Justin Nation Avatar Image

Justin Nation

Windsor, PA
The Nindersect
Nindersect

Favorite Games:
  • Rocket League
  • Neon Abyss
  • Wreckfest

3758 games reviewed
70.8 average score
70 median score
42.9% of games recommended

Justin Nation's Reviews

Strangely enough this isn't my first rodeo, back in the day I wrote for the N64HQ as well as a few other outlets on freelance gigs but then when the HQ closed I decided to step it up and started The 64 Source. As the first word of a follow-up system to the N64 began to swirl I then decided to venture out into completely new territory and started OperatioN2000, where I had very little regular reputable news to share. With no other options I decided create my own content focused on profiling key developers and their current relationship with Nintendo or "dream games" where I saw opportunities for Nintendo to dust off classics or recently-made games and do something new with them on improved hardware. This was all going pretty well until my wife and I decided to have our first child and I then decided that it was time to hang it up and focus on my family. As I closed down both sites I did decide to partner with Billy Berghammer, another former N64HQ writer, who had created his own site, PlanetN2000. We agreed to move over the relevant content from the older sites to his and on top of that I had taken a grad school class in programming in ColdFusion and decided to offer to code the front-end and back-end for a new version of his site. Through these efforts the newer and more complete Planet GameCube was born! While I would occasionally contribute to that site, helping do things like working out Louie the Cat doing rumors and other odd things, I eventually decided to stop as my family obligations grew. While I had continued to follow Nintendo through both the Wii and Wii U eras my TV time was limited enough that I began playing more PC games again. It is in the PC space that I began to play a number of independent games and they started to be the games I enjoyed the most. Between their lower price, their often less traditional gameplay and approach, and their great variety I was hooked! With the launch of the Nintendo Switch I was already excited by the possibilities. The portability factor alone meant that I would have far more options and places I could play away from the TV, and games like Breath of the Wild looked impressive. With my oldest daughter poised to start her senior year in high school and my youngest finishing out junior high I started to see an opportunity to get back into amateur games journalism once again with what is now Nintendo World Report as well but I'd initially just thought about writing some editorials periodically. Then, right before the launch of the system, Nintendo had their Nindie-focused presentation and I saw my two most beloved gaming worlds colliding. The games I had been playing on my PC could now be played in a portable way and on Nintendo hardware! Being the type who tends to work against the normal current the concept behind Nindie Spotlight was born!
Mar 17, 2017

One of the very first games available for the system, as I was already a huge fan from the PC space it was a Day 1 purchase for me and I absolutely have no regrets...

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8.5 / 10.0 - Has Been Heroes
Mar 27, 2017

Maybe I'm just a "kick me while I'm down and I'll still get up" kind of guy but the best compliment I can pay Has-Been Heroes is that it scratches an itch I never even knew I had, and I don't come along games like that often enough. Depending on where you are on the challenge-loving scale will likely determine where you'll stand, individual results will likely vary.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Has Been Heroes
Mar 29, 2017

Maybe I'm just a "kick me while I'm down and I'll still get up" kind of guy but the best compliment I can pay Has-Been Heroes is that it scratches an itch I never even knew I had, and I don't come along games like that often enough. Depending on where you are on the challenge-loving scale will likely determine where you'll stand, individual results will likely vary.

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Apr 9, 2017

To me that's what fascinates and has surprised me about GEM, it has somehow has created a serene experience for more casual players while providing the means for maximum intensity for the people who'll chase scores. Aside from people who dislike shooters entirely I don't see where the game has any downside. Graceful Explosion Machine has both style and challenge to spare, and at its low cost of entry it is very easy to recommend to casual and intense gamers alike.

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7 / 10.0 - Mr. Shifty
Apr 12, 2017

For what it sets out to be, and the price point, if you're looking for an engaging brawler that will test both your reflexes and your wits Mr. Shifty delivers some pretty solid goods. While it has issues that keep it from being easy to recommend to anybody if the game looks like it has elements that appeal to you it should reasonably deliver the goods, even if it feels like it doesn't quite live up to its potential.

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9 / 10.0 - TumbleSeed
May 2, 2017

The Switch has been blessed very early on with what is now beginning to take shape as a diverse collection of rogue-likes. While it opened with the well-known Isaac, bringing the rogue shooter to the table, it then veered off into the strategic lane-based challenge of Has-Been Heroes. Tumbleseed goes completely off the board and brings its own unique vision to what a rogue-like can be with an adventure game of sorts, though in general the game feels very much like its own thing and is difficult to put in any known box. I was enthusiastic about the possibilities it could have from the moment it was first shown and having sunk many hours into the game now I have to say I'm thoroughly impressed with the result and, especially at its very reasonable price point, would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a challenge for their mind and reflexes.

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9 / 10.0 - Minecraft
May 10, 2017

That makes the conclusion somewhat foregone, but here it is: For fans of Minecraft, this absolutely seems like the version you've been waiting for if you wanted to get as close to a full-fledged experience as you could realistically want on a handheld device. For people who aren't among the already-converted, it is still the same game it has always been, and it has its merits, but aside from portability there's nothing more compelling about this version than there has ever been. It's been well-established there's a ton of game to be had here if you enjoy it, the Switch is just making it more easily accessible than it has ever been.

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May 10, 2017

For fans of Minecraft, this absolutely seems like the version you've been waiting for if you wanted to get as close to a full-fledged experience as you could realistically want on a handheld device. For people who aren't among the already-converted, it is still the same game it has always been, and it has its merits, but aside from portability there's nothing more compelling about this version than there has ever been. It's been well-established there's a ton of game to be had here if you enjoy it, the Switch is just making it more easily accessible than it has ever been.

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May 17, 2017

The game does have its charms, and presents a formidable challenge depending on what you choose to take on. The question will be how many people are seeking out this specific combination of elements, and the game simply isn't going to be for everyone.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Thumper
May 18, 2017

If you like its aesthetics, its pounding beats, and a stiff challenge, there's really nothing holding me back from recommending it whole-heartedly.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Astro Duel Deluxe
May 30, 2017

If you, and a group of your friends, enjoy smack talking and retro-style gaming over some drinks this could be a perfect game for you. Otherwise, you'll have to think it over a bit

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At the end of the day Oceanhorn stands a bit in the shadow of the classic Zelda games that inspired it but at the same time has more to offer than its age and lineage would imply. This isn't a AAA game, but it appropriately also lacks the AAA price tag, so as long as you scale your expectations fresh off of playing the likes of Breath of the Wild it shouldn't be quite so jarring. If you're in search of a game that will satisfy you for a weekend or two, depending on how much attention you're setting aside for its 10+ hours, it is an enjoyable experience if the pace and level of challenge are a good fit. I have high hopes for the upcoming sequel, to see what the team has learned and what they can produce when they're targeting the console market as the base this time around.

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Jul 6, 2017

While not as deep as something you'd see from the likes of Platinum Games, the general gameplay hook is there, combining fast-paced melee combo attacks with some gunplay and strategic combat. The fact that it is being delivered in a budget-friendly package with so much content out of the gate more than compensates for the relative age and somewhat dated visuals it brings along for the ride. If you're looking for something to get your adrenaline pumping, whether you're at home or on the go, Implosion delivers a challenge and excitement in a wallet-friendly package.

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8 / 10.0 - Bulb Boy
Jul 6, 2017

If you're looking for a unique game experience on the Switch that isn't terribly expensive and will provide you with a few hours of varying challenges and laughs Bulb Boy delivers quite handsomely. Especially since, for the moment, it has nothing comparable to go up against on the console it is a breath of fresh air as well. As long as you keep your expectations for its length in check there's little holding me back from recommending it to people in search of a little adventuring.

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8 / 10.0 - Bulb Boy
Jul 6, 2017

If you're looking for a unique game experience on the Switch that isn't terribly expensive and will provide you with a few hours of varying challenges and laughs, Bulb Boy delivers quite handsomely.

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5 / 10.0 - I and Me
Jul 7, 2017

I find myself in the middle concerning how to score I and Me. There's really nothing inherently wrong with it, but at the same time I didn't find it terribly compelling or able to significantly differentiate itself from similar offerings you could find on tablets (or even mobile phones) in terms of challenge or interest. The overall demographics for Switch owners I'd say probably compound this problem a bit, since it is a very sedate and exclusively single-player experience, but I'll acknowledge that for the right people this could actually be a selling point. I'd say the best bet is to read a variety of reviews, check out some video, and take it all in to decide whether or not the game is for you. While I'd personally prefer something more innovative, there is a place for I and Me on the Switch for people looking for a calming way to puzzle away some hours.

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3.5 / 10.0 - Vaccine
Jul 7, 2017

I appreciate the fact that some elements of this game are purposely set up to be true to the vision of Resident Evil, which this is obviously inspired by. I also get that there will be people who, despite the game's failings, will thoroughly enjoy it and be engaged by the action loop it offers. However, given the wildly inconsistent nature of it (even by roguelike standards), the issues with items being so critical and yet so complicated at times, and the fact that handheld mode is likely not going to be a great idea overall it's hard to recommend without a substantial number of qualifiers. As noted, I think with some balancing and changing up pieces of the formula the overall experience could improve if tweaks are made but not knowing what the plans are I can only score the game based on what was provided.

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7 / 10.0 - De Mambo
Jul 10, 2017

As a freshman effort De Mambo does an excellent job of putting The Dangerous Kitchen on the map. It is clear that they’ve taken the philosophy of simplicity, have spent time carefully defining and refining each aspect of their creation, and have delivered an experience that makes the most of everything they’ve provided for. With a group of friends who are down for smashing into each other and having a raucous time the Mambo mode will absolutely deliver, at least for a while. The question for group play will come down to whether everyone will invest in mastering the tools they’ve been given and will make the most of them or whether they’re looking to the game itself to provide more consistent opportunities. As I’d said the variety in stages does help greatly in this area but there can be levels or just passages of action where only the core move set is in play and that can lose people over time. The inclusion of two additional modes is also admirable and does provide for added value. Their mileage will vary for people, depending on tastes, as they are add-ons and the focus is clearly the main Mambo mode. In the end the effort and love are all there but while the control simplicity worked out well there’s room for peoples’ expectations for more interfering with their appreciation for it over the long haul. In what is looking to become a very competitive space on the Switch in the coming months I’m not sure De Mambo will be able to clearly break away from the pack, though it will undoubtedly be right in the thick of things.

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6 / 10.0 - Shephy
Jul 12, 2017

I’ll give credit where it is due, this does not feel in any way like a low-effort shovelware conversion, someone took the time to do some work on the game and make the most of the situation. All the same, it is all a relatively simple experience and if you’re not looking for a strategic solo card game nothing in the package will likely win you over. That said, I can genuinely say it is the best game of its kind that I’ve played on the Switch, noting for the moment there doesn’t happen to be any competition.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Death Squared
Jul 12, 2017

It has been a long time since I’ve played a puzzle game where I didn’t end up feeling like I was going through the motions as a single-player experience. From that perspective I enjoyed the mental and physical dexterity required to tackle Story mode solo. While my wife and I completed all of the challenges in Snipperclips she also said, as a more casual game-player, that she preferred the less “fidgety” nature of control and challenge in Death Squared and that’s a perspective I can agree with. With there really only being a focus on movement the puzzle experience is a bit more pure and unencumbered, leaving you only with the challenge at hand. In that regard I also think the multiplayer aspects of the game have been as well-addressed as you could ask, you just need to provide a smart and patient group for it to work. With that in mind I’d say that no matter how you choose to play the game, alone or with friends, it absolutely works and is a great time. By their nature puzzle games aren’t for everyone but as a total package, and considering all of the viable ways it can be played, Death Squared is the most satisfying one that I’ve played in a very long time. It has, appropriately, defied expectations and raised the bar beyond the previous boundaries I had put on the genre.

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