James Paley


275 games reviewed
75.6 average score
75 median score
44.0% of games recommended
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Jan 16, 2019

Do not, under any circumstances, buy this game in its current state. YIIK is an aggressive yet sleepy-eyed assault on your money and your free time that needs a lot of work.

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Much like the movies, the Jurassic Park Classic Games Collection takes a couple good ideas and stretches them way out. If you’re a diehard fan, you might have a great time diving into each iteration of Alan Grant’s murder safari. For me, these games were mostly penance. My childhood fixation was used as leverage, cracking open the door to let in this hodgepodge of mediocre slurry. Unless you’re an absolute freak for the Jurassic Park franchise, I can’t in good conscience recommend this collection of games.

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Sep 13, 2018

If you're into it, Senran Kagura Reflexions will be just what you're looking for.

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48 / 100 - Anoxemia
Apr 7, 2017

Anoxemia’s intended atmosphere is one of horror, yet I mostly felt annoyed.

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Jun 28, 2023

Such is the wrinkle here. My final score applies to the expansion in particular. Taken as a complete product, my previous review (right here) is a more accurate assessment. But man oh man, that expansion. If you’ve already got the base game, I can’t imagine you’ll get much out of Origins Plus. If you grew up playing the Game Gear, great news! These are twelve colorful trips down memory lane. Otherwise, I don’t recommend it. Turns out Sega’s first portable gaming experiment aged rather poorly. Sonic Origins is a fun and accessible way to play Sonic’s greatest hits. But Origins Plus spends too much time on bland, awful games.

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50 / 100 - Diablo Immortal
Jun 9, 2022

I wanted to like this game a lot more than I did. It feels great to go ripping around dank little dungeons, snagging loot and slaying demons. I love the visuals and the sound design, I love the fast-paced combat. Hell, I even love level grinding! But the game is crammed to the rafters with predatory In-App Purchases. Blizzard wants to squeeze you dry, and they’re not shy about it, either. The endgame makes it clear that players are being treated like cash cows, livestock with active credit cards. The first half of Diablo Immortal is a competent, compelling action RPG. But under no circumstances should you touch the endgame.

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Jul 19, 2017

The combat… my god the combat. I can't imagine playing through the entire campaign with all that frantic button-smashing.

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Dec 8, 2022

Treasures has a lot of good building blocks, but they don’t add up to much. The gameplay loop starts out compelling, but it quickly goes stale. The visual presentation is alright, but the music is terribly flat. And the act of traversal, of actually exploring, left me unsatisfied. Worse, I never felt like I was working towards anything particularly interesting. Money eventually ends up meaningless in most RPGs, and this game does not buck that trend. If you find yourself hopelessly compelled by the prospect of hunting for loot, this might be your game. Otherwise, I can’t really recommend Dragon Quest Treasures.

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55 / 100 - Gods Will Fall
Jan 28, 2021

From a narrative perspective, the elevated difficulty and unfair mechanics are perfectly appropriate. How else do you make players feel like they’re taking on the gods themselves? Uneven rules and impossible odds, combined with the sinister music and the desolate world, create a lasting feeling of hopeless doom. And yet for me, it’s too much. I get that fighting the gods should be crazy hard, but the strange combat rhythms and the extra-permanent death system are a bridge too far. Hoping for the right weapon, losing that fighter to a mis-timed jump, and then struggling for 20 more minutes for a brief, ill-fated boss attempt? This kind of cruelty feels downright excessive. If, like me, you’ve grown weary of toil and suffering in your games, consider this your fair warning. On the other hand, if you’re thirsting for a relentless challenge, Gods Will Fall will be all you’re looking for and more.

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Every design choice made in this game is sensible and wrong at the same time. The motion controls are an essential feature that rob you of any capacity for precision movements. The courses themselves are marked by a ‘race track’ that enables navigation and interrupts your sense of elevation. The disappearing dialogue boxes keep cutscenes from feeling static while distracting you from what’s being said. VR Broom Racing constantly gets in its own way, and the game is somehow right to do so. If you’re looking for a well-designed magical racing game, Little Witch Academia: VR Broom Racing is just what you’re looking for. I’m just not sure you’ll enjoy it.

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Jul 23, 2020

Download In Death: Unchained if you’re not afraid of a little suffering and strife mixed in with your satisfaction.

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Oct 19, 2018

If you're a Pac-Man diehard, you'll find a lot to love with the Namco Museum Arcade Pac. Otherwise, I'd give this one a pass.

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Jun 28, 2018

I'm hesitant to recommend this game at the moment. New Gundam Breaker is beset with technical issues, yet it's possible those will be wrapped up soon. There are some roadblocks to counter even if this game ran perfectly, however.

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If the final product doesn't hold together, then the key components are irrelevant.

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59 / 100 - Inner Chains
May 29, 2017

Welcome to Inner Chains, a slow and slightly cutthroat excursion into the depths of suffering and horror.

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60 / 100 - Custom Mech Wars
Dec 12, 2023

Custom Mech Wars is all about construction and experimentation. There’s a dense system for putting mechs together, and all of it feels friendly and approachable. You have a ton of options, a lot of freedom, and multiple ways to test things out. But that’s sort of where the good times dry up. The campaign is crazy boring otherwise, and the multiplayer options are equally threadbare. If you can get a good group together for playing online, you might find more fun than I did. But on your own, Custom Mech Wars has limited appeal. If you’ve got a lot of mechs in your heart begging to be built, you’re in for a good time. Otherwise I can’t really recommend this game.

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Apr 20, 2022

The Force Unleashed is a fascinating slice of video game history. Unfortunately it’s not exactly fun history, not anymore. Again, your mileage may vary. Perhaps you’ve lately grown wistful about motion controls. Maybe you long for the days when quick-time events were a much bigger part of mainstream gaming. For me, revisiting this chapter of gaming’s history was downright unpleasant at times. I loved messing around with force powers and lightsabers, but that only gets you so far. If you’ve got fond memories of this game, they’ll likely survive a subsequent playthrough. Otherwise, I’d be wary of jumping into Star Wars: The Force Unleashed.

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Jul 30, 2018

If you're looking for a hack n' slash game with a certain aesthetic, Code of Princess EX has you covered. If you don't like the look however, you may find yourself left wanting more.

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60 / 100 - The Watchmaker
May 21, 2018

Sadly, my beleaguered appreciation of The Watchmaker's aesthetic polish was not enough to carry me all the way through to the end. As it happens, I am brimming with caustic vitriol for timed dungeons of any sort, which you may notice is like, this entire game. I struggled mightily to push as far as I could, yet the infuriating sensation of constant dread built into this game's bones utterly broke me.

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Feb 24, 2018

Why on Earth would you keep the gameplay totally intact when it's so terribly flawed?

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