Saya No Uta ~ The Song of Saya Review

Listen up, here’s a story.  About a little guy that lives in a flesh world.  And all day and all night and everything he sees is just flesh like him— except they are pulsating and screeching inside out abominations and he wants nothing more than to destroy the horrific and disgusting creatures all around him.  And also have sex with his loli waifu.
Disclaimer: The following review contains screenshots depicting blood, viscera, and sexualized children. Reader discretion is advised.  This post is Not Safe For Work.
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Doki Doki Literature Club Review

Doki Doki Literature Club is one of the many titles I inadvertently stumbled across while perusing the cluttered Steam marketplace in search for interesting sounding titles that I might not have heard about otherwise.  At first, the game seemed to be a rather typical dating sim, but one with the very curious disclaimer that the game is not suitable for children or the easily disturbed.  Combine this with a strong recommendation for the game from my significant other and my realization that the game was actually free, I decided to give Doki Doki a shot.  In doing so I found one of the most interesting games I have played all year. Continue reading

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure Review

Falcom is a very odd developer.  A long standing Japanese developer with a history based in creating games for older Japanese computers and creating a wide variety of innovations in the RPG genre while primarily being known for Trails, a series of incredibly detailed JRPGs with a strong fanbase, and the Ys series, a collection of action RPG titles that shifted and mutated its exact genre over the years, and is home to some of my favorite examples of the genre of all time.  Yet they can also be very experimental, as seen previously in games like Xanadu Next, which I reviewed a few months ago, and even more so in one of the more unique titles in their release history, Gurumin. Continue reading

Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony Review

Following the Danganronpa series over the past few years has been a turbulent ride, spanning over two excellent visual novels, a decent third person shooter that I should really revisit, an anime series that I railed on for 7 pages and still feel as if I was being a bit too generous towards, and various fan translated spin-off media that I never really checked out.  However, all of that seemingly comes to a close with Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony. Continue reading

Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos Review

Sometimes I really should do more research into the games I review before selecting them, because oh boy is this one a doozy.  Originally released in 2013, Dysfunctional Systems: Learning to Manage Chaos is the first episode as part of a visual novel series envisioned by its developers, Dischan.  Following the success of the first installment, the company held a  Kickstarter for three additional episodes of Dysfunctional Systems, including a prequel episode, a far longer second episode, and a climactic third episode to wrap everything up.  Unfortunately, things went wrong, and the series went dark in 2015, and it was not until 2017 that episode 0, Dysfunctional Systems: Orientation was released, with development on the second episode restarting afterwards.  That should have dissuaded me from reviewing this game, but it didn’t! Continue reading

2064: Read Only Memories Review

I’ve noticed that as of late more and more titles are coming out with original base versions of a game before being updated, either continuously or all at once, to become more substantial and improved experiences.  I know why this is the case, but it always makes me reluctant to check out a game unless I know it is fully complete and will not be given substantial updates after the fact, as I want to have my first experience with something be in its best rendition.  I bring this up because that is exactly what happened with me and the original release of Read Only memories, and then I forgot it was updated until about two weeks ago.  Whoops. Continue reading

Metroid: Samus Returns Review

It’s kind of surreal to be playing a new 2D Metroid game like this.  I mean, it’s been 13 years since Zero Mission last scratched that itch, and it’s been a decade since the series had a genuinely good game.  Still, after so much clamoring and waiting, a new classic-style entry in the series was finally released.  A remake technically, but one so thoroughly rebuilt and reworked that it may as well be an entirely new title.  And as a new title, it is good, but not without its faults. Continue reading

Darksiders Warmastered Edition Review

“Natalie, why do you do this to yourself?”  Do what to myself, voice in my head?  “Why are you going back to a game that you remember disliking when you played it 5 years ago?”  Because I always felt that I should actually like this game, and wanted to give it another shake.  “Even after re-reading your original review?”  Well, I tried to.  My writing was just awful back then.  “You know, you sometimes have a really bad tendency for self-destructive behavior.”  I know voice in my head, I know. Continue reading

Panzermadels: Tank Dating Simulator Review

By now, it should be pretty evident that I really enjoy visual novels, and I think I can boil down the reason why to a single point.  Visual novels allow for a level of versatility in storytelling greater than any genre of game and have the ability to explore more bizarre or outlandish premises.  Partially due to how they do not need to be built around any specific gameplay style, but also because they are an accessible medium for developers without much programming skills.  A point that Panzermadels encapsulates quite well.   Continue reading

Rayman Legends Review

Several months ago, I reviewed Rayman Origins, a colorful, creative, and tightly designed platformer that I came away from about as positively as I could.  As such, it seemed inevitable that I would get to its sequel, Rayman Legends, and seeing as how the game has a Switch port due out in about a week, I figured that now would be as good a time as any. Continue reading

Disgaea PC Review

The Disgaea series is one that I have already held at least a passing interest in, as it’s art style, humorous sensibilities, grind and growth centered gameplay, and generally playful tone all struck me as things I would love if I gave it a try. With the release of a PC port of the very first game, it seemed like there was no better time to get into the series and, um, I don’t really like it.   Continue reading

Lily’s Day Off Review

Anybody who looks at the games I review can parse that I tend to gravitate towards shorter games as, quite simply, it is far easier to get through one game a week if it is 10 hours long or less, and I try to parse out games that take 20+ hours with games that take only a fraction as much time.  So without further ado, Lily’s Day Off, one of the briefest games I’ve covered on this site, and actually a pretty nifty visual novel. Continue reading

Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode I Review

After going through the classic Genesis-era Sonic games last year with reviews of Sonic The Hedgehog 1, 2, CD, and 3, I thought I was done revisiting the classic titles.  I am, but there was one mainline Sonic game that tried to recapture the feeling of these games, one that the upcoming Sonic Mania will basically overwrite.  That is Sonic The Hedgehog 4, an episodic game series that must have done so poorly for Sega that they actually never finished it, instead stopping after two episodes.  Seeing as how both games are surprisingly different for episodic titles, I will be reviewing the games separately, starting with Episode I naturally.   Continue reading

Gemini: Heroes Reborn Review

Back in 2013, a little known Chicago based game developer by the name of Phosphor Games announced Project Awakened, an incredibly ambitious superhero game that promised to offer an, in retrospect, downright absurd level of customization and variability compared to other games on the market, all powered by the then new Unreal Engine 4.  It stuck with me for quite a while, even after the independently developed game failed to accrue the needed funds via Kickstarter, and the project was supposedly cancelled.  But the developers apparently were able to salvage enough of their work and concepts to create a brief game that also served as a tie-in to some TV show I have never heard of… Which I guess is still something. Continue reading

Remember, Remember Review

While I am the sort of person who does not shy away from reviewing obscure titles, I think I hit a new extreme here, as Remember, Remember, a visual novel that was released on Steam and Itch.io back in May of this year, has not been given a formal review of any kind beyond Steam reviews.  I genuinely do not think this has ever happened to me before, but after playing through the game, I cannot say I am surprised by the lack of attention it has garnered. Continue reading

Xanadu Next Review

The original Xanadu was released for Japanese home computers back in 1985 as the second entry in the Dragon Slayer series.  An incredibly long running franchise that was known for changing up its core concept and general gameplay almost completely with each installment, and went on to inspire a multitude of subseries, most notable the Legend of Heroes or Trails series.  Xanadu itself was more of an offshoot title, one that was expanded with an additional scenario and even a Hudson developed spin-off for the NES by the name of Faxanadu.   Continue reading

God Eater 2: Rage Burst Review

It’s been nearly a year since I reviewed God Eater Resurrection, an action oriented hunting game that was very promising, but struggled when faced with irksome minutia and over complicated mechanics.  It was the kind of game that could very much benefit from a fully fledged sequel that reworks things and tries to maximize the core appeal, but that is not the case with God Eater 2: Rage Burst.  Despite being a sequel that came out a few months after GER in the west, GE2 was actually released several months before GER in Japan.  This means that many of the mechanics of GE2 appeared in GER, and the notable improvements are slim as such. Continue reading

Memory’s Dogma CODE:01 Review

I have brought this up before, but now would be a good time to restate my mission statement when it comes to reviewing games.  Whenever I play a game, it is because something about it is interesting, appealing, or promising to me, and after going through it to completion, I enjoy the act of analyzing the components of each game.  The process of assessing its strengths and weaknesses from my own subjective perspective.  I do this in order to practice my critical thinking skills, increase my game literacy, and justify how I spend approximately 1,000 hours a year playing games.  It is an enjoyable experience for me, at least assuming the game is at least average in its quality, and Memory’s Dogma is not even close. Continue reading

Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls Review

Part of me is absolutely amazed by how the Neptunia series continues onward despite the games being only average to pretty good and the target audience for these titles being a niche among niches.  In spite of this, the series proved popular enough to justify a crossover with an anime and manga series centered around the personifications of Sega consoles, or Console-tans as they are colloquially known, called Sega Hard Girls or Hi-sCoool! SeHa Girls.  In theory, the crossover sounds incredibly sensible, but as I should not be surprised by at this point, it is kind of a mess. Continue reading

Freedom Planet Review

Well, this has been sitting on my to-do list for quite a while.  After going through the Genesis-era mainline Sonic games back in 2016, I wanted to go through Freedom Planet as it was originally envisioned as a Sonic fan game, and takes many clear inspirations from the series.  Yet due to my previous experience with the game, there was one minor mechanical decision that simply prevented me from giving the game my full attention.  One that I will get to in a little bit. Continue reading