Matthew Zawodniak


82 games reviewed
62.3 average score
60 median score
30.8% of games recommended
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Jul 8, 2022

The sheer scale and depth of this game's commitment to matching Three Houses' style and structure made for a very pleasant surprise that sadly made it even more disappointing when the ending fell as flat as it did. Almost overnight I went from not being able to get enough of the game to wondering if I had it in me to play even one more of the game's three story routes. Three Hopes is a must play for diehard fans of both Fire Emblem and Dynasty Warriors alike, but I almost wish that it had committed less to the scale of its story so that its poor final hours weren't so much of a bitter pill to swallow.

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6 / 10.0 - Sonic Origins
Jul 2, 2022

The only thing that I think this collection truly accomplishes is making some great games available on modern consoles, and that is the absolute bare minimum I can ask. These games-with the possible exception of Sonic 1-are great, and this is a perfectly playable version of them. Sadly, we've seen the potential of what a Classic Sonic collection could be, and Sonic Origins absolutely does not live up to that potential.

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Jun 21, 2022

I normally believe it is bad form to talk about other reviews in my own review, but I cannot help but feel awkward and a bit guilty when I see the universal acclaim this game has gotten. Between a 90 on Metacritic and an 'Overwhelmingly Positive' rating on Steam, it would be dishonest for me to say that I think you will not enjoy Echo of Starsong. However, it would also be dishonest for me to pretend that I did. Basic probability says that you will likely love this game, but if the game's random dice roll events have taught me anything, it's that even the highest chance of success can still lead to a hollow tale of failure.

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Apr 11, 2022

A Vita version was originally planned before the game was delayed so much that the idea of releasing a new game on Sony's dying handheld was laughable. Because of that, this version feels like 13 Sentinels is finally where it was meant to be all along. This game is wild and weird in all the best ways, and there has never been a better time to play it than right now.

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Apr 9, 2022

Its ruined yet beautiful world carries a tone of wonder and amazement throughout the entire game, and HAL Laboratory undoubtedly stuck the landing while transitioning the series' gameplay into 3D. Though I am disappointed in the small number of copy abilities, the game's issues are mere bumps in the road compared to its many triumphs. It is the only game I can think of to make me cry from the sheer joy of how cute and heartwarming it can be, and it is in my opinion the best game Kirby's name has ever been on.

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undefined.Sadly I am much less conflicted on the quality of the Switch port in particular. While none of the problems are significant enough to truly prevent someone from enjoying this game, the fact that such fundamental problems from a previous version have not been addressed makes it difficult to justify this version over any others. I think it's worth seeking out and trying Danganronpa for yourself, but I can't recommend doing so by playing a port of the mobile version running poorly on Switch.

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I want to say that Ruined King is great, because on a design level it is. It shows off the appeal of Runeterra while crafting a unique RPG battle system that is deep, engaging, and rewarding. But the presence of such an obvious and debilitating bug makes it difficult for me to recommend. Some may say that I’m making a mountain out of a molehill over having to take five minutes out of my time every couple of hours, and I have no doubt that many people will probably push past the bug and still love the game regardless.

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As a smaller budget game, the rhythm mechanics are decent enough, and once you unlock Full Action Mode the problems with freestyle mayhem completely disappear. Unfortunately, more freestyle mayhem means more performance drops, which means more missed button presses. Hextech Mayhem is a fine little game, but the fact that the best way to play just doesn't work sometimes and is only available after finishing the game, I'm not sure I can really recommend it to anyone that isn't a League of Legends fan that's really itching to see more of Ziggs in action.

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Comparing Tokyo 2020 to Mario & Sonic is not only unavoidable, it's also just weird. Mario & Sonic released in November 2019, and while Tokyo 2020 was always going to release a little later it was delayed a full year due to the real life Olympics being postponed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than a year and half gap between the two video games, it's bizarre that the one that had so much longer to be worked on ends up feeling more rushed and lacking in comparison to its counterpart. Tokyo 2020 would be tough to recommend on its own merits, but placed next to Mario & Sonic there really doesn't seem to be any reason to choose the "Official" Olympic Games.

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7 / 10.0 - Cruis'n Blast
Sep 14, 2021

There's no doubt that Cruis'n Blast is going to serve a relatively niche audience, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The sheer spectacle on display combined with vast opportunity for technical skill makes for an incredibly engaging arcade racing game that focuses on letting the player have pure, unfiltered fun. It's a shame that there isn't any form of online functionality to provide a little extra meaning to the experience, since that little extra motivation could've elevated Cruis'n Blast from a good game to a great game.

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Sep 6, 2021

At its best it feels just like the Wii game, and at its worst it's an obvious step down. There is some minor added content like cosmetics that are unlocked through new collectibles, but they simply can't outweigh all the problems introduced in this version. The original version of this game is a personal favorite to this day, but Sonic Colors Ultimate on Switch is just a disgrace that only succeeds at worsening Sonic's already poor reputation.

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6.5 / 10.0 - No More Heroes 3
Aug 27, 2021

Even the game's style and technical performance are wildly inconsistent between the sublime combat and sterile overworld. It feels half-baked in the most literal sense, with one half being cooked to perfection, and the other half still cold from the freezer. I just can't shake the feeling that I'm the one doing something wrong, because I'm just not sure how a game can be so incredibly good, and yet so very bad.

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Jul 26, 2021

Despite a few struggles with the franchise's constant challenge of toeing the line between its story and gameplay, Great Ace Attorney feels like a series highlight. Ace Attorney as a whole feels like it's in limbo now since we're now four years past a brand new game being released in any territory, but hopefully this long-awaited localization is a sign of things to come. The Great Ace Attorney may not technically be a new game, but it's still just as good as I would expect a brand new Ace Attorney to be after half a decade's wait.

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The wildly popular Persona franchise likely wouldn't be what it is today without Nocturne's influence, and as a fan of both series I'm incredibly excited to see this classic title be rediscovered by a new generation. I can't help but feel let down by the poor audio compression for the soundtrack, but ultimately that was just as much of a problem in 2003 as it is now. This is the best way to play Nocturne, and I think any fan of classic JRPGs owes it to themself to do exactly that.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Persona 5 Strikers
Feb 9, 2021

Despite that I can't deny how much fun I had with the gameplay, and I'm probably going to end up replaying it on PC for the chance to enjoy it in surround sound (another feature the Switch version weirdly lacks). For as much as the story disappointed me it just wouldn't be true to say I don't like Persona 5 Strikers. I like it a lot, and I felt really happy with it when I finally finished it. It's a game that I want to recommend, but that recommendation has to come with a big caveat: if you're a Persona fan that loves the Phantom Thieves but you're just not interested in the gameplay, it may be more worth your time to just play Persona 5 again.

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Nov 30, 2020

I love the setting based in Greek mythology, and I've been enjoying the adventure almost non-stop, only ever getting bored during the icon hunt whenever I reach a new area once every couple of hours. It's a shame that Switch players will be getting such a compromised version, since I really feel like the weak port does a huge disservice to everything the game succeeds at. I think you should play Immortals: Fenyx Rising, but you should not do so on Switch if you can help it.

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Nov 3, 2020

Champions of Vestroia is a total failure. If you're not already a Bakugan fan, there is absolutely nothing for you here. If you are a Bakugan fan, then you deserve a game that respects your time and passion more than this.

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5.5 / 10.0 - Night Call
Jul 14, 2020

I think the game would've been better if it really was just about driving around Paris getting to know these people who are living out their everyday lives. The mystery-solving is half baked, and the fact that you can't carry the stories of your passengers forward into future cases just makes me wish the mystery wasn't there at all. I really did love the conversations I had with the game's diverse cast, but in the end I was just left frustrated that I wouldn't be able to see them through to their end without slogging through a lot of stuff I'd already seen.

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Jul 3, 2020

It's unfortunate, since the voice acting, visuals, and overall cinematic direction of both cutscenes and gameplay are all excellent. This game is the product of a passionate and talented team. It's just a shame that their efforts were all in service to writing that is cynical, regressive, outdated, and just plain exhausting.

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Jun 4, 2020

It felt like I was spending more time waiting for the game to load or process than I was actually playing, and eventually I just ended up with a strong urge to redownload it on Steam and play it there instead. Since XCOM 2 is entirely turn-based, the poor performance doesn't really have an effect on the gameplay, so if you can put up with it then the game is still just as good as it ever was. I couldn't really put up with it, though, so sadly this is one Switch port that really drags down an otherwise excellent game.

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