qomp 2 is an excellent and worthy reimaging of Pong that honours the classic arcade game's legacy while providing a unique experience for folks with no nostalgia for Atari's seminal masterpiece. It offers a consistently interesting and engaging means of traversal with a great variety of obstacles and puzzles to overcome throughout the 30 stages. We would have liked a few more levels in the end, but this is really just an indication of the quality on display here. If you're into quirky action-focused puzzlers with a unique hook, then qomp 2 is definitely worth your attention.
Tomb Raider I-III Remastered is one of Aspyr's most accomplished projects to date, successfully giving three of gaming's most iconic titles a much-needed lick of paint while upgrading the controls to give newcomers a welcome leg-up. Some of the lighting is a bit off with the new visuals, and the need to manually save your game is a big no-no in 2024, but if you're curious as to how Lara Croft got her start in gaming, then this is easily the best way to experience the original trilogy.
Alisa Developer's Cut is an excellent homage to classic survival horror that can easily stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Resident Evil and Alone in the Dark. From the tank controls to the cheesy voiceover work, it nails almost every aspect, providing an experience that feels like it was ripped straight from the '90s. Its overall appeal will likely be limited to those who are intimately familiar with survival horror, but if that's you, then strap yourself in for one of the best examples of the genre to date.
Hitman: Blood Money - Reprisal is a solid Switch port that offers up several quality-of-life updates that, if you're a newcomer, will make your first experience with Agent 47 much more palatable. Not all of it works perfectly, and there's no denying that certain aspects of Blood Money have aged considerably since 2006. That said, once you get to grips with it, Reprisal offers up almost limitless replayability and fun as you hone your assassination skills. Minor performance glitches aside, it's a port well worth checking out.
Unfortunately, while Turnip Boy Robs A Bank is an easy recommendation based on its gameplay and visuals, the Switch version currently struggles significantly under the weight of its fast-paced mechanics and busy encounters. If there are multiple enemies on screen or there happens to be a bunch of trip lasers blocking your path, the frame rate will drop to unacceptable levels for lengthy periods, making large chunks of your heists feel like you’re moving underwater. We were told this would be fixed via a day-one patch, but it's still MIA at launch. If these performance issues were eliminated, we'd have no qualms in telling you to don your best balaclava and get ready to bag some cash.
Publisher GameMill should be embarrassed at putting out The Walking Dead: Destinies at any price, let alone as a $50 boxed product, and we sincerely hope AMC Networks takes a bit more care in who it entrusts with its IP in the future. There's absolutely nothing here that has been executed well; it's a game that is simply rife with technical blunders, terrible production values, and broken mechanics. The only thing keeping Destinies from achieving a lower score is that you can at least play to the end credits, but even those have been fumbled. In a year filled with bonafide classics, Destinies is the worst game we've played.
Bluey: The Videogame successfully emulates the look and feel of the iconic TV show, but unfortunately it fails to recapture the same family magic. The gameplay is incredibly repetitive across the one-to-two-hour experience, relying on locating items dotted around the five core environments. Minigames break up the monotony somewhat, but even these fail to maintain attention for too long. That said, young children are going to get a kick out of simply existing within this world and playing as their favourite Bluey characters. If that's all you're looking to get out of this game, this does a decent job. But when you compare it to the all-ages magic of the show itself, and other family-focused games on Switch, this falls well short of the source material.
When analysed individually, the six waves included in the Booster Course Pass have sometimes been a mixed bag, and it's easy for thoughts to linger on the past tracks that weren't revisited. However, the overall package is a generous and exciting one that's absolutely worth the asking price - we have zero qualms in recommending the Booster Course expansion to fans and newcomers alike. It doubles the number of tracks already available in the base game and adds in some excellent new racers, making it a near-essential purchase for all who own Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Judged on its own, the final wave for the Booster Course Pass is another perfectly fine, if slightly uneven addition to the expansion. The Tour courses remain reasonably good fun, but are ultimately forgettable, while Daisy Circuit stands as one of the most boring tracks in the entire game. Nintendo could have just adapted Airship Fortress instead, y'know? That said, there's still a lot to enjoy here, including four great new character additions, making Wave 6 a solid finale to the Booster Course expansion.
Are there any downsides? Well yeah, some of the mechanics can feel a touch cumbersome at times. Changing camouflage outfits is a tedious exercise in constantly jumping in and out of the main menu, and we’re almost certain this will be streamlined for the upcoming Delta remake. It’s not a deal breaker, by any means, but it definitely serves as a reminder that this is fundamentally nearly a two-decade-old game. Still a bloomin’ great one, mind.
In terms of drawbacks, there really aren’t many to speak of. For this release, lines of dialogue that directly refer to specific button presses are muted, which is weird, but understandable given the difference between the PS1 and Switch controller layout. And sure, the visuals could have been spruced up considerably to match the efforts fans have achieved with emulations, but for the sake of faithfully recreating the original PS1 release, Konami has done an adequate job here.
Still, there’s no denying the quality on display with Sons of Liberty, and rarely has a sequel demonstrated such a drastic improvement with its visuals and gameplay. For all its indulgent quirks, Sons of Liberty is another seminal video game that fully deserves its reputation as one of the greatest of all time. It’s just a shame that Konami couldn’t max out its potential for its release on Switch, as this is a game that deserves all the love and care in the world.
If you've never played any of the Metal Gear Solid titles before, or indeed their MSX2 ancestors, then the Master Collection on Switch is a perfectly fine way to experience some of the most iconic games of all time. That said, Switch owners have undoubtedly been stung by Konami's decision to cut MGS 2 and 3's frame rate down to 30, and although moment-to-moment gameplay still feels satisfying, it's a frustrating approach that we're hopeful will be patched at a later date. As for the overall package, there's a lot here that will keep you entertained, but the way it's been presented feels less than ideal. Still, it's a compilation well worth investigating if you're itching to play (or replay) the Metal Gear Solid saga.
That said, if you like Just Dance and simply must have the additional 40 songs that come with this latest package, it’s a perfectly serviceable, inoffensive experience. As we said last year, there’s nothing here that’s going to convert non-believers, and the lack of meaningful improvements with this one makes it even less of a recommendation, but the quality-of-life changes from last year remain intact, at least.
We had a few issues with Sonic Superstars - the local co-op could have greatly benefited from split-screen support, and the online Battle Mode feels incredibly shallow and tacked on - but this is the first original 2D Sonic game that feels truly authentic to the Genesis titles without aping the classic pixel-art style, and for a lot of longtime fans, that's frankly an absolute miracle. Zipping through the 12 zones in the excellent campaign made us feel like kids again, but it will also prove a great entry point for new players looking to see what all the fuss is about. Developer Arzest's reputation has taken a beating in recent years, but this is a triumphant effort from the studio and a great return for '2D' Sonic.
If you’re looking for a quick jaunt through a beautifully haunting 2D world then Afterdream is a solid choice. While it’s a shame the game doesn’t lean into scares quite as much as we’d have liked, the atmosphere makes up for this and the puzzles should keep you engaged from start to finish.
Oxenfree II: Lost Signals is an excellent sequel that takes the story in a significantly different direction without losing what made the original such an essential piece of storytelling. The sharper focus on fewer characters makes for a much better-paced experience without the need to juggle multiple relationships. Pacing issues do crop up if you happen to take a wrong turn but, in spite of that, Oxenfree II still provides an intriguing, suspenseful mystery that fans and newcomers will both adore. Be sure to play the original first, though.
Overall, Wave 5 is another good wave, though not a great one. Squeaky Clean Sprint, while perfectly decent fun in itself, can't quite match the heights of something like Yoshi's Island, and tracks like Moonview Highway and Sunset Wilds make us feel like Nintendo just isn't quite giving its all when it comes to this DLC. Still, the positives outweigh the negatives, and we're confident that once the final wave lands later this year, the Booster Course Pass will prove an essential purchase for Mario Kart fans.
Master Detective Archives: Rain Code is a solid follow-up to the Danganronpa franchise that demonstrates a heap of ambition from its developers and mostly lives up to its predecessor's impressive reputation. But while the game delivers an excellent cast of characters and some truly intriguing mysteries to solve, it also stumbles in its methods, introducing mechanics and locations that outstay their welcome and become frustratingly repetitive. Still, for fans of Dangaronpa and those who enjoy a good gruesome crime or two, it's definitely worth checking out.
Tin Hearts is a lovely little puzzler that's engaging and emotional in equal measure. It takes all the right inspiration from Lemmings but manages to stand on its own two feet with a unique visual style, clever mechanics, and a wonderful narrative told effortlessly during gameplay. Technical hiccups pull it back from true greatness, including a choppy frame rate and jarring camera movements, but if you're after a relaxing puzzler that's not too taxing on the ol' noggin, then you really can't go too wrong with this.