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Recent reviews by slanderoid

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Showing 1-10 of 81 entries
4 people found this review helpful
10.2 hrs on record
I picked this one up on a whim last weekend. After a month of playing horror games, I wanted something a bit lighter in tone. I was looking for a metroidvania, but not one full of stats or tons of gear. I wanted progression, of course, but I didn’t want to start off feeling like a wimpy baby for the first few hours of the game. All I wanted was to explore a map and find some treasure with some really fun movement mechanics. After a little bit of hunting, I found something that I thought fit my mood just right at the moment: Super Mombo Quest.

I’m glad I did, too! Not only was it exactly what I was looking for, it was also so good that I’ve had a hard time putting it down since. The gameplay feels somewhere between Super Meat Boy and Celeste and Guacamelee, and it offers a similar (though not quite as extreme) level of difficulty.

The concept is fairly simple: it’s a simple metroidvania where every room is a self-contained level that has one or two challenges to complete to get all the big golden coins before moving on to the next room. (Or the player can skip most of the coins and just blast through the map. Whatever.) Ability upgrades are found after beating bosses and can be further enhanced by spending crystals at the… enhancement store? Except for green Mombo and its aerial abilities, each of the found abilities can be summed up as different directional attacks, a la Guacamelee.

It sounds pretty simple, but the game is rife with difficult challenges that only get more intense as the game goes on. Again, it’s not as extreme as most precision platformers, but it’s nothing to sneeze at, either. For instance, the last world has no checkpoints in it. This seemed daunting at first (and I certainly had to restart the world a number of times) but it ended up being completely doable. I think has the perfect amount of challenge. It’s still very enjoyable but it leaves the player feeling satisfied in the end.

There are only a few tweaks to the formula that I would suggest if the developers plan to make another one someday: the lack of upgrades hidden on the map is a bit of a bummer – they always feel rewarding to find in games like these; the second-to-last boss was kind of a pushover compared to the others that came before it; and the last new ability is a bit of a wet fart and I only used it because I occasionally had to.

All in all, if you’re looking for a short but satisfying metroidvania game to kill a few hours, I would definitely recommend looking into this one. The price might be a bit high for its length, so it might be worth waiting for a sale. Either way, give this one a try!
Posted November 12, 2022.
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83 people found this review helpful
10 people found this review funny
27.2 hrs on record
Oh, man. This one is going to hurt.

Having played the first two games (and part of the third game) in the series when I was at a formative age, I’ve held the Fatal Frame series in high regard. I never had the chance to play this one, though, since I’ve never owned a WiiU. Needless to say, I freaked out when I saw that this one was coming to Steam!

So, I tried it when it first released… and it didn’t click for me. Something about it just didn’t feel right at the time. Now that almost a year has passed by and having convinced myself that my problems with the game were probably unfounded, I thought I’d give it another try.

I wish I had stuck with my gut instinct.

Jesus, where do I start? There are brief moments in this game that are satisfying, but, ultimately, this game is just bad. I guess the first thing I noticed were the controls: I know this game employs tank controls, but that doesn’t mean that turning and backing up and walking and running and everything else have to feel like I’m playing a game of telephone where I tell the character what to do and, after a few moments, the character on-screen misinterprets what I had originally told them to do. Oh god, then there’s the camera. The ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ camera. Every time I “sprinted” in-game, the camera would randomly swing into the ground or the sky and recenter on the character. (I’m glad I don’t often suffer from motion sickness – but if I did, I’d have needed to have my puke bucket within reach at all times.) And, for whatever reason, whenever I played as Ren, the ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ camera would frequently get stuck behind walls when I walked through a door. I didn’t have that problem with Yuri and I can’t remember if it happened with Miu: I think it was just Ren. What the hell?

Okay, but enough about the camera and the controls. Let’s talk about the gameplay, shall we? While the mountain environment is kind of interesting, this game sucks all of the life out the setting by making the player repeat the same areas over and over and over again. Not in the fun “oh, I just found a key for an area earlier in the game and now I have to go back and open up some new place.” No. This game is episodic in nature and the chapters always begin in the antique shop hub area, so it often makes the player start toward the base of the mountain when they leave the store and work their way back up, even if the last chapter ended at the summit. Often, the game will make the player repeat the exact same path they took in the last episode without introducing anything new or interesting in the process. Even the ghosts seem to appear in the same spots, episode after episode. It’s enough to make me want to give myself a lobotomy just thinking back on it.

So, yeah, there are ghosts all over the place in this game. And I mean, all over the place. For some reason, the developers thought it would be super scary to have the player constantly fighting ghosts when, actually, it was annoying as ♥♥♥♥. About three-quarters of the way through the game, I realized I was doing the combat wrong, so some of my annoyance is on me. I get that. But, that doesn’t account for all of the poor design decisions. Like, it’s not scary to make a ghost pop up in a tiny room full of obstacles when the combat takes place in a very limited first person view marred by awful controls – it’s frustrating and it sucks. That didn’t stop the developers from making that happen as often as possible. What would have been way cooler was to have more interesting ghosts in the game instead of the three or four kinds that show up on repeat.

Let’s see, what else is there? Oh, the sound design is a dumpster fire. There is no music that I can remember, other than one “song” in one chapter; in its place is a constant droning sound that simultaneously fades into the background and drills a hole into the psyche. The one musical track I remember (other than the one that plays in the final credits) is in episode thirteen and it is the most repetitive, annoying, aneurism-inducing music I’ve ever heard. And I swear to whatever god is out there, if I hear the phrase “I will glance into your soul” ever again, I will go flood a shrine with unholy black water myself.

Finally, I have to say something that I never thought I would say: Cool it with the boob jiggle. This is not an arousing game. It does not need arousing animations. In fact, it’s pretty weird.

As I mentioned before, there are a few diamonds strewn about here and there in this game. The cutscenes do a great job of being creepy (when the character models aren’t disappearing and reappearing along with camera cuts, that is). I liked how ghosts would sometimes grab the characters hand when they reached for items in the environment (even if I felt like I had a snowball’s chance in hell of dodging them). The ghosts that looked like they were underwater were cool (though they were annoying to fight). The surveillance episodes were legitimately freaky (and I bet you thought I’d say something negative about them here, but they actually were just pretty freaky.)

I’m going to buy Fatal Frame 4 when it comes out next year because I never seem to learn my lesson. I hope that it will be good. I’m also crossing my fingers that there will be a re-release of the original trilogy here on Steam. But I absolutely will not suggest buying this game. It’s just bad. For the first time, I wish there was a rating below “Not Recommended”.
Posted October 19, 2022.
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4 people found this review helpful
6.3 hrs on record
I’ve had this one sitting around in my library for a few years now. It’s always called to me when the Halloween season starts but, for one reason or another, I’ve turned it away in favor of other spooky games. Well, this year I decided it was time to sit down and give it a full playthrough!

…Which didn’t take very long. My playtime at the time of the review says 6.3 hours, but I started from the beginning this time and I probably spent five hours on this full playthrough. (That’s including a lot of mistakes and failed attempts at exploration; it easily could have been shorter than that if I wasn’t so crappy at playing games.) This weighed pretty heavily on my final decision to not recommend this one. I feel a bit silly about this score because, just yesterday, I posted a review of Countess in Crimson – another very short game – and gave it a positive review.

So, now might be a suitable time to quickly explain what, to me, makes a short game worth playing and what makes one disappointing.

Countess in Crimson told a full story, used every mechanic, used every inventory item, and felt rewarding in the process. It felt complete, despite being in Early Access and promising more content down the line. That’s a good short game. Little Nightmares spends most of its time focused on sneaking around baddies and hiding. This was fine until I found out it had more to offer. Right before the game ended, I was thrown into a fun and pulse-pounding chase sequence with a bunch of hungry passengers crawling over each other to eat me. Shortly after that, I fought the first (and last) boss of the game. …And then the game just sort of ended. It left me feeling blueballed just like when I played through the first Borderlands game: I felt like the game was finally hitting its stride, just for it to abruptly stop. Maybe the problem is that the ending of Little Nightmares was too good. Or maybe it’s that the game just feels like a prelude to a bigger and better game. That’s not even mentioning that a full third of the game’s chapters are locked behind DLC. In the end, I felt cheated when the credits started to roll. I wanted so much more from this game. Now, to get it, I have to buy a bunch of DLC and a whole other game to get what I wanted from this one.

This is not a bad game. In fact, it’s pretty damned good. I didn’t think I’d like the cartoonish caricatures of adults as foes but, in the end, they were starting to freak me out. I loved the puzzle platforming and having to hide from the monstrous crew to keep from being eaten. The visual design of the characters and the levels is wonderful. Finding the little goblins and dolls strewn around the ship always felt rewarding. The animal sounds the crew and passengers make as they chase you down makes everything so much more unsettling.

But, unless you’re willing to pay $20 for what amounts to a demo of another game, I wouldn’t recommend buying this one. If you must play it, get it on sale or in a bundle. Just don’t come crying to me when it leaves you hanging in the end.
Posted October 16, 2022.
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17 people found this review helpful
5.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Have you ever played an “mature content” game and hoped that an H scene would shatter your mind with cosmic horrors beyond your comprehension? Do you find that the main characters in these games spend too little time worrying that they’ll be drained of their bodily fluids so the villain can perform eldritch rituals? Do you ever think to yourself, “Dang, the love interests in this game need more devil horns and spider legs?”

Well, this might just be the game for you!

Countess in Crimson somehow crams these intense scenarios, as well as a compelling story and some of the finest animations I’ve seen so far in a mature game, into a small package. The game itself can be completed in a couple of hours but lends itself to replayability. (As far as I know, it’s impossible to get all the scenes in one playthrough.) While the short play time might be a deterrent to some potential players, the unique subject and content makes up for it. Plus, it’s currently in Early Access; the developer has said that there will be a new character and other new stuff added eventually.

But, as I’ve implied, what’s already in the game is really high quality. The devs also seem to understand what it takes to make a rewarding “mature content” game: the player sets the pace to some extent by avoiding or engaging in dialog options; the camera item can be used to get extra stills of the characters; the mini-game to unlock mastery scenes can be turned off with no negative effects on the outcome. The only thing missing (or isn’t obvious enough for me to find it) is a “skip” option for subsequent playthroughs. Be prepared to do a lot of clicking to unlock those additional endings!

If you’re looking for a new adult visual novel but are in the market for something a bit spicier than the usual fare, you can’t go wrong with this one. I, for one, will be looking forward to the additional content to finally be released and will be keeping an eye on this developer in the future.
Posted October 15, 2022.
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90 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
122.9 hrs on record (120.1 hrs at review time)
This game was such a relief to me. I mean, it's been so long since I've been able to find a JRPG that has grabbed my attention and kept me interested from start to finish that I had started to think it wasn't possible anymore. I've tried Persona and Dragon Quest and Trails and, hell, even classic Final Fantasy games that I used to love but none of them spoke to me. That’s part of why I slept on this one for so long… But, now that I’ve played it, I can say that Yakuza: Like a Dragon was exactly the game I needed to remember why I loved JRPGs in the first place. The first time Kasuga “saw” the party and the enemies change into job-appropriate costumes at the start of battle, I was hooked: I had to see all of the goofy enemies and ridiculous costumes and hilarious attacks. For the first time in years, I was playing a JRPG that I couldn’t put down and it felt fantastic.

So, I haven’t played any of the games that come before this one in the series but I understand that this is a huge change in direction. You can’t tell from playing this one, though: this game seems like a masterpiece that could only come from a culmination of experience after years of making JRPGs. Seriously. They struck gold on their first try, here.

Despite the silly characters and preposterous premise, the story had me by the short-and-curlies throughout the entire game; the more the stakes escalated, the more I needed to see what happened next. Watching Kasuga as he goes from nearly dying in a pile of garbage to campaigning to become an elected official may not seem like it would be all that thrilling but it had me glued to my screen. This is an excellent example of the Hero’s Journey set in modern times with (almost) no magic or monsters to help or hinder along the way. It constantly steps to the edge of becoming fantasy without ever going over. It was fun to see how the developers balanced the main character’s overactive imagination with the reality of the world around him. Honestly, I could go on about the story and the writing for hours but I’ll stop there. I’ll just say that this game is worth playing for the story alone.

But what’s a story without gameplay? (Well, that’s a visual novel, I guess…) Luckily, the gameplay is just as engaging: combat has light QTEs that boost damage dealt or reduce damage taken, making battles far more entertaining; minigames are freaking everywhere and run the gamut from a business management sim to racing go-karts; and combing the city streets for treasure and helpful NPCs was an absolute blast throughout the whole game. Trying out different jobs and levelling them is rewarded with permanent stat boosts and skills that carry over to other jobs. Side quests tend to be just as well written and interesting as the main story. Getting hit by cars after not looking both ways before crossing the street was never not hilarious. Honestly, I forgot that JRPGs could be fun until I played this game and had a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ blast the whole time.

Okay, not the whole time. There are few issues here and there. Like, the number of actual dungeons is shockingly small and, when the player does find themselves in one, they tend to be pretty dull in terms of design. There was a huge difficulty spike at about two-thirds of the way through the game that almost made me rage quit. Some of the jobs just kind of suck and I’m not sure why they were put in the game. You know, little crap that makes no difference in the long run.

Because, in the long run, I’m going to look back on this game and remember what a great time I had playing it. As unlikely as it seemed to me before I started playing it, this game has made it onto my personal list of the best games of all time. You absolutely must play it if you’re a fan of JRPGs, or RPGs, or the Yakuza franchise, or just Sega in general… Hell, even if none of those things describes you, I’d recommend giving it a chance. Though it might seem unlikely, you might just find something to love about this game.
Posted October 2, 2022. Last edited October 2, 2022.
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9 people found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1.6 hrs on record
I thought this would be a good time to finally play this game that's been gathering dust in my library for years and since I’ve been loving playing horror adventure games for a little while, now.

This game challenged that love.

Well, that's not really true… but I've finally found a game in this genre that I don't like.

On paper, it seems like something I’d like. The art style is pretty cool; the monochrome with occasional splashes of color reminds me of Mad World or Sin City and that makes me happy. The concept of a character endlessly waking up from a nightmare only to find himself within another nightmare is really cool and I hope to find another game that attempts something similar. Plus, I'm a sucker for cool creature designs and this game has some neat ones.

But these positives don't make up for the fact that this game is dull. I may be missing something here, but a majority of my time playing this one was spent walking down identical hallways and investigating mostly empty rooms. There is no map. There is no need for a map. There is no way to get lost. You go forward. Then, you continue to go forward. Once you've gone forward enough, the game ends.

I'm oversimplifying things here. There are some enemies to sneak around and some snippets of story here and there… but there aren't enough of them to make things interesting. I can't remember being faced with a single puzzle throughout the entire game. Granted, I played this one a while ago, so maybe I'm forgetting something. But the fact that nothing stuck with me is just as damning.

If you're looking for something spooky to play, definitely skip past this one. There are much spookier times to be had elsewhere.
Posted September 28, 2022.
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3 people found this review helpful
30.6 hrs on record
One of my favorite games of all time is Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze. Now, since this is Steam and Nintendo still has their heads up their asses about releasing games on PC, I can’t play it without wiping an inch of dust off of my Switch and cussing about not getting achievements or trading cards or being able to play on my preferred device without their legal team staking out my house. ♥♥♥♥ all of that ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥.

Luckily, we’ve got the next best thing: Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair.

Just like with Donkey Kong Country, this is a tight, challenging 2D platformer full of humor and whimsical characters. Each level is broken up into two “acts” where some kind of monumental environmental change transforms the first act into a whole new level. (Some of my favorites were: flooding the level with water, coating the level in honey, or turning the level on its side.) Each of these changes are toggled on or off in the overworld map – a gameplay feature that surpasses Donkey Kong Country or, hell, even Mario Bros. Between each level, Yooka and Laylee explore an overworld that plays like a Zelda-like. I had a blast exploring mini-dungeons, finding hidden treasure, and solving puzzles. It was the perfect way to cool down after a tough platforming level.

In fact, I had such a blast playing through this one that my complaints are pretty limited. There are glitches here and there. (There was one in particular that keeps Yooka from traveling as intended along conveyor belts. It was a boon at times, sure, but a glitch nonetheless.) There is no way to attempt The Impossible Lair after you've cleared a level in the game without starting a new save file. (After you collect a single Beetallion, it becomes The Not-So-Impossible Lair.) And, there are no boss battles throughout the game, only in the final stage. (I didn't notice this until I was trying to beat the game but it still struck me as odd once I’d noticed it.)

Despite those little issues, this was an outstanding game. If you're a fan of classic, level-based 2D platformers and haven't played this one, you definitely should. I liked it enough that I'm even looking forward to going back and playing the first one, since I missed out the first time around!
Posted September 28, 2022.
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64 people found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
58.4 hrs on record
I waited nearly a year and a half for this game. I spent that time watching everyone enjoying the game, avoiding spoilers, and fighting the urge to borrow a ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ Playstation just so I could play it. It was brutal. In the end, I’m glad I waited. If I had caved and bought it on EGS, my playthrough would have been clouded by the frustration of giving in to FOMO and it wouldn’t have felt as special.

As it is, when I started playing this, I was instantly reminded of being a kid and waking up early on Saturday morning to start a weekend-long marathon of playing. I’m not normally so nostalgic but this game got to me. There was something about seeing all of the Lego-block-looking characters I remember from the 1997 original coming to life with more realistic renders that ripped me back into the past to a simpler time. The excitement I felt then came back to me and hit me right in the gut. It was well worth the wait.

But that’s enough waxing nostalgic. You’re here to see if the game is worth your time and money.

If you haven’t played the original, it’s hard for me to say. The game is gorgeous, the battle system is fantastic, and the story is extremely interesting. The problem is, I don’t know how much it has to offer for a newcomer. The story is incomplete – this is only about 1/3 of the the original game’s story. The characters are all pretty wonderful – but I don’t know how much of my love for them comes from bonding with them as a kid. What I can guarantee are beautiful visuals and a fun battle system. If that’s worth $70(!) to you, go for it. Otherwise, you may want to wait for the rest of the games to come out or for a discounted price.

Now, if you’re old as hell (like me), this game could easily be worth every penny. As someone who doesn’t consider Final Fantasy VII his favorite in the series, I consider the remake to be one of the finest games in the franchise. I love how the developers were able to overhaul the battle system to appeal to new generations of gamers. (However, if you’re not looking for a new spin on the fights, there is a “Classic Mode” that is apparently more like the old style of battle system. I don’t know how well it works, though… I never tried it.) The updated story has me on tenterhooks! While it’s very close to the original game’s story, there is enough different here that I’m excited to see what happens next. I have a feeling that things are going to get very interesting… And, I know this might sound like something trivial, but the addition of voice actors makes everything so much more engaging that it was twenty-five years ago. I was on the edge of my seat from start to finish.

So, I’m going to say something that will be considered blasphemous but it has to be said: I like this remake so, so, so much more than the original. It has quickly become one of my favorite Final Fantasy games and any fan of the series owes it to themselves to give this one a try.
Posted September 27, 2022. Last edited September 27, 2022.
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38 people found this review helpful
33.8 hrs on record
Sheesh. I’ll admit that when I started this game, I was not feeling it. I mean, the dour tone, the hideous characters, the punishing gameplay… it was kind of hard to get in the mood to play it. Still, I stuck by it. All the while, I was doing my best to remind myself of the times I salivated over screenshots posted on Game Kitchen’s Twitter feed as it was being developed and I gritted my teeth through the oppressive sorrow that permeates the atmosphere of this game.

But as I was grinding through its dark machinations, one of the teeth of the gilded and bloodied cogs of this game finally clicked into place. I suddenly found myself caring about these bizarre characters trapped in this horrific world. I don’t know if it was being pummeled by shrieking nuns wielding caged captives as weapons, watching a cursed boy birth an elderly man from his chest, fighting an already-dead bishop lifted up and puppeteered by his faithful followers, or what… But I unwittingly found myself fully absorbed in the game’s atmosphere and lore.

I was entertained enough to forgive the complete lack of interesting movement (run, jump, and roll about sums it up) or the occasionally obtuse puzzles. (For instance, I was only able to obtain some treasures because I happened to look in the “Moves” section of the menu and learned there was a move that I had been able to use the entire game that I wasn’t aware of. That’s probably on me, though.) Luckily, the excellent exploration filled with cool environments and tricky secrets did a great job of keeping me sucked in. Couple that with some thrilling Souls-y combat and you’ve got a game that had my complete attention after I found something to get me hooked.

Did I mention that this game is jaw-droppingly beautiful? …I mean, once you look past all the disembowellings and torture, that is. These are some of the finest pixels I’ve ever seen.

Ultimately, I wouldn’t recommend this one to everybody. Obviously, the faint of heart shouldn’t go anywhere near this game. It also gets pretty challenging at times, so anyone looking for an accessible game should steer clear, too. (Note: I don’t remember if there are difficulty settings or not. Perhaps it’s more accessible than I’m letting on, but I’m not sure.) However, this game is perfect for someone, like me, who loves horror and metroidvanias and wants something challenging. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy, you should absolutely play this one. You won’t be disappointed.

Edit: words and stuff
Posted February 27, 2022. Last edited February 27, 2022.
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28 people found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
56.6 hrs on record (52.0 hrs at review time)
I think I saw this one recommended to me in my Discovery Queue or something (because I’m slowly and steadily becoming that guy). After reading the description and a few reviews, I knew I had to give this one a try. As you might have guessed based on my verdict, I was not disappointed. In fact, I was the opposite of disappointed – I was… appointed, I guess? After finishing it, I’m ready to say that I have just found my favorite “mature content” game to date.

I’m not sure how to classify this one. It’s like an adventure game with puzzles and exploration… with some light RPG elements? I guess I could get away with just calling it a sim or something. Well, regardless of what it is, it has somehow managed to be simultaneously light on gameplay and also one of the most fun mature games I’ve played.

And I think the most impressive part about this game is that the mature content actually kind of makes sense within the context of the game’s plot. Sure, the story is silly harem nonsense. The plot isn’t, like, deep or anything – but it’s interesting and entertaining enough that I kind of care about what’s going on… And that’s all I can ask for from a game like this. (I know that meshing mature content in with a decent story isn’t anything new – hell, HuniePop did that years ago and VNs do it all the time – but to see it work in something as ambitious and video-gamey as this is awesome.) As far the gameplay goes, it’s not quite on the level that if you stripped out the adult segments, you’d still have a great game on your hands – but the devs are on the right track. I’m excited to see what the next game has in store!

Anyway, I’ve alluded to the adult content in the game several times so I might as dig a little deeper into the topic:

When the store page claimed that there are “2,500 animated shots”, I was pretty skeptical. But after playing through the game, I can say that, even if the devs massaged that number to get it up, it’s got to be close to being correct. There are tons of cutscenes in this game. Sometimes you end up getting two or three in a row just by following the main story quests. It’s pretty ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ great. And the artists didn’t put quantity over quality – these are consistently some of the best cutscenes I’ve seen in an AO game. (Not that I’m an expert or anything…) The only complaint I could see coming up is the lack of diversity and inclusivity. All of the scenes in this game are pretty vanilla. It didn’t bother me much, but I could see that being a problem if you’re looking for something else.

With all of that being said, I’d definitely recommend this game if you’re in the market for a “mature content” game. I’d even go so far as to say that this could be game of the year. (I’m mostly kidding… But in the AO category? It definitely could be.)

Buy it. At full price. You’re going to get your money’s worth, I promise you. It’s honestly kind of a steal.
Posted February 27, 2022.
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