A Few More Mini Reviews

Another handful of games that I didn't want to write a full post for.

What the Dub

What the Dub (PC, finished April 24th)

It's the public domain film-dubbing game from Use Your Words, now with more clips and text to speech. Those minor additions actually help a lot, because there's something inherently funny about bad computer voiceovers. I don't know if it's going to have the longevity of some of the Jackbox games since it's only the one mode, but so far it's a good time.

Princess Maker ~Faery Tales Come True~

Princess Maker ~Faery Tales Come True~ (Switch, finished April 30th)

I haven't played the original, which was the third game in the series, but this "HD remake" can't possibly have remade much. It's still riddled with translation errors, still fails to explain any of its mechanics in a useful way, and inexplicably has way fewer features than Princess Maker 2. Overworld exploration was cut completely, and NPC interactions were dialed back almost to the point of not existing. There is absolutely no reason at all to play this over earlier entries in the franchise or, better yet, successor games like Cute Knight and Long Live the Queen. This is trash.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? 2nd Edition

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? 2nd Edition (GBC, finished May 2nd)

I don't think anyone here is going to go seek out a twenty year old Game Boy Color cart to play an equally old game show, but it's pretty decent if you do. The sound effects are particularly well done considering how limited this hardware was.

NieR Replicant ver. 1.22474487139

NieR Replicant ver. 1.22474487139 (PC, finished May 5th)

This was a cool game to play because Automata is my #4 game of all time and you can really see how the ideas that made it such a masterpiece evolved out of this game. Almost everything that made it special is present here in some form or another, Keiichi Okabe's soundtrack is brilliant, and there are a few very unique gameplay sequences that you can only get here.

But at the same time, you can tell Yoko Taro hadn't quite nailed down the experience. The pacing is all over the place and events that seem like they're about to become major plot points are often resolved within minutes. The side quests are almost universally tedious crap, and since you have to get every weapon if you want to see the true ending, anyone interested in the full story would be forced to complete most of them. Worst of all, seeing all the game's endings requires repeating the second half of the game virtually unchanged at least 4 times.

I'm glad that the team got another chance to make this idea, but I also see why no one really latched on to it the first time. It's a game full of good ideas that is constantly trying to push you away.

Size Matters (PC, finished May 7th)

Basically an escape the room game where you need to find instructions to mix together three different chemical formulae before time runs out. The catch is that you're shrinking at a constant rate, so eventually you'll be scurrying around a giant room trying to platform your way to the lab tools. It's a really cool idea, but it's also one that I only felt the need to experience once, and I didn't even shrink enough for that mechanic to matter at all. It really needed to find ways to use this idea for more than one puzzle.

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