For shoot ’em up fans, the decision whether to purchase Raiden IV x MIKADO Remix or not on Switch should be a no-brainer. Not only is this one of the best shoot ’em ups around, but here it’s enhanced with additional modes, global leaderboards and a brilliant remixed soundtrack. Throw in co-op, an abundance of options to fiddle with, and TATE mode, and you have a game that will keep fans of the genre entertained long into the future.
House of Ashes is by far the best entry into The Dark Pictures Anthology yet. Supermassive Games has outdone itself in terms of visual design, storytelling and pacing, and the result is a game that’s absolutely dripping with foreboding atmosphere. The story, playing out over six thrilling hours, keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish – and with so many possible outcomes, chances are you’re going to want to jump straight back in. For horror fans, this is an absolute must-play.
The story at the heart of Disciples: Liberation perhaps isn’t the most engaging, and the voice acting is certainly questionable at times, but you’ll soon look past both issues and simply enjoy what the game does right. Nevendaar is a world densely populated with things to do, and Disciples: Liberation wants you to engage with it without bogging you down. What’s more, with most quests posing choices that could affect your standing with the factions present in the world and your companions, there’s plenty of soul-searching to be done. Ultimately, no matter which of the multiple endings you receive once your journey is over, you’ll remember having to make those tough decisions along the way.
If you loved The Caligula Effect, chances are you’ll love The Caligula Effect 2 even more. It’s certainly an improvement across the board, with a story that will keep you invested for the duration. Newcomers, however, might be put off by the references to the first game, and also may not gel very well with the relationship-building aspects that aren’t all that rewarding or interesting. Overall, there’s a lot to like about The Caligula Effect 2, but it’s accompanied by a fair bit of tedium.
Don’t write A Little Golf Journey off if you’re not a golfer. This gorgeous little game is more about solving puzzles than the sport, and it blends the two perfectly. Presented in a wonderful level-based package, finding the best way to putt the ball in each level provides a simple but effective gameplay loop that will keep you coming back for more. This is a game that’ll test your thinking skills, but you’ll also have a lot of fun at the same time.
Dying Light: Platinum Edition looks surprisingly good on Switch, and even more impressive is that load times are kept short and the framerate stable. So, with a journey to Harran being as captivating today as it was in 2015, there’s no reason why those who love exploring open worlds filled with zombies wouldn’t want to pick this up. Add in a whole smorgasbord of additional content, features and modes, and you have a package that’s a highlight in the Switch’s extensive catalogue.
Aeon Must Die looks great in action, and has a fantastic soundtrack. For players who gel with the game’s combat, they’re likely to keep coming back to see the story through to its end. With multiple endings on offer, they might even return, too. It’s just a shame that for many, Aeon Must Die will prove to be a confusing and sometimes overly punishing experience that doesn’t quite fulfil on its potential.
With some serious talent behind its creation, Dungeon Encounters deserves much more fanfare than it has so far received. This might not be as flashy as a typical RPG from Square Enix, but it’s clever, it’s engaging, and its simple but deceptively deep gameplay loop will keep you coming back for more. Add to that a killer soundtrack overseen by Nobuo Uematsu, and you’ve got something rather special on your hands.
There may not be much to keep you going back to Gleylancer once you’ve completed it, but that shouldn’t be much of an issue considering its budget price. And while the action it provides is rather basic compared to some other shoot ’em ups, it doesn’t stop it from being entertaining from beginning to end. In fact, it can feel quite refreshing. This is just simple, classic, retro fun.
It doesn’t provide an experience that’s free of frustration or hiccups, but that doesn’t stop In Sound Mind from being one of this year’s biggest surprises – an action-horror game that delivers not only scares, but also head-scratching puzzles and plenty of engaging combat encounters, all wrapped up in a story that makes you think. With this sort of creativity, it’s exciting to see what We Create Stuff comes up with next. But until then, if you’re brave – and clever – enough, you’d be wise to throw yourself into In Sound Mind.