- Devil May Cry 3
- Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
- Mother 3
Juggling sub-par game design with a host of technical issues on the Switch, Gods Will Fall is a painfully disappointing roguelike that plays more like a proof of concept than anything else. Fashioning gameplay around eight distinct playable characters who can all permanently die is certainly interesting and adds an inherent tension to the experience, but stiff controls, laughable enemy AI, and shallow combat do nothing but remind audiences that they can be playing something better. The fact DeepSilver would publish a title so blatantly unready for public consumption - let alone purchase - is frankly baffling. Gods Will Fall is as much a waste of time as it is money.
A fantastic rally sim for newcomers and veterans alike, WRC 9 has only gotten better in its transition to the PlayStation 5. The next-gen console brings with it obvious visual and performance enhancements - pushing gameplay anywhere between 60 & 120 fps - but the real star here is haptic feedback. WRC 9 use of the DualSense controller is outstanding, utilizing sensations and vibrations to add another layer of immersion to racing. Players will feel the road underneath them, the weight of their brakes, and the subtlest shifts in terrain. A mix of addictive arcade gameplay and deeply immersive feedback, WRC 9 exceeds expectations.
Georifters isn't the worst platformer, but an ugly aesthetic and repetitive level design make for a generally unpleasant playthrough. What's especially disappointing is how creative the core mechanics are. Players are encouraged to manipulate the world around them, but stages are so basically built that even the most engaging puzzles barely offer enough stimulation. Georifters does have a fairly decent multiplayer mode, but mainly due to circumstance rather than thought provoking game design.
PGA Tour 2K21 is a fluid take on golf with incredibly tight mechanics that would be perfect for newcomers were it not for 2K's aggressive microtransactions. All sense of progression is held back by an in-game shop that demands hours of grinding on the player's part or real-life money. What is worse is that this practice makes it difficult to enjoy everything the title has to offer. Player customisation moves too slow and career mode simply offers too few rewards to feel rewarding. There is a good game in PGA Tour 2K21 somewhere, but it will never be found so long as microtransactions hold back actual game design.
One of the most addictive rogue-lites on the Nintendo Switch, Heroes of Hammerwatch blends classic action RPG progression with a hostile world design that'll have heroes second guessing every turn they make, and whether or not their next foe will be their last. Procedurally generated level design can never match up to thoughtful handcrafted stages, but HoH is able to cut the difference thanks to its easy to pick up gameplay loop, and an understanding that even the smallest bit of progress is meaningful. Between experimenting with classes, upgrading your town, and dungeon-eering with a trusted group of friends, Heroes of Hammerwatch is a must-play.
Monster Sanctuary is a charming take on the monster raising formula, albeit not without its faults. In spite of this, Monster Sanctuary is an addictive RPG that is hard to put down. Monster hatching is an incredibly simple process, every single monster has its own skill tree, and combat has been balanced enough so that just about any team can get through the main game in the hands of savvy players. Monster Sanctuary is a diamond in the rough if there ever was one.
A distinct lack of game modes, no means of playing offline, and even the inability to make a private game with friends overshadows all of Rumble's innovations. Faster paced gameplay centred around a single worm is a breath of fresh air - and implemented quite well - but it's held back by a stripping away of Worms' most identifiable qualities: turn-based gameplay that emphasised strategy, destructible environments that continually redefined stages, and a never-ending stream of charm that kept matches as entertaining as they were engaging. Worms Rumble resembles its predecessors superficially, while failing to carve out a clear identity by recycling what little content there is in-game ad nauseum. Rumble will almost certainly be updated with new modes over time, but franchise veterans are bound to be disappointed and newcomers are better off waiting until then.
Devil May Cry 5 Special Edition is arguably the game Capcom should have always released. While the original was a powerhouse in every sense of the word, its pristine quality simply meant any imperfections were all the more noticeable. Vergil's return rounds out an already tight cast of characters playable with some of the most in-depth combat in the franchise. Turbo mode picks up the pace to challenge a player's physical and mental reflexes on every level. Legendary Dark Knight pushes the power of the PlayStation 5 by rendering large swarms of enemies on-screen, all for the player to kill. Devil May Cry 5 was already one of Capcom's best titles in years, and this Special Edition only elevates it.
This is the Zodiac Speaking sets itself up as a moody and mature take on a series of still unsolved murders, but the game in practice lacks a considerable amount of finesse. Beyond running poorly on the Nintendo Switch - to the point where anyone who exclusively plays undocked should avoid a purchase outright - the script is as overindulgent as it is clunky and what few attempts there are at building tension are downright comical. This is the Zodiac Speaking might have been worth suffering through the flaws if the game had tighter controls and ran better, but the Switch release simply isn't worth the money.
It's quite telling that Ever Forward's demo (released independently with the subtitle Prologue) isn't that much shorter than an actual full play-through. Despite the title's tense stealth sections, and fairly involved puzzle-solving, the fact of the matter is that the final product plays out like the tutorial to a much longer adventure that never starts. By the time Maya's story starts to breathe, and the core gameplay begins introducing complex and layered puzzles, the journey is more or less over. The atmosphere is commendable, as are the puzzles actually present, but the is sure to leave genre veterans disappointed, and newcomers desperate for some meat to chew on.