Actraiser Renaissance was definitely a surprising announcement to behold. It really goes to show that if there is a dedicated team out there, any game could possibly be up for a remake or remaster. But was this remaster truly needed? I would say it has its place. Similarly to the original, this game won’t appeal to everyone. The side-scroller section gives just a taste of what you would look for, with forgettable levels and (mostly) easy boss battles. The town building portion drags on, and the sieges can sometimes drag that irritation out. After the third world, it can start to get a bit repetitive. Fight in a side-scroller level, inhabit your new land, guide the people, beat the boss of that area, rinse and repeat. It is a charming game in of itself. Of course, I can’t really speak for those who have played the original, whether they should pick this game up or not. For those with no experience in this game, however, I can say that it’s an interesting experience. The experiences with the action side-scrolling and town building may leave you wanting more. But both portions are done competently enough that you may find yourself passing a few hours by fulfilling missions and defending your towns from monsters.
Overall, Monster Crown has a good premise behind it. It has a solid base and if the developers decided to make another monster collector down the road, they have a good sense of what to include. The combat is fun and the breeding aspect can make it interesting to see what monsters you can end up creating, especially if you’re into min-maxing. In this aspect, I do believe that they have really touched on what made games like Pokemon popular: the excitement of catching them all and figuring out how to best build your team to be the strongest they can be. However, the bugs and some of the progression decisions made with Monster Crown make it a tedious experience at best and a downright frustrating one at worse. The storytelling leaves me feeling as though I was always missing some details. And the jumps in levels for boss monsters were frustrating to come across, perhaps more so because they could be cheesed by getting lucky with a pact. Overall, Monster Crown is an experience that may be better played on other systems that aren’t the Switch and for those who don’t mind the inconsistencies present.
Whilst precision platforming is not quite my thing, I can appreciate when a game excels at what it’s set out to accomplish. While some stages felt a bit too tight, I never felt as though a level was impossible to clear. And given the small size of stages and ease of resetting when things aren’t going quite right, A Night at the Races is a great game to pick up and play a few stages when you want to scratch that itch. The story elements are interesting to watch unfold. Although I wouldn’t say worth getting the game solely for those moments if the platforming isn’t your thing. Overall, A Night at the Races is a solid game to dig into, especially if you love a challenge.
The collection of mystery games available on the Switch is slowly rising as the years pass. It can be very hard to find a good mystery game. A good mystery needs to hook you in. Keeps you guessing while also encouraging you to press on, and satisfy you with its ending as everything is tied together. While there can still be a few lingering questions, the major ones had better be answered. And if you are going the route of incorporating gameplay, it needs to be interactive and engaging enough. With The First Cases, this is a mystery game done very well. The storytelling is tight, doesn’t overstay its welcome, and has a nice mix of twists while also keeping everything believable.
I really enjoyed Boyfriend Dungeon. It actually felt like one of the more satisfying dating sims that I’ve had the chance to play thus far on the Switch. I’ve enjoyed all of the characters in their own way. I liked how each relationship developed, for better or for worse. My only complaints would have to be related to the rogue-lite portion of the game. While competent in its own right, it does feel simplistic in its execution, paired with the fact that the game feels abrupt in its ending portion while you’re having fun. But it is a somewhat unfulfilling experience if you’re coming in because of the combat. Nonetheless, I would still recommend this game for those who are looking for another dating sim to add to their arsenal and don’t mind a more simplistic combat system. The game is pretty polished and I didn’t run into any issues with how the game ran. Even during combat with a room full of enemies on the screen. I am very curious about how this game will be supported and what content they decide to add to this game.
Overall, El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is an interesting experience. It’s understandable why this game is considered a cult classic, with the interesting battle system and beautiful designs surrounding the game. The one downside of this game is some aspects of the gameplay. It’s easy to fall into a loop of frustration due to missed jumps and the wrong placement of the camera. If all enemies decide to charge you at the same time, it’s very easy to end up dying before you truly realize it. I do think that this is a game that will appeal to a small niche of people. But with that though, I would say to at least give this game a chance and check out more information about it. Because if nothing else, it is a memorable experience.