Mario Party Superstars is an excellent package for long-suffering Mario Party fans, but it's almost certainly not going to lead to any new converts. Online multiplayer is a nice feature to have at launch, and the variety of 100 minigames will keep things feeling fresh for your first dozen hours of play at least. But with that said, this is quite literally the safest Mario Party entry imaginable, and even with a hot nostalgia injection, I think I prefer Super Mario Party as the Switch's premier place to ruin your relationships.
With that said, I'm glad we have No More Heroes 3. This is Suda51 to a tee: a wonderful and utterly ridiculous celebration of otaku culture and the series he's built up over the years. Travis' fourth-wall-breaking smart mouth makes me smile incessantly, despite how stupid it can be - and it can be very stupid indeed.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is a Godsend for AA fans, finally compiling and localising two games that the fanbase have been begging for. While the Ace Attorney formula hasn't actually been changed much, what is here is what the fans adore. Interactions with Herlock Sholmes manage to be a highlight, and uncovering mysteries through twisted testimonies is as satisfying as ever.
Microsoft Flight Simulator deserves to be played - but it shouldn't be considered essential. It's a unique experience, one that won't capture everyone in the same way, but you really do owe it to yourself to find your house, your partner's, your parent's, your favourite holiday destination, and just fly over. The world looks very different from thousands of feet in the air, and for now, Microsoft Flight Simulator is the only way I can get that irresistible point of view.
The linear structure of the game and relative empty space of the sky will still frustrate some, but the core sword-fighting gameplay and straightforward Zelda structure is better here than it is in many other games. If you want a traditional 3D Zelda experience, then Skyward Sword HD is an easy choice.
Mario Golf: Super Rush is a Mario sports game, and as is par for the course (sorry) with such titles, it's best when played with friends. You'll need to play it solo for a while to unlock all of the courses, mind, but once that's done, this is an experience you should save for when the pals are either coming to visit, or when they're ready to play online with the gang. Super Rush is an excellent golf game, but the fact that only one of the advertised modes can be played with three-to-four players simultaneously on a single console is a little bit disappointing. Still, this manages to be the best Mario sports title on Nintendo Switch, and a great multiplayer gem for low-energy gatherings with pals.
In reality, Game Builder Garage feels like the perfect place to build a game prototype. You can create a basic idea, see if it works and is fun, and then maybe take that concept into a real game engine development kit - but not much more. It can truly pique the curiosities of kids, and I hope it does, but it's launched in a world where it has big competition, and the depth and charm of those tutorials which only Nintendo could pull off so well can't carry the rest of the experience.
There’s no doubt that this is an incredibly fun way to play Capcom arcade classics - better than throwing all of your loose change at a game you’ll never actually finish, at least - but the selection available here hasn’t left me feeling inspired. The games in this collection feel like the last options, the games that could never be sold individually. Cult classics like Darkstalkers and every other version of Street Fighter are entirely missing - instead we have a bunch of Capcom arcade games that, for the most part, weren’t deserving of sequels, or any other recognition this far removed from their release. It sounds harsh, but these are the rejects, propped up by Street Fighter 2 and Ghosts ‘N Goblins. There’s fun to be had here, but without nostalgia you probably won’t find much to love.
Ultimately Shin Megami Tensei 3 HD Remaster is a perfectly acceptable port of a cult classic PS2 RPG. Playing this at the same time as Mass Effect Legendary Edition has definitely coloured my perception of what we should expect from a remaster, but despite the fact it doesn’t have AI upscaled textures and 4K60fps presentation, it’s still a masterful example of how to build atmosphere in a game while still keeping players engaged, instead of bored. It also features Dante from the Devil May Cry series, which always helps.
Ultimately, Super Mario 3D World, in this package, is the best that game has ever been, with the increased speed and ease of multiplayer access making it far more enticing than ever before. Bowser’s Fury, meanwhile, is essentially the Super Mario Odyssey DLC that never was. It feels like Odyssey’s level and game design sensibilities, but placed in the Super Mario 3D World game engine, with all of the power-ups and quirks that game has to make something truly unique. Putting both of these games in one package is the best decision that Nintendo has made in a long while, as Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is one of the best Mario offerings available on Nintendo Switch, which is lofty praise given the existence of Super Mario Maker 2. Now it just needs the option to play again, but as Luigi.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a perfect game to use to revisit the land of Hyrule. Combat additions make this one of the most exciting and interesting Warriors games to play, but the performance can hold it back. It's a great romp that'll keep you engaged for hours, but don't come in expecting great things from the next chapter of a canon Zelda story.
Warhammer: Chaosbane is saved by the monster-slaying action since the narrative isn't much to play for. If you can find friends to play online with this is an excellent adventure, but while solo the repetition may set in a bit too quickly.
Bright Memory isn't inherently bad, but it feels like a demo for a game that promises to be bigger and better. In addition to that, it's not the best showcase for the new features of the Xbox Series X|S. Regardless, it's a fun romp, but you shouldn't go in expecting this to feel like a full-fat action shooter, because it's not that, not yet.
Oceanhorn 2: Knights of the Lost Realm isn't a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, but it does feel like it's lacking something. This is a Zelda-like through and through, and if you want some traditional Zelda action, it's not a bad game to play. But due to being so rote, it's unlikely to stay in your mind for long once you're done.
This is probably the best Pikmin game, and this is undoubtedly the best version of it. It's a bit of a shame that this isn't full-HD like many Wii U ports have been, but the quality of Pikmin 3 Deluxe is unmistakable. An excellent action-strategy adventure that'll tempt you into 100% completion, and probably leave you in tears when you see your Pikmin eaten at the end of a complicated day.
Pokémon Sword and Shield: The Crown Tundra is the better of the two DLCs for the game, though that's not saying much. It manages to weave Pokémon's modern sensibilities with some strong nostalgia for old-time fans like myself, and I found myself more than happy to cycle around The Crown Tundra for hours on end, catching all of the Pokémon I found. If that's not a good result, I don't know what is.
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is heavily dependent on the amount of free floor space you have available. If you have a large home, space to drive under the sofas, no extra rugs or thick carpets, Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit will be an amazing experience to share with the children. If you live somewhere fairly cramped or have a lot of clutter that's going to get in the way, then you will find this very difficult to enjoy indeed. Great for the kids at Christmas, as long as you have the space.
Everything Torchlight III does, it does worse than one of its contemporaries. Primarily Diablo. While what is here looks good and plays fine, it's repetitive and lacks the magic of games it shares a genre with. But all of that could've been forgiven if it had at least allowed me to suffer through it with a friend in local multiplayer, but it couldn't even do that. If you get the urge to play Torchlight III, just play Diablo III instead.