Nintendo News's Reviews
Super Mario RPG is a superb remake that perfectly captures the essence of the SNES original. This is not always to its credit, as elements of its platforming in particular have not aged as well as they could have, and the ability to block enemy attacks with Action Commands serves to make the times you can’t feel far more punishing. However, these are minor frustrations that do not tarnish the overall experience in any significant or lasting fashion. Its beautifully remastered visuals and soundtrack, witty dialogue, and engaging combat make Super Mario RPG a modern classic that is more than worth your time.
Fashion Dreamer is a game that offers a wealth of customisation options that will keep you busy for hours on end, and the promise of future content updates from the developer make it a game worth keeping an eye on, even if you’re on the fence because of its missing items and features. If you have a creative itch to scratch and want to feel like part of a global community, then this is definitely a good option for you, as the gameplay loop complements online play perfectly. Fans of the Style Savvy/Fashion Boutique franchise looking for a spiritual successor may find that Fashion Dreamer doesn’t live up to their expectations however, as the lack of a narrative and extremely slow progression in solo play make this feel like a tedious grind that actively hampers your creative freedom with extremely high costs for customization. I enjoyed my time with the game for what it is, but your mileage may vary.
WarioWare: Move It!, much like its predecessors, is meant to be enjoyed in short bursts, and at that, it excels greatly. Although the Story Mode is short, taking only a couple of hours to finish, the replayability of the microgames and side modes is what really makes WarioWare worthwhile. Going for high-scores is fun even by yourself, but getting competitive with friends is even better. With over 200 microgames to learn and master, WarioWare: Move It! is an excellent party game that gets your heart beating and your blood pumping, while also giving more than a few laughs along the way. As long as you go in with the expectation of it being a silly microgame collection that doesn’t take itself too seriously, WarioWare: Move It! is a great time!
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a whimsical masterpiece, and I can say with utmost certainty that it is one of the greatest platformers that Nintendo has ever made. As the first 2D Mario game of the post-movie era, it sets an incredible precedent for the future of the series with its fresh new gameplay mechanics, expertly-crafted level design, gorgeous visuals, and lively animations. If you’re anything like me, you’ll repeatedly tell yourself “just one more level” while a joyful smile remains plastered across your face, all the way up until the end-credits roll.
The Teal Mask is, for better and for worse, more of the same. It tells an enjoyable story with some excellent lore that makes Kitakami feel as alive as any past region, and offers the same freedom of exploration that made Paldea so captivating. Unfortunately, it also comes with all the performance issues and poor optimisation that made Paldea so frustrating, and its short length, poorly-designed level scaling, and failure to deliver a proper conclusion to its story make it a less satisfying experience than it could have been, particularly if you’re coming into it from an endgame save state with a powerful team. The value of The Hidden Treasures of Area Zero as a package will of course be determined by both parts of it, but The Teal Mask is not as strong of a start as it could have been.
As an antisocial college student in my 20s, I’ll admit that I’m probably not the target audience for Everybody 1-2-Switch. With the right group of people, like at a family reunion or an elementary school pizza party, I can see that there is certainly a few hours of fun to be had here. However, in a smaller group (who were all enthusiastic to play at first) we quickly found that we would rather be playing something like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Nintendo Switch Sports, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, or one of the many Jackbox Party Packs instead. If you happened to be a fan of the original 1-2-Switch, getting the sequel is probably a no-brainer, but otherwise, you’ll likely find it to be a mediocre package that’s equally as entertaining as it is bad.
It took a very long time to reach us, but the wait was worth it: Pikmin 4 is a finely crafted experience from start to finish, with an addictive and highly satisfying gameplay loop that encourages and rewards exploration in a way that will make you want to uncover everything it has to offer. Those new to the franchise or less proficient with strategy games will find this a gentle and enjoyable experience with excellent quality-of-life features like the Rewind function to help offset frustration, and those seeking the more challenging gameplay that previous entries in the series are known for will find it in the postgame. Those looking for a co-operative multiplayer experience may be better off turning to Pikmin 3 Deluxe, but otherwise this is an easy recommendation to make for both newcomers to the series and long-time fans alike.
Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE exudes a personality and style that differentiates it from its peers, and each individual chapter is brilliantly written and highly entertaining. Despite offering very little variety in terms of gameplay, each Mystery Labyrinth you’ll enter over the course of the game feels fresh and enjoyable thanks to the excellent storytelling and presentation. It is fortunate that this is what makes up the majority of the game, because the overarching narrative surrounding the mystery of Kanai Ward is often an unwelcome distraction from the case at hand, leading to a conclusion that is less satisfying than it could have been had more time been spent on setting it up over the course of the game. The blurry visuals and occasionally erratic performance can also occasionally break immersion in the fantastic set pieces on display in Mystery Labyrinths and the gloomy ambience of Kanai Ward. But even with those caveats, Rain Code is still a mystery adventure that is more than worth your time to solve.
Bayonetta 3 is one hell of a good time. There is never a dull moment in this action/adventure threequel that’s sure to take your breath away. Even if your only knowledge of Bayonetta is that she’s one of the many characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, now is the perfect time to see what this extraordinary franchise is all about. With polished combat mechanics, gorgeous visuals, and masterful storytelling, Bayonetta 3 is simply bloody brilliant.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land isn’t just a mere leap into the third dimension, but more of a behemoth pole vault. It packs a massive punch for 3D-platformer fans, and has the same level of excellence, polish, and charm as a mainline Mario title. Though I can’t give the game a perfect score due to its relatively short length and minor graphical glitches, the next generation of the Kirby series is finally here, and it’s painstakingly phenomenal. I couldn’t be more excited for what the bright-looking future holds from the creative geniuses over at Hal Laboratory.
Nintendo’s first batch of DLC tracks that join the 48 courses already available do well to add an extra bit of needed spice to a game that’s still being played, and bought, by millions of Switch owners. With 40 more tracks arriving by the end of 2023, it’s worth getting excited over if this first handful is anything to go by. Sure, not every track earns a place in Mario Kart’s prestigious Hall of Fame, and it would have been nice to see design updates to make them truly special, jumping back into what’s already a sublime kart racer was a blast, and being able to share tracks that I have fond memories playing years ago with friends online was a real treat.
Square Enix has created yet another incredible world that practically begs for sequels, prequels, or spin-offs. Action-packed strategic battles, a well-orchestrated gripping narrative with replayability due to its multiple paths and endings (plus the convenient inclusion of the NEW GAME+ mode after completing your first playthrough), and complex yet easy to learn and understand polished mechanics make this latest 2D-HD entry from producer Tomoya Asano an easy recommendation for Nintendo Switch.
Chocobo GP has a lot of decent ideas with its Magicite attacks, and a large roster of recognisable characters that each have their own unique ability. You can play a good chunk of the game for free, and Square Enix promises Season Pass DLC, but racing as Cloud Strife won’t shift the bad taste from unimaginative race tracks Chocobo GP has to offer. The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass may not be far away, and this won’t do the Final Fantasy kart racer spin-off any favours, but the free version of Chocobo GP offers a mediocre alternative to Nintendo’s crown jewel with plenty of modes to enjoy, even if the road is a little on the bumpy side.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is not a perfect game, but it certainly comes close. It’s a fantastical innovative RPG that’s suitable for both longtime Pokémon fans and those that are brand new to the series. While it doesn’t come without its faults, containing graphical issues, a predictable plot, and too low of a difficulty level for my taste, the positives abundantly outweigh the negatives. .
Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain recycles much of what we’ve seen before and it still doesn’t have a true online feature, but it’s a step in the right direction given the inclusion of the Ghost Clash mode. There’s plenty of fun to be had when battling against players’ ghost data online, but households with more than one person that can get together face-to-face will undoubtedly find more value here. This is the most accessible Big Brain Academy to date, thanks to its generous difficulty options. Plus, if you care enough for collectable accessories for your avatar, then there’s a lot of replayability to be had, too. Solo players, on the other hand, may be left wanting more as the slim catalogue of mini-games wears thin quickly, moreso if they’ve been under the watchful eye of Dr Lobe before.
As it stands, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are faithful remakes in terms of storyline and post-content material. However, there are real issues here with the game’s level balancing, pared down content and overall user experience that does not go unnoticed. There’s no denying that these games are still enjoyable, especially for youngsters that haven’t experienced the originals. But for veterans yearning for a polished remake, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are a beautiful disaster.
Despite its clear downfalls, Happy Home Paradise is your first-class aerial ticket to design heaven. While the game does little to incentivise players, it ticks all the intended boxes of a near-sequel to Happy Home Designer. Perhaps the biggest advantage of the DLC is that it allows players to have their own vacation islands, so they can experience the story individually. On the other hand, the complete lack of personality from the characters means Animal Crossing fans may yearn for the hazy days of New Leaf. A classic case of paradise, lost.
Mario Party Superstars attempts to find common ground with fans of the series. Between the strategic boards, the mountains of minigames on offer and online gameplay, there is more than enough content to keep any Mario Party fan occupied for 20+ hours. Older generations may say, ‘they don’t make them how they used to’ and, for Mario Party, that’s certainly been the case for several years. So, while it’s not a perfect (re)union, Superstars returns to form with the old, the borrowed and the new.
This final 13-16 hour instalment is an exquisite showcase of 2D Metroid in its prime. Newcomers and die-hard fans of the series can revel in a Nintendo Switch game that not only provides one of the most deadly and thrilling experiences on Nintendo’s latest handheld to date, but one that’s such a joy to play thanks to control refinements and HD graphics. Metroid Dread is an explosive and emotional end to a beloved story that cannot be missed, and we’re already itching to see where the next mission takes us. Just as long as it doesn’t include the dreaded E.M.M.I.