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Unread postby icycalm » 03 Mar 2017 11:42

The second stage track is a lot better, but still not worthy of recommendation. I'd give it maybe 3/5 as videogame music. As music 1/5, like most vg music.
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Unread postby zinger » 03 Mar 2017 12:11

Well, I think my taste in music is perfect, but the wording is obviously bad in my review. When I say the music is "incredible", I'm referring to synth programming techniques that I understand are difficult to appreciate for other people, unless you have extensive experience with using this type of synthesizers. I'm basically saying, "wow, the sound driver they wrote for this game is great, and Hitoshi Sakimoto really knows how to work it!"

So here's what I'm thinking: I should 1) be more specific with what I am addressing in my reviews (in this case, mostly a technical aspect), and 2) try to remember that I'm the only one here who's obsessed with FM synthesizers to the extent that I created a forum for discussing them (take a look at this discussion for instance, lol: http://soundshock.se/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=14), and put out three albums consisting of artists that are mostly experts at programming this type of synthesizers (in other words: I need to be very careful with what I recommend).

I'll try to rewrite that review later.
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Unread postby icycalm » 03 Mar 2017 12:18

Ugly games are ugly regardless of the graphics tech powering them. If you call an ugly game gorgeous because it runs on Unreal Engine 5 you are a moron who should shut up asap. I am sorry but there is no more delicate way to put this. You need to hear harsh words if you have any hope of waking up.

But I think you really like the music anyway. It has nothing to do with the tech: you love this stuff. Which is great, and I am happy for you, but I can't feature this critique on the site, unfortunately, so you have to be very careful with this aspect of your criticism and I have to check carefully any music-related comment that you make. If I ask for an edit and you are not happy with the change that I ask for, then we'll just have to delete the comment entirely. I don't see any other solution to this issue.
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Unread postby icycalm » 03 Mar 2017 14:07

Helios ignored me, so I had to spend 15 minutes skimming his posts and fixing all the most egregious grammar errors and stupid stuff like "2d". I am charging him a copy of Torment: Tides of Numenera and Vikings: Wolves of Midgard for this service. When I see these games in my Steam library I will re-enable posting privileges to his forum account. This is where the games must appear for this to happen: http://steamcommunity.com/id/icycalm/games/?tab=all

At that price I am happy to follow him around the forum and fix his stupid stuff for him indefinitely.


P.S. Note that his reviews and writing are still bad. I didn't fix the quality of the writing or the criticism, I merely fixed the grammar.
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Unread postby immersedreality » 03 Mar 2017 18:05

I wanted to challenge myself to write a more positive review using icy's feedback, so here we go:

Edit: Updated based on icy's feedback.

**** Hitokui no Oowashi Trico (2016, PS4)
Its technical issues notwithstanding — frame rate drops, inconsistent camera controls — this game is an aesthetic marvel. Through elegant and uncontrived stage design, beautiful lighting effects, and mesmerizing animation, the game really draws you into its world. Furthermore, Trico is one of the most believable and interesting NPCs in any game I’ve played. The way he seems to act according to his own impulses and instincts as opposed to direct player input makes interacting with him feel suspenseful and realistic. Without Trico, the platforming, combat, and controls would feel largely similar to Ico, but the ability to issue commands to a screen-spanning colossus (attack, climb, jump, stay, etc.) makes for a very different experience. The nine years the game spent in development were not in vain!
Last edited by immersedreality on 03 Mar 2017 18:53, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby icycalm » 03 Mar 2017 18:09

Not a word about mechanics... Red flag right there.
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Unread postby immersedreality » 03 Mar 2017 18:16

Yes, good point. It's tricky getting to the core of a game in 8 or 9 lines. I'll attempt an edit.
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Unread postby immersedreality » 03 Mar 2017 18:52

I made a second go at it, swapping in some of the sentences I originally cut. I think I achieved a better description of the game this time. It's fun trying to load each sentence with as much meaning as possible.
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Unread postby icycalm » 03 Mar 2017 18:53

Yep, it's loads of fun!

Much better this time around. I'll have to try this game soon.
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Unread postby icycalm » 05 Mar 2017 07:42

Helios sent me the games.

Helios wrote:Dear icycalm,

When I said before that offending you makes me feel like crap I wasn't lying. What's a 3rd game you'd like? I'll buy it.

Have Fun,

Helios


You can get me that Shovel Knight piece of crap so I can review it. And I'll start playing the new Torment soon, so people are going to hear about it from me. Thanks for the games.
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Unread postby icycalm » 05 Mar 2017 15:12

*** Akumajou Dracula: Circle of the Moon (2001, GBA)
This is the only Igavania I've played to date, and I enjoyed the experience, even though I had to set a lamp right over my head to be able to see where I was going circa 2002-2003 on the original GBA hardware. It is a "stupid grinding game", as Josh has called Gekka no Yasoukyoku [ > ], but the music is catchy, the castle is expertly designed and a joy to explore, and the game features minimal backtracking and doesn't overstay its welcome, so all in all I had quite a bit of laid back, relaxed fun in my time with it, as a break from tougher, more serious and demanding games. And that's how I recommend that people play these games. I look forward to trying out the sequels with superior image quality in perfect emulation and writing my thoughts about them. They seem a lot more colorful and with even better music, so I have high hopes for them.
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Unread postby icycalm » 18 Mar 2017 14:48

Edited for length by me, from this: http://steamcommunity.com/id/BertieWoos ... ded/50300/

William Shakesman wrote:**** Spec Ops: The Line (2012, PC)
A beautiful, colorful, fun shooter with an expertly crafted plot (You travel to Dubai to save it and everything gets messed up) that unfortunately ends on an awful nihilistic theme that all valor is pointless and all heroism doomed to failure. So in a sense it's gaming's version of The Watchmen, only less of a game-changer. Heartily recommend for all the things it does right though. Good, challenging regen health cover shooting, satisfying gunplay, absolutely beautiful environments, and the story is certainly very good at what it does.


This guy is my favorite reviewer on Steam and I trust him so much I will be publishing his mini-reviews too.
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Unread postby icycalm » 18 Mar 2017 15:27

http://steamcommunity.com/id/BertieWoos ... ed/261760/

William Shakesman wrote:** Lichdom: Battlemage (2014, PC)
What's the fearsome unleashed power of the mage? Essentially it's like a slower FPS protagonist with only one slow-firing gun. And that gun is crafted through one of several thousand randomly generated little bits. Ooh +0.2 rechage +0.1 dmg over time +0.4 fire oh boy look at all these decisions.
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Unread postby icycalm » 18 Mar 2017 16:02

http://steamcommunity.com/id/jocosity/r ... ded/49540/

Communist "Joseph Ballin" Layton wrote:*** Aliens: Colonial Marines (2013, PC)
This is one of those games where it's possible to have a great time but you basically have to play it in a specific way in order to enjoy it (play it with a friend, watch the movies again before you start, and play on Ultimate Badass difficulty which really isn't as hard as it sounds if you have a partner), but if you try to play single-player the game's flaws are more frustrating than they would be otherwise. The thing to realize is that this is basically Left 4 Dead only it's aliens and you wouldn't play L4D by yourself so you shouldn't play this by yourself either.


From my half an hour with the game I agree with this.
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Unread postby icycalm » 22 Mar 2017 05:44

**** Breakdown (2002, XB)
Way ahead of its time first-person shooter/beat 'em up hybrid by Namco exclusive for the Xbox, with first-person movement and action mechanics that most modern games still lack (e.g. your character's hand opens doors instead of them magically opening, and so on). The game is considerably lacking in areas such as level and encounter design, enemy variety, setpieces, and so on, and the melee mechanics are by no means very deep, but the typically strong Japanese character designs and general aesthetics coupled with the sheer novelty, and frequency, of the melee action in an FPS more than make up for these shortcomings. It really is a must-play title for fans of first-person action, and, incredibly, still unique and unsurpassed after all these years.

***** Rune (2002, GC)
Long before they made Souls games, From Software made lots of other games none of the casuals who love the company today have heard of, and Rune is one of them. It remains to this day the only card-based ARPG I have played, and it was pretty damn unique in its day. Very enjoyable card-collecting and deck-building combine with engaging and challenging real-time battles to deliver a great mechanical base, but what elevates this game above the competition is the atmospheric exploration aspect. It's frigging great, and I look forward to replaying it and finally finishing it, perhaps in emulation if I can get it running just the way I want it, and then trying out its even better-looking sequel.
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Unread postby Saf » 26 Mar 2017 03:42

**** Fast RMX (2017, SW)
A welcome entry in the sci-fi themed racing genre and a big step up from its predecessor. Tracks are beautiful and varied in terms of environments and obstacles, though it lacks the "personality" of F-Zero (and the music here is utterly generic and forgettable). The switching mechanic is inspired and rewards aggressive, skilful play: if you learn a track well enough you can boost through basically the entire thing with the orbs and boost pads. It's fairly tough, especially Hero Mode (boost doubles as health) where I struggle to win a single race. Most tracks however are too short, and the controls feel a little loose and floaty (not a big issue once you get used to them). Split-screen multiplayer is welcome but online is lacking with no way to play directly with friends, though the developers have promised to fix that with updates. Really just needs more and longer content to reach its full potential.

It's also nice to have something worth playing on the Switch besides Zelda, lol.
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Unread postby icycalm » 26 Mar 2017 17:12

This is an updated port of Fast Racing Neo for the Wii U, which was the sequel to Fast Racing League on WiiWare (or at least that's what Wikipedia tells me). Have you played either of those games? If you haven't, your opinion on this game is still valuable. But if you have, it is far more valuable, and your review should be rewritten to reflect this.
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Unread postby Saf » 29 Mar 2017 05:22

I've played Fast Racing League, but it's been a while. I'll find my old Wii and give it another spin, can probably write a mini-review for that and then rewrite the RMX review to better reflect the differences. Unfortunately haven't played Neo, though from what I understand the main difference is enhanced graphics and a few new tracks.
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Unread postby icycalm » 29 Mar 2017 05:28

Saf wrote:Unfortunately haven't played Neo, though from what I understand the main difference is enhanced graphics and a few new tracks.


In which case the current Fast RMX text should go in the Neo review, and the new Fast RMX review should more or less read "enhanced graphics and a few new tracks". And you can add the comment about having something more to play on the Switch.

See what you can do about it. There's no rush, and you don't need to change anything if you don't mind your review staying in the thread and not going on the frontpage.
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Unread postby icycalm » 19 May 2017 18:01

*** AirMech (2012, PC)
A surprisingly aesthetically-strong Herzog Zwei update from fittingly named Western newcomers Carbon Games. Vastly improved visuals and modern controls, but the maps are far smaller and lacking open terrain for large battles, and there is no naval game, so the complexity is severely diminished compared to Technosoft's decades-old masterpiece. It's still a fun game, especially in 3v3 mode, which along with the graphics is the other advantage this offers over the original; but I got bored after five or six hours of it, and turned my attention to deeper stuff, above all to Herzog Zwei's latest and greatest descendant: the incredible Planetary Annihilation.
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Unread postby icycalm » 30 May 2017 00:06

* Paragon (2016, PC)
Repetitive and simplistic combat, slow and clunky movement, and boring and facile tactics -- it is a MOBA alright, and gains absolutely nothing by zooming the camera down into the battlefield, and bringing it behind your avatar's back. I was expecting, and hoping for, a more tactical version of Overwatch, but Overwatch is 100 times more tactical than this, even without the minions, and immeasurably faster and smoother and prettier and more complex and more fun to play -- and I am not even a big fan of Overwatch either! It's just that this game really is that bad! What the hell was Epic thinking?
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Unread postby recoil » 10 Sep 2017 09:55

***** Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice (2017, PC)
A beautifully rendered simulation of hell. The fighting and puzzle mechanics are simple, but they complement the aesthetics. Fighting looks and sounds brutal and the puzzles really make you observe the sights and sounds of each hellscape. Even better, there's no UI or tutorials to break the game's illusion, rather, it's whispering voices in your ears that lead you around. I have never felt so uneasy and tense playing a videogame before. Do yourself a favor and play it with a good pair of headphones in the dark.
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Unread postby icycalm » 10 Sep 2017 15:30

Definitely will! Sounds great. I caught a little of your streams, and though the game looked fun, I suspected that playing would be far more engrossing than watching, and it certainly sounds like it from what you are saying.

Best Ninja Theory game yet I guess.
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Unread postby icycalm » 23 Mar 2018 02:17

Insomnia subscriber (he's even in the Steam group):

http://steamcommunity.com/id/UraSparkst ... ed/241600/

裏Sparkster wrote:** Rogue Legacy (2013, PC)
Another platformer with random level generation but the gimmick is that this one's stat-heavy! Imagine a more repetitive contemporary Castlevania game with less finesse. Maybe the worst part is that you can literally end up playing as a gay/autistic/farting retard. I'd like to think that the creators wanted everyone to be forced to play as their equals, lol.


http://steamcommunity.com/id/UraSparkst ... ded/22330/

裏Sparkster wrote:** The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion (2006, PC)
For all the praise this series gets for its size and scope, I'm always blown away when I fire it up and see how boring EVERYTHING is. Poor first-person combat with huge stat-based fluctuations, an overload of mundane quests, empty random dungeons, ugly characters, and an unintuitive leveling system. Go play King's Field or Shadow Tower Abyss instead of this.


I co-sign everything he said about Oblivion. In fact that could be a review of the entire Elder Scrolls series.
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Unread postby Bread » 11 Apr 2018 21:14

*** Gorogoa (2017, PC)
It's a shame we only get to explore Gorogoa's charming hand-drawn fictional Middle-Eastern or Eurasian country though small split-screen windows. Up to four different comic-like panels can be dragged and dropped, placed on top of one another and juxtaposed to complete surreal multi-panel scenes, causing key objects to interact physically and magically. That's how we solve the puzzles and learn that war sucks not only because people get hurt, but art objects of great beauty and religious significance get smashed up. 90 minutes is a fine length for this, but I'd hoped for greater difficulty.
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