Nintendo Life's Reviews
When it all clicks, A Little to the Left provides an experience that is a weird mingling of the semi-passive and viscerally intrusive. It is only the occasions when tiny touch targets cry out for a mouse pointer that the magic falls away. Once that happens, the plainer, less surprising puzzles aren’t able to carry the show on their own. As a piece, it can’t always sustain its best rhythm, but when it does, it's stimulating, quiet, and memorable.
Rogue Legacy 2 is - to put it simply - a banger. While it's not a game-changing revelation, it manages to follow up on everything that made the original great and makes it bigger and better. Even once you've bested the bosses, you've barely scratched the surface of what this has to offer, considering the in-depth New Game Plus mode and the wealth of content contained across all available classes and options. Whether you loved the original Rogue Legacy or never played it but like a good roguelike, this is a game you simply can't afford to miss.
On the track, Smurfs Kart pulls off a surprisingly solid imitation of Mario Kart, with satisfying handling and some wonderful visuals (albeit at 30fps). In the grand leaderboard of Switch karting games, it's not quite going to trouble the podium places, but it's certainly lingering just behind the front-runners and definitely delivers an entertaining time, even if it's as short as its subject matter. A lack of courses is what keeps it from being one of the very best karting games on the Switch, but they certainly haven't Smurfed this one up.
Presenting itself modestly as "a simple and short experience", Lunistice has masses to offer. A first run is maybe a handful of hours, but the thirst to retry is so strong it's almost hard to move on to each new stage. Add the challenge of finding all the cranes and hidden items, avoiding resets, and setting faster times, plus unlockable characters with different moves, and it's a full and generous package. Launching at $4.99 or your regional equivalent, weighing in at a lean 600MB, and having a demo on the eShop, Lunistice is simply a must-try game.
Yes, fans of proper puzzlers may find some of the solutions and overall level of challenge here a little disappointing due to their more surreal and playful nature. There are only one or two — including a very clever Rube Goldberg machine — that will really make you work something out logically, but that's not really what Windosill is getting at. This is a wonderful, dreamy little slice of art that sucks you into its colourful toybox world and lets you drift away for the short amount of time it'll take you to see it through to its end.
We love the first Jurassic Park film, and the other five to varying degrees. Luckily for us, then, that despite its name, Jurassic World Aftermath generally takes after the original rather than any of the sequels, although the Switch version simply isn't the best way to play it. If you have an Oculus headset, do yourself a favour and play the way it was meant to be – fully immersed in the soundscape of a ruined Jurassic World theme park while velociraptors stalk you. If you don't have one, Aftermath on Switch certainly does enough for fans of the series to take a look, but the short experience grows a little too tedious by the time the credits roll without the immersion of VR to keep you on your toes.
There's nothing at all wrong with Cobra Kai 2: Dojos Rising in terms of concept. An arena battler set in the TV show's small world of dojos, shopping malls, schools and parks with a theme of recruiting a team on your way to a mega tournament is all well and good. But the quality is shockingly under par, and far poorer than the Switch hardware is capable of. One could argue being sloppy, confused, and trashy is very much akin to what the show is all about, but when we're transcending mediums into the realm of video gaming, half-assing it doesn't land the right kind of blow.
That it's called 'The Anniversary Celebration' rather than 'collection' is a substitution of phrases that couldn't be more apt. With its smooth, fast, and perfectly-pitched interface, and rich, thoughtfully created content, Atari 50 really is an honouring of the company that founded the industry. It's true that its content is going to have a greater appeal to an older generation of gamers, to today's parents (and grandparents) who grew up in the whirlwind of the '70s and '80s arcade scene. For them, reliving moments and experiences that used to cost a pocketful of coins will be joyful. For others, understanding the appeal of a lot of these games will take work, and few of the titles outside of the Lynx and Jaguar catalogues are easy to pick up and play for the uninitiated. At the same time, Atari 50 is so thorough and engrossing a retro gaming tunnel, akin to exploring a virtual museum, that it transcends its target audience somewhat. For those interested in video gaming's history, the unearthing of the past, and for gamers not afraid of what today is considered rudimentary, there's a great deal of enjoyment to be had in this trip down memory lane.
Tactics Ogre: Reborn is a seminal and still-enjoyable SRPG that manages to respectfully hold its own against the many descendants it now exists alongside. Though some elements of its design feel a little archaic, its deeply political and branching narrative, orchestrated soundtrack, and solidly built strategic combat all come together to make for a worthwhile experience. Visually, this version is disappointing, and we wouldn't say Reborn is one to rush out and buy immediately, but if you're a sucker for strategy and want to experience an influential classic with some mod cons thrown in, we'd suggest you keep this on your watchlist.
Even though Doraemon Story of Seasons: Friends of the Great Kingdom doesn't offer much to separate itself from the first game, there's no denying it is a wholesome bundle of farming fun that still manages to carve out its own identity compared to other life and farming sims. Outside of the cutscenes which drag on and then some, it never feels too repetitive - an issue a considerable number of farming sims face thanks to the crop-based tasks associated with the genre - and outside of navigation issues with the map, it's welcoming to both new players of the genre and still feels relatively fresh to those who are incredibly familiar with the Story of Seasons franchise. If you go into this game expecting a decent Doraemon farming sim, you won't be disappointed.
Sonic Frontiers is a brave new direction for the series, but this first 'open-zone' entry misses the mark by quite a margin. Traversal and combat annoyances plague the experience from start to finish, while structurally the game offers up very little variety, instead leaning on repetitive fetch quests that get exasperating after the first island. As far as the Switch version goes, it's quite comfortably the worst option available to fans, with graphical compromises that make it impossible to recommend if you're able to play it anywhere else at all. If you're going to get this game, we implore you to try it out elsewhere.
Lonesome Village takes elements of life-sim legends and a large handful of Zelda references and wraps them together in very cute packaging. It may not have the richest narrative, but it will absorb and soothe you – even in its short playtime. Barring a few drawbacks with player experience, specifically around menu navigation, this game offers up some good wholesome fun without the sweaty button-mashing of combat. If you're puzzling over a new cosy game to play, Lonesome Village just might be your solution.
Save Room starts from the premise that Resident Evil 4's inventory management system might work as a full game. It left us thinking that Save Room might work as an inventory management system. It may have gone down well on Steam, where it is a couple of your local currency units cheaper, but there's just so little here that it's hard to recommend. You simply slot the stuff into the thing – there's only so many ways you can say it.
Sifu was one of the best games of the year when it launched on other platforms, and it's no different now on Switch. Its hardcore combat that pushes you to the limits of your skill, paired with a smart ageing mechanic, makes for one of the most satisfying gaming experiences in the beat 'em up genre. While the Switch port is obviously a bit downgraded from the PS5 version, it's still a more than valid option for Nintendo-only gamers and those keen to try this kung-fu brawler out on the go.
Harvestella could be described as one of the best 'good' games you'll play this year. Its performance issues and rather simplistic mechanics hold it back from being great, but its quest design, dungeon exploration, and successful fusion of very distinct gameplay mechanics make it quite compelling all the same. That launch day $60 price tag feels a little high for what's on offer here, but this is absolutely a title that we'd recommend farm sim fans buy when the inevitable sales start to crop up. Harvestella may not be a challenger to Stardew Valley's crown, but it does enough to distinguish itself as a worthwhile experience anyway.
Ghost Song is a game that wears its inspirations on its sleeve with pride, and although it may feel a bit derivative at times, it is still able to create its own identity through a great combat system and unique worldbuilding. While the game can be brutally difficult, "explorer" mode makes the game more accessible than it would otherwise. Unfortunately, the game suffers from significant performance problems on Switch, from an inconsistent frame rate to extensive loading times that destroy any flow the game has. If you're willing and able to look past those issues, Ghost Song is an easy recommendation for any and all fans of the Metroidvania genre.
Aeterna Noctis has a lot of potential; however, it feels like the developer got a bit too ambitious. A game that was shorter and had more focus has the potential to be something fantastic. but it ends up being a bit of a slog for a lot of its runtime due to its sometimes-tedious difficulty, despite some great platforming segments. Long loads and some frustrating design choices mean Aeterna Noctis is a derivative but sporadically satisfying game that some players may absolutely fall in love with. It has clearly had a lot of love put into it, but we didn't quite vibe with it.
Prodeus is the kind of game that knows exactly what it wants to do and executes that vision flawlessly. It's not complicated and it's nothing you haven't seen before, but every inch of this experience was clearly crafted with passion and talent. The intense firefights, expansive arsenal, metal music, and sprawling level designs all come together to make Prodeus feel like a game that's just the right mix of retro and modern. If you have ever been a fan of Doom, Quake, Wolfenstein, or any of the indie boomer shooters of the last few years, you owe it to yourself to give Prodeus a shot. Even if you haven't much been into the genre before, we'd say this is an excellent place to jump in and see what it's about. Wherever you stand, we'd give Prodeus a strong recommendation; this is absolutely worth both your time and money.
If you were even half-aware of games news at the end of 2021, you will already be a bit interested in this game. It's brimming with fun, uniquely committed to co-op gaming, plays solidly and distinctively, and usually discards one cool idea in favour of another before there's time to get bored. Now-standard graphical compromises have been made for Switch, and the typical perk of playing handheld is questionable for an always-split-screen co-op-only game. Nonetheless, it keeps the frames moving well enough not to undermine its Game-of-the-Year sparkle. It Takes Two and the good old Switch may not be a perfect marriage, but it's probably worth sticking it out, now that we're five years in.
Signalis is a near-perfect love letter to the survival horror genre. Its atmosphere and tension feel natural and earned, with callbacks to sci-fi classics scattered throughout. It is at its best when you're darting between enemies, using stealth and patience rather than brute force. While some of the combat encounters felt a little forced, the puzzles are just the right mix of challenging and approachable. The surreal imagery and unique storytelling structure add to the overall polish of a game that is the perfect length for what it is. Highly recommended.