To succeed as a Metroidvania, a game has to set itself apart from the rest. SuperEpic’s second-screen mini-game approach is not only an innovative concept, it helps underline the satirical conceit the game’s story lays out. Even with its shallow combo-based combat system, there’s plenty here for fans of the genre to enjoy.
In 2019, I thought I'd seen everything that top-down action-rpgs could dish out. Sparklite is nothing short of a happy surprise, offering new spins on a time-honored genre. From its beautiful graphics to its addictive gameplay, giving this fresh entry anything less than a perfect score would be criminal.
HAUNTED: Halloween '86 is a follow-up to a technically revolutionary concept made real, and unlike many daunting modern titles, it actually pays off in what it's trying to accomplish. Considering that it's made within the technical confines of the NES while retaining modern gaming sensibilities, it's hard not to recommend this charming beat 'em up. I can even overlook the dismal concept of candy corn restoring health.
Digimon Cyber Sleuth comprises of two nearly perfect Digimon game experiences, but unfortunately, they're smack dab in the middle of an experiment in the franchise that feels much more like a chore than a game. When you're finding, raising, and battling Digimon, you'll be in heaven. But the insane amount of unskip-able dialogue and shallow "mystery-solving" gameplay is enough to turn off even the most dedicated fan.
Story of Seasons and perhaps even most Doraemon fans will feel at home in the latest entry of the celebrated series. While the manga cat's inclusion doesn't exactly breathe new life into the franchise, it certainly doesn't ruin it. And while it's on the pricier end of the series' spectrum, it's perhaps also the best-looking entry to date. If you're looking for a cozy farm simulator and are all Stardew Valley-ed out, Doraemon Story of Seasons will surely satisfy.
Button Button Up! is a stellar looking platformer but offers little for seasoned platforming fans. However, younger audiences will be at home with the colorful presentation and whimsical albeit basic platforming. It's nowhere near the best platformer on the Switch, but you could certainly do worse.
Gato Roboto accomplishes so much with so little. Even those it looks like a game that would be on the Atari 2600 or the big brick Gameboy, every aspect of Kiki's world glows as bright as one of the best of the Metroidvania genre. Plus, it's a cat in a mech suit, does a game get any more charming than that?
Save Tetris and Puyo Pop for when you want to wind down before bedtime. Crystal Crisis is as intense as puzzle gaming gets and has sparked new life into a genre not known for surprises. From the heart-pumping puzzle action to the full-fledged story mode and a roster that screams "fan service," it would be a crime to call Crystal Crisis anything less than an absolute diamond.
Classic NES platforming fans, rejoice. Venture Kid succeeds where even Mega Man’s creator failed when trying to capture that classic Blue Bomber feel. Even with minor flaws, Venture Kid will scratch the itch for Mega Man, and if you’re lucky, scrub the memory of Might No. 9 from your brain.