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.
ScourgeBringer has a mostly enjoyable flow to it and some great visuals, if you can see them in the chaos. However, it's joining the cavalcade of roguelites around at the moment, and brings little new to the table, outside of some often burdensome bullet hell elements. If you've got an itch for recurring death and frustration, this will definitely satisfy for a time, but there are far better examples of the genre out there.
What Supergiant Games have created here is the perfect roguelike; immensely satisfying, even in failure, with an excellently-written array of characters and a compelling story. With variety of events to avoid the gameplay every becoming stale, a myriad of different weapons with markedly varied play styles, and gameplay-altering boons, Hades is an absolute joy to play. Oh, and everyone is hot, EVERYONE.
Aokana is a wholesome underdog story ruined by panty shots and sudden nudity. This being said, if you can see past the fan service, the distinctly unlikeable protagonist and one note characters – OK, that's a lot to look past – this actually comes together to create an engaging tale of overcoming fears and the power of friendship, and you can't help but root for them.
Ultimately SWORD ART ONLINE: Alicization Lycoris takes too long to get to the point both in its combat and story, leaving the player disinterested before it even really begins. There is a good game here if you do commit to it, with some great character and world design, enjoyable combat, and interesting game systems, but it's just not worth the slog to reach it.
A visually beautiful and hilariously well-written experience let down by an overbearing and clunky fundamental gameplay system. Unfortunately, Paper Mario: The Origami King falls flat in its attempts to bring one too many things into the fold.
Granblue Fantasy: Versus is an interesting game, both mechanically sound and simple with a diverse roster. Absolutely gorgeous to behold, and mostly pleasant to hear, this is the sort of fighting game esports was made for. It's such a shame then that the single player content doesn't hit the mark, especially the often frustrating RPG Mode.
If a classic JRPG is what you're looking for, The Alliance Alive HD delivers most of what you could want, if little else. With a few tweaks to the JRPG formula, a likeable cast of occasionally dumb characters, and some interesting combat mechanics, it's not exactly breaking the mould, but it's doing a pretty good job of filling it.
Katrielle and the Millionaires' Conspiracy is more Layton, but with a host of new characters and a healthy dollop of puzzles. Unfortunately, they're weaker, more contrived tests of your mind than previously. Katrielle and the stellar supporting cast really boost the experience, as do the stunning visuals, but the sum of its parts is less than I expect from a Layton title.
With unenjoyable and clunky combat that is made much worse during the 3D segments, a laughably archetypal fantasy story, and dated character models, it's hard to actually believe that AeternoBlade II released this year for modern consoles. AeternoBlade II simply falls short of all of its ambitions, whatever they might have been.
With a lot of gameplay enhancements from previous iterations, a gorgeously rendered game world, and a whole host more besides, Luigi's Mansion 3 is easily the apex of the franchise. The sheer amount to see and do, along with the amount of adorable details, make this game a wonderful experience and one I would recommend. Sucking at games has (rarely) felt this good.