Joel Kogler


69 games reviewed
79.4 average score
80 median score
46.3% of games recommended
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Feb 18, 2024

While Skull & Bones is far from the worst game ever made, it completely fails in conveying its vision of becoming a legendary pirate captain. Instead, it chases every conceivable gaming trend from excessive crafting, battle passes and hands-off story telling and leaves next to no impact whatsoever. Even among Ubisoft titles, often mocked for their bland sandbox approach, “Skull & Bones” seemingly perfected the blandness with a sparse few highlights when environment, multiplayer and ship combat all click into place and reveal a wealth of untapped potential.

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Feb 14, 2024

On the one hand, the game has a great addictive factor thanks to excellent multiplayer gameplay and short, crisp missions. The outstanding graphics and audio quality perfectly accompany the war on the dark front and make you want to explore every corner. Unfortunately, the business strategies of Sony and Arrowhead Games stand in the way of the good game. With regular crashes and connection problems, as well as a very limited scope and many promises, "Helldivers 2" seems more like a very good Early Access game. In addition, there is a strong focus on microtransactions, which does not allow us to fully enjoy the excellent gameplay.

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Feb 13, 2024

Islands of Insight feels like the developers took the Korok challenges from the recent The Legend of Zelda titles and crossed them with The Witness. It’s a wonderful playground full of different kinds of puzzles, some deviously crafted into the environment itself. While there’s little story to latch on to and no real fail-state, the thrill of discovery has definitely kept us going far longer into the night than we thought possible. This review was tested before general multiplayer went live, therefore we can’t speak as to how well the MMO-like aspects blend into general gameplay.

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Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League is not a complete failure. An excellent presentation and some gripping story moments as well as a very good introduction provide a few hours of successful entertainment. Still, it's hard not to focus on the missed potential, whether that's the overly simplistic combat system, the characters playing very similarly, or the lack of motivation to continue playing after the story. Especially in multiplayer mode, the title can be fun, but the full price for it is not justified.

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82% - GINSHA
Jan 27, 2024

"Ginsha" is an absolute must-see for Metroidvania fans. The game cleverly combines elements from video game classics with newer ideas and manages to pack these elements into a very pretty and great sounding package. Only the difficulty level and the lack of almost any navigation aids can deter less experienced players.

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Jan 18, 2024

Walkabout Mini Golf VR is the definition of a game for everyone. Whether you chase the perfect game across each hole or you're here to enjoy the detailed and colourful courses, there's something to like for everyone. Paired with excellent controls and a variety of options for movement, Walkabout Mini Golf VR makes for a must-have for VR players old and new alike.

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Jan 3, 2024

In its own way, Gangs of Sherwood is a very focused game. The fights are entertaining, and the four characters are very well delineated from each other. It's fun to learn the combos and finish each fight in the most stylish way possible. Unfortunately, this façade crumbles as soon as you look behind the successful battles. Whether it's design, story or variety: "Gangs of Sherwood" is stuck deep in mediocrity. If you can overlook it and also grab a friend or two online, you can still have a lot of fun here.

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Few fictional universes are as dense and impenetrable as that of Warhammer 40k. Owlcat Games (previously known for Pathfinder: Kingmaker and Pathfinder: Wrath of the Righteous have managed to create a gripping story of the darkness that lurks in man, accentuated by stellar writing and a combat system that masterfully increases in depth as the game goes on. Despite some bugs and technical issues, this easily counts among the very best delves into the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium.

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Nov 27, 2023

Last Train Home tells a gritty and emotional story of Czechoslovakian legionnaires trying to reach their distant home after the conclusion of World War I. As foreign armed forces in a now war-torn Russia, players not only have to manage scarce resources, but also their allegiances. While the core elements of RTS gameplay and survival management sim work well together, a large part of your enjoyment will depend on the balance of those two. For large stretches of gameplay, Last Train Home isn’t an RTS with management sim elements, but a Surival Management game with occasional RTS missions.

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Nov 15, 2023

While inevitably overshadowed by its big brother, Persona 5 Tactica definitely has its own legs to stand on. The accessible, yet engaging combat system, a new story with its own twists and turns, as well as the excellent art style make this an easy game to pick up and play. What it lacks however, is anything truly outstanding. While competent at all aspects of the game, nothing stands out as particularly new or captivating, dooming this to remain forever trapped a shadow in the metaverse that is Persona 5.

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Nov 13, 2023

"Jagged Alliance 3" perfects the mix of management simulation, tactical battles and role-playing elements and inspires with humorous dialogues and a constantly surprising game depth. Even if minor flaws in controls, camera work and overview in the battles are occasionally frustrating, the game is one of the best titles of the year for strategy fans. However, one drop of bitterness for all those who want to get excited about the series for the first time remains: The high level of difficulty and the very many, very poorly explained elements make the introduction to "Jagged Alliance 3" a test of patience. But if you take the time, you will definitely be richly rewarded here.

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Oct 28, 2023

"Endless Dungeon" is first and foremost a multiplayer game. In the coordination of the defensive towers and the joint restraint of the horde, the game unfolds its full potential. Together with friends, the negative points, such as the rather minimalist progression system, the meager weapon selection and the fluctuating game balance, are much less significant. For solo players, there are far better roguelikes, making every single playthrough a new, exciting adventure.

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Oct 23, 2023

Sonic Superstars won’t change anyone’s mind on the Sonic franchise, but instead serves as somewhat of a soft reboot.

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Oct 9, 2023

The Lamplighter’s League may look like a chance to play out your own pulp adventure fantasy, but it turns out to be an intricate combat puzzle full of synergies and silly combos. While performance can be a bit of an issue and the story fails to leave much of an impact, the core gameplay is fun enough to keep this title memorable. It won’t deliver the instant mainstream appeal something like X-COM will have, but passionate fans of turn-based tactics shouldn’t miss this hidden (albeit slightly unpolished) gem.

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With patch 2.0, "Cyberpunk 2077" fulfills many of the promises they made three years ago for release. However, just as many remain unfulfilled and since "Phantom Liberty" will remain the only DLC content, "Cyberpunk 2077" will never live up to the initial hype. Patch 2.0 nevertheless ensures that "Cyberpunk 2077" not only plays much better, but now almost all glitches and bugs have been eliminated, so that the base game alone is definitely worth a new playthrough. The "Phantom Liberty" expansion offers a lot of new missions and tells a very exciting story, but if you expect a new "Blood & Wine" like in "The Witcher 3", you will be disappointed again. The scope of the DLC is okay for the price, but by no means sets new standards.

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87% - Lies of P
Sep 17, 2023

Lies of P blends a dark and gritty reimagining of the classic Pinocchio tale with FromSoftware inspired Action-RPG gameplay. While it stumbles in some smaller ways, the result is one of the most polished and consistently enjoyable dye Souls-Likes I have played. The combat with its many special maneuvers and nuances can be overwhelming to newcomers, but the atmosphere, the variety in building weapons and the unique take on a familiar story more than make up for the shortcomings.

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The sadly last title of Mimimi Games sends the German developer out in a blaze of glory. While there’s nothing really new or unheard of, Shadow Gambit: The Cursed Crew is an absolute love letter to the tactical stealth genre and blends in excellent, varied gameplay with a charming, albeit superficial pirate story and a vibrant, colorful look. The gameplay style may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but if you enjoy the idea of planning the perfect heist with a band of undead pirates, this is your dream come true.

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Sep 12, 2023

Black Skylands follows modern Open World design a little too closely sometimes and relies on resource collecting, outpost clearing and repetitive side quests a little too often. Nonetheless the core gameplay is fun, and the presentation of the pixelated world is charming. Due to the gameplay remaining largely the same throughout its runtime, this is best enjoyed in smaller sessions and some breaks in between.

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90% - Starfield
Aug 31, 2023

Starfield may not reinvent the wheel when it comes to Bethesda’s formula for role-playing games, but it cleverly combines the best elements of past games in a very appealing sci-fi setting. The highlights are no doubt the many well-written and well-designed quests that you’ll encounter throughout your journey through the settled systems. No matter what appeals to you as a player, be it nail-biting gunfights, the quiet construction of your own base or the thrills of laser-dodging dye dogfighting, Starfield has hours upon hours of content for you to lose yourself in.

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Jul 25, 2023

Whether alone or with up to two friends in co-op, "Remnant II" is already one of the best titles of the year. With around 25 hours, the campaign already offers plenty of content, but can be played slightly changed again and again thanks to various generated elements. "Remnant II" offers many elements that are known from other Souls-like games. In particular, spectacular boss fights, versatile character development and an exciting world that can only be slowly opened up via items and from the context are among the strengths that "Remnant II" takes over from modern action role-playing games.

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