Lowell Bell


Favorite Games:
  • Pokemon Red
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Morrowind
  • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

10 games reviewed
66.5 average score
70 median score
50.0% of games recommended

Lowell Bell's Reviews

Critic based out of Japan. よろしく。

Despite our relative indifference toward the shmup sections and our frustration with some of the puzzles, by the time we cleared each team's attraction and really got to know the eccentric cast before the intense final chapters, Yurukill: The Calumniation Games had thoroughly hooked us. Individually, the puzzle-solving and shooter elements aren't anything particularly special, but they come together with some ridiculous characters to form a game greater than the sum of its parts. We'd go so far as to say we like pickles on ice cream now, and – while you might think us as crazy as Binko – we think you might, too.

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Jun 4, 2022

Biomotor Unitron seems like an awesome mecha-building RPG that draws inspiration from some of our favourite classic games, but in reality it's a shallow curiosity with a fair share of charm to sink an afternoon or two into and not much more. The pieces are here – in fact, we'd love to see a Biomotor Unitron-like game made with modern sensibilities – but the motivation to motor on through the monotonous random battles to rank up in the arena depends wholly on how much you'll enjoy some vivid sprites and catchy retro tunes.

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The Centennial Case: A Shijima Story is more like watching a campy murder-mystery drama than playing a video game, and what gameplay there is often kills the story's pace. While we enjoyed our time with it all the same, you'll have to ask yourself how interested you are in watching what amounts to a decent Japanese TV series with mediocre interactivity. For us, we won't let another FMV murder-mystery developed by Square Enix escape our notice again, though we certainly hope they rework how we uncover the culprits.

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May 13, 2022

In its launch state on Switch, much of As Far As The Eye is unplayable. For us, neither Quick Game or Custom Matches would last long before we got booted to the Switch's dashboard. We waited several days for some kind of update to fix both the UI and the egregious crashes and get a better idea of a game that is not without promise, but a patch still hasn't arrived at the time of writing. If or when one does come, As Far As The Eye has the potential to become an intriguing little strategy game with that Civilization-style 'just one more turn' effect. But for now, do not get sucked in by its soothing mood and the cute little Pupils.

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May 10, 2022

Do you enjoy waiting for public transit in the rain? Could you bear sitting next to a screaming toddler on a transatlantic flight? Do you think you'd derive pleasure from chopping down trees in the Great Forest over and over again until you had enough light lumber to fulfil three or four requests? If so, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising has a delightful little adventure hidden beneath a lot of tedium just for you. If not, we wouldn't begrudge you for staying clear and hoping Hundred Heroes doesn't follow too closely in its predecessor's footsteps. This game certainly has charm, but it makes you work too hard for it.

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It's a shame that, with the release of Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition, we likely won't see a comprehensive remaster or even a full remake of this underrated gem for a long while, leaving us with a somewhat underwhelming version on Switch that isn't much beyond a port. Regardless, the portability of the Nintendo's console and the inclusion of Radical Dreamers still makes this the best and most convenient way for fans and newcomers alike to play the 22-year-old classic and its pseudo-prequel. It's a good game and having easy access to it is a boon - just don't go in with more than modest expectations when it comes to the remaster effort.

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Mar 10, 2016

Super Galaxy Squadron EX succeeds most where it holds back. While in a couple places it holds back too much, namely in the short Arcade campaign and lack of the second Endless mode, I’m resistant to booting up the game again for another bout with the Tau-Ceti aliens on a higher, more punishing difficulty.

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Feb 17, 2014

With Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Retro Studios has shown once again it could take just about any beloved Nintendo property and turn it into a unique, nostalgia inducing machine of pure fun.

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9 / 10.0 - Bravely Default
Feb 9, 2014

Together with the Brave/Default mechanic, wealth of character customization, and overall streamlined approach, Bravely Default manages to maintain that classic JRPG feel while modernizing outdated conventions.

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8 / 10.0 - The Banner Saga
Jan 14, 2014

Stoic had me hooked within the first five minutes through the visual and sound design alone. The hand-drawn art style is reminiscent of animated feature films, and in conjunction with a soundtrack composed by Austin Wintory (of Journey fame), The Banner Saga presents a melancholic, unforgettable atmosphere which will grip you immediately. It's a shame more couldn't have been done to give the battles more complexity, but the choices you're forced to make throughout the adventure, and the sheer beauty of the world, more than make up for a lack of strategic depth. In fact, I could've played The Banner Saga on aesthetic direction and risk management alone—both are that engaging.

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