Ollie Barder Avatar Image

Ollie Barder


Favorite Games:
  • Cyber Troopers Virtual On
  • Super Metroid
  • Ico

64 games reviewed
82.9 average score
80 median score
60.9% of games recommended

Ollie Barder's Reviews

I cover gaming and pop-culture in Japan for Forbes. I also founded and continue to manage the mecha gaming site, Mecha Damashii. I have over a decade’s worth of games industry experience, having worked in both publishing and game development, and am currently working in the Tokyo games industry. In my limited spare time I do mecha related toy reviews for a variety of places.
Aug 25, 2022

Overall, SD Gundam Battle Alliance is a solid mecha game and one that shows how far Artdink has come since their PlayStation Portable days. It’s also a very accessible game in terms of its controls and combat, which the cute approach only helps to accentuate.

Read full review

Jul 31, 2022

Overall, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is arguably the best game in the series and builds upon the prior entries in both a deft and quite magnificent way.

Read full review

8 / 10.0 - Sonic Origins
Jun 26, 2022

Overall, Sonic Origins is an excellent collection of games to introduce newer players to what made Sonic the Hedgehog so interesting and unique. However, after Sonic Mania it does feel a bit of a step down with the reduced difficulty.

Read full review

9 / 10.0 - Andro Dunos 2
Apr 23, 2022

Overall, Andro Dunos 2 is genuinely a brilliant shmup that feels like something that was released during this genre’s 90s heyday. From the gameplay, to the graphics and the music, Andro Dunos 2 is a pixel perfect shmup.

Read full review

Apr 19, 2022

Overall, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is an amazing and involved modern platformer, with a surprising amount of content. While Super Mario 3D World gets a lot of attention on the Switch, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is actually the better game and pushes the platforming genre forward in a surprisingly involved way.

Read full review

7 / 10.0 - Taito Milestones
Apr 13, 2022

Overall, this is still a solid collection and there are some genuine gems tucked away here. I just feel that this collection could have been so much more and picked a better array of games to show off what used to make Taito such an arcade gaming powerhouse.

Read full review

Apr 7, 2022

Overall, this is an accurate and faithful remake of the original The House of the Dead but lacks the bespoke light gun controls to really make it work. While games like Virtual On have had their TwinStick peripherals over the years, it’s a shame to see The House of the Dead denied a proper light gun.

Read full review

Jan 11, 2022

Overall, Super Robot Wars 30 is an excellent tribute to the 30th anniversary of the series. The new mission setup is a bit daunting at first but works well on multiple playthroughs and with the new DLC. Considering the challenges the development team must have faced during the pandemic to get this game done, it’s remarkable how well it all turned out.

Read full review

9 / 10.0 - Metroid Dread
Oct 12, 2021

Overall, Metroid Dread brings a narrative close to a decades long story with excellent level design and combat. It also looks great as well. So until Samus Aran is needed once again to save the Galactic Federation, I am happy to just savour the joy of another successfully completed mission.

Read full review

Sep 30, 2021

Overall, Actraiser Renaissance stays true to the original game, while building it out even further and keeping the essence of what made it so special intact. If you never played the original Actraiser, then you are definitely in for a treat as it’s not every day you don the mantle of the Lord of Light and defy the will of Tanzra.

Read full review

Overall, Earth Defense Force: World Brothers is a fun remix of the Earth Defense Force formula. Not only is the art style almost entirely adorable, but the way the gameplay has been split across your team members keeps the game fresh and fun.

Read full review

Overall, Skyward Sword HD is a wonderful remaster and is a joy to play. However, it requires more effort than your typical Zelda game, not least due to the new control options available, but with diligent practice the game opens up into something genuinely beautiful.

Read full review

Jun 21, 2021

Overall, this is not your typical “game”, but it is still a lot of fun one to play. Game Builder Garage is also a game that is uniquely important and necessary for people to understand how games work. While all of this may sound like a chore, it really isn’t, as Nintendo is probably the only company that could make visual scripting actually fun. That alone is a huge achievement and one I am excited as well as relieved to champion.

Read full review

May 17, 2021

Overall, the Famicom Detective Club games are interesting gaming curiosities from an older era of gaming. If you are more of a Nintendo historian, then you will find these games fascinating. For everyone else though, they are an acquired taste.

Read full review

8 / 10.0 - R-Type Final 2
May 6, 2021

Overall, R-Type Final 2 is a significant improvement over R-Type Final and has decently solid level design throughout. As R-Type games go though, R-Type Final 2 does not live up to the masterful R-Type Delta. That said, it is still a proper R-Type game and a well-crafted shmup. So blast off and have fun destroying the Bydo Empire all over again.

Read full review

Apr 30, 2021

Overall, New Pokémon Snap is a relaxing but still a quite involved game There’s a lot to do in the Lental Region and the game definitely turned out better than I ever expected it to. While it can get a bit repetitive, there are enough surprises to keep you engaged.

Read full review

Mar 29, 2021

Overall, Demon’s Souls is still the most interesting and varied game in the Souls series. This remake not only looks lovely on the PlayStation 5 but is also a joy to play with all the tweaks and improvements that have been introduced. Now if only people would look past its supposed difficulty and see its carefully crafted intricacy instead.

Read full review

Overall, this is a fantastic collection of Super Mario games. From the focused and demanding Super Mario 3D World to the more experimental, though still very well executed, open world take for Bowser’s Fury. Both games have a lot to offer and will keep you very busy unlocking their innermost secrets.

Read full review

Sep 23, 2020

So if you missed these classic Super Mario games when they were originally released, then you should pick this collection up. However, if you loved these games as a kid and were expecting Nintendo to pull out all the stops and give them the technical update they deserved, you will feel a tad disappointed.

Read full review

Gundam Extreme Versus Maxiboost ON is easily the best console release available for these games. Not only does it represent a decade’s worth of serious arcade multiplayer balancing, it also has an extensive singleplayer setup to keep any Gundam fan occupied. Put simply, this is a thoroughbred multiplayer game with an immense amount of depth and variety.

Read full review