The asking price does feel disproportionate to what is on offer in Mario vs. Donkey Kong, even despite the host of additional levels that bring it past 130 in total, and its wonderful new presentation and cutscenes. Alongside 1994's Donkey Kong, though, this is the superior gameplay format for this series, which adopted more of a Lemmings approach in subsequent games, so interested folk should seek this one out at a more affordable price in the future.
A decent Super Smash Bros. clone that clearly improves on the first iteration, but Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 is rife with problems on Nintendo Switch. The 30 frames per second gameplay, unbelievable load times, poor presentation, and glitches that force reboots of the game mean this isn't going to be a joyful time unless playing on one of the more powerful systems. Underneath the numerous issues, there is a fun time here, and crossplay will at least help ensure match-ups when battling online, but it is difficult to recommend this version of the game.
It has taken Nintendo almost 30 years to get its flagship side-scrolling series back on top, but that is exactly what has been achieved with Super Mario Bros. Wonder. Not since the days of the SNES has 2D Mario felt this original and fun, with the bizarre hallucination-like gameplay elements contributing to both the joy and hilarity all at once, coupled with brilliant character animations and a multitude of ideas that makes every level unique. Stages could have stood to be longer, and it may have been a good opportunity to go a bit wilder with the story and villains, but those are small complaints for what is an absolute blast from beginning to end.
Rain Code falters in too many areas for it to be seen as a true or great successor to Danganronpa. There are sparks of light, such as its setting and the twists featured in the final chapters, but the ridiculously linear Mystery Labyrinths, poorly written characters, long load times and graphical issues set things back. Danganronpa and whodunnit fans will still find something worthwhile here, but wait for a discount.
The Lara Croft Collection is not to be overlooked. This bundle encompasses one great and one decent arcade action adventure, of which twin-stick shooter and score attack fans will find plenty of enjoyment. Although both games are worth experiencing in multiplayer if possible, Guardian of Light, at the very least, deserves playing even solo, and is a reminder of what Tomb Raider is all about, captured expertly in a style that is positively different, yet respectfully reminiscent of the classic series. Technical issues remain, but it's just a joy to have these ported to a modern platform. Now, with things quiet on the Lara Croft front, surely, it's time for that long overdue third game in this mini-series.
If you consider yourself a Final Fantasy fan, there is every reason to invest in Theatrhythm Final Bar Line. Rammed to bursting with songs that have helped to make the series what it is, there are tracks for everybody in here, with plenty of accessibility options to tinker with to suit all levels of player, including a fun RPG-lite mechanic that can be explored for extra incentive to replay favourite tunes. The DLC is vast and off-putting, but there is so much in the base game to tackle that it can be safely ignored.
Semi-open worlds with quests in the form of real-time strategy battles provide a sort of 3D role-playing game spin on the continuation of this odd match-up of Mario and the Rabbids. While Sparks of Hope improves on the formula introduced five years ago, some charm has been lost in the more generic lands the heroes traverse, with a story that doesn't offer much thanks to plain characters outside of the Rabbids. Battles are still as fun as before, with plenty of customisation possible, but there isn't much to think about when skill points can be redistributed at will. That may suit the target audience, though, and the additional difficulty options are pleasing in that regard, as well. Kingdom Battle fans will enjoy this, and there is some solid tactical gameplay to be found, but it's a bit too familiar and unsurprising to elevate it beyond the original.
As a brand-new mainline entry that follows the previous iteration after over five years, The King of Fighters XV feels a little "by the numbers" in a similar way to how Dead or Alive 6 didn't push on from DOA5. Everything is too familiar, too safe, and lacking those key elements that truly give the impression of the next proper game in the series. The 3D character models still look a bit out of place, the story mode is awful, and there isn't enough done to ease newcomers in. Solid online modes and a large roster, with the addition of cross-play to look forward to, mean there is plenty to like for series fans, though.
A conflicting compilation of Sonic games that does plenty right in remastering some of the blue hedgehog's classic Mega Drive hits, but lets everyone down with unnecessary money-grabbing DLC, while not offering anywhere near the amount of content that really should be here in terms of the Sonic series' vast history. Still with bugs to fix, time will tell if Sonic Origins becomes a respectable overall package, but it will suffice for the more casual fan after a bigger price drop.
While perhaps not deserving of the "Definitive Edition" moniker, the long overdue Steam edition of Warriors Orochi 3 has got everything a franchise fan needs. Characters, missions, modes, weapons, levels, costumes, crossovers, meaty story - it's all here, minus online play and a few pieces of minor DLC. Ignore its aged looks and this is some of the best hacking and slashing in the franchise, the likes of which only the licensed Legend of Zelda entries come close to.
Capcom Fighting Collection presents a slightly bemusing package, given that half of the content is Darkstalkers and seven of these titles are in the two Capcom Arcade Stadium games. Cyberbots feels oddly out of place with its mecha-style gameplay, as does Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, but that's hardly a complaint; it just feels like the overall product could have been bolstered by more of Capcom's rich fighting game history, of which there is plenty to choose from. This is a great way to dive into the fan favourite Darkstalkers franchise, in particular, though, and seeing games previously exclusive to arcades, like Red Earth, make their way to consoles for the first time is a pleasure.
Good, fun games are good, fun games, and even with glitches and the numerous issues this trilogy brings, that's what these still are. However, seeing the state of Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition, there just isn't any way to let Rockstar off lightly here. This is one of the most successful video game companies in the world, with goodness knows how much raked in from GTA Online, so there can be no excuses to have loaned out these iconic games to a small team with a poor track record and showing absolutely no respect for their own creations. Fifty pounds is a big ask for such old games that have been what one might say "demastered", and even with numerous future patches, these may never be the upgrades they should have been, but Switch owners new to this trilogy can find plenty of entertainment - and not just because of the glitches. This is still a hard sell, though, with the advice being to hold off for a major sale.
Just as with the previous Fighters Pass, it is necessary to be a fan of more than a handful of the characters included in Vol. 2, but if that is the case, there is no denying the value here, with six diverse characters coming with a stage each, a huge selection of music tracks, and many Spirits to challenge. There are some excellent additions and surprises, and it brings to an end a rollercoaster few years with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate that may not quite happen the same again. This will keep dedicated players going for many more years until the next game arrives, but Nintendo really should have included the Mii Fighter costumes, because to unlock everything there is in this game is now an even more expensive endeavour.
Quake's remastered port to Nintendo Switch is proof that big video game companies don't need to treat their fans with disrespect when it comes to bringing back old classics. The level of content for such a small price is unmatched, and that is forgetting a whole new expansion pack was created for this release, too. The fact that everything can be completed cooperatively in multiplayer means less skilled players can enjoy getting through with the help of others, and then there are deathmatches for some of the best arena FPS action around. Well done to all involved in this.
Bare minimum ports with performance issues they may be, but Ninja Gaiden: Master Collection is a most welcome release that hopefully fuels the flame for a fourth in the 3D series. The lack of polish or any real noteworthy adjustments or additional content, as well as the third game losing its way following the first two great entries, put a dampener on the package, but there is still good value for money here that fans of challenging games will do well to check out.
Is Tekken 7: Ultimate Edition worth getting into? Absolutely, but only when it hits that sweet discount price it's been consistently reduced to this year. Beginners may have to do some online reading and watching to learn the fundamentals and beyond, but since the online scene is still strong, it's worth the effort if that's what you're looking for in a fighter right now. Otherwise, there is little offline to keep many entertained unless you have a local sparring partner.
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.