Yvonne Engelhardt


19 games reviewed
75.3 average score
80 median score
52.6% of games recommended
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9 / 10 - Live A Live
Jul 29, 2022

LIVE A LIVE is still, 20 years later, an incredibly beautiful narrative adventure, pumped full of attention to detail, nostalgic moments and a good dose of humor. Under the guise of a classic JRPG, however, it doesn't really feel like one at any point. Where the title may lack a bit of ambition and depth, LIVE A LIVE skillfully knows how to counteract with its creativity and ingenuity. The standalone chapters are excitingly staged throughout, continuously motivating thanks to the varied game design, and benefit from their entertaining episodic form on the Nintendo Switch. The short stories, which are around 3 hours long, are made to be enjoyed on the go or on the couch after work. Especially gamers who don't have much time and don't feel like getting into the next, complex 100-hour role-playing game are served easily consumable and well-tolerated content here.

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Feb 7, 2022

Pokémon Legends: Arceus has finally ushered in the next stage of the franchise's development - even if we still firmly hope that many more will follow. The Pokémon spin-off feels more organic, motivating and coherent than ever thanks to the semi-open game world and the many modernized gameplay mechanics. The free-roaming areas in particular have a lot to offer, if you're into the iconic pocket monsters. Otherwise, you'll quickly be confronted with the harsh reality that Pokemon Legends is just a cheap copycat of the great 'Breath of the Wild', which doesn't reveal much more than empty and statistical worlds. However, those who have a soft spot for Pokémon will probably find their Eldorado with Arceus: Everything around you - be it the free-roaming Pokémon, the new Pokédex assignments, or the motivating progression system - pays off on the 'Gotta Catch Em All' principle and pushes your own collecting mania to the extreme. In contrast, however, the game looks absolutely out of time and shouldn't even bring a tired smile to the last console generation. Despite all the complaining about the graphics, Pokémon Legends knows how to motivate us, spur us on, and captivate us with its gameplay. What's a bit of 'mud' graphics, right? If Game Freak doesn't let so much time pass until the next update, exciting years could be ahead for Pokémon fans.

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Feb 2, 2022

Okay, admittedly - Dying Light 2 might look like the next generic open-world game with a zombie theme that is doomed to end up on the pile of shame of many gamers. And this is completely unjustified, because Techland's sequel manages to stand out from the crowd of its genre colleagues, especially with its atmospheric game world and the at least equally fun gameplay mix. While disturbing zombie hordes groan for blood on one side, we find playing children and blooming flower gardens on the other. Techland stylistically succeeds in creating an immersive and coherent image of a post-apocalypse that can be so gloomy and dirty at the same time, but also hopeful. The run-down open-world metropolis has many small as well as larger stories to tell, which we were only too happy to listen to off the beaten path. Of course, Techland's vision of an open game world also suffers from some well-known problems: Bugs, game crashes and the obligatory icon clutter are issues that genre fans are probably familiar with by now. Nevertheless, the bottom line is a fun and immersive zombie adventure that was able to raise our adrenaline level to unimagined heights more than once.

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Nov 23, 2021

Battlefield 2042 is currently at best a small, unhealthy snack for on the go, which you absolutely had to buy, but always in the knowledge that it never really takes place nor tastes particularly good. The three big game modes offer a colorful potpourri with something for every type of player, but none of the concepts is really mature. Long-term motivation is lacking shortly after release: The lack of a checkout system seems immature in places, numerous bugs slow down the flow of the game, and missing scoreboards and ranked matches take even more tension out of the gameplay loop. Battlefield 2042 is so trimmed for entertaining fun that it completely loses sight of its possibilities. The focus is clearly on more chaos and less game depth, more trends and less team play, new superlatives but unfortunately less Battlefield. Battlefield 2042 is quick fun for a round in between, but will have a hard time holding its own on the highly competitive shooter market.

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Nov 2, 2021

Square Enix and Eidos Montreal have managed the license balancing act that few would have expected: From the flop of 2020 to the hot GotY candidate in 2021. With a heavy dose of wit, charm and plenty of 80s vibes, Eidos Montreal has shown a flair for the brand and fully catapulted Guardians into our hearts. After last year's Avengers fiasco, the single-player adventure is an absolute surprise hit and the necessary redemption for battered Marvel souls. Thanks to the glorious music selection, the lovable characters and the thrillingly staged story around five likeable messes, Eidos Montreal's licensed implementation has become an absolutely well-rounded affair. The relationships between the protagonists seem tangible and real, the group dynamics are worked out in detail and the many comic book references make you want more. It's a real pleasure to watch your pals tease, argue or get along and see how they keep growing together as a team. The shallow and rather rudimentary battles lack depth and overview, but are still very motivating. Even minor technical glitches can't detract from the game's great fun.

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Sep 12, 2021

Tales of Arise is without question a feast for anime lovers and Japano fans of the first hour. The JRPG unabashedly grinds out just about every cliché along the way, but is so wholesome and motivating that it's hard to stay mad at it. The stunning animations by Studio Ufotable are the big visual highlight here and should reconcile any skeptic who might not otherwise enjoy the picturesque graphic style. In general, Tales of Arise is quite traditional in its gameplay and lacks creativity in many parts, but there are no real slip-ups. Apart from the questionable monetization, we are left with a varied and sometimes epic adventure with a motivating gameplay loop and, last but not least, likeable characters.

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6 / 10 - BIOMUTANT
May 24, 2021

Biomutant can at best be described as an unexciting and unmotivated gameplay mash-up that never really outgrows its 08/15 status. In short: The RPG doesn't hurt anyone and certainly doesn't mark a total failure, but it is still far too immature and doesn't really seem to have been thought through to the end at any point. In the end, the cuddly adventure degenerates into an undemanding and perhaps even child-friendly action game for entertaining fun, which is still searching for its own identity. Admittedly, some interesting and creative ideas have been incorporated here and there, but they never quite want to coalesce into a homogeneous mass. It seems as if Biomutant simply got lost in the abundance of its individual parts. The bottom line is that our Frankenstein monster will probably need a bit more than just a few additional seams until it is actually fully functional.

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May 6, 2021

New Pokémon Snap is the successful reincarnation of the original Pokémon spin-off from 1999, which not only looks wonderful, but also depicts an authentic Pokémon world. While New Pokémon Snap will fully satisfy the collecting mania of any Pokémaniac, those of you who have trouble getting excited about the franchise anyway will probably have rather little joy with the title. Nintendo doesn't take any big risks with the sequel and delivers exactly what fans have come to expect: an unexciting rail shooter with great backdrops and thoroughly staged Pokemon acting. You can certainly criticize the game for that, but Pokémon enthusiasts will probably still get their money's worth.

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NieR Replicant ver.1.22474487139... is a thoroughly solid remake of the 2011 insider tip, whose age is still clearly visible despite various cosmetic repairs: The look of the penultimate console generation still sticks to too many models, and the remake still nibbles too much at the long-winded pacing and the repetitive game design. Nevertheless, the dramatic and highly philosophical story behind this facade still knows how to entertain at the highest level even after more than a decade. The artful genre mix, the successful musical background and the self-referential humor hide some of the game's dry stretches. Although Replicant can't quite live up to the expectations Automata created with its successful concept, it still manages to create unique moments that make all the effort worthwhile.

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Feb 15, 2021

Little Nightmares II is an intense and atmospheric scary experience, which, however, is a bit weak on the gameplay side. The character and sound design are still excellently staged, the entertaining puzzles fit well into the minimalistic concept and the whimsical design fascinates from the first minute on. Nevertheless, the unintuitive and sluggish controls keep nibbling away at our frustration tolerance, and the trail & error concept unfortunately repeatedly pulls us out of the intense atmosphere. Like its predecessor, Little Nightmares II may not be a hardcore horror, but it is a likeable and entertaining thrill ride that will keep you entertained for a few hours.

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Nov 7, 2020

Yakuza: Like a Dragon is without question an ambitious and well done sequel to the successful Yakuza series. Like a Dragon finally takes the consistent and long overdue step towards role-playing games, which the popular main series has not dared to do so far despite all parallels. And the concept works: The game principle trumps with interesting new approaches, is more motivating than ever and offers the probably most beautiful game world of the complete series. And although you're only too happy to step into some of the stumbling blocks typical for the genre - the likeable cast, the wonderful visuals and the many humorous references let us skilfully overlook them. In short: If you haven't yet discovered your love for Sega's action series, you'll probably do well to take a look at Like a Dragon. Experiment succeeded!

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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX is basically a successful Dungeon Crawler, with over 20 hours of campaigning and an almost endless list of side quests. Apart from the sluggish and sleepy start, Rescue Team DX knows how to motivate thanks to its charming presentation and addictive Pokemon mechanics. The Rogue-Lite with Pokemon label is a nice and not too demanding pastime, especially when you're on the go, and in times of budget smartphone games, it's a welcome change.

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No matter how you turn it around, Ubisoft makes an exemplary crash landing with Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint. What seems promising in theory, has serious problems in practice - this time Ubisoft's generic formula is much harder than expected. Ubisoft relies on a simple milkmaid calculation, which in the end doesn't work out surprisingly: more levels, more loops, more content, but also more of the bugs and the tiring uniformity. A service game through and through, where the entertainment factor has to stay on the sidelines for the benefit of the commercial idea. Hardcore fans will still be able to make peace due to the immense size of the game and the continued support, everyone else should at least wait until Breakpoint has survived his teething troubles.

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Aug 27, 2019

Remnant: From the Ashes is an uncompromising Loot-Shooter in the Souls garb, who doesn't succeed in combining the best of both worlds despite his great ambitions. But if you disregard the small technical weaknesses and some questionable design decisions, Remnant knows how to motivate over longer distances, not least thanks to his reward system. The new procedurally generated levels are a nice, diversified bonus, but not every genre fan should like them. If you've always wanted to play a Soulsbourne title together with friends, Remnant: From the Ashes is undeniably the best chance.

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8 / 10 - Judgment
Jul 22, 2019

Judgment is an exciting detective adventure that follows the paths of the Yakuza series. The new characters are all sympathetic, while the story is a motivating pacing. Thanks to the new game mechanics a fresh breeze enters Kamurocho, sweetening the return of Yakuza fans to Shinjuku. In a direct comparison with star lawyer Phoenix Wright, however, the Japanese detective gets the short end of the stick. The game never has a too big claim, we searched for tricky cases in vain. An English voice output, a completely self-sufficient storyline and the accessible level of difficulty make the title a successful entry point, especially for newcomers, that wonderfully shows what kind of games the guys and girls of Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio can create.

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7 / 10 - JUMP FORCE
Feb 26, 2019

Jump Force is first and foremost an entertaining brawler who lives from his licenses and powerful visual effects. If you leave aside the loveless staging, the graphic style that takes getting used to, and some questionable design decisions, the rapid, albeit quite simple fights are especially memorable. But let's be honest: Jump Force lacks so much fine-tuning, depth and ambition that the brawler inevitably has to live an existence in mediocrity. And yet, the distinctive fan service, which can be found in so many facets of the game, should draw anime and manga fans of all kinds into its spell.

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Oct 31, 2018

Even though Red Dead Redemption 2 is a prequel to its celebrated predecessor, the title is some horsepower ahead of the 8-year older Western epic. With breathtaking graphics, a vibrant game world and an emotional campaign, Red Dead Redemption 2 is not only a hit with fans of the Western series. Even small graphic blunders and glitches as well as the weak character development of the protagonist do not in the least manage to weaken the masterpiece in its perfection. Red Dead Redemption 2 sets a new standard in Open World gaming and, thanks to its incredibly authentic and vibrant game world, can be crowned genre king.

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Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker is a refreshing multiplayer experiment in the Naruto universe, which at first glance can't stand out from the standard anime bowler mush either because of its size or its ingenuity. Although Shinobi Striker relies on a small gamut, especially in terms of mission selection, classes and the available VR masters, he can score with his multiplayer component and motivating skill system. The reduced graphic quality, the insignificant story structure and the manageable content, however, give the title an additional bland aftertaste, which consistently gnaws at the long-term motivation. Naruto to Boruto is a nice accessory for all fans of the lively Jinchuuriki and for those who can't wait for the next serious Naruto beat-up. For all the others, the arena beatings will sooner or later offer too little added value due to the manageable size of the arena.

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8 / 10 - Far Cry 5
Mar 30, 2018

Far Cry 5 is walking on some new refreshing paths but is by far not fearless enough to completely reinvent Ubisoft's Far Cry formula. The fresh co-op mode, the reduced HUD, the new companion system and the modified Open World concept extend the well-known gameplay with some interesting facets, but retain the typical Far Cry charm. The co-op mode has to give in to its numerous technical problems and degenerates to a hardly serious, albeit fun addition, which ambitious co-op veterans should give some time to mature. Mission-threatening bugs and Ki dropouts turn out to be massive disruptive factors that put your own frustration tolerance to the test. Nevertheless, Far Cry 5 really entertained us on our 30 hour journey. The exaggerated humor, the charismatic antagonists and the lively game world motivate us enormously, the atmospheric atmosphere contributes its rest to create a charming adventure, which is certainly not a milestone in the history of the series.

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