I had hoped that Dig would be an adventure on par with the original Shovel Knight, but instead, it feels like every bit the spin-off and side story that it is. It's certainly not a bad game, but fans for hoping for a more substantial adventure will have to dig a little deeper.
If you're a fan of the Turtles, this is the collection for you. If you're a fan of arcade brawlers, this is the collection for you. If you're simply curious about this specific time in gaming history, the Cowabunga Collection is still worth owning. It's a phenomenal piece of work and a reminder of why the Turtles remain such a relevant franchise in video games to this day.
Despite its limitations, Roll7 should be lauded for putting out such an interesting idea. Rollerdrome feels like a seed that can flourish into something greater. Extreme sports games with this kind of gimmick don't come along often and it's worth strapping on some skates to experience.
Iron Galaxy has not only put forward one of the best games of 2022 so far, it's also created one of the best battle royales in a long time. It manages to be wildly different from its contemporaries while also being a game worth learning and mastering in its own right. While it's impossible to predict what Rumbleverse will look like by this time next year or a few years from now, this game is off to a great start and has already shown world champion potential.
Live A Live is fascinating for JRPG fans of all varieties. For those who grew up in the 16-bit gaming era, it's a time capsule into a bygone age of video games. For those who just want a good JRPG, this is that, too. For those who want a collection of different stories, each with their own characters, aesthetic, and vision, Live A Live serves that function well. Finally, North American audiences will get a chance to experience this game that feels truly timeless.
As it is, Mario Strikers: Battle League isn't the World Cup of Nintendo soccer that fans were probably hoping for. Instead, it's merely an average Sunday game that's playing on Univision: good for a few hours of entertainment and little more than that.
Unfortunately, it's tough to center a game's progression around cosmetics when the skater that's being customized looks so bland. Add to that a limited availability of game modes at launch and Roller Champions gets off to a rough start at the track. Fortunately, the core experience is enjoyable enough that it could feasibly pick up some momentum and score some goals down the road.
As an offline package, Nintendo Switch Sports is a hoot just for Bowling and Chambara alone. The other games are worth trying at least once. Volleyball might even grow on some people. Unfortunately, Badminton, Tennis, and Soccer lost steam with me after a while, but half a package that I'll return to again and again is certainly nothing to sneeze at. I hope this is a collection that will continue to grow, because I had forgotten what a crowd-pleaser the Wii Sports era was. It's good to have that spirit back.
If you're curious about what Final Fantasy would look like as a Souls or Nioh-style action game, Stranger of Paradise is a solid effort. It's just a shame that it's bogged down by its oddball narrative choices and its cumbersome loot system, which makes the total package such a mixed bag. I suppose it's the nature of this chaotic beast.
Aztech Forgotten Gods tries and that's probably the best thing I can say about it. Lienzo journeyed forward with lofty ambitions and, like Mulaka before it, has laid down a foundation that makes me excited for their future projects. Gaming is a better place when stories like this, using atypical mythology, get to be told. Like Achtli, the studio will hopefully continue to grow and learn from its missteps to become the best it can be.
I'll throw Kitfox Games and Sundae Month a bone in this sense. Gaming needs more wholesome experiences like this and I'm glad Pupperazzi exists. If the team revisits this concept in the future, I'm excited for what it's capable of delivering. For now, I'll just look at this game as a ruff draft of something potentially greater.