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Reviews

Dragon Warrior Review Rewind

This RPG is a real grind. No dragon your feet here.

If there’s one thing I absolutely adore about Dragon Warrior (aka Dragon Quest), it’s how much its subtle charms have influenced each sequel to come after it. There’s just something special about playing the latest game in the series (currently Dragon Quest XI) and still hearing the familiar sound cues of attacking an enemy, taking a hit, or the brief but satisfying victory chime and level-up fanfare. Additionally, the character designs by Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball creator and illustrator) give a visual continuity throughout each game. Without question, the Dragon Quest series has laid down some deep roots that all started here. But although it's a beloved first entry for nostalgic fans of the series, newcomers might not warm up to certain gameplay elements that weren't refined until much later.

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Disgaea 1 Complete Review

Fifteen years old but still fresh for newcomers.

As much as I love games, I dread the hours it takes to get over the hump of one that’s new and unfamiliar. When I finally get over it, I hope that I didn’t waste those hours on a game I won’t keep playing. So when I fired up Disgaea 1 Complete for the Nintendo Switch I wasn’t sure what to expect. Even though it’s been fifteen years since the game’s initial release, it was still a new and unfamiliar title for me. Thankfully, I’m glad to say that the hours spent getting over that initial hump were worth it.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Review

Is Ultimate perfect? Well, it's pretty damn close.

There’s always been something special about the Super Smash Bros. series for me, even starting with the very first release. I’ve always enjoyed fighting games, but admittedly, I’m not very good at them. Smash Bros. gave me the opportunity to really compete and enjoy mastery of a fighting game for once. Being skilled in the game doesn’t come down to your ability to input complex combos, but rather your ability to read and react to your opponent. It’s a satisfying mind game that continues to draw me to the series, especially as each game becomes more grandiose, featuring bigger rosters and level selections. Ultimate, as expected, is the most impressive offering yet, boasting every character to grace the series, most of the levels, as well as a set of brand new fighters that include many of the big requests fans have had for years.

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Sega Genesis Classics Review

It's a tubular collection, dude.

Sega has done a lot of great things with emulation as of late. On the 3DS, they released 3D remasters of a handful of games, which boasted a handful of improvements to the source material. Their Sega Ages line marks another batch of games that are seeing improvements to the original games as they release on the Switch. However, Sega Genesis Classics is more of a compilation of classic Genesis games with some additional features that make it a great collection to have on your Switch if you grew up with these old games.

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Omega Strike Review

Metal Slug and Metroid had a baby.

As I’m coming to realize, I have a weakness for games classified as Metroidvanias. Between the layered progression and backtracking and the feeling of getting progressively more powerful, with some great boss fights sprinkled throughout, there’s always something to help continuously pull me through these experiences. Omega Strike, clocking in at five hours, is no exception to this rule and is further bolstered by its clear Metal Slug influence.

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Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 Review

While seemingly more political than its predecessors, this entry in the series still does a good job of focusing on the personal and providing a satisfying, if not particularly new, narrative gameplay experience.

One thing you should know about Life is Strange 2: Episode 1 is: It’s political. And that’s going to affect how much you enjoy it, because politics are woven more deeply into the game’s main narrative than in previous entries.

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RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures Review

Though more streamlined, this 20 year old franchise had a better showing with its first release.

I suspect many, like myself, spent long stints in front of their Pentium II PCs constructing a wide variety of amazing theme parks and complex coasters in RollerCoaster Tycoon. Between the base game and its expansions, I clocked countless hours completing scenarios and building all manner of parks, maximizing profits and occasionally, constructing complex death machines for fun. Some of what made the original experience so great finds its way into RollerCoaster Tycoon Adventures on the Switch, but it seems that a good bit of the experience has been streamlined and simplified to make it more accessible on the platform. This makes it a less compelling iteration of the series that’s outshined by even the original release.

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Pokemon Let's Go Eevee/Pikachu Review

Spin-off? Remake? Soft reboot?

After playing Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu, I am convinced that Game Freak is incapable of dropping the ball (pun not intended). Everything about the new title convinced me that something had to go wrong. It’s a remake of Pokemon Yellow, a rehash of Red and Blue Versions (which already received remakes fourteen years ago). In addition, it’s incorporating the more shallow catching mechanics from the free to play Pokemon Go on mobile, usually the kiss of death a console game. On top of that, Nintendo has admitted it is a cash grab, as they wanted a Pokemon game on the Switch without rushing the true sequel. And yet, not only is Pokemon Let’s Go just as fun and addicting as the core titles, but I now I want Let’s Go sequels for every other Pokemon generation.

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Persona 4: Dancing All Night Review

Shadows Dancing.

For those of you out there sold on both Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight and Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight, the Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection on the PS4 is a great way to get both, along with one fancy bonus: a PS4 port of Persona 4: Dancing All Night. The title once exclusive to Vita makes an appearance in this bundle and offers up a bit of a different approach to the Persona Dancing formula when compared to the newer titles. A full-fledged story mode is on offer rather than the simpler sidebar social interactions. For those vested in the characters and story of Persona 4, there’s a lot to like about this brand new story.

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Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight Review

A rhythm game to steal your heart.

Rather than retread the same ground covered in my Persona 3: Dancing in Moonlight review, I’d suggest you start there to get a good feel for what Persona 5: Dancing in Starlight offers. Broadly speaking, the two are identical in composition, offer the same modifiers, unlocking stuff is done in the same ways, and the progression is consistent. Other than being skinned for Persona 5 with its music, the games provide the same great experience.

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