Craig M. Patten
To summarize: Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries is exactly the game I’ve been waiting almost 15 years for. It ticks all the boxes. It made me feel like a kid again, stomping around in big robots in a sci-fi setting. I couldn’t stop thinking about what ‘Mech builds I was going to try out next, and just couldn’t get enough of the gameplay. I gave Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries the Thumb Culture Gold Award because in my opinion, it’s an absolutely fantastic game. However, it doesn’t quite get the platinum, but only because I know that the BattleTech universe isn’t for everyone (just the absolute coolest people, ha).
Summing up, Ultra Off-Road 2019: Alaska on the Nintendo Switch is probably a game to pass on. It might play better on other platforms because the Switch isn’t as powerful as the others. I’m gonna give it the Bronze Award because I didn’t enjoy my time spent with the game, and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever pick it up again. I was hoping for an epic off-roading game and what I got I felt was sub-par. Maybe my expectations were just set too high.
Star Ocean First Departure R is an absolutely fantastic JRPG and should be included in any fans collection. For the price tag, it’s tough to argue with buying it. Even though I received a code by Square Enix to review this game, I plan to get it on the Nintendo Switch. This is only because I prefer to have my JRPGs mobile these days. I’m giving Star Ocean First Departure R the Thumb Culture Gold Award! It’s a very excellent game, but if you’re not into JRPGs it’s probably not going to be a good game for you.
Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is a great game to sit on the couch and play with some friends while having some drinks. Unfortunately due to its limited replay value for those who don’t care about high scores, I’m going to have to score this a Silver award. If trying to beat your own high scores is your thing, then you’ll definitely want to pick this up. Bubble Bobble is one of those classic franchises that’s difficult to build on without losing what the game was meant to be. Bubble Bobble 4 Friends does a good job of what it’s supposed to do, without adding too much to take away from the core gameplay.
Wrapping up, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is a fantastic game and well-deserving of high praise. Between the goofy dialogue, lovely cartoony art style, and super-smooth gameplay. I’m ecstatic to be able to award them with the Thumb Culture Platinum Essential award. If you own a Nintendo Switch, you don’t want to miss out on this gem of a platformer. Available now on the Nintendo eShop for £24.99, Yooka-Laylee and the Impossible Lair is every bit worth your time and money.
Community Inc. isn’t a game I particularly enjoyed as it’s not the type of game I’m usually interested in, but that’s not to say it doesn’t have redeeming qualities. It has a pleasant aesthetic and lovely music, making for a relaxing slow-paced game. So for that, I’m going to give Community Inc. the Thumb Culture Silver award, just because it’s not the kind of game I could see myself picking up to play over and over again. The gameplay got repetitive after a couple of hours of playing, and I felt like I had seen all there was to see. The $14.99USD price tag on Nintendo eShop makes it so that if you wanted to try it out and didn’t like it you’re not out much money. In my opinion, it’s a decent game, but probably a game better played on a PC.
If everything I just said didn’t convince you, then maybe the coveted Thumb Culture Platinum essentials award will. Fight’N Rage deserves this award, as it is a masterpiece of a modern beat’em up stuffed with all sorts of retro-nostalgia, plus this port from the original PC version is outstanding. I know it won’t be coming off my switch any time soon. What are you waiting for? Go get it on the Nintendo Switch eShop!
Wrapping up, The Church in the Darkness is a small well put together game. Personally, it’s not the kind of game I would play a lot. It is fun for a couple of hours, but with limited content and minimal rogue-like elements, it certainly won’t hold up in the long run. It’s not a bad game; it’s just not my type of game. For these reasons, I will objectively be giving The Church in the Darkness the Silver Award.
Wrapping up, I would very much say that Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is worth a purchase. It’s a game I’ve had in my mind for a long time. I was very excited to play it when I first saw gameplay, and I must say, Panache Digital Games did not disappoint. For this reason, I’ll be awarding Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey the Thumb Culture Gold Award. Very narrowly missing the much-coveted Platinum award. The only improvement I would want to see is the ability to play with a couple of friends. Multiplayer would be a lot of fun, but because of the way some of the game systems work, I don’t think it would happen. Just remember this as you play: Apes alone weak, apes together strong and ape shall not kill ape.
Forged of Blood is a very good Xcom-like game, using a lot of different new mechanics. Overall, I like the difficulty of the game, and the art style isn’t hard to look at, making for long sessions of “just one more turn”. A lot of the little things about it, really make it unique, from the spell crafting, to how you can level up using a classless system. The gameplay is very tough, but when you win, you have a feeling of satisfaction. I’m going to give Forged of Blood the Thumb Culture Gold award, as it may not appeal to a lot of people, but fans of tactical RPGs are going to love it.