I was completely enthralled with this game. It makes the most of its assets to create a dynamic RPG with characters whose personalities are changed by the journeys they embark on. The writing is deliciously dark and detailed, and the journal entries embellish this factor of the game perfectly. The art style is very detailed, and while the animations are simple, the camera zooming in dramatically at key moments makes it feel much more epic than it would otherwise. Darkest Dungeon will provide you with as many as 80 hours of gameplay thanks to how it cleverly employs procedurally generated content, permadeath and not forcing you to start the whole game over when your team dies. It is a stressful game and not for the faint of heart, but it features an easier mode for beginners. I found this to be one of the strongest indie games which I have played on my Switch, and it's score will reflect that. I'm giving it a 9.5/10. This game is fantastic and is worth playing for anyone willing to attempt to explore the darkest dungeon.
This is my favourite game on the Switch. I really loved Zelda and Mario, but neither one of those games managed to capture my attention nearly as much as this game did. I literally could not put it down for weeks. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 set itself as a cut above the rest on this platform primarily thanks to its magnificent story, fantastic music, its deep and cinematic combat system and its stellar art direction. This game is not perfect by any means. It has some issues such as its mediocre side quests and that the battle system can feel rather slow until you learn how to fully take advantage of it. It takes a hit in its visual fidelity while in handheld mode, but if that is a great concern to you then just play it docked. Despite some of these above issues, I have absolutely no qualms about recommending this game. It is a phenomenal experience that is worth being experienced provided you don’t mind a somewhat slow start.
Overall, I enjoyed my time with Steamworld Dig. It isn't the best indie game I have played and it certainly doesn't stand up to its successor. However, it is a fun little game which will appeal to fans of the old West genre, it's open-ended exploration makes it enjoyable to wander around in, and it's randomly generated levels will provide players who wish to play it multiple times a varied experience each play through. The game suffers through its flaws by having an uninspired combat system and from a slow and boring start, but it comes together well after you start unlocking Rusty's abilities and the fast travel pods. In the end, I will give it a respectable 7/10.
While this isn't a game that sets any new standards, it feels like a marked improvement over its predecessor, Tennis in the Face. With improved stage layouts, new collectable stars simplified yet more challenging gameplay and clearer goals, Baseball Riot is a satisfying follow-up. However, the art style, animations and sound effects have all been basically copied and pasted from the first game. If you played that game, then you will know almost exactly to expect in those regards. Much like with TITF, this game will appeal to people just looking for a small smartphone-type of game to pick up and play occasionally. It doesn't take long to beat the stages with the basic requirements, but if you are the type of player who tries to get the best rating possible on each stage, then there will be plenty for you here. While I felt like this game was an improvement over the original in terms of its gameplay, none of its other features were improved enough to affect the overall score. I'm going to give it the same rating with a very solid 7/10
Brawlout is a very fun, fast-paced game inspired by the Super Smash Bros series. It has clean visuals, but the frame rate has occasional stutters that can hinder gameplay when you need precise inputs at all times to perform well. The game incorporates important competitive features from Smash Bros which helps players who have played those games for years feel right at home. Most importantly, it brings wavedashing from Melee while also improving upon the air dodging mechanic which allowed for it. The biggest problem the game suffers from is an unbearable grind to unlock new stages and characters. However, this could be eased if you have four people to play with at all times because the points needed to unlock stages will be acquired a little faster when multiple people play at once. While I do have some complaints about this game, I also had a lot of fun with it because of how similar it is to Super Smash Brothers. It does not exceed its brethren in any way, but it is certainly a fun game to have while we wait for the real deal to be finally released on the Nintendo Switch. If you are a big fan of the Smash Bros. series and would love to have an experience like it on the Nintendo Switch, look no further than Brawlout. It will certainly scratch that itch. I especially recommend it to players who loved Melee because you just can't go wrong with having a solid implementation of wavedashing after the main series has done away with the feature for the past two iterations. I also recommend it if you have other people who could play with you frequently. It is a much better experience than playing it solo. If you don't care for fighting games, loved the party elements of Smash Bros games such as items, or don't want to grind to unlock stages and characters, then I can't really recommend this game. In the end, I had fun with it and will rate it as a solid 7/10.
The Longest 5 Minutes takes some big risks by changing the basic design elements of JRPGs. This is not a traditional JRPG even though it looks like one. To get the most out of this game, you have to do away with your preconceptions of what a JRPG should be. The story is the main focus of this game and literally, everything else is secondary. It is one of the most linear RPGs I have ever played. The equipment, magic and battles are solely there to propel you along as you piece together your history in the middle of an epic final battle. Just remember that your equipment and magic are predetermined at the start of each chapter so you can jump back and forth between them quickly and easily. If you play the game with this mentality and just focus on the storytelling, then it is very enjoyable. If you want an RPG exactly like the RPGs of old in which you had full control over the growth of your characters, then you will come away from TL5M disappointed. My key thoughts at the moment are that I am needing to alter my expectations of a JRPG to enjoy it. If I try playing it with the mentality that all of my actions such as buying equipment or finding things should carry over as it would in a normal RPG, I wouldn't be able to enjoy it. But, if I do away with those preconceived notions, don't bother with going out of my way to look for things and just play it by going straight from point A to point B, then I am enjoying it a lot more.
This game sometimes feels like it doesn't belong on the Switch because of its online focus that requires voice chat, but there is one strength of the Switch which Payday 2 utilizes perfectly well: local multiplayer. Payday 2 encourages interaction with your friends, and it would be the perfect game to high five your friends for a job well done or punch that one friend who likes to go all "Leeroy Jenkins" to blow a sneaking heist. Otherwise, when you are playing online with strangers, it will just ultimately feel like you are playing with better AI CPUs. The main people who I could recommend this game to are the ones who intend on buying it in groups with their friends for either local or online play. If your only option is to play this game offline, then you should just steer clear of it. The AI just doesn't help much, and you will have to do all of the boring bits such as breaking locks or hacking computers by yourself. In the end, I found the music to be lacklustre and the gameplay just wasn't enough to hold my attention. There was far too much waiting involved in the heists. If there was any game which outstays its welcome, this one is it. In the end, I'm going to give it a 6.0/10. It's not a bad game, but some questionable design decisions hold it back from realizing its full potential.
Plague Road feels like a case of a great concept but poor execution. I would love to see Arcade Distillery make a sequel or spiritual sequel to Plague Road but invest far more resources into it to make a truly memorable experience. It has all the elements that could make it great: a lovely art style, a tactical grid to move your characters on in the turn-based battle system, a variety of great characters to recruit, an interesting setting and a great concept for the story. However, it doesn't deliver on most of these elements as they don't feel very fleshed out and start getting repetitive. I personally love grid-based battle systems such as Fire Emblem, and I really like it when developers integrate that concept into regular RPGs such as in Koudelka on the PS1 or Ash: Archaic Seal Heat on the Nintendo DS. As a result, I got a decent amount of enjoyment out of this title, but if you don't already have a predisposition to such games, then you might want to steer clear of this one.
Procedurally generated games toe a fine line which must be walked very carefully in order to be fun. When you play a long level in which you will only find a few items, you don't want to find equipment which won't do you any good or simply be duplicates of what you always have. Finally managing to complete a level while only finding the same iron dagger that you start with then dying in the next level because you didn't have a stronger weapon is just frustrating. This game does not achieve that balance. It quickly gets repetitive once you realize that almost every play through will be mostly the same with just minor variations in items you will find, stage layout and enemy positions. It is simply not enjoyable to finally get through a somewhat long stage then die and have to repeat almost the exact same experience over and over. It would have been far better if players could save at the start of each level rather than beginning the whole game over again. Even the aforementioned mutations barely make a difference to the overall experience. Even at $8, I cannot recommend this game unless you have a great nostalgia for these sort of first-person dungeon crawlers. Otherwise, there are far better games you can spend your money on. I really tried to enjoy this game. I spent two weeks coming back to it playing it in both small doses and large, but in the end I just felt like I was wasting my time. Outside of the time I spent with it for this review, I do not see myself returning to it. I played other games for review that I did not personally like but still gave a good score to because of the merits of the game and how I could see other people liking it such as Tennis In The Face. But, I just can not justify doing that for One More Dungeon. In the end, I give it a 4.5/10.