- Metroid Prime
- Red Dead Redemption
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
As Dusk Falls is the non-game narrative adventure for your non-gaming family and housemates. It’s the most engaged I’ve ever seen my lapsed casual gamer partner in a videogame and that’s because it has the familiar story pacing of a six-part TV series and almost no gameplay, which means minimal barrier to entry.
What we have here is a very similar, yet different, version of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl in high definition on Switch, but it’s not definitively the best version to play today, as was the case with FireRed/LeafGreen, HeartGold/SoulSilver and Alpha Sapphire/Omega Ruby when they launched. While it’s not a stunningly brilliant or shining remake, it is a very faithful one that plays it safe and is a welcome return to Sinnoh for those with fond memories of visiting on the DS — but I’m more excited to see what’s new in the region with Pokémon Legends Arceus.
It’s not that I’m mad, I am just disappointed. These three PS2 games remain iconic, and I have enjoyed returning to Liberty City, Vice City and San Andreas, but as a remaster, Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy – The Definitive Edition is lacking the care and respect such highly regarded games deserve. It doesn’t have the quality we have come to expect from remasters recently. Yet, such is their quality, the underlying games, which deserved better, still hold up as a product of their time. They are worth returning to if the PS2 GTA Trilogy holds a special place in your heart, so long as you can temper expectations and accept the good, the bad and the downright ugly from a ‘that’ll do’ remaster. If not, you’re better off persevering them with those rose-tinted memories.
Mario Party Superstars succeeds with a fresh coat of paint and just the right amount of quality-of-life improvements to keep it familiar yet far more accessible than dusting off your Nintendo 64. You just can’t beat Mario partying like it’s 1999 (and 2000 and 2001).
Flight Simulator on Xbox Series X and S is marvel to behold. It might not be that easy to read a cockpit flight plan while lounging on the couch, but it’s a stunning way to watch the world go by with Microsoft Flight Simulator on Xbox.
Skyward Sword HD is more about updating a game designed for the Wii’s waggle to work well on a handheld and with a conventional controller. With that focus, it delivers a version of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword that is much easier and more natural to play from start to finish.
Mario Golf Super Rush remains easy to pick up and play, but it’s lacking the final coat of polish we expect from Nintendo games, and is light on content for a full priced Switch game. It’s a Mario sport game that can be picked up and played by a wide audience, but has positioned itself to only really appeal to dedicated fans of Mario Golf.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a delightful double act. Super Mario 3D World holds up well, and offers a unique multiplayer experience that works particularly well on Switch. Its opening worlds are designed to cater for that varied audience, while the second half injects some much needed difficulty and is best played solo. Bowser’s Fury is experimental in nature, and offers something completely different with a fully open world housing plenty of Shines to collect at a rapid pace. While neither quite reaches the dizzying heights of Super Mario Galaxy or Odyssey, it is a double dose of Mario doing things differently, and a fitting finale to Super Mario’s 35th anniversary.
If it didn’t carry the COD name, it could very well have been labeled as an entirely different game marketed as “from the creators of Black Ops”. Raven and Treyarch have tried something new here, and delivered a refreshing Call of Duty single-player experience — just be aware it’s a smaller scale spy thriller, not an epic open warfare game.
While the gameplay remains strong, and is improved in this Deluxe repackaging, Pikmin 3 is visually a dated game, and it’s a shame Nintendo refuses to remaster last-gen games, whilst still charging full price. Nevertheless, the cracks are covered up to a degree in handheld mode, as Pikmin 3 almost rounds out the full Wii U collection on Switch.
Any new ideas have clearly been held back for when the new consoles are actually obtainable by the masses, but FIFA leaves the Xbox One and PS4 in a pretty good place — and with some extra pace — in 2020/21, still with plenty of scope to go from good to great next-generation.