Kirk Hiner


198 games reviewed
70.8 average score
70 median score
62.6% of games recommended
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Jan 12, 2023

Children of Silentown is yet another story centered around a mysterious town with a disturbing past (and present), but it's handled with a sense of tenderness and youthful optimism that's often missing from modern games. It's one of the most cohesive and engaging puzzle adventures I've played in quite a while, and it's well worth your time.

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9.5 / 10.0 - Chained Echoes
Dec 31, 2022

Don't look at Chained Echoes as a throwback to the 16-bit JRPGs of yesteryear, just look at it as an amazing game with an engaging battle system and wonderfully paced story. You can also look at it as one of the best Nintendo Switch games of 2022.

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Romancing SaGa -Minstrel Song- Remastered offers a trip back to when JRPGs didn't just offer multiple playthroughs, they counted on them. This game expects you to miss numerous events and items, and to want to try again. Because of its complexity and general aimlessness, however, I'm not sure many will want to.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Samurai Maiden
Dec 17, 2022

Samurai Maiden gives players a goofy mix of hack-and-slash action, light platforming, and yuri fan service. Surprisingly, it also gives us some pretty fun combat when it's not being overly frustrating. The game will appeal more to achievement completionists than those seeking a good (or even coherent) story, so consider that when looking at this game at full price.

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8 / 10.0 - Harvestella
Dec 8, 2022

In lesser hands, Harvestella's balance of JRPG and farming sim could've ended up as a bland mishmash. Instead, Live Wire and Square Enix have created a solid blend. Its effective gameplay loop and engaging story push you down surprising paths that are fun to travel.

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6 / 10.0 - McPixel 3
Dec 5, 2022

McPixel 3 is a gag-heavy mashup of microgames and '90s adventure puzzles. It works when relying on speed and insanity, but its repetition and heavy reliance on trial-and-error solutions and gross-out humor will turn all but a few players away before completion.

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8 / 10.0 - Donut Dodo
Nov 29, 2022

Fans of classic arcade games should love Donut Dodo, mainly because it gives them something new. It's not a port; it's a new game that looks, sounds, and plays like it should've been released in 1982. It's a clever, low-cost addition to your digital arcade.

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7 / 10.0 - Bayonetta 3
Nov 17, 2022

When it's firing on all cylinders, Bayonetta 3 serves as a confident reminder of why we've been looking forward to its release for so long. Unfortunately, the number of misfires can't be overlooked, making this easily the least enjoyable game in the series.

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Nov 9, 2022

Yomawari: Lost In the Dark uses every resource it has to create an unsettling and involving horror puzzle experience. It provides plenty of scares and a surprisingly effective story that should be enough to compel players forward even after the game starts to lose its impact.

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6 / 10.0 - Fairy Elements
Oct 24, 2022

As far as KEMCO JRPGs go, Fairy Elements does its job-no more, no less. It's fine as a light adventure you can return to from time to time, but you won't be clearing room in your calendar to find that time.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Atari Mania
Oct 12, 2022

Atari Mania's mash-up of microgames presents a chaotic blast of nostalgia, but the general repetition and some frustrating difficulty dampen the mood pretty quickly. Its unique approach to retro gaming is, therefore, best enjoyed by those with fond memories of playing all these games back in the day.

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The Legend of Heroes: Trails From Zero takes us back to the formation of the SSS, an organization Switch gamers will know from the Trails of Cold Steel games. It also takes us back to a relatively simpler system that's perfectly sized for JRPG adventuring on the go.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Little Orpheus
Sep 12, 2022

A former Apple Arcade exclusive, Little Orpheus successfully brings its cinematic platformer action to Nintendo Switch. This throwback to pulp movie serials works well on the TV screen, and the gameplay is better suited to Joy-Con controls than a touchscreen. The sense of wonder does slowly wear off, but it's a quick, casual adventure worth completing.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Avenging Spirit
Sep 9, 2022

Avenging Spirit is a lesser-known '90s arcade game with a unique "possession" angle that helps distinguish it from the excess of retro platformers available on the Switch. It's worth a playthrough, especially if you're unfamiliar with its charms.

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Aug 31, 2022

The massive world and intricate real-time battle system of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 may seem daunting even by JRPG standards, but both are easy to get into. It's not my favorite Xenoblade Chronicles game, but I can say with certainty I enjoyed nearly every battle, plot twist, and Nopon I encountered in the 140+ hours I've put into it (so far).

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Aug 22, 2022

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance II will provide a mana-blast of nostalgic glee for those who played the original Dark Alliance hack-and-slash RPG on their GameCube, but it doesn't offer enough excitement or variety to otherwise hold your attention.

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7 / 10.0 - Running on Magic
Jul 27, 2022

Running on Magic is a runner platformer that puts players in a challenging but light-hearted race against the Grim Reaper himself. Its whimsical presentation and procedurally generated levels keep things interesting for its somewhat short lifespan, just don't expect it to be more than it claims to be.

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Jul 19, 2022

Krut: The Mythic Wings is a very pretty but brutally difficult action platformer based on Thai mythology. The game can be completed in under 10 hours, but the bulk of that time will be spent tediously grinding for better gear to advance past even the common enemies. For the hard-core gamers only.

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Jul 11, 2022

Fire Emblem Warriors: Three Hopes carries enough of Three Houses to appeal to that game's fans even if they're not into the hack-and-slash of Musou games. Warriors fans should like it, too. If your Fire Emblem fandom reaches further back than the 3DS, however, you'll once again have to grin and bear all the fluff.

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Jul 1, 2022

Yurukill: The Calumniation Games combines puzzle solving with bullet hell action to create a unique gaming experience. Its dark premise is handled with humor and an engrossing mystery that'll push you quickly to a rewarding end, and various difficulty settings will make sure fans of both genres can get there.

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