I remember my first experience with a Metroidvania some 20 years (!!!) ago now, which was Castlevania: Circle of the Moon. I was young, still ignorant of the many genres of video games out there, and thoroughly carried away with my own perceived skill as a gamer. That game was probably my first (very painful) lesson that I am really not half as good as I like to think I am sometimes. Considering the hell that game put me through, it’s a wonder I like this genre half as much as I do.
But I keep coming back for more. So, here’s Grimvalor, another one.
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OK, deep breaths, Dawn…deep breaths. It’s all over now. You never even have to look at this game again. Keep calm. Pick up something fun. Forget this ever happened. In fact, don’t even write an entry for this. Off you go.
…but if I didn’t write an entry, I wouldn’t get the chance to tell my non-existent audience how fucking terrible this is. Which is something I NEED to do, because I probably have an unwritten, unspoken duty to warn people away from this game.
When I finished Higurashi last year it was with a weird mixture of satisfaction and relief. I’m not a huge fan of repetition or stereotypical anime high school settings – seen one, seen them all, etc. – but despite that, on the whole I found it to be a very enjoyable read! Maybe not the critically acclaimed epic that it often seems to be treated as, but I’ve read worse VNs than this…and something that I actually feel motivated to stick with for nearly 100 hours has to have SOMETHING going for it, right?
Enough time has passed that I’ve hopefully overcome my long VN fatigue, so it’s a good time to dive into this!
I’ve been on a lot of message boards and the like, and I am just about the only person I know who grew up with Link’s Awakening on the Gameboy. I never owned a SNES – I was firmly in the Megadrive camp – and I didn’t play Ocarina of Time until the Gamecube was just about to come out, so my experience with Zelda was very limited outside of this and later the Oracle titles until much later in life.
So, you can imagine my reaction when they revealed this.
I’m not sure if it’s just me, but there seems to be this entire sub-genre of sprite-based roguelike indie games (or at least games that draw heavily on roguelike elements even if they aren’t strictly roguelike games) that are critically praised for various reasons. I suppose it’s easier to design a small game and give it replay value by forcing you to die over and over and OVER to get anywhere, but it’s a trend I’m not sure if I like yet or not. My experiences with it thus far have been…mixed.
Gods & Monsters was a game that I had been looking forward to for a long time. A game set in the world of Greek mythology, done by the team that made Assassin’s Creed Odyssey? Sign me up. Game of the Year, right there.
Then the name change happened for the stupidest of reasons imaginable. Then I played it. Then 40 hours later…
Puzzle games are not for me. They have never been for me, and they will probably never be for me either. All too often they blur the line between challenging and frustrating, and I just don’t have the patience for frustrating that I used to. Getting stuck in one place where I could be doing something more fun and rewarding just isn’t appealing, and that seems to be what puzzle games are all about – bashing your head against a brick wall until you figure it out, when the solution is never really all that obvious.
It’s fairly unlikely that I’ll finish anything else this year, being a mere 50 hours into my Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition replay whilst I struggle to make time for Immortals: Fenyx Rising and toy with the idea that I might get to play Control somewhen. So now is as good a time as any to write my first special entry – the five games I enjoyed the most this year! Only games released this year make the list.
Ys is a series that I want to play more of. My experience so far is Memories of Celceta – which I obsessively played to Platinum and fully intend to buy again on PS4 at some stage – about half of Ys I, Lacrimosa of Dana (one of my favourite games) and now this. Did I enjoy this? Very much so.
…but I really didn’t need to play through it three times.
One of my more unpopular opinions is that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a bad video game. I have a multitude of reasons for this which I won’t go into here…save that for the inevitable replay I subject myself to before the sequel comes out, because I’m an insane masochist who likes to suffer playing bad video games. Hyrule Warriors, though? I LOVED it. It was everything I could have asked for and more.
So, a Hyrule Warriors game focusing on Breath of the Wild? This could have gone either way. Unfortunately, it went the way I was hoping it wouldn’t.