While Balan Wonderworld has a few interesting ideas tucked up its costumed sleeves, none of them are executed particularly well, which makes the game feel like a real chore to play. From its dozens of forgettable costumes and frustrating mechanics to its uninspired visuals, it’s hard to recommend adding this one to your PS5 library, especially when there are much better platformers like Astro’s Playroom and Sackboy: A Big Adventure already available.
If you’ve yet to pick up the six previously-released games on this collection, then Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection Vol. 1 is easy to recommend. Packed with hours upon hours of retro-gaming goodness, it’s as close as it gets to a definitive look at SNK’s 16-bit handheld. I only hope that Big Tournament Golf, Dark Arms, and Metal Slug: 1st & Second Mission are added to the eShop down the road so that those who purchased the earlier releases don’t have to shell out another $40 to play these titles.
Paradise Lost is a grim alternate history lesson that asks tough philosophical questions about humanity and sacrifice. With a fascinating story and a genuinely engaging setting, it’s a game that’s easy to recommend to fans of the adventure genre. If you don’t mind the game’s lack of puzzles and plodding pacing, then be sure to make your way underground to uncover the bunker’s dark secrets. You won’t be disappointed.
Make no mistake, Turrican Flashback is a nice retro throwback. But I wish Factor 5 and publisher ININ Games did more to make it the proper celebration of the series it could have been. Aside from four pixel-perfect ports, there isn’t a lot here to justify the collection’s $30 price tag. Sure, you get the usual features like the ability to rewind your game and save states and a few visual filters. But save for those modern amenities, Turrican Flashback doesn’t offer much else apart from the aforementioned soul-crushing challenge and a load of zany weaponry.
SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium may not be as awe-inspiring now as it was when it released more than 20 years ago, but it’s pretty darn close. Even today, it’s hard to believe SNK was able to produce such a full-featured fighting game on their humble handheld hardware. If you’re a retro fighting game enthusiast who somehow missed out on the game when it first released, don’t make the same mistake twice. Just be sure you have a decent controller — or better yet, a proper fight stick — to go with it if you want to get the most out of your purchase.
Puss! certainly has some things going for it. From its surreal aesthetics to its haunting sound design that evokes the feeling of tuning into a radio station in some strange, far-off land, the game’s presentation is top-tier stuff. And while occasionally a bit unfair with all of the chaos unfolding all at once, the boss battles are always memorable. Still, it’s hard to recommend the game to all but the most patient players at the end of the day. If you’ve got ice water pumping through your veins or are looking for a fun way to torture your friends during your next drunken gaming gathering, Puss! might be worth adding to your Switch library. However, if you don’t find yourself in either of those camps, then this probably isn’t going to be the game for you.
Little Nightmares II is an excellent follow-up to an already terrific game. While the changes it makes to the series’ established formula, such as the dual protagonist story and the addition of combat, are a bit hit or miss, I still found it nearly impossible to put the game down during my six-hour playthrough thanks to its satisfying puzzles and unrivaled atmosphere. If you’re a fan of the original Little Nightmares, then this is a game you won’t want to miss. However, if the performance problems I mentioned have you on the fence (though honestly, they’re not that bad), perhaps consider picking up the game on a more capable platform than the Switch.
Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Earthblood isn’t a terrible game, but it’s most likely not one that’s going to stick with you long after the credits roll. It’s mindless and repetitive, but if you’re a fan of World of Darkness and feel like channeling your inner wolfman for the weekend, it just might scratch that primal itch. However, if you’re on the hunt for an action-RPG with some meat on its bones, you’re much better off sinking your claws into something else.
I know this is a concise review by HPP’s standards, but to say much more would spoil what’s already a very bite-sized offering. What I can say with certainty, though, is that I’ve been playing video games for about 35 years, and until now, I’d never played anything quite like Arrog. It may be easy and short – very short. But despite its brevity, I very much enjoyed this tantalizing tour of Peruvian funerary traditions and culture. If you’re fascinated by this kind of stuff, or just really like games with big stonkin capybaras, I think you will too.
If you’re looking for a retro-style FPS that will kick you in the teeth, Writhe certainly fits the bill. It’s just unfortunate that it doesn’t offer much else apart from its considerable challenge. With only a small smattering of stages to choose from and enemy types to exterminate, it’s tough to recommend adding Writhe to your Switch library, even at its budget-friendly price.