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Josh Tolentino

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Favorite Games:
  • Fallout
  • Valkyria Chronicles
  • Sakura Taisen 2

71 games reviewed
70.3 average score
75 median score
33.8% of games recommended

Josh Tolentino's Reviews

Working out of Manila and San Francisco, Josh writes for Siliconera, Destructoid, GameCritics and more.
Jul 1, 2022

Just as the “Yurukill” in the title Yurukill: The Calumniation Games is a portmanteau of the Japanese “Yurusu” (to pardon or forgive) and the English “Kill,” the game itself is a combo of two seemingly incompatible genres. It is a puzzle-solving adventure and a flashy scrolling shooter. The result works far better than one might think at first.

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Jun 20, 2022

So it goes with Metal Max Xeno Reborn, where yesteryear’s vehicles of war and destruction are the future-present’s platforms of hope. One could also say the same for the game itself, salvaged over the course of years and redeveloped into something quite different — and much better – than before.

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8 / 10.0 - Trek to Yomi
May 5, 2022

Trek to Yomi, however, is one game very well captured by its trailers. They ask the prospective player, “Do you want to journey through a beautifully realized action-game homage to the chambara samurai films of the 1950s and 60s?” And if your answer to that question after viewing one of the many trailers out now is “Yes” …well, there you go.

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8 / 10.0 - Relayer
Apr 9, 2022

Despite quibbles, though, Relayer is a solid entry into the canon of mecha-based strategy titles. Kadokawa Games developed an original, endearing sci-fi RPG with a strong character focus. It may be held back by its rougher edges, but anyone with a love of sci-fi anime should give it a look.

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8 / 10.0 - Eastward
Oct 2, 2021

Whether you do or don’t recognize these callbacks, though, Eastward feels like a game charting its own course. Rather than the bucolic paradises of Studio Ghibli movies or the sword-swinging fantasy fare of Dragon Quest, the dominant aesthetic of the game is a sort of cutesy calamity. The apocalypse it depicts through gorgeous pixel-art graphics is vibrant, warm, and almost hospitable.

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9 / 10.0 - Axiom Verge 2
Aug 19, 2021

I thought I had seen everything Axiom Verge 2 when I could jump to my maximum height while underwater, thus becoming able to reach all manner of places I couldn’t before. Then I learned to climb the walls, and the world expanded greatly. The game got even bigger when I gained the ability to turn my hand into a tiny spider drone, opening up still more possibilities. And then came the Breach.

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7 / 10.0 - Idol Manager
Aug 7, 2021

Glitch Pitch's Idol Manager is an engrossing industry angle on the Japanese idol scene, but stumbles a bit in the spotlight.

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Either of these two games, weighing in at several dozen hours each, would be worth the price of admission alone, but to see Saviors of Sapphire Wings and Stranger of Sword City Revisited packaged together raises the value proposition considerably.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Uppers
Nov 7, 2020

Uppers may be a wish come true for some longtime Vita or Senran Kagura holdouts, but outside of that odd legacy, it can’t really compete with its contemporaries.

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Aug 21, 2020

A Total War Saga: Troy plays it safe in some slightly disappointing ways, but brings enough new to the table that I would appreciate seeing its ideas make their way over to the next mainline Total War game.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Trials of Mana
May 2, 2020

Ultimately, remaking old games can be tough, but at a base level, the goal is pretty simple: To bring the best bits of an old game to life in a way that a new audience can appreciate. Trials of Mana accomplishes this goal handily.

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Mar 16, 2020

Ultimately, though, what stings the most about seeing My Hero One's Justice 2 is how much hasn't changed since the first game. It's still very much a reasonably well-made and pretty anime arena fighter, but it's nothing more than that. Even the considerably messier One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows at least had the ambition to try to capture the source material's spirit through its main single-player mode. My Hero Academia fans looking for exactly that will be satisfied, but once again it seems Bandai Namco have opted to coast rather than adopt U.A.'s "Plus Ultra" philosophy.

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Mar 9, 2020

To that end, it's more charitable to see One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows as more of a Hero Association RPG than a fully qualified fighting game. You won't be seeing it on the main stage at EVO anytime soon, but you can at least have a fun few hours raising your own hero.

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Feb 23, 2020

In the end, that's the real draw of Azur Lane: Crosswave, rather than its gameplay, which is more of a formality. As such, your reaction to it will likely depend on your on how receptive you are to Azur Lane itself. Existing fans and open-minded lovers of cute anime girls gabbing will find much to dive deep into, but everyone else is probably better off taking some shore leave.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Code Vein
Oct 6, 2019

Ironically for a game about undead vampires, there's a strong pulse and beating heart at Code Vein's core.

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4.5 / 10.0 - Utawarerumono: Zan
Sep 20, 2019

Ultimately, it doesn't feel like Utawarerumono: ZAN effectively serves any part of its prospective audience. It's inadequate as a gateway game for newcomers to the franchise, and despite some decent graphics and interesting musou-gameplay twists, it lacks the substance to attract existing fans. It feels like a game created mainly to remind people that the franchise still exists, rather than actually satisfy those who'd deign to play it. Utawarerumono fans are better off waiting for the remake of the original game in the series, while newcomers are advised to pick up the game, or watch the anime instead.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Sea of Solitude
Jul 8, 2019

Sea of Solitude stands out as heartfelt, almost painfully sincere, so much so that I hesitated to actually put a score on this review at all. It felt almost crass to do so, like being allowed to read a relative's diary, only to give it a thumbs-up or -down. Though engaging gameplay and meaningful messaging aren't mutually exclusive in games, Sea of Solitude is squarely one of a growing number of titles that challenges the notion that "fun and entertainment" should be a game's main priority in every case.

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9 / 10.0 - Outer Wilds
May 29, 2019

Outer Wilds proves there's still a sense of genuine adventure to be gained from games that commit to a set, fixed structure and design, rather than the kind of sprawling, endless expanses many contemporary titles set out to become. Playing it brought to mind my favorite bits of Dr. Seuss' Oh, The Places You'll Go...except with more of the sun exploding.

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May 1, 2019

In the end, Zanki Zero: Last Beginning is a credible and entertaining adventure, but its potential to stand alongside its developers' best works is hampered by its systems and story's inability to come together and elevate the experience beyond the sum of its parts.

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8 / 10.0 - Anno 1800
Apr 23, 2019

This leaves us with Anno 1800, a refined city-building game with a delectably savory approach to logistics optimization, a lovely core aesthetic, and a time-devouring rhythm. For me, that's worth the cost of a historical anachronism or two.

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