Carl Batchelor


33 games reviewed
80.8 average score
85 median score
63.6% of games recommended
Scores 3.9 higher than average

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
Oct 9, 2018

What's so sad about Pathfinder: Kingmaker is that the combat, spells, classes, and actual gameplay are all so solid, but everything else is mired in poor planning and design.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
Sep 26, 2018

Kudos to Nippon Ichi Software for finding a way to slay the six-headed hydra and make dungeon crawlers great again.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor

With its modern accoutrements, slick design, heartfelt storyline, lovable party members, long (100+ hours) quest, and ridiculously impressive character animations, I can't imagine anyone who loves JRPGs not completely adoring this game to the point of mental illness.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
9 / 10.0 - Octopath Traveler
Jul 17, 2018

Octopath Traveler is all about taking the very best facets of every classic JRPG and combining it with newer features such as open world gameplay and non-linearity to create an extremely addicting and well built throwback RPG that fans both young and old will find hard to resist. Most of all, however, is the fact that the game feels like those who developed it truly love the genre and this is their love letter to it and its fans.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
May 10, 2018

Pillars of Eternity 2 is an excellent CRPG that improves upon the original in every single aspect, as well as creating the best naval combat minigame in the history of gaming. Combine that with the huge world, 100 hour quest, supreme non-linearity, and immense replay value afforded by the deep character creation and you have the one game you shouldn't be allowed to miss this year.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
Apr 25, 2018

For me, Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet was a great game that scratched that same "I want to blow things up and gain power" itch that Borderlands and PSO did for me, and while I wouldn't want anyone to pay full price for such a game, I'd highly recommend it to bored ARPG fans that catch it on sale and need something to get them through a lean gaming period.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
6.5 / 10.0 - Secret of Mana HD
Mar 29, 2018

Essentially just a new coat of paint, a rookie soundtrack remastering, and a few voice actors.

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Carl Batchelor
Dec 23, 2017

Any fan of the original Xenoblade will find very little to turn them off from this sequel, and to be honest, most JRPG fans in general will walk away with at least a few good memories by the time the credits roll.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
Dec 22, 2017

Sure, it mainly relies on nostalgia – which may make people who never played the original a bit harder to win over – but the sheer amount of content available on disc and the intriguing story that ties it all together does an admirable job of making up for its lack of modern features.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
9 / 10.0 - ELEX
Nov 16, 2017

I still consider Elex one of the best CRPGs of this decade

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Carl Batchelor
Oct 25, 2017

Divinity: Original Sin 2 is much more enjoyable than its predecessor and will please any and all fans of the first game, as well as anyone who simply wants a strategic CRPG that rewards cleverness and patience.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
9.5 / 10.0 - Tales of Berseria
Mar 6, 2017

What's great about Berseria is that unlike most Tales of games, it acts as a wonderful jumping-in point for new players. Combine this with its ease-of-use and flashy combat designed to accommodate more tactical, veteran players and you have one of the most complete JRPGs you're likely to find on the current generation's systems. Tales of Berseria is a must play for any and all JRPG fans.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
8.5 / 10.0 - Tales of Zestiria
Feb 14, 2017

Just be sure to take a look at the fan-operated wiki and study up on skill stacking, because you’ll need it when your NPCs bum rush a boss without their guard up.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
7 / 10.0 - Tyranny
Jan 17, 2017

That being said, if you enjoy a well-written book that happens to have a few dungeons and some evenly-leveled combat thrown in every ten minutes or so, you really can’t go wrong with Obsidian’s wordy magnum opus. Just get a good pair of reading glasses first.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
Aug 24, 2016

Mankind Divided is an amazing game that is just as clever, well-written, and non-linear as the original Deus Ex.

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Carl Batchelor
Jul 12, 2016

Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness is an RPG that is built specifically for the PlayStation 2 crowd who still pine away for the mid-2000s and the days when Japanese developers hadn’t yet played Skyrim. Those who want another JRPG from that era that is unashamed to be Asian (complete with Fiore’s bouncing breasts, which might make up for Miki’s “diapers”) and delivers on the promise of taking Star Ocean into the current generation shouldn’t be disappointed.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor

If you want to play a Baldur’s Gate expansion, I would suggest getting the original un-enhanced editions and installing both games along with the BGtutu mod. After that, you can download the fan-made Dark Side of the Sword Coast, which is infinitely better than what Beamdog has created here with Siege of Dragonspear.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
Apr 10, 2016

Overall, I was very pleased with Stranger of Sword City and go back to it when long periods of time (and an insatiable desire to work towards max’ing my party) are available to me. If you have a craving for the type of gridder where you change classes five times, grind for hours, and obsess over gear, then you just found your next purchase.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
9 / 10.0 - Grim Dawn
Feb 15, 2016

While I would have loved a post-game and perhaps some real community options built within it (such as what you find with Path of Exile and Diablo III), I still feel that there is no ARPG on the market that can touch Grim Dawn's pace of combat or build creation depth. If you're like me and those two things appeal the most to you, then you owe it to yourself to get Grim Dawn and see why it has such a large and devoted community.

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Niche Gamer
Carl Batchelor
7 / 10.0 - Fallout 4
Dec 1, 2015

Sure, there is the typical Fallout aesthetic and the goofy music and that joy of seeing deathclaws rip the occasional NPC to death, but with much of the core roleplaying aspects torn out of the game, it isn't the New Vegas (or even Fallout 3) inspired heir that many hoped it would be. Still, it is fun to engage in, if you don't mind being an early adopter and paying full price for a loot hauling ARPG. If you're fine with that, hit the trigger on the game and spend the next 60 hours killing mutants with missile launchers.

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