Final Fantasy VII is a milestone in console RPGs in general, deserving to be played by all fans of the genre for its historic relevance. However, it has not aged quite as gracefully as others in some areas, which means it's not quite as timeless, like many games of its vintage, unfortunately.
While things could have been better if the final moments had been allowed to last a little longer, this ending feels satisfyingly enough because of the emotions it conveys, and that is a commendable effort for a final season that's seen its fair share of development hell.
Legrand Legacy: Tale of the Fatebounds presents a compelling and mature story to sit through, served by classic, though effective, game systems, all easily comparable to the classics of the 32-bit era that it tries to pay homage to.
Octahedron: Transfixed Edition is a brilliantly realised visual and audible artistic creation that demanded a lot of effort to bring to Switch, while preserving perfect performance in both modes. It is a resounding success on that front.
With an ever stronger emphasis on hard decisions to make that will affect how Alvin Junior turns out in the end, and a strong presence of an old returning character from previous seasons, this episode ramps things up to an exploding cliffhanger that leaves what comes next completely in the dark.
As it is, this The Walking Dead Final Season Episode 2 - Save the Children is just as good as the first episode. It introduces more plot twists, which fans of the previous seasons are bound to appreciate. The previous instalment, understandably, spent more time setting the scene and theme for the rest of season. This time, things move forward a bit more, as expected. In and of itself, Episode 2 is good, though the performance adjustments on Switch are questionable. Unfortunately, the changes seem to be here to stay. The series is getting an ending though, and it is coming soon. Let's hope it's worth the long wait!
Light input lag and lengthy load times aside, Aces of the Luftwaffe: Squadron is an excellent party style shmup the likes of which are very rarely seen. In fact, no other shmup quite like it, in how multiplayer-centric it is, comes to mind. It may look rather simplistic, but it proves to be top notch in its game design, apart from the fact that the game is not quite as enjoyable in solo as it is in multiplayer. For all those out there able to gather three or even just one or two more players for long enough to see the full experience through to the end, however, it turns out to be a memorable piece of software, and an enjoyable experience that, who knows, may bring the band of playmates back together for more beyond the scope of the single adventure.
Fans of the original who want the most accurate and perfect experience that looks and feels perfectly like it, will find that some shortcomings, stemming primarily from how this was designed with the technical limitations of monitors of its day in mind, prevent this from being the most accurate way to play R-Type. Those who can overlook minor differences will still find a compilation of two of the greatest representatives of the genre that still play, look, and feel incredibly close to their original releases, while offering ease of accessibility to those two classics for those who never played them, and who don't want to spend tons of money on an original cabinet. Some cruelly missing display modes, and a clear oversight in the infinite mode's design do hold back this compilation to a certain degree on all platforms that it was released on, but, naturally, the Switch will be the only one that can be undocked and taken on the go, giving it a slight edge.
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams - Owltimate Edition combines charming visuals and a good level of performance on the Switch, in the service of a virtual world that enchants with its visuals and soundtrack. Controls and physics are tight enough, but the only thing that it lacks is that little spark that hooks the player in and motivates to keep plodding through to the end. It quickly becomes too repetitive for its own good, and fails to vary things up enough, or to entice a sustainable level of commitment on the player's part beyond a few hours. It may, however, be the most stable version of the game to date in terms of frame rate, if perhaps a bit slow to load from an SD card on the hybrid console.
Guacamelee! 2 feels just as good as its predecessor overall. Some of the hardest sections can be even more frustrating than the hardest challenges found in the original, but this is somewhat counterbalanced by the fact that it does streamline a lot of things that were more complicated than they really needed to be. The adventure has the potential for replay value, especially with DLC, achievement and multiplayer for up to four players thrown into the mix. The Mexiverse certainly feels worthy of being saved, despite the sometimes infuriating challenge proposed by Guacamelee! 2, and fans of the Metroidvania genre in general, but fans of the original, in particular, should definitely check this one out.
Like other Exe-Create developed/KEMCO released turn-based RPGs, Fernz Gate delivers an interesting enough narrative, fun (if classic) battle mechanics, and character customisation options. Sadly, like its predecessors, it gets let down by a general mediocre, generic, and soulless visual presentation. Looking beyond this hurdle, however, what remains is a thoroughly enjoyable homage to 16-bit JRPGs that won't overstay its welcome, and which, for its price, proves fairly acceptable - and suitable for short bursts of play on the go. Here's hoping Exe-Create dares to try more grandiloquent things, and craft something way more memorable, because there is clearly potential.
Gal Metalnot only offers a hilarious interactive manga story,but also an original approach to the rhythm game genre that shakes things up enough to set itself apart from pretty much everything else. The only real drawbacks?The occasional lack of response from the JoyCon,and a price that may be a bit too steep,depending on how hooked players get,and how willing they are to extract every last bit of creative musical freedom that this allows. Those only wishing to casually experience the story may not get much for their buck,while avid fans of metal and drum beats looking for a challenge to their creativity should not have any regrets.It is not a very long experience, but to the right audience, it has virtually infinite replayability.
Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!, as well as its almost identical counterpart, succeeds brilliantly at bridging the worlds of Pokémon Go and the mainline entries, combining evolved, simplified or even revised mechanics from both worlds into what is, make no mistake, a spin-off from the main franchise and not an actual new mainline game. Changes may not be to every old time fan's taste but diving in with expectations kept in check, everyone may find in there a lot to be enjoyed, both for fans of Pokémon Go or the modern games... or even fans of both who will best be able to appreciate it. Controls are, however, a real issue and make things more frustrating than they need to be, holding back what is otherwise a truly brilliant package. A patch to make handheld controls available in docked mode would go a long way to alleviate much of that frustration...
Aside from the absence of proper pointer controls in docked mode, The Inner World: The Last Wind Monk takes everything that was good about the first game, improves on all the things that were not quite as good, and still delivers the same magical universe but expanded upon, then served in a more swift and reactive way than previously. What this means is that while the previous title was a point-and-click title with a charming universe well worth checking out, this one elevates itself above that by fixing what needed to be fixed and manages to offer quite an exquisite experience overall that keeps the player hooked thanks to the sum of all of its qualities.
Dragon Ball FighterZ is a marvellous work of love from the developer to bring to life in the HD world a massively fun game to play for fans and non-fans of the franchise alike. The fact that it ties in with a resurgence in popularity of the franchise after Dragon Ball Super aired around the globe shows it is probably no coincidence but it's no mere cash-in, either, but one of the best fighting games to be played on the Nintendo Switch so far and arguably the one that plays online the best to date. It is a complete success on a pure technical level in terms of performance on the hybrid console but the user experience could have been slightly better thought out when it comes to the implementation of the always-online functionality. Finally, the lack of more fighters to choose from, with much of the roster relegated to being paid DLC, will leave people with an impression that the publisher felt a bit too greedy.
The Walking Dead: The Final Season - Episode 1: Done Running lays down a strong foundation for upcoming events of the season, although it focuses strongly on re-establishing past events and linking them to current ones. It ends on a strong cliffhanger that is going to make the wait until next month's release really hard. The story delivery is the strongest seen so far, with improved presentation and voice acting being as good as ever. Now, if only Telltale would release the previous seasons on Switch with just as much care as it poured into this port, hopefully with shorter load times in those cases since they are older titles, then that would be perfect.