James Lara


27 games reviewed
83.3 average score
90 median score
100.0% of games recommended
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Being a looter and a GaaS doesn’t mean you have to follow the genre’s norm, and Rocksteady had a real opportunity here to really be different from other Gaas looter shooters. There are some excellent mechanics in Suicide Squad that other looters should have, but in the end, they don’t do enough to carry it through with what’s there for the post-game. That is unless you like turning your brain off entirely, but that doesn’t make the criticism disappear. The studio chased after the promise of what GaaS could bring but, in doing so, forgot what made people love them so much. There are still moments of that seen in the campaign, and I would still recommend any fan to play it at one point. But here, right now? Probably not, at least not at the asking price for an incomplete experience.

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Jan 23, 2024

Like a Dragon’s Infinite Wealth delivers a captivating RPG experience that surpasses its predecessor in every way. With refined mechanics and an expansive world bursting with content, players are treated to a gaming experience of remarkable depth. The emotionally charged narrative, filled with unexpected turns, adds a layer of poignancy, making the journey in Infinite Wealth a memorable exploration of both gameplay and storytelling excellence. It may not be on everyone’s list of games to play, but it definitely should be. As for this reviewer, it makes a strong early claim of being my personal Game of the Year.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Forza Motorsport
Oct 4, 2023

Although I'm not too fond of the always-online requirement, looking beyond that, Turn 10 has, without question, delivered its best racing simulator to date with Forza Motorsport. From all-new driving physics to a host of new accessibility options and realistic visuals with some of the best ray tracing implementation I've seen in a racer. Forza Motorsport is sure to satisfy any fans of the series out there when it comes to its simulator gameplay. But beyond that, there are a few areas that could use some fine-tuning. Specifically in its RPG mechanics, which can feel like a grind for upgrading vehicles. It also lacks tracks and modes, but that's something that can be fixed over time. It's still an issue for launch, though I'm sure in the year to come, Turn 10 will have Forza Motorsport firing on all cylinders to make it the ultimate racing simulator.

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Sep 20, 2023

it’s clear after playing through the expansion that CDPR has been listening to its fans. With Phantom Liberty, they have finally delivered the much-demanded experience players have asked for since launch. I’ll gladly say that Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty, alongside the 2.0 update, might be one of the best gaming experiences I’ve played all year, and looking back, there’ve been tons of amazing games this year.

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9 / 10.0 - Starfield
Aug 31, 2023

It has everything you’d want from a Bethesda game: a deep and prosperous universe filled with endless possibilities and limitless potential. Be who you want to be, go where you want to go; your freedom is in your hands, and what you do with it is entirely up to you in Starfield.

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5.5 / 10.0 - Fort Solis
Aug 22, 2023

Fort Solis delivers a dark, high-tension, suspense-filled thriller driven by its incredibly realistic next-gen visuals, compelling character performances, and well-written writing. If this were an episode in a long-running sci-fi series, it’d be amongst my favorites and highly rated. However, seeing that this is a video game, it’s hard to recommend Fort Solis due to its little gameplay. Most of it’s walking, with few QTEs here and there, but it all serves as padding that eventually overstays its welcome. The opening hours will have you in awe as it takes you through the gorgeous and ominous landscape of the red planet of Mars, but slowly, you’ll come to the realization that there really is nothing waiting for you on Mars.

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7.5 / 10.0 - Atlas Fallen
Aug 9, 2023

There’s a lot of potential in Atlas Fallen that, sadly, feels heavily bogged down by its forgettable and, at times, repetitive story. If you can look past that, you’ll find Atlas Fallen has much to offer. It’s a great callback to classic hack-and-slash titles, filled with hours of senseless, monster-slaying fun that can be enjoyed with another player online. It’s not without its faults mind you, but it does build a great foundation, one I’d like to see built upon with potential sequels.

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9.5 / 10.0 - Final Fantasy XVI
Jun 21, 2023

Regardless if FFXVI is your first Final Fantasy game or you’re returning to the series, Square Enix’s latest game in the franchise lives up to the hype. Forget about JRPG’s or how action-RPGs nowadays need an open world, side quests that last for ages, co-op or whatever gimmick. FFXVI just throws all that out of the table and proves a tightly woven narrative-driven game –when built right — can make up for all those. The minor issues the game has doesn’t detract from the incredible experience Clive & Co. bring to the table. Players will be treated to a compelling tale, stunning visual spectacles, and a fluid and fun combat system. What’s even more impressive is, Square Enix manages to make the franchise “grow up” alongside the players who grew up playing the series. FFXVI deals with more mature themes and manages to make it matter without being overly preachy about it. Those looking for the series’ return to glory, rejoice! Final Fantasy XVI is that game, and this is one fantasy you’ll want to make sure you’re a part of.

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Just when you think you’ve reached the pinnacle of a series, Nintendo comes out with a bigger, more ambitious, creative, and innovative follow-up to perhaps what was already one of the greatest games ever released. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom somehow manages to be better than its predecessor in every way imaginable, once again propelling the series to new heights. It’s insane and absolutely mind-boggling what Nintendo has crafted here, and even more so how the publisher is consistently able to one-up themselves. Believe in the hype because The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom exceeds them in every way. I wish I could rewind this whole experience, just so I can play it for the very first time again because if there is one thing that has now dawned on me, the one thing that has now struck a bit of fear, it’s that I now have to wonder how in the world will Nintendo ever top this. I suppose there’s some solace in knowing that this was the very thing I said about Breath of the Wild, so here’s to the future of the franchise.

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Mar 2, 2023

Overall, I do think Wo Long has a good starting foundation that I’m sure other players in the community will be able to master more than me. I don’t want to claim I’m expert at the game (despite finishing NG+ on hard,) but I have seen others based on the demo manage to pull things off I haven’t. Basically what I’m saying is that the things I disliked, aren’t necessarily going to be the things the community dislike. Wo Long is still an entertaining game to play through. Its combat is solid, making it closer to Sekiro, Ninja Gaiden, and even Onimusha, though I do feel some things could have been fleshed out more. Souls and Nioh fans will no doubt be right at home with this, as it certainly scratches that Soul itch, and for that I do recommend you play the game at some point.

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10 / 10.0 - Hogwarts Legacy
Feb 6, 2023

I say this to the highest degree of praise possible when speaking about Avalanche Studios and Hogwarts Legacy. Avalanche Studios does for Harry Potter what Rocksteady did for Batman; a perfect match, delivering a genuine, authentic experience like no other. For the last 20-plus years, I’ve dreamt about an open-world Harry Potter game that has everything you’d expect out of a Harry Potter game, and Avalanche has finally delivered on that dream. The attention to detail that has gone into this game, the love and care, and the pure dedication of the team. It all goes unnoticed.

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8.5 / 10.0 - High on Life
Dec 15, 2022

The game serves as an excellent foundation for (what is hopefully) the start of a franchise. The gameplay is fun, though with flaws, and the writing and story are hilarious, despite overstaying in some parts. And visually speaking, I think this might be one of the best-looking games I’ve played all year, thanks to its unique art direction. As a title that is part of this month’s Game Pass offering, I cannot recommend this anymore. And if you aren’t a subscriber and fancy the dark humor Rolland is known for, it’s well worth the price of admission.

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Nov 3, 2022

I could spend hours upon hours talking about God of War Ragnarök, but at the end of the day, the only thing that should matter to you is if it's any good -- and it is. It's better than good; it’s a downright masterpiece. I know that word get's thrown around everywhere, and a lot, but I genuinely mean it. The story is beyond anything I would have imagined, and by the time I finished watching every line of credit roll, I couldn't help but give everyone a standing ovation. Like the first game, God of War Ragnarök will forever be etched in my memory as a timeless experience. A remarkable, unforgettable journey that I’ll keep talking about for the years to come and probably for the rest of my life. I could not be more confident in saying this, but I’ve found my Game of the Year for 2022.

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6.5 / 10.0 - Gotham Knights
Oct 20, 2022

While I can strongly recommend Gotham Knights to any Batman fan out there, I will say that you should temper expectations a bit, especially if you’re going into this thinking it’ll be anything like the Arkham series. There’s a lot to enjoy about it, such as the combat, and the story that helps keeps you going, but outside of that, there is just too much left to be desired. The open-world isn’t particularly special in anyway, mostly serving as a way to pad hours with boring side activities that are forced to progress. Not the most interesting of gameplay loops that gets tiring well before the midpoint. Then there’s the stealth that just doesn’t build upon the working formula of the Arkham franchise, if not regresses it. It’s worth a play for sure, but nothing I would say that anyone needs to rush out and experience.

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10 / 10.0 - Deathloop
Sep 20, 2022

Honestly, I just can’t recommend Deathloop enough to all you Xbox Series owners out there. It’s a fantastic game, that leans heavily into the identity crafted by Arkane Studio when they released Dishonored nearly a decade ago. It’s clever, fun, witty, and pure chaos at its best, what’s to hate about that?

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Aug 31, 2022

If you ask me if I think it’s worth it, here’s what I’ll say: If you’re a new player, most definitely. If not, just wait. No one’s rushing you to go out and buy this one, and I think it’s clear that the target audience is geared towards bringing in new players, rather than catering to the old. It’s perfect for new fans, imperfect for old ones.

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You know, from the very moment I saw Teenage Mutants Ninja Turtle: Shredder’s Revenge I knew instantly that the game was going to be a hit. It does exactly what I was hoping it would do, delivering on what only its 90’s counterparts have been able to deliver. Sheer fun, coupled with outright gorgeous visuals that would make any fan happy. The child in me is screaming with joy, while the adult in me is applauding Tribute Games and Dotemu on their incredible work. This will be one for the ages, a timeless classic that I’ll be going back to for many years to come.

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9 / 10.0 - Sniper Elite 5
May 25, 2022

You would think that being on the fifth mainline title (with four Dead Army spinoffs) that the series would have grown tiring, yet here I am, still impressed and still having fun. It’s core remain unchanged, sure, but the saying of, “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” holds very true here, and what Rebellion delivers on, not only keeps the fundamentals of what made the franchise so great, but also keeps it in a way where they’re able to expand on it without losing its identity. While the semi-open world does have some faults, it was an appropriate step for the series to take, one that I cannot wait to see unfold further into the future.

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5.5 / 10.0 - In Nightmare
Apr 1, 2022

In Nightmare may provide a decent plot line with enjoyable, heartfelt moments, but outside of that, it really is a hard game to recommend to anyone. The technical issues alone are enough to say wait until an update comes out to address it, but even so, the gameplay, while does offer some enjoyable moments, proves to have more issues that only the most patient of people can really deal with. You might have some fun with it for sure, but this is one nightmare you probably don’t want to jump into, at least right away.

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8.5 / 10.0 - Ghostwire: Tokyo
Mar 21, 2022

Tango Gameworks manages to embalm it’s player in a beautiful and enticing world that is known as Ghostwire: Tokyo. There is a sense of the unknown that shrouds this new, and interesting universe, and while I may have some issues, ultimately I believe the studio has laid out a solid foundation, for what is hopefully a start to a beautiful franchise. The story will get you hooked, but the world itself will have you staying, searching for answers to those questions you dare not ask.

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