So maybe Nintendo will never make a truly great Paper Mario ever again. Lucky for us, Moonsprout Games may have cracked the chemistry of what many fans actually want from the series in Bug Fables. If you're still mad about Sticker Star, or you're still reeling about Color Splash, do yourself a favor and nab this masterpiece as soon as possible, and see what all the buzz is about. Rest assured, that even if Origami King turns out to be a dud, 2020 will see at least one great game with Paper Mario mechanics…even if it doesn't bear its name.
Kevin Smith built a career on fan service, and Jay and Silent Bob: Mall Brawl is as fan service-y as it gets. On its face, it's a typical arcade beat-'em-up, but with a shiny View Askew coat of paint. If you're looking for a solid brawler that harkens to the NES days or you're an aficionado of Smith's filmography, it's easy to recommend this charming title.
BE-A Walker may be a "walking simulator" but it's nowhere near as humdrum as the genre suggests. The easy to pick up, difficult to master controls make the Joy-Cons work in tandem, in near-perfect harmony. The difficulty curve may be too much for some to handle, but if you're looking for a satisfying challenge, this may just be it.
If you put Zelda's action-RPG system, Paper Mario's platforming, and a heavy dash of voxel graphics into a blender, you'd likely get something resembling Skellboy. At times, admittedly, the game lacks polish and can drag quite a bit, especially in the beginning. Nevertheless, it brings new ideas to the platforming and RPG genres, while looking pretty stellar to boot.
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.