As the conclusion to the modern take on the Blaster Master saga, Blaster Master Zero 3 hits all the notes it needs to deliver a high octane and satisfying retro platforming experience. The dark world mechanic adds a nice extra layer to the overall design, while the familiar aspects of gameplay are as polished as they've ever been. Inti Creates certainly could've stopped with the original Blaster Master Zero and that would've been enough, but what it's delivered here with its third take on the franchise is nothing short of excellent. Whenever you next get a chance, be sure to add this one to your library, although we'd say so with the caveat that you should first play the preceding two entries. Really, these games are just that good.
Cris Tales offers up a satisfying take on classic JRPG tropes while sprinkling in some interesting new gameplay ideas and an incredible art style. Though some aspects of combat can be frustrating and the pacing can occasionally feel like it's wasting your time, we'd still give this one a recommendation to anyone looking for a cool new RPG for their Switch. Cris Tales does just enough to stick out from the pack and assert itself as a title worth adding to your library; JRPG aficionados should definitely give this one a shot.
Ys IX: Monstrum Nox isn't a massive step up over its tropical predecessor, but it hits all the right beats it needs to make for an addictive and engaging action-RPG. Fast-paced combat, a memorable setting, and a surprisingly content-rich open world make for an experience that action-RPG fans won't want to miss out on. Were it not for the performance issues, we might even be inclined to say this is the best example of the genre on the Switch yet. Given those problems, however, a totally unreserved recommendation of Ys IX: Monstrum Nox on Switch is tough to make. Performance is reported to be a little bit better on PS4 and PS5, so if you have access to one of those consoles, we'd recommend getting it there. Otherwise, you're still in for a good time on Switch - just brace yourself for those frame drops.
If you weren't allured by the distinctive style and crazy in-depth gameplay of previous entries in the franchise, Disgaea 6: Defiance of Destiny certainly isn't the game to change your mind. Like its predecessors, Disgaea 6 is still a goofy and staggeringly intricate SRPG that will take hundreds of hours to see through to completion. However, this is easily the most streamlined and enjoyable entry in the series yet, as the developers have doubled down on everything that makes these games great and made some improvements, too. It can be intimidating to get into as a newcomer, and the performance is frequently disappointing, but we would still absolutely recommend that you add Disgaea 6 to your library.
It's easy to see why this was such a polarizing title upon release. There's a lot to love here, but Legend of Mana can be tiring in how much it likes to play 'hard to get'. All the ingredients and individual pieces of a strong, impressively innovative RPG are present, but it feels like the developers simply tossed all these ideas in a bag and shook it vigorously, rather than taking the time to lay out all those ideas in a coherent and curated fashion. We'd give this one a recommendation, but only to fans of the genre, specifically those who prefer more experimental titles. If that doesn't describe you, there's still a good chance you'll find something to like about Legend of Mana, but just be aware it may be more of a mixed bag.
World's End Club has some good ideas and a lot of heart, but it ultimately doesn't come together as anything particularly notable. Though World's End Club looks and sounds great, the monotonous platforming sections and hit-and-miss storytelling really drag the overall experience down. We'd give this game a light recommendation to fans of visual novels, but otherwise you're better served playing the various better visual novels and puzzle platformers already on Switch. This is the very definition of 'okay'.
Pathway is a competent game. Just competent. Definitely not great, maybe not even good, but certainly competent. It's blend of randomized storytelling and XCOM-style combat is well done, but it doesn't prove to remain consistently entertaining in the long run. Those of you who are absolutely starved for this kind of game may want to cautiously investigate. Otherwise, just pick up the XCOM 2 Collection or Mario + Rabbids for a much more enjoyable take on the genre.
Shin Megami Tensei III HD Remaster is indisputably the best way to play this RPG classic, but it's also rather clear that this nearly two-decade-old game is showing its age. An interesting story, enjoyable combat system, and engaging demon recruitment and fusion mechanics make Shin Megami Tensei III well worth your time, but the dated visuals, poor quality music, and occasionally unforgiving mechanics are hold it back from being excellent. We'd give this a recommendation to both longtime fans and newcomers, but with the caveat that you might want to wait for a sale before snapping this up.
Though its gameplay can be entertaining enough in short bursts and its art looks nice, SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off proves to be a disappointing take on the beloved IP. Shallow gameplay, performance issues, and weird controls make for an experience that's simply 'ok' at best. Considering that you can also access a version of this game on your phone for free, we can't fully recommend that you spring for this one. There are much worse things you could buy off the eShop, but SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off simply doesn't offer enough value for its asking price.
Shantae is a product of its time, which can be both a good and a bad thing. On one hand, this old Game Boy Color game displays an ambition and quality that outpaced many other games of its time and it easily stands as one of the best releases for that retro platform. On the other hand, it is still a game from 2002, and showcases many of the game design shortcomings one would expect from that time. It's not a bad game by any means, then, but this is easily a game that we can only really recommend to longtime fans who are curious where Shantae got her start. If you don't fall into that camp, we'd recommend you pick up one of the later releases and maybe come back to this one later on.