Paradise Killer (2020, Modern Platforms)
By all-rights I should hate Paradise Killer. A vaporwave inspired jump-around with a city-pop inspired soundtrack and a cast of Original Characters you all want to fuck.
But I loved it. Finally a detective game about doing some detective work. You can end the game at any time. It’s up to you to find the killer. Despite what other reviews have said there is definitely an actual murderer as well.
And it gets a patheon of gods and mythology right: infinitely powerful and infinitely petty. Everyone is breaking the rules and plotting against each other while also just shoving mankind into the furnace.
It’s Fun too. You jump around the world listening to chill tunes. It looks cool. You look carefully at what everyone said. The evidence is laid out as clearly as it could be for a tired Dad.
5/5 Drink Recipes That May Or May Not Exist
Xenogears (1998, Playstation)
Inspired by years of hearing “The Greatest RPG” and “Disc 2 LOL” and Citan Uzuki’s “twitter” account I played Xenogears. It is impressive.
The mixed media of the first 5 hours is impressive. As it keeps cutting between Anime and CG and in game, and abstract stage to guys you haven’t met having a mysterious conversation about something. The first town is fully realized and you are only in it for 5 minutes before it is burned to the ground. The next few towns are just as realized. There’s a fully functional (terrible) 3D fighting game just in there.
Then you begin to realize they made this stupid game sequentially. The story picks up and drops beats as the writers bothered to remember them. Characters motivations change wildly. They almost seems to forget when characters die. The story gets worse. The translation gets worse. Eventually there is 90 minutes of stuff that ends Disc 1.
The dungeons suck though. They are boring gray corridors with lots of doors and accompanying loading and the side paths are just there to waste your time. The random battles just chip at your patience to “continue playing.”
I liked Disc 2! It only had three boring dungeons. Everyone complained about character in the room explaining stuff that happens but what it does is shows the character’s interpretation of events. Their thoughts and emotions written like a diary or reflection. It is real neat. And I didn’t have to play it. With Disc 2 they found a better structure for the game.
If I tried to explain a single plot point of Xenogears I’d be here forever. You can already read like 10,000 words about it here. Xenogears didn’t change my life, but it deep give me much deeper perspective on game design and how to tell a story and how it poisoned a generation of Western Nerds.
3/5 “Limiters” put on by -The Author-.