Disney Dreamlight Valley is already proving itself to be a feature-rich and engaging game, with a really addictive "one more quest" feel to it. Once the issues are fixed, and with some more characters added to the game, this could become the best Disney game in years. Now, if you excuse me, I'm off to continue plugging hours into the game until I get Stitch in my valley as they're teased in the loading screens and I want to befriend them.
Live A Live is hands down one of the most interesting games I've experienced in a while. A neat little package made up of completely disparate elements, it shouldn't work but it does. Add in some truly clever gameplay mechanics, the gorgeous HD-2D visuals and phenomenal soundtrack, and you have a game I would urge any JRPG fan to play.
Once you're past the horrendously long queues to actually get into the game, Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker was an almost flawless experience. This conclusion to a decade-long tale is told with a visual, musical and narrative artistry that isn't often seen in any medium. Endwalker doesn't quite reach the heights of earlier parts of the series, but it sure as hell ends the current arc with a bang and everyone involved with this game should feel damn proud of themselves.
Life Is Strange: True Colors is an incredible new addition to the series. It brings perhaps the most likeable protagonist yet, the absolutely gorgeous Haven Springs, and an excellent supporting cast together for an intensely emotional but hopeful tale. With enough gorgeous sweeping cinematic shots to put an indie film to shame, and some absolutely incredible writing, Alex's journey is something you must experience.
Dodgeball Academia provides a huge amount of fun with it's easy to learn, difficult to master gameplay, and Saturday morning cartoon vibes. Throwing together a roster of excellent characters with fourth wall-breaking writing and some great story beats, Dodgeball Academia honestly shines far brighter than we ever expected. This is the best thing to happen to dodgeball since that Ben Stiller movie, although how much of a compliment this is is up for debate.
Balancing excellent strategic gameplay with great writing and a tank-full of heart, Fuga: Melodies of Steel continues the excellent track record of the Little Tail Bronx series. A set of great characters, beautiful visuals and excellent music precede an emotional journey through a war-torn world through the eyes of a group entirely unprepared for the choices they will have to make. This won't be for everyone by any means, but what is here was clearly made with a lot of care.
For a small and reasonably-priced DLC, Mr. X Nightmare brings a lot to the table. Not only does it add a new mode with a decent amount of depth, but three new characters and a lot of other small changes. Streets of Rage 4 was already an incredible game and a worthy successor to the iconic franchise, but Mr. X Nightmare has made so many refinements and tweaks that it has raised it to the level where it has surpassed them. All it took was adding one key factor - replayability.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles has all the hallmarks of the Ace Attorney series, with excellent characters and brilliant writing through the remastered duology's ten cases, but there's some clever flourishes that make the story and gameplay far more interesting and enjoyable. The only objection we have is that it took far too long for these excellent Victorian adventures to reach the West!
Cris Tales is an absolutely incredible homage to classic JRPGs, whilst taking care to modernise their core mechanics for modern audiences. The gorgeous visual style, superb voice acting, clever mechanics and emotive story-telling all combine together here to make an incredible title. Then, with the addition of comprehensive and innovative uses of time in all parts of the game, it becomes a near perfect experience. Cris Tales has arguably surpassed its JRPG inspirations and absolutely deserves your time (pun entirely intended).
Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance fails to live up to both the potential of its placement in the D&D canon and the legacy of the Dark Alliance name. As a mediocre-to-good game, depending on whether you're alone or with friends, the whole experience is sluggish and dull in execution, and sails close to the average tabletop D&D session where you play for four hours and somehow only walk down a single corridor, but without the enjoyment that comes with that experience.
A formerly excellent game brought down significantly by a poor remaster with barely any upgrades to sell it to a new audience, at a price that's a little too high for what the game is. Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance still has a great, classic DnD story and setting, with an excellent musical score, but the experience is marred by technical issues that range from disappearing sound effects and frame rate drops to frequent crashes.
Balan Wonderworld is a passable platformer marred by a string of increasingly baffling design decisions. It has charm by the bucketload and off-the-wall concepts that land well in spite of themselves, but the experience is inconsistent at best and frustrating at worst. There is a good game in here somewhere, and it is great fun at points, but waiting for those points isn't really worth it.
What Bravely Default II has retained from previous games has been polished to a high standard and delivers the perfect slice of turn-based JRPG nonsense you're craving. However, be warned as the areas that have changed aren't as solidly executed and can have frustrating results. Bravely Default II is definitely worth the look for JRPG fans or fans of the series, but be prepared for an experience that's a tad rough at times.
There's a lot of depth to the combat and managing your party in Tears of Avia, whilst still remaining user friendly. However, while the effort put into the game's design can't be denied, it has a large amount of problems and rough edges. If you can get past the initial lacklustre visuals and pacing issues, Tears of Avia is a solid turn-based strategy world to explore.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game - Complete Edition remains an excellent game. With the whole game and DLC bundled together, this is the definitive package for fans of the franchise and of beat 'em ups in general. There's a lot to be in lesbians with here, from the stellar soundtrack to excellent moment to moment gameplay. It's clearly an utterly unique labour of love from a talented group of people (who happen to work at Ubisoft).
Although very much of its time in visuals and sound, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light holds its own in the modern day thanks to solid gameplay and structure. Almost everything you know and love about the series is here, and the game is worth picking up if only for the insight into early parts of the franchise. It's not an essential Switch game by any means, and quite alienating for beginners to the series, but it's practically compulsory for fans of Fire Emblem.
Being a visual novel, If Found… won't be for everyone, but those willing to give it a try will find a beautiful and endearing story of self-acceptance. The gorgeous hand-drawn art and the story coming directly from a diary really give the impression of an insight to someone's life, and the gameplay idea of actually erasing history and identity creates an intensely emotional experience.
Age of Calamity is, for all intents and purposes, a prequel to Breath of the Wild. It might be a spin-off in a separate genre, but it's clearly a labour of love, and the result is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through one of the most interesting periods of Hyrule. If the first game was a love letter to the Zelda series, this not only improves on this concept in every way, but stands as one of the best Zelda games, period.
Silent Hill by way of Japanese horror, Re:Turn makes a more than decent attempt at inciting fear in the player. It might be handled in a way that comes across a little hammy at times, but the fantastic atmosphere incited by the visual and sound design more than make up for this. Sprinkle in some excellent puzzles and an engrossing story and you've got one hell of a reason to turn up those headphones and turn down those lights.