James Luff


352 games reviewed
57.4% of games recommended
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Liked-a-lot - Little Orpheus
Sep 23, 2022

Little Orpheus is a casual cinematic adventure that is light on gameplay but won me over with its impressive narrative and art style. If you’re looking for a challenge you won’t find it here. But if you’re looking for a good story to share with family or loved ones that will take you to unexpected places that you certainly won’t forget then I highly recommend picking up Little Orpheus.

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Mixed - Block'Em
Sep 20, 2022

Block’Em! is simple to the point gaming fun, which is pick up and play for the whole family. It will make for a good gaming night game to play with your favourite folk or worst enemies. But the game’s downfall is that it keeps things too simple, lacking replay value and variety in its gaming modes. I guess it’s possible more content will be added in future updates but as it stands this is a game you’ll likely play one session and probably never touch again. So in a way, it’s similar to that board game you play with the family for Xmas. If that sounds ok to you, have at it.

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Liked-a-lot - Catmaze
Sep 18, 2022

Summing up Catmaze initially feels like a pretty by-the-numbers 2D adventure game which ticks all the right boxes. I decided to rate it a little higher though because I just found this adventure a little more memorable than others. This was helped by the unique use of familiars to attack you and cast magic spells. The presentation has a certain magic to it which really sucks you into the fantasy setting. I then became more impressed once I heard this game was developed by one person. It seems like not a week goes by when we don’t see a release of another 2D adventure game but I’m pleased to report Catmaze is one of the good ones well worth your time.

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Liked-a-lot - Pac-Man World Re-Pac
Sep 16, 2022

Pac-Man World Re-Pac is a great opportunity to experience a lost PSone gem on modern consoles. The formula can get a little repetitive in places but this niggle is minor compared to the overall fun I had with the game. The platforming is enjoyable, the moves are fun to use and most of all it cleverly weaves in aspects of the arcade game which brought a smile to my face almost as large as Pac-Mans. Whether you are familiar with Pac-Man or not this is a very good 3D platformer that hasn’t lost its charm all these years later

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Mixed - Kitsune Zero
Sep 16, 2022

Kitsune Zero is OK but really doesn’t offer anything special or original. Okay, graphics and gameplay but the entire time I was playing it I could not help but think how Super Mario Bros does it better. What’s funny is I have never been enamoured with the original Super Mario Bros since I didn’t grow up with it as so many gamers did. But after playing Kitsune Zero I went back and played it and developed all new love and respect for it. My suggestion is to download Super Bernie World for free and if you want to support the developers on their next project consider spending a small fee for the DLC. Also, be sure to check out their next project Kitsune Tails.

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Sep 3, 2022

Justin Wack and the Big Time Hack is a lighthearted and enjoyable point-and-click adventure that easily achieves what it sets out to do. Recapturing the challenge and humour from the greats back in the day whilst also adding modern improvements for those not looking to get stuck. Whilst only a single player this is a title you could quite easily share with a loved one (including younglings) if you want to try to solve puzzles together. If point and click have never been your thing then this game will unlikely change your opinion on the genre. It got plenty of smirks out of me so I certainly recommend it.

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Liked - Dusk Diver 2
Sep 1, 2022

Dusk Diver 2 wasn’t quite the 1, 2 punch it could have been. The biggest critique of the experience lies in its enemies and boss battles with enormous health bars leading to incredibly boring encounters marring the overall game experience. If I move this aside the game does so much right. An intriguing cast of characters and a plot I felt invested in. The combat system itself is fun to experiment with, with multiple unique playable characters. If you’re a fan of the first game I can see you overlooking the game’s flaws and finding incentive to return to this world. If you’re new and curious I would probably suggest trying the first title before jumping into the sequel. I like Dusk Diver 2 but I would have loved it if the combat was less of a chore.

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Aug 31, 2022

I liked Cursed to Golf but I didn’t love it. I was won over early with the game’s charming art style and loveable ghostly spirits. But when it came to playing golf I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I was telling myself I should. The levels are long and become very unforgiving the further you make your way through. This requires a lot of time and patience from the player. Maybe I’m just not ready to ascend yet. Even though it didn’t click with me I can see this being a welcome challenge for others. If you’re looking for a fresh new roguelike with that challenge then Cursed to Golf will keep you busy for many gaming nights to come. Not a hole in one but far from a boogey.

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Loved - Islets
Aug 29, 2022

Islets may look like it follows the basic adventure game template. But within the first hour of play you can see it’s so much more. Islets did what few games tend to do, it took me on a gripping adventure of mystery and intrigue. I met memorable characters, fought huge bosses and, most of all got, kind of emotional in places. If a game is able to do that then I could only think of one fitting rating to give it. Of course I’ll step back and admit not everyone may have this experience. But if you love your 2D adventures Islets ticks all the boxes whilst offering a few new sounds on the formula itself, with its regular upgrades and air travel segments. I may have reviewed this on PC but when finances are agreeable I’ll be picking this up on Nintendo Switch too.

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Aug 26, 2022

Video Game Fables is an example of a game you shouldn’t judge by its cover or in this case graphical style. It’s clear the solo developer has put a lot of hard work into creating this world whilst adding some unique flavour to the RPG mechanics with its levelling system and use of critical moves. With flexibility in the levelling system, it allows the player to really create the RPG experience that suits them. Sure the game has a little grinding and some sections feel they go on longer than needed. However, the sheer originality and effort on display here, is why I decided to give this the highest recommendation. I found plenty to love and hopefully you will too.

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Aug 17, 2022

I really enjoyed Blossom Tales 2. But it does just feel more the same. It is a new story, a new map to explore, new NPCs and some new items. However, it doesn’t feel like much of a leap from the first game. It also heavily leans into Zelda inspiration with its overall feel from the cheerful noises made when opening a chest to collecting four heart pieces to gain a new health block. There’s no harm in being like Zelda but when Blossom Tales 2 has the chance to be different, like with the choices you make during the story it just doesn’t lean into it enough. Despite all this Blossom Tales 2 is a sequel that plays it safe yet still succeeds thanks to its tight gameplay and exploration. I will admit I found it hard to put down, the game sucks you in and doesn’t let go. It may be familiar but it works. After all when I buy my Wife the same red gerberas, years after being together she’s still happy, so maybe consider buying this as a gift for a loved one. Blossom Tales 2 is still a vibrant colourful flower on the Nintendo Switch and well worth your time.

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Aug 17, 2022

Mega Man Battle & Fighters on Switch is a great way to enjoy a retro classic without paying a horrific amount of money to obtain an original copy. The emulation is solid but don’t expect any modern improvements to the actual game. This is unapologetically retro in design just the way it used to be. With that in mind, this will not suit everyone. Retro gamers and Mega Man fans though it’s probably your sworn duty to go on the eShop and purchase this so we can get more Neo Geo Color games to the system in future.

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Aug 16, 2022

Turrican Anthology 1 & 2 is the best way to enjoy the Turrican games on Nintendo Switch provided you don’t mind the steep price tag. I guess you could always ask a loved one to buy it for you for your next birthday or Christmas. But if you do take the plunge you’ll be treated to solid emulation and controls which have been brilliantly adapted to the Nintendo Switch. Some Turrican games are still sadly absent but as it stands this is retro gaming at its finest whether you are a Turrican veteran or discovering it for the very first time.

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Liked-a-lot - Arcade Paradise
Aug 12, 2022

Arcade Paradise was quite a nice surprise for me. Trying one of these simulators can often feel like a roll of the dice. Not only that these types of games feel very marmite to gamers, some will love them some will hate them. A few glitches and bugs hold the game back from two thumbs up. However, there is something to be said for a game that turns tedious chores into something entertaining. I loved running the laundromat probably more than one should. But setting that aside the wide variety of arcade games to play alone in this experience is better than some retro collections available out there. 90s kid or not I found plenty to love in Arcade Paradise and see myself continuing to play it in the future.

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Liked - LootLite
Aug 9, 2022

LootLite is another example of a roguelike that’s perfectly fine and entertaining but doesn’t tread much ground from what’s come before. It’s an example of a coffee game except this one has roguelike sprinkles and a dash of vanilla syrup in its mixture. It will satisfy you for a short period of time in short gaming bursts but it probably won’t leave a lasting impression. Still, it’s rare to have a coffee game featuring co-op which is always a plus in my book. While I reviewed the PC version of this game I can see this being very appealing on Switch unless, of course, you are lucky enough to get your hand on a Steam deck.

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Koumajou Remilia: Scarlet Symphony is a competent action platformer which will most likely satisfy its target fanbase as well as those that like their retro games. It’s well put together but it just didn’t do a lot for me. The level design is a bit bland and there weren’t a lot of stand-out moments that made the experience particularly memorable. By looking and playing so close to another popular game series the game just lacks its own personality. I don’t feel it does anything wrong. I get the impression this is just one of those titles that I don’t get but others will certainly enjoy. If you decide to take the plunge with this title I sure hope you have a good time.

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Liked - Frogun
Aug 4, 2022

I did find myself walking away in frustration a lot with Frogun. But at the same time, I did come back to try again. It really does get that old school feel down for better and for worse. I don’t feel you need nostalgia for the era of gaming it takes its inspiration to enjoy the game. Be aware though this won’t be a casual platformer that will suit everyone. Where Frogun wins points for me is its original design with the gameplay and Renate’s smile. For all the harm I put this poor girl through she was still smiling through the experience. And that honestly was lighting up my day even if I was getting mad at the game. For all its faults I loved the originality of the game, it’s different from what I have experienced past and present and that in itself gets a solid recommendation from me.

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Disliked - XEL
Aug 2, 2022

Xel hasn’t had the best launch on Nintendo Switch. The idea of a new contender to the Zelda like genre with a more futuristic feeling is something I have wanted to see for quite some time. But Xel isn’t quite up to the task, yet. The framework is here for a fun-filled adventure with a unique environment to explore but the bugs, glitches and poor performance are just too loud not to notice. There is hope though. We have seen other examples of games released in a bad state and the developers rolled their sleeves up and fixed them later. Hopefully, Xel will be one of those redemption stories. But it is not this day. I’ll keep an eye on this game for future updates. One day I hope this thumb can be turned the other way around.

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Jul 22, 2022

There are not a lot of games that give much love to the Llama but Superola Champion Edition certainly ranks at top, provided you ignore all the farming sims out there. As far as tough platformers go I really liked how Supernola takes what I usually deem as a tired gaming troupe and turns it into an experience that had me coming back for more. Somehow, mixing simple pick-up and play mechanics and offering the player flexibility to conquer the challenges ahead proved to be quite the winner. I should still caution that this game won’t suit everyone. The meme-heavy humour may take it or leave it for some players. Usually, I dislike it in games but for some reason, I was kinda cool with it here. If you’re not into these hard-scrolling platformers or constantly repeating levels I doubt this game will win you over. Superola will make you laugh and rage. But if that sounds like a good combination prepare to be entertained.

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Liked - LOUD
Jul 19, 2022

LOUD is a bit lacking when it comes to the story but strums the right notes when it comes to its gameplay and soundtrack. It’s a short experience, that’s for sure, but a pretty good one that is accessible for all gaming audiences. If you want to rock out with some good tunes while trying to aim for a high score, be sure to check out LOUD. I certainly hope the developers come back with another music game in the future because this still feels like a genre lacking in the gaming sphere. Maybe just tone the teenage angst back a little next time.

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