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Josh Speer

Mercer Island
Th3BlooB0mber
SW-5568-1808-3098

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

268 games reviewed
74.4 average score
80 median score
73.9% 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.
4 / 5.0 - Mahokenshi
Jan 24, 2023

While Mahokenshi definitely reminds me of Castle Morihisa, its pacing and balance is a bit better than that unfortunate adventure. Keep in mind this is very much still a challenging and sometimes brutal game, and you’ll have to grind quite a bit to get through every mission. That said, it’s a game with a creative premise, attractive artwork, and many ways to strategize. If you’re at all a fan of deckbuilders and don’t mind some occasional difficulty spikes, I’d definitely check Mahokenshi out.

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Jan 18, 2023

Though I was hoping to start the new year on a high note, Wings of Bluestar just wasn’t up to snuff. It’s not a horrible game, but it’s incredibly mediocre, with bland design, poor writing, and generic boss battles. While it’s relatively affordable, it’s nevertheless very hard to recommend to hardcore Shmup fans.

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2.5 / 5.0 - LONE RUIN
Jan 11, 2023

I had really high hopes for Lone Ruin. And while it’s not a horrible game by any stretch, I felt it was really underwhelming. Not only does it lack any replay value, but the core loop features nearly identical stage layouts and a frustrating lack of clear audio cues for enemy attacks. While some may find something to enjoy in the survival mode, I think fans of the rogue genre will be left wanting much more.

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Dec 28, 2022

Grid Force: Mask of the Goddess is worth checking out. The only proviso is that you have to be willing to deal with a complex combat system that is often overly demanding. But if you’re open minded and don’t mind a little suffering, this is definitely a title worth investigating.

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Dec 12, 2022

Even though This Way Madness Lies doesn’t break the mold of other titles by Zeboyd Games, I still very much enjoyed it. It’s a well-paced, classically-styled RPG with great music, attractive artwork, and hilarious storytelling. If you’re in the mood for a short but sweet RPG and don’t mind playing on PC, I’d absolutely check this out.

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Nov 22, 2022

I really tried to enjoy Depths of Sanity. It’s a unique take on the Metroidvania genre, and it introduces some neat ideas. Sadly the execution of those ideas were held back by the awkward and consistently problematic controls themselves. As a result, even though the game has really great atmosphere and interesting concepts, most fans of the genre will likely lose patience incredibly quickly.

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4.5 / 5.0 - Sea Horizon
Nov 16, 2022

Ultimately Sea Horizon was a very solid and enjoyable experience. While the quite steep difficulty and dual-component RNG can be tricky to deal with, and may push some gamers away, this is sure to appeal to hardcore fans of the deckbuilding genre. If you’re looking for something challenging and unique, I’d give Sea Horizon a shot.

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2 / 5.0 - Undungeon
Oct 19, 2022

I was hoping for something special with Undungeon, but sadly was utterly disappointed. This is an example of a game where less could have been so much more. It overburdens players with overly complex systems that weren’t intuitive or fun. Granted, it has stellar artwork and a cool premise, but that’s not nearly enough to fix what’s already broken. Despite tinyBuild’s recent track record of publishing high quality games, this is one I absolutely cannot recommend.

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4 / 5.0 - Lost Eidolons
Oct 17, 2022

Lost Eidolons is a truly impressive tactical RPG. It has solid and easy-to-grasp mechanics and manages to differentiate itself thanks to the weapon swapping and realistic visual style. While there’s still some room for improvement and some minor issues that require fixing, I can wholeheartedly recommend this to any fans of the genre. Here’s hoping this talented new team has many more exciting adventures to share in the future.

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Oct 11, 2022

I really was hoping to fall in love with Criminal Dissidia, but as it is now it feels woefully incomplete. Though it does feature attractive artwork, tons of cards to use and a metric ton of Steam achievements, it nevertheless was held back by poor translation, confusing combat mechanics and inconsistent difficulty. Fans of rogue-likes and deck builders might enjoy the game more, but even then it’s a hard title to recommend unless the developer makes a lot of quality of life improvements.

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4.5 / 5.0 - NeverAwake
Oct 3, 2022

NeverAwake is still a transcendent and shockingly enjoyable adventure. Not only did I get invested in the story of the game, but the gameplay constantly kept me on my toes, and was a balanced challenge. While some may be irritated by the hardcore vibe of the game, I’d say this is a title that almost any gamer can appreciate. Add in the low price, and this is a must own adventure.

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3.5 / 5.0 - The Outbound Ghost
Sep 29, 2022

The Outbound Ghost is the best Paper Mario styled game I’ve played in many years. It easily offers a dozen hours of gameplay, and that’s just if you play the main story. For those that like to wander, there’s plenty of hidden secrets to unearth, as well as randomizer effects to mix up your experience. While the game wasn’t as tight or well organized as I would have liked, it’s still a solid turn-based RPG that fans should enjoy.

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4.5 / 5.0 - Shovel Knight Dig
Sep 22, 2022

Small complaints aside, Shovel Knight Dig is still a fantastic game. It deftly mixes Shovel Knight mechanics with rogue-like elements, to create a game that’s more than the sum of its parts. While the difficulty level can feel a bit overwhelming, and may deter some gamers, this is still an entry any fan of the series will find themselves loving. So what are you waiting for? Get ready to burrow into this exciting new adventure from Yacht Club Games!

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Honestly, Curse Crackers: For Whom The Belle Toils really took me by surprise. Not only is it jam-packed with content, including an Arcade mode, but the base experience is a ton of fun, with just the right amount of challenge. If you enjoy retro-inspired games or just like platforming, this is the game for you.

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Honestly, even though I wasn’t really familiar with Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid before playing Burst Forth!!, I might be a fan now. This is a solid Shmup with good graphics, compelling gameplay, and a shocking amount of replayability. If you enjoy the series or the genre, I’d say this is well worth the price of admission. In the meantime, I might start looking into this quirky little anime.

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3.5 / 5.0 - Dungeon Munchies
Aug 15, 2022

I still really enjoyed my time with Dungeon Munchies. It’s a unique game with a truly twisted and delightful sense of humor. Combined with a unique cooking mechanic and tons of ways to customize your experience, I feel it’s a game any fan of the indie scene should check out. I just hope developer maJAJa is able to implement some tweaks to improve the experience, or use what they’ve learned from this game to make their next one even better.

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Aug 7, 2022

I was really hoping for more from Sofiya and the Ancient Clan. While it wasn’t all bad, it’s still a disappointing platformer with boring combat to boot. Sure, the artwork is fine, even Sofiya’s amorous journal entries. It just doesn’t do enough to make this a better game, despite the surprisingly enjoyable music. If you like platformers and want something inexpensive, you might enjoy this. If nothing else, it’s a very short burn that can be completed in a lazy afternoon. For everyone else, stay away from this absurd little witch.

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4 / 5.0 - Coromon
Aug 1, 2022

It’s clear that Coromon was worth the wait, even if it didn’t quite live up to my hype as the game that dethroned Pokémon. That said, this is a beautiful and creative adventure full of heart, with hours of gameplay to keep you going and plenty of reasons for hardcore players to pay attention. Sure, I might have wanted more optional content, but what’s here is hard to dismiss. If you’re a fan of monster-hunting games and want a new portable adventure on Switch, look no further.

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Jul 27, 2022

I really enjoyed Azure Striker Gunvolt 3. While it doesn’t quite manage to give fans a perfect experience, it’s definitely one of the best in recent history. It’s a game with an ambitious story, gorgeous art and sound design, and frenetic and exciting combat. If you’re a fan of the series, you’ll find some especially exciting elements to enjoy. But even if you aren’t, this is a game any fan of the platformer genre needs to own. It’s well worth the price of admission.

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2 / 5.0 - Hell Pages
Jul 24, 2022

Hell Pages is hardly a groundbreaking game, but it’s also not all bad. Though decidedly old school and occasionally primitive, it still has a solid core loop, outstanding tunes and hideous demonic boss battles. If you can get past the lack of weapon variety and the ho hum upgrades, you might find something to enjoy in this festival of monsters. For everybody else, get your Evil Dead fix from the source material.

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