Steven Mattern


22 games reviewed
77.0 average score
80 median score
72.7% of games recommended
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Aug 16, 2022

All told, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is more of the same core experience, complete with the best gameplay the series has ever seen. While it cuts out one of the base game's unique modes and features, follower quests are a fantastic addition for offline play. The story could use some better pacing, but the mission structure continues to be spread out very well with new and returning monsters becoming available at a relatively decent pace - aside from the post-game grind to the final monster. Regardless, Sunbreak is an astounding expansion and a must-have for any hunter for both Offline and Online play.

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All told, AI: THE SOMNIUM FILES: nirvanA Initiative is a worthy sequel to the 2019 original. While some elements of the story don't always fit with the cast of characters, the core of the narrative keeps players invested throughout. The new somniums are very well designed in both pace and aesthetic, making them each feel unique. The additional hints and difficulty options are welcome, too, for those who want them. Virtual Reality sequences do well to add to the gameplay outside of somniums themselves, providing some great variety. This science fiction mystery thriller is certainly worth a look for fans of Zero Escape and visual novels in general.

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Mar 18, 2022

When it comes down to it, Triangle Strategy really impresses with its deep battle and party system, storytelling and clean visual presentation aside from some performance issues. While some of the voice acting is somewhat weak, the cast is up to the task to deliver on the well written and engaging tale. However, oftentimes the scales weigh too heavily in favor of the story over the major battling moments, removing quite a bit of player engagement. Even though time spent between gameplay and story is unbalanced, the overall experience is well worth a look for tactics fans.

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Mar 6, 2022

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Mania is a surefire sign that the series was and still is great to play. The change in game engine adds a vibrant coat of paint while tweaking the physics to a slightly faster alternative. However, this does not change the fact that some levels are too stuck in the past. Topped off with some very welcome accessibility options, this package is well worth playing even if the mini games and customization have some notable downsides.

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Feb 24, 2022

Tetris Effect: Connected is a beautiful game and a great multiplayer-focused refresh of the initial PlayStation 4 game. The visuals are gorgeous and deserve to be experienced in VR. Depending on the display, HDR or SDR colour ranges might not look right until some tweaking is done outside of the game. However, once it clicks this is one of the best puzzle games and definitely a fantastic way to play Tetris in its modern format solo or with others.

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Dec 14, 2021

Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker caps off the Hydaelyn and Zodiark saga in a near perfect fashion. The storytelling on display vastly outshines the hit or miss quest design. The English voice acting deserve praise for consistent performances of both old and new characters backed by great directing. The dungeons and trials are some of the best in the game that continue to offer escalating challenges while keeping to consistent visual language. Each zone has a unique visual style and tale to tell in this final chapter, despite one or two having a rather slow introduction. All rounded out by a masterwork soundtrack, this MMORPG continues to prove that it shouldn't be missed.

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6 / 10.0 - NHL 22
Oct 19, 2021

NHL 22 delivers some good moment-to-moment hockey along with a needed visual upgrade, but the franchise feels tired and worn out.

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Oct 15, 2021

Even with the missing multiplayer, Crysis' sci-fi single player campaigns provide a decent experience.

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Sep 23, 2021

Life is Strange: True Colors is a complete title that will take around nine to ten hours to finish. This might prove a bit steep for the price, but the pacing and character work do well to make this story worth the time. The colourful visuals compliment Alex's power, but there are a few rough patches along the way. Despite the soundtrack of original and licensed songs blending into the world, the Live Stream mode is half baked and should be revisited in the future because as a shared experience; this game shines with complexion.

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Sep 21, 2021

Subdivision Infinity DX may be worth a try for fans of space combat games, but stumbles out the gate with zero controller customization options and a padded out progression system.

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8 / 10.0 - Aragami 2
Sep 16, 2021

With improved traversal, map design, and an option for multiplayer, Aragami 2 stands tall as a stealth title that brings the genre’s strengths to the forefront.

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Sep 6, 2021

Aside from rigid combat and some visual hiccups, F.I.S.T.: Forged in Shadow Torch delivers a unique world with an intriguing narrative and tight traversal.

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Aug 31, 2021

The aesthetic of Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is very eye-catching and can make it fun to watch being played by speedrunners or those familiar with the series. For those looking to have a more classic experience, the swappable color palette available in the main mode and the unlockable port are worth a look. The release is rounded out with a boss rush mode to serve up a challenging 2D platformer that's worth a try before the game shows itself as a product of its time.

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Aug 26, 2021

An updated version for modern hardware, Quake (2021) is the definitive way to revisit an FPS classic.

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The roster variety is hindered by the progression system which discourages changing party members before each mission. The color palette and art is very vibrant and colorful, but the game looks more blurred and choppy as more and more enemies are thrown at the player in the pursuit of a challenge which is the World Brothers' downfall. For EDF fans and newcomers alike, this call to action isn't worth answering.

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Aug 20, 2021

Unbound: Worlds Apart is a game that looks and sounds wonderful, with a central gameplay hook, and it keeps players on their toes. Plus, with a lenient checkpoint system even the most difficult parts feel less daunting. Aside from some performance hiccups on Nintendo Switch and a passable story, this is definitely worth a look or two.

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8 / 10 - Chivalry 2
Aug 18, 2021

Chivalry 2 offers up some exciting, large-scale battles, and a variety of melee weapons at the ready. The balance is almost there, with archers perhaps being too powerful due to their generous aiming. The automatic team balancing system does remove some of the pressure of winning or losing, which can be a net positive. So, unleash a battle cry and join the fray!

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Aug 14, 2021

Guilty Gear -Strive- is a superb entry in the 2D Fighter genre, and has the looks, sounds, and stability to back the claim. While smaller compared to other titles, the initial roster of fifteen fighters feels distinct, and most picks have a fitting theme to complement their personality and playstyle. The Story Mode does a great job showcasing who these characters are, while providing a good narrative to boot - and while the act of getting matched with other players can be a pain, the online play experience is incredibly solid. Let's rock!

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Final Fantasy VII Remake Intergrade is a complete package, telling the story of Midgar from two different perspectives. Both the main campaign following Cloud and his journey, and Yuffie's own adventure, are well told with tight and responsive gameplay along with an impressive graphical update. These tales each leave exciting questions to be answered, and this reviewer can't wait to see what awaits Cloud and his friends beyond the City of Mako.

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8 / 10 - Scarlet Nexus
Jun 23, 2021

Scarlet Nexus blends a unique Brain Punk visual style with tight combat that requires adaptation and synergy. The Others are the game's ace up its sleeve with bizarre but creative creature variety. Each enemy type demands adaptability with the assortment of abilities at Yuito and Kasane's disposal thanks to their squadmates. Outside of combat, character moments shine in Bond Episodes and the writing is complemented well by a talented English voice cast. The variety of personalities does well to carry the weight of the convoluted plot as it progresses. However, the slideshow presentation of the vast majority of cutscenes diminishes the emotional impact of events that would have benefited more from animation. The game provides a solid gameplay experience on PC and I look forward to what this team can come up with next.

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