Video Game Review: Super Mario Odyssey

Details: Released in 2017 by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. Spent over forty hours playing through the game. Played mostly using the Joy-Con Grip. Got all the moons except for three, because fuck jump rope/volleyball/bouncy races. I got a day job and I’m not a kid with summer vacation anymore. Ain’t no one got time for that repetitive shit.

The last Mario game I played before playing Super Mario Odyssey was Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64. That was over two decades ago. I really enjoyed that game and I came into Odyssey with high expectations. Super Mario Odyssey is a fun game. Unfortunately, it is an imperfect and often times a dated game that made clear to me that since Super Mario 64, I’ve gotten older and my tastes in video games have changed.

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Video Game Review: Final Fantasy VI

Details: Originally release in 1994 by Squaresoft (now Square Enix). Released for Windows PC in 2015. I purchased the game through Steam for about eight dollars. Played for around sixty-five hours.

Final Fantasy VI is one of the most beloved games in the Final Fantasy series. Some of my earliest memories were watching friends/family play this game. Decades later, I now have a chance to walk down nostalgia lane and play the updated version of the game for myself.

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Video Game Review: Doki Doki Literature Club!

Details: Released in 2017. I got through Steam for the price of free. I beat it in about three hours.

The very first thing you see when you open up this game is a warning: “This game is not suitable for children or those who are easily disturbed.” This warning was kind of an understatement.

I learned of Doki Doki Literature Club by seeing it mentioned repeatedly on gaming news sites. I even saw it get a nomination for best PC game of the year somewhere. While I think that PC game of the year is a bit much, I do give the game credit for what it tries to achieve. However, regardless of this game’s somewhat unique story, this is still a visual novel. If you hate the idea of reading through mountains of text while staring at static images, this game is not for you. If you can tolerate the idea, then what you’ll find is a visual novel with a shockingly unpredictable plot.

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Video Game Review: Bastion

Details: Released in 2011. Played on the PC and purchased through Steam distribution platform for one dollar. Beat the game in about eight hours.

Bastion was a slog for me to get through. I don’t like action role-playing games nor do I like top down action role playing games. I didn’t like Diablo and this game plays a lot like that, but simpler. The strongest parts of this game are the art direction, music and presentation. However, no matter how good the game looked, the paper thin story and gameplay made me want to quit the game multiple times. I had to force myself to finish the game.

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Anime Movie Review: Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale

Details: Released in 2017. Around two hours long.

I first watched the anime Sword Art Online as it was airing a very long time ago. I really liked as there were no other shows at the time quite like it. Since then, countless animes hoping to profit off the success of Sword Art Online have copied the general plot aspects of this show and turned it into a whole genre, drowning anime watchers in a sea of shows where the protagonist is transported/reborn into a fantasy world where they can level up as if in a video game. As someone watching this movie in this context, I can say that the movie was not great, with the best part of the movie being the after credits scene.

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Video Game Review: Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell

Details: Originally released in 2015. This is a stand alone game independent from Saints Row IV. I purchased the game for PC through Steam for $3.74. I spent about four hours playing the game.

Gat Out of Hell is standalone downloadable content for Saints Row IV, similar to how Freedom Cry was standalone DLC for Assassin’s Creed IV. That means you don’t need Saints Row IV to play this game, but it continues the story and looks the same technically.

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Video Game Review: Saints Row IV: Game of the Century Edition

Details: Originally released in 2013. I purchased the Game of the Century Edition (has all DLC) for PC through Steam for around $5.00. I spent about twenty-two hours playing the game, beating it and going through the two story dlc’s.

Saints Row IV does not feel like a sequel to Saints Row III. It uses the same engine and reuses a lot of the same assets, making the game visually redundant. Saints Row IV instead feels like downloadable content for Saints Row III or, at best, an expansion for the prior game.

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Video Game Review: Batman: The Telltale Series

Details: Released in 2016. Spent nine hours playing through all five episodes for an average of a little under two hours per episode. Purchased for $6.25 through Steam.

Batman: The Telltale Series is an adventure game from Telltale studios that retells some classic Batman tales as well as a whole new story. This game makes significant changes to the Batman mythos and also keeps some things the same. As a big fan of all things Batman, I enjoyed this game and the story it told.

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Video Game Review: Final Fantasy IV: The After Years

Details: Originally released in 2008 for various mobile systems and was subsequently released for the PC. I played the 3D version. I purchased this game for the PC through Steam in a bundle along with Final Fantasy IV for around $11.50. I spent about fifty-one hours playing through this game.

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years is a sequel to the beloved Final Fantasy IV (also known as Final Fantasy II in the United States), much like Final Fantasy X-2 was to Final Fantasy X. The version I played was the 3D remake of the original 2D version. While I enjoyed the game, there is no reason to play this game if you haven’t played and loved Final Fantasy IV.

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Video Game Review: Final Fantasy IV

Details: This is the remake of the game originally released in 1991 for the SNES and known in America as Final Fantasy II. They remade the game in 3D into this game for the Nintendo DS in around 2008. It was subsequently released for iOS and Android, then for Windows and PC. I purchased the PC version through Steam in a bundle with Final Fantasy IV: The After Years for a total of around $11.50. It spent about forty-one hours playing through the game.

Final Fantasy II (or Final Fantasy IV as it was known in Japan) was a game that had a big impact on me. I first saw my older cousins playing it, which, as a child, caused me to want to play it as well. So I did and enjoyed it very much. It was one of the first video games I ever played. Fast forward a couple of decades and I nostalgically wanted to play it again. Unfortunately, the game has visually not held up very well and it only took me a couple of minutes before I decided I couldn’t play a game that looked this old. Luckily, Final Fantasy II (now IV) was remade from 2D sprites to 3D models and subsequently ported onto Windows. It’s this version that I’ve played and it was a lot of fun walking down memory lane again, albeit with better visuals.

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