Cody Gravelle


148 games reviewed
80.5 average score
80 median score
80.1% of games recommended
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Kirby and the Forgotten Land is an excellent marriage between gameplay innovation and accessibility.

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Feb 16, 2022

Overall, Monark is a perfectly functional JRPG with a great combat system, some strong aesthetic designs, and a decent story. It's held back a bit by its school setting and a lack of exposition early, and could have benefited from embracing its darker themes more readily to help establish stakes in the opening chapters. Still, what's here is a fun game with an addictive combat system, and lessons learned in Monark could make the next effort from FURYU Corporation even more appealing.

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Anyone who liked Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars will similarly find much to enjoy in Forsaken Maiden. Those who felt that Isle Dragon Roars was a little too monotonous in its early-going should still attempt Forsaken Maiden, since its biggest strength is a streamlined approach to the game's major selling points. Voice of Cards: The Forsaken Maiden is a lovely second proof-of-concept for what is an excellent gameplay design approach, and hopefully it inspires some similar risk-taking in other JRPG designs in the future.

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Feb 4, 2022

The foundation for an incredible online card game is very much present in Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel. There's all the tools here for the next online TCG sensation, and its free-to-play friendly beginnings coupled with smooth UI make it quite watchable from a viewership perspective. If Konami sinks more content into ranked play and maintains a steady schedule of single-player releases and game modes over the next year or two, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel could become the top-tier online representation of tabletop card game experiences - something that would've been absurd to suggest after lengthy head starts by Magic Arena, Hearthstone, and others.

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Nov 4, 2021

Shin Megami Tensei V revels in JRPG traditions and, while it does mark a leap forward for the franchise, its excellence is at odds with its approach.

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While Voice of Cards does stumble in spots, it shines as a brilliantly told story that successfully replicates the feeling of the best tabletop gaming sessions, with a game master whose engaging voice carries much of the emotion and tension required to make the setup work. While it certainly won't be for everyone, Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars is a beautiful title well worth a look from any roleplaying fan, and an example of how excellent design can breathe life into any game with enough to say about its world and its heroes.

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Oct 6, 2021

Metroid Dread is an instant classic. Its seamless blend of exploration, combat, puzzle-solving, and light touches of story creates one of the most engaging experiences on Nintendo Switch.

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Sep 27, 2021

For those who haven't picked up a FIFA title in a few years, however, this is certainly the best time to jump back into the franchise, with a skew towards offensive soccer minds that will no doubt result in quicker pacing, attractive games, and a strong pick-up-and-play appeal for those just looking to play some soccer here and there.

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Sep 16, 2021

Lost Judgment is nothing short of stunning. It's tightly-packed narrative never fails to enthrall, while its gameplay systems make navigating to each of its engrossing narrative beats an exciting experience in its own right. While Judgment felt a bit more like a proof of concept for how a Yakuza spin-off could be done, its sequel is evidence there needs to be more. Lost Judgment is a defining release from Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, one of 2021's best games, and the rare sequel that preserves its series' identity while improving on nearly every element of its predecessor.

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Sep 8, 2021

Tales of Arise accomplishes the rare feat of catering to its many fans while simultaneously making a compelling case for newcomers to give it a try, and it's a JRPG must-play that was more than worth the wait.

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Ultimately, Iki Island is a solid eight-to-ten hour campaign completing most of its extras, and the upgrades on PlayStation 5 are tangible enough that it feels like the release of Director's Cut was more than justified. Ghost of Tsushima Director's Cut is the best iteration of an already amazing title, and should be a must-own for any PS5 user who hasn't played through the game once before. For anyone who has already done so, it's a bit of a tougher sell, though the upgrades and expanded narrative of the DLC do offer enough to make it a strong consideration for another go on PlayStation 5.

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Aug 10, 2021

Hades remains one of the best roguelikes in recent memory regardless of what machine is housing it. As always, the advice ultimately remains the same for those on the fence about the Supergiant Games spin on mythology: go play Hades. Now there's even more ways to do so.

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The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is, first and most importantly, a collection of stories that never wastes a player's time - and could, in fact, dramatically improve how they're spending it should they give it a chance.

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NEO: The World Ends With You effortlessly combines deep JRPG combat and systems with stylish accessibility, resulting in a memorable, excellent game.

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Jun 29, 2021

Sumire is the type of game that anyone who loves story-telling and visually stunning environments will be drawn in by. It doesn't reinvent any of its inspirations - and in some places, like its puzzles and its replayability, it's noticeably less impressive than some of its peers - but the experience as a whole exceeds these individual qualities. GameTomo delivers on the promise of its premise, and Sumire is an easy recommendation for those who enjoy visual novels or memorable narratives.

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Ultimately, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny is a surprisingly accessible entry into a franchise known for its complexity and tactical prowess. It achieves this accessibility without sacrificing its depth, too, which is a major boon for veterans of the series. In spite of this, an overall lack of innovation in the user-controlled battles and some dated graphics and dialogue make for an uneven, though at times great, experience. Even with its more inviting approach to newcomers, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny will likely be most enjoyed by those who already love the franchise, and anyone who has a low tolerance for anime tropes or standard tactical fare will likely want to give this one a pass.

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Ultimately, though, FF7 Remake Episode INTERmission doesn't shy away from its nature as a side story, and as a result it spends most of its time embracing the new characters and their experiences rather than trying to shoehorn them into the main narrative. While that might make the FF7 Remake DLC feel less important as a result, it also results in a tight, fun experience that doesn't take long to complete and firmly establishes another engrossing character in a FF7 Remake universe that has shown time and again it's capable of creating stars. FF7 Remake Episode INTERmission, then, is DLC that slots nicely into the gap between the first game and FF7 Remake Part 2 - it's skippable for those who aren't interested, but excellent for those who want more of the game's world before it progresses onward.

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Jun 15, 2021

Errors aside, though, Roguebook is still an exceptionally fun experience. It's a very good deckbuilding game hiding within an innovative take on roguelike play, and the charm of its characters and the accessibility of its difficulty will go a long way in compelling people to give it a try. A deeper story, more variety in levels and characters, and some crucial bug fixes would go a long way in giving Roguebook long-lasting appeal, but it's still well-worth checking out for fans of either roguelikes or deckbuilders - as long as they can stomach a few crashes and don't mind a bit of an easier experience than they may be used to.

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WoW TBC Classic hits the usual highs, but it's a timesink.

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Jun 11, 2021

Griftlands shines in unexpected places.

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