Aaron Botts


51 games reviewed
73.7 average score
70 median score
80.4% of games recommended
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Nov 23, 2022

It’s been a very long time since I’ve played a truly bad game, and unfortunately, Gungrave G.O.R.E falls into that category. The further I progressed through the game, the less I wanted to play it. That’s not something I’ve found myself feeling in years, and that’s saying something. For as much as I wanted this to succeed, every attempt at grasping for a modicum of decent gameplay was met with the most tedium I’ve met in a game this year. It feels like a game defrosted from 2005, and not in a good way.

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7 / 10 - Sonic Origins
Jul 3, 2022

Messy as it is, Sonic Origins is still a collection of the best 2D entries the franchise has to offer. It may not be as dense in content in comparison to prior compilations like Sonic Mega Collection or Sonic Gems Collection, but it does just enough to not get in the way of what made these games system sellers in their heyday. While I was hoping for an easy touchdown, this ended up being a fumble recovery instead. Hefty price tag be damned, new players deserve to see why people like me keep going back to what many consider the reason people loved Sonic in the first place.

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If you’re a hardcore Ninja Turtle fan or someone looking for a fun as hell beat ’em up to play with friends on a pizza-filled Saturday night, you’re going to have a lot of fun no matter what crowd you find yourself in. It succeeds in bridging the past and present, and knows how to hit the mark for any fan. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge is a worthy follow-up to an arcade/console classic, and a game worthy of counting itself as one of the genre’s best examples of how to do a beat ’em up right. This is Turtle Power at its absolute best.

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Neptunia x SENRAN KAGURA: Ninja Wars succeeds at being a fun crossover and a decent enough game to play. It’s solid enough to satisfy fans and newbies alike, has a solid gameplay foundation, and isn’t afraid to let loose when the time calls for it. There’s enough here to keep you busy, and everything involved is at least competent enough to keep your attention. So long as you aren’t expecting Game of the Year material, you’ll find yourself having fun with this one. If your aim is to coast and relish in a little bit of cheesy ninja action, this definitely fits the bill.

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Atelier games continue to be the mark of a consistently good franchise, and Sophie 2 does little to deter me from that sentiment. It’s the kind of game that deserves to be experienced alongside your favorite creature comforts and maybe a hot beverage to boot. Sophie’s latest outing most definitely deserves to exist, and those looking for a relatively easygoing and chill experience can’t go wrong here. It’s a worthy sequel to a cherished game, and a wonderful way to celebrate the joy fans have experienced over the years.

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7 / 10 - Windjammers 2
Jan 21, 2022

The folks at DotEmu obviously cared about what they were doing here, and that by itself is worth consideration. They wanted to put out at least a worthy sequel, and I feel like they did that at bare minimum. This game is not a drastic evolution of its forebears, nor did it have to be. Those looking for a fun pick up and play game will find a lot to love here, and with good reason. Windjammers 2 is a worthy sequel, and a damned fun multiplayer experience.

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Dec 20, 2021

Equal parts classic gaming action and modern aesthetics, Asteroids: Recharged is worth the pickup for just the convenience of having access to it alone. Given that it’s on every platform available, (and especially in quick hits on Switch) having modern versions of classic games like this is a welcome thing to have within reach. If you’re looking to scratch that classic gaming itch, playing this version of a classic is a welcome addition to the Recharged line of games and is a worthy version worth considering. It’s not perfect, but it’s playable and still as fun now as it was when it dazzled arcade goers in its heyday.

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Nov 26, 2021

FFV isn’t always the first thing classic fans may think of when the subject of the best of the classics come up, but that isn’t to say that it shouldn’t be held in the same regard as the usual suspects of “best of” conversations. It expands on prior gameplay elements in a fantastic manner, isn’t afraid to buck some tropes, and is an unsurprisingly solid game nearly 30 years later.

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9 / 10 - Lost Judgment
Sep 28, 2021

I’m not going to be subtle here. I loved this game. I can never walk away from any game in this franchise unsatisfied, and I feel that even with my nitpicks and misgivings that this is a worthy successor to what many have seen as an interesting distraction to the main series. Lost Judgment stands upon the shoulders of its forebears with ease, is a joy to play, tells an intimate story with a (mostly) deft hand, and knows how to value add with the best in the series. This is not only a great sequel, it’s also a great addition in any gamer’s library. Period. Saying this is a must buy is an understatement. It’s a shining example of what a great Yakuza game can be.

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Aug 26, 2021

Really, should anyone be surprised that No More Heroes III is a good time? Suda51 and his gang may be known for games that are varying levels of weird, but you can hardly ever say that they're boring at all. Travis might have been in relative exile for a while, but it feels like he hasn't missed a beat. It's time to fire up that beam katana back up, people. Far from a swing and a miss, it's good to see Travis back in his element. This gets a solid recommend from me.

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Apr 20, 2021

I can’t say that what I played is a bad game, but saying that the audience for this isn’t somewhat narrow in scope would be doing it a disservice. Then again, Inhabitants just wanted to make something that’s serviceable, and I feel safe in saying that it succeeded on that front. It’s not very often you find yourself doing stealth in a 2.5D game these days, but it’s here and it’s doing its thing with reckless abandon.

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Mar 24, 2021

The effort put forth here is readily apparent and absolutely noticed, and that has to count for something. Get-A-Grip Chip is a fun and occasionally frustrating platformer that feels like the first step to greater things down the road. The addictive “let’s play another stage” aspect applies here, so don’t let that short runtime deter you. While it isn’t perfect, it’s worth a playthrough (or two) for the asking price they’re setting here. Here’s hoping for a sequel.

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Mar 8, 2021

That said, nearly everything about Neputnia Virtual Stars just feels like half-assed fanservice for the sake of fanservice. The gameplay – while somewhat competent – feels undercooked, the story is flat out boring, and the presentation doesn’t do much to salvage the first two. The inclusion of VTuber content is dim bright spot, but it’s not bright enough to bring this game up to any sort of recommendation. Prospective players should just skip this one, and Neptunia fans deserve better than this disappointment.

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If you’re fresh off the likes of Streets of Rage 4 or River City Girls, I feel like this stands next to them pretty handily. Couch multiplayer fans will feel comfortable enough taking in the short runtime, even with a few rough edges. Certain elements here ultimately amount to nitpicks, but the total package still holds up today.

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Dec 20, 2020

If you’re looking for a centralized platform to play these games, the bulk of the titles offered here are fun enough to keep you engaged for quick bouts of alien-blasting action. Would I go out and grab this at full price? No, probably not. But having two solid offerings out of three at a sale price? It’s work a look. Just don’t get your hopes up for multiplayer.

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Nov 12, 2020

Years later, it’s still a bloody good romp worth a good slash with the added benefit of portable play. Head on down to Santa Destroy, you’ll leave happy.

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5 / 10 - Airplane Mode
Oct 19, 2020

I’m really hoping that additional content is coming for this game. Mostly because this is a passing curiosity at best, and a nose-pickingly boring experience at worst. Wait for a sale if it piques your interest, but avoid it otherwise.

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7 / 10 - Serious Sam 4
Sep 25, 2020

In this day and age, sometimes we just need to hold down the trigger and scream at the top of our lungs. Serious Sam 4 succeeds on that front, and delivers it with a dual rocket launcher-wielding grin on its face.

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Ultimately, reading Aokana often feels like eating a variety pack of candy. Sure, there may be some flavors that don’t hit in ways that some do. But the ratio of good outweighs the bad here, and opening the box in the first place is a safe bet for a good read.

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Jul 3, 2020

Collectively speaking, this game subverts expectations in ways that make it stand out head and shoulders above the rest. For that reason alone, you should feel confident that the money you drop on this game will be money well spent. The PlayStation 4 couldn’t have received a better swan song.

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