- 50 cents on Steam when on sale. A very straightforward shmup that probably has more in common with Galaga than Ikaruga. Visually, get ready for harsh tones of black and white. There isn't great visual feedback of when your bullets hit enemies. Shooting asteroids results in this weird sprite jitter. Not terrible, but not good.
- A very casual, easy-going first-person puzzle platformer. Not bad by any means, but not attention grabbing either.
- A thoroughly mediocre experience directed and designed by some of the minds behind the hailed Metroid Prime trilogy. I'm not sure what happened here -- there are good ideas that are half-implemented all over the place. Production values are also wildly inconsistent. The main character is about as bland and generic as they come for video games. My only guess is that they ran out of budget and time. It's strange; ReCore is not bad, but it's very not good. Might revisit in the future, but not looking forward to it.
#Ganpuru: Gunman's Proof
- Ganpuru is a game released late in the Super Famicom's lifespan. A Japan-only game, Ganpuru's visuals draw heavily from The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. And by "heavily" I mean it straight rips off the visuals from Zelda. Despite it's Zelda-esque appearance, Ganpuru actually plays very little like Zelda's RPG-lite gameplay, and instead feels more like a retro twin-stick shooter. My issue with Ganpuru is its minimal gameplay loop is stretched ridiculously thin. By the second dungeon, the game already feels stale, despite it introducing more weapons for the player to use. Despite its shortcomings, Ganpuru seems like a game designed and targeted toward children, and that's likely the audience that would enjoy this game the most.
- Skygunner is a difficult game to place... and a difficult game in general. Underneath its bad anime art and cutesy exterior lies a deceivingly complex game where your performance is better measured by the amount of "cash" you obtain by the end of a mission, rather than if you completed the mission at all -- infact, completing missions is not the challenge here. Cash is essentially your score for a given mission, which can be increased further by multipliers which can be obtained by completing objectives quicker, and dispatching enemy fighters with missile chains. The catch is that every use of a weapon lowers your overall cash, so you must be conservative with how often you fire your weapons. The result of all of this is a bipolar difficulty curve and controls that betray your best interests -- Skygunner demands that you be precise, but in an effort to be accessible, gives the player a glossy, over-simplified control scheme. There's a brilliant game in here somewhere, but it will take the time and patience of a high-score chaser or an aerial combat enthusiast to find.
#Tobe's Vertical Adventure
- A cute indie puzzle platformer with good pixelart, grating music, and bad controls. Would make an ideal mobile game.
- Shelter 2 is a game that is needlessly open-world with half-baked, barely functioning mechanics that can't hold the weight of an ultimately meaningless gameplay loop.
#Haunted PS1 Demo Disc 2020
- A collection of mostly short, mostly surreal, mostly walking simulator horror indie games from itch. Some gems (Neko Yume, Tasty Ramen), but it's hard to have patience for generic horror games that are even sometimes completely broken. Still, the concept and the effort is admirable. I'd like to see more "demo disc" releases in the future.
#Night In The Woods
- A game with fantastic visuals, animation, and music that places more emphasis on its narrative and (unfortunately) uninteresting characters than its gameplay, which is practically non-existent at least for the first couple hours of playtime. The humor of this game regularly falls flat and can be called anything but timeless -- much of it is equivalent to the quirky randomness you'd probably encounter everyday from browsing your Twitter feed. Like many from this era of narrative-driven indie games, you're probably better off watching a YouTube walkthrough. Or skip altogether.