Nintendo Life's Reviews
Samurai Maiden is mostly hack, slash, dodge, and hack some more. But, while naturally repetitive, it's not much different in that respect from many traditional arcade games. What it does well with is in expanding its combat options in enjoyable but never confusing ways; by giving your aides different skill functions in attack and healing, and in navigating stages. It's a simple but nicely layered adventure that will encourage grinders to unlock its galleries, weaponry and digital trinkets, while appreciating what is an attractive-looking and well-optimised game. Increased challenge is there if you need it, and, discounting the trite elements of its dialogue and story, the character models are exceptionally good, mildly bewitching, and do a great job of selling the product.
This is the kind of package we hope for when a relatively unloved, but largely excellent arcade title is ported for a modern system. There's no slacking here, with all the options and modes a fighting game fan could desire, updated visuals for modern displays, and that all-important rollback netcode for online skirmishes. Superior to its already very enjoyable predecessor, it will be great to see the online fighting game community revive The Rumble Fish 2 in a way that never really happened with its original arcade release. Ideally, both the original game and this sequel should be on a single package - and DLC paywalls be damned - but this is a well-executed port of the best entry in this short-lived series.
If you go in expecting to sink 100 hours into Dragon Quest Treasures or think you'll get the same kind of intricate plot that the series is known for, you'll come away disappointed. However, if you are a younger gamer that is itching for a taste of what a JRPG is like or you just want something laid back to tackle, there is a lot of fun to be had here. Everything you'd expect in a JRPG is in this game, just stripped back to the basics, all adorned with that timeless Dragon Quest charm.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass Wave 3 is the best update yet to the base game. The tracks on offer here are mostly stellar, and with the addition of customisable item loadouts in ‘VS Race’ modes both online and offline (which is available to all players, regardless of whether you have the Booster Course Pass), Wave 3 is a triumph and a great way to mark the halfway point of the Booster Course Pass.
Despite some technical issues on the Nintendo Switch, Kukoos: Lost Pets still might be one of the best games for younger audiences on the platform. In a world where families make up a large chunk of the Nintendo Switch's demographics, it is refreshing to see such love put into a game primarily designed for kids. From the creative and unique level designs to the Saturday morning cartoon aesthetic, this game is an enjoyable time from start to finish and it comes with a recommendation for anyone who is looking for a charming platformer for the whole family.
Swordship is a clever, original, and interesting concept. It looks good, sounds good, and plays well. There’s just that RNG irritant that means, while you can learn enemy behaviours, you sometimes get lost in the fray. Even the camera shifts and the slow down (which can be disabled) can occasionally disorientate you from your position, resulting in sudden death. At the same time, while imperfect, its evolving and increasingly intense nature has major appeal for score hunters. And, when you do grab that container, trip under a set of lasers, detonate three mines sequentially and blow the screen sky-high, it earns itself an action badge of honour.
It's hard to talk about the specifics of Inscryption without diluting some of its magic. However, its ingenuity is mind-boggling, its mood is devilishly haunting and its presentation is first-rate. As a deck builder, it's stretched about as far as it can go, and by jumping around between concepts it sometimes asks for a lot of from the player. The pay-off, however, is one of the most impressive feats of video game storytelling there is. If you're new to Daniel Mullins Games then you're in for even more of a treat, but existing fans, too, shouldn't think they have the measure of what awaits on Inscryption's dusty old floppy disk.
Our experience of Super Kiwi 64 comes down to this: we were having a good time, but couldn't always tell if it was despite the game or because of it. Either we've found a gold coin in a muddy field or we've found the face of Elvis in our porridge. If you're giving this a go, be sure to bring your imagination along with your £2.69.
Warp Drive feels like it's a strong predecessor to what could be a great sequel someday. Its high-speed, strategic approach to racing is a joy to play when the FPS slowdown isn't getting out of hand, and its art style feels like something truly distinct in the 'kart' racing genre. If it weren't for a collection of some important misses-like the awkward item usage or the instability of multiplayer-this one could be a real winner. Even as is, it's still a game that we would recommend you pick up when there's a deep enough sale. There's enough single-player content to keep you busy for a while and even if it disappoints, Warp Drive can be quite fun once you get into it.
Soccer Story delivers a colourful, charming take on the 'sports adventure', bursting at the seams with earnest effort and care from the development team. It's a fun experience, though it doesn't reach the heights of the genre's most famous release. Bugs and hitches pop up occasionally too, but if you're seeking some light entertainment and happen to love football, its cute visuals and charming world make it worth consideration.
However, there’s no resisting the charm of Railbound’s chirpy cel-shaded models and, although they belie some fiendish challenges, the difficulty curve is as smooth as it is steep. Perfect for handheld play, Afterburn has laid down a great addition to Switch's library of puzzlers.
As we mentioned, the art style looks great and the game runs well in handheld mode, although it has the tendency to get a bit choppy when docked. We also ran into a few glitches over the course of the adventure, the most common causing Vivian to just slide across the screen while stuck in a crouch animation, and a soft lock later in the game in which the character would not stop walking right into a wall. By no means are these extreme and you would hope they'll be patched, but they got a bit frustrating over time. These issues aside, Sword of the Vagrant held our attention and, especially considering the modest asking price, is still worthy of light investigation if you're a fan of rough-and-ready hack-and-slashing.
Unless you're a die-hard fan of the original or the TRPG genre in general, you're probably safe to give this one a miss or just lower the difficulty of the combat to enjoy the story. Despite the strengths of the setting and the characters, the gameplay becomes more frustrating than fun and won't keep most players engaged past the first few hours. It's a shame because there is a brilliance to telling the same story from two opposing points of view, but that gets buried beneath poorly implemented mechanics. Unfortunately, modern visuals and sound can't salvage gameplay here that feels too random to be satisfying.
Astronite is a throwback game in a modern Metroidvania mould, and, owing to sharp design, map layouts, currency systems and ability upgrades, is an enjoyable experience. Its simple emphasis on platforming pitfalls and cavern negotiations feel more Metroid than 'Vania, and refreshing in a genre that usually follows the Japanese route of grinding for levels and magic. With a little effort, it reveals itself as a well-thought-out and competently-executed action adventure, with a few magic moments in its boss battles and NPC characters. Its black-and-white styling may not appeal to everyone, but it's easily recommended to those intrigued and is a nice companion for Gato Roboto fans looking for a steeper challenge.
How much you'll enjoy Ship of Fools comes down to whether or not you have someone to play with. If you do have a friend that enjoys roguelikes and/or tower defence - and has a penchant for sea shanties - then we can guarantee Ship of Fools will give you a handful of hours of frantic fun. And if you have few friends but enjoy this addictive genre, you might eke out enough nautical miles whacking giant crab bosses with your paddle while enjoying the endearing presentation to warrant jumping onboard. Co-op is where it's at, though, so make sure you enlist a mate for this voyage.
The Knight Witch seems to occupy a unique niche on the Switch eShop - there's really nothing else quite like it. It's not the best shmup nor is it the best Metroidvania we've experienced, but its fusion of many core ideas in those genres is interesting and worthwhile. The adventure feels perfectly paced, the action is snappy, and though there are missteps here and there, they shouldn't disqualify The Knight Witch from your attention. If you're looking for a Metroidvania that mixes things up a bit - and you haven't been utterly burned out on the genre - we'd suggest giving this a look.
Finding Paradise is a worthy successor to the superlative To The Moon. This second adventure in the series may not quite manage to hit the emotional highs of its predecessor, but there's still a complex, engaging, thoughtful, and wonderfully well-told story to sink your teeth into here in a game that will linger long in the memory once you're done with it. RPG Maker XP does cause a few little niggles with traversal and transitions between scenes, but these are minuscule issues that are well worth putting up with for the fun you'll have with the core narrative over its five-hour running time.
Overall then, it's a decent outing for Just Dance 2023, a definite improvement on what's come before and a far less annoying version of the game than what we were served up in 2022. If you're not a fan of the series, there's still nothing here that's really gonna change your mind — it's still exactly the same dance mechanics at the core of proceedings — but, if it's your cup of tea, this is as good a time as we've had with this franchise thus far.
Retro Goal is a distinctively light and fun take on football, coming at a budget price and having enough depth and charm to get players hooked. It has a stylish look and will raise a smile among enthusiasts; in fact, the only way it fails to match its brilliant predecessor - Retro Bowl - is in the gameplay department. The team-based complexity of football makes it hard to recreate that backyard sport feel, but it is still excellent and irreverent fun that feels at home on Switch.
Resident Evil 3 is a solid remake that aptly pays homage to the original RE3 by failing to live up to its immediate predecessor. While the core gameplay remains strong, with engaging gun controls and a new dodge mechanic that very much feels at home, Raccoon City itself feels disappointingly constrained and its star performer, the Nemesis, has been relegated to scripted sequences. The cloud-related hiccups we encountered here serve as a reminder that the technology is far from perfect, but even if it were, Resident Evil 3 is far from essential. We'd recommend it for the most passionate fans of Capcom's survival horror franchise who are after another quick fix; everyone else should start with - and probably stick with - RE2.