Criticism that a game is too short is also praise in its own way. It means that it is so good that it leaves you wanting more. I don’t think being short is necessarily bad. I prefer short and sweet over long and tedious. As I have gotten older and found free time becoming increasingly scarce, I’ve looked less for long epics and more for bite size experiences I know I’ll complete. Therefore, for those looking for something quick and easy to pick up, lovers of fairy tales, avid puzzle game players, and people of all ranges in experience with video games, I highly recommend Storyteller.
My love of this series remains as strong as ever almost 20 years after playing the original Ace Attorney game. Being able to have the entire mainline series on Switch is such an amazing thing to have. The three games in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney Trilogy are strong. Although admittedly Dual Destinies suffers from its split focus on a trio of protagonists, there isn’t a truly weak game in the bunch. With solid quality of life improvements, a faithful retelling of the original stories, and the same engrossing, thoughtful gameplay the series is known for, this compilation is a genuine delight. Some of the negative design quirks of the originals remain, like clunky world navigation, but the positives of the Ace Attorney series far outweigh them. This is a must for fans of narrative-driven games who want a more cerebral experience.
Usually, when we say a game is “fun,” we mean it is fun for the player to play. Born of Bread is a game that is fun in that sense. It is cute, colorful, quirky, punny, and witty. The developers clearly enjoyed themselves while making it. Characters make funny faces and have fun designs. It’s a silly game in the best sense. I likely would have enjoyed it as a kid. But when it has to stand against my adult criticisms, I unfortunately find it lacking.
I could go on and on with praises for Outer Wilds. The atmosphere, the sound design, the score, the overwhelmingly amazing attention to detail, clever puzzle design, the story. It is magical. Outer Wilds is a must on Switch. Yūgen is a Japanese concept that doesn’t have a direct English translation. It varies, but I particularly like this definition: “an awareness of the universe that triggers an emotional response too deep and powerful for words.” After looking away from my Switch screen once the final credits of the (main) ending finished only to find myself back on Earth in a room that felt too small to contain something intangible, I took a quiet moment to pause and reorient myself in this reality. I think I need some time on the roof to stargaze for a while.
Overall, I feel like this game is worth the price, even if you’re not a huge fan of Disney. The characters are lively and have fun dialogue, even the quests are interesting and don’t feel too much like a chore.The overall gameplay’s engaging with an interesting story that seems virtually endless. I can see myself playing for days without coming close to a conclusion. The game is under constant evolution too; the new DLC that just came out is a perfect example of that. I would definitely give this game a recommendation.
While it may seem like I have a lot of complaints for someone who started off saying I probably like the game more than Robert overall, I did genuinely enjoy this remake. I had a ton of fun with it, and it was so cool seeing one of my all-time favorite games back on the screen in a new and different way. I also made a conscious effort to try to not constantly compare the remake to the original, to give it the fair shake it deserves outside of the shadow of such a well-loved classic. But unfortunately for the remake, the original is a well-loved classic for a reason and it set an extremely high bar to try and reach, let alone surpass. And it’s honestly difficult to entirely separate the two games. While I loved the Super Mario RPG remake and would recommend that both long-time fans and newcomers play it, I can’t say that it quite met the bar its predecessor set.
I have certainly enjoyed the NSMB games since their inception on Nintendo DS, but I must admit that Wonder had surpassed those games in virtually every way. I felt a sense of whimsy and joy playing Wonder that took me back to the days of Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. The game is packed with secrets, filled with challenge, and entertained me for hours.The pacing, the graphics, the controls—this is a masterclass in game desing. Wonder has reconfirmed for any doubters out there that the Mario brand is still brimming with potential for new gameplay ideas. Wonder is an essential game for Switch players that is highly recommended.
Superstars is exactly what fans have been wanting to see from a modernized 2D Sonic game. It plays like the originals, but is expanded upon with new mechanics and gimmicks. Graphically, Superstars is a stunner. It takes a hit running on Switch compared to other platforms, but performance is rock-solid, always locked in at 60FPS. Although some of the ancillary modes are rather bland, like Battle Mode, or clunky, like co-op, the single player experience is the (pardon the pun) real star of this game. With four playable characters to choose from, there’s plenty of replay value to be found in Superstars, as fans will want to hop back into stages and explore using the characters’ different abilities. Launching right ahead of Super Mario Bros. Wonder, 2023 feels not unlike the glory days of SNES versus Genesis, except now you don’t have to pick a side in the console wars; go give Superstars a purchase, it’s a must-have.
While the game has a lot of room for improvement, it’s also the best Sanrio game I’ve played so far across a number of different platforms over the years, and a lot more thought was put into it than just “tap to the beat to march Sanrio characters down a path.” I say give it a shot and see if it’s for you, especially if you love Sanrio and have a good time with rhythm games.
From my overall experience with Paleo Pines, I had the most fun when discovering and befriending dinosaurs, but the rest of the game can feel like a chore at times. The jankiness of the movement makes farming more difficult than it needs to be and although the open-world section is decently sized, it has invisible boundaries on small cliffs or ledges that can break the immersion of the game world. Despite my gripes with the gameplay, the art style of the game is charming and I’m a fan of how adorable the art team rendered the dinosaurs. The world and characters also blend well together and the only real issue I had with the visuals was that the corners of the skybox could sometimes be seen and the stiffness of the human animations. Also, while doing the townspeople’s tasks, which can be a bit fetch-questy, it becomes noticeable how empty certain sections of the game world are. However, the prospect of getting more dinos to live on your ranch is what warrants launching the game up at least a couple times.
Even with my complaints, there’s no denying that what is present in Sonic Origins Plus is nonetheless worth the time of fans. These four Genesis platformers remain some of the best in the genre after all this time and have never looked better. The various extras in the museum are engrossing and the additions and tweaks that the Plus DLC provide only make the compilation better. Thus, I give Sonic Origins Plus a nod of recommendation, even as I find my teeth grinding as I think of all the wasted opportunity here. Oh, and expect to still download the Plus DLC even if you buy the cartridge version! Yet another oddity among many in this compilation.
All in all, while Tears of the Kingdom isn’t perfect, it’s a classic maximalist sequel and it succeeds at that, whatever baggage or quibbles various players might bring to it. It was never going to supplant Ocarina of Time among that game’s diehards. Neither will it supplant Breath of the Wild thanks to how thoroughly the former wilderness has been tamed and signposted. After six years, something more revelatory or revolutionary would have been quite welcome, but in the end the worst I can say about Tears of the Kingdom is that it’s a very good game that earns its place in the Zelda pantheon.
As far as retro compilations go, Legacy Collection is a fine addition to Capcom’s robust Mega Man offerings. With ten games to play through, all available additional content unlocked for them, and extras like online play available, there’s enough here to keep players busy for many, many hours. While it has been a while since the Battle Network series was wrapped up, these games remain fresh and innovative all these years later thanks to the unique battle system at its core. We strongly recommend Legacy Collection and hope that you’ll add it to your collection on Switch.
While I might have gone into Deluxe a virtual blank slate, it left me shocked at what a fun game it is. The stages feature clever (albeit relatively easy) challenges and set pieces that make each one a delight to explore. With the ability to pop in and out friends at will, it’s also simplicity itself to turn Deluxe into a proper multiplayer romp. If minigames are more your style, Merry Magoland takes the already solid selection from Return to Dream Land and spruces it up with new additions and a cohesive party experience. Rounded out with Magalor’s Epilogue and a bunch of other post-game unlockables, Deluxe lives up to its name and then some. This is a must for Kirby diehards and platformer fans in general.
It’s hard to imagine, but twice now Metroid Prime has proven itself to be a timeless work of art. First in 2009 when updated for Wii, and now in 2023 with Remastered on Switch. The storytelling, design work, and tight gameplay are as good as anything else produced in the last five years. This reworking is a glorious love letter to the original and the perfect way for contemporary and returning players to enjoy Metroid Prime. Now it’s just a question of whether or not Metroid Prime 4 can live up to this gem, and if we’ll eventually get Metroid Prime 2 and 3 Remastered. Go download this. Treat yourself. It is Valentine’s Day, after all. This is a game that’s easy to love.
I played CDA so you didn’t have to. Well, actually, I played CDA because I thought it would be great but it turned out to be one of the most disappointing things I’ve ever played. I have no interest in booting up a second and third playthrough to trudge through the mire of the other storylines and don’t recommend you trudge through even one of them. Play something else.
Sonic Frontiers deserves credit for being a true departure from previous series installments. The open-zone structure is a great concept that frees the developers up to experiment with Sonic’s speed and abilities in new ways. Where the game comes up short is in its stale rehashing of classic stages, a control setup that could stand to be simplified, and performance woes that suck players out of the gameplay experience. With plenty of DLC and patches on the way, hopefully Frontiers can become a better version of what came out at launch. In the interim, it’s a buggy affair that entertains and frustrates in equal measures.
As a whole, Gunvolt 3 is a solid entry in the series. The gameplay is challenging but supported by precise controls that, when mastered, will see players flying across the screen clearing out whole waves of enemies. Striving to get top Kudos rankings in each stage can quickly become addicting. Although the bloated storyline can become tedious at times, and the lack of a properly playable Gunvolt at all times are disappointing, this is still a game that Gunvolt and action game fans won’t want to miss out on.
Is Sonic Origins the definitive version of Sonic’s earliest adventures? No. It’s missing a number of common features that modern retro compilations and rereleases have made standard. Knuckles in Sonic 3 lacks all of its original music. No Sonic & Knuckles as a standalone experience. Sure, SEGA might make some changes down the line via DLC, but as this collection exists now, it’s lacking in a number of ways. Despite these flaws, however, this quartet of software represents some of the best Sonic games ever made; indeed, some of the best platformers ever made. Fans new to the series will get the most from Sonic Origins, but even diehards will find plenty to love if they can get past the shortcomings. Here’s hoping SEGA eventually returns to Sonic Origins and makes it the proper celebration of the Blue Blur that it should have been.
Shredder’s Revenge is a triumphant return for the Ninja Turtles. For all the reinventions and expansions of this classic property, there’s nothing quite like the original. Seeing the spirit of both the cartoon and Konami’s classic games so faithfully reproduced here was wondrous to behold. At the same time, Tribute Games has also managed to one up the games that came before it with a sharper combat system that allows for all sorts of creative ways to take down foes. Boss fights lack some of the nuance to defeat that rank and file grunts provide, but the spectacle of these battles makes up for that