Marcus Stewart


84 games reviewed
69.7 average score
76 median score
47.6% of games recommended
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8 / 10.0 - WWE 2K23
Mar 17, 2023

WWE 2K23’s more incremental bells and whistles means it’s technically an overall stronger package than 2K22. However, unlike last year, it doesn’t benefit from the rose-colored excitement of getting to play a big wrestling sim again after a years-long absence. The similarities to its predecessor means 2K23 feels more formulaic than special, but it still continues the series’ overall positive trajectory. Like watching a returning legend perform their greatest hits night after night, the novelty has faded, but I’m still pleased to have them back – for now.

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Much like Cereza herself, Bayonetta Origins doesn’t look like much on the surface, but I smiled more and more as its potential bubbled up to the surface. This is an exceptional and refreshing change of pace for the franchise, and you don’t even need to be a fan of the series or the action genre to enjoy it. Don’t underestimate what this pint-sized spellcaster and her demonic partner have to offer.

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6.8 / 10.0 - Deliver Us Mars
Feb 7, 2023

Deliver Us Mars’ protagonists quickly cobble together a space shuttle that barely manages to get them to their destination. A similar story feels true of this game. A gripping narrative fuels gameplay that otherwise feels functional but underbaked, making my time on the planet a mixed bag. Deliver Us Mars shines best when it lets you absorb its story, but expect to stumble over several design craters along the way.

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Jan 26, 2023

Rather than reinvent the wheel, Motive made Dead Space look nicer, play better, and preserved the core of the experience. Its new flourishes add to that enjoyment instead of subtracting.

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5.8 / 10.0 - High on Life
Dec 15, 2022

Despite multiple shortcomings and my general aversion to the game’s writing, High on Life has occasional glimmers of potential. I’d like to see a sequel polish and improve upon this foundation. I’m always itching for more creative takes on shooters, but High on Life is a reminder that “different” doesn’t always mean “good.”

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6.8 / 10.0 - Harvestella
Nov 30, 2022

Harvestella’s systems feed together in a way that forces you to engage with nearly everything it offers, whether you want to or not. But those slice-of-life activities are mundane and get in the way of letting you enjoy the RPG elements on your own terms. Maximizing a day’s schedule is sometimes rewarding, but the sluggish pacing makes it tough to stay engaged for the long haul. Harvestella forces you to do a whole lot to complete comparatively little. At 70-80 hours, it’s one of the biggest chores I’ve played in some time. That’s unfortunate because the combat, story, and characters are decent enough that, in a more traditional RPG framework, they’d shine brighter. As it stands, squeezing this fruit isn’t always worth its small amount of juice.

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Nov 8, 2022

A pleasant and, at times, playful soundtrack, fun visual effects, and the occasional light interference of a mischievous cat add to an overall charming package. A Little to the Left may have left me scratching my head in confusion at times, but more often, it left me pleased and content with the neatly arranged spaces I created.

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Oct 20, 2022

A charming though uneventful narrative about stopping a cosmic darkness from consuming the galaxy rounds out this delightful package. Like the best sequels, Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope builds upon Kingdom Battle’s foundation with smart tweaks and fun additions to emerge as a better game in every way.

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8 / 10.0 - Dorfromantik
Oct 3, 2022

Dorfromantik balances its strategic and cozy elements well, and it's easy to fall into a serene trance of dropping tiles. Pulling the camera back to reveal the full scope of my landscape always feels like a satisfying reward for my subtle, hard work, much like stepping back to admire a finished painting. While it's not the sort of puzzle game I feel compelled to play more than a session or two a day, I always appreciate the improved mood with which it leaves me.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Tinykin
Sep 26, 2022

Tinykin feels comforting in an old-school sense. Its challenges never become convoluted, nor does its design reinvent the wheel, and that’s okay. Tinykin executes its handful of ideas exceptionally well, making it a thoroughly enjoyable and laid-back journey that only requires six to eight hours of your time. Don’t let this delightful adventure sneak under your radar.

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6.8 / 10.0 - Ooblets
Sep 9, 2022

Ooblets offers solid fun, and I enjoy its cheerful tone. I only wish playing it didn’t feel so much like work. Despite the pride I had in my farm, clearing checklists eventually felt more laborious than satisfying. There’s fun to be had as long as you’re willing to work for it.

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7.3 / 10.0 - MADiSON
Jul 14, 2022

Despite my misgivings, Madison still offers a respectable evening of frights and is worth a look for fans of psychological horror. It succeeds in building tension and puzzle variety, stumbling when it becomes obsessed with bamboozling players with head-tilting solutions and stopping their hearts with lame jump scares. But when the game hits right, you’ll be glad no one caught the look on your face.

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Jun 30, 2022

It’s more Cuphead at the end of the day, but I had a great time revisiting Studio MDHR’s wonderful animated universe, testing my mettle against its villains, and feeling fist-pumping triumph all over again.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge gives me what I wanted: a polished, raucously fun throwback that plays better than how I remember the original games. Turtles fans new and old will find plenty to love, but those possessing a nostalgia for this era of the franchise are in for the biggest treat. Invite some friends, order a pizza, and prepare to relive your childhood in the best possible way.

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6 / 10.0 - Kao the Kangaroo
May 27, 2022

I initially thought that Kao the Kangaroo would, at the very least, be a great recommendation for younger players. Then I remembered that I and generations of kids cut their teeth on games like Mario, Crash Bandicoot, or Ratchet & Clank – kid-friendly platformers that still offer plenty of mechanical depth, polish, and design creativity. Children are much more capable than we sometimes give credit for, and Kao’s by-the-numbers design would likely bore all but the most nascent of gamers. Kao the Kangaroo isn’t a total disaster by any means. It just feels aggressively average and forgettable which, sadly, has been the case for the mascot for years.

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8 / 10.0 - WWE 2K22
Mar 11, 2022

There’s still work to be done, but like a retired veteran returning to put on a surprisingly solid match, WWE 2K22 manages to shake off the ring rust and perform better than the naysayers expected.

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6.8 / 10.0 - Windjammers 2
Jan 21, 2022

Windjammers 2 gives existing fans more of the wacky disc hockey they love but not much else.

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8.8 / 10.0 - Solar Ash
Dec 2, 2021

Solar Ash plays as well as it looks with a strong story at the heart

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Nov 11, 2021

Bright Memory: Infinite is a stupidly written good time spoiled by a way-too-brief runtime and insultingly abrupt ending

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House of Ashes doesn't always land but it can be an exciting "check your brain at the door" thriller. Its largely toothless scares will disappoint horror fanatics while inviting a broader audience

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