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Paulmichael Contreras

Santa Clarita, CA
Temprix
T3mpr1x
T3mpr1x

Favorite Games:
  • No Man's Sky
  • Portal
  • Horizon Zero Dawn

257 games reviewed
76.2 average score
80 median score
59.9% of games recommended

Paulmichael Contreras's Reviews

Born and raised in Southern California, Paulmichael's professional games journalism life has only known one home: PlayStation LifeStyle.
7.5 / 10.0 - Temtem
Sep 19, 2022

Temtem was never going to usurp Pokémon as the best monster catching game. But if it gets at least part of the way there, then it should be considered a success. In that light, then, Crema has indeed succeeded. This is a great start, and with continued support and possibly some expansions down the line, Temtem could become a wonderfully addictive, challenging turn-based collect-a-thon with MMO elements mixed in. The creatures might not be as inventive, nor are there as many of them to collect. But Temtem has a charming world to get lost in, and while the battles can feel repetitive at times, seeing other trainers scurry about the area is a fun reminder that you’re playing something just different enough that this game can stand on its own.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Madden NFL 23
Sep 5, 2022

Madden NFL 23 has some good new ideas, but is mostly more of the same. The graphics and presentation are fine, but only just. The football appears to have a mind of its own sometimes, while commentators don’t always have a response to the on-field action that makes sense. If Franchise mode is where you spend your time, then you are likely to enjoy the changes. Outside of that, though, Madden 23 feels awfully familiar.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Saints Row
Aug 22, 2022

This may not be as over-the-top as previous Saints Row games, but it could be the start of something great.

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AI: The Somnium Files – nirvanA Initiative is an entertaining trip featuring a sharp story by Kotaro Uchikoshi, though it may not be for everyone. If you prefer to be told exactly how to solve puzzles, the easier difficulty levels can help, but ultimately the game’s nature is to be esoteric and reveal each Somnium’s secrets piece by piece. Fans of the first game will definitely enjoy this trip, while new players can hop right in without any major spoilers if they so choose. Either way, nirvanA Initiative is one game you’ll actually want to finish.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Evil Dead: The Game
May 23, 2022

Evil Dead: The Game has a ton of appeal to fans of the horror franchise, while also offering up a good deal of gameplay for players who may not be so familiar with it. The resource management aspect to playing as a demon is intriguing, and for those who aren’t so good at strategizing, playing against AI is always an option to hone your skills. Occasional glitches take some of the shine off, and no checkpoints in the single player missions is a baffling decision. Can such a game grow long enough legs with the ever-popular games as a service model? Only time will tell. But for an asking price of $39.99, there is enough content at launch to appease most fans.

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6 / 10.0 - Dolmen
May 23, 2022

You probably could have guessed this by now, but Dolmen should have released before Elden Ring. All Soulslike games from here on out will constantly be in that game’s gigantic shadow. It’s not that there’s not enough room in this genre for more entries, especially ones that are in such a wildly different setting. It’s just that whatever games release in this space must now meet such incredibly high standards or face intense criticism and likely faltering sales. Dolmen will surely appeal to those who want a Soulslike adventure in a sci-fi setting, and perhaps were disappointed by 2020’s Hellpoint release. Just go in with lowered expectations owing to a smaller dev team, and perhaps you’ll have some fun smashing enemies to bits.

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8 / 10.0 - Trek to Yomi
May 10, 2022

Trek to Yomi is a challenging, relatively quick trip to the past that is sure to entertain fans of old samurai films. The mechanics are easy to pick up, but difficult to master. The story is engaging, and surprisingly branches with different endings. With a campaign length of around 5 – 7 hours for most players and priced right at $19.99, this is a game that doesn’t overstay its welcome. Repeating sections is not easy with no real save management, and the 2D combat may not appeal to everyone, but it’s hard to ignore the authentic look and feel that such a design choice adds to Trek to Yomi. If you’ve got a day or two to spare, this is one to not overlook.

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5 / 10.0 - Babylon's Fall
Mar 17, 2022

Babylon’s Fall seems like it needed a lot more development time. The core combat feels stiffer than my left wrist, which is currently recovering from a broken bone. Combining that with lackluster graphics and limited multiplayer options would be bad enough, but locking out key features of the game behind ten or so hours of gameplay makes Babylon’s Fall a very tough sell. Stacking microtransactions on top of it all leaves a nasty aftertaste that Platinum Games is going to have to wash out for a long time to come.

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9 / 10.0 - Elden Ring
Feb 23, 2022

Elden Ring feels like the game FromSoftware has been building up to ever since Demon’s Souls released in 2009.

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Feb 16, 2022

Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires is tailor-made for super fans of the franchise. While players may feel like a lackey at the start of any new Conquest campaign run-through, rising up the ranks and having the Prime Minister agree with your suggestions can feel rewarding. If you enjoy making decisions about whether to increase ration development or to collect tribute on a monthly basis, or politicking in general whereby interacting with important people gets your heart racing, then by all means check out Dynasty Warriors 9 Empires. The rest of us will get by on regular Dynasty Warriors 9 just fine.

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Feb 9, 2022

Dying Light 2 is probably exactly what fans of the first game wanted. The story may not be particularly motivating, but combat is fun while the PS5 powers a smooth experience. A few questionable tweaks by Techland will not be appreciated by all players, but co-op will make it easy to forgive some of that. If you're not completely tired of zombie games yet, give Dying Light 2 a try. There's plenty to see and do, and you'll likely enjoy your harrowing stay in Villedor.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Serious Sam 4
Dec 21, 2021

Serious Sam 4 is good, mindless fun, that is unfortunately mired by performance issues. This is recommended for big fans of the series, or for those looking for a nostalgia fix, for back when games were simpler, linear affairs which could be completed in a weekend. It's not a particularly great-looking or running game, but it is also only $39.99 at launch. The full campaign doesn't overstay its welcome, and its many secrets will tempt completionists. Give it a shot if you like your bloody kills combined with quippy one-liners. Just be ready for a bumpy ride.

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Mobile Suit Gundam Battle Operation: Code Fairy is strictly for the fans. That isn't to say people who are unfamiliar with the series won't enjoy it. Indeed, with as few walking tank games out there as it is, anyone into this type of gameplay will probably enjoy things here. It's just that being invested in the story of Gundam helps a lot, because much of the game is about taking in the story. Combat is clunky, but gets the job done, and the episodic format makes that fact easier to forgive.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Astria Ascending
Nov 8, 2021

Astria Ascending will take many gamers back to the heyday of classic RPGs. This is a single-player turn-based game that is easy to grasp, with perhaps not enough challenge for veterans of the genre. But with an entertaining story, great musical score, and pleasing art style, there is plenty of enjoyment to be had for any RPG fan. Play Astria Ascending when you want to be completely absorbed into a game with no strings (or services) attached.

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Nov 5, 2021

Neptunia X Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars will appeal to longtime fans of either series, but outside of that it's an average action-oriented JRPG plus visual novel that anyone can easily get the hang of. There's plenty of titillating fanservice to go around, even if Sony insists on at least some of it being censored for the Western release. It's a safe bet if you can't get enough of Neptunia and the rest of the Goddesses or Asuka and the other shinobi, but otherwise there are more traditional games that are probably a better use of your time.

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Oct 21, 2021

The Crysis Remastered Trilogy is a great blast from the past. Fans of the series will have a great time replaying these classics, or maybe introducing younger gamers to one of the late aught's can't-miss franchises. It's a shame Saber Interactive didn't have more fun with additional modern features, but this still represents great value. At a launch price of $49.99 USD for all three games, this is a no-brainer for Crysis fans, as well as gamers looking for a lot of first-person shooting action without breaking the bank.

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8 / 10.0 - WRC 10
Oct 18, 2021

WRC 10 is a safe entry, celebrating the long, rich history of the World Rally Championship, while taking care to not break anything that was already working well. If you missed out on WRC 9, you may be content with picking that up for a bargain (assuming you have a disc-based console). If you want the latest and most up-to-date rally racing simulator, though, then WRC 10 is more than competent at providing a ton of fun for rally fans everywhere.

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Oct 5, 2021

MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is a lot of fun for fans of the BattleTech franchise. It may not be the flashiest game around, and its story can be very campy at times. But this is pretty much your best bet for playing a 'Mech game on a PlayStation console. If you have (online) friends, co-op will likely provide some extra thrills, and the generous DLC support is great to see. It may be a bit rough around the edges, but MechWarrior 5 is more than welcome on PlayStation after all this time.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Lost Judgment
Sep 17, 2021

Lost Judgment is a subtle improvement on the original, and continues the fun of seeing the seedy sides of Kamurocho and Ijincho while staying mostly on the good side of the law. A new combat style combined with a few more tricks up Yagami-san's sleeves provide more entertaining ways to dispatch or get the upper hand on enemies, and of course the usual slate of minigames offer a much-needed respite from the main campaign's twisted story. It may tread a lot of the same ground as the previous game, but that is absolutely a good thing.

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8 / 10.0 - Hoa
Sep 1, 2021

Hoa is a wondrous adventure that can easily be consumed in a day. It'll make you forget about your troubles as the soundtrack lifts you up. Even its climax isn't particularly intense, but the last level is a great change of pace. Though it lacks some of the modern features we take for granted these days, perhaps part of the charm is randomly running through the whole thing again so that you can be reminded of simpler times, when games didn't ask you for more money with flashing ad banners for the latest season pass or premium skin, or fail to even start because of a service being offline. There are longer games priced at $14.99, but none are this pleasing to the senses.

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