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Posts tagged “The Joy Of”

Feature: Death becomes us

The Joy Of meaningful death in The Banner Saga

From the outset, everything in The Banner Saga seems designed to encourage you to be careful. As you lead your caravan towards safety, you try to keep people alive by rationing food, managing the number of your followers and weighing the dangers of the unknown. Anyone who has ever given a soldier in XCOM a custom name knows that it takes very little to get…

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Feature: Kiryu is the best boy

The Joy Of karaoke in Yakuza 0

Within the first hour of Yakuza 0, Kazuma Kiryu has to re-evaluate most of what he’s come to believe in. The crime family he’s been loyal to actually has no problem with selling him out, and Kiryu has to somehow prove his innocence in a murder plot, as well as stop a large-scale turf war. Over the course of many conversations, Kiryu is quickly established…

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Feature: Adventure? I hardly know her!

The Joy of being a jerk in Artifact Adventure

Taken at face value, Artifact Adventure is an unassuming title. It clearly aims to play off 8-bit nostalgia, grabbing the attention of players longing for the good ol’ days. I picked the game up on a whim, not really knowing what to expect as I booted it up and picked my four party members, Final Fantasy style. However, a deeper look revealed that this 8-bit…

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Feature: Hack 'n' dash

The Joy of gaining and losing momentum in Dead Cells

I start with only a bow and a sword, fighting against entry-level enemies and depending on my dodging roll for survival. During the next five minutes of Dead Cells, I have doubled my HP. I’ve become stronger, and consequently, I begin to see myself as a walking killing spree that will leave no room hidden or treasure chest untouched, no matter how many enemies are…

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Feature: Beyond the Infinite Worms

The Joy Of Cornifer in Hollow Knight

The labyrinth beneath Dirtmouth is dark and crawling with bugs. There’s a mantis tribunal, a stag beetle with a saddle, and an unending army of worms. Beyond the Infinite Worms is a ruined city lost to dirt and water, and a creature who refers to itself only as the Nailmaster, who apparently bears no relation to that scumbag Chad from college. In Hollow Knight, wandering…

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Feature: The house always wins

The Joy of unravelling the deception in The House in Fata Morgana

Visual novels arguably have less to impress gamers than other genres. With no real ‘gameplay’ to speak of, visual novels need to rely heavily on narrative prowess to make a lasting impression. Originally released in Japan in 2012, but only getting an English localization in 2016, The House in Fata Morgana is pegged as a horror visual novel. As the player explores the desolate mansion…

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Feature: No castle; possibly no princess

The Joy of subverting retro-platformer tropes in Dere Evil .Exe

My relationship with horror films and games has always been relatively non-committal. Reason being that jump scares irrationally bug me while gore makes me squirm. For all my misgivings though, I find myself engrossed in any entry into the genre that plays on the logic we’ve inherited, be it the mysterious nature surrounding strangers or the fact that clowns are a bit creepy. A classic…

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Feature: Off the beaten track

The Joy of getting lost in Shape of the World

“I learned to love getting lost. You can get pleasantly lost when you don't know where you are but you know you'll find your way if you just keep going. That's the feeling I wanted to create in a game.” This is Stu Maxwell’s philosophy behind his debut game Shape of the World, a serene exploration game where the world’s lush, alien environment organically grows…

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Feature: Ignorance is ... um... what is it again?

The Joy of ignorance in Cultist Simulator

I am a lowly aspirant with nothing but my name and my failing body. I am uninitiated. I am a worm in the dark, crawling through the pages of the secret histories of the world. I'm playing Cultist Simulator. This is “a game of apocalypse and yearning”, in which players attempt to direct eldritch forces and hidden gods without the faintest idea of what they're…

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Feature: Sit and spin

The Joy of Floor Kids’ choreographed combos

From Toe Twists to Charlie Hops, Helicopters and Coffee Grinders, there's Air Chairs, Flares, Knee Spins, Jackhammers, Six Steps, Two Steps and Back Spins. No, that wasn't an abstract poem, but a list of a handful of dance moves in the breakdancing rhythm game Floor Kids. There are over a hundred of these different moves, and through a combination of buttons and joystick directions the…

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Feature: Cat on Bat

The Joy of Telltale’s Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle

As an actual adult human being who still reads DC comics, I have to put up with a lot of BatBullShit. It's not the brooding that gets to me or even the weird and sudden flips between psychologically scarring street-level crimefighting and wacky Justice League space adventures. It's not the callbacks to events from previous decades that I don't care about or understand, and it's…

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Feature: Object impermenance

The Joy of Serial Cleaner’s utter silliness

Chores are not supposed to be enjoyable. At home, stacks of unwashed bowls, cups and cutlery flood the sink, with the occasional fly fluttering about in search of a morsel. It’s only when I run out of clean plates that I wearily make my way there, caterwauling as I wash the dishes out of sheer necessity. But when staring at the bloodshed of Serial Cleaner,…

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Feature: Interrupt your friends

The Joy of Oxenfree’s natural dialogue system

Few games nail the ebb and flow of conversations like Oxenfree, the supernatural drama about a group of teenagers on a deserted island. The cast speak over one another, cut their friends off mid-sentence and leave realistic gaps of silence that stretch on awkwardly until somebody says “so...”, and moves on.

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Feature: Teetering on the brink

The Joy of Far From Noise’s transcendental sunset

Far from Noise's protagonist has gotten herself in a bit of predicament. She is stuck in a car that is delicately balanced on the side of a steep cliff. To make things worse, the car’s engine has flooded and it needs all night to cool down. Now staring death in the face, and with a long night ahead, she starts to question aspects of her…

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Feature: Voyage of the Sea Treader

The Joy Of Subnautica’s Sea Treaders

Subnautica is remarkable for a great many reasons, and one of them is a particular creature discovered at about 300m deep, stomping their way in long processions across a well worn path of the seabed. The Sea Treaders. These titanic crustaceans(?) are a herd of complete joy.

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Feature: Loaded dice

The Joy of self-determination in Monolith

If you've ever played The Binding of Isaac or Enter The Gungeon, then Monolith is immediately familiar stuff. A comforting blend of twin-stick shooter and dungeon-crawl wherein you navigate mazes, hoard loot, upgrade your character (cute little spaceship-people in Pop n' Twinbee fashion), fight menacing-looking bosses, and then do it all again with even more stuff unlocked in the dungeon generator. What sets Monolith apart…

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Feature: It's good to talk. Sometimes.

The Joy of not talking to other people in Destiny 2

Destiny 2 has had a rough time of late, what with players discovering that late-game grinding may very well be a gigantic waste of time, and the general hostility to microtransactions going around these days. Since its launch on PC in October, players have also groused about its strict communication rules: there’s no in-game chat lobby, text or voice, in which to find fireteam members…

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Feature: Lute crates

The Joy of Figment’s dynamic soundtrack

There is a lot going on in Figment. It’s a ‘musical action-adventure game’ with combat, puzzle elements, cut scenes, voice acting and several musical boss battles. It’s visually busy, full of strange, warped objects and surrealist structures from Dali’s clocks to Magritte’s apples – the world of Figment is bright and lively. But beneath all this, there’s the soundtrack, and Figment does something quite wonderful…

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Feature: the wonder of being weary

The Joy of Chell’s design in Portal

The Orange Box turned 10 years old this year, and by extension Portal celebrated its anniversary too. Sitting alongside continuations of well-loved games, the short puzzle adventure could have been quickly forgotten. Tacked on to bulk up the box. It was, however, a surprise hit, winning over players with its smart spatial puzzles and writing that fans continue to quote. And while I can list…

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