- Super Mario Galaxy
- Sonic 3 and Knuckles
- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
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.
Just Dance 2018 is the ninth instalment in the long-running dance-a-thon series, and it still grooves deep into the early hours of tomorrow morning, even with this excellent Wii U version. It may not be a revolutionary entry by any means, but it adds enough to be a fully-fleshed game for newcomers, while also tempting enough for any series veterans looking to dust off those dancing shoes.
Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World is packed to the brim with content. It goes beyond a simple port by incorporating intuitive gameplay tweaks, from Poochy's helpers to customisable yarn patterns. It's a charming, well designed platformer that draws plenty of influence from Yoshi's golden years, but expands on them with cleverly executed mechanics. There are times where there may be a tendency to lean, just a bit, towards more gimmicky concepts, but these are maintained in such a way that it fits within the adventure in a natural way. Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World is the definitive release, and a solid return to form for a dinosaur who was on the brink of becoming extinct on handhelds - again. A must-have for any 3DS owner who enjoys and appreciates the classic side-scroller.
Super Mario Maker for Nintendo 3DS does tick the boxes when it comes to core solo play, serving up an assortment of Nintendo's own crafted creations and also a handful of compatible user-made courses. The tool maintains the Wii U's edition's flexibility and has a good majority of tiles to play with. However, where the game truly is lacking is in the online component - no course sharing and searching is a big oversight and does dampen the selling appeal of the 3DS edition, something that Nintendo should resolve.
Just Dance 2017 is the most comprehensive entry in the series to date, and paired with the Unlimited selection service, it will become a centrepiece for any party. The songs and routines are varied, and the additional modes complement the experience well. There may not be enough to warrant a new purchase for those of you who own Just Dance 2016, but for newcomers Just Dance 2017 is the complete collection.
Mario Party: Star Rush is a fresh take on the series, with new mechanics that keep things quick and unpredictable. The level designs are perhaps a little bland compared to the older titles, but the mini-games, boss battles and additional challenges bring together an enjoyable little package that can quite easily be played solo, with solid multiplayer and an eShop download option for those with a single copy of the game.
Star Fox Guard is a smart use of the GamePad controller, by using the touch-screen as a radar to add another layer of what's happening on the TV screen. A simple concept that has an arcade, frantic feel whilst slotting into the Star Fox universe with a handful of cheesy (though unfortunately voiceless) dialogue. The game perhaps could have done with more tower defence elements to extend the idea further, but as a standalone package it's a compelling little gem that does well in framing the GamePad's benefits and is worth a try.
Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games ticks the boxes when it comes to sticking true to the formula and delivering an experience that is competitive, fun and easily accessible for newcomers. The new additions like Golf, the playable characters and the Pocket Marathon features are good, as well as the twists to traditional Olympic events. For those of you who already own a Mario & Sonic game on 3DS, this particular instalment might be a difficult purchase to justify on the new content alone, but for newcomers, Mario & Sonic at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games is the most definitive handheld version yet.