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Eric Van Allen

Favorite Games:
  • The World Ends With You
  • Final Fantasy X
  • Mass Effect 2

105 games reviewed
78.4 average score
80 median score
60.2% of games recommended
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Jul 26, 2021

The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles as a unified duology really captures everything that draws players into this series in the first place. It’s got big reveals and turnabouts, clever use of examinations and deductions, and a cast littered with memorable, endearing characters. Naruhodo’s journey through the legal system of London is one that’s been a series highlight. It’s nice to finally have these games in the West, as both a great onboarding point for newcomers and a nice treat for Ace Attorney fans. No objections here.

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Jul 9, 2021

Mario Golf: Super Rush is still a fairly solid golf experience, but it will need some of that aforementioned post-launch support to match up with previous sports spinoffs for me. It satisfies a craving for some arcade-style golf multiplayer, and I can see myself having some fun playing an 18-hole trek with friends online a few more times. I’m just hoping for some more reasons to keep me coming back.

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8 / 10.0 - Scarlet Nexus
Jun 23, 2021

Scarlet Nexus is, ultimately, some gorgeous, action-heavy comfort food. It is Saturday morning anime in game form, and while it will struggle to hold your attention from a story perspective, it’s also a good way to lose 30 hours in a fun combat system. It’s not a narrative powerhouse, but if you need a vehicle for bashing monsters with the might of your brain, it’ll suit that need just fine.

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Jun 17, 2021

If I was looking for an on-ramp to understanding Guilty Gear or even one-on-one anime fighters, this is the game to do it with; and what’s here looks ready to act as a platform for more to come, as there will no doubt be balance changes and new characters to come. I can lament what it might be missing, but Guilty Gear Strive is also what I needed right now: a good, solid, very online-capable fighting game with plenty of big swords, charging dolphins, and doctors with questionable credentials to go around.

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8.5 / 10.0 - New Pokémon Snap
May 5, 2021

New Pokémon Snap is a sign of the times in that way, but while it's adapted to the age of Instagram, it hasn't lost its soul in the process. This is the Pokémon Snap you remember, with a few additions that don't always hit as resoundingly, but the foundation has been well-kept. It was a blast to spend a weekend just blasting through every ride this park had to offer, and they're varied enough that I know I can go back today, tomorrow, and months from now, and still find new things to photograph, new interactions to fool around with, and a good time to be had.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Genesis Noir
Mar 25, 2021

By zipping through the creation of life itself, you might just find answers to why someone has been shot and how to stop it. Though some puzzles and controls can get pretty frustrating, the adventure itself is the draw, and with Genesis Noir, it's a beautiful trip through primordial creation worth taking. If you're eager to see what kind of stylish, inventive ways developers are finding to tell stories in games, this hard-boiled trip is worth the ticket.

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Unscored - Gnosia
Mar 5, 2021

Gnosia manages to capture that in single-player format, while creating a story and universe you care about enough to really learn and understand. I know everyone’s tells, but I also know what they like and dislike, what they struggle with and what they seek. Gnosia’s both an impostor game and a visual novel, and the mix results in something else entirely new. Whether you enjoy new forms of storytelling or just want the friendly deception without the social anxiety, it’s well worth experiencing.

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Nov 9, 2020

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a new frontier for the Yakuza series, and the life and crimes of the series feels right at home in this new setting. Ichiban is an instant addition to the pantheon of Yakuza legends, his party an endearing band of ruffians, with the combat doing just enough to make everything familiar feel new again. Where Yakuza goes from here is anyone's guess, but mechanical friction aside, this is a step in a fun and compelling new direction.

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Sep 3, 2020

Paradise Killer drips with endearing style and charm, but can't quite make its finale match up to its opening hours. Discovering intrigue and mystery is compelling at the start, but the good gets lost in its collectible busywork. Paradise Killer is a good option for virtual detective fanatics in need of new mysteries, but it lacks the staying power of other modern mystery giants.

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Aug 18, 2020

Spiritfarer is a cozy game about helping spirits move on. Its wide scope of systems and resources can sometimes get in its own way, but when working in harmony it unveils a touching narrative, all the while adorned by gorgeous art. Best enjoyed in small pieces, Spiritfarer is a warm and inviting world to get lost in, with the occasional emotional gut punch for good measure.

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