Nintendo Life's Reviews
This is a definitive 3D Mario experience, successfully finding a middle-ground between the iconic Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy. You may not swing Bowser by his tail or run upside down, but it's bursting with creativity nonetheless, while delivering on the craft and skill that defines the Tokyo EAD studio. It's unmissable.
Whether creating, exploring or just playing, Super Mario Maker provides an exceptional experience. If you've ever enjoyed a 2D Mario game and have a creative, playful spirit, then you should have already decided to buy this. It has plenty of tough competition, but this is the definitive Wii U game.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a landmark release for its franchise and Nintendo. It's the first time that Nintendo has truly taken on the open-world genre in a current-generation sense; in arriving late to the party, though, it embraces some strengths from top-of-the-class games while also forging its own identity. This game is a revolution for the franchise, but the Legend of Zelda essence is still there - its soul remains.The end result, then, is a captivating experience. This will be in the running as the best game in the IP's history, and it will likely be discussed as a leading contender in the broader open-world genre. Nintendo has bravely taken one of its biggest franchises in a new direction, and it's delivered a triumph.
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D is a magnificent remastering of one of the finest Legend of Zelda games to date. The visual overhaul, the streamlined features and other improvements make this version an even more enjoyable and accessible experience than the original N64 release. Minor flaws seem insignificant as the superb concoction of timeless game design truly shines: the unique gameplay ideas, the dark and haunting theme and a cleverly crafted game world — aspects that made the original so great — enable this updated version to provide a near flawless experience.It's strange, perhaps, that a game in which the main premise revolves around repeatedly travelling back in time was so ahead of its time. In its enhanced form, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D defies its age and manages to stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the very best games on 3DS. Quite simply put, it's a masterpiece that every 3DS owner should play.
Without a doubt, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds is currently the greatest game you can experience on the 3DS. Much like the legendary Master Sword that features throughout the series, this game is beautifully crafted and offers a superbly streamlined and timeless gameplay experience. Through Link’s new transformation ability Nintendo has instilled a magical amount of innovation into the dungeons, boss battles and even the wider exploration of both Hyrule and Lorule; it’s a small feature which makes a world of difference and continuously wows you throughout the entirety of your playthrough. In other areas, Nintendo has made all the right changes to the gameplay formula, resulting in a game that is always incredibly good fun to play. Long-time fans will certainly get a kick out of its nostalgic presentation, while all players will appreciate its impeccable design and superb usage of the 3DS's touch screen.Eiji Aonuma and his team at Nintendo set themselves the unenviable challenge of creating the perfect Legend of Zelda game; with A Link Between Worlds, they may well have achieved just that.
Simply put, Sun and Moon are best Pokémon games that Game Freak has ever produced. Poké Pelago, the side quests, the absolutely stunning nature of the presentation, it's all a sheer joy from start to finish. Game Freak hasn't missed a beat and has managed to carefully balance the inclusion of new mechanics without totally ruining things for the most hardcore fans. It's got content coming out of its ears, a much more interesting story, and rewards exploration in a way no other title in the series has. Whether you're a Pokémon fan new or old, this is an absolutely essential purchase.
When it comes to passing final judgement on a re-release like this it's tricky - do we scale back praise because it's content we've mostly seen before, or simply judge a release on its own merits? We've opted for the latter here, and so we have a definitive version of a fantastic Wii U game that adds its own extras to spruce up the experience.Mario Kart 8 Deluxe delivers a huge amount of racing goodness right out of the box, and it's a polished version of a Wii U entry that was a proper Battle Mode away from being top of class. Now that issue has been addressed, what we have is arguably the best Mario Kart release we've seen. Some will argue about where this entry stands in the pantheon of the franchise, but for our money it's competing for top spot.It's the definitive Mario Kart 8 experience, content-rich and a delightful feast of comedic, cartoonish karting action. It's a game that continually raises a smile and, occasionally, induces that trademark Mario Kart rage as shells strike and positions are lost. It's addictive and unifying, unfiltered fun that draws in anyone daring enough to take up the wheel. If you're a Switch owner, it's an easy choice.
Splatoon 2 is just about everything you could ask for from a sequel. It builds on everything the original set up and then some; almost every single major issue people had with the first game has been resolved, showing that Nintendo is genuinely listening and wants to deliver the absolute best experience possible. It maintains the freshness you'd expect and throws in countless big and small changes and additions, every one of them for the better. Anyone who says Nintendo can't do online should be eating their words right now; Splatoon 2 is simply inkredible and continues Nintendo's trailblazing first year of Switch stunners.
Don't be fooled by the connection to Metroid II: this game has been revamped, redesigned and rejuvenated to such an extreme degree that to all intents and purposes it's a brand new adventure. This is far and away one of the best Metroid games ever made, and one of the best examples of the entire Metroidvania genre as a result. Melee counters and free aiming have made combat feel fresh and exciting again, while the environments are incredible – especially when viewed in auto-stereoscopic 3D. It's a given that this is a must-buy for Metroid fans, but it's also essential for those who've never played a 2D Metroid and want to see what the fuss is all about. This is what the fuss is all about, and the wait was so, so worth it.
Super Mario Odyssey represents a shift in direction for Mario. For about a decade we had exceptional but tightly structured 3D series entries, but this new arrival's building blocks go back to Super Mario 64. It's a very modern take on ‘sandbox Mario', however - Cappy and his abilities are key additions that freshen up the formula, and we have a sizeable and diverse set of lands to explore.Odyssey will, inevitably, now enter the discussions about the ‘best' Mario games. In the second half and post-credits - in particular - it takes on a life of its own, showcasing incredible design and development flair. It's also a wonderful showcase for the Switch, and could introduce a whole new audience to the wonders of Mario in three dimensions. For the veterans among us, meanwhile, it's yet another special release to remind us of why Mario is still gaming's number one.
Subsurface Circular is a landmark moment in interactive storytelling. The elegance of its escalation is simply unmatched, as it tells a story that makes you feel like you're in completely over your head, and yet still perfectly believable. The characters you meet along the way all feel unique with their own personality, which makes interacting with them a test of wit and cunning as you use the conversational mechanics to their full effect. There's nothing quite else quite like Subsurface Circular, and when that uniqueness is combined with the phenomenal narrative at hand, you have all the ingredients for a simply unforgettable and very special journey aboard the subway.
Taking the original games and bombarding them with a whole host of crazy ideas, Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon have easily achieved their goal of becoming the definitive versions of the series' final generation on the 3DS. Combining all of this with the fact that a small handful of new, non-mythical Pokémon have been added mid-generation for the first time in the series, and that the Pokédex has been expanded to natively include over 400 Pokémon catchable in the games without trading, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon have managed to make the region of Alola feel even more alive that it did before – and that's quite the achievement.In some ways, it feels like these games have come too soon; Pokémon Sun and Moon are still so fresh in our minds and we can't help but feel that the Ultra versions would have felt more special – and therefore easier to justify purchasing – if a little more time has passed. You'd be forgiven for not wanting to jump back into the same world again so soon but, in their own right, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon are truly incredible entries to the series that deserve to be sitting amongst the elite Pokémon titles. If you're ready for another trip around Alola's beautiful islands, this is the way to do it.
Celeste is an exemplary amalgamation of style, mechanics and character. A devilishly brilliant action platformer with enough skill required to excite genre purists and the speed running community, while at the same time featuring a breakdown of gameplay elements to customize and cater for all audiences. While the game mechanically is great, if familiar, the art style and narrative are truly special, showing both a visual and emotional range and depth that will resonate and inspire. Celeste is the absolute peak of personal exploration and discovery on Nintendo Switch.
Hades is a sublime mix of satisfyingly gritty and flexible combat, a wonderfully vibrant art style and genuinely fun and engaging narrative. Supergiant Games has an excellent track record thus far but this really does feel its finest hour, a rip-roaring rampage through the underworld that's arrived here on Switch in a port that's nigh-on perfect. Even if you're yet to be swayed by the admittedly repetitive ebb and flow of the roguelike genre, we passionately urge you to at least give this one a try; for fans of the genre or anyone even remotely interested, this is one heavenly vision of hell that we highly recommend you sacrifice yourself to.
Horace is something very special — the only vaguely negative thing we can say about it is the fact that there are so many spectacularly brilliant indie games on Switch already vying for your attention that we fear Horace may fall somewhat by the wayside. If you have any interest in superb level design, excellent storytelling, terrific art, evocative music, great characters, hilarious situations and emotional gut-punches, Horace is a no-brainer. It's moving without being manipulative, clever without being smug, and nostalgic without being a lazy rehash.