Unexpected Garage Sale Find

Garage sales are very much hit or miss. Sometimes there’s only junk. Other times if you get very lucky they have unique items for a fraction of what it would cost anywhere else. This sale was already looking pretty special as the person running posted pictures of some things being sold on Facebook marketplace with the location and time of the sale. Out of these pictures we were interested in bins of old Legos. 

By the time my husband got there right when it opened this morning the Legos were already sold. Someone had shown up a half hour ahead of time and waited to buy them. While admittedly disappointing, these things do happen. However, the other things he found there more than made up for the trip. He found some cheap video games we will resell. More importantly we found an old Pokémon game for two to four players.

It’s called Pokémon Battle Dome, the Frantic Pinball Battle Game. The story of this board game is pretty great. Team Rocket are up to no good once again. You must defend your pokémon from their attacks. They hurl energy balls (the marbles) at everyone’s pokémon. The yellow balls do one point of damage and the red balls do five points of damage. The player with the highest points loses the round and moves their pokémon’s health bar down. Last player standing wins. 

The box was in pretty good shape and it still had the instructions. Not to mention the aesthetic of the box art is reminiscent of the late ‘90s early 2000s. A few of the marbles were missing but that’s not a big deal. There is one flaw with how the game was setup. I wish it was easier to take the balls out of the board. You have to flip the whole thing upside down and remove the ball dispenser to shake the balls out through the hole.   

We didn’t have time to play the full game but we did play a couple rounds. It’s extreme Hungry Hungry Hippos. It was fun! The pinball triggers worked really well. There are four bells on the center of the board. Having all this chaos of multiple ball pinball with a bunch of cheerly “ding” sounds happening was a fun time. We tied the first round. I lost the second round. Shaggy had to go back to work so he ended the game there. Since I’m not the one who stopped the game I won. That’s how that works right? 

Petty Review: Fallout 4

I’m a pretty chill person. Normally… You want to know the fastest way to make me lose my sanity? Insects and spiders. I swear seeing either one in MY HOME is enough to turn me into a frantic murder machine. I’m willing to use whatever it takes to destroy these tiny, villainous abominations who have the AUDACITY to trespass into my territory. I don’t know exactly what it is about them, but I hate them. Yes, I know they play an important part in the environment, but they can do that somewhere else. Far, FAR away. 

There is one game I will not play. I don’t care how many people like it. I won’t do it. I refuse. Fallout 4 and the rest of the Fallout series are games I will not play. Not because I have any particular issues with the gameplay or the narrative. No, it’s those giant irradiated monstrosities of insects! Those things are absolutely terrifying! 

I was just minding my own business, getting the laundry done, when I happened to see my husband playing Fallout 4 on the PS4. Seeing those things… I immediately reacted in horror. I said a lot of things, none of which I’m willing to write about online. There was no higher thought process occurring. It was a purely visceral reaction of horror, disgust, and “what are THOSE??!”. The answer to that question turned out to be giant mutated mosquitos and bees. Knowing what they were did not make it any better. In fact, that made it worse. The idea of bugs becoming THAT is absolutely terrifying. 

Naturally, my husband being the loving and supportive man he is, thought the whole thing was hilarious. 

After seeing those mini Lovecraftian terrors, I had no desire to ever play the game. Before I had heard good things about Fallout 4 and it was on my “to play” list. But once I saw the giant bugs, my entire reaction to the game was “Nope”. 

*Image doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to the developers of Fallout 4.

Don’t Care Bear: Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc

Danganronpa is one of the most bizarre anime games I’ve ever played. The art style for the cutscenes is unique and adds to the surrealness of the experience. The story is intriguing. Right from the start of the game, it goes from 0 to 100 real quick. There are a ton of “what the heck” moments caused by both confusion and horror. Even for an anime game, it is weird. The best part of the game is the characters. They aren’t exactly realistic characters, but they are dynamic and memorable. The player gets invested so easily because of how engaging these characters are. This is what makes Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc such an unforgettable experience.   

Verdict

Danganronpa Trigger Happy Havoc (PS4): ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

I highly recommend this game. The story and the characters create a truly phenomenal experience. 

Dangonronpa is rated M, so while it may look like a happy school-life visual novel, it is not. There are a lot of gruesome moments. You have been warned. 

It’s hard to capture the vibrant weirdness of this game in a review. Several factors mesh together to create a vibe of ridiculous anime awesomeness. The music is intense, immediately recognizable, and creates the perfect emotional background to what’s occurring. The character design is fantastic. All of the characters have unique personalities, designs, and reactions. When cutscenes begin art styles shift abruptly. This adds even more drama. The gameplay is most definitely dated and at times frustrating, but this adds to the experience. Danganronpa is a great game because of its weirdness, insane story, and memorable characters.

You would like this game if

  • Like watching anime
  • Own a PSP or PS Vita and want to actually use them 
  • Enjoy wacky characters
  • Want a visual novel that’s not about the romance
  • Think murder mysteries are fun 

Plotline

There is a school called Hope’s Peak Academy. At this school only the very best are admitted. It doesn’t matter what skill it is, so long as you are the best. There is one exception, every year a lottery is held. The winner can attend Hope’s Peak Academy as the Ultimate Lucky Student. 

The protagonist of this game is Makoto Naegi, the Ultimate Lucky Student of the 78th class of Hope’s Peak Academy. He goes to school early on his first day. The next thing he is aware of is waking up in a classroom without remembering how he got there. He soon realizes something is wrong when he sees giant, heavy metal plates bolted to the wall covering up windows. Once he leaves the classroom he finds a group of fourteen people standing in front of a sealed entrance. After talking to them, it becomes apparent that these people are Makoto’s new classmates. They are in the same position as him, they don’t remember how they got there or why. 

This is when a strange talking bear named Monokuma shows up. He claims to be the headmaster of the school. Monokuma tells them that this place is, in fact, Hope’s Peak Academy and that they are to spend the rest of their lives here. Naturally, everyone is upset at this news. Which causes Monokuma to elaborate on the rules. There is a way to “graduate” and earn the right to leave the school. If someone murders someone else they will no longer be allowed to stay. Once this happens, an investigation and a class trial will commence determining who the murderer (the “blackened”) is. During the class trial, if the correct person is identified as the “blackened” then they will be executed. Then the rest of the students can return to their communal life at the academy. If they convict the wrong person, then the “blackened” gets to go free while all of the other students are executed.  

Now Makoto must try to survive while attempting to solve the many mysteries of Hope’s Peak Academy. 

Gameplay

Danganronpa, for the most part, operates as a visual novel. It’s always in first-person view. You explore rooms by panning the camera and selecting items to examine and people to talk to. When you leave rooms you can freely roam the halls to navigate to different areas of Hope’s Peak Academy. You have an electronic handbook that serves as the menu system. The most important thing to remember is to use the map. The map can be used to fast-travel and to see where all of the other students are. 

There are story sections where you can only scroll through dialog and can’t control what’s happening. However, you will have several days in between events called “Free Time”. During this time you can choose to hang out with the other characters. You can even give them a present after hanging out with them. The dialog options you choose can increase or decrease their opinion of you. As you become better friends with your classmates you unlock more of their information in the handbook and it will unlock abilities that make class trials easier. 

Spoiler alert, I guess. Class trials do happen, meaning characters are going to die. That’s all the non-gameplay details you’ll get from me. The story and characters are the best part of the game and I don’t want to spoil it. 

Once a body is found an investigation is started to collect evidence. During the investigation, you interview classmates to figure out their alibis and what other information they may know. You also scan through multiple rooms to find evidence. The handbook is very helpful during the investigation because rooms that need to be investigated will be marked with an exclamation point. 

The class trials function as a giant group debate. People present evidence and make statements, assumptions, and ultimately conclusions based on the evidence found during the investigation. This happens as a mini-game. Everyone’s dialog will be moving across the screen. The evidence you gathered during the investigation becomes “truth bullets” that you use to shoot down the incorrect statements made by the others. You have to use the correct evidence with the correct statement to continue the trial. If you get it wrong too many times, game over and you will have to do the trial again from the beginning. 

There are also other minigames as a part of the class trials. They will be added in as time goes and the rules will always be explained before you start. One is a spelling game where you shoot the letters to fill in the missing blanks. I don’t know why it’s important to know how to spell “knife” to present it as evidence. Best not to question it. Then there is a rhythm game. My best guess, the purpose is to make people shut up by throwing off their groove. At the end of the trial, you will build your “closing argument” by placing the missing pictures in the comic book that sums up the events. It’s trickier than it sounds because there are more pictures than there are empty panels, and which picture is the right picture is unclear at times.  

Worst Parts

  • I like the minigames of the class trials and all, but they could get annoying sometimes. 
  • Getting the perfect present for someone only for them to die off. What am I supposed to do with this now? The perfect person is dead now. 
  • The game treats you like an idiot by repeating information multiple times. I am not a child, I am paying attention, you don’t have to tell me the same thing five times within ten minutes. 
  • I wish there had been more voice acting. I get that they had limitations when the game was first released and couldn’t have voice acting for every line. It still would have been nice as when the voice actors did a fantastic job. 

Best Parts

  • Telling people they’re wrong in the class trials. It’s just so much fun to dramatically destroy their arguments. 
  • The story is intriguing right from the start and it’s easy to get invested in figuring out why things are happening. 
  • All of the characters had so much personality to them. Admittedly, they were somewhat exaggerated and trope-heavy at times. Instead of breaking the immersion by being unrealistic, it made them fit in with the over the top, anime weirdness. They also got further character development throughout the events of the game. The Danganronpa characters are all unique and memorable. 
  • Hot pink blood. I know the developers did this to prevent the game rating from going higher than “M” but it adds to the surrealness of the art. 
  • The big plot twist at the end. I won’t spoil anything, but the mastermind is one of my all-time favorite video game villains. 
  • There’s a lot of shocking moments throughout the game. I appreciate that as it’s not easy to surprise me multiple times in a story.
  • When the dialog was good, it was fantastic! 
  • I really like the music in the game. It’s especially cool to see the audio equalizer in the corner. 

*Image does not belong to me. It belongs to the creators of Danganronpa.

Memoirs of a Geek: Nancy Drew Games

Out of all the games I played as a kid, Nancy Drew games were the most challenging ones. Not because of the gameplay challenges, no it was those gosh dang puzzles. Sometimes the puzzles and minigames would be fairly straightforward. It might take a few tries before I got it, but it was usually possible to solve the puzzle or beat the game. 

However, it seemed like in every Nancy Drew game I played at some point I would eventually reach the Nope Wall. Now the Nope Wall had different forms in each game. It was puzzle minigames that I could not beat or figure out no matter how many times I attempted it. Other times it was the simple problem of not knowing how to progress the story. On the rare occasion, it was even dying repeatedly due to my own stupidity or the blatant unfairness of the game. 

I’m not here to tell you about how hard these games could get or how ragey I could get while playing. I’ll save that for a Petty Review. Instead today, I’ll tell you about the one and only time I encountered The Nope Wall while playing one of these games and I got past it. After many attempts, I had finally beaten a Nancy Drew game!

My Nancy Drew phase was during late elementary/young middle school. At the time I wasn’t as patient as I am now. Though, even now describing myself as patient seems too generous. Still, I was definitely worse as a kid. I was, however, very stubborn. That stubbornness is what made me able to beat the game.  

The one I completed was Nancy Drew: The White Wolf of Icicle Creek. It’s been so many years but I remember those two puzzles in particular that made me almost quit the game. The first one was basically Minesweeper on ice. Naturally, if you got it wrong you would fall through the ice and die. It took many (so many) attempts before I got it right. Each time I failed it reset the locations of the thin ice so I actually had to take my time and not make hasty decisions. 

The second puzzle that almost made me quit I don’t remember as well. It was a puzzle about connecting pipes (I think). Unlike the first, it was not randomly generated. For whatever reason, I had a hard time figuring it out. Eventually, it got to a point when I was finally willing to sacrifice my pride and look up a walkthrough. Which naturally, having the answers in front of me made the puzzle pretty easy. 

Beating the game was one of the most euphoric victories. Not only did I beat the game, but I had also finally succeeded at beating one of the games in the Nancy Drew series. The White Wolf of Icicle Creek was the fourth game in this series that I played. It took me four games before I finally beat one. More than the momentary victory, this was the first game I beat using a walkthrough. It made me realize that while I don’t like resorting to walkthroughs, there’s nothing wrong with using them. The most important part of playing video games is that you enjoy them. There’s no right or wrong way to play a game.

*Image does not belong to me, it belongs to Her Interactive.

Pokémon Snap Chat

After the long, long, loooong, wait the shiny new Pokémon Snap was released last week! I wanted to talk about what I like about my first impressions of the upgraded Switch version. To be truly accurate, I played the old Nintendo 64 game right before the new one. I meant to write and post this last week… But I got too wrapped up playing Pokémon Snap to notice that I wasted all my writing time with video games. Sorry about that! Sometimes I’m a responsible adult, other times, not so much. Guess that itself speaks to how much fun it was if I completely lost track of time. 

There’s something fun in the simple goal of taking pictures of wild pokémon. Unlike most video games I play, it’s a very chill experience. Seeing the environments and how the pokémon act is cool. It makes you feel like a kid at the zoo, but with the fun of pokémon. This is true with both the N64 and the Switch versions of Pokémon Snap. Yet the new game has many drastic improvements. 

The most obvious upgrade is the graphics. Everything looks smoother with much more detail in the environment. The pokémon are surprisingly just as recognizable in both versions of Pokémon Snap. They are designed to be that way I suppose. However, they look much better and show more emotion on the Switch Pokémon Snap. As the original Pokémon Snap was for the N64, naturally the graphics are better than those from the age of 3D polygons. 

There are less obvious improvements to the gameplay that aren’t apparent to those who haven’t had the chance to play the first game. In the Switch version, you can change the speed of the camera and the reticle. This doesn’t sound like an important change but believe me, it is. In the N64 game, you moved so slow! It was easy to miss something and hard to aim the camera where you wanted in time. Lucky for us, the developers added the ability to choose the speed that feels the most comfortable. 

The levels themselves don’t remain static. By repeating the stages of each location you can increase the level of that area. When this happens more pokémon show up and the pokémon that are already there behave differently. It keeps things interesting and creates a reason to keep playing. This isn’t the case for the N64 Pokémon Snap. The levels remained the same. Eventually, as you learn the levels and get the needed tools you can trigger events. Despite this, the levels and the pokémon never changed. 

There are things that the new Pokémon Snap could have done better. Most of my issues with the Switch Pokémon Snap are nitpicky annoyances (I’ll save those for a review). Except for the lack of voice acting. That was honestly a big disappointment. I’m not asking for an Emmy-level performance, however, both Game Freak and Nintendo have the money to add voice acting for the entire game. The fact that they didn’t was just lazy.  

All in all, Pokémon Snap was a really fun and relaxing game. It was fun to see the pokémon run around and made me feel like a kid for a few hours. Throwing fruit at pokémon and snapping pictures of their shocked and angry faces was a blast! It’s the best way to play the game trust me. 

*Image does not belong to me, it belongs to Pokémon Snap.

Petty Reviews: Steven Universe

A long time ago I was studying abroad with a friend in Spain. Let’s call her Aqua, it’s her favorite color and sort of fits the naming system anyway. Hopefully, it’s not a name used by a character. Because I’m way too lazy to double-check. She was, probably still is, the one who loves Steven Universe. 

During our time in Spain, Aqua watched a ton of Steven Universe. I’m pretty sure the series was still ongoing at that point. She told me a ton about the show. It was practically second-hand watching with how many details she gave about the characters and story. It was a reoccurring topic. Aqua would sing praises about the show and multiple times told me how I “needed” to watch it. 

Honestly, it was because of how aggressively enthusiastic about this show which made me not want to watch it. Aqua would tell me over and over how I should watch it and that I’d love it. Her continual insistence made me dislike Steven Universe simply because I was tired of hearing about it. Plus it didn’t help that my normal reaction to being pressured about something is “Well, I don’t HAVE to do anything.” I know, I know, not very mature of me. Still can’t keep those thoughts from popping up. 

She did convince me to watch a couple of episode with her. I think I saw the first episode. All I remember was Steven freaking out about a snack called “Cookie Cats”. The second one I remember parts of it but not a lot. It involved a fusion of Steven and a human friend. Then Pearl trains her with sword fighting at some point. Pretty sure? The singing was kind of fun. I do like a good musical. 

My overall impression was that Steven Universe was okay. It didn’t really seem like anything special to me. Not to mention the reactions of the characters felt over-exaggerated and unrealistic. Normally I’d consider watching more than that to see if it gets better. With this particular show I couldn’t shake the feelings of annoyance I had. Even now, despite all the years, Steven Universe still reminds me of being pressured and annoyed by a friend. 

*Image doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to Cartoon Network and Steven Universe.

Memoirs of a Geek: Gaming with Dad

My dad does not care about video games at all. It’s not something he enjoys. He’s not interested in any of my nerd hobbies. Which is okay. Anime, video games, cartoons, sci-fi/fantasy movies/tv, Dungeons & Dragons, and things like these aren’t for everyone. 

That’s why I always remember the first and last time Dad ever played video games with me. I was a lot younger, probably around 5th grade or so, when I was playing The Emperor’s New Groove, the video game on PC. The Emperor’s New Groove game is the video game version of the movie. It was one of my favorite games as a kid. The humor is top-notch, just like the movie. 

Unfortunately, there was one super hard level. *Spoilers for a scene in a movie everyone should have seen by now* In The Emperor’s New Groove, there is a scene of Kuzco running for his life from a group of panthers eager to eat him. The video game version of this scene was stupid hard. To beat the level you had to constantly mash the spacebar to continually sprint while jumping and navigating around obstacles. For whatever reason, I could not manage furiously button mashing while controlling where I was going. I had tried to beat it so many times! I even tried changing the keyboard controls but nothing worked. 

After several rage quits and a couple of frustration cries, I had all but given up entirely. Until I realized that nowhere in the rules did it say that I had to do it alone. I couldn’t ask Mom for help, she pretty much hated all non-educational video games. My only option was Dad. He might not like video games, but at least he didn’t hate them. Still, I was a bit nervous to ask for help. I didn’t think he would actually do it. 

Dad proved me wrong. He listened while I explained the situation. Not that my explanation helped much, I’m pretty sure he was befuddled the entire time. Despite his lack of interest, he was willing to be the person to button mash while I did the harder part of navigating. It took us four or five tries to get it right, but we did it! With his help, I beat the level. After all that time, I spent trying to get past this to continue with the game I finally won! Dad didn’t understand why I was so excited but he told me he was glad he could help out. 

This was such a long time ago. Yet I still remember everything very clearly. I remember how frustrated I was trying and failing time and time again. I remember how awkward it was to ask Dad for help. Then finally I remember how happy I was to beat the level. Playing with him had been fun. For one moment I could finally participate in a hobby I loved with him. It was the only time we ever played video games together. He may not have cared about video games, but he helped me because I had asked. Most likely, Dad has forgotten all about this. To him, it was just one of many instances when his daughter asked for help with something, but to me, it was more than that. 

New Series! Memoirs of a Geek

Hello to everyone reading my blog, both followers and visitors! On Geek Aporia I happen to have an ongoing series called Petty Reviews. This series is my experiences with videos games, and other things, that have made me so upset I couldn’t finish them. I’ve been enjoying writing this as it is a healthy way to express rage. Hopefully you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed venting!

However I’ve come to realize that I wanted to write positive memories and experiences too. All of the fun random moments I still fondly remember no matter how much time has passed. In order to do this, I have decided to start a new series I am calling Memoirs of a Geek. The title is a bit dramatic. But hey, so am I! Expect to see posts of this series every other Wednesday, starting tomorrow.

The Turing Test of Time: Nier Automata

On the day this is posted I will get my preorder of Nier Replicant, the prequel to Nier Automata. So I figured this would be the perfect time to write a review for one of the best video games I ever played. 

Verdict

Nier Automata (PS4): ★★★★★★★★★☆

I love this game! This is in my top ten video games of all time. I recommend this game to everyone. As long as they are old enough to play that is. This game has some real dark moments that would emotionally scar children. I’m emotionally scarred, and I’m a jaded twenty-something!

The main characters are well written and experience significant character development as the game progresses. There are multiple events when the game subverts expectations or has events beyond what the player could have imagined. While playing the game secrets are uncovered by the characters and through them, the player discovers multiple concerning truths about the world. The combat is fast and engaging with multiple ways to change your playstyle. The scenery in the world is varied and atmospheric. The music is beautiful. Nier Automata is a masterpiece!

You would like this game if

  • You like hack and slash combat
  • Enjoy story-rich games
  • Want to have an existential crisis
  • Appreciate character development 
  • Enjoy moments of cute quirkiness and weird “What the Heck?!!?” scenes
  • Need a good cry

Plotline

Quick Note: Nier Automata is a part of a series of video games connected by lore. Luckily you don’t need to have played the other games to understand the story. After beating the game I looked up the extended lore. If you’re interested you should check out this video explanation. I’m intentionally not going to mention years and specifics about the timeline. Two reasons for this: One spoilers, Two it’s complicated and I don’t want to screw it up. 

In the distant past, an alien race invaded the earth with their robotic minions, called Machines. To defend themselves from the Machines humanity used androids as their soldiers. While the androids were fighting the Machine armada, all of the surviving humans fled to a colony on the moon. Now the androids and the Machines have been engaged in a constant battle for the dominion of the planet on behalf of their respective creators. 

Nier Automata takes place in the distant future of the earth. The battle between the androids and the Machines has lasted for thousands of years. Now there is an organization with a station orbiting the earth called YoRHa. This is a group of elite military androids. The story follows the YoRHa androids 9S and 2B as they are sent to earth to combat the machines and scout for military intelligence. While completing their missions for YoRHa and the android resistance on earth, 2B and 9S learn more about the Machines and the long-hidden truths of the war. 

Gameplay

This is important. You reading this with full attention? Good. This game has five endings. The first time you play the game and reach the first ending, you might think that’s all there is. Wrong! To get the full story and experience you will have multiple playthroughs. If I explain more it will spoil the experience. So just trust me on this, whenever you think the game is over it’s not over. You can also get multiple joke endings by being stupid or ignoring what the game wants you to do. 

Nier Automata is an action RPG. Combat is divided into two sections, hack n’ slash and bullet hell shooter. The shooting sections occur throughout the game whenever the characters enter their flight units. Those are always pretty simple, dodge bullets and shoot the enemies that are shooting at you. When you are wandering the world you encounter Machine enemies that you dice to bits with whatever weapons you have equipped. Some weapons are slow and hit hard and others do less damage with fast strikes. Dodging is important in this game. If you perfectly dodge attacks time will temporarily slow down and you get a chance to deal extra damage. You also have a friendly, floating pod companion. All hail the pod! Because these guys can shoot endless bullets at all enemies and have a big laser for whenever you want to blast someone real good. While you can change the pods charged attack nothing feels as effective as a giant laser. 

Out of all of the different characters you play as in Nier Automata, only 9S can hack enemies. If you hack them successfully it will either deal a great deal of damage or destroy them instantly. It’s overpowered. Sadly the hacking mini-game isn’t nearly as much fun as hitting everything with swords. The hacking segments are geometry bullet hells. Just keep moving and shooting and you’ll win. 

Character’s stats and abilities can be enhanced and changed by adding computer chips. They are androids after all. As you play the game you will find chips in the environment, earn them by completing quests and using materials to build and upgrade them. These chips can do everything from increasing movement speed, increasing attack/defense, and enable auto-heal. Read the default chips carefully before you remove anything. Remove the wrong one, and it’s instant death. 

Worst Parts

  • There are a lot of side quests, some of them are good/important story-wise yet they can be easily missed. They should have been part of the main story or should have had an indicator or something. 
  • At certain points during the game, it was hard to find things. Not a big deal but the trial and error were tedious at points. 
  • I won’t put spoilers here but I cried at the ending and one point early on the third playthrough. When I say crying I don’t mean a few stray tears. No, I mean grab the tissue box and pause the game. Because I couldn’t see the game through my tears! It was so sad!! Which is great, but also curse you developers for making me feel!
  • The 9S hacking mechanic. It wasn’t bad, and I enjoyed it sometimes. The shooting mini-game just isn’t as much fun as cutting everything down with swords. 

Best Parts

  • All the joke endings in the game. They were so much fun to accidentally get by being stupid. Later I ended up getting all of these joke endings by following a guide. 
  • Pet the pod! You can pet your pod whenever you want by clicking the touchpad of your controller. I love that you can do that. Your combat buddy deserves all the love and affection. 
  • There’s a character named Jackass. Looks like I never outgrew childish middle-school humor.
  • 9S!! My precious boy deserves to be protected and happy! 
  • After beating the game you can jump to different parts of the story to replay what you want and do side quests you might have missed. This was super helpful in getting all of the joke endings to the game that I missed. 
  • Combat. It was fast, responsive, and all-around a good time.
  • Befriending wildlife. I don’t know why they added it in the game. But who cares? I can ride a moose!
  • Music, the music in this game is so amazing! It sets the mood of climactic battles and important story moments. 
  • There are a lot of quirky moments in the game. At times it was funny. Other times it added to the characters and the environment. 

*Image does not belong to me. It belongs to the developers of Nier Automata

Petty Review: Enter the Gungeon

Enter the Gungeon is a game with simple mechanics and ideas but it is extraordinarily hard to master. The basis of the game is pretty straight forward. Get to the end of a procedurally generated dungeon in order to obtain a magic time gun. There are four playable characters at the start. You pick one, enter the dungeon, and then try to survive. Shoot everything that moves until it dies or you die. That’s the whole game. 

The real nerd description that best fits Enter the Gungeon is rogue-lite. My husband described it as such. Of course, I immediately understood what he meant. I had no need to google its definition… Don’t look at my search history, it’s lying!

This game has an old-school pixel art aesthetic. It’s done really well. It has all the vibes of  Dungeons and Dragons combined with good ol’ ‘Murican gun love. It’s fast-paced, with no wasted time on cutscenes after the intro. If When you die one button press is all it takes to instantly restart and try again. Honestly, this made it really fun to play. The combat was simple to learn but hard to master. The fast pacing made it easy to keep trying. I like the style of it, fantasy western with a hint of creepy. 

So why is Enter the Gungeon part of my petty reviews? Because it is hard! Dang hard! Bathing my cat was easier than this game. I died so many times. At least half of those times was just because I was dumb. I kept trying and trying but I couldn’t make any progress. Every time I thought I was getting a little bit better at the game, Enter the Gungeon was ready to “lol. Nope:)” and immediately kill me. While there were moments I raged at this game, most of the time I wasn’t even angry. I died because I was dumb or just plain bad. My normal reaction to “You Died” was “Understandable”. 

Eventually after dying like 15 times without even coming close to beating the first boss (most of the time not even reaching the boss) the effort to get good at the game didn’t feel worth it. I didn’t feel angry at it, I felt tired. I felt tired of continually trying without anything to show for my efforts. The best word for this feeling is demoralizing. Beating the game seemed next to impossible. On rare occasions, I might like a rogue-lite game enough to be determined enough to finish it. This is not one of those times. 

Enter the Gungeon would have been far easier to play if they had added an upgrade system. So that every time you died you would have points of some sort to spend on improving maximum health, stats, or starting equipment. It would have made dying so many times feel less like a pointless slog. Whenever I died I would be able to work towards things that would make beating the game possible. They could have at least added a second mode where that was an option while still having the original “git gud” mode.

Maybe I’ll play it from time to time for fun. But I’ll probably never beat Enter the Gungeon. So I’ll never be able to write a true review of it. It’s a shame because it is a pretty good game. I like its style and gameplay. If you ever do try it, good luck. You’re going to need it. 

*Image does not belong to me. It’s a screenshot of Enter the Gungeon posted on a EuroGamer review