EXCELLENT - Gamers have overlooked the beat’em up genre for decades, but Streets of Rage 4 is here to knock some sense into them. It walks that fine line of providing just the right amount nostalgia while at the same time injecting new characters and gameplay to create a fantastic experience that should appeal to the teenagers of the ‘80s and today. Grab a friend and kick some butt. Don’t sleep on this one!
WORTH CONSIDERING - Panzer Dragoon: Remake will certainly appeal to fans of the original Saturn game and to those of you I say absolutely pick this one up. I had a fun time blasting my way through the game and really enjoyed the updated visuals. The new soundtrack lacks the punch of the original, but sounds more sophisticated. Luckily the original can be toggled from the options so you get the best of both worlds. A high price combined with a short campaign and a niche genre makes this one difficult to recommend to anyone except devoted fans.
EXCELLENT - I absolutely adore Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Fans of the series will appreciate numerous quality of life improvements, especially when it comes to interior decorating. The new crafting mechanic and Nook Miles Rewards system are welcome additions to an already addictive experience. With beautiful graphics, charming characters, memorable soundtrack, and an unbelievable lasting value, this one will be on my Switch HOME screen for years to come.
GOOD - La-Mulana 1 & 2: Hidden Treasures Edition should appeal to those gamers who enjoy difficult gameplay and cryptic hints set in a Metroidvania style universe. Those that grew up during the ‘80s and liked adventure games on the NES are the target market for this one. Just be prepared for obscure puzzles, tons of death traps, and challenging enemies!
WORTH CONSIDERING - Langrisser I & II is the definition of a game worthy of consideration. Fans of the tactical RPG genre that don’t mind playing map after map of battles with no tutorials and sparse story will be right at home. Newcomers to the genre would be better served elsewhere. These games come directly from the early ‘90s and despite a new coat of paint don’t have a modern feel to them. A free demo on the eShop is recommended before throwing down 50 bones.
EXCELLENT - I never expected a developer I had never heard of (DevHour Games) to outdo Jupiter (the developers of the original Picross), but Depixtion does just that. Each image features three layers (each a different primary color) of Picross puzzles to solve, making the final picture even more satisfying upon completion. Add in a superb soundtrack and you have yourself a winner. Puzzle fans should eat this one up.
GREAT - Rune Factory 4 Special is one of the most addictive games I’ve played on the Switch so far. There’s always something to do, whether it’s growing more crops, crafting new gear, forging new relationships, fighting off monsters, or exploring new realms. Average graphics and slight control issues aside, this is a pleasant surprise and one of my favorite games of the year.
GOOD - Psikyo Shooting Stars Bravo includes six classic games of varying quality. My personal favorite was the side-scrolling shmup Samurai Aces II: Tengai, with Gunbird 1 & 2 also high up on my list. I was surprised and delighted to spend time with Gunbarich, a brick breaking Arkanoid clone. With limited lasting value this collection is still a fun time…while it lasts.
GOOD - Stories Untold combines the old-school text adventure with modern day sensibilities. This one isn’t for the action fans out there – you’ll be mostly reading and solving small puzzles to progress. With four different stories and point and click interactions, fans of adventure games should consider picking this one up.
GREAT - Luigi’s Mansion 3 features stellar graphics and amazing music, creating a charmingly spooky experience that’s dying to be explored. Each floor features unique environments and stylish ghosts that are fun to interact with. Awkward controls that may take some getting used to and weak rewards for solving puzzles (money that serves little purpose) drag down what is otherwise an excellent candidate for Switch game of the year.