Janine Hawkins


30 games reviewed
67.3 average score
70 median score
27.6% of games recommended

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
6 / 10.0 - Lost Sphear
Feb 5, 2018

If you had asked me just two weeks ago to name the biggest storytelling sin a game could commit, I would have told you it was making players ask questions without giving them a reason to care about the answers. Ask me today and I'll tell you something different. Lost Sphear buried me under convoluted logic and explanations, lore and jargon, only to cast it aside with a shrug whenever the details were inconvenient to the action. It answered my questions, but in ways so fundamentally disconnected and absurd that I regretted even caring in the first place.

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
7.5 / 10.0 - Fire Emblem Warriors
Nov 20, 2017

Don't let Fire Emblem Warriors get lost among the many Switch releases

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
Sep 15, 2017

A lot of different things can happen in Divinity: Original Sin 2; it's an RPG that is overwhelmingly about planning ahead yet still being completely taken by surprise.

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
7 / 10.0 - Yakuza Kiwami
Aug 21, 2017

Yakuza Kiwami makes it clear just how far the series has come, and just how far it still has to go. It's keenly designed to bring newly minted Yakuza fans more firmly into the fold by providing all the contemporary comforts they might expect, while also giving longtime fans more to chew on than a shot-for-shot remake ever would have. It's a patchwork, for better and for worse, and as much as I enjoyed my time with it, there's no denying that some of those patches are looking more tired than others.

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
7 / 10.0 - Hey! Pikmin
Jul 26, 2017

Hey! Pikmin did exactly what it needed to do, without extending itself any further. It gave me a series of interesting places, a series of clever puzzles, a series of cute vignettes and soft storybook scenery. The worst thing to say about Hey! Pikmin is, simultaneously, a recommendation — it's perfectly pleasant, well-rounded, and didn't leave me dying for more.

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GameSpot
Janine Hawkins
7 / 10 - Rakuen
Jul 10, 2017

Rakuen's unique setting and sweet sensibilities make up for its technical shortcomings.

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
4.5 / 10.0 - Valkyria Revolution
Jun 27, 2017

The true misery of Valkyria Revolution is how much of the series' roots show through, and how much Revolution itself doesn't know what to do with them.

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
May 26, 2017

Spirit of Sanada breathes some new life into a series showing its age

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
6.5 / 10.0 - Dragon Quest Heroes 2
May 1, 2017

Dragon Quest Heroes 2 never finds it stride — but at least it has warfans

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GameSpot
Janine Hawkins
Apr 25, 2017

This take on classic turn-based RPGs struggles to give its fresh ideas room to breathe.

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
5 / 10.0 - Rain World
Mar 27, 2017

With core systems opaque and unnecessarily limited, all I ever felt equipped to do in Rain World was fail.

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
8 / 10.0 - Nier: Automata
Mar 6, 2017

If that's my biggest problem with it after clearing each of the game's five core endings, that should say everything. Nier: Automata is a game that's more than willing to make players feel small, both physically and conceptually. It wants to swallow them whole, and it succeeds. Nier demands patience with its antics — not to mention its definition of "ending" — but it's patience was rewarded.

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
8 / 10.0 - Yakuza 0
Jan 19, 2017

Yakuza 0 has heart, despite some significant shortcomings

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GameSpot
Janine Hawkins

Sword Art Online is built on high-stakes drama and a compelling premise--Hollow Realization delivers on neither.

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
8 / 10.0 - Owlboy
Nov 1, 2016

I can lean back and pick out plenty of things about Owlboy that frustrated me, but its failings shrink in the face of its triumphs. I have no excess of affection for the 16-bit genre retreads but even as Owlboy lacks the tightness or consistency of many of the games it sits alongside, it’s far more approachable, far more endearing, and far more unique.

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
7.5 / 10.0 - Yo-Kai Watch 2
Oct 5, 2016

Yo-kai Watch 2 keeps you busy without becoming tedious

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins

Spirit of Justice's confident story outweighs its clumsy moments

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
Aug 26, 2016

With or without friends, Metroid Prime: Federation Force is a slog

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
Jun 22, 2016

Tokyo Mirage Sessions is a spirited, fun blend of two great RPG series

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Polygon
Janine Hawkins
Jun 10, 2016

Even with robot armor, Kirby retains his charm

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