It is rare to see such a strongly varied game, based on a beloved license such as Spiderman, hit all of the right notes and deliver in such a satisfying fashion. The simplicity yet sheer variety in combat is unapparelled, traversal is mind-blowingly fun and cathartic, and the soundtrack is epic, not only the musical score but the voice acting as well. Visually, Marvel's Spiderman Remastered looks outstanding, with raytracing and 60fps, which is exactly the type of quality that New York's favourite superhero deserves. PlayStation owners and Spiderman fans who do not own this are doing themselves an absolute injustice as it is quite simply one of the best games available on the system.
Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is not on the budget side of the indie spectrum, but what Game Atelier and FDG Entertainment have released is far from a cheap experience. The beautifully hand drawn art style, rocking soundtrack, rewarding boss battles, excellent progression system, and thrilling adventure, offers the very best of what makes a great action-adventure platformer, and turns it into a must own for anyone interested in the genre.
Horizon Chase Turbo is chocked full of cars and tracks, and numerous variations on all of the above. Not only does the Brazilian developer Aquiris bring quantity, but it also brings impeccable quality. This high-level slew of content, finesse and masterful, fast-paced racing, perfectly captures the true essence of any racing title. Anyone looking for a racer on the Nintendo Switch, should automatically consider this without any hesitation.
It comes as no-surprise that eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 fits into the category of an exceptional football simulator. Superb graphical realism, and tantalising gameplay, create an experience that fans of the beautiful game should absolutely play. Konami really needs to find a way to license the Premier League and La Liga to start tempting those away from FIFA, especially those who are really bothered about licenced content.
F1 2020 has taken key fundamentals from previous iterations and built upon a strong foundation to include a stellar, engaging and fantastic My Team career mode. The authenticity of the product has also continued to live up to the high standards set by the predecessors and the inclusion of split screen multiplayer as well as the options for more casual modes of play has made F1 2020 not only incredibly accessible for newcomers but also new and varied for veterans of the franchise. This is easily the best F1 game to date and contender for one of the best simulation racers of the generation.
Tetris Effect Connected is one big psychedelic trip that Xbox owners were previously missing out on. There is such a variety in themes, music, and game modes that it is unbelievable that developers still find a way to innovate, iterate and make, ostensibly, a puzzle game from the 1980's feel new and desirable to play. There is enough depth here in the multiplayer modes to retain the attention of Tetris players beyond the relatively short Journey and Effects modes, albeit many will chase their own tail to better their rankings and high scores. At the time of writing Tetris Effect Connected is available on Game Pass Ultimate so there is no real excuse to give this a chance.
The Xbox brand has taken great strides in diversifying its portfolio of first party offerings, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps is quite literally genre-defining. Slightly more linear in nature than its predecessor, Will of the Wisps still manages to make exploration feel fresh and traversal fluid. Stunning graphics, a wholesome and immersive soundtrack, tight controls and fun varied combat truly make Ori and the Will of the Wisps a must-own for Xbox Series X|S owners.
It seems that repetition is winning the day, so if at first you don't succeed try try again. The complexities and permutations in Deathloop are initially overwhelming and confusing, the intro attempts to explain so much by way of plot, mechanics and characterisation in a very short space of time. However, work past this point and the fun begins, with a sense of exploration and an arsenal of weapons and attacks making combat feel very rewarding. The story, despite at times being told through messages and text is well voiced acted, despite the incessant need to swear. Pulling off stealth kills or killing one of the eight main characters after figuring out how to infiltrate their plans makes players feel they have outwitted their computer counterpart. If there was one title to buy on PlayStation 5 right now that is truly next gen, then make sure Deathloop is at the top of that list.
A love letter to the Donkey Kong Country series, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair goes beyond a standard homage, and crafts something beautiful of its own. Fantastic challenging platforming, spanning across 40 imaginative levels, and a charming graphical art style. This is an essential 2D platformer that should not be missed, even more so by the fact that it is being sold for budget point.
Halo is back to its best with Halo Infinite, tight controls, and seriously thirst-quenching gunplay that feels so intuitively satisfying. Traversal has been improved hugely by the addition of the grappleshot, allowing Master Chief to zip around at speed, as well as adding a unique element for multiplayer matches. A particular dampener has to be directed at the online multiplayer, which is riddled with cheaters, but, if they were to be removed then the multiplayer offers a solid free-to-play experience that is fast and frantic. Halo Infinite, alongside a number of other Xbox first-party titles is a great addition to Xbox Game Pass, and it is certainly a marquee game that warrants a subscription to the service.
Forgiving it may be, but OlliOlli World has heaps of challenges to complete, and getting through all of the objectives in the last level is no easy feat. The new hand-drawn graphical art style makes it easier to have branching paths and a better sense of depth than ever before, which allows for grander levels and more mechanics to be added. The controls are simple enough, and quick reactions will be needed to fully master all the levels by stringing together one long-combo throughout. An absolute joy to play, and while it is different from the original two, its evolution was much needed to bring the title forward to the current generation of consoles.
A brilliant remaster that has wiped the dust off the original Spyro trilogy and given it a lease of new life in the hope of introducing Spyro to a new generation of gamers. The Nintendo Switch feels like the most suitable home for a family friendly mascot platformer where so many primary colours are at full bloom, so it is a shame that it has taken such a long time for a port. The low level difficulty will be quite off-putting to seasoned gamers, but charming characters, varied worlds and a number of items to collect will keep younger players entertained for quite some time.
Unlike the recently released PlayStation Classic, SEGA Mega Drive Classics has had the effort put in to ensure that there is enough depth and optimisation to keep all players happy. The huge range of popular titles at such a low price is hard to pass up - a budget option for fans to sink their teeth into. Those very particular about their emulation may want to consider buying the newer line of SEGA AGES titles available on the eShop, but anyone who wants some classic '80s and '90s throwbacks should look no further.
This is what Nintendo need to keep on doing to ensure subscription to Nintendo Switch Online stays worthwhile, however, this is just Tetris with a very addictive online element, and can quickly wane once the initial honeymoon period is over. Those who really enjoy basic Tetris will be right at home with this iteration. It is fast, frantic and somewhat unpredictable gameplay is what makes it so addictive in the first place - for others, the repetition might kick in after some time.
Luigi's Mansion 3 delivers up to its expectations, and builds on the first two entries in the series. It has the right level of challenge, varied locales, brilliant animation and comedy. The downfalls are that the base game is relatively short and the free multiplayer can get boring after a while. Nonetheless this looks superb right down to the charming characterisation of Luigi's face, or the stunning environments, and it is well worth a buy.
A carefully crafted farewell letter to DJ Tim Bergling, AVICII Invector is a perfect way to immerse yourself in his music, as players travel across a colourful futuristic setting to a high energy soundtrack. It can be difficult to find and master the button pressing rhythm on the harder difficulty settings but, eventually, over time, it becomes more manageable and like second nature.
Previous compilation titles from Nintendo have often bundled in controllers to these types of packages to help them sell, such as including a Wii Remote in Wii Play and Wii Party U, essentially making the game great value for money. 51 Worldwide Games doesn't do this. Instead, this can stand tall knowing that it compiles a number of brilliantly addictive games that can be fun to play alone or with friends. Almost all can be played in a quick pick-up and play fashion, which can be handy for those looking to play in short bursts, whether on a short commute, or in a party scenario. Online matchmaking should perhaps be refined so that people match players first, and select games after, but this aside, 51 Worldwide Games is a fantastic budget title that all Nintendo Switch owners should buy!