Hello there, Neppy here. I'm a gamer at heart, starting at the age of 3 and going strong since then. I've always had a passion for writing, and I wanted to combine it with my hobby. I used to make reviews but realised pretty quickly that I prefer to just talk about what I like and dislike about a game instead of going into them with a critic outset. This site is looking to be the perfect solution for me, and that's where we are now!
I'm always happy to talk or discuss my gaming interests with new people. If you're interested, you can join my Discord server by clicking the link down below!
Occupation: Test Engineer
About my collections
My entire game collection can be found on www.backloggery.com/bokxie
. Note that while my collection is significantly bigger than my lists may show, that I'm only listing games that I have played recently to give the most accurate opinion on them.
Posted : 2 years, 4 months ago on 25 February 2020 12:26
(A review of Super Mario 3D Land
Before you read:
This review has been created by a gamer who has, at this date, not yet played any 3D Mario game aside from Super Mario 64, and a little bit of Super Mario 3D World. Therefore, my viewpoint on this game has not been influenced by any of the previous 3D games. From what I've gathered, the game borrows a lot of obstacles from Super Mario Galaxy but as I have no experience, I cannot say so myself. Before this review has been created, I have completed the entire game once.
I'm always happy to play a new Mario game I have not touched before. Despite varying opinions, you can almost always be certain that the games are at the very least solid. Not only that, but this is Mario's first original 3D adventure on a handheld! Of course Super Mario 64 DS came first but as everyone knows, that's a remake. Funnily enough, Mr. Miyamoto did clarify that while this is a 3D game, it plays like a 2D game. Let's see what he meant by that shall we?
Great level design with unique themes not inspired by New Super Mario Bros...
What Mr. Miyamoto meant by that statement is clearly seen in the level design. The game has eight worlds with a HUB world similar to the 2D games: a straight line with each selectable level on there. At first I was very afraid that this would follow the New Super Mario Bros. curse, with every world having a singular theme with almost no variation in between. Fortunately I was wrong on that part, as the levels are all unique and are in no way dependant on a singular theme. The first world may start with a basic field level, but quickly after a stage follows that pays homage to the 8-bit sprites of the series, and after that a level made out of cookies! This trend continues throughout the whole game, even with a level that may or may not be a homage to another one of Nintendo's famous franchises. I'll not spoil the surprise of course; I'm sure you'll discover it yourself pretty quickly. Most of the stages also have unique mechanics and obstacles to help them differentiate from another. To emphasise the 2D-inspired gameplay even further, there are three golden coins to be found in every stage which has been a staple in 2D Mario Games since New Super Mario Bros.
...But also extremely linear level design.
I've given the level design a good amount of praise so far, but I'm about to bring it down entirely with this segment. The level themeing- and design may be good overall, but at the same time, it's probably the most linear Mario game... ever. And no, this is not an exaggerated statement. You can already see it in the HUB world as the levels are placed on a literal line with no parts branching off of it. There is not a single alternate exit in the game, meaning that every world has to be done in the same order with no skippable levels. This is not necessarily bad design though, but even the levels themselves barely have any secrets in them aside from the golden coins and a few 1-ups that you really don't need (trust me on this one). And most of the time, the golden coins are even in plain sight or at least on the road to the end. The levels do not encourage exploration, which means that when you're done with a stage... you truly are done.
What about controls though?
Level design is one important part of platformers, and the other part are the controls. My opinion of the level design may be mixed, but I can say that the controls have been handled very well. I'd like to start with the camera for this segment actually, since the level design is still fresh in our mind. The camera is a fixed one which usually is not something you'd see in a 3D, free-roaming Platformer, but it works in the game's favour as the level design is fairly linear after all. They do use it in a creative way, like top-down or isometric occasionally. They do have a few bonus rooms where 3D is used but that never worked for me; no surprise there since who even likes 3D right? I did sometimes have issues with depth when the camera was 2D focussed and platforms were small, but it did not hinder me too much. Mario controls very smoothly in the levels, though I did have to get used to his jumping distance. He does no longer have the triple jump, and he needs a good second of speed to at least make far jumps. But other than that, I have no issues with how he controls. The same goes for the power-ups, which are mostly classic mario power-ups but in a 3D environment. I would make the arguement that the tanooki leaf made an already easy game that showers you with 1-ups even easier, but nobody really plays Mario for the difficulty.
Spoiler warning - Completion hell
I named this segment ''Completion hell'' for one single reason. After you beat the main game, the special world unlocks which are the same levels as the main game but more difficult. That was not entirely accurate however as the levels are mixed-up in order, have unique new obstacles or are even entirely unrecognizable. Though I still didn't feel very challenged, I had a good time going through this world regardless because the level design was already good. More than two times is not fine though, but Nintendo decided you need to go through the entire normal- and special levels again as Luigi to unlock the very final level. Oh, and don't forget to hit the top of the flagpole with either of the characters or else you have to go through the entire game yet again. This is padding to the maximum and highly unnecessary. At least the reward is good right...? It's your usual challenging level, though not really as challenging as most and not that long either so eh, but it's better than nothing at least.
I've been positive- and negative towards this game, mostly about the level design- and structure. I did have a blast with this game since the levels were at least good designed though, but I didn't feel the need to play through it more than once. Spoiler alert, I had to. But at the end of the day, we still have a good Mario game here that I'm confident every 3ds owner that enjoys Mario should own. But um, probably think about it twice (heh, spoiler alert 2.0) if you want to complete it or not.
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Posted : 2 years, 4 months ago on 14 February 2020 07:47
(A review of Mega Man Maverick Hunter X
I have played the original Mega Man X games and its sequels quite a lot, yet I never get tired of them at all (at least, of most games). They remain ageless and will never tire me out. You could say that the games don't even need a remake, yet here we are with Mega Man Maverick Hunter X. Despite not needing a remake, Capcom did an excellent job at making this remake not one that replaces the original, but compliments it very well alongside new additions to make this a must-play for Mega Man fans, or fans planning to get into the franchise to begin with. The core Mega Man X gameplay still functions very well, and the stages have mostly been a one-on-one translation with the exception of the Sigma Stages. Power-ups may also appear in different places which left me paranoid at first, because the dash upgrade was not in Chill Penguin's stage but instead in Flame Mammoth's, in a place I'd normally not visit because I need another upgrade in the original to get there. Near the fourth stage I was getting afraid because all I could find was 1-ups and an occasional heart tank. But at the same time, I don't dislike this change because it encouraged me to check out stages all over again and possibly in a different order than I do normally. There's not much else to say about the main game because like I said, it's pretty much a direct copy from the original with minor changes. I can also proudly say that they kept a very secret power-up for X in the game, and I'm very happy with that. But aside from an already great main game, we get introduced to a playable Vile for the first (and only) time ever! It did catch me off-guard as I never really cared for Vile that much, but after playing through it I ended up very satisfied. Not only does the game give more exposure to who Vile is and what his goals are (though they can literally be summed up in one word: jealousy), but also to how fun it is to play as him. He's very different from that characters that we were able to play as previously, being armed with a total of 45 (!) weapons of which you can choose three at the start of each stage. Most weapons fall into one of nine weapon categories which are the same with small differences like power or reach, but the game encourages you to experiment with them to finetune Vile to your liking. It did take some getting used to, but once I got the ball rolling, it wouldn't stop and I just continued playing with him until I reached a satisfying ending. There were minor differences in the stages as well, and now I also know why the upgrades were switched around in stages when playing as X, because most of Vile's upgrades could be found in the remaining spots. Aside from Vile mode, there is a thirty-minute animated short serving as a prequel to the game (though I do sometimes question how canon it is), a lot of Quality of Life updates like voiced cutscenes and more. Mega Man Maverick Hunter X is an almost perfect homage to the original game, and one that should be played by all fans who fell in love with the original. It is not just simply a remake; it is a tribute to a legacy.
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Posted : 2 years, 4 months ago on 10 February 2020 08:23
(A review of Muffin Knight
Back when I played this game first in 2014, I left a negative review on this game. Frankly I do not remember what my reasonings were for not recommending this game. This does not mean that my viewpoint has suddenly become very positive, but now that I'm older with a more experienced look on gaming in general, I can appreciate its positives and better describe the negatives. Muffin Knight is a single-player arena game, where you have to gather as many muffins as possible without your progress being ended by a swarm of incoming monsters. Fortunately you are armed with a great number of classes that you switch between after every collected muffin. This is the game's strongest unique mechanic, while at the same time its worst one. There is a good amount of classes to switch between, and some are very fun to play with mostly due to how powerful they are. But unfortunately there are also several classes that are very weak. There is no good balance between the classes; they're either good, or they suck pretty bad. I wouldn't be surprised if this was one of my major negative points in my old review. I can understand some classes being better or suited more to one's tastes, but the difference in power is too big to the point that you can get genuinely mad because multiple ''bad'' classes appear after each other. And obviously this does affect gameplay too, as you're either having fun with the classes you enjoy to play as, or are forced to play through several classes you dislike. Of course this is easy to counter by grabbing another muffin, and perks that give you extra lives or mobility do help with that. There's a small selection of stages, each with their own structure but it mostly comes down to one thing: enemies spawn from the top, when they get to the bottom they spawn again but become aggressive as result. It's a simple gameplay system, but one that loses its charm over time as the monsters themselves keep the same attack pattern throughout the entire game. Basically the only things that change are the level layouts and the classes you play as. And this results in Muffin Knight being a fine game overall, but at the same time one that becomes pretty boring over time. Online is dead, and achievements are very buggy, so basically the only reason to play this game is for the single-player campaign. I do give this game a slight recommendation for the campaign, but do realise it's over very quickly.
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Posted : 2 years, 5 months ago on 7 February 2020 12:39
(A review of Beta Bloc
I bought this game for only a buck in a video game store, not even knowing what it was but it was yet more progress towards my complete PSP collection. After looking at it better when I was looking for a game to play, it turned out to be an Arkanoid clone! Not only that, but it also had RPG elements! The description interested me and thus I booted it up. Beta Bloc quickly introduces you to its main gimmick because this is one of the few games where you actually hold your PSP vertically. This.. surprisingly doesn't work all that bad. The d-pad is used to move the paddle around which is the most important part of Arkanoid. A slight issue however, is the amount of controls there are. Literally every button is used, and while that works while holding the system normally, it's less effective when holding it vertically. There's also not really a tutorial on what buttons has what function, as it took me until close to the end to realize there's a rumble feature for whenever your ball gets stuck. But aside from that it is your usual brick-breaking action game, with an emphasis on leveling, stats and magic spells for your paddle. The magic system ends up being the power-ups in normal Arkanoid games, they only don't appear randomly in stages now and instead have to be bound to your paddle. I wasn't really a big fan of this as the randomness of the power-ups is also a major part of Arkanoid games. Instead it's a bare-bones Arkanoid game now, with each world having its own gimmicks like teleporting and directional squares sure, but that does not change the fact that most of the gameplay is just watching a ball bounce. Then again, Beta Bloc does give the paddle a projectile to kill enemies, but not blocks. This does make the Arkanoid gameplay a bit better as you can't just focus on the ball, but also on enemy attacks. Enemies are sometimes more annoyances than actual obstacles however, as they are just in the way and always bounce the ball back. I wasn't really a fan of the physics in Beta Bloc to begin with as you had to actually move in a direction to bounce the ball in that direction instead of having it land on a side of the paddle. The ball wasn't as easy to control as it would be in other games, especially with the stages not always being squares, but cylinders with obstacles sticking out of the wall. There are also indestructible blocks everywhere, and it's very easy to get stuck. Fortunately that's where the rumble feature comes into play.. which I didn't know until late so I restarted quite often. But yeah, overall I'd say that the gameplay does some good stuff for the game like an RPG progressions system, but loses the random power-ups as a trade-off. Regardless, I did have fun with Beta Bloc because at its core, it's an Arkanoid game. There are many others I'd pick over this one, but I did not regret playing this.
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Posted : 2 years, 5 months ago on 2 February 2020 05:35
(A review of Mutant Mudds Deluxe
Mutant Mudds was one of those indie games I came across quite frequently but never picked up for no reason. I finally did and as expected, I did enjoy the game. It's a slow-paced 2D collectathon platformer with an emphasis on multiple layers to move between. Mutant Mudds control solid overall, though the slow-paced isn't an understatement as the main character moves at a snail's pace. In the game's defence, the stages are built around his physics so the game controls perfectly fine in conjunction with the stage design. Max is armed with a water gun to take out enemies in front of him, and a booster to have him hover for a bit or shoot high up in the air. I do wish the water gun was a bit more versatile like having a charge-up attack but yet again, the enemies are designed around this gun pretty well. Both the booster and water gun can be upgraded with the usage of the collectable shiny diamonds you find in every stage. You can only equip one upgrade at a time to discover alternate exits in stages with a slightly higher difficulty. Every stage has two exits with a visual theme going back to earlier handhelds such as the Gameboy and -shudders- the Virtual Boy, which was a nice surprise. There are a total of 20 levels, each housing two exits which require your mastery of that stage's obstacles. The game is not necessarily hard, at least not in my opinion. Overall it was a fun game to complete and pretty short as well, but unfortunately completion is not rewarded very well. After you beat the game you unlock additional challenges being the second of the alternate exits in every stage, and there's also a ''Ghost world'' which are the same stages but slightly more difficult. Beating both and getting all collectables in game does not reward you with anything but achievements. It's slightly disappointing to see a game that has an emphasis on completion having a really lacklustre reward for you waiting at the end. I'm also slightly disappointed with there being no bosses in the game whatsoever despite facing a single nemesis colony. Regardless, Mutant Mudds is a fun platformer that you can delve a few hours into.
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Posted : 2 years, 5 months ago on 24 January 2020 06:54
(A review of Knights of Tartarus
I was pretty excited to start playing Knights of Tartarus when I first bought it. It looked like a game ripped right off the Gameboy Colour, specifically a Zelda game. That hope was soon answered as it didn't just have Zelda puzzle elements in dungeons, but also a turn-based gameplay style! Playing even further I discovered a crafting system for weapons and armour, and the world in general being fairly non-linear. For example, I defeated the earth boss first, but you could also defeat the wind boss first and unlock a whole new area to visit before even facing the earth boss. All of this sounds very cool right, what could possibly go wrong? Well.. there are a few issues that make some of the gameplay absolutely aggravating. Let's start with the Zelda puzzle elements, which is basically item-based gameplay to solve obstacles. If you remember Link's Awakening, it was sort of tedious to switch items because of the limited amount of buttons. You could carry two, and had to go to the menu constantly to switch. Surprisingly, Knights of Tartarus handles this even worse, far worse even. You can only equip one item at a time, and instead of just selecting it you have to sit through a confirmation dialogue that is unskippable. Now imagine doing this in a room where you constantly have to switch between items. What's even worse, the dungeons and puzzles reset after a defeat or leave, meaning that you have to do all the rooms with said puzzles in them again if you didn't finish off the boss the first time. To be fair this issue is mostly relevant to the final dungeons, but it certainly is annoying. I did have my fair share of defeats because being open-world does bring along some issues. The challenge of this game is all over the place, with some bosses taking legit strategies and medical item consumption, while others die in a hit or two. The challenge didn't give me an issue personally, but grinding at some points is almost a requirement so do keep that in mind. Grinding goes pretty fast through so kudos for that. The combat feels weirdly like a non-Pokemon Pokemon game when it comes to status effects and the like. It does the job well enough though, nothing to complain about here. I also liked the mechanic that if you've fought a monster once, the next time you fight them you can actuall see their health bar. It's a simple touch but one that I approve of. Spells are actually learned from monsters as well, so if you're choosing the mage class there's definitely a good amount of spells to choose from. There's a good diversity in skills to choose from as well after every five level-ups, though one of the defensive perks negates one of the attack perks and that just felt weird. Overall Knights of Tartarus is a good game, and one that I would definitely have liked more if some of the bugs and my earlier mentioned problems are ironed out.
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Posted : 2 years, 5 months ago on 22 January 2020 08:34
(A review of PoPoLoCrois
It's sort of heartbreaking to make this review for multiple reasons. You've probably already seen the score I've given this game which is just average. I really wanted this game to become one of my favourite PSP JRPGs, or JRPGs in general, but unfortunately it did not accomplish such a feat. I'll start with the story and characters and slowly work my way down, giving both the positives and negatives their spotlight. The story as a whole is.. good enough. I would rather call it a cutesy story than an actual deep story, because whenever something ''deep'' happens, it's brushed off almost straight away. Villain deaths just happen, and emotional issues are resolved a few dialogue lines later. As a cutesy story it does the job well though, as I was a fan of the love story between Pietro and Narcia. The other characters have their moments, but are not really as fleshed out as the main protagonists. The same could unfortunately be said about the world building. PoPoLoCrois puts you in the same towns and cities more often than not, and while every villager has changed dialogue every revisit, they often just mentioned something that it happening right now in the story and then talk about the same thing they've been doing throughout the whole game. While I love changed dialogue, I eventually just gave up talking to every villager because I could predict their dialogue, and they didn't have anything else to offer. I will compliment the game for trying to evolve the world during time-lapses however. Even though some villagers would still be doing the exact same thing, at the same time new houses were built or improved. It also tried to make me familiar with every city and villager by having me revisit them so much, but the problem with that is the world itself. You could see the world of PoPoLoCrois basically as a straight line, with cities and dungeons branching off of it. There is pretty much no fast-travel throughout the entire game, and it's more of a chore than an actual journey to go from town to town. What's even worse is that the enemies, for the most part, don't change between towns, which means that you'll still be fighting the same weak enemies near the capital city that you've been fighting since the very beginning. The worst part about this whole paragraph however, is that the very final chapter of the game actually allows you to fast-travel to towns AND encourages sidequests. This would have been great if it happened earlier, but at that point I was sort of done with the game.
The combat is good overall. I did find it odd that the game puts me on automatic by default, but I found it to be satisfying overall. PoPoLoCrois is a pretty easy game but it played well and that's good enough for me. It's a hybrid tactical/turn-based combat system, with four controllable characters in battle. Most characters felt unique, and to add to the flavour, you can also summon enemies into battle which function as a 5th character. The characters themselves have a unique playstyle, but like fast-traveling you don't really get a choice which character is in your party until the very end. During random encounters I mostly just attacked or charged up an attack for the next turn, but skills can make the battles last far shorter. Skills also have their own level, but they are levelled automatically alongside normal experience so you don't have any influence over that whatsoever. The dungeons are fine overall as well, and I found some of the secrets to be pretty cleverly hidden. Chests usually only peeked out slightly, and only the observing player will find them all.
Overall I found PoPoLoCrois to be a just-above-average game, which pains me to say. There are some very archaic design decisions, and it didn't manage to indulge me into the world it tried to build. At the same time, it is a very charming game with cutesy graphics and music, and a love story that's more sweet than anything. I recommend trying PoPoLoCrois out yourself regardless of what my review might have made you think.
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Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 4 January 2020 12:59
(A review of Horizon Chase Turbo
It feels lazy to pick lines from other reviews but yes, calling this game ''The best arcade-inspired racing game since Outrun 2006'' and having it somewhere near the top of a retro revival favourites list really does this game justice. Horizon Chase Turbo is an excellent racing game that should not be missed if you're a fan of arcade racing games or the genre in general. HCT boasts very high-speed limits in a variety of over 100 tracks! Suffice to say, the game has a huge load of content. The career mode is the first attraction with individual races against 19 enemies at once, making races chaotic but more adrenaline-pumping at the same time. 20 racers on one tracks does sometimes make passing enemies slightly difficult (especially on small roads), but it has never truly stopped me from getting high places on the leaderboard. You'll eventually get used to dodging cars at high speed, and at that point you're getting much closer to your trophy. Just getting first place is not your only objective however. A fuel meter, as well as tokens are scattered throughout the stages which you'll need to pick up to not run out of fuel, and get the best trophy possible for more unlockable cars or settings. There is a good amount of unlockable cars, each with five different stats to make them unique to others. Some are even neat references to classic 80s movies or something else, and I definitely recommend finding out about them yourself instead of using the internet. Aside from career there are two other modes. We'll start off with Tournaments which speaks for itself; do 4 races and be the very best the AI wish they were. These are fine on their own, though on the higher difficulty I began to notice a very scripted AI. For example, the placings will always be the same as the second place will never get a third place, only first place if you let him. The first place will also make your life an absolute hell and not let you pass. It's also always the same amount of cars that pass you after you've passed them in the first lap. It's not too big of an issue, but I felt it was noticeable in this mode specifically. I'm also slightly disappointed that you can't create your own tournaments for local multiplayer. I don't have friends to play with regardless but hey, custom tournaments would be fun. Which conveniently brings me to the next mode, Endurance. This mode has you race a select amount of random maps without getting lower than fifth place. This is a fun mode, but the ''random'' part of the mode is not as random as it sounds. You will always start with the same cities/countries that you go through in the career in the same chronological order. Which means that in the 109 endurance mode, you will always go through all San Francisco maps before moving on to Chile. Especially in that latter mode it's just very tiresome and not as random as it is advertised. Most of my complaints are nitpicks, but I do feel they could genuinely improve the game and with HCT still being updated, who knows? Horizon Chase Turbo is a great throwback to arcade racing games in the past, and overall one of the better retro-inspired revival games.
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Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 28 December 2019 07:39
(A review of Superflight
It doesn't happen often that the summary of a game has the perfect way to describe this game: ''A great game to relax for half an hour''. That half an hour turned into two hours for me but the point still stands. Superflight is a very relaxing game to just fly around with, but at the same time also an intense game for the competitive people. The great thing about this game is that Superflight appeals to both sides of the spectrum with single settings switches; enable Zen mode so you don't have to worry about scores and can just fly around, exploring at your own pace, or keep it disabled and toggle the score on screen to aim for that high score. I'm personally more geared towards the exploratorive gameplay because the highscores are quite easy to mess with as the top of the leaderboards show. The only actual competitiveness I can think off is with my friends. That said however, it is very fun to find the best route possible in a map by just trial and error, and since there are basically infinite maps, replayability is high. The same goes for the ''intense'' part of the description which it kinda is I guess? It mostly comes down to combo's, which you can score by remaining near walls for as long as possible without flying into open space. I often had a good combo going and wanted to continue into risky tunnels to possibly improve or ruin that combo I had going. And that's the biggest strength Superflight has; it's addictive and easy to pick up. You either play it to fly around in peace, or aim for that highscore and keep playing for that highscore. When you crash, you can get back into the game with the push of a button on the same map. At it's core it is a relatively simple Unity game that you will probably drop after a few hours, but the developers themselves are very honest about that and I respect them for that. Superflight is relaxing or intense depending on taste, addictive and definitely worth your time.
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Posted : 2 years, 6 months ago on 28 December 2019 07:34
(A review of Draw Slasher
Let's not beat around the bush; Draw Slasher is a mobile game that probably should have stayed on mobile platforms. I say that because as a mobile game, this would work very well as there are touch controls and it is very easy to pick up and put down. But that's the thing; we're on Steam. And though being on Steam does not necessarily equal a high quality game, I don't think this fits the norm to spend money on. Like most people I also got this game for free, and on one hand I don't want to be too harsh on this game. But drawing lines to defeat enemies is basically the entire game, and something I personally don't find very fun to do with a mouse. Jumping feels awkward, and so does repeatedly slashing an enemy, especially if they can only be hit on specific spots. And everything is basically touchscreen based, including the skills menu. I will say that the challenges are fun for the most part, but since you can't easily single out specific enemies with this gameplay style, I didn't bother with most of them. Arcade is decent as well. I'm not going to lie, my expectations were low when I booted up this game, but you really shouldn't expect anything more from this than a simple mobile game ported to Steam.
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