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Early Access Review: RimWorld
Neutral: RimWorld is one of those games I dread writing a review for, because I really want to like it a lot more than I ultimately did. There is a compelling and intricately-detailed colony builder in the vein of a science fiction adaptation of DwarfFortress just struggling to break out of its limitations here, but it feels like it doesn't quite do that, at least not yet. A lack of proper tutorializing and random events that can severely handicap and even even abruptly a scenario that's going well otherwise, without any easy option to restart such as DwarfFortress' embarkment mechanic, lead to many a rage-quit. As is, I could only recommend it to people who have a high tolerance for bad-AI-caused "fun".Click to read the full Early Access Review by Maiyannah Bishop.
Tabletop Game Review: Fluxx
Recommended: This game is great fun for groups, and while not as fun for a smaller table of 2-3 players it's still very playable. It's affordable, and you get a lot of variety without spending too much money for expansions. It's fun for families looking for something for game night, but also good for parties and groups of gamers looking for something quick. Being very portable makes this game perfect for trips, conventions, a desk drawer at work, or stuck on a school bus trip. All you really need is a flat place to set the deck and whatever rule cards are in play, so playing on a book in someone's lap while trucking down the road is very doable. Games can be quick, but rarely last longer than 45 minutes, so a group can easily work a hand in between larger games, or while waiting for an event at a convention for example. If you like fun games that aren't too serious, have simple rules, and a good bit of humor I think you'll enjoy Fluxx.
Review: Mighty No. 9
Neutral: Mighty No. 9 isn't the greatest game ever, and if it had been rebranded as a Megaman game, likely would have been one of the more lackluster ones. It is however fun, and is surprisingly high quality given all the development issues it ran into. It might not be saying much, but Mighty No. 9 is far better than Megaman X7. Give Beck a chance.Click to read the full PC game review by Tabitha Dickerson
Console Game Review: Dark Souls III
Recommended: Dark Souls 3 doesn't really bring much of anything new to the playing field. Many areas feel too familiar, while some have heavily re-used assets and gameplay elements from previous games. it leaves the entire exercise feeling a bit egregious, relying a bit too much on nostalgia and leaving the game feeling slightly empty, without an identity to call it's own. It's just more "Souls". It's not a bad thing, but at this point it feels a bit old-hat. Despite the fact that you can pretty much see everything the game has to offer in one play-through, it's still an entertaining romp.
Click to read the full console game review by Tabitha Dickerson
PC Game Review: Undertale
Recommended: Undertale may at first seem like a harmless little homage to the era of games like Earthbound, or the original Megami Tensei series, but deep down at its core, it is none of those things. It's honestly unlike any game I've played previously and I invite everybody to give it a try. Highly recommended. It won't change your life, but it's great value for money.Click to read the full review by Tabitha Dickerson
PC Game Review: Superhot
Neutral: Superhot for me really falls into another criticism on value. It's $25 for about 2 hours, maybe an hour and a half of game play, with an expanded end game that's just the same levels over and over. The story is interesting, but nothing spectacular, the graphics are boring, but the game is fun despite all of that. If it were cheaper I'd definitely recommend it but overall what the game delivers isn't worth the price point. Its only real claim to fame is a single game mechanic, which makes this game feel more like a demo, or concept video for that one idea rather than a full-blown game.Click to read the full review by Trever Bierschbach
PC Game Review: XCOM 2
Not Recommended: XCOM 2 isn't a bad game by design, but it is defined by what it doesn't fix from the original, and what functional mechanics it removes, and optimization issues sink it. It's almost as if they made a point of removing what worked from the game, especially in the strategy element, which is extremely dumbed-down in terms of agency. Between bugs, over-reliance on the action cam, and the fact that the RNG is quite unfriendly and still lies to you about hit chances, this is a game that rapidly began to feel like it was wasting my time. While newcomers to the series will likely find it worth their money and fans may still enjoy it, there is literally no reason I would ever recommend this over the original XCOM reboot - it's an almost objectively worse game in every meaningful way.Click to read the full review by Maiyannah Bishop
PC Game Review: Firewatch
Neutral: Firewatch really isn't a bad story. Despite the issues I've noted with writing and design it has moments of interesting dialogue and plot with great art design, and I was entertained for most of it. The voice acting is some of the best I've come across. I liked the detail put into the little things in the world, and the stylized nature of the art and imagery. All that said, I'm not really into the visual novel genre, it's just not my cup of tea. I wouldn't say it's bad enough to get a 'not recommended'. I can't recommend it, however, due to the price point. $20 for 2.5 to 3 hours of story just isn't a value to me for something like this. I'd recommend it, for people who enjoy visual novels, if it were cheaper, but I have to land it squarely in the neutral rating because of the price, and the ending especially.Click to read the full review by Trever Bierschbach