It packs a healthy amount of content into its lengthy runtime, and if the combination of school life sim and dungeon crawler strikes you, there's little reason not to dive right in. It's worth considering that P3P does feel a fair bit darker in tone and theme, complete with characters needing to shoot themselves in the head to summon their personas. For those who first played the game on PSP or Vita, the visuals and performance have received a noticeable boost over the original version, in addition to now being able to quick save your progress at any time. The update doesn't reinvent the wheel, but added quality of life features definitely make this the ideal way to play Persona 3 Portable.
There's no doubt that it's a decent way to spend a couple hours as far as action-platformers go, and fans of the genre–particularly the retro-focused kind–will get a kick out of something so clearly paying homage. For my money, though, I'd have liked to see a few twists and a bit more risk taking with such a well-worn type of video game. Falling short of being a full Moonrider, Vengeful Guardian does enough to make rolling credits worthwhile, if not much else.
You can even edit each of the non-mashup levels to make your own customized version. From both a gameplay and presentation standpoint, what's here is nearly unassailable, and the game serves as an exquisite reminder of just how spoiled we are with the wealth of indie titles on Switch and also how astonishing it is that it took until now to get a flattering facsimile of Rhythm Heaven on Nintendo's latest console. Playing this late at night might not boost your brain's melatonin levels, but it's sure to leave you smiling before bed time.
Unfortunately, playing the game offers too little of an incentive for how challenging it is to control your red panda friend. While it may be true that a good deed is its own reward, such a proverb doesn't lend itself well to the medium of video games. There are some worthwhile moments to be had in this world, but they're just too few and far between.
Much of its gameplay is repetitive and its narrative only pays off in fits and starts. Those who want to see and do all that this Reunion remaster offers will find dozens of hours of content, but outside of its compelling protagonist, Crisis Core feels fairly hollow, and it should be judged in a 2022 context as a home console experience. As such, its appeal will be limited more to diehard fans than RPG players as a whole.
I certainly understand the purpose of the Union Level, but it's an inelegant solution to a problem that other RPGs have themselves faced. Still, the aesthetics remain true to the original versions of the game, and the audio experience is simply marvelous. It's built much more for veterans of the genre and players with patience and persistence, but Tactics Ogre, in the right hands, can absolutely soar.
While its message about the challenges of independent game development are increasingly poignant, the packaging around that theme fails to captivate. The metagame Blocks, on its own, is equally plain, and the feeling I'm left with after rolling credits is largely one of disappointment. In spite of its interesting conceit, parting with Goodbye World isn't really sweet sorrow.
That said, seeing familiar kaiju–Gomora, Bemstar, and Sevinger (which was the first kaiju I raised)–and even Ultraman himself will definitely hit home for a certain audience. After playing around with the remastered first two Monster Rancher games, there wasn't enough in this release to keep my attention, but its updated graphics and presentation could make it a decent place for newcomers to the franchise. Here's hoping that the next time we see Monster Rancher on a Nintendo platform, it takes some kaiju-sized risks in order to offer a fresher experience overall.
Going through its Arcade Mode on different difficulties and using new ships is a genuine treat because each one feels distinct from the one before. While it's a bit annoying that sleep mode seems to regularly disconnect the game from its online servers, requiring a manual reconnection in the menu, there's little else about the game that is worth criticizing. Sophstar marks a stellar debut effort from developer Banana Bytes, and it's both an easy recommendation for vertical shooter fans and a title I'll be coming back to regularly.
Fans of previous games and Japanese music, including the dozens of anime themes available here, will find a charming and compelling package in DON-chan's latest outing. Others might not appreciate the lack of variety in the basic library, which seems to demand that players fork over for the more robust offerings of the Music Pass. It rubs me the wrong way when, at launch, the base version of a game contains but a fraction of what can be purchased or rented digitally. There's no denying the cute and colorful characters of the Taiko no Tatsujin world, but you're almost forced to pay a premium to keep the party going.
If you've enjoyed seeing Atari dig into its back catalog and remake old arcade experiences with modern sensibilities and features, the "2.0" version of Missile Command: Recharged will almost certainly land a direct hit. If you've never cared for previous iterations of this missile defense simulator, there might not be enough here to sway you.
Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope takes the fantastic canvas that was Kingdom Battle and paints a masterpiece on it. The combat is as fun as it is strategic, and each world is a delight to roam through. The added freedom in terms of movement during battles and the light RPG elements pair exquisitely with the slapstick Rabbid humor and the whimsical music composed by industry titans Kirkhope, Shimomura, and Coker. The story serves its purpose well enough, even if the ending is a bit lackluster, but the gameplay is unassailable. If you liked its predecessor, you'll love Sparks of Hope. It sets a new bar for Mario-themed spinoffs, and I'm full of hope that the series doesn't end here.
The most glaring problem for Bear and Breakfast is that controlling the game is an immense chore on Switch, which means it ends up being a chore to help a bear complete his own chores. Opening up new areas and completing specific goals to move forward in the game is rewarding, but trying to navigate menus with the clumsy control scheme isn't worth getting out of bed for. Despite its flaws, Bear and Breakfast is no doubt a better game on PC, so play it there if you're smarter than the average bear.
Fortunately, Lloyd and the rest of the SSS make for likable characters that you can't help but root for. The dialogue-heavy second half of the game can drag a little bit, but the cumulative experience is still a positive one that I would recommend to RPG fans. With Trails to Azure coming in 2023, the stable of Falcom titles on Switch continues to grow, and there's Zero reason to be unhappy about that.
Those who don't mind experimenting and backtracking will find a more satisfying experience, but about halfway through I felt like I had already had my fill. Aesthetically, the clean presentation is an asset, but the soundtrack lacks punch and variety. Ultimately, even though Haiku, The Robot does play well, it can be tedious more often than it is compelling.
The final dungeon is about 30 percent too long, and the minute-to-minute traversal of the map doesn't have the pace to generate that "leave-no-stone-unturned" momentum. Fortunately, the dungeons are largely well designed, and the world and its inhabitants have their charm. If you love a good top-down Zelda game or enjoyed the first Blossom Tales, you're likely to be happy with The Minotaur Prince. Just don't go in expecting the reinvented wheel.
I was intrigued by ANNO: Mutationem when it came to other platforms earlier this year, and the Switch version seems to largely offer the same experience but with added portability. Its interesting story and decent challenge, in addition to some compelling world building make a strong case for adding the game to your digital library; a free eShop demo is also available for those who want to dip their toes in first. If you can stomach the miniscule text size and a somewhat flat middle portion of the story, ANNO: Mutationem offers an enjoyable and brisk cyberpunk-flavored adventure.
And the way in which the missions are both bite-sized and gradually more challenging gives ample opportunity to try out new configurations for yourself and your partners when things don't work out initially. The story itself is likely only going to appeal to a specific, dedicated part of the Gundam fanbase, but the gameplay can stand on its own for Gundam newcomers. If you're okay with some repetition and an inscrutable plot, Battle Alliance offers a fun action experience with lots to unlock and try out.
As the eShop ocean grows ever wider and deeper, it's harder and harder for games of any genre to make an impression, let alone rudimentary platforms like this. While I certainly had some fun with the dozens of levels I played, the game isn't one that will stick in my memory. Being polished and playing well isn't enough on a platform with so much competition.
The controls and UI are still solid, even if their application in Two Point Hospital was a bit better. At the end of school year, simulation lovers are sure to enjoy their time as either a crusty old dean or every student's best friend. Just remember to hit the books, study hard, and hire enough janitors to clean up after random meteor showers.