Chris "Atom" DeAngelus
Nioh 2: Darkness in the Capital is a solid and enjoyable DLC. It doesn't really break the mold but offers a healthy helping of new Nioh 2 gameplay. The somewhat forgettable stage design is strongly bolstered by some amazing boss fights and the new Fist weapon set. It's a great way to further extend the absurd amount of content in Nioh 2 and its DLC. Starting a new game with the Fist weapon set would be a great way to revisit the title. The DLC won't freshen things up if you're already burned out on Nioh 2, but sometimes, "more of the same" is all a DLC needs to be.
Star Wars: Squadrons is exactly what it sets out to be: a modern revival of the old-school Star Wars flight simulators. It isn't particularly ambitious, but it is a lot of fun. Just being able to zoom through the wreckage of a ship battle while trying to get a bead on that darn X-Wing is enough to keep your attention for a while. The game lives and dies by its multiplayer, and hopefully the community is thriving for a while. Do you want to pilot an X-Wing? Then Squadrons is the game for you. Die-hard simulator fans might find it to be too simple for their tastes.
Ultimately, Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is a bare-bones port of a solid, if unexceptional, game. Amalur is the kind of game that got overshadowed when it was released, and it seems just as likely to get overshadowed now. If you're a fan looking to revisit the title, this is a good experience, but it's not meaningfully different from what you might have played almost a decade ago.
While the presentation of the story and combat in 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim takes some time to get used to, I was deeply engaged with the characters and plot. The bulk of my complaints boil down to wishing the combat looked better and not loving some of the reveals, neither of which detracted from the rest of my experience with the game. As long as you approach the title as a visual novel with some light strategy rather than a strategy game with some light story, you'll find a lot to like. It's an easy recommend for fans of Virtue's Last Reward or Steins;Gate or those who have enjoyed previous Vanillaware offerings.
In the end, Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a perfectly adequate collection of three very good games. Even if Sunshine isn't to your taste, Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy are two of the finest platformers ever made, and they absolutely make the collection worthwhile. The only disappointment is that not enough was done to adjust and touch up the games for the Switch. Despite that shortcoming, there's hardly a better bang for your buck on the Switch than Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and it is a must-have for any Switch owner. Just remember that for some reason, it's only available for purchase through March 2021.
Spelunky 2 is more of Spelunky, and that is all it needs to be. It is still ridiculously enjoyable, packed with content, and the right mix of challenging and engaging. It's still going to kill you a half-dozen times, too. It doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it revitalizes an experience that risked going stale after a decade. The only downside is that the online experience isn't the best, but the rest of the game holds up great. If you liked Spelunky, then you'll like Spelunky 2, and if you never played the original, then Spelunky 2 is a great place to start. Just remember to always look before you leap.
Hades is Supergiant's best game yet, and that is high praise. While it lacks some of the emotional punch of Bastion, that is basically the only area where it lags behind. The characters are likeable, the gameplay is phenomenally fun, the soundtrack is amazing, and the entire game is a joy. Even if you're not a fan of roguelikes, it's worth giving Hades a shot because it is the embodiment of a roguelike done right. It's easily one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch, and it's a solid port. Hades is a must-play and easily one of the best games of the year.
In a few months, Necronator: Dead Wrong could be a solid addition to the Slay the Spire-inspired card builder roguelike genre. As it stands now, it doesn't have the polish or content to stand out. The visuals are nice, the humor is amusing, and there's a lot of potential here, but the game is still obviously in production. Considering the glut of similar games on the market, Necronator isn't worth picking up until it has all of its playable characters. I'd like to be more positive about it, but I can only judge the game as it is, not as it will be. In a few months, I hope that most of my complaints will be addressed, but until then, I'd recommend finding a more complete game to play.
It's very easy to see Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions being a love-it-or-hate-it kind of game. It's a fun representation of the insane, over-the-top action of a sports anime, but it's not a very good soccer game. Despite having multiplayer modes, it's unlikely to hold your attention unless you're deep into building up perfect teams of talented misfits. Still, fans of the anime should enjoy it, and newcomers wondering about Tsubasa will probably find it to be a fine introduction to the franchise.
Marvel's Avengers is an enjoyable Avengers-themed brawler that's tied to an untested multiplayer mode. If all you want is to play through the video game equivalent of a Marvel movie, then it does an excellent job. If you're hoping for something you can play for infinite hours with constant updates, the truth is that it's too early to tell. What we played was fun for a few hours of co-op, but I have my doubts about its long-term viability. It's by far the best Avengers game ever made, and with the exception of Hulk (whose Hulk: Ultimate Destruction remains the pinnacle of Hulk gameplay), it features the best video game version of the superheroes to date.