Overall, I quite enjoyed my time with Shantae: Risky’s Revenge – Director’s Cut. It was a fun little Metroidvania-style adventure that took me the majority of 10 hours to complete. I collected all of the Magic Jams and got all of the abilities and perks from the shop. I had a lot of fun with the game, and it still holds up pretty well by today’s standards for the most part. The biggest flaw is probably just that it could use a better map system. You can download a copy from the Nintendo Switch eShop for $9.99. Can you put a stop to Risky Boots’ evil plot in order to save Sequin Land, Scuttle Town, and your uncle?
I have to say, I had a lot of fun with Gal*Gun Returns. I really loved all the characters and the story. The gameplay is still a ton of fun, and the Collection mode actually has some really awesome CGs that are well worth unlocking. I spent about 10 hours with this one and was able to complete all four heroines routes with one ending and Doki Doki Carnival a couple of times. To get all of the endings and complete all the girls’ profiles will take you a bit longer, but this adds a lot of replay value to this one. If you’re a fan of the series, buying this is a no-brainer at $49.99. You will love this one just as much as the previous releases. If you’re new to the franchise, this is the perfect place to start and see why folks adore this over-the-top series.
I really enjoyed playing No More Heroes and No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle on Nintendo Switch. It had been a hot minute since I had played either of these games, but I felt right at home the minute I started, and remembered right off why Suda51 makes some of the most unique games out there. Each game will set you back $19.99, and you’ll get 8 to 10 hours of gameplay out of each with some decent replay value playing the harder difficulties. If you loved these games on the Wii, you should certainly pick up these great Switch ports. And if you’ve never tried out one of these games before, you should do so. There is nothing else out there quite like them.
At $19.99, Ogre Tale is a hard one to recommend, especially over Phantom Breaker: Battle Grounds, a game that is not only cheaper, but features more gameplay modes, playable characters, better difficulty balance, a more satisfying upgrade system, and tighter boss battles. On its own, it’s not a bad game, but a really underwhelming follow up to what was a really solid beat ’em up.
Picklock is a fun little indie puzzle game, but, unfortunately, its execution is significantly marred by the grating issues discussed above. The game just feels unpolished and also too short after its abrupt ending. For the most part, Picklock is just a series of missions to beat. You can try to get a perfect run on each one, but this won’t add much extra gameplay. I beat the game with all missions cleared with a perfect score in around 5 hours. In addition to being short, another issue is that all of the stuff you can buy is just cosmetic and has no real effect on the game. Getting a new car just changes what car you see in the cutscenes when you go to locations on the map. Redesigning the interior of your house just changes how it looks. The four exotic properties you can purchase are just static scenes showing your character relaxing, with one or two other animated characters, and maybe some animated water. All you can do when you go to one of these places is listen to a relaxing, tropical themed music track until you decide to open the pause menu and leave. They are accessed via the real estate agency in town. Some players may also be annoyed that once you’ve gotten all the money you can in the game, it’s not enough to get everything. As a result, you’ll have to forego at least one thing in the shops. If you’re interested in the game, it’s one that you may want to wait for a sale on. Picklock is available on the Nintendo eShop for $7.99, as well as on Steam.
Moss is a great game, not only for VR but in general. Quill and the characters she meets are charming, and the storybook nature of this tale are a great hook. The story itself is nothing especially groundbreaking, but it’s well-written, and I love the presentation. The only other animal protagonist I’ve found as endearing as Quill is Trico from The Last Guardian, and that is high praise. I love her. Please give me all the merchandise of her. My biggest complaint is, simply, that the game ends so soon! You can easily finish Moss in about three to five hours, depending on how determined you are to find all the hidden items across the game’s seven chapters, and each chapter is an easily-digestible 20-30 minutes. Since the puzzles always have the same solutions, there isn’t a lot of replayability, but that didn’t stop me from thoroughly enjoying the time I spent with the game and its DLC. This is a must-play for anyone interested in VR and a great showcase for the medium’s strengths.
Atelier Ryza 2: Lost Legends & the Secret Fairy is just a great game from start to finish. The characters are amazing, the world is very intriguing, and gameplay is just fantastic. I’ve played a lot of games in this series over the years, and this one is certainly one of my favorites. Gust has done something a lot of folks fail at. They took a very well-received title and made a sequel that is even better. It will take you right round 35 to 40 hours to complete the story here, and it’s worth every penny of the $59.99 retail price. I can’t wait to see where Ryza and her crew go from here!
Pendragon has me a bit conflicted; there’s nothing about it that’s bad, I just wish there was more of it. It’s a bit difficult for me to recommend, too. I feel like you really gotta be into the idea of a dynamic narrative and doing playthrough after playthrough to learn more about it. Had this been a more unique setting with unique characters, it might be a different story. It all being Arthurian mythology means that I have at least some familiarity with what happened and who everyone is. How long this game lasts is gonna vary wildly. You could be like me and luck out on your second playthrough and get to the end, and decide that’s enough, but that’s not really a full experience. You could spend a few hours or maybe upwards of 10 hours if you’re into the concept enough. $17 on Steam is a pretty reasonable price, if this sounds like your thing.
At the end of the day, if you’re looking for a basic but fun fighter for your Nintendo Switch, you can’t really go wrong with Fatal Fury First Contact at the mere $7.99 price tag. The fighting is very smooth and the great roster will have you wanting to play around with them for many hours on end. It may not have a ton of modes, but it has it where it counts, and Mai makes a super cute chibi as well!