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.
One Punch Man: A Hero Nobody Knows is unfortunately not the hero this city deserves… or needs. While it does a good job of capturing the aesthetic and charm of the One Punch Man universe via its cast of recognisable characters and suitably ludicrous character customisation, it doesn't quite hold its own as a video game. Instead, it stumbles in its presentation, content and, crucially, it's combat. With more of a focused vision on what it wanted to be it might have been able to set itself apart, but this is sadly not the case here.
The Outer Worlds's appearance on the Nintendo Switch is welcome due to the fact that it was one of 2019's best titles. However, while still fun to play, it doesn't leverage the Switch's hardware effectively and is subsequently unpleasant to look at. This has a big impact given that the game's charm on other home consoles and PC is due in large part to its visuals. For this reason it's difficult to celebrate it until it receives a substantial performance patch.
While not revolutionary by any stretch, Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath breathes new life into the experience in smart and welcome ways. With the exception of the average Robocop, the new characters are unique and brimming with potential, and the story content is a short but sweet trip through the world of Mortal Kombat post-MK11 - hefty price-tag aside.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition's appearance on the Switch has been a long time coming, but it couldn't have come at a better moment. It's the sort of immersive, feel-good experience that gels well with a modern quarantined life. It begs to be lost in, and boasts a phenomenal story, memorable characters, and a beautiful world to explore. Not even the periodically clunky combat can get in the way of that.
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy is a welcome addition to the Switch's ever-expanding repertoire, and a great adventure set in the Star Wars universe. Its seldom dull thanks to its enjoyable lightsaber combat, even if it's not terrific by modern standards. Fans of Star Wars and those looking for an action game with good variety will enjoy this. Aspyr has done a great job with the port, further cementing their reputation as one of the best developers for bringing fan favourite titles to Nintendo's flagship system.
Technical foibles aside, Darksiders Genesis provides yet another fresh take on everyone's favourite Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The isometric viewpoint is an interesting new direction, and one that isn't quite justified by the familiar hack 'n' slash action, but this is nevertheless a fun and well-designed experience that stays true to its roots despite its diminished scale. Fans of Darksiders will surely find a lot to enjoy here.
It may not be a terrific port, but Thronebreaker is a wildly addictive and relentlessly entertaining RPG-lite. The version of Gwent herein is the most fully realised to date, taking the core mechanics of previous versions and refining them into a malleable card game with endless potential. A beautifully written story and compelling characters make this a must-play for fans of The Witcher.
Dusk Diver struggles to make a memorable impact due to its story and gameplay failings. This is not helped by its technical issues. Nevertheless, despite its blandness, there is some charisma beneath the surface thanks to a memorable supporting cast and a clear sense of passion in its world's conception. It's difficult to recommend it, but for those who do give it a go, there is a noteworthy personality here that keeps things ticking.