Michael McWhertor


27 games reviewed
77.1 average score
85 median score
71.4% of games recommended
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Unscored - Mortal Kombat 1
Oct 2, 2023

With Mortal Kombat 1, NetherRealm has made an admirable effort to refresh its gameplay mechanics and differentiate its latest entry from the recent trilogy of games. On some fronts, particularly around the story, audiovisual presentation, and accessibility, it’s a huge step forward. But some very visible elements, especially online play, do not represent the same leap. Even after a four-year gap since Mortal Kombat 11, Mortal Kombat 1 feels like it needed a bit more time to cook. But with a commitment to seasonal content and the next six fighters already revealed as part of the game’s first Kombat Pack, it’s clear that Mortal Kombat 1 will grow over time and, hopefully, improve.

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Sep 27, 2023

Resident Evil 4: Separate Ways greatly improves upon the storytelling and importance of Ada’s side story, serving as a template for future Resident Evil games’ expansions. It’s a condensed and accelerated version of the remake’s story that fleshes out behind-the-scenes events, and its ending enticingly teases the next possible remake in Capcom’s horror franchise. It can feel repetitive in parts, underrealized in others, but it’s a meaty piece of content that’s worth playing if the Resident Evil 4 remake left you hungering for more.

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Aug 23, 2023

But the most compelling aspects of Armored Core 6 come from its hard-fought battles, when 621 survives their mission with just a sliver of life left, having out-danced their opponent in the exchange of missiles, bullets, and laser beams. It’s noisy, chaotic, and starkly beautiful, all this clanging metal, ricochets, and explosions. It’s unlike many of the FromSoftware games you may have played over the past decade, to its benefit. Armored Core 6: Fires of Rubicon is the Elden Ring developer flexing an old, nearly forgotten muscle, but one that’s still strong as ever.

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Apr 19, 2023

The new Advance Wars, just like the original, arrives at a strange time. Nintendo appeared to recognize this last year when, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it delayed Advance Wars 1+2: Re-Boot Camp indefinitely. But the toylike soldiers exaggeratedly stomping cities into submission and cartoon characters being wiped out by artillery fire feel disconnected from the real-world war that gave Nintendo pause in 2022. In other words, it’s less off-putting than one might think to have fun with an urban military wargame right now. If anything, the return of Advance Wars feels like a link to a simpler time, made better with age and reverence for a long-ignored, still-great franchise.

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Mar 17, 2023

For all of the rough edges that it smooths over, RE4 pulls off the same trick that RE2 did in 2019, making a groundbreaking but now dated game feel brand-new again.

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Jan 26, 2023

The Dead Space remake changes all the right things

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Dec 2, 2022

The Callisto Protocol could have borrowed a few more lessons from its spiritual inspiration, and further refined its mechanics to make a game that plays as good as it looks.

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Unscored - Overwatch 2
Oct 4, 2022

Enjoying Overwatch 2 is an exercise in cautious optimism — not just in the future direction of its ever-changing lore and world, but in the idea that years of new content will ultimately deliver on the promise of a full sequel.

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Unscored - Elden Ring
Feb 23, 2022

Elden Ring is FromSoftware’s most accessible, and difficult, game yet

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Apr 28, 2021

New Pokémon Snap is the portable safari we’ve been waiting for

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Nov 13, 2020

One of the nicest new additions to Demon's Souls is a photo mode. In addition to giving players the option to actually pause Demon's Souls - something you couldn't do in the original - it also takes some lovely screenshots. (See: every image in this review.)

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Unscored - Amnesia: Rebirth
Oct 19, 2020

Amnesia: Rebirth shows an inventiveness that The Dark Descent only hinted at. And it’s certainly creepy enough to satisfy the hunger for something spooky this season.

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May 20, 2020

Quote not yet available

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Unscored - Resident Evil 3
Mar 30, 2020

When I first fired up Resident Evil 3, I worried that its tale of a pandemic turning cities into disease-plagued ghost towns would be more of a depressing reminder of our current reality than escapist entertainment. To wit: A live-action cinematic starts the game with doctors in hazmat suits and government officials telling of a CDC-enforced quarantine.

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Oct 18, 2019

For fit-curious Switch owners, or those of us who might skip the gym a little too often, it’s a wonderful way to feel a bit better about your health, even for just 15 minutes at a time.

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Unscored - Dead or Alive 6
Mar 2, 2019

An immensely fun fighting game with some flaws

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Unscored - Resident Evil 2
Jan 22, 2019

Capcom, on a far less dangerous scale, has not always known how to handle its own creation. After mutating from quaint horror to buffoonish action to back again, the Resident Evil series has been wildly inconsistent. But back-to-back Resident Evil games that showcase the very best of survival horror is evidence that Capcom may have its monster under control

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Unscored - Tetris Effect
Nov 9, 2018

But Tetris Effect isn't simply a game about pattern optimization and reflex-based puzzle solving. It excels at being an experience, one that I will argue is best played on its easiest difficulty level to enjoy untainted by the bitter taste of a “game over.” I enjoy the challenge of perfecting a run, but Tetris Effect resonates more deeply than its high score-oriented roots.

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Unscored - Mega Man 11
Oct 1, 2018

Capcom recaptures the magic of Mega Man in its rock-solid sequel

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Jul 11, 2018

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker on Switch is a can't-miss Wii U port

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