Taking a look at Capcom Fighting Collection, it's very clear that it does exactly what it set out to do – you've got superb versions of ten arcade classics here, several of which are significantly difficult to play elsewhere. The online play works beautifully, with efficient menus letting you switch games in the lobby. And that online is really all that matters in the end. Can you play Hyper Street Fighter II online with no lag? Yes. Then it's more or less perfect, isn't it?
OPUS: Echo of Starsong is a lovely game, an emotional adventure that represents the apex of the series to date and easily one of the best story-driven games on Switch. It's also excellent value for money, offering around ten hours of game for its low price, more if you really take your time and soak the whole thing up the way you really should do. While the character designs are a little too familiar, the characters themselves are complex, interesting, and likeable, and the story told with them is a complete, satisfying tale. Oh, and when the opening suggests playing with headphones? That's a hard agree from us, both to help with the music-based puzzles and simply to enjoy the excellent score.
It's a shame, because so much of what's here is still so enjoyable. The combat is intense, challenging and varied, with a huge number of enemy types to battle against. You've got a ton of weapon options to tailor your build, and the capacity to level up seemingly hundreds of different stats in order to bring the fight to the Mages. It's just that those fights can be so unfair and one-sided due to the more random elements that can throw a spanner in the works. A brave attempt at something new, yes, but ultimately misguided.
The best game of its kind that we've had the pleasure to play, Evil Dead: The Game is equivalent to its source material in being way more fun than you could reasonably expect it to be, and it's faithful as hell to the movies and TV show in a way that'll thrill fans. Post-launch support is a total roll of the dice - if the content ain't there, nor is the audience, and if the audience isn't there, there's no game, because the single player content sure isn't picking up the slack. Evil Dead, though, is more fun than having a chainsaw for an arm, delivering a pleasant bloody surprise at each turn. Shall we say it together? Groovy.
Look, there's no way to sugarcoat it - Snow Bros. wasn't worth bringing back. It's pretty much a D-grade arcade game with no interesting hook, and no amount of gussying it up can disguise that. The Monster Challenge mode sounds interesting, but it's DLC. All that was really needed was 'Arcade Archives: Snow Bros,' so that fans could get what they want at a decent price, the game was preserved on a modern console, and we could all just move on with our lives. It's gonna be a snow from us.
Blast Brigade is a difficult game to review. It's a lot of fun and we enjoyed our 20 or so hours with it, mopping up secrets and collectables. We can't recommend it enough if you've still got a hankering for Metroidvanias, but those exhausted with the formula aren't going to find any major deviations here. Perhaps we would feel differently had the game come out a couple of years ago, but now? Blast Brigade is still a terrific Metroidvania, and one of the best we've played outside of the very tippy-top tier (Symphony of the Night, et al). Get it straight away if you even slightly think you will enjoy it, because you almost certainly will. It has the same affection packed into it as the likes of Kaze and the Wild Masks, a real love letter to Metroidvanias. Truly exceptional it isn't, but Blast Brigade remains a great time if you're not suffering from genre fatigue.
Unfortunately, Nobody Saves the World is around 15 hours in length, stretching its gameplay tightly over its duration to the eventual distortion of both. Is it a bad game? God, no. Most titles don't even have two hours of worthwhile stuff to do. This is an original idea attached to traditional adventuring fun with all the customisation that comes along with its genre here given a renewed focus. We only wish its dungeons were as well-crafted as its skill trees and visuals, but while there's not enough meat on the bone, what's here is still pretty delicious while it lasts.
This will probably be held up as anti-intellectual in some way, or part of the crowd who scream every time they see a "walking simulator" (a grossly reductive label), but really, this just isn't good art. Of course that's subjective and sure, maybe you'll be profoundly moved in a way that we didn't experience, but we'd wager it's unlikely. It's a game that seems to coast along and then just... fizzle out with no major revelation or real hook. What's a generous word for that? Meditative. It's meditative. Really meditative. Sort of like... sleeping
The central loop of battling, chatting and levelling up is as compelling as you could ever want it to be, with an interesting story told well and a meaty 20 hours or so of no-frills tactics. Dark Deity lacks the romance options of Fire Emblem, as well as the first-party flair you expect from a Nintendo title, but the latter is hardly surprising and would be an unreasonable standard to hold almost any indie game to. Dark Deity delivers a convincing and essentially satisfying facsimile of GBA Fire Emblem, but perhaps fails to stand on its own two feet. Then again, we're not sure that was ever really the point.
Imp Of The Sun stands alongside the likes of Smelter, MindSeize and Cobra Kai as a flawed game that nonetheless has an enormous amount to offer and is likely to be criminally ignored. If you're after something off the beaten track, we urge you to consider the sixes and sevens of this world and give them a chance. We don't think Imp Of The Sun will be anyone's favourite game, but we do think that anyone who picks it up will remember it later on and go "oh yeah, Imp Of The Sun. That was a good time!"
It's a tentative "yes", then, to this fascinating and flawed stealth game with an impressive sense of place; some will bounce off it harder than our Switch bounced off the wall when we got caught by yet another guard, but many will find it atmospheric, challenging and compelling. Definitely worth your attention, even if it's just to find out you don't like it.
Dawn of the Monsters stumbles into some of the more common pitfalls of belt-scrolling fighters, but it has enough flair, polish and excitement to be a more than worthy offering, particularly played in couch co-op with a friend. We wish there were a few more playable creatures, but the ones on offer here are all very distinct and enormous fun to get to grips with. It's a richly rewarding game, with higher ranks unlocking new skins and upgrades from the in-game shop (don't worry, no microtransactions here) which offer an incentive to keep playing - though the real reason you'll stick with Dawn of the Monsters is that it is, quite simply, very good indeed. While it has a few problems, they're nothing that will stop you having a blast with this Brobdingnagian beat-'em-up.
Given the nature of live service titles it's possible that Babylon's Fall could see a phoenix-style resurrection with some rebalancing, but somehow, we doubt it. Hopefully this absolute misfire doesn't signal a profound change in direction for Platinum Games; this title had a troubled conception and it shows, but rather than iterate on things, we'd rather see a return to single player dominance. There's just nothing about Babylon's Fall that warrants going back to the drawing board. Except for that fantastic boss battle in which you race the Batmobile against those jorts-clad pink elephants. Oh wait, that was just a dream we had when the game put us to sleep.
Despite its shortcomings as an entry point for new players, there's a lot packed into The Witch Queen worth appreciating – we haven't even mentioned the new Glaive weapon type that combines melee with long-range attacks, the hugely enjoyable new Lost Sectors, or the overhaul to the Void subclass, bringing it more in line with Beyond Light's Stasis. This pushes the number of viable types to "two", which isn't great, but Arc and Solar should be getting a similar upgrade in the (hopefully) near future. Seasonal content will continue to deliver story as 2022 wears on, but obviously the quality of it cannot be judged yet – the expansion isn't even complete at the time of typing, what with the new Raid yet to drop. Still, this is Destiny 2 at its very best and a pleasingly vital expansion to what remains a superb game.
While certainly an accomplished piece of storytelling, Martha Is Dead's gameplay is such blatant artifice that it does the narrative a disservice to partake in it. That sounds extremely damning, but there's a lot here to like: the languid pace and detailed nature of the photography sequences are a standout, the graphics are often impressive, and the sheer bloody chutzpah of the whole thing is appealing in a grand guignol sort of way. The game can be shocking in what it shows you, but it doesn't feel exploitative. Horror should be horrific, and Martha Is Dead is certainly that. Unfortunately, perhaps not always in the way it was intended to be.
Once again, Kingdom Hearts 3 + Re:Mind on Switch is impossible to recommend without caveats as long as Cloud gaming relies on an erratic, unreliable provision of service. When it does work, it's a joy; every bit as good as any given title in the series, a dream to explore and thrilling in its spectacle. But then it falters, the input lag kicks in, and the illusion is taken away in a matter of moments. Buy this game and you are effectively renting an imperfect version for the duration of the Cloud service's lifespan. Want to play Kingdom Hearts on handheld? Well, there's always the Steam Deck, we suppose.
Ultimately, there are a ton of potential issues you may or may not run into, and seemingly no real advantages to running Kingdom Hearts Integrum Masterpiece on Switch - unless you simply have no other choice but to play these games on this console. As a fan, and as a player who just wants a consistent gameplay experience, it's incredibly disappointing. If you can buy this package for another system we'd earnestly implore you to do so - it may not be handheld, but at least it would be yours to keep and it would run reliably and consistently. As it stands, Kingdom Hearts on Nintendo Switch is defined by compromise.
What we have here remains a fine collection of games and an interesting demonstration of the first decade of the Kingdom Hearts series. If you have a reliable enough internet connection, this is almost as good a way to play Kingdom Hearts as any other. If you don't, absolutely leave it on the digital shelf. We'd like to score Kingdom Hearts 1.5 + 2.5 HD ReMix on the assumption that you can run it, but that's not necessarily an accurate representation of what many people's experience is going to be, and our experience - with robust and rapid internet - was patchy. If you have any other way at all of playing these games, we recommend you do so. Ultimately, this is a great package delivered in the worst possible way.
Grapple Dog isn't quite perfect. We feel that more could have been done with the grapple itself, as it's a little restrictive in its application. A less friendly, more freeform approach would interfere to an extent with the tight level design, but it would still be cool for speedrunners if the grapple really let them cut loose. That's pretty nitpicky, though, because developer Medallion does precisely what it sets out to do — deliver an unpretentious platformer that's a hell of a lot of fun to play.