Staff Profile

Username
johncalmc
First Article
News/Features
5
Reviews
46
Avg. Review Score
6.4
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998
Total Articles
51
  • Review Observation - Space Survival Story with Some Surprises

    I'm just looking, I'm not spyin'

    Space is kinda terrifying when you think about it. It can be unsettling taking the wrong turn in Wales and winding up surrounded by fields and sheep with nothing but your SatNav for company -- imagine being trapped on a space station and looking out of your window to see nought but the immeasurable black void staring...

  • Review Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy - Three Classic Adventures That Stand the Test of Time

    I hereby sentence you to play these games

    Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is a bundle of the first three Phoenix Wright games, originally released on Game Boy Advance and then later revamped for Nintendo DS, making their way to a PlayStation console for the very first time. These classic adventure/visual novel titles follow a rookie defence...

  • Hands On Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy Has No Objections from Us So Far

    Pre-order in the court?

    We're a mere three cases into the original Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney on PlayStation 4, so we're not quite ready to give you the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. So help us Shuhei, the jury is still out. But we have seen enough to allow us to make a pretty compelling opening statement before we render our...

  • Review Vane - Exploration Has Never Been Less Fun

    You're so vane I'll bet you think this review is about you

    We were something like six hours into Vane when we glanced down at our phone to see what time it was, and realised that we'd only been playing the game for forty-two minutes. How was this even possible? It was like when Matthew McConaughey visited Dr. Miller's Planet in Interstellar: a world...

  • Review YIIK: A Postmodern RPG - Party Like It's 1999

    Let's all meet up in the year 2000

    The '90s. It was a wonderful time to be alive. An era before TOWIE, before PewDiePie, and before Ed Sheeran. Sheffield United were in the Premier League (briefly). We had it all. Pulp Fiction at the cinema, Oasis and Blur being horrible to each other every day, Curly Wurly's were like twice the size. It was...

  • Game of the Year 2018 #7 - Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

    All cel and good

    Aside from the thoroughly charming cel-shaded aesthetic and good-natured storytelling, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom bears little resemblance to its 2011 predecessor: the cast of characters is entirely new, the battle system has been completely revamped, and there’s huge focus placed on a city building minigame. It’s one of...

  • Game of the Year 2018 John's Personal Picks

    Boy!

    The annual Push Square Towers tradition is back, as we sit down our scribes and pester them once more for their five favourite PlayStation games of the year. With such a strong assortment of software in 2018, it’s always tough deciding upon the cream of the crop. We threatened John with a David Cage shower scene before he dropped his list...

  • Review Just Cause 4 - Explosive in the Wrong Ways

    Just bores

    There's moments playing Just Cause 4 when you'll almost certainly find yourself grinning from ear to ear in much the same way that you might watching a ridiculous '80s action movie. It doesn't matter that the characters are personified clichés, or that the plot's limper than the lettuce in a Big Mac, because you just strapped four...

  • Review Hitman 2 - More Darkly Amusing Murder

    Hit me baby one more time

    Poor Sierra Knox. She lived her life as a successful racing car driver, and along with her father was a powerful figure within Kronstadt Industries, a tech firm making waves in the robotics field. She had it all: fame, money, power, and a name that made her sound a bit like a baddie from a Bond film. It's everything a girl...

  • Review Valkyria Chronicles 4 - The Strategy Sequel We Waited a Decade For

    The Art of War

    Republished on the 25th September, 2018: We're bringing this review back to coincide with the launch of Valkyria Chronicles 4. The Valkyria Chronicles series is set during a low fantasy re-imagining of World War II, here called the Second Europan War. The topography of the Europan continent is only marginally different to our Europe,...

  • 57

    PS4

    Review Divinity: Original Sin II - Definitive Edition

    Master of Divinity

    Divinity: Original Sin II is a fantastic role-playing game that strikes an almost perfect balance between dense, absorbing storytelling, and allowing you the freedom to shape the adventure as you wish. The journey through to the end credits will take you dozens of hours to complete, and during that time you’ll meet scores of...

  • 10

    PS4

    Review The Banner Saga 3

    Iver bad feeling about this

    The Banner Saga 3 is a fitting end for the light tactical RPG series, and one that feels less like a sequel and more like the third act of a cohesive whole. The combat system used in the series up until this point remains relatively unchanged, and most of the mechanics are carried over as is. This isn't about reinventing...

  • 7

    PS4

    Review The Lost Child

    Put the kids to bed

    The first twenty minutes or so of The Lost Child set up an intriguing mystery, but once the game settles into a comfortable rhythm things become decidedly less compelling, and at times, an outright slog. The game begins in a Tokyo subway station with an investigative journalist who specialises in the occult named Hayato looking...

  • 22

    PS4

    Review Jurassic World Evolution

    Life, uh, finds a way

    In the original Jurassic Park movie when things start going a little bit pear shaped, the perennially optimistic benefactor of the world's first dinosaur zoo John Hammond reminds everyone that when Disneyland opened none of the rides worked properly either. Mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm cynically retorts: "Yeah, but, John, if...

  • 33

    PS4

    Review XCOM 2

    Loving the alien

    Republished on Wednesday 30th May 2018: We're bringing this review back from the archives following the announcement of June's PlayStation Plus lineup. The original text follows. When aliens landed on Earth in 2012 strategy game XCOM: Enemy Unknown, it was up to you to unite the people of our planet against the invading...

  • 16

    PS4

    Review Yoku's Island Express

    Pinball Wizard

    Because many video games lean on familiar gameplay loops, archetypal characters, and genre conventions, when you're reviewing them it can sometimes feel like you're saying exactly the same thing about a game that you already wrote about previously. But every now and again you'll have to write a sentence during a review that you know...

  • 29

    PS4

    Review Past Cure

    Past caring

    Past Cure tells the story of an ex-soldier named Ian who is suffering from a bout of amnesia pertaining to a three year period in his life, after which he wound up with some extraordinary abilities. He, naturally, wants to know what happened to him in that time and why he can now do things that mere mortal men cannot, and with the help...

  • 39

    PS4

    Review Dissidia Final Fantasy NT

    Shut the hell up, kupo

    There are few franchises in video gaming quite like Final Fantasy. After three decades, the series has spawned more iconic characters and cities than most other franchises could hope to achieve in twice as long. The appeal, therefore, of a game like Dissidia Final Fantasy NT should be self-explanatory: take a bunch of...

  • Game of the Year 2017 John's Personal Picks

    Fractured but whole

    As is becoming an annual tradition here at Push Square Towers, we’ve corralled our core group of staff writers and prodded them until they’ve told us what their favourite five games of the year are. With such a strong assortment to select from, added force was required in some instances. We threatened to jot down John...

  • 30

    PS4

    Review The Sims 4

    Better simulate than never

    You begin The Sims 4 by creating a Sim - an avatar of a person, perhaps based on yourself only thinner, more popular, and with cooler hair - using a fairly robust character creation suite. You can start the game with your Sim at any stage of their life, from toddler to elder, and you assign them a bunch of personality...

  • 35

    PS4

    Review Road Rage

    Motorcyc-hell

    THE FUTURE. Sick of being taken advantage of by power hungry, money grubbing fat cats, the disenfranchised people of the city of Ashen rise up against their oppressors the only way they know how: by forming motorcycle gangs and hitting each other with big sticks. This is Road Rage: a dreadful vehicle combat game that is probably only...

  • 1

    PS4

    Review Guardians of the Galaxy: Episode Five - Don't Stop Believin'

    I am Groot

    It's probably a little bit late in the day but Don't Stop Believin', the final episode of Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy, is easily the best episode of the series to date. That might not sound like glowing praise given the often painful mediocrity of the previous episodes, but it at least makes for a nice surprise and leaves us with a...

  • 25

    PS4

    Review South Park: The Fractured But Whole

    Fart attack

    Given the mire that mankind currently finds itself in, we should probably applaud Trey Parker and Matt Stone's scattershot, omnilateral approach to satire in South Park: The Fractured But Whole, a game which mercilessly skewers all facets of modern life. Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you align with, your...

  • 1

    PS4

    Review Guardians of the Galaxy: Episode Four - Who Needs You

    Just the Drax, ma'am

    Penultimate episodes are a tricky proposition. On the one hand, you've got to set up the story for the big finale in the next instalment, but on the other, you can't promise or give away too much or the coming climax might wind up feeling, well, anti-climactic. Telltale's Guardians of the Galaxy - a series that has such little...