Bryan Lawver

Los Angeles

Favorite Games:

57 games reviewed
71.5 average score
70 median score
36.8% of games recommended
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100 / 100 - GRIS
Dec 13, 2018

Gris is an incredible achievement, using its art, music, and gameplay to tell a thematically consistent story about a woman overcoming her grief. Despite the weighty subject matter, the way its protagonist's triumph over sorrow is reflected in increasingly fluid and diverse platforming makes it a joy to play. While Gris is low on challenge and impossible to fail, it still feels exciting. Even if it doesn't sound like your kind of game, Gris absolutely deserves a try.

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Oct 18, 2018

Dark Souls Remastered doesn't add a lot to the Dark Souls formula, but then again it doesn't need to. Its graphical updates are subtle, and sometimes dubious, and the tweaks it makes to the game will only be noticeable to the already converted. But a refreshed pool of players means more opportunities for jolly cooperation, and the Switch makes it more convenient than ever to play the sometimes unapproachable classic. For better or worse, Dark Souls Remastered is essentially the Dark Souls you already know on a new platform.

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Mar 21, 2019

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice manages to live up to its monstrously high expectations in nearly every way. Its high-risk combat system is as satisfying as it is punishing, and its level design begs you to explore every inch of the world. While its locations and enemies aren't as varied as in previous From Software games, you'll hardly notice when you're locking swords with opponents across several beautiful settings. Sekiro tells an intriguing tale about loyalty and mortality packed with surprises and easy-to-miss side stories.

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95 / 100 - Eliza
Aug 12, 2019

Eliza is a poignant, well-presented tale about how even technology created to help people can be harmful when it replaces human connection. Rather than demonizing technology, though, Eliza is a paean to compassion, communication, and all the varied ways people can lift each other up.

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95 / 100 - Disco Elysium
Nov 1, 2019

Disco Elysium is a difficult game to describe, but it's easy to recommend. One of the most inventive games in recent memory, it's an often cynical, mean-spirited RPG that's nonetheless full of beauty and humanity. While its obsession with the nastier parts of the human psyche will definitely turn some people off, the depth of its story and systems reward a deep dive into the mire, as do its beautiful art and writing.

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Castlevania Requiem: Symphony of the Night & Rondo of Blood does the bare minimum, but it's still well worth playing. While there are no extras included in this anthology, the two games it contains are some of the best ever made, and one of them has been pretty difficult to come by until now. Aside from the replacement of Symphony of the Night's wonderfully campy voice acting, both games are delivered in perfect shape and are still as worth playing today as they've ever been.

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May 4, 2019

Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen has already been released a handful of times on different consoles, and this port doesn't add anything new. The ability to play in handheld mode is great, but this version also comes with some pop-in and framerate drops not present in other releases. Still, it's worth it just to experience one of the most overlooked games of the decade again, or for the first time. If Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen's stellar combat, unique class system, and treacherous world hook you, its technical flaws are extremely easy to overlook.

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A clever addition to Mario + Rabbids that plays to the original's strengths without takings many risks. While Donkey Kong Adventure likely won't win the game any new fans, it's a treat for anyone who were left wanting more. The expansion trims some of the fat from the original, delivering a quick, focused game that quits while it's ahead.

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85 / 100 - Ashen
Dec 30, 2018

Ashen uses the Souls-like formula to tell a very different, optimistic story about community. Whether you're playing alone, with an AI companion, or with another person, combat with the game's varied enemies and bosses is challenging and satisfying. Ashen's world feels real and lived-in, and getting to carve out your own settlement and watch it prosper is truly satisfying.

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85 / 100 - Book of Demons
Dec 13, 2018

Book of Demons introduces a unique card-based skill system and a sense of humor to the stuck-in-its-ways ARPG genre. It has plenty of tricks in its dungeon to keep you on your toes, but gives you ample ways to form your own strategy. With three distinct classes and an endlessly replayable quest, you can get lost in Book of Demons' papercut dungeon for quite a while.

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