Josh Speer Avatar Image

Josh Speer

Mercer Island

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

215 games reviewed
75.1 average score
80 median score
78.1% 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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Overall I rather enjoyed Mario and Donkey Kong : Minis on the Move, and would heartily recommend it to any Nintendo or puzzle aficionado with a 3DS. It provides hours of brain-twisting fun, only slightly hampered by some unforgiving gameplay mechanics. I found it to be fully worth my $9.99, and I hope Nintendo has more quality downloadable games like it in store.

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Jul 12, 2013

So, what it all boils down to is whether or not this is a good game or just a bunch of fan service. I have read many message boards that divide into two camps over this very issue. Well, I’m gonna be honest – I’d say this game is split down the middle. There is a TON of fan service in this game, from the dialogue to the scantily-clad Super Attacks to the great tunes you’ll be listening to. But I don’t think any of that is a bad thing. We’re fans, after all, so why bitch about it when the companies we adore show us a little love? Yes, Project X Zone is full of fan service, and is silly and over the top. The game gets repetitive halfway through, and doesn’t have a ton of plot, though. Oddly enough, none of that hurts it in my estimation. This game was still one of my best gaming experiences this Summer. I enjoyed every minute of it, even when minor details had me swearing a blue streak. I liked it so much that I honestly am considering playing it through again on New Game +, something I almost never do. If you like any of the games represented, or like tactical RPGs or just love gaming in general, do yourself a favor and hunt this beauty down.

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Aug 1, 2013

So now you’re probably wondering – what’s the consensus? Surprisingly, pretty great. I found myself enjoying every moment of gameplay, from the frustrating crashes to the exhilarating highs whenever I successfully did a nearly impossible stunt. For an eShop game, I feel Urban Trial Freestyle is more than worth the $6.99 asking price. It has a lot to offer to fans of racing games and has crazy stunts for everyone else. Though there is really no plot or compelling motivation behind the scenes, I personally felt it didn’t need it. The game is what it is. As much as I enjoyed it, especially considering I don’t normally like racing games, I would heartily recommend this game to anyone with a 3DS. It’s definitely one of the better games to come out for the eShop in the past couple months, and well worth your time.

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Aug 9, 2013

Though the plot is nothing special, and the graphics are pretty basic, I would say Cloudberry Kingdom is easily worth the price of admission. It will be one of the downloadable games I keep in my library and return to whenever I get that itch to play a sadistic platformer. If you feel the same, then don’t hesitate to download it for whatever system you have. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you…

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Aug 16, 2013

Chain Blaster was a good attempt by G-Style at a portable SHMUP experience. If anything, I hope this isn’t their last foray into the genre, because a larger, more comprehensive and varied experience would be outstanding. If they decided to publish a game for more money with a larger experience, I would be all over it. Ultimately, the game doesn’t quite merit the $6.99 asking price. If they ever decide to discount this game, however, I would highly recommend that any SHMUP fan with an itchy trigger finger pick Chain Blaster up.

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Sep 25, 2013

Overall, I found Legends to be much easier than Origins. Maybe it’s because I’m an old school platforming nut, and my opinions should be taken with a grain of salt. But I was anticipating Legends being more difficult than Origins, not easier and shorter. Which isn’t to say Rayman Legends is a cakewalk, just that it was noticeably easier. However, I don’t want to give everyone the impression that the game was horrible. That’s simply not the case. In fact, I rather enjoyed my time with the game, and have yet to unlock some 200 or so Teensies. It is possible, though unlikely, that my opinion will change after I have had a chance to fight the hidden boss, and beaten all the stages fully. Until then, though, I can only base my review on my experience prior to playing the game. For those who enjoy platforming, Rayman Legends is a great choice. Especially since it is easier than it’s brother, Rayman Origins. But for those who like their platformers to be tough as nails and brutal, perhaps hold off on your legendary expectations until Ubisoft announces another game.

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Oct 18, 2013

I was very pleased with Rage of the Gladiator. For $6.99, it offers a fun, surprisingly cinematic handheld experience that offers hours of entertainment. It effectively scales the difficulty so that each mode has something new to offer, and is much harder than the one that came before it. Though the plot is a bit bare bones, it was acceptable given the fact that the whole game is based around fighting monsters in an arena. Ghostfire Games and Gamelion Studios have given us a worthy handheld experience that I would heartily recommend to anyone with a 3DS. However, if you’re still not convinced, we could always throw you into the arena for a bit. A couple rounds with Ixthid are sure to change anyone’s opinion.

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Oct 29, 2013

I also spent far too much time with character customization after I beat the game, pouring thousands of dollars into a better wardrobe. Overall, though, this generation didn’t quite live up to my, perhaps high, expectations. Yes it was very fun and enjoyable, and will undoubtedly be a great time sink as I strive to complete my Pokédex. But it also had its share of small problems that could have been fixed. If nothing else, however, Pokémon Y should serve as a wonderful new starting point for the series. It may not have been the definitive experience I was hoping for, but it did a lot of work modernizing the series for future generations. That makes Pokémon Y a must-buy game for any Pokémon fan. Now, to finish Super Training my Gourgeist!

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Overall, I found the game to be very entertaining. I was pretty much constantly charmed during the entirety of my 20-hour playthrough. The universe of Chibi-Robo was unique, pretty and fun. If the camera wasn’t so difficult to use, and, if a couple of features had been better explained and implemented, it would have been a much better experience. That said, I would venture Chibi-Robo! Photo Finder is a game that anyone with a 3DS should look into. For only $9.99, you get a great portable experience. It’s not perfect, but it does most things right. I can only hope Nintendo comes out with more portable gems in the future.

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Jun 27, 2014

So, the question remains – was Shovel Knight worth the time and the hype? The answer is a resounding yes! The game not only lived up to my expectations, it exceeded them in many respects. From my experience with it at PAX Prime last year, I had no inkling of how challenging the final version would be. That said, it is not the longest experience. I managed to beat the story mode in a little less than four hours. I still have more items to find, since I beat it with only 66% item completion, and only achieved some 24% of the various Feats. They are accomplishments awarded for various actions, and can be checked from the start screen. I’m sure they will also lend some replay value as I come back to it. Overall, though, I was well pleased with Shovel Knight. Not only was it worth my wait, I venture many who didn’t back it would do well to buy themselves a copy now. It’s only $15, and for that price is much better than the drivel put out by many larger studios. I only hope Yacht Club Games doesn’t sit on their laurels, and I anxiously anticipate a new game in the near future. Until then, I’ll be shoveling my way through New Game +. For Shovelry!

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