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.

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

10
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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]

8

Great

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

Staring at a rhombus isn’t too far removed from trying to make sense of Psychonauts. Double Fine’s 2005 debut was bursting with creative energy but burdened with frantic conduct, birthing a manic achievement that nevertheless enraptured an audience and qualified the odd experience as “worth it.” By comparison, a rhombi’s mixture of acute and obtuse angles preclude it ...[Read More]

6

Fair

Resident Evil 7: biohazard – Banned Footage Vol. 2

Banned Footage Vol. 2 continues Vol. 1’s mission of bending Resident Evil 7’s premise to suit its baleful will. Three pieces of content compose Banned Footage Vol. 2. “21,” is Resident Evil’s take on blackjack, a proposition that inspires are-you-kidding levels of insipidity, but, in practice, comes off as enjoyably madcap and mechanically principled. “Jack̵...[Read More]

6

Fair

6
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Uncanny Valley

  Uncanny Valley’s style makes a strong case for low-fidelity horror. Coupling blown-out pixel art, where simple insinuations of malevolence can be seized and twisted exponentially by a subconscious mind, with meaningful consequence is a blueprint for a trepidatious afternoon. Lone Survivor and Back in 1995 have taken similar routes with dramatic results, proving a low-fi aesthetic has a plac...[Read More]

7

Good

10
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Resident Evil 7: biohazard – Banned Footage Vol. 1

Resident Evil 7 was an idol built to honor the philosophy of survival horror. Banned Footage Vol. 1 is an experiment where that idol is removed, attacked with a hammer, and then methodically reshaped to facilitate the needs of three divergent systems. Genre hopping is dangerous, but Banned Footage Vol. 1, performing with a mixture of passion and duty, doesn’t collapse under pressure. Two thi...[Read More]

5

Average

Knee Deep

Knee Deep wants to put on a show. For the player, Knee Deep intended to be a performance of choice. Other than a few short puzzles, Knee Deep’s adventure is composed entirely of dialogue options spread across three diverse protagonists. It’s a plot-driven production, the nature of which is presumably under the direction of the player. Knee Deep also supports a keen framing device; it&#...[Read More]

9

Amazing

8.6
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Resident Evil 7: biohazard

Resident Evil rapidly became everything for no one. In the past two years, we’ve seen another ill-conceived multiplayer shooter, an episodically unloaded spin-off sequel, and current-gen revivals of five mainline entries. This panicky identity crisis followed Resident Evil 6, a moribund fiasco so calamitous to the Resident Evil name it was difficult to know if Capcom was even aware of its fa...[Read More]

9

Amazing

9.7
User Avg

Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0 presents an opportunity to hit the reset button on Sega’s venerable brawling simulator. A prequel to the original PlayStation 2 Yakuza and first North American Yakuza entry on PlayStation 4, Yakuza 0 sets the table for enduring protagonist Kazuma Kiryu and the mosaic plot threads that string him across six future entries. I loved—loved—Yakuza 5 last year, but its carousel of playabl...[Read More]

Yakuza 0 is a Secret Homage to Professional Wrestling

Yakuza 0—and perhaps Yakuza as a whole—is the closest a gaming has come to emulating the style and spirit of professional wrestling entertainment. Examine the premise; men are always angry at each other and the promotion plot demands they find new and inventive ways to settle their escalating differences with sanctioned combat. Yakuza 0 is professional wrestling. In the world of professional wrest...[Read More]

7

Good

Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA Future Tone

Hatsune Miku was created to shatter the cynical will of the world’s hardest curmudgeon. Her latest videogame interpretation, Project DIVA Future Tone, is a curated assemblage of songs and content spanning entries in arcades, on the 3DS, and across PlayStation platforms. Absent are the lifestyle options that highlighted Project Mirai and the drive for adaptation that powered successive Projec...[Read More]