Damien McFerran


86 games reviewed
75.5 average score
80 median score
63.5% of games recommended
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4 / 10 - Rival Turf!
May 27, 2022

Putting the salubrious charms of the two-player mode aside for one moment, Rival Turf! is inferior to Capcom's Final Fight in every single way imaginable. The gameplay is insipid, the characters look like they've wandered off the set of a Vanilla Ice music video, and the presentation is lacklustre. This is a game that was practically sold on the fact that it allows you to play along with a friend, but in all honesty your pals are likely to shun you should you force them to endure this disappointingly feeble fighter.

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Oct 8, 2021

Tetris is one of the greatest video games of all time, and Tetris Effect: Connected is perhaps the best iteration of the classic puzzler yet. While this Switch port doesn't offer a great deal over existing versions in terms of features, it delivers the one key ingredient that its rivals cannot: portability. Sure, some will argue that Tetris Effect: Connected's unique brand of synesthesia only really comes alive when played on PSVR or an Oculus Quest headset, but we'd argue quite passionately that this game benefits far more from the ability to pick it up and play whenever, wherever. Just as the Game Boy and Tetris combined to create an irresistible, world-conquering fusion back in 1989, Tetris Effect: Connected has finally found the hardware that allows it to truly shine, making this an utterly essential purchase for all Nintendo Switch owners. Just don't forget those headphones.

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Sep 27, 2021

While the updated graphical style and jerky scrolling don't make a great first impression and there may be some who feel the 'Tower Defence' sections are given too much screen time, Actraiser Renaissance is ultimately a successful attempt at updating a solid-gold classic from yesteryear. Rarely are two totally different gameplay styles fused this effectively, and the enhancements introduced by developer Sonic Powered really do improve things; combat in the action sections is more fun, while the 'God Sim' portions of the game are lent increased depth thanks to thoughtful gameplay upgrades. To cap it all off, Yuzo Koshiro's music – available in both its SNES and rearranged forms – is masterful. While it's not perfect, Actraiser Renaissance will nonetheless find favour with fans of the original, as well as pick up plenty of new fans along the way.

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Jul 25, 2021

Ultimately, The Procession To Calvary is one of the most amusing and unique video games we've played in some time on Switch, and if you're a fan of the genre, then it's absolutely worth your time.

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Jul 24, 2021

If you're a fan of belt-scrolling fighters then Vendetta is a must-buy, pure and simple. While its arcade origins do mean it's slightly unbalanced in terms of fairness, it has enough charm, gameplay and multiplayer appeal to be well worth a look, even decades after its initial release.

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Apr 30, 2021

Ultimately, R-Type Final 2 is exactly what you’d expect a sequel to R-Type Final to be like. It certainly doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel, and some may be a little underwhelmed by the fact that it lacks any massive gameplay changes from previous instalments in the franchise. Still, that’s rather missing the point; games like this aren’t as common as they once were and getting a shmup of such quality in 2021 is truly something to celebrate.

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Oct 26, 2020

Vigil: The Longest Night isn't the toughest Metroidvania you'll encounter on Switch – nor does it possess the most interesting plot – but it has plenty of secrets to uncover even after you've finished it; it's just a shame that Switch owners have to endure a host of technical problems, such as long load times and an inconsistent frame rate. These unfortunate issues aren't enough to totally sink the game, however; if you're in the market for more Metroidvania goodness and you like your games dark, grimy and gothic, then it's certainly worth a look.

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Oct 14, 2020

We can't deliver our final verdict on Mario Kart Live until we've fully explored its multiplayer potential with a second RC car, but what we can say at this stage is that this is a startlingly authentic "mixed reality" recreation of Nintendo's most popular racing series which encourages you to be inventive with your course designs and does an excellent job of combining your real world surroundings with the fantasy environments of the Mushroom Kingdom. The tech side of things is undeniably impressive and it's impossible to not raise a smile the first time you play; the question is how long that magic will last, especially if your home limits your track designs and you've only got the budget to cover the cost of a single car.

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Aug 28, 2020

Even if RTS titles aren't your cup of tea, we highly recommend you give this one a whirl because, outside of spiritual successor AirMech, there really hasn't been a game quite like this since.

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Jun 29, 2020

Missile Dancer certainly isn't the most complex shmup we've ever seen, nor is it the most attractive, but it absolutely nails that core gameplay loop which makes the best examples of the genre so compelling and is a must-have for anyone who considers themselves to be a fan of this type of game.

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The often frustrating controls and totally random gameplay elements do tarnish the experience somewhat, but we still had a whale of a time playing Behold The Kickmen. The cutting humour goes a long way to making it an enjoyable romp, and the story mode holds your interest via its funny narrative and the attraction of ploughing cash into improving your team. While it's never going to challenge legitimate soccer simulations on the market, we're glad it exists; as much as we love the sport, it does take itself far too seriously.

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It's easy to see why Game Tengoku CruisinMix Special is so beloved by Japanese shmup fans, but it's equally easy to understand why it's not as well known in the west as Parodius, despite being very similar in tone.

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May 31, 2020

The obvious question when reviewing The TakeOver is how it compares to Streets of Rage 4, and we're pleased to report that it's just as worthy of your time as money, even if it lacks online play and some of the extra polish that DotEmu, Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games' title possesses. Some players will no doubt take issue with the CG-style sprites, but every other aspect of this package feels spot-on and we especially appreciate the two bonus stages, which feel like love letters to other Sega classics. The TakeOver offers an engaging and addictive alternative to Streets of Rage 4, and any self-respecting fan of the side-scrolling fighting genre shouldn't hesitate to pick up both.

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8 / 10 - Jet Lancer
May 12, 2020

While Jet Lancer does become slightly repetitive in places, the tight controls, enjoyable action and massive, massive explosions all combine to create a shooter which is well worth a look – especially if you're a fan of this particular genre.

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Feb 25, 2020

A confident and assured update of a classic fighting game series

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8 / 10 - 198X
Jan 20, 2020

A passionate love letter to a bygone age, 198X celebrates 2D, arcade-based gaming brilliantly and wraps it up in some of the best hand-drawn art we've seen in years.

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8 / 10 - Demon's Tilt
Dec 20, 2019

With its single table, often obtuse mechanics and sometimes brutal difficulty, Demon's Tilt isn't going to be to everybody's tastes, but if you have even the slightest interest in pinball games then you really should check this out.

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Sep 20, 2019

Untitled Goose Game boasts more inventiveness, creativity and charm than the vast majority of titles on the Switch eShop, and offers a believable game world that's a real pleasure to explore, investigate and – of course – cause merry havoc in. Superb physics, excellent controls, surprisingly robust AI and unique presentation all combine to make this a real highlight in the Switch's library – it's only the brevity of the experience that lets it down, but this really is a case of quality over quantity.

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9 / 10 - Astral Chain
Aug 26, 2019

With its amazing visuals, fantastic presentation, varied gameplay and deep, rewarding combat, Astral Chain could well be PlatinumGames' most accomplished game yet.

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Despite the fact that this is unquestionably a very fine video game, there's no escaping the fact that the Switch version has some serious issues

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