Vasara Collection jumps from obscurity into the top tier of bullet hells on the Switch by offering both original brilliant titles without any technical hiccups and supporting the ever popular TATE option along with a whole new game that proves to be one of the few proper four-player options of the genre on the system. The zany characters and plot just make things sweeter, and make up for the somewhat derivative origin of the series. Considering the relative obscurity of the original releases, for a reasonable asking price you might just end up with three quality, 'brand new' manic shooters in your collection.
War Tech Fighters does exhibit a few rough spots here and there, but it is undeniable that it ticks all the right boxes for any self-respecting mecha fan. As of right now, it's a toss-up between this and Project Nimbus Complete Edition for the title of top mecha game on Switch, but if you're after a fast and exciting robot-based space shooter and don't mind long loading times and the odd awkward menu system, then this is worth a look.
Psyvariar Delta truly is a comprehensive package that combines all the features from both Medium Unit and Revision, giving the player the chance to customize the experience in a way that has never been possible in prior releases. Add in the graphical upgrade, Tate support (which is perfect for the Flip Grip, by the way), an exclusive level, a new optional character to use and smooth performance either docked or portable, and this becomes a must-have for any Switch-owning shooter fan; however, casual players or those who simply aren't fans of the genre may find the focus on high scores and short length off-putting.
Over the years, Windjammers has slowly achieved cult status due to its simple pick-up-and-play controls that hide complex mechanics that only become apparent the more you play against human opponents. Data East's extreme sports versus title has now arrived on the ultimate multiplayer-friendly console, once again brandishing the same fast and addictive gameplay that had us hooked in 1994. Despite the passing of the decades the core gameplay still manages to entertain, and the 2D visuals have likewise stood the test of time rather well. The bone of contention remains the single-player side of things; if you're playing alone, you'll get bored relatively quickly. However, with online play and easy-to-configure local multiplayer, there's plenty of scope to embrace the game's true USP: two-player action.
Cycle 28 disguises itself as a solid arcade shooter with minimalist aesthetics but slowly reveals itself to be something far beyond that. It successfully manages to engulf the player in the mystery that led to the player character's current predicament and entices you to seek the truth, find answers to questions you didn't know existed and attempt to break the cycle and… who knows, maybe freedom and a happy conclusion? We rarely get to play video games where each 'Game Over' offers the possibility to solve a mystery, so we kept coming back to it again and again - and so will you.
Bud Spencer & Terence Hill - Slaps And Beans is a love letter to the career of both Italian actors and arcade side-scrolling brawlers. If you find yourself in either camp, this is a highly recommended option. If you happen to be on both groups, this is truly a no-brainer – even the relatively high price is more than justified by the quality and quantity of content that will keep you smiling, at least while the ride lasts. It's a shame Bud Spencer passed away back in 2016 – we believe he would get a kick out of seeing this game in action, bringing the duo's trademark slapstick comedy into a whole new medium and generation. Kindly slap us some beans, please.
VSR: Void Space Racing is a one-of-kind racing game that finds itself very welcome in the Switch library. There is simply nothing quite like it; you're wrestling with raw physics as much as your rival racers, and the overall experience is brutal yet incredibly rewarding. Be prepared to swallow your pride in the first few sessions - during which you will be nothing short of a space pinball - and then aim for the stars.
Express Raider remains a fun 2-in-1 game, with the fighting stages standing head and shoulders above the shooting ones, which is something of an oddity considering the Wild West setting. As such we recommend it to anyone who was a fan of the original or who played the home conversions and want to have the original on their virtual arcade Switch museum. But if you have an itchy trigger finger, we recommend you buy a ticket to a more steampunk kind of Wild West.
Squids Odyssey is the same charming package you might have played before. If you're a fan of the series, this Switch edition truly is the definitive way to experience it. It does lose touch controls when played docked, but this is an understandable design limitation of the core gameplay and far from a deal-breaking proposition. If this is your first time meeting old Winnick and his gang, you're in for quite a treat.
Assault Gunner HD Edition is (at the time of writing) the very best mech game available on the Switch. It provides more than enough bang for your buck but sadly doesn't do it in the spectacular fashion one would expect when controlling a gigantic robot. We still heartfully recommend this to mech game lovers out there, but other players will simply not be converted to the genre by this one. The wait for the definitive mecha Switch game continues, and hopefully, DAEMON X MACHINA will fill that gap.
Two Crude is one of the funniest grab-'em-ups ever made and 27 years later nothing has diluted the insane '90s colourful vibe in this package. Data East once more succeeded in adapting popular culture into a video game that ends up being more than the mere sum of its parts. Grab a friend and have no fear plunging into a fun-filled half an hour of pure arcade entertainment. Just make sure it looks like an accident every time you toss your partner around.
Miles & Kilo is another faux retro platforming romp landing on the Switch that adds yet another valuable choice for players looking to get their fix of the genre. It manages to be an equal parts casual and hardcore platform experience while incrementing on the already abundant charming appeal of the previous game with excellent humour.
Renegade/Nekketsu Kōha Kunio-kun represents a lovely and important piece of forgotten video game history. For the hardcore fans that were raised on it, or simply as a curio for a new generation of gamers looking to find out on how the scrolling beat-'em-up began, this is still a recommended if not essential purchase. There are certainly better options of the genre on the Switch already, but none of them might have even existed if Kunio didn't have such a short temper in 1986…
GRIDD: Retroenhanced is a nostalgic trip for anyone who was around when the game's visuals were state of the art. As a game, it does very little wrong once you get used to your ship's momentum, while the inclusion of ‘Glove of Power' mode makes the Switch version the definitive one to play. If you have exhausted the joys of Thumper and are looking for something new to challenge your reflexes, you have just found your next hurdle.
Iro Hero ends up being a competent euro-shmup homage to the dual phase/puzzle shmup gameplay pivoted by Treasure's Magnum Opus. While some designs choices could be avoided with some proper care while transitioning the game to Switch, what is on offer is solid shmup action for those who are seeking something a new challenge. Hard as nails, often unfairly so until you learn to play with perfect precision, we still consider it worthy of your time.