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

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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Dec 19, 2018

I truly am pleased I finally got the opportunity to play Sundered on my Switch. Eldritch Edition is a fantastic version of the game, offering just enough new content to sate the appetite of new players, while offering reasons for existing players to delve back in. For $19.99, you get a lot of adventure to enjoy, full of challenge and a twisted and diabolical story. I spent about 13 hours beating the game once, thoroughly searching out and killing all the optional minibosses and unlocking the Magnate of the Gong fight. After finally playing this, I’m eagerly looking forward to whatever the next project is that Thunder Lotus develops. In the meantime, I’ll be beating the game to get the other 2 endings. If you are looking for a reason to embrace madness and have a great time in the process, Sundered: Eldritch Edition is well worth your time.

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Dec 5, 2018

Frankly, I should have bought Celeste a long time ago, but I’m glad I finally made my way the mountain. It’s a perfect example of why I love both indies and platformers. It’s also easily the best platformer I’ve played this year. For $19.99 you get a robust package full of challenge, heart and mystery. This small cast of characters really charmed me, and the gameplay itself was pitch perfect. Though I played it with the default settings, you can turn on many helpful features to make things a bit easier. I had gotten about 1300 deaths and 81 strawberries the first time I beat the game, and since starting this review I’ve already added plenty more to both tallies. I honestly love this indie gem, and can’t recommend it highly enough. Go do yourself a favor and climb this mountain!

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Feb 9, 2018

All in all, I was truly impressed with Iconoclasts. I spent 11 hours playing through the game, and that’s without even finishing all the side quests or finding all the deviously hidden chests. It’s not often an indie game comes out of nowhere to surprise me, but that’s just what it managed to do, proving itself a new indie gem. If you have a PS4, Vita or Steam account, go buy it. It’s easily the best indie I’ve played so far in 2018, and one I highly recommend.

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In summation, VA-11 HALL-A was well worth the wait on my Vita. It drew me in much deeper than I would have thought possible, making me actually care about the lives of these characters. Kudos as well to Sukeban Games for subtly tying in themes of consciousness, sexual identity, depression, true friendship, love and much more. For $14.99, VA-11 HALL-A is a game every Vita fan should own. It’s full of heart, drama and hope. My only hope now is that the world of the game gets expanded in the future, as I would love a sequel or something similar from the developers. VA-11 HALL-A is the bar I desperately need in my own life, and after playing it, you’ll feel the same.

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Jun 26, 2017

All in all, for $29.99 Cave Story+ is still a great deal. It takes all the aspects that make it a classic and further refines them in small ways to offer fans a reason to be excited again. I also personally appreciate that it’s on the Nintendo Switch, especially since the physical version came with sexy preorder bonuses. My only minor complaints are that you can’t skip dialogue and that it’s unclear how to unlock more challenges. Regardless, if you’re a fan of Cave Story already or are just a fan of retro games, I can’t recommend Cave Story+ highly enough. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does remind fans why this game is still relevant today.

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Mar 28, 2017

Overall, I was incredibly impressed with Blaster Master Zero. This is indisputably the definitive version of the classic Sunsoft game. Inti Creates has poured their heart, soul and artistry into making a game from 1988 not only relevant again, but a must-own title for any Switch (and eventually 3DS) owner. I truly enjoyed my time with the game, especially once I realized that the ending I got wasn’t the only one. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to jump back into the Sophia III and go find that best ending!

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It occurs to me after playing the game that although each version of the game was different, they each dealt with the concepts of love and loss. While Shovel Knight focused on his hunt to save Shield Knight and Plague of Shadows dealt with Plague Knight’s secret feelings for a certain someone, Specter of Torment’s story is not about romantic passion, but camaraderie. However, even then, there is a romance in the campaign between the skeleton Red and his lady love, Scarlet. More than anything though, Specter of Torment is a game about duty and the price of holding on to our humanity. I truly enjoyed my time with it, and spent a little more than 4 hours beating the game, with 85% item completion. The Nintendo Switch is truly fortunate to have Specter of Torment as an exclusive, and for those of you waiting, rest easy knowing it will be truly worth the wait. Specter Knight’s tale is a dark and epic one, and it makes me all the more excited for the next DLC Yacht Club Games has up their voluminous sleeves.

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Simply put, The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is the best possible version of the game. In my time, I unlocked 26% of the 339 achievements, and I can easily see myself playing off and on for a long while to come. Afterbirth+ has managed to perfectly distill that insane Binding experience into a well-designed, challenging roguelike. With tons of new features and new incentives to keep playing, I think the game is well worth the bundle price of $35.97 (which gets you Rebirth, Afterbirth and Afterbirth+). It more than satisfied my lofty expectations, and allowed me to see the game with fresh eyes again. While I can’t see another DLC in The Binding of Isaac’s future, I think Afterbirth+ will help it go out on a very high note. At least until they release it for the Nintendo Switch, and force me to get that sexy physical edition…

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For a mere $9.99, I think Shutshimi is a great bargain. It offers a game so strange that it stands out from the pack, and it’s simple nature keeps me replaying it just for kicks. Though the version I reviewed was on my Vita, the game is also available on PS4 and Steam, and will eventually make its way to other consoles. If you like crazy games or SHMUPs, or just want to take your anger out on some laser-spewing sharks, you won’t go wrong with Shutshimi. Well done, Neon Deity Games and Choice Provisions. This fish is worth keeping!

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Apr 8, 2015

I honestly have no real complaints about BOXBOY! It kept me playing practically non-stop, and I loved every minute of it. The only aspects of it I didn’t experience were the Demos and Hints. The Demos let you send a free taste of the game to those you StreetPass with. The Hint system lets you spend Play Coins to help you get past levels if you’re stuck. I’m too much of an stubborn old school gamer to ever give up and use a hint. Overall, I was very, very pleased with BOXBOY! For $4.99, it offered over seven hours of gameplay, and that’s not even counting the Challenge Stages or the Bonus Worlds that opened up after I beat the Story Mode. BOXBOY! is not only one the best new IPs HAL Laboratory has come out with in years, it’s my favorite new 3DS eShop game. If you like puzzles or old school video games, go buy it.

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