Brian Dumlao


281 games reviewed
72.8 average score
75 median score
48.0% of games recommended
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7.5 / 10.0 - NBA Playgrounds
Jul 19, 2017

NBA Playgrounds is not the new NBA Jam replacement. It adds just enough complication to the basic mechanics so it isn't a game that anyone can pick up and play without experiencing one or two matches. The game is fun once you get used to the quirks, and even if the roster unlocking process isn't optimal, it ensures you'll have a reason to keep coming back. For arcade sports fans, NBA Playgrounds is worth a look.

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9 / 10.0 - Bayonetta
Jul 18, 2017

Even if all of the platform-specific flourishes weren't there, Bayonetta would remain a superb action title. The familiar story is buoyed by the absurd cut scenes, the action amplifies that ridiculousness, and the gameplay is still considered tight after the introduction of numerous fast action games in recent years. It's also a lengthy title by today's standards, and the constant grading of every fight will get perfectionists going. The PC version enhances everything and makes this the definitive version of the title, as long as you don't mind losing the Nintendo-themed costumes from the Wii U version. Unless you hate fast action games, you absolutely have to pick up Bayonetta.

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Jul 11, 2017

In the end, Styx: Shards of Darkness is a solid stealth title. The lack of real combat puts your ability to go undetected to the test, and the breadth of each level means that your solutions to each problem are wide open, giving you some flexibility to your approach. While your abilities are fun to use, it would've been nice to see them make a difference, especially since the game reuses some environments instead of going for new ones. Shards of Darkness is an improvement over the first game, and it's worth checking out if you're a stealth fan.

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Jul 5, 2017

Overall, Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom isn't that bad. The story is good enough, if a tad generic, while the characters are likeable if you can get past their odd dialogue and exaggerated reactions. Outside of a pretty finicky magic and parry system, the combat is done well for those who crave real-time action over menus, and some of the other systems bring some depth to that. Presentation is decent, but the camera can be enough to put off some people. If you're craving a game that sticks to some JRPG standards, Shiness isn't a bad one to check out once you're done with the heavy-hitters on the system.

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7 / 10.0 - Neko Navy
Jun 30, 2017

Neko Navy is a fine shooter, so long as you're fine with it bringing nothing new to the table. It has an inviting aesthetic for those who are looking for something cute, and it comes in at a decent length for the genre. It may be tough, but the whole thing feels fair, and the game gives you enough to beat it if you're willing to invest some time into it. This may not be the ultimate cute-'em-up, but for genre fans, it's still worth checking out.

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Skylar & Plux: Adventure on Clover Island is not that bad. The game mechanics are good, and the platforming is fun, especially on a short game where things don't feel like they drag on for the sake of matching game length with monetary cost. At the same time, it is far from being good. The story feels like an afterthought, and the bad characters, dialogue, and technical and design issues sap away at the game's fun. If you're a young platforming fan, you may dig it, but veterans of the genre may come away feeling disappointed that the game doesn't realize its full potential.

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Jun 28, 2017

Your enjoyment of Cooking Mama: Sweet Shop is going to heavily depend on a number of factors. The recipes are vast, even if the minigame mechanics are simple, and the other minigame options are enough to keep you busy for some time. The lack of difficulty can make the title feel tedious for series veterans, while the shop feature is too undercooked to eke out any fun. As a title for casual gamers or those just starting out, Sweet Shop is fine. Everyone else should wait for it to go on sale.

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8 / 10.0 - Embers of Mirrim
Jun 23, 2017

Embers of Mirrim is a solid puzzle platformer. The parts that involve individual thumbstick coordination can be tricky and frustrating at times, but the platforming and twin-stick puzzles provide just the right amount of challenge. It's also forgiving enough for all skill levels, so everyone can enjoy it without getting too hung up on certain parts. Platforming fans, Embers of Mirrim deserves your attention.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Tekken 7
Jun 12, 2017

Even with the game's increased emphasis on multiplayer over single-player content, Tekken 7 remains a fun fighting game experience. The core mechanics are as tight as they've always been, and the new material adds some flair to rope in new players. The character roster is balanced between old and new fighters, with just about everyone getting some improvement to their skills. A good number of people are only interested in getting the fighters into ridiculous outfits. The PC iteration boasts a very healthy community and some nice graphical improvements over the console versions, so any gamer on the PC will be happy to have this fighting game in their grasp.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Blackwood Crossing
Jun 9, 2017

Provided you're not short on empathy, Blackwood Crossing has a good tale to tell. The various forms of loss and growing up are dealt with quite well, while the fanciful setting gives you the impetus to keep going even if you know exactly how the tale will end. It does need some work on the puzzle mechanics, as a fiddly detection system and slow walking can be frustrating once the solution is known. Overall, this is a good first effort from the development team, and it's worth a look if you're a genre fan.

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