I loved every minute spent in the cozy, quirky world of Super Mario RPG, bopping to the remastered music, smiling at its humor and hijinks, timing battle actions, and enjoying my time spent with its memorable characters. I may have been left wanting a little more, but kudos to Nintendo for bringing back this updated classic, warming the hearts of fans worldwide, and bringing generations together to experience the charm and wonder of Super Mario RPG.
I yearn for a meatier, more challenging Super Mario Bros. Wonder with difficult boss battles, but I can recognize that kids like my young nieces will fall head-over-heels in love with Wonder, because it truly is full of entrancing visual wonder and its simplicity is unlikely to cause household tensions between ambitious older siblings and confused younger ones.
If you’re a masochist or enjoy glitch-fests, you might find something salvageable about in the Switch version of Mortal Kombat 1, but I strongly implore you to reconsider, and to warn your friends. Buy a new console if you must, but do not spend your hard-earned money on this travesty.
Bomb Rush Cyberfunk is a hell of a mic drop. While it’s no reinvention of the wheel, it’s definitely a more compelling and accessible take on the formula that has a lot to recommend it, both for fans of those titles and younger gamers in search of something new.
Tears of the Kingdom accomplishes its lofty goals, improving upon the masterful Breath of the Wild in nearly every key aspect; Tears may not be my favorite Zelda, but for millions of fans, it might be one of the greatest gaming experiences of their lives.
If a hardcore rhythm game where cardboard cutouts of Cloud, Lightning, Vivi, and Terra leap into the air to critical attack and dance at the end of songs sounds like your jam, you’ll most definitely enjoy tapping and sliding as you headbang through Theatrhythm Final Bar Line.
Metroid Prime Remastered goes above and beyond to provide the best possible experience for the player. It is an incredible remaster in every sense of the word. In fact, it may rank alongside Rez HD as one of the best HD remasters I’ve ever played, as it is incredibly faithful to the original, more accessible, and beautiful both visually and aurally.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s rough quality is unacceptable. I hope that Game Freak and Nintendo will work quickly to patch the performance after all this ruckus, but even if it somehow ends up running smoothly enough to not be headache-inducing, I doubt I will ever revisit this game.
Given the scale of the experience, the intensely satisfying gameplay that rewards experimentation, entertaining cut-scenes, excellent music, overall fun factor, and replayability, I’m impressed that Platinum Games has managed to cram so much into Bayonetta 3. Despite a general lack of polish, Bayonetta 3 delivers a breadth of content, provides a worthy conclusion to the epic saga, and leaves me hopeful for the future of the company.
I’m very happy that I gave Little Witch Nobeta a chance. This is a third-person action title with a nimble mage that focuses on precision movements and timing, as well as using your wits to not get trapped by hard-hitting foes. It accomplishes its goal with aplomb.
The Delicious Last Course feels like a completion of the ideas introduced in Cuphead rather than an evolution of the run-and-gun platforming gameplay, which will definitely delight and satisfy hardcore fans of the original classic title.
For better or worse, Mario Party Superstars delivers on its promise of bringing the best elements of the classic era of Mario Party to vivid life on the Switch, though even with a variety of gameplay styles and customization options, the formula is showing its age, and the loose combination of RNG and skill-based gameplay won’t be for everyone.
I can’t recommend Metroid Dread enough, whether to longtime fans or newbies to the franchise. Not only does it deliver on the promise of a fifth 2D Metroid game nearly two decades in the making, it does so while updating the time-tested formula to reduce tedium and bring new players into the fold. Nintendo knocked it out of the park, and while I wish the game were a little longer and the presentation a tad more polished, I can’t find any other faults in this very welcome new addition to the canon.
I’m happy to report that New Pokémon Snap improves upon the original game in nearly every respect. It’s filled with well-animated interactions between Pokemon, a wide variety of evolving environments, and over 200 Pokémon to add to your Photodex. Despite all of its quality-of-life improvements, its relaxing vibe, and decent presentation, however, it’s more of an evolution of the concept than a revolution, and soundly geared to younger audiences. I imagine that because of its simple gameplay, it’s not going to satisfy everyone.
While it’s not without its faults, I enjoyed nearly every moment of my 50+ hours spent on the frantic battlefields of Hyrule playing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity. With a strong story, copious amounts of fan-service, and a wealth of unique and balanced musou gameplay, it succeeds wildly both as a worthy sequel to Hyrule Warriors, and a semi-prequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While your mileage will vary depending on how much you enjoy musou games and how willing you are to tolerate performance issues (and, to a certain extent, repetition), I give this one a very strong recommendation.
Despite its occasional quirks and missed opportunities, Racer delivers on a consistent, mostly-bug-free performance that made me pine for both LucasArts’ heyday, and the golden age of high-speed futuristic racers, which have all but disappeared as a sub-genre.
Because it is rather obtuse at times, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone, but if you’re anything like me and you love carefully-constructed, paradoxical art that is enlightening and entertaining, haunting and hopeful, melancholy and magical, perceptive and pointed, you might really fall in love with the existential irreverence of Kentucky Route Zero.