But once again, underneath that is a solid 3D platformer that deserves to be played. I very earnestly hope that the technical issues can be resolved as I think Kao the Kangaroo is worth playing, especially if you have a fondness for the forgotten 3D platformers of the early 2000s. For now, go in with some caution and be ready to battle some bugs along the way.
Experimentation with how best to use each element is fun and satisfying when something clicks. And when it doesn't, you simply pick that piece back up and try something else. It has been quite a while since a puzzle game so immediately conveyed its appeal to me and while there are certainly some small things I'd improve, it won't stop me from continuing to play this for a very long time.
As for this particular version, Krome Studios and Aspyr deserve immense praise for their efforts to preserve this oft-forgotten version. Outside of the missing bonus levels from the PSP version, this is the definitive version of this release. This is by no means a masterpiece, but it is an excellent version of a fairly good game.
This is a game that understands on a seemingly effortless level what makes the genre work. It is able to build on those concepts while still staying entirely true to that core experience. Simultaneously, it offers an incredible package in terms of visuals and sound. I have some minor complaints about the camera in conjunction with the movement system, and some very select boss design issues, but overall it's hard not to absolutely love Astrodogs. Even with a couple blemishes this is easily one of the best games of this type currently available on Switch.
Perhaps start with the prequels so that if you encounter this issue, you'll only lose a little progress as opposed to half the game. Though it should be noted that I did have the desire to push on. There are plenty of games where a bug like this would have simply stopped me from playing, and while I won't lie and say it didn't hurt my opinion, I still ultimately made the decision to start again and push past it.
Even just catching a glimpse of an enemy can be hard from far away given the resolution, and effectively navigating the halls of the shrine to escape is much more difficult at twenty frames per second. So while I could forgive some of the more repetitive encounters and lackluster voice acting, everything compounds into a very unimpressive showing. This isn't necessarily a bad game, but I'd strongly suggest playing it elsewhere if possible.
Even then, I struggled to put Aztech Forgotten Gods down once I started playing it. As I said at the outset, Aztech Forgotten Gods is perfect imperfection. While I can't ignore its faults, I found myself significantly more enamored with its successes.
This Switch release certainly has some drawbacks, and it's arguable that a straight port of the original games at a higher resolution might have yielded better results than this down-port of the remasters, but the net result remains positive. Performance is overall a significant improvement over the original releases and still a superior way to play. It's unfortunate that Ubisoft has decided to work their way backwards through the original Assassin's Creed story arc with their Switch releases, but even if you haven't played the original, this trilogy holds up incredibly on its own.
Even wandering your territory to build your relationships can be done entirely in menus, removing the need to engage with the openworld. Unfortunately you'll still need to take part in battles, which should not be a downside in a Warriors game. If you can laser focus on the strategy elements, and maybe favor diplomacy over direct conflict, there is a playable though still rough experience here. But if you're looking for satisfying Warriors combat, there are plenty of better options already on Switch.
It isn't downright bad by any means, just like going back and playing the original God of War on PS2 isn't bad either. But that design is really only excusable in the context of its time. Blackwind will have some appeal to hardcore fans of early 2000's action games, but without those rose tinted glasses, there isn't much here to help it rise above mediocrity.
This Switch version, however, is just not very fun to play. It is poorly optimized to a damaging degree and turns what could be a meandering but enjoyable experience into one of the more rough experiences I've had on the platform. There is some fun to be had here surfing along the great wibbly-wobbly, but it's probably better done on a different system.
Performance concerns are certainly worth being aware of on Switch, but they rarely hamper the actual gameplay. If you need a break from Animal Crossing or want something even calmer than Story of Seasons, Grow: Song of the Evertree isn't likely to steer you wrong. This is without a doubt one of the most pleasantly cozy experiences I've had playing a game.
It provides a depth that few Star Wars games have and its place in the timeline makes it relevant to modern fans even if you otherwise have no interest in legends content. Yes you'll spend a long time running back and forth across the dunes of Tatooine but the payoff is always worth it. Save for the potential of the recently announced remake, this is easily the best experience I've had playing this game and I can now earnestly hope the sequel finds its way to Switch as well.
The performance on Switch is largely great, but when it hits a snag it tends to do so at the worst possible time. But for the rest of the time it's a great looking, great sounding, and great-playing 3D platformer. This is one of those games where despite some flaws, you'll find yourself returning to old worlds to clean up every last collectible as you work your way up the demon ladder.
If anything the Switch version actually improves on some elements of the original performance, but it can still be a bit of a rough ride. This was always a game that required more powerful hardware to push through its shortcomings and the Switch obviously can't totally deliver on that. At the same time, with slightly faster loading and solid handheld performance, I'd probably still take this over going back to the original Xbox One version.
The second game isn't really worth it unless you're desperate. This is unfortunate as some basic quality of life updates could make it a much better game. There is some cool history here, and this is a collection that will appeal to arcade or rail-shooter enthusiasts, but is hard to recommend outside of those specific circles.
For now, there is a lot of potential. Check back around the time that patch hits for my final scored thoughts on the game. In the meantime, if building tracks and customizing cars can make up for some rough edges in other departments, Hot Wheels Unleashed may be worth checking out.
Too often exploring the world becomes a game of walking in a direction until you realize you're not supposed to have gone that way due to high level enemies. Too often combat results in re-loading a manual save as you trial and error your way through various unexplained mechanics. There is a good game deep beneath the surface, but it lacks a lot of polish that it would need to be truly great.