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Josh Speer

Mercer Island

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

193 games reviewed
75.5 average score
80 median score
82.4% 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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Sep 1, 2021

While I wish I was more charmed by Ravva and the Cyclops Curse, I’m still glad I played it. As a fan of pixel art and retro flair, this is a pretty satisfying game. It’s definitely challenging and occasionally unfair, but for the minimal asking price, it’s hard to say no. And though the game is very linear, I am aware of one hidden area you can discover. If you’re a fan of retro and want a new platformer, I’d check out Ravva and the Cyclops Curse. Here’s hoping the next title by Galope makes good on the promise of this game.

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2.5 / 5.0 - Rogue Explorer
Aug 19, 2021

I still maintain Rogue Explorer could have been a great game. Honestly, if it was less focused on bland Roguelike elements and instead was reimagined as a more robust Metroidvania, I think this could have been awesome. Sadly, as is, it’s pretty hard to recommend to most gamers. But if you enjoy simple, retro-styled games and want something affordable, you might want to pick this up.

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5 / 5.0 - Death's Door
Jul 20, 2021

I relished the time I spent with Death’s Door. Not only was I captivated by the visual style, but the gameplay was dynamic, clever, and well-balanced.

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Much as I wish I could rave about how amazing the game is, it’s unable to reach the heights I thought it capable of. But since the ending hints there’s gonna be a remake of the next game in the Wonder Boy series, I hope that can fully realize its vision while still being a balanced experience. A fun trip down memory lane, but hard to recommend for anyone other than expert platformers, especially for $34.99.

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Jun 21, 2021

ENDER LILIES: Quietus of the Knights is one of the best Metroidvanias I’ve played. Sure, it’s challenging, but also well balanced and fair. When you add stunning artwork, captivating music and a touching story, you have a winner.

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4 / 5.0 - Mighty Goose
Jun 4, 2021

I truly enjoyed this opportunity to review Mighty Goose. Though the game veered just shy of perfection, it’s still a very worthy and enjoyable action platformer. I spent a handful of hours beating the game, and even then, I have a few extra things I want to unlock. While I do think it would have benefitted from minor improvements and wish it had some additional modes to keep me playing, it’s still a ton of fun. This is the perfect start to the Summer gaming season. Now I’ll just wait with bated breath for Blastmode to announce they’re working on an even bigger sequel!

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3 / 5.0 - Sludge Life
Jun 2, 2021

I think that Sludge Life is a great example of video games as art. It’s much more concerned with sharing its style than being a cohesive whole. Which isn’t to say it’s all nonsense, I don’t think it is. But what it actually is? That’s entirely up to your interpretation.

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4 / 5.0 - Maneater
May 25, 2021

Maneater was worth the wait on Nintendo Switch. It’s not a perfect game, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun. It’s the murderous Ecco the Dolphin I didn’t realize I always needed. If you’re a stickler for graphics, you might prefer playing it on another console. But for playing a hungry shark on the run, there’s nothing better. Here’s hoping this isn’t the last we see from Tripwire in this delightfully demented new IP.

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3.5 / 5.0 - R-Type Final 2
May 9, 2021

In the end, I’m not sure we needed another R-Type, but I still enjoyed R-Type Final 2. For your money, you get a ton of content and lots of challenge. While I still fervently hope they patch the issues I pointed out, such as the unskippable intro and end credits, the base game is still solid. If you’re an Irem fanboy that is looking for the next great shmup, this is probably a safe choice.

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3.5 / 5.0 - New Pokémon Snap
May 7, 2021

Despite my issues with the game, I really did enjoy New Pokémon Snap. Even after completing the game’s storyline, there’s still a ton more to do after the credits roll. To this old Pokémon fan, this is a must-own title. If you love photographing wild creatures and exploring a vibrant new region, this is the game for you. And if you really want to feel like you’re a budding photographer, play the game using the optional motion controls, swinging the Switch around like a giant camera. Now to spend hours and hours more to fill out my Photodex and unearth all the secrets of the Lental region!

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