Steve Watts


101 games reviewed
73.0 average score
70 median score
53.5% of games recommended
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Sep 27, 2016

Thankfully that slapdash treatment isn't indicative of the game as a whole. The story mode is well put together and serves as a faithful homage to the classic. It's loving to the point of almost fawning, and it feels a little too willing to play it safe at times, but it's an enjoyable nostalgia trip regardless.

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Sep 23, 2016

Picross 3D 2 is what a sequel should be, especially for puzzle games. I would've been happy with more puzzles, but it went further. It iterated and engaged my brain in new and clever ways that I hadn't even considered, it revised its progression ramp in a way that I found more satisfying, and it gave and continues to give me dozens of hours of enjoyment. If you have any interest in logic puzzles and brain-teasers, this is a can't-miss.

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5 / 10 - ReCore
Sep 16, 2016

All of this took a promising franchise introduction and just left a bad taste in my mouth. I genuinely enjoyed a lot of aspects of ReCore--the world, the nail-biting platforming challenges, the smart and fast-paced combat. But it comes with so many issues and reservations that it becomes hard to recommend. I liked ReCore enough to hope we'll see an improved sequel, but if we do, I'll recommend players skip to that one.

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Jul 11, 2016

Combat also comes into play occasionally. It's a secondary trait to the puzzle-solving play, accented by how long it takes to get a traditional weapon for your tiny submarine. Until then, you simply have to make-do with a grappling claw. Upgrades are available that add qualities like extra damage or special attributes to your shots, though it seems as if a few unmarked upgrades would be necessary to handle some of the more difficult combat scenarios.

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5 / 10 - Mighty No. 9
Jun 20, 2016

In its day, Mega Man went from a pioneering force in action game perfection to the poster child for redundant, cookie cutter sequels that failed to push the genre forward. Mighty No 9 does present a few concepts that feel like they could have been the next iterative step. Even if it had avoided its many pitfalls and baffling design choices, though, it's likely a few decades too late for such minor improvements.

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Jun 3, 2016

Kirby: Planet Robobot also offers some alternatives in the form of other modes. Two of them, Meta-Knightmare Returns and The Arena, are a traditional Time Attack (as Meta-Knight) and Boss Rush mode, respectively. Those are unlocked after completing the main story. Two other modes, available from the start, offer wholly different experiences from the standard Kirby game, and are better for it.

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9 / 10 - Overwatch
May 27, 2016

Overwatch is a collection of firsts, but it carries itself with the confidence and proficiency of a veteran. It has plenty of room to grow and expand, but as our first step into this world, it's inviting, competitive, smartly designed, beautiful to look at, and fun to play. You can't ask for much more than that.

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6 / 10 - Battleborn
May 11, 2016

All of that makes Battleborn feel light, airy, and inconsequential. It's enjoyable in its best moments and especially in one of its multiplayer modes, but the problem comes with its lack of longevity. It's clearly a game built to be enjoyed in the long-term, like the MOBAs that inspired it, but it doesn't have the legs to run that far. This is a game built to be played repeatedly over the course of months, but I felt tired of it after a week.

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May 3, 2016

Make no mistake, Pocket Card Jockey is weird. The plot is ridiculous, the systems are obtuse, and the reliance on luck can be incredibly frustrating. Despite all that, though, I kept promising myself just one more race, and then another, late into the night throughout my play sessions. Its complexity can be overwhelming, but once you hit your stride, it's entertaining all the way to the home stretch.

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6 / 10 - Star Fox Zero
Apr 20, 2016

Though Star Fox Guard is presented separately, it is packed in with Star Fox Zero and essentially serves as a mini-game. This repurposed tech demo, once called Project Guard, showed potential when it was first shown off, and that's been realized fairly well here. The tower defense structure does make good use of the dual cameras, forcing you to pay attention and swap on the fly to take out enemies. I did often wish there was a more reliable way to swap camera views, since my thumb was too imprecise but holding the stylus while shooting isn't comfortable. It's a shallow experience on the whole, and not meant for long stretches. While it does offer some longevity, due to the variety of stages, it definitely isn't a reason to pick up the Star Fox Zero package in itself. It will be sold separately for $14.99 on the Nintendo eShop.

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Apr 20, 2016

Bravely Default modernized the classic Final Fantasy formula, but Bravely Second improves on it in almost every way.

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Apr 11, 2016

Most of these additions and tweaks are bonuses or minor quality-of-life improvements learned from later games. The core is intact, unchanged, and still spectacularly fun. As the saying goes, they don't make them like they used to. Ratchet & Clank argues that maybe they should.

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6 / 10 - Quantum Break
Apr 1, 2016

At one point, Paul Serene emphatically states that the timeline is set, and that the advent of time fracturing and collapsing on itself can't be avoided. There is only one reality, he argues. If Quantum Break is a game fractured between two worlds, the one reality set for us as players is the one in which it's a shooter that often isn't a shooter, and a story that doesn't fully explore its narrative potential. It has intriguing ideas regarding both, but in this case, two halves don't really make a whole.

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Mar 16, 2016

Shadow Complex is a game that demands experiencing at least once. While those who played through multiple times and unlocked every secret the first go-round might not be especially compelled to do it again with such bare-bones revisions, it's a perfect vehicle for first-timers. If you haven't played Shadow Complex before, it's absolutely worth armoring up now.

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On the whole, these improvements make Twilight Princess HD the best version of the worst modern Zelda game. That said, even a mediocre Zelda game is still pretty fun. If you can get past its tonal oddities and paint-by-numbers structure, it's a good game, but not a great one. I enjoyed it as a cultural artifact, but replaying it made me appreciate that this direction for the series was temporary.

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Maybe the same solid foundation with more robust content is all Garden Warfare 2 needs to be. The package feels more whole and satisfying, and while that may dampen my thoughts on the first game a bit, it's really only by comparison to this one. If Garden Warfare was the seed, this sequel is the harvest.

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Feb 17, 2016

Fire Emblem Fates exemplifies the best way to approach a sequel. It maintains and iterates on Awakening's best qualities, while also introducing new systems that have a profound impact alongside a richer and more poignant story. It's more than just a worthwhile successor to a recent hit. Taken as a whole, it's the best Fire Emblem to date.

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Feb 17, 2016

Fire Emblem Fates exemplifies the best way to approach a sequel. It maintains and iterates on Awakening's best qualities, while also introducing new systems that have a profound impact alongside a richer and more poignant story. It's more than just a worthwhile successor to a recent hit. Taken as a whole, it's the best Fire Emblem to date.

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Jan 26, 2016

Final Fantasy Explorers was a smooth and accessible introduction to this game type, and has customization options galore, but if it intends to be a long-term dungeon crawling adventure, it needed more to explore.

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The experience is also more exciting on the whole, due to a series of large set pieces. Most of these come in the form of harrowing escapes, and at one point you're asked to snipe enemies while still keeping in mind the stealth focus. Assuring guards don't notice that you're picking them off one-by-one from afar makes for a unique challenge not seen in most stealth games.

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