Bravely Default II is not a redefiner of the JRPG genre, and it might not stand out in the packed sea of more notable tiles available. However, not every new game has to be a genre definer to be entertaining. This adventure wears its tropes and cliches on its sleeve, but it isn’t ashamed of them. It basks in the roots it hearkens back to, to the point where playing it feels like stepping into a time machine leading to times of old with needed, welcome, modern sensibilities.
With several different gameplay modes, speeds, challenges, and the content of games offered in each bundle, Capcom Arcade Library does a spectacular job introducing these classic titles to the Nintendo Switch. The vertical Orientation and possibilities offered in handheld mode, in particular, will unlikely be replicated on any other system.
While I am a fan of the Neptunia series, I can not lie and say I enjoyed this game. Aside from the unfun gameplay, which has plagued the majority of the latest entries considerably, the superficial characterization and interaction, lazily done narrative and lack of evolution make Neptunia Virtual Stars yet another mediocre title in this franchise that refuses to modernize and overhaul its systems.
Natsuki Chronicles is a great shmup that was clearly developed by shmup fans. The game has a refinement to it that eases any pain points someone might have had with other titles in the genre. The accessibility of the systems and constant rewards creates a challenging but approachable experience. The only setback is a few hard-to-spot enemies and a frame drops, but you’ll probably be having too much fun to notice.
For veterans of the Touhou series, Touhou Spell Bubble is a no-brainer. Voice acting, pulchritudinous artwork, and a side story featuring Touhou’s main characters will be sure to please. For newcomers, this is a great way to learn about the setting in a bite-sized adventure.
SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium holds up really well as a 2021 release on Switch, and while the other fighting games in the Neo Geo Pocket Color Selection were interesting curiosities at best, this one feels like a legitimately strong fighting game experience in its own right. The game undoubtedly suffers from the basic limitations holding back other games on the handheld. Still, thanks to the diverse roster of characters, game modes, mini-games, and the sheer fanservice detail, this is an excellent retro fighting experience on Switch.
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury is a wholly satisfying gameplay experience that offers some of the series’s best multiplayer mayhem. The tweaks might seem minor, but they result in much better execution of an already amazing game. Also, the inclusion of Bowser’s Fury just makes this re-release that much sweeter. You can tell real effort went into this updated version, and it’s one adventure that I appreciated and enjoyed from beginning to end.
HuniePop 2: Double Date isn’t meant to be a serious story, but it is a serious match-three puzzle game. The gameplay systems are strategic and punishing as they force players to play multiple rounds to gain currency for items that will make the girls strong enough to reach the ever-increasing goal. Evidently, threesomes are a marathon and not a sprint, but at least you’re trying to save the world, right? Wait, I might have forgotten why I was even on this island in the first place.
Fallen Legion Revenants is full of fun, engaging combat, an interesting premise, and entertaining dialogue. However, the poor pacing between combat and narrative creates a disconnect that makes the experience monotonous at several points. This is by no means an irredeemable title. However, it is definitely preferable for players who do not seek to experience a continually engaging narrative and just desire enjoyable strategic combat.
I don’t think anyone expected Persona 5 Strikers to be as fleshed out as it is. There's a massive full game here with well over 50 hours of content for you to experience. Further, it's a way to reunite with a cast that you’ve probably already spent just as long with, if not more. The action-RPG systems make for a surprisingly fun and addictive gameloop that isn't overshadowed by the mainline entries and it still offers more than enough unique elements that differentiate it from a Musou title.