Shindig's Scores

  • Games
For 184 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 60% higher than the average critic
  • 10% same as the average critic
  • 30% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 2.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 77
Highest review score: 100 Chrono Cross: The Radical Dreamers Edition
Lowest review score: 20 Crossword City Chronicles
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 184
184 game reviews
    • 63 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Lovingly crafted and unpretentious, Shadow Warrior 3 is equal parts hilarious and thrilling, thanks in no small part to its exceptionally charismatic protagonist.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gibbon: Beyond the Trees is a game with a point to make, and it does so decisively. The gibbons’ majestic brachiation is a great foundation for an exhilarating momentum platformer that doubles as a potent insight into the threats faced by a critically endangered species.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    But such little problems are worth contending with for a game as pleasant and relaxing as Cat Cafe Manager. Just the right balance between a casual management sim, Story of Seasons-esque slice of small-town life, and laid-back but fun customer service game loop makes for a relaxing, engaging hook, all tied together with a host of adorable cats and charming locals to get to know, and the sometimes funny, often touching stories that unfold through them. It’s may not be groundbreaking, but Cat Cafe Manager hits just the right spot for a quiet way to unwind.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    At heart, Kirby and the Forgotten Land is classic Kirby, with the playful attitude and neat abilities that have long defined the series and a handful of new ideas thrown into the mix, with the transition to 3D adding a whole new world of possibilities that the level designers never fail to capture and explore to the fullest. It may have been a long time coming, but Kirby’s first real foray into three dimensions is an absolute delight.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Trek to Yomi is a game that lives up to its samurai film inspirations in a way that few others do. Endings that are a little too tidy and a few compromises in game design mean it doesn’t quite leave the impact it should, but the trade off is a game that’s a lot more playable and “fun” than it might otherwise have been—for better or worse. I’d still love to see how Leonard Menchiari’s original, presumably much less accommodating vision might have turned out, but Trek to Yomi is nonetheless an impressive game and a worthy homage to the samurai cinema classics.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Those are little nitpicks though, really. Lawn Mowing Simulator is a detailed replica of the real-life equivalent that lawncare aficionados will presumably get a kick out of, but like so many of these “job simulator” type games, there’s a much wider appeal than just that core audience. A good mow is something anyone can take pride in, and with its serene locations, attention to detail, and a meditative effect of cleanly cutting through swathes of long grass, Lawn Mower Simulator turns what can feel like a chore in real life into a wonderfully relaxing experience.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    There’s a lot of promise in the more playful, “bikinis and water guns” breed of third-person shooter, but what’s here needs a lot more substance and refinement before it gets close to that potential. And when even the fanservice falls flat—cup sizes notwithstanding—there’s really not much else left.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The new features are arguably a little superficial, but then again, just having Arise: A Simple Story on Switch—a platform it feels like it should have been on all along—is the major draw for this Definitive Edition. Arise is a beautiful story of life, love, and loss, delivered with care, nuance, and heart-rending potency. It’s a simple story, for sure, but that simplicity is part of what makes it so universal, and so powerful.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    So I’m torn. The Sorrowvirus: A Faceless Short Story is a fascinating game in concept, with its looping narrative, creepy atmosphere, grim yet moving tale, and a psychological horror touch built into some neat gimmicks. But that potential gets lost in annoying puzzle design and the lack of saves—something intended to help build atmosphere, but that too often just kills it—and what should be an eerie, unsettling game instead just becomes a tedious one.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    “A darkly comedic narrative game based on real world philosophical papers” is an apt description for Trolley Problem, Inc. but one that feels incomplete. Through its surreal story and black humour, it delivers a thoughtful, fascinating reflection on the moral philosophy underpinning the famous thought experiment. It won’t give you an answer—that was never the point—but it’s a captivating way of delving into those murky depths.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    In almost every regard, Ganryu 2 is spectacular: it looks fantastic, builds on the original game in meaningful ways, nails the level and boss design that’s so crucial in an action platformer, and plays like a dream in the moment. But a horrific continue system that feels restrictive even by arcade standards means that actually experiencing all it has to offer requires the patience of a saint, and what should be a surefire hit instead turns into a painful slog.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    In some ways, Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars is a little disappointing: a mash-up like this should aim a lot higher than what this one does. But missed opportunities aside, Ninja Wars is an enjoyable enough game, with characters that are as lovable as ever, a hefty dose of the humour that both series thrive on, and some downright hilarious moments where they collide. It may not be the dream collaboration it should be, but Ninja Wars is still a worthwhile outing for any Neptunia or Senran Kagura fan, especially with the convenience of a Switch version.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Hundred Fires: The rising of red star is not a good game by any stretch: a Metal Gear Solid clone that is, at best, functional. It replicates superficial details with a wink, but it’s far too clunky and lacking in substance to be enjoyable. And yet, I find myself morbidly curious to see where the bizarre story of a Cuban Solid Snake, a ghoulish JFK hologram, and a Kojima-lookalike weapons manufacturer ends up.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There are moments when Slipstream finds a groove, everything clicks into place, and it just feels good. Disregard the actual objectives of the game and just enjoy the ride, let the Out Run vibe wash over you and get lost in the moment, and it can be enjoyable, as a sensory experience. As a game, though, it’s infuriating: not a tough but worthwhile challenge, but the sort of difficulty that feels specifically designed to be unfair, even on its easiest settings. There’ll be some who relish that sort of archaic design, but for the most part, it just holds back what is otherwise a beautiful game and an impressive feat for a solo developer.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Tormented Souls is a true homage to the survival horror classics of the ‘90s. It’s sold as a modernisation of the genre, but really, it’s the opposite: a game that resists the allure of polish and convenience, and instead commits to the clunky, unwelcoming design—deliberately—that makes those classics tick. That approach won’t appeal to everyone, and the balance isn’t always spot on, but when it comes to dredging up some creepy atmosphere and instilling a constant sense of tension and unease in the player, Tormented Souls hits the mark.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is exactly what you’d expect from a full-game follow-up to Assault on Dragon’s Keep: a raucous, often hilarious parody of Dungeons & Dragons built on Borderlands’ looter-shooter foundations. Bigger isn’t always better, and it can feel needlessly drawn out at times, but the shooter-looter action, wild energy, and Tina’s Bunker Master antics are a whole lot of fun.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Boasting a polished presentation, enjoyable gameplay that more closely resembles modern pro wrestling and two brilliantly executed modes in Showcase and MyRISE, WWE 2K22 is genuinely delightful and a defining chapter in its franchise’s legacy.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    That’s Taito Milestones‘ biggest problem: the missed opportunity to do really shed some light on the impact of the games it collects. These are historically significant games, but presented devoid of any of that historic context. Without that, and when almost every game is already available separately (and in an identical form, no less), saving a few bucks on a bulk-buy is the only real reason to pick this up. A collection claiming to be a celebration of the milestones of one of the most important companies in arcade history needs to be more than just a way to pinch pennies.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you come to Onde looking for a typical puzzle platformer or a rhythm game, you might find yourself disappointed. But take it for what it is—a game that takes pieces of the above, and uses them to drive an atmospheric, sensory experience of colour and sound—and you’ll find something worthwhile. Some rough edges and odd design decisions hold it back a little, but it’s a game that certainly leaves a lasting impression.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Z-Warp might be one of the more conventional shmups from a studio that usually leans into the experimental side, but I think it might be Panda Indie’s best yet. The mix of Cave-esque movement, creative bullet patterns, and the inventive twist on bombs makes for a satisfying bullet hell, drenched in the grimy atmosphere of its lo-fi pixel art and sci-fi horror theming. Forget what you know about clinging to your bomb stock—in Z-Warp, that button is your best friend.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    When Chrono Cross first came out in ’99, it proved divisive for not simply following in the footsteps of Chrono Trigger. In retrsospect, it cuts closer to its predecessor than it got credit for back then, not necessarily in style or game design, but in the way it pushed the boundaries of the genre and the stories that videogames can tell. That it still feels unique and even subversive, more than 20 years on from its first release, is proof its timelessness. And for a large part of the world for whom The Radical Dreamers Edition will be the first chance to (officially) play Chrono Cross? Well, they’re in for one hell of a ride.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even without some bells and whistles, Hatsune Miku Jigsaw Puzzle still stands out as one of the better jigsaw games on Switch. A careful choice of images that fit the jigsaw format well and the sheer beauty of the artwork involved make the puzzles a joy to solve, and that’s only heightened by pristine presentation and the cheerful energy that Miku and her friends always brings with them.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In some ways, though, the lack of those sorts of nice-to-haves almost helps with that whole nostalgic arcade vibe that Andro Dunos II so flawlessly nails. If I didn’t know better, I’d have guessed that it was actually a forgotten relic from the ’90s, and a particularly timeless one at that. For a two-person indie studio licensing a sequel to a 30-year-old game, that’s one hell of an achievement.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It doesn’t make a good first impression, but there’s a lot to like about Chocobo GP. It may not be as finely-tuned as the genre’s king, but there’s a lot more depth and nuance to the game than there first appears, especially in the 64-player tournaments that are the centrepiece. At the very least, its goofy sense of humour, playful jabs at Final Fantasy’s legacy, and the endearing nature of the Chocobo spinoff series create a delightful atmosphere that’s perfect for some kart racing shenanigans.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    It’s those little humorous little touches that help make keep Maglam Lord going, even if it’s not especially ambitious or finely tuned in its basic action RPG setup. The story of a Demon Lord turned endangered species playfully riffs off JRPG tropes, finding plenty of laughs in the silliness of its own concept. Sharp writing makes sure every joke hits home, even when they seem on paper like they should fall flat, and there’s an unexpectedly earnest heart beating underneath it all. The game itself may not be anything memorable, but the journey that Maglam Lord takes you on makes it all worthwhile.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While Trigger Witch doesn’t exactly push the boundaries of the heavily-populated genres it draws from, it mixes them together in a satisfying way. Frenetic twin-stick shooter action backed by tight controls and fluid movement never loses its touch, while exploration, hidden secrets, and puzzle-filled dungeons bring some balance into the mix. The story of gun-worshipping witches who’ve given up on magic is just playful and self-aware enough to work, with a satirical touch and unexpectedly heartfelt moments to help keep it at least a little grounded. It may not be the most original, but there’s an exciting, enjoyable romp to be found in Trigger Witch—long live Ballisticism!
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even with some technical shortcomings, the charm of Rune Factory 5 is undeniable. It does what the series has always done best: combine the laid-back nature of a farm life sim with the sense of adventure you find in an action RPG, with a lighthearted touch and cheerful tone to tie it all together into something delightfully comforting. A few tweaks to the formula create a more cohesive whole out of those two sides, but at its core, this is the classic, tried-and-true Rune Factory.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    I’d love to see what the initial vision for Ghostwire: Tokyo was, before former creative director Ikumi Nakamura’s sudden departure from Tango Gameworks, because what we ended up getting feels like the shell of a different, far more interesting game. A rendition of Shibuya that’s authentic, atmospheric, eerie, and brimming personality deserves better than the most banal version of a generic open-world formula that ran out of steam a decade ago. Despite all the potential in its concept, the Ghostwire we got is—despite its ghostly theme—soulless.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    “Final Fantasy meets Nioh” is in easy assumption to make about Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, given appearances, and while that’s not exactly inaccurate, it’s an incomplete description. Team Ninja’s pedigree and inventive riffs on Final Fantasy staples makes for an action RPG that’s hard to put down, but what really sets Stranger of Paradise apart is the subversive way it approaches its source material. This isn’t your typical origin story; it’s a deconstruction of that first Final Fantasy and a reflection on the legacy it left in its wake—one that’s entertaining, often funny, sometimes biting, but above all, is willing to question its own canon in a way that you don’t often see from a series as high-profile as this.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Martha is Dead is a remarkable game, in the story that it tells, the way it tells it, and the ideas it explores in the process—a potent, powerful exploration of some of the darkest corners of human existence. It’s deliberately uncomfortable and confronting, but that’s part of what makes it work, and it’s underscored by a genuine sense of empathy, humanity, and a call for the world to be a better place. But, at least for now, game-breaking bugs and technical struggles that go far beyond mild inconvenience mean the Xbox One version should be a last resort.

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