Ben Stegner


14 games reviewed
65.0 average score
65 median score
35.7% of games recommended
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6 / 10 - Punch Club
Feb 10, 2017

Punch Club has a fantastic soundtrack, great 16-bit art, and a good amount of content going for it. We can't help but state, however, that this game quickly evolves into a grind, and thus we only recommend it to committed fans of this genre. You'll spend a good amount of time tediously raising your fighting stats and tending to individual meters instead of feeling like you're making choices for your player's life. This isn't too bad in short bursts, but it makes the game feel more like a chore than fun at times, and the lack of Easy mode means stat gains are never permanent. The fights themselves are also rather dull and slow, especially early on.There's something glimmering in Punch Club, and it's a shame that it's not more fun for general audiences. Hardcore management fans should have a great time here, but we'd caution casual players to stay away unless they enjoy the tedium of everyday life.

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8 / 10 - Shift DX
Jan 22, 2017

What we have here is a great puzzler for the 3DS. Don't let the simplistic graphics and basic controls distract you from the fun gameplay you'll experience in Shift DX. Aside from a few weird spikes, the difficulty is forgiving for new players but also challenging at points for puzzle veterans. The price tag is also just right for the amount of content you get; playing these two games free on iOS means putting up with ads every time you die.Shift DX takes a simple concept and creates plenty of fun levels out of it. Anyone who enjoys this genre or has a small interest in it should definitely pick this one up.

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Dec 31, 2016

Geki Yaba Runner Deluxe is an inoffensive, typical mobile runner repackaged for 3DS. It doesn't excel in any particular area, but it's far from bad. The controls are passable, and fast restarts mean that you can jump right back in when you hit an obstacle you never saw coming. If you're into this genre there's a good challenge present with replayability in the optional objectives; it's most tolerable in short play sessions.There are far better and more unique runner games on the eShop, but this will get you by if you need something to pass the time. You can always give the game a try on your phone to see if you like it; just note that you'll have to pay for extra lives on mobile. The paid package price on 3DS is half that of the 'unlock' on mobile at present, too, so it's certainly worth consideration.

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6 / 10 - Exile's End
Dec 12, 2016

Despite being advertised as a cinematic platformer, Exile's End is really a Metroidvania-style outing. It contains great graphics and sound, and does a fine job of allowing the player to explore and become more powerful without holding their hand. However, the game suffers from a tedious opening sequence, occasional camera and combat control stumbles, and a lackluster map.Those who absolutely love to explore every bit of a game's world without any direction at all will love Exile's End. However, a few places don't give the player enough guidance, which leads to brute-forcing every possible path until you uncover the solution. This is a solid action exploration game, but needs a few improvements to be a smash hit for everyone.

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4 / 10 - Twisted Fusion
Nov 5, 2016

Twisted Fusion misses its potential. The skeleton of a solid game is here, but it falls short in various regards and is plagued with issues. What fun you might have from searching for secrets and gaining new abilities is completely marred by tedious combat, a shaky camera and movement, a lack of navigational help, and overall boring gameplay. The variety of technical issues suggest that perhaps this game could have used some more time in development.If you really like action platformers and don't mind a game that's rough around the edges, this isn't the worst game on the eShop considering the price. However, most people should look elsewhere. Twisted Fusion's ultimate fate is that it feels incomplete, not plain awful, and that's sad considering its origins.

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Oct 21, 2016

Like yesterday's pizza that just doesn't taste the same when heated up in the microwave, Ninja Pizza Girl is a decent game that doesn't excel in any area. The story has a nice sentiment but is loaded with cheese, while the physics and controls occasionally make you slip off platforms in tense moments. On the ninja front, the graphics and enemy placements can cause you to bump into obstacles and kill your flow, while the collectibles feel out of place.You could certainly do a lot worse than Ninja Pizza Girl, and we can't call it a bad game. For its launch price, however, it's just too bland to recommend. You might want to give it a try if you're hankering for a fast-paced platformer, but there are better deliveries elsewhere on the eShop.

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Oct 12, 2016

Azure Striker Gunvolt 2 is a good game, and while it really plays it safe by being so similar to its predecessor, it's an easy recommendation for action genre fans. For everyone else, however, it's a bit more of a mixed result. The level design and bosses are uneven, resulting in some levels feeling fun and challenging while others are less enticing. Couple in the save system issues, bland plot and incessant dialogue, and it's easy to see how some wouldn't fall in love with this title.However, it's a solid action title. The two characters are different enough to provide good variety, there are a lot of items to help customize your approach, and if you're up for replaying the game there's a lot to work at. If you liked the first Gunvolt, love Mega Man, or wish Mighty No. 9 would have been better, this game is for you. Those looking for something fresh, an interesting story, or an action game to play in bite-sized pieces on the go may want to think twice.

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9 / 10 - Severed
Oct 2, 2016

Drinkbox Studios has another masterpiece to add to its portfolio. With a fantastic atmosphere, a unique combat system that never gets tedious and a perfect difficulty curve, SEVERED is a must-play for Wii U owners. Unlike so many titles where touch controls are shoehorned in, this game makes using the stylus feel perfectly natural. A few frustrating elements are only slight scratches on this feverishly enjoyable experience. This should be fun for anyone, unless you dislike Metroidvania games, corridor action-adventure, and excellent combat.

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8 / 10 - Polara
Sep 26, 2016

Overall, Polara is easily recommended. The game doesn't do anything particularly innovative to attract those who aren't fans of the genre, but anyone willing to give it a try will find a fun core mechanic, accessible gameplay thanks to the controls and checkpoints, and a good bit of replayability. Some minor frustrations and muddy graphics don't detract much from the overall package here. Give it a try if you're looking for an endless runner that does things a bit differently, as it's perfect for quick gaming sessions.

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9 / 10 - Tallowmere
Sep 5, 2016

Tallowmere is an excellent roguelike. Its value comes from its customization options — you can make the game easier or harder in a variety of ways, run special challenges, and play with buddies. It's all wrapped up with plenty of weapons and gear, a good variety of enemies, cool music, and an addictive gameplay hook that's immediately accessible for newbies of the genre yet deep enough for veterans. The graphics might not be the greatest and there are a few quirks resulting from its PC roots, but this deeply replayable gem is not to be missed if you have any interest in the genre.

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