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.
Risk System is an impressive game where it counts, and that's in its taut, thoughtful and challenging gameplay. The polish of the design reminded us of the excellent run n'gun Bleed, with its focus on dodging and retaliating in linear stages, but of course here applied to the shmup genre. Other than higher ranks, there's not much to rush back to in Risk System's six short stages, but they're sufficiently difficult enough to last genre non-veterans a good while. Absolute pro shmuppers may find it a little too breezy, but players of any skill level will be able to appreciate the exceptionally solid game on offer here. We say that there's no risk of buyer's remorse with this one.
Samurai Warriors 5 takes the long-running franchise, gives it a wonderfully vibrant lick of paint, throws in some excellent new combat mechanics and fills its story mode with well-directed cutscenes, resulting in a slick and stylish addition to the series that's sure to please fans and newcomers alike. Yes, it makes a few fumbles here and there - we aren't fond of its grindy system of upgrading your Dojo and Blacksmith, it limits your character choices at times in the campaign and that stripped back roster is sure to irk some - but, overall, what's here is a fine addition to the Switch's line-up of Musou titles. This is a fast-paced, flashy hack and slash effort that looks and plays fantastically well and, most importantly, performs almost perfectly whilst doing so.
The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles is two brilliant games for the price of one, and it not only gives us more of what we love, but gives us something that is visually, narratively, and historically deeper than ever before. There's a bit of a learning curve that you'll have to get on top of to meet the game where it's at, but honestly, we couldn't have asked for a better version of the game we've been wanting for years.
NEO: The World Ends With You impresses in all the categories we were terrified it could fail in. The game boasts an energetic soundtrack that feeds off the energy of the original, a deep and rewarding combat system that makes a successful leap to 3D, an inspiring cast of characters that stand tall on their own, and importantly, a world that begs you to come back even after you've finished the 40+ hour campaign. After 13 long years, many fans lost hope we'd ever see a sequel to that first Reapers Game, but we're so pleased to see these talented developers never lost their calling.
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.
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.
Out of Line tries to straddle the line between being an emotional narrative-driven experience and a consistently engaging, challenging puzzle game; unfortunately, it struggles to accomplish either. Far from a bad game, we'd absolutely recommend Out of Line for the younger audience who may want to dip their feet into the puzzle platform genre, but for those seeking something a bit more taxing, then you might be better off looking elsewhere.
The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD introduces a raft of technical improvements and quality of life updates that reinvigorate and revitalise this ten-year-old game. With motion controls more precise than ever before, an alternate button control scheme that totally works, crisp HD graphics, smooth 60fps gameplay and a bothersome sidekick who's been streamlined into something altogether more useful, this really does feel like Skyward Sword as it was meant to experienced. Yes, the locking off of instant travel behind the official amiibo is a misstep, but beyond this one issue what's here is a sublime experience, a technical triumph and an absolute must-play for Switch owners and Zelda fans.