Paul Policarp


18 games reviewed
75.0 average score
80 median score
83.3% of games recommended
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6.5 / 10.0 - Sceal
Jun 6, 2017

"Scéal is an interesting experiment in visual style and storytelling. It creates a unique atmosphere and explores a rarely-touched setting, that of Irish folklore. While it has little to no core gamer appeal, as a casual experience it holds up pretty well. It could have benefited from having more than one area to explore across its three chapters which would have maybe added to its play time as well, but it’s a fine and well-enough crafted project for its modest goals. And the music is pretty great."

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4 / 10.0 - Syberia 3
May 11, 2017

"I took no pleasure in writing this. In fact, writing this piece was almost as miserable an experience as playing through Syberia 3. It really pains me to say this. The series was among my favorites in the genre and I was looking forward to seeing it continue. It looks and feels as if it was designed and made in the mid-to-late 2000s, just as the genre was shifting toward 3D environments. However, this didn’t stop recent games such as Dreamfall Chapters to deliver a more polished experience (on the same engine, no less). If it were just an issue of graphics I wouldn’t be bothered but the lack of either time, resources or effort invested shows and permeates throughout all aspects of the game save overall world design and music. Frankly, I can’t fault it for lack of trying, I can see the game wanting to be good, but it’s just not enough. And sadly, patches can only solve a pittance of its issues."

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7 / 10.0 - Rain World
Apr 18, 2017

"Rain World was definitely not what I was expecting and it’s not going to be what a lot of players will be expecting either. It subverts your expectations and delivers something different and unique but not very approachable. While it looks amazing and is originally animated, your exploration and desire to delve into it might be seriously hampered by its crushing difficulty and unforgiving failure penalties. It could have been an indie darling, talked about in mainstream gamer communities but the developers wanted to deliver another experience entirely. The end result is a solid piece of video gaming, lovingly crafted and with a lot more depth than it may seem, but it will probably remain a cult classic, bearing the tried and true “not for everyone” label."

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Apr 6, 2017

"What a ride, what a send-off, what a missed opportunity! I’m being a bit unfair. The Ringed City is perfectly good content, with a lot of play time, a lot of new weapons, armor and enemies. Some bosses suffer from hallmarks of the series so far, while one is almost exemplary in its design. It’s a linear experience but enjoyable to go through. The environments are among the most impressively looking in the series but the overall level of quality and polish fall short of previous DLC’s by From such as Artorias of the Abyss or The Old Hunters. In terms of lore and environmental storytelling, The Ringed City seems like a fair send-off for the series, even if it seems like it could have used (and deserved) more attention. Other aspects seem like placeholder ideas, such as the sections in which you’re forced to run from cover to cover which felt alien considering the series I was playing. I would call it “phoned in”, but even “phoned in” by From Software is still leaps and bounds ahead of what some AAA developers consider well-rounded and finished. Either way, it’s over at least for the time being and it’s been a privilege. Praise the Sun."

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8.5 / 10.0 - Stories Untold
Mar 17, 2017

"My issues with Stories Untold were largely technical and are being fixed by the developers as I’m writing this piece. There are some design flaws that tend to break the flow, but I’d say that they account for less than 10% of the experience. While rather short at around 2-3 hours, the game does make up for that with unique takes on familiar gameplay elements and tropes and manages to tell an intricate and compelling story in a very interesting way. Some of the puzzles and challenges, while not time-sensitive, will ask you to invest a bit of your brain power in solving them and it all builds up to a satisfying pay-off. Stories Untold tries something new and succeeds at delivering something fresh in terms of interactive storytelling (emphasizing interactivity, rather than just narration). That its aesthetics and themes reminded me of Stranger Things is purely a bonus."

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Mar 5, 2017

"While it could still use some improvements with its puzzle design, Bear With Me episode 2 improves upon the previous installment in almost every way and had me much more invested in its story and characters. As previously mentioned, the story really comes into its own with the shift to an urban environment. It’s a shame that the episodes only come out every few months, though I hope the next one doesn’t take half a year. Overall, it’s a solid entry to an increasingly interesting series."

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Feb 26, 2017

"That All the Delicate Duplicates is an interesting game, I cannot deny. However, boldness can only carry a game so far and I feel like this one partially fails to follow through. That its story requires several layers of hermeneutics in order to understand and piece together does it no services. One needs to understand some very basic quantum physics concepts, have the patience to wade through plain text back (and forth) stories, the will to play through the story several times and then try to piece everything together. On the other hand, All the Delicate Duplicates is very forthright with its experimental nature and I can’t deny that I found it at least conceptually intriguing at times. That being said, I think I’d recommend it, but not without a caveat emptor. Let the buyer beware."

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"It still annoys me to no end that Telltale prefers to churn out more licensed property games than not instead of just focusing on just slightly upgrading their engine. I’m sure they can come up with something better that still works on my cell phone if they really want that. I also wish we had more meaningful puzzles and environment interactions. I wish choices meant a damn more. City of Light was a step in the right direction but there is room for much more. Overall the episode reflects the entirety of the series very well: it’s fine. It has its moments. It has some weak parts. It’s satisfactory. It deserved better."

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"As the story of Telltale’s Batman series draws toward a close, Guardian of Gotham displays the problems inherent with some of the series’ structural techniques. It’s far too easy to act in a way and make some choices that will spread your investment all over the place, which doesn’t happen if you pick a clear path with clear goals and stick to it. This isn’t something that’s easily done over the span of five months. Nevertheless, some lazy writing aside in regards to some trivial matters, the episode is enjoyable, has a lot of colorful characters and builds up the finale in a way that could prove interesting, as you confront one of two antagonists. It remains to see how well it succeeds next time."

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8.5 / 10.0 - Silence
Nov 26, 2016

"Misgivings about its narrative shortcomings, occasional dips in voice acting quality and its constant referencing of The Whispered World aside, I’ve found Silence to be thoroughly enjoyable. It’s characters, although not terribly developed are fleshed out enough for the player to be invested. Each location is depicted with overwhelming attention to detail and the characters’ faces are masterfully animated. It’s one of the best-looking games I’ve ever played and it touches on fantasy themes I enjoy greatly, such as dying worlds, fish out of water and battles against overwhelming odds. It’s for this reason that I regret it even more that it wasn’t given the opportunity to further dive into the world and characters and achieve excellence. As it stands it’s just a great, fun journey, albeit a predictable one."

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