- Final Fantasy VII
- Resident Evil
- Metal Gear Solid
Final Fantasy VII Remake is an outstanding game that doesn’t only live up to all expectations but also manages to completely exceed them. I wish I could go into detail about every tiny thing that makes the game so special, but to do so would be unfair to players who just deserve to uncover them all themselves. Just know that every element of the game comes together perfectly, whether it’s with the rewarding exploration, the action-packed combat, or the stellar visual presentation that’ll keep you in awe throughout. I’ll admit that the sense of nostalgia from my younger years made Final Fantasy VII Remake all the more special to me, but don’t let that fool you into thinking that this game isn’t spectacular in its own right. Final Fantasy VII Remake is simply one of Square Enix’s best games ever, and it’s still as ground-breaking, epic and charming as it was back in 1997.
Much like its predecessor, Resident Evil 3 offers a remake that’s both revolutionary and brilliant in design. It is shorter and more condensed than last year’s Resident Evil 2 remake, but it comes with a bigger focus on action-orientated set pieces and, of course, the epic showdowns with Nemesis. Add to that the all-new ideas that the game implements as well as the inclusion of a multiplayer mode (which admittedly we haven’t got to play a whole lot of yet), and you’ll quickly find that Capcom have something special here. The shorter length and some frustrating moments here and there do see Resident Evil 3 feeling a little inferior when compared to the Resident Evil 2 remake, but only just – it still just so happens to be a brilliant survival horror experience that fans of the series are sure to love.
Alien: Isolation is a blast to play on the Nintendo Switch, with its frightening gameplay mechanics and incredibly atmospheric setting helping it establish itself as one of the best horror titles to release on the system. Sure, it has its flaws and I do think the game is a little longer than it needs to be, but being pursued by the Xenomorph is still as intense and daunting now as it was when the game first released five years ago – plus, you can do it all on the go now… what more could you want? Nintendo Switch gamers that are eager for some intense and utterly terrifying action won’t be disappointed by Alien: Isolation.
Blasphemous is brilliant. Between its slick combat mechanics, its finely crafted world, and the showdowns with its ferocious monstrosities of bosses, there really is a lot to love here. There’s a level of finesse to just about everything you do in the game, and it’s that need for precision and strategy that helps Blasphemous stand above similar titles in the genre. It does have its imperfections and I have no doubts that it won’t be for everyone, but those who enjoy themselves a challenging metroidvania-style 2D adventure that wears its inspirations like a badge of honour will NOT want to miss out on Blasphemous.
Remedy are undoubtedly masters of their craft, and Control is another fantastic title to add to their repertoire of fine releases that focus on bold action and deep dives into the unknown. It kept me captivated from start to end with its mysterious yet rich narrative, its solid combat mechanics that blend together satisfying gunplay with fun telekinetic abilities, and its peculiar allure and sense that just about ANYTHING could be around the corner of The Oldest House’s mysterious hallways. Control’s weird yet wonderful approach may not be for everyone and some of the performance issues could be disappointing. Overall though, they are minor hitches in what is otherwise an amazing experience; Control is simply a must-own title for action fans or those who appreciate games that aren’t afraid to be a little different.
With its blend of satisfyingly designed enigmas and its slick Bond-like presentation, Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise will tick plenty of boxes for puzzle-solving sleuths. It does have a few flaws thanks to its emphasis on repeatedly traveling across the environment, whilst the controls can be a little sketchy when playing outside of the Switch’s handheld mode too. However, neither of these issues prevent Agent A: A Puzzle in Disguise from being a tantalising little puzzler that will totally grip players in during its five-hour runtime.
Heave Ho is an utter delight to play, with its co-operative and outright zany take on being a trapeze artist making (kind of?) for a uniquely fun escapade. It’s a bit tough to recommend as a single player experience as it loses a lot of its charm when playing solo, so it’s definitely a case of ‘the more, the merrier’. If you can get some friends to join you though, you’re in for heck of a good time (and maybe the occasional argument if one of you gets slippery fingers…)
Whipseey and the Lost Atlas is a decent platformer that has some genuinely fun moments, but the lack of variety in its gameplay mechanics and a quick runtime see it fall short when compared to similar titles in the genre. It’s not that anything it does is ever bad per se, but rather that it doesn’t do enough to really capture the imagination. With its low price-point it might be worth checking out if you’re a platforming fan, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting more from this pink hero’s little adventure.
Oninaki is more proof that the team at Tokyo RPG Factory are more than capable of putting together an enjoyable RPG, though the transition to a more action-focused battle system has seen it falter a little when compared to their more traditional (and better) previous releases. That’s not to say that Oninaki is a bad game when compared to I Am Setsuna and Lost Sphear though; in fact, I had a good time battling with the use of various Daemons, whilst the deep upgrade system and the twists and turns of the narrative kept me engaged throughout. With an excessive use of padding throughout the final third of the experience and some underwhelming gameplay mechanics though, Oninaki can be a little guilty of outstaying its welcome as you reach its drawn-out conclusion.
Never Give Up offers a platforming experience that’s both fun and challenging, but it lacks that SOMETHING to help make it stand out as an essential release. It’s not that it does anything bad (although some of those repeated levels may frustrate some gamers), but rather that it doesn’t do anything that you wouldn’t have seen before. Still, if you’re itching for a fix of trial and error-based masochistic platforming action, it serves that up in abundance. It might not stand out in the crowd, but Never Give Up certainly gets the essentials right.