In a year full of fantastic indie titles, it manages to live up to their precedent while arguably surpassing them. You can compare it to what’s come before, and you can look forward to what might come next from Sabotage Studio, but more than anything you should take some time to play The Messenger as soon as possible, here and now.
If you’ve read this far and aren’t convinced that Hades is a must have on your Switch (or PC, if you prefer) then I’m sorry to inform you’re already dead yourself. Now on their fourth release, Supergiant Games have proven themselves masters of interweaving narrative and gameplay. Though their previous games were rooted more in a singular, linear experience that offered plenty of choices and customizations, they’ve found a way to bring that excessive excellence to a never ending rogue-like.
From start to finish, Link’s Awakening was a delight. Its setting, cast, and quest stand apart from the rest of The Legend of Zelda series; and with its gorgeous visuals and added conveniences, it marks the perfect way to revisit this Game Boy classic.
There’s so much quality inside of the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection that it’s easy to call it a must-have for fighting game fans. From the iconic to the obscure, every corner of these 12 releases is represented and reveled in to deliver a Shoryuken straight to your nostalgia centers and get you working on those combos all over again. There may be a few blemishes in the overall delivery, but this is still a handsome fighter — and they never lose battles.
It’s hard not to see Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze as a barrel of gaming perfection. When you peel back everything this top banana brings, you’ll find a Kong carried good time through well crafted and secret-packed stages.
If approached with an open mind, Catherine can be a thorough lens on the consequences of actions, both in games and in life. That quality doesn’t play much of a part in whether it’s “good” or “bad”, but it (as well as damn near everything else in the game) certainly pushes it firmly into one of a kind, and I would argue that and the other elements described in this review makes it absolutely worth experiencing.
The highest praise I can give it though is that it made me want to learn how to play it with some semblance of skill and style. Any game that makes me want to learn its ins and outs gets a full recommendation, and Puyo Puyo Tetris will have me practicing for plenty more hours to come.
Persona 5 Strikers may live in the shadow of its lauded game of origin, but with a source that good it’s not such a terrible place to be. Thanks to the Warriors inspired gameplay and vacation theme, all wrapped up in that signature style, it’s the best series spin off since Persona 4 Arena.
For a certain type of player, Monster Hunter Rise is a Switch essential. If you’re both patient and attentive, and can handle massive opposition in the face of dedication, you will thrive. Though it can feel like taking on an iceberg with a butter knife at times, those behemoths are whittled down eventually and those moments can feel utterly glorious.
3D World might be the more complete package here, but it’s Bowser’s Fury that’s setting a new bar for this type of Mario game and potentially games as a whole when it comes to structure. Nintendo’s sure to pull from this experimental standalone going forward, and seeing the series evolve in real time reiterates just how storied and necessary Super Mario is. Put less broadly, Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a game you need to get your paws on.
NEO: The World Ends with You manages to hit its streets running by maintaining everything interesting, unique, and enjoyable about the first game. The changes in hardware and playable characters have tweaked things slightly, but it feels like positive growth that improves the series or at least puts a fresh, wicked twist on it. Following up on a cult favorite game over a decade later is no easy feat, but Square Enix have done it as well as I could imagine.
Spelunky 2 may not make the kinds of waves that its predecessor did, likely as a consequence of the growth of indies and roguelikes in general. Don’t let that trick you into thinking it’s any less addictive and enjoyable. If you ever think you’ll just play for a bit you’re sure to lose yourself in these lunar caverns, driven by the seemingly infinite possibilities and risk of death. Even if you may never see everything it has to offer, you’ll never feel like you’re missing out with this nearly perfect sequel.