Josh Speer Avatar Image

Josh Speer

Mercer Island
Th3BlooB0mber
SW-5568-1808-3098

Favorite Games:
  • Castlevania Symphony of the Night
  • Eternal Darkness
  • The Binding of Isaac

246 games reviewed
74.7 average score
80 median score
76.0% of games recommended

Josh Speer's Reviews

I've been a game fan for years, but since 2013 I've been writing about them. Love retro and indie, but willing to tackle most genres. Champion of PAX West and lover of SIX.
Jun 16, 2022

As someone that was curious about the first iteration of the game, I’m happy to have reviewed Horgihugh and Friends. It’s easily the definitive edition of the game, a charming and challenging Shmup that is well balanced and forgiving to newer players. While boss battles are the highlight, you’ll still have a lot of fun blasting your way through the Gozarean hordes—a game I can easily recommend to fans of the genre.

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Jun 7, 2022

I really wanted to love Kao the Kangaroo. And while I did enjoy parts of it, the severe glitch I encountered kept me from progressing like I had expected to and effectively kept me from actually beating the game. Once Nintendo gets around to implementing the patch, I could potentially recommend the experience. But until version 1.2 goes live, I cannot recommend it to other platformer fans in good conscience.

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4.5 / 5.0 - Floppy Knights
May 23, 2022

Floppy Knights is a fun game with a well-balanced challenge, good variety, and lovable characters. Even better, the whole thing plays remarkably well with just a mouse, though there are other controller options as well. So if you enjoy tactical mayhem and are looking for the next best thing, be sure and add this one to your Steam library.

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May 20, 2022

If you’re a fan of twin-stick shooters and bullet hell and love hideous monsters, this might be for you.

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3.5 / 5.0 - Dandy & Randy DX
May 10, 2022

Dandy & Randy DX isn’t perfect, but it’s also a lot of fun for fans of retro gaming. While it doesn’t do a ton to elevate itself above the pack, there is one clever twist before the end of the game that made the entire experience that much more enjoyable. And honestly, for the price point, it’s hard to argue much with what the game accomplishes. If you have an interest in snappy, retro-inspired romps, be sure and check this one out.

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4.5 / 5.0 - Super Mega Zero
May 3, 2022

If you’re a fan of puzzle platformers and enjoy the retro aesthetic, you absolutely need to pick this game up.

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4 / 5.0 - B.I.O.T.A
Apr 27, 2022

I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect from B.I.O.T.A. Though it diverged from the Metroidvania genre in some significant ways, I really enjoyed this challenging throwback to games of the past. It marries a compelling and dark sci-fi plot with challenging platforming, fun boss fights, and a vast colony to explore. It’s not a perfect game, and I was definitely frustrated by the many instant death traps, but it’s still a game that retro fans should check out. And that goes double if the game ever makes its way to game consoles.

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2.5 / 5.0 - Lila's Sky Ark
Apr 22, 2022

Lila’s Sky Ark was more creative than it was memorable. While you can beat the game in less than a dozen hours, you’ll probably spend more just trying to fulfill the final mission. And while I did enjoy wandering around this weird world, ultimately some bad combat decisions and a lack of balance hurt my immersion. If you’re a big fan of action adventure and like games just for the sake of weirdness, I’d still give this a shot. For everybody else, this probably isn’t your game.

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Apr 8, 2022

Flynn: Son of Crimson was ultimately worth the wait. If you’re a fan of retro-inspired games that harken back to the ’90s, I’d check it out.

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Mar 31, 2022

Overall, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is still a tremendous adventure. It makes the transition from 2D to 3D effortlessly, and offers an expansive adventure full of replay value. While I was frustrated by some curious omissions, this is still one of the best Kirby games in quite a while and easily the best one yet on Nintendo Switch. A must-own for fans of the pink puffball.

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Mar 14, 2022

Even with some small issues like a lack of clarity with the Rank system and levels feeling a little repetitive, Dawn of the Monsters is still a ton of fun. There are plenty of goodies to unlock, a two-player mode and a riveting story. If you’re at all a fan of the kaiju genre and are looking for the next great thing, here it is. I honestly think this is the best game to date by 13AM Games, and I can’t wait to see what they have in store next.

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4 / 5.0 - Horace
Mar 10, 2022

All in all, I can’t help but rave about Horace. While it’s challenging and may prove troublesome for those not comfortable with their platforming skills, it nevertheless features a ton of content and an engaging story. And while I was frustrated by some of the glitches and occasionally lackluster design, this is still a game I would highly recommend, especially for fans of older games and indies.

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I really wish I could rave about Rise of the Third Power. I’m a fan of the developer, and I enjoy retro-styled games. Nevertheless, I don’t feel this one lived up to my hype, nor that it reached the same heights as Ara Fell: Enhanced Edition. That said, if you enjoy the genre and are looking for a game to get lost in for a few hours, it’s hard to say no for the low price point of $19.99. Ultimately, I’d say this one is worth a shot, but that you should most definitely play Ara Fell as well.

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2 / 5.0 - Queeny Army
Feb 21, 2022

I was hoping Queeny Army would be a fun retro run and gun adventure. But sloppy design and amateurish storytelling kept it from being anything other than mediocre. What’s painfully ironic is a lot of problems could have potentially been solved if this retro game had some form of in-game instruction booklet to explain things. Without that, though, it’s just a game that I can’t recommend, even for the low price point.

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4.5 / 5.0 - Infernax
Feb 11, 2022

I’m incredibly glad I got the opportunity to review Infernax. It’s another top notch title from Berzerk Studio, and it’s perfect for fans of platforming and old school challenge. Featuring multiple endings, tons of humor and epic bosses, it’s a game that should be on the radar of every hardcore gamer out there. If you’re a fan of platforming and love letters to games of the past, go buy this game. It’s that simple.

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4 / 5.0 - Grapple Dog
Feb 11, 2022

Grapple Dog may look cute, but it grows more and more challenging the farther you go. It has tight, fast-paced platforming and features a ton of hidden goodies to keep you playing. If you’re at all a fan of the genre, I’d say you need to check Grapple Dog out.

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3 / 5.0 - Castle Morihisa
Feb 9, 2022

While I can see what Castle Morihisa was going for, and appreciate many elements of the game, the overbearing difficulty kept me from enjoying it more. It may have mimicked the style of Slay the Spire, but it’s a long way from reaching the lofty heights of that game. But if you don’t mind an ego-bruising challenge and enjoy rogue deckbuilders, I’d still check the game out. Unfortunately, for everyone else, it’s probably going to prove too frustrating.

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Ultimately, Luminous Avenger iX 2 is an attractive and challenging action platformer that nevertheless fails to learn key lessons from the previous game. That said, if you’re a fan of the Gunvolt series or a platformer enthusiast, this is very much your game. If you’re not in that camp, you might wanna skip this confusing side adventure.

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2.5 / 5.0 - PopSlinger
Jan 25, 2022

Unfortunately PopSlinger is a hard game to recommend to most gamers. If the developers can make a concerted effort to balance and streamline the camera and combat issues I pointed out, as well as helping the game provide clearer visual cues, I think this could be something special. As it is now, however, it’s just too much of a mess to recommend to anyone that isn’t willing to put a ton of effort into the experience. Hopefully Funky Can Creative learns from this game to make their next adventure one that lives up to the hype.

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Jan 24, 2022

I really wanted to like Demoniaca: Everlasting Night. I fought hard to let the game prove itself to me. But it needs a lot more balancing and retooling before I can recommend it to anybody other than the most diehard Metroidvania fan. If you can somehow look past the game’s many flaws, it might be worth buying on a sale. Otherwise, I’d just pass on this disappointing Gothic adventure.

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