Monday, December 9, 2019

Video Games and Youth

Can I confess to something that will probably lose me a few Cool Gamer Points? I've never finished the original Mario Bros.

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

River City Girls Is A Smashing Good Time | Review

A few years ago, I was adamant that Scott Pilgrim vs The World: The Game was the best beat'em up in the genre. The story was fun and silly, the music was great, and above all us else, it was fun to punch people in the face. I feel much the same way about River City Girls- and honestly? I think RCG has the slight edge.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Mass Effect: Andromeda Was The Game I Needed, When I Needed It

(Content Warning: Depression, Suicide)

This is not an article about the feel-good Gorillaz song, Andromeda.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Hi-Rez Reverting Freya Is A Good Thing

Balance is one of the hardest things to get right in a competitive game. No one wants to play the character with a two percent win rate, and no one wants to get stomped by the same character over and over again. That's why the balance portion of any game's patch notes are the most analyzed and debated with each update; everyone wants to see if their favorite is getting buffed or nerfed. No one knows this feeling more than Freya mains in Smite.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Gears 5 | Review

I'll always have fond memories of the Gears of War series.

I have more combined hours in Gears 2, 3 and 4 than in any other franchise. It's probably one of my favorite competitive multiplayer franchises. With that in mind, I should love this game. And I think I do? The story is satisfying, and reveals lore that has been hinted at since the first game. The fast-paced multiplayer is also the best its ever been. Again, I should love this game. And I think part of the game wants to love me, when it isn't begging me to reach into my wallet.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Nintendo Switch Is An Indie Gamer's Darling

When I look at my library of Nintendo Switch games, something strange catches my eye: The Switch is the only console I own where I own more indie games than triple-A ones.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Sayonara Wild Hearts | Review

Sayonara Wild Hearts is an electric dream, a music video of vibrant colors and fluid movement. It is, in a word, an experience.

It is also a story about heartbreak and unashamed queer love.  About flying, driving, and surfing across a living rainbow of bisexual energy. Music thrives around your movements and button presses in sync with the electric pop beats. It is sometimes a rhythm game, sometimes a music video, but every time and all the time, it is fun.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Realm Royale Finally Won Me Over

A while ago, I swore off taking Battle Royale games very seriously. I'd been through enough Battle Passes and repetitive challenges to last a lifetime. And yet, if you would have told me that I would be playing and streaming Realm Royale, seven tiers away from finishing the Battle Pass and slowly but surely making my way towards Platinum tier, I would have called you a liar.

But, here we are.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Pretty Much Nothing Works In Gears 5 Right Now

Pop Quiz: What is the worst thing that can happen during the launch of your progression-based online video game?

I would argue 'none of the game modes giving experience points'.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Monday, August 12, 2019

The Optimal 'Dad Build' For Final Fantasy XIV

First, the elephant in the room.

I hate the term Dad Build, especially as an insult. First because it assumes that the only people who don't have time to spend hundreds of hours playing are dads, and because it's basically another term that promotes division between people who are 'hardcore' and 'casual' gamers. It should be something more honest, like 'Direct Builds' because they get you directly to a comfortable place to experience what a game has to offer. But if Dad Build is what we're sticking with, I'll work with it.

Bloodborne | Review

I've always had a really weird nitpick with the Souls series.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night | Review

I was a bit too young for Castlevania games when Symphony of the Night first came out.

We were a Nintendo family, and didn't really move to Sony until the PlayStation 2. Because of that, I try to catch up on many of the games I missed during my childhood; games like Metal Gear Solid, Ape Escape, and other gems. Symphony of the Night came onto my list very recently when I became enamored with Castlevania as a whole. And while I can get the experience, I'm excluded from the feeling gamers got in 1997 when Symphony of the Night birthed Metroidvania.

But as I played through Bloodstained- as I solved the puzzles, fought the secret bosses, and got the best ending- it made me feel something. I didn't get that feeling people got when they played SOTN for the first time, but what I felt playing Bloodstained must be the same thing.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers | Review

(The following review will not contain spoilers for the game being discussed. If you feel any information or images divulge information best left hidden, feel free to tell me on twitter @ Lyneriaa.)

I earned my first achievement, according to my trophy list, for Final Fantasy XIV on March 16, 2015. I had been recommended the game by some friends, with the odd promise that it was like no MMO I had played before. I had dabbled in WoW for a time and came away disappointed, and I initially didn't have my hopes for FFXIV either, particularly after the roughest of launches. How wrong I was.

That was four years ago, and to this day I have more time in FFXIV than almost any other multiplayer game. However, my initial expectations for the latest expansion were mixed. Coming off Stormblood, a subpar expansion with the cardinal sin of an uninteresting story(particularly when the story is widely considered FFXIV's best feature),  I was willing to hold off on my opinion until I had seen more.

With each trailer, my curiosity peaked. From the initial reveal trailer that showed the first new job(FFXIV's classes), the Gunbreaker, to the job actions trailer that blew my mind, I was getting more and more excited about what this expansion would- or could- bring to the table. Thanks to the early access that ends the night this review goes live, I've gotten to take in Shadowbringers in full.

Suffice to say, this is the expansion I had been dreaming of.

Friday, June 14, 2019

EA's E3 Conference: Everything That Mattered

It's the most wonderful time of the year, as notable esports player Andy Williams once called it.

Every June, fans of every genre, every platform, unite to celebrate another year of games we statistically don't have enough time to play any more. And we lose our minds with excitement, every time.

E3 2019 has had a bit of an unfortunate start, as a nonstop barrage of leaks that have been spoiled before the show's run(which won't be posted here as this blog does not report on leaks), but that's not going to stop anyone- especially me- from tuning in to every major conference. The Big Five(six if you count Devolver Digital quietly knocking it out of the park every year) for this year will be EA, Xbox, Bethesda, Ubisoft, and Nintendo in its own personal conference after the others have long ended, with Sony quietly sitting on the sidelines and plugging their ears whenever someone uses the word 'cross-play'.  I'll be giving my thoughts in order of broadcast, so let's start with the first(and honestly, my least favorite) conference: Electronic Arts.

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Celeste, and How it Helped Affirm My Trans Identity

This post contains endgame spoilers for the game Celeste. I encourage everyone to experience it on their platform of choice.


Climbing the mountain was an experience.

At first, I thought that meant the physical mountain; the tall, sweeping challenge that brought the game's heroine, A Canadian woman named Madeline, to its base in order to reach the top. I did indeed climb the mountain(with only a couple thousand deaths to my name), but by the time I was done, I was a different person than when I started.

Saturday, June 1, 2019

City of Brass, and Why Simplicity Matters

I was actually loading up the Epic launcher to play Dauntless again when I happened upon an ad for City of Brass. Like most people, nothing is more attractive to me than the word 'free', so I downloaded it to see what it entailed.  That was three days ago, and after a few hours of play, I firmly feel we need more games like it.