Nintendo Life's Reviews
GrimGrimoire OnceMore takes one of the most under-appreciated RTS games of its generation and fixes some of its biggest problems, making this a worthwhile game for both new fans and those who have played the original. While the repetitive maps mean that most levels feel too similar to each other, the story is fun and the visuals have had a solid upgrade for the Switch. There is just enough depth to the strategy to keep you guessing without overwhelming new players.
The Last Worker is an ambitious project and it sticks the landing when it comes to graphics, performance, and voice acting. However, its central box-shipping game is fiddly and the game's pacing doesn't let you get into the flow. Tricky sections requiring repeated checkpoint loads break the immersion and clash with the long, dawdling sections of exploring the Jüngle facility. It's likeable and well-packaged with plenty of character, but it doesn't always deliver.
With a slick aesthetic, some great synthwave tunes, and intense cybercycling through dilapidated space tubes, Gripper gets a lot right and we enjoyed those parts of it. We can forgive repetitive voice acting, but the other half of the game - the arena boss battles - is egregiously frustrating. The main gripping mechanic fails to work far too often with so much happening on screen, leading to a difficulty level that requires grudging patience rather than player skill. Thus, by the end of the game, our patience for this sci-fi mashup of genres had run out.
Saga of Sins' excellent stained-glass visuals are let down by a predictable plot and somewhat workaday gameplay. Hardcore action-platform fans will probably be disappointed, but it might serve as a gentle introduction for newcomers to the genre. There aren't any glaring faults or issues, but it's a shame that it doesn't do quite enough with its solid mind-jumping, demon-battling premise.
It may be over in the blink of an eye, but Kraino Origins proves itself to be a well-crafted and deeply enjoyable old-school action platformer while it lasts. If you’re looking for an affordable and brief entry in the genre, this is definitely one that we would recommend.
MLB The Show 23 is a better all-round package than last year's outing, thanks in large part to the new Storylines mode that adds a well-presented and educational history lesson for players to get involved in. In terms of this Switch port, presentation is perfectly acceptable, with the expected graphical downgrades made, but the frame rate can still be troublesome in places, making for play that feels sluggish in comparison to other platforms. This issue aside, though, this is a solid port that brings all the modes found in other versions of the game, making for a decent overall option for MLB fans.
Have a Nice Death may not reinvent the wheel for roguelites, but this is a high-quality new entry in the genre. The brutal difficulty, creative theming, and satisfying combat all combine to make this a memorable and worthwhile experience, even if we wish it had better performance. We'd recommend this to anyone looking for another extremely competent and humorous action roguelite to add to their collection, though with the caveat that you should only take the plunge into this underworld if you feel confident in the sharpness of your skills. There's a lot to love about Have a Nice Death, but as the name suggests, the bony hand of the reaper will be the only one holding yours.
With its encyclopaedia of over 125 fish, Dredge's bounty is a boundless as the sea, its action RPG upgrade compulsion loop as deep. That said, you get out what you put in – during the first couple of hours, anyway. Once you achieve the sweet spot of an upgraded boat, manageable difficulty and a story in full flow, it's magical. The excellent presentation of a terrifying ocean really hits home. The need to stretch the limits of safety to reach your next catch leads to edge-of-the-seat moments, while the slapping rain and eerie creaks of the sound design hardly help you to peace out. Interspersed with confidence-building angling in the sunshine and the fun of slotting oddly shaped creatures into your tight inventory, there's just enough encouragement to keep enjoying the horrors. A wonderful first effort from Black Salt, Dredge is absolutely the kind of game you mount over the mantelpiece rather than throw back into the water.
Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key ends Ryza's three-game run on a high note, serving up a heady mix of exploration, crafting and combat that benefits greatly from a narrative arc that's had time to develop and grow. The new key mechanics add more depth to combat, synthesis and exploration, the world is more seamless and diverse than ever before and the whole thing comes together to form a satisfying end for this hugely popular protagonist. We did have some issues with small text, no English dub and a little fussiness in how information is relayed, but overall this is Gust's finest adventure to date and a JRPG experience that long-term fans and newcomers alike will find plenty to delight in.
It feels like Blade Assault could be a good game with a few more years of focused, iterative development, but what we have today doesn't quite cut it. Its uninspired visuals, chaotic combat, and overall lack of identity all work against it in a popular and overcrowded genre. Though it passably executes on the basic blueprint of an action roguelite and it can be fun to buildcraft around its cast of playable characters, Blade Assault simply doesn't do enough to justify a spot in your library. If you're absolutely fiending for another roguelite and somehow haven't been satisfied by the extensive selection of excellent titles already on Switch, then maybe this is worth a punt.
It might not be perfect, but if you have any affection for mecha and anime culture, classic action gaming, or shooters and run 'n' guns, Assault Suits Valken Declassified is very much worth strapping yourself into. The odd quirk aside, it's a very well-thought-through creation, defined by tight controls and movement, tidy level design, and a bounty of ideas. And then there's all those lovely archive materials. Tread carefully, though. This mecha is a beast.
While our hopes for some secret, extra-hard levels or some post-credits challenge were quickly dashed, Storyteller features a small tease of the possibility of more in the future, and after just this short taste, we sincerely hope Benmergui and Annapurna give this clever premise a sequel.
Backbeat stands out among puzzle games for its attractive graphics and constantly pulsing, funky soundscape, but most of all for its impressive depth of mechanics. Juggling phrase lengths, bar markers, alignment, stagger, solos, and special moves – all in interactive levels full of moving parts – is like having a wah-wah pedal hooked up to your brain. Apart from a sometimes-fiddly interface and limited replayability, Ichigoichie has hit all the right notes.
DC's Justice League: Cosmic Chaos is a fun action brawler with a wide enough range of difficulty levels to appeal to both younger players and older superhero fans who aren't above watching funny cartoons. Its technical issues and lack of co-op let it down, but what's there is an entertaining game that'll last you a decent time.
Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a delightfully stylish origin tale that sees young Bayo take her first steps on the road to becoming the badass Umbra witch we all know and love. This is a graphically stunning fairy tale with plenty in the way of atmosphere and charm. However, long-term Bayo fans beware, it's also a game that's aimed squarely at a young/casual audience, introducing plenty of fun puzzle and combat mechanics but never really evolving them to a point where they become in any way challenging. Repetition creeps in later in the game and, although it ends with some bombastic sequences and a few nice shoutouts to the main series, it feels like a little more challenge and experimentation in puzzles and combat could have made this one absolutely essential for all ages.
If you liked Dead Cells, it's a no-brainer that you must get the Return to Castlevania DLC as soon as possible. It may be brief, but this is a brilliantly intense and nostalgic trip to a spookier world that fits in well with the broader offering of content in the base game. This feels like it's primarily made for Dead Cells fans who also happen to like Castlevania - it's unlikely to convert Castlevania aficionados who don't get on with Motion Twin's roguelite. At any rate, we loved it and it's great to see Castlevania back in video games again. Let's hope that Konami takes notice and opts to give us a full revival soon.
Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo is one of the most surprising games we've experienced in a good while. Its overarching narrative, while initially quite heavy on exposition, is wonderfully told, interweaving the lives of multiple protagonists and tasking the player with progressing their stories in meaningful ways. The puzzles are fantastic, the characters well realised, and the visuals top-notch, making those brief moments of horror and terror exceedingly effective. It's an experience we fully recommend going into with as little information as possible, as this will prove to be an incredibly memorable experience; one that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Switch's best visual novels.
Figment 2 stands as a competent and creative action puzzle game with a lot of heart. Though it feels rather short, it's clear that a lot of thought and care went into making this charming world. Satisfying puzzles and excellent presentation are a big draw here, though they're let down by simplistic combat and undeniably rough, gameplay-affecting performance on Switch. We'll keep our fingers crossed for patches, and we'd still give Figment 2 a recommendation, though you may want to wait for this one to go on sale.
Mato Anomalies is an ambitious indie attempt to create a Persona-like RPG romp through neo-futuristic Shanghai. There's no shortage of good ideas in the mix here, with flashes of inspiration in the fusing of turn-based dungeon combat, mind-hacking card games and stylish visual novel elements. However, for all the ambition on display, it's let down by uninspired combat, repetitive level design, clunky exploration, frustrating card mechanics and writing that just never manages to engage. This one's not entirely without merit, but overall it's an experience that'll test your patience far more than it manages to entertain.
Session: Skate Sim is a valiant attempt to recreate the trials and tribulations of actual, real-life skateboarding that eschews the arcade flashiness of other skating games in favour of slow and methodical repetition and mastery of both your board and your environment. There's a deep and involving game here for skate fans who want something to really sink their teeth into, or at least there would be if it wasn't for blurry visuals, control issues, poor mission design, and frame rate issues that make for an uphill struggle that just doesn't feel worth the pain in the end. If you've got a ton of patience there's still some joy to be found here, but it's gonna take some patches and updates to get this particular port to the place it needs to be in order to earn a full recommendation.