Franchise fans should be psyched to get the two Great Ace Attorney games, and in a polished package. It won’t change your mind about these titles one way or the other, unless you have a strong feeling about the period-piece setting. But it does what it sets out to do.
When I played The World Ends with You on my Nintendo DS back in 2008, I was struck by how vibrant and wonderfully unique the game is. I’d hoped for more for years, especially after teases found in the ports. Now we’re back in Shibuya for NEO TWEWY, and it is the sequel the original deserved. Yet, at the same time, it stands tall on its own merits and is a welcoming experience for people completely unfamiliar with the series.
While it was largely considered one of the less popular titles in the franchise, Nintendo rereleased Skyward Sword HD for the Nintendo Switch so a new generation of players that can experience what is considered to be the narrative foundation for the series. The result is an adequate entry, but one where its history and original control scheme’s legacy still can influence people’s enjoyment.
There are reasons people might be happy about Akiba’s Trip: Hellbound & Debriefed. It’s a win for folks who enjoy the series, as they’ll finally get to play the one that started it all. Those who appreciate obscure games getting a release outside of Japan might be pleased to see it show up worldwide. Not to mention it helps with game preservation efforts, as this is a PlayStation Portable title being “rescued.” I’m glad people who want it have a chance to play it. But it’s a big step back from Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed and incredibly frustrating.
Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights begins with the soft pitter-patter of rain and text scrawling itself along the bottom of the screen. A short exposition accompanies a beautiful illustration that showcases the player character: a young girl fast asleep with lilies in her hair and a foreboding, sinister looking brand on her forehead. She awakens alone in an unfamiliar world with the spirit of a deceased knight to guide her. This paints an evocative picture of the world of Ender Lilies and sets the tone going forward.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 is not only a friendly way to ease into an otherwise imposing series. It’s also an example of a developer improving upon every flaw from the original game. The result is a game that is one of the best I’ve played so far in 2021.
Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX is an unashamedly ruthless platformer. Originally on the Master System, it follows the title character in a quest to punch scorpions and die from being bad at rock-paper-scissors. There’s more to it than that, but you’d be forgiven for never knowing that because this game is the bad kind of challenging. With slippery controls, big enemy hitboxes, and a tiny, tiny attack, you’re going to likely spend most of your time repeating the same few levels and seeing your ghost floating out of your body.
Weaving Tides is a pleasant experience and goes all-in on its theme. You can tell the atmosphere is prioritized here. While that’s great news for things like puzzles and traversal, it can lead to some combat segments not feeling as tight. And the story seems like it is there more as an excuse to let us roam this beautiful world. Which is fun, as I’d take any excuse to ride these dragons.
Doki Doki Literature Club Plus is a great way to revisit a visual novel that made quite a splash. For newcomers, it’s easy to hop into and enjoy, even offering the PC “workarounds.” For people who’ve joined the club before, the extra stories and media are enjoyable. The sole downside is that, with all its accessibility, Doki Doki Literature Club Plus is difficult to read on the Switch and has an unfriendly UI.