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Josh McGrath

Seattle, WA
RivenControl
FireMarth
FireMarth
FireMarth

Favorite Games:

177 games reviewed
69.3 average score
70 median score
53.1% of games recommended
Jul 27, 2022

Even with every positive being cancelled out, I still lean on the positive side about Gunvolt 3 overall. It has its rough moments and pain points, but pulling off a perfect combo and just soaring though the air is pure joy. And even with the ability to break the game as Gunvolt, players that choose to stick with Kirin will still find this game incredibly rewarding to play. Returning Gunvolt fans will find plenty to love here, and I believe this game can act as a great entry point for newcomers as well. Whether you want to master the systems and chase high scores, or just feel like a god smiting every obstacle in front of them, there’s still plenty to enjoy.

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Jun 5, 2022

Even with the heavy hitter Dragon’s Trap missing from this selection, Wonder Boy Collection is still a great option if you want to experience a more obscure retro franchise for the first time, or go back and revel in nostalgia.

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May 5, 2022

Once again, like its predecessor, this is a much shorter review than is typical here at Gamer Escape, since there’s not really much to review here. Even less, really, since our What the Dub?! review mostly applies to RiffTrax: The Game as well. It’s a simple but well-put-together party game that’s easy to set up and play, whether with friends at home, online on Discord, or streaming to a Twitch audience.

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Feb 28, 2022

The thing is, it doesn’t really do much to stand out. The fast pace, the focus on maneuverability, even its adherence to old-school FPS style, all of it has been done well (and in some cases better) elsewhere in recent memory. Does this make it a bad game? No, not by any means at all. But when the only real gimmick it has going for it is weird humor that doesn’t really stick the landing, there’s not really anything else that will make it a go-to pick for FPS fans looking for something to sink their teeth into. Shadow Warrior 3 is an interesting title and a fun playthrough. But I can’t say it’s one to go out of your way to get your hands on. However, if you have the opportunity to play it, it’s a worthwhile ride.

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Feb 2, 2022

The story here pulled me in quickly, and is well worth paying attention to. Exploration with parkour is just plain fun. The game doesn't feel like it's forcing the player to explore and complete every marker on the map, but rather giving the player options for how they want to approach the game. The survival aspects aren't overwhelmingly hardcore, but feel tuned to provide the perfect amount of tension.

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7 / 10 - Chorus
Dec 6, 2021

If you’re a fan of space combat and can push your way through the first couple hours, I’m fairly confident you’ll find a lot to like in Chorus. The core dogfighting is just plain fun, and the setpiece fights are something to see. If you’re not already a genre fan, however, I’m not entirely sure this will be the game to win you over.

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Nov 10, 2021

It really feels like Gust took the criticism of the original to heart here. We’ve gone from a massive stumble of a game with some good ideas to an incredibly solid JRPG that does just about everything it sets out to do correctly. From the character writing to the speedy gameplay, the world design to the excellent soundtrack, this is a game worth taking a look at.

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8 / 10 - Gleylancer
Oct 25, 2021

At its budget price ($6.99 at the time of writing), this game is an absolute no-brainer for shmup fans. I would argue that it’s a great option for genre newcomers as well, with its relatively easy opening levels before the difficulty really ramps up. As I continue my exploration of retro shmups, I’m glad this one fell into my hands.

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9 / 10 - Inscryption
Oct 18, 2021

Inscryption is an amazingly well-put-together piece of work. The atmosphere presented…well, I’ve already doted on it multiple times. And I’ll do so again: it’s unsettling, occasionally oppressive, and always keeps the player on their toes. It could easily carry the work on its own, but luckily the card game mechanics are solid and sound as well. It’s easy to pick up, but with a ton of variables to allow customization and multiple viable approaches to the challenges provided.

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Sep 27, 2021

It’s not without its quirks, unfortunately. The shocking aggressive AI racers created many moments of frustration, and I’m not a fan of the “gacha but not really” system going on here for obtaining new cars. But for fans of arcade racers, whether the Hot Wheels name strikes a chord or not, Hot Wheels Unleashed is a game worth a look.

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Overall, I step away from this new port of El Shaddai with much the same opinion I had as when I played the original ten years ago. It’s an intriguing premise with absolutely stunning audiovisual presentation, but the repetitive gameplay struggled to hold my interest. The story I’m mostly neutral on – it’s just plain odd and told in a weird way, which somehow works in the full package.

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9 / 10 - Dark Deity
Jun 15, 2021

For SRPG fans clamoring for games of a more “classic” style, this title comes highly recommended, especially with the replayability afforded to it through its custom campaign options. I know for sure I’ll be loading this up on the regular for a long time to come.

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Asha in Monster World wears its retro heart on its sleeve, with the modern graphical overhaul only helping to increase its charm. For fans of classic games and platformers, it is definitely worth a shot, though you will need to be ready to overlook a few quirks.

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5 / 10 - Ashwalkers
Apr 19, 2021

If I had to use one word to sum up all of the paragraphs above, it would be “boring.” Ashwalkers takes some intriguing prose and some truly difficult decisions and casts them all into a dull world design with tedious gameplay. The visuals and interactivity presented here do so little to prop up the relatively decent writing that I can’t help but wonder if this game would’ve been better off as a book instead.

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Apr 8, 2021

What the Dub?! knows what it wants to be, and it does it well, straight-forward and with very little frills. If you have a friend group that already enjoys the Jackbox series and other quick and easy party games, there’s little reason not to add this one to your rotation.

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Mar 30, 2021

If you’re looking for an emotional ride that will likely elicit a tear or two, Lost Words is something that should be on your list. Hiding under the basic gameplay is a story worth experiencing.

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Feb 20, 2021

The writing here, though, leaves a lot to be desired. I’m used to visual novels having slow opening routes, but completely foregoing any real character development for hours made this game incredibly difficult to get into. Once over the hump of the initial route, though, Altdeus managed to provide an entertaining story, one that I didn’t mind strapping my Vive headset on for. It’s not mind-blowing by any means, but it’s still a worthwhile read.

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Feb 3, 2021

The problem is the game feels like a major step back from the previous entry in the series. The stilted storytelling, boring setting, and just decent soundtrack all feed into my feelings of disappointment. Lacrimosa of Dana was one of the best games I played in 2017, and the fact that Ys IX doesn’t reach that high is frustrating. If you’re in the mood for more Ys, Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is still worth a play. This isn’t a bad game in the slightest…just a disappointing one compared to the highs of recent series entries.

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While the question remains if Gust will stick with this formula when they eventually move away from titles staring Ryza, I personally hope they continue to revise and refine this model. If Ryza 1 caught my interest, then Ryza 2 definitely has my attention.

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5 / 10 - Unto the End
Dec 13, 2020

Look, I’m fine with difficult games. The early Ys titles are some of my favorites, I love the Fire Emblem franchise, and I enjoyed the time I put into titles like Code Vein. In those games, though, at least it feels like you have a fighting chance, that if you screw up and die, it was completely your fault. Unto the End just wants to punish the player. It feels like it went too far off the deep end of “purposefully difficult game” and ended up in kaizo territory. The challenge here isn’t fun, it’s just annoying.

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