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Stephen Tailby

Quintumply
Quintumply

Favorite Games:
  • Burnout 3: Takedown
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Portal 2

258 games reviewed
66.6 average score
70 median score
51.2% of games recommended

Stephen Tailby's Reviews

Having grown up alongside PlayStation, Stephen has developed a wide knowledge of video games, from AAA blockbusters to the smallest indie gems. With relentless enthusiasm, eclectic taste, and a passion for writing, he’s always on the lookout for the next big thing. He also has the Platinum for The Witness, so there’s that.
7 / 10 - Temtem
Sep 18, 2022

By and large, Temtem is a well-made, generous monster-taming RPG that differentiates itself enough from the obvious competition. The battle system is perhaps its main strength, offering quite challenging 2-on-2 fights even against wild encounters. It's jam-packed with stuff to do, and its online integration means connecting with other players is easy. The creature designs could be better, and the writing and human characters aren't particularly memorable, but if the game clicks for you, those weaknesses will fade into the background.

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Sep 8, 2022

As we said, Need for Speed Heat is the best entry in the franchise for quite some time, but it's still not quite where it needs to be. The day vs. night gameplay is a compelling loop, and it's a big step in the right direction for the series in general. It's a solid effort with fun handling and lots of customisation options. It's a shame the open world lacks personality, and the police are perhaps a little too hardball, but there's still plenty to like. At the tail end of this generation, Need for Speed is back to being good — let's hope it can be great in future.

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Unfortunately, the game's issues run a bit deeper. Like the 2016 version, the gameplay is stiff, slow, and rather dull, and sometimes it's unclear precisely how to proceed. Inventory space is a near constant headache. Building up your town is hard work, which is probably intentional but isn't very fun — especially when giant monsters unceremoniously wander over and destroy your buildings. Fighting back can feel futile and isn't particularly satisfying, either. It's tough, because there's great potential in its collaborative, common goal nature, and Phoenix Edition really does make many improvements to the overall experience, but its cold, repetitive core holds it back.

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8 / 10 - TOEM
Aug 31, 2022

It's a very simple game that you can easily wrap up over a weekend, but it's a satisfying, imaginative, and endlessly pleasant adventure while it lasts.

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7 / 10 - Bugsnax
Aug 9, 2022

Bugsnax delivers a good time regardless of platform, but it excels on PS5. It benefits from much shorter loading sequences, improved performance, and the DualSense's unique features. All this makes for a more enjoyable excursion to Snaktooth Island. If you play Bugsnax at all — and you absolutely should — do it on PS5.

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5 / 10 - Frogun
Aug 2, 2022

From a presentation standpoint, the game has a lot of charm with its low-poly models and bright colours, and it runs perfectly at all times. The music and effects are also fairly old-school, but can be irritatingly repetitive. Overall, the game just feels quite flat; its central idea is good but levels don't really build on it, and some cutesy visuals can only take it so far.

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8 / 10 - Stray
Jul 18, 2022

Despite one or two rough edges, Stray is a very enjoyable adventure. It's fairly straightforward, and gives you lots of opportunity to embody a cat, whether that's rubbing up against a robot's legs, clawing at furniture, or finding cosy places in which to snooze. The narrative doesn't quite reach the emotional hit it's looking for, but it slowly shows its hand throughout, with plenty of interesting details to learn. Pairing a common pet with moody sci-fi has worked well, resulting in a unique, engaging game with strengths that outshine its flaws.

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8 / 10 - Ape Escape
Jul 11, 2022

Ape Escape might show its age in certain regards - the controls are very much of their time, and the mini-games are hit and miss - but it remains a fun, easy-going adventure. Tracking down all the monkeys and figuring out how to catch them is still a joy, and all Spike's gadgets are useful across the varied, colourful stages. Packed with charm and still pretty unique to this day, this is quite simply an oldie but a goodie.

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7 / 10 - Arcadeggedon
Jul 5, 2022

Arcadegeddon is Illfonic's most well-rounded multiplayer title yet, with a fun, engaging core and fast-paced gameplay keeping you going. Its rogue-lite elements don't get in the way, and it's a great game to let loose in with a friend or two. We can take or leave some of the surrounding fluff, like the largely forgettable characters and cosmetics, and there are definitely one or two rough edges. Even so, it's worth jacking into this solid third-person shooter for some scrappy fun.

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7 / 10 - F1 22
Jun 27, 2022

Overall, F1 22 is another high quality simulation of the motorsport, with great handling and detailed, engrossing career modes. While the presentation is strong and the game generally looks and sounds great, some aspects like character models just aren't quite where they should be, and F1 Life doesn't add all that much to the experience. We encountered more bugs than expected, too, although we expect patches will iron those out in due course. It's got it where it really counts, then, but some extra polish would put it higher on the grid.

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Jun 24, 2022

The main thing that lets it down is its new economy; unlike previously, you cannot use Crowns to purchase the best costumes in the shop, and Kudos is harder to earn too. Your Crowns instead go towards a ranking with long-term unlocks. They're replaced by Show-Bucks, a premium currency needed for all the coolest stuff, which stings a bit after years of access to everything. It lessens the impact of winning because you can just buy all the rarer items now. The free Fame Pass is still there, but it's supplemented with a premium tier, which is really the only way to earn Show-Bucks without simply buying them. Despite these concerns, the game is just as fun as it ever was, and thankfully none of the things you can buy alter gameplay. There's so much to like about Fall Guys, and now it's open to everyone.

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7 / 10 - Sonic Origins
Jun 21, 2022

Sonic Origins presents four of the hedgehog's best games with style, and it's a joy to revisit these iconic platformers. Presentational flourishes like the animated cutscenes, as well as a host of extra modes like Boss Rush and Missions, give fans and newcomers alike plenty to see and do, and the Museum is full of interesting artwork you might not have seen before. Some stingy DLC practices let the side down, and of course, the games themselves have some 30-year-old weaknesses, but this is by-and-large a wonderful spin down memory lane.

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Jun 21, 2022

VOID Riders is a solid addition to OlliOlli World that justifies itself with a neat new mechanic, fun characters, and some cracking extra levels. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it doesn't need to; if you're into it already, this just gives you more excuses to keep things rolling.

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May 27, 2022

Kao the Kangaroo makes his big return in 2022, but the game feels like it's leapt straight out of PS2's back catalogue. Despite many rough edges and old-fashioned design principles, it ultimately succeeds in delivering a fun, breezy 3D platformer for fans of the series. It manages to evoke feelings of nostalgia despite being a brand new title with its simple gameplay and colourful worlds. It does fall apart under modern scrutiny, but it just about gets away with it, thanks to its harmlessly old-school approach.

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May 23, 2022

The overarching feeling while playing this game is that it's wonderfully relaxing. Save for a handful of tough difficulty spikes or moments where you lose your way on the sprawling map, A Monster's Expedition provides a genuinely pleasant puzzle experience you can enjoy at your own pace. A few options for tips mean you have some help if you want it, and no loading means it's a doddle to get into. If you're after something chilled out to wind down with, it's certainly worth taking this journey.

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Visually it's definitely an improvement, although it's behind the curve by modern standards. It makes up for that by doubling the size of the game with all-new content, alterations to existing endings, and more that fans will adore. If you've played The Stanley Parable before, Ultra Deluxe gives you lots of reasons to revisit the experience. If this'll be your first time, well, lucky you. Once the element of surprise is gone, there's little reason to return — but while it lasts, this is easily among gaming's most unique and memorable journeys.

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LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is a meaningful step forward, smartly evolving the gameplay without losing that fun-loving core.

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Mar 31, 2022

Side missions and a score attack mode with leaderboards are available once you're done with the Campaign and its daft story. These provide a little more challenge, but there's only so much mileage to get from what is quite a concise game. It's not going to last you that long, then, but it fills that time with stylish, flashy fun that makes you feel like an unstoppable agent.

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Mar 22, 2022

However, Paradise Killer will gradually win you over. Part of its smart design is letting you begin the endgame trial, where you'll make your final accusations, whenever you like, giving you complete control over the outcome. When you're satisfied you know what happened, you can start proceedings and present your case — there is no single correct answer. Combined with a great, low-tech aesthetic and an excellent soundtrack, and this is a game with both style and substance.

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Mar 16, 2022

There's surprising scope in the game — you can dismantle items to get materials, which you can then combine into new weapon modules. There are side missions and mini-games, like serving cocktails to earn money. It's also kind-of open world, albeit a very small one. While the ambition is admirable, overall we feel the game comes across as quite unfocused. It's an enjoyable experience, and everything here is reasonably good, but the result is a game that doesn't really shine, save for its rainy, neon-infused aesthetic.

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