For a game that’s so dependent on its art style to drive home much of its personality, character interactions and the story are left to carry the weight of completing the sense of immersion, and most of the time that load is too great for them to bear on their own. The Outer Worlds on Switch just doesn’t land well without all of the aspects working together in concert. I’m not saying the game is unplayable, it just feels like the experience is severely hamstrung and it’s hard to get a proper sense of enjoyment out of it. There’s still fun to be had, but it comes in fits and starts, and it really doesn’t stand up to any of the other platforms the game is available on. If the Switch is your only gaming system, you’re really hankering for a space adventure, and you don’t mind or notice technical problems, then there may be something here for you. Otherwise, you’d do well to play elsewhere. To paraphrase the game itself, the Switch version of this game isn’t the best choice, it’s… well, you know the rest.
Ultimately, this is still the same Saints Row: The Third in terms of story and game play, though it does include 100% of the content from Saints Row: The Third: The Full Package, meaning all of the original game’s DLC is available to you from the jump. The visual upgrades the game has received are truly amazing, and are well worth making the journey back to Steelport whether you’re a long time fan or a newcomer to the series. While I did really enjoy how absolutely bonkers Saints Row IV was, Saints Row: The Third is truly the essential title in the series, and being able to experience it at this level of quality is a strange, unexpected gift. If Deep Silver is looking to set the standard for what remasters should be, they have absolutely thrown down the gauntlet in terms of what players should expect going forward.
Sneaky Bastards understands that stealth doesn’t have to be boring, and encourages creativity in Wildfire. With each upgrade or new passive meteor shard, I was drawn back to older levels to see if it was easier to complete a task I had to skip out on prior. The game has a great flow of risk and reward amid its stealth. Add in the emergent layer of manipulating your environment and the enemies around you, and you have a game teeming with unpredictability. Wildfire is chaotic and wonderful, all enacted by the spark of a flame.
It’s evident that 80’s OVERDRIVE takes inspiration from games like Outrun and Rad Racer, and thankfully does a lot new things to separate itself from what came before it. The racing feels good, and is backed by an appropriate synthwave soundtrack. However, later races have too much going on and with some randomness of collisions will force you to restart more often than you’d like. Some issues aside, 80’s OVERDRIVE is a solid racer with depth in a gorgeous and vibrant palette.
I’ve been a fan of Void Bastards since its initial release, and overall I feel the Switch port is largely successful, more so even if you’re playing in docked mode. There are some minor issues with the handheld presentation, but they’re mostly workable, and in the majority of cases shouldn’t prove too distracting from the overall experience. That said, you may find you have more trouble if you struggle with reading smaller text for any reason. Aside from that, it’s the same great game, with all the style, flair, and personality intact. It’s an excellent addition to the Switch’s growing catalog, and you’d do well to have it in your own library. I for one am happy to have a renewed excuse to start exploring the Sargasso Nebula all over again, and help a whole new crop of space prisoners work their way toward early release in some form or another.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered looks fantastic thanks to the work Beenox has put into it. The story still holds relevance, and there’s some wonderful nostalgia to go along with it now. This is a game begging to be a more complete package with additional modes, that just aren’t here. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered comes in at a scant $20, and remains one of the best single-player experiences ever.
Streets of Rage 4 is the surprise of the year. The grinding towards unlocking additional and retro character is a lowlight, the rest of the game is a highlight. The story is in-tune with prior games in the series, the artwork doesn't deviate from what you'd imagine this series looking like in 2020, and it's responsive and laser focused. Streets of Rage 4 keeps the history of the series in the rear view, yet moving forward by adding exciting and quality improvements to the series.
DOOM 64 on Switch is a great package. It’s a very fun romp through a unique 32-level campaign that many fans will not have experienced before, and it comes bundled with six bonus levels intended to fill in the backstory between DOOM 64 and 2016’s DOOM (yes, you read that correctly). The game looks gorgeous, it plays wonderfully, there’s loads of content included, and you can play it where ever you like. Plus, with a price tag of $4.99 it’s well worth the cost of entry even just as a curiosity, but I suspect that once you step inside you’ll be hooked.
Milestone has this series dialed in so well, it’s hard to fault it for things that have been removed or reduced when the racing is so solid. On one hand, managing a team feels way more robust, but the downside is that the TV broadcasting element is almost nonexistent. With what MotoGP 20 is, it charts more in a straight line than the incline that was MotoGP 18 to MotoGP 19. That said, MotoGP 20 offers a comprehensive and detailed career and a series of modes that offers something for everyone, old and new, experienced or not.
So, yes, the game is still great, and it’s still a blast to play. The presentation is phenomenal, it’s extremely well-polished, the voice acting is very good, much of the humor is still enjoyable (even if some of it is aging poorly), and it really does feel like the ultimate realization of the Saints Row fantasy. It may not be one of the all-time great releases in the history of gaming, but it’s a great deal of weird fun that subverts a lot of the expectations of the open world crime genre. The question remains to be seen as to whether Saints Row IV is the series’ final form, but if this is where things do truly leave off, it’s going out on a high note. There’s never been a better time to re-revisit Steelport.