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While Senran Kagura: Burst Re:Newal probably isn’t winning any “publicly playable” awards, it definitely isn’t something to cross off your list just for that. So why not give it a try, or at least listen to the awesome soundtrack, and sacrifice yourself to the will of the dance.
Overall, Dynasty Warriors 8: Extreme Legends Definitive Edition is a great addition to the Nintendo Switch and a great place to start with the series if you've never touched a Musou before. The only real complaint that I have is because all of the other series have spoiled me at this point in which when you fail, you still get experience points instead of being booted back out to the main menu. That's the only real complain to an overall great re-re-release of the 8th entry. With how well this transitioned to the Switch, I do hope to see Dynasty Warriors 9 in the near future!
There is little not to like and Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown has a little bit of something for everyone, franchise fan or not. Perhaps as the release cycle continues we will see tweaks, like the ability to turn down the overpowering and extremely loud background music or compare ships, but those are more quality of life issues and less game-stopping problems. Even as it stands, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown is wicked fun that should be experienced by all.
I had a lot of fun playing Battle Princess Madelyn, and if you want that retro feel of Ghouls and Ghosts without the mounting blood pressure, or at least not as a fast increase as Ghouls and Ghosts, definitely give Battle Princess Madelyn a shot.
Ultimately, Gensokyo Defenders feels like something that would be more at home as a tablet or phone game, just with higher specs. If you plan on using your Switch more as a mobile style device, rather than a console, Gensokyo Defenders feels a lot more “right”. That being said, there isn’t any issue with it as a short and sweet time waster for a console. You can pick up a mission or two, and complete them in 10-15 minutes without too much hassle. Gensokyo Defenders would definitely appeal to those looking to make their Switch more of a mobile handheld, or those who enjoy a good tower defense style game.
EDF5 shows that this style of series can continue to thrive with some minor modifications to the experience. It's still fun to play years down the line, the premise is an easy one to follow and the gameplay is easy enough for anyone to slide into as the difficulty curve is a smooth one. Earth Defense Force 5 is a lot of fun alone but often you'll want someone beside you for your shenanigans or someone else from online.
Insurgency: Sandstorm was a bit of a mystery to me going into it; I grew up playing countless hours of Team Fortress (the original!), Counterstrike, and Unreal Tournament, leading all the way through to modern shooters like Call of Duty, Player Unknown's Battlegrounds, Arma, and Battlefield, so I was not sure what to think going in. Boy was I shaken to my core; my daughter would often pop her head into the room to check up on me as I giddily laughed or made some exclamation at the awesomeness that will be found throughout the entirety of Insurgency: Sandstorm. Well done I say, well done indeed.
Kenshi is a unique blend of pure squad-based RPG leveling set in a sandbox world where your goal is to first survive then thrive and it is an extremely difficult title. Not only is it difficult it is also extraordinarily complex yet with an dated but useful user interface that leaves no vital information too far out of grasp, with graphics that are both complex and at times, stunning while reminiscent of mid-late 2000's isometric viewpoint RPG titles (I believe it has graphics comparable to those found in the Dungeon Siege franchise) yet do not let the graphics fool you; Kenshi is deep and highly complex and at times feels like a management / sim game with RPG aspects built into it. This is a good thing and the brilliant mix of various game genres has me eyeballing their update notes as I am itching to get back in there … even if it means my squad ends up eaten by cannibals.
Between a well built Turn Based Tactical System and a great exploration base that allows for quicker or longer play session, Bulwark Studios have created a solid experience with Mechanicus. Upping the ante somewhat is that I think Bulwark Studios may have also designed a Warhammer title to make even Robert happy!
Overall, I think Harebrained Schemes did a fantastic job adding hours of content to the game, and allowing players more diverse options when it comes to their lance. I love that they added a much more challenging game mode (not that I wasn't already struggling through the game, but that's part of the appeal.) So, I give the Flashpoint DLC a 9 out of 10 since it adds a lot of replayability and challenge.
I would honestly saw that if you are a fan of Diablo, Torchlight, Grim Dawn, Path of Exile, Victor Vran, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing, or any other number of Hack & Slash titles that have spawned from Blizzard's horror inspired Dungeon Crawler, Book of Demons is a must. Great gameplay, graphics, audio and plenty of jokes and tributes to go around, this Hack & Slash is worth it. With it also being the beginning, I'm looking forward to seeing what Thing Trunk come up with next.
Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden is a must-buy this holiday season. Such a seamless and wonderful amalgamation of genres is rare and The Bearded Ladies have blended them so well that in Road to Eden you have a completely unique experience that feels natural, almost welcoming. Until it steps on your face but I say that is a part of the charm…
Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is, I hope, the start of an interesting genre that blends relatively free-form movement until turn-based tactical combat rears its bestial head. A perfect title for those that are itching something different than their three hundredth playthrough of XCOM 2, Achtung! Cthulhu Tactics is a great way to pass the long days of your holiday vacation.
Overall Guacamelee! 2 is a fantastic sequel to the first. Just by playing through you can see the love that DrinkBox Games have mixed into this wonderful bowl of avocado filled amazingness as you search for the keys to unlock the guac recipe that has no rival. With the amazing artstyle back once again, the epic music tracks, flying through the air as a luchadorian chicken and simply kicking the crap out of things as you search both high and low for where to go? This is one bowl that you'll want to dip your controllers into!
Despite some stiff gameplay mechanics and fairly simple combat, Killer7 manages to hold up very well even more than a decade after its initial release. The narrative is truly interesting, and there is no question that SUDA51 was well ahead of his time with both the visuals and some of the twists he threw into his story along the way. Killer7 is an example of a game that took chances, and those risks helped Goichi Suda establish his well-deserved following.
There are a handful of oddities around the Persona Dancing: Endless Night Collection, from the strange purchasing structure to how the stories in these newer games actually feel like a step back from another in the series from a few years ago. That being said, the core gameplay is both intuitive and addictive, the visuals are fun and the music is fantastic. That there are some other things to do that add an additional sense of progression is just the icing on the cake and I found it very hard to put these games down.
Overall, Crashlands is a solid choice if you’re looking for a little less hectic, more role-playing experience than some of the other “survival crafting” games out there. These types of games do tend to be a lot of the same thing over and over again though, so make sure you know you may be in for the long haul if you really get into the game.
I really, really enjoyed Tetris Effect. The modes are engaging, the presentation has a life of its own and is certainly the best the series has ever looked and sounded and the variety of modes and options while coupled with the new Zone mechanic offer some new wrinkles with plenty of replay value.