Showing posts with label 9/10. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 9/10. Show all posts


Letters & Legends PC Review 9/10 "A Wonderful Twist on Classic Word Games" 🏹⚔️πŸ…°️πŸ…±️ @BowNArrowGames #IndieGame #GameDev

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Letters & Legends PC Review
I live in a house of gamers. I’m lucky enough to have a partner and son that embrace video-gaming as much as I do, and through that love, I find myself playing a lot of very different genres of games, many different games – but never as many as I’d like, especially when it comes to word-based games.

The last time a word-based game really yanked my trousers down and gave me a fiver was probably Letter Quest: Grimm’s Journey back in 2015, the blending of English-centric action and fantasy gaming has been an interest of mine ever since discovering CAPCOM’s Quiz & Dragons MAME over twenty years ago, and so when a word-based games gets sent to GF HQ, my eyes light up.


Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 PS5 Review "Now a New Generation Can Enjoy Getting Urinated on By a Guard" πŸ“¦❗️

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Metal Gear Solid Master Collection Vol. 1 PS5 Review
Bonfire night, 1998. I’m at a friend’s house for fireworks and, afterward, I watch him playing a new import with a weird name. He’s stuck in a prison cell and his only available weapon appears to be a bottle of ketchup.

I joke: “Why not squirt ketchup on the floor and lie in it so the guard thinks you’re dead?”. It works. A single shard of moonlight pierced the window to illuminate me. Trumpets played, angelic choirs sang. I had discovered Metal Gear Solid.


Dragon’s Dogma 2 Xbox Review 9/10 "The most fun I’ve had in a single player game in 2024" ⚔️🐲πŸ”₯πŸ‘Ή @DragonsDogma #DragonsDogma2

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Dragon’s Dogma 2  Xbox Review
As someone who is – and will be forever – drawn towards single player RPGs, The last few months have been very, very fun. I’ve played three games that stand out in my mind for different reasons, and between them cover a lot of the main points that appeal to me about the genre at its core.

Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden won me over with its understated characters, music, atmospherics and earthiness, whilst Outcast: A New Beginning featured incredible traversal mechanics and lore, and now Dragon’s Dogma 2 – and out of the three, this is the title that I, by far, have the strongest history with – comes blazing out of the gate with its main strengths being in how much it embraces and excels at being a video game, completely nailing combat mechanics and explosive, immediate gameplay.

It’s a game that is a pleasure to write about, and I feel like I could just list all of my in-game experiences to get my point across because there are so many personal stories to tell, all through a design sentiment that eschews seriousness to put fun and gameplay at the absolute fore.


Jagged Alliance 3 XSX Review 9/10 "A Modern Turn-Based Classic" πŸ’₯ @THQNordic

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Jagged Alliance 3 Review
A series of turn-based games that have roots going way back to 1994, Jagged Alliance has always enjoyed critical success – and yet it’s a series of games I’ve only touched upon briefly since its inception in the mid-’90s. I recall having some friends who were hips deep, thinking very highly of the franchise, and so when the opportunity came up to cover the third major entry, I was keen to have a goosey.


Berserk Boy Nintendo Switch Review 9/10 "It pretty much hits the bullseye." ⚡️ @BerserkBoyGame #indieGame #GameDev

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Berserk Boy Nintendo Switch Review
Berserk Boy is the latest in a long line of Metroidvania platformers to try and capture the pure retro feel of Mega Man and its contemporaries. Happily, it pretty much hits the bullseye.

The backstory is your basic mad scientist fare, where the bad guy wants to use Dark Energy powers to take over the world. You play as Kei, young soldier who meets a talking owl called Fiore, who leads you to a strange orb which grants you powers and abilities and the adventure begins.

Gameplay-wise we're very much in Mega Man territory, with the classic Metroidvania tropes of defeating enemies while exploring the map, using new abilities to unlock areas and so on. But this isn't just exploration - as you unlock new abilities you find yourself able to chain multiple attacks together in order to build up your Berserk meter, which lets you really let rip with special attacks. 

The key focus here is melee combat - you're not hanging back and taking pot-shots but rather you're right in the thick of it. And that's one of the things that really makes this game fun; you'll find yourself moving around faster and faster to get the perfect sequence before hitting the big moves. The speed and smoothness give the game almost a Sonic the Hedgehog feel, where you're bouncing from enemy to enemy and seeking out more victims on every screen. 

The graphics are very much in keeping with the retro theme: bright and colourful with big chunky sprites that would fit perfectly on the SNES. And the excellent music comes from Tee Lopes, who wrote much of the music for Sonic Mania and TMNT: Shredder's Revenge, so you're onto a winner here as well.

As you beat the various bosses, you can unlock different transformations for Kei. Each defeated boss gives you a new way to smash through levels, whether it's digging tunnels, flying or even locking on to multiple enemies at once. You also build up currency that lets you use new abilities for each transformation, so there's a sense of progression throughout too.

If I had to find a drawback, it's that the game isn't massively challenging, although you can select the Retro difficulty level at the start, which gives you the traditional limited lives, so when it's game over it really is game over, whereas the modern setting is unlimited lives and you just get kicked back to the last checkpoint. This is nowhere near a dealbreaker though, as the game is just so much fun. 

Berserk Boy Nintendo Switch ReviewBerserk Boy Nintendo Switch Review

If you're a retro platformer buff this is pretty much a must-buy, and it's accessible enough for all ages to have a blast. More of this please.
Berserk Boy Nintendo Switch Review


Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden Xbox Series X Review 9/10 "A wonderfully spun tale of love and grief" ⚔️ @DONTNOD_Ent #IndieGame #GameDev

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I’ve been hankering for an RPG to sink my teeth into, and when Banishers: Ghosts of New Eden arrived at GF HQ, I was keen to tuck in and get a few dozen hours of adventuring under my belt. What I didn’t expect was to get sucked into the world of Red and Antea so deeply, and so quickly.

Set during the settling of America in the 1600’s, the game begins with Banishers (effectively mercenaries that deal with hauntings) Red and Antea arriving on boat to New Eden - a small settlement near Boston - having received word from their friend Charles that their ghost handling skills are required in this fledging town.


Blasphemous 2 Nintendo Switch Review 9/10 "Blasphemous 2, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways" ⚔️ @BlasphemousGame @TheGameKitchen @Team17 #IndieGame #GameDev

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Blasphemous 2 Nintendo Switch Review

I’m going to start off by saying that the original Blasphemous is one of my favourite games of recent years. A difficult hack and slash platformer? Check. Monstrous religious cult storyline with Lovecraftian elements? Check. That’s one for me all day long.

I’m pleased to be able to say that the sequel has all of these elements in spades and may even be better than the first game. 


Baten Kaitos 1 and 2 HD Remaster Nintendo Switch Review 9/10 “Two Under Rated Games, Brought Back To Life” ⚔️ @BandaiNamcoEU #Retrogames #HDRemaster

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aten Kaitos 1 and 2 Hd Remaster Nintendo Switch  Review
Baten Kaitos: Eternal Wings and The Lost Ocean and Origins have been in my collection for a long time, they were both some of my favourite JRPGS growing up. It was a real shame they didn’t sell well as they had good reviews at the time and I think they were good games with interesting plots and a good battle mechanic, hopefully, these HD remasters will bring some new eyes to these underappreciated games and fingers crossed for Baten Kaitos 3.


Terror of Hemasaurus XSX Review 9/10 "The Best Rampage Game Ever Made" πŸ¨πŸ¦– @LorenLemcke @ShawnDaley #IndieGame #GameDev

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I am very much a lover of monster movies and games, and to me, Midway’s Rampage series of games always looked more fun than they actually played. It was a great concept, but it always felt let down by lacklustre gameplay, stiff controls and repetition. Luckily, Loren Lemcke is here to smash down those issues, and breathe fireballs all over those lesser games, standing proudly above the ruins, heaving a throaty roar of triumph into the night sky.


Bravery and Greed XBOX Review 9/10 "On the surface, Bravery and Greed looks like a souped-up Wonderboy clone" ⚔️ @BraveryAndGreed #IndieGames #GameDev

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On the surface, Bravery and Greed looks like a souped-up Wonderboy clone. And, excellently, that's pretty much what it is. Rekka Games, along with publishers Team 17, have brought us a retro-styled rogue-lite hack and slasher that's really easy to pick up but presents a proper challenge.


Shatter Remastered Deluxe Review 9/10 ⛔️ @PikPokGames #IndieGames #GameDev

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Brick-breaking games have been around for ages. AGES. I mean, in gaming terms, they were probably what the dinosaurs were playing just before they got too busy for gaming on account of a massive asteroid wiping them out. Were joysticks invented to address the problems T-Rex’s had with reaching a mouse and keyboard? I suppose we’ll never know. 

For the unfamiliar, brick-breaking games kinda do what it says on the tin – you’re in control of a  paddle, which you use to bounce a ball against bricks until they break. A bit like one-player ping pong. But that’s where the similarity ends as they’re a lot more fun than Forrest Gump’s favourite Olympic sport. 


πŸ”️⛰️ The Excavation of Hob’s Barrow PC Review 9/10 "Everything about the game is immediately appealing" πŸ”️⛰️ @shaunaitcheson #GameDev #IndieGames

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Until recently, if I wanted to hear this many gruff Northerners telling each other to bugger off I’d have to dig out my Ken Loach DVD collection.

Now that I’ve visited Bewlay, and delved deep into Hob’s Barrow (not a euphemism), I have access to another world in which robust vernacular is firmly on the menu. 


🍿 Unusual Findings PS5 Review 9/10 "A Group of Pop Culture-Loving Preteens Discover Something Supernatural" 🍿 @ESDigital_Games #GameDev #IndieGames

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A group of pop culture-loving preteens discover something supernatural afoot in their small, 1980s American town.

They cycle through creepy woods, battle inter-dimensional horrors and navigate shady government facilities, all while dealing with burgeoning hormonal urges and hair where there was no hair before.


πŸ›£️ Roadwarden PC Review 9/10 "Endless Hordes of Shit-Throwing Apes" πŸ›£️ @AssembleTeam #GameDev #IndieGames

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Your first steps into Roadwarden’s unnamed peninsula are timid and paranoid. Anyone who’s played a dark fantasy game will steel themselves for untrustworthy inhabitants, death lurking around every corner, and your character forced into tough moral decisions for some ill-defined greater good. 


🐒⚔️ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge XBOX Review 9/10 "It’s More Than Worth… 'Shelling Out' For!" 🐒⚔️ @PixelHunted @Dotemu #IndieGames #GameDev

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Shameless nostalgia tweaking usually doesn’t do much for me. It’s self-indulgent, a crutch for lazy writing, and once the initial thrill of “ooh, I recognize that” is out of the way things rapidly get boring.

But Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge was a laser-guided missile of early 90s bliss aimed right at my heart, and I was powerless to resist.


πŸ₯‹πŸ₯· SIFU PS5 Review 9/10 "On paper Sifu is simple." πŸ₯‹πŸ₯· @SifuGame @sloclap #IndieGames #GameDev

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On paper Sifu is simple. It's a third person brawler that has you fight your way through five levels, kill five bosses and avenge your slain family. 


πŸ“½️🍿 Rifftrax: The Game XSX Review 9/10 @widerightgames "The creators of What the Dub once again strike comedy gold" πŸ“½️🍿 #IndieGame #GameDev

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Having been a big fan of Wide Right’s previous game, What the Dub – I was intrigued as to how Rifftrax: The Game would differ, and what it would bring to the table – especially as it appears to be based on a more American-centric show not familiar to me at all (although I was vaguely aware of the precursor show Mystery Science Theatre 3000).

It turns out that no prior knowledge of Rifftrax is required, as Wide Right Games have created a fantastic and often hilarious party game that is accessible to all, and this is a game I highly recommend whenever you have friends or family around.


⚔️ Dark Deity | Nintendo Switch | Review | 9/10 | "A Shining Example of The Genre" ⚔️ @DarkDeityGame #IndieGame #IndieGameDev

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A Kickstarter funded title from developers Sword and Axe LLC, released through Freedom Games - Dark Deity was brought to my attention through an innocuous press release.

Initially, upon seeing a few screenshots – and thus the anime-styled character portraits, combined with blocks of dialogue– I foolishly assumed that it was a visual novel and my expectations dropped accordingly…until I watched the trailer.


πŸͺ™ The Forgotten City | Nintendo Switch | Review | 9/10 | "8-10 Hours of Adventure Mystery Romp" πŸͺ™ @ModnStoryteller #IndieGames #GameDev

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I’ll be honest, in the first few minutes I was worried that I really wasn’t going to like this game. And I was wrong, so gloriously and happily wrong. 

A little history: The Forgotten City started out life as one of Skyrim’s many mods, and it was successful. So successful in fact that the developers took the idea, built upon it, and fleshed it out into the standalone game I’m reviewing today, creating a gloriously designed Greco-Roman city, replete with fantastically written characters, period-accurate architecture, and a central gameplay mechanic that is simultaneously clever, fun, and educational (yeah, I know – they don’t go together often). 

I went into The Forgotten City completely blind, and I would recommend that you do the same. It’s hard to review a game like this one without some kind of spoilers, so if you’d like to get the absolute most out of it, stop reading after this statement: The Forgotten City is 8-10 hours of adventure mystery romp, driven by fantastically written and acted dialogue. Play it. 


⚔️Ghostrunner | PS5 | Review | 9/10 | "Your enemies are hapless mooks destined to be carved into chunks"πŸ‘»πŸƒ #IndieGames #GameDev @GhostrunnerGame @PixelHunted

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In Ghostrunner you’re a super-powered, hyper-agile katana-wielding cyber-ninja. Your enemies are hapless mooks destined to be carved into chunks during your time-bending, telekinetic acrobatic rampage. Pounding electronic beats drive you through levels with the destructive potential of a tornado that’s sucked up the contents of a knife shop. In the right hands you can not - will not - be stopped.
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