Noisy Pixel's Reviews
AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative is an easy game of the year contender. The game features an improved presentation of animations, music, fantastic characters, and writing that left me in half reeling and desperate for more. The pacing throughout the mystery was stellar, and the build-up to the conclusion will keep you on your toes. If you’re into mystery, adventure games, or visual novels, this is the game to get.
TOKOYO: The Tower of Perpetuity is a game worth having on your Switch digital library, simply because of its pick-up and play appeal, and also because it offers an experience that literally renews itself on a daily basis. Also, this is far from a solitary roguelike experience, as you’ll be part of an active community, one where everyone takes on an entirely new journey together each day.
fault – StP – LIGHTKRAVTE is one of the most visually impressive titles I have read in a good while, to a staggering degree. With a technically impressive background score and a solid story, I have been entirely sold on this series and want to read the rest of it very soon. I just need to find the time.
UuultraC is another unique BL title from ADELTA and it’s easy to see improvements to the Kurosawa Rinko artstyle. However, the messy delivery of its plot keeps it from living up to its potential with a confusing narrative style that hinders the experience more than it does improve it. Even so, fans of the genre are likely to enjoy this wild ride and should give this experimental work a try.
ANNO: Mutationem is an exciting and welcome addition to the world of cyberpunk gaming. The amount it presents within the short timeframe is astonishing. There’s always something to keep you attentive, whether it be the gorgeous pixel art, the enjoyable boss fights, or the deep narrative. Yet, ANNO does well to not overstay its welcome and instead presents a beautiful experience that engulfs you into a different reality.
Hot Wheels Unleashed is really nice to look at and sometimes fun to play, but I’m not sure who it’s for. The in-game currency model is unnecessarily convoluted and annoying most of the time. The difficulty is unbalanced to the point where I was forced to play on easy and swallow my gamer pride. The online multiplayer is where the most enjoyment is, but expect to invest hours trying to pull a car that can compete with some of the rarer racers. If Unleashed were a contender in a race, it would place 12th, like I did many times.
Actraiser Renaissance is a surprise return of a long-lost classic, but one which falls flat in execution in more ways than one. It has moments of brilliance, and there is undoubtedly substance and depth in its many systems. Still, all the moving parts don’t come together cohesively or logically, and it ultimately feels like two completely unrelated games taped together as one, with neither fully complementing the other. Old school fans will no doubt find the experience worth investing in after the tedious start, but for most other players, there are just plenty of far better alternatives.
Death’s Gambit: Afterlife is the product of a dedicated team that wants to provide the best action experience possible. This revamped version offers plenty of new systems for returning fans and puts its best foot forward for new players. There’s great attention to balance in this Souls-like Metroidvania that supplies enough challenging encounters and deep customization for all players to enjoy. It looks like the Afterlife ain’t so bad after all.
Centipede: Recharged is a welcome modernization of a timeless arcade shooter. The classic ’80s gameplay is fully intact, and the new power-ups and challenges spice up what was already a fine-tuned experience. Some of the best games in the world are ones that instantly wire into your reflexes, and Centipede: Recharged is definitely one you’ll want to keep around for pure shooting bliss.
There is nothing quite like these unique games, especially when in top form like Banana Mania. Their prowess at granting addicting stages and a constant desire for self-improvement are borderline unmatched. Quite honestly, seeing this revival is legitimately miraculous. I implore fans and even those who are vaguely interested in getting this collection and giving it a shot to let Sega know that classic Monkey Ball still has a thriving, dedicated market.
Mary Skelter Finale is a worthy conclusion to this turbulent saga of struggles against seemingly impossible to overcome odds. The cast is spread apart and segmented but undoubtedly bound together by the simultaneously cruel yet compassionate whims of fate. The gameplay is arguably at its height in this entry. The returning systems are satisfyingly addicting with the inclusion of the Zapping mechanic and standout character interactions. Even when accounting for the poorly paced main narrative and over-indulgent dungeon design, this is absolutely a finale worth experiencing in all of its unabashed, climatic glory.
Axiom Verge 2 is a great game with undeniable flaws. The combat lacks focus regardless of what kind of player you are. Still, exploration manages to be enjoyable and engaging. This game is catered for Metroid fans. Anybody else might have a difficult time embracing its charm. At the end of the day, though, Axiom Verge 2 is a delightful time, deserving notable acclaim and overall success.
Astria Ascending had me invested in the 25 hours it took me to get to the final dungeon. However, that comes with a padded runtime of level grinding, lengthy battles, dungeon navigation confusion, and many menu interactions. So if you begin, prepare not to understand what is going on until 10 hours into the game, but if you don’t have that time, don’t bother. However, those who do get far enough are in for a genuinely fun JPRG experience that only requires a few quality-of-life improvements.
In Sound Mind excels at its atmosphere and characterization of Desmond and the delusions of his patients. Combat can feel a little lackluster, and the story structure is formulaic. However, there is a love of horror on display found in the environments and core design of the experience.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a remarkable and magical adventure, and it’s honestly still hard to believe this is an indie title. This is the kind of game that simply needs to be part of every gamer’s library and one that raises the bar for the adventure genre in this generation. With emotional story beats, a compelling game world, engaging level design, challenging boss battles, and surprising combat versatility, Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an experience far greater than the sum of its many interconnected parts.
Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot on Switch delivers the same high action available on other platforms at the cost of some visual graphics. Frame rate is crucial to the experience, and if things have to get a little out of focus to keep the fights moving, so be it. There’s so much to enjoy about this game, and the Switch is a fine place to experience all the stories, exploration, and intense battles that it has to offer.
When it comes to sound design and visual style, Sable blew me away. I couldn’t help but smile and prepare to get lost in a beautiful world. Unfortunately, that feeling doesn’t take long to fade away. There’s definitely enough to keep you engaged and interested, but I just yearned to get more out of this game, especially as it has compelling elements within the groundwork.
Bloodrayne Betrayal Fresh Bites is a title that deserved this re-release to get it in front of new players. Combat is initially fun and easy to grasp, and the gorgeous art is enough to get anyone into the door. However, once you are there, the slightly inconsistent art style of the protagonist and easy trivialization of the combat; makes this title hard for me to recommend outside of players looking to give themselves a challenge intentionally.
Curiosity Expedition 2 is a roguelike that would probably be lots of fun to play on a video chat with friends, voting on actions as a group, and watching the chaos unfold. Otherwise, it’s an enjoyable exploration game with a host of unique features that lets you put your mind to the test without too much stress unless you want it to be.
Through its fun stages, weapon variety, and unique spell system, Flynn: Son of Crimson makes for a fun platformer to have in your catalog. There’s enough present to enjoy one time through, but added effort was provided to add a bit of replay value to the adventure. It may be tough to find a good indie platformer given the size of the genre, but there’s a genuine adventure waiting for you here.