Liberated feels incomplete. The writing is poor and never really explores the characters. It never tells you much about them or allows you to get invested. Its a go, go, go game. Not necessarily a bad thing, but we’ve seen examples of this done and still maintaining a good story. Even with nonsensical dialogue, fun gameplay can save it. Unfortunately, neither are here.
Deiland is a mobile remake with all the potential to flourish. Regrettably, it struggles to find its footing on consoles, retaining the quirks from being on the phone. The characters are largely robotic and bland, following stereotypes with no attempt to innovate. The game plays it safe but does so in exchange for substance. Still, I must commend Arco because I quite liked his character. His child innocence was evident and his speech patterns were distinct to his age. Chibig clearly has very talented developers on the team. The writers know how to create lore and build curiosity amongst gamers. There’s charm hidden beneath all the RNG but it’s also overshadowed. This game won’t fill any void a fan might have for the slice-of-life genre. Like I mentioned, I do believe the streamlined mechanics make it an ideal introduction to newcomers
Fallen Legion Revenants feels like a game that actively fights itself. There’s a lot of potential here but it’s squandered by superficial ideas. Prolonging the combat with damage sponge bosses is a cheap way of doing it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind when this is the case. It’s the tedium of the system as a whole that has me scratching my head. Sadly, none of the potential this franchise has was realized with this entry.
I love beat’em ups and had an absolute blast with several others. My main reason for not being swept away by Double Dragon Neon is it lacked the same charm. The vibrancy was not there and neither was the personality. For these reasons and more, I can’t say anything else but this isn't recommended.
As is, there’s a good time to be had with Shiren the Wanderer. I enjoyed it for what it is, but I feel the cons here are too strong. If I weren’t reviewing this, I’d have jumped out after my second lock-up. At the same time, I think if the A.I. was fixed and clearer instructions are given in regards to the secret pots, this could be a recommendation.
One Step from Eden is for those seeking a challenge. It’s for those with quick reflexes, and can think on-the-spot. Every enemy can move quickly. However, in those rare times I’d hit a hot streak, I was doing really well. I think that by lowering cool down rates, it would be immensely helpful. I don’t play games to be frustrated. I want to have fun. This was usually not fun. It’s not all doom and gloom though. The abilities and animations are all well done, but the particle effects do cause a brief freeze. It was never an interruption, just an annoyance. Unfortunately, it’s the over ambitious vision that bogs down the game. Too many abilities, unavoidable attacks that inflict massive damage, and healing is pointless. Enemies eat through it like that, despite there being several opportunities for it. Balance is One Step from Eden’s other weakness. With all this said, I do still think the specific target audience will adore this. They’ll eat this up.
Aluna: Sentinel of the Shards retains that addictive loop of loot but falters in performance. It’s clear that the game wasn’t properly optimized, at least for the Switch, leading to stutters, crashes, and graphical disappearing acts. The fidelity itself isn’t bad with a clay-like aesthetic and the focus on Inca Mythology felt fresh and was welcomed. While it could have benefited from livelier characters, the narrative sufficed and provided something to chew on as I played. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that gameplay is king here and the experience is worth having, albeit at a discounted price. Its current state doesn’t render it unplayable, but having to sit through crashes shouldn’t happen in a game that never tests the console.
I recommend Prinny 1 & 2 Exploded & Reloaded for those that love the niche. For those looking for that tooth and nail gameplay. However, the needless frustration induced by the awful level design in the 2nd makes this unattractive for the casual player. To play this for a long stretch will take any semblance of fun out of the experience. You’ll then take a break and may never even return. For these reasons, I say to wait for a sale.
Windbound is a beautiful game. I do feel that the vibrancy of the islands had to be toned down for Switch. Lush plant life had to be limited, making the terrain feel a bit barren. Food will degrade and there is a weapon durability system. The game wants you to utilize the crafting. As already mentioned, I enjoyed the game. More so when I switched over to the “Story” mode. I can’t, however, recommend this game at full price. The glitches make it feel a bit unpolished. The lifeless world is not great. There’s potential, but it hasn’t been realized fully.
Dead or School is a fun romp for those seeking tight game play. However, don’t expect to be immersed. It’s marred by horrible localization, preventing any investment. The mystery that appears is decent though. Worth keeping in mind that Dead or School will start slow. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do enough for me to comfortably recommend purchasing it at full price
There’s some fun to be had with Morbid: The Seven Acolytes. The fact I was able to replay it immediately is a testament to how good. The controls are snappy and responsive. The music paired with the sounds of weather helps bring the world to life. I loved the pixelated look and I felt the level of detail they were able to pull off is spectacular. A lot of work went into this, but I do wish they innovated more.
Onee Chanbara Origin is an addictive, arcade hack and slash. It’s about accumulating high scores and executing the best combos. Unfortunately, the music just doesn’t work well. Instead of adrenaline-pumping metal, it’s techno. Not the good kind either. For those worried about the challenge, there are difficulty modes to choose from. I had a lot of fun with Onee Chanbara Origin despite the flaws. I wouldn’t say it’s worth the full price. I also wouldn’t recommend the DLC. I think it should have been part of the package from the start. Keeping those caveats in mind, I do think that it deserves my recommendation.
Monster Prom XXL is a delight to experience. The artwork is beautiful, despite some shortcuts taken. What absolutely ended up flooring me though was the writing. Simply hilarious. The music is great, and sort of reminded me of a Beach Boys song. It feels like it was intended to be enjoyed in small bursts, making it ideal on the Nintendo Switch.
I found CrossCode to be enjoyable. Despite my depth issues, they’re minuscule in comparison to the good. While the game is grind-heavy to obtain items needed to trade, it’s all mindless and the perfect activity to do while you’re listening to a Podcast. Though, I will say the music in-game are great listens. The map is interconnected and will encourage you to explore. Do so to find ways to climb cliffs and to find secrets. I was enamored with learning the lore and Radical Fish Games did a fantastic job of immersing me. They hit it out of the park with the online game feel. Perfectly emulated. The gorgeous pixel art and combat is a love letter to the SNES era. The influence of Secret of Mana is too obvious. I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the homage after defeating a boss. The sound effect and explosion. The writing is charming and the amount of effort put into this should be acknowledged. While the Nintendo Switch version had issues at launch, those have been largely fixed. What hasn’t been isn’t enough to be a dealbreaker.
Paradise Killer can stand among the greatest narratives without crumbling. The story had so many twists and turns. Even the sub-plots interweaved effortlessly and blended with the overarching take. For me, the mark of great literature is one that can keep me guessing. I found that here. Each new piece of evidence provided a new possible suspect. However, it fails to translate that recipe for success to the map system. That plummets down a cliff in terms of usability. While I wish fast traveling wasn’t useless and the map system didn’t suck, I still recommend this game. There’s just a few things that hold it back.
Buried Stars is such a fantastic addition to the murder mystery genre. Said to be inspired by Danganronpa, it shows. While the story here is much more serious, I pushed me forward as it did. Despite the tedious nature of reading all keywords, I couldn’t quit.