Nicholas Bale

Reviews By Nicholas Bale

Arslan: The Warriors of Legend Review (PS4)

By Nicholas Bale () - 5.5 out of 10

The 'Musou' genre isn't one that's really hurting for games. What it is hurting for is some variation between many of them. Arslan: Warriors of Legend fails to bring this variation, instead feeling more like another Warriors title but with a different template thrown on, and a few concessions to change up some mechanics just a little bit. With a story that fails to really bring across the large-scale plot of the anime it's based on, it just isn't interesting enough to warrant yet another title in which you cut your way through literally thousands of enemies - and that's saying something. Read More.

The Deadly Tower of Monsters Review (PS4)

By Nicholas Bale () - 8.5 out of 10

Cheesy B-movie effects, aliens from space, vixens in fishbowl helmets: The Deadly Tower of Monsters brings back classic B-movie tropes in a way that's unique and good-humoured: by presenting the game as a special-edition DVD with director's commentary on the movie he made decades ago. Despite some bland gameplay elements, it manages to stay interesting throughout, for reason which include cheesy acting, a story that goes off the rails, and the titular tower in which almost the entire game takes place upon. Read More.

Yakuza 5 Review (PS3)

By Nicholas Bale () - 8.5 out of 10

Yakuza 5 brings back characters from previous games, introduces new ones, and shows that even a game of the old generation can flex its muscles these years. Despite an aging combat system, fighting off numerous opponents at once still feels satisfying, and even if fighting off half the population of Tokyo isn't your thing, the massive amount of minigames and substories will be enouhg to keep your interest for days. Read More.

Persona 4: Dancing All Night Review (Vita)

By Nicholas Bale () - 8.0 out of 10

Persona 4: Dancing All Night brings the Investigation Team not to Inaba, but to the city, to solve the disappearance of a number of popular music idols. From there, they're forced to dance to defeat the forces that threaten the lives of those they care about (there's a reason, I swear) and save the day. A strange genre to put this plot in, but one that works nonetheless. Read More.

Steins;Gate Review (PS3)

By Nicholas Bale () - 9.0 out of 10

A popular visual novel game that was eventually made into an anime, Steins;Gate is a tale of a time-travelling 'mad scientist' in Akihabara. It's full of twists and turns, scientific terms, great characters, and, like many visual novels, not a lot of gameplay. Still, for a game that's almost entirely based around text, it creates an absorbing tale of choices made and changed, and is definitely something that will remain a classic in its field. Read More.

RymdResa Review (PC)

By Nicholas Bale () - 6.0 out of 10

RymdResa is a game that does a pretty good job of portraying the loneliness and, yet, peacefulness of space. Over three chapters, you explore the void, avoiding enemies, collecting resources, and just trying to stay alive (which is easier said than done). Frustrating at times, but pleasant in a way, it won't break barriers but is at least something different in the genre. Read More.

Lost Dimension Review (PS3)

By Nicholas Bale () - 7.0 out of 10

Lost Dimension has some interesting tactical gameplay, but it makes concessions to other areas of the game for its touted 'traitor' mechanic - almost eliminating character depth and reducing the story to only existing between the party as a whole and the big bad evil villain. Add to that an ending that forces you to replay the game, and the flaws certainly stick out if you're looking for something more than just a strong tactical experience, though not quite enough to blemish the rest of the game as a whole. Read More.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse Review (Wii-U)

By Nicholas Bale () - 7.0 out of 10

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse doesn't quite meet the expectations built up by its previous title, but it remains a fun title to play through. It provides a number of extra collectibles to find, an oddly asymetrical co-op mode, and a number of stages to explore, despite its less-than-stellar story. Still, a recommended title for people who just want more line-drawing, Kirby-controlling fun. Read More.

Hand of Fate Review (PS4)

By Nicholas Bale () - 9.0 out of 10

Hand of Fate doesn't seem like it should be fun. Card-based gameplay with text and third-person action combat is something I've simply never heard of before, but it's pulled off exceptionally well here. Adventuring through encounter cards from a deck that you can customize, using equipment from a deck that you can put together, all in bit-size chunks of gameplay that keep you wanting to see what else lies in store - it plays well, and except for some minor technical issues, it's just a lot of fun to flip the next card to see what awaits. Read More.

Super Mega Baseball Review (PS3)

By Nicholas Bale () - 8.0 out of 10

Super Mega Baseball is a game that focuses on fun over reality, but still with its own amount of depth present. Though it falls short in its presentation and variety of modes, it's a fun, simple titleto play that anyone can get into, which exudes character from every part of the game. Read More.

Citizens of Earth Review (PC)

By Nicholas Bale () - 7.0 out of 10

Citizens of Earth is a game that starts out strong, filled with possibilities, but ends up tripping over the number of options is provides you. Though you have forty party members at your disposal, they're wildly balanced, with some citizens straight up feeling useless. The large amount of options available also feel like they overstep the plot by leaps and bounds, making the game less about saving the world and more about performing chores for others. So, while the game stays strong with its charm, mechanically-speaking it falls short, creating a fun, though fairly superficial experience. Read More.

The Evil Within Review (PS4)

By Nicholas Bale () - 7.0 out of 10

The Evil Within, the latest project by Resident Evil 4 creator Shinji Mikami, is something of a mix of different styles of gameplay that never really knows what it wants to be. The story is all over the place, the environments shift arbitrarily, and it's hard to feel connected with any of the characters. Despite this, the moment-to-moment gameplay is quite good, and aided by an upgrade system that makes exploration and taking out enemies rewarding. Certainly flawed, but still an interesting experience to go through. Read More.

Monochroma Review (PC)

By Nicholas Bale () - 6.5 out of 10

Monochroma is a puzzle-platformer with a heavy emphasis of style, rather than particularly deep gameplay. With a little brother and his wounded leg, you must navigate a variety of environments, jumping and pulling levers along the way. But what the game gives in style and some well-designed puzzles, it takes back with some poorly-implemented platforming mechanics that make the game look unfinished at the best of times and aggravating at the worst. Read More.

Pier Solar and the Great Architects Review (PC)

By Nicholas Bale () - 4.0 out of 10

Pier Solar isn't a game that needed to be made, at least, not without actually apply choices from the modern age to make the game work. This game might be entertaining in the era that its original console was made in, but these days it makes too many blunders and doesn't fix enough mistakes that feel like they were taken straight from a design booklet from the 90s. As an experiment, and an amusement, it's good, but as a game to evoke nostalgia, it just isn't enjoyable to play. Read More.

Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Review (3DS)

By Nicholas Bale () - 8.0 out of 10

Professor Layton and Phoenix Wright come from two different games that should blend pretty well together - mixing the exploratory, puzzle-solving nature of the good professor with the objection-flinging, contradiction-hunting court battles of an ace attorney seems like a no-brainer. The result is a game that is sure to appeal to fans of both of the series, but with a distinct feeling that the two styles of gameplay could have been less segregated, even though the result is a satisfying blend of puzzles, intrigue, and mysteries to solve. Read More.

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