Craig M. Patten
WarpThrough is a charming game, with its simplistic story about destroying monsters and collecting warps. The art style is simple and retro-inspired; the controls take a little bit of getting used to but are incredibly easy to learn. Available on Steam as of December 19th, 2019 for $11.99US, £5.79GBP. WarpThrough earns the Thumb Culture Silver Award for the value of gameplay to dollars spent.
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.
And now here it is, the moment we’ve all been waiting for; the section where I give Steel Division II a rating. Given how fantastic the game looks, sounds and plays, I’m going to have to give it the Platinum Essential Award. There’s just no other option that fits it. If you’re a fan of Strategy games, World War 2 games, or even just PC games in general, Steel Division II is a must own game, in my opinion. It is well worth the CDN$49.99 price tag on Steam. I definitely recommend picking it up and convicing your friends to play as well.
Project Nimbus: Complete Edition is definitely a niche title that would appeal only to people who are into battling robot suits. For fans of Armored Core or Mechwarrior, it might be lacking a bit of what makes each of those games special, but it brings something a bit different to the table. I don’t see a whole lot of replay value for myself personally, but others might really enjoy the challenge of survival mode or warfront. I’m going to award Project Nimbus: Complete Edition the Thumb Culture Silver Award. While it may not appeal to a huge audience, I’m sure there’s a group of people out there who would be very into it. And at it’s price of $19.99 on the Nintendo Eshop it’s a hard value to argue with.
I have enjoyed every minute I have spent playing Rage 2 since its release, and I’m looking forward to diving into the DLC down the road. Rage 2 is going to get the Thumb Culture Gold Award from me for being so damn fun, in spite of its short length. It’s not often I play many games lately that I look forward to playing again. I definitely recommend it.
Throughout this review I feel like I’ve given Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid a pretty hard time, but It’s not the worst fighting game I’ve played in recent memory. For it’s $19.99USD price point on the PlayStation Store It has an okay value for what it contains. If they follow through with the plans for more characters on the roster and add some additional stages Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid can become a well-rounded fighter. I give Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid a Thumb Culture Bronze Award purely based on what is available at launch. It has the opportunity down the road to better itself, but for now, it’s a resounding meh.
Generation Zero could have been a much better game than it actually is. I feel like it’s almost too simple to just collect ammunition and medpacks. If they had added some sort of hunger system or survival mechanics I would have had a much more enjoyable time. Randomizing item placement in the world would have been a plus aswell. The world seems to be static for the most part. I also encountered a handful of crashes while playing that seemingly reset some of my progress, but those can and will probably be patched quickly. To sum up, gameplay was fun for a few hours, but once I put it down I had a hard time wanting to go back to it. It’s nice to look at albeit a bit drab in the color department. The style of music Avalanche has chosen to go with is something that appeals to me. So Generation Zero has pros and cons to it, and it has a lot of potential if they add some DLC down the road.
All in all OlliOlli: Switch Stance on the Nintendo Switch is a great game to play. At £13.49(Nintendo eShop) If you own a Nintendo Switch, you should own OlliOlli: Switch Stance. It’s THAT fun, and for the reason that I’ve become incredibly addicted to its gameplay very quickly, I’m awarding it the highly coveted Thumb Culture Platinum Award. So go buy it. Go buy it now! It has an incredible dollar to time spent playing ratio and you shouldn’t miss out.