Kirk Hiner


187 games reviewed
70.7 average score
70 median score
63.6% of games recommended
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Mar 13, 2018

The fact that each level can be overcome in about 15 minutes or less makes Bridge Constructor Portal great for portable gaming on your Nintendo Switch. On the go, the convenient touch controls carry over from the mobile version (tap and drag to place your struts, zoom in for precise placement, etc.). Docked mode, however, is a bit more cumbersome.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Castle of Heart
Apr 3, 2018

I can therefore recommend Castle of Heart only to those who are up for an extreme challenge or who have something to prove to their punk children (or punk parents). It's a beautiful game and the development is almost flawless, but the rewards don't come often enough to help you past the game's brutal difficulty.

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7 / 10.0 - Kona
Apr 19, 2018

There's a lot more going on in this “walking sim” than is apparent at the start, both naturally and supernaturally. This contradicts the fact that, aside from the animals and the ghosts of the past, you are alone. Kona works hard to create a sense of isolation, making the experience much more effective if you're not surrounded by people helping you solve the puzzles or arguing against using a crowbar to fend off wolves when you have a gun in your possession (although that it is very sound advice).

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Apr 25, 2018

No matter how you play it, Layers of Fear: Legacy provides an astounding psychological horror experience right up to the point when you click on your painting that one final time. The relatively low $20 asking price more than makes up for my issues with the conclusion, especially since it includes the better ending of the Inheritance DLC. The jump scares were effective even on my second playthrough two years later, and I had fun playing it with my daughter. Her warnings of, “No. Just…no,” may have been valid as we stood looking down the stairwell into the darkened cellar, but as we, the developers at Bloober Team, and our troubled painter know, making the right decision doesn't make for good horror.

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7 / 10.0 - 12 orbits
Apr 29, 2018

You're never going to rush home to play 12 Orbits, but at only $1.99 it's a fantastic game to keep on your Switch for the next time you've got friends over for a party. Playing with 12 people may not be optimal in portable mode with everyone crowded around the Switch (where the frenetic action is hard to follow in some game variations anyway), and it's a shame there's no online play available. Assign your Joy-Cons to a few pairs of players and let them gather around the TV, however, and the dip will likely get cold well before the fun runs out.

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May 7, 2018

It's easy to overlook Max: The Curse of Brotherhood when searching for a good platformer, but don't. Some frustrating moments aside, it's a well-designed twist on the genre that's quite at home on the Nintendo Switch in terms of visuals and controls. Those who didn't complete it on other platforms will find the Switch's touchscreen eases much of the difficulty, and the $15 price tag ($30 for the physical copy) makes it a game that's easy to pick up between bigger releases. And if there's a lesson to be learned here, it's that you really shouldn't mess around with spells you find online. You never know which ones will actually work…even if they don't begin with “I wish…”

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May 18, 2018

Jotun: Valhalla Edition is a game of moments. It's like an album with a handful of brilliant songs surrounded by filler material you'd rather just skip. That's not to say it's not worth playing, especially at the attractive price of $14.99. The great moments make it worth it, but the gameplay between those moments can try your patience. As such, it'll just take some serious dedication to play it all the way through.

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Jun 14, 2018

The unique action and dark story of Fallen Legion: Rise to Glory never quite come together in a way that justifies the game's $40.00 asking price. You can overcome the initial frustration with the inadequately explained combat controls, but getting past the game's repetitive nature will be a much tougher task.

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Jun 15, 2018

Jumping Joe & Friends is well developed and fun, but by its very nature is not the type of game you'll play with any degree of frequency. It's more like those board games you find stashed away on the upper shelf of the closet and think, “Hey, I remember this! This was fun!” But then you get it down and play a few rounds and soon remember why it had been up on that shelf for so long.

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7 / 10.0 - Dragon Lapis
Jun 28, 2018

With its speedy gameplay, colorful 8-bit graphics and chiptune music from composer Ryuji Sasai, Dragon Lapis perfectly fits into its niche. It's not meant to be a title that'll take over your summer, but is instead great to play on car trips or when your Switch is being used by another family member. You're not likely to enjoy it if you're not already a fan of JRPGs, but those within its target audience will find it a pleasant adventure to take…even it feels like one you've taken multiple times before.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Lanota
Jul 6, 2018

There are rhythm games available for the Switch that have better stories, there are some with more familiar music, and there are some that can be played in both portable and docked mode. Still, fans of the genre would be remiss to overlook Lanota. The gameplay is fantastic and can be as easy or challenging as you want thanks to the multiple skill level settings. The music is greatly enjoyable, too, You're not likely to play through each song again just to jack up your ranking, but there will surely be some that will stick with you even when you're not playing. Which reminds me…I need to do some more research on Kitkit Lu. Anyone have an album to recommend?

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4 / 10.0 - Awkward
Jul 19, 2018

To be fair, you may get $12 of entertainment out of Awkward if you load it up at your next party. But because the questions aren't categorized by appropriateness for different age groups, adults will likely get bored and kids will likely get confused…and possibly traumatized. Each game session can be completed in 5 to 10 minutes, and with no variation to keep players engaged, that's about enough time to push players towards another Switch game or into another room altogether. Which one has the sausage cheese ball appetizer?

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Another World was a great game to play when it was released. I know, because I was there with my Macintosh LC II. But what made it stand out then actually gets in the way now. It has some fun puzzle events and interesting twists and turns along the way, but is better played for historical and nostalgic purposes than for pure entertainment. Of course, history may be enough for some gamers; you can find a decidedly different point-of-view in Trevor Gould's review of Another World for Wii U and 3DS. I suggest you wait for Flashback—a similar game from Delphine Software that is getting a physical release for Nintendo Switch at the end of the month.

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8 / 10.0 - Not a Hero
Aug 9, 2018

Not a Hero: Super Snazzy Edition is a vulgar, violent game, but the pixelated and colorful presentation—coupled with its sharp sense of humor—help to keep the tone light. I was pleasantly surprised by the snappy, addictive gameplay when I first dug into it, and although its repetitive nature and a couple annoying design choices and glitchy controls did temper that, it remained a fun game to play throughout. Just make sure you don't do so with your parents/kids in the room. Should they walk in, however, you can always just return to the character selection screen and play some happy music.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Okami HD
Aug 19, 2018

Okami HD is a wonderful, exciting adventure that's beautifully presented. Although the paintbrush mechanic can still be frustrating, the Nintendo Switch offers its best implementation of any platform. The game's linear progression, on the other hand, very much shows its age; those who have enjoyed Breath of the Wild and Skyrim on the Switch may not welcome the return to hand-held adventuring. But if you allow yourself to get drawn into this colorful world and its story of a goddess wolf and her tiny, smart-aleck friend (seriously, don't call him a bug), you'll find that Okami HD is well worth the 40-hour investment even if you've invested it before.

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7 / 10.0 - Freedom Planet
Sep 3, 2018

When you're not hitting its walls, Freedom Planet is an exciting game that feels natural in both docked and portable mode. The different characters give it some flair, and the nostalgia certainly helps, too. And honestly, although SEGA has kind of found their way again with its iconic franchise, Freedom Planet often feels more like a Sonic game than many actual Sonic games did. One minute you'll wish Sonic games played more like this, and the next you'll be wishing Freedom Planet played more like Sonic. If you can handle that dichotomy, Freedom Planet is worth the run.

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Sep 19, 2018

If you're looking for a quality turn-based JRPG that plays well on your TV and on the go, Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is it. Just make sure you keep it away from the kids.

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Sep 23, 2018

Super Dungeon Tactics has been out for computers and other consoles for a while now, and that works to your advantage; the Switch version is available to download for only $19.99, making it an excellent option for fans of turn-based RPGs. With its clever and accessible combat management mechanics and a charming array of characters, Super Dungeon Tactics is definitely a title worth checking out, especially for those enjoying God Wars or who fondly recall the Luminous Arc series.

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Oct 19, 2018

Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a game squarely aimed at the Fire Emblem crowd, but any fan of tactical, turn-based combat, military strategy and…honestly…YA romance should at least download the free demo and give it a try.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Debris Infinity
Oct 29, 2018

Although Debris Infinity is very well designed, it does lack depth and longevity. Learning the enemy waves and mastering your approach towards them extends the fun, but to no real purpose other than leaderboard bragging rights. As such, after just a session or two I was always ready to move on to something else. That amounts to less than 10 minutes of game time, which is pretty short even in this age of mobile gaming. But at only $5.00, Debris Infinity will continue to scratch that arcade itch for as long as you're willing to let it.

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