Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled is a visually phenomenal upgrade on a PlayStation karting classic, and one that faithfully recreates both its positives (its unique drift boosting system) and its potential irritants (30fps, tricky AI). It does bring a whole new set of issues – mainly lengthy loading times and the fact that playing offline stops you making any progress towards unlocking anything – but while these prevent the game from becoming an absolute must-have, they don't sour the experience enough to stop us wholeheartedly recommending it regardless.
While it's a shame that there are fewer games here than in other Konami collections – we'd have loved to have seen NES title Contra Force or the now-extinct WiiWare title Contra ReBirth – the ones included are universally brilliant. The 8-bit and 16-bit Contra games are among the finest examples of the run 'n gun genre, and to have almost all of them included in a single release and emulated flawlessly is an absolute treat. Whether you're a fan of the series or a curious onlooker who's always wanted to see what the fuss was all about, this is essential.
Taken on its own merits, Team Sonic Racing is a fun karting game that doesn't quite match Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in terms of either performance or sheer level of content, but still offers satisfying handling and should still keep Sonic fans entertained for a while. It's impossible not to compare it to its predecessor, though, and in all the areas where Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed excelled, Team Sonic Racing is merely competent. By no means a bad game, then, but when we look back years from now it won't be standing on any karting game podiums.
Despite the sheer volume of solid gold hits in the series, Castlevania Anniversary Collection is a somewhat mixed bag from Konami, with stone-cold classics sharing the spotlight with a couple of undead clunkers that really should have remained dead and buried.
Table Top Racing: World Tour is an adequate enough racer that doesn't ever shoot high enough to delight, stumble low enough to frustrate or simply do anything that leaves a lasting impression on us, be that positive or negative. It runs fine, looks fine, plays fine. It's fine. And that includes the 'fine' Switch owners seemingly have to pay for a game that now costs ten bucks more than it did when it launched three years ago. When the only thing that stands out about a game is its price, that probably says it all.
Cuphead was an absolute masterpiece when it launched on Xbox 18 months ago and nothing has been sacrificed in its move to the Switch. It's the same visually jaw-dropping, aurally delightful, knuckle-whiteningly difficult game it was on Microsoft's console and the Switch's library is all the better for its presence. Its focus on intense boss battles won't be to everyone's tastes, but as long as you know what you're getting yourself into we can't recommend it enough.
My Time At Portia is an ambitious game that actually delivers on what it sets out to do. The crafting can be extremely overwhelming at first and the presence of some in-game timers can be a mild annoyance, but get your head round its detailed multi-step building missions and you'll end up with a game that could end up racking hundreds of hours on your Switch.
GALAK-Z isn't a game for everyone: its rogue-lite nature, its high difficulty level and its punishing policy on death (even in its easier Arcade mode) will infuriate some players who are just expecting a quick blast of non-stop action. Treat it like the slower-paced exploration and survival game it's supposed to be, and your patience will be rewarded with some genuinely satisfying space combat and a wide variety of customisable parts (not to mention its brilliant mech upgrade), all wrapped up in a fantastic '80s style aesthetic.
It takes a while to get going and it has its fair share of annoying quirks, but as it progresses Aragami becomes a solid stealth game with a compelling story. The addition of extra DLC chapters gives the game a welcome boost in longevity, and though its temperamental mechanics prevent it becoming an unarguable gem, its stylish look and the range of abilities you acquire by the end mean fans of stealth games (and fans of stealth only) will still have a fun time with it. Eventually.
If you originally missed out on the 3DS port, this is about as essential a retro release as you can get. Out Run has always been an infinitely playable game, and the new unlockables and online rankings only increase its longevity further. Those with the 3DS version will have to decide whether it's worth buying what's more or less the same game again in order to play it on their TV, but for everyone else with an interest in retro gaming, it's a must-have.
Too much hand-holding in games can be a problem, but Battle Princess Madelyn goes in the opposite direction with its main Story mode and is just as annoying (if not more so) as a result. Thankfully, its alternative Arcade mode really does save the day, stripping away all the convoluted and confused exploration and leaving nothing but pure, unfiltered arcade action goodness. It's just a shame its main mode – and perhaps the key reason the developer wants your £15.79 / $19.99 – is so frustratingly unhelpful and awkward to play. Still, fans of Capcom's Ghouls ‘n Ghosts will most definitely want to check this out.
V-Rally 4 is an old-school rally game at heart, for better and worse (but mainly the latter). If you stick with it you'll eventually start to master and enjoy it, but the slippery handling and unforgiving ‘no mistakes allowed' rally races make getting to that point a real slog. On top of this, its numerous performance issues are so severe that they aren't just ugly, they're downright distracting: the result being that although this is now the best rally game on Switch by default, pretty much every aspect of it leaves acres of room for improvement.
Quantity over quality has never been exhibited so perfectly as it is here. Having 150 games is undoubtedly impressive, but when the vast majority of them are barely decipherable, let alone playable, you're probably only really left with around 15 titles that will hold your attention for more than a minute.
It takes a little while for Aaero's mechanics and its combo system to click, but once they do there are fewer better rhythm games out there. Its fantastic soundtrack exudes cool from every pore, and the way it integrates with gameplay (while running beautifully smoothly while docked) makes it one of the most immersive experiences you'll find on the Switch.
We're very careful when we use this word, but Gris is a masterpiece. Its jaw-dropping visual style and heart-wrenching score combine for one of the most emotional pieces of interactive art you'll ever play. It may be too short for some, its puzzles may be on the simple side and the lack of any real challenge may not be to everyone's taste, but this is a game focused more on fragility than ability and as long as you're willing to go along for the ride, it's one that will stick with you for a very long time indeed.
Rather than building on the solid foundations its predecessor set last year, Gear.Club Unlimited 2 slams into reverse gear and delivers racing gameplay that feels significantly more laggy and sluggish than the original. With no attempt made to cut its remaining mobile roots and more performance issues than a drunken West End actor, we just can't recommend dropping a whopping £54.99 on this unoptimised, clunky effort.
Monster Boy is a tremendous accomplishment. It's a gorgeous looking game with a fantastic soundtrack and does its spiritual predecessors proud by nailing the Wonder Boy mechanics while still offering something that will appeal to modern audiences. As long as you can appreciate that it's still very much an old-school game at heart and you're going to get some 8-bit era platforming trickiness as a result, you're going to thoroughly enjoy playing through this adventure for the 12-15 hours it'll take you to beat it. It may not be Wonder Boy by name, but it's definitely wonderful by nature.
Toki is an absolutely beautiful remaster, with fantastic hand-drawn backgrounds, brilliant character animation and impressive boss designs. Aesthetics only go so far, though, and while the game itself is fun to play (if a little cheap with its deaths at times) the reality is it's an arcade game at heart. As such, its six stages won't last you too long, especially if you're the target audience – someone who remembers Toki back in the day and has continued to play platformers for the three decades that followed – and once it's done there's no real replay value.