808 Published Reviews
SaGa SCARLET GRACE: AMBITIONS™Switch
The story is minimalist on purpose, the progression can be obtuse, and the difficulty can be extreme. When you can break past that initial wall, you’re treated to an RPG that cherishes player choice and exploration. The gameplay is addicting to its core, and it’s very rare to see an RPG as meticulously thought out like this. It lived up to all the hype for me and is perfect for genre fans looking for a breath of fresh air.
Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE EncoreSwitch
More Shin Megami Tensei than Fire Emblem, it’s hard to care too much when the end result is this enjoyable. Likeable characters and a satisfying combat system all wrapped in vivid visuals and a wonderfully weird and often uplifting story. Of the remaining Wii U games left to bring over to Switch, this was quite the curveball, but it’s one I hope gets the recognition it deserves second time around.
The story itself could be forgettable, taking second place to the mechanics and ‘action’ of the game, but each NPC and hacked computer adds an extra layer to not only Amanda’s story, but to the universe of the franchise. Rarely do I hunt out terminals to read emails and reports from faceless characters, but here, each screen of text added to the journey.
Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training for Nintendo SwitchSwitch
It’s certainly clever; I’ll give it that, however, it feels a little clumsy since you need to physically disconnect the Joy-Con from the device and position it in front of your hand. Using the touch screen is simple and slick whereas this despite its impressive tech feels less so. Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training for Nintendo Switch – besides being quite the mouthful – is a welcome return for the series and a great fit for the console. Sure it’s a rather predictable experience but it’s one that in spite of its few hiccups manages to challenge and entertain in equal measures.
Call of Juarez: GunslingerSwitch
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger takes you on an exciting journey back into the heart of the Wild West. Whether there’s any truth to what Silas Greaves is telling his listeners or if he’s simply lying through his teeth, I had a great time shooting my way through the winding story he wove and taking down legendary bandits along the way.
New Super Lucky's TaleSwitch
What you’re left with is essentially a strong example of a well-worn genre meaning there’s little to surprise or truly excite. While there’s definitely fun to be with New Super Lucky’s Tale, in a sea of excellent platformers – both 3D and 2D – already out there on Switch this may be one worth circling back to if you’re hungry for more after sampling those.
Besides the out of place design choices in regards to how the puzzle elements are handled, The Touryst is a decent break from reality that provides adorable and light busywork for the thumbs. It sure is a pretty place to mooch around in and will undoubtedly please those who may be looking to carry on stretching out that The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening feeling.
STAR OCEAN First Departure RSwitch
Its wide variety of options to customize the presentation to your own preferences is one I wish more remasters would take note of, and I had fun despite a cliché story and simplistic combat. At this game’s core, it’s a very average game that set the framework for a very great sequel. I think if Square Enix gets an opportunity to do this again with Star Ocean: Second Evolution, I can easily see them knocking it out of the park.
Football Manager 2020 TouchSwitch
Ultimately, Football Manager 2020 Touch succeeds in two ways. Firstly, it allows people like me who enjoy Football Manager titles to get back into them without sacrificing all the time needed to play them. Secondly, it succeeds in being a really good football management simulator in general, one that is easily the best ever created for a console. It has enough new additions and tweaks this year to warrant a purchase over last year’s version, and it also feels a bit more feature-packed without ever straying too far into the content-heavy heights of the full-fat PC version.
Deadly Premonition OriginsSwitch
This is an experience that’s clunky to play, messy in its execution at times and visually ugly and dated however in spite of all this I’ve found my time with Deadly Premonitions Origins to be enjoyable. Like a questionably acted B-movie you learn to love its eye-rolling moments and start to embrace its flaws. Is Deadly Premonition Origins a good game? After 20 hours I’m not sure I even know for myself. What I do know is, I had a great time with Francis York Morgan and cannot wait to join forces once again in next year’s sequel.
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete EditionSwitch
I’ve never played a monster collecting game with a sense of style as fresh as these, with both story and gameplay being pretty unique as well. They’re fun games that could easily last you over 100 hours altogether. Even those who aren’t usually fans of Digimon are likely to enjoy this Complete Edition quite a lot because that’s exactly what happened to me when I first played Cyber Sleuth back in 2016.
Black Future '88Switch
Despite its technical issues, Black Future ’88 is everything you would want from a good roguelike shooter. Dedicating myself towards certain layouts and advantages while learning the deceitful risks that accompany them never seems to get old. I’ve managed to beat the game once-over several times but not yet looped a playthrough twice – giving me the realisation that I’ve only just scratched the surface.
Bubble Bobble 4 FriendsSwitch
Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is a fun and approachable multiplayer game for players of all ages and a wonderful recreation of an old school classic. With that said, the Nintendo eShop price tag that accompanies it can be pretty hard to swallow, especially when you consider that most players with a bit of gaming experience will have it beat in a couple of hours at best. Perfecting its three-star demands will certainly add a few more hours to the clock, but it seems like a rather easy post to lean on when there’s far more potential in building upon the jetstream mechanics to contribute towards a higher level count.
Hexagroove: Tactical DJSwitch
The basics are covered, there’s plenty to enjoy despite the brevity of the campaign – it’s repeatable and you know you’ll want to beat your high scores – and if you’re a fan of dance music, as I am, you’ll create some genuinely great songs. There’s even a multiplayer aspect to the game, but sadly my friends aren’t fans of dance music and looked puzzled as I tried to teach them how to play. But Hexagroove: Tactical DJ is flawed – from one minigame and a lack of guidance. The problem is, that minigame is a big part of truly nailing a set. It’s a scratch in an otherwise very clean, very good record.
For the more competitive minded, every stage has an online leaderboard attached that measures both your score and time separately. This in itself is an interesting addition because, as I said before, the game can be quite lenient in how long a chain lasts between hits. Competing for the fastest time surfaces the potential to really study a stage with a surgical knife. This can result in a very addictive high score challenge between friends and rivals.
It will be passed over because it has a bit of a silly name and isn’t headlined by a massive studio. In fact, I doubt many buyers will even check out the screenshots, but they should. And you should play it, because it’s simple fun which can evoke the days of old arcade classics about nothing more than having a good time. It’s daft, it’s a little rough around the edges in places and only a few of the things it does are new. But it would be an absolute crime for it to go un-played.
The Stretchers may not look visually appealing and it controls a little rough around the edges, but it’s also a hilarious time from start to finish. Best enjoyed as a co-op experience, this is the kind of surprise I’m more than willing to embrace from Nintendo in the future.
DRAGON QUEST XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive EditionSwitch
Dragon Quest XI is, without a doubt, worth a playthrough. Square isn’t lying about Dragon Quest XI S being the ‘definitive edition’ either–if you have a Switch, this version is by far the best one to pick up. If you’re a fan of RPGs, grabbing Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition is a no-brainer, and even if you’ve already played through the game once, it might be worth considering the Switch version for all the new additions.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HDSwitch
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is a substandard remaster of a game that quite frankly didn’t need it in the first place. The disappointing level design, frustrating boss battles and shallow party games are a sore reminder of just how much this series has fallen since the glory days of the GameCube pair. I want the series back just as much as any fan, but not like this.
Close to the SunSwitch
On the whole, Close to the Sun is an engaging experience and one that I found hard to put down. It wasn’t always the story that kept me going, it was the overall atmosphere, the claustrophobia of the Helios. Certain moments stayed with me after putting down the controller; hiding behind crates as a crazed man stalked the halls or the dashing jumps made to reach a tram taking me to a new area of the ship. It’s a great homage, but that’s its strongest feature.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the NightSwitch
It’s a real shame because underneath the stigma of a troubled release and a lost first impression of a polished product, lies a potentially magnificent game that holds true to what it once ambitiously set out to achieve.
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020Switch
If only the story hooked me in the same way or the options more customisable or the game radiated a little bit more Mario and Sonic flavour. Still, I had a lot of fun with the game and even more impressive it has managed to get me excited for Mario and Sonic at the Winter Olympic Games Beijing 2022 should it ever happen.
Skullgirls 2nd EncoreSwitch
Whether it rivals some of the more famous entries in the genre on the system is of course down to personal preference. Either way, despite a rocky online experience, I had a blast with Skullgirls 2nd Encore on Nintendo Switch. Lab Zero Games truly know how to tune up a decent fighter, and I for one would love to see them revive a new Darkstalkers game that Mike Zaimont has recently been seen playfully pitching across Twitter.
SEGA AGES Ichidant-RSwitch
SEGA AGES Ichidant-R is a strange game, but one that I’m glad has finally found its way outside Japan. At the end of the day, this is just a small collection of mini-games – albeit a fun one – but its fascinating presentation and surprisingly competitive multiplayer options make this an unknown worth exploring.
The Jackbox Party Pack 6Switch
The Jackbox Party Pack 6 delivers some fantastically hilarious highs that are unfortunately paired with some awkward and cringing lows. To lay it all out, Trivia Murder Party 2 and Push the Button are both fantastic, Role Models feels like a throwaway and Dictionarium and Joke Boat fall somewhere in the middle. Overall this year’s quintet offers enough laughs and proves even six packs in that Jackbox Games can still deliver.