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  1. Little bit of both - playing the card game gives you more options to progress things outside of the game. I'm quite far in now (about 7hr) and it is still giving me plenty of new and cool stuff and I'm still not sure what might happen next. I'll save the spoilers until I'm finished because would rather not have people guessing whether they can read it or not without spoiling something!
  2. So, I thought I'd finished this. I had not finished this. Impressions from the first few hours are definitely positive!
  3. Mine wasn't sealed, and it was a collection from Smyths.
  4. Played this for the first time tonight. The auto aim is very aggressive, and we had a few stability issues - people dropping out of the party and losing all their copper and items, and also the game freezing for 30 seconds on a couple of separate occasions. Other than that the game seems like a lot of fun and things quickly get out of hand in a very short space of time. Looking forward to the next session.
  5. 48. Lucius Demake In which you play as the son of Lucifer, a 7 year old, and proceed to murder your entire family, but in C64-o-vision. I'm sure there's been other games in this, er, "genre" before but I'm struggling to remember their names. From what I can tell, the "proper" version of Lucius is basically the same game but in 3D, with voice acting, and so on, and seems to be quite divisive; there's a certain level of charm to the demake that evokes the kind of thing you remember being scared of 30+ years ago but now looks almost quaint, despite the fact that were this of that era the media would have been outraged. The first murder involves locking someone in a freezer, and it happened so fast I didn't actually realise it'd happened until the cutscene played; after that things start getting a bit more involved, requiring a little planning and thought, though it usually winds up with you taking a particular item to a particular location and then using one of your powers to cause the event to happen. Several of the deaths are so utterly preposterous that they are more amusing than gory, including The only place it really falls down is that there's a couple of action sequences that don't really lend themselves well to the controls, but it's fun and daft and oozes ridiculous gory movie charm.
  6. 47. Kero Blaster Excellent little run-and-gun platformer, reminiscent of a mix of Contra and Mega Man. Partway through the game you unlock a jetpack which introduces some really fun platofrming elements. Also has the benefit of allowing you to shoot your in-game manager with lasers until they burst.
  7. No TATE is disappointing, but holy shit is this good news.
  8. 46. Get In The Car, Loser! GITCL! is the latest game from Love Conquers All Studios, creators of one of my favourite games of all time (Analogue: A Hate Story). It follows a band of adventurers who stole a legendary sword and set off on a road trip in a rad pink convertible to defeat the great evil that spawns every thousand years... only they're a few years early because the great evil's followers are super insufferable. The game is half visual novel (while you're road-tripping) and half active RPG battle system. The battles are fun and vary as you progress throughout the game - each character can take one of two roles at any given time, between a tank-ish role, healing/support, attacking, or building stagger meter. When an enemy's stagger meter is full, damage is amplified and you can also put them into certain states with particular attacks or status effect spells. It works really well and there's loads of variety in it, especially as you level up - you almost always want to be using the most powerful gear you can get, but some levels give you a completely different set of abilities, meaning you can't rely on the same rotation throughout the game. I did stumble upon a rotation at the end of the game that felt completely broken though, which was a bit of a shame as it removed a bit of the fun from the fights; it went from being a case of carefully managing timers and reacting to enemy actions, to just mashing the buttons until each fight was over. But that's a very small issue really. The visual novel sections are probably the game's main strength, dealing with themes of self-acceptance, trans acceptance and phobia, sexism, and others - told from people who are subject to some or all of these things and the camraderie and relationships they build on the road. The music is also brilliant and the battle win theme might be the best one ever. It's also free on Steam!?? There's paid DLC (which you can buy along with the soundtrack for, er, 1p less) which I'm definitely going to get round to after a short break.
  9. Touhou Luna Nights. It's on GamePass too if you're so inclined, and is pretty short. Also you can put about 15 chainsaws on screen at once by the end of the game which is defnitely a metric more things need to be judged by.
  10. Transiruby (from the developers of Kamiko, Fairune, etc) has a demo on Steam right now. It's a bit like a side-on Kamiko, seems like a lot of fun so far.
  11. Played a tiny bit of Sayonara Wild Hearts and it's absurd how much nicer the screen is. I just hope the dock doesn't scratch it up now the bezel is so much smaller!
  12. Click and collected one from Smyths earlier, quite a few of the stores had a couple in. Can't use it until after work sadly! Looking forward to the screen upgrade, nearly all of my Switch use is handheld.
  13. Remembered this existed and am now some way through the first act, and it's absolutely wonderful. Was already a big fan of some of Love Conquers All's previous games and this is, so far, really impressive; the battle system is interesting once you get the hang of it, though I definitely feel like I should be experimenting more with the trinkets, and the battle clear music is maybe the best battle clear music I've ever heard? Sam's facial expressions in the road-trip segments are amazing too.
  14. 45. Breath of Death VII Went poking through my Steam library and there are so many games in there I have no recollection of buying, so expect to see some very random stuff in the coming weeks I guess. Breath of Death VII is styled like an 8-bit JRPG where the world has ended via nuclear bomb, and the undead have begun to rebuild civilisation. You play as a skeleton and assemble a party and then go on some quest that isn't really ever explained other than your mage keeps insisting that you go on an adventure and I guess it's fine. Mechanically it's got quite a few things going for it - there's a combo system, where each hit your party perform adds to a combo counter, and there are combo finisher moves that use up your combo count in exchange for a one-time damage boost. On levelling up, you get to choose between two perks for each party member; I routinely chose power upgrades, which meant my party were all glass cannons, but could waltz through a lot of encounters by striking first, in exchange for being very fragile if stuff started to go wrong. Also the level up perks are very large; someties you'll just get a 15% bump to one of your stats as the level up bonus. The game's also quite snappy - at about 5-6 hours all in, it moves fast and streamlines away all the JRPG bloat that often accompanies games like this, and there is an upper limit to the number of random battles you'll have in a region - though you can always go looking for a fight if you want to grind. In addition, each battle doesn't last very long, partly down to the enemies getting a 10% power boost every turn, meaning that if you spend too long setting up or pissing around you'll get overwhelmed quickly. It has the added benefit of avoiding the JRPG scenario where whittling down the enemy party makes the rest of the encounter a foregone conclusion, as the remaining enemies still continue to be dangerous. It works pretty well, though it does render some of the skills that do a small effect every turn a bit redundant. Boss battles are a real threat too and have to be handled quickly as you will absolutely get battered if you are too slow (though the guy who takes a full heal after a set amount of turns can sod off). It's not one you'll play for the story, but it scratched a JRPG itch and the short playtime is very welcome.
  15. 44. Cherry Tree High Comedy Club I've been meaning to play this for years. CTHCC is basically Persona without the battles; you're on the clock and have to build relationships with a set amount of people over the course of a month and a half, with the ultimate goal of getting your comedy club approved by the extremely petty student council president. The plot is paper-thin; it's basically an excuse to go and hang out and make friends and be lovely. That said, despite being centred around forming a comedy club, the game isn't particularly funny - there's lots of cute and snappy dialogue between characters but it feels like incidental humour borne of relationships rather than deliberate humour borne of An Attempt At Being Funny. It's not a criticism, but the game ends at the point the club is formed - I was hoping to be able to enjoy the payoff after successfully forming the club. Also I got the bad ending after a bug caused the last character I needed to recruit (who was pretty much guaranteed to hit max level) to vanish and be replaced by one of the others, who had somehow invented a method to be in several places at once. That'll teach me for not taking multiple save backups like I do on basically every other game ever. Even so I had loads of fun with this, despite it being a little mechanically archaic, there being a lot of repeated dialogue, and the aforementioned bug that torpedoed my playthrough. I watched the ending on YouTube; it was about 45 seconds of cutscene that didn't feel worth going through several hours of menus again for.
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