I really enjoyed AKIBA'S TRIP: Undead and Undressed which was released on Vita and PS4 before this. Sadly I cannot say the same for AKIBA'S TRIP: Hellbound & Debriefed, which despite being much "newer" is pretty much a bare-bones remaster of an older game that's aged like bread. While it's not the worst game to have Akiba in the title (see: Akiba's Beat), it's very hard to suggest anyone other than die-hard fans of the series even consider this one. It's dated and repetitive with a little bit of charm, but it's sadly outdone by the previous release. If you haven’t played that already, just go straight to it or watch the anime.
CAVE are likely the most well-known craft masters of the genre and for good reason. Mushihimesama is not only accessible for newcomers but challenging for pros. It’s addictive, it’s visually unique with its bug theme, and has all the nuance and quirk any good Shmup needs to succeed. I couldn’t say if this is THE game that would convert the non-believers but in terms of pure Shmup action, it still shines brightly. I’d say it is one of the strongest additions to the Nintendo Switch library.
I like Necromunda: Hired Gun but it is far from being anything other than distinctly average. It has a great Sci-Fi Fantasy atmosphere and some fantastic action within. Sadly it's marred with a lack of innovation, level design issues, glitches throughout, and inconsistent performance. It's worth a look at on sale, and if you enjoy Warhammer titles. Otherwise, there are better, less glitchy alternatives around.
Guilty Gear -Strive- is a fantastic anime fighting game with excellent presentation and some of the best online around. The story is gripping and I found myself approaching it more like an anime. It doesn’t feel like a tacked-on mode for a fighting game. That said, it’s not all positive. It feels like the complete package, but be it a change of the times or a need to push a Season Pass, it feels quite lacking compared to some of the previous games. It’s a shame. The core product is some of the most fun I’ve ever personally had with the series. That said, the amount of content, care, and the eclectic roster within the previous XRD games makes me favor them. For newcomers though there has never been a better title to get you acclimatized to the weird and wacky world of Sol Badguy and friends.
While Touhou Hyouibana ~ Antinomy of Common Flowers is a lot of fun, it does have a really short shelf life due to repetition creeping in. By the third or fourth story run, I felt like I’d already seen everything the game had to offer. With the focus on simple controls, matches tend to go the same way every time much like 3D Arena Brawlers, and this makes matches feel less free flow and more flow chart. The lack of an arcade tower also dampens the package as the story mode doesn’t allow you to choose individual characters and wants to focus on the narrative instead of the combat experience. Another aspect that makes the game feel cheap is the fact the developers never bothered to translate the special moves throughout the game. It’s the lack of little touches like that which put the game further down the genre list than it should be.
I enjoyed the tone of Vaporum Lockdown. The story was fantastic and it’s been a good while since I was this immersed into a dungeon crawler. I think the lack of replay value does somewhat hurt it a little and the presentation could stand to be improved a little bit but I wholeheartedly recommend Vaporum Lockdown to anyone remotely curious in a more narrative-focused dungeon crawler.
All in all 30XX is shaping up to be everything the original title was and more. While a little thin on content and glitch/bug heavy, this can be reasonably forgiven due to it being in Alpha state. I have no doubt that this title is going to great places and would suggest any Megaman or Roguelike fan take advantage of the Early Access program and get in early. Even though there isn't a whole lot here right now, it's constantly updating and is certainly my current MegAddiction.
All in all the NeoGeo Pocket Colour Selection Vol.1 is a fascinating, if not slightly unbalanced look into the history of SNK and its short-lived foray into handheld gaming. What is commendable is the dedication to getting fighting games working well on their handheld project, but also putting out stuff like Dark Arms which was quite unexpected for the market at that time. While this is a A+ emulation collection with some nice extras, filling it with 6 fighting games really puts this title into a niche. If you’re a fan of SNK/NeoGeo history and curious about the Pocket this is an easy purchase. On the other hand for people less versed or not interested in fighting games, it’s a rather pricey lesson in death by excess. It’s a quality product – just laser-pointed directly at a certain audience.