Resident Evil 3 is a solid remake that aptly pays homage to the original RE3 by failing to live up to its immediate predecessor. While the core gameplay remains strong, with engaging gun controls and a new dodge mechanic that very much feels at home, Raccoon City itself feels disappointingly constrained and its star performer, the Nemesis, has been relegated to scripted sequences. The cloud-related hiccups we encountered here serve as a reminder that the technology is far from perfect, but even if it were, Resident Evil 3 is far from essential. We'd recommend it for the most passionate fans of Capcom's survival horror franchise who are after another quick fix; everyone else should start with - and probably stick with - RE2.
Resident Evil 2 is an absolutely essential experience for fans of survival horror. We're not yet at the point where we can confidently recommend purchasing a cloud version of the game on Switch if you've got access to a native version on another platform (and as the old-school gamers we are, we may never reach that point), but given that we encountered next to no streaming-related hitches during our time with it, this is a more-than-acceptable choice if it's the only one available to you. Fans waited years for a remake of Resident Evil 2, and it's safe to say that the wait was well and truly worth it.
Sonic Frontiers is a brave new direction for the series, but this first 'open-zone' entry misses the mark by quite a margin. Traversal and combat annoyances plague the experience from start to finish, while structurally the game offers up very little variety, instead leaning on repetitive fetch quests that get exasperating after the first island. As far as the Switch version goes, it's quite comfortably the worst option available to fans, with graphical compromises that make it impossible to recommend if you're able to play it anywhere else at all. If you're going to get this game, we implore you to try it out elsewhere.
Resident Evil: Village is an excellent continuation of the mainline Resident Evil series that pays homage to Resident Evil 4 while showcasing its own style and identity. The first-person perspective allows for some truly terrifying moments (though a third-person mode is also on the way in the Winters' Expansion DLC) and the boss encounters are some of the best in the entire series. Of course, running via the cloud means you'll likely come across some hiccups, along with some dodgy load times and potential slowdown. Our experience with this was pleasantly minimal compared to other cloud versions we've played, but be sure to test the demo for yourself. If you've only got access to a Switch, this is a pretty solid way to experience a great game.
There's absolutely no doubt that Alan Wake Remastered looks pretty terrible in places. There have been some severe drawbacks to make this game run competently on the Switch: the swaying of the trees, while hardly a defining feature on paper, actually played a huge part in shaping Alan Wake's visual identity and atmosphere, and now they're static. The game plays exactly as you remember with consistent frame rates throughout and intuitive controls, but if you've played Alan Wake Remastered on a different platform, then you need only apply if you're a hardcore fan of Remedy's creation. Newcomers, however, should definitely consider checking this out if the Switch version is your only viable option, and if you can accept the considerable visual compromises.
Life is Strange: Arcadia Bay Collection is an odd release in that it doesn't really feel like the games have been remastered at all. Certain aspects of the presentation have been improved, such as the lip-syncing and overall colour tone, but at the same time you've got some pretty unforgivable presentation drawbacks like texture and asset pop-in, muddy environmental visuals, and absurdly long load times. Considering how long it's taken for this collection to arrive on Switch, we honestly expected better. Nevertheless, these games are worth experiencing for the narrative alone, so if you've never played either and you have no other way to access them, this still comes with a light recommendation.
Taiko no Tatsujin: Rhythm Festival is another solid entry in the franchise, but it's also a very safe one. The core gameplay is still a lot of fun and that might well be enough for some players. For others, the distinct lack of modes on offer may result in a rather short-lived experience, particularly if you're not looking to dive into the Taiko Music Pass subscription service. Still, with a chunky amount of songs available from the start, Rhythm Festival is a no-brainer for fans of the series; you know what you're getting into, and we think you're going to like it.
If you're a fan of horror games that focus more on atmosphere and scares rather than combat, then MADiSON is a no-brainer. It's not the most original game and it mostly follows the lead of pioneers like the aforementioned Outlast or even Hideo Kojima's P.T, but that doesn't matter. What you've got here is an effective horror experience regardless, and one that you're going to enjoy from start to finish.
Ultimately, Wave 2 Of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe doesn't quite knock it out of the park. We know we've been bashing these courses left, right, and centre, but when it comes to Mario Kart, we have pretty high standards, you know. However, none of the tracks on offer are straight-up bad; most of them just feel like "b-side" filler when compared to the main tracks created specifically for Mario Kart 8. There's still a great deal of fun to be had here, particularly when you crank up the difficulty to 200cc. We have to keep reminding ourselves of the bigger picture, too; we've now got sixteen new courses for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and we're not even halfway through yet. We've still got a ways to go.
It's hard to overstate our satisfaction with Portal: Companion Collection. Portal and Portal 2 felt incredibly fresh when they first released, and the years since have not diminished their immense impact. To now have two of the most unique and mind-bending puzzle games on a Nintendo console, and on-the-go if you choose, is a pure joy. If it weren't for the frequent load screens punctuating the experience, we'd have absolutely nothing to complain about here. The motion controls work like a dream, the games run at a near-rock-solid 60fps, and the writing remains as funny now as it did all those years ago. If you haven't played the Portal games before, this should be a no-brainer. If you have... well, just play them again.
Ultimately, Demon Turf: Neon Splash is a much better game than its predecessor thanks to the complete removal of the underwhelming combat. Not only that, but the experience feels more focused and streamlined without the requirement of a hub world or mandatory collectibles. This is Demon Turf at its best, and we sincerely hope to see more of the same in a true sequel later down the line.
Ultimately, although Tormented Souls is a commendable homage to classic survival horror games, its focus on the past is unfortunately its biggest downfall. Advertisements for the game bill it as a "modernisation" of the genre, but the mechanics within feel as archaic as the games it's emulating. At around seven hours or so in length, you'll have a decent time here if you're a die-hard fan of horror games that wishes some of the big names would revisit their origins, but for everyone else, the fixed camera angles and limited combat may prove more frustrating than nostalgic. Add to that some technical hiccups in the way of dodgy cutscenes and animations, and you've got a game that very much plays second fiddle to the more established survival horror games on Switch.
Nevertheless, for its relatively low price, The Ramp does control reasonably well, and although the range of tricks on offer is undoubtedly quite limited, there's plenty of fun to be had here if you're not bothered about gaining scores or doing tasks like collecting S-K-A-T-E tokens. If you're after something a bit meatier, then you'll be better off going for something like Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2, or OlliOlli World, but The Ramp does have a certain minimal charm which we enjoyed.
Aztech Forgotten Gods had a lot of potential that is unfortunately wasted. On the plus side, the game is artistically pleasing, with well-designed enemies and a city that at least provides a nice bit of visual variety. In terms of gameplay, however, the whole thing is a bit of a mess, with poor combat mechanics and a daft camera causing way too much hassle than it's worth. Minor distractions in the form of cosmetic customisation proves a nice little touch, but sadly Aztech: Forgotten Gods' core gameplay is simply far below par, making this an action game you'll probably want to sit out.
GRID Legends is a solid new entry in Codemasters' racing franchise. It features the same excellent gameplay you've come to expect from the developer, with some nice adaptive trigger implementation in the PS5's DualSense. The game's main draw - the Story Mode - falls short of providing a compelling narrative, ultimately amounting to a mere distracting backdrop to the true star of the show: the races. Visuals look nice, but perhaps not nice enough for the PS5, and the music is overall a bit repetitive and unnecessary. All in all though, GRID Legends is worth a look, but time will tell if it manages to hold its own against the competition.
Hollow 2 could - and should - have been a vast improvement on the first game. With poor visuals and gameplay that frankly feels like a chore to play, there's little here to convince anyone looking for a new FPS on the Switch. There are small hints of a good game bubbling under the surface, and perhaps with more time and diligence this could have seen the light of day. As it stands, Hollow 2 fails to address the glaring issues from its predecessor and should be left well alone.
Wytchwood is a crafting game, through and through - and a good one. It smartly puts its focus purely on the act of gathering materials to create a wide range of objects, with little else to distract from the core crafting mechanic. It's backed up by a great soundtrack and a reasonably well-told but ultimately forgettable tale as you trawl through the various areas searching for ingredients. Trying to locate specific items can at times feel exhausting and drags down the pacing of the game, and the gorgeous visuals are unfortunately hampered by a slight frame rate jitter. Ultimately though, Wytchwood is a relaxing and addictive jaunt into the world of crafting.
Let's Sing 2022 is a reasonably fun, reliable new entry to a series that continues to play it safe. There's a decent selection of songs on offer, but with a distinct lack of variety, the only other option is to purchase additional five-song packs, which feels a little bit icky. Truth be told, though, it's likely you'll already know whether or not Let's Sing 2022 is up your alley, and for those willing to take a shot on this latest entry, it does enough to provide plenty of fun and laughs - provided you're able to play with friends and family.
The survival mechanics feel remarkably similar to Breath of the Wild, with item management and weapon degradation taking centre stage. These are reasonably well implemented, but are at odds with the otherwise minimal nature of the game. The devs would have perhaps been wise to focus more on polishing up the boss battles, as these are the true stars of the show.