Tom Quirk


57 games reviewed
69.7 average score
70 median score
59.6% of games recommended
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7.5 / 10.0 - Dread Templar
Jan 24, 2023

You probably already know if you are the target audience for Dread Templar. The game skillfully captures the spirit of classic FPS', for better and for worse. The challenging gameplay with a large arsenal of crazy weapons is there, along with deep, secret-filled levels. However, it has all been done before, and while Dread Templar is a very competent and enjoyable shooter, it doesn't do a whole lot to carve out an identity of its own outside of being a homage. Still, if you're into classic FPS games and want a modern title that strongly evokes the era, you could do a lot worse than Dread Templar.

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7.5 / 10.0 - High on Life
Dec 19, 2022

I had a good time with High on Life, but I can't promise that everyone else will. Although the basic first-person shooter gameplay is hardly a revolution in game design, its certainly more than competent and accomplishes what it needs to, even with its significant lack of variety in the game's second half. Where High on Life is likely to be polarising is its dialogue and humour, which are prevalent enough that they are hard to ignore. If you're looking for a decent FPS that doesn't overstay its welcome and can accept that not every joke is likely to land, then High on Life is certainly worth checking out.

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6 / 10.0 - Soccer Story
Nov 28, 2022

I really wanted to like Soccer Story more than I did by the end. Its quirky, soccer-filled dialogue and setting is really charming, and I had a blast kicking my soccer ball everywhere to uncover secrets. However, in trying to craft a puzzle-RPG and soccer game hybrid, Soccer Story doesn't really succeed in either side of that equation. Zelda fans will probably be turned off by the reliance on fetch quests and simplistic puzzles. Soccer Story's lack of intricate team management or diverse match types probably won't appeal much to soccer game aficionados either. Soccer Story is a decent enough experience, however it is held back by the lack of a strong gameplay foundation and annoying technical issues, which may at least be ironed out in the future.

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5 / 10.0 - Gungrave G.O.R.E
Nov 20, 2022

Gungrave G.O.R.E is overall a bit of a misfire, and evidence that some franchises should stay in the early 2000s. The game is a spectacle action game that has failed to learn anything meaningful from 20 years of game design evolution, from the importance of having an interesting or charismatic lead to gameplay which gives the player options and which evolves over time. The levels show a strong disposition towards dark and grey, and the plot won't do much to engage you either. If you're a diehard Gungrave fan who has been longingly awaiting the franchise's revival, there might be something for you here; for anyone else, there are far better offerings out there.

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Nov 1, 2022

Star Ocean: The Divine Force will likely win back fans unimpressed with Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness. With its fun cast and expansive narrative, I found the game easy to get invested in, despite the predictably tropey JRPG melodrama. The mobility upgrades and combat overhauls make it the most fun Star Ocean game I have played yet. It's a shame that the awkward character models, ridiculously small text size and sluggish level up mechanics may prove a roadblock for some. If you're not already a Star Ocean or JRPG fan, Star Ocean: The Divine Force might not be that easy to get into. However, if you are willing to overlook some of its shortcomings, and want a fantasy action-RPG with a sci-fi twist, it is worth checking out.

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Oct 18, 2022

Batora: Lost Haven is a mix of a lot of different ideas, some of which work well, others which don't. The grand scope of its planet-hopping setting is impressive, but the moral choice aspects and supporting cast feel underdeveloped and shallow. The Nature-switching combat and puzzles also show promise. However, the limited combat options, and puzzles that make use of only a small number of your abilities, cause the experience to become repetitive before its brisk playtime is through. Despite these issues, Batora: Lost Haven is a unique and decent enough experience for sci-fi and action-RPG fans to consider checking it out.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Moonscars
Sep 29, 2022

Despite taking clear inspiration from other prominent Soulslike and Metroidvania titles, Moonscars does enough with its unique art direction and gameplay features to stand out from an increasingly populated crowd. Although its lore and plot could have stood to be more clearly communicated, and not all of its additional mechanics feel as enjoyable as the core combat and exploration, Moonscars' visceral gameplay and gorgeous visuals make it worthwhile to check out for Soulslike fans seeking a new challenge.

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Sep 25, 2022

Shovel Knight Dig is definitely worth playing for both platformer and roguelike fans. The twist on the Shovel Knight formula makes Shovel Knight Dig feel fresh, despite the mostly unchanged controls from the original. The fair random elements and generous meta-progression make it a good entry point for platformer fans unfamiliar with roguelikes, whereas hardcore roguelike fans can enjoy the tough bosses and challenges required to get the True Ending. Although the main campaign may seem rather brief, it's a blast while it lasts, and an easy recommendation.

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8 / 10.0 - Soulstice
Sep 19, 2022

Soulstice is a truly great action game, which despite taking many cues from stylish action titles of the past, carves out enough of an identity to stand out on its own. The system of controlling both sisters and maintaining auras while slashing through foes is intuitive and simple to master. Although the plot leaves many threads hanging, the development of the central sibling relationship and setting were enough to draw me into Soulstice's world and want to see more. If you're a fan of challenging action games and can forgive a slightly annoying camera, Soulstice is definitely worth checking out.

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4 / 10.0 - LEGO Brawls
Sep 5, 2022

I can see LEGO Brawls' appeal as a free-to-play mobile game, where its simple mechanics and repetitive game modes are more excusable. As a full-priced console game, standing up against feature-rich AAA titles and even free-to-play titles, LEGO Brawls just doesn't stand out in the slightest. Although a less complex brawler aimed at a younger audience might make sense, in this case it's TOO simplified, where every character behaves the same and the only strategy is to run at your foes and mash the attack button. Combine that with the lack of additional single-player content and glacial progression system, and it becomes difficult to recommend LEGO Brawls to anyone other than the most devoted LEGO aficionados.

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Sep 2, 2022

PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC is a solid remake of a cult classic platformer from the genesis of the 3D platformer boom. Fundamentally, it demonstrates both how well PAC-MAN WORLD's mechanics, levels and boss design have mostly held up after 23 years, and how the experience is still perfectly enjoyable for someone who has not played the original release. On the other hand, it shows its age in other areas, including short length, lack of narrative and dated gameplay features. For platforming fans looking for a blast from the past, PAC-MAN WORLD Re-PAC as an experience still works well and is worth checking out. That said, don't expect it to stand toe-to-toe with other 3D platformers released more recently.

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4.5 / 10.0 - Scathe
Aug 30, 2022

I appreciate what Scathe was clearly aspiring to be, but it doesn't reach those aspirations. Its sprawling, directionless levels were no substitute for a more tailored experience with a difficulty curve and intended order of obtaining new weapons and spells. Flooding the stages with enemies and hazards that appear out of thin air felt unfair more often than not, and the lives system and scarce health pick-ups only slowed down what is intended to be a fast-paced experience. If you enjoy DOOM and FPS's inspired by it and want to play it co-op with your friends, there is some enjoyment to be had, but there are better-designed co-op shooters on the market that are more deserving your time.

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5 / 10.0 - LOST EPIC
Aug 7, 2022

Lost Epic is not a bad game necessarily, but it struggles to stand out compared to similar 2D action titles. The application of Soulslike elements only serve to slow the experience down with dull backtracking and grinding for experience and upgrade materials. Although its combat can frequently be very satisfying and a treat to behold, the sheer amount you're forced to go through combined with limited enemy variety ensures that repetition sets in quite quickly. If you enjoyed Salt and Sanctuary, but wish its visuals were run through an elaborate anime filter, perhaps Lost Epic is for you. Otherwise, maybe wait for a sale.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Neon White
Jun 16, 2022

Neon White is a truly unique first-person action experience. With its clever level design and Soul Card system, chaining together demon-slaying and platforming to get to the goal the quickest is a breeze. The game’s compelling cast and setting draw you into its story, and the wealth of side content and drive to improve on one’s scores will keep you coming back. Even its sluggish boss fights and somewhat samey visual style doesn’t do much to hold the game back. If you are looking for a truly unique indie action title, you should definitely check out Neon White.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Souldiers
Jun 5, 2022

Souldiers is quite good, but doesn’t quite reach the peaks that it aims for. However, despite its unbalanced and restrictive class system and frequent difficulty spikes, there is a ton to recommend, from its detailed and varied world, beautiful animations, and engaging combat. Souldiers is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re prepared for its challenges and looking for a deep and engaging metroidvania platformer to get into, Souldiers is worth the recommendation.

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5.5 / 10.0 - Wildcat Gun Machine
May 3, 2022

Wildcat Gun Machine has plenty of great ideas that come tantalisingly close to greatness. The general bullet hell moment-to-moment gameplay works well, propelled by its excellent soundtrack and memorable enemy and weapon designs. Unfortunately, the restrictive weapon carry limits and lack of incentives like new gameplay mechanics or plot progression turns to the game into a grind before long. Wildcat Gun Machine is far from a bad experience, but it may feel insubstantial for many bullet hell shooter veterans.

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LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is what all of the LEGO games have been building towards, if you’ll pardon the expression. With its huge open world with side quests, puzzles and secrets galore, it’s a great adventure game for players of all ages. If you’re a Star Wars fan, then the nostalgia trip and mountains of obscure characters and references they manage to sneak in here is a real treat. While the unimaginative script and missing character creator does hold it back somewhat compared to previous entries, from a gameplay and content standpoint, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is the most ambitious LEGO game yet, and a must-have for Star Wars or LEGO fans out there in the galaxy.

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With Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, Team Ninja has produced yet another rather good Final Fantasy action game. With its deep yet more forgiving combat system, it can appeal to those not seeking the challenging experiences of something like Nioh. Furthermore, with its complex mix-and-match Jobs system, it brings a uniquely Final Fantasy flair to the hack-and-slash genre. Unfortunately, its dull protagonist and plot may struggle to keep the attention of anyone curious about the backstory it is trying to create for the original Final Fantasy. The loot system could also do with some overhauls. Still, you can certainly do worse than Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin if you’re looking for a new multiplayer action game with some clever Final Fantasy twists.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Shadow Warrior 3
Mar 1, 2022

Shadow Warrior 3 is an excellent FPS that fans of retro-style arena shooters are sure to have a blast with. Lo Wang’s quips might not land with everyone, and fans of the previous game’s RPG mechanics might resent the stripping down to basics with the gameplay, but Shadow Warrior 3’s efficiency is its greatest strength. By ramping up the over-the-top action with new traversal abilities and Gore Tools, Shadow Warrior 3 is the series’ most enjoyable instalment yet, and a strong recommend for shooter fans.

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Feb 11, 2022

KINGDOM of the DEAD is a pretty damned good horror FPS with enough compelling ideas to stand on its own. The monochrome, hand-drawn visuals really sell the game’s Lovecraftian-noir tone, without interfering with gameplay. Plus, its varied additional mission objectives make its difficulty settings feel more multi-layered. Still, with its short play-time, minimal plot, and lack of unlockable content, it won’t be engaging for everyone. However, for those looking for some retro FPS fun, KINGDOM of the DEAD is a unique enough experience to be worth the recommendation.

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