If you're a fan of belt-scrolling fighters then Vendetta is a must-buy, pure and simple. While its arcade origins do mean it's slightly unbalanced in terms of fairness, it has enough charm, gameplay and multiplayer appeal to be well worth a look, even decades after its initial release.
Ultimately, R-Type Final 2 is exactly what you’d expect a sequel to R-Type Final to be like. It certainly doesn’t attempt to reinvent the wheel, and some may be a little underwhelmed by the fact that it lacks any massive gameplay changes from previous instalments in the franchise. Still, that’s rather missing the point; games like this aren’t as common as they once were and getting a shmup of such quality in 2021 is truly something to celebrate.
Vigil: The Longest Night isn't the toughest Metroidvania you'll encounter on Switch – nor does it possess the most interesting plot – but it has plenty of secrets to uncover even after you've finished it; it's just a shame that Switch owners have to endure a host of technical problems, such as long load times and an inconsistent frame rate. These unfortunate issues aren't enough to totally sink the game, however; if you're in the market for more Metroidvania goodness and you like your games dark, grimy and gothic, then it's certainly worth a look.
We can't deliver our final verdict on Mario Kart Live until we've fully explored its multiplayer potential with a second RC car, but what we can say at this stage is that this is a startlingly authentic "mixed reality" recreation of Nintendo's most popular racing series which encourages you to be inventive with your course designs and does an excellent job of combining your real world surroundings with the fantasy environments of the Mushroom Kingdom. The tech side of things is undeniably impressive and it's impossible to not raise a smile the first time you play; the question is how long that magic will last, especially if your home limits your track designs and you've only got the budget to cover the cost of a single car.
Missile Dancer certainly isn't the most complex shmup we've ever seen, nor is it the most attractive, but it absolutely nails that core gameplay loop which makes the best examples of the genre so compelling and is a must-have for anyone who considers themselves to be a fan of this type of game.
The often frustrating controls and totally random gameplay elements do tarnish the experience somewhat, but we still had a whale of a time playing Behold The Kickmen. The cutting humour goes a long way to making it an enjoyable romp, and the story mode holds your interest via its funny narrative and the attraction of ploughing cash into improving your team. While it's never going to challenge legitimate soccer simulations on the market, we're glad it exists; as much as we love the sport, it does take itself far too seriously.
The obvious question when reviewing The TakeOver is how it compares to Streets of Rage 4, and we're pleased to report that it's just as worthy of your time as money, even if it lacks online play and some of the extra polish that DotEmu, Lizardcube and Guard Crush Games' title possesses. Some players will no doubt take issue with the CG-style sprites, but every other aspect of this package feels spot-on and we especially appreciate the two bonus stages, which feel like love letters to other Sega classics. The TakeOver offers an engaging and addictive alternative to Streets of Rage 4, and any self-respecting fan of the side-scrolling fighting genre shouldn't hesitate to pick up both.