Super Mario Bros. Wonder left me spellbound. Nintendo remains at the top of its game, and the Flower Kingdom is the perfect playground for its sprightly reinvention of what we have come to expect from setting out on a 2D side-scrolling adventure with Mario and his pals. This world of wonder comes crammed with the most whizz-popping surprises, making for a kaleidoscopic trip to the Flower Kingdom that is simply unmissable.
Despite faltering in its plot delivery and the absence of meaningful decision-making, Fire Emblem Engage once again allows Intelligent Systems to demonstrate its unparalleled strategic brilliance and unquestionable dominance in the genre. It isn’t a game that is lacking in heroic ambition, in many ways evolving its own formula triumphantly beyond what was achieved with Fire Emblem: Three Houses but otherwise disappointingly falling short in others.
What Monolith Soft has achieved with Xenoblade Chronicles 3 went far beyond my expectations. The developer’s masterful approach to character development and world-building results in an unforgettable adventure that is set in a world that is just as remarkable to explore. It is the emotional storytelling that makes it an unmissable journey that’s worth undertaking, elevating the experience to not only be considered as a Game of the Year contender but an all-time classic that will be remembered for decades to come.
Fire Emblem: Three Houses is unrivaled in its scope and execution on Nintendo Switch to resoundingly deliver strategic perfection, whether at home or on the move. With a memorable cast of characters each with their own motivations – complemented with remarkable voice acting – it is the meticulous worldbuilding that elevates it to become one of the best games available on the portable home console. More than that, it's Fire Emblem at its very best.
The two-game LEGO Harry Potter Collection offers great value for those wanting to relive the young wizard’s brick-based adventures on Nintendo Switch. It’s practically bursting with content, but the improvements offer little more to those that have experienced their magic and charm before.
In essence, Radiation Island is a zombie-infested survival adventure game on a budget. It is yet another mobile game that has washed ashore on Nintendo Switch and one that fails to ever become a memorable experience on the portable home console. It has clear potential but ends up feeling incomplete, in needing more content to help keep the player both engaged and motivated.
NORTH carries an important message that it wants to impart, but whether it manages to successfully convey it to the player is debatable. The cyberpunk atmosphere helps it to stand apart from other games on the Nintendo eShop. But, with the developer having exerted more effort to create unpredictable and trippy scenes, you soon come to the realization that it is reading the letters sent from brother to sister that beat at the heart of the experience. In comparison, everything else feels meaningless.
The end result is that Fimbul is a soulless experience that never amounts to much more than something that will forever represent the developer’s unrealized vision. Throwing the unpredictable bugs, glitches, and wayward problems that are present on Nintendo Switch into consideration, it’s hard to not come to the conclusion that you’d be better off simply leaving it to someone else to prevent Ragnarök from happening.
There are fleeting moments of brilliance to the puzzle design in The Gardens Between, but, between them, the pace meanders to the point where my interest started to wane. There can be no doubt that it’s unlike anything else that you will have played before, but, in turn, the wondrous idea that lies at its core never feels like it blossoms into something that manages to enter its stride.
It is in local multiplayer, then, that Big Crown Showdown excels, although in its current state that’s by default. Fun, frantic and maddening in places, there’s undeniable potential in the idea that it has been built around, it’s just the execution and, sadly, lack of online interest that sees it fumble short of the finish line.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate delivers the fight of a lifetime and an unfaltering experience that is ‘ultimate’ in every way imaginable. It really is something quite special, a celebration that’s rich in gaming history and, polished to perfection, the next must-have game on Nintendo Switch that you won’t want to miss.
With more than 800 Pokémon scurrying around in tall grass and hundreds of moves to consider in battle, it’s easy to forget how daunting the Pokémon series can be for newcomers. That makes Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon Let’s Go, Eevee! the perfect adventure for those that want to explore the Kanto region for the first time, resulting in a game that’s for everyone – whatever your age.
For those that have already wandered the world of Eos, there is little reason to relive the crown prince’s journey in Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD. It is, however, the perfect choice for those that haven’t and, fearing the need to grind out levels, would prefer to play this condensed option. It’s not without its shortcomings, and, despite the commendable depth, battles soon descend into repetition. But, all in all, it can still charm and entertain.
Armello has been created as a brutal and unforgiving game of chance, and, for those that want to plot and scheme to claim the throne, there’s nothing else quite like it on the Nintendo eShop. Underpinned with smart gameplay mechanics that will forever keep you on your toes, it lays an ample foundation for what I hope are many more games in its world to come.
The Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion never lacks in the sheer spectacle of its creativity. It’s Nintendo at its best, for sure, taking what we have come to expect from Splatoon 2’s core experience only to throw the rulebook out the window to astound with freshly inked ideas. More, please.
The Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 03: Vehicle Kit is easily the best all-round experience that I have had so far with Nintendo’s new line of interactive make, play and discover kits. Remarkable to build, fascinating to learn how it all works and, importantly, content rich compared to the last two kits, this could be the start of a cardboard revolution.
With the recent news that Diablo III Eternal Collection will release on Nintendo Switch in the coming months, Haemimont Games will have cursed their luck. But, for those wanting to scratch that same itch, this Gothic-themed romp is easily the best alternative on the portable home console. Victor Vran: Overkill Edition comes packed with more than enough content to justify the price of admission, just don’t expect your demon hunting to be an easy ride.