Eric Layman

Eric Layman is available to resolve all perceived conflicts by 1v1'ing in Virtual On through the Sega Saturn's state-of-the-art NetLink modem.

8

Great

8.7
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Polybius

Polybius is chaos until it isn’t. This is true of Polybius’ operation as a real videogame in 2017 and past decades spent occupying videogame folklore. The latter, which posits Polybius as some kind of government black-op designed to infiltrate the 80’s arcade scene and liquefy the minds of its clientele, has endured for twenty years. It’s been referenced on The Simpsons and...[Read More]

6

Fair

Mr. Shifty

Mr. Shifty’s potential is evident the first time you teleport through a wall and punch a man out of a window. The satisfying bamf of a brief teleportation followed by the delectable smack of a lethal punch proceeded by a gratuitous, graceful defenestration. This is the first thing you do in Mr. Shifty and it is awesome. From there it’s a downward slopping curve toward resignation. Not ...[Read More]

7.5

Good

6.6
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NieR: Automata – 3C3C1D119440927

PlatinumGame’s action expertise may have brought players into Nier: Automata, but it’s not what they left with after the final set of credits rolled. 3C3C1D119440927—I paradoxically can and cannot believe they called it that—puts combat front and center and leaves the crippling existentialism and surreal aberrations off to the side. (I usually don’t do spoiler warnings but this t...[Read More]

9

Amazing

9.8
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Persona 5

Persona 5 is a model of efficiency. This is an ironic observation about a game that easily creeps across the hundred hour mark, but it’s also an comfortably defensible declaration. Every aspect of Persona’s contemporary history has been observed, considered, and improved, creating a level of refinement that will have ensnare its audience’s attention with features pedestrian as the game...[Read More]

8

Great

GNOG

Imagine a monster made of bright colors and sour candy. Now picture the inside of its head; there’s no brain meat here, just a bunch of propellers, deep sea diving equipment, and dangerous amounts of electricity. For some reason it’s all slathered in brightly colored goop, and yet every piece is neatly arranged and separated. You’re driven to make sense of this. Welcome to Gnog. ...[Read More]

9.5

Amazing

9.7
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What Remains of Edith Finch

Every member of Edith Finch’s family is dead. Brothers. Uncles. Great Aunts. Parents. Some were abrupt, a few broke after years of tension, and others were radically stolen away. A common denominator across three generations; no one was ever prepared. This is a tragic irony for family publicly known by their calamitous fate, but also a determined resolve to escape an unhealthy definition. Ba...[Read More]

6

Fair

9.8
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Yooka-Laylee

Yooka-Laylee accurately replicates what it was like to experience Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie. Rare’s troupe of turn-of-the-century platformers (with help from Donkey Kong 64 and Conker’s Bad Fur Day) pushed Super Mario 64’s approach to 3D platforming to amorphous extremes, imbuing gorgeous worlds with distinct challenges and incessant stuff to collect. Coming of age in the Nin...[Read More]

8

Great

9
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Dark Souls III: The Ringed City

The Ringed City continues Dark Souls III’s operating thesis; creativity isn’t climb to the tallest peak, but rather a journey with no particular destination on the horizon. Eight years has delivered five Souls-style games and eight unique pieces of downloadable content. Whether The Ringed City really is Dark Souls’ final installment or the beginning of a well-deserved sabbatical,...[Read More]

Everything (n): all things; all the things of a group or class

I can’t tell if Everything is either a poignant attempt to transgress the nature of play or another underhanded pitch from David O’Reilly designed to paralyze the neural activity of anyone who attempts to assign it with a definition. Everything is sincere in its message and competent in its assembly while simultaneously preying upon standard gaming conventions and coming up with deviou...[Read More]

6

Fair

Ghost Blade HD

Hucast is finally bringing their talents to 21st century hardware. You could be forgiven for being unacquainted with Hucast’s work. DUX, Redux: Dark Matters, Redux 2, and the oddball platformer Alice’s Mom’s Rescue are all modern titles from the low-key German developer. These games haven’t gotten much traction from the dedicated shoot ’em up / bullet-hell community b...[Read More]

9.5

Amazing

9.9
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NieR: Automata

Nier was a demanding and ambitious game undermined by the reality that it wasn’t much fun to sit down and play. Seven years later, Nier: Automata seeks not to sterilize Nier’s affable idiosyncrasies, but rather recast them in a mold forged to withstand the torrent of institutional mischief delivered through director Yoko Toro’s unorthodox approach to game design. Translating Toro...[Read More]

Flap Jaw Space: Episode 90 – Zelda Superlatives

Hi. Our weekly monthly quarterly whenever podcast convened to ask Steve Schardein about his 60+ hours with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Over the past week, Steve had been using some outstanding language to describe his time with the game. Chris and I sought to determine if his enthusiasm was genuine or if Steve was trapped in the reality distortion field that commonly envelopes mainlin...[Read More]