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.
Few retro handheld fighting games hold up today, but SNK had already done a good job getting the gameplay of The King of Fighters functioning well on the Neo Geo Pocket Color, and SNK Gals' Fighters still proves fun for some casual bouts in this Nintendo Switch port. A lack of gameplay depth, and inability to convert some moves to unused buttons, and confusion in how to unlock characters is a shame, but the additional options introduced, including the excellent multiplayer setup to allow for instant local fights on the go, really make this more enticing, and much more tempting given the price.
Despite the DLC gripes and the heavy downgrade in visuals for this Switch port, Samurai Shodown really stands out from the crowd, and it's great to see the revival of a popular series return in such a good way on the gameplay front. It takes weapons-based combat and creates a smart system out of it, putting players on edge, and provides moments of pure bliss when bare knuckle comebacks are made. The strong Japanese style only adds to the appeal. It really could have done with a more fleshed out story mode, though.
Stylish, methodical, and encouraging attacking gameplay, this latest Under Night In-Birth title is as exciting as always, and Switch owners that have yet to try the series out are in for a treat, with plenty of modes, a lengthy visual novel chronicle, online play, and a varied cast of characters. Despite the array of balance and move tweaks, though, this just isn't enough of an improvement over the previous title, with only one extra character being introduced. This is still a top anime fighter, though, and a good alternative to BlazBlue.
Steins;Gate: My Darling's Embrace deserves credit for managing to retain a desire to spend more time with these characters, and runs with the humour and nerdiness in combination with the sexually natured and light-hearted narratives that Okabe ends up entwined in. It does the series justice by sticking to what makes everybody so appealing, but it is a very specific type of visual novel that doesn't get into any serious or dramatic situations. Understand what you're setting yourself up for and this is a fun alternate diversion to the original title.