John Friscia


33 games reviewed
73.9 average score
75 median score
48.5% of games recommended
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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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Nov 30, 2020

If you love The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you would be out of your mind not to try Immortals Fenyx Rising.

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Despite the litany of technical issues I just outlined, this quirky licensed brawler is one of my favorite games I have played all year. Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues delivers a satisfying combination of engaging beat 'em up gameplay, authenticity to the TV series, and preposterous humor that results in an experience unlike any other on Nintendo Switch. "Cobra Kai never dies" thanks to bonkers extensions of the IP such as what Flux Games has produced here.

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8 / 10.0 - Volta - X
Aug 19, 2020

The base management is a little inconsequential, the interface has some clutter, and the persistent online connection requirement will be a wall for some, but none of that changes the fact that Volta-X is an outstanding strategic combat experience. Building new loadouts and testing new strategies is addicting and delightful, and a perfect online experience means there is tremendous replay value if you have a friend with the game or if the PvP scene continues to grow. GungHo has produced a quirky little gem here for Switch.

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5.5 / 10.0 - Evan's Remains
Jun 20, 2020

The narrative of Evan's Remains — if you don't skip any of it — probably takes up half the total playtime, if not even more. The puzzles themselves, of which there are maybe 20-25, take around two hours to complete. So honestly, I can't call the game a bad value at only $6.99, considering the price of a movie ticket these days. But there is just little here to recommend otherwise. The puzzles are fun enough, but the storytelling won't be to everyone's tastes. It definitely never strummed my heartstrings.

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7 / 10.0 - Telling Lies
Apr 28, 2020

Some people will absolutely love Telling Lies. The type of person who can watch five minutes of a movie and then has to watch the entire thing will surely be absorbed into this game's mystifying world. However, for other people, sifting through hours of footage and being forced to jigsaw a narrative out of it will just feel like a chore, even if the characters are well depicted. It's up to you to decide which category you're most likely to fall under.

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Apr 12, 2020

Shinsekai: Into the Depths is a game worth playing. Its large world is addictive to explore, its oxygen mechanics are innovative and create dramatic gameplay moments, and its audio is a real delight.

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