So, as the closing moments began to tick away I felt that sadness akin to the fading of a memory; the running of a chalk drawing on a London street. It’s not just the comparison of water moving colours, but with the sense of something special happening. Something magical. GRIS captures imagination, the beauty of movement and the lustre of a sumptuous piece of art, all the while letting the player interact with it, making us feel both insignificant and yet ever more important.
All of this makes Horizon Chase Turbo a bit of a frustrating experience. Where it excels is in ideas and concepts, yet it falters on the basic function of exciting racing. It looks and sounds good but lacks any memorable locations or tracks and it straddles an odd balance between pure arcade racer and pseudo-simulation, with its use of refuelling and permanent upgrades.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is like buying a vinyl record of your favourite album. It’s a little dated, a bit niche and to be honest, newer versions are more accessible and easier to interact with. But there’s love there, what it does, is done incredibly well and while the series is moving on over on other platforms, this is the classic formula distilled into a version that can be played at home on a 40” TV or on the bus.
Small flaws like the lack of customisation and differing styles in enemies can be overlooked if you treat the game as it comes. Bad North is a game that manages to balance the fine line between puzzle game and simulation delivering a tactical roguelike which constantly feels refreshing.
Hello Neighbor could be fun, within the right parameters. The neighbour would hold a lot more terror if his actions carried any weight. The puzzling aspect of switches, hidden doors and traps would be more enjoyable were they staged within an inspiring world or using interesting concepts. But the game fails on all of these points, not holding attention, not really projecting any fear beyond the first few encounters, and the world feels as flat as the polygons used to build it.
Bomber Crew is increasingly difficult and often frustrating, but it has bags of charm and completely suits the Switch. Playing portably is a great way to experience the game; it looks lovely and contains some wonderful nuances within the sound and features. I loved the little homing pigeon, decaling my plane with garish pictures of Yoshi and solving problems, if only there weren’t so many problems to solve at the same time.
Regardless of these issues, Semblance is a breath of fresh air to the platforming genre and one that is entirely welcome. Puzzle lovers will enjoy the idea of working around a problem, casual players can find enjoyment in every aspect and speedrunners are going to have a blast working out movement tech to beat the game swiftly.
It’s a one-time play, there are no unlocks to grab, no need to hunt down collectibles and the game is better for it. Things are kept simple, stylish and for a lot of the time, funny. It’s worth playing for the puzzles, it’s worth playing for the style and mostly, the animations.