The Mass Effect trilogy is a personal all-time favourite of this here reviewer, and Legendary Edition comes highly recommended to anyone that enjoys sci-fi narratives, regardless of preferred genres or experience. As games, each has its faults and glitches that can't be glossed over today, but this package as a whole is a gripping adventure that takes players all over the Milky Way galaxy, meeting fascinating characters and alien races, of whom many will stick long in the memory. The lore will always be the absolute reason for anyone to give this a try, and it's highly likely that no matter the issues, the story and crew will be more than enough to keep you going to see this grand adventure right to the end. Unfortunately, one too many complaints are difficult to ignore and hold it back from being the remaster this deserved to be.
Two Point Hospital naturally plays better with a keyboard and mouse, but the Switch suits this Theme Hospital successor wonderfully well. It might be difficult to read or see particular texts in handheld mode, and the controls can take a little adjustment time, but any management sim fan owes it to themselves to check out this game. Technical issues, a degree of tedium in base game content, and the fact this supposed all-in-one edition is still missing some recent expansions aside, the variety of stages thanks to the included DLC and wealth of silly humour deliver a fun twist on what is otherwise a difficult field to work in.
Anyone that enjoyed the original Life is Strange and opted not to give a chance to this sequel should reconsider right away. The story may not deliver the same impact or suspense, but this is a poignant narrative that many should find a degree of relatability to, with extremely likeable characters in the form of Sean and Daniel. With the full season discounted often and a new game on the horizon, this is a great time to journey south with the Diaz brothers.
Crash Bandicoot 4 is a raving success when it comes to producing a sequel worthy of the franchise's original trilogy. Any fan should have no hesitations in picking this up. The content on offer is huge, with tons to collect and aim for in every stage, costumes to unlock, different characters to play as, fresh gameplay that compliments the familiar, and bundles of humour and charm. This is not an easy game, however. Getting to the end is one thing, but be prepared for one of the toughest tasks in modern games if attempting to 100% every level. Despite the performance cutbacks on Switch, it runs and looks well enough, but if portable play doesn't matter to you, it might be wiser to opt for one of the other versions.
Super Mario 3D World may not have had much added to it aside from an online function that is limited to only saving progress for the host, but it didn't necessarily need much else. Nintendo successfully found a way to evolve the 2D classics without going open world, and the result is one of the most consistently fresh and enjoyable games around, which, despite lacking the challenge of the NES games, has something for just about everyone. The bonus Bowser's Fury solo adventure is an absolute delight with a brilliant core idea that adds a crazy tension to Mario platforming, but it is hard to present a case for purchasing this pack just to play it. Whilst full of great content, it is too short-lived to feel worth the asking price, and really needs a standalone purchase option. When taking both games into account for those that have not played the original Wii U title, though, this is a cracking bundle of Mario goodness that encapsulates what everyone knows and still loves about the moustachioed hero after an enduring thirty-five years.
It pains to criticise this remaster so harshly, because there was a great fondness for the original title that sprang to life if local multiplayer with friends was taken advantage of. Square Enix has shown little desire to give Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles the makeover it deserved, however, and its many dated issues only become more apparent next to the removal of local multiplayer and region-locked online play. There is still a case for chancing it for friends that enjoy dungeon crawlers and can deal with the limitations, but beware of the strange control schemes and tedious gameplay.
Tennis fans are so limited these days, and Tennis World Tour 2 does not deliver enough to consider it a great game. Too many graphical glitches, inconsistencies across the board in terms of gameplay and the wider matchday details, copy-pasted player physiques and complete lack of personalised shots, a shoehorned mid-match card feature that only distracts - oh, and locking major tournaments and courts behind day one DLC are just some of the reasons Big Ant Studios double faults with this one. With more time, care, and no doubt a bigger budget, something decent could arise, because the makings are there, but patches might not be enough, and focus now might be better spent on a hopeful third game.
Smoots World Cup Tennis tries to be this whacky and hilarious arcade sports game, plastered with all manner of customisation options and silly characters that parody real life people, but the bugs, the constant replays after every point, the awful visuals and voice clips, the boring gameplay, and just the obvious lack of care to optimise for Switch make this an easy pass.
A commendable attempt to bring Samurai Shodown to an old portable format, even though the limited nature of the Neo Geo Pocket Color at the time does hinder Samurai Shodown! 2's chances of being able to hold much attention today. One for the diehard fans that will appreciate the effort of what was achieved with the hardware.
None of this is to say Shantae and the Seven Sirens is a bad game. In fact, it's a decent game for the younger audience, newcomers, and anyone that isn't expecting Shantae to evolve. Strictly from the perspective of someone that has played many games in the series and is eager for something different, though, this disappoints on many fronts. Uninspiring and rarely ever surprising, with little to make the player feel like they've earned anything, what is left is a generic Shantae game that is like any other before it, crying out for change and originality.