Graham Russell


35 games reviewed
77.3 average score
80 median score
40.0% of games recommended
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Jun 10, 2022

Increased enthusiasm for tactical role-playing games in recent years is leading to a wealth of fun indie experiences in the genre. Dancing Dragon Games, a small JRPG developer, partnered with Dark Deity publisher Freedom Games for its own entry, Symphony of War: The Nephilim Saga. It isn’t just an homage, though, offering overlaid tactical systems that make it feel mechanically distinct. The scrappy release isn’t much of a looker (though there’s some nice sprite work!), but the gameplay is what matters, and there’s a lot of thought to it.

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May 3, 2022

Nintendo Switch Sports brings the classic motion sports from the Wii era to the company’s modern console.

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Apr 13, 2022

Gotta Protectors: Cart of Darkness refines a gameplay system that was already great, and offers a ton of challenges to keep you busy! And hey, maybe this time, more players will be fortunate enough to discover it.

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Mar 15, 2022

You’ll get the most out of Triangle Strategy if you bring a little patience to the proceedings. It starts slow. It throws a lot of story at you. The most interesting tactical powers show up in later levels.

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7 / 10.0 - Chocobo GP
Mar 3, 2022

Chocobo GP fares better than most Mario Kart competitors, delivering a rough-around-the-edges experience that’s still fundamentally fun most of the time.

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Feb 14, 2022

Guerrilla Games’ Horizon: Forbidden West is the sort of game that is easy to anticipate. It’s big! It’s full of interesting stuff to do! Many were sold on the promise of the PlayStation 5 at launch by the prospect of sinking days and weeks into a new Horizon. Thankfully, Forbidden West delivers on that promise in many ways.

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8 / 10.0 - Windjammers 2
Jan 20, 2022

Three decades have passed since the original’s release! But hey, Windjammers 2 is here, and it manages to deliver on core points.

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6 / 10.0 - RPGolf
Jan 17, 2022

Fans of golf RPGs? We’ve had a tough time of it lately. Recent Mario Golf entries have failed to deliver the depth of the Game Boy gems. The sequel to indie hit Golf Story, Sports Story? It’s on the way, we hear, but not as quickly as fans would want. So if you like this particular combination, you may be seeking out a stopgap.

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Without fondness for the original games, you might find Shining Pearl and Brilliant Diamond less than compelling. With it, though? You’ll be fine as long as your expectations are in check. They’re faithful remakes!

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Dec 20, 2021

Oink Games’ line of analog titles is all about packing value into an attractive, portable package. It makes sense, then, that Let’s Play! Oink Games is similarly slick. The collection, out now, includes four of the studio’s most popular releases, packaged up for both local and online play.

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Dec 8, 2021

That’s what makes Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX so fascinating. You see, Monster Rancher makes more sense now than it did then.

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Voice of Cards: The Isle Dragon Roars, the new game from NieR creator Yoko Taro, is a peculiar little game. It knows what it wants to be! And its aesthetics definitely come first. But if you’re at home in its slower pace and tavern feel, you’ll have a good time.

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Oct 14, 2021

New games have moved from the obvious to the truly weird. And, perhaps most importantly for this installment, the world has become much more about video calls than house parties. The Jackbox Party Pack 8 is the first one fully developed in these conditions, and its collection of games feels like it wanted to be deeper and more involved to fit in a little better.

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9 / 10.0 - Lost Judgment
Sep 16, 2021

Lost Judgment, a follow-up to 2018’s Judgment, returns to detective Takayuki Yagami and his investigations in the shadier sides of Japanese society. And as Judgment becomes something of a franchise of its own separate from Yakuza, it’s increasingly finding its footing and learning its specialties.

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Sep 13, 2021

WarioWare: Get It Together!, the latest Nintendo release, is the return of a beloved franchise. It’s got a lot of personality! It has some new ideas! But it’s polarizing and a little thin.

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Aug 10, 2021

We haven’t had this much fun with a card battle RPG since the Pokemon TCG games on the Game Boy Color. If you at all have an affinity for the concept, it’s unlikely that you’re burned out on the idea these days. Give Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle a shot, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be disappointed.

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Aug 6, 2021

Dodgeball Academia borrows smartly from a lot of old-school greats, but it’s also more than the sum of its parts.

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8 / 10.0 - Dark Deity
Jun 15, 2021

Dark Deity is a small game that understands its limitations. It delivers thought-provoking battles, if not necessarily the most balanced ones. It gives players a lot of tactical choice, if not in the most informed way.

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Jun 10, 2021

Indie games generally hang their hats on one great idea. Is it a compelling, original narrative? Or an aesthetic that you haven’t seen anywhere else? How about a unique game mechanic around which the rest of the game builds? Any of these can work. Just one of these can lift a small-team title above the indie pack. Chicory: A Colorful Tale has all three.

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7 / 10.0 - Pac-Man 99
Apr 15, 2021

Pac-Man 99, the new Nintendo Switch Online exclusive, seeks to follow in the footsteps of the battle royale retro games that preceded it. And that’s not unreasonable! A game like this needs classic, addictive action at its core, and Pac-Man is certainly that.

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