Steve Watts


101 games reviewed
73.0 average score
70 median score
53.5% of games recommended
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Though A Link Between Worlds may not become an enduring classic through the decades like A Link to the Past, it stands as a worthwhile successor and a modern masterpiece in its own right.

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Nov 18, 2013

Super Mario 3D World is a tightly-designed platformer, raucously fun in multiplayer, and a master's class in level design. Don't pass it off as just another Mario game. This one is not to be missed.

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Dec 12, 2013

Mario Party: Island Tour never seems a natural fit on the 3DS. It feels more like the game has been hammered into shape to fit as well as it can on the platform. Yet, with no online support and inconsistent mini-game quality, those concessions just aren't enough to warrant the franchise's move to handheld.

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Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a usually fun, too-often frustrating, and always beautiful game. Being the first HD entry sets it apart somewhat, but if Nintendo intends to keep iterating on this series, it needs to fix some legacy issues and study which stages work to make the entire experience more pleasantly consistent.

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Azran Legacy comes full circle, with this trilogy leading neatly into the other. It feels like this is meant to be a stopping point for the series, at least in this exact format. The series of short stories served as a reminder of my affection for these characters, and the puzzles ran the gamut from tried-and-true to truly clever. This is a fine send-off, and if that's what Level-5 intends, it will be a perfectly timed one. As Layton would inform Luke, a proper gentleman knows not to overstay his welcome.

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Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes shows a lot of promise for MGS stepping into the open-world arena, but has so little content that it may not satisfy.

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Mar 20, 2014

Infamous: Second Son takes the series to the new console generation, but the ambitious power-stealing concept hews too close to previous games.

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7 / 10 - NES Remix 2
Apr 21, 2014

NES Remix 2 has a better selection of games than the first Remix, but it still feels like half of a larger whole.

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8 / 10 - Mario Kart 8
May 15, 2014

Mario Kart 8 shows a playful spirit, refinement, and attention to detail that has been missing in the last few entries.

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8 / 10 - Transistor
May 20, 2014

Bastion certainly wasn't a fluke. Transistor cements Supergiant Games as one of the sharpest, most stylish, and unique small developers. Though some of its flourishes aren't quite as fresh the second time around, Transistor speaks with a unique creative identity, mostly successfully refreshes solid RPG mechanics, and tells a poignant story worth experiencing.

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May 22, 2014

Super T.I.M.E. Force's writing can be obnoxious, but the strength of the gameplay conceit carries it through. Making death less punitive puts a unique spin on a staid genre. Using these tools to solve the combat scenarios is a blast, and worth suffering through some of the silliness and frustration.

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Jun 2, 2014

It's a distinctly average experience, but it has enough going for it that I'm glad I was able to conquer the bugs and see it through.

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Jun 30, 2014

Valiant Hearts may get repetitive at times, and struggles to find its tone, but I'd be hard-pressed to name a game that better explores the complexities of war. In the end, we're reminded that lives are valuable regardless of their banner. It's rare to see a video game explore conflict with such nuance, and this one deserves commendation for that.

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Aug 26, 2014

Infamous: First Light is at its best when it's iterating on and riffing on Second Son. In many ways, the abbreviated length of First Light makes it a better bite-sized package. It's more linear and less surprising than fans might expect from the series, but exploring this world as Fetch is just as fun as it ever was.

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Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney comes out with a game that in many ways improves upon both formulas. It may be too bogged down in its own story and look slightly dated, but the pure puzzle mechanics still work both in and out of the courtroom, and are bolstered by the crossing of ideas. It's more than the sum of its parts, and as a result is a nice treat.

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Still, my plucky band of characters, some favorites and some third-rate, had dungeons to conquer through the power of music. Square Enix pushed this concept much further in Curtain Call, which makes this the ideal proof-of-concept for its odd rhythm-RPG marriage. It's too bad that now that the company has shown how well it can work, it's taking a bow.

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7 / 10 - Destiny
Sep 16, 2014

Destiny, Bungie's ambitious space opera, has vision in spades and is mechanically sound--but it falls short of its lofty goals.

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Sep 22, 2014

The Marvel fan-service, along with the constant small moments of delight and whimsy, more than make up for a few remaining weak spots.

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Sep 25, 2014

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor wears its influences on its sleeve, but integrates them so well with its own ideas that it stands up as a unique achievement on its own.

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Oct 26, 2014

It's the rebellious teenager of the Insomniac library. It doesn't always work the way you want it to, and sometimes it's trying entirely too hard, but Sunset Overdrive is ultimately a good kid when you meet it on its own terms.

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