Nathan Hermanson Avatar Image

Nathan Hermanson


Favorite Games:
  • Final Fantasy 8
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale
  • God of War (2018)

27 games reviewed
79.0 average score
80 median score
74.1% of games recommended
Are you Nathan Hermanson? If so, email [email protected] to claim this critic page.

Tribute Games, working with a property so near and dear to a whole generation's sentimental hearts, somehow managed to honor TMNT's roots both in gaming and in general while providing an experience worthy of a pedestal right alongside its many inspirations, if not above them. This cover band has become so much more — and I look forward to the day when we look back and see Tribute Games' greatest hits laid out in front of us.

Read full review

6.5 / 10.0 - Moonglow Bay
Feb 28, 2022

Moonglow Bay is a frustrating one, mainly because we wanted to love it so much more. It tries a lot of new things with varied success, focuses on a few core gameplay systems that we wish were a little more engaging, all while telling a story about loss and community that's a cut above in its genre. It's just a shame that a few major glitches and pacing issues really hold it back from reaching its full potential. With Bunnyhug still hard at work with fixes, we just hope it gets closer to that apex we wanted to see it reach. Bunnyhug has a lot to offer, that much is clear. And if you can see your way through the storm to witness the beautiful dawn that waits for you at the end of the game, Moonglow Bay is well worth a visit. Just be warned: The water might be a little choppy in the meantime.

Read full review

In nearly every way, this game is absurd. And it delights in its own absurdity. It only attempts to get weirder and weirder as it goes, and I love it for that. Strange Scaffold made a game that revels in late-stage capitalism (like...the latest stage possible) and THEY ADDED KINECT SUPPORT TO IT. Let your freak flag fly, Strange Scaffold.

Read full review

8 / 10.0 - Sifu
Feb 6, 2022

My view on Sifu is so complicated. Sloclap clearly has a lot of talent and their team has made something special on the pure gameplay side of things, although some decisions have been a bit misguided. Even with the best intentions, the impact is clear. We need to be more thoughtful with the stories that we tell and I hope that Sloclap takes this moment to listen rather than push away. Utilizing imagery of a culture carelessly is a bad look through and through, particularly in a time when members of the AAPI community are facing unprecedented harassment and violence. Ultimately, it's your decision to buy this game or not. I loved a lot about Sifu, in learning and growing through its death mechanics; in its musical and visual artistry; and in its deeply satisfying combat systems. But we can't ignore the conversation surrounding the game and its impact on the communities it claims to represent.

Read full review

Feb 4, 2022

Century: Age of Ashes has built a fantastic groundwork that, even months down the line, is worth investing time into. If Playwing could find a way to patch up holes in the new user experience, add a few new maps and modes by the end of Year 1, and pump up the player base, this would be one of the easiest recommendations I could make. As it stands though, it's a very tentative thumbs up from VGG. You might need to invest way more time than you might be interested in to get to the best of it, and that might be a hard sell, but I promise you there's something great waiting for you inside this rough and scaly surface.

Read full review

7 / 10.0 - Jack Axe
Jan 31, 2022

On the whole, the Jack Axe juggling act of dodging one-hit-kill obstacles, dispatching enemies, and nailing teleporting axe throws teeters on the edge of too hard. But Keybol keeps it just attainable enough to keep you going, pushing you forward despite the pain points. A few control issues make for a more frustrating experience that departs from the "if you fail it's your fault" experience of games like Celeste and Super Meat Boy. But if you and your axe can hack your way through it, there's a fun platformer waiting for you underneath. Non-masochists need not apply.

Read full review

7 / 10.0 - The Good Life
Jan 17, 2022

The Good Life isn't for everyone in the same way that Swery65 himself isn't for a lot of people. But I encourage you to ask if it's for you and go find out. When you give a game like this a chance, you just might sink into the oddities and fall in love with a world of animorphing British folk who ask absurd tasks of you. Undoubtedly, you'll find yourself upset with more than a few decisions made by Swery and his team at White Owls. But amidst the hodgepodge, you also might find something golden that fits you like a glove.

Read full review

8 / 10.0 - Nuclear Blaze
Jan 10, 2022

All together, Nuclear Blaze is a perfect tiny package, but I had so much fun that I only craved more in the end. The developer has mentioned he'd like to make more levels — my own dream is for a tile-based level editor to be released so the community can keep the game alive eternally. Even if it never saw one drip of extra content though, Nuclear Blaze isn't just blowing smoke. These few hours of firefighting bring extremely enjoyable, bite-sized action. As I've said time and time again, I'd rather have a year's worth of these tiny experiences than some 120-hour blockbuster, so I hope Nuclear Blaze is a sign of changing tides in the indie space.

Read full review

Nov 28, 2021

The Jackbox experience is all about having fun with pals, making each other laugh, and experiencing something that no other game can offer. Jackbox Party Pack 8 delivers that again and again and again. In my case, this Pack has already seen as much playtime as the last two combined and it's only been a month since launch. If you've skipped out on Jackbox in recent years, do yourself a favor and add this one to your game night rotation.

Read full review

9.5 / 10.0 - Inscryption
Nov 7, 2021

In an industry that operates so heavily under tradition and expectations, games like Inscryption come along and shake you awake, reminding you where games can go and what they can be.

Read full review

Unscored - Monster Harvest
Oct 26, 2021

Maple Powered Games has something here that I can just feel waiting to be mined out of this block of coal. If there's anything that's clear after my time with it, it's that Monster Harvest needed an Early Access period. In its current state, it's hard to recommend Monster Harvest. Fans of its genre inspirations will find little to enjoy in the game's interpretations of either gameplay style. Those looking for some winning combination of the two will walk away empty-handed. But I want to believe they can figure it out.

Read full review

Oct 22, 2021

Ambition sells a fairly unique package for the dating sim genre. Attending parties, gathering gossip, and finding time to woo your chosen love interest truly becomes a delicate dance. Living in 2020s America as someone who wouldn't go to parties even sans pandemic, I wasn't sure how engaged I'd be with the narrative and the experience. But thanks to the game's beautiful artistic recreations of major French locales and a beautiful soundtrack of orchestral classical music, I was truly transported to revolutionary France, free to live out my bi dreams: wooing beautiful French people and starting a revolution in the streets. A story that allows a woman to wield her influence and sexuality to not only control her personal narrative but also the narrative of an entire nation is worthy of celebration, especially when it innovates on a formula that can feel a bit same-y. Ambition is a perfect experience for both fans of the genre and those who might be sick of the more traditional dating sim/visual novel experience.

Read full review

7 / 10.0 - Astria Ascending
Sep 27, 2021

Overall, Astria Ascending is a perfectly good JRPG that is familiar and traditional in a way that is both refreshing and frustrating. What it does differently from others in its class (fun and unique temple puzzles, amazing quality art assets) are enough to help it rise from the ashes of its storytelling faults. Major difficulty spikes and repetitive encounters hold it back from greatness and may make this a skip for some, but the adventure will speak to many fans of classic JRPGs.

Read full review

9 / 10.0 - Boomerang X
Sep 17, 2021

Boomerang X is a thrilling achievement. It's light, breezy, action-packed, and it doesn't hold back from beginning to end. Fans of classic shooters will settle in nicely here, but there's a certain quality to its controlled chaos that I think will appeal to gamers of all sorts. For a debut release, DANG! blew past all expectations, and I can't wait to see how they get our blood pumping again with future releases.

Read full review

8 / 10.0 - Road 96
Sep 14, 2021

From beginning to end, I found myself waiting for the moment where Road 96's wheels fell off — it never came. With its ambitious randomized engine and political storyline, they had more than a few opportunities to fumble the concept. Instead, Digixart provided an interesting and human experience that we'd recommend to all fans of story-driven releases.

Read full review

Jul 27, 2021

I've got a few nitpicks, but when I take a moment to loop back to the good... The Forgotten City is damn great. It's a story that had me hooked from beginning to end with layers I eagerly peeled back, before realizing I was staring at an epic worthy of being told amongst the Roman and Greek greats.

Read full review

8.5 / 10.0 - Death's Door
Jul 25, 2021

Death's Door is all around professional. It's incredibly polished, well crafted with sound mechanics, and for the most part, it's a blast to play. I just wish the game surprised me more often. I wish it had something new to say, something different to offer. Everything else is so damned good and I don't want to come off as negative at all. I just felt that this great game was a few pieces away from being an all-time classic. Either way, it's easy to recommend spending some time knocking on Death's Door.

Read full review

5.5 / 10.0 - Biomutant
Jul 15, 2021

It pains me to say that Biomutant feels like a lot of rough drafts of ideas were cobbled together to create an incoherent whole. Experiment 101 has a lot of interesting things at work here and I really hope they keep making games, but focusing in one or two of their best concepts instead of tossing everything they have at a game would serve them well.

Read full review

Jun 26, 2021

As I approached the end of Chicory, wiping tears out of my eyes and grinning like a fool, it became immediately apparent that this game had broken through as one of those special games. As one of my favorites of all time. At some point, I knew where Chicory would rank in my books, and it blew me away. I didn't think we'd get here so soon, but . . .

Read full review

8.5 / 10.0 - Mythic Ocean
Jun 25, 2021

Mythic Ocean, similar to Immortals Fenyx Rising before it, humanizes larger-than-life characters with grander destinies than we mere mortals could ever hope for. It tells a story of friendship and empathy (or at least my version of the story did) that showcases the power of positivity in the face of uncertainty. Even considering minor issues with the pacing of the late-game progression and with the overall discovery of unique scenes and endings in follow-up playthroughs, I loved my time with Mythic Ocean, and I think you will too if you're a fan of good stories and good vibes.

Read full review