Ori and the Blind Forest is a truly beautiful game that plays amazingly, features an excellent musical score, and is fine-tuned down to the absolute tiniest details. It's a masterclass in game design, and its presence on Switch in the form of Definitive Edition only adds to the long list of compelling reasons to buy into the platform. If this is any indication of Microsoft's plans for releasing any of its first-party back catalog on Switch, then the future looks extremely bright.
Creature in the Well’s genre-blending experiment is conducted within a well-worn framework, so that the risky parts are contained, which is part of what empowers it to be successful more often than not. It falters from time to time, and there are moments where the pinball conceit makes some of the challenges more difficult than they really ought to be, but for the majority of the experience everything works well and feels good, which is more than enough reason to take the plunge.
Somehow, peering into the world of SUPERHOT‘s text terminals and stark environments through my Switch’s LCD screen feels very correct, as though it was always meant to be this way. In a probably accidental but happy parallel, it feels like I have gotten my hands on some kind of special prototype that I’m not supposed to see. SUPERHOT almost works too well on Switch, and being able to play it on a system that fits in my hands with near-perfect accuracy is an almost magical experience.
I’m not really sure whether the Switch port of Friday the 13th was a good idea given the player economics of niche titles, but perhaps the strength of the movie franchise and the game’s promise (if not its execution) is enough to garner sufficient interest. In fact, it clearly must be, as I have been able to find lobbies to play in (albeit with wait times of up to 1-2 minutes), and they’re usually full, so if this is where you want to play this game, you can definitely do so. That being said, Friday the 13th on Switch has the deck stacked against it for a host of reasons. Yes, it is the same game as the one on PC, and yes it “works,” and yes, most of the charm and authenticity that makes the game feel like a proper homage to a much-beloved horror series remains intact (sh-sh-sh-ah-ah-ah!). Unfortunately, much of the magic is lost in the compromises made to get the game running on the Switch hardware, and playing it feels more akin to controlling a lumbering corpse than a spry teenager.
There are only so many ways I can say that I love this game. It has so much to offer and executes so well on all of its ideas, and while it may borrow heavily from some heavy hitters from the last several years, it does so skillfully and respectfully, and it is simply not an experience you can afford to miss. Go, play this game, see for yourself how much fun it is.
It’s a strange thing to be able to return to both Hotline Miami games on the Switch, of all systems. Nintendo’s colorful handheld isn’t exactly the system that comes to mind when you think of grimy game worlds and graphic violence. On the plus side, these are extremely faithful conversions that run perfectly on Switch and bring another classic franchise to its ever-expanding library of indies. This package isn’t for everybody; it’s hard as hell and is over the top with its violence, but there’s no denying the importance of Hotline Miami as a touchstone within gaming culture. If the Switch is a platform for collecting as many games from as many generations as possible, Hotline Miami and its sequel feel like essential additions to its catalog.
Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is an excellent game in so many ways. It delivers on its promises and sets the stage for what I hope is more content to come in this new incarnation of Igarashi’s masterpiece formula. There has been a lot of outcry about the Switch version of the game, and it definitely isn’t perfect, but it’s playable for the most part. Would I recommend it over other platforms? Probably not, unless being able to play on the go is a priority for you. If Switch is your only system, then you should still absolutely play Bloodstained, but set your expectations accordingly. If anything, Bloodstained is a strong enough game that it is still worthwhile despite the technical issues it has on Switch, which is a testament to the highs it can achieve.
It’s hard to say much else about the game without giving away some fun story beats, but overall Mainlining is a fun game with great, consistent art direction and some very clever (and mostly faithful) old style hacking mechanics. While it almost certainly plays best elsewhere, the Switch version is impressively competent and it’s a great themed adventure that is both challenging and satisfying.