- Super Mario Galaxy
- Sonic 3 and Knuckles
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
Splatoon 3: Side Order is a refreshing yet familiar take on the Splatoon setup and well suited for short play sessions and runs to try and take on the lengthy tower. It's longevity, though, is very much grounded in whether rogue-like games and skill-trees appeal. As someone who didn't quite gel with the previous Splatoon single player modes, Splatoon 3: Side Order does tick a lot more boxes - mainly due to the compact, focused approach and that desire to keep pushing further.
The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Booster Course Pass is an electric, experimental, and effortlessly fun set of tracks to race on, with plenty of content to keep players busy! Plenty of nods to fan favourites of old and a lot of fresh ideas to invigorate the series going forward. With additional characters, costumes, and quality of life changes, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe becomes one of the best entries in the series to date.
WarioWare: Move It! is a return to form for the barmy microgame curator Wario. With his group of familiar friends, odd concepts and motion controls, it's back to basics! There are some slight teething issues with motion controls, but one that may come with practice. A whole host of fun microgames, multiplayer modes and new ideas build on what's made the series a hit with fans. Those who shy away from motion controls would likely prefer Get it Together!, also on Nintendo Switch, instead. Fans of that classic WarioWare feel will be right at home with WarioWare: Move It!
Detective Pikachu Returns is a fun little Nintendo Switch adventure that is ideal for younger players, offering a colourful, eclectic mix of characters, Pokémon and storytelling. It does veer to the simpler side in places in both game design and visual fidelity, but the appeal of the Pokémon universe is strong enough to draw players of all ages into the tale. Those who were fans of the Nintendo 3DS game or simply enjoy a classic point-and-click adventure would feel right at home with Detective Pikachu Returns.
Super Bomberman R 2 is an explosive romp. Classic Bomberman grid mechanics with neat twists in additional modes, with new rules to keep things fresh. In some ways it is a fitting celebration of four decades of bombs - fast, nippy multiplayer gameplay at its core, with cute, colourful characters to tie everything together. Does it push beyond Super Bomberman R? In some ways, yes, but there could well have been more to take this sequel to the next level. That said, those looking for a Bomberman adventure on the Nintendo Switch should hop on into Super Bomberman R 2 with open arms, preferably holding a bomb or two.
To answer the question - is this a brand-new game or glorified DLC? The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a worthy sequel - it goes beyond a simple reskin and introduces a cohesive, unique take at a post-story world from a previous entry. Blend in two huge new landmasses to unpack, reworked villages/locations and a mysterious story to stitch it all together for one epic return to Hyrule. The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom accomplishes that incredibly difficult task of following up a critically acclaimed game. It hooks, teases and surprises at every turn. Another essential game for the Nintendo Switch and chapter in the ever-expanding Hylian story.
Much like the original Wii release, Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe is an excellent Kirby adventure, packed full of heart, classic gameplay and dipped in a delicious HD upgrade. Throw in bonus modes, collectable content, and backstory for a truly definitive platforming experience. It's unfortunate that there's no online co-op play, but both single and local couch-play are an absolute joy from the opening title.
Mario Strikers: Battle League is a promising start to filling the football boots of the long awaited sequel. Solid, liquid smooth performance on the pitch and that signature cocktail of personality and gritty football fun from Next Level Games. Where the game falters, at time of review, is the significant lack of offline content, supporting characters and lack of basic online features found in similar multiplayer games. If these issues are patched in, the base game is a solid package that sets the foundations for what could grow to be a more complete package.
Nintendo Switch Sports is a fun sequel that does online right. Those looking for that throwback Wii Sports feel with solid online play will fit right at home. It's great with friends and family in the living-room, too. The main drawback, however, is the lack of content - Golf being absent at launch and returning sports. Nintendo Switch Sports is a solid start, with that familiar feel and the potential to add more content in the future.
Mario Party Superstars is a comeback tour for the series, a love letter to frantic marathon runs and celebrates Mario Party in a truly spectacular way. An impressive package that's stitched together with striking visuals, an upgraded soundtrack and robust online play. There is certainly potential to expand on the concept with DLC - whether it be additional boards or characters. Fans have been clamouring for an entry along these lines for years; and Mario Party Superstars is a celebration fans and newcomers will want an invitation to. Grab a controller and become a superstar!
In very a very much Metroidvania move, backtracking back to the start of the review with the question, "Is the new adventure worth the wait?" The answer is a resounding yes. Nintendo and MercurySteam have pulled off a sequel that is classic, essential Metroid with a sprinkling of the new; controls, visual direction and a terrifying new threat that sends a space-aged shiver through the spine. Metroid Dread is the evolution to how side-scrolling Metroid should feel and the conclusion to something truly special. A thrilling chapter for players who have been looking up to the stars for decades, and a compelling tale for adventurers new to the series!
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is immersive, addictive and refreshingly fun - a fresh way to interact with the living space; blending a traditional toy with that intense Mario Kart action! Throw in those familiar items, themes and chirpy music and Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit is a recipe for an afternoon of Augmented Reality racing. Home Circuit does certainly have room to grow and questions around replay value - whether through more affordable additional RC cars, extra accessories, and additional extras in the game.
If Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the celebration of all things Nintendo, Super Mario Maker 2 is the ultimate celebration of all things Mario! The original Wii U game expanded on what was possible in a Mario course, but the follow-up elevates the experience with true sequel status. A comprehensive mission-driven campaign, boundless tools and tiles and additional themes serve up a tonne of potential for creators! Super Mario Maker 2 offers a canvas to create a truly authentic Super Mario Bros. experience - Press start, the flagpole awaits!
Super Mario Party is an eclectic celebration of twenty years of star collecting and coin hoarding; bringing together the best bits into one show-stopping, mini-game cake. Paul Hollywood would grab a Joy-Con and give it a thoroughly good handshake. The addition of "Super" to the title is thoroughly deserved - with streamlined, refined mechanics, classic game design, smart mini-games and brilliant extras to tuck into. Whilst the sense of competition and unpredictable antics is still very much in play, there's also a greater feeling of teamwork within mini-games that hasn't been seen since the original Mario Party. The series has found its encore, and it's ready to keep dancing deep into the night. Super Mario Party is the essential Nintendo Switch release, a true return to form for a franchise that was at risk of going stale.
Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 03: Vehicle Kit is the most challenging and intriguing to piece together so far, and the set that has the most longevity - their software/adventure pieces may not be the most in-depth RPG/open-world fest, but it's fun and puts the kit to good use. The wheel and joystick, in particular, are what's likely to carry momentum going forward - the Toy-Con that could easily be applied to future games and concepts.
Dillon and his adorable little hamster friend Russ roll back into the Tower Defence scene with fresh and futuristic tale of Western adventure. Dillon's Dead-Heat Breakers builds on the previous games, heightening the action with intense races and expands the universe with an intriguing cast of characters/recruits. There is a steep learning curve and a lot of investment needed into the main tower defence gameplay, but it is worth rolling into in order to save those adorable Scrog critters.
The Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 01: Variety Kit is just what it says on the tin - one that serves up a variety of unique and interactive toys to build. Through a brilliant interface and robust card shapes, the kit offers hours of DIY building fun - with an interactive pay-off. The mini-games are somewhat short, leaning more towards concept pieces, but with the Labo Garage included, it creates limitless possibilities to explore and invoke a little mischief, too!
Detective Pikachu is a fresh look at a franchise that's been constantly evolving - pun intended - for the best part of two decades. From fighting games to intense dungeon crawlers, numerous animated films to cameo cross-overs, Pokémon has proven itself to be a massively versatile series. This new story explores a different snippet of this expansive world, the first steps into what may well prove to be another direction for Nintendo and The Pokémon Company to venture down. The game is packed full of humour, challenging puzzles, and an amusing pair of lead characters. It isn't without its faults, but there's enough here for an ultimately rewarding tale and the potential to develop the formula further in the future.