Steam Controller

Right off the top: This is probably going to be a frustrating review to read. The reason is that I’m going to review the somewhat recently discontinued Steam Controller by Valve. So, yeah…reviewing something that is hard to buy now is one thing. But the other frustrating thing is that the Steam Controller is amazing. In fact, for me, it’s actually so good that it’s an indispensable part of my gaming set up. There are some games that I simply won’t play without it. Like so many people, I spend…

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Persona 4 Golden

I grew up playing turn-based RPGs, starting with the original Final Fantasy on the NES. I’ve always had a nostalgic fondness for the genre. I’ve found over time though, the specific turn-based combat style has not held up well compared to action (ex. Dragon Age) and strategic (ex. Pillars of Eternity) RPGs. Very few modern turn-based RPGs are able to hold my interest; one exception though is the Persona/Shin Megami Tensei series. If you haven’t heard of the Persona games, the gist is that characters can summon psychological manifestations called…

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South Park The Stick of Truth

Despite being a fairly short game, South Park: The Stick of Truth surprised me by how fun it was to play. It’s based to some extent on the fantasy genre personas the kids in the show adopted in the classic episodes The Return of the Fellowship and Make Love Not Warcraft. You create a custom, silent protagonist everyone (for the most part) calls “New Kid” and get to adventure around the town of South Park with Stan, Cartman, Kyle, Kenny, and others. The game does feel like you’ve been thrown…

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Age of Empires II

I can’t believe I still come back to this game from time to time. Age of Empires II, for those unfamiliar, is a real time strategy game that first came out in 1999 that involves building a kingdom and battling other civilizations. I played it a fair amount back then; I wasn’t a huge PC gamer in those days, but just by coincidence it was one of the few Windows games I’d played. Building and growing your little town is a lot of fun, and the danger of your neighbors…

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Kenshi

Kenshi is basically a game about survival and choice. It’s a true sandbox game, in that you can do pretty much whatever you want. You select a starting scenario, which sets you up with varying levels of money, friends, equipment, and locations. Then you’re dropped right into the world as a pathetic weakling at the mercy of Kenshi’s harsh environments and people. The story isn’t on rails like other games; it’s completely player driven and your tale sort of weaves itself as you play. The world essentially has lore and…

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Elder Scrolls V Skyrim

Considering the fact that I’ve played Elder Scrolls V Skyrim so much, and purchased so many DLCs and editions, I guess I have to say I love Skyrim. You can’t have played a game for hundreds of hours total and not admit it’s one of your favorite games of all time. But the game does have flaws. Most significantly, the combat is very shallow. Skyrim is the ultimate fantasy/RPG sandbox though. There is a tremendous modding community, allowing you to change and add significant fun content. If you’ve never played,…

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Ashen

I’m one of a specific type when it comes to this game. I’ve been waiting for it for a long time, but refused to spread out my game library across another store/platform. So I had to wait for a year for it to come to Steam. Now that it’s here, I bought it. The game is beautiful with a very compelling atmosphere to it. Unfortunately, I also found the game to be very hard. I struggle with games that have extremely punishing combat, and I’ve never been a fan of…

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Ni No Kuni Wrath Of The White Witch

My long term fondness for certain games is often driven by memories associated with them. For example, some of the old SNES RPGs like Final Fantasy III and Secret of Mana trigger positive memories from my childhood. Wrath of the White Which reminds me of some tough life events I worked through, so it’s a rare modern game that has similar nostalgia power for me. It’s also a really great game and successfully brings some of that 1990s-style SNES RPG flavor back. Here are the basics on this game: You’re…

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Dragon’s Dogma Dark Arisen

I’ll get this out of the way from the top; Dragon’s Dogma is one of my favorite games of all time. But it’s not without flaws. The combat is phenomenal and is what I wish other games in the genre would use as a template for their combat systems. The skill setup, classes, and gear have significant depth and are implemented well. The pawn concept is also really well done. But some might find the world a little sparse compared to massive fantasy games like The Witcher 3. The story…

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