Long stretching RPGs are exactly the type of game I try to steer away from, opting instead to spend my time with shorter more compact adventures. My rule is shorter games means more games. Persona 5 Royal may well be the longest RPG I’ve experienced but that journey with the Phantom Thieves was one filled with so many countless highs it left me questioning if I should change that rule. It may have taken its sweet time but Persona 5 has finally made its way over to Switch and there’s little denying it was well worth the wait.
There are those times you just know you’re onto something truly special, a game that when you aren’t playing, you’re thinking about playing. Wondering where your next session may lead or what the story might reveal. Neon White is one of said games, an experience that’s always exciting, often amusing and never a dull moment. Easily one of the best and most electrifying releases of 2022.
It’s funny every time I try to finalize this review I remember an exciting feature I’d forgotten to mention and have to go back. That’s the kind of game Super Mario Maker 2 is though. It’s a game that builds on the original in a number of smart ways introducing a wealth of new features, entertaining modes and appreciated improvements.
Golf Peaks is a stylish and satisfying puzzler that takes the sport of golf and gives it an interesting twist helping it stand out in an already crowded genre. Sure it’s a little on the short side but it also means Golf Peaks never outstays its welcome. A golfing experience that’s more birdie than double bogie.
If you missed out on Kirby’s Epic Yarn the first time around then the 3DS version is a great way to experience it even if its two-player option is sadly absent. While the newly added features fail to add an awful lot to the overall experience, the core gameplay and striking visual style still shine. Undoubtedly one of the most joyful and wonderfully charming games Nintendo has produced and worth digging out your old 3DS for.
In an industry that at the moment finds itself focused on Battle Royale, shooters and generally anything with big budgets and plenty of action, Fishing Star World Tour is a wonderfully refreshing change of pace. With its picturesque visuals and chilled out gameplay, my time spent fishing in Wright Flyer Studios’ colorful little world was a relaxing and surprisingly fun one. Who knew fishing could be this entertaining?
OlliOlli: Switch Stance fills the void left in the skateboarding genre rather nicely with its unique and rewarding trick system and snappy gameplay. The fact it’s a straightforward port with little in the way of extra content may disappoint returning players but for those craving something to fill that Tony Hawk-sized hole in their hearts this should do the job.
Octahedron: Transfixed Edition is an eye-catching game whose platforming keeps things simple without sacrificing its challenge. It’s that kind of ‘one more try’ feeling, fast-paced action experience the Switch was born to do and despite some frustrations, I had a great, and rewarding, time building platforms and navigating Octahedron’s luminous playgrounds.
Piczle Colors is a decent puzzle game that offers a good number of tough and rewarding brainteasers to sink your teeth into. Unfortunately, my time spent coloring in squares was hindered thanks to the game’s often confusing and less than helpful presentation of its clues. Challenging sure but not always in the way you want.
Joggernauts is a surprisingly fun take on the auto-scroller but a fairly short one filled with its fair share of frustrating moments. As a single player experience it feels clumsy but gather a group of friends and there’s a good amount of amusement to be had even if most of the time it’s from everyone yelling at each other and trying to orchestrate themselves. A short, simple and laugh-filled time.
Unruly Heroes is a wonderfully enthralling adventure thanks to its striking visuals, impressive variety and clever mix of platforming, puzzles, and combat. What might at first seem like a fairly ordinary platformer reveals itself to be much more not only helping it stand out from an already crowded genre on Switch but surprise players in a great way.
Out Run is a true classic pure and simple and a fantastic addition to the SEGA AGES line-up. It’s one of those games you’ll find yourself pulled back to for one more joyride and with its numerous options, extra features and choice between playing portable or on the big screen the Switch version is arguably the best version out there.
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes is a solid return for the assassin but one not without its problems. While the writing feels just as sharp as ever, unfortunately, its six-game premise doesn’t feel like it totally lives up to its potential. Still it’s great to see a new entry in the long-dormant series and hopefully, this marks the beginning of a brand new chapter for Travis Touchdown and the league of assassins.
It’s great to finally see Supergiant Games bring some of their great work over to a Nintendo platform and Bastion easily ranks among the best. From its eye-catching presentation to the mysterious story to the challenging but satisfying combat Bastion is an emotionally fascinating journey from start to finish and one well worth venturing.
If you missed out on the duo of New Super Mario Bros. U or it’s Luigi-focused expansion then this Switch package is a great way to catch up on the plumbers’ 2D exploits. Much like the Switch versions of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker before it though, its lack of exciting fresh content is disappointing. Despite this, I did enjoy revisiting both adventures in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. It’s a rather formulaic Mario outing sure but one that’s as reliably fun as ever.
On paper V-Rally 4 sounds like it should deliver everything you’d want for a rally racer. It has a lengthy single player, plenty of tracks and environments and a decent sized list of cars to tinker with in the garage. Unfortunately what the game does manage to get right is quickly dampened by some rather glaring and unforgivable flaws.
Those patiently waiting on a decent realistic racer on Switch, unfortunately, won’t find that in Gear.Club Unlimited 2. Its decent selection of cars, solid customization and lengthy campaign are crippled thanks to the game’s sluggish and uninspired racing, sketchy performance and horrendous load times that pop up far too frequently. The Switch may be sorely lagging in the racing department but it certainly deserves much better than this.
Like any compilation, SEGA Mega Drive Classics consists of games ranging in quality from classic to just plain terrible and everything in between. That being said the good definitely outweighs the bad here and while it’s a shame this bundle is missing some key Mega Drive releases there’s still plenty of fun to be had experimenting with its fifty plus catalogue.
Civilization VI has been one of the most demanding experiences I’ve ever played and while the barrier to entry will be intimidating to newcomers, it’s a game that rewards those willing to put in the time. You wouldn’t think a PC series would work so well on the Nintendo Switch but Firaxis has accomplished quite the feat and delivered one of the strongest third-party offerings the console has seen.
Whether you’re fresh to the series or already experienced Valkyria Chronicles 4 on Switch earlier this year, it’s still worth checking out the original. What it might lack in visual polish it more than makes up for with a rich story, affable characters and satisfying and strategic gameplay. Here’s hoping we see the second and third game make the leap to Switch too.