[Game] The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories

The Missing JJ

Game

A somewhat bizarre puzzle platformer that’s a bit dull to play once the initial novelty of dismembering yourself wears off, but then it also offers a heartfelt and thought-provoking story rife with all sorts of horrific symbolism.

Positive:
Negative:
Full of cool horrific and surreal imagery
The puzzles are kind of dull
A relatively cool soundtrack
The game-play starts feeling like a chore real quick
Bizarre, super uncomfortable premise
The story only kicks in near the very end
Dark, creepy, surreal atmosphere
A solid, well thought-out story
Thought-provoking about LGBT issues

[Game] Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire

Pillars of Eternity II - Deadfire

Game

Pillars of Eternity II follows its prequel in its attempt to recapture the magic of Baldur’s Gate. Unfortunately, while it’s definitely loyal to the computer role-playing game tradition and offers quite polished combat, I felt like the world it constructed as well as the plot it followed weren’t really the best.

Ironically, the story itself was very interesting and held lots of potential, but it’s told mainly through semi-menial tasks with you helping various trading companies and locals fight for resources with neither of the sides being too interesting. On top of it, the companions are also quite underwhelming, with basically the least interesting ones from the original game making a reappearance.

That said, Pillars of Eternity II is still a good game that can scratch that traditional computer role-playing itch you might have, but it definitely could have been better.

Positive:
Negative:
Attractive 2D visuals
The plot is not the most riveting
An interesting world to explore
The factions could have been more interesting
A thought-provoking, epic story
Underwhelming companions
Polished, satisfying combat
Sailing the map and looking for treasure is boring and ruins the pace
One of the few remaining games that follow traditional RPG formula
Role-playing an evil characters feels counter-productive

[Game] Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Shadow of the Tomb Raider

Game

Though I thoroughly enjoyed the first Tomb Raider remake, I felt like the second had lost some of its charm through large chunks of poorly designed content, and the third game only seems to follow the same trend.

I could neither get into the story nor enjoy the game-play that much, even though it’s technically the same as the first Tomb Raider remake that I loved. There aren’t as many flashy action sequences, and the game is simply poorly designed with long stretches of dull content that even the shootouts fail to spark any life in.

It honestly feels more like most of the game has been designed by a random map generator rather than a human being.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful, high-end visuals
The story is kind of dull
Good climbing mechanics
The characters are boring and not interesting
Good shooting mechanics
The game-play doesn’t utilize its mechanics and feels like a chore

[Game] Blazblue Central Fiction

Blazblue Centralfiction

Game

The conclusion to Blazblue’s epic story that adds even more playable characters to a whooping total of thirty-six.

…And the English localization seems to have improved slightly since Chronophantasma.

Positive:
Negative:
Attractive 2D visuals
Almost no game-play in the story mode
Awesome soundtrack
Fascinating sci-fi setting inspired by quantum mechanics
Interesting, likable characters
An extremely convoluted but awesome story
Fantastic 2D fighter game-play
Great multiplayer

[Game] Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0.jpg

Game

It’s been a while since I checked any of the Yakuza games as they always felt clunky and full of redundant boring content that bloated the experience… but apparently, unknown to me, they’ve been improving with every release as Yakuza 0 feels like a Yakuza game with most of the grievances I had with the previous installments in the series fixed.

It has an interesting story with likable characters, side-quests are actually kind of funny (though still a bit too unnecessarily plentiful), and the game-play feels tight and rewarding.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful, high-end visuals
The map you explore is small and reused from previous games
Interesting, likable, profound characters
The amount of side-quests can be overwhelming and turn you off from the game
A relatively engrossing plot
Exploration is not very fun
A solid story inspired by Japanese underworld
Satisfying brawling game-play
Let’s you have a taste of Japanese culture quirks, such as hostess clubs

[Game] Shin Megami Tensei IV

Shin Megami Tensei IV.jpg

Game

Shin Megami Tensei IV returns to the roots and tells a very similar story to that of the original SMT… which is kind of underwhelming after Nocturne, but then it also retains the characteristic dark atmosphere and the awesome hardcore game-play that just never grows old.

Positive:
Negative:
Beautiful artwork
Outdated visuals
Cool soundtrack
Doesn’t offer much in terms of story that prequels didn’t already
Dark, creepy atmosphere
The game-play is pretty much the same as the prequels
Thought-provoking on human society
Low-effort side-quests artificially extend the play time
Fantastic, hardcore turn-based combat
Challenging difficulty