Unfortunately, these issues make the product feel cheap, which does the quality of the actual fighting a tremendous disservice. Again, it’s the best Smash clone we’ve ever played – we just wish Nickelodeon had shown some confidence in it.
Still, it all looks gorgeous, moves smoothly, and sounds exuberant as ever. We'd say that for Monkey Ball fanatics this is a bit of a must, but then said fanatics are the ones who will notice the cracks more than anyone else. So we're not sure, ultimately, who this is for. Newcomers may find themselves wondering what all the fuss is about.
UnMetal is a tricky one, really. It doesn't play brilliantly and we didn't really find it funny at all, but it is consistently presenting new and entertaining ideas to complement the core simplistic stealth gameplay, with plentiful genre changes and a metric ton of references, callbacks and metahumour that will definitely appeal to plenty of people. We're old and jaded, though, and we've seen a lot of self-deprecating humour in video games - this stuff goes right back to the likes of the ZX Spectrum, for goodness' sake. Still, we recognise the very clear surplus of enjoyable content that's been crammed into UnMetal and its appeal should not be disregarded simply because we found it a little familiar. It never lets up with the gags, subversions and new sights to see all the way through its surprisingly robust length, and it doesn't forget to make the actual stealth enjoyable to boot. Definitely an impressive effort that assuredly deserves to find an audience.
Metallic Child delivers a compelling, dialogue-packed and seemingly fully-voiced quasi-roguelite anime adventure with quite some aplomb, and is certainly an impressive achievement from apparent solo dev Studio HG. The price is right and it's only some issues with repetitive gameplay that bring the title down a little. There's plenty to see and do and a meaty adventure to get stuck into, with "achievements" to unlock and permanent incremental upgrades to purchase with dropped currency as you smash your enemies to pieces. An impressive debut that's very clearly made by someone who understands how important feedback is to a game like this; it's a slick, exciting robot-smashing fest for your Switch.
Dodgeball Academia does admittedly come together in a rather compelling way, but we're critical of the independent elements that make up this package. You might find yourself caught up in the storyline, which could potentially make up for its other shortcomings, but we found it a little disposable. It's clear that love has been poured into this adventure and it's absolutely superb to look at and listen to - we just wish the central sport was a more enjoyable to play and the dialogue wasn't so interminable. You might dig this game more if you get hooked into the grind, so to speak - battles are over quickly and levelling up is always fun - but overall, if you're not willing to get by on sheer aesthetics, you might want to dodge this one.
Making The Doctor a background character was a stroke of genius in making the cast (and you, the player) seem vulnerable – much like “Blink”, there’s a real sense of atmosphere to this game. It’s so well done that it almost seems effortless, with only its short length and a few less organic moments of the introductions to new mechanics clashing with the necessity for the narrative to move forward. Overall, though, it’s easily, comfortably the best Doctor Who game we’ve ever played – yes, even better than Dalek Attack on the Amiga. So good, you won’t want to blink. But you should, or your eyes will crust over.
The 20 or so hours we spent completing Psychonauts 2 saw us indulging in plentiful side quests and content, simply to spend more and more time in a world we still don't feel entirely done with. There are very few games that offer an experience as good as this, with ingenious level design and heavier themes that never feel sludgy or, more importantly, preachy. Brilliant aesthetics go hand in hand with tremendous gameplay here and it's a genuine delight to say that it's all been worth the wait. It's so good, in fact, that we now want the original Psychonauts to be remade in this engine, with this fidelity, in order to finally do it justice. Psychonauts 2 is consistently creative, enormously fun to play, visually inventive and spectacular and spins a cracking yarn to boot.
Mayhem Brawler is way, way better than it has any right to be. It looks good, plays nicely and only really suffers by comparison to its bigger brothers such as Fight'N Rage and Double Dragon Neon. The animation is lacking compared to these titles, but it's still perfectly acceptable, and the slightly generic environments are too busy to really pay much attention to. With a world this interesting, we'd love to see another game take place in Mayhem Brawler's universe.
No More Heroes III has the faults of both its mainline predecessors – it's a little more tedious than No More Heroes 2, and a little less meaningful than No More Heroes. It makes up for this, however, by being another inarguably impressive, balls-to-the-wall carnage-fest, a blood-spattered love letter to excess, and a Suda51 fan's wet dream splashed across the Switch. The story it tells is cool. The game it plays is cool. Neither of these crucial aspects reach the heights of the series' Nintendo Wii origins, but nobody who truly gets No More Heroes could reasonably be disappointed with this third incarnation. The joke's beginning to wear thin, but it's all in the telling. And Suda51 can still spin a very fine yarn.