Silverae’s Video Game Reviews and Blog

Hey guys, this is Silverae! You might know me as a league streamer, (I’ve got two high diamond accounts, gunning for a third) or just a guy who plays a lot of video games. I’m gonna start writing out game reviews so you know what to pick up or what I think of a game, and link it back to my backlog at backloggery.com/silverae!
This is a review site just for me, but feel free to check it out if you enjoy what I think about the games I play. My complete reviews will contain spoilers, but you can just check the score I put for each game as well.

Review Format is different for each genre of game I play! You can also find my socials at the top of the page.

Silverae’s Video Game Reviews and Blog

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga

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Gameplay – 8/10

The opening cutscene is super cool imo.

+ Had a lot of fun with this entry in battle sequences.
+ Anyone can learn any skill tree, allows for a lot of flexibility. I especially liked how Void options were just party nulls but you can only apply one at a time.
+ Lots of strategies for fights, and you can’t cheese your way to an early power charge or good attack all the time.
– I enjoy 4 press turn sequences more than 3, but only a minor nitpick.
– Lategame ailments were pretty bad in this game.

Visuals – 8/10

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+ Cutscene fluidity was actually super cool in this game. The opening cutscene was one of my favorite parts of the game actually.
+ Standard SMT fare locales and demon designs.
+ Battle animations are fast so even if you get into a lot of encounters the game speeds by pretty quickly.

Story – 8/10

+ The story had an interesting premise for sure, but it was pretty barebones as well.
+ The characters were quite interesting and had their own motivations.
= Fighting each faction is pretty standard RPG fare.
– A lot of setup and unanswered questions so the story feels unfinished until DDS2.

Content – 7.5/10

+ Game was the perfect length to me, had enough content and ended before it’d get boring.
+ Skill progression was neat and tidy.
– Some sidequests and bosses were a little annoying or felt a little uninspired.

Music – 7.5/10

+ Meguro at it again with another quite good OST. Track list is a bit on the smaller spectrum though.
= Dungeon themes were pretty standard, but battle themes were great.
+ Standouts in this OST to me were Muladhara, Hunting, Hunting – Comrades.
+ I love Hunting so much that for being the games only standard battle theme it never got old. It’s so mellow for a battle theme it makes me feel right at home.

Extra Notes

39/50

Silverae Notes

– I really hate how status effects are balanced in this game. I’d sometimes just get stunned on purpose and not cure it because it was better to be stunned than to have any other status ailment.
– I liked Gale and Cielo the most for characters. I found it interesting how Gale wasn’t part of the “main” group that was in the alternate universe.
– Favorite dungeon was the castle with the story about the Evil and Good Prince. It felt so strange for a SMT game but it set the tone for that area very well with Heat and Serph’s dynamic at that point.

Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga

Ys I & II Chronicles

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Gameplay – 5/10

+ YS1 Bump system was quite fun. Dark Fact was a challenging boss and every run of it is different.
– YS1 felt a little level gated with how much damage you gain per level and the HP you get.
– YS2 magic was overwhelmingly strong and broke the game for sure, as soon as you get the homing upgrades there’s not much of a point to fighting things normally.

Visuals – 4/10

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+ Environments looked pretty nice.
– A lot of the samey areas or areas that felt similar.
= Not many animations as you basically just run into things.

Story – 3/10

= The books of YS and their descendants were an interesting concept at least.
+ Reah and Feena being recurring and seeing the faces from YS1 in YS2 again was cool.
– Nothing really interesting about it though.

Content – 5/10

– Very short games.
+ Some neat sidequests that are hidden here and there or items you can get.
= Low level caps mean you can’t grind yourself out of an undesirable situation. Some fights can remain hard if you aren’t prepared.

Music – 8/10

+ Not Falcom’s best work, but definitely has some good tracks. Bless JDK.
+ Notable tracks include First Step Towards Wars, Tower of the Shadow of Death, Dreaming, Tender People.

Extra Notes

= Some funny stuff in this game, like sleeping in other girl’s beds or sizing them up. Adol is quite the guy, even way back.

25/50

Silverae Notes

– I actually wanted to play this entry eventually especially because of the Zanmai version of First Step Towards Wars.

Ys I & II Chronicles

Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne

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Gameplay – 7.5/10

+ Press turn system is very punishing., especially early.
+ Some boss fights were pretty fun.
– Buffs and Magatama trivialize a lot of bosses, especially mid-late game. When you get your setup you can stop thinking, if it’s good.
– Endgame enemies are very annoying and all have phys repel/void.

Visuals – 6.5/10

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+ Demifiend has some pretty cool looking skills.
+ Demon models in full 3D (seriously they haven’t done this since the PS2 era)
+ Some visual effects look pretty good.
– Some areas look very muddy and the colors are pretty repetitive. (Sewers, similar stations)

Story – 8/10

+ The reasons were really interesting– Chiaki and Isamu are very interesting characters.
+ The true demon ending is pretty nifty as well as the neutral endings.
– Endings aren’t too fleshed out.

Content – 8/10

+ Lots of demons to collect.
+ The labyrinth of Amala not being randomized is pretty nice.
+ Customization is really a strong point in this game, from various builds and magatama to ingest as well as demon party building.
= Dungeon design was mostly interesting, a lot of interesting gimmicks considering you can only move around and press X to interact. However for each interesting gimmick there’s a teleportation dungeon so there’s that as well.
– Not a lot of sidequests. Collectables aren’t too useful.

Music – 7.5/10

+ Shoji Meguro had a lot of strong tracks in this game, as per usual from him. The normal battle theme is a classic imo. The songs really fit the thematic of the game though, they have that post-apocalyptic feel with all the screams.
= Some themes were forgettable, but at least were fitting for the area.
+ Standouts include Large Map, Normal Battle~Town, Ginza, Reason Boss Battle, Last Boss Battle ~ Before Transformation, Fiend Boss Battle, Beelzebub Boss Fight.
+ Probably my personal favorite, the staff roll haha.

Extra Notes

+ Lore tidbits were super cool, especially between the manikins Sakahagi and Futomimi. (+1)

38.5/50

Silverae Notes

– FEATURING DANTE FROM DEVIL MAY CRY.
– The Pyro Jack puzzle made me wanna die for sure.
– I find it super interesting how Chiaki wanted a world of strength but she needed to utilize other powers to become strong in the first place. And Isamu needs the Demifiend in order to accomplish his goals of being alone. All the reasons are created by individuals wanting something that they can’t achieve with their personalities and abilities– really goes to show that people always just want things they can’t have and that the grass is greener on the other side.

Shin Megami Tensei 3: Nocturne

Tales of the Abyss

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Gameplay – 7.5/10

+ This game is considered the blueprint for future Tales of games, sporting free run and the HP/TP system. AI isn’t too challenging with free run though, and the game does just have better artes for certain characters (Void Tempest, Rending Thrust, etc).
+ Boss battles were fun, especially the six God Generals, All 6 characters were pretty fun to play at times as well.
– Higher difficulties can be statchecky at times, see Unknown mode Liger Queen.

Visuals – 5/10

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– Bad framerate makes things look choppy.
+ Some artes/FOFs are pretty cool looking, but overall leave a lot to be expired. Jade’s spells are a highlight.
– Models and animations outside of battle seem choppy or slow.
+ General art assets are fine.

Story – 9.5/10

+ I really enjoyed all the characters in this game, they all have their own motivations for what they do, including the antagonists.
+ Sidequests bolster the amount of lore and backstory between characters like Tear and Legretta, or even minor characters.
+ The world is pretty well built, Auldrant has some really neat lore behind it.
+ I really think life being bound to prophecy and religion was an interesting concept and it was executed well in this game. It was really interesting how the characters fell into the prophecy and the decisions they took regarding their own destinies.

Content – 8/10

= There is always a lot to do in the story, although it doesn’t always feel fulfilling.
+ A lot of sidequests that are meaningful. Jewel of Gardios, Cecile/Frings, and various costumes are nice to have. I like how every playable character has their own artes sidequest line as well.
– Lots of backtracking.

Music – 4/10

= Standard Motoi Sakuraba fare of music. Some really boring music like the Baticul sewers but some pretty good music at times. Motoo Fujiwara’s contributions to the game are very enjoyable though.
+ Standouts include mirrors, finish the promise, abyss.

Extra Notes

+ FOF circles were the gimmick in this game, they actually make the game way more enjoyable in combat. (+1)
+ Multiplayer was good in this game, the camera zooms out further the more players you have. Doing the Arena Team Exhibition Battle with my sister was really a highlight of my younger years. (+1)

36/50

Silverae Notes

– Loading times are pretty bad.
– I love this game despite the lower score, I played it a ton with my sister and I have a lot of nostalgia for this game, but replaying it kinda let me see it’s flaws as well. It’s really fun to play with someone.
– Sunlight Chamber on Guy is super fun.
– I like Jade, Guy, and Tear a lot.

Tales of the Abyss

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology

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Gameplay – 7.5/10

+ This game has a pretty unique grid based battle system, and it’s pretty enjoyable.
+ Endgame combat has some really big highs, like 10 turns in a row with turn break and crazy damage multipliers from Rosch’s 7 hit/Gafka’s 9 hit combo. I had a lot of fun with this system, the highs are super high but the lows are pretty low too. Stacking enemies with positionals is pretty fun though.
+ Character usability is great in this game, every character has a niche they perform, and even Stocke doesn’t have the most amazing MC privilege like some MCs do, but he is still very strong.
– Party experience isn’t quite split evenly which always bothers me.
– It doesn’t teach you the system or what combos do very efficiently, and fighting mobs without AoE/speed/all positionals at the start of the game is kinda not good (Sand Fortress).

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Visuals – 7.5/10

+ Nice sprites all with distinct animations. It’s funny how Raynie and Marco use similar animations to regular mercs, but I guess they are regular mercs but a bit stronger. Stocke’s sword flashing and Eruca’s gun animations standout quite well.
= Pretty regular portrait art and map design.

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Story – 10/10

+ Honestly? I had such a good time with the writing and characters in this game. Time travel plots are really enjoyable to me if done well, and this wasn’t any exception.
+ The characters are all written very well and aren’t one dimensional and have their own lives apart from the MC, including NPCs. They all have their own reasons for doing the things they do, and I found that pretty refreshing.
+ There was always something interesting keeping me in the story, even if one timeline was boring at a time, the other one was interesting during that timespan, and the ending is easily one of the best I’ve seen to a JRPG.

Content – 9/10

– I’m a little iffy on the stuff they added in the Perfect Chronology version… especially the extra ending.. (Hugo? Protea? ????) but it is more content, I just don’t know if it’s actually good content.
+ The base game has a plethora of content, and some of the sidequests contribute to a true ending which is nice, they don’t feel just like fetch quests. Everything you do feels rewarding.
+ Each character has a sidequest that nets them more abilities which is nice, no character is valued over the other.

Music – 6/10

= A lot of music that is just befitting to the area that isn’t too memorable.
+ That being said, Shimomura did make some bangers this game, notably Mechanical Kingdom, Blue Radiance, The Edge of Green, and The Garden Where the Celestite Lies.

Extra Notes

+1 for that ending, jeez.

41/50

Silverae Notes

– Master Vainqueur has to be one of the worst optional boss fights I’ve ever played.. please don’t have optional bosses you do 1 damage to even at endgame.
– I find it interesting how they updated the portrait art from the original DS game..
– I didn’t actually learn combos increased combo damage significantly until the final chapter lmao.
– I wanted to fight Dias and Selvan so badly..
– Stocke, Rosch, and Raul are the boys. I love Rosch’s relationship dynamic with Sonja. I really appreciate Raul’s cynicism, he’s the sort of character I can really appreciate since it’s not easy to notice what you’re doing wrong is actually wrong in the moment and regress.
– Really enjoyed the atmosphere in this game, some games that include war don’t feel like there are actual battles taking place, but this game has good pacing.
– Funny how Raynie and Marco have the same VA as Io and Daichi from Devil Survivor 2, I got deja-vu right away since I came off of that.

Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 ~ Torna: The Golden Country

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Gameplay – 10/10

+ Felt like a step up from the original Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Battle System.
+ Swapping Blades and Drivers with unique switch arts as well as freestyle blade combos was nice, even though it kept the extra depth with special blade combos.
+ I already loved the base game’s battle system, but it felt a lot nicer to be able to play as different characters in battle.

Visuals – 10/10

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+ Honestly felt like the graphics improved from the base game, and that they mastered the system.
+ Cutscenes were still great as ever, a particular favorite of mine (spoilers).
+ Landscapes and level design were nice as usual from the Monolith team, and combat specials felt smooth and nice to look at.

Story – 5/10 (8/10 if you’ve played Xenoblade Chronicles 2)

– I feel like the story left us still with a lot of questions, especially if the base game has been played.
+ Some things were done well, such as the explaining of the Tornan Titan and how Lora meets Addam amongst other things.
– They could have used some more time developing characters with Hugo and Aegeaon coming to mind specifically.

Content – 4/10

+- A lot of sidequests to do, this is good because it adds gameplay and exploration, however they pad the story content with mandatory sidequests. This has good plot connotations because of the fact that Addam is seen as a hero though, however.
– A lot of the game would be better if the story was just a little longer.
+ Camping and crafts were a nice touch.

Music – 10/10

+ This is impossible not to give a 10/10, considering I had this theme on loop for like 3 weeks straight.
+ I would give it a 10 just for that theme, but here are some more. Gormott, The Acting God, The Kingdom of Torna (Day),
+ Mitsuda, Kenji Hiramatsu, ACE+, and Kiyota do it again. The use of different instruments for arrangements from the base game is super nice. The Kingdom of Torna is super relaxing.

Extra Notes

+ All in all, I think Nintendo and Monolith Soft did a great job with this expansion DLC, it felt really fruitful to play and I enjoyed it a lot.

39/50

Silverae Notes

– I can’t believe they did almost the full combat tutorial in one battle.
– I really enjoyed Minoth, Haze, Hugo, Jin, and Addam in this DLC.
– The themes in this game carry over to the base game really well, and I felt terrible for Jin. Jin is such a good boy. I ship Jin and Lora for sure.
– I wish we could have seen where Lora resonates with Haze, since Haze seems to be a special blade. And maybe a bit of Hugo and Addam’s interactions in the past, but I just wanted to see more since I love Xenoblade Chronicles 2 so much.
– Gort was really creepy.

https://silverae.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/50f17-40791549_477255226118071_361292284171974729_n.jpg

Protect this hecking good boy, please.

 

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 ~ Torna: The Golden Country

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective

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Story – 10/10

+ The hook was really interesting, the initial premise of a person who only wants to find out about their past life and who they were.
+ Very coherent and easy to understand plot, considering the usage of otherworldly powers.
+ Every character including the minor ones add a lot of flavor to the game and are unique.
+ This game always leaves you wanting to know more, and the situation only develops instead of stagnating.

Visuals – 8/10

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+ Really enjoyable visual style, I think the pixelated models and animations actually showed a lot of depth and character, specifically for characters like Cabanela.
+ The portraits show a lot of expressions and are all well done.
– Some of the puzzles were confusing due to the visual and graphical style, notably one resorting to a wool cap but it wasn’t a huge deal.

Music – 8/10

+ The music really fit the game’s atmosphere at all times really well.
+ Masakazu Sugimori did a great job composing for the game, with specific tracks like The Beginning of the Night, The Last Desperate Struggle, and the Main Theme.

Presentation – 9/10

+ The gameplay matched with the storyline very well, and things were easy to interact with and kept the game going in a linear fashion where you still had to figure out what to do in what order.
+ Some of the puzzles were actually pretty tricky, I think I found the basement one the most challenging.
= This game had a bit of an experimental style where you don’t really get punished for anything, but in a way they were able to give more hints to players that were struggling.

Extra Notes

– Might add something here a bit later.

Final Score: 35/40

Silverae Notes

– Shu Takumi really is an impressive writer.
– I found it really hard to be patient in this game when people are dying around you and I felt like I wanted to blitz through puzzles but I guess that’s just my problem.
– I think the only thing I would have liked more clarification on was specific powers for characters or maybe why or how they got them, but that’s just me being nitpicky.
– The dynamic between Jowd and Cabanela was quite fun to see.
– Missile is the best doggo.
– Shoutout to my favorite person for finally getting me to play this :]

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective