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Digitally Downloaded

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2475 games reviewed
72.8 average score
80 median score
55.7% of games recommended

Digitally Downloaded's Reviews

Nov 7, 2022

Paradigm Paradox is not terrible. It’s a perfectly readable visual novel, and the twist it gives to the magical girls story – putting it in the context of an otome – was one worth exploring. However, I’ve got to say that I expect far better from Otomate. This is a studio that produces the most beautiful visual novels, with the most vivid characters and settings, of all. Against that studio’s lofty standards this one is, unfortunately, a big misstep.

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Nov 4, 2022

Ragnarök is popcorn entertainment, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. This game’s going to sell a billion copies for a reason.

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Nov 2, 2022

An incredible amount of work went into this game. I mean, there’s the original songs, plus diary entries, notes, voicemails, interviews, quizzes… The overall quality of the game is excellent. Yes, I have my qualms with it, mainly with the difficulty and lack of song lyrics. But I can see past the difficulty, at least, to understand the narrative puzzle game that’s in front of me. I wouldn’t quite call it a masterpiece, but I will say that it’s exceptionally unique.

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I would say Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival is a release for the more hardcore side of the Taiko fanbase, but that would be overlooking the sheer joy and accessibility of the main game. Perhaps I’m merely bitter at the lack of supplementary features, shallow party modes, and a somewhat cynical subscription service that makes Rhythm Festival lag behind Drum ‘n’ Fun. But ultimately, this is more Taiko, and more Taiko is good. It’s not my favourite of Bandai Namco’s outings on the Nintendo console, but it’s not without its charm either.

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That being said, Yomawari: Lost In The Dark is such a fascinating, beautiful little horror game. With some smart mechanics, spot-on perfect pacing and atmosphere, and an intense, melancholy narrative this horror experience achieves something rare for video game horror: spooky good times that will make you think and even feel.

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Oct 27, 2022

With a better localisation Richman 11 would be essential to people who enjoy digital board games. It’s not quite as good as Square Enix’s equivalent series, but, again, since Square Enix isn’t localising those, good on Softstar for stepping up. Unfortunately the poor localisation does mean that the game comes across as obtuse and will only be for people who have a lot of experience in this kind of experience, and the patience to learn this one’s quirks over several sessions.

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I don’t want to take anything away from this game, though. I have enjoyed Star Ocean: The Divine Force more than any game in the series since the third one. The developers have calibrated just about everything about this game perfectly, from the classically entertaining JRPG plot and characters, to the incredible aesthetics and superb pacing. The Divine Force is by no means a short game, but it has a way of making the hours fly past so that it never feels like it’s dragging on your time. Yes, the combat is a little unrefined and too pacey for its own good, but it’s still very playable, and totally worth dealing with to enjoy the most exotic JRPG of 2022.

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Oct 25, 2022

Thanks to excellent characterisation, a true understanding of how to work with both hyperbole and surrealism within a narrative, and a ridiculously complex, but rewarding, combat system, Bayonetta 3 has been well worth the wait.

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Oct 21, 2022

As the latest burger off the production line, Gotham Knights is fine. It ticks all the boxes, name-drops all the right characters, has the right voice actors, and is a big, expensive project that looks and plays like it should. At the end of the day, though, you’re still eating a greasy burger with no nutritional value whatsoever. While it’s fine to say “yeah but sometimes that’s fun,” there is a point where we need to acknowledge that this is all some people eat. That’s not healthy and I, for one, am sick of superhero nonsense being such a vacuum of talent producing such mindless output, when the games industry (and Hollywood) could be doing so much more.

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Kamiwaza is, no doubt, going to be written up as a “product of its times,” but I think that writing it off like that is missing the mark a little. It’s true that even in this “remastered” state it looks like a PS2 game (excellent aesthetics, but primitive technical execution). However, Kamiwaza is an ambitious and boundary-pushing game. By turns surrealistic and funny, sincere and layered, it’s one of the most eclectic and interesting titles you’ll play this year, and it is a very good thing that it has finally been localised. You’ll understand why it never managed to influence too many other developers, but without fascinating and experimental things like this, we’d live in a very boring world.

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Oct 19, 2022

Honestly, Fragment’s Note+ comes across as what would happen if someone who smooshes dolls or figures together to make them kiss were to write a visual novel. There is a lot of talent that went into making some of the elements of the game. The art is nice, and given more narrative context the “steamy” scenes would have been so much more fun. The localisation is also far better than the game deserves. It’s just that underneath it all is a ridiculously, stupidly juvenile story, and there’s no saving that.

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Oct 18, 2022

Australia has a long history and heritage in video games, but very rarely do I see Australian game developers aim to contribute to our national body of narrative work like Wayward Strand does, and I cannot express in words just how admirable I find this effort to be.

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Oct 13, 2022

You come to a visual novel for the narrative, of course, and Chaos;Head Noah does some exceptional things with its storytelling. Throwing such an unlikable protagonist at players seems like an outright risk in 2022, given that YA authors have somehow dominated the literature discourse to demand we must always sympathise with a heroic protagonist at all times else the story is problematic. Being willing to depict some pretty extreme scenarios that are designed to make the player uncomfortable is, equally, a risk in a world that has decided that all entertainment should be uplifting and positive. Chaos;Head is probably more transgressive now, in 2022, than it would have been back in 2008, and that only makes it more potent, and essential, as a work of art.

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Oct 12, 2022

SuperPower 3 does allow you to lead any nation on the planet in any way that you might like to. Unfortunately, while the game is only as exciting as a pile of spreadsheets, it’s nowhere near deep enough to feel like a genuine political simulator. It needed more fireworks and a sense that the decisions that you were making were really impacting on the nation and, once you were powerful enough, international balance. As it stands, all that’s really on offer is a bunch of numbers endlessly ticking over.

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Oct 11, 2022

Unfortunately, there’s no real point to playing Bunny Park, either. If the bunnies were more than cute little collectibles, and has some kind of personality, it would be one thing. If there was an Animal Crossing-like approach to progression it would be another. Really, though, you’re just buying into a Farmville-like game with two dozen hopping furballs, and while that’s inherently pleasant and happy, it doesn’t make for a game that is particularly memorable or has any longevity or replay value.

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It’s really just the storytelling that lets Absolute Tactics down, but unfortunately, this isn’t a genre where you can easily hide poor writing. Unless you have a particularly high tolerance for the literary equivalent of dragging nails down a chalkboard, this is one you should probably pass on.

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Oct 7, 2022

Nonetheless, I found myself utterly captivated by this game, which takes so many creative risks in the name of its vision. The limited “story” in favour of a deeper narrative working on a more subtle level, downbeat and muted visuals, and graceful rather than visceral combat are all things that are lauded in video games, however appropriate to the experience that the developer is crafting. But this team stuck with the vision, and we should be thankful for that. If you do enjoy the likes of theatre, opera, and ballet, then Valkyrie Elysium belongs to the incredibly small group of titles that share a similarity to those art forms, and that’s more than a nice to have, it’s the kind of art we need to see more developers experimenting with.

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If you had asked me if I thought Piofiore: Fated Memories needed a sequel, I would have responded with a very firm “no.” That game is right up there with the likes of Steins;Gate and The House In Fata Morgana as a visual novel with literary merit, and arguably the masterpiece of the otome genre. But then I played Piofiore: Episodio 1926 and realised that the writers weren’t out of ideas from their first outing. This game is every bit as dark and majestic as its predecessor, and assuming you can stomach its harder edges, it’s essential (but just make sure you’ve played Fate Memories first, if you haven’t yet – don’t ruin this on yourself).

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At about 15 hours in length Beasts of Burden respects your time and moves beautifully from plot highlight to highlight. It’s the perfect “Sunday morning gaming” game to unwind with while enjoying a coffee and there’s a humble warmth and love for the genre that makes it difficult to criticise those small things that don’t quite work in its favour. Thanks to the monster collecting, this is the finest in the Voice of Cards series so far, but you really should play them all.

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White Day: A Labyrinth Named School is, simply, an excellent game. If you haven’t played it yet, you should. The new wave of re-releases of it, for the modern consoles, but especially the Nintendo Switch, give you the chance to do that. So, if you missed it last year, here are your Halloween chills for 2022 served up to you.

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