Review of Mr Massagy


How did you beautiful people spend Valentine’s Day? Did a secret admirer confess their feelings to you? Perhaps your significant other invited you to a romantic dinner. In my case, February fourteenth was a solitary experience spent at home. The only love I received came from the virtual women that dated me in Mr Massagy. Developed by Green Lava Studios, this comedic dating sim is currently available to buy on the PlayStation Network and on PC via Valve’s Steam service. Who needs a girlfriend when video games can fill the void in your heart for the price of some Valentine chocolate?


Mr Massagy sees players assume the role of a Casanova named Johnny. The aim of the game is to swoon the bachelorettes that you meet on an app named Linger. Getting dates on said Tinder knockoff isn’t too difficult. In most cases the babes will accept your advances, providing that you select a suitable profile pic and accrue enough stars (earned each time you go on a date.) The dates in Mr Massagy are quick affairs were you respond to questions pitched by your love interest. Make a good impression and your date will invite you back to her place for a sensual massage.

To simulate the abovementioned back rubbing players are advised to place the PS4 controller on their shoulders, relax and enjoy the soothing vibrations. Lesbian players may prefer to rest the controller elsewhere… if you catch my drift. What makes Mr Massagy stand out from other games in the genre is the unorthodox roster of ladies available to flirt with. Some of the more colourful characters include a werewolf, an extra-terrestrial, a bovine nudist and a phantom surfer. If you have a fetish for inanimate objects fear not, because it’s also possible to go out with a body pillow and a jar of mayonnaise!


My rating for Mr Massagy is a two out of five. It’s not a great game, but I must admit to having some fun with it. The manner that the romantic rendezvous play out made me chuckle on several occasions, as they are so weird. I also can’t say that I regret my purchase, because the software is available to download for less than a fiver. On the graphical side of things, I would have to say that the artwork lacks polish. I did however like the character designs and must commend the artist for imbuing each girl with tons of personality. They did an eggs-cellent job of showcasing how bashful the mayonnaise is for example.

If I had to recommend Mr Massagy to anyone it would be to achievement hunters, as it offers a platinum trophy that can be acquired in less than two hours. One interesting feature that Mr Massagy boasts is online leader boards. High score tables are not something you normally associate with dating sims. If you are so inclined its possible to compete for the honour of most three star dates or longest massage. At the time of writing there is someone who has clocked 12,679 minutes worth of massage time with the body pillow. Evidently, no matter how lonely I was during Valentines, there are people out there who are even more desperate for affection.

Review of Battle Chef Brigade


Match three isn’t just confined to puzzle games you know. Years ago, for example, we saw how HuniePop would simulate romantic dates via the mechanic of lining up like-coloured tiles. In a similar vein, cooking dishes in Battle Chef Brigade revolves around match three gameplay. The tastiness of the meals you prepare is dependent on how well one combos the various blue/green/red ingredients. Said ingredients are harvested in 2D fighting stages, where players need to slay beasts to procure their meat and yummy organs. How violent! The chefs in this game rival Gordon Ramsay when it comes to aggression.


In Battle Chef Brigade players assume the role of Mina Han, a teenage chef who has left her village in order to compete in a cooking tournament. Think Food Wars, set in a fantasy kingdom, minus the food orgasms. Mina’s participation in the contest is chronicled across six chapters, which will take the average person around ten hours to clear. The story shows how Mina ditched her family restaurant, fought against rivals and investigated a plague that is contaminating the local wildlife. Apart from the main campaign there are also daily challenges to tackle, where players can see how their culinary skills compare to others in the Switch online leader boards.

One of the reasons why I downloaded this title, for my Nintendo handheld, is because of the eye-catching visuals. Although the game’s animation would benefit from some extra frames, one cannot help but admire the gorgeous hand drawn graphics and character designs (that resemble The Legend of Korra.) Indie developer Trinket Studios has done a fine job of combining puzzle segments, which play like Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, with fun 2D combat. Mina hunts for food by using martial arts, casting magic and hurling daggers. I enjoyed the action, even if I cannot comprehend why Mina doesn’t forego bloodshed in favour of buying ingredients at the supermarket.


My rating for Battle Chef Brigade is four Michelin stars out of five. The game isn’t too difficult, but I can’t say that the simplicity ever got repetitive. Every match feels unique, as you can’t rely on churning out the exact same dishes all the time. Different judges oversee each encounter. If you wish to get maximum points, from them, Mina needs to tweak her menu to appeal to their distinct tastes. The game also keeps things fresh by introducing new mechanics on a regular basis, such as poisonous ingredients that explode when stirred. A toxic dinner, that detonates, sounds like something I would make in my kitchen. I suck at cooking, so when it comes to satiating hunger I stick to microwavable meals.

A gastronomic brawler sounds like a weird idea for a game, but somehow Trinket Studios have managed to make it work. My only grievance with Battle Chef Brigade is that the story is a bit short. Sadly there’s no multiplayer mode to extend the title’s shelf life or unlockable characters to encourage additional playthroughs. Perhaps that is something to consider for a potential future sequel? Either way, I can highly recommend Battle Chef Brigade to anyone who owns a Switch. The game is on the Steam store as well, so the PC master (chef) race can play it on their hardware too.

Review of Doki Doki Literature Club


It’s been yonks since I last accessed my Steam account, as I forgot my password a few months ago. Rather than reset my logins, I chose to capitalize on the lapse in memory. If I cannot visit the store I can’t possibly waste money on discounted games that I will never have the time to play. Just like David Dickinson, I cannot resist a bargain that is cheap as chips. My exile of Valve’s service is now over however, as several readers persuaded me to give Doki Doki Literature Club a try. This award winning visual novel, from fledgling developer Team Salvato, was recommended to me when I put the call out for quality titles that can be finished in less than ten hours.


When the game begins players, who assume the role of a high school student, are coerced into joining the titular club by their chirpy childhood pal Sayori. The protagonist isn’t much of a bibliophile, but like most male teenagers he can’t resist the allure of hanging out with four lovelies after class. Doki Doki Literature Club’s members are Monika, Yuri, Natsuki and the aforementioned Sayori. Monika is the club president and most popular girl in school. Yuri meanwhile is a timid intellectual who is passionate about horror novels. Last, but not least, is Natsuki the pint-sized tsundere. She is my favourite, of the quartet, as her written fiction of choice is manga.

Like with most visual novels, Doki Doki Literature Club involves reading text and enjoying the music/artwork that accompanies it. The narrative (specifically which girl the protagonist will date) is influenced by the poetry sessions that Monika has organized. Each day the club members need to write up a poem and share it with the group. During these segments players need to construct a verse by selecting twenty words from a notebook. The choices one makes will improve their reputation with a particular girl. Natsuki, for example, has a soft spot for cute things – so choosing words such as “kitty” will make the protagonist more attractive in her eyes.

Sounds simple enough. Click on phrases, snag a girlfriend and live happily ever after. Well, that’s what you would expect in a traditional VN. Doki Doki Literature Club is a little different though. All the ladies are thirsty for the main character’s package and will therefore get jealous when you begin to favour one of them over the others. This all culminates in the story taking a sinister and unexpected twist.


My rating for Doki Doki Literature Club is five stars. Just like Moirai, this is a memorable experience you can download off Steam for nowt. I actually feel bad about not rewarding the developer financially, for their efforts, so I may toss them some Shekels by purchasing the soundtrack/art-book DLC. Doki Doki Literature Club resonated with me because it is similar to some of my favourite anime. Cast in the same mould as Madoka Magica, it starts off sweet and fluffy before subverting your expectations with an unsettling scene. I suppose that’s a bit of a spoiler, but the game itself does open up with a disclaimer that warns against playing if you are easily disturbed.

Doki Doki Literature Club also gets bonus points from me because its set pieces are something that would only work in a video game. Unlike some other visual novels, this title wouldn’t transfer well to the movie screen or a comic book page. The interactivity you have, although limited, plays a big role in proceedings. Given that the game can be cleared in five hours, it’s something I can recommend to everyone. Power through the unassuming first act and I guarantee you will be hooked. Things are not oki doki at the literature club. In hindsight the protagonist may have been better off signing up for another club. Maybe the School-Live club would have been a safer choice?

Review of Night in the Woods


After funding several projects on Kickstarter, which never saw the light of day, I have given up on donating cash to that company. Crowd funding doesn’t always end in a disaster though. To their credit some people, who requested financial aid on that site, did make good on their promises – be it whipping up a batch of potato salad or developing quality software. One of the video game successes that spawned from Kickstarter is Night in the Woods from Infinite Fall. It’s a title that several of my readers have recommended to me in the past. My followers have great taste (they like my blog after all) so I heeded their words and decided to check the game out.


Mae Borowski, a twenty-year-old feline, is the protagonist of Night in the Woods. When the game begins Mae returns home in disgrace, after dropping out of college. In this narrative heavy adventure game players decide whom the young cat girl should hang out with on a daily basis. Mae’s chums include a gothic alligator, a homosexual teddy (I guess he is a “bear” in more ways than one) and a foxy delinquent. Just as Mae begins to reacclimatize to life in Possum Springs she comes across a severed arm. The gruesome discovery may be linked to a phantom kidnapper that she spots a few days later. Finding out who is responsible for these crimes will involve spending a night in the woods.

Anyone who watches Night in the Woods’ trailer may mistaken this game for a platformer, due to the footage of Mae leaping across power lines. Gameplay wise however I would liken this title to Oxenfree, as most of my playthrough involved conversing with NPCs. That’s actually more enjoyable than it sounds because the characters you interact with are written so well. Every now and then the chatter is interrupted by mini-games, which vary in quality. As someone who sucks at rhythm games I can’t say that the band practice segments, which play like Guitar Hero, appealed to me. On the flip side I liked the friendly knife fight and the sequence were you squirt mall shoppers with a fish-head fountain. Poor customers. Getting soaked by a fishy decoration must be a pain in the bass.


My rating for Night in the Woods is a three and a half out of five. I had a grand time playing through the eight-hour story and can see why so many critics showered the game with praise last year. Although I don’t share Mae’s passion for vandalism/shoplifting, she is a character I can relate to. Just like her, I have had to deal with the awkwardness of dealing with relatives after an unsuccessful stint in higher education. We both have also suffered the embarrassment of acting like fools, during social events, after consuming one too many brews. In my defence though, it takes more than three watered down beers to make me vomit up my tacos.

I can highly recommend Night in the Woods, unless you are one of those console owners who values gameplay over story. One complaint that can be levied against Night in the Woods is that traditional video game mechanics take a backseat to its witty banter, excellent soundtrack and stylish visuals. An argument could be made that Night in the Woods would work better as a cartoon series. It’s script, which should resonate with young adults and features weird dream sequences, reminds me of the animation MTV would put out back in the nineties. Ah, how I miss those days. Someone should build a time machine so I can journey back to that decade. If you are up to task start a Kickstarter and I will gladly pledge towards your DeLorean/Police Box construction efforts.

Review of Super Mario Odyssey


Bowser has once again kidnapped Princess Peach. Despite the best efforts of Anita Sarkeesian, the video game trope of damsels in distress is very much alive and well. King Koopa plans to force the monarch into an unwilling marriage, which I don’t understand. Given the choice, I would rather be wed to the sexier Rosalina. Anyways, when royalty needs rescuing who do you call? If you answered Special Forces you would be mistaken. Time to hire a plumber me thinks. Mario sets off on a globe trotting adventure to save Peach and joining him for the ride is a sentient piece of headgear named Cappy.


Gone are the days when Mario would dress like a racoon and devour mushrooms to acquire special powers. Mario Odyssey sees Nintendo’s mascot steal Kirby’s talent of mimicking enemies, which he accomplishes by placing his hat on their noggin. There are tons of foes that Mario can possess with this new mechanic. Some examples that stood out during my play through include giant dinosaurs, yellow taxicabs, amphibians that ribbit and turtles armed with frying pans. Cappy can also be tossed to grab out of reach coins or to destroy objects from a distance. Wreck stuff by hurling a hat? Bond villain Oddjob would approve.

In terms of gameplay Odyssey reminds me most of Sunshine and Mario 64. Thankfully the abovementioned Cappy is a better companion than that detestable FLUDD. Levels are open world affairs where you hunt down Moons, which are the power source of the craft that transports you across kingdoms. As expected from a Mario title the platforming is solid thanks to the responsive controls. I was however a tad miffed that certain moves cannot be activated in handheld mode. Said advanced abilities require that you shake the Joycons. A decade since the Wii’s launch and Nintendo are still pressuring players to strain their wrists with unwanted motion interfaces.


My rating for Super Mario Odyssey is a five out of five. In a weird way the game reminds me of Bloodborne. Both titles are games that I had little interest in playing, only tried because they came bundled with the console and ended up loving anyway. That’s a surprise because I am no Nintendo fan boy. My dad bought me a Megadrive, during the height of the 16-bit wars, so I was conditioned at an early age to revile Mario. Not even adolescent brainwashing can make me dislike a game with such creative stages though. Adding to the charm are the colourful graphics, which prove that the Switch doesn’t have to be a technological powerhouse to rival its competitors in the visual department.

The soundtrack is top notch too, with my favourite tune being Jump Up Superstar sung by Kate Davis. I estimate that it took me around twelve hours to complete the main story. That may not sound like much content, but fear not because there are plenty of collectibles to discover in the post game. If exploration isn’t your thing don’t worry because Toad is willing to point you in the right direction in exchange for some gold. Super Mario Odyssey is a title that every Switch owner should add to his or her library. Good job Nintendo. I tip my hat (or should that be Cappy) to you.

The Top Five Games I Reviewed in 2017


The year 2017 was a great time for video games. It was a little too great in fact. The sheer quantity of excellent titles, which came out, was so vast that I only managed to play a small fraction of them. Many releases that other sites have named in their best of year lists remain in my backlog unopened. Still, who cares about my first world problems? Below are the finest games that I managed to complete and review in the past twelve months.

5th) Miitopia: Nintendo has discontinued the Miiverse, but at least we can say that the franchise went out on a high note, courtesy of this casual RPG. Players assemble a party of real life friends and celebrities to battle the wicked Dark Lord, who is responsible for nabbing the faces of innocents. The game’s lack of interactivity (you only have direct control of one character) will put off some hardcore gamers, but I was able to overlook that fault thanks to the title’s charm and humour. Goodbye cute Miis. You shall be mii-ssed.

4th) Last Day of June: From a pure gameplay perspective, Last Day of June is arguably the weakest entry in this list. It compensates for its shortcomings however with an emotional, short but sweet, story. Players take control of wheelchair bound Carl, who attempts to save his fiancé from a fatal car crash by using mystical portraits that transport him to the past. The game boasts some clever third person puzzles, a beautiful soundtrack and graphics reminiscent of a Tim Burton stop-motion movie. Well worth the three hours it takes to complete.

3rd) Sonic Mania: After a number of recent flops, Sonic the Hedgehog returned to prominence in 2017 thanks to Sonic Mania. Indie programmer Christian Whitehead ended up overshadowing Sonic Forces with this effort. Mania delivers the look and feel of vintage Sonic that veteran fans have been demanding for years. It plays just like the classic Megadrive trilogy thanks to its excellent music, multi-path 2D stages and retro pixel graphics. Brilliant stuff, even if the dizzying sphere collecting mini-game still makes me nauseous.

2nd) Danganronpa V3: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Danganronpa V3 once again features sixteen trapped juveniles who are forced to compete in a death game by a beary demented teddy. Recycling the same plot for a third successive occasion should feel stale, but thanks to a quirky cast and some unexpected twists V3 remains just as captivating as its predecessors. This anime themed murder mystery is easily the best visual novel I read in 2017. Even if the big reveal at the end is a tad polarizing, don’t let that put you off. V3 is one of those experiences were the journey is more important than the destination.

1st) Persona 5: The phantom thieves steal the top spot. Even if the cast aren’t as likable as their Persona 4 counterparts, I still loved this stylish RPG. It’s ironic that in a year were I moan about lack of gaming time, I ended up getting immersed in a game were time management is of the utmost importance. Should I dungeon crawl to advance the story or socialize to unlock new abilities? Those decisions are what make Persona so enjoyable. Work may limit my gaming sessions these days, but when something this good comes out it’s amazing how one’s schedule can be rearranged to accommodate a 100-hour tour de force.

So there you have it, my favourite games of 2017. The top three pretty much picked themselves, but I had a tougher time filling in the final two slots. Chaos;Child, Fire Emblem Echoes and Monument Valley are honourable mentions that narrowly missed the cut. But enough about my selection, what were your best games of the year? Let me know in the comments section below. It will be a big help in helping me prioritize what to play next from my enormous backlog.

Review of Fire Emblem Warriors


Musou games have come a long way since the days when they were confined to Romance of the Three Kingdoms. In recent times the Warriors franchise has migrated from China to outer space (Dynasty Warriors: Gundam) and even Zelda’s stomping grounds, in 2014’s Hyrule Warriors. Three years after Link’s game took the Wii U by storm we are once again treated to another Warriors title on a Nintendo machine. On this occasion Omega Force have decided to turn tactical Fire Emblem into an action packed button basher. Why bother with strategy when one guy can fell an entire army on their lonesome?


Fire Emblem Warriors is similar to Heroes, in that it stars characters from various games in the series. Set in the kingdom of Aytolis, which is under siege by monsters from another dimension, players take control of twin royals Rowan and Lianna. In order to save their country, the blonde duo trek across the region recruiting the aid of well known Fire Emblem soldiers. The roster of playable characters is dominated by personalities from the recent 3DS games. Marth makes an appearance too. I guess he was included as most people recognize him from Smash Bros. He’s the swordfighter who is less broken than Meta Knight.

The game plays like any other Musou title. For the most part you dash across the map securing forts whilst slaying anyone who gets in your way. It’s easy to decimate thousands of troops, because the regular grunts don’t pose much of a threat. Their commanding officers do however put up more of a fight. In order to best the mightier foes it’s advised that you take advantage of the Fire Emblem weapon triangle. For those who don’t know – swords are effective against axes, lances are strong versus swords and axes trump lances. Also be aware that archers deal bonus damage to flying units and magic can bypass armour (or summon rabbits out of top hats.)

One feature that I like about Fire Emblem Warriors is that during a battle you can swap between four characters. That’s different from other Musou games, which limit you to just one guy per skirmish. Characters not under your control will act on their own initiative, although you do have the option of issuing them with orders via the map screen. That’s probably for the best as the AI is dimmer than an abode that hasn’t paid its electric bill. If you run across an ally, on the battlefield, it’s possible to pair up with them. Your partner will occasionally block incoming damage and will assist when you unleash a special attack.


My rating for Fire Emblem Warriors is four stars. Right now it’s the game I have played the most on my Switch. The story only took me ten hours to complete, but since then I have been repeating chapters on higher difficulties. Once I am done with that I have the History Mode challenges to look forward to. Despite the simplistic combat system I have yet to tire of the game. There’s just something so satisfying about seeing your characters grow stronger with each passing level up (I call that RPG addiction.) Once a mission is over you can beef up your army even further by using loot to forge mightier weapons and unlock new abilities.

My only real complaint with Fire Emblem Warriors is the character selection. Twenty plus playable heroes is a respectable lineup, but alas not all of my favourite waifus made the cut. Why can’t we have clumsy maid Felicia or snarky tsundere Severa instead of that dullard Frederick? Another notable omission is racy sorceress Tharja. Where is she? Included in an upcoming DLC bundle that you have to pay for apparently. Nintendo may censor fan service in their games, but they aren’t above using titillation to blackmail consumers into spending their shekels. Cough up the dough or you get no SexyWITCH on your SWITCH.