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Early Access Review: Valheim - Valheim is a game that feels like it's at the threshold of being something truly good - but its lingering in said, held back by rough tutorializing and the general need for an additional pass over most everything in some form or another.  This is one I would either get on a sale now, if you're not wanting to wait, or to put on the wishlist for if and when it releases, provided the even out all the wrinkles in the design and production.
Review: Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story - I would recommend this game if you enjoy point and click puzzle games or horror games. If you are looking for cyberpunk not so much, since it's just the setting more than anything to do with gameplay or story elements. The plot and environment are the best part of the game, but the puzzles are still good. It was challenging in places, but not too much. The art style is perfect for the setting, and theme of the game. Overall, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. I set out to see if it was worth all the discussion it was getting online due to the character design choices. The issues with the character design are a bit exaggerated, and the game turned out to be well worth playing.
Review: Sir, You Are Being Hunted - Sir, You Are Being Hunted ends up being something of a
Review: Hedon - Hedon is an ambitious exploration-based first-person-shooter with an emphasis on world-building in the same vein as Ultima Underworld, but without the janky-arse controls.  Good art direction, albeit with a few stumbling blocks, creative lore, and interesting world design combine to make a game that compelled me to see it through to completion, despite some rough edges in some of the sprites, a dreadful exposition dump in the middle, and lack of encounter variety.  It's a flawed but good game, that I hope gets better in future episodes, but nonetheless is definitely worth a look now.
Nostalgia Train Review: Final Fantasy 2 - Final Fantasy II is a faithful continuation of the beloved series. While it still has elements that I do not enjoy, like the random encounter mechanic that always seems to pop off when you are in a hurry, the game is still fun. These early FF games remain my most cherished gaming experiences as a young gamer, and still hold up today against the backdrop of countless other RPGs on the market. This game is fun, has beautiful 8-bit art and music in its original form and the PSP remaster I played was done very well. It's one of the more difficult ones to get outside of an emulator, but worth it.
Review: Final Fantasy VII Remake - There is a lot to like about the Remake of Final Fantasy VII, and some true moments of brilliance within the boss fights. Some great lines were removed, and some cringe inducing ones as well. The writing is a mixed bag. When it's really good, it's really good, but when it's bad... The combat is a blast and puts a new spin on an old system, adding a surprising amount of depth to the game. I don't think I'm a fan of most of the story changes they're making this time round, and it doesn't feel like much of a remake, so much as a complete reboot of the events of the franchise. Is it bad? By no means, but I can't guarantee that stalwart fans of the original are going to enjoy this one.  If you can get past that though ... its pretty good.

Review: Bloodstained

Written by Tabitha Dickerson and published on May 3, 2020.


Recommended:  Bloodstained lives up to its claims. While feeding off the lifeblood of previous titles from the same developers, it manages to almost stand on its own. The story is a little generic, with some obvious twists and turns. The art direction is sensational, and some of the bosses look so much better in 3D than they did in the 8 bit prequel game. The music while not memorable is still enjoyable and fits every section of the castle. Worth a look.


Read more: Review: Bloodstained

Review: Sundered

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Apr 2, 2020.


Not Recommended:  Sundered is the most disappointing game I've played to date. I've played games and had worse experiences, and I've played games which have had more glaring design flaws, but none quite so disappointing. Sundered is a beautifully-wrought disaster of a game which marries an absolutely gorgeous art and animation with detailed sound design and atmospheric music ... with some of the most slipshod and lazy-feeling design I've experienced in a long time. Where there was the promise of a metroidvania is more a bullet-hell button-mashing brawler, devoid of any feeling of taking skill or granting any accomplishment. Aggravating maps full of procedurally-generated tunnels that don't last long before they get repetitive, and bosses that feel more akin to battles of attrition than tests of skill. Not really worth it except on a deep sale, if you're willing to put up with an experience that's fairly uninspired and rough in every aspect outside art direction.


Read more: Review: Sundered

Review: Hnefatafl

Written by Trever Bierschbach and published on Feb 16, 2020.


Recommended:  Hnefatafl is the ancient strategy game developed in Scandanavia, and popular across Europe until it was replaced by Chess as the more fashionable game to play. I got my set at GenCon from an artist known for his hand-carved Viking horns, and it's a beautiful and fun addition to our game library. It's easy to learn, and challenging to master. If you're someone who likes classic and old games like Chess, Backgammon, or Othello this game will be right up your alley. You can pick up a copy at almost any store that sells quality board games, or check out Where the Gods Live to see the artistic pieces done by Brian Marshall.


Read more: Review: Hnefatafl

Review: Darkest Dungeon

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Feb 2, 2020.


Neutral:  Darkest Dungeon spins a tale of insanity and despair that looks and sounds brilliant, but is something of a veneer western town, with quite plain mechanics underneath. Worth a play if you can stand a decent amount of artificial difficulty. It isn't going to sell you on it, if you aren't.


Read more: Review: Darkest Dungeon

Review: The Long Dark

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Dec 31, 2019.


Neutral:  The Long Dark's recent updates have added some more to the game, but it's a game experience that increasingly is being shown as somewhat shallow. A somewhat zen and immersive survival experience falls prey to a pressure to make it more challenging, and the game does so by giving you challenges you have little chance to survive. The story is plodding, staid, and kind of bog-standard stereotypical mysticism which handles its themes extremely heavy-handedly. There's still plenty of fun to be had here in the survival mode, but its been dulled since initial release.


Read more: Review: The Long Dark

Review: Diablo III - Rise of the Necromancer

Written by Maiyannah Bishop and published on Jun 2, 2019.


Neutral:  The Necromancer finds their way back into Diablo with ROTN, but their implementation is confused and overshadowed by a steep increase in artificial difficulty. Worth it for a fan, likely not for a newcomer.


Read more: Review: Diablo III - Rise of the Necromancer

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