Ori and the Will of the Wisps improves upon the already great foundation set out by Ori and the Blind Forest. Its map is brimming with details and secrets to discover while new weapons and movement abilities create real depth to both combat and platforming. Ori's journey through Niwen is filled with emotional ups and downs that all feel earned and act as the perfect payoff for fans of the series. The injection of RPG elements like side quests and a hub area anchor you to this gorgeously realized world, and the fantastic conversion to Switch means that you won't be missing out on a thing. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is one of the best 2D platformers on Switch and a game that shouldn't be missed.
While it may not be the Need for Speed title that fans most wanted, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered does enough to satisfy series veterans. It works as a brilliant reminder that without the various gimmicks that the franchise has tacked on over the years, the simple premise of street racing and police chases is where the series shines best. A variety of cop and racer events, fun weapons, and the Autolog system set it apart from its NFS siblings, but on Nintendo Switch, the game doesn't go beyond being a more feature-complete and graphically improved version of the original. Newcomers may not find as much to be excited about in it when compared to more contemporary racing games, but for fans of the series, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered is a welcome return to form.
Doom Eternal is every bit the evolution of its predecessor that fans could have hoped for, and Panic Button has done one hell of a job porting it over to Nintendo Switch. Faster-paced combat challenges you to adapt your strategies, make meaningful decisions, and use everything in your arsenal to counter all manner of intelligent demons and their unique weaknesses. Well-designed levels break up the intense encounters with precise platforming, and at almost every corner there are rewarding upgrades and worthwhile secrets to uncover. While your enjoyment of the plot will depend on how you engage with it, and it isn't the most graphically impressive version of the game, Doom Eternal on Nintendo Switch is a worthy way to practice demon-slaying on the go.
New Pokémon Snap confidently demonstrates why the wait for a sequel was long past due. At every turn, it goes beyond the scope of the original game to provide an experience that's both nostalgic and refreshingly modern. On-rails photography journeys are enjoyable thanks to a plethora of secrets, fun items to use, and consistently interesting changes to each level. Modern quality-of-life features minimize any potential frustrations with not understanding how to best plan out your runs, while a slew of side quests, online functionality, and postgame bonuses add some meaningful replayability. Though it remains technically imperfect and may not justify its price tag for all players, it provides enough attention to detail to remind us of why we fell in love with Pokémon to begin with. New Pokémon Snap is a welcome return for the spin-off series and one that Pokémon fans shouldn't skip.
Sumire is a beautifully told and emotionally resonant story about a young girl struggling to find reasons to be hopeful. A well-paced narrative full of character-driven growth delves deep into themes such as loss and growth, while its watercolor art style and acoustic soundtrack paint a beautiful picture of rural Japanese scenery. A charming world and simple but fun puzzles add variety and are almost enough to forget about issues like frame rate dips. Ultimately, Sumire makes the most of its brief runtime, and it's a day trip I won't soon forget.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 is a loving recreation of the cult classic skateboarding games, while also being an impressive iteration on where the series could go next. On Nintendo Switch, Tony Hawk maintains its best features, including a fantastic variety of well-designed maps, cleverly modernized skating gameplay, endless customization, and a rocking soundtrack. Lower-resolution character models and a lower, albeit stable, frame rate are meager speed bumps on the road to experiencing one of the best remakes of recent times. Tony Hawk is emphatically back, and I hope it's not the last we see of this series anytime soon.
Road 96 is a road trip that doesn't feel as procedural as it makes itself out to be, which is a compliment to its unpredictability and strong writing. Player dialogue decisions and actions shape the outcome of the teenage protagonists attempting to flee to the border and the wonderful characters you'll meet along the way. Varied and fun scenarios keep the game feeling fresh and engaging from one scene to the next. However, on Nintendo Switch myriad technical problems hold the game back from reaching the full potential that its fantastic premise and characters create. It's a journey worth taking, but unless you're willing to put up with its shortcomings, it's one that I'd recommend you play elsewhere.