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Some entries might include games that are NSFW/18+ (no pictures or graphic descriptions). Proceed at your own risk!

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Umineko no Naku Koro ni

by 07th Expansion released in 2006 played on PC

☆20221128 dunno if it's the hype or maybe it's my fault for getting in with high expectations after higurashi but... i felt pretty indifferent towards this. some good moments with maria but the debate/rebuking game pretty much pissed me off. it was all so... i don't know. i'll probably play chiru after finishing the atari collection but i'm not super looking forward to it... i definitely appreciate higurashi's simpler narrative. it's not that it's hard to follow or it's confusing or whatever, but i don't like the plot twist after plot twist shit, because i end up not believing anything so why should i care? i kinda felt the same way with the house in fata morgana, but this one is even worse with the twists ;_;


King of Dragon Pass

by A Sharp released in 1999 played on PC

☆20221110 played the 1999 version but there's also a smartphone port i'll probably try out sometime. it's so so good please play it. i beg you. it's another one of those that tickles my princess maker brain! it is SO hard though, but thankfully you can recover from difficult situations most of the time (recovering from bad crops can be a bit of a pain tho). i loved having to learn about the myths to be able to properly reenact the legends and stuff... also the art is pretty! please check it out if you're into management/interface-based games!


Human Resource Machine

by Tomorrow Corporation released in 2015 played on PC

☆20221105 game that attempts to teach you assembly programming even if you've never programmed anything, but fails when it starts to include certain programming concepts in its puzzles without really trying to properly introduce them to someone who's not already familiar with em (the last puzzle comes to mind). challenges were fun. i personally don't like that they make you google shit instead of explaining it themselves, but i guess that's also an useful skill to learn as a programmer...


DEFCON: Global Thermonuclear War

by Introversion Software released in 2006 played on PC

☆20221103 made me anxious as hell and it's not even an horror game. it's good but i suck at it!


Michigan: Report From Hell

by Grasshopper Manufacture released in 2004 played on PlayStation 2

☆20221101 this game is... not good at all!! also super horny but in a bad way. the way it chooses to do something with how you express your (im)morality is interesting, but ultimately does nothing with it! the whole game feels so pointless really... also hated how they would just give you a new reporter after killing off the previous one, with zero repercussions or justification. the way you control the game is pretty cool, being some sort of point n click where you don't really control your own character, but a different one, but it could've had more cool moments (the boss fights were kind of a joke!), too many boring areas with no other reason for being there than to make the game longer.


Kuri Kuri Mix

by FromSoftware released in 2000 played on PlayStation 2

☆20221030 it's so good! the difficulty ramps up pretty nicely and the game's just a blast to play with someone. surprised there aren't many games like this one out there!


The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

by Bethesda Game Studios released in 2006 played on PC

☆20221025 damn my boy bethesda can write! they simply refuse to. seriously quest design is mostly good here, the dark brotherhood questline esp was really damn good for bethesda standards. shame about everything else tho. the level scaling is so damn stupid like what were they thinking!! literally ruined the whole game for me. and also the leveling itself was so bad, had to resort to slide down the difficulty a few points because it was unplayable otherwise. i liked how advanced the ai seemed and how fun it was to exploit. the atmosphere was also fine, very camp! but i would've liked seeing a jungly, ancient rome- style cyrodiil... i haven't played the exps yet because the game exhausted me but i'm excited to visit the shivering isles!


Touhou Rei'iden: The Highly Responsive to Prayers

by ZUN Soft released in 1996 played on PC-98 (emulated)

☆20221015 this is where touhou peaked. just kidding but anime girl arkanoid danmaku is such a neat concept!! it becomes way too repetive too soon and some bosses are a bit too hard but it's overall a decent experience.


Franken

by splendidland released in 2022 played on PC

☆20221014 can't believe they're still making these in [current year]. art is good tho.


The Saboten Man

by Mizuki released in 1995 played on PC

☆20221014 it's enjoyable but i need more context. i've been playing lotsa better software toys lately so i wasn't really surprised though. don't let the lsd:de crowd find this one!


Super Galdelic Hour

by Enix released in 2001 played on PlayStation 2 (emulated)

☆20221013 i hate that i like this as much as i do because i'm so predictable... but i really love everything about the concept, the sonehati polygons' models, the shibuya-kei ost... it's truly great. gameplay-wise it's probably a lot more enjoyable with friends though. i feel like the sponsors' system could've had a little more to it (they're just score multipliers) but their use as ads in the loading screens was so charming i really can't say anything bad about it, it's a really small detail but i found it to be so cool...!


Kyuiin

by Media Entertainment + ABS Systems released in 1996 played on PlayStation (emulated)

☆20221012 my jaw dropped when i saw the media entertainment logo in the intro screens... kyuiin is surprisingly not as kuso as some of their other stuff! as a cute 'em up it pales in comparison to something like harmful park, it's just mid, albeit charming. some wacky design choices like showing the characters' hitboxes at a certain part only and unclear scoring when using the bombs.


Virtual-On: Cyber Troopers

by Sega released in 1995 played on Saturn (emulated)

☆20221010 certified anacore classic. forever sad i'll never get to play this on its original arcade cabinet!! saturn version has some issues... it doesn't feel as fast as the later ports are but i can't do without the crispy pixels this version has! i still need to play the newer entries: some small adjustements and this would perfect 3d action gameplay, so i'm excited to!


Melpool Land

by Compile released in 1995 played on PC-98 (emulated)

☆20221009 super cute characters in a pretty whatever game. really, the game's a big bunch of nothing and you can beat the whole thing in like 10 minutes. thankfully it was released as a free game that came with a magazine!


Emmanuelle

by Coktel Vision released in 1989 played on Amiga (emulated)

☆20221005 this game is a goddamn mess!! like i hated every second i spent playing it because nothing makes sense mechanically lol. but it really seemed like they had no idea about how other adventure games from the time worked, which i find chaming as hell, so i really respect it for how unique it feels. excited to play muriel tramis' other games. oh and don't play the ms-dos version, play it on the amiga instead. also most underwhelming finale ever, dale emmanuelle una teta más que sea


Rendition

by nespresso released in 2007 played on web browser

☆20221003 this game is both a failure and a success in that it feels like the most straightforward thing ever but people keep arguing about what it's supposed to be trying to convey 15 years later its release.


Pocky & Rocky

by Natsume released in 1992 played on SNES (emulated)

☆20220918 really fun multiplayer, don't think i'd enjoy this as much had i played only by myself. i love rocky!


Einhänder

by Square released in 1997 played on PlayStation (emulated)

☆20220918 i like the presentation and the espectacle it offers but the 3d angles confused me and made it a bit too difficult for me u_u or maybe i'm just bad at console shmups!


Ripper

by Take-Two Interactive released in 1996 played on DOS (emulated)

☆20220915 holy shit this game fucking sucks. but i went through it because i love mr walken... the puzzles, aside from a few two or three, are really bad, and they go from slide puzzles to the most cryptic shit you can think of, so you don't really know what the expect most of the time. also, half of them don't even work properly when you know the answer because the game is super nitpicky. it also gives you useless information at times and none of them make any sense in the context of the game's plot. the story is mostly interesting and has this gimmick where the perpetrator gets chosen randomly from a pool of subjects cluedo-style, but the game only starts giving you hints about the killer in the very last act of the game, so this replayability gets thrown off the window because it's just not interesting to replay the whole ass game for two or three extra scenes. the endings don't make much sense either, like you can tell they had to rush them because there's no justification for the killings or anything! the music sucks. one highlight from the game is the acting, especially the main character's, he was really relatable in how he was try not to laugh at the most exaggerated perfomances, i loved him!
lastly, storytime! i had to restart this game at the ending two times because my save was bugged and would crash. i later realised it started crashing because the game hadn't decided on a suspect so it couldn't trigger the flags. so yeah, there was no killer in my game, which is pretty funny... if only i didn't have to do it all over again T_T


Iblard: Laputa no Kaeru Machi

by System Sacom released in 1997 played on PlayStation (emulated)

☆20220906 so this just got a fantranslation very recently. it's not the best thing ever tbh, i'd say the music was particularly nice though. i was surprised to find out there were two endings!


Otocky

by SEDIC released in 1987 played on NES (emulated)

☆20220905 it's not fair!! i've dreamed of making a music-based 2d shoot 'em up for a loooong time only to find out this concept was already beautifully developed in the late 80s! even with its shortcomings (the game becomes really difficult in the last stages, being hit is very punishing since you lose notes and their locations are hard to find when you're missing only a few notes) it is a very special game, try it out if you like games like rez!


Fallout 2

by Black Isle Studios released in 1998 played on PC

☆20220829 so disappointing! the world feels really disjointed and the atmosphere isn't as good as in the first game. the last area especially pissed me off because i didn't feel like there were many different ways to tackle it, what do you mean i have to kill people this time, have you played fallout? the endings were pretty buggy too so that also left a bad aftertaste in my already sour mouth!


Four-Sight

by Synergy Inc. released in 1995 played on PC

☆20220813 sometimes the only thing a girl needs to be happy is a japanese tech demo/cgi showcase from the mid-90s with nice music. what great animations!


The Dark Eye

by Inscape released in 1995 played on PC

☆20220812 i somehow thought this was going to be a chill game but it was pretty scary. which was to be expected since this is an adaptation of edgar allan poe's work lol. it is a truly great game, it lets you play each story from both the victim's and the perpetrator's point of view, making way to new interpretations of these pieces, and tying it all together in a new story that i honestly thought was also poe's at first! it's not perfect because of lack of subtitles (the "the masque of the red death" part gave me a hard time in particular) and some small issues in the gameplay, but as i said it's still a great game! the visual style is also amazing!


LSD: Dream Emulator

by OutSide Directors Company released in 1998 played on PlayStation (emulated)

☆20220810 i got to day 365 without rushing and saw the ending! this game put me in a trance-like state every time i played. i like how it's not a passive exploration game since you actually have to try different things out in order to discover new stuff.


Cosmic Osmo and the Worlds Beyond the Mackerel

by Cyan released in 1989 played on PC (port)

☆20220807 i enjoyed this less than the manhole because osmo is too scrimblo. minigames were fun tho


Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon

by Marvelous Interactive released in 2006 played on DS

☆20220804 um. socialization is great because you can't just spam gifts to bachelorettes and stuff like clearing out your field can also make the villagers like you. but this game has a looot of systems and sadly none of them seem particularly well implemented! you can mostly ignore all of them altogether and just focus on mining, which is a shame because i think the farming/looting->crafting->dungeon crawling loop could've been super interesting! thankfully this has a lot of sequels so there's room for improvement!


Devil's Crush

by Compile released in 1990 played on TurboGrafx-16 (emulated)

☆20220727 i didn't really beat it because lol pinball but damn the boss fighting as progress was a neat idea. the screen scrolling was kinda messy.


YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of This World

NSFW by élf released in 1996 played on PC-98 (emulated)

☆20220724 god damn even if we were to ignore how influential this thing was it'd truly be one of the best eroges ever made if it wasn't for... the main heroine. what the hell, it was so gross and uncalled for. anyway, the atmosphere in this is truly something else and the point n click part was so fun to figure out, i loved the save system! the mc reminded of austin powers in that he's a pervert but also respects women when shit get serious (if we ignore the main heroine stuff that is...). anyway! i'm kinda mad because i would've loved the ending if the heroine was sayless, there was no reason to make [redacted] the true heroine. i would recommend this to adults who love great scifi stories and can endure depictions of really disgusting pairings, i'd say it's worth it!


Rhyme Rider Kerorican

by NanaOn-Sha released in 2001 played on WonderSwan Color (emulated)

☆20220710 go go kerorican! it took me a while to figure out that you need to play this while holding your console diagonally, thankfully i found an option in some emulator that let me rotate the screen. presentation and charm are off the charts, and it's amazing that a game like this exists on the wonderswan! however the gameplay was little more than a worse version of vib-ribbon for me... it's a lot more clunky, like it's really hard to figure out the timings of the prompts, which in turn makes the game way harder than it looks. anyway i felt really satisfied when i reached the credits screen !


The Manhole

by Cyan released in 1988 played on Mac (emulated)

☆20220710 really charming children's videogame that's a lot of fun to explore. the walrus was my favourite!


Pyst

by Parroty Interactive released in 1996 played on PC

☆20220709 parodying myst by making a literal powerpoint presentation, the absolute madmen


Dreamweb

by Creative Reality released in 1994 played on Amiga (emulated)

☆20220705 this game is basically point n click hotline miami 20 years before hotline miami even existed so you should probably play this if you like that game! it def feels like dennaton were inspired by this while making their game, tho i don't know for sure if it's actually the case. the game isn't great (lots of painful pixel-hunting) but it's really interesting in its themes. it's also very short and the diary included in the box is an amazing read, miss this era of feelies!


Arc Symphony

by Aether Interactive released in 2017 played on PC

☆20220701 cool idea but it's so short i just didn'f feel anything by the end of it, didn't feel like it tried to say much y'know? however i've also never been a big fandom person so maybe that's probably why i felt that way. i'm still interested to check aether's other stuff tho!


Nakayama Miho no Tokimeki High School

by Square + Nintendo released in 1987 played on NES (emulated)

☆20220622 proto dating sim made by square and nintendo in collaboration with an idol. it's really hard for an adv for some reason but it was fine, i liked how it attempted to portray the communication issues you can find in a relationship, and the phone mechanic was a really novel idea!


ActRaiser

by Quintet released in 1990 played on SNES (emulated)

☆20220622 played the japanese version, suffered tremendously through it all😃👍 not really but the platforming sections got too hard and became a pain in the ass... and that bossrush...... but i loved the god-sim part and the way this game portrays humans' relationship with religion and faith was truly something else! i like to think that before the game starts our own civilization inhabited the continent and we died out because of lack of faith, which is also something that's bound to happen to your human believers after the ending.


Atelier Marie: The Alchemist of Salburg

by Gust released in 1997 played on PlayStation 2 (port/emulated)

☆20220617 this game tickles my princess maker brain so it's a yes for me. i haven't played any newer atelier games except for annie when i was little but i honestly think i probably like these simpler entries better, excited to try out elie too! i love marlone!!!!


Higurashi no Naku Koro ni Rei

by 07th Expansion released in 2006 played on PC

☆20220615 higurashi fandisc with three new short arcs. saikoroshi-hen was alright, nothing special, but fine! i really liked its message. the other two arcs, tho... truly degenerate. the second one wasn't as bad as i thought it would be since i liked the reflection in the end about love and rena, but otherwise was really creepy. the shmup commentary was fun tho. the third arc... literally no words. anyway, i'm glad i at least got to read saikoroshi-hen before i got to umineko!


9: The Last Resort

by Tribeca Interactive released in 1996 played on PC

☆20220613 not-very-known artsy cd-rom game that somehow got produced by robert deniro and had voicework by aerosmith, cher, james belushi and some other famous people. apparently it flopped real hard because 1. it needed a very powerful machine to run plus 2. people were already getting tired of myst-likes, apparently, and that's why it became an ~obscure game~ (ugh). the game is... totally not what you'd usually expect of such a celebrity-endorsed piece, but at the same time it seems like celebs were really into putting out trippy cd-rom games in the 90s, so it kinda checks out. anyway! the visuals and the voice acting are a lot of fun, but the game is otherwise a big box of whatever... it was fun figuring out the organ puzzles but that was kinda it...! at least it's replayable since the puzzles are randomized, i guess. i had to look up some hints because some info wasn't very clear >.< it was also very buggy, i even had to restart because the game didn't like that i was doing some things in a different order than expected lol. ah and the game decides to turn into a very annoying shooter at some point. also why did they hate subtitles during the cd-rom era, my esl ass couldn't keep up


ESP Ra.De.

by CAVE released in 1998 played on arcade (emulated)

☆20220608 what can i say i love cave's shmups and the "bomb" mechanics in this one were so fun it was really different to what i usually play. the character sprite sometimes distracted me because i couldn't make out the hitbox but other than that anita approved👍


Kero Blaster

by Studio Pixel released in 2014 played on PC

☆20220604 SO true i relate coz i don't want to work


Dead Space

by Visceral Games released in 2008 played on PC

☆20220603 i didn't love it but no wonder this was a gem among most triple a productions of its gen. the level of violence and gore kinda shocked me since i didn't expect the player death animations to be so brutal!! killing the aliens was very satisfying but the game at some point got kinda repetitive and so did the jumpscares, the plot was barely there and everything you do is going from place to place to get stuff fixed while nothing important happens until the end


Phenomeno - Mitsurugi Yoishi wa Kowagaranai

by Nitro+ released in 2012 played on PC

☆20220601 free promotional horror vn for a light novel with art by yoshitoshi abe (only reason i chose to read this tbh). it really feels like a demo for something bigger and the scenario is... truly nothing special, but man, the atmosphere was great!! it'd been great if we could get a full vn like this, but we won't so now i'm sad :(


Game Title

by Michael Brough released in 2012 played on PC

☆20220529 second "untitled" game with alien feeling i play this month lol. don't want to say much about it but loved loved loved please play


13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

by Vanillaware released in 2019 played on Switch

☆20220528 it was alright. to be honest i don't think i love this sort of stories anymore, but that's ok! the narrative systems tho... were kinda hit or miss. all the time i found myself wondering if i was playing the game *wrong*... because a lot of the big reveals ultimately felt flat for me because i could already see them coming thanks to some details in the other routes (some of this stuff was so casually mentioned that it felt more like you were supposed to have already played the route with the reveal, it didn't really feel like simple foreshadowing for me because it was SO OBVIOUS T_T). however! i liked how the looping theme interlaced with the route mechanics. the combat wasn't the best thing ever but it managed to be satisfying enough. i thought it felt really disconnected from the adventure mode, but i also wouldn't know how to fix that without removing this part altogether, so it's probably best this way. anyway! i loved the dynamics between the characters and especially the couples, i wish they showed us more! i loved yuki, ogata and miura. the last character's route made me sooo angry though, at least let me draw my own conclusions or make me play detective with the thought cloud system but having a character spilling multiple gotchas in succession made me feel like they thought i was dumb or something >_< art and music were lovely but you already knew that!


Chu♡lip

by Punchline released in 2002 played on PlayStation 2 (emulated)

☆20220520 cutest game ever made. i don't think it reaches the heights of moon and it also loses kind of its novelty if you already played that, but it was really nice nonetheless. shame about the translation! you need to look up some hints online (or in the included guide) in order to beat the game, since they deadass didn't even bother to translate some vital lines (natsume moment). some people might claim this game mistreats the player or whatever: don't feel disheartened! you just need a stronger heart~


_____

by Platine Dispositif released in 2014 played on PC

☆20220514 doujin stg never die. i've owned a few platine dispositif games over the years, but this one piqued my interest because of the name (obviously) and the alien language system (all the text in-game is written in an alien language). i love the initial alien feeling in games so of course i'd love said gimmick, but also almost every mechanic in the game contributed to that! figuring out the different power-ups was a lot of fun, but i would like to highlight the weapon system!! only thing i didn't love was the ending since it was pretty obvious but whatever it's an shmup lol. please play this!!


Kaze no NOTAM

by Artdink released in 1997 played on PlayStation (emulated)

☆20220508 whoosh whoosh~ hot air balloon simulator by artdink. great world design, tunes and overall vibe but the missions could probably do without the gas/time limit to aid to the "chill" theme but pretty interesting game nonetheless! 𝘿𝙞𝙙 𝙮𝙤𝙪 𝙡𝙪𝙭𝙪𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙩𝙚 𝙞𝙣 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙞𝙣𝙙?


Return of the Obra Dinn

by Lucas Pope released in 2018 played on PC

☆20220506 lucas pope is very talented, i got so addicted to the game i finished it in one sitting! however, i think it's one of those games that are pretty linear even if they camouflage as if they weren't, though.


Bad Milk

by DREAMINGMEDIA released in 2000 played on PC

☆20220505 so apparently this game was born out of two brothers' ambition to create an art installation, which they didn't have the money for, so they translated the pieces to digital puzzles and created the game around that, neat! i can't comment much on the game itself since i don't think there's a lot to it, but it was fun trying to think how the actual physical installations could have worked. i liked the ending too!


10 Beautiful Postcards

by thecatamites released in 2012 played on PC

☆20220504 really inspiring game! it's not usually what i play so it kinda gave me like a different vision of what games could be. i love how the yume nikki influence is pretty noticeable but in a very different way from most yume nikki-inspired stuff, i really like the focus on... exploration without boundaries? that yume nikki also has. i also really liked the themes and the way it chooses to mix them up with a lot of fun silliness.


Chu-Teng

by OutSide Directors Company released in 1995 played on PC

☆20220503 what a disappointment... it's so much worse than eastern mind. if you ignore the visuals/music it's pretty much just an average point click of its era... and the world isn't as interesting as tong-nou. it just feels rushed! i'm sad and now idk whether i should give a chance to roly polys or not ;_;


Myst

by Cyan released in 1993 played on PC

☆20220501 it's myst... i love how it's so open and how if you get stuck in one puzzle you just leave it there and return once you get familiar with the world's logic. i had to look up the sound-based maze puzzle tho @_@. the plot is barely there but it's cute, i also liked the environmental clues on the brothers' actions you could find in their rooms!


Metal Gear

by Konami released in 1987 played on MSX2 (emulated)

☆20220429 damn the last third of this game pissed me off so much. this series has a lot of fanboys already so i'm not gonna even attempt to say anything positive about it (it has some pretty great stuff for is time yada yada) other than i liked how cute the minimal plot was


Yumimi Mix

by Game Arts released in 1993 played on Saturn (port/emulated)

☆20220420 it's an interactive magical girl anime about two cute gay(?) unicorn(?) girls but not really. you pick choices but they hardly matter. apart from that it was pretty boring because of the pacing coupled with the slow animations.


Blood

by Monolith Productions released in 1997 played on PC (port)

☆20220418 fucking epic it'd probably be the best fps i played if the difficulty wasn't so weird. like literally the first episode was one of the hardest things i ever played but the episodes after that were way easier. your arsenal is huuuge not only in the number of weapons but in that each one has many different uses. it's also pretty different to many shooters from its time in that it's a lot more tactical. level design is amazing too, don't think i ever got lost or anything. it also has a lot of evil dead references so of course i can't help but love it hehe


Girls' Fashion Shoot

by Alchemist released in 2012 played on 3DS

☆20220418 it's fun until you realise 1)how limited the wardrobe is 2)how you only do the same thing over and over gain. i don't know about the other nicola games but this really felt like they only wanted to make a quick buck on style boutique's popularity, idk. a lot of things feel really half-assed, like how the game won't let you wear jackets with dresses or high boots with long pants so they don't clip (lots of items clip anyway tho lol). anyway, i liked how the jobs kept getting harder and harder and how it kinda gives you more room for experimentation than style boutique by making you combine different styles. also who the hell thought about not letting you play anymore after you finish the story... on a f*cking FASHION GAME... ffs ;_;


Panel de Pon

by Intelligent Systems released in 1995 played on SNES (emulated)

☆20220416 one of the best puzzle action games period. it has many different gameplay modes that i loved! if the story vs mode gets too hard try the others, you will learn different techniques that will help you out on vs!


La maleta

by Potajito released in 2021 played on web browser

☆20220414 as an adaptation of the poem it is pretty straightforward; however, being canarian and seeing a game that represented our culture and our struggles this way moved me to tears, ngl. you can find the game here. it'd be amazing if this game could get more popular so the canarian struggles could be made more visible


Gamera 2000

by Surveyor Corp. released in 1997 played on PlayStation (emulated)

☆20220411 g-gamera... it's very similar to the two first panzer dragoon games, there was one stage that was pretty close to one found in zwei too. but like... does panzer dragoon have cheesy fmv with american actors and a protagonist called jack and a zuntata ost and gamera in it? thought so.s


Technictix

by Arika released in 2001 played on PlayStation 2 (emulated)

☆20220411 pretty unique rhythm game! songs are great but kinda break when you try to exploit the mechanics for high scores, but that makes it even fun! it just feels great playing a song over and over with different characters in order to find the best approach to the chart, i recommend it!


Cosmology of Kyoto

by Softedge released in 1993 played on PC

☆20220408 roger ebert was right about this one blabla but it's actually really good! we really need more edutainment for adults that attempts to portray an era the way its people looked at the world it based in their folklore and beliefs! it also has a reference list so you'll probably love this if you're into general (art) history or ancient japan! anyway, i loved how it incorporated buddhist concepts into its mechanics and its themes, the approach was different to the one found in eastern mind but both did great. it's also cool how it's not linear at all and there's even a bit of roleplaying in it. please give it a try!s


The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind

by Bethesda Game Studios released in 2002 played on PC

☆20220405 morrowind huh... i completed hlaalu, morag tong and thieves guild + main quest and tribunal expansion, i'll update this entry after i finish bloodmoon since i got a bit tired of the game after 200 hours (UPDATE: finished bloodmoon and it was the better expansion of the two but the difficulty is still super fucked up). i will probably add a character sheet to the site sometime in the future. anyway, i was loving the early game but... i think this bethesda thing of becoming some god-like being isn't really for me. or could be, if it didn't happen super early in the game... i managed to beat the final boss with a single item, it is that broken. however, i must commend the game in that... this is totally intended. like they knew they were offering you a set of mechanics for you to experiment with and exploit. they even added a few meta references to this, like the guy who gives himself 1000 acrobatics points and dies! so props to them for that, we love games that are confident abt themselves. but still, it's not for me. i also thought that, although the main quest's plot was okay, the quest design was mostly really dull. tribunal's main quest was atrocious tho... predictable as hell and pretty much no alternative paths because you are forced to do almalexia's quests anyways, the sidequests were mostly ok but i wish they did more with barenziah, she was like just there and that was it


Alter Ego

by Activision released in 1986 played on DOS (emulated)

☆20220401 it's quite outdated with some of its themes (its treatment of homosexuality comes to mind, one of your friends turns out to be gay and you can choose how to respond to it and feels natural enough, being able to aknowledge it in a non-homophobic way, but at the same time your character is forced to be straight in all of your playthroughs), but it's also kind of like a time capsule of the 80s and its society, you know? particularly on its portrayal of drug users, like your office colleagues powdering their noses in the toilets to deal with the stress of their jobs. it's interesting that something like this exists and how it doesn't shy away to portray things like accidental, or even violent, child death. it definitely made me think of how lucky i've been in life lol. the snarky narrator is mostly funny but it can feel a bit preachy sometimes, i think part of the fun in this game is trying stuff out that you wouldn't do in real life so i don't need to be constantly reminded of how reckless my character's actions are!


Psyvariar: Medium Unit

by Success released in 2000 played on arcade (emulated)

☆20220327 OK shmup. the stage design is not very interesting but the cool thing about this game are its rolling mechanics! it's difficult to explain but look up any run and you'll understand. i'm sadly not good enough at it to fully to take advantage of that gimmick but seeing someone skilled at the game play it feels like a fever dream with all the rolling around lol. the music is cool but it's a shame that each song doesn't last more than like 30 seconds


Jung Rhythm

by Altron released in 1997 played on Saturn (emulated)

☆20220310 parappa the rapper clone but instead of a rapping dog you're basically tomoe shinohara. it's also wonkier than parappa, which was already quite wonky on its own, and doesn't really add anything to the formula apart from its weird and (imo) ultimately not great scoring system. but hey some of the songs are catchy and the vibes are cute even if the game doesn't look great. don't forget to unlock the seventh stage!


Ghost in the Shell

by Exact + Production I.G released in 1997 played on PlayStation (emulated)

☆20220309 it's a ton of fun and the missions are varied enough, the controls are great too! even if this wasn't a gits game it'd still be pretty anacore. even then, it would've been super cool if they had made more 90s gits media that was based on the manga like this game, love the goofier tone and the techno/y2k cyberpunk vibe!! my only complaint of the game is that, even if the difficulty feels *right* for a single run, i'd feel a bit ripped off had i bought this back in the day since there really isn't a lot in the way of replayability :x


System Shock

by LookingGlass Technologies released in 1994 played on PC (port)

☆20220305 wow just wow. amazing game. incredible that they made this in 1994. really unique. it's the way this game introduced/established the same narrative design techniques triple a devs won't stop using thirty damn years after its release (which is... actually quite sad lol). i love how the game works, it feels like a mixture of doom, a dungeon crawler and a 3d point n click game that lets you approach each situation however you want without really becoming an rpg!! in fact, i'm not really interested in playing the sequel right now since it seems more similar to something like deus ex with stats and stuff... also i played the nightdive port because i'm a zoomer and i'd rather play with mouselook u_u


Sakura Wars

by Red Company + Sega released in 1996 played on Saturn (emulated)

☆20220227 kanna...kohran.....MARIA.......... impressive and super ambitious stuff in terms of production, everything works toward giving you that 90s OVA feel, but it goes much further than just leaving it at an interactive anime FMV game. however, like a lot of 90s anime, it can be a bit cliche and tropey, and the heroine routes/endings are a bit underwhelming, but still, cool stuff.


Pochi and Nyaa

by Aiky released in 2003 played on arcade (emulated)

☆20220220 cute aesthetic and good ost. playing vs the computer just sucks, after a few stages the difficulty ramps up a lot and it's just unfair. the game itself isn't the best but it has nice ideas, you kinda have to forget everything you know about puzzle action games in order to become good at it (at first i was playing it like it was puyo and i kept failing miserably lol cx) but, when playing against the ai, no matter what you do it will always be faster than you unless you get super lucky with your blocks


Disaster Report

by Irem released in 2002 played on PlayStation 2 (emulated)

☆20220217 i cannot love it because a lot of the scripted moments were super frustrating and i reaaaally didn't like the heroines. but man if this game wasn't heart touching. the real time destruction was amazing for an early ps2 game too! i don't know how i'd describe this game to someone who's never heard about it, since it kinda plays like a survival horror without the horror, but also isn't exactly a "survival game" per se. some dating sim elements too? lol. very janky an unique game with a heart, there's nothing else like it. ending spoilers


Fallout: A Post Nuclear Role Playing Game

by Interplay Productions released in 1997 played on PC

☆20220213 many years and 4435938 attempts later i finally managed to complete this!! been starting new runs and not finishing any of them since i was 12. the atmosphere and setting are immaculate and i'm super looking forward to play fo2 now. some things i didn't really enjoy about its design: it's very easily exploitable, you can tell companions were a last minute addition, a lot of quests/questlines were left unfinished (i was actually really excited to join the circle of thieves and after you join the questline just... ends) etc etc. i also didn't love that most situations in the game were super black and white, but at least it seems like a game where being evil can actually be fun. anyway! i took the 'bloody mess' trait cuz im edgy and random like that rawrxD so the ending pretty much took me by surprise, it was pretty neat. all in all a nice crpg, v appropriate length too.


Battle Mania Daiginjou

by Vic Tokai released in 1994 played on Mega Drive (emulated)

☆20220210 takes the trouble shooter formula and cranks it up to 99999 :0 goofier enemy designs, cooler action segments and level design and they actually force you to manage both directions this time!!


Gadget: Invention, Travel & Adventure

by Synergy Inc. released in 1993 played on PC

☆20220208 haruhiko shono... nose teamo


Sin and Punishment

by Treasure released in 2000 played on Nintendo 64 (emulated)

☆20220208 raw. my hands hurt since i played it on a dualshock 4


Yume Miru Kusuri: A Drug that Makes You Dream

NSFW by rúf released in 2005 played on PC

☆20220207 all three routes have some interesting ideas but ultimately the game suffers from having too many useless ero scenes that feel out of place, plus i feel that the theme of the protagonist feeling out of place in his adoptive family could have been explored more and used to tie the three stories together


Trouble Shooter

by Vic Tokai released in 1991 played on Mega Drive (emulated)

☆20220203 we still have a (bootleg) copy of this game at home! i loved to play this game with my dad when i was like 4 xD it's not daiginjou but it's still quite solid and full of charm! play this if you like cute and cool heroines in games :]


Smarty

by Nicholson Associates released in 1996 played on Mac (emulated)

☆20220203 very very similar to duncan's previous chop suey so it wasn't quite the revelation for me, still really fun to mess around with even if it doesn't feel as magical as the first one


L-Zone

by Synergy Inc. released in 1992 played on PC

☆20220203 begging y'all to get in the haruhiko shono train >:( really interesting piece where you're left in an abandoned futuristic city, it's one of those where you have to start exploring and then eventually find the "reason" or goal of it. don't be afraid to tinker with every button hehe :^)


Altered Beast

by Sega released in 1988 played on Mega Drive (emulated)

☆20220202 it's not good but its heart is in the right place


Unpacking

by Witch Beam released in 2021 played on PC

☆20220202 very cute and it reminded me of the old korean flash games i used to play when i was little! however it seems to me that most people that praise the narrative in this have never played other games that don't rely on the usual cutscenes for its storytelling; it's very weak and i'd preferred it if the game didn't try to make me care about the protagonist that much. i honestly cringed a bit when the game tried to show me how successful the mc was by making me decorate her shelves with trophies. but all in all i had a cute fun little time w it :)


Clannad

by Key released in 2004 played on PC

☆20220131 it's too long and even then it couldn't make me feel attached to most of the cast. i especially didn't like nagisa so... yeah. kotomi and yukine's routes were fine and i loved fuuko as a character. what broke the vn for me is that it was really hard to find any kind of chemistry between the mc and the heroines :s


Tender: Creature Comforts

by Kenny Sun + Gideon Lazarus + Jie En Lee released in 2021 played on Android

☆20220127 i've never used tinder or any dating apps in my life and i'm in a relationship right now so i don't think i was able to really relate to this game, apart from the usual conversation with some of the game's planet's denizens, like the one dude blocking and unblocking me every time i didn't respond to his flirting tactics the way he wanted me to in particular. in the end i left the planet while still single because i really couldn't find any character i could feel attracted to... also some of my character's responses felt like i just got out of a bad breakup and i desperately needed a partner, and i really don't like the "dating for the sake of dating" stuff, but i guess that's also part of the critique to dating apps this game is doing...? i don't know how to feel about the whole thing really.


Alice: An Interactive Museum

by Toshiba EMI released in 1991 played on PC

☆20220127 love!!!!! i seriously think this is a must-play!!!! not only the kuniyoshi kaneko artwork is super inspiring and the music was composed by kazuhiko kato (sadistic mika band), but i really liked the puzzle mechanics in this myst-like game (which was released two whole years before myst hit the markets!!!)!! the way it works feels much more organic than the puzzles usually found in videogames: you find little hints that guide you towards new hints, until you get to the final clue necessary to open the door that will guide you to the ending. love!!!! i have to play the rest of haruhiko shono's ludography asap and i'd recommend you do the same :0


Needy Girl Overdose

by xemono released in 2022 played on PC

☆20220125 i generally prefer raising sims that feel more "risky" with the stress management stuff but this one's approach was fine too, if only a tad too easy. the game's theme had me feel a bit conflicted at first, at the beginning i was iffy this was gonna be e-girls' "omg she's literally me" princess maker, then i felt it could be like some r9k weirdo's fantasy, but then i realised both characters are generally pretty terrible (but also a bit relatable) people so like, alright. i definitely recommend going for the true ending too, i think it gave a whole new meaning to the game and def made me appreciate it a bit more (:


Phantasmagoria 2: A Puzzle of Flesh

by Sierra On-Line released in 1996 played on DOS (emulated)

☆20220114 man i wish i was curtis teen me was stupid for not finishing this when i was in high school. but what can i say, i came from roberta williams' phantasmagoria, which i thought kind of sucked so i was expecting more of that, but i was so wrong!!! one thing i didn't like about the first one is that it took itself too seriously for what it was, this one however was super fun and not only for the cheesiness! i also think that filming in real sets works much better than the super dated prerendered locations in p1, and the gothic 90s bdsm setting? anacore. however there's not much in the way of puzzles except for that terrible last one that comes out of nowhere, and i didn't really like the story's resolution...):


Kentucky Route Zero

by Cardboard Computer released in 2013~2020 played on PC

☆20220113 it's one of those games i respect but wasn't able to get super into, probably because it's mostly not my sort of thing but also bc i probably had some really big expectations going in from all the enthusiastic talk abt it. i like what it does with its decisions (as an actor in this game you can choose which kind of "flavor" you want to give to its text, even if the ending/outcomes/etc were always already set in stone). however i felt it was sometimes a bit too redundant with its themes, and in some parts i kinda had to force myself to pull through no matter the time of the day i tried to play because the scene in particular was really boring me ;_;


Kowai Shashin ~Shinrei Shashin Kitan~

by Media Entertainment released in 2002 played on PlayStation (emulated)

☆20220107 spooky cursed game :0 but not really. i was interested in it because of how weird it looked before i even knew about its creepypasta status. anyways, once you play it it becomes apparent it's just a regular kusoge because the supposed haunted pictures are all really cheaply edited. i really didn't mind the game's cheesiness and that and one of the game mechanics that i really appreciated (which i'll talk about later) were probably the only things i liked abt this game. the game is really really repetitive because you only do the same thing over and over [find obviously photoshopped monster but also take a while because the game sometimes doesn't recognize where you're pointing, kinda like if there was some sort of offset to where the ghost is and the pixels you gotta click (?) > fight the monster> exorcise it > repeat]. it's the "fighting the ghost" part what killed me, since the motherfuckers suddenly get super fast at some point in the game and you're actually better off buttonmashing than properly playing (or so it was for me, also keep in mind that i played thru emulation). however i really liked the exorcising mechanic: it's kinda like a qte that gets harder and harder the more you endure it but also it's the same loop every time, so once the muscular memory starts kicking in you really feel like you've become super good at doing the ritual so it's really rewarding! all in all i'm thankful to the hackers/translators and glad i got to play this game if only for the vibes!


GARAGE: Bad Dream Adventure

by Kinotrope released in 1999 played on Android (remaster)

☆20220105 it's really amazing how this game was thought as lost not that many years ago, then we got a fan translation and suddenly we have a modern port with an official english localisation and all! i don't want to talk about it much since it's now easily accessible and i don't want to spoil it, but i really didn't expect what i thought to be a simple point n click of its era to have so many different systems, from fishing simulation to dating mechanics! there were some plot points that kinda escaped me but i'd say its themes really got to me. i got stuck a few times even with all the qol improvements in this port since the game sometimes suffers from lack of direction, which was easily solvable by just cycling around the map and talking to the people which, albeit it could get a bit boring after exhausting most of the options, also helped me discover new cool stuff even if it wasn't what i was looking for... please give it a try if you own a smartphone!

★★★★★

What's this?
These are just some notes and thoughts I have about whatever I've been playing. I usually only make entries on games I have cleared unless stated otherwise! Please have in mind that I don't really think these through.
For cover art sources go here!


*legacy