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DrJoeystein

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11 games reviewed
74.9 average score
70 median score
63.6% of games recommended
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Jan 15, 2017

Final Fantasy XV is a last-ditch effort to keep one of the world's longest video game franchises chugging along. You can smell the fumes and hear troubling sounds with its bumpy story and out-of-place objectives on the road. The open world and gameplay also pose challenges to keeping you in for the ride, but after being behind the wheel for some time, there's something nostalgic and one-of-a-kind about this game that can't be shaken. It doesn't necessarily do anything new or different, but the manners in which it forges its own blend of ideas makes for novelties that gain your appreciation and surprise. Unexpectedly engrossing quests and combat scenarios, meticulous animation, grand characters, and a messy yet fascinating lore are some of those things. Notwithstanding rough patches, there's enough here to keep your interest fueled until you run on empty.

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Jan 11, 2017

Just like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, many will grow fond of and be inspired by The Last Guardian for years to come. It's a fairy tale that pulls on the heart strings with a whimsical world, provoking childlike wonder at every corner. After being in the stream of development for so long, it surfaces with dings and wear in the form of an unrefined camera and controls. Some unclear objectives and strange puzzles may be evident as well, but with a profoundly intriguing and lovable AI companion, stirring score, and captivating scenery and animation, it's easy to see why this anachronistic anomaly was far too unique and precious to stay under forever.

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Dec 29, 2016

[Hyper Light Drifter] imaginatively exudes...personal ruminations on loneliness, pain, and temporality across its story, visuals, and audio. However, silver linings of beauty and perseverance can be found between the dark lines of its thematic consistency. Further substance comes from its full world that will quicken your heart rate with its hyper combat or lower it with calming treks and views that captivate. This is an adventure that may feel too safe and even aimless for differing reasons, but you'll never want to lose sight of the light on the horizon that compels you to keep wandering…drifting onward.

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Aug 19, 2016

I want this franchise to excel, but just as the first game struggled to get off the ground, Catalyst struggles to soar as well. The core gameplay and artistic direction have vastly improved for this entry, and while it explores new territory with an open world and a grander narrative that act as solid foundations, they're squandered since little is built atop them to make this game tower above its peers. Despite these letdowns, DICE now has an even better framework to construct a phenomenal sequel, and I earnestly hope it will seize and run after this opportunity. I have faith in Faith's future, but her time to shine hasn't been struck just yet.

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6.8 / 10.0 - Quantum Break
Aug 2, 2016

The game does boast high production values with its show and captivating graphical effects, which are aided by a thoughtful story that tackles time travel with a logical, thematic bend. However, most of this obscures half of the boring characters and the show's focus on mostly uninteresting side characters. The audio may be great all around, but the fascinating visuals and gameplay are marred by unfortunate limitations, respectively from a technical and imaginative standpoint.

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Unscored - Overwatch
Jul 9, 2016

You aren't just a cog in the machine here. You act and feel like an essential piece of the puzzle to victory [in Overwatch], which produces a sense of belonging to teams and thrill I haven't had with any sort of multiplayer game in a long time, especially one that manages to be uncannily accessible. It contains oodles of replayability with a gorgeous, charming art style and animation, superb sound design, and modes that never grow stale. This is easily one of my top contenders for 2016's game of the year. Let alone this generation of consoles.

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[This is] a game I admire yet refuse to sugarcoat because of its deep flaws. There's no question it's visually and aurally excellent with its balanced performance and graphics, confident aesthetics, persistent sound effects, and phenomenal score. It may also feel perfect to play, but the seams fall apart when examining the lack of objective diversity, bosses, and standout moments that rarely raise the execution of gameplay to creative or clever lengths. [...] That sounds damning, doesn't it? Yet I can't help but highly recommend this game because I had a blast with it.

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Unscored - Alien: Isolation
Jan 20, 2016

Whether you act upon fight or flight, the restrictions imposed on the moment-to-moment gameplay never fail to make sneaking or making a scene filled with excitable tension. While some design choices, a lack of diverse objectives, minor issues with the controls, and passable characters will contribute to varying bouts of boredom, it's more than worth to see Amanda through to aurally and visually absorb every second of the distinct retro-futurism that Creative Assembly perfectly replicates and improves upon.

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8.3 / 10.0 - The Evil Within
Jul 22, 2015

I like to look at [The Evil Within] as a meaningful love letter to pure survival-horror with gameplay that demands you to take your time and conserve your resources against aggressive foes in devilish settings. While a small portion of the design and features are rough, the majority of this game is a rock solid title sure of itself with a beautifully desolate world to explore and an insane story that's a fun albeit slow ride to watch unfold.

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6.5 / 10.0 - The Order: 1886
Jul 13, 2015

This is The Order: 1886's downfall. It's so caught up in its orderly appearances that it fails to impress where it truly matters with gameplay and story, which is where the cracks start to show with its internal disorder.

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