Tom Baines


25 games reviewed
73.6 average score
80 median score
68.0% of games recommended
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Final Fantasy VIII isn’t without its flaws, and it spreads them fairly evenly across story, mechanics, and pacing. Happily, the speed boost on offer in the remaster fixes the pacing, which effectively papers over the cracks in the grind-heavy mechanics. What you’re left with is a fun, somewhat silly, and beautiful RPG. And on Nintendo Switch, you can play it anywhere. This really is the best way to play Final Fantasy VIII.

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- Grid
Oct 7, 2019

The career mode is a little underwhelming, but Grid's racing is as on-point as ever. A culmination of Codemasters' years of experience – combined with brilliant assists and that oh so clever Nemesis system, that makes trading elbows with competitors as much fun as the racing itself – make this an ideal motorsport sim.

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Sep 20, 2019

Almost everything that's wrong with Untitled Goose Game – and to be fair, there isn't that much – is inherently wrong with the stealth genre in general, and a silly game about a goose wrecking someone's flower beds was never likely to change that. But what it does do, over and above other stealth games, is combine charming visuals and glorious audio with such a ridiculous and unique premise, it's impossible not to honk through this one with a massive smile on your face.

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It may be clever, scary and intriguing, but Man of Medan rarely reaches the heights of its stablemate and elder sibling, Until Dawn. Perhaps its a case of difficult second album syndrome, or more likely, it’s just too weighed down by the tropes and trappings associated with the genre. (And the sooner Supermassive ditches its penchant for fourth-wall-breaking, creepy old narrators, the better.)

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Jul 28, 2019

Developer Adam Robinson-Yu began developing A Short Hike when he was feeling burned out working on another project. It's fitting, then, that what began as an act of self-care for the game's developer has blossomed into a welcome respite from the modern world that everyone should experience.

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Jun 19, 2019

My Friend Pedro is one of those activities – like skateboarding, or playing the guitar, or any form of dancing – that always looks that much cooler when someone else, someone more proficient is doing it. Don't let that discourage you, though. You'll still have a lot of fun playing a slick, stylish game built almost entirely out of those brilliant, cinematic, single-shot hallway fight sequences.

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May 29, 2019

Don't let the endearing protagonist and lo-fi, vintage visuals fool you: Gato Roboto is a challenging, pedigree Metroidvania. But what sets it apart from its peers are the quality of life improvements that redress all of the genre's worst flaws, without blunting any of the barbs. This is a Meowtroidvania worthy of the name.

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Apr 21, 2019

Like the movie it's loosely based on, World War Z is in no way scary. It's not even particularly compelling as a piece of horror. But like the movie, it is a relentless piece of AA action fluff that, if played with the right group of people, makes for a riotous and frenetic – if shallow – action tower defence game.

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Mar 13, 2019

Ape Out is a dynamo of a game, simultaneously stylish and meaty, that manages to succeed as both a technical demonstration of procedural generation – particularly that magical audio – and a bloody fun game to boot. Between this, Gris, and Pikuniku, Devolver Digital is absolutely crushing it right now.

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Jan 22, 2019

Pikuniku is an unbridled joy. It's rainbows, ice cream, long weekends and kittens, combined and distilled into their purest, most potent form.

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