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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:17 pm

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 6
* denotes a replay

January (6 Games Beaten)
1. Phantasy Star Portable - PlayStation Portable - January 1
2. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War - Xbox One - January 9
3. Duck Tales - NES - January 10
4. Yakuza Kiwami - PlayStation 4 - January 14
5. Xuan-Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament - PlayStation 4 - January 20
6. Doki Doki Literature Club - Steam - January 20


6. Doki Doki Literature Club - Steam - January 20

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I'm being 100% serious right now - this game will psychologically destroy you. The disclaimer at the start of the game is totally legit - if you suffer from depression or anxiety, DO NOT PLAY THIS GAME. I wish I had listened.

"Hey, have you played Doki Doki Literature Club?" I legit heard that from at least thirty different people over the past few months. Figuring that my friends know me pretty well and, therefore, this must be a good game for this many to recommend it, I decided to give it a go. I like cute visual novels and dating sims, and this looks like that. Plus it's free. Who can beat free? I'm now questioning the validity all of my friendships. Why would someone who cares about me tell me to play something like this? I'm not questioning my friendships in any serious, literal way, of course, but...this is not a "fun" game.

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Doki Doki Literature Club is a visual novel, but it's not at all what it first appears to be. At first, it appears to be your run-of-the-mill neckbeard harem VN. After about an hour (depending on your reading speed), though, you how far from the truth that is. This is not a dating sim; this is the most severe psychological horror game that has perhaps ever been released. I've played a lot of really screwed up and will-screw-you-up games in the past few years - Spec Ops: The Line, The Last of Us, PT, SOMA, Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, etc - and none of them even begin to approach Doki Doki Literature Club. Everything about this game is masterfully crafted, and because the entire game is so well made, you cannot overstate the psychological damage it will do to the player.

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Most folks will probably brush all that off as hyperbole - exactly like I did - and play it anyway, and for those who aren't dealing with mental illness, that might be fine. For those of us who are, however, and who do spend every day fighting our own inner demons, that's a mistake. Doki Doki Literature Club does things to you emotionally that a game shouldn't be able to do - especially a free visual novel. I have never had any medium - not film, not books, not music - ever affect me as deeply and profoundly as this game did. It's like that VHS tape in The Ring; it's not *just* a game. At the very least, it's so psychologically...well, for lack of a better phrase, fucked up....that it feels like it's not just a game.

The next paragraph is going to deal with my personal experience with the game and will include major spoilers, so I'm putting it in a spoiler tag. Read if you wish. Skip if you wish.

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The game's story involves a high school literature club that you're kind of pressed into joining. There are four girls in the club - Sayori, your happy(?)-go-lucky childhood friend; Natsuki, a super tsundere girl who's hella into manga; Yuri, an extremely intelligent but socially inept girl; and Monika, an acquaintance of yours who never really plays a major role in the choices...at first. You do your typical dating sim stuff, picking a waifu and trying to get closer to her...and then it hits. Sayori, whom you've known since early childhood, acts a bit off one day. Naturally, you're concerned, but you let it go when she says that it's nothing. Shortly thereafter, you walk next door to check on her, and her dialogue...describes every day of the past 13 years of my life that was crippling. Truthfully the only word I can think of is "triggered." The computer screen became a mirror as I saw in this adorable anime girl the entire latter half of my life. The lack of motivation to do anything except wait for oblivion. The feeling of complete and utter worthlessness, of being nothing but a burden to those you love. The desire to see your friends happy because you're literally not good for anything. The all consuming numbness interrupted only by pain. Then it ends the way that, deep down, you always knew it would. "You really left Sayori hanging this morning." Suddenly I'm not looking in a mirror but a window to the realization of how my mental illness could have ended and what I'm terrified to acknowledge part of me still yearns for. And that's just one character. That's not even touching on the obsessive psychosis, the self-mutilation, the abuse, the dependency, and the fatal manipulation of other characters.


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Doki Doki Literature Club was developed over the course of two years by a team although the credits lead me to believe it was largely "this one guy and some helpers." It is, at its root, a metafictional and psychological horror commentary on mental illness and some of the exceptionally unhealthy characterizations and tropes common in dating sims. Given my love for Hyperdimension Neptunia, I'm no stranger to characters who break the fourth wall, but this game makes Nep look straight up strict in that regard. Whatever you think a game can do to break the fourth wall is tame in comparison. It may sound like I have a negative opinion of this game because of the inundation of negative emotions it brought, but I was actually extraordinarily impressed with this game in all regards. The music is lovely but otherwise doesn't stand out as particularly noteworthy...at first. The farther you get into the game, the more you realize just how much thought and attention to detail went into the music and especially so with regards to its timing with what's going on in the game.

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The thing about Doki Doki Literature Club is that it's almost TOO well written. When you get a couple hours into it, it stops feeling like a game. The whole thing is written to feel real - too real. I can't stress that enough - the game's handling of mental illness feels entirely too real if you've dealt with it personally. For those lucky enough to have "normal" mental health, it's an important and all too accurate look into the reality of these illnesses. Yeah, it shows the extreme, and they aren't the same for everyone, but can help people who think that depression is just "I feel sad sometimes" or that anxiety is "Stuff makes me nervous" see how much deeper and truly crippling these afflictions can be.

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Doki Doki Literature Club is a masterpiece. It's a masterpiece that I NEVER want to experience again, but it's a masterpiece nonetheless. Never before have I experienced a game so brilliantly written that I found myself crying in a ball on the floor of my closet because I couldn't handle how REAL it felt. This game is not for the faint of heart, and it's not to be played alone. You need emotional support for this game. It's a very worthwhile experience, but at the end of that experience, you'll be hurting and emotionally raw, and it will take you time to process what you feel and think about the game. It's...an experience unlike any other. I will say, though, that I cannot in good conscience recommend this to people who suffer from mental illness. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD, what have you, and you insist on playing this, please make sure that you have a close, trusted friend with you. This game's emotional impact is not to be underestimated.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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MrPopo
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by MrPopo Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:07 pm

1. Ultima V - PC
2. Ultima VI - PC
3. Might and Magic VI - PC

And the old RPG hit parade continues. Might and Magic VI came out four years after V, and it shows. The graphics engine is now 3D environments with 2D sprites and you have free movement, rather than grid based. This ended up being a double edged sword; the parts that make the world feel more realistic are great, but on the flip side is a ton of game issues, especially around combat. It's sort of a beautiful mess.

Might and Magic VI is set on a new world called Enroth, and was previously seen in the first two Heroes of Might and Magic games. This will continue a theme of the stories of both series interweaving. Several references are made to events from the prior game, and some plot threads will only be picked up in subsequent games. It's never enough to make you feel disconnected from the story, but it does make you want to look up a plot summary. The end goal of VI is not immediately apparent, in the grand tradition of the series. You're given several potential hooks at the start, and following these quest lines and exploring the world will eventually show you what your end goal is.

The game markes a major mechanical change to party building. You now only have four party members, which really constrains you. With the larger parties of past games you had more freedom to play around with party selection and the hybrid classes could shine. Here you will find yourself locked out of several useful tools if you don't start with a Cleric and Sorcerer, leaving you just two slots to customize the party. And the hybrids are not as uesful as past games (in my opinion) due to the change in the skill system. This state of affairs gets both better and worse in future games, for the same reason. Future games flesh out the skill system more and there is no one party that can do everything well, so you're always making some sort of compromise. So worse in terms of feeling railroaded (if you want to do X you need class Y), but better in terms of there not being one true party. Speaking of the skill system, this is the major change the really affects how things are played. While previous games had non-combat skills you could purchase to unlock bonuses and travel options, this game introduces a more core skill system. Anything you want to equip or cast requires you to have the appropriate skill, and the skills have levels. Magic now scales based on your skill level, rather than character level, which ends up being a major nerf to its damage potential (along with some just bad scaling numbers). Additionally, at certain levels you become elligible for expert or master training in a skill, which confers an additional bonus. Compared to later games, MM6 is pretty open with the skills; if you can learn a skill you can master it (this changes in future games), and every single secondary skill (except the +max mana meditation) is available to every class. Future games will use skill locks and skill caps as ways of specializing classes more. But in MM6, it ends up making the hybirds "warrior + caster who can't use the best magic" or "both casters but can't use the best magic". The problem being that you don't have enough skill points to train up your weapons AND your magic well, and you need to train magic for it to be effective.

The combat is an utter mess of balance. You have two possible modes; real time and turn based. In real time you can attack with characters, after which they have some cooldown length affected by the weapon you used, the spell you cast, and if you're wearing armor. Magic and arrows will auto aim, and the whole thing generally sucks to use; the computer does a better job of it than you do and you end up with a lower damage output in general. Turn based can be turned on at any time; it halts you in place and is closer to the MM3-6 model. A notable change is that enemies are not restricted to only 3 in front of you, so you can get ganged up on pretty hard (enemies can move but you can't). But this also tends to normalize cooldowns heavily, so your characters aren't out of the fight for ages if you cast an impressive spell. So you'll spend 90% of the game doing turn based mode with some strategic moves back to real time for positioning. Then end game hits and you will go 100% realtime because you get end game weapons that are "hold A to win". It's really quite impressive how good they are, and they remove a lot of what would otherwise be heavy tedium (which you just went through to get said weapons).

I mentioned, too, that the 3D movement has some problems. The big thing is with flying enemies. Looking up and down is very cumbersome and very necessary to hit some flying enemies. They like to hover out of reach of your good weapons, leaving you just your spells and crappy arrows. And there are some very powerful enemies that can fly. It feels like the developers really didn't understand what they were enabling when they enabled enemies to fly with no height cap (other than the skybox). There are entire outdoor areas I never bothered fighting in because it was mostly flying enemies, and that's even with me having the fly spell.

Still, the game mostly survived the transportation to a fully 3D world. I think the biggest problem is the combat system; enemy hoards are huge and your aoe attacks are woefully lacking (and the good ones will hurt you if you cast them in melee range). Many fights I had to pull some enemies, then hide behind a corner and hope their pathfinding would get them to follow rather than getting hung up on a corner (they like to go into a corner of a room rather than the doorway in the middle). It seems like they still have the same sensibilities they had in MM2 of "let's use a giant horde!" except it lacks the self limiting of MM2-6 (in 2 only the front 8 could act, in 3-6 only the front 3).
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Games Beaten: 2015 2016 2017 2018
Blizzard Entertainment Software Developer - All comments and views are my own and not representative of the company.
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Xeogred Sun Jan 21, 2018 6:23 pm

1. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
2. Darkwing Duck (NES)
3. Batman* (NES)
4. Journey to Silius (NES)
5. Aladdin* (SNES)
6. Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse* (SNES)
7. Run Saber (SNES)
8. Batman: Return of the Joker (NES)
9. Ninja Warriors (SNES)
10. Thunder Spirits* (SNES)
11. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch)
11. Thunder Force III* (Genesis)
12. Donkey Kong Country* (SNES)
13. Skyblazer (SNES)

* = replay

Sony Imagesoft presents on the Super Nintendo...

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Skyblazer! In ways that Ristar flexes what the Genesis could do, this game does the same on the SNES to the extent that this almost feels like it should have some experimental title produced and developed by Nintendo themselves. There is tons of mode 7 effects going on for various stages, bosses, etc and it was all really cool. As someone like all of us here well versed in so many games over the years, I was consistently impressed by how creative some of the stages and platforming gets at times too. For as many games as I've played, Skyblazer felt incredibly fresh and innovating. Usually for the best, with the exception of one stage that has these turrets of wind as your only source of "platforms" in the sky for the entire level and depending on the direction of the waves you will get thrown that way, so lots of falling to your death in this stage. There's a few auto scrolling stages and other situations where instant deaths will get you from being squashed, but the game is very generous with lives and it's easy to farm crystals in some rooms by just going in and out of them (think Kirby). The graphics are top notch and the OST really stands out as something seriously unique, lots of Middle Eastern overtones going on here and I can't think of many other soundtracks quite like this one. You get a little world map but it's really straightforward and linear from what I saw, clocked in about 1:40 so it's a nice sized game for what it is. Along the way you get some cool power ups and I really liked the combat, platforming, wall climbing, and utilizing some of the abilities to navigate some areas. It felt a lot like it could have been a Capcom game, but I perhaps thought of Quintet even more... because this game is just so weird in an awesome way and feels different. The only pitfall, like Ninja Warriors for me, was that final boss fight was a huge trail and error sink. Gotta be ready for some pixel perfect jumping and timing. Hope you stocked up on 20+ lives!

Overall highly recommended. My favorite track!!
14. Skyblazer - Lair of Kharyon

Let the screens tell the rest. I'm a sucker for some good temple heavy games and sprite work!

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Sarge
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Sarge Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:03 pm

1) Legendary Axe II (TG16) (6.0) (1/1) (2.5 hours)
2) The Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse (SNES) (7.5) (1/3) (1.5 hours)
3) Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose! (SNES) (6.5) (1/3) (2.5 hours)
4) The Adventures of Batman & Robin (SNES) (7.0) (1/4) (2.5 hours)
5) The Great Circus Mystery Starring Mickey & Minney (7.5) (1/6) (1.5 hours)
6) Phantom 2040 (SNES) (7.0) (1/9) (9 hours?)
7) Batman: Return of the Joker (NES) (8.0) (1/10) (0.5 hours)
8) Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (SNES) (8.0) (1/15) (0.5 hours)
9) F-Zero (SNES) (7.5) (1/16) (1 hour)
10) Star Fox (SNES) (7.0) (1/17) (1 hour)
11) Marvel Super Heroes in War of the Gems (SNES) (8.0) (1/17) (1 hour)
12) Saturday Night Slam Masters (SNES) (7.0) (1/20) (1 hour)

So I pushed through Saturday Night Slam Masters on SNES. Taking advantage of the wrestling craze, Capcom basically took Final Fight and Street Fighter II, threw it into a blender, and ended up with this. It's much more akin to Final Fight, though, in that there doesn't feel like there's much depth. The fighting mechanics feel solid, of course, but there's a decided dearth of special moves. You do get some extra grab moves, of course, but I never did quite get the hang of the timing on my own initiating of a grab and my opponent doing the same. Breaking out of a grab seems nearly impossible; I rarely managed to pull it off, and only towards the end of my run.

While it has been some time since I played the arcade version, the game still looks quite nice on SNES. Capcom was doing quite a good job converting many of their arcade hits to the system, and this one was no exception.

Structurally, you play through all the default complement of opponents, then after winning the belt, you go through the same opponents as part of a title defense. Once you do that, you win for good. I found that things got tougher the whole way, even at the default difficulty, and oft-times I had to rely on some rather cheap tactics to pull out the win. In particular, if you can get good spacing, the dashing attack works extremely well. I also discovered the jump from the corners of the ring later on, which proved useful in getting a knockdown so I could go for the pin.

Pins are a bit interesting. While you can certainly go for it sooner, often the CPU will kick out well in advance of the 3-count, even when they are exceptionally weak. The answer, of course, is to deplete their life entirely; a pin under this condition is a guaranteed win. Of course, the same is true for you; get caught in a pin and you're done for. Things can get frantic when you're trying to dodge a pin with little to no health.

Really, I can see this game being an absolute blast with friends. The simplicity really helps it to be a game nearly anyone can pick up and play. That same lack of depth hurts it though as a single-player experience. I'd say the game clocks in at a solid 7/10. Good times, but short legs.
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dsheinem
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by dsheinem Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:19 pm

Games Beaten 2018

Darkwing Duck - NES (PS4)
DuckTales - NES (PS4)
DuckTales 2 - NES (PS4)
Talespin - NES (PS4)
Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers - NES (PS4)
Chip n' Dale Rescue Rangers 2 - NES (PS4)
Scarecrow - PS1 (Vita) *new*
The Heart of Dark - PS1 (Vita) *new*
Scarecrow - PS1 (Vita) *new*
Caligo - PC *new*

Total: 10


A few more to throw on the pile. The first few are contest winning games from Dazeaman Plus, all of which I would recommend. Every time I dig into the bonuses/fan games in that series I am super-impressed.

The last game here is a beautiful and odd walking simulator (I posted some pics here). Worth checking out if you dig the genre (aside from the bad voice acting). I plan to check out a few others from this dev in the future...

Previously: 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010
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Xeogred
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Xeogred Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:19 pm

Can't stop the power of the SNES. And I'm having too much fun adding stuff to HLTB and taking screenshots with emulators.

1. Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse (Genesis)
2. Darkwing Duck (NES)
3. Batman* (NES)
4. Journey to Silius (NES)
5. Aladdin* (SNES)
6. Magical Quest Starring Mickey Mouse* (SNES)
7. Run Saber (SNES)
8. Batman: Return of the Joker (NES)
9. Ninja Warriors (SNES)
10. Thunder Spirits* (SNES)
11. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch)
11. Thunder Force III* (Genesis)
12. Donkey Kong Country* (SNES)
13. Skyblazer (SNES)
14. Super Turrican* (SNES)

* = replay

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Long time favorite here. One of the most nostalgic games of all time for me. Super Turrican is a game I played way back in the day when I was 5-6 or so and while I never ever forgot the look or sound of the game, I did forget the weird name. It wasn't until like 10 years later when we had a family computer and the internet was a thing when I was able to finally rediscover it. I wish I remembered how or what exactly I searched for, haha. I even remember asking my dad if he knew the name at some point but alas he did not. I just remember the cool cover art and like I said, the graphics and the music leave an infinitely long lasting impression on you.

Fast forward to now, Chris Huelsbeck is one of my favorite VGM composers of all time because of the Turrican games. Every Turrican game has an S-Rank OST and his orchestral albums for the series is incredible. I finally hit up Mega Turrican last year which was a highlight and from what I understand is closer to being the actual real Turrican III. Now that Super is fresh in my mind again I can compare them better. Super is definitely shorter in a weird way and the final boss isn't even the evil emperor overlord guy, it's just the alien queen. The credits even tease multiple times "Turrican will be back" and then "The End!?" haha. Not sure if they were on a tight budget or Super Turrican 2 had already started production or what. Super has some exclusive levels though, the snow stages and the auto-scrolling alien train one (hardest level in the game!) In the Amiga games and Mega Turrican, the levels are much longer in general. And you stay in the "worlds" longer, like there's way more factory levels stringed together whereas you move through the worlds pretty quickly in Super. Overall I think Super is a lot easier and I blasted through it faster than I expected. I don't know which one I like more, but Super is pure nostalgia city. I'm a fan of Super Turrican 2 as well but it definitely takes some different turns in design that long time fans of the series don't seem to like, but I still think it's an excellent run and gun platformer as well as a real technical achievement on the SNES.

The Turrican series are run and gun platformers with level design more akin to Sonic in ways, the levels are non-linear and can be like a maze. Lots of verticality to them. This is cool and sets it apart from the linear Contra styled titles. It still amazes me how Turrican straight up has the HR Giger Alien, Xenomorphs, and face huggers in there. I think they even pull some designs straight out of Contra too. They aren't shy about the influences. But it's the execution that matters and Super Turrican is extremely high quality. Some of the coolest sprite work ever, the factory stages in particular are oozing with atmosphere, the music is straight up some of the best you'll ever hear in the medium and like nothing else you'll hear on the SNES.

Very Highly recommended.

Favorite Track: Everything

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isiolia
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by isiolia Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:55 pm

1. Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers (PC)
2. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice (PC)
3. Thor: God of Thunder (DS)
4. Portal (Mac)

Mentioned in the thread about fixin' Macs, but, I ran through Portal in order to test the machine I'd been working on. I'd actually first played through it on integrated graphics. I got The Orange Box and a Macbook that didn't have a discrete card in it for Christmas, and didn't want to wait until I went home (well, that, and I was at my parent's house, so I was bored). Since I'd repaired a 2007 iMac, it was period-correct to test with. :lol:

Anyway, still great.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by prfsnl_gmr Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:45 pm

dsheinem wrote:A few more to throw on the pile. The first few are contest winning games from Dazeaman Plus, all of which I would recommend. Every time I dig into the bonuses/fan games in that series I am super-impressed.


Nice. I bought Dezaemon Plus just the other day. I haven’t played it yet, but I think I am going to try it out (literally) right now based on your recommendation. :lol:

EDIT: It’s awesome. Dezaemon Kids is now probably the next game I will download for my PS3.

Also, I assume you 1CC’ed these. How long is each one?
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Jagosaurus
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by Jagosaurus Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:03 am

You guys (and girls!) are ANIMALS! Blowing through some games already. I just read all 15 pages. Wow, some great suggestions and I love the variety between genres and system generations.

I've knocked out a couple so far and am working on a third. Will post proper short reviews/my thoughts in time vs just listing now.
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ElkinFencer10
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Re: Games Beaten 2018

by ElkinFencer10 Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:15 am

Games Beaten in 2018 So Far - 7
* denotes a replay

January (7 Games Beaten)
1. Phantasy Star Portable - PlayStation Portable - January 1
2. Middle-Earth: Shadow of War - Xbox One - January 9
3. Duck Tales - NES - January 10
4. Yakuza Kiwami - PlayStation 4 - January 14
5. Xuan-Yuan Sword: The Gate of Firmament - PlayStation 4 - January 20
6. Doki Doki Literature Club - Steam - January 20
7. Deep Space Waifu - Steam - January 21


7. Deep Space Waifu - Steam - January 21

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Deep Space Waifu is a simple game, and it's every bit as pointless and guilty pleasure as it sounds. I got it as a Christmas gift from marurun, proving beyond any doubt that he knows me very well. So this one's dedicated to you, maru. This game attempts to answer the question that I'm pretty sure no one ever asked - "What if Huniepop were a shmup and even more visually explicit?" If I never even asked that question, I'm fairly confident no one did, but this is the answer nonetheless, and what a uniquely crafted-specifically-for-me answer it is.

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The game is definitely NSFW, and it's about as NSFW as you can get on Steam, I reckon. The whole idea is that you're a bear riding a space motorcycle, and you go on dates with these random space chicks (and, in one case, an interdimension cat chick). It plays like a vertically scrolling spaceship shooter except that it's REALLY easy; the game is described by the creators as a casual shooter, so this a game you play to relax and be a perv weeb, not to find a challenge. You can also unlock a "One Hand Mode;" I'll leave that there without explanation and let you work out the obvious connotation.

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n addition to being extremely easy, the game is extremely short. I went from "Oh, haven't played this yet" to having all 69 achievements (I refuse to believe that number wasn't intentional) in just a little over two hours. If you have absolutely zero shame and are up for a little objectification of anime chicks, though, it's not a bad way to kill a couple hours. Sound design is nothing to write home about, and the visuals are about as "indie VN" quality as it gets, but again, this game isn't aiming to be a AAA experience; it's just here to kill time, relax, and be perverted. In those endeavors, it excels.

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Deep Space Waifu is as shallow as a game can be, and that's the point. Just sit back, relax, and objectify anime chicks. That's its whole thing. It's cheap - $2 even when not on sale if memory serves - and in my opinion, it's worth that. It's definitely going to offend the more socially conscious and SJWs out there, but given that it's all hand drawn anime chicks in space, it's detached from reality far enough that I think it's fair game. No one is ever going to say "Dude, Deep Space Waifu is an amazing game!" but it's definitely an entertaining game, and at this price point, that's really all it needs to be.
Exhuminator wrote:Ecchi lords must unite for great justice.

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