Gamer Escape's Reviews
Its adherence to the cartoon is also its saving grace, as excising the IP from this title leaves you with little more than a simplistic, passable platformer. If nautical nonsense be something you wish, SpongeBob SquarePants: The Cosmic Shake will absolutely deliver enjoyment on par with the cartoon itself—just don’t expect there to be much of anything you haven’t seen before.
Sometimes you come across a game that is actively striving to evoke emotions within you, and as mentioned above I think Mojiken did an amazing job in driving their intended point home. I truly found myself contending with some dormant feelings as I experienced A Space for the Unbound, and while it does have some things that bog it down (mainly just the long and repetitive fetch quests), it is certainly much more than its flaws. It trades off all the running around with a culturally rich environment/cast of characters, a realistic view into adult issues like depression, anxiety, loss, and loneliness, and for the price also provides pretty good replayability and entertainment value.
While I wouldn’t use the word “perfect,” Mahokenshi offered a truly fun experience that far exceeded any expectations I could have had. It has restored my faith that there is room for innovation in its genre. This game is fun, not too easy or too hard (nor too long or too short), offers a compelling world for its gameplay, and overall is something I feel quite comfortable recommending to anyone and everyone who likes mixing cards with video games, but it also has potential for people outside of this genre as well. Check it out!
More than anything else, Season is about the vibe it cultivates. Asking you to pause, actually look and listen to your surroundings, not just as a way to work on your journal but as a way of life. It is certainly a beautiful experience, one I couldn’t help but reflect on even after I’d put it down. But outside of that, it is a little bit short, and there doesn’t seem to be too much in the way of replay value. If you’re down with that vibe, you’ll find this a very relaxing experience with some entertaining worldbuilding and a few mysteries for suspense. However, being pretty much a one-off experience more like a movie may rub a lot of gamers the wrong way.
The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow is a clever and creepy indie game that isn’t afraid to show how much love they have for this style of storytelling. It may not be the kind of game that will please everyone, but it will satisfy those looking for an old-school experience wrapped up in eldritch horror. Switch owners looking to expand their adventure game library will find a solid experience here, and the low price point will work in its favor. Thomasina’s misadventure is a story worth playing, so long as you go in ready to tussle with the old-school quirks of the genre.
It’s a very level game—enjoyable at first, but not very exciting after you’ve spent several hours with it. When you combine this with its emphasis on replayability over length and a paucity of mechanical revision, you get a lacking game with a highly contradictory price tag. These drawbacks are hefty, and they cause 2023’s Colossal Cave to be a difficult recommendation for those who aren’t already enamored with its text adventure roots.
I can’t recommend the game to everyone, and maybe not even to most people. But I think it’s commendable in what it’s trying to do. And if you, like me, have fond memories of picking up games you knew nothing about based on weird art and a love of cyborg ninjas on motorcycles for no reason… this is the modern descendant of those, and it’s having a good go at it.
What else is there to say? I guess the game works, with little to no bugs, which is good, at least that aspect is polished. But there’s little else good I can say about it. At best it’s a very boring platformer with no charm or substance, and at worst it’s throw-down-your-controller frustrating. The enemies are sparse and boring, and it takes too long before you gain new abilities that would give any depth whatsoever to the game. Unfortunately, I really find myself unable to come up with a reason to recommend this to anyone.
But then, that perhaps is the worst thing about it. The game isn’t terrible, but it’s a bit forgettable. It comes out on the right side wherein you can have some fun with it, especially if you really like strategy games, but it doesn’t really feel like it works very hard to do more than just be good enough. If you’re in the mood for a strategy game but don’t want quite so much strategy, it’ll fill you up, but it’s not going to delight you in the process.
Thanks to sparse placement of save rooms and challenging enemy locations, the player will be constantly hitting walls to their progression and replaying the same paths repeatedly (and in both directions). Tragically, the only reward for triumphing over these is often a predictable, meager upgrade or another equally difficult stretch of rooms, thus forcing Astronite to be a monotonous experience. The quality boss fights simply aren’t plentiful enough to make up for its shortcomings.
Fans of exploration and shooters are strongly encouraged to try out The Knight Witch, because it’s a little indie title that’s going to charm you with both its story and its gameplay. What do you know? Mashing concepts together worked out pretty well here after all.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve played a truly bad game, and unfortunately, Gungrave G.O.R.E falls into that category. The further I progressed through the game, the less I wanted to play it. That’s not something I’ve found myself feeling in years, and that’s saying something. For as much as I wanted this to succeed, every attempt at grasping for a modicum of decent gameplay was met with the most tedium I’ve met in a game this year. It feels like a game defrosted from 2005, and not in a good way.
This game might not have the same sort of quirky charm as its inspiration, but it fills a much needed void in an understated genre with a quality entry. If you want a fun arcade-style experience that can potentially also sharpen your keyboarding skills, you really can’t go wrong here.
I admittedly haven’t played any of the older Star Ocean games from back at the peak of its popularity, so I can’t say for certain whether Divine Force is a return to form. But for fans disappointed with the previous entry, there’s plenty here to make a dive back into the franchise worthwhile. Here’s hoping tri-Ace gets another shot with a bigger budget next time, because I believe they’re on an upswing.
After so many Dragon Ball games repeating the same story arcs and putting players in control of the same characters, it’s a fun and refreshing experience (at first) to see what events on the scale of Dragon Ball Z would feel like from the perspective of a regular joe shmoe on the street. It’s a novel enough concept that makes for some great fun in the first few days of play, but it doesn’t take much longer for the cracks to start showing. This take on the asymmetrical multiplayer genre makes sense and there’s some appreciable execution outside of it simply being a Dragon Ball game, but it’s hard to see The Breakers really grabbing players thanks to its dearth of content, multiple grinds, and matches that start to feel a bit too familiar once you get past the new player experience.
But I think that on balance, the whole thing works out to the game’s favor. This is definitely a title made with a lot of love and attention to detail, and while it’s hardly a flawless production, I think it’s worth checking out for people who sit on either side of the fence. If you’ve always wanted to love a Soulslike title but never quite got there, this might help get you over the hump; if you love them but don’t mind something being a bit more Souls-lite, this will delight you. It’s not going to make it on to my short list of worthy Game of the Year contenders, but it’s a solid outing all around, and that’s not nothing.
Seriously, this is one of those reviews where I want to keep writing because I want to convey how much fun this game is overall. I had a blast with this game. In moments where I was stuck, I didn’t have the urge to throw the game away and never pick it up again; I wanted to figure it out, convinced that there was a path through. I felt happy at each success, rejoiced each time I made a nice sale, felt comfort as I slowly started making money and turning the tides against the forces arrayed against me.
Which is exactly why it pains me to remember that Scorn was a long time coming, and while the visuals suffer nothing for it, the mechanical design of the game at large feels outdated and incongruous with its aesthetic triumphs. Despite a solid (if somewhat superficial) iteration of survival horror mechanics, the lack of enemy variety and an archaic checkpoint system guarantee multiple spots of unnecessary frustration. These sections end up being little more than forced time away from the game’s proper strengths of puzzles and atmosphere. Scorn is still a journey worth taking for its appearance and environments alone, but I would have traded away every single repetitive combat encounter for just one more puzzle to sink my teeth into.
Unfortunately, I feel that while it’s a very good *simulation*, it isn’t a very good *game*, and I can really only recommend this to the hardcore skate fans who don’t like all the arcade-style skate games out there. While I did have some fun with it, there was just way too much frustration with even basic elements that shouldn’t be as difficult to understand as they were.
NeverAwake is a truly polished gem, an absolute pleasure from start to finish. The short levels, simple controls, and satisfying challenge all combine to make it oh so tempting to play “just one more level” until you’ve binged the whole game. While there are certainly a few areas here and there that feel less polished, they really focused on the core that makes for a great shooter.