BlazBlue Centralfiction Special Edition may a few years late to Nintendo Switch, but that time hasn't dulled the sharpness of its 2D fighting package. Not only does it give the Ragna saga a proper send-off with a story mode that's so rich in character development it could be a full anime season in its own right, but it offers a staggering number of modes to keep you playing long after the credits roll. It runs silky-smooth docked or in handheld modes and runs like a dream online. The lack of an English dub still rankles, and new adopters are going to have to do a lot of research to understand what's going on, but it's well worth the effort.
Monster Energy Supercross - The Official Videogame 2 is a vast improvement in many ways upon the first game. The inclusion of a track editor, the reinstatement of online multiplayer and the sheer level of authenticity on offer will impress both longtime supercross fans and casuals looking to spray mud on two wheels. Visually, it's a noticeable step up and while it does occasionally chug, the frame rate holds fast most of the time. It's just a shame those monstrously long loading times and a needlessly grindy unlock system takes away some of its shine.
While some of its procedural generation can sometimes make for an unnecessarily challenging experience, City of Brass more than makes up for it with the sheer creativity you can have exploring its Arabian Nights-themed maps. With genii to imbue you with wacky powers and the ever-tantalising need to collect more gold (as well the option to compete with others via the leaderboards), Uppercut Games has produced one of the most entertaining roguelikes to swing onto Nintendo Switch. And you can throw ghost chickens. What more do you need?
Gelly Break isn't a perfect platformer/isometric shooter hybrid, but it showcases such creative aplomb it manages to make itself stand out among a vast number of couch-play titles already available on Nintendo Switch. While enjoyable in single-player, this really is a game best experienced locally with a friend – where something as simple as traversing a platform becomes an exercise in mutual harmony or a tragedy of teamwork.
Despite being a licensed tie-in, Dragons: Dawn of New Riders is anything but a broken, half-baked money-grab. It's not particularly remarkable in its features – and it really misses a trick by not adding more things to do while riding your dragon between dungeons – but for recovering Skylanders fans and those a little too young to go loot crazy in Diablo, this is still a family-friendly adventure that's well worth your time on Nintendo Switch.
Thea: The Awakening wants to be many things. It wants to be a proper 4X game; it wants to be a through-and-through survival experience; it wants to be an RPG, a CCG and many other genres all at once. It succeeds at some, but often at the expense of others. There are some really great ideas here – the almost Pratchett-esque silliness to some of its scenarios and the focus on Slavic myths serves as a striking source of inspiration – but the focus on micro-management busywork simply gets in the way of the empire-building fun Thea should really be embracing.
While its difficulty spikes can be a little tough at times (and the sheer amount of information presented quite overwhelming, especially to genre newcomers), it's impossible to not appreciate just how much has been crammed into Tangledeep's roguelike crevices. From taming monsters and turning them into pets to the ever-changing layout of its dungeons, this is a roguelike RPG for players who yearn for a return to SNES games of old. It's smart, deep and rewarding, but be warned: this is an adventure designed almost exclusively for seasoned players.
As surprise release games go, Swords & Soldiers' age – and the sheer number of platforms it's appeared on – might lead you to sleep on it. But despite having appeared on plenty of Nintendo consoles already, Two Tribes' comical mix of resource management and real-time strategy is just as fun, silly and rewarding as it was back in 2009. Its looks are a little blurry in places, but the simplicity of its concept (and the short nature of its matches) make it a perfect fit for handheld play.
While its platforming mechanics are still a tad unpredictable at times – and the huge gaps between save points still rankle – Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy's quality nonetheless shines through. Weaving melee combat, environmental puzzles and plenty of platforms with a fun and interesting take on Egyptian mythology, it's an action-platformer that really holds up well, despite the years on its clock. Its camera might still be a bit rubbish, but with a new lick of HD paint, this is a hidden gem that deserves a little time in the limelight.
Smite was a great and fresh take on the MOBA formula back in 2014, and it's only gotten better thanks to a consistent amount of new gods, themed events and eSports support. So Switch players are getting this game in its most evolved form, with a roster that's pushing three figures and a vast number of modes to unlock and enjoy. It does have a higher difficulty curve than the likes of Arena of Valor, and there's a slow grind to earn skins via the Season Pass, but the game itself is one of the best entries in the genre and it's right here on Switch – a cause for celebration and no mistake. However, until the game goes to free-to-play for all users, that paywall is going to hamper its chances of online success.
Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds spends a little too much time reminiscing over the past than looking forwards and carving out its own journey, and as a result, it doesn't really bring anything new to the table at which its inspirations sit. Still, while its random QTEs do make battles more of a game of chance than they need to be, there's enough heft to the story, the characters, and the beauty of its setting to help save it from disappearing into obscurity. With a build that runs well on Nintendo Switch, this is still a worthy adventure for '90s JRPG fans.
While Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics doesn't quite capture the intensity of the tabletop game it's based on, it still does an admirable job of doing something a little bit different with the tactics genre. By focusing more on story and the horror aspect of its lore, you get to experience intense close-quarters battles and ranged skirmishes while building on an unknown threat that could appear at any time, and in any form. Pacing problems and a lack of environmental variety can affect how well this all comes together, but if you're looking for a more focused tactical/strategy title on Switch, this Lovecraftian odyssey awaits.
While mostly similar to the version that appeared on 3DS in 2017, the Nintendo Switch iteration of Cursed Castilla EX is still well worth a play. Perfectly designed for bite-sized runs on the go, its careful balance of skilful challenge and easy-to-learn controls means almost anyone can pick it up and start throwing swords in vigour. Whether you're a retro fan looking for a love letter to classics such as Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts or a newbie looking to see what the fuss is all about, this is a great little adventure.
Somebody, somewhere, thought we needed an answer to the question of ‘Could Santa take Jesus in a fight?'. We didn't, and we still don't. With such a wealth of fighting games on Nintendo Switch – and with a port of Mortal Kombat 11 on the horizon – a cheap and poorly executed example such as this simply doesn't make the cut. Even without its questionable choice of characters, you're much better off spending your money on one of the many other 2D fighters available on Switch.
Despite a limiting always-online requirement and a current lack of support for docked/tabletop play, Lightseekers rescues itself from by disaster thanks largely to the robust nature of its card system, the support for scanning in physical cards and the sheer depth of tactics available to different skill levels. Thankfully, it's also free-to-play and the the ability to earn digital cards at a steady pace via in-game challenges will keep players coming back for more each day. It's great to finally have a proper CCG on Switch – even if it's not properly optimised for Nintendo's hybrid console quite yet.
DYING: Reborn - Nintendo Switch Edition really can't decide if it wants to be a puzzle-solving escape room title or an unsettling descent into the nightmare of survival horror. In the end, the former takes over and the latter occasionally pops its head up for a half-hearted ‘boo'.
With the purity of its twitch platforming mechanics and the clever way developer Demimonde exploits user-generated platforms, Octahedron: Transfixed Edition certainly lives up to its new subtitle. The soundtrack alone is worth the price of admission – especially if you're partial to some big EDM beats – and if you've ever enjoyed the likes of Downwell, Crypt of the NecroDancer or Celeste, this TRON-loving indie is likely to entrance you.
Everything really does deliver on its abstract concept, but only if you're willing to boot it up with an open mind. There's no action, or even a cohesive plot. There are no XP bars to fill or loot to collect – just a universe and you, and a desire to determine just who ‘you' really are. The basic textures and colours (and the hilarious way creatures just roll about like possessed statues) might stifle some, but Everything's worth is more than skin deep. It's a risky game – some will love it and some just won't get it at all – but it's an experience well worth undertaking, regardless of where you end up.
Nippon Marathon isn't not going to be everyone's tastes – those eye-wateringly janky visuals (whether by design or not) and the nature of physics-driven racing are an acquired taste that most people are going to tire of, fast. However, look past the surface and there's a multiplayer experience here that will appeal to fans of Gang Beasts and the like, who just want a silly party game that cares not for seriousness in any form.