Neal Ronaghan


365 games reviewed
78.3 average score
80 median score
68.9% of games recommended
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Jan 12, 2023

It's a creative attempt at mixing up the formula for the series. It's just an attempt that didn't land as well for me as I had hoped. Here's to Jupiter continuing to creatively iterate on Picross while also returning to the old style and giving us a new allotment of traditional puzzles every now and then.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Harvestella
Dec 12, 2022

This is a game with a lot of heart that I kept wanting to explore even with its messier aspects. If you're looking for a farm sim mixed with a JRPG or a JRPG mixed with a farm sim, this is perfect for you. And if you go into it with the right mindset, you'll enjoy the relaxing stroll of this world and its gameplay.

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I'm happy to have experienced Romancing SaGa Minstrel Song Remastered. It's based off of a PlayStation 2 game I was always curious about and the fact it's now out on modern platforms is awesome. This might not be my favorite SaGa entry (I think that would go to Romancing SaGa 3 or Scarlet Grace?), but it's another fine entry in a franchise that is well represented on Switch. Whether you're hooting and hollering for Unlimited SaGa to make it to Switch next year or you're a newcomer to the legacy of producer Akitoshi Kawazu, Minstrel Song Remastered is an enjoyable adventure as long as you come prepared for some open-ended RPG escapades.

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Nov 11, 2022

As an interactive timeline and a virtual exhibit, Atari 50 is unparalleled. No other historical collection comes close to how awesome this is as a context-rich story (the only ones that do are also from the same developer). I hope that this style of giving historical context and not just presenting a list of 40-year-old games without any explanation is the trend going forward for packages like this. Even if I'm not chomping at the bit to play some RealSports Football, I'm thrilled that I now know its place in the grand history of Atari.

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Nov 1, 2022

It's a shame because the idea of The Pinball Wizard is neat, but the execution and longevity make it a game that faded away before it got truly interesting. Maybe it's worth it for the cute visuals, but even that doesn't stave off the lack of variety.

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Oct 27, 2022

This game is straightforward in its execution and if you're hankering for the long-lost niche Nintendo franchise Kuru Kuru Kururin, this is likely the best you'll find (especially since the GBA version's only active appearance is on the Wii U Virtual Console, which will go away in 2023). I had a good time with Spinfrog, though it doesn't quite match up to the fun I had playing Kuru Kuru Kururin on Wii U a few years ago. Still, it's fun even if it's oft hard and frustrating.

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8 / 10.0 - Paradise Marsh
Oct 24, 2022

The tone-setting music from Disasterpeace (Fez, Hyper Light Drifter) is tremendous, and the chunky 3D world is stylish and wondrous. A handful of mysterious in-game achievements encourage further exploration of the world beyond catching the bugs. Your time in this paradise might be short, but it's memorable and enjoyable.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Atari Mania
Oct 11, 2022

I had a good time with this even if I felt like I was waiting too long between batches of mini-games. The overworld puzzles ended up being one of the cooler parts of this package. I just wish the mini-games erred more on the side of WarioWare excellence as opposed to the muddy middleground.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Dorfromantik
Sep 30, 2022

Despite the control issues, I've been enchanted by Dorfromantik because it's a zen-like relaxing game that keeps me engaged with bountiful variety and just-enough strategy. If you're seeking a level-based puzzle challenge or a boisterous multiplayer experience, Dorfromantik won't be for you, but if you're down for some low-key tile tinkering, this is a gem.

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Sep 23, 2022

Dig is not a sequel, but even calling it a spin-off doesn't feel totally right. This is just the 2D side-scrolling adventures of Shovel Knight's origins displayed through a different vertical lens with a dash of arcade roguelike design tossed in. Through it all, the bountiful creativity that Yacht Club has made their staple is everywhere throughout the experience.

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Sep 15, 2022

This is a very cool puzzle game that I recommend to anyone who wants to explore artwork in unique, ponderous ways. In lieu of going to a modern art museum or something, maybe just kick back with a glass of wine and bounce around these three puzzle types and soak in some art.

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Sep 8, 2022

A modest Kickstarter success, this was never pitched to be a massive, huge game. Even still, it's not something I'd recommend to the majority of people. Unless you're really into the idea of a kaiju dating sim that is actually just a set of trial-and-error multiple choice quizzes with nice animation, there's no reason to take Gigachu on a world tour of destructive dates.

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Sep 4, 2022

The playfulness of just rolling around in the free-roll mode is endearing, but the totality of the experience isn't gripping for more than a few fleeting moments. Dream Buffet is evocative of a mediocre dessert at a diner. You knew what you signed up for and you hoped maybe you'll land on the piece of pie that is out of this world, but at the end of the day it's just midnight at a diner, and you're wondering why you're still eating this passable apple pie.

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8 / 10.0 - Mixolumia
Aug 31, 2022

You have a handful of modes that range from frictionless relaxation and sped-up brain-bending fury and a variety of color palette customization options. I appreciate the wide variety of accessibility features, both for difficulty and visuals, but aside from fine-tuning my scores across the modes, not much is there to pull me back in. Still, Mixolumia is a dynamite puzzle concept that I'd love to see further expanded on in the future.

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Or maybe you just want to watch a playthrough of Hyperstone Heist just because. Cowabunga Collection presents so many ways to experience the Turtles games of the '80s and '90s, making it enjoyable for anyone who has any interest in the Turtles or their video game exploits. This truly is radical.

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Jul 12, 2022

is a fun ride. Contrary to the aforementioned buzz, though, truth be told, it isn't quite at the same level of Metroid Dread (but what is?). This team is clearly onto something, though, and I wouldn't be surprised if their next effort in this space gives Samus a real run for her money.

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8.5 / 10.0 - ElecHead
Jun 22, 2022

It feels familiar, but also so distinct. While I appreciate a satisfying game that doesn't overstay its welcome, I easily could have spent much more time with a more expanded version of this concept. On the other hand, maybe ElecHead is as good as it is because its pace is so fast and joyous. Regardless, it's a wonderful thing this game made the leap to Switch.

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9 / 10.0 - Freshly Frosted
Jun 18, 2022

I should have known better than to doubt the minds behind Tumblestone (seriously, check that game out), but Freshly Frosted blew me away with how much I enjoyed it. This is a delectable artisanal puzzle game that absolutely should not be missed by anyone who is down for a relaxing time with some good brain-teasers.

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If that add-on delivers, there's a good chance the Switch version is the definitive version of this 2004 Xbox classic. Until then, this is a fine way to play a good game with some caveats. Hopefully those caveats become a thing of a past, but time will tell.

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9 / 10.0 - Fishing Paradiso
Jun 2, 2022

It scratched all the right itches for me, providing a pleasant fishing experience that was relaxing without being mindless. It tells a deep story (albeit with some stilted dialogue) that claws at what the afterlife is and deals with some heady topics in a playful, contemplative way. Distill Fishing Paradiso to its essence and it's straightforward, but this is a game that is far greater than the sum of its parts.

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