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Pain Indie Ass - Super Meat Boy -POST 666 MOTHERFUCKERS!- -FIRST EcchiDreams REVIEW- So far I have manged to finish (though not yet complete) only the Forest Chapter, which is only the first of seven, so this is by no means a complete review. For the most part, I will be looking at the gameplay, art, level design, replayability, and anything else that may come to mind as I'm writing this review. Super Meat Boy is an infuriatingly difficult/die-a-lot indie platformer developed by Team Meat. This game is definitely a challenge, though a great time waster. At least, it challenged me. I've seen someone speed run the entire main game in under two hours (for those interested, I may link the aforementioned speed run). I've been playing it for five times that and am not even close to finishing. In fact, some perspective. In two hours, I had only managed to beat nineteen out of twenty levels in the first chapter, though ten of those were A+, and I unlocked two of the extra characters. I've had this game since Christmas Day 2014, when I got it on Winter Sale for a mere fifty-four pence. Well, when I say I got it, I mean it was bought for me by a sibling, but nevertheless I have owned it since then. In my ten hours of gameplay, it has inspired more than a few rage quits, but mostly it's just made me want to try harder, over and over. In my view, it definitely suffers from Minecrafts "one more block" addiction, despite the rage it often induces. Art Style Where to begin? SMB has quite basic graphics, in an almost minimalist style. It reminds me a little of screen printing, perhaps a slightly pop art vibe, where everything is rendered in as few colours as possible while still maintaining detail. It takes only a glance to say "that is a tree", "that is a rock", "that is a rabbit". Due to a lesser focus on "make the game look as realistic as possible", a nice balance was struck between pretty graphics and not distracting from the game play, where sometimes in a game like Skyrim or Fallout you may get sidetracked by sightseeing. Level Design Levels vary in size, as with most games. Some fit on a single screen while others are either taller, wider, or both. The advantage to smaller levels is a clear objective, as well as less in the way to kill you. Usually. Even in some of the small levels I died. A lot. Nevertheless, the level design is fairly linear A-B, or A-B(for key/button)-C. Some do involve backtracking, though, in an A-B-A, or even more than that sometimes. The only time you really have to go out of your way is to get bandages (used to unlock characters) and portals(often the same), but even then sometimes you can get bandages in a straight run. There are few enemies, as such, with most hazards being environmental or objects, but there are some that follow your character, and pretty much everything can kill you. I had found a bug, though I do not know if it is still present, in which you can sometimes clip through certain walls if you're running. I don't know if this is level design, a bug elsewhere, or even something deliberately put in to fuck with players. From how difficult the game is in general, I wouldn't put that one past the devs. Gameplay I'll get this out of the way: You can play with a keyboard or a gamepad, at least last time I played it. I got used to playing it with the keyboard, which is usually my preference anyway, though I did try it with the gamepad a few times. Whatever you use is up to you. Gameplay is fairly basic, in a fun-but-infuriating kind of way. Run, jump, and (try not to) die your way to Bandage Girl, the damsel-in-distress du jour. There are plenty of things trying to stop you, just for the fun of it. You have to compete with circular saws, crumbling blocks, projectile saw blades, salt, the edges of the screen, and the list goes on. If you're lucky enough to finish the level with an A+ grade (by beating the level in under a certain time), you unlock the Dark World counterpart to that level. While I won't go into it too much, these are basically more difficult versions of the original level, in one way or another. Replay Value I don't know that I'd really say this game is replayable. Certainly it encourages you to A+ the levels and collect the bandages (at least if you're a completionist), which may require more than one playthrough of the levels. Some of them, for example, you cannot A+ and collect the bandage in the same run. Others, it's just hard to A+ on your first try. You'll get plenty of gameplay out of it, but more than replay it's a game that may make you rage but still somehow draw you back. I would probably play it more than once, and anyone looking at speed running it would have to to get used to the game, work out optimal routes, and so on. You May Like This Game If: You enjoy platformers. You enjoy difficult games. You like watching player characters die excessively. You want to watch someone else suffer, for personal amusement. Conclusion I like everything about this game. It's infuriating and makes me hate it, but the same infuriation is what drags you back and drives you to work harder. I would definitely recommend this game. To pretty much anyone. Especially for "Why would you recommend this game to me you asshole?" comments. (Review edited to follow ToS. Whoops...) Other reviews PIA1 - PIA2 - PIA3
Pain Indie Ass - Baba Is You - Baba Black Sheep... - -Third Pain Indie Ass review (two and a half years later...)- I have thus far come nowhere close to completing this game, but it's been forever and a day since I've written a review, and this is one of the most recent games I've played. For those of you who are new to my reviews, I will be looking at the gameplay, art, level design, replayability, and anything else I can be bothered to add. Baba is You is an enjoyable game and a fucking struggle rolled into one delightful, minimalist puzzle game. The core of the game is to somehow make your way to the goal by moving your 'character', and manipulating both environment and/or 'absolute statements' within each level, the latter of which changes the rules of the level. An example of this may be a case where connected (movable) blocks state that "WALL" "IS" "STOP", and by moving any one of these blocks out of the sequence, you may suddenly find yourself able to traverse through previously impenetrable walls. Some of the puzzles can take some thinking, though, such as how to move which blocks where, and in what order, to progress. I bought Baba Is You during the Winter Sale, just before Christmas, though I don't recall exactly when I first played it. I have played for over two hours, and thus far have a single Achievement out of eighteen available... I get the feeling this may be a while. Art Style Now, this one is a tough one; Baba Is You has very basic graphics. I'm by no means calling them bad, but there isn't much out currently to easily compare it to. If I had to, I would say it's vaguely reminiscent of the ZX Spectrum (is it still showing my age if the console is older than I am?). Either way, it has a way of sparking a sense of old game graphics, even if you may not be familiar with older game consoles. Level Design What can I say about this? The levels are all similar in size, but definitely different in terms of complexity. There may be one where it's a straight shot to the goal, or one where you have to push a single rock out of the way... Then there's one where you have to alter the rules to make something that could kill you movable, move it, then get to the goal... Then there are the frustrating bastard levels, where you have to alter the rules in a very specific way, to be able to get through something that could kill you without rendering yourself 'null' by altering the rule that says Baba Is You... As I said before, sometimes some levels can require some deep thought, if it's your first time seeing them (I went in blind specifically so I could enjoy the puzzle), and this lead me to getting stuck for a little while quite a few times. Gameplay I believe this game is playable with a controller, though I haven't tried, and have no real intention of doing so. I find that the keyboard works perfectly for me, and am happy to stick with that method of doing things. Although in this case, things literally consists of moving around the map, and attempting to get to the goal through any means available. There's very little I can really add to this section that I've not already covered, to be honest: It's very simple in terms of what you have to do in game, but can be very complicated in terms of what you have to do per level... Replay Value Replay... Is it worth replaying? That depends. The game is wonderful in its own way, and a fucking bane at the same time. It's not one you can really play idly; sometimes you have to think really hard, and others it might help to just step back a little. It's definitely worth playing, I would say, and there's a lot of potential to do better... If you can memorise, or take notes, I can't see the barrier for entry to speed running being very high. Even if you just want to improve your times for personal achievement, there's plenty of room for that too. Overall, I'd say it has some replay value, but that depends on how you want to play it, and how frustrated you get/if you get frustrated easily. Of course, I can't say for certain because, as I said before, I'm far from even completing it, so far. Maybe I'll edit this if I do complete it, to explicitly state whether I'd ever pick it up again or not? You May Like This Game If: You enjoy puzzles, especially if you enjoy a variety of difficulties within the same game. You can tolerate frustration if it takes a while to come to a solution for puzzles. You like 'format screws', or being able to change rules on the fly. You want something to force you to think. Conclusion Baba Is You is fun but frustrating, and I'd recommend anyone who does play it to be aware that they probably will get annoyed from time to time dealing with it. With that said, however, I still have to admit that I would still recommend it if you enjoy pure puzzle/logic games. It will make you think (or cheat by looking up a walkthrough), but it's not a bad game at all. I'd suggest anyone to at least check out a trailer or something on Steam or YouTube, and see what you think of it from an outside perspective before actually getting it; maybe it's for you, maybe it isn't, but I can say that, at the very least, I personally enjoy this game so far. Other Reviews PIA1 - PIA2 - PIA 3
Pain Indie Ass - Freedom Planet - I want to break free~! - -Second Pain Indie Ass review (two years later...)- I'm reviewing this game as someone who has both played the entire thing, and earned every... single... Achievement. As before, I will be looking at the gameplay, art, level design, replayability, and anything else that may come to mind as I'm writing this review. Freedom Planet is a nice little Sonic-esque indie platformer developed by GalaxyTrail. There's a good reason for it seeming like Sonic The Hedgehog: it originally started life as a fan game before becoming a standalone thing in its own right. This game can definitely be a challenge in places, especially some of the Achievements you can get, but for the most part it's a very simple "get to the right of each section as fast as you can" game. The (video proof) world record speedruns for each character are: Lilac - 32 minutes 47 seconds, Carol - 32 minutes 26 seconds, Milla - 30 minutes 38 seconds. I'd been playing it for thirty-nine hours before unlocking every last Achievement. I don't know how long I've owned this game, or what I paid for it. I'm pretty sure I got it in some bundle or another, or at least a sale, so I know I got it for less than the full price. It's definitely worth at least what I paid for it, though. Edit: I do not know exactly when I purchased this game or what for, but it was redeemed on Steam, via a code from a third party sale site, on the 24th of March, 2015. Art Style Honestly, it looks like some of the older Sonic games, having similar graphics, though possibly a slightly higher quality. It has been far too long since I've played Sonic, but I feel like the comparison is a reasonable one. I actually like that it looks and feels a little retro, it makes me feel kinda nostalgic, I suppose? Overall, if you like the art style of 16-bit games, you'd probably enjoy looking at this. I think it definitely suits that style better. If it looked like some of the modern Sonic games, I don't think it would look as good; the 2D style just... fits. Level Design Much like SMB, levels vary in size. All have several separate sections, but some feel longer either because they are, or because you get caught up in a swarm of enemies that slows you down immensely. Especially in later levels, you can get some troublesome to deal with enemies, but overall it's nothing overly taxing. The level design is is a pretty straightforward "make it to the next section"/"run to the right", for the most part. There is a little backtracking in a few levels, and if you want certain Achievements, or sometimes a decent 'power-up' in a level, you have to go off the beaten path a bit. Mostly, though, it's just like any standard platformer game. As previously stated, there are enemies in this game, and environmental hazards. Unlike in SMB, there is very little that can one-shot you, thanks to having a health bar. There are only two things that can kill you outright, and both are stage hazards, not enemies. There are 'glitches'(?) that speedrunners can take advantage of to get through the game far quicker than I feel I ever could, but I've only ever used two. One completely by accident that resulted in a softlock of the game (no crash, but unable to continue), and one deliberately to take out a certain boss far quicker than I could have doing it legitimately. Then again, if it's left in the game, why shouldn't I use little tricks to make it easier/quicker? Gameplay As with most games I've played, this one can be played with either a keyboard or a controller. I personally used an Xbox 360 controller to get myself through this game, since at the time I played it, I was used to using it for a certain fighting game that I may review at a later date. I have not tried using the keyboard that much, though I suppose I should make an attempt, in the interests of seeing how it compares... Gameplay is straight up simple; you only have to use the arrows/WASD and three other keys, or the analogue stick(/maybe D-pad works? I don't use it.) and three other buttons, which I believe you can customise. Avoid or defeat enemies as you run right, trying to make your way past each section of a stage until you get to the boss, then kick its ass. Boom, done. Oh, most stages have mini-bosses too. You have to kick their asses too if you want to get past them, with like... one exception. There are no special bonuses for completing a level in under a certain amount of time, but there is a way to get extra lives, or bonus 'power ups' at the end of most stages, if you get a certain collectable in that stage. There are, however, Achievements for completing each level in under a set time. Yes, I have them all. Yes, some of them were a total Pain Indie Ass to get. xD Replay Value Calling this replayable is dubious. You have three characters available that all handle very differently, along with a few character-specific Achievements, which means if you're going for completion, you definitely have to play the whole thing at least three times, once for each character. There are also (on Steam at least) leaderboards for level time, and crystals collected, so I suppose it could be worth replaying for the sake of improving your time. And certainly you may have to replay it to get all the Achievements, if you take too long on a level, or miss a collectible card, or screw up an Achievement. But I think it's more than reasonable to believe you could get every Achievement in the three playthroughs. It's not an overly long game, but it is fun. I managed to get thirty-nine hours out of it just going for every Achievement. It does also give you an option to wipe your data (which I haven't tried yet), which means you can try and get all the Achievements again. I assume it only deletes the in game data, not the Achievements on Steam, or Trophies on PS4. You May Like This Game If: You enjoy platformers. You enjoy nostalgia/retro throwbacks/16-bit games/2D Sonic. You like playing around with a variety of characters with different handling. You want a nice, easy game to relax a bit with. Conclusion This game was enjoyable, and I would definitely suggest that anyone who can play it does. Even if you just try out the demo version or something, if it's still available anywhere. Also, just to let everyone know, there is a sequel currently in development, which should be released some time in late 2017/early 2018; I'm cautiously optimistic, because I liked the first game. It's a great game with a few challenging Achievements, but it's just a little short. I'm only reviewing games I actually like, huh? xD (Review edited to follow ToS. Whoops...) Other Reviews PIA1 - PIA2 - PIA3