Joel DeWitte


58 games reviewed
72.2 average score
75 median score
50.0% of games recommended
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9 / 10.0 - Sifu
Nov 8, 2022

The Easy mode is a welcome reprieve, giving several more lifeboats before letting your drown, but even that has the ethos of "you will be testing your limits". But if ready to climb that mountain, players will be rewarded with some of the most refreshing hand-to-hand combat out there with inspired stylistic flair. If you enjoy the struggle, SIFU is in the upper echelon of video game fighting.

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6 / 10.0 - Cult of the Lamb
Nov 5, 2022

It's that coagulation that makes the experience so unique, if a little shallow. That said, the Switch version is so tainted by the oppressively bad technical performance that it tanks the entire experience. Don't play it here unless it's your only option or Massive Monster resurrects it with a patch.

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9.5 / 10.0 - Tinykin
Oct 3, 2022

Tinykin is a "stop and smell the roses'' kind of game that is brief in a way that gives a meaningful experience without overstaying its welcome. Its charming world and endearing characters are a pleasant window dressing to this safe, mellow bit of fun, and that's all it needs to be. Splashteam's singular focus on exploration and charm runs deep, and the end result is laudable for their Sophomore outing.

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Mar 6, 2022

Rayne as a character is a cardboard cut-out of female action stars of the time, and the story would be laughably bad if it weren't there already. As well, the action has aged poorly with its unrefined hack and slash nature, even if you can wring a few drops of fun out of it. It's hard to recommend Bloodrayne to anyone other than people who've played it and have a fond nostalgia for it.

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Mar 4, 2022

The developer knew to keep the focus on the fundamentals - multiple game modes to keep things fresh, a way to play with friends, leaderboards, and a clean look. If you're not a fan of brick breakers, then this won't convert you. But if the last one you played was Arkanoid, then you're in for a fun revisit.

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9 / 10.0 - Okinawa Rush
Dec 29, 2021

Okinawa Rush attracted me the moment I played it and dragged me in with its visceral, fast paced powerful battles. You won't find a developed story or a stellar soundtrack, but sound design in combat is top tier, with each hit feeling like it's forceful enough to crush skulls. If a dark, gruesome brawler that empowers you to be a badass is what you're itching for, then Okinawa Rush is just the right scratch for you.

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Oct 25, 2021

It's actually pretty disappointing that Thea 2: The Shattering shoots itself in the foot on Switch. The world is unique and mysterious to me. There's a ton of things to tinker with in the overworld sections, and the combat is engaging enough to mix things up. But this game proved to me what I didn't want to hear - to me the inherent sluggishness of Thea 2 was enough to sink it.

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Sep 20, 2021

The Great American Circus' strengths lie first and foremost in its family friendly premise and presentation. That smart lure roped me in to a well fleshed out card match game with a leveling system that doesn't quite grab me. If that and an uphill climb for making a comeback in a performance doesn't deter you, then there's a lot of fun to be had in this upcoming attraction.

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Aug 26, 2021

There needs to be a clear logic to the puzzles throughout that acts as a foundation for each sequential one to build off of. What elevates it even further is world building and music design that sews it up into a tight, cohesive experience. A Monster's Expedition's quick hits of small puzzles passes all of those criteria with flying colors, and you owe it to yourself to give it a look.

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Aug 20, 2021

In essence, Arietta of Spirits plays out like a pleasant introduction and first chapter of a larger story yet untold. It has a protagonist who is easy to root for and the framework for development into a larger scope story, broader cast of characters, and a larger variety of combat tools that this game currently lacks. Arietta of Spirits keeps those issues from becoming more glaring thanks to a brisk game length, but I hope her next adventure is a tad more, well, adventurous.

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8 / 10.0 - Induction
Aug 10, 2021

Despite its hair-pulling moments, Induction really is a stellar example of taking a simple concept, building upon it incrementally through each level, and pumping your fist in the air or jumping for joy with each tall hurdle you're able to leap over. Coupled with that minimalist style, you'll find that the juice is worth the squeeze. If you are a fan of puzzle games and have patience, Induction has plenty to offer.

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9 / 10.0 - Boomerang X
Jul 19, 2021

Boomerang X is a textbook example of short and sweet. It's a bite-sized experience that rewards persistence with a vague, mysterious narrative, dynamic combat, challenging enemies, and so much satisfaction when you squeeze out a victory in the last wave. I had to test my mettle and tolerate a bit of slowdown, but Boomerang X is one of the best indies I've played this year.

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9 / 10.0 - Weaving Tides
Jun 23, 2021

The world is vibrant and colorful, and the characters have distinct personalities and relationships that feel genuine. Dipping up and down to close those weave gaps is one of the most meditative experiences I've had this year, and it's only one small piece of the gameplay pie that's chock full of delicious combat filling. Weaving Tides is a treat, one to share with friends and make room for seconds.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Miitopia
Jun 11, 2021

The core battle system is too thin, and the activities and charming character interactions aren't enough to paper over that problem. This is the most robust mii maker, but it's all at a price that's downright terrible. I wanted to like Miitopia more than I did, but it's more like a Mii-nopia.

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May 5, 2021

None of that could dull my enthusiasm though. Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos is a beautiful application of a roguelike system with a 2D dungeon crawler format married perfectly to a town-building system and overworld that invites exploration and grinding gems to uncover more things to do outside of combat. This is a no-brainer for classic Zelda fans or anyone looking for co-op fun, and it's absolutely been the best gaming experience so far for me in 2021.

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Apr 13, 2021

A decent sense of speed with maniacal track design and near flawless drivers. Visually inconsistent style that just highlights the problem areas. Music that is in the right genre but is somewhere between lacking and outright horrifying. I had high hopes for Future Aero Racing S Ultra, but instead i'll be playing more Fast RMX.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Battle Brothers
Mar 17, 2021

This is a system where crowns make the world go round and everything is replaceable, for a price. The breadth of dialogue, world-building paragraphs, and light agency in storytelling let you build the world according to what you hear. It's a world I want to dive into again and again, even if I know this incarnation will be just as taxing.

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Whether this is for you depends on how much fondness you have for games of this era. This is no remaster or remake; it's a direct port. For me, the pieces come together just enough to find fun in spite of itself.

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Mar 2, 2021

The addition of rewind and save states lets newcomers experience them without having to beat their heads against the wall. Even better, the tome of special features and developer interviews shows a devotion from Blizzard to make this collection a true historical document that too many classic game collections lack. Even for those who haven't played the originals, this is a package I'm happy to recommend to anyone.

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Feb 24, 2021

Curse of the Dead Gods could have easily been an also-ran to solely capitalize on an upcoming release that has a lot of buzz (think Antz to A Bug's Life). Instead, I've been greeted with a roguelike that, while definitely sharing DNA with other dungeon crawlers, has enough interesting backdrops with a few neat combat ideas to make it its own. Curse of the Dead Gods' unique features don't all hit dead-on, but what's here is a game that while not as refined is still plenty of fun in its own right.

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