John Friscia


39 games reviewed
72.6 average score
75 median score
41.0% of games recommended
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7.5 / 10.0 - Game Builder Garage
Jun 18, 2021

Realistically, adults who want to program are just going to go learn an actual programming language and/or pick up a tool like GameMaker. But for impressionable preteen children, which arguably seems to be the prime demographic for this software, Game Builder Garage on Nintendo Switch can provide a comprehensive and accessible introduction to programming, despite a few glaring oversights. However, not just anyone is going to instantly click with and love this game. It takes time, determination, and raw passion to get the most out of Game Builder Garage. But maybe that's a good thing.

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7 / 10.0 - Mundaun
May 31, 2021

Ultimately, Mundaun is a creepy Switch game with creepy secrets to uncover across its creepy landscape, and it's easy to recommend to fans of adventure and horror. Others who don't typically play such games might just be bored to death with it though, especially if they get stuck on an objective they can't figure out. So basically, if your gut tells you that you might enjoy this game, it's probably right - and vice versa.

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When you set aside the little performance issues on Nintendo Switch and the lack of some quality-of-life additions, Shin Megami Tensei III Nocturne HD Remaster is still an excellent dungeon crawler with tons of demons to experiment with and several different endings for hardcore players to find. The game feels like it's dragging on sometimes by so heavily emphasizing gameplay over story, but when the gameplay is this solid and with the world renewed in HD, it's not much of a complaint. This is quite the appetizer from Atlus as the wait for Shin Megami Tensei V continues.

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7 / 10.0 - Smelter
Apr 22, 2021

With enjoyable sim gameplay, an engaging element combat system, and excellent boss fights, Smelter is a game with a lot of good pieces across 12-15 hours of play. Unfortunately, it never becomes more than the whole of its parts. The platforming level design feels a bit unremarkable, and the Trials ruin the pacing. Still, if you love ActRaiser or Mega Man X, there's enough to make Smelter worth recommending.

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6 / 10.0 - Say No! More
Apr 9, 2021

Ultimately, Say No! More is short, vapid, and stupid… but it kind of works. Gameplay is basic almost to the point of meaningless, but when combined with its striking art style and funny writing and voice acting, it adds up to an experience unlike any other. Frankly, full price is too much to ask for a game this simple, but definitely consider it during sales.

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Mar 30, 2021

I Saw Black Clouds has some bold ideas, but the execution on a structural and technical level is a total failure. Even if the writing, acting, and scene editing were immaculate - which they are not - it would not forgive how all of the decisions the player makes carry no weight. Decisions only have consequences in vague, indirect, unpredictable ways, and it's extremely unsatisfying to have so little control over a story that isn't overly engaging in the first place. The best decision you can make is to just not play I Saw Black Clouds.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Bravely Default 2
Feb 25, 2021

In Bravely Default II, you either break the battle system with some beautiful strategy, or it breaks you. And that's the thrill of it. Taking charge of massive customization options to build a party that can uniquely demolish the varied bosses is incredibly satisfying and never gets old. When you couple that stellar action with a phenomenal soundtrack, it becomes possible to forgive the game's uninspired story and technical hiccups. And while I really wish Square Enix were not struggling so much to tell a great story lately, Bravely Default II is still an utterly addicting RPG and an excellent addition to the Nintendo Switch library.

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6 / 10.0 - PUSS!
Feb 15, 2021

Ultimately, PUSS! is an exercise in frustration. Some people will appreciate the zaniness of the design and/or enjoy having a brutal challenge to push through in a blast of 10-20 minutes at a time. Other people will just be annoyed by the entire experience from start to finish, and the small bugs and quirks don't help that. PUSS! is not for everyone, but it's also not trying to be.

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In its brief runtime, Half Past Fate: Romantic Distancing tries to tell a charming story of romance amid the pandemic, but it's just a waste of an hour instead. Give the original game a try in lieu of this.

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8 / 10.0 - Cyber Shadow
Jan 31, 2021

(One last note for Nintendo Switch players: Cyber Shadow actually plays best with Joy-Con, not the Pro Controller. The control pad on the Pro Controller sometimes incorrectly registers "forward" inputs as "down" inputs, which makes parries and dashing frustratingly more difficult.)

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