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2.9 stars

Average score of 89 user reviews

A love letter to the Sci-Fi genre 0

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim by Vanillaware is a love letter to the Sci-Fi genre. The game is inspired by countless anime and movies from Evangelion to E.T.; yet also manages to put its own unique spin on the genre. What starts as a cliche plot of high school students piloting Sentinels (mechs) to fight Kaiju, is only the tip of the iceberg. The game surprises and delights until the very end. This, coupled with beautiful hand drawn art and an excellent soundtrack makes 13 Sentinels an unforgettable e...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The SciAdv universe just hit a new low 0

Robotics;Notes DaSH is fan service, cheesecake, junk food or however you like to call it. There is nothing deep or engaging about this game. DaSH is yet another one of those pervy VNs out there masquerading as a SciAdv title. Normally I wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but DaSH is a glaring exception to the idiom. The game’s box art features an intentional view of Akiho’s legs and ass. Suffice it to say, there will be more where that came from. If you are a fan of either Ste...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Mecha Anime Dreams 0

Mages, the developer behind the immensely popular Steins;Gate as well as the lesser known Chaos;Head, is back at it again with the third main entry in the Science Adventure series, Robotics;Notes. The SciAdv games are lauded for their excellent characters, modern Japanese setting and fascinating mix of real and pseudo-science. Robotics;Notes, while not necessarily a sequel, takes place after the events in those games and includes numerous references and cameos.The first robot is ugly, but functi...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

End of the dragon era 0

Yakuza 6: Song of Life represents the end of the Kiryu Kazuma arc. Kiryu, unlike other gaming mascots, matures and ages throughout the franchise. In Yakuza 0, he is a fresh-faced Yakuza grunt; In Yakuza 3, he is a civilian running an orphanage; And in Yakuza 6, he becomes a grandfather. Despite the numbered title, Yakuza 6 is an excellent starting point for newcomers, it starts from a relatively clean slate with a litany of new characters. The game also sports a brand new game engine that makes ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A girl with a big wrench 0

Iconoclasts is an indie-darling created by sole developer, Joakim "Konjak" Sandberg. It is a metroid-vania inspired game that features excellent sprite and animation work. The game offers clever puzzles, an impressive variety of boss fights and a surprisingly deep and dark story. Unfortunately Iconoclasts falters with other elements. The Tweaks upgrade mechanic is underutilized. Combat outside of boss fights is not exciting. And the storytelling is poor and convoluted.Robin is an unlicensed mech...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Journey through the Mechs 0

Journey to the West is a famous Chinese epic on a scale comparable to J.R.R Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings. If you are unfamiliar with it, you’ve most likely experienced works inspired by it, such as the Dragon Ball franchise or at least heard of the staff-wielding Monkey King. Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is another work inspired by Journey to the West, but is not an exciting take on the source material. Outside of familiar names and characterizations, the game is a fairly generic...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered 2 0

The AAA game space is notorious for churning out unambitious sequels that maximize general appeal at the cost of creative gameplay ideas. Valkyria Chronicles 4 by Sega is one of those games. Sega has developed a game so shockingly similar to the first Valkyria Chronicles that it feels more like DLC content than a new game. Other than a new class, more highly detailed characters and larger maps, I had a hard time differentiating what was actually new about this game. For newcomers to the series, ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An Average Pixel Analog to Hades 0

Children of Morta by Dead Mage is a solid rogue-like dungeon crawler. It has fantastic pixel art and sports a varied roster of characters. Unfortunately the game plays it fairly safe and lacks unique selling points which makes it easy to draw comparisons to its competition. Children of Morta has the unpleasant position of being compared to other rogue-likes, namely Hades. Whenever I boot up Children of Morta, I’m constantly reminded how much better Hades is, whether it is with the environm...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Need for Speed 0

Vanquish by PlatinumGames is unapologetically a video game with a capital V. This speedy action-heavy third person shooter spits in the face of traditional “pop and shot” shooters popularized by Gears of War. The game trades off meticulous character development and sensible storytelling with an over-the-top experience filled with dumb machismo dialog, big robots and explosions every other minute. Vanquish is a one-note action shooter that is fairly short, but makes for an enjoyable h...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A buggy, yet enlightening open world experience 0

Sable is an artsy game. It’s designed to be the antithesis of a typical “video game ass” video game; there is no high score to reach, heads to shoot off or levels to gain. Sable encourages players to wander out into the dunes and discover their own fun, instead of telling players what to do and where to go. Unfortunately the game suffers from a litany of technical issues including frame stuttering and a glitchy camera. Bugs aside, I found Sable to be an enlightening open world ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Fetch Quest: The Game 0

Ghost of a Tale is an indie stealth adventure game with impressive visuals and a deep amount of world building. Unfortunately, playing Ghost of a Tale is not very fun. The gameplay amounts to sneaking around guards, doing dozens of fetch quests and solving rudimentary puzzles.The game takes place in a fantasy medieval world where characters are anthropomorphic animals like mice, rats, frogs and birds. You play as a mouse named Tilo, who has been imprisoned. Tilo receives an envelope containing t...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Gothic masterpiece with a lot of strings attached 5

The House in Fata Morgana is a gothic Visual Novel by the relatively unknown developer, Novect. The game does not look like a typical VN. The art is Western-looking with muted colors instead of an overly saturated Anime style. The setting spans centuries across different countries instead of a year at a typical Japanese high school. The choices the player makes are solely used to move the plot forward, rather than influencing which “waifu” to end up with. To say the least, The House ...

3 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Wallowing in the misery of revenge, blood and gore 2

The Last of Us Part 2 is a big budget AAA sequel to a game that didn’t need one and features a brutal story that doesn’t know how to end. The graphics are highly polished with visuals out of a blockbuster movie. The narrative features expertly crafted cinematography and motion capture. The game is also extremely violent with depictions of gore, torture and dismemberment. The story is an emotionally draining experience and maintains a somber tone throughout the 30 or so hours it takes...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Great for hardcore boardgame nerds with a lot of time… Not great for anyone else 0

I started getting into board games recently and heard about raving reviews about the Gloomhaven board game. Found out that it was free on Epic so decided to give it whirl... I don't think this game is very good... at all.Gloomhaven is a card based tactical dungeon crawler. There are two modes, the Guildmaster mode and the Campaign mode. The Guildmaster mode is a more free form mode with less strict rules and randomized encounters, while the Campaign mode is identical to the board game's campaign...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A snuffing good time 0

It’s funny to reminisce that the original Xenoblade Chronicles for the Wii almost never released in North America. Nintendo was convinced the game would be a bust, fortunately they were completely off the mark. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the culmination of the best of Monolith Soft and is easily their strongest work to date. With Xenoblade 3, Monolith Soft have solidified Xenoblade as a mainstay franchise, a 1st party title that Nintendo should be proud to stand side-by-side with their othe...

2 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Better than its Wii counterpart, but still a mediocre Zelda game. 0

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD (SS) has the unpleasant position of being a Zelda game on the same platform as that other Zelda game on the Switch… Link’s Awakening. I’m kidding of course, it’s Breath of the Wild (BotW). For players who already own or have any interest in owning a Switch, there is no contest which Zelda game is better. BotW is one of the most innovative open world games of the generation. SS in comparison is an HD remake of a ten year old game mali...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Solid Metroidvania with an odd difficulty spike at the end and questionable art direction 0

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is a solid metroidvania. The game plays it fairly safe and doesn't do anything remarkably innovative. If you've played Super Metroid or Castlevania: SotN, the power-ups and abilities will be recognizable albeit wrapped with a pirate themed flair. There isn't much to delve into the story of Shantae and the Pirate's Curse. There's a basic setup of an evil baddie who has cursed the crew members of Risky Boots and it is up to Shantae to trek through various islands and...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Interesting time based combat but not worth the time to see it through the end 0

Cris Tales is a turn-based RPG with a time travel theme where our heroes can fight enemies in the past, present and future at the same time. The initial premise and battle mechanics lead to some very creative scenarios: like weakening an enemy by reverting it to its infant state or aging a poisoned foe so that the damage over time from the poison is immediately applied. The problem is that everything outside of combat is tremendously dull. The story is poorly told. There is a lack of animation ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Developed with a heart on its sleeve, albeit running on an extremely dated game engine 0

FreebirdGames’ debut game, To the Moon is an exceptional storytelling masterpiece. The game is famous for being built with a game engine known for churning out cookiecutter 16-bit JRPGs. What’s most surprising is that To the Moon has no combat or RPG mechanics. In fact, the game could have easily been a Visual Novel or even written as a novella. Despite its unconventional origins, To the Moon is an indie darling and an easy recommendation for all. Its sequel, Finding Paradise, may no...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

The Phantom Thieves have failed to steal my heart yet again 0

Four years ago, I played and reviewed Persona 5. I still have fond memories of the game. It was both an auditory and visual delight with its killer acid-jazz soundtrack and incredibly stylish presentation. I remember how engrossing the first half of the game was. There’s something euphoric about seeing a rag tag group of teenagers rebel against terrible adults. Sadly, I also recall how the second half of Persona 5 was a major let down. The latter Palaces (dungeons) were boring and long: fi...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

Yakuza Palooza 0

Yakuza 5 Remastered, reminds me of that classic Simpsons bit where Homer gets sent to hell and is forced to eat donuts… lots of donuts. To say that Yakuza 5 has a lot of content would be a disservice, this game is literally bulging at the seams with things to do and can easily take hundreds of hours to reach 100% completion. Even if you simply want to enjoy the story, Yakuza 5 easily dwarfs past games in the series. This is the biggest Yakuza game yet: there are 5 playable characters, 5 d...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An expansion that usurps the main game in almost every aspect 0

Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna the Golden Country is proof that Monolithsoft listens to their player base and is willing to make changes to produce better games. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was a game of incredible ambition laden with too many problems to count. The game soured my experience with the over-the-top anime tropes, a Gatcha-style system of unlocking rare Blades and a general absence of quality of life features, like the lack of reviewable tutorials.To my delight, Torna the Golden Country i...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An ambitious title with too many problems to count 0

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a phenomenal epic. Even when compared to its JRPG peers, the game remains triumphant in terms of world building and gameplay complexity. The game is a mix of high fantasy and sci-fi and stands out from others like its genre. There is a memorable orchestral synth-rock soundtrack that will stay with you long after you’ve finished playing for the night. The game is an absolute monster that will require hundreds of hours to complete. It is a deep, dense and challengin...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A different kind of Yakuza game, more characters, more narrative but new problems 0

Yakuza 4 Remastered is a fresh start from its predecessor. The game looks considerably better. There are rain effects where light reflects on the wet pavement. Characters are more detailed and move in a more believable manner. And most importantly the game does not feature Kazuma Kiryu as the lead protagonist. However, not everything has changed. The combat and moment to moment action are left unscathed from Yakuza 3.The lead role falls to Shun Akiyama, a loan shark who seemingly lends to every...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

It's still Yakuza but doesn't reach the heights of the Kiwami games. 0

I was spoiled having only learned about how amazing the Yakuza series was after watching the Giant Bomb Quick Look of Yakuza 0. Now having completed Yakuza 0, Kiwami and Kiwami 2, Yakuza 3 Remastered is a major downgrade compared to those games.Unlike Yakuza 0 or the Kiwami games, Yakuza 3 remastered uses the original engine and fighting mechanics. Coming from those games and playing Yakuza 3 is rough. The camera is unwieldy and constantly needs to be adjusted and the combat isn't as enjoyable d...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Horny Anime Bartending Simulator 0

I didn't finish VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action. The game simply wasn't for me. The music is the only thing I liked about the game. It's a cool concept, each time you open the bar, you load 12 songs into the jukebox and they're all pretty decent.I couldn't finish this game because the writing completely irked me; it is extremely horny. The character that most embodies this is Dorothy. Dorothy is a sex robot and talks about sex in a way that I found off putting. There are several mention...

1 out of 2 found this review helpful.

A strong narrative that makes it easy to look past technical flaws 0

There are many video games published and labeled as “Mature”. They often feature gratuitous violence, strong language and/or sexually suggestive imagery. However these “Mature” games don’t seem like they are for mature audiences but instead are for testosterone-filled teenagers. Disco Elysium is one of the few games that truly feels like a mature video game. The writing is dense, upsetting and politically charged. It trusts the player’s intelligence to underst...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Bland and difficult at the same time, Aragami is a niche game in a niche genre 0

Aragami is a stealth game that caters to hardcore fans. The game does not make a great impression for newcomers as it is punishingly difficult. After surpassing the initial difficulty bump, the rest of the game is a series of levels featuring the same two enemies in traditional Japanese style gardens and temples. Aragami is developed on a modest budget, there is no facial animation, no voice acting and the game does not convey any personality or emotion in the characters. The narrative, while in...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

A delightfully pleasant concise masterpiece 0

A Short Hike as the name implies is not a very long game. It's a pleasant platformer with no combat or difficult puzzles. However there is enough challenge to be more than just a walking simulator.The tale revolves around Claire, a bird on a retreat with her aunt on an island. Claire being a city person desperately wants connection with the outside world. Her aunt tells her the only place that has cell signal is on the top of the mountain. And so, the whole point of the game is to make the short...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

A fantastic epic that is unfortunately dated and padded beyond belief 0

Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii almost never made it out of Japan without the work of some really passionate fans. The story of how a group of fans convinced Nintendo to localize a 60+ hour JRPG on the end of Wii’s lifecycle is a story of legend, but I digress. The original game did not run well. It had poor framerates, long loading times and was in a sub HD resolution. Ten years after its initial release on the Wii, the Definitive Edition on the Switch adds many graphical enhancements and...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

Becoming your worst enemy 0

Stealth is a niche genre in video games because it is hard to get right. There are numerous variables to be balanced to make the experience exciting. Being aware of enemies is important, but it must be limited or else it makes avoiding them too easy. Getting caught should be punishing but not too punishing where it feels impossible to escape. Lastly, having the ability to “go loud” in a stealth game should be possible, however it shouldn’t make the player so powerful that it be...

2 out of 2 found this review helpful.

An Origami Charm Offensive 1

The Paper Mario franchise has been in a downward spiral ever since Super Paper Mario for the Wii. The games started out as simple but deep turn-based RPGs with each subsequent game shedding these traditional RPG mechanics in favor of arts & crafts gimmicks. First there were stickers in “Sticker Star”, then paint in “Color Splash” and now origami with Paper Mario: The Origami King. While the game still retains the fantastic writing and humor the series is known for, it...

3 out of 3 found this review helpful.

More of the same as Hitman (2016) in a good way 0

Loved it. No detailed review here, this game feels like an expansion pack to Hitman (2016) with few enhancements. Hitman 2 loads in the same executable as Hitman (2016) so if you own both games you can play all the levels in sequential order. The only new additions I can note is stealth in brush/tall grass and a few mission objectives that deviate from just killing x people.Levels are stellar with tons of replay value (with a shoutout to Miami and Mumbai being my favorite locations), even my lea...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

An incomplete grim indie game 0

Pinstripe is an indie game in every sense of the word. The game was developed solo by Thomas Brush over a five year period. What the game lacks in engaging gameplay, it tries to make up for with an interesting premise. The game feels like it has gone through multiple prototype iterations with several single gameplay one offs like a physics puzzle involving pool balls. This is complete conjecture but I feel that Pinstripe used to be an adventure game that was converted into a platformer midway in...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Bland and forgettable 0

Song of the Deep developed by Insomniac Games, the same studio responsible for the Ratchet and Clank franchise, has surprisingly created a game so basic and devoid of personality. The game feels “safe”, designed to be as inoffensive as possible. It feels like the kind of nameless generic video game that would be featured in a TV show or movie. Much of its faults lie in the tedious puzzle solving, simple unengaging combat and very basic story. The only highlights are the soothing melo...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Gen Z Cybersleuthing 1

There comes a time in life when you realize you are not young anymore. It’s the feeling you get when you look at a whole new generation of kids and shake your head in disbelief. The sense that you are looking at an entirely new species of human with completely strange habits and lifestyles compared to your own. Simulacra is a game born out of the Gen Z population. It’s a game that revolves around a demographic glued to their smartphones, where maintaining a digital persona is as impo...

4 out of 4 found this review helpful.

Too much RNG and grinding to be any fun 0

My initial hour with the game was a blast. Ironcast is sort of like a mix of Puzzle Quest and FTL. It's set in a fictional version of the Victorian era where there is an endless war between England and France. To end the stalemate rich nobles decide to invest their resources and invent bipedal mechs.It doesn't look like it at first, but this is a Rogue-lite through and through. The gist is once your mech falls in combat you have to start the game all over again. Any experience points earned in ...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Manages to punch above its weight but unfortunately feels painfully derivative 0

Sci-Fi is one of my favorite genres. I am always fascinated by the imaginative alien worlds, future technology and idealized solutions to current day problems. If there is one subgenre that I feel is tricky to get right, it is the subject of Artificial Intelligence. The main problem is that AI has been a topic in countless films and video games and it is easy to stumble upon the familiar plot of an AI gone rampant. The Turing Test, unfortunately, while narratively creative, is not an exemplar of...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Grotesque, grim and yet an eerily familiar puzzle platformer 0

Little Nightmares, developed by Tarsier Studios, suffers from the unfortunate role of being compared to two other well known dark grim platformers. They are so similar that if someone told me that Playdead developed Little Nightmares, I would not have doubted it. I’m sure the comparison does not sit well with Tarsier Studios, it being a Swedish team while Playdead is located in neighboring Denmark and vice-versa. With all that said, Little Nightmares is a beautiful grim puzzle platformer w...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Artsy, Experimental and an Interesting Curiosity 0

Thirty Flights of Loving and its prequel Gravity Sock (packaged with the TFoL) are weird games. They both seem like student art projects or products concocted in a game jam. The graphics are very basic. There is no combat. And the levels are very very linear. They are walking simulators in the strictest sense and the story is fed to you through environmental details. They are not traditional video games and that's the point.Gravity Sock is a spy thriller, where you play a spy, completing objecti...

1 out of 1 found this review helpful.