Submit a news tip



System: Switch
Release date: December 3, 2020
Developer: Toge Productions, Mojiken Studio
Publisher: Chorus Worldwide Games


It needs to be said right away that When the Past was Around is one of the most beautiful and evocative experiences I’ve had in quite some time. It’s games like these that I usually love to close a year off with, just as I did previously with Gris. These types of titles these go beyond a narrative being told and go straight for the heart, and, much like Gris, convey a lot by saying very little. When the Past was Around is a game that lets the art and your actions do the talking as your 20-something character goes through love, loss, and heartbreak, as well as the trials and tribulations of life and how we face them. It has a little something we can all connect to, and finding and utilizing these puzzles to face our issues – much like how we solve problems in our own lives – become complex only when they need to or if we don’t look deeper. When the Past was Around almost feels like an interactive metaphor, but does so in a gorgeous way that accentuates its stunning art style, relaxing yet thought-provoking gameplay, and café-like vibes that make it feel like a real joy to play from beginning to end despite its heavy themes.

System: Switch
Release date: November 20, 2020
Developer: Koei Tecmo / Omega Force
Publisher: Nintendo


In true Musou/Warriors fashion, the original Hyrule Warriors was Koei Tecmo’s take on a completely original story that introduced new characters like Lana, Cia, and Linkle and saw a darker, more mature take on the Zelda IP. Omega Force used the studio’s hack-and-slash prowess to give us one of the most intense and action-oriented Zelda titles to date, and now the follow-up takes us back – way back – to long before the Calamity plagued Hyrule in the timeline of Breath of the Wild. The game brings with it the usual Musou greatness Omega Force is known for while featuring Breath of the Wild’s aesthetic and storyline instead of the more stylized Musou approach that we saw with the original Hyrule Warriors.

System: Switch
Release date: December 3, 2020
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft


If there’s anything Ubisoft should be commended for, it’s the company’s ambition to constantly create new IP and expand them into ongoing franchises. Ubisoft is one of the few publishers out there that has a steady output from numerous in-house studios that tend to push new ideas forward with a wide array of properties. Immortals Fenyx Rising – which debuted as Gods & Monsters in 2019 – continues that trend with an open-world game featuring an experience that’s equal parts wholesome and dramatic, humorous yet tumultuous, and adventurous and inviting. It fine tunes the open-world experience and makes everything feel worthwhile and seamless, cutting the bloat other games in the genre tend to find themselves suffering from. Immortals Fenyx Rising provides a beautiful world within the Golden Isles that feels like a breath of fresh air.

System: Switch
Release date: November 10, 2020
Developer: Edelweiss
Publisher: XSEED / Marvelous


Farming simulation has had an interesting history ever since Harvest Moon popularized it way back in the 90s. I was always fascinated by the idea of simulators in general, but it wasn’t until recent years when I started to really feel like the genre started to accommodate more types of players and creativity really started to help drive the genre forward. Games like Dragon Quest Builders, Summer in Mara, and Rune Factory give players much more to do than waking up at 6 AM to check the mail and grab some fresh fish and carrots. These kinds of titled helped players like myself ease into the gameplay while also offering a sense of adventure alongside the more serene moments of farming and relaxation. Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin continues this trend of implementing a new way to play and acquiring the materials you need to build a future in a newfound land. It’s as wholesome as it is adventurous, all while providing an immense amount of fun in a unique experience that delves into the love of rice – one of the world’s biggest commodities – as well as Japanese folklore to further exude a beautiful fantasy setting.

System: Switch
Release date: November 3, 2020
Developer: WayForward
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment


The last time Bakugan saw any sort of video game outside of mobile devices was back in 2011 with Rise of the Resistance on DS. Almost nine years later, to the dot, the series is back with Champions of Vestroia. I don’t think Bakugan ever had that sort of grip or longevity something like Yu-Gi-Oh! or even Beyblade has, but it’s gathered enough of a following to warrant continued support of the property so many years later, especially now with the new Switch game. The anime continues on with Bakugan: Armored Aliance following a sort of “reboot” with Battle Planet prior to that, so Champions of Vestroia just adds to a big push from SEGA Toys and Spin Master for the series to return to the forefront where it once sat as Property of the Year in 2009.

System: Switch
Release date: October 13, 2020 (Collector’s Edition) / March 26, 2019 (original)
Developer: nWay
Publisher: nWay


There have been plenty of Power Ranger games since the SNES days, but the IP itself has never really seen a true title made with enthusiasm and passion from its development quite like Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. While its traditional 2D fighter approach doesn’t stray away much from previous games, it’s the one that sticks out the most thanks to its continuous fun and being the first entry to support cross-play. Battle for the Grid reminds us why Power Rangers has been so globally recognized and beloved for decades as it is clearly made with love and appreciation for the series. Some may argue that the DLC and live-service approach can be a bit aggressive, but the game has come a long way now that the Collector’s Edition is on the horizon, making it the best possible time to jump in.

System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: September 3, 2020
Developer: Proletariat
Publisher: Proletariat


One could argue that the battle royale scene has become incredibly stale with a bunch of clones that have been looking to capitalize on the popularity of other titles in the genre. Since then, it has become a bit of a juggernaut with pros and cons on the industry. Spellbreak now adds itself to the long lineup of battle royale games, and while we’ve seen plenty come and go, it’s nice that this one has come through and finally delivers an experience with seamless cross-play and cross-progression across all platforms, leads the way in consumer respect, and offers an appealing look with a magical take.

When Gods & Monsters was initially revealed in 2019 at Ubisoft’s E3 event, it was a title I couldn’t stop thinking about for the duration of the expo and well beyond. As the months passed by though, the radio silence would have me worried. As its initial release window of February 2020 started to approach, it became more apparent with the lack of information that this target wouldn’t be hit, and sure enough we would eventually get confirmation of a delay. The game has now finally resurfaced, and after having spent two hours with it as part of a hands-on event, Gods & Monsters – now known as Immortals Fenyx Rising – has come far since its reveal and may prove to be one of Ubisoft’s most beautiful, magical, and adventurous titles in a very long time.

System: Switch
Release date: September 1, 2020
Developer: eXiin
Publisher: Modus Games


Despite games taking us to other worlds and giving us what can feel like the ultimate sense of escapism, it seems that there’s less of an emphasis these days on genuinely having fun and instead wanting to make things as realistic as possible. Sometimes it feels like wonder and awe are lost, but then you come across something like Ary and the Secret of Seasons, which exudes a magical presence and a fantastical setting you’d want to explore and live in. It has that sense of adventure, a charming art style, and a heartwarming story that, while simple, remains effective in giving an overall feeling of positivity as you play throughout. It hits all the right notes when it comes to being a decent game that’s accessible and for a wide demographic, but its biggest issues unfortunately come from an overall mess of an experience filled with graphical glitches, borderline unplayable performance in some cases, and bugs in just about every corner.

System: Switch
Release date: August 28, 2020
Developer: Spike Chunsoft
Publisher: Bandai Namco


Having initially released in 2019 on other platforms, Jump Force would have been one of Bandai Namco’s last games that I figured would get ported to the Switch. Given its massive and almost realistic approach to anime characters that had conflicting art styles, when it was announced one had to wonder how a game with the graphics, intensity, and speed would even be able to properly run. Jump Force also initially felt like a step back from the previous celebration of iconic anime franchises in J-Stars Victory VS, as Jump Force not only had a smaller roster at launch, but from fewer franchises represented. Despite this, however, over a year and a half later, Jump Force Deluxe Edition on Switch brings with it the entire character roster including plenty of DLC for one unified package.