Tom Kerkhof

About the Author Tom Kerkhof

Involved with the gaming industry both professionally and during off-hours, it's perhaps not such a surprise this opinionated gamer likes to share his thoughts with others, be it in thought-out review pieces or random musings. The love for games with horror-themes, RPG's and everything Super NES is strong in this one.

5.25
Reviews/Previews

Kirby Battle Royale sucks the 3DS dry

Kirby Battle Royale is essentially a collection of mini-games that can be played both locally or online against other players and even supports Download Play for two to four players. The various games range from collecting as many coins as possible while you try to steal from your opponents, chucking as many apples as you can in trapdoor after you’ve slashed them from Whispy Woods or simply straight up trying to defeat 3 other players in a free-for-all brawl.

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7.8
Reviews/Previews

Superstar Saga’s remake could have been Goomba’s chance to shine

1997’s Super Mario RPG for SNES gave Mario his RPG starring debut, and the concept has really taken off since, probably most memorably in Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga on Gameboy Advance. That game started a new subseries within the Mario franchise – the ‘Mario and Luigi’ series – that has been getting new iterations up until today. One of the most recent ones, Mario and Luigi Paper Jam Bros., actually combined the ‘Mario and Luigi’ series with the other prominent Mario RPG line, Paper Mario.
The newest entry in the Mario and Luigi series doesn’t try to spice up things quite as much, but rather stays very true to the core.

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8.75
ContentReviews/Previews

Metroid: Samus Returns, in full glory

Metroid: Samus Returns on 3DS is essentially a remake of the 1992 Game Boy title Metroid: Return of Samus (something the similarity in titles is keen to point out). That game is often forgotten and for those who do remember it, it is primarily known for how ambitious yet unplayable it is – it lacks colors, so everything is hard to distinguish, and the absence of a map makes it all too easy to lose your way. Metroid: Samus Returns suffers of no such problems. Samus still goes to SR388 to destroy the last Metroids – but that is pretty much were the similarities between the two versions end. It takes the basic premise from the original and then spins it in to a whole new experience that feels quite different from the green and black environments of before. This is not a simple rehash of an earlier classic: Samus Returns is absolutely a remake done right.

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6
Reviews/Previews

Hey! Pikmin’s different now

In case of the original game, Pikmin’s kid-friendly aesthetic was merely a promotion for its suitability for younger gamers, under which a well-conceived strategy game was hiding. That same aesthetic has been preserved for Pikmin’s 3DS adventure ‘Hey! Pikmin’, but not much of the strategy and challenge of the original Pikmin formula was retained with the transition.

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8.4
Reviews/Previews

Fire Emblem Echoes Review: A Strategic choice

Fire Emblem Echoes isn’t really a completely new installment, however: it is in fact a remake of the second Fire Emblem game, Fire Emblem Gaiden. Gaiden was originally released in 1992 on NES, and was remarkable for the number of changes and innovations it made over its predeccessor. It was of course never released in the West, so for us over here, Echoes is the first time we get to experience this story.

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6.5
Reviews/Previews

Slain: Back from Hell quite literally

When Slain: Back from Hell was originally released in early 2016 – simply known as Slain! then – it was met with a lot of criticism and negative reviews from people who played it. While its visual presentation was comfortably reminescent of Castlevania and its atmosphere and soundtrack would sure appeal to fans of the metal scene, it’s controls and general gameplay were of questionable quality. The lesson learned: no matter how good a game looks and sounds, it won’t matter much if playing it feels awful.

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6.75
Reviews/Previews

Mass Effect Andromeda: The Promise of a Brighter Future

After a succesful trilogy where players followed the adventures of Commander Shepard, Mass Effect Andromeda takes players to a totally new galaxy. We make a fresh start as Pathfinder Ryder, a human tasked with charting the planets of the newly discovered Heleus Cluster in order to plan out how the fresh colonists are going to form new civilizations in a whole different part of the universe. Ryder arrives in a space ark, where thousands of volunteers have been sleeping in cryo-stasis for over 600 years, and reaches the only outpost yet established by space travelers from the Milky Way – The Nexus. After an eventful first impression of the new galaxy – and one with a less than ideal outcome – you become are tasked with finding new planets to inhabit for the people that wish to start a new home in Andromeda.

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5.25
Reviews/Previews

Mario Sports: It’s in the Game

If there is one thing Nintendo does no longer need to prove, it is that they can take popular sports and turn them into something more colorful and playful, add a few Mario characters and still make it into an enjoyable and solid game. A long line of Mario-themed Sports games are testament to this, starting as far back as the NES if you want to count Golf and Tennis.
But even when you have the concept down, you occasionally lose focus. That’s when you get things like Mario Sports Superstars on 3DS.

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9
Reviews/Previews

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild: The Scent of Adventure

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is the most important game in Nintendo’s limited Switch launch-lineup, and absolutely the one that most eyes are directed to. Expectations of a new Zelda game are always high, and people have waited for a long time for the next console release of Nintendo’s most critically acclaimed series. Luckily, Breath of the Wild is without a doubt the best launch-game one could hope for. It is fresh yet familiar, challenging yet accessible but most of all absolutely phenomenal.

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8.3
Reviews/Previews

‘Ninja Souls’: Nioh Review

Team Ninja, creators of Ninja Gaiden, decided to put proven principles to good use. After a long development process (work on the game started as far back as 2004), they created their own take on the action-RPG: Nioh.
In Nioh, the player takes the role of Irish sailor William, who flees from his native England to the mystical land of Zipangu (Japan) to escape imprisonment. Upon reaching his destination, he gets mixed up in the conflict between Japanese warlords who war over control of Japan. The characters and setting are based upon real history, with many familiar names and events making an appearance, all of it mixed with a healthy dose of fantasy and Japanese mythology.

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