Neon Chrome is a fun twin-stick shooter that has a rewarding upgrade feature and a good visual aesthetic. The controls feel tight, even if they do take some getting used to, and the procedural environments, enemy placements, and character selection, all ensure that each playthrough feels fresh. The visual setting from level to level could do with a bit more distinction as each level is based in the same type of office floor, but this is a minor gripe. Overall, there is a lot of game-time to be had within Neon Chrome, and those looking for a twin-stick shooter on the Nintendo Switch should certainly take note.
Newcomers risk drowning in a sea of references, while franchise veterans are bound to be put off by more cut-scenes than the series is known for, but Ys IX: Monstrum Nox is an astonishingly addictive action-RPG that just gets better as it goes on. A rough opening and choppy plotting undersell a genuinely gripping mystery that reflects on Adol's history as an adventure, culminating in an incredible last act. Falcom's dungeon design is the best it's been in years and the numerous gameplay additions made to combat bring the Seven Engine close to capturing the same highs that defined the Napishtim era. Monstrum Nox may not live up to its narrative potential, but Ys IX's gameplay only leaves one thing to be desired: more.
Despite the relatively short run-time, B.R.U.C.E. Saves Christmas is an entertaining family friendly adventure that everyone can get involved in. The simplicity of running it plays in its favour in a big way as it will avoid those less tech-savvy getting flustered when trying to join the fun. Puzzles can be tough, but never too difficult to be massively frustrating, and the addition of a hint system should alleviate getting stuck at any point. While it would have been nice to have a few more rooms to explore and solve puzzles in, it's a great social means of playing games together from a distance.
Aside from minor mechanical inconsistency across both mainline titles, Overcooked! All You Can Eat is a lovingly-crafted remaster of two lovingly-crafted experiences, complete with their respective DLC packs at a mouthwatering price. There's never been a better way to enjoy the Overcooked! series and all the multiplayer carnage it offers. As a party game it is undeniably better when played with friends so bear that in mind, but for those hungry for some local co-op action, the genre is very much alive and well with this filled-to-the-brim hotpot of cheffing action.
Anyone that enjoyed the original Life is Strange and opted not to give a chance to this sequel should reconsider right away. The story may not deliver the same impact or suspense, but this is a poignant narrative that many should find a degree of relatability to, with extremely likeable characters in the form of Sean and Daniel. With the full season discounted often and a new game on the horizon, this is a great time to journey south with the Diaz brothers.
The folksy ambiance helps Mundaun distinguish itself from most horror indies on the market. The rough and flawed graphics work in ways the developer may not have intended and the frequent backtracking may not be for everyone. With only Curdin's notebook giving any idea of what to do and the terribly unresponsive combat, many people might give up on Mundaun. It may be a slog at times, but this is definitely worth a look for fans of horror classics.
Piofiore is a solid and enjoyable romance story, but one that falls a little short from some of the better Otomate productions out there. One thing that does set it apart though are its bleak story paths. There's torture, murder, rape. Things get awfully dark, much more so than the majority of these types of titles, and for those who enjoy such experiences, it certainly delivers. Stay with Cubed3, as it will soon be looking at more Otomate games coming to Switch.
Katamari Damacy REROLL is not the best way to play Katamari Damacy. The faster load times and stable frame rate are par for the course with the ports to much more powerful consoles that came two generations later. This should have been so much more; there are too many features that have been bungled or got cut. Even though REROLL may not be ideal, the core gameplay of rolling a Katamari and picking stuff up and building a planet-sized ball is still gratifying and fun to watch.
What Spirit of the North: Enhanced Edition does, it does well. Essentially, what is on offer here is a beautiful relaxing experience accompanied by a haunting and fitting soundtrack. Occasionally some sort of gameplay element and extremely light puzzling will be experienced, although this is often hampered by janky controls and glitching. The sheer gorgeousness of the world old red inhabits is worthy of admission alone, and the overall style and presentation of the package is what elevates this from "leave well alone" to "give it a lazy Sunday try." If already owning the original release, there's nothing here to justify jumping back in for, but for newcomers looking for something a bit different, certainly consider giving this fox a fumble.
Despite its age and the backdrop of the tower remaining the same, Ys Origin still manages to shine. All three play-throughs are enjoyable and engaging, each with its own story, and each character feeling so very different thanks to their drastically different play styles. Better yet, even after finishing all three play-throughs, there's much more to enjoy including brand new modes like Speed Run, Time Attack, and even an Arena mode; tight, fast, controls and combat; wonderful big boss encounters. It's easy to see why it garnered its cult status, and this latest re-release is going to introduce it to even more players; players who will be eager to experience more, and there's plenty waiting in the long-running story of Adol.