Blind


Nox

A unique, qwirky top down ARPG which has its own fun gimmicks and game mechanics. Recommend giving it a try out, see if you like it; comes pretty cheap.
Type Of Review: Blind Run
Total Story Score: +3
Total Gameplay Score: +1
Golden Number: 10.61
Cheats: No
Total Play Time: 2 Days // 13.25 Hours
Time Reviewed: 11-18-2022

Spoiler Pluses and Minuses +

Story Positives:

  1. Brickwork: Generally good brickwork
  2. Doodad: Surprisingly good doodad design
  3. Voice Acting: I will accept that the voice acting, while bad, is amusingly so
  4. Outro: The endings are quite silly
  5. NPC Set Dressing: Towns are surprisingly lively and have people (voice acted) commenting on recent and local events
  6. MSQ: The warrior story arc is surprisingly interesting and well done, showing hints of the mage vs. warrior bias plaguing the area

Story Negatives:

  1. Outro: The endings are… too short and too poorly constructed. I legitimately had issues understanding what was even happening in several of them, and it feels like they chop off halfway through
  2. Dialogue: The dialogue is… bad. It’s not goofy, it’s just bad
  3. Cutscene Incompetence: There is a weirdly large amount of cutscene incompetence going on… for everyone, really, pretty equally

Gameplay Positives:

  1. Intro: The initial dungeons are pretty legit, well itemized and well tutorialized in what you should expect and how to interact with the world, and of course how to play your class
  2. Level: The Mana Mine is a surprisingly well designed dungeon, with lots of strategically placed mana crystals, mostly enemies you are likely to already be able to charm, and a good spread of enemy encounters spattered with larger challenges
  3. Music: Generally good music (and it changes fluidly per area too!)
  4. Core Mechanic: Charming is a fantastic feature, allowing for a good variety of ‘pets’ who are of varying use throughout
  5. Core Mechanic: Conjurer Bombers are an awesome bit of tech; setting up traps in advance and customizing what spells they trigger in what order really rewards the player with either combos or forethought
  6. Sound Design: Some issues with spam aside, there’s some cool sound design
  7. Sound Design: Also, each type of equipment gives a different sound effect upon looting
  8. Kit: Conjurer is a reasonably fun class to play; the moment I shifted from ‘mage’ to ‘archer with some spells’ it clicked, and the pets are at least mildly useful
  9. AI: AI in general is pretty decent
  10. QoL Features (too many to list, but a lot of ‘smart’ decisions with regards to interactions and pathfinding)
  11. Hyperbeam Moment: So getting the finished staff of oblivion is pretty sweet, and the game gives you plenty of ways to really enjoy it (lots of enemies, bundled in tight areas, with lots of mana crystals to refill on)
  12. Outro: The final dungeon’s laser puzzles are unique, fun, and interesting
  13. Kit: The Wizard’s array of spells is legitimately interesting, especially with the mark and recall
  14. Replayability: Between the three differing classes and their respective unique areas, the game is moderately replayable
  15. Encounter Design: With a few exceptions, there is good usage of which enemies are balanced against which to make for some fun encounters

Gameplay Negatives:

  1. Controls: The controls are… finicky. Movement is okay but attacking is awkward and looting is kind of awful
  2. Audio Spam: It… it gets pretty bad
  3. Difficulty Curve: Overtuning / difficulty curve issues (some pretty bad spikes here and there)
  4. Level: The entire ogre village invasion kinda sucks. Lots of high health, hard hitting enemies with few recovery periods or tools to use, and dull music and visuals compared to the rest of the game
  5. Itemization: So for the second time this week we have a game that has a nice long swath of gameplay with no vendor access. Which would work if designed around it, but it isn’t and it doesn’t
  6. Enemy Design: The fact that some enemies can random into one shotting you is ridiculous
  7. Difficulty Curve: A special mention for the friggin’ castle where you fight ogres (who can 2-3 shot you) and demons (who can 1-2 shot you)
  8. Encounter Design: And on the same castle, they like to bundle up large groups of enemies that are hard to dodge that can 1-2 shot you with no real variety or design on display, in areas with no real dodging
  9. Level: And finally just one big screw you to this stupid castle stage
  10. Padding: Essentially every level in the game really should be a bit shorter. Too many floors, too many enemies
  11. Outro: The Outro suffers the padding issue much worse than the previous dungeons…
  12. Outro: …to the point of being honestly pretty boring
  13. Outro: The final boss fight is… way, way too boring. The fact that she has healing is bad enough, the fact that she has infinite healing makes it much worse, the fact that she can teleport across a HUGE area randomly with no indications is even worse…
  14. Outro: …earning it two negatives for a colossal waste of my time

Paradise Killer

If you are a fan of surreal, abstract, or generally weird stories about lovecraftian cults, you will probably enjoy this game.
Type Of Review: Blind Run
Total Story Score: 0
Total Gameplay Score: +2
Golden Number: 5.29
Cheats: No
Total Play Time: 1 Days // 6.82 Hours
Time Reviewed: 11-21-2022

Spoiler Pluses and Minuses +

Story Positives:

  1. Doodads: Okay, the city is actually quite well designed overall visually
  2. Background Lore: The actual story is presented piecemeal throughout the background elements of the game
  3. Internal Continuity: The game does a very good job of keeping track of itself and its lies…
  4. Internal Continuity: …earning two positives
  5. Outro: The final trial was clearly the shining moment of the game, and really deserves recognition for it

Story Negatives:

  1. Voice Direction: Infrequent voice acting and usual problems
  2. Empty Text: As is honestly standard for games of this type, there’s a fairly large amount of repeat text all over
  3. Atmosphere: Nonsense. The game is just… too nonsensical. Too surreal, too abstract, it makes it legitimately difficult to even process the game, and it absolutely reduces my enjoyment thereof…
  4. Atmosphere: …earning two negatives
  5. Intro: The Intro made me want to put the game down almost immediately

Gameplay Positives:

  1. Guidance and Flow: Audio indicators of nearby items and roughly where they are
  2. Options: Accessibility options are quite good in this one
  3. All Roads Lead To Rome: The way the game has multiple crimes with multiple outcomes is already cool…
  4. Core Mechanic: …but the fact that you can pull the trigger at any time on the trial is actually pretty interesting and well designed
  5. QoL: The detect collectibles power up is rather useful, and the ability to see when people have something new to say is nice too

Gameplay Negatives:

  1. Map: The map is… pretty bad
  2. Overworld: So there’s a weird, ‘bad’ design to the overworld in how it flows into itself, leading to some navigation issues throughout that make it kind of irritating to get around
  3. Pacing: The pacing of the gameplay is… absolutely awful. Huge swaths of exploration, talky sections that are way too dense, then tons of swaths again

The Bard's Tale

Do not play this game. This game commits so many gameplay sins it’s ridiculous. However, weirdly, I do recommend watching a playthrough on Youtube, as the parody and humor are legitimately worthwhile.
Type Of Review: Blind Run
Total Story Score: +6
Total Gameplay Score: -35
Golden Number: -15.91
Cheats: No
Total Play Time: 2 Days // 13.29 Hours
Time Reviewed: 11-30-2022

Spoiler Pluses and Minuses +

Story Positives:

  1. Voice Actor: Tony Jay needs to be mentioned in a vacuum by virtue of being Tony Jay
  2. Storytelling mechanic: Narrator dynamic
  3. Voice Acting: General voice acting plus
  4. MSQ: The bureaucratic nightmare that is Bodb
  5. Humor: So the joke around Bodb’s death is legitimately well constructed (oh, and it’s funny too). I won’t recount the whole joke here but it’s a repetition joke that’s well timed and has 4 other jokes layered on top of it to ensure no empty repetition
  6. Humor: Everything around the Narration of the sword, falling into the pit, and the general humor
  7. Moment: The absolute out of no where musical interlude of the undeads having a dance off
  8. Humor: General well done humor throughout
  9. Dialogue: Believe it or not the dialogue is surprisingly tight in most of this game
  10. Humor: Speaking of which, the jerk answers for the Bard are almost always amusing

Story Negatives:

  1. Atmosphere: Tonal issues. The game can’t decide if it wants to be full parody or full generic RPG and suffers for it
  2. Cinematics: So the in game cutscenes are… rough. They’re really rough, and they often look more awkward or weird than anything good
  3. Voice Acting: Unfortunately I really do need to give a voice acting negative for periodic weird bad voice acting
  4. Outro: The endings all… kinda suck a bit. Too short, too underwhelming, too bleh

Gameplay Positives:

  1. Core Mechanic: The entire summon system is one of the better ideas the game has, and the idea of balancing a ‘party’ of summons with their own abilities and AI tendencies is neat

Gameplay Negatives:

  1. Controls: The game is… rough to control. There’s a big, variable delay between attacking and the swing happen, and movement is weird and janky
  2. Camera: Too low and weirdly angled
  3. Encounter: The bug bear dungeon and fight caaaan go straight to hell. He can stunlock you, there’s no indication he’s going to pop out of the wall to hit you (not even a ‘hole’ he might be reaching out of), he hits like a TRUCK, and then the actual fight is boring
  4. Level: The Fnarf Chase sequence is reeeally dumb. It’s the same thing repeated over and over and over again; Run up a few feet, have the guy yell at you, kill Trow ranged, rinse and repeat…
  5. Level: …earning two negatives
  6. Save: Infrequent (and selectable) rarity of save points, and limitations on saving
  7. Level: The Forest Tower is honestly just kind of awful. I fear this is repetition on my part, but it’s just the same two enemies, and way way too many traps, in levels that are too long, and all combined with boring samey corridors…
  8. Level: …so the level itself gets two negatives, but THEN it gets worse, because you then have to go all the way DOWN the tower, which would be a third negative in a vacuum…
  9. Level: …but then they actually have the gall to make you fight jackass enemies and reset the damned map so you’re not even sure where you’re going so these ‘technically two’ dungeons get…
  10. Level: …actually four negatives
  11. Overworld: So then there’s the overworld, which… kind of isn’t, but the ‘random encounters’ are straight up DQVII problematic
  12. Level: The tomb can go to hell. Oh it’s a decent enough dungeon, but the enemy spam problem was real
  13. Encounter: Sssso the first timer spam enemy garbage at the beginning of the tower is a big flat open terrainless room with a timer and enemy spam
  14. Level: Then there’s the mechanical tower. Small, boring, narrow hallways with terrain that’s easy to get stuck on, absolutely glutted with hundreds of enemies that melee swarm, move fast, and chain knockback / stun. This place ssssuuuucks…
  15. Level: …earning it two negatives
  16. Level: THEN you have to go back DOWN it and somehow they made it WORSE by swarming it with even more druids, who now have a ranged stun/knockdown attack that will hit you THROUGH the walls…
  17. Level: …earning two negatives
  18. Level: Aaaand then there’s the no magic tomb area. Doing a dungeon around reducing your kit or resources can work quite well if you design around it. If you don’t, you get the no magic tomb area
  19. MSQ: You like escort quests right? Who demand you’re right next to them to move, move very slowly, while infinite respawns of enemies swarm him? Yay
  20. Level: The underwater ferry section was less bad then most of the rest of the crap, but still retained that lovely boring touch
  21. Combat: The combat in this game is extraordinarily dull…
  22. Combat: …made all the worse with the severe Factory Worker Syndrome as a consequence of everything perfectly making the game a total slog to play
  23. Enemy Design: A lot of this is down to downright unfair and arduous enemy unit design, many enemies designed to simultaneously annoying and still murder your face off…
  24. Enemy Design: …legitimately making this some of the worst enemy design I’ve ever seen
  25. No Music: This game… just straight up has no music (other than the musical numbers) aaand it suuuuucks…
  26. No Music: …not the worst I’ve ever seen, but pretty bad
  27. Interface: This is a pretty bog standard bad PS2 interface
  28. Audio Balance: WHAT audio balance? Instruments are too loud, voices are too quiet, and the audio sliders barely help
  29. Difficulty Curve: Ha! I’ve rarely seen a game this unfettered in its brutality for its curve. This is absolutely bonkers bad…
  30. Difficulty Curve: …earning a full…
  31. Difficulty Curve: …three negatives
  32. Audio Spam: Good LORD. I’ve rarely seen audio spam this bad before, it’s kind of crazy just how bad and how often it is…
  33. Audio Spam: …earning it a full…
  34. Audio Spam: …three negatives
  35. Outro: The final dungeon is… literally… the same room copy pasted 12 times. Enough said
  36. Boss: Bleh boss design across the board