1702 Published Reviews

Trophy

Xbox One
5.00
Drew LeachmanJan 13, 2022
While I’m down on this game a lot, I still think it was a decent outing. It’s a difficult game both by design and by the issues I had with it. Still, it tries to capture that old 8-bit feel and does a decent job with it. Even up to the slowdown when multiple things are happening on screen. (Is that a feature or performance issue? I couldn’t tell you) Regardless, I never disliked my time with Trophy, but I can most certainly say it could have been better with some other features and better controls thrown in.

Mario Party Superstars

Switch
8.00
Ken McKownJan 06, 2022
What I like most about this collection is that it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. Mario Party was at its best when it was just the board and the games. The gimmicks that have cropped up over the years have taken away most of what made it fun. I do hope that Nintendo opts to add in more boards, mini-games, and characters over time though. What is here is fun, but more diversity would certainly help. This collection almost feels like a prelude to a larger game, but with their recent track record of adding additional content to their games post launch, I feel it is almost a sure thing that more content will be coming soon.

Shin Megami Tensei V

Switch
9.00
Jae LeeDec 07, 2021
SMT V is a welcome return to home consoles for the series with an intriguing world to explore, filled with challenging encounters that are immensely satisfying to overcome. If not for the technical limitations of the Switch holding it back from being experienced in its best possible form, it could have been a new classic.

MARSUPILAMI - HOOBADVENTURE

Xbox One
7.00
Ken McKownDec 07, 2021
Think back to titles like Mario Bros. and how they were accessible, yet finely tuned and how it hooked an entire generation on the hobby. Kids are smarter than some developers give them credit for and I am thrilled to say that Marsupilama: Hoobadventure is one of the best attempts at the genre I have seen this year. Definitely recommend checking it out on whatever platform you own.

BLUE REFLECTION: Second Light

PC
8.00
Jae LeeDec 06, 2021
Despite coming from a development studio that most people see as a one-series company, Blue Reflection: Second Light is a charming RPG with a clear identity of its own with a worthwhile story to tell and I’m glad I had the opportunity to check out after missing out on the original.

The Smurfs: Mission Vileaf

Xbox One
6.50
Ken McKownDec 01, 2021
It feels like the game is more built to tug at nostalgia instead of bringing in new interest. Even so the core game is enjoyable enough to recommend for parents looking to play games with their kids. It is easy enough to play while also not being too simplified for the sake of being a ‘kids’ game. Definitely worth checking out for parents and kids alike.

Inscryption

PC
10.0
Anthony MannNov 30, 2021
It has a learning curve to be sure but slowly the game reveals its mechanics and will change those mechanics slightly as the story progresses and therefore doesn’t really punish the player for failing. The only real punishment is the time spent going through the levels again but it manages to stay fresh like a good rogue lite game would; every run is familiar but unique. This is a card game with a story (the titular card game is unfortunately fictional even though I sort of wish it wasn’t) so there is a linear path and the story progression is retained through failure.

Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water

Xbox One
6.00
Ken McKownNov 30, 2021
While I have a lot of issues with the core game I am happy to see the series return. I really want to see the original trilogy get an update it deserves. Would love to play those games again as they are genuinely some of the creepiest games I have ever played, and not for the wrong reasons. Maiden of Black Water just feels like something thrown together to gauge interest in the series return. I wanted to love it, I forced myself to finish it, but I just want the series to return to its roots.

Circuit Superstars

Xbox One
7.50
Ken McKownNov 29, 2021
Circuit Superstars is one of the best surprises I have played all year. It punches above its weight in almost every category. I simply had a blast every time I jumped in. There is also plenty of depth and content to make the minimal price of entry easy to recommend. If you enjoy racing games, especially competitive ones I cannot recommend this game enough. It is the true definition of an indie darling.

Crysis Remastered Trilogy

Xbox Series X
8.50
Drew LeachmanNov 18, 2021
At the end of the day, it’s really hard to talk about these games. I’ve reviewed two of them before and said what I needed to say there, and it still holds true to this day. Crysis 2 and 3 are great games that any FPS fan would enjoy. Crysis 1 shows its age here and there, but it’s not a rough game by any means and all three look really great in 4K. It’s a decent package for three fun FPS games with a lot going for them all for 50 bucks. If you’re into shooters and have never tried them before, or if you’re looking for a fun return to some great games, it’s hard to go wrong here.

Happy Game

PC
6.50
Anthony MannNov 17, 2021
I’m not sure whether to recommend Happy Game or not. I think most people will be disappointed with its short play time and easier puzzles. Any fan of Amanita will definitely find joy in this new direction for the studio but will maybe be let down in comparison to past titles’ puzzles. In short, Happy Game is good, people should play it, but wait for a sale.

Gynoug

Xbox One
8.50
Drew LeachmanNov 16, 2021
The look of the levels is pretty great as well. There’s a castle level that looks like something out of Castlevania, and the obligatory shmup level that looks like I’m inside a creature’s body with organs pulsating and veins all around. It’s a classic 90’s shoot ‘em up.If you put on the invincibility, players can take down the final boss in maybe 35 minutes. It’s a quick playthrough but altering the cheats or challenging myself and trying to power through it all without cheating could result in hours of play time. For seven bucks, that’s not a bad deal. It’s a classic game that I don’t think many have heard of and one that shoot ‘em up fans will probably want to check out, and with all the features added into this release, it’s a solid package for the purists out there.

DUSK

Switch
9.00
Ken McKownNov 15, 2021
Dusk is the kind of game I could not help but smile while I was playing it. Every level was a treat to play and the accessibility options really open it up to so many people. The attention to detail in this port is also super appreciated. It really takes advantage of the hardware while not compromising the original concept. This is a game that every fan of shooters needs to play, and I cannot recommend it enough. Get your boomer shooter pants on (or off) and buy Dusk!

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl

Xbox One
6.50
Ken McKownNov 12, 2021
Shockingly the online mode shines as it includes rollback net code. It is clear that the developers wanted to put care into the competitive aspect of the game. My online sessions were smooth most of the time, but like anything else it can be hard to find matches considering how few people are playing regularly. Sadly, this could have benefitted from cross play, which should be a standard by now. Maybe it comes down the line alongside new characters and stages, but I won’t be holding my breath.

The Dark Pictures Anthology: House of Ashes

Xbox Series X
7.50
Drew LeachmanNov 10, 2021
At the end of the day, I still enjoyed my time with House of Ashes. It is the best story so far in the series and even with the issues I had with both the glitches and gameplay, this was a decent time overall. If you have played the series this far, you know what you’re getting into. If you want to give this one a shot to see what The Dark Pictures is all about, you can’t be this one’s story and premise. Just keep in mind, there will be some really strange bugs that come along with it.

Alan Wake Remastered

Xbox Series X
8.00
Ken McKownNov 08, 2021
Alan Wake remastered is something I have always wanted to exist as the original was highly under looked when it came out. It was tied to one console and frankly Remedy was not quite the household name it is today. It is one of their best games and worth checking out whether you played the original or not. It still carries plenty of jank and questionable design mechanics from that era, but the story and characters excel it past most of its own issues. This is one experience that is worth revisiting or experiencing for the first time.

G-DARIUS HD

PS4
8.00
Ken McKownNov 05, 2021
Shooters had a very long hiatus before the indie scene came along. Games like G-Darius used to be tentpole titles for consoles. It is great to see them return in any fashion and I could truly enjoy a new one weekly if it was possible. It is time for Einhander and Radiant Silvergun to make returns. Keep them coming and I will keep playing them. G-Darius is a must purchase for fans of shoot ‘em ups so don’t hesitate in snatching this one right away.

Forza Horizon 5

Xbox Series X
8.00
Ken McKownNov 04, 2021
At the end of the day Forza Horizon 5 is like a delicious cake that is being delivered when I already had a ton of leftover cake from the previous party. It is good and I will enjoy it, but I think it is overpacked and in need of some dynamic changes going forward. I want to feel like the series is evolving instead of just getting prettier with new locales. Even with that said, this is easily the best racing game of the year and it simply looks gorgeous.

The Eternal Cylinder

Xbox One
9.00
Anthony MannNov 02, 2021
Oh, and quite a bit of heart. Nothing here feels so alien that I can’t feel something for this world except the familiar but nightmarish servants that stand out in this world. I think ACE Team has something really special here and I really can’t think of anything else that does all of what The Eternal Cylinder as good as The Eternal Cylinder does.

Rainbow Billy: The Curse of the Leviathan

Xbox One
9.00
Drew LeachmanNov 01, 2021
It was a breath of fresh air I didn’t know I needed, and this is easily one of those perfect games that a parent and child can sit down together and have a great time while learning some of the great golden rules of friendship and acceptance. It’s crazy to think this game hooked me the way it did, but I really can’t suggest it enough. Even if you’re like me, a 35-year-old childless husband, you may very well find yourself have a good time with it.

In Sound Mind

Xbox Series X
9.00
Drew LeachmanOct 29, 2021
I think the biggest standout is the atmosphere. For a game that has nearly cartoony visuals and NO gore at all (this game is rated T) it still hit those tension marks I would expect from a good horror game. I was thoroughly surprised with the entire experience and just in time for the Halloween season. This is one game that I recommend whole-heartedly for anyone looking for a good psychological horror game that focuses more on exploration and puzzles than full on combat. Don’t sleep on this one. It’s pretty great.

Lost Judgment

PS5
8.50
Jae LeeOct 28, 2021
Lost Judgement is a step up from the original in almost every way with improved pacing, a more polished combat engine and a laundry list of fun side activities to get lost in. If not for the pedestrian detective elements, this could’ve been a new classic in the genre, and despite its notable flaws, it is still a story well worth experiencing.

Metroid Dread

Switch
7.00
Anthony MannOct 27, 2021
To a Metroid fan it is worth playing and realize that these are problems I found with the game; other people haven’t had the same issues. However, to anyone who has never played a Metroid game before, I don’t think this is the place to start. I think it feels too different from the rest of the series (neither a good or bad thing) and the moments in the story that hit really well only do so because of everything that has happened before in previous titles.

Earth Defense Force: World Brothers

PS4
7.50
Anthony MannOct 26, 2021
All in all, EDF World Brothers is good, but it is also just EDF with a new coat of paint and I don’t need one every year or two. I want these titles to be special and had I not had an EDF title in the last five years (let alone two) I think World Brothers would have been more exciting to play. However, as a fan of EDF it is just another EDF game and honestly had I not been reviewing it I would have likely skipped it because past the coat of paint and new mechanics, it is just shooting giant bugs and monsters.

Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Xbox Series X
8.50
Ken McKownOct 25, 2021
Sure it has some cumbersome combat and awkward glitches at times, but it hits on so many other levels it is easy to forgive some of its shortcomings. This is the kind of game fans of Marvel have wanted. A solid single player adventure that focuses on the characters and tells a superb story at the same time. Toss in the cameos and the gorgeous visuals and this is a game nobody should pass up. I truly think this is one of the best Marvel games to drop, especially since the MCU started.