Streets of Rage 4 is an incredible game. Where I am now, compared to where I was when I played the series originally, is very different. However, this will easily become another nostalgic memory in years to come from playing with my wife, alone, and with a very good friend who lives just too far away for my liking. I think you’ll most likely already guessed my rating for this title –
I ended up liking Emma more than I expected. Once I overcame some initial challenges I began to appreciate its design and message. With no difficulty option in the main story it’s hard to recommend this to everyone. This game does require some pretty precise platforming and attention which may frustrate some. But if you can get through it the message at the heart of this game is quite sweet.
StarCrossed is a fun colorful little arcade game. There’s something quite different here if you like the quick pick up and play arcade style game. It’s a little rough round the edges with awful voice acting and short story mode. Its biggest strength is in co-op but I had plenty of fun alone as well, trying to rack up the occasional high score in arcade mode. The developers have done a great job releasing a product on a small budget. My hope for them is this game leads to many more unique gameplay designs in the future. Good job.
Lonely Mountain: Downhill is a lovely little ride that reminds you of the beauty of the great outdoors, something that’s needed so much right now. The game does a good job of appealing to the casual and challenge-hungry gamer. While it would have been nice to have more challenge options or alternative ways to unlock things. I really enjoyed picking up this game just to have a casual ride down a mountain. It took me to a happy place, and I hope if you decide to pick it up it will do the same for you too.
Concept Destruction is a crash and fun title at a nice price to boot. It’s a decent little coffee game which you’re able to share with a friend. With some extra tweaking of the controls and gameplay I could see this game easily competing with some of the big guns like Rocket League. Maybe that will come later. For now I had a lot of fun smashing cars into each other. Let the cardboard fly I say.
I was pleasantly surprised by Neversong. It’s another Kickstarter success story where the developer has made full use of their abilities and talent to create a wonderfully creepy but memorable adventure. The music, the graphics, the gameplay its all just so well polished despite the adventure being short. The game is due to release on Nintendo Switch in the future (as well as other consoles). This adventure moved me and did horror in just the right way. But don’t don’t let that put you off. Neversong is a game not to be missed.
Cannibal Cuisine has all the right ingredients to be a fun cooking game to play alone or with co-op buddies. But it just hasn’t come together well and feels more like a burned meal than something created with care and attention. Floaty controls, silly difficulty spikes, targets and utterly horrendous random elements in the game will make you want to close the kitchen and never return. It’s just not fun. With patching I think there is still hope for this game and it could still be something worth dipping into. Currently I suggest getting your co-op fix elsewhere.
Fly Punch Boom is an interesting game. At it’s core it feels like a fun anime inspired fighting game to play with a friend provided you can both get the mechanics down. I enjoyed the wackiness of the graphics and general design of the game. However, my reactions were just not quick enough for the AI so I ended up failing to get to grips with it despite my best efforts. Not a game for me but I can see this being a fun time for a niche audience.
Potata is not a long game. An experienced gamer will clock through this casual adventure in under four hours easily. But it’s a fun adventure and there are multiple endings to discover. However, the game felt over just a little too soon for me and it just sort of ends without any major event. While I enjoyed the ride I would not say no to more content like extra difficulty modes or more challenges. There are some alternative dialogue options to discover when you chat to characters but there’s not a lot of reason to revisit. An easy casual game to recommend for a Sunday afternoon session sitting in the garage with the door open and a cold drink (I don’t have a garden so this was my only option.) This is a lovely stress free game to enjoy on the TV or on the go. Good graphics, music and solid controls. It’s all very safe but just feels it could do with a bit more content.
Ailment is OK in all departments. It’s a shame the game wasn’t given more attention in bringing it over to Switch by adding a different control scheme and more content. For the price it’s asking for I’d say wait for sale if you fancy a simple brainless space zombie shooty bang bang to enjoy after work with a cup of coffee. Otherwise I think your good to let this one drift into space.
Discmaster is OK. But there is just not enough content here to justify the price tag. It’s a fun enough game to play through. Who would have thought you could make the game of noughts and crosses more interesting? Maybe worth a try on sale. But sometimes it’s perfectly OK to put the Switch down and grab a random scrap of paper and play best-of-10 or more games of noughts and crosses with some random person at the bus stop. It’s cheaper and might make for a fun story, and you could save that bit of paper in your journal as a nice memento.
I found Push the Box quite hard to review. On one hand this game is very simple doesn’t do anything to make it particularly stand out from the crowd for a rather high price. On the other hand games like this are important. There is an audience for puzzle games like this. On doing some research I came across a young child showing off how proud he was for solving puzzles in a similar looking game to this. This lead me to think this game probably will make some people very happy. But it’s hard to ignore that there are lots of games like this for free on IOS as well. If you need that puzzle fix this is maybe worth getting on sale. Otherwise you might as well ‘Push.’ Just remember not to pull.
Castle Pals is a cheap cheerful little coffee game. It doesn’t reinvent the challenging platform formula. But it has a nice little heart. For some reason, playing this game put a bit of a smile on my face; I think it was just because of how happy the characters looked. Or maybe it gave me that childhood nostalgia of when I had a cool red hat. I may not have found an adventure like this when I was younger, but I certainly enjoyed Kylee and Owen’s trip into a weird castle.
Like in many roguelike games, the main story is not long but will take multiple attempts to see through to the end. There’s plenty to unlock with the D-tokens, and with all the characters and weapons to choose from, there are many reasons to play over and over again. It’s fun to experiment with all the different characters once unlocked, who all have their own stats and perks. This game features couch co-op too, which is just brilliant. In the main town, you simply go up to the 2P sign and your friend can jump in for some good co-op fun. This is an easy game to pick up and play alone or with a friend. While it has its flaws, I absolutely loved playing through Demon’s Tier. The visuals and music don’t always match, but the gameplay here is really solid. The fact that I kept replaying it over and over without putting it down is proof enough that this didn’t dramatically affect my enjoyment. While this could be the end of a trilogy, I would not say no to seeing what the developer has in store next.
The game takes around 30 hours to finish but there are plenty of side quests and collectibles to find which will add to an already packed adventure. This really is a game you can sink your teeth into and get lost in for hours at a time. Like a really really long satisfying picture book. Bug Fables is a wonderful bug riddled adventure. In a good way not the gaming way. Charming characters with fun witty dialogue. It’s adventure that feels suitable for the entire family. The only trouble is, since it is single player, you may need to fight over who gets to play. Good thing the game provides additional files. While I struggled with pressing the right button many times I was constantly smiling while playing this game. A wonderful piece of gaming more people should discover for themselves. Don’t let it buzz you by.
The main story will keep you busy for around 4 hours. The first time through, it may be shorter if you’re well-versed in this type of game. The story certainly left me wanting more as I enjoyed it so much. Absolutely short, but I can see myself replaying it again. The game does offer an Endless Mode, as well as additional challenges to complete which I was very keen to dig into. Spacejacked accomplished the impossible. It convinced an oldish dude that you can mix in some tower defense gameplay and it can still be a ton of fun. If you’re looking for a nice coffee game, something you can enjoy in handheld mode with a nice warm drink, you can’t go wrong with Spacejacked. It’s funny, enjoyable, and full of little surprises. The game’s main crime, though, was that its enjoyable story was over far too soon!
Project Warlock is an old but refreshing old-school FPS game that feels right at home on the Switch. If you’re not a fan of this genre, then this game is unlikely to change your mind. But fun gameplay with a welcome progression system make this an FPS not to be missed by fans of old-school shooters. The references to the past are great, but Project Warlock stands alone as its own game too. It’s a great little game to enjoy in handheld mode or blown up on the TV. Nostalgia guaranteed in all the right ways.
Ultracore feels like a Mega Drive rom just released onto Switch. To some this will be fine. Its a complete Mega Drive game that never got it’s time in the spotlight back in the day. Besides adjusted controls and soundtrack the game offers no quality of life improvements. No options to adjust the graphics, no save states, no gameplay modifiers. Whilst it’s absolutely nice to play it on Switch, this game package is really stuck in the past. Whilst I have my grievances I’m a retro guy and as an old Mega Drive game I did like this title. It’s just a shame more attention wasn’t given to this port. Retro lovers should absolutely look into adding this to their library, but I don’t think there is enough here to convince newcomers. For me, this took me back to the nineties playing my Mega Drive instead of the Switch. Nostalgic time travel at its best.
Urban Flow has 100 levels in the core campaign but there’s always the incentive to replay levels to gain the 3 star rating. Getting more stars rewards you by unlocking a variety of things like new cars and buildings. As well as this, there are additional modes like endless mode to keep you busy even longer. This game is easy to dip in and out of even if you just need a really quick gaming fix. Who would have thought a game about controlling traffic lights could be so much fun. Well, Urban Flow proves simple ideas can still make incredibly good games. A good time alone but this game really came alive when I played with my wife and will now hold a special place in gaming memories for the two of us. I really enjoyed playing this one, as James mentions the music was great and it was easy to get to grips with. It added in some extra twists to keep you on your toes and to keep the levels interesting without becoming tedious. It also got your brain moving a lot more than you might think it would. I also would have loved it if you actually were the pigeons that got hold of the controller but then one can dream! Melissa
This bring us to both collections’ biggest issue. Darius as a series must be programmed with some kind of rare metal because they always seem to command a very high price for entry. I noted this back in the day when I reviewed Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours for the Vita. This issue will be the main reason people will avoid a purchase, especially with current circumstances in the world. The other notable issue is that these collections are not complete collections of the Darius series. This is nothing new with retro collections in general, but the oddest omission is that of the first Darius game on the Console Collection. The reason it’s a bit fishy is that this game was released on the Mega Drive Mini which was also developed by M2 and yet is strangely missing from this collection. There are also a variety of other titles and ports missing that enthusiasts of the series may be disappointed not to have. Both the Arcade Collection and Console Collection are brilliant. M2 has once again outdone themselves and proved they’re the best at retro gaming on modern systems. It’s a shame the price is so darn high though, especially since I really couldn’t see owning only one of these collections. If you do take the plunge you have a brilliant collection of one of the best schmup series from ye old days.