Pixeljunk Eden 2 is a very strange game for me, since it was originally one I bounced off of hard, due to the simplicity of the controls and basic help menu not really giving me much of a direction to go off of at first, with me flying around aimlessly for several attempts before I finally cleared a garden. Yet once I got the gameplay loop of absorb, flick, absorb to hook on me, I was enthralled with the nature of this game, and honestly just had a bunch of fun exploring each of the gardens and watching new pathways and areas grow, even mindlessly exploring and collecting pollen long after I needed to.
Even if you bounced off the original for whatever reason, I do feel that Asha in Monster World is a much more approachable way to experience this wonderful adventure, and for those who are fans of the original and worried this would drain the charm out of it, there’s no need to fear on that front, either, as there’s plenty of charm here to go around! Definitely one of the biggest surprises of the year for me, and one that makes me honestly hope Monster World III gets a similar treatment!
Infinite was an OK game, one that’s really boring and uninteresting to play solo, but a lot more fun and engaging in co-op, with simple controls, pick up and play stage design, and interesting stage gimmicks that keep you interested. While it definitely took a long while for me to try the local co-op due to you know what, I am very glad I did, as Infinite makes for a surprisingly fun and enjoyable co-op adventure, even if the main game is still a basic platformer that’s not too engaging solo.
R-TYPE FINAL 2 is a great shump and a worthy series revival, but definitively feels like a WIP in some points with balancing that still needs to be done. It’s incredibly accessible though with the multiple difficulties, and it offers tight controls and fun levels to play through, along with a bunch of ships to unlock and mess with, even if the irritating material grinding makes it nowhere near as impressive as the original Final in that regard.
With how accessible this entry is, the amount of fun scorechasing modes to enjoy, and online leaderboards and stage selects to mess with, Raiden IV X Mikado Remix is absolutely a shmup worth picking up for $30, and is a must-own for that price. Even if you own Overkill on another platform, I argue that this is still a must-buy for the vertical mode support alone, since it helps make the game so much better here on Switch.
Gravifire surprised me with how addictive it was. I have reviewed game after game of sokoban inspired titles, and most of them don’t really do much to engage after a couple of levels. But Gravifire’s pick up and play levels and fun gravity mechanics really grabbed me, and the solid controls led to this being a super fun romp to play through!
Steamworld Quest is yet another fun entry in the franchise, and while it sadly doesn’t reach the same exciting heights as Dig 2, it’s still a super solid entry in its own right, with a lot of fun combat, amusing dialogue, great characters and very addictive deckbuilding. It may seem a bit convoluted at first, or so far removed from the other steamworld games that it may feel completely alien at first glance, but once you give it a shot and stick by this tale, you’ll really be thankful you started the path to be the king of games!
Even the Ocean is a game I can commend for the sheer amount of accessibility options and being able to configure the game to pretty much any playstyle you like: whether you’re a reader, a player, a puzzler, a speedrunner, this game has the options to help make things a breeze, which is something I honestly wish more games in general would do.
Along with a good amount of in-game achievements for replay value, HLD is just a fun, replayable action game that all fans of Zelda should at least give a try, even if it may not click right away. With a physical version now available, there’s no better time to give this a go if you haven’t already, or even if you played this on other consoles, since this still has quite a lot of exclusive content only available here.
Shantae is an excellent port, starting off a promising new line of GBC ports to Switch. While there were minor gripes with the inability to remap controls or borders, and the saving issues I had are pretty concerning, the port is otherwise outstanding, and makes me absolutely hungry to see other GBC classics launch in this emulator: especially if the pixel scaling continues to be just as outstanding!