Ace Attorney: Investigations

(Comic link)

I’m a big fan of the Ace Attorney series, having played every entry except this one (and its Japan-only sequel). As a series of visual novels, there’s not a great deal to explore in terms of whether or not it’s for me- if you like 6 of the other games, it’s a reasonable bet that you’ll like a seventh.

This one flips the series around and lts you play from the prosecution side. It’s just different enough to be notable while still keeping the basic gameplay intact- the argument/rebuttal system is just a reskin of the testimony/cross-examination system from the main games, and the exploartion element is the same in spirit (though moving around the room as a playable sprite is fun).

Fin or Bin?

I’ve finished all the others and this one feels right at home with those. I see no reason at all I wouldn’t Finish this one too.


Couple things to note!

  • While playing through Tales Of Zestiria, the sheer incomprehensible amount of battle-engine terminology and tooltip instructions has been getting incresingly wearisome. I have no idea what 90% of the terminology it’s using at me even means, especially given none of it seems to make much difference. To top it all off, while travelling to the next dungeon I aptparently accidentally fought some kind of miniboss, which looked just like any other monster I could have encountered in the wild, which killed my entire party in a single hit and I had to reload from my last save. Yeah, no thanks, entirely random “haha fuck you you’re dead” has no place in an RPG or my life. It’s Binned.
  • On the flipside of the coin though, Robot Roller Derby Disco Dodgeball was binned with the caveat that I might fish it out once in a while just to burn a couple of games. Well, that’s been happening increasingly frequently to the point where I kinda have to reneg on the Binning and instead call it a Fin. (I should perhaps give it the alternate title Win since it’s still just gonna be a Sometimes thing and I’m never really gonna be Finished with it? This backlog challenge thing isn’t an exact science, whatever)
  • Also I’ve decided that, once I’ve got the backlog down to zero, I’m going to revisit the list of Binned games and see if they deserve a second chance now they aren’t competing with 80 other games for my time. I think a few of them might emerge from the murky depths of the Bin if they get to fight on their own terms. We’ll see!
  • Finally, due to my inability to refuse a great sale or a free game, two new games have been added to the backlog. Dragon Commander which had a 90% off sale on Steam recently and has been on my wishlist since before it was released, and Satellite Reign which was given out free on Humble and looks 100% like exactly my kind of game.

Tales Of Zestiria


It’s wonky.

I mean the dialogue. It’s hard to explain, but it all feels very off-kilter. It’s like each line was written without the context of those around it, so although one line kinda leads into the next, it just doesn’t flow well. The voice-acting was definitely done this way, too- its not unusual for that to be the case, but coupled with the already-awkward text it stands out a lot more. Intonations are off.

I can’t comment too much on the battle system or other gameplay mechanics- it’s all pretty complex and one hour of intro cutscenes isn’t long enough to get to grips with it. Seems fine.

Fin or Bin:

I’m a sucker for a lengthy RPG, and I’ve played Tales Of Symphonia through four times before. Despite the fact the lead character in this one is called Sorey and that’s a terrible bad awful name and I hate it, I’ll still Finish the game.

UPDATE: Got killed by an enemy that, by all appearances, was a normal enemy but was actually some kind of miniboss, got killed, had to reload. I don’t have time for that. Bin!

(Steam link– I got it in a Humble bundle though)

Tadpole Treble


What an utterly, utterly lovely game.

If you look through the reviews for Tadpole Treble, one word appears repeatedly- charming. It absolutely oozes charm- from the little background details to the music to the subtle way Baton’s facial expression changes, every asset will bring a smile to your face. It was spearheaded by Matthew Taranto of Brawl In The Family fame (which is every bit as charming as the game he made) and the love he puts into his work is stunningly apparent.

The game has you dodging the notes of the background music as they appear on a stave, with a dozen extra challenges thrown into the mix to afford replayability. The music is all catchy and enjoyable and there’s even a few actual songs to play through too. Thunder Creek is the standout stage, seen above, with all the graphics being rendered in silhouette as lightning rocks the stage.

Fin or Bin:

I’m having a great time here, and I’ll be Finishing as many of the extra challenges as I can to spend as much time with Baton as possible.

Steam link is here and I’m not even gonna put it in smalltext ‘cos I want everyone who sees this to go buy it.

Metal Gear Solid 4


Metal Gear!??!?!????!?!???!?!!??!?!??!???!?!??!?!?!?

I enjoyed MGS2 to death, never played the first one, and never managed to finish the third, so I’m not sure if I’m really an MGS fan or not.

The fourth game is immediately confusing to me as all the controls are different, even though you can do the same basic moves. I keep punching instead of shooting, and since the punch no longer leads into an easy 1-2-KO combo this is BAD. There seems to be a much stronger emphasis on combat this time rather than stealth, or maybe I just suck at stealth… speaking of which, the auto-camo is cool, but I have no idea how it works mechanically. The indicator says I’m 85% camouflaged- so there’s a 15% chance to be seen? How often is this rolled? In what circumstances does that 85% come into play? Can I play a perfect game and still get an unlucky 15% roll or doesn’t it work like that? It’s confusing and it doesn’t seem to be explained anywhere. It’s just 85%.

Fin or Bin:

I’m not entirely sure yet if I’m enjoying the game, but I want to give it more of a chance as many of the problems I’m having so far are more down to me than the game. That said, although I’ve played through MGS2 probably 20 times or more, I’ll probably Finish this one just the one time.

Brains and Hearts (Retro Game Crunch)

A card game is a surprising inclusion. Place cards down to create chains between yours and your opponents hand to capture their cards, when both decks are empty the player with most captures wins. It’s neat, and could probably be played with a real deck of cards with some modification, but there’s not really much reason to come back to this when you’re only playing against the CPU. It’s Binned.

Overall, Retro Game Crunch ranges from”meh” to “pretty cool”, with Shuten as the standout game that makes it worth picking up. Store page! Back to full games, now.

Shuuten (Retro Game Crunch)

A vertical shooter themed around feudal Japan? This is RIGHT up my alley.

Your samurai can swing his sword to reflect enemy attacks, and can also steal enemy weapons to use as his own (allowing the use of projectiles, essentially). The weapons have a neat variety and the enemy patterns are cool. Definitely going to FInish this one, and its easily the best of the set.

Paradox Lost (Retro Game Crunch)

I uhh… I accidentally completed it.

That is to say, I reached the end credits- the end-game results screen said I found 25% of the available items. I have no interest in finding the remaining 75%.

It’s pretty impressive to squeeze a metroidvania into 3 days of development, but as previously stated impressive doesn’t mean fun. The concept here is the ability to swap between past, present and future versions of the same world by shooting time crystals placed around the map. However, the map screen only shows you the era you’re currently in, and there’s no way to tell where you’ll end up if you use the crystal before you. Very, very frequently, it turned out to be the wrong decision, and the place I ended up didn’t have a crystal with which to warp back, so I just had to do that segment over.

Fin or Bin:

I guess it’s technically both, but I won’t be coming back to this one. Bin.

End Of Line (Retro Game Crunch)


(Retro Game Crunch disclaimer here.)

Destroy yourself! That’s the aim of this one.

A pretty cool little puzzle game, healer robots will try to repair you when you get destroyed, so you need to figure out how you can get them out of the way first before you ram yourself into that pit of spikes. The levels are pretty tricky and take some fore-thought, with ice and fire powerups added into the mix that have to be used in the right order to progress.

Fin or Bin:

I’ll finish this one! Not sure how long it is but so far I’d play this by itself, let alone as part of a collection.