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Review Round-Up: Summer 2023

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By Nelson Schneider - 09/03/23 at 02:21 PM CT

Welcome back to another installment of the MeltedJoystick Review Round-Up. Here’s what our staff has reviewed since last time:

Nelson’s Reviews:
If Spring was unkind to me, Summer was as malicious and vindictive as possible. Most of the games I played through were definitively mediocre or slightly above average, but nothing to get excited about, with “Bug Fables” being the only real standout experience. But on top of everything else, my mother got the bad news of a terminal cancer diagnosis during the last week in July, and didn’t survive until the end of August. So on top of a frustrating gaming experience, I’ve been dealing with a heaping helping of despair. Thanks a fucking lot, Universe.

Ruzar: The Life Stone” – 3.5/5
Bladed Fury” – 3.5/5
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War” – 3.5/5
Front Mission 1st Remake” – 1.5/5
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling” – 4.5/5
Riverbond” – 3/5
Yaga” – 2.5/5

Chris’ Reviews:
Chris has continued his bad habit of embodying ADHD and playing a whole bunch of different games at once. Because he always has multiple games going, when he does finish one, the other ones are still there, tugging at his attention and distracting him from the review process. But at least he’s enjoying himself.

The Last-er of Us” – 4.5/5
Saint’s Row 4” – 3.5/5

Nick’s Reviews Rightfully-Sad Trombone:
Lightning also lost his mother to terminal cancer this Summer, though in his case he and his family had a year building up to it before an untimely stroke finished it. Whereas I took refuge in the fantasy worlds of videogaming and took comfort from the presence of my friends, Nick withdrew from everything (including his trophy wife) and spent a lot of the Summer quarter in self-isolation. After re-emerging from his cocoon of grief, he seems to have come to the conclusion that “Destiny 2” isn’t particularly good or fun anymore, and has made noises about FINALLY parting ways with the Live Service once the season pass he currently owns runs out of content.

Of course, Nick didn’t actually finish any games during the Summer, but insists that he’s well on the way to finishing “Break of the Weapons,” in spite of the fact that his self report revealed that he has only defeated ONE of the Divine Beasts. Nick also had another coop session of “A Hat in Time” with Chris, but with Fall already here, it’s Crunch Time for getting those Backlog Ablutions washed away.

Featured User Review:
Erstwhile MJ Photog, Matt, is back in the featured review slot this quarter, with a validating write up of one of last-gen’s top titles, “Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey.” Both Matt and I know what we’re talkin about when it comes to Ancient History and the Classics, so the fact that MJ has not one but TWO Classicists telling you to go out and play this game IMMEDIATELY should allow readers to rest assured that Ubisoft’s Grecian Sandbox really is that good! Thanks for the review, Matt; keep ‘em coming!

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