Josh Speer Avatar Image

Josh Speer

Mercer Island

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

169 games reviewed
75.7 average score
80 median score
84.6% 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.
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3 / 5.0 - Ponpu
Dec 2, 2020

I really wanted to love Ponpu. The zany premise, delicious artwork, and Bomberman-inspired gameplay could have resulted in a triumphant indie classic. Instead, it was held back by glitches, occasionally sloppy game design, and a lack of real progress. But when you consider this was only the second time mobile developer Purple Tree tried their hand at consoles, I can moderate some of my frustration. If you’re a fan of Bomberman looking for something weird, then this still might be the game for you. As for myself, I find myself eagerly awaiting the next game from Purple Tree, and hoping it patches over any annoying imperfections.

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2 / 5.0 - Green Hell
Nov 23, 2020

I don’t hate Green Hell, but I do lament what it could have been. I went into the game with an open mind and a willingness to try things out. Sadly, the lack of coherent direction and awkward controls made the game overly difficult. While I’m not adverse to challenge, it is a nitpick of mine to get lost due to sloppy design. I honestly hope Creepy Jar takes my notes constructively and uses them to make their next game a masterpiece. Sadly, this particular entry is quite hard to recommend.

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Nov 17, 2020

Considering I wasn’t a fan of KINGDOM HEARTS before I tackled Melody of Memory, I’m shocked by how much fun I had playing it. Not only did it bring back fond memories of Theatrhythm, but it made me more than a bit eager to dive into some other KINGDOM HEARTS games. This mixture of Square Enix and Disney is a novel idea in a world full of pale imitations, if nothing else. While the game isn’t quite perfect, it came pretty darn close. If you’re a fan of music games or just love KINGDOM HEARTS, you really can’t go wrong here.

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Nov 14, 2020

Honestly though, when you take everything into consideration, Seven Knights -Time Wanderer- totally blew me away. I never thought I’d have this much fun with a game inspired by mobile, but here we are. Not only is the game visually luscious, but it plays like a fast-paced dungeon crawler. Sure, it’s a bit repetitive and the plot could be better, but few games are perfect. What’s here is still incredibly solid and fun, and I’d recommend it to any old school RPG fanatic. And when you consider how inexpensive the game is, I can’t recommend it heartily enough.

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Nov 9, 2020

Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin isn’t perfect, but the good more than outweighs the bad here. It’s just frustrating for me personally, cause there were so many things about the game that could have translated to a perfect experience. There’s just too many missteps for that. Thankfully, what’s here is still very much worth the price of admission. If you want a game you can sink hours and hours into while enjoying a meandering and surprising story, you have to check this one out.

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Aug 4, 2020

Carrion is a game I’ve been looking forward to for a while. And though I am more than a bit disappointed I got stuck, I’m still eager to play through again sometime soon. It’s an absolute steal at $19.99. Warts and all, this is a fascinating and wholly unique game. I’m glad as always that Devolver Digital takes chances on titles like this, and can’t wait to see what’s next from Phobia Game Studio.

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Jul 21, 2020

Overall, Panzer Paladin was actually better than I thought it might be. It wasn’t quite perfect, but it came really damned close. If they had done things like make Remixed a bit more different than Classic, or ironed out the glitches I experienced in Tournament mode, I would have given this a perfect score. It’s a tremendous value for only $19.99, with multiple endings, tons of different modes and an adventure I won’t soon forget. I spent about 10 hours beating the game the first time, but since then have spent several more hours just enjoying the game. I always knew Tribute was capable of greatness, and I’m so glad they achieved it in Panzer Paladin. Now I just hope they have a sequel in the works, cause I want to see more from this amazing world.

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Jul 20, 2020

Ultimately, I don’t think I was the right person to review Keen: One Girl Army. It’s not horrible, and I like the ambitious scope of the adventure, but it’s also much more hardcore than I was expecting. That said, it’s attractive and has good replay value, apparently featuring a secret ending if you’re patient enough to 100% every level and unlock every Shrine. With all that in mind, Keen isn’t a bad deal for $15.99. Ultimately I think this is a good experiment from Cat Nigiri, and I hope they’re not discouraged by my thoughts. If you’re a fan of puzzles, not matter how difficult, then this is your game.

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Curse of the Moon 2 is great however you slice it. It’s not quite perfect, but it’s so damn close that it barely matters. For $14.99, it’s a bit pricier than the original, but still a great bargain. I enjoyed all the time I spent with the game, especially since there’s more to unlock. I have two mystery modes I’m working to open up, but even then there’s a lot of replay value here. You have multiple endings, as well as plenty of ways to progress through the game, and if a friend is close by, you can also enjoy the co-op mode, which looks really fun. You’ll even unlock cool features like the ability to play as Ultimate Zangetsu, who is even more of a badass than usual. While I would have appreciated a feature like an art gallery or bestiary showing all the enemy names, there’s very little to complain about here. If you like classic platformers and love Castlevania flavor, you absolutely need to own this game. Now I’m just hoping to get an announcement of a Curse of the Moon 3, cause frankly I enjoy these side stories more than Ritual of the Night.

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Overall I still had a blast with Brigandine The Legend of Runersia. Though I had no previous familiarity with the original game, this long delayed sequel was a lot of fun. And even if it’s a little expensive at $49.99, you’ll more than get your money’s worth, with upwards of 240 hours of main campaign, as well as a challenge mode. While I do wish some things were more clear and that other things were more varied, I still think this is a must own game for any Switch owner. The only thing I regret is that I didn’t order the sweet physical edition from Limited Run Games while I had a chance. But if you’re a fan of tactical styled games and are eager for something meaty, Brigandine is the way to go.

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