John Cal McCormick Avatar Image

John Cal McCormick

Durham, UK

Favorite Games:
  • Final Fantasy IX
  • Persona 4 Golden
  • Mass Effect 2

98 games reviewed
63.3 average score
60 median score
40.8% of games recommended

John Cal McCormick's Reviews

There's a good chance that while you're reading this, John is in his pyjamas with a PS4 controller in his hands. He loves music and movies from the '80s, considers cheese to be the most important major food-group, and has no regrets about the amount of time he's spent chasing platinum trophies.

Brewmaster is really laid back. There are no fail states — or certainly none that we found. There’s no drama. Nobody dies. It’s just about brewing beer, and learning about beer, and then eventually entering a beer brewing competition to be crowned the titular Brewmaster™. That’s it. And we like it.

Read full review

Oct 30, 2022

Star Ocean: The Divine Force is like a comfortable pair of JRPG slippers. If you're in the mood for a Japanese role playing game and you've played all of the good ones then you can rest assured that this one is fine. It's okay. It's comfort food. You know that feeling when you just wish Netflix would make another season of Mindhunter and so you end up watching Criminal Minds? That. Only in space.

Read full review

Oct 22, 2022

We can scarcely recall an occasion where we were more disappointed by a sequel than New Tales from the Borderlands. We wanted to love this. We'd have accepted liking it. But we hate this game. This is a ten-hour narrative adventure that feels four times as long as it needs to be, with dreadful characters, and appalling, relentlessly unfunny jokes. It's a spectacular misfire, its only success to speak of being the rare example of a sequel so bad that it ruins the original, too.

Read full review

Sep 29, 2022

Valkyrie Elysium is a game of two halves. The level design and objectives feel at least two generations old and the characters and storyline are more like placeholders than the finished article. There's no capital F feelings here or much in the way of narrative justification, but if you're okay with that and you just want fifteen to twenty hours of fast, frantic, fluid combat then we can just about recommend this one.

Read full review

It's apt that the character you play as in Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobed is named Crypto. Like crypto, the game is an interesting idea on paper, but we don't really need it, we don't want to hear about it, it keeps crashing, and if you invest any money into it then you're probably going to end up with buyer's remorse.

Read full review

Aug 14, 2022

Cult of the Lamb is a game that is much more than the sum of its parts. Taken on their own neither the combat nor the cult management would be strong enough to carry the title, but together they form a compelling whole that's then further enhanced by the delightful art style and pervasive sinister tone. It's evil and wonderful and more than a little unhinged. It's also one of the most impressive games of the year.

Read full review

Aug 4, 2022

The lack of genuine stakes means that Two Point Campus never becomes truly gripping, but the easy, breezy vibe makes for an enjoyable, leisurely build-'em-up. It's the perfect management sim for newcomers or children or even fans of the genre who just want a palette cleanser between more challenging titles. It's the sort of game you play on a Sunday afternoon, still in your pyjamas, with one hand because you've got a Cornetto in the other. And we're totally okay with that.

Read full review

Jul 7, 2022

Phantasy Reverie Series is a relatively no-frills remaster collection. There's a couple of quality of life improvements and the games have a fresh lick of high definition paint, but if you didn't like Klonoa back in the day then you're not going to like it now. If you didn't play Klonoa at the time then you won't have the prerequisite nostalgia goggles necessary to gaze upon these games and see them for anything more than what they are - a couple of pretty good platformers and little else, and that's fine.

Read full review

The only issue we had with Yurukill was that it never felt like it went far enough. It's a compelling tale and it moves at a brisk pace, but it lacks the malicious edge of a Danganronpa or the brain-breaking narrative of a Zero Escape. By the time it's all said and done, we'd enjoyed our time with it, but we were a mite disappointed that it didn't push us harder.

Read full review

Jun 27, 2022

We’re giving Fobia - St. Dinfna Hotel the benefit of the doubt. It’s flawed for sure. But the ten or twelve-hour playing time is mostly a good time thanks to the effectiveness of the titular guest house as a setting and the oppressive atmosphere it manages to conjure during your stay there.

Read full review

Jun 8, 2022

So we recommend Super Perils of Baking, it's a solid seven out of ten, and we promise, scouts honour, no word of a lie, we'll never do a review like this again.

Read full review

Swansong's biggest problem is that at times it's perhaps not as clear as it could be about what you're actually meant to be doing or how to bypass certain problems, and you'll find that it's trial and error that gets you through. There's also a couple of technical issues, including one in which we spent ages wandering around trying to solve a puzzle only to reset the game and discover that the solution to the problem hadn't loaded the first time around. Not cool.

Read full review

Mar 30, 2022

Tiny Tina's Wonderlands retains the inherently entertaining shootin' and lootin' gameplay that the Borderlands series is known for, but you're frequently held back from enjoying it because of repetitive missions, tedious busywork, oodles of padding, and the game's relentless need to be funny. It's characters won't shut up, frequently stopping you playing so it can perform another inane comedy routine that limply, embarrassingly fizzles out like a deflating corpse, farting decomposition gases to the tune of "Ta-dah!"

Read full review

Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin thinks that it's Daniel Craig's James Bond but it's actually Austin Powers. There's barely a moment in the game that isn't stretching credulity, be it the absurd writing, bewildering story, or inane characters. There's a host of technical issues, too. But somehow, despite everything, it manages to fail upwards and be a pretty good time. Maybe we've lost the plot but we liked it.

Read full review

Mar 10, 2022

There's no mechanics, really, to speak of. There's no combat for us to discuss. You can't even jump on command — only at specific places. Submerged is a chillout experience about exploration with a slight story and basically nothing else, and honestly, we're okay with that. Not everything has to be explosions or sad-times-my-kid-died-and-now-I've-grown-a-beard depressing drama. Pop on Submberged as a palette cleanser between more involved titles or as an escape from the horror of reality and you'll be fine. This is fine.

Read full review

4 / 10 - Monark
Feb 16, 2022

There's an interesting story here and the horror-JRPG vibe is much appreciated, but whatever enjoyment they could bring you is utterly annihilated by the outrageous, egregious amount of grinding you'll need to do to see the game through. Monark is gaming reduced to a thick, treacly sludge to wade through, no cutscene or story beat or reward ever feeling like it was worth the struggle. Just play Shin Megami Tensei while listening to Nine Inch Nails and you'll have a better time.

Read full review

Nov 5, 2021

If we had to make a list of things that are totally radical then dinosaurs chasing and eating annoying fannypack-wearing tourists while we triumphantly hum the Jurassic Park theme tune would be top ten. Maybe even top five. We're here for that. Minor quibbles with the main campaign aside, Jurassic World Evolution 2 delivers an entertaining if simplistic park builder, that well-utilises the Jurassic World license, and throws in just the right amount of dinosaur-fuelled mayhem to boot.

Read full review

6 / 10 - Bloodshore
Nov 3, 2021

The story is slight, the acting is rubbish, and the special effects are merely effects. The synthwave soundtrack is actually really good. It lasts an hour and change which, like most Wales Interactive movie-games, is absolutely perfect. You probably already know if you think you're going to like this, and if you do you're probably right. We liked it, but mainly for the wrong reasons.

Read full review

Gameplay-wise, not much has changed since Little Hope. You'll spend much of your time walking about, inspecting objects, talking to people, making decisions, and taking part in quick-time events. The formula works, and the six or seven hour running time means that the rudimentary controls don't outstay their welcome.

Read full review

Oct 4, 2021

For existing fans, this no-frills remaster is the best way to experience the 2010 game on modern consoles, but in 2021, much of the title simply doesn't hold up. Without the benefit of nostalgia, Alan Wake doesn't work as horror because it's not scary, as a thriller because long stretches of the game are fantastically boring, or as an action game because the combat is uninspired and repetitive. There's an interesting central mystery here, but like Alan Wake himself, you'll have to go through hell to find it.

Read full review