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.

9

Amazing

Pyre

Looking at Pyre should signal that you have never played a game like Pyre. Its de facto battle system is a three-on-three, class-based sport. Its accompanying narrative is sprawling, choice-driven fantasy adventure. The former’s competitive battles are loaded with viable options and open strategy while the latter’s fiction cracks open a purgatorial, interpersonal drama ripe with angels...[Read More]

9

Amazing

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age

The more Final Fantasy changes, the more it stays the same. Outside of shared nomenclature and common themes, it’s difficult to find two—even among direct sequels—that share a mutual core. In 2006, Final Fantasy XII delivered a progressive wallop to conventions thought inviolable. It ditched random battles! Combat appeared to be automated! A political drama replaced a cataclysm but somehow t...[Read More]

5

Average

9.3
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Arizona Sunshine

The name Arizona Sunshine provides ideal contrast against the darkness of a super-powered killing machine. Arizona’s arid heat, oppressive isolation, brilliant red rocks, and clear blue sky create a setting unjustly wasted on tales of the Wild West. Why not employ the Canyon State to exhibit a survivor searching for sanctuary in the waning days of a zombie apocalypse? Arizona Sunshine opens as adv...[Read More]

4.5

Meh

Perception

The pitch for Perception sells itself. Cassandra, a blind woman, uses a superhuman sense of echolocation to explore the ominous house from her nightmares. She’s visually impaired, but tapping her cane sends shockwaves across the room, briefly bathing its contents in glowing blue light. This is awesome; it’s a mesmerizing special effect that’s never been used to centrally support ...[Read More]

8

Great

Wipeout Omega Collection

Wipeout is cool. Wipeout has always been cool. This is a hard thing to do for twenty two years. Wipeout was cool in 1995 when it followed the launch of the original PlayStation. Psygnosis’ futuristic speedster took F-Zero’s approach to hovercraft racing and Super Mario Kart’s fondness for chaotic weaponry and produced a unified vision of an anti-gravity racing league (Wipeout was...[Read More]

7

Good

8.6
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Tekken 7

Tekken always felt like it had an answer to the question of longevity. Keeping a fighting game alive for over twenty years has run Mortal Kombat, King of Fighters, and Street Fighter through peaks and valleys. In Tekken’s field of 3D fighting, Dead or Alive barely qualifies and Virtua Fighter is missing in action. Tekken, however, persists in popularity and presentation by obeying an unscrip...[Read More]

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]