Randy Kalista


82 games reviewed
80.1 average score
80 median score
62.2% of games recommended
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8 / 10.0 - Ashwalkers
May 6, 2021

When you're advertising 34 different endings, your survival journey needs to be survivable. But Ashwalkers rarely made me feel like my survival was on the line. I was hungry for more human interactions between squad members. But the bulk of the writing is saved for the badge-ridden hall of fame at the end of this post-apocalyptic Oregon Trail.

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7.4 / 10.0 - Narita Boy
Apr 14, 2021

While you were partying, Narita Boy studied the techno-blade. Impossibly good pixel art is locked behind bad-but-gets-better platforming and okay-but-gets-cool hack n' slashing.

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9 / 10.0 - Loop Hero
Mar 16, 2021

I've tried roguelikes. Tried deck builders. Tried auto-battlers and tile-placers. But Loop Hero makes me wonder what all those others were missing.

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Werewolf is firing on all cylinders when it lets you take on a wave of enemies, turning them all into puddles of jam. You don't have to think too much about the gameplay, and that gradually becomes a good thing. If this came out 10 years ago, I'd be thinking about it more during end-of-the-year talks.

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Nov 16, 2020

Everybody has their Assassin's Creed. Mine might still be Black Flag. But Valhalla is basically Vikings vs. knights, filling out the other two sides of my personal trifecta. The assassinations might've gone soft, but the northern European world building hits hard.

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7.4 / 10.0 - Hunting Simulator 2
Jul 23, 2020

If you like going on long walks, if your favorite color is safety orange, or if you're never taking "must love dogs" out of your Tinder bio, then Hunting Simulator 2 is sounding your mating call.

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8.5 / 10.0 - XCOM: Chimera Squad
Apr 23, 2020

Chimera Squad gives XCOM something it needed a lot more of: direction. The stakes are lower, but the execution is smoother.

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Mar 31, 2020

Part point-and-click radio play, part adventure game audiobook, Kentucky route Zero is as much of a journey in sound as it is a meditation on surrealism. I'd nominate it for the Booker Prize in literature before I'd hand it a Keighley statue at the Video Game Awards.

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8 / 10.0 - Planet Zoo
Dec 19, 2019

The Dark Souls of zoo tycoon sims. Start slower than you'd like to, YouTube yet another tutorial, then watch Planet Zoo blossom before your eyes. This is a slow, mindful, niche of a sim that demands more patience and learning than you'd expect.

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8 / 10.0 - The Outer Worlds
Nov 26, 2019

Obsidian set out to make a Fallout game, but didn't think we'd mind if they actually made it a Firefly game along the way. So now we have an anti-capitalist Firefly mired in labor issues but elevated by rapidfire gunplay, peppered with chuckles from a tryhard sense of humor.

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