Category: Review

The Banner Saga Trilogy Review (Switch) – a dark fantasy Oregon Trail

The Banner Saga Trilogy held my attention from the moment I picked it up! I would describe this series as a hybrid of Oregon Trail and Fire Emblem, nestled comfortably in a Norse mythology-inspired dark fantasy setting. The Banner Saga presents the player with a high stakes story full of make or break decision making, with the player positioned as the reluctant, elected leader of a caravan full of survivors fleeing the end of the world.

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The Red Strings Club Review (Switch) – ghost in the machine

The Red Strings Club is a fantastic little point and click adventure game by Devolver Digital that can be completed in one sitting. Running about three to four hours long but with great replay value, The Red Strings Club provides a quality, succinct cyberpunk package fortified with superb dialogue and sprinkled with the tendency to make your question your own opinions.

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Final Fantasy XII HD Review – under the skies of Ivalice

Final Fantasy XII is a game I wish I had been old enough to appreciate when it first released in 2006, but am very pleased to be playing now with its new coat of HD polish. The tale of Final Fantasy XII is refreshingly mature compared to past installment of the series; it does not involve stopping a global catastrophe right off the bat or a mysterious bad guy intent on world domination. Instead the plot is a bit closer to home for the characters, more true to life, and therefore feels very down to Earth (or rather down to Ivalice).

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Koral Review (Switch) – taking a deep dive

Playing Koral left me feeling ambivalent. It is safe to say that Koral is best approached as a “zen game” in that it is a visually appealing yet simple game good for relaxation. Its dazzling graphics and mundane puzzle gameplay co-exist in discord. This game will only be a good fit for some and that’s okay.

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Hyper Light Drifter (Switch SE) Review – a masterclass in “show, don’t tell” design

Hyper Light Drifter is the game that finally won me over on pixel graphics. For a long time I thought it was just a modern gaming fad (“Retro style is so cool, bro!”). I had a hard time empathizing with pixel characters due to the lack of facial feature details. I understood the difficulty of pixel art design, but I was unaware of the depth and nuance that could truly be achieved with this medium– Until I met the Drifter.

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Gris Review (Switch) – an emotional masterpiece

Gris is a game I never knew I needed and yet wish had been developed years ago. Whomever had the idea for this game has a heart made of gold. Gris’s story is one that speaks most clearly to those who have experienced intense hardship or loss. It is meant to resonate somewhere deep within your soul, a quietly rising, inspirational call to the part of you that would never give up in the face of tragedy.

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The World Next Door Review (Switch); a regretful lark

The World Next Door makes a great first impression with its unique character designs and interesting art style, which is a pleasant blend of mystical, rustic fantasy elements and modern urban sensibilities. The environments are vibrant and detailed, with lovingly designed NPCs inhabiting the world. However, there are not enough of them.

While absolutely beautiful, the world feels oddly empty as you move from area to area, even places such as the market that are typically a hub of activity in any other game. Just a handful of additional NPCs would have made the world of Emrys feel more alive. The World Next Door is a pretty package disguising a lack of functional content…

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Little Dragons Café Review (Switch) – a feel-good fairy tale for dragon lovers

Little Dragons Café is much more polished than I was expecting, to be honest. It boasts a pleasant pallet of pastels and warm shades, with Wind Waker-ish cell shading that look as if drawn with colored pencil by a skilled artist. The inside of the café itself is a quaint, homey scene that could have been torn directly from a page in a children’s storybook tale, one of those picture books that both parents and kids adore.

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InnerSpace Review (Switch) – buckle up for something new

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InnerSpace is different. It tries something novel with physics in a video game that is almost certainly worth your time to experience, if only to try something new that you won’t see in other games. Experimental titles like this are a breath of fresh air among the typical industry offerings. As is often the case with bold games taking risks, the feedback is divisive. InnerSpace is a very “love it or hate it” sort of game. If any of what you are about to read is interesting to you, it is likely that you would enjoy InnerSpace.

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Welcome to the Crusade!

I’ve been writing detailed Nintendo Switch game reviews as a hobby while I steadily dig through my massive backlog, and Reddit seems to like them, so I decided to make a blog for them. Then I thought– Maybe I should turn some of my academic writing on gamer culture into blog posts? So I did, and then I wrote some new things too! Feedback is always appreciated!