Phil Owen


21 games reviewed
72.0 average score
75 median score
42.9% of games recommended
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8.5 / 10.0 - NBA 2K15
Oct 10, 2014

Between MyLeague, MyGM, MyCareer and multiplayer modes like MyPark and the more tradition types — all of which have functioned admirably online, I should note, though MyPark has been less busy than I would prefer, in my experience — NBA 2K15 is as fleshed out as a sports game gets these days.

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Oct 7, 2014

That's the irony of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter in a nutshell. When you first start up the game, it declares that it "is a narrative experience that does not hold your hand," but that's true only of its mechanics. Narratively it holds your hand so tightly that once it was over I had to wait a few minutes for feeling to return.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Alien: Isolation
Oct 4, 2014

However, those other elements do keep Alien: Isolation from ascending to heaven to stand at the right hand of God. It is merely the regular type of excellent.

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8 / 10.0 - Wasteland 2
Sep 30, 2014

But when it's working correctly, Wasteland 2 is stellar. The tactical combat is pretty standard, but challenging and only occasionally overwhelming (those are essential moments, to me). Learning to deal with everything that goes wrong as you wander the wastes is a thrill that makes it all the more satisfying when a plan actually does come together. Wasteland 2 is a Real Game, bro.

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7 / 10.0 - Gauntlet
Sep 29, 2014

Gauntlet is good and fun, but I don't think about it much between sessions. And that's about it. I feel like I've said more than is necessary at this point, really. It's competently made and enjoyable and you might forget you have it if you don't play it for a week.

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5 / 10.0 - Destiny
Sep 14, 2014

But, like, it's fun and the view from the social hub is pretty.

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9 / 10.0 - Unrest
Aug 21, 2014

I love it. Unrest is another indie that exposes the lie of AAA that says games need some physical skill element to be worthwhile. It gives us many layers to ponder with its narrative, wrapped in a package that feels culturally relevant even as it's firmly rooted in a past and culture that is not my own. That, my friends, is something worth experiencing.

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Aug 12, 2014

Risen 3 is a large role-playing game you can pay money for, and it is functional and will occupy your time.

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Jul 30, 2014

Born from a Ludum Dare scenario (an updated version of which has been included in the middle of the game) and spread into a full-length game, Gods Will Be Watching is far and away the most interesting game from 2014 thus far, and it wouldn't really be a stretch to call its design "pioneering." But the true joy, above its other admirable traits, comes from the emotional trauma and frustration it inflicts on the player. Accept no substitutes.

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Jul 13, 2014

And so it's a good try, Ubisoft Montpellier, but ultimately in your failure to commit to your high concept, Valiant Hearts is ultimately the same as every other pretty good game: flashes of brilliance countered by nonsense tropes that are inserted just because these are the things you do in video games.

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