Jason Faulkner


190 games reviewed
77.9 average score
80 median score
68.8% of games recommended
Jan 30, 2024

After Yakuza: Like a Dragon soft rebooted the series, I presumed the next entry would focus entirely on Ichiban. After all, the Yakuza were finished, Kiryu had his curtain call, and a new generation of heroes and villains took the stage. However, Like a Dragon: Infinite Wealth seems like a step backward for the series narratively. Instead of the Yokohama gang getting a new adventure without eight games worth of lore weighing them down, Infinite Wealth spends around 50% of its runtime saying goodbye to Kiryu yet again. Fortunately, improved combat and excellent side activities compensate for Infinite Wealth’s narrative struggles.

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Dec 29, 2023

Overall, Armored Core 6 is excellent for newcomers and longtime fans alike. It serves as a great introduction to the series, and you don’t need to be familiar with past entries to have a great time. On the flip side, the gameplay and mechanics are familiar enough that you’ll feel instantly at home here if you played AC5 or Verdict Day. Given the positive response to AC6, I hope we see more of the series sooner rather than later. It deserves to be one of FromSoftware’s cornerstones as much as the studio’s Souls games do.

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7 / 10.0 - Starfield
Sep 28, 2023

When scoring Starfield, I considered that many of my issues with the game were totally subjective. However, the game does have technical and design issues that can’t be ignored. Ironically, it has many of the same problems people relentlessly criticized Cyberpunk 2077 for, like lifeless crowds, a hollow wanted system, and glitchy animations, but it’s largely getting a pass. Bethesda deserves kudos for pioneering the modern Western RPG format, and I don’t think every game needs to be some innovative revolution. Despite this, Starfield is backed by Microsoft and produced by one of the biggest game companies in the world. There’s no reason it should feel and play like Fallout 4 in space.

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Jul 6, 2023

Final Fantasy 16 goes too far in trying to be the anti-Final Fantasy 15. For me, this series has always been about the journey, and FF16 makes a beeline for the destination from the very beginning. Valisthea is an intriguing world with rich lore, and the game’s cast is great, from Clive down to the minor NPCs. That’s why I’m so confused by the devs not giving you more opportunities to take it all in. Sure, there are a ton of bombastic moments like the Eikon fights and shocking twists, but it’s missing the quiet and silly moments that capture fans’ adoration.

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Mar 17, 2023

The Resident Evil 4 remake is a remarkable achievement that walks the fine line between action and horror, appealing to both old and new fans of the series.

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Mar 2, 2023

Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty is a challenging romp through a dark fantasy version of Romance of the Three Kingdoms and works well as a Soulslite. Each level is a bite-sized Souls experience to be conquered and moved past. The tight, challenging combat will thrill fans of the genre, but the lack of an interconnected world might turn off those that love the thrill of exploration.

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Feb 28, 2023

Like a Dragon: Ishin is worth the wait, and fans of the series are in for a real treat. However, it is a niche entry in the series and not one I’d recommend for beginners. In fact, the more of the main games you’ve played before tackling Ishin, the more you’ll get out of it. Nevertheless, it’s a great spin on the Yakuza formula, and I’m glad Sega took the risk and finally brought it overseas.

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Feb 17, 2023

Octopath Traveler 2 is another love letter to Square Enix’s golden years. It’s a greatest hits comprised of mechanics from across several franchises, even if it doesn’t build on the original’s formula too much.

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9 / 10.0 - Hogwarts Legacy
Feb 6, 2023

Hogwarts Legacy is the game Harry Potter fans have dreamt of since the first book was released. It puts you firmly in the shoes of a student and turns you loose to find your place in the world of wizardry. Unfortunately, its biggest issue is that it often feels like you’re just visiting.

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Jan 26, 2023

Some changes in the remake work better than others, but the important thing is that, like the original, it’s survival horror at its best and a worthy successor to the beloved series.

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Crisis Core Reunion is not quite a remaster and not quite a remake. The upgraded visuals breathe new life into the game, but there are little reminders here and there of its PSP origins. However, with a $50 price point, Square Enix is at least somewhat acknowledging that it’s not rebuilt from the ground up.

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Nov 22, 2022

Unfortunately, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet didn’t get the development time they deserved. It’s hard to see a franchise that means so much to me finally start heading in the right direction only to come up short. I sincerely hope that Game Freak and Nintendo will start listening to fans and critics and turn things around.

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Nov 3, 2022

God of War Ragnarök is a triumph. It’s a swansong for the PS4 and one of the best first-party games for the PS5 so far. It’s bigger than its predecessor in every way. The game’s only flaw is the weak climax. Everything up to that part is gold. However, it’s hard to find a conclusion that’ll satisfy everyone when the stakes are basically everything.

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Oct 31, 2022

A Plague Tale: Requiem is a triumph of a sequel that ticks all the boxes fans will be expecting and then some. Not only does it look and feel great, but it backs up its eye candy and abundant atmosphere with an interesting narrative and a stalwart protagonist who won’t quit. It’s everything a follow-up should be and more from an IP that’s grown precious to players over the years, and a fine adventure that even newcomers will find value in tackling.

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At $19.99, the Resident Evil: Village Winters’ Expansion DLC is worth it for the new Mercenaries content alone. Shadows of Rose is a decent story and worth playing through for fans, and the third-person camera in the base game gives an extra little bump of replayability. But, overall, Resident Evil 7 had better direction with its DLC, and there were more pressing stories to be told than Rose’s romp through familiar territory.

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Oct 24, 2022

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope is a colorful, exciting riff on tactical gameplay. It includes fun Mario and Rabbids characters, a punky new character with a cool weapon and cooler personality, Sparks to collect, and new and improved combat. It could do with a few more puzzles and things to do outside of battle, but as it stands, Sparks of Hope is an excellent follow-up and one of the best strategy games you’ll find in Nintendo’s library.

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6 / 10.0 - Scorn
Oct 14, 2022

Scorn is arguably worth playing for the visuals alone. We’re rarely transported to somewhere truly alien in games, and it’s something I’m glad I experienced. However, it’s more of a theme park ride than a genuinely immersive experience. That’s fine, but with a little more complexity and refinement outside of the artwork, it could have been something extraordinary.

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Aug 31, 2022

The Last of Us Part 1 is the definitive way to experience the original story and Left Behind. However, it’s hard to recommend it over the PS4 remaster.

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7 / 10.0 - Rollerdrome
Aug 17, 2022

Unfortunately, the package ends up feeling a bit bare. The story is window dressing, and the gameplay is lacking in variety. The lack of multiplayer also feels like a missed opportunity. Without it, there’s not much replayability other than an online leaderboard.

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8 / 10.0 - Live A Live
Aug 1, 2022

Fortunately, it’s not a launch that’s 28 years too late. Live A Live is still full of charm, and the graphics and gameplay have been tweaked just enough to give it some modern touches. Hopefully, it’ll get the recognition it deserves alongside Square’s other classics.

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