Dragon Quest XI remains one of the best entries in the series, and thanks to this Definitive Edition - which boasts all the new content originally included in the Switch port - it manages to feel more polished, more streamlined and more enjoyable. The fact that this is an incredible experience is only marginally diminished by some controversial graphics alterations and a less than savoury removal of previous versions from virtual storefronts in favour of this edition. Still, the content that is on offer here is superior to the original version of the game and more than justifies a re-entry into this endearing, fantastical tale.
While Fatal Fury: First Contact's nostalgia factor and smart fighting mechanics mean that its appearance is welcome on the Switch, it sadly doesn't offer enough content to justify spending ages of time with. Still, it's perfect for a quick bout and shines in its presentation, meaning that there's still something to appreciate and admire here - even if not for overly long.
Mortal Kombat 11 Ultimate is a fantastic collection and the definitive way to experience this title, particularly on the new consoles where it runs smoother (and is far gorier) than ever. Even on older hardware it still shines. While day one players who have already accrued the majority of the included content will have less incentive to splash the cash on the Ultimate edition, it stands as an impressive catalogue to the achievements of NetherRealm over the past year and a half. If you haven't played it yet, now is the best time to dive in. If you have, here above are all your reasons to dial back into the experience.
The Kombat Pack 2 introduces Rambo, Mileena and Rain in the gory fashion typical of the Mortal Kombat brand. They all bring something unique to the table in their play style and are so passionately designed that it's impossible to ignore the thought and care that went into bringing them to life. As fun as they are to play, though, there's scope for improvement. The ever-shifting meta has been a joy to follow over the course of this title's lifespan, so they'll no doubt become further ingrained and balanced imminently. Regardless, this latest batch of fighters proves that Mortal Kombat 11 is, for all intents and purposes, alive and kicking. And punching, grabbing, throwing, decimating, devouring… You get the idea.
Yakuza: Like a Dragon is the most invigorating, wholesome and downright fun entry in the series since Yakuza 0. The turn-based combat, while slightly rough around the edges, manages to impress. The new protagonist Ichiban is a delightful addition to the lore. The only reason Yakuza fans won't adore Like a Dragon is if they despise turn-based combat. Even then, it's well worth giving a shot for the beautifully written story and fresh take on the Yakuza formula. Ichiban Kasuga is the hero this world needs right now.
While West of Dead makes only a fleeting pass at innovation, it is still enjoyable for a time and does a great job of nailing a sense of personality that will resonate with fans of the good ol' Western. It's only avid rogue-like players, though, that will find much here to keep themselves invested. The repetition in the core gameplay quickly saps it of its charm, in turn requiring a concerted effort to see this title through to the bitter end.
FIFA 21 provides enough new content and changes to set itself apart from FIFA 20 but ultimately this feels like an entry that plays it safe. This is totally understandable; we are on the cusp of a new generation of consoles that will allow EA to take this series to the next level. Truly, it needs exactly that - the graphics and presentation are in dire need of an overhaul. Nevertheless, the bolstered Career Mode and gameplay balances contribute to this being a decent swan song for the current generation of football simulators.
Clearly made by gamers with a strong affection for the 2D RPGs of old, Vampire's Fall: Origins surpasses the standard of typical mobile games and delivers a solid experience that manages to stand on its own two feet. For gamers who want a value-for-money RPG and who can abide the lack of bells and whistles, look no further than this bargain bloodletter.
EA Sports UFC 4 is a testament to the power an experience can have when it is wholly aware of its own identity. The gameplay is solid, online modes are good, and the career mode is more of the comfortable same that it was in UFC 3, albeit with a great tutorial mode to kick things off. UFC 4 is what a sport sim should be: simple enough on its surface to be fun right off the bat, but deep enough to reward those who practice long enough to become skilled. Oh, and it is very UFC, in case you were wondering. That's always fun.
Carrion embraces its identity as a "reverse-horror" experience, offering some viscerally violent action that is not for the faint of heart. Presentation here is top-notch: this is a polished title that Phobia Game Studio has taken a lot of care in crafting. Sadly, it stumbles in its core gameplay. The combat is poorly balanced and navigation can be a frustrating chore, but when Carrion does transcend these trappings, it does so with a sadistic glee that makes it unmistakable amongst its peers.