Wandersong is the video game equivalent of a pep talk. This is your virtual cheerleader. Are you having a bad day? The Bard believes in you! Are you worried about being you? The Bard is your friend and will be there to hear you out. Having trouble solving a problem? Well, I mean, singing a jaunty tune probably won't suddenly make things right, but it might improve your mindset. Wandersong is one of the most pleasant and refreshing games out there. Even when the going gets tough, the goodwill garnered here will help you push through and enjoy another day.
Tetris Effect does incredible things with Tetris. The ambiance is unbelievable, and the array of modes make the puzzle game perfect for people whether they want an ordinary experience, something low key, or maybe one of the most brutal challenges like the unimaginably fast Classic Master mode. But, there are times when the atmosphere can get too distracting or overwhelming. It also is not for someone hoping for any sort of competitive affair, which is more of an advisory than an actual knock against it. Tetris Effect is a sort of instantly timeless puzzle game that is good about delivering the exact sort of single-player trial you need, when you need it.
There is no doubt in my mind The Midnight Sanctuary will find an audience. Fans of CAVYHOUSE and Carpe Fulgur may give it a chance out of loyalty and visual novel aficionados may pick it up out of curiosity. This is not a game for a more general audience. Hell, I have been playing visual novels since before they became popular in the west, and I had trouble sticking with it. Lots of strange choices were made in this game, and all of them made it more difficult for me to connect with the story and its characters. I imagine others will feel similarly. But hey, people who enjoy constantly shifting and awkward camera angles, a storyline that takes about an hour and a half to really start getting good, and playing peek-a-boo with a stylized crane will definitely dig it.
I do wish that the differences between difficulty levels was a little more obvious, as I felt the Friendly difficulty level might not have been amiable enough to allow less skilled or younger players to enjoy the adventure. Overall, Marvel's Spider-Man does the hero justice.
Detroit: Become Human is a game that can be rather difficult to classify. It usually improves upon the forms of storytelling and gameplay found in Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, though character movements can still be frustrating and some stories are better than others. It still relies on sensational concepts and topics to get reactions from an audience, with some androids' routes more effectively and tactfully employing them than others. It is a more diverse game, both in terms of the kinds of characters displayed and the sorts of choices people can make. Quantic Dream's formula is evolving, even if it does rely on some of the same crutches.
There are lots of great Warriors games out there. Hell, Omega Force and Koei Tecmo gave us the fantastic Dragon Quest Warriors II and Fire Emblem Warriors in 2017! You can never go wrong with Samurai Warriors 4. Hyrule Warriors is so good, it is coming up on its third port! And there are times when I still swear Dynasty Warriors 4 is the best entry in this series. Dynasty Warriors 9 is not a good Warriors. It is not a good open world game. It is a broken, tedious mess. Fortunately, fans of the genre have plenty of older entries to enjoy. Maybe in a year or two, after Omega Force has more experience with open world installments, we will see the Warriors formula work with this genre.
Iconoclasts is quite an enjoyable game. It has a strong foundation, with characters brimming with personality and a colorful world. Each location in the world has its own distinct look and mechanics that make you perfect your skills, learn how to use the abilities Robin has, and find new skills that will help you find your way into new spots. It's a game that flows well, where each area might take a second or two to find out what needs to be done, but should rather quickly pick up what needs to happen to help Robin continue her journey and save her world from One Concern.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a game that takes time to grow. People who are patient and invest in the characters, their growth, and the world will be rewarded with a story that eventually goes to some interesting places, people who will be ready to handle any challenge, and a place with lots of areas to uncover. It can take some time to adjust to the speed of the battle system, but even its pace offers opportunities to develop tactics that take advantage of multiple Blades and various character builds. It is a good starting place for the Switch's RPG library, one which will please existing Xenoblade Chronicles fans and give those new to the series a substantial game to enjoy.
Gran Turismo Sport feels like a game people shouldn't be buying now. Rather, it is something that should be revisited in three or six months. There is too much that needs to be done here. While it handles and looks well, with an Arcade mode and online elements that are rather solid, the Campaign isn't fulfilling and too much gets locked away the second online connectivity has been taken away. There are too few cars and tracks here, something that will hopefully be remedied with both free and paid updates. If it gets the proper support, it could end up being a respectable entry in the series. At the moment, Gran Turismo Sport feels like a precursor to greater things.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War is a definite improvement over Shadow of Mordor. People who played the first game and wanted to see serious growth will be pleased. There are times when it can feel a bit repetitive. I feel like I would have enjoyed it more if I could have spread the experience out over weeks, picking away at segments and really building up to those major sieges. But the Nemesis system does feel stronger this time around, with orcs that can be rather delightful as you continually fight them or prepare them to serve your own purposes in your army. If you don't take the story too seriously, you should have a good enough time.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a game that will surprise people. The level of quality and depth here is absolutely extraordinary. There are some very well thought out levels that involve doing more than just fighting one or two foes. The character movesets mean you'll have favorites you rely on often and others you find yourself needing for specialized situations. The campaign and hub are structured in a way that encourages you to return to retry levels or access new areas with recently acquired Beep-0 skills. It is one of the most charming and detailed games I have played in 2017 and I suspect it will go on to become one of the Switch's most memorable titles.
It's difficult to describe just how good ARMS is. The best analogy I can come up with is that it is to fighting games what Splatoon is to third-person shooters. ARMS is a bright, colorful, and welcoming game. Newcomers can easily hop in and enjoy most of the matches and modes available. Meanwhile, the more dedicated will find themselves developing complex strategies based on characters and ARMS loadouts and captivated by the opportunities to challenge others online. I would not be surprised to see it spawn multiple successful successors.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a game that rekindles a fire you may not have even realized was fading. This racing game is absolutely incredible. It takes Mario Kart 8, an absolutely fantastic game, then improves upon it by offering the sort of Battle arenas and experiences we adored in previous games, the ability to play it anywhere in any way, and various quality of life adjustments. Everything has been tightened, fine tuned and is firing on all cylinders. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe isn't just here to help you coast through the launch window, it is a game that will offer comfortable cruising for years to come.
The campaign offers an interesting enough solo experience that lets people gradually face greater challenges. The multiplayer is extraordinary, when it's working properly. It's just that Ubisoft has once again not anticipated the needs of a game such as this. I feel like peer-to-peer wasn't the right system for such a game, and that it would have been better for everyone if this had been a client-server game.