Luke Mitchell Avatar Image

Luke Mitchell

Melbourne

69 games reviewed
76.8 average score
80 median score
75.4% of games recommended
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Feb 12, 2024

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden heavily leans into the premise of challenging decisions with dramatic consequences, and manages to pull off an emotional and haunting love story where those choices do feel like they truly matter. Red and Antea feel like fully-fleshed out, interesting characters, forever linked to one another but struggling to let go. New Eden is full of communities plagued by supernatural creatures and dark secrets that make each of them intriguing to explore. An over-reliance on combat and a little too much hand-holding when it comes to solving cases is disappointing, but Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden can still be chalked up as yet another storytelling triumph for DON'T NOD. Life for the living. Death for the dead.

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8 / 10.0 - Super Mario RPG
Nov 14, 2023

Maintaining what made the original so special, Super Mario RPG provides a glow-up to an absolute classic RPG experience, with smart tweaks to combat bringing it firmly into the modern era. It's an utterly charming experience that sucks you into its gorgeous, colourful world. Still, in sticking firmly to its roots, it just doesn't provide the challenge or open-world gameplay to elevate it to the next level. If you're keen on a breezy nostalgic RPG with simple yet satisfying combat, the iconic Italian in a red hat has you covered.

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Nov 1, 2023

Survivor: Castaway Island takes one of the most popular TV shows in history and turns it into a boring, repetitive video game with very little in the way of redeeming qualities. Trying to strategise with tribe members sucks, challenges are lame, the production values are subpar and the game even goes as far as to make changes from the TV show that make the experience even worse. I've kept hoping and praying that one day somebody would capture the feeling of Survivor in a video game. Today is not that day.

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9.5 / 10.0 - Alan Wake 2
Oct 31, 2023

Alan Wake 2 is devilishly compelling from its weird opening all the way through to its astonishing conclusion. A completely bonkers horror tale with intertwining narratives, a masterful mix of multimedia and some entirely unique storytelling moments combine here to make for a thrilling escape into a dark, twisted world that I feared being in and at the same time never wanted to leave. Remedy has creatively let loose and created a true benchmark of quality in the horror genre. We can only hope that our next frightening visit to The Dark Place comes along much sooner.

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Oct 16, 2023

Marvel's Spider-Man 2 is an incredibly strong follow-up that really sets the standard when it comes to superhero games. Its story is heartfelt and delivered by a genuinely likable cast of characters, and when it comes to traversal and combat, you won't find a slicker experience out there. There's still simply no better feeling than web-swinging through New York City. With an open world full of fun distractions and a level of polish by Insomniac Games that is unrivalled, Marvel's Spider-Man 2 really will make your senses tingle in the best way possible.

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Sep 28, 2023

A surprisingly well-rounded package, Fate/Samurai Remnant has lots of ideas, and somehow makes them all work together well. It manages to satisfy both musuo-style combat aficionados and tactical strategy folk alike, with fast-paced slasher combat mixed with numerous abilities and an overarching territory control component that is deeper than it looks at first glance. The Fate history and lore can be a lot to take on board, and long stretches of dialogue feel like a burden to the pace of things, but an intriguing cast make this a solid entry point for newcomers with enough content to make long-time fans incredibly satisfied as well.

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Sep 18, 2023

The Crew Motorfest very much wants to be the next Forza Horizon 5, but in forcing us to compare the two, the blemishes that hold this Hawaii-set racer back are made even more obvious. The Playlist system gives a sense of variety and scale that is exciting initially, with genuinely interesting romps through automotive history and a wide range of vehicles keeping things interesting. But the uninteresting open world that connects them all and limitations around how you unlock more of them could have you putting on the brakes sooner than you might expect. Even so, The Crew Motorfest is visually lovely and has an incredibly solid racing foundation, so it warrants a pit stop at the very least.

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Sep 12, 2023

With devilish puzzles under the theme of learning language, and being a new person in a series of unfamiliar places, Chants of Sennaar nails its concept. Piecing together different dialects using visual cues makes for a compelling mystery to solve, as you look to reconnect different communities through universal understanding. It stumbles a little bit however with stealth sections that feel out of place and some confusing backtracking that could leave you stumped. With gorgeous visuals that leap off the screen, not only is Chants of Sennaar one of the prettiest games we've seen this year, but it's also one of the most clever, no matter what language you're speaking.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Immortals of Aveum
Aug 22, 2023

Immortals of Aveum boldly attempts to deliver an epic cinematic experience about a war involving magic, and it succeeds in its ambition. Fast-paced combat that places the game firmly in the shooter genre combine with satisfying platforming and puzzle-solving to make for an adventure that stays focused on its linear story while offering extra secrets for those who want to explore beyond its core narrative. There's some repetition here and there that can be frustrating, but when you're blasting colourful magic spells across battlefields of enemies like a violent fireworks display, it's hard not to be impressed. Visually stunning with an excellently committed cast, Immortals of Aveum is a satisfying adventure and an impressive debut from a studio clearly not afraid to defy expectations.

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6 / 10.0 - Atlas Fallen
Aug 8, 2023

There are some fundamentally great things about Atlas Fallen, like its gorgeous desert landscapes and its super-satisfying sand sliding, plus combat that has a tonne of options and flows well. But its open world of interesting enemies suffers from a rinse-and-repeat approach, where what was exciting in hour two becomes boring and repetitive by hour eight. It's not that it's poorly made, but its mission structure and by-the-numbers narrative delivered in a boring way make for an adventure that is more generic than unique. Atlas Fallen is much like a mirage in its sandy desert setting; enticing at first, but a bit disappointing once you look closer and realise it's not what you'd hoped.

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4.5 / 10.0 - AEW: Fight Forever
Jun 28, 2023

AEW had the right idea in wanting to focus on the nostalgia of the wrestling games we played when we were kids, but at the end of the day, the seemingly low budget and lack of polish is something that should be left in the past. AEW: Fight Forever has some fine ideas and its execution of moment-to-moment gameplay and animations isn't terrible, but matches can be won with minimal effort or drama, presentation is missing key things that make wrestling special, and the story mode is repetitive, boring and self-masturbatory. Fight forever? In this game? No, thank you.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Killer Frequency
Jun 1, 2023

With a truly unique concept that's different from any other horror game out there, Killer Frequency mixes just the right amount of campy thrills to keep its serial killer narrative moving along swiftly. As you're saving civilians using clues around the radio station while cracking jokes and enjoying some retro-inspired tracks, it's hard not to get invested in the story and setting, especially as it features such strong performances from its wacky cast. The pace can be slow at times, but the twists and turns kept me eager to speak with every new caller. You can trust me as a seasoned producer and presenter: this is one radio program worth tuning in for.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Street Fighter 6
May 30, 2023

Street Fighter 6 provides the fast and furious action you'd expect from the refined fighting series, offering a dynamic cast of characters, new control modes to make it more accessible, and a variety of features to keep you busy. Its story mode is a campy take on the Street Fighter universe that doesn't always land the winning blow, however; while it's filled with distractions and civilian fighters to take on, it can be a little repetitive and shallow. Still, the technical foundations that Street Fighter stands on are as solid as ever, and with a whole world to battle online, there's a lot of fighting on the menu in what is once again a polished, exciting fighting experience that will keep fans engaged for years.

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The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom finds a way to improve upon its predecessor in almost every way, remixing the format and forcing you to rewire your brain in genius ways to solve devilish puzzles, take on challenging bosses, and explore a dense, captivating open world absolutely chock-full of distractions and secrets. Like Breath of the Wild before it, Tears of the Kingdom is an incredible accomplishment in video games that is set to stay in our collective conscience for the next several years and beyond, and it's completely deserving of that honour.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Dead Island 2
Apr 18, 2023

Dead Island 2 is a silly, slaughter-filled take on the zombie apocalypse that is very entertaining without pushing the envelope of game design beyond the expected. HELL-A is the perfect bright setting to soak the streets in blood, and the little visual details ensure that there's always something eye-catching that grabs your attention. Some of the objectives can get repetitive and combat itself could use a little bit more variety, but considering its painfully long development time, Dead Island 2 still makes for a satisfying adventure with a good sense of humour stitching together its various generic zombie parts into something worth celebrating.

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8 / 10.0 - WWE 2K23
Mar 17, 2023

At the end of the day, WWE 2K23 makes a modest effort to improve on its predecessor, and the results are pretty bloody good. Some of the modes have received some genuine love and attention, while others could use a bit of a revisit in future versions. Regardless, what these modes and updates are building on now is an incredibly solid foundation that continues to impress, and once the bell rings, the quality of gameplay and the feeling of taking part in a bona fide WWE match looks like it's ripped right from a TV broadcast, and as a wrestling fan, that's still what counts the most.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Forspoken
Feb 8, 2023

It's a shame that the early pacing issues with Forspoken and the slow-burn drip-feeding of abilities will likely put off a lot of players and prevent them from seeing how fun the game can actually be when it's firing on all cylinders. Bland and boring environments with some awkward visual choices and lifeless character models give an unfortunate first impression that is saved by its enjoyable parkour and versatile combat during the later stages of the game, along with a surprisingly heartfelt story. Forspoken might not be the savior we were all hoping for, but it's a decent adventure with enough soul that it shouldn't be cast aside entirely.

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Dec 1, 2022

An intense atmospheric adventure with an intriguing premise, The Callisto Protocol delivers a solid horror game that focuses largely on its satisfying combat. It doesn't have much variety and is lacking a bit of creativity, but it makes up for that with impressive visuals and disgusting, intimidating monsters. It might not meet the expectations of its obvious inspirations, but The Callisto Protocol lays a strong foundation of terrifying atmosphere and crunchy combat that makes it satisfying and spooky nonetheless.

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5.5 / 10.0 - The Chant
Nov 9, 2022

The Chant storms out of the gates with a kooky but intriguing concept of cosmic-horror, but simply isn't able to live up to its own ambitions. It has some good ideas if you look hard enough, but the clunky combat, milquetoast puzzle solving and forgettable story firmly plant this one in the category of B-Grade horror, which, to be fair, is definitely the vibe the developers seem to have gone for. Even with a few good foundational ideas with the use of prisms and a couple of cool boss fights helping The Chant slightly redeem itself, the biggest misfire is that it's just not that scary, and without that, this cosmic-horror is just a cosmic-snooze.

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Nov 2, 2022

God of War Ragnarök is more of the epic God of War that we loved in 2018, but it builds on those foundations in every single way to create a compelling and addicting adventure in its own right that improves across the board. Combat is furious and intense, exploring every nook and cranny of each Norse realm is captivating, and clever puzzles are seamlessly intertwined with abilities that change, evolve, and make you feel like a master of all crafts. Narratively, the heartfelt and fascinating story is supported by incredible writing that makes its whole cast of characters shine, and the production values are through the roof, with a gorgeous soundtrack and visuals that push the limits and stun at every turn. Santa Monica Studios have again managed to create something truly memorable and entirely special.

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