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2023 games reviewed
72.3 average score
70 median score
53.0% of games recommended
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Oct 21, 2020

There's such a lack of polish and precision to Tears of Avia that it's difficult to blindly recommend. As a fan of the tactics JRPG genre, I did enjoy this, but it would be disingenuous of me to suggest that there weren't many other games out there with a similar ambition that are executed far better.

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Oct 20, 2020

Tempered at the edges as it might be, Onee Chanbara Origin is still crass and skimpy, and an explicit work of nostalgic grindhouse for anyone that remembers that genre. Additionally, short as it may be, it's genuinely well-made for what it wants to be: a mindless action game.

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Ultimately, Agatha Christie's The ABC Murders is a perfectly competent point-and-click detective game, competently ported to Nintendo Switch. It's more difficult to deliver a "great detective" story in a way that feels appropriate to the character and the players than most people would think, but the developers have done an admirable job here overall. Just do yourself a favour and resist looking up a guide. Not all the puzzles are perfectly executed, but for this game to have the right impact on you, you really do want to be solving each puzzle without assistance, even if that does mean that you feel like your Poirot's IQ has dropped a couple hundred points.

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Oct 16, 2020

I'm left wondering just who would want to play Postal Redux. The game works, sure, but there are a lot of top-down isometric shooters that work. I understand the appeal in playing both transgressive and offensive games, but Postal isn't actually transgressive, since it has so little to say and while it clearly caused offence in the '90s, there are games that are much more capable of causing offence now if that's what you're looking for. Play Hotline Miami. Hotline Miami upset plenty of people. Postal, meanwhile... Postal in 2020 comes across as bland, and for a game (and series) that relies entirely on upsetting people, even when the gameplay is competent, for it to be "bland" is to make its very existence pointless.

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Oct 16, 2020

I will also say that I have enjoyed Liege Dragon more than some of the others from Kemco, too. There is a more solid narrative to it, and I really like the visual design of that combat system. Though, being entirely honest here, it was probably the sexy princess that got it over the line for me. That really is one very inspired costume design.

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But as a cinematic story, set against some of the most gorgeous art we've seen in visual novels, Piofiore is also memorable, deftly-written, and for those that can stomach it, affecting in the right kind of way. It's less repulsive in both intent and application than it is sobering and reflective. I must admit I never thought otome games would go to this kind of extreme. Sure they often have their dark edges, but ultimately, the romance wins through. Piofiore is the inverse of that. It's deeply romantic, but those dark edges will be what haunts you well after you're done.

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There is nothing wrong with Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2. If you enjoy Mario Kart, and like Nickelodeon, then you're the demographic for this game, and you'll get a kick from it. There are no nasty surprises in the way the kart racing action is executed, and it's so overwhelmingly competent it would have been something truly special if it was just a little more interesting. Sadly, the really, really good character mashup games are enjoyable even if you're not a fan of the properties, and Nickelodeon Kart Racers 2 doesn't quite get that far.

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Prinny 1 & 2 will endure on and be remembered, if only because they have that infamous challenge level and the highly amusing approach the developers took to address that. Who doesn't want to throw a thousand-strong horde of Prinnies at a problem? Scratch beneath that surface are two platformers that are more bluster than refinement, relying more on humour than adventurous design to keep players interested, and while there's nothing wrong with that, it does need to be noted that as far as the platformer genre is concerned, these efforts are neither stand-out nor inspiring. You might not have favourite levels or scenes by the time you've ground out victory across these two titles, but as raw entertainment, they really are hard to put down. As a double feature, NISA is providing real value and entertainment, and hopefully plenty of people are willing to tackle the challenge.

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Oct 7, 2020

With such a convoluted, complex narrative going for it, Robotics;Notes is the kind of game that you'll end up musing over for quite some time. It's a little more grounded in the human experience than Steins;Gate, but the eclectic mix of genres, themes and motifs that the narrative scattershots its way through means that it needed to have that groundedness to keep players connected to it. So successful is it in its writing and presentation that Robotics;Notes will be remembered as one of the truly great visual novels. It's perhaps not as philosophical or dense as Steins;Gate, but it is more emotive and evocative.

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Oct 6, 2020

This game, to me, is a reminder of the dozens upon dozens of hours I would play Super Smash Bros. on the Nintendo 64 with family and friends, at a time before anyone cared about a "meta-game" or the tiered rankings of dozens upon dozens of characters. Kirby Fighters 2 gets the party fighting game genre right back to the most simple of basics, and it's adorable in the process. That's a win-win.

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