Chris "Atom" DeAngelus
Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth Complete Edition is one of the best values that a JRPG fan can get on the Nintendo Switch. The games are fun if not particularly special, but they scratch the "got to catch 'em all" itch. They're marred by some issues, like inconsistent difficulty and a dodgy translation, but nothing ruins the experience. If you're a Digimon fan or just RPG faithful looking for something new to try, it's worth giving Cyber Sleuth a shot.
Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout is a solid by-the-books Atelier title. It does everything pretty well, and its only real flaws are a somewhat lackluster story and an overall low difficulty level. If you like the Atelier titles, then you'll like this one, and if you're interested in getting into the franchise, this is a solid starting point. There's no lack of Atelier games to play, but Ryza is one of the more enjoyable ones available. Besides, who doesn't like crafting a bomb so powerful that it blows up a dragon?
In my opinion, Disco Elysium is the game of the year for 2019. It shows how you can make creative, engaging, and well-written games entirely using writing and player choice without falling into the simple "visual novel" style. It's biting, clever, and witty, and it deserves to take its place among Planescape and Fallout: New Vegas. It's a must-play for any fans of RPGs and a genuine modern classic that will hopefully set the stage for many things to come.
Greedfall is a tough game to judge. It's neither bad nor great. It comes staggeringly close to greatness in a number of areas, but it just lacks the polish or ambition to go further. If you're looking for a nostalgic trip back to the mid-2000s style of WRPGs, then you'll find a lot to like in Greedfall. It's worth a shot if you're a fan of that style of games. In a year that gave us titles like Disco Elysium, it's difficult to be particularly impressed by something that is merely standard.
All in all, The Surge 2 is a great game to pick up if you're looking for a more arcade-like take on the Dark Souls formula. It's a fun and engaging game with a solid combat system and enjoyable mechanics, and it's only dragged down by a mediocre story and lackluster environments. With the excellent improvements from The Surge to The Surge 2, the franchise is well on its way to standing tall in the Soulsborne genre. It's well worth playing if you're an aficionado of this genre and don't mind dying a few times.
Shenmue III is a game for the fans … and only for the fans. It feels like what would have happened if the Shenmue series had continued on the Dreamcast. This is delightful if you were hoping for a continuation of the franchise, but unfortunately, the appeal stops there for most casual players. If you're a fan of playing old, quirky games, you'll find something to like here, but if you can't tell Shenmue from Shamu, you probably won't understand the hype. It's nice to revisit a long-dead franchise, but if Shenmue IV gets made, one can only hope that it's slightly more ambitious.
Pokémon Sword and Shield is at once a really fun game and a disappointment. It has a lot of great new features, excellent new Pokémon, some much-needed quality of life improvements, and is generally a solid Pokémon title. However, the first console outing feels like it should've been more impressive, especially given the reduced Pokedex. If you're a fan of Pokémon, you'll enjoy Sword and Shield a lot, and if it's your first Pokémon, it's a good way to experience the franchise's high points. If you're a longtime fan hoping for the Breath of the Wild of Pokémon games, you'll be disappointed.
Terminator: Resistance is reminiscent of the days when tie-in games were released with practically every action movie. It's playable, but it's forgettable. It's fun to get your chance to shoot Terminators in the face and see John Connor being John Connor (instead of the mess he became in the various sequels), but beyond that, there's not much to recommend it. If you're a die-hard Terminator fan who is eager for a chance to visit the future of the original movies, then it might be worth a go. It's difficult to recommend for anyone else, though.
At the end of the day, that is what will determine whether Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is right for you. Are you looking for a Wii-style minigame collection to play at parties or with friends? If so, this title fits the bill exactly. If you're looking for a challenging single-player experience, you still won't find that here. In many ways, Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 is as straightforward of an update as you can get. Its primary purpose was to bring Olympic-style events to the Switch for the first time. If that's what you're looking for, then you'll be happy with this Mario & Sonic outing.
Luigi's Mansion 3 is a charming, delightful and enjoyable game. It doesn't break any molds or do anything particularly new, but it executes the gameplay with almost perfect precision. The only really flaw is the lackluster combat, which is at odds with the rest of the excellent experience. If you enjoyed the original Luigi's Mansion or are looking for a fun adventure with a certain green plumber, this is the game for you.