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Posts tagged “The Joy Of”

Feature: Slow your roll

The Joy of failing in Katamari Damacy Reroll

Playing Katamari Damacy Reroll can be a lot more unwieldy than you’d expect. But then using both analogue sticks to move and steer your katamari makes sense because it sort of represents the arms of your little prince who’s pushing this katamari in front of him, which gets bigger and bigger the more objects he rolls up. It’d make sense for it to feel unwieldy,…

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Feature: Twinkle twinkle

The Joy Of the stars in Planetarian

We easily take the stars for granted. The starry sky is something we can see every night, and while the starscape changes with the seasons, an untrained eye wouldn’t know the difference. While we think nothing of looking up at the stars and the moon at night, in another reality it would be impossible. In Planetarian: The Reverie Of A Little Planet, Earth is plunged…

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Feature: I ship it

The Joy of having all my girlfriends aboard in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey

In a game series that seemed to be dominated by male stories, Assassin’s Creed Odyssey is a beautiful, sapphic dream by comparison. Women in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey play a huge role. Whether they’re your mother, your lover, your sister or your friend, women are significant in a way that’s always been needed in one of Ubisoft’s biggest games. So, imagine my delight that the role…

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Feature: Ah yes, repressing your feelings

The Joy Of Psychonauts’ most revealing memory vault

Memory is a funny old thing. Our brains are like faulty cameras, letting us unconsciously suppress moments of our lives and swap them out for brighter, more palatable realities. When we’re reminded of these small time capsules, the serene environments we were in and the people we were with, we often feel an endorphin rush and a lurid longing for something that isn’t there anymore.…

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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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