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.

5

Average

Tekken 7: Ultimate Tekken Bowl

The wild sideshows that helped define console editions of Tekken were conspicuously absent from Tekken 7. Tekken Bowl, resurrected from Tekken Tag Tournament’s PlayStation 2 port in 2000, returns as Ultimate Tekken Bowl in the first installment of Tekken 7’s season pass. Ultimate Tekken Bowl is bowling, only it replaces rock hurling professionals with men, women, bears, demons, time-be...[Read More]

Sonic Mania Flourishes Native Problems as Prolific Solutions

It’s easy to love Sonic Mania. PagodaWest and Headcannon’s take on Sega’s emblematic hedgehog delighted skeptical critics and satiated ravenous fans. The odds of this happening—of Sonic narrowly escaping his cursed cycle—were not tough to bet against. Despite a smattering of dissimilar attempts across a variety of platforms, there wasn’t a Sonic game that nailed it like his...[Read More]

8

Great

Nidhogg 2 Review

Nidhogg reveled in simplicity. Messhof’s one-on-one fencing experience stripped away the ornamental redundancy of a traditional fighting game and exposed the bright core of competition. What appeared to be a mess of pixels poking each other with swords revealed itself as a competent, confident fighter. As either a party-strengthening ingredient or a vector to settle skilled rivalries, Nidhog...[Read More]

8

Great

Sine Mora EX Review

If you find yourself trying to explain gaming purity, it would be difficult to summon evidence as enduring as the shoot ’em up genre. From Spacewar! to Asteroids, Salamander to Hyper Duel, and Radiant Silvergun to Ikaruga, the idea of moving an object through space and avoiding hostile projectiles has survived every hardware cycle in the history of the medium. Five years ago, Sine Mora tempe...[Read More]

7

Good

Mega Man Legacy Collection 2

In 2015, the original Mega Man Legacy Collection showcased Mega Man as a product of a single, 8-bit era.  Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 presents Mega Man across three divergent generations of hardware. Its housing of Mega Man 7, Mega Man 8, Mega Man 9, and Mega Man 10 completes the core of Mega Man and follows a model established by the previous collection. Value and responsibility, however, are it...[Read More]

6.5

Fair

7
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Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles Review

Look at Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles. Look at it again. And again. It’s easy to fall in love with the breathless beauty flowing across Yonder’s surface. Yonder’s construction is even more impressive when it’s revealed that it somehow only demanded three people. Prideful Sloth, a small Australian studio composed of industry veterans, took influence from Harvest Moon, The Legend ...[Read More]

8

Great

Tacoma Review

How do you follow Gone Home? If Dear Esther revealed the potential of exploration-focused games, Gone Home demonstrated their power. The player experienced discovery and transformation only by surveying the remains of domestic implosion. There was neither a supernatural artifice to drive engagement nor traditional gameplay-driven objectives to obscure and depress a narrative. Gone Home’s sin...[Read More]

8.5

Great

SUPERHOT VR Review

Superhot VR is a slow motion power fantasy. This is also true of the original Superhot, but Superhot VR’s application to the virtual world transforms vicarious pride into primary euphoria. Abstraction is erased; you’re there, performing inside a cloud of action sequences that borrow pages from Hong Kong and Hollywood’s best playbooks. For its style, content, and thesis, Superhot ...[Read More]

9

Amazing

9.9
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Pyre Review

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]