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Joshua Vanderwall


30 games reviewed
82.7 average score
85 median score
80.0% of games recommended
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Nov 14, 2013

Need for Speed: Rivals is like the love child of GTA and Grand Turismo. It avoids the repetitive closed-course race tracks in favor of a fun, free-spirited open world racing experience.

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Nov 17, 2013

Killer Instinct is definitely fun, if a bit lacking in depth. The lack of campaign mode and limited character options mean it won't take long for you to breeze through the entirety of the content offering, but the online versus should ensure that you get plenty of enjoyment for your investment.

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Nov 20, 2013

Ryse: Son of Rome is a wonderful experience. The simple, yet always dynamic combat is how it really sinks its teeth into you. By the time you really get hooked, though, the game will be over, and you'll be left wanting more.

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Feb 20, 2014

Strider is a stellar example of how to remake a classic. It sticks to the original where it should, and modernizes where the classic formula can be improved.

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Hearthstone might not fully scratch the strategy itch of the most advanced CCG/TCG players, but it makes an impressive attempt. The rules are simple, so anybody can get the hang of it, but there are enough deck variations available that only skilled deck builders and players will make it high in the ranks.

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The Elder Scrolls Online is a ton of fun in an outside-the-box sort of way. It can't seem to decide whether it wants to be single player or MMO, so be prepared for some in-between weirdness, but nothing that really detracts much from the experience. Between Guilds, crafting, PvP, and dungeons, it has all of the makings of a solid MMO.

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Jun 26, 2014

EA Sports UFC doesn't cater to button mashers, so be wary if you're not eager to learn an overly-complex control scheme. More technical gamers will be able to appreciate the gameplay to a greater extent, but the laggy servers make even this an exercise in frustration.

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Sep 14, 2014

With an remarkably robust spell crafting system and spectacularly entertaining combat, Lichdom: Battlemage finally brings the glory to the magic user that it has long deserved. Creating your own options for how to play lends depth and complexity to the game as a whole, and lets you tailor the experience to literally any style of combat you want: stand far away and lob fireballs, or use charge blink to rush into the fray, unleashing novas along the way, and using your wits to keep yourself alive.

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Sep 24, 2014

Defense Grid 2 is a fairly typical Tower Defense game at its core, but the layers of complexity give it a lot more staying power and replay value than you are likely accustomed to. With 21 campaign levels, and plans to offer countless more as downloads, there is no end to how much time you can spend with DG2, and that's not even counting fighting for placement on the leaderboards... or multiplayer. DG2 is a shining example of Kickstarter done right.

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Oct 5, 2014

Arrowhead made a very true-to-source Gauntlet game, no doubt, but the source is 30 years old, and could use some modern accouterments. Gauntlet is as much fun as it has ever been, but it'll get old fast for those who still remember slogging through the original.

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