1. Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk - NS - 3rd Playthrough - 10
With multiple playthroughs, my opinions on Atelier games seem the most affected ones, replaying the likes of Rorona and Ayesha makes me appreciate them more, while something like Escha & Logy drops a bit, which was my favorite one in terms of my first playthrough, right now I would say Ayesha is my favorite one, it has the adventurous feel of Totori without being as overwhelming with the options you have to explore at a time, the synthesis mechanics are as polished as they can be while making some contextual changes that give more originality as to how Ayesha approaches equipment enhancement, and the time limit as always keeps these game with a consistent, fast pace that I love, the music is a joy to listen to, definitely my favorite score from the series, and the combat retains the simplicity yet engagement I really enjoy from it, where good preparation of your items and how good your equipment is rewarded by making quick job of most fights.
2. Disney's Hercules Action Game - PC - 5.5
In many ways, the game breaks a lot of what I would consider good game design from a platformer, having a hard time figuring out what to do with the first boss, sometimes seemingly unavoidable obstacles, animations getting in the way of hit boxes, and at the same time, is never too difficult despite those flaws to be a frustrating game, so it just falls in the middle for me, I liked the movie so I do get a kick out of the overall presentation with a score that manages to capture the style of Hercules' score pretty much perfectly, so is an annoying game, but also kind of cute.
3. SNK Gals' Fighters - NS - 1st Arcade run - 7
I don't have much to say about it, it works well, the sprite work is cute, and it has a lot of SNK characters I like, is a nice little game.
4. Touhou Luna Nights - NS - All clear - 9
Despite what its description might say, Luna Nights isn't exactly a Metroidvania, at first glance it may have the style/look of one of the more generic ones, but is a very linear game in practice, just with the ability to backtrack, which really is its more detrimental factor, Luna Nights has more in common with a classic Castlevania game than it does with a Symphony of the Night, and that is why this is a 9/10. Is a very tight game, challenging enough in the sense that you are always on your toes in each screen, but is not terribly difficult, the grace mechanic is excellent, get closer to an enemy and bypass their projectiles at a close range to earn back health and magic points, which really shines with the boss fights, they are challenging, but you can keep yourself alive for most of the run as long as you keep that kind of aggressive play to keep your health up. About the other complaint I have with the game is that the final phase of the final boss feels like the one difficulty spike in the game, where as the rest always this natural progressive rise of difficulty.
5. Sengoku 3 - NS - 9
An excellent 2D beat em up, the bad out of the way first, it has the same issue games like Streets of Rage 1-3 have of, if you hit enemies near the corner you'll push them outside the arena and will have to wait till they walk back to continue attacking them, breaks the flow of these kinds of games a lot, even worse when they have a long range weapon to hit you with, and the final boss is really annoying to fight, a problem the rest of the bosses doesn't have. The game as a whole is really satisfying to play, the sprite work is excellent, the music has a good energy to it, and the combat itself is one of my favorites of the genre, is very fast paced with a lot of good combo work, get some cool juggling by connecting normal and special attacks, gives it a sort of fighting game feel, very fun game, also loved how you get more characters to play as in the second half of the game, which is a cool bit story wise.
+6. Street Fighter III 3rd Strike: Fight for the Future - NS - +3 Arcade Runs (9 Total) - 9.5
The really good Street Fighter, is so mechanically satisfying, between the incredible sound design, clean sprite animations and the feedback you get from every attack and parry, is one of the most fun fighting games out there to play and watch, hard to master, but super fun, my only real problem with it is that, for how cool the characters are in terms of sprite quality and animations, the backgrounds/stages suck, which is a shame.
Games - I gave a try, probably dropped forever or I'll pick them up later, just want to ramble about games without making a thread or something, also cause no one cares - Section.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice - PC - 2 Hours - 5. This is the kind of game I know I won't like, but hey gamepass (aka the best deal in gaming) allowed to make sure, and sure enough, is boring, but is also frustrating to even try to get immersed into it, the voices in the head of Senua don't really make an impact in the game so far, they just kinda there, they could be an interesting gameplay concept but I guess that would make it less accessible, on top of that the narrator constantly interrupting make it hard to take in the atmosphere of the game, or whatever light horror vibe it may be trying to achieve, feels like I turned on some developer commentary but is just what I'm stuck with for the game as is, the combat has some punch to it in terms of sound design, but the lack of enemy variety so far, plus lack of options makes it shallow, tho it has a good idea of making the encounters 1v1 due to the camera perspective, is not my type of game, but I also think it doesn't have much merits I could praise from what I played.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout - PC - 3 hours - 6. You know what happens when you take away time limit from a game which its mechanics since the beginning have been built around time limit? You make the pacing much worse, is how I feel about Atelier Sophie, Shallie, Lulua and now Ryza, a game I wasn't really planning on getting, but I could leech it from a friend on Steam, so I decided to at least confirm my worries, the game still relies from a mechanical stand point that the player makes best use of their abilities for an efficient playthrough, but I don't have to try to be efficient if I don't have some sort of stake to do so without the time limit, areas keep becoming larger, throwing away how efficient the design of areas in previous Atelier games are for the sake of material collecting and monster cleaning, the story goes at a snail's pace, Ryza is an aimless protagonist, you don't get a simple goal like looking for your mother, sister, making your kingdom better and the like to give you an early drive, and the combat system keeps missing the point of what Atelier was about, taking away options from you with how many items you take with you to a handful of cores, is funny that the active battle system they go for make the battles take longer than the static turn based ones, partly because just as it was with Lulua, they just give a shit ton more health to normal enemies to feel like you are being challenged, but again, it misses the point of what makes the simplicity of the other Atelier games' combat so fun, plus this active one feels more button mashy than anything else. And for the first time, I have been disappointed with the music score of an Atelier game, not a single stand out yet and everything feels like it lacks energy, variety and the cooler instrumentation that I loved from the other games. On the positive side, it at least still keeps the slice of life structure and vibe of the series, side quests have more presentation and writing flair than previous entries, and in this case I'm talking about the ones not involving the playable characters, which is a good addition, and the synthesis mechanics themselves are excellent, with a better way of conveying how to get better items, much more akin to an evolution of Arland and Dusk's systems rather than the more clunky Mysterious system with its orb minigame. I think is a decent enough game from what I played, but is also frustrating knowing that the series can do and has done much better than this.