useful for trebuchet for example). Game speed has many levels, and can be slowed down to a level of "slo-mo", if you so desire. One review here says that mouse control is single click, but this is wrong, as it is possible to enable starcraft-style right click move/action.

The Bad
Game has some minor problems, but these are insignificant (for campaign mode at least). Units sometimes may go to "sleep" (if defensive unit behaviour is selected), forgetting to shoot enemies in range, but this is easily countered by refreshing unit's behaviour. In some (typically rare) cases pathfinding does not work well, but this can be circumvented by assigning multiple path nodes. Unusual structure of campaign sometimes disallows you to properly (with building bases and units) play certain races at certain campaign stages, but overall there are more than enough good missions, so this is not a problem. What is really sad is that AI does not want to create armies in "skirmish" mode, instead sending lone units to wander the map, but for "campaign" mode AI does work properly. Some missions are a bit strange - too easy or short, but this does not affect better parts of campaign in any way. Multiplayer never was the strongest part of this game, but this hardly matters nowadays.

The Bottom Line
What do we have overall? Excellent (mostly) quality, excellent and somewhat unusual gameplay (and with many interesting possibilities too), exceptional aesthetic value. I think that combination of wonderful music and graphics makes this game absolutely untouchable by most other games, as gameplay alone can never give such impressions. For that reason this game stays among the very best for me. But even for people who do not care about music or graphics, Kingdoms is one of the few great rts games of the nineties (and early 2000s), one of those elite games of the past, and it still has great gameplay.

In its time, lack of VIP-status "can write only good" for this game (hey, you are not C&C and not xCraft and not AoE - you are out of luck then!) and general stupidity of many reviewers (which disallowed them to see anything truly worthy in this game, and allowed to see "problems" which never existed), has led to Kingdoms being marked as some generic "ok game", not worthy of any major attention. But in reality it is truly wonderful game (a little miracle, really), which never got recognition it deserved - as it never had something obviously amazing for its time to attract people, and in addition was a bit "strange". If you have a good taste and some imagination, there's a very good chance of suddenly discovering one of the best rts (and maybe even games) in Total Annihilation:Kingdoms - if you give it a chance.

p.s. Kingdoms isn't really difficult or anything like that, because it was aimed at the masses, just like Tiberian Sun, Age of Empires 2 and other hits of those times, so you shouldn't be scared to try it. Add-on for the game - "Iron Plague", is mostly excellent too, and has many very good (especially naval) missions.

Some useful info (as it is very easy to not know this): - Choosing (by separate exe file) 3D-accelerated rendering mode (Direct3D or 3Dfx Glide) will make some effects look better and add some new. - Patched game version decreases visual size of dirigible, which is obviously wrong. Version 1.0 is fine (if it works for you).

Windows · by deerwolf · Jul 13, 2024

box cover thumbnail Rhythm Heaven

A great rhythm game that doesn't require a giant plastic controller

The Good
Unique gameplay that only involves the stylus. Great soundtrack. Creative and humorous minigames.

The Bad
A lot of the songs are love songs which may turn off some people. Trying to get a medal by scoring perfectly is cumbersome: the game tells you when you can get an opportunity to get a perfect medal randomly. Once that happens, you only have 3 tries and if you blow it those 3 times, then you lose your chance and have to wait for the game to give you the opportunity again to get a medal.

The Bottom Line
More people should play this game and the sequels. A very creative series from the same people that made the Warioware games.

Nintendo DS · by 45th&47th (843) · Jul 12, 2024

box cover thumbnail 10-Yard Fight

Briefly enjoyable.

The Good
Solid gameplay, enjoyable quirks, decent graphics

The Bad
Too easy. Would be more replay-able if the difficulty increased more.

The Bottom Line
Briefly enjoyable retro game that needs the difficulty level turned up.

Playing against the computer was only challenging the first couple of games, with each subsequent increase in level Only getting mildly harder.

There were some fun bits, like using your blockers while trying to find a running hole or some clear air to pass through. Eventually, though, this just turned into a game of cat and mouse with the computer rather than having any need of nuanced strategy.

NES · by tvail4 (4) · Jul 11, 2024

box cover thumbnail The Lake House: Children of Silence (Collector's Edition)

I had problems with this game

The Good
The best I can say about this game is that I bought a mint copy very cheaply.

The Bad
I had problems installing the FOCUS Essentials release of this game, Windows 10 flat out refused to run the installation process. I tried running as administrator, tweaking the properties and my usual tricks and nothing worked. Eventually I created an .iso file and using this I was able to install the game on the virtual Windows XP machine I used for playing old games. However even after it had been installed it still would not run.
My disc was in mint condition, my virus checker scanned it and said it was fine, I suspect the game tries to access some protected Windows settings.

The Bottom Line
I struggled with this game and I lost. A solution may have been possible if I had been willing to delve into Windows settings and tweak/relax something but, for me, no game is worth doing that.

As a result of my issues I cannot recommend this game.

Windows · by piltdown_man (245952) · Jul 10, 2024

box cover thumbnail Dr. Shrink

FUN! and surprisingly accurate!

The Good
If you like (pina coladas) - Ouija boards, fortune cookies, and taking surveys - this gives you a number of paragraphs of "prediction" about your personality. It is surprisingly accurate and reads like REAL analysis.

The Bad
You are supposed to answer what you THINK the other person would say - but, frankly, why wouldn't you just answer about yourself (ie: this is a bit of a twist).

The Bottom Line
What the heck! Answer the questions and have a laugh. You might be like me and still have the 1987 results in 2024!

DOS · by suzQ! · Jul 9, 2024

Merchant of Venus

Could've been up there with the greats... difficulty curve kills it.

The Good
Well thought out trading game like a cut down version of "Elite" on a ZX81. The flying sequence is basically Lunar Lander but it really shines when the camera view switches to landing mode - each trade port is lovingly crafted with the ZX81 character set. You'll want to visit them all to appreciate them all.

The Bad
The Lunar lander flying part is ludicrously hard - I bet that difficulty killed the player's interest in the rest of the game.

The Bottom Line
I think Crystal had gotten the idea from "Elite" on the BBC micro and tried a similar idea set on a single planet. The player would have to pilot his "lander" over the landscape to various trading posts and mining instalations to conduct business. This was easier said than done as it was VERY hard to land at destination without (A) crashing or (B) landing so hard that your ship was effectively wrecked. The graphics weren't hi res but they were lovingly crafted and if it wasn't for the difficulty curve in piloting the ship, it would be a pretty compelling game...

ZX81 · by Rendell001 · Jul 7, 2024

box cover thumbnail Hunchback

Platformers have gone a long way since 1983

The Good
Some of the bells make sounds when you touch them. It's a competent platformer for 1983.

The Bad
Quasimodo has the strangest walking animation I've ever seen. The game is very strict on your jumps being precise when trying to get on a rope and jump over the guards with lances. There are sections where arrows and fireballs are shot at the left side of the screen just before Quasimodo gets hit which makes it almost impossible to dodge right away.

The Bottom Line
I'm probably spoiled by playing much better platformers released after this game, so I can understand why people have fond memories of playing this when it came out.

Arcade · by 45th&47th (843) · Jul 7, 2024

box cover thumbnail Weapon Shop de Omasse

very creative

The Good
has an interesting dinamic

The Bad
its repetitive and it dosent have a lot of variants of weapons

The Bottom Line
a good game, I have good memories playing this

Nintendo 3DS · by WOWAKA · Jul 6, 2024

box cover thumbnail Far: Lone Sails

Nice Experience

The Good
The game is in a similar vein as Limbo and Inside. The innovating aspect is how the player must keep their vehicle running. This isn't very hard to do, but does make the game feel unique. You slowly build a bond with the hunk of metal which is a great feat for a game to achieve.

The Bad
Not necessarily bad as the puzzles are nice, but 90% of them are quite simple and straight forward, only near the end of the game did they require a bit more experimentation to figure out.

The Bottom Line
A nice and generally relaxing road trip with some puzzles and world building in between.

Nintendo Switch · by vedder (71281) · Jul 4, 2024

box cover thumbnail Adaca

We don't need Half-Life 3

The Good
- Lots of AI vs AI battles for you to wait out or join in - Physics puzzles are limited to stacking boxes, no annoying see-saw puzzles a la Half-Life 2 - No annoying burrowing or tiny flying swarm enemies - No annoying invisible radiation damage areas - No annoying kissing of player butt by NPCs - Good pacing, game is not in love with its own dialogue or level design to force impatient players into torturous waiting - The single best FPS weapon system to counter inventory management and ammo preservation syndrome: too few slots and too much variation, so at some point you give in and just start using what you get left and right

The Bad
- In particular the friendly NPC lowpoly 3D models look low-effort, no mouth animations - Dialog panel sometimes gets stuck (but it doesn't break the game) - [spoiler]You shoot dogs[/spoiler]

The Bottom Line
Do you love padded out FPS levels with unnecessary enemy waves to expand playtime? Then ADACA might not be for you. Else, you might appreciate the meaning of ADACA: (A) Attention (D) Disorder people will (A) Absolutely (C) Cherish this (A) Game.

No one has rated your review yet.

Windows · by Anonymous · Jul 4, 2024

box cover thumbnail Ready, Set, Cook!

THIS GAME IS TOO GKOD TO HAVE A LIL BIT OF MAPS! NEED MORE LIKE NOW!!!

The Good
Everything. This game is very addictive.

The Bad
This game needs way more maps. Disappointing how quick the game ends.

The Bottom Line
This game is too good to have a lil bit of maps.

Browser · by 7milecookah · Jul 4, 2024

box cover thumbnail Dragon Ball Z: The Legacy of Goku

A shameless cash in on the legendary anime

The Good
Music is nice. A Dragon Ball RPG is a cool idea as you see Goku get stronger as the game goes on just like in the anime.

The Bad
Goku starts off very weak. He will die from crabs, dinosaurs, and wolves in the first area of the game which makes him look like a wimp in comparison to the anime. Stupid quests such as finding a pterodactyl's egg and finding a cat. Punching is useless because it leaves you completely defenseless. King Kai teaches Goku the kamehameha instead of the kaioken and the spirit bomb. Omits a lot of the Saiyan and Namek sagas due to only focusing on Goku. The kamehameha has poor hit detection. All bosses are the same. They will charge an energy blast or try to punch you. Ugly portraits of characters in dialogue boxes.

The Bottom Line
Play this game to see how the sequels are vastly superior to this game.

Game Boy Advance · by 45th&47th (843) · Jul 4, 2024

box cover thumbnail Batman: The Video Game

Simple, but fun enough

The Good
Clean platform game, with smooth movements and quite the weak gravity to help you to measure your jumps. The music is excelent, as usual for a Sunsoft game. Batsy with a gun... he he he

The Bad
Short and easy, Batman doesn't feel like himself. Shooting enemies doesn't hit the spot, if you know what i mean.

The Bottom Line
Worth a trying. Maybe not the best Batman game, but neither the worst.

Game Boy · by lalageno · Jul 3, 2024

box cover thumbnail Jaws

Throw the cartridge in the ocean as shark bait

The Good
Nothing good really.

The Bad
The gameplay is very repetitive. Jaws takes a million harpoons to defeat. Not a lot of enemy variety. Sometimes when you want to collect conch shells, you won't trigger the action stage, and when you just want to reach for one of the ports, you will trigger the action stage very often!

The Bottom Line
If you really want to play this game, make sure you use a turbo controller or enable turbo if you're playing on a emulator.

NES · by 45th&47th (843) · Jul 3, 2024

box cover thumbnail Angel Legion

Like an itch that I have to scratch, I just can't leave it alone

The Good
I’ve been playing this game on and off for eight months now. I started playing out of curiosity just to see how much of a single player game this MMO game offers and how far I can get without buying anything.

Well, as I say, I am eight months in and I am still playing so it definitely is possible to play this game in single player mode. Other players are around and I challenge them, or rather their squad of characters, in the game's 'Adventure Mode' and in leagues but I do not have to actually interact with anyone. I can befriend other players and friends can help each other I can exchange gifts with these friends and, I believe, messages but that is not what I set out to do so I have ignored that element of the game. There are also leagues to join but I have ignored that side of the game too.

So what is there in the game? Well there is a story, it is not just one battle after another. The players first character is Miya and a large part of the story is about her development. I play as a hunter, a sort of squad leader, and she is/was one of the first Angels who has been resurrected and is still learning to become ‘human’. We are fighting for the good guys, (but are they really the good guys), against the rebels (who may or may not be the bad guys) and then there’s the mysterious Eastern Alliance faction, the mysterious Old Gods and so-on - all his unfolds in 'Adventure Mode'.

For some reason Miya and I share a cabin on a space ship so on one level there is a social interaction side to the game where I earn points and buy furniture and equipment for our quarters. This is one way to level Miya up which unlocks events and conversations as I go.
The loot I win in battles can be spend them on levelling Miya up and increasing her, and the other Angels, combat strength.
Finally in the Adventure mode there is the main story and sometimes a battle there will earn a memory fragment that will help Miya remember who/what she is/was/will be – I know that is a bit vague but I am still working through this and even if I knew more it would be a game spoiler.

There is no nudity in the game. There are lots and lots of costumes some of which are quite skimpy so there’s some side boob and/or some buttock cheek showing but that’s it.

The game resets every so often, I think it is every month, and as a result progress in the leagues and tables is lost and has to be earned again. It is worth taking part in the leagues because not only are there rewards for winning matches but there are daily rewards for players depending on rank, anyone in the top thousand gets something with the rewards increasing the higher ranked you are.

Add this to daily and weekly goals, assorted rankings that get reset and which have to be earned all over again, plus resource management and you get a game where lots of micro decisions need to be made each day. Then there are the ‘Events’ which happen every couple of weeks. Mostly they seem to be geared to encourage players to spend cash and get special power ups and exclusive costumes but there generally seems to be something there for tightwads like me.

The Bad
The graphics are not as smooth as I’d like and sometimes they are a little glitchy, for example when I pick up the latest free costume and pose Miya, just so that I can add the DLC to the database you understand, occasionally her long hair disappears inside her body and I can see that some of her curvy bits are made up of short straight lines. Minor stuff because really I’m not that all interested in posing her in different costumes, the stock costumes look pretty good to me.

I have hit the point where the game is becoming a quite grindy. I am losing battles in the game’s 'Adventure Mode' to players who are at a lower XP level but have more developed characters, I'm guessing they probably bought a package. In order to progress I need to do stuff in the leagues and arenas to get the resources I need to level up my squad and make them stronger. What this means is that progression in the story side of the game has all but stopped. This is to be expected in this sort of game and I am OK with it but it is frustrating, like watching a serial on TV and finding that the next episode has been delayed until the autumn because the channel wants to show sport all summer instead.

The Bottom Line
Progress
I'm putting this bit in to show that it is possible to make, what I think, is significant progress, without shelling out loads of cash. There are probably better squad formation tactics, cleverer ways to play the game and manage resources than I know so anyone willing to put in the time and effort could probably do much better.

  • In terms of XP I have reached level one hundred and twelve.
  • My game has fifty six characters and I have unlocked fifty four of them, there may be other special characters that can be bought but I have just two left to get.
  • I have levelled Miya up to level one hundred and forty nine and my highest level character is at level one hundred and sixty.
  • In Adventure mode I have reached level 'Oriental Planet No. 1: Level 20' and in the 'Endless Trial' mode I have reached level twenty one.

Summary

  • This can be played as a single player game
  • Spending money means you get stuff faster but so far it has not been necessary
  • There is a lot to do
  • There is a story but it will take a long time to unfold
  • Daily and weekly challenges
  • Regular events
  • Some of the load and home screen images may use tight and/or skimpy costumes but there is no nudity.
  • This is not a game that grabbed me and held my attention and it is not one of those games that I look forward to playing as soon as I wake up yet I keep coming back to it.

  • Recommended

Windows · by piltdown_man (245952) · Jul 2, 2024

box cover thumbnail Metroid Dread

Solid 2D metroid action

The Good
The graphics are polished and the platforming is smooth. The E.M.M.I. bring for some interesting changes in pace and there's an abundance of bosses to fight.

The Bad
The discrepancy in difficulty between the boss fights and rest of the gameplay is rather jarring. During exploration and platforming the game doesn't provide much challenge, but during boss fights the game can be hard as nails.

I felt the game was a bit too linear. Perhaps there's way to break sequences as is common in these types of games, but there were a bit too many instances of closed doors to guide me some specific path, also at times where I wished to explore.

The Bottom Line
A very solid entry in the series, with some frustratingly difficult parts.

Nintendo Switch · by vedder (71281) · Jun 28, 2024

box cover thumbnail Super Mario Odyssey

One of the best

The Good
I'm more of fan of the 2D Mario platform games than the 3D games, but I still loved this one. There's a ton of content and lots of variety. My kids love watching me play.

The Bad
After defeating Bowser my goal became collecting all the Power Moons. There are 880 of them and I got close. But at some point there's only moons left which are frustratingly hard to get. Looks like I'll not 100% complete this game, missing out on the last 15 or so, which is a shame. Getting these last moons also removed any joy my kids had watching me play which was the biggest bummer. I wasn't expecting this type of challenge from a Mario game.

The Bottom Line
Still, a fantastic game.

Nintendo Switch · by vedder (71281) · Jun 28, 2024

box cover thumbnail Lost in Random

Not quite there

The Good
Everything being themed around dice works really well. The visuals are nice and bring back memories late 90s and 2000s 3D platform games like Psychonauts, Rayman 2/3 and Alice. Unfortunately on the Switch the framerate isn't very high at points and there are graphical glitches during loading moments (you see stuff get unloaded) which is a bit jarring.

The Bad
Near the end of Two-Town, I lost interest in the game. While I would've liked exploring the other towns' concepts there were just too many things that didn't sit well with me.

The intro dragged on way too long. There's a ton of exposition before you finally get a set of cards and can start enjoying the game mechanics.

Or well, enjoy? My biggest gripe with the game is that the combat just wasn't very fun. The idea with the cards isn't that bad, but so far the deck building aspect was underwhelming and there was a lack of strategy in the form of synergies. The gathering of crystals was a tedious chore during combat. The constant spawning of additional enemies just dragged it out longer than it needed to be.

The exploration part was more fun, but underwhelming compared to something like Psychonauts 2 where there are a lot more cool things to find and the avatar has a lot more moves.

The Bottom Line
Lost in Random isn't a bad game, it just fails to impress. The parts where it innovates unfortunately don't really work out in its favour. If the combat wasn't as drawn-out as it was I might've played further, because I was definitely interested in seeing the other towns and major characters.

Nintendo Switch · by vedder (71281) · Jun 28, 2024

box cover thumbnail Dark Asylum: Mystery Adventure

A mix of hidden object and free-to-play features

The Good
This does break away from the Hidden Object mold. Instead of being purely a linear adventure game, it has RPG mechanics, and is somewhat open-ended.

The Bad
Unfortunately, those RPG mechanics are in service to some nasty free-to-play mechanics, even in the commercial Windows release. (You get a limited amount of fake cash to spend in the cash shop, but the mechanics remain.) Leveling up unlocks additional rooms, but the amount of experience gained means that you'll be replaying the same rooms over and over, and playing a room costs energy. (This regenerates over time, or you can buy items in the cash shop to increase it.) I had a quest to acquire an object, and it had a 7% drop rate from a single room. I got lucky and "only" had to replay the room five times to get it. Even after you unlock everything, there's only 6 rooms, and you'd have to replay each one dozens of times to reach the ending.

The game's treatment of the mentally ill is exactly as bad as you can guess, by the way. This should be obvious, so I won't focus on it, but it's worth pointing out.

The Bottom Line
There are some interesting mechanics in here, and I'd actually recommend anyone developing a Hidden Object game play it for an hour to pick up ideas. That doesn't make it good.

Windows · by qwertyuiop (54768) · Jun 27, 2024

CrazyBus

Worst Sega Genesis Game.

The Good
Literally nothing.

The Bad
Everything. Especially the title screen noise.

The Bottom Line
So bad it makes the Genesis Dark Castle port look like Sonic CD.

Genesis · by JDomarus · Jun 26, 2024

box cover thumbnail Dark Castle

EA never changes...

The Good
... The rendition of Toccata and Fugue in D minor is good, I guess? But still, you'll probably be sick of it the 30th time it plays.

The Bad
Literally everything else. The controls suck ass, the rotating rock throws, getting dizzy/fainting after falling from 5 pixels, and those goddamn annoying bat sounds. And here's a fun fact: the items to defeat the Black Knight are USELESS. You just need to push a couple levers and THAT'S IT! THERE ARE SPEEDRUNS OF THIS GAME THAT ARE UNDER 3 MINUTES. I'm not making this up.

The Bottom Line
Yes, the same EA that milked FIFA annually published this waste of plastic. The original Macintosh game is good, but if you see the Genesis version, just go ahead and burn it. Don't get me started on the CD-I version too...

Genesis · by JDomarus · Jun 25, 2024

box cover thumbnail E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Worst Game Ever? Absolutely Not.

The Good
I can legitimately list at least hundreds of games worse than this. Worse games were made BEFORE this (Pac-Man [the atari port] and Custer's Revenge). and WAY WORSE after (Fire Fly, 1983; Sonic Jam on Game.com, 1997; Phoenix Games, 2000's; Takeshi's Challenge, 1986, to name a few)... To be honest... for an Atari game thats made mostly by one guy in 5 weeks, it's kinda good.

The Bad
Even though it's still bad, as I said, a list of games worse than ET would take an hour printing HALF of it.

The Bottom Line
Is ET the worst video game ever? Absolutely not. Never was and NEVER WILL BE.

Atari 2600 · by JDomarus · Jun 25, 2024

box cover thumbnail Avatar Scent Wars

Quite good

The Good
the music overall; from the start-screen music to the level-up music. even that rock music that plays on the 3rd stage/round (scylla and charybdis by however!) - the overall concept and idea of the game. quite interesting. it IS called scent wars, after all. - the use of xbox 360 avatars.

The Bad
not enough stages/rounds. voice lines are a bit... eh. could use better theming/backgrounds/stages.

The Bottom Line
probably a bit of bias since i grew up with this game but i still like it overall

Xbox 360 · by yurii · Jun 25, 2024

box cover thumbnail Ice Climber

Popo and Nana's debut game isn't a very good one

The Good
Interesting premise with climbing up mountains.

The Bad
The jumping controls suck! It doesn't remotely feel like jumping in Super Mario Bros. You can easily fall through the blocks that you want to land on top of which makes the game much more unforgiving. Music during stages is repetitive.

The Bottom Line
I think there's a good reason why the Ice Climbers will be stuck in Super Smash Bros. games as playable characters and not star in their own games anymore.

NES · by 45th&47th (843) · Jun 24, 2024

Magical Girl Bonnie

Cant magical Girl :(

The Good
Giiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirl

The Bad
Score sux Cant make 100% Most u can make is a 95%

The Bottom Line
:((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

Browser · by Ponya · Jun 23, 2024

box cover thumbnail Fat Princess

A classic

The Good
Excellent gameplay with bright colours and wonderful visuals. The essence of the gameplay was unique for a multiplayer capture the flag. The ability to make the princess (flag) slow you a carrier down more through cake. The many classes and their dual abilities being able to switch between them at a button press made gameplay quite fun. with the Worker class it assists in strategy a bit more as a well placed bomb can be quite devastating. The gameplay bred a tournament scene even.

The Bad
The DLC it had changed the dynamic a bit much. while the classes were fun even with the base classes still played, the dynamic changed so much that strategies started to gravitate primarily toward it. also while workers are useful to use bombs, it's a double edged sword. while workers themselves are severely underpowered and the Big bomb you get from upgrading workers can be used effectively against you as the position of the workers shop was near the front gate.

The Bottom Line
A fun game all around with some minor tweaks it could be legendary but for now. If you got to play it, I hope you have good memories as much as I have.

PlayStation 3 · by Nimbaws · Jun 22, 2024

box cover thumbnail Wii Play

The famous "Wii Remote bundled with a $10 game"

The Good
If you see paying $50 back when it was new with the actual game being $10 and the other $40 for a Wii Remote, then it's a good value. Tanks! is really fun and is the only one that doesn't feel like a tech demo. It does it job well on showing what the Wii Remote can do in games to people new to the Wii like with Wii Sports.

The Bad
If you see paying $50 back when it was new with the game itself costing $50 with a bonus Wii Remote included, then you would be better off buying a Wii Remote on its own as there isn't nearly enough content to justify the price. Everything the game has to offer can be seen after 1 hour of playing. Some games are very shallow such as Find Mii, Pose Mii, Table Tennis, and Billiards. The pointer controls for Laser Hockey are very sensitive and very easily able to lose connection of your paddle if you accidentally point away from the tv. No customizable options for any of the mini games and not a lot of variety on all of the minigames except for Tanks!

The Bottom Line
Rather than rush the game for the Wii's launch in Japan and Europe, more time should have been used to add more games and extra content for the existing games. Better yet, it should have been bundled with the Wii along with Wii Sports, 2 Wii Remotes, and 2 Nunchuks.

Wii · by 45th&47th (843) · Jun 22, 2024

box cover thumbnail Space Moguls

True to the spirit of the original

The Good
Carl-Henrik managed to save the spirit of the original M.U.L.E. quite well while adding his unique own ideas to the gameplay. All well executed with great graphics, music and sound effects.

The Bad
Game balance is not quite as good as with the original M.U.L.E.; when a player falls back early, this is usually "it" and the player can't recover

The Bottom Line
A "must-play" for M.U.L.E. fans.

Commodore 64 · by Christian A. Schiller · Jun 19, 2024

Quadrax

A bit late to the party, nevertheless, it's GREAT puzzle game

The Good
It's in the headline. First and foremost, the game is about puzzles and they are great, well-designed, well-thought.

You have 2-characters which have to cooperate to finish levels. You switch between characters and carefully choose what your next step will be. You can easily end-up in dead-end (so you have to restart level). Game is hard, but not impossible and finishing tougher levels is rewarding. The game gradualy adds new puzzle elements in later levels. Switches, elevators, teleports, different type of blocks (falling, exploding, non-movable, etc..)

Graphics is nice pixel art, but as I noted, release is 1996, so this is definitely not state of the art graphics given year of release, but this is not hurting the game at all as gameplay and puzzles are game's main point.

The Bad
Sound is almost non-existent. Intro animation / story is there just to have some story / intro, nothing to write home about. And game is loooong and hard.

The Bottom Line
Great puzzle game, and I dare to say, it's casual game. This is not type of game, you want to play from start to finish. More likely, you finish some levels, then you will take break from it after few days. Then return back and finish another set of levels. I guess only puzzle game enthusiast will finish whole game (in my playthrough some years ago I was able to reach around level 50, I was still far from the end of the game). AFAIK, it's for free now, running it in Dosbox should be cakewalk, so all puzzle lovers have great option in this game.

DOS · by Vladimir Dienes · Jun 19, 2024

box cover thumbnail Dick Marcinko: Rogue Warrior

Game is trash!!!

The Good
The funny one-liners that's pretty much it.

The Bad
Everything else such as the guns and how limited they have in the game, gameplay, crappy story (if you want to call it a story).

The Bottom Line
Please don't buy this game, even if it's cheap don't get it I beg you!!!!

No one has rated your review yet.

Windows · by Anonymous · Jun 19, 2024

box cover thumbnail Ultimate Custom Night

The best part of FNAF UCN's gameplay is its combination of challenging mechanics

The Good
You can choose among the animatronics and customize them according to their difficulty, some being more difficult than others.

The Bad
Missing animatronics such as Funtime Freddy, Funtime Foxy, among others.

The Bottom Line
I don't have a topic to to speak about at this point

Windows · by Armenio (21) · Jun 18, 2024

box cover thumbnail Super Smash Bros.: Melee

Much better than its predecessor

The Good
A much larger roster of characters and stages. Graphics are vastly improved from the N64 game. Great remixes of classic Nintendo music.

The Bad
Too many clone characters. It takes a while to unlock all the characters.

The Bottom Line
It's amazing that this game turned out the way it did with only 13 months of development. It also created a toxic community of competitive fighting players who don't like people playing Super Smash Bros. games for fun.

GameCube · by 45th&47th (843) · Jun 18, 2024

box cover thumbnail Elon Simulator 2019

Five minutes of fun

The Good
This is a simple game and sometimes, when you just want to kill something, a simple game is all you need. The controls are simple, the sound of the gun firing is very satisfying and if you don't get the power-ups it gets quite challenging.

One feature I liked was the way the power-ups come at you amid the stream of rocks and mines. If you just hold down the mouse key and blast away, as I did, you're likely to hit them and this causes them to spin away into space where they are lost. That's very, very frustrating but in a good way.

The Bad
The game is limited. It consists of simply blasting away to reach the target score and then do it again, and again, and again. There are just four objects - space mines, asteroids, shield power-ups and weapons power-ups - and throughout the game the mines & rocks always score 100 points and after a while it gets to be repetitive.

I also found that after capturing a few weapons upgrades I was unbeatable. The rate of fire meant that objects were destroyed as soon as they spawned, so all I had to do was hold down the mouse key and wait until I could proceed to the next level. I played to level 33, 108000 points needed for completion, to see if the game changed or had any kind of an end point - neither happened. While the game play never changed, the objects spawned much faster and closer, to the point where they were on me milliseconds after starting the level, so without power-ups they were unplayable while with power-ups there was no challenge.

The game has a leader board and it was only released nine days ago, but already it is stuffed with impossibly high scores - keeping at least one local high score would have been appreciated.

The Bottom Line
A bit of fun and in the early stages it can be a challenge, especially without the weapons power-ups. Not a long term keeper though.

Windows · by piltdown_man (245952) · Jun 17, 2024

box cover thumbnail Mario Strikers Charged

A game that makes soccer actually fun to play

The Good
The edgier tone fits well with this game. Nice variety of captains with special items and sidekicks with their own unique special shots. They also have amusing animations. Plenty of stadiums to play in. It wouldn't be a Mario sports game without items which make the game more fun.

The Bad
Online play is very laggy and had moments where connections were dropped. The CPU loves to use Waluigi and Dry Bones teleport ability to use past your Kritter goalie to score goals which is cheap. In the harder difficulty the CPU uses their mega strike with the highest amount of shots and fastest speed frequently which is unfair.

The Bottom Line
A great Mario sports game. Way better than the later Battle League for the Switch.

Wii · by 45th&47th (843) · Jun 16, 2024

box cover thumbnail Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders

Ahead of its time.. or not

The Good
First impression for me was that, wow, this adventure is quite sophisticated. Seems like it's ahead of its time. You can freely switch between protagonists, you must take care of your financial resources when travelling to not end up in dead-end. But it's not overly-difficult, puzzles are hard but not insane, all of them have some rationale. Then I realized, no, it's not ahead of its time, it's that just adventures later became more flat (for the sake of targeting broader audience).

This difficulty is also main good point for me. The game is more deeper and more sophisticated than later adventure hits. To the point it's refreshing. And it's not frustrating (like e.g. KQ3) with repetitiveness. Really good adventure cocktail. It's worth to play, even if you end-up looking to walkthrough here and there as there are not much similar adventure experiences.

The Bad
Really not much, can't think of anything worth mentioning. Maybe pyramid mazes were bit repetitive but it was still ok. Compared to all adventures released prior to this game (90% were Sierra), this is clean winner for me. Only tiny tiny bad point is that yes, I ended up also looking to walkthrough at few points in the game (and I consider myself quite seasoned adventure player). Difficulty was quite high, but it was standard in those times, and I reckon, game is worth playing still, even with occasional peek to walkthrough.

The Bottom Line
Very important game in its genre. GK/DOTT level of importance. If there's some adventure player who not played it yet, I recommend it. It's easy to purchase and run it out of the box, there's also FM Towns version (with better gfx and sounds) of the game on one great game distribution platform ( which I'm not going to name ;) ). Go and get it.

DOS · by Vladimir Dienes · Jun 15, 2024

box cover thumbnail Infinifactory

It is great!.... Until it is not...

The Good
At first, I really enjoyed this game. The first few puzzles aren't too hard, new blocks are introduced gradually and made the puzzles even more interesting. Loved the fact that the game allows for horribly inefficient solutions (no limits on the number of pieces you can use), and I even enjoyed making my solutions more efficient. And to top it off, there is a bit of a story going on, which isn't too convoluted, but it is well told and made me curious about where this whole thing was going.

So I finished the "Overlord Campaign", and I was ready to finish the game and give it a great score...

The Bad
But I am not sure I can consider the game done like that, because there is a whole second campaign... and somehow things went downhill there. Problem is, the puzzles start to get too complicated; not just harder, but a lot more... finnicky. I got to a point where I feel I could solve all the puzzles, but they would just require a lot of time and a lot of work, and I just lost the patience for that; I do not want to work, I want to play!

So, unsure if I should consider the game done (for the first campaing was finished) or abandoned... But I guess I will turn my attention to other games in my backlog.

The Bottom Line
Score... 81/100 for the first half (it was really interesting!); 62/100 if you have to finish both campaigns.

Windows · by Thexder0 (1931) · Jun 15, 2024

box cover thumbnail Return to Monkey Island

The terrible ending of a legendary franchise

The Good
Graphics: People were hating it, but to me this style is a truthful evolution from the pixelgraphics design. Small legs, big head- very cute.

Soundtrack is a 11 out of 10- Michael Land is a genius and each time just gets better.

Voiceacting is perfect.

The Bad
The storyline. Right from the beginning, you know where it will end. Like everything is dying. Mele Island is empty, the Scumm Bar burns down. Herman Toothrot had a small but stupid cameo. Ron Gilbert is for sure an old grumpy gamer. You can feel how much frustration he put into killing this franchise- mainly because he is OLD! And yeah, even in the credits, he mentions that. Yes, we all know you are old now and young back then- but let me tell this: Nobody cares! Nobody cares that you have a good wife and family. I mean, I'm indeed happy for you, but nobody cares when you're making a game. A fictional story. My idea for your next game: Put in the final stage a huge sign that says that everything is just bullshit and imagination; because one day we all die, the world is horrible and that you hate everything. -THE END-

The Bottom Line
Don't pay more than 20 bucks for a computergame. Whish I listened to that advice and just got it on sale or maybe free on XBOX live or crap.

Now serious. As a game itself, for modern times, it's just good enough. New gamers will love it but standards are low for the current generation, anyways where people are overwhelmed or traumatized by "walking simulators".

RIP Guybrush

No one has rated your review yet.

Windows · by Anonymous · Jun 14, 2024

box cover thumbnail Chronicles of Mystery: The Legend of the Sacred Treasure

Decent game

The Good
For a fourteen year old game it still loads and plays well. There is good voice acting and the game has a variety of puzzles.

The game uses three or four variations on the hidden object theme and in some of these the items to be found are hidden behind something else so, for example, I may have had to move a box to find an earring underneath. I did not have to combine any items - well at least not so far.

There is a hint function for that last elusive hidden object and by collecting gold medallions as I played the game I had the option to skip the puzzles that did not use hidden objects - five medals are needed to skip one puzzle so use them wisely.

The Bad
Hidden object games work best when their artwork is clear and that's where I had a problem with this game. In some puzzles the items were tiny and I did not complete the task in the allotted time - that's tough but I can accept that and I got there eventually. What I found unacceptable was that in one variation of the hidden object puzzle where I had to find hidden items based on a small image at the bottom of the screen these thumbnails were so faint that I had to close the curtains and play in a darkened room just to be able to see them. I know these eyes are not what they used to be but I have never had to do that before.

The Bottom Line
This game does not do anything groundbreaking but it is pretty decent and still plays well.

Windows · by piltdown_man (245952) · Jun 14, 2024

box cover thumbnail Pilotwings

Nothing more than a tech demo for Mode 7

The Good
The game adequately shows convincing 3D on 16-bit hardware. The attack helicopter levels are fun and actually resemble a game.

The Bad
The game itself is really boring with objectives ranging from flying through rings and landing on a moving target while falling with a parachute. The later levels are unforgiving with the game being punishing on how many points the instructors give you. Be prepared to replay the levels over again until you meet the score threshold.

The Bottom Line
I recommend it, but use save states to reduce frustration. If you are playing on a SNES cartridge, may God have mercy on your soul.

Wii U · by 45th&47th (843) · Jun 11, 2024

box cover thumbnail Little Nightmares: The Hideaway

A nightmare to play

The Good
..................................

The Bad
Glitches Obtuse puzzles

The Bottom Line
After The Depths, which was mediocre, I hoped the next DLC would be better.

Jinxed it!... The Hideaway is straight-up awful.

The gimmick in this DLC (which isn't relayed well, causing me to waste 20 minutes in the very first room) is that you use gnomes as allies, tossing them around to interact with the environment. Unfortunately, these little buggers are annoying to work with. Sometimes they just get distracted and don't follow you, forcing you to come back and fetch them. Often, they fail to cooperate and do what you want them to. On the other hand, sometimes they cluster around you, making it difficult to interact with objects because you keep grabbing gnomes instead!

The DLC is also full of glitches. Four times I had to restart due to a glitch, three times the same one (an object falling through the floor and disappearing). The puzzles are sometimes obtuse (for example, there's that one lever you have to throw gnomes at, except the game's very finicky about the spot you toss them from.), to the point where halfway through I gave up and reached for a walkthrough.

All in all, a terrible and obviously untested experience. Here's to hoping the third DLC will be better. [narrator voice: it was... somewhat.]

Windows · by Havoc Crow (29937) · Jun 9, 2024

box cover thumbnail Little Nightmares: The Depths

Too deep for me

The Good
Still scary sometimes

The Bad
Fiddly controls Tedious puzzles Weak protagonist and atmosphere

The Bottom Line
This first DLC is disappointing. The controls feel even more fiddly than in the base game; many times, I died to the boss because my angle was just a bit off. The original game avoided obnoxious puzzles, but in The Depths, they return with a vengeance in the form of a long and frustrating crank puzzle.

The base game's wonderful atmosphere has also vanished somewhere. The protagonist is nowhere near as charismatic as Six, and the cryptic, eerie feeling of exploring an unknown world is missing. There's much less music and no memorable songs, unlike the excellent sound design of the main game. Disappointingly, even though you ostensibly collect messages in bottles, you don't actually get any lore from them. At least being chased by monsters is as heart-poundingly scary as in the original.

Windows · by Havoc Crow (29937) · Jun 9, 2024

box cover thumbnail Little Nightmares

Best nightmare I've ever had

The Good
Highly immersive Delightful visuals and audio

The Bad
Occasional technical problems

The Bottom Line
One of the few games in recent memory where I was genuinely immersed in the world, and lost myself in the protagonist. Not just because of the atmosphere, but also because of the frictionless gameplay. There are no obnoxious puzzles that take forever to figure out. Controlling the protagonist feels so natural you almost forget you're playing a game. Various scripted sequences make the world feel real and alive (at least on the first playthrough). It helps that many of the chase and hiding scenes are forgiving enough that you can complete them on the first try; dying in a game and having to restart usually ruins immersion. (Little Nightmares mitigates this effect somewhat by having the protagonist "wake up" upon respawning, implying that you've just had a nightmare).

The visuals and audio are marvelous. I haven't seen this kind of Tim Burton claymation storybook style in a video game before, but it's delightful and very atmospheric.

Unfortunately, the immersion is marred by occasional technical problems and small glitches, such as the protagonist getting stuck and twitching in place. The save system is also quite confusing; at least once I resumed a game and found I had been tossed back 15 minutes. The controls aren't always reliable; sometimes I found myself unable to crawl into vents or grab ladders because I was very slightly off.

Windows · by Havoc Crow (29937) · Jun 9, 2024

box cover thumbnail The Sorrow of Gadhlan' Thur

Masterpiece

The Good
Very high quality graphics, sounds and music. The game is basically a metroidvania with RPG elements. Story is engaging and even has an interesting twist.

The Bad
Some glitches and frustrating jump sections here and there.

The Bottom Line
One of the best - if not the best - game on the Intellivision platform. Highly recommended.

No one has rated your review yet.

Intellivision · by Anonymous · Jun 9, 2024

box cover thumbnail King of the Castle

Delightful visuals and dialogue, but weak gameplay in smaller settings

The Good
King of the Castle features humourous, occasionally clever, and interesting writing – mostly in the form of dialogue. It's fun to see the various interactions between the nobles, and what they result in.

The visual style is delightful. I enjoy the character options, the colour palette, the user interface and the fonts, as they all come together in a very palpable cohesion. The various styles of medieval-inspired outfits are also impeccable.

I think the button-pressing gameplay was fine, though not too engaging, which might be suitable for significantly larger groups or livestreamed sessions (where stream chat members might join). As a non-hosting player, there is very little to do, whereas the hosting player appears to have a lot of options and control over dialogue, and even votes.

The Bad
If your goal is for your faction to win, it's incredibly difficult unless you're already ahead. Your faction's goals are very highlighted, meaning that with the odd chance an option that would sway in your favour is presented, there are rarely any reasons for the other two factions to vote for it.

The gold-spending phase, where players may spend their gold to increase or decrease a random assortment of values, is a bit ... silly? In my experience, there were options that would benefit my faction, but then another option that would directly negate that purchase – this led the other factions to ensure that if the beneficial options was purchased, the negating option would also be bought. Thus, money on all accounts were wasted for no results.

When playing with few people (e.g. friends), we liked to voice "our" parts of the dialogue. However, there was a great imbalance in whose characters would be shown – whereas my noble appeared quite often in my faction's scenes, my comrade's was only shown twice.

With the group size I played in, there was little faction-based overlap during votes. I wish there were more incentives for this, though I'm not able to concretely name any solutions – perhaps making sure options that might benefit multiple factions and/or the monarch occur is something.

The Bottom Line
This game seems definitely suited for a larger group or a livestreamed audience – where chat members may join in. I played it in a group ranging from 5 to 7 players (including the host).

If not taken too seriously, it's a charming storytime with friends. If you're looking for a strategy game, however, I would look elsewhere. The visual style and dialogue is very enjoyable, but the gameplay left something to be desired in my books.

I am likely going to play it again, but I might have to force myself to be less strategic about it, and simply enjoy the interactions.

Windows · by Edo Aug (227) · Jun 8, 2024

box cover thumbnail Metal Gear Solid

Feels like what a rich kid would make after a GI Joe marathon.

The Good
Satisfying boss fights
Some of the music

The Bad
Annoying checkpoint system
Simplistic stealth gameplay
Fake difficulty parts

The Bottom Line
Before Metal Gear Solid, many games tried to mimic a movie, usually by cramming the CD with cheesy FMVs and bad voice acting. Metal Gear Solid finally got it right. From the start, you can feel the cinematic atmosphere as you sneak through a dock warehouse with dramatic choirs murmuring in the soundtrack, credits rolling across the game screen, and the game's title only appearing once you've safely exited.

The gameplay in Metal Gear Solid feels... odd. It reminds me of an amateur game created by an enthusiastic kid who tossed all his ideas in rather than opting for a cohesive design. There are many rarely used or one-off mechanics, making each room feel like its own minigame. It feels quite strange and disjointed to play, but I'd hesitate to call it a flaw. It's a major factor in the movie-like atmosphere; after all, the protagonist of a movie doesn't repeat the same actions over and over.

Ironically, the stealth sections—the game's main selling point—feel undercooked. The stealth genre was still finding its legs at the time of release, and it shows. There rarely are more than two guards to dodge, and in most rooms, it's very easy to stay unseen. The boss fights deviate from stealth gameplay and involve gunfights, missile salvos, and other forms of open combat. They are also invariably fun (except for the terrible tank fight) and difficult.

Some level designs feel a bit janky, bordering on artificial difficulty or padding. For example, there are rooms that have plenty of cameras with no way to sneak past them — you need to toss a chaff grenade to deactivate them. There's no strategy to it at all; if you have a chaff grenade, you win, if you don't have one, you lose.

The game's save system, inherited from consoles, allows saving only at specific checkpoints, like after passing between rooms. This works okay in most situations; it prevents you from save-scumming your way past challenges, and if you die, you rarely lose more than a few minutes of progress. However, the checkpoint system can be annoying, for example in the boss battle that has a lengthy, unskippable cutscene halfway through.

It would be remiss not to mention the numerous charming details, suggesting the developers really enjoyed creating this game. For example, in one of the snowy areas guards can track you by your footprints; it's unlikely to affect gameplay in any way, but it's there. Many puzzles are creative—for example, the way you find Meryl who's gone undercover; the solution makes perfect sense, and yet it's something you usually wouldn't do in a game. Some puzzles require you to pay close attention to the dialogue, but there are always sufficient hints, and you can always call your allies for advice.

The plot is melodramatic, but also so earnestly over-the-top that you just can't be mad at it. It helps that the voice acting is excellent, and most characters are memorable. While the dialogue scenes are lengthy, I was rarely tempted to skip them. The exception is the main villain, Liquid, whom I just couldn't like. His voice was eye-rollingly hammy, every single of his lines was cliche, and his personality was "cookie cutter bad guy #442". I was glad when I could finally take him down, not because he was such a satisfying opponent, but because I wanted him to shut up already.

One major difference in the PC version, compared to the PSX version, is the Psycho Mantis boss fight. The original PlayStation boss fight is famous for its strange, fourth-wall-breaking trickery, and the way it exploits the console's features. Unfortunately, most of these special effects cannot work on the PC, so pretty much all of them have been removed — robbing the fight of much of its appeal.

Sadly, the graphics have not aged well. They probably looked better on the original PlayStation, where the low resolution masked the lack of detail. As for the music, most of it is forgettable, and the boss fight themes are more irritating than engaging, but there are a few standout pieces, like the captivating opening song that welcomes you in the first room.

Windows · by Havoc Crow (29937) · Jun 8, 2024

box cover thumbnail Grim Fandango

A beautiful gem from the past

The Good
Story is very good , game is never boring and you rarely get stuck. Characters are lovely and have a very strong soul (despite they're all dead :)) plus they act very nicely inside the game. I Like 3d graphic considering that the game was done long time ago and sound theme keeps you good company. It's very long but in a good way. I didn't feel like i was solving fillers but everything is fitting very well inside the whole picture.

The Bad
Despite is quite rare you may feel lost from time to time. it's trick to get used to the controls and also animation are not perfect but these are very little things.

The Bottom Line
Grim Fandango it's a great game, keeps you a lot busy and the story is intriguing and a very immersive experience. I think it has also survived quite well in the last, what is it, 26 years? I just played it again few weeks ago and it was pure fun

Windows · by Mark Renton (23) · Jun 6, 2024

box cover thumbnail Moorhuhn 2

Gimme gimme Moorhuhn

The Good
I love the Hühner to shoot.

The Bad
One Level...............

The Bottom Line
Moorhühner make feel me gut.

PlayStation · by DJKaito (15616) · Jun 3, 2024

box cover thumbnail Double Dribble

Briefly enjoyable

The Good
Has the Bulls, mascots and nice highlight cut scenes. Fairly accurate basketball mechanics (finding passing lanes, shooting rhythm, defensive positioning).

The Bad
Becomes stale as soon as you figure out that passing quickly will easily get you past the CPU opponents.

The Bottom Line
Enjoyable for a few hours in single player mode.

NES · by tvail4 (4) · Jun 2, 2024

box cover thumbnail Paperboy

“Headline.” I see what you did there MobyGames.

The Good
Nice difficulty. Requires you to develop a rhythm for the obstacles in order to defeat the game.

The Bad
No need to replay, unless you’re trying for a higher score.

The Bottom Line
Enjoyable and challenging for a few hours.

NES · by tvail4 (4) · Jun 2, 2024

box cover thumbnail Where's Waldo?

A waste of 1's and 0's

The Good
The cartridge can be used as a doorstopper.

The Bad
The sprites are too damn small which makes it difficult to find Waldo. The cursor is too sensitive. The game can be completed in mere minutes.

The Bottom Line
Bethesda and THQ clearly didn't care about quality control when they released this in stores. Waldo can remain lost for all I care.

NES · by 45th&47th (843) · May 31, 2024

box cover thumbnail Mega Man: Battle Chip Challenge

If you like games that play by themselves, then this game is for you

The Good
The music is okay, but that's stretching it since the Mega Man Battle Network games are known to have phenomenal music.

The Bad
The game plays by itself. All you do is build a deck and then check the win percentage to see if you will win the match. No strategy involved except for using your backup chip but even then all you have to do is wait for the meter to fill up a certain percentage and then use it. During matches, the battle chips are chosen at random. Most animations and sprites are recycled from previous games. Makes the Mega Man Battle Network games look bad.

The Bottom Line
Watch the "gameplay" on YouTube. It's the exact same as playing this crappy game.

Game Boy Advance · by 45th&47th (843) · May 29, 2024

box cover thumbnail Genshin Impact

First impressions: Good

The Good
This has the look and feel of a big game. There is a lot of very good music and voice acting. It is bright, colourful and it plays easily. I have only played for five or six hours and I have not cleared the prologue yet but then I have been messing about and did not always take the fastest route. Even so I have acquired a companion, fought slimes, some weird creatures and a dragon, harvested and cooked food.

The Bad
I found the early stages of the game a little overwhelming
This is a new kind of game for me. There seems to be a great deal of on-line content which I am not used to. At one point, through the game, I had opened web links to the Daily Check In to collect my daily reward, the HoYoWiki for character descriptions, an interactive map, the community interest group where there are guides and fan art etc, HoYoVerse - the official Genshin Impact Community, and the Genshin Impact Progression Calculator. I opened so much because partly I did not want to miss out on any freebies and partly because I did not know what was important an what was not - and t.b.h. I still have no idea. There is a lot to take in and with some players posting cosplay photos it is plain it has a really big following.

I feel really old!
When setting up one of the accounts needed to play the game and access the on-line content I was asked for my year of birth. They only go back as far as "1983 and older"! Still, at least I am in the same grouping as my daughter :-)

My character's companion Paimon has the most irritating voice. Don't get me wrong here, the character's voice is clear, well acted, and perfectly suits the character and the game but it is like talking to a bossy, spoiled, whinging five year old brat and it really irritates me. When I next restart the game I will be looking for a way to mute her.

The game auto saves and restarts, so far, flawlessly but I have no control over it so I cannot save, try one thing, restart and try another.

There are conversation choices but I have seen nothing which tells me what effect my selection has on the game or my character. For example I met a new character, Amber, and she asked about Paimon my companion, the two possible responses were something like "She's my best friend" and "She's my emergency food source". I'm guessing some choices will increase the bond between the characters but I do not know if this is correct and, if so, just what the effect is.



The Bottom Line
The game is free, it plays well, it looks and sounds good. Not sure about the story is going, it seems very basic - one twin is taken by a goddess who puts a spell on the other who sleeps for a long time and then goes off to search for their sibling. It sounds like a cross between The Snow Queen and Sleeping Beauty, it makes for the basis of a very pretty game but it may not be meaty enough to hold my interest.

My current plan it to play it as a standard single player RPG, avoiding all the on-line community stuff apart from the daily rewards that is, and see how far I can go without paying anything and without getting bored.

Windows · by piltdown_man (245952) · May 26, 2024

box cover thumbnail Dishonored 2

Incredible game which adapts to your way of playing

The Good
I am amazed about how the level designs and mechanics let you play in so many different ways... I played as Emily the super stealthy no-kill assassin (wait, what?). That means I never got spotted and killed absolutely no one... and the game makes it quite possible.

The best levels are those restricted to one big building -- in particular, the Clockwork Mansion and Aramis Stilton's Manor are amongst the most memorable levels designs I have ever seen. The way the game adapts when you knockdown a certain character in the game is one of these "WOW" moments that leave you speechless.

Many cool powers ("Domino" is awesome, whoever thought of that?), and an interesting main character.

The Bad
Level sizes make the city levels feel artificially limited (the "one-big-building" levels do not suffer from this).

Another flaw: me. Since I decided to play super stealthy and without killing anyone, I had to do lots of reloads, which broke the flow of the game. But that's entirely my fault, I would probably have a lot more fun dealing with the consequences of being seen and using more all my resources.

The Bottom Line
All in all, a great game that mixes action and stealth the way you choose. Score: 88/100.

Windows · by Thexder0 (1931) · May 25, 2024

box cover thumbnail Final Fantasy V Advance

Barebones review of my favorite of the GBA ports

The Good
Lots of fun and versatility with all the jobs and while it takes grinding, mastering a job is quite satisfying. I like space and the meteorites count... sorta.

The Bad
The content locked behind the end of the post-game makes no sense imo, all it does it require you to grind even more after getting powerful enough to defeat the final superboss.

The Bottom Line
The only Final Fantasy game I've ever wanted to (and have) 100% completed. Okay except the beastiary but I did the entire post-game and 100% all jobs on all characters so close enough.

Game Boy Advance · by tabor62gb (109) · May 24, 2024

box cover thumbnail The Legend of Zelda

A legendary game that hasn't aged well

The Good
Amazing soundtrack. Good graphics. Classic gameplay that started the legendary franchise.

The Bad
It's very easy to get lost since there's no in-game map. The game can be very difficult even if you have all the heart containers and fully upgraded mail. Some clues are very cryptic such as a mobin saying "grumble grumble" which requires you to give him the bait. Dungeons can be boring with the only differences being color and enemies unlike in later games.

The Bottom Line
Have a guide handy to avoid frustration.

Wii · by 45th&47th (843) · May 24, 2024

box cover thumbnail God of War

very great but...

The Good
the main story and gameplay were generally good. I specially loved how Baldur was Characterized.

The Bad
but I didn't like how simple and pointless the story ended. and why Kratos is ashamed to explain his past? it is true that he killed all the gods of his land but he had his reasons. why doesn't he explain his reasons to his son?

The Bottom Line
I really think this is a must play game for fans of god of war series.

PlayStation 4 · by mohammad hossein karami · May 23, 2024

box cover thumbnail John Francome's Night at the Dogs

Good fun despite its flaws but it is a lot of work for the nominated bookmaker.

The Good
It may be old but it still plays in my DVD player and it plays well. I played with my family and ten races was enough for one session. There are thirty races and as the betting slip has room for ten races, if both sides are use, that means that this game can provide at least three sessions.

The Bad
The game is not without its flaws. At the end of the race the photo finish is shown but other than the commentary there is no confirmation of the result and sometimes none of us were sure which dog came in third.

The game has notes of specific denominations, £50, £100 and so on but sometimes the way the odds and the bets worked out a player could win £275 and there is no way to pay the £25. When we played the bookie resorted to writing IOUs on the betting slip

Whoever takes the role of the bookie has to be very patient and have a calculator. It is a lot of work and discussions about winnings can get heated - or maybe that's just us.

The Bottom Line
We played as a family foursome one afternoon and we enjoyed it. The bookie came in for a bit of stick for paying out the winnings but not returning the stake money - but not too much because we all knew we could not do any better. Having played one session we have kept the game to play again when we next get together and I will be on the lookout for any similar games.

DVD Player · by piltdown_man (245952) · May 22, 2024

box cover thumbnail Jane's Combat Simulations: ATF - Advanced Tactical Fighters - Gold

Love this game

The Good
So much detail for this long ago

The Bad
How can it run on modern hardware?

The Bottom Line
I played this constantly as a child.

Windows · by dirtroad2003 · May 21, 2024

box cover thumbnail Atlantis: The Lost Tales

Were all 90's games this hard?

The Good
For a game that is nearly thirty years old this plays surprisingly well. The game is fully voiced and the voice acting is believable. The controls are a bit clunky compared to the games I have been playing recently but they work and after a while I barely noticed them. Decent background music too.

The Bad
The Bad-ish: There is no manual save in this game, it saves automatically at key points so if/when Seth dies it will restart and part of the game has to be replayed. I am not a big fan of this because I like to save after tricky puzzles and timed/platform elements, (i.e. anything where progress is more down to luck than skill), but the system works and I suppose I would rather have this than forget to save and lose lots of progress.

The Bad: The game is fully voiced but there is no text option, or if there is I cannot find it, and there's no way to review recent dialogue either. This can be irritating because if you get distracted, or if your hearing isn't 100%, you can mage mistakes.

Case in point - I am still in the early part of the game and I spoke to another character who gave me instructions to activate a secret passage but first I had to get past a guard. Well I tried and I tried but the guard would not budge so tried again the next day, and the next. Eventually I had to resort to a walkthrough where I learned that the other character did not say what I thought he said, he said he would distract the guard so that I could get past and search for the secret passage and I had to wait until he did that before I could make my move. So I put that mistake right and got past the guard but by now of course I had completely forgotten the instructions on how to activate the secret passage so back to the walkthrough again

The Very Bad: This is my totally fault, but I bought the game on GoG thinking it was something else that I played way back in the 90's. The lesson here is not to buy a game, even if it is on sale, because you think you recognise the cover.

The Bottom Line
I want to finish this game under my own steam because there it looks as though there is a decent story here (and I've bought it, and I hate being beaten by a game) but I am not sure I will be able to. Based on the experiences so far this is NOT a casual game, it will require my full attention but if I have to keep going to a walkthrough to make progress I will probably cut my losses and move on to something else.

Windows · by piltdown_man (245952) · May 20, 2024

Quadnet

The best mindless arcade shooter of its time.

The Good
It asks nothing and gives everything. With brilliant sound design and a bass-thumping, heart-pumping soundtrack, the relatively simplistic visuals waste nothing in immersing you in the action intensity, which is the entire point of the game. It will have you on the edge of your seat with a dopamine rush rewarding your every input.

The Bad
It has only one game mode and no way to compare your high score against others who have played the game. While there's enough random generation to keep each round feeling fresh, don't expect to be entertained by its only game mode for more than an hour.

The Bottom Line
Need something to sharpen your reflexes and coordination, get you awake and alert after crawling out of bed, or just give you a little rush while killing time on your break from work? This is the perfect game on all fronts. Good for 15-20 minutes of serotonin. Get your name on that high score list.

DOS · by AutoPsychotic · May 19, 2024

box cover thumbnail Sony PlayStation Classic

A sorry attempt by Sony to cash in on the mini console craze

The Good
Some decent titles on the library such as Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII, and Jumping Flash!

The Bad
Most of the additions are head scratchers such as Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six and Intelligent Qube. Missing games such as the Crash Bandicoot games, the Spyro games, the Tomb Raider games, and much more. No emulator settings which should be expected. Some of the games run on the PAL version, meaning that the games run at a worse frame rate compared to their NTSC counterparts. The controllers don't have analog sticks. Presentation looks barebones in the game selection menu.

The Bottom Line
Buy a supported flash drive and add the files to use emulator settings that Sony should have added such as playing all games in NTSC and adding scanlines. You can even add more games and different console emulators to make it function like a raspberry pi. Just make sure to buy one on the cheaper end.

Dedicated console · by 45th&47th (843) · May 19, 2024

box cover thumbnail Soko-Ban

Brilliant puzzle concept

The Good
Easy to pick up and understand. Despite being the first in the series, the game design is already quite polished.

The Bad
Controls are slow and delayed due to low graphic capability power of the PC-88. Later stages introduce fake walls which are not fun.

The Bottom Line
It holds up better than most games from the era because it's a solid concept that does not need much improvement

PC-88 · by Stokkolm (3) · May 16, 2024

box cover thumbnail Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath

Good? Bad? I'm the guy with the Odd!

The Good
O.S.W. is a unique hybird of a 3D platformer and first person shooter. The game graphics/engine looks like a direct evolution from Munch's Oddysee. Unlike the other Oddworld games, this is all about a mysterious figure only known as Stranger, in a land far away from the previous stories/species/characters. The hero is not a defenseless little thing this time: Stranger is a big and strong creature, with a weapon! In the first half of the game, he is a bounty hunter, capturing outlaws for money, in a Wild West type setting. In the middle of the game, there is almost like an Akira level of twist, and the game sheds away its Western-likeness. In the remainder, he fights on the side of natives against the industrialists, in varying settings. This game does away with the alien aesthetic, in favor of a more dramatic storytelling, with places and beings that are slightly less weird. I am not entirely a fan of the story or the setting, but at least I can't say they're milking the same thing over again. All creatures are fully voice acted, we will not hear the familiar one-word talks here (which left much to the imagination and felt appropriately alien), so it was strange to me hearing the goons shout "Yes, lure him out, boys!" or "Aim at his groiiin!"

You can actively switch views between the outside view (with a following "camera"), and the ego view. In the outside view, it is more comfortable to travel around and explore. In this mode, Stranger can jump and double-jump, climb ropes, perform hand-to-hand combat, or run (which gradually becomes speedier as you move forward without interruption, eventually running on all limbs like an animal, causing damage if you collide into destructable/killable things). You can also control the camera around Stranger with your mouse, separately from the movement controls of the character, albeit the camera subtly aligns itself up to your movement.

When you decide to holster your weapon, the game becomes an FPS. But you don't really have a gun: your weapon is a double barreled crossbow, firing live creatures! Yes, your ammo is the local Oddworldian wildlife of small bugs and rodents, and you stock up by capturing them at their habitat, buying them at the store, or from designated crates (Take that, PETA! :D). All ammo types do different things, like making noise to lure enemies to it, knocking them out for a short while, schocking them or activating electric machines, etc. It's your choice, which two you keep loaded for which fight. And you fire with both barrels independently at will. You can carry only a limited amount of each ammo type, and the firing rate is also slow, but both limits are upgradeable in the shops.

The playable world is impressively big for a game from 2005 (I think, admittedly I don't know much modern games, as in from beyond the year 2000). And you have to travel a lot, between towns or the places where outlaws reside, going through lush wilderness and beautiful deserts. Your method of travel is by foot, the very fast running is the way to travel distances. And all this works mostly seamless, there are no visible loading screens, no levels in the traditional sense. Sandbox would be a massive overstatement though, the gameplay area is always constrained between canyons/cliffsides, and the missions are clear cut. In the towns you can have short conversations with the Clakkerz(sic) that inhabit them, sort of "OG Nintendo RPG" -esque, except fully voice acted. This is not an RPG though, there are no experience points to gain, just earning money from the missions and sometimes buying things that can enhance Stranger's abilities. The sum of money you have is also the indicator of your progress for story reasons, so spending has to be done carefully. Aside from those I kinda felt like, the way that you, as the player, are getting to know the intricacies of your strange weapon, ammo types, and abilities better with each battle, until you can successfully take advantage of them, that is the real leveling up. Anyway, the towns have bounty stores and shops, these are usually the main points of interest there. The towns also act as a hub. You take up a missions in the bounty store of the town, then you have to find your way to the path out of town (usually trough secured gates that get opened for the mission), that leads to the location of the wanted outlaws.

Speaking of missions and battles. Each bad guy you embark on to capture, hides at some place that acts as their fortress. And they command a slew of goons equipped either with guns, rockets, melee weapons, or even doing the "arab terrorist". You have to infiltrate the place and defeat most of the goons, to be able to face off with your main target. The missions then usually escalate into a monumental and tiresome boss fight, to the last man standing. Apart from the instances of total alarm (like in a boss fight), there is an element of stealth in the gameplay mix. Each enemy has a line of sight, which is shown to you in a radar indicator. The music is minimal, but during action, it accentuates what is happening. What I want to highlight here is the creepy, spine chilling music during stealthy affairs: it got seared into my brain! While there is no dedicated stealth takedown, with the webbing ammo type you can incapacitate your prey in relative secrecy. The enemies can be either knocked unconscious for a short while, or killed after a few rounds of punishment. This is indicated by "dizzyness" stars above their head. 3 yellow stars and they faint and get a red star. Once they accumulate 3 red stars they die. Or in case of the bosses, there are dedicated bars on screen. Speaking of indicators, Stranger himself has a health bar and a stamina bar. While raining gunfire can quickly deplete his health, once safe, he can heal himself by the press of a button, which only costs stamina. And the way he does this is very badass: he just shakes off the damage! By the way, all fired bullets remain as visible objects stuck to the characters or in the environment, a neat gimmick. Once the foes are down unconscious or dead, you can capture them in your... Ghostbusters-like suction tank of infinite capacity? (never explained), but you are vulnerable to the others while you are doing so. Captured enemies can be later cashed in back at the bounty store. It should not be a surprise that each one is worth more alive than dead, and killing the bosses is less of a peculiar work than stunning them. One more thing to talk about is the enemy AI, it's deceptively stupid, yet can be pretty clever in times you don't expect it. For an example, I was chasing an enemy, I was on its tail, and it acted cowardly. But once I relaxed a bit, it noticed and got confident, became an agressive nuisance.

The part when the Grubbs (the so called natives) were running in and out of their houses at the sight of you a was funny, especially while wearing a headphone, so you could subtly hear them peeking out :D

The Bad
The game begins with a classic tutorial mission, where message boxes jump up and pause the gameplay. Yeah, its an annoying little necessity, pretty standard stuff, ... wait a minute, Oddworld can do better than this! What did they used to do? Integrating the instructions into the environment in the form of billboards, information terminals, etc. so when you later played the game again, the start was like any other level that didn't interrupt you. Where did that idea go?

I have to nitpick some of the artistic vision. As I mentioned, there is little to none of that Alien aesthetic. Bugs look like bugs (the Zapfly is nice though). Chippunks look like chipmunks. There are now vehicles in Oddworld, that look and work mostly like Earth vehicles. A far cry from the creative trains or the "mine cart" from Exoddus. Worse yet, in one mission you have to recapture a laptop, which is flat out just a 2000s laptop. I would have expected something quirkier, like a chrystal ball attached to a typewriter or something. The phone in a cutscene looked like the part, why not the computer? Aside from these, I often found thinking to myself "hmm, that technology/architecture is a tad bit anachronistic for a Western", then I had to remind myself that this is not really a Western. Whatever.

The first half of the game is really fun once you "catch the drift". But then in the second half of the game, the experience becomes very rough. All your learned tactics and ammo types become useless, to deal with the new kind of enemy, that are better equipped and prepared. And the game mechanics doesn't really adjust to this. There is no point in capturing enemies either. While it's a nice thing that in the second half, you become overpowered in close combat, intead of using your weapon. But that's for a short while, as even that becomes just barely eligible.

The second half of the game has some very disjointed scenarios. Hm, let me quickly go trough what happens towards the end of the game. Doing some industrial sabotage? Check. Defending the native Grubbs from industrialist Wolvark troups terrorizing their village? Sure, why not! Wearing Viking-like armor while travelling long distances up on the river with your war galleon? Badass! Then dropping into like, a bleak, long, tortuous session of WWII trench warfare? What the heck!? Am I playing Call of Duty all of the sudden? In this scenario it feels like it would be most appropriate to spread lead and spill the guts of soldiers, but you are stuck to your sophisticated pea shooter and family friendly rating. Whenever you leave your cover, you get gunned down in seconds by the literal army of foes. And the whole setup is ridiculous: you tell me that bad guys are doing an all out war on just a bunch of cute little Grubbs? I really hated this part! Then it kind of tainted the final section of the game, at the dam aswell. The Grubbs are somehow storming the dam and winning the battle, but it's never shown how the heck can they even fight.

In the final cutscene, it is shown that by destroying the dam, you flooded the towns of the Clakkerz aswell. You know what, fck the Grubbs, what about the Clakkerz!? o_O [Yeah-yeah, there is a deep message that the ending cinematic is trying to convey. But pushing trough the last parts of the game with angry determination, this ending becomes like "Who cares!".]

The Bottom Line
Finally! It happened! I had the fortune to be able to play and beat this blasted game! After such a long time of just reading about it! The darn thing was an XBox exclusive back when it originally came out. In 2010 I missed out on the PC release, and then ignored it for some reason.

I am not a fan of the FPS genre. But I can see why Oddworld Inhabitants had to resort to make it into an FPS-kinda thing. Back then, there were a handful of interesting projects at Oddworld hyped on their quaint old website and fansites. All of these projects got nowhere, I guess for finantial reasons. The 2000s were not a happy time for quirky and/or independent studios, even less so than today. Boring big businesses and their typical FPS franchises (even soaked in muddy and yellow palettes) ruled the game industry firmly by this point. I am happy that at least this thing got released at all!

And how would I rate it now? It is surely a great game of its time, but far from perfect, especially the second half. I got some kicks out of it, but I don't think I will come back. [Sorry if I am hard or unfair on this game, I wanted to document what I thought while playing trough it.]

Windows · by 1xWertzui (1135) · May 14, 2024

box cover thumbnail Metroid: Zero Mission

Amazing gem

The Good
A metroid with a lot of upgrades and items to improve the abilities of the character (in this case, Samus) with which to advance and with a lot of action, a balance that I loved. I haven't completed it 100%, but I'm satisfied with what I've achieved.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the game was longer than I had understood, as I thought the story ended with the original main boss, but this remake added additional story that I imagine connects to future instalments.

The Bad
As a negative point I would only mention the length of the game. Not because it's not long enough, not because it didn't expand enough the original game, it just left me wanting to enjoy more discoveries. I feel that the Samus Zero part is short and the exploration of the area is a bit lacking after what was seen previously during the adventure.

The Bottom Line
A highly recommended game, an amazing gem, and probably, at the risk of being wrong, one of the best 2D games of the series.

Game Boy Advance · by Silver7 (11) · May 13, 2024

box cover thumbnail Code Lyoko: Quest for Infinity

Nice for fans, bad for newcomers

The Good
The gameplay in Lyoko is good, with various platforming sections, locked areas to pass through at a later time via upgrades gained later on, and various battle sections that may seem difficult at first, but you'll quickly master, especially if you use Yumi, who is, in my personally opinion, overpowered. I recommend not upgrading characters to make it harder.

The game has a few levels where you drive the Skid, a kind of spaceship under the digital sea. If you go carefully and calmly, you'll aim and hit all the enemies without much trouble. What ironically annoyed me the most were the sections with life-sapping glow sticks.

The Bad
The “real world” is set in the Kadic Academy, and it's just a place with some very simple dialogues with characters mentioning events from the series, plus a door with the collectibles unlocked in the levels. It doesn't add anything to the game, and you can skip it completely without being affected by it. A minus point to something that could have given the game a lot more atmosphere, and could have been used to give more of a sense of danger to the attacks of X.A.N.A., the game's narrative enemy.

The Bottom Line
If you're bored and looking for a good time, and you like Code Lyoko, give it a chance, if you want. If you're looking for a game that offers a great challenge, and you don't even know what Code Lyoko is, there are probably a few better options.

PlayStation 2 · by Silver7 (11) · May 13, 2024

box cover thumbnail BurgerTime

BurgerTime

The Good
CABINET DESIGN: 8/10 - Viewing that huge Peter Pepper on the side of the “BurgerTime” Arcade Cabinet was something to behold. It was so eclectic for 1983 that I had NO IDEA what the game would be once seeing that screen. The cabinet art on the front really fit the diner theme, and all the colors were crisp, complementing each other, even in the low arcade lighting.

ATTRACT MODE: 6/10 The Attract Mode of “BurgerTime” is quite standard for an arcade title from the Labyrinth/Maze Genre, cycling quickly through a brief scoring example demonstrating how to earn massive points.

GAME DESIGN: 8/10 - Data East Corp. was adept at taking what would appear to be non-standard or strange design concepts, and then turn them into function video games with unique gameplay!

CONTROLS: 6/10 The controls for “BurgerTime” are somewhat basic for any game from the Labyrinth/Maze Subgenre. Don’t mistake the beauty of simplicity, because those controls are very responsive for an early 80’s Arcade Game; they just don’t reinvent the wheel. This title is best played with a 4-Way Joystick, because you will find yourself possibly stuck on ladders at time just long enough to die with an 8-Way Joystick.

GRAPHICS: 5/10 The Graphics of “BurgerTime” were above average for an Arcade Game from the early 80’s. It was a very colorful, detailed video game for its time, quite nice to look at but nothing revolutionary.

MUSIC & SOUND EFFECTS: 7/10 - The Sounds Effects and Music of “BurgerTime”, they are of the type that are easily forgotten, but you will instantly recall when heard; at least that is how they are with me. The Music isn’t anything special and certainly NOT something you will play in your car or used for a ringtone, but it complements the game quite well all the same; even though it constantly repeats, it will not drive you crazy. All the Sound Effects are admittedly more cartoonish than most games, not adding anything in terms of tension, but are entertaining, nonetheless. The ONLY sicound here that will instill a sense of urgency is whenever you have zero peppers remaining.

GAMEPLAY: 10/10 - “BurgerTime” is one of those masterfully engineered Video Games that come along once out of every ten to twenty arcade releases. Data East Corp. kept everything simplified down to the common denominator, which is typically a disaster when done in the modern era but works famously for early 80’s Arcade Games. It becomes one of those endeavors for Gamers where “BurgerTime” is so damn easy to pick up, but extremely difficult to master, ensuring quicker turnarounds, with games averaging 5 – 10 mins.; while NEVER leaving Gamers feeling cheated.

ORIGINALITY: 10/10 [“BurgerTime” is a successful example of how keeping a Video Game simplistic can also creatively explore new territories. There was nothing else like “BurgerTime” out there in the Arcades until Data East released other titles in the series.

FUN FACTOR: 8/10 “BurgerTime”, provides an excellent gaming experience that will be appreciated by Normie and Hardcore Gamers alike. Because children in 2024 will be more proficient with electronics, this may also serve as a GREAT entry-level Video Game to play for them.

REPLAY FACTOR: 6/10 The Replay Factor of “BurgerTime” always something that was either a hit or miss with Gamers; certainly, you would have the Average Arcade Gamer playing it once or twice then moving on, and then you would have the Hardcore Gamers that would stand there for an hour practicing their craft, while fighting for position on those coveted Hi-Score Screens.

DIFFICULTY LEVEL: 6/10 “BurgerTime” is one of those Video Games where you will NEVER feel cheated while walking away, the enemies are very predictable, and the rules are NEVER altered besides enemies increasing in speed whenever you drop them on a burger. That said, it still may NOT be for everyone, because it IS a fool’s errand as you try to stave off that inevitable Game Over.

FRUSTRATION LEVEL: 8/10 [“BurgerTime” is a one of those masterfully crafted Video Games where the Frustration Level is almost non-existent, despite the challenge it presents, it was one of those Arcade Games that I NEVER saw anyone hitting, even the few children I saw playing it. It is very balanced where you WILL reach Skill Saturation or Repetition Fatigue LONG before any BS Saturation.

The Bad
MULTIPLAYER FACTOR: 2/10 “BurgerTime's” multiplayer becomes a detriment to your gameplay unless you are challenging a friend to a Hi-Score.

ENDING: 5/10 Besides that tried-and-true, inevitable Game Over Screen, “BurgerTime” has no known ending to it, but it presumably does have a kill screen eventually (due to the chips utilized). But you MUST also keep in mind that this never-ending gameplay model was standard for Arcade Games in the early 80’s.

The Bottom Line
“BurgerTime” one of the most iconic Arcade titles from what we now call the Golden Age of Gaming and is much more of a slow, methodical burn than frantic, instant action of modern Video Games. It remains very friendly towards new players, but it is no pushover!

VERDICT: 7.21/10

Arcade · by DesertPunk75 (1) · May 13, 2024

box cover thumbnail Urban Champion

A top contender for the worst Nintendo-developed game ever made

The Good
The graphics look ok.

The Bad
You fight the same opponent over and over again with no variation on how he fights you. Shallow combat system. When the police arrive, both fighters go back to the spots where the fight began; nullifying any progress you made to clear the round.

The Bottom Line
All around not a very good game.

NES · by 45th&47th (843) · May 11, 2024

box cover thumbnail Fire & Ice

A 16-bit Euro platformer, that's actually great?!

The Good
Fire & Ice is a 2D sidescrolling platformer game from the 16-bit era. You play as Cool Coyote, in a trip from your house in the icy North Pole, trough various climate regions, into Egypt where a fiery demon resides (and apparently is the source of your woes or something). Your attack is throwing ice pellets, that will freeze up the various creatures inhabiting the levels, they can tolerate various amount until freezing up. Once frozen, enemies can be destoryed, or they will thaw out sooner or later.

The audiovisuals are excellent. They showcase the better side of the Amiga, without being overly tacky.

The graphics are very colorful and nice to look at, and the 16-bitness of it is just right. The sprite of the main character is comfortably big and nicely detailed (look at the hairs on the tail go flopping). There is 8-way scrolling, and the levels are designed around it, so altough you're generally headed left to right, most of the levels take good advantage of the vertical plane (apart from a couple of levels that advance just straightforward). There are sloped surfaces, that function acceptably (take that, Turrican!). The graphic design of the scenery is properly 16-bit, you will not find a platform that is just a flat slab (aside from intended bricks). The background layer most often is just a "sky" made of color gradients. But how the color gradients move according to the height, it gives the illusion of parallax scrolling. While the enhanched AGA/CD32 relase added detailed parallax backgrounds, those do look a bit tacky. In general, game engine works in a solid 50fps, I believe. I do not particularly care about frames per second, but it's undoubtedly smooth!

There is simultanous music AND sound effects during gameplay (fortunately, as it not always a given feature on the Amiga). The in-game musics and sounds are a mixture of higher fidelity samples and gritty "Atari"-ish chip sounds. It's not like just some generic techno tune and stock sound effects (like budget Amiga games often have), how they managed it this way is quite stylish and unique, serves the game's purpose excellently. It is all very memorable, and the soundtrack can become a banger at times. The game starts with a nice little show, as the title screen features Cool Coyote playing a cool song on a piano. The enhanched AGA/CD32 relase offers the option for a CD based soundtrack, but the tunes are completely different and less than appropriate, so I recommend sticking with the chippy sounds.

The gameplay is a pretty standard platforming fare, but it gets the basics down, and is executed tightly.

The game beigns with an ice level/world, which is kind of unique for a starter level. And yes, it is a bit slippery. Fortunately, falling icicles and skiing/snowball trowing enemies will be your main challenge, not the controls. And the underwater levels? They are probably some of the most pleasant of their kind in gaming!

The main objective on each level is to collect 6 pieces of the key that unlocks the level exit. The pieces are held by random enemies, and you have to search back and, forth until you assemble the whole key. Once you get near to a dropped key piece, they gravitate to you, so it is not a problem if they have fallen into a pit or something (wow, feels quite a modern feature, makes life easier).

The most distinquishable gameplay element are the puppies. They can be found scattered troughout the levels. Once you go near one, it starts to follow you, in their jumpy-springy way. They're optional, and can become a pain to guide them all the way to the level exit, but it is worth it! For one, they serve as extra firepower (or ice power?), and are invincible to regular enemies. When you fire your ice pellets, so do the puppies. If you do so frantically, the puppies charge forward. When they touch frozen enemies, the can destroy them. A handy little help! For two, once they touch the unlocked level exit, they give you an extra life, each! How neat!

Another neat feature are the little storm clouds. Spam them with ice pellets, and they charge up. Once charged enough, they start snowing. But make them too charged, and lightning bolts become a danger. Why they're important is, that the snowflakes are collectible items. They can be used as bombs that freeze all enemies on screen.

One more thing to mention in the time limit. You have about three "days" to spend on each level. Which is implemented as day-night cycles. The color gradient background reflects the time of day. Once you run out of time, fireballs start to fall from the sky.

The Bad
The controls are designed for a single button Atari-style joystick. The one fire button shoots the ice pellets, so for lack of better, Up has to be jumping. Which is not out of place for European games of the time, nevertheless it is an uncomfortable method. The special attacks require a fiddly combination of the direction controls and pressing fire. I often trigger the instant freeze bomb by accident. Granted, in an emulator you will likely play with the PC keyboard. Fortunately, on real hardware the game also has an option for playing with the Amiga's keyboard. It's still a single button design on keyboard, but much more comfortable with the cursor keys. And the later AGA/CD32 release finally has an option for the 2-button CD32 controller, with a dedicated jump button!

The middle part of the game (the jungle world) is ruthlessly difficult and unforgiving, even compared to the rest. This is the part where people usually give up (or resort to cheating). Oh and remember, normally you have to complete the game in one sitting. With insta-kills, time limits, no saving, no continues, just some extra lives you can scoop together. Sure, beating the game on your own (in the fair way) may be one of those 'once in a lifetime' achievements. But the game has enough content without the developers needing to resort to playing dirty tricks on you (with like random booby traps and fast enemies), so a little bit of break would have been appreciated!

The enemy designs often feel out of place, compared to the cartoony design of the main character. Some have that bulbous "Chuck Rock" look, others are more realistic instead.

The Bottom Line
You know the stigma about Euro platformers (if not, watch the video of Kim Justice about the topic). They share many of the stylistical and design choices, that were less than ideal back then, and are hated nowadays. As the Amiga and Atari ST computers were most popular in Europe, they received a lot of jank. On one side, there are a lot of platformers that (apart from the tidied up audiovisuals) were either straightforward ports from 8-bit systems, or had a very limited 8-bit like desgin to them. On the other side, there is the notable handful of platformers that were trying way too hard to ride the Sonic fad and show off, but ended up being not fun to play and/or unappealing.

So what about Fire & Ice? While it is unapologeticly a Euro platformer, as coming from the UK it bears stylistical and design kinship with them, those elements are surprisingly subtle. The good outweights the slight impracticalities so much, that I barely found way to mind/complain about them! It's a perfectly adequate 16-bit game, without being overcomplicated and tacky. It is solid on the technical front, competent on design for the most part, it deals with the right compromises, and offers a very tough but good challenge. Beside the Turricans, this is one of the best games of the Amiga's library. Moreover, I can safely recommend it to anyone who likes platformers!

(This game is curiously absent from Kim Justice's list of good Euro.platformers, another reason of writing this review.)

Amiga · by 1xWertzui (1135) · May 9, 2024

box cover thumbnail Gex

"Lock and load, little lizard!"

The Good
This is a sidescrolling 2D platformer with a mascot character. It was originally developed to be a flagship title for the 3DO. But as the console failed to gain a wide audience, it was ported to several other platforms, including PCs. This was among the first batch of Windows 95 games, and Microsoft used it in its marketing aswell.

The main character, Gex, is a TV-obsessed gecko lizard (complete with that rad '90s attitude). He gets pulled into a television realm for reasons by a badass-looking cyber villain, Rez, the overlord of the Media Dimension. Gex is voiced by stand up comedian Dana Gould, and he has quite a lot of wise-crack jokes to tell, most of them referencing movies and TV shows. Some people hate it, I happen to like it. Gex is quite proud of his tail an tongue. He can attack by tail-whipping, he can bounce on his tail, can catch fly powerups with his tongue. He also can climb every wall and ceiling like geckos do, the standout feature of the game.

The gameplay is like the usual 2D platforming fare, and from that it has a lot to offer. The game is fairly long and challenging! It of consists 5 worlds with themes of horror, cartoon, jungle, martial arts, and the futuristic but grimy Rezopolis. Each themed hub world has 2 to 5 levels and some hidden ones, all is accessible through TV sets. Each world has it's own set of enemies and hazards.

The graphics varies between hand drawn and 3D rendered elements. The game also uses sprite scaling effects, especially at the final boss (that was a cool boss battle). The intro and ending FMV videos look good for the time. The soundtrack is very '90s, sort of reminds me of sitcoms of the time, with some light distortion guitar thrown in occasionally. The musics are decent but not very memorable.

The Bad
There was a lot of jankiness I encountered in this game.

First off, you are forced to play the cemetery. Which as it is, not very appealing for a starting level and world. It gets pretty hard from the getgo. The game looks like it would allow to non-linearity, as you chose levels from a hub world. But levels and worlds get unlocked in a linear order, mostly one at a time. What a waste of opportunity.

Saving your progress can be done only with a password. Which is very restrictive, because if you quit and later continue, you loose all your extra lives and stuff. And the VHS-tapes that provide passwords are rare, so you have to play large chunks of the game between saves. I don't see why they could not implement saving to your hard drive in the PC version. Good news, once you know the locations of the secret bonus stages, it's easy to boost up yourself with extra lives in each play session.

The controls are not the best either. I think they have some input lag to them. Worse yet, the keyboard controls are stupid! While the game allows you to re-map your inputs, you cannot use any of the easily accessible modifier keys like Shift, Control, or Alt, like in any other PC game. Neither can not press or hold more than two keys simultaneously. This makes maneuvers like a run & jump very hard to do. You have to release the Run key slightly before pressing Jump. Let me remind you: Microsoft itself endorsed this game... I managed to finish the game like this, but wouldn't do it again with these controls. I cannot speak what is it like when you play with a controller attached instead of the keyboard. Let's suppose it is better than this.

In the sequel, I hated the space level where it was very easy to fall from the narrow platforms into the big void and die. This game has lots of places like that! Swamps, pools of blood and liquid noise. One missed jump, and you can start the entire level over... and over... and over again. Checkpoints are not too common.

I personally did not like the in-game graphics, as it is not very coherent. The sprites of Gex and Rez are more detailed 3D renders. The majority of the backgrounds are either hand drawn of manually pixelated. The enemies only consist a few colors and their animation are more laggy.

Sometimes the wisecracks that Gex tells get repeated way too often. Does not help that the voice clips sound bit-crushed. Specifically, I do not want to hear the "WELMAAAA" or "Jeez Scoob let's get back to the Mystery Van" quotes again.

The Bottom Line
A fairly decent, if average game. Even tough plagued by jankiness, I liked what it had to offer. This is the first time when I encountered a game where its 3D-ified sequel (still from the '90s) is better and more fleshed out than its 2D predecessor. Doesn't help that I played the entries in the Gex series out of order.

Windows · by 1xWertzui (1135) · May 9, 2024

box cover thumbnail Gex: Enter the Gecko

"Oh no, I'm too young to have a second childhood!"

The Good
The first Gex game was a 2D sidescrolling platformer, starring a TV-obsessed gecko lizard (complete with that rad '90s attitude), and it originally appeared on the obscure 3DO console. Next up followed Gex 3D: Enter the Gecko as the sequel, mainly developed for the PlayStation 1. I would say this one is practically a like remake of the first game, plus so much more! It successfully made the leap into the 3rd dimension, back when this critical move could break franchises and companies. While I am greatly biased toward traditional 2D graphics (the "threedee" usually gave me dizziness and was often unnecessary), this one also improved on the gameplay and polished most everything what the first one did (neither does help that I played them out of order). It was interesting, easy to pick up and play, and bearable enough in its 3D-ness. And so it happened be my introduction to both 3D platforming and the talking game mascot phenomenon, and I am grateful for it!

Let's address the elephant (as in gecko) in the room. Gex likes to make his presence known, he is very vocal. You cannot simply ignore him -- he either makes or breaks the game for you! He is a little gecko with like the massive ego of Duke Nukem, and he tells his wisecrack jokes on his own accord. I happened to enjoy his banter, and I will write down my anecdotal reasons below. It is said that there are 800 voice clips for him (voiced by stand up comedian Dana Gould), so repetition is less of a problem than it was in the previous game.

Beside the talks, Gex got the moves too, for a lizard he is a hyperactive fella. He can run around on two legs. He can jump. He can attack by whipping with his tail. Also can coil it up in mid-jump to spring higher or crush enemies below. He can use his tongue to grab onto ledges or catch flies for power-ups. On his four, he can climb onto walls or ceilings (at least where the game allows it). And there is one more add: a Chuck Norris style flying kick! Which is not necessary to do, newertheless it's looks awesome, whenever you manage to pull itt off. Gex can take five hits before losing a life. But this should not be much of a problem, it is possible to rack up a massive amount of extra lives if you go around exploring. You'll hardly ever see the Game Over screen by just accident.

Flies are Gex's favourite snack. Conveniently, they the provide power-ups! There are color-coded flies trapped in small tube TV sets trough-out the levels. The TV has to be destroyed, and the fly is promtly released, which will then circle around Gex. If we let it follow us, the fly serves as an additional hitpoint (regardless how unhealthy it may look, haha). If we chose to catch and eat the fly, the power-up is activated. A green fly restores a hitpoint. Purple ones give an extra life. Golden and white flies give timed invincibility, in the form of an elemental aura of fire or ice. But this invincibilty is still vulnerable to damage from the opposite element, so for example don't go surfing in lava if you have the icy one. Mid-level checkpoints are also in the same kind of TVs, these show a checkerboard pattern instead a fly.

It shouldn't be a surprise that the levels are themed as various genres of movie/TV shows, and often reference popular media. Some are more cliche and kind of carried over from the previous game (cartoon, haunted house, martial arts, pre-history, etc.), others are a little more unique (computer tech, space sci-fi, espionage, etc.). These are reflected in the look and feel of the environment, cosmetically in the foes and collectibles, more functionally in the types of environmental hazards and interactive elements. Gex's jokes also adapt to the context. On certain occasions, Gex gets an appropriate costume, just for the show (for example like a bunny or duck suit when there are the Elmer Fudd lookalike hunters around).

You don't just progress from one level to the next, they are laid out in a creative and non-linear way, fully taking advantage of the 3D world. Firstly, there is an interactive hub world (the Media Dimension) where you can chose which level you want to enter. The hub world is divided up by giant gates. Gates open up when you have earned the required amound of trophies (in the form red TV remotes) or completed a boss battle. Then you get a new set of levels, while you also don't lose access to the previous ones. When you approach a gate in the hub world not yet unlocked, Rez threatens you, with his booming voice! Secondly, all the levels are - how do I describe it - also kind of a hub in themselves. They have one entry point, but multiple exit points - each earning you a red remote once you pass trough them. The challenge is in either finding your way trough twisted paths to an exit point, or also unlocking them by accomplishing given objectives. You are always given hints regarding specific exits when you begin a level, but you can chose to ignore them and go however you like. There are not all that many levels in the game, but how they are padded out this way, is not bad! Items (aside from already collected remotes) and enemies return each time you start a level, so it's useful when you want to stock up.

The levels are chock-full of collectible items. It is not necessary to mind them, but the reason to collect them is pretty valid. Pick 30 of them up, and they change appearance and location plus you are rewarded an extra life. Then pick 40 up from the second type of collectibles, again they change appearance plus extra life. Pick up 50 of the third type, and you are rewarded with the level's white remote controller! But that is not all! There are also hidden white remotes on each level to search for. White remotes remotes unlock bonus and secret levels, which provide golden remotes. If you finish the game with every possbile remote contorller collected, you get a bonus ending!

The levels are inhabited by various unfriendly creatrues. As platform game foes they usually do not pose much of a threat, unless the danger is getting kicked off from your path. The ninja ones though are pretty cool for regular enemies, and put up a good fight! The occasional boss battles are all mind-numbingly simple tasks, where you're letting the enemy get hurt by their own traps/attacks. On the plus side, these happen in epic set pieces. My most favourite event in the game is the giant monster fight with Gexzilla against Mecha-Rez! While the goal is to let Mecha-Rez fall off a building a set number of times (it wants the "high ground", haha), you actually get engaged in combat here. Skyscrapers collapsing, tiny tanks and helicopters trying to interfere and getting wrecked, good stuff.

I like how the game progresses. Initially, you get to chose between a bouncy cartoon level or a scary haunted house level, all with the right amount of zanyness. They are good, appealing starting levels (which is a big improvement compared to the first game). The world gradually opens up as you complete tasks and collect the remotes, giving access to more complex, varied, colorful levels. Well into the game, you could notice on some skyboxes that the 'air' is torn, revealing metal scaffolding and blinking lights. Finally, when reaching the last few levels of Rezopolis, they are unsettling places compared to the kid friendly rest of the game. Dark industrial setting and occasional brainscapes, clusters of TVs showing random stuff, deadly pools of bubbling white noise, dirty old robotic and bio-mechanical creatures, menacing industrial techno music. AWESOMENESS. And then, there is Rez himself. One of the most badass looking video game villains ever! Creepy bio-mechanical abomination sporting a rocket booster instead of legs, with a terrifying voice to match.

And now, some technical comparisons between the Windows port and the PS1 original:

-The graphics, is identical between the two. Most thing is pretty low-poly but textured, the collectible items are sprites. The draw distance is pretty short, and the game hides it by either taking place in rooms, between cliffs, or showing fog. It doesnt look bad, altough I miss that there are no graphics settings to tweak with, but that's how console-to-PC ports often are. Like, stuck in time to when they were released, to the capabilities of the PS1, or Pentium 1 PCs with an early 3D accelerator card, in a resolution of 640x480.

-On the front of sound, there are notable differences. The PC version lacks some presentational sound ditties. And the background music, while the themes are mostly the same, they work completely different. On the PS1, the music is built up from bit-crushed sound samples and is mixed in real time, allowing the music to follow the events, actively reacting of the gameplay. On the other hand, the PC version takes advantage of the "Redbook" audio capabilities of the CD-ROM, and thus it is in much higher quality. This also means that the music is hard-mixed and passive -- one type of level, one soundtrack to it. By the way, the music is mostly like off-brand instumental/"MIDI" rendition of famous themes approriate to the level. Where it truly stands out are the techno songs, those sound like genuine pieces of their time, and true bangers!

-Saving: The PS1 version has the possbility to save your progress on a memory card. Or if you lack one, then it offers a "password" combination (of the PlayStation symbols) that vaguely reflects your progress. On the PC version, you alway have the convenience to save your game to the hard drive, so no juggling with passwords. All this only works when you are back at the hub world.

-Controls: The PC version can be controlled both with a gamepad (of at least 4 buttons), or with keyboard. The keyboard controls register flawlessly, and can be re-defined (all unlike the PC port of the first game, I don't know how they messed that up).



The Bad
If there is one flaw to moan about, is how the "camera" (your view to the game world) is behaving. It is prone to get stuck on the walls, or to face the wrong direction away from the action. This was a common problem for early 3D games with a third person perspective, back when game developers haven't quite figured out everything yet. Can't say that they didn't try in Gex 3D: there are even three modes of operation you can select from, right at the pause menu. There is an automatic, a half automatic, and a manual modes. The latter lets you flat-out control the camera with dedicated keys. Neither mode is perfect, there are places where one works better than the other. It is at least not a game breaking problem, you have to learn to deal with it.

There is a seizure hazard in the PC port. That is, when you activate a mid-level checkpoint, the screen flashes white, like you are supposedly being photographed. But this effect is somehow borked, as it's not just a little flash, more like you flash grenade yourself! The entire screen suddenly goes FULL WHITE, and stays that way for a few seconds, then fades back. Now, I don't have epilepsy, but every time that happens and I got suckered into it or forgot to look away, it feels like my eyes have been destroyed and mind has been wiped blank. Not cool.

In other news, Gex can climb onto walls and ceiligs, you know, like geckos do! It's a gameplay mechanic that makes the new 3D game world all that much more... free, and complex, and interesting (also potentially more confusing, dizzifying, and whatnot) ...Except you don't really get much walls that can be climbed. Only distinguished textures are climbable, and they were used on sparse occasions. Why I bring it up here is that, compared to the previous game, it feels like a step back. In (the 2D) Gex 1 you could climb most walls anywhere, which was a major feature. I think I understand why the game designers chose to deal with it the way they did here. But in case a new Gex game would get ever made, I would be dissappointed if they would not integrate the full freedom of wall climbing into the engine and gameplay.

Another thing to chalk up, are those darn space themed levels. They are very hard from the special circumstances: they are basically an open bottomless pit with little bits of floating -often moving- platforms and debris; plus you are limited on oxygen and have to look out for air supplies; with leeching enemies around that can drain your air quicker. Any sense of wonder that this fantastic new frontier invokes is quickly replaced with dread and anger. In Space, no one can hear you cursing for the frequent deaths! This is where your extra lives are guaranteed take a massive drain. Add in the fact, that these levels are some of the trickiest to navigate aswell, and it's guaranteed that you will spend a long time on them. Yeah, it's an intended part of the challenge relatively late in the game. Still, I can hate on it!

Additionally, let me rant about the European dub (which is technically what's appropriate to where I live). What was the point of changing the voice actor, and to such an inappropiate voice? With it he sounds like an old man talking slowly, just reading in some lines in the most flat way possible. Not very fitting for a hyper-active bouncy gecko. I guess the idea was that the brits wanted a suave, sort of Sean Connery impersonation (because of the slight Bond theming), but it doesn't work! I've heard people preferring this dub because "it's less annoying". To me feels like, without the voice of Dana Gould, it's a whole different game lacking Gex himself!

The Bottom Line
I guess now I have to explain why I like Gex in the first place. Some time ago, I was on the lookout for old Windows 95 era games, to try on my Pentium 1 trash of a PC. I vaguely remembered seeing a game at a relative's place, where a reptile thing was running around (which later turned out to be the demo of Croc, but whatever). So I downloaded "this" game, started up, got to a level, Gex materialized in the playfield out of poligons (it's a teleport effect it does). And when I wanted to take control, suddenly Gex looked back and said something silly. And I was like "Whuuut? Ya bastard, haha!". I was not used to a videogame character talking on its own (yeah, Duke Nukem 3D did it earlier, but at that time I didn't have a sound card). Did I just got adopted a Digimon partner or something? It was cool. And so this was a game where it didn't feel like the playable character is just an avatar for me. It's WE are that are doing it, getting the evil rid of this digital world... or something. There is some paper thin plot implied in the intro video, but it's easily ignorable. A hyperactive little gecko, with an ego on level with Duke Nukem, it was endlessly funny to me, in an ironic and endearing way. I don't like to admit it, but this was around high school years, and I had no friends, so yeah, quite an uncomfortable time. I hate to write all this sentimental cr@p down, but without it, all this text would have no menaning. Gex buddy, you lovable little dork, I would hug you if I could!

Windows · by 1xWertzui (1135) · May 9, 2024

box cover thumbnail Darkstalkers 3

A beautiful and fun fighting game

The Good
It's goofy. It's visually pleasing. It's fun. The game is only lacking content wise. Would have loved a bit more than arcade and original mode. But seriously the pixelart is gorgeous. The level designs and characters are interesting and funny.

The Bad
This runs quite quickly out of content so arcade style fighting and competing against friends are the options after youve mastered the characters.

The Bottom Line
Good game. I'm certainly coming back to this just to see character animations and butt strikes from Victor.

PlayStation · by Santtu Niskala · May 9, 2024

Six Feet Under

Roll with the Boulder

The Good
There is quite a bit of visual appeal for the graphics in the game. All the textures and objects are realistic and recognisable. And while the lack of animation is apparent on the creatures you encounter, the main character’s walk animations not only add to realism, but they also let you know that the character is pushing a boulder and that you’re not stuck. Keeping with the atmosphere of the levels are the midi music tracks (some based on well known tunes), reflecting the mood of the level’s elements. The sound effects work well too, especially the announcements for collecting an extra life and time.

The first twelve levels gradually introduce new elements to give new players an idea of what to expect and how to solve puzzles. The difficulty for the most part is well-balanced, and where levels seem to present too far a challenge, there is always the option to skip levels with passwords (which are easily available on the internet). One big advantage is that the player can farm for virtually infinite lives by losing after collecting extra lives. Experienced players can experiment to find new ways to get more points than what is required to beat the levels.

The Bad
While the game mechanics hold out, there are certain oddities that upset the flow. One of them is the Zoom-In effect, which does magnify, but seems to put the frame rate out of sync so you’ll end up losing a life, such as grabbing a gem right next to lava and getting fried before you can make a clean escape. You also have to time your movements perfectly in zigzag passages so that the walls don’t slow you down from going to the next empty space, making the ability to outrun creatures and hazards a really chore. Another issue is the way creatures work. With grid-based movement and positioning, timing has to be precise to strafe past a creature without getting eaten. What is lacking in the game is that you don’t get extra lives for getting a certain score like most arcade-style games. And lastly, there’s no level editor, but you can edit the existing levels if you’re feeling adventurous.

Apart from gameplay, it feels as if some of the levels lack though and proper challenge such as level 15, while others such as level 24 are incredibly unfair due to being literally surrounded by creatures and there isn’t a convectional way to pass it. It gets samey when you see so many symmetrically structured levels. Sometimes the game uses the same music tracks more than once, in a couple of instances for two levels in a row, which kind of ruins the mood of 5e game. The developers could have easily included a few more extra midi tracks.

The Bottom Line
Not every variant of a known game comes as a complete knockoff. EnQue definitely found a way to make this Boulderdash variant interesting and imaginative. I guarantee you won’t call this one “Balderdash”. Chances of getting the registered version today are slim, and the game is not compatible with modern Windows computers, but for what it is, there is a lot anticipation for novice gamers, and many means to exercise arcade skills for intrepid gamers. Mac and Linux gamers could have enjoyed this one, had it been ported. This game really needs to be brought back into the spotlight. If there is ever a community workshop to make new levels and game mechanics for a HD version of this game count me in.

Windows 3.x · by Skippy_Chipskunk (34556) · May 9, 2024

box cover thumbnail Graven

Had high hopes

The Good
The world, most of the game play is fun, the puzzle and cryptic aspect of the game i love.

The Bad
Save system... There's times i can only play for 25 - 30 and the way the save system works is you start back at a hub instead of where you left off. I just can't wrap my head around this game design decision? No map.. A game like this NEEDS a map at least for me because my memory is terrible. Stamina bar, again i don't understand the decision to have a stamina bar in a game like this? how many games actually have good use of a stamina bar?

The Bottom Line
Really had high hopes for this since i saw the game in early access. Sooo Disappointed.

Windows · by John Thode (3) · May 6, 2024

box cover thumbnail Chrono Trigger

Best SNES Game / Best RPG Game / Best Game Ever

The Good
Everything from the characters , the sound , the looks , the perfect round base combat and the complete banger story

The Bad
Tell Me !

The Bottom Line
?

SNES · by Fynn · May 6, 2024

box cover thumbnail Sacred Citadel

Not good.

The Good
Style is pleasant. It's 3D, but looks like 2D.

The Bad
Enemies

Ultimate abilities

The Bottom Line
Generic beat 'em up with extremely bullet-spongy enemies. Play only with friends.

Windows · by FameL · May 5, 2024

box cover thumbnail Rogue Galaxy

A no-stress adventure

The Good
I really liked the weapon mastering and alchemy part of the job. Made the dungeon crawling enjoyable. Music was Great. The characters annoying and bland. So whats not to like? I was really impressed by the cutscenes and the grandness of the story. The game looks and sounds good. It also plays well, an item based skill and healing system was different to say the least. There is also a TON of content. It's nice that there aren't any achievement pushing me toward anything. I just finished the bits of the game I felt like and then moved on.

The Bad
But that said the game feels unpolished. The dungeons are copy-paste repetitions Sometimes theres a door that needs a key in order to progress. Butthe key is in the, otherwise empry room, as the door that needs it? It's like they had planned something more elaborate but didnt have time for it. Also Jupis sounds so annoying that I had to mute my tv everytime I used him.

The Bottom Line
I liked it. Don't think I will return to it, other than the opening music. I loved the idea of sailing the stars on a pirate ship. And I think I got that in the end. The ending cutscene was quite serene and felt nice after long journey. Despite the games flaws I found it relaxing.

PlayStation 2 · by Santtu Niskala · May 5, 2024

box cover thumbnail Polda 5

The good and bad

The Good
3D graphics, time travel lots of screens excellent dubbing

The Bad
boring story bad animations

The Bottom Line
one of the worst episodes of the series, but worth it , now available on Steam

Windows · by Chronik808 · May 4, 2024

box cover thumbnail Mortal Kombat: Deception

Joyful & unique

The Good
everything about this game is amazing

The Bad
actually nothing i think is bad about this game

The Bottom Line
great game for its time, i love it

PlayStation 2 · by mohammad hossein karami · May 4, 2024

box cover thumbnail Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Zombie Ninja Pro-Am

Golfing is Forbidden.

The Good
While going through my old PS2 collection, I found this game, thinking about the fact I've never played it despite owning it for decades. When playing this for the first time, I was truly surprised.   This game was actually OK. (focus on the "OK"). The humor and writing of the original series is fully here! The cutscenes, while 3D, feel like they could have come from a actual episode.

Anyways to the gameplay, The controls are quite responsive and is actually quite competent for a golf game. It never felt that awkward trying to get the ball to the hole, and mistakes made felt truly on me for over swinging or not swinging hard enough.

The Bad
While all those things are pretty good sounding, that's really all the positives I really have to say about this game. Oh boy, where do I start with this. While the controls and gameplay can be easily understood, everything else outside of golfing and the writing in this game is unintentionally and intentionally a complete mess.

Master Shake and Frylock are somehow some of the slowest characters I've ever played as in a video game, they walk at crawling pace, making the stages feel way longer than they actually are.

Also game constantly spawns in a overabundance of overpowered enemies which always shoot projectiles at you. causing you to have to repeat the stage from the beginning. When your slowest character ever and are having to walk all that way while having to constantly fight against enemies, it starts to become a repetitive and tiring experience.

And now, for the worst part of the game, those goddamn golf cart racing stages. Broken physics, a poorly programmed cpu, shitty powerups, all mashed together with constant over repetitive low quality voice lines of Patton Oswalt screeching and calling the player a loser. These stages were my honest to god breaking point.

I honestly don't understand how this game was approved to be released in this state, especially when coming from Midway.

The Bottom Line
If your a fan of ATHF or are an video game nerd who's angry, go ahead, you will get a decent amount of laughs out of this game, especially while playing with a friend group, but if your seriously looking for a goofy action platformer/golf hybrid game to get into, PLEASE avoid this game and watch just watch the cutscenes or instead play Ninja Golf on the Atari 7800, which was the inspiration for this game. It's available to purchase as an official cartridge on Atari's website or in the Atari 50 Collection.

PlayStation 2 · by Funky Studios · May 1, 2024

Venture

A curious odd and end

The Good
If you like medieval-themed and future-themed adventures, this game has them all. There’s plenty of room for exploration and combat. The gameplay is fairly simple, even if the layouts of the levels get complex. As you go deeper into the Makalu scenario, you’ll find a few Lord of the Rings and Monty Python references. The puzzles to solve make both treasure hunting and reaching an end destination satisfying. Inspired players will love the tools that allow you to create custom adventures, being relatively easy to use.

The Bad
While the novelty of the game’s setup and the ability to make your own adventures is present, there is a fatal flaw that makes the Makalu adventure unwinnable. That fatal flaw is that you can’t use Miscellaneous items as weapons. That means there is no solution to kill and get past the carnivorous plant to get the final treasure. And even if you do get all the treasures, dropping them does not deduct your carrying capacity so you can’t drop all the treasures in the first room no matter how hard you try. If only the author had thought to fully play test the game before releasing it.

The Bottom Line
If you didn’t think old Windows 3.x titles could entertain you, this one might change your mind. While it may not have the RPG mechanics of a D&D game, the brain training from adventuring and the creativity to make custom adventures is apparent. Sadly the likeliness of finding a registered copy of the game may never arise. Make the most of this one and seek out other quality titles in the obscure shareware libraries.

Windows 3.x · by Skippy_Chipskunk (34556) · Apr 30, 2024

box cover thumbnail Money Puzzle Exchanger

The money making broke down

The Good
This port is very faithful to the Arcade original in regards to game mechanics and interface. Adding to it are three difficulty modes, so you don’t need to mess with dip switches or BIOS as you do on the arcade. Even with a game pad, you can comfortably play just as efficiently as you could with a digital joystick and plunger buttons. An extra bonus is that you can play as any of the eight characters against the CPU as opposed to only playing as them against a second player.

The Bad
As the Story Mode curtain unveils, the features that break this port begin to show. Between gameplay you are staring at lazily produced dithered photographic backgrounds with still and static images of Asashi and Sakura. It’s basically about those two picking fights against other people forming a crime ring which nobody has ever heard of. And a finishing double whammy is both main characters fighting each other over Sakura’s selfish, douchey actions. What a beautiful and cheaply produced plot that isn’t even derived from the manga.

Worsening this plot is that it puts the characters in a seemingly random order so you sometimes fight easy opponents and the next moment you fight hard opponents, not in line with the gradual increase of difficulty you got in the arcade version.

The Bottom Line
Frankly this is where a bad budget went into this game and what it both brought and didn’t bring really messed it up. At the end of the day, FACE really couldn’t save face with this port or make the best of the CD’s space, let alone the PlayStation’s capabilities. A lesson is learned that not all console ports at home can capture an arcade perfect experience. No one is currently missing an English dub of this one.

PlayStation · by Skippy_Chipskunk (34556) · Apr 30, 2024

box cover thumbnail Montezuma's Revenge

Montezuma’s Review of all time

The Good
The SMS version pleasantly opens with a vastly coloured title screen playing some Indiana Jones theme remix, followed by a little cutscene with the “Mexican Hat Dance” tune, and finally a text introduction of the current level, which also hints what is different from the previous level, with little gimmicks now and again, especially the parachute. The real challenge is the next level will always be familiar to you, and at the same time it won’t be.

Even with the same colour scheme being used through the levels, the details are eye-catching and just the right amount to keep the screen interesting and give the right amount of visual feedback during the gameplay. Even the sprite animations are decently fluid and don’t look stiff in any frame.

The Bad
Quality of the visuals and gameplay are apparent. Audio cues on the other hand get boring after a while, especially when collecting the treasure and hearing the “La Cucaracha” jingle time and time again. Even though this game is set in Mexico, the game makers could have at least tried to put more tunes like “Besame Mucho”. No matter, what you hear is what you get, turn off the sound if it becomes a pain.

The Bottom Line
This was quite the interesting port of he game. Those who played the computer and early console versions of the game might not recognise this conversion. Panama Joe really stands out among the fictional archaeologists next to Alabama and Nevada Smith. If you want the best experience in Montezuma’s Revenge, the Master System port does it best.

SEGA Master System · by Skippy_Chipskunk (34556) · Apr 30, 2024

box cover thumbnail Geometry Dash: Meltdown

Play This One First

The Good
Fun Geometry Dash gameplay with 3 levels not present in the main game

The Bad
Only 3 levels with no access to fanmade levels, and not much of a challenge for Geometry Dash players.

The Bottom Line
Worth a quick play, especially if you haven't played the original.

iPhone · by Envy (219) · Apr 29, 2024

box cover thumbnail Geometry Dash

Easy Entry, Infinite Potential

The Good
There is infinite content to play, mostly fanmade, that ranges various different levels of difficulty so that everybody can play the game and get better at it.

The Bad
Progression isn't always so clear, and quality of content is mostly up to the users.

The Bottom Line
At the very least it's worth a shot, and once you get hooked there's no escape.

Android · by Envy (219) · Apr 29, 2024

box cover thumbnail Peggle: Blast

A Peggle game that tries to shake you down for cash

The Good
Mobile is a great platform for a Peggle game. I've always thought of Peggle as the ultimate sitting-on-the-toilet or sitting-on-the-train type game, but that is kinda less true when you consider there's only one other entry (that I know of?) that's on any sort of portable platform (not considering the existence of things like the Steam Deck, which still aren't necessarily that accessible for the average joe), and it's for the DS and thus isn't nearly as accessible now as it would've been on release, or as a phone game like Peggle Blast currently is.

The Bad
The puzzles are designed poorly, and it feels as though this is done intentionally. It's been a bit since I last played it, but I remember the difficulty curve being functionally nonexistent, with the game lulling you into a sense of false security by first giving you a handful of levels that are either overly easy or decently challenging in a way that's fun, right before throwing at you a horribly-designed and thus horrifically difficult level with what felt like the intent to try and bully you into paying real-world money on things like powerups to help you beat a level. I recall the level I was stuck on before giving up I had been trying on and off for literal days on end, when the puzzles directly prior were certainly challenging (except for the odd poorly designed and overly-easy one) but in a way that made me feel like it was just a manner of getting better at the game, or rethinking my strategy. As I recall it's also one of those games with a life system where one play consumes a life whether you win or lose, a timer for replenishing lives, and a way to dodge the timer by just spending real-world money to buy lives early, and this massively diminishes its ability to be a good time waster when you're doing things like commuting to work/school on a train or whatever else have you, and it's also just another way to try and swindle you out of your cash.

The Bottom Line
Peggle on mobile? Grand idea! The way Peggle Blast handles it? So bad that it isn't even worth your time. Peggle Blast is not a game but a black hole for money wearing the mask of a much-beloved game franchise, and that makes it downright evil.

Android · by ngoomie · Apr 27, 2024

box cover thumbnail Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Horror and Fun

The Good
Resident Evil Back !

The Bad
Too Scary. Easy Heart attack

The Bottom Line
If you are horror game fan, you need to play it.

Windows · by matellion · Apr 27, 2024

box cover thumbnail A Plot Story

Can there be too many puzzles in a puzzle game?

The Good
The artwork is quite decent and the puzzles, though simple, can be challenging because many are timed.

The Bad
After just about every dialogue screen there is a puzzle and this very soon becomes tiresome. It is not that the story or the puzzles are bad it's just that, for me, the game did not flow.

The Bottom Line
I did not enjoy this game. For me it very quickly became tedious

Windows · by piltdown_man (245952) · Apr 26, 2024

box cover thumbnail Populous

The Molyneaux god-complex begins here, for better and for worse.

The Good
The Molyneaux god-complex begins here, for the better.

The game concept is a very intriguing one: prove yourself the deity of deities by assuming godly powers and aiding the Good little computer people in their life-or-death struggle with the Evil little computer people. You do this across a large number of worlds with striking, and strikingly different-looking, terrain types: grassy, snowy, desert, lava, etc. In addition to raising and lowering the level of the terrain, you have the power to cause floods, earthquakes, and volcanoes. You can dub some of your "walkers" (the name for your constantly wandering little computer people) knights who will equip shield and sword and go forth and wreak much havoc against the enemy, killing them and burning their homes and castles. It can all be quite a lot of fun to watch…but only sort of, and only for a while (more on this later).

Populous is a technically well-executed, polished piece of software. For its day, the graphics and music/sound are quite nice. Actually, the background music gets annoying fast, but at least it is easily turned off.



The Bad
The Molyneaux god-complex begins here, for the worse.

Populous laid the groundwork for a whole series of Molyneaux games released by Bullfrog and Lionhead, and undoubtedly influenced a lot of the god sims and real-time strategy games that followed it. This is really not such a good thing. Peter Molyneaux has himself often been lauded by the fawning gaming press as a "Game Design God." Personally, I'm not sure exactly how he ever earned such respect. From Populous to Black & White, it seems like none of his games has ever lived up to the hype.

There are many annoying things about Populous that make it a failure. I'll list just a few for now. First, the icon-based interface is obscure and difficult to get a hang of. Why they couldn't have included a few actual words in the game (in ANY language!) is beyond me, but it sure would have helped me out a lot. Now, once you get past the interface, you notice that the close-up view of the world you are currently playing is always restricted to a very small area. I suspect this was necessary, given technical limitations at the time, in order to display the large and colorful sprites that undoubtedly sold many copies of this game. Still, it's another annoyance. It also rudely reminds me that I am a mere mortal playing a game, and not, in fact, an omniscient deity.

But of course, how long can you feel like a deity if the awesome power you will use the most during the game is [drumroll]…raising and lowering land? Yes! That's right! You too can become an all-conquering, omnipotent deity through…um, better landscaping??? It's not only pitifully un-godlike work, but also very repetitive after just a short amount of time. Yet you will spend most of your time doing it, in every single level you play in the game. It isn't even very user-friendly, as at least some of the terrain types make it difficult (for me, anyway) to tell WHAT the level of the terrain is in a given area! Very frustrating stuff, indeed.

If there is all of this repetition, you must be wondering: At least it's wonderful that this game is in real-time, and you can watch the cool action unfold, right? Well, no, not really. You see, Populous suffers from the same problem that seemingly every real-time strategy title that followed it has. Because events are constantly unfolding in real time, prompting you to constantly act and react, you can never afford to sit back and enjoy the spectacle of it all. Granted, your walkers don't do much worth paying attention to most of the time (but that's just another shortcoming of the game!), but sometimes they do, like when you knight them and send them out to kill and burn the enemy. Do you get to watch? Well, no, not if you want to win the game. You'll just have to trust that those knights are out there doing their job while you tend to the important "godly" task of raising and lowering land so your little computer people can breed more strong, healthy walkers, who can later be knighted and then ignored by you while you…well, you get the idea.

Again, this problem isn't unique to Populous. It's a feature in countless real-time strategy games. Still, I've always considered this to be a fatal flaw with games of this genre. It's my game, and I paid hard-earned, legal tender money for it, so shouldn't I get to watch and take part in the action during the most crucial parts of the game? Give credit to Will Wright (SimCity) and Sid Meier (Civilization) for coming up with different yet equally effective solutions to the real-time god-game dilemma. (SimCity lets you act/react while the game is paused, so you can then afford to sit back and watch things unfold for a while in real-time; Civilization abandons real-time completely for a turn-based format.)

To recap: once you get over the hump of figuring out and memorizing what all the little icons mean, you find out that the actual gameplay is pretty shallow and that you will mainly do the same boring things over and over. The few cool things going on are missed by you because the "realism" loved by Molyneaux and his minions requires that every game be real-time. Some would call this fun. I call it a rip-off.



The Bottom Line
If you were thrilled with, and then disappointed by Black & White, well, just know that it was déjà vu all over again for Populous players.

DOS · by PCGamer77 (3158) · Apr 25, 2024

box cover thumbnail Dr. Mario Online Rx

Just what the doctor ordered

The Good
The classic gameplay is still addicting. Virus buster is a cool use of the Wii Remote and even better with friends.

The Bad
Graphics and presentation look too basic. Online multiplayer has no voice chat, only pre-made messages.

The Bottom Line
Very fun, but too bad you can't buy it anymore if you don't already own it.

Wii · by 45th&47th (843) · Apr 24, 2024

Crawler!

Crawl Out of the Yardwork

The Good
Here is a game, which has a basic objective, get your caterpillar to eat all the plants, yard by yard. Each yard brings out a new challenge with fewer spaces to cater for the ever-growing caterpillar. Thankfully you do get some bonus items to simmer down the otherwise aggravating difficulty, such as extra lives, shortening scissors, and others. And then there’s the option to get rid of the rocks if they are making the game a little too unfair. The sprite work has a nice mix of dithered floor textures and flat coloured objects.

The Bad
With a simple game comes the misfortune of bad controlling to ruin a good gaming experience. You can only use the left and right mouse buttons to steer the caterpillar. For driving games two buttons for clockwise and counter-clockwise work okay, but most Snake variants use directional buttons to determine which way the elongated character goes, so you’re likely to get confused and steer it the wrong way and crash, wasting your precious limited lives. It’s like left is down, up is right, and all that. While the help file does say that the game is keyboard compatible, this isn’t true at all. Every attempt to make it work with the game gets the player nowhere.

Adding to the frustration is the discrete jumpy frame rate, which makes you steer your caterpillar out of sync with bad timing, either one square too soon or too late.

The Bottom Line
Just when you think you’ve seen all the Snake variants in gaming, new and obscure ones seem to pop and crawl out, just like this one. Not the most balanced of games to go on your desktop, but if you love a good high score as much as an arcade gamer, it’s your way to go, assuming you can grab a copy and get it running on your PC. With caterpillars taking the stage on a Snake game, what comes next? Leeches? Earthworms? Giraffes? Surprise us.

Windows 3.x · by Skippy_Chipskunk (34556) · Apr 22, 2024

1 Ton

Is this some kind of joke???

The Good
Uhhh, you can turn it off

The Bad
there's no point to it!!!!

The Bottom Line
Very bizarre... I don't know who thought this was a good idea, but even rudimentary games like minesweeper or solitaire have some sort of goal to achieve.

0 of 1 Moby users rated your review helpful.

DOS · by Anonymous · Apr 22, 2024

box cover thumbnail Hades

very very very good, but very very very hard

The Good
this game is very very very good

The Bad
but it is also very very very hard

The Bottom Line
good, but very very very hard

Windows · by mohammad hossein karami · Apr 21, 2024

box cover thumbnail Donkey Kong Country

All style with little substance

The Good
The pre-rendered sprites look good. Fantastic soundtrack. Levels look nice.

The Bad
Little point in finding bonus rooms if you don't care about 100% completing games. Boss battles are shallow with Dumb Drum being the worst offender. Difficulty can be frustrating especially when you don't access to save your game. Donkey Kong's hand slap move is worthless and you'll forget that you can use it throughout your playthrough.

The Bottom Line
Good starting point with the franchise, but the sequel is miles better.

Wii · by 45th&47th (843) · Apr 21, 2024

box cover thumbnail River Tails: Stronger Together

Amphibious Sort of Game

The Good
The game opens with one of the sweetest and well done animated sequences, purely inviting you to play. It seems like you're watching a Retro Charlie Brown cartoon blended with a DreamWorks CGI film. Everything about the graphics looks as smooth and flowing as water and not just the bodies of water, but the character animation and overall textures. Even the music tunes bring out the mood and drama at a comfortable pace.

While playing the game, the dynamic camera angles pan and shift just enough to focus on the player character at just the right speed. The camera even performs well on the two player offline mode. Whether you are playing as Fynn and Furple, the character feels comfortable to control and trigger actions. The characters are never obscured thanks to transparency in the textures. And speaking of transparency, there's a lot of satisfaction to finding hidden places where you think there's a solid wall, encouraging exploration.

The Bad
While the camera motions work as they need to, the only issue is that you can't reliably try to backtrack due to fixed direction, though you won't need to for the most part. The biggest disappointment is that you absolutely must have a controller to play the game in single-play. It's kind of off-putting if you're accustomed to keyboards and definitely not off to a great start. If you are playing this by yourself, a lot of concentration is needed to work with the fish and the cat at the same time. Impractical, but not impossible.

The Bottom Line
Throughtout the years there have been great games that require Teamwork like Bugs Bunny & Taz: Time Busters, and awful ones like Cookie & Cream for Nintendo DS. This game falls into the good list. It all goes to show you that you don't need vocalised dialogue in a game, even today to bring out quality. Fans of the Crash Bandicoot series will definitely get some joy out of this one. Console players would give anything to see and play this one on their choice of platform. I guess we can only dream and play when given the chance. This is game you can definitely play to bond with your best friend.

Windows · by Skippy_Chipskunk (34556) · Apr 20, 2024

box cover thumbnail The Crew

I want my game back Ubisoft

The Good
It had a fun singleplayer campaign

The Bad
The game was forced to be online only, and since they shut down the servers. The game is now unplayable. Also they are removing it from PC players accounts, meaning those purchases mean nothing now.

The Bottom Line
If I can play any of the Forza Horizon games still even without the servers, this game should also still be playable too.

No one has rated your review yet.

PlayStation 4 · by Anonymous · Apr 19, 2024

box cover thumbnail Super Bust-A-Move

Super Puzzled Up on the PS2!

The Good
The game has a nice and pretty unique Y2K art style that really screams the late 90's/early 2000's (seeing as it comes from 2000, duh), loading times really aren't much of a issue, it only takes around a couple seconds.

The gameplay of the game is quite snappy and retains most the feeling of the original games in the series meaning it should be quite easy to get into.

The Bad
I really want to know what Acclaim was smoking when designing the box art. Also, while the gameplay is perfectly fine, the game doesn't take advantage of using the analog sticks, a feature heavily used in most PS2 games, meaning all precision is relied on tapping the D-Pad instead of being able to slightly glide the sticks into the direction you want it to aim.

The Bottom Line
The game is good, it is one that I personally pull out to play from time to time. Second long loading times and graphics shouldn't really change if a game is fun to play. And which the game also is pretty common and is easy to acquire a copy of. So if you're a fan of the Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move series, or are just a puzzle game fan who is just looking for a little matching challenge to add to you're PS2 collection, this game has got you covered.

No one has rated your review yet.

PlayStation 2 · by Anonymous · Apr 19, 2024