Gene Park


19 games reviewed
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“Shredder’s Revenge” achieves everything it set out to do, and will go down as an instant classic for its genre. No matter what era, whether it’s 1987, 1989 or 2022, it would be one of the finest, most exciting video game experiences of the year, honing an arcade formula as ageless as Turtles in time.

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Unscored - Trek to Yomi
May 10, 2022

Available on Xbox Game Pass, “Trek to Yomi” is a no-brainer download for anyone wanting a simple yet cinematic action game that harks back to classic PC adventures and 2D blade-action titles. At a $20 asking price, it’s a more debatable purchase, especially considering the short clear time. But at the end of the trek, I didn’t regret a minute of it, once I got over the fact that the combat was never going to be the real hook. It’s a gorgeous visual feast, and once I started it, I found it hard to look away.

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The story of Jack begins with him forgetting about himself. “Stranger of Paradise” is a drunken, belligerent game in both concept and design, and would’ve been better served if it was less adherent to its Final Fantasy origins, and, well, did things its own way, like Ol’ Blue Eyes sang. Despite its level design flaws and a crowded gear system that adds little to the experience, it was hard not to find Jack’s testosterone-fueled journey charming and full of surprises. Just don’t be surprised if it also farts in your face every once in a while.

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Unscored - Elden Ring
Feb 23, 2022

“Elden Ring” is a game about discovering and pushing the limits of possibility. It dares you, over and over, to keep pushing, making this unlike any other adventure I’ve experienced. It would be understatement to say “Elden Ring” has exceeded my expectations. After 40 hours — and with so much more to go — I don’t even know what I expect from it anymore. Its sheer scale is humbling. In terms of square footage, “Elden Ring” may not be the largest game ever made, but no other experience has made me feel quite as small.

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Unscored - Sifu
Feb 6, 2022

“Sifu” is a no-nonsense arcade brawler that can be played in short bursts or long sprints, depending on the commitment to perfect each level run. Despite its high skill ceiling, it offers a rare treat in video game martial arts: a brutal balletic presentation — if played well enough. If anything, it’s worth playing just for the first level.

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Unscored - Halo Infinite
Dec 6, 2021

The ‘Halo Infinite’ campaign is the closest to perfection in 20 years

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Unscored - Forza Horizon 5
Nov 9, 2021

Forza Horizon 5 [is] the first killer, can’t-miss game for the current generation Xbox Series X and S consoles as well as Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service. It’s a game that I think anyone can immediately find appealing.

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Oct 25, 2021

Even if Quill sounds like a surfer bro, surfer bros can sometimes be among the most earnest people you’ve ever met once you actually get to know them. The same goes for Quill and co. Their personalities may seem like the stereotypes you’ve always heard, but spend a bit more time with them, and you’ll be glad you did.

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Unscored - Metroid Dread
Oct 6, 2021

As the game industry has proven throughout the years, the Metroid formula is worth iterating and reiterating upon. Now that the formula is back home in the original series that created it, here’s hoping Nintendo remembers this too.

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Unscored - Lost Judgment
Sep 16, 2021

Lost Judgment is the most captivating, dramatic and transfixing story of the year, and that should be no surprise to fans of RGG Studio’s output.

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Aug 19, 2021

I can’t remember a game that sustains an awe-inspiring presentation for just about every second you play.

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Unscored - The Ascent
Aug 4, 2021

The Ascent reminds me of the good old days of Xbox 360 and its robust indie offerings on the old Xbox Live Arcade service, where games like “Shadow Complex” or “Super Meat Boy” were not afraid of making small twists to classic formulas.

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The beautiful thing about beat-’em-up games is that the genre’s appeal is immediate: Walk right, punch everyone along the way and feel great about it. The beauty of “Mr. X Nightmare” for “Streets of Rage 4” is less apparent, because the original game was already packed with value. But at $8, this trio of indie studios somehow made a far more robust and replayable package. There’s little else to say besides “Streets of Rage 4,” as a now-complete package, has my highest possible recommendation.

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Jun 8, 2021

In a time when sneering, ironic detachment remains in fashion, Insomniac Games has created the rare modern masterpiece with no convoluted agenda, no subtext — just so many reasons to smile and laugh. This purity is felt through every pixel, every line reading and every planet.

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May 5, 2021

Built like a Disneyland of horror tropes and gore, the eponymous village funnels you toward gory sights and sounds, with Ethan circling a drain of carnage.

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Apr 22, 2021

Nier Replicant is a must-play for anyone who loved “Automata,” a game some praise as one of the finest ever created.

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Mar 23, 2021

This year is looking pretty dry for big title releases as the world continues to grapple with the pandemic, and huge titles are seeing delays. The Nintendo Switch in particular has had a bit of a dry spell, but “Rise” comes in like a kaiju out of the tide. This is probably the best “Monster Hunter” game to date, and an easy, early contender for 2021′s best game.

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Unscored - Hitman 3
Jan 19, 2021

Now that it’s over, I can confidently call IO Interactive’s “Hitman” trilogy one of the most consistently great series of games ever created. No other trilogy has expressed this much confidence and consistency in its execution. Agent 47′s story may be over for now, but these three games offer countless ways for you to tell your own stories.

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Nov 20, 2020

The game itself is an all-time classic. The settings FromSoftware created in 2009 have the complexity of real places, which is why the game played so vividly to fans of role-playing games. And now Bluepoint has given “Demon’s Souls” all the details and polish needed to fully realize this game’s idealized concept of “role playing immersion.” It was a game of boundless creativity, and to have it reimagined so vividly by Bluepoint Games is nothing short of a minor miracle.

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