While not exactly what fans of the franchise might want (more so after the outstanding remasters released in recent years), The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD serves its purpose: closing/starting the confusing time loop for the current generation. Hardcore fans and collectors will definitely find their money’s worth in this title, and new players can be rest assured how it will bring them a decent amount of entertainment as they wait for the next inevitable remaster or remake… or Breath of the Wild 2.
Quake Remastered is a fantastic release. While rumours for a remaster have swirled around for years, a remaster that is both as simple and as nuanced as Quake Remastered defies all expectations. It may look rather bland in a world where Fortnite seems average and Skyrim sees its eightieth release, but it truly does have a hell of a lot to offer. Pun most definitely intended. In short: the game is exceptional.
It comes as a massive disappointment to call Aliens: Fireteam Elite a mess, but that is exactly what it is. Take some solace in knowing many of the issues displayed in the game can easily be patched out; but gamers should never bank on that happening when purchasing a title. The game has a few things going for it (namely the franchise), but the sheer amount of unfortunate design decisions, whether out of budgetary constraints or release schedule, overshadows even those. With great sadness, Aliens: Fireteam Elite does nothing more for the Aliens franchise than Aliens: Colonial Marines before it… and that is a crying shame.
Gamers who are not fans of simulation games will most likely grow bored of a title like this in a few hours. However, RiMS Racing is not meant for the ‘casual’ crowd. For a start, the game has nowhere near the number of bikes on offer as more mainstream titles (think Forza) and requires far more patience and nuance to earn enjoyment when compared to many competing simulation games. Despite these trade-offs, RiMS Racing fits right in with the best available simulation racers on the market. Career mode is packed to the brim with features, while in-depth tutorials and training sessions exist to help bring newer or inexperienced players into the fold. The key feature of the game is its unapologetic focus on singular parts and how they are installed on the bikes. It is a crazy, truly wonderful and utter satisfying inclusion for the most hardcore of simulation enthusiasts. While the game may not have all the polish in the world, it sets a crazy new precedent for racing simulators; thus raising the bar in many more ways than even RaceWard set out to do – an exceptional feat for the studio’s first outing.
It is extremely challenging to think of a reason why anyone would want to buy and play the game if it is already available on other, more accessible platforms, for free. Furthermore, Afterpulse is an anomaly of a title that feels like it has no place on Nintendo Switch due to how the experience seems to be the same – or inferior in some cases – across the other respective platforms. It is clear fundamental changes needed to be made for it to work on anything other than mobile. Auto-aim, for instance, is so heavy-handed that no skill is ever required to win a match; while guns can be levelled up and more powerful equipment be made available at the swipe of a credit card. Players who do want a decent first-person experience are much better off looking at something like Call of Duty Mobile or just trying this one out on iOS or Android. The game is not bad, but it leaves a heck of a lot to be desired on a console platform like the Nintendo Switch.
Sniper Ghost Warriors Contracts 2 does not break any new ground, and it most definitely is not trying to do so either. However, it fills the role of a tried-and-tested sequel perfectly with no real setbacks – save for wonky artificial intelligence. Where it does go above and beyond, is in the way the game looks and feels. Production quality has been turned up a notch on pretty much all fronts. While the game does not feature a grandiose narrative, its lack of complexity lends itself to a simple and effective stealth shooter made for the masses. Simply put, the game is good. It might not win any awards and it may be subject to its own set of controversies, but it is enjoyable. At the end of the day that is all that counts.
Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: The Official Video Game is, in all honesty, quite fun. While there are a few depressing omissions, the disciplines featured are all fun and easy to play and enjoy. The game leaves enough space for more to be added in the future, while having just enough variation in gameplay to keep the included sports from feeling too similar. The stylised approach to the games aesthetic is quirky and fun, and it removes the pressure photorealistic designs often put on sports titles. The way it mimics the real-life Olympics, complete with roster and schedule, is a nice touch that will incentivise players to return to see if they can be the best in the world, while the solo modes ensure players have something to do while they wait. The game is by no means sophisticated and nuanced, and it is as far removed from a simulation title as the astronaut outfit you can wear while doing a Hammer Throw; but it is quite a bit of fun. The sheer accessibility in the title is a breath of fresh air among the dozens of sports games trying to simulate every facet of their focused disciplines; making the game a good experience for even the most inexperienced of players.
For what it is worth, Ghostrunner will give any cyberpunk fan a decent experience. The marketing materials surrounding the title make it clear how this is a game for players who prefer focused action. Specifically in terms of gameplay requiring fast reflexes and quick thinking. While it mostly promises on that front, it is a shame how the Nintendo Switch port fails the title from a technical perspective; resulting in more frustration than enjoyment due to visuals taking favour over the need for precision controls. Overall, it is a game with a lot of potential, but it falls short on Nintendo’s portable platform and instead delivers a decidedly disappointing experience.
Famicon Detective Club is a bundle package going the extra mile to satisfy long term fans whilst introducing newer gamers to the franchise. Although visual novels generally age well, this new port of both The Missing Heir and The Girl Who Stands Behind wonderfully maintain the original feel of the games with some great new changes to make them future proof. They both feature truly spectacular narration as their stories unfold, and continue to keep things fresh with new themes interspersed at regular intervals. Both games look stunning as well, with superb visuals. Overall, this duology is perfect for lovers of visual novels who enjoy whodunnits with a side of horror and mystery added for good measure.
NieR Replicant Ver 1.22474487139… is an incredible Role-playing game that transports new fans of the franchise back to its humble beginnings, while offering veteran fans an alternative new look. Its reliance on artificially bloating difficulty by just adding more enemies is a bit annoying, and there are certain areas where the newly added breadth and scale do not translate all too well from the original. However, its unique combat and stunning visuals offering a bleak look into what the future may hold, are truly phenomenal. The game is arguably not for everyone either, given how it does break some classic J-RPG rules. With that said, it does carve a path for itself through conventional gameplay in ways that will hook anyone willing to embrace its unique presentation and gameplay.