Nintendo Wire's Reviews
As a more complex genre that also relies on narrative, the improvements to Fire Emblem titles are multiplicative. Things like UI elements, a more streamlined inventory system, customizable skills, support conversations, and even the Weapon Triangle are all absent. Turning back the clock strips away not just iconic gameplay ideas, but gradually gathered quality of life improvements. This leaves a bare framework in their place. This is Fire Emblem through and through, make no mistake. It’s just the absolute minimum of what a Fire Emblem should be.
It’s streets ahead of the existing post-game, and thanks to the better realization of the Wild Area concept, I feel comfortable calling it an improvement on Sword and Shield’s biggest feature. It may not be a game changer, but the Isle of Armor still manages to be both an enjoyable slice of Pokémon and a satisfying taste of more to come.
How much you get out of Cindered Shadows will depend largely on what you enjoyed about Three Houses. If you want further exploration of Garreg Mach and Fodlan’s histories, a few new playable characters and classes, new facilities for your main save, and a concentrated dose of Fire Emblem; it does its part and then some. However if you were taken in by the multi-faceted narrative and freer customization of Three Houses, or expecting more on its cast, then you may walk away from Abyss disappointed.
If you’re new to 2, then it can be a great starting point if you’re unsure of your commitment to a 100 hour experience, as it’s a wonderful sliver of what the full game offers. And ultimately, I think I’ll look back at it even more favorably than the main questline. Just like the game it’s an addendum to, Torna ~ The Golden Country is an unpolished gem: an experience with rough edges that dazzles in spite of them all.
I’ll be blunt: the Switch version of Apex Legends isn’t good. It’s mediocre at best, and with no system for cross-progression, it’s an absolutely useless port for an Apex Legends PC player like myself. It runs like hot garbage with blurry textures, noticeable pop-ins, stuttering, lag, and frame rate dips. Underneath all that is a barely serviceable version of the game, which is — at its core — an outstanding battle royale experience with cool characters and great combat. It’s just a shame Switch players will have to suffer through its many shortcomings to get to that.
And while I don’t think Square Enix necessarily flopped, I think they faltered where it mattered most, and that comes at a cost.
It’s worth noting that this review is written for the game as it stands at launch. There’s every possibility it will get much better, or much worse, as elements like the Season Pass are implemented. I can only hope the former’s the case, as right now, Chocobo GP stands as an enjoyable-but-basic racer that I’d only recommend to Final Fantasy fans.
Life Is Strange: True Colors tries to tell a mature story, one of grieving and self-loathing, how it transforms our lives and others, how we come not to find relationships but build them with those around us. But for all of these themes, it scarcely succeeds at capturing any one of them. It can be compelling, captivating, and charming at one moment and forcefully maudlin at others. It tries to capture the full rainbow spectrum of human emotions, every last hue and shade that makes up the complexities of ourselves. But it only has four colors.
This is an impossible game to rate on a numbered scale. The score below ultimately reflects an arbitrary placement, one that makes the game seem merely middling when it’s really like a full-course meal that was delicious but an absolute pain to work through. Eastward is far from the YIIK class of terrible “Earthboundlike” games, and certainly deserves more attention than that mess. If you have a lot of patience, this is an easy recommendation. And if you have none, I would stay far away. I’m not sure if I’ll ever head Eastward again, but the journey will always remain fresh in my mind.
My highest praise goes to the overall aesthetic. Fantastic Night Dreams is at once vibrant and somewhat gothic in its presentation, with the colorful sprites and characters flying freely through starlit nights and haunted caverns. These already looked nice in the original Cotton, helping it stand out even among other cute ‘em ups, but are even more pronounced in the arranged version. Paired with the excellent soundtrack for stages (which has also gotten completely rearranged, with the originals still available) the whole of a playthrough is a trick-or-treat for the eyes and ears.
I’d sooner point you to the ACA NeoGeo offerings from the series, that’d be like writing off Link’s Awakening completely just because A Link to the Past exists. That analogy can be applied to the whole collection, in fact, particularly since SNK has made so much of its backlog available. You may be able to pick up a bigger, prettier game but don’t let that deter you from celebrating this unique handheld and its library.
With promises from the game’s producer to support the game by patching more issues and DLC releases being staggered throughout the year, Pioneers of Olive Town will become a bountiful entry in the series. For now, despite its flaws, it’ll woo a sizeable portion of the series’ fanbase and hopefully blossom into a polished game before these farmers move to greener pastures.