Kirby's Extra Epic Yarn brings back the unique, stringy platforming of the Wii original and then some, adding new mini-games and a harder difficulty mode to boot. Unfortunately, it also takes out the original's excellent co-op mode, which will be a bummer for folks who are hoping to play the game with friends and family once more. It's not a deal breaker, especially for folks who don't have interest in multiplayer. For people like me who had a blast with co-op in the Wii version, however, it just makes this rendition feel a little bit less epic.
The Division 2 might not walk like a traditional Tom Clancy game or quack like a traditional Tom Clancy game. But it's still a fun title that exemplifies a loot shooter done right. The story could admittedly be better fleshed out and it suffers from some bugs and hiccups here and there. At a time when some highly-anticipated game launches over-promise and under-deliver, however, it's nice to see a game that feels complete right off the bat.
Wait, is that boss' weak point a MacGyvered Band-Aid on its butt? Why, yes. Yes, it is! That's the exact kind of kookiness to expect when playing Yoshi's Crafted World for the Nintendo Switch. Admittedly, the platforming leans toward the easy side and the mechanics don't add anything revolutionary to the Yoshi formula. What Yoshi's Crafted World has, however, is a wonderfully creative world, plenty of charm, lots of polish and family-friendly fun for co-op lovers. It's an egg-cellent addition to the Yoshi franchise.
Die twice, my butt. You'll definitely die more than a couple of times in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Despite its pedigree and punishing difficulty, this ain't Dark Souls either — and thinking it is can be a recipe for frustration if you try playing it with old habits from that game. It doesn't have the class and weapon diversity of Dark Souls and forces you to play a certain way, which some might not like. If you like the old Tenchu games, swift and agile movement, and challenging parry-based combat set in a hauntingly beautiful Japanese world, however, you'll want to sink your fangs into this one-armed wolf.
Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel is a wonderfully crafted love letter to folks such as myself who pine for the golden age of old-school JRPGs. It starts out slow and its faithfulness to the classic formula might be a turn-off for gamers who desire something more contemporary. But its nicely fleshed-out — and generously voiced — narrative, attention to detail, and fun turn-based combat mechanics hits all the right spots for lovers of 1990s-style JRPGs. It's a worthy, modern iteration of the classic JRPG formula.
The Princess Guide is a loot-based action RPG with a twist that involves teaching four princesses about the ways of life. While the concept is intriguing, the game's unique teaching mechanic isn't used as much as I'd like and the campaign could also use some extra world-building to make you care more about what's actually going on within it. On the plus side, the actual dungeon crawling can be fun and even addicting once you get the right loadout going. The game just needs a little bit extra to get it over the hump.
One Piece: World Seeker marks an interesting foray into the open-world genre for Luffy, borrowing familiar sandbox mechanics from games like Spider-Man and the Arkham series. It's not as polished as those games and can be guilty of incorporating some of the more annoying and overused mechanics of the genre. The original story, however, is very much One Piece and its fun boss fights are pure, over-the-top mayhem. It's not quite Pirate King yet but has potential to be a promising series with some extra polish.
Far Cry: New Dawn is basically more Far Cry 5, along with all the good and the bad that such a prospect entails. If you're feeling a bit burnt out by today's established open-world formula and expect more from the genre, the game will end up feeling like more of the same as opposed to something truly new. If you absolutely enjoyed its predecessor, though, then New Dawn is more of what you loved with some needed narrative closure to boot.
Jump Force features a nice mix of characters from Shonen Jump's storied history of franchises for manga fans. The visuals feel a bit off for manga crossover and elements of the game feel quite rough around the edges. Gameplay is also a bit too simple but does make for some fast-paced action. Manga fans intrigued by dream matches between their favorite characters might still want to give this one a shot as this type of game doesn't come around often. Unlike many of the protagonists that show up in this game, however, Jump Force doesn't quite break its limits to realize its full potential.
Yo-Kai Watch 3 is the best iteration of a series that's admittedly starting to show its age on the 3DS. It also serves as a swan song for the franchise on Nintendo's dual-screen workhorse as it moves to the Switch. While it has its issues, the game remains a hoot with tons of content for fans of the series. And if you're a newcomer, this definitive game of the series ain't really a bad place to start. It's spooky fun for all ages.
The latest God Eater swoops in with a re-tuned Burst system and increased emphasis on literally fighting for your boosts and buffs on the field. I wish it showed more risks and attempted to evolve the franchise instead of just polishing it as the series is starting to show its age a bit. At the same time, it boasts its own unique mechanics and fun, fast-paced gameplay, making it more than just a mere Monster Hunter clone.
Kingdom Hearts 3 is no small world after all, featuring a ton of Disney characters and areas for you to connect with. Figuring out the story can be like wrapping your arms around a giant boulder festooned with tons of zippers. The floaty combat also can be a bit slippery to get an adequate handle on at times. It's stunning visuals, wonderful sound and epic grand scale, however, make this a magic carpet ride you'll want to get on board with, whether you're young or young at heart.
As a fitness app, Fitness Boxing is actually quite solid. As a “game,” however, the title is admittedly lacking, especially for the price. As such, the mileage and enjoyment you will get from this game depends on your expectations. Personally, I wanted to have my cake as a gamer and eat it too, so Fitness Boxing didn’t quite meet my expectations. If you’re primarily interested in it as an exercise tool that you can easily load up and work out to each day, however, then this fits the bill nicely.
The Liar Princess and the Blind Prince doesn't have the best puzzle and platforming mechanics nor the longest adventure. What it does have, however, are unique, charming visuals and a story filled with so much heart, everything else fades into the background. Throughout my short journey I smiled, laughed and cried — sometimes with joy. Maybe I'm just a sentimental sap. But this game is a wonderful reminder why I fell in love with video games.
Etrian Odyssey Nexus brings a lot of what fans love from the previous series, both literally and figuratively. Admittedly, some parts of the game are starting to show their age and feel repetitive in some parts. Its class and subclass combinations in addition to party lineup possibilities, however, remain an incredibly fun part of the game. I mean, a farming team that includes an actual farmer? And a suicidal team that thrives on inflicting damage on themselves? Those are just a fraction of the crazy lineups that you can dream up in this crazy game that make it enjoyable. Now onward to Etrian Odyssey on the Switch!
There was a time when I thought I was done with Resident Evil games. Resident Evil 7 and Resident Evil 2, however, showed me that the franchise not only has enough left in the tank but possesses even more possibilities that have yet to be tapped. Resident Evil 6 felt like a lost zombie searching for its soul and grasping at anything it could hold onto. The Resident Evil 2 remake, on the other hand feels like, well, a Resident Evil game. As someone who loved the earlier entries in the franchise, that’s the highest compliment I can give it.
Wait, we’re getting a new Top Gun movie and Ace Combat is also back? Suddenly, all seems right in the world again. Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown marks a welcome return of the hybrid sim-and-arcade dogfighting that the series is known for. The story can be far fetched and the dialogue grating at times. When it comes to its air combat, however, Ace Combat 7’s gameplay definitely hits the mark.
Don't let Mario and Luigi's top billing fool you. This game is as much about Bowser and his spunky son as it is about Nintendo's popular plumbers. Bowser's Inside Story is a great remake of the DS classic, boasting JRPG gameplay that still feels fresh and fun a decade later. The addition of Bowser Jr.'s Adventure, meanwhile, gives the young Koopa prince a much-deserved turn in the spotlight along with the Koopalings. Battles in the main game can be a bit too long while Bowser Jr.'s skirmishes could be a bit more fleshed out. Overall, however, Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey is a must-have for your 3DS library.