Nintendo News's Reviews
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.
While Skyward Sword HD’s visuals breathe new life into the decade-old title, the quality of life improvements aren’t quite enough to make this instalment in the Zelda franchise soar to new heights. However, its strong cast of characters, hallmark dungeon designs and excellent storytelling keeps it afloat comfortably above the clouds, offering an experience that’s hard to forget.
With speed taking precedence, Mario Golf: Super Rush is for players who want to experience the thrills of golf at quadruple the pace. However, traditional Mario Golf fans may feel snubbed here as there is little challenge outside standard golf and solo play, with character unlocks and incentives completely excluded. Perhaps with the promise of continuous updates due to its rather limited base game, Super Rush may feel less one-sided, though for now it values velocity over proficiency – the complete antithesis to real-life golf. Not quite an eagle, almost a birdie, but absolutely on par.
While it may not reach the lofty creative heights of Dreams on PlayStation 4, or match the accessibility of the Super Mario Maker franchise, Game Builder Garage offers the tools to help realise some of your dream gaming creations. If you’re not a creative type and don’t care much about programming, I would avoid stepping into this Garage. However, if you do decide to peek inside out of curiosity and you’re happy with some deep learning, you’ll have everyone else’s creations to experience, and it’s just a matter of time to see what the online community will come up with.
Yet despite its unexplored potential and repetitive gameplay, Miitopia remains a fun pick up and play game. If you missed it the first time around and enjoyed the Switch demo, the extra features certainly give this game a new lick of paint. Besides, the mii interactions are certainly worth their weight in gold. Now, where’s Tomodachi Life 2? Because I think I’d like a new hat. Oh, and I want my bear back.
Being a detective was tough business. I was subjected to some uncomfortable murder scenes, countless awkward encounters, and my skills needed to pin down the culprit were stretched. But I had a lot of fun along the way, just more so with the prequel, The Girl Who Stands Behind. And taking a trip down memory lane with games that are deep within Nintendo’s provocative history was fascinating. I implore fans of visual novels to sit tight and sink your teeth into both stories – just be careful of who might be standing behind you watching your every move.
New Pokémon Snap may not showcase the Switch’s graphical capabilities, nor will it blow you away with its unimaginative storyline and anti-climactic conclusion, but if you’re a fan of the N64 original, you’ll definitely want to pick this one up. For non-Pokémon fans, the repetitive gameplay does unfortunately hold it back from being a must-have, however its adorable aura and slower pace will have you glowing more than an Illumina Maganium.
With renewed accessibility for newcomers and superb new features for seasoned hunters to get to grips with, Monster Hunter Rise is an enjoyable action RPG that refines many of World’s most successful mechanics. Its impressive scale on screen, combined with its sheer depth in gameplay, makes for a great portable and challenging title. Though not without its flaws, Monster Hunter Rise certainly has the potential to reach a new generation of hunters on the Switch, alongside PC players with its expected arrival on Windows systems next year. Perhaps the question is not whether you will rise to the challenge, but when? And remember, it’s not for the faint of heart.
Clearly, Bravely Default II is not without its flaws. A wonderful art style, delightful OST and intriguing storyline can only go so far, especially when technical glitches, odd UI mechanics and dungeon crawling make up most of the RPG. There is an element of frustration here too, where fans of the franchise may feel less compelled to sink 80+ hours into a game that feels somewhat off key. So, while it doesn’t quite reach the glorious heights of Bravely Second, Bravely Default II unfolds as a decent third entry to the series with enjoyable, albeit chilling, twists and turns.
To this day, Super Mario 3D World remains one of the best 3D Mario games that utilises the classic 2D platform style. Sure, it’s not on the grandiose scale of Super Mario Odyssey, but it never intended to be. Designed for couch co-op and online multiplayer, it certainly deserves its time in the Switch port limelight. And while Bowser’s Fury isn’t quite up to scratch, it offers those who owned the original pause for thought. After all, the euphoria from catnip only lasts so long.
Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is not without fault. Between the technical issues in single-player and co-operative modes, coupled with enforced sluggish gameplay during the Divine Beast segments, it’s clear that improvements could be made, though perhaps this is a limitation of the Switch hardware itself. Yet if you look past these flaws, there is an inner beauty. An utterly captivating and emotional storyline, beautifully strategic combat mechanics and missions that offer edge-of-your-seat action are all present. Encased within a Breath of the Wild setting, Age of Calamity is the perfect way to escape our reality this winter. Let’s just hope the darkness doesn’t spread any further.