Damien McFerran


68 games reviewed
75.1 average score
80 median score
55.9% of games recommended
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Oct 1, 2018

Familiarity does breed contempt, but Sonic's first game remains a classic despite the number of times we've played it. Sure, the sequel may be the better outing and both Sonic Mania and Sonic CD are arguably superior releases, but there's a pureness to this title that makes it worth a look, even in 2018. The only complaint that can be raised against the Switch version is that, like a great many of the upcoming Sega Ages Mega Drive titles, it could end up being surplus to requirements when the Sega Mega Drive Classics collection arrives; a slightly lower price might have made this easier to wholeheartedly recommend, but we know this very minor complaint will fall on deaf ears if you're a diehard Sega fan.

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Sep 18, 2018

If you're not a fan of the genre then you may well be wondering what all the fuss is about, but for everyone else, this is a must-have download.

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Sep 12, 2018

The third Labo kit is perhaps the best one yet; it offers a solid building experience and a genuinely entertaining way to control three distinct modes of transport, as well as a fleshed-out gameworld which is not only packed with things to do, but is augmented by a range of mini-game modes which will provide many hours of enjoyment – although the multi-player ones require you to have a second Vehicle Kit to hand, which might not be feasible for everyone.

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Jul 19, 2018

Galak-Z: Variant S is a more focused and tighter experience than its forerunner, but one that offers surprising depth thanks to the often staggering upgrade opportunities on offer. By taking the freemium route developer 17-Bit Studios has been forced to introduce timers which can be overridden by spending actual cash, but these are thoughtfully deployed and even if you do decide to dig deep in your pocket, you'll still need considerable shooting skills to overcome the increasingly stern - if somewhat repetitive - challenge.

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While some of the games included in this compendium are rendered somewhat superfluous by the fact that far superior sequels and updates exist alongside them, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection remains an utterly essential purchase for any self-respecting fighting game fan. Because of Street Fighter's importance to the genre, this is like a history lesson in how the one-on-one fighter has evolved over time; from its rather bumbled inception with the original Street Fighter to its break-out moment with the sequel and its slow and steady refinement with the Super, Alpha and Street Fighter III sub-series. Granted, you'll end up wanting more – it would have been nice to see some of the spin-off titles like X-Men Vs. Street Fighter make the cut, if only as bonus items – but it's not the fault of the game that we're inherently greedy by nature. The only other point to make is that the experience really benefits from using the right controller; while the Joy-Con are perfectly acceptable when you're hosting impromptu local multiplayer challenges and the Pro Controller's D-Pad is passable, we found the 8bitdo SN30 and SN30 Pro pads to be much better options, and if you have an arcade stick that's compatible with Switch, now is the ideal time to dig it out – this is fighting game nirvana, pure and simple.

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7 / 10 - Raging Justice
May 10, 2018

Raging Justice isn't going to win any awards for originality or narrative depth, but it succeeds in picking up the often neglected scrolling fighter, dusting it off and sending it out with a fresh pair of clothes and some new ideas. The extra buttons are put to good use, giving you a wide array of offensive options when you're in the thick of things, and the ability to arrest enemies adds a layer of strategy to the otherwise mindless action. When played solo the game is perhaps a little too unforgiving to recommend to everyone, but when you rope in a second player it becomes one of the most enjoyable multiplayer experiences on Switch; working together to clean up the streets is fun, but you won't be able to resist occasionally stabbing your ally in the back, just for old time's sake.

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May 2, 2018

The main mode is undeniably fun and gives a sense of immersion that is impressive for something fashioned out of cardboard. On the downside, it takes an age to assemble and the core 'game' isn't robust enough to keep you playing for long; you then have to decide if you're going to store that bulky backpack away somewhere or spend a considerable amount of time taking it carefully apart, knowing full well that another four-odd hours of construction time is required to make it again – if the parts are in good enough condition to do so, of course.

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9 / 10 - Sky Rogue
Apr 25, 2018

While it lacks any storyline and the randomised nature of the missions may strike some as lazy, Sky Rogue has plenty of gameplay where it counts. The dogfighting action is superb, aided by excellent controls, a wide range of weapons and plenty of stuff to unlock. The 12-stage campaign mode will keep you coming back for quite some time – thanks largely to the unique roguelike approach where death means losing everything, but the experience gained means a better chance of success next time around – and the ability to rope in a friend in co-op adds even more longevity. Granted, when you do eventually complete the game there's not a great deal to bring you back, but it will take quite some time and effort to reach that point – and you'll have had such a blast you won't feel short-changed anyway.

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Mar 27, 2018

Detective Pikachu ranks as one of the most interesting Pokémon spin-offs we've seen in years, and does an wonderful job of offering a fresh perspective on a world we've become almost uncomfortably familiar with in recent years.

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6 / 10 - Castle of Heart
Mar 22, 2018

Castle of Heart looks great and offers a stern challenge to those who don't mind repeatedly playing the same level over and over before finally beating it and moving on. There's definitely some fun to be had finding the best route through each stage and delicately picking off enemies, but the constantly-depleting health bar and frustrating combat will have many players giving up and moving onto games which are less harmful to their general well being.

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