The game started production shortly after the time that national lockdowns started happening, specifically the lockdown of the U.K., where Hidden Track is based. In this remastered version of the original release, they explicitly point to the events that were happening at the time that shaped their storytelling.
Horror is a genre that is exceptionally hard to do well in games. Balancing suspense and danger to create an enjoyable gameplay experience is not easy. It’s also something that, until relatively recently, games have had trouble balancing. Bloober Team’s newest horror game, The Medium, performs this balancing before collapsing for no good reason in the final moments.
While Yakuza: Like a Dragon does leave behind many aspects, it still maintains some relation to the previous games in the series. Our new protagonist, Ichiban Kasuga, is an orphan and member of The Tojo Clan and starts his journey in Kamurocho. He’s also quite capable of holding his own in a fight and has a knack for finding himself in absurd situations, much like Kiryu. While the two share a wealth of similarities, Ichiban is not a simple replacement or recreation of Kiryu. While Kiryu is a Yakuza legend for his skills and exploits over the course of the series, Ichiban wears his emotions on his sleeve and is almost completely unknown. This is in large part to an early event that leaves Ichiban in prison for 18 years, while the world and the entirety of the Yakuza series (save for Zero) pass him by.
The frustration I felt playing Godfall was mostly from the disappointment about what it could have been. Which, honestly, is a real shame as there’s a lot of promise here. I can’t recommend that anyone buy Godfall in its current state, but I do sincerely hope they work on this game and maybe fix some of these issues before they launch the DLC next year.
2018’s Marvel’s Spider-Man for PlayStation 4 was a really special game for me, as you might imagine for a guy who named his only child after Peter Parker. The Pete that we get in Spider-Man 2018 is one of my favourite interpretations of the character and I’ve been reading Amazing Spider-Man every single month for the past 20 years. It’s probably in my top 10 games of all time.
It might seem absurd for me to say I want to experience even more of Umineko’s story given that ~130 hours is not a small investment of time; but as the final moments were unfolding and the conclusion was drawing near, I felt genuinely sad about the notion of saying goodbye to these wonderful characters, the amazing world in which they inhabit, and their incredible story. While Umineko is indeed a horror story with a tightly woven mystery tying it all together, ultimately it is also a deeply affecting story about love, loss, trauma, catharsis, feminism, family, the value of living, and the importance of our relationships with fellow humans. “Without love, it cannot be seen” is the core message of Umineko, and one which I’ll carry with me for years to come.
Sincerity carries a lot of weight in games, and I can’t think of many games who come across as more sincere than Before I Forget. While it isn’t perfect in execution, it is doing a lot with a little and carries more weight than one would expect from first glance. It is cathartic, moving, hopeful, witty, and affecting all wrapped up in a relatively short experience. It is a game I have no problem recommending, and one I won’t soon forget.