[Review] Alien: Isolation
Posted on 1 month ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments
System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: December 5, 2019
Developer: Creative Assembly / Feral Interactive
The Alien franchise has had a long history that’s inspired countless properties from a wide array of mediums since its release in 1979, and has remained a seminal work of science fiction within film, games, and books alike. This year marks its 40th anniversary, and with that sees the Switch debut of what is, to me, one of the finest horror experiences ever made. Between crafting items, defending yourself by using various components you find throughout your survival, and the deep progression with hidden areas and rewards, Alien: Isolation is without a doubt one of the most faithful adaptations of any property and is certainly a labor of love.
[Review] Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout
Posted on 2 months ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch, Switch eShop | 0 comments
Release date: October 29, 2019
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
With yearly releases, certain franchises can sometimes grow complaisant and acquiescent when there’s a formula that works and becomes a signature, almost symbolic, to an IP’s legacy and name. In the case of Atelier, you know what you’re getting into with its slice-of-life approach to story, turn-based gameplay, fantasy world, and magical recipes. It’s what made Atelier what it is today with likeable protagonists, wholesome stories, and the chance to feel young and free. Each entry usually has a bunch of small tweaks that make up a larger whole that cause the games to feel distinct from each other despite the core approach effectively being the same, but when Atelier Ryza was shown earlier this year, you could tell right away that this was a big leap not only from Lulua, but from Atelier’s general direction as a whole. It still looks like Atelier, and it still feels like Atelier, though time and effort has clearly been made here for a new chapter and life that brings with it a fresh coat of paint, a new battle system, more intuitive interfaces, and just an overhaul of gameplay features and quality-of-life tweaks. All of these elements make Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout not only the best looking Atelier to date, but one of the most refined and refreshing entries in its history of over two decades.
Release date: October 15, 2019
Developer: Blizzard / Iron Galaxy Studios
Overwatch took the world by storm when it released in 2016, and even now years later it has grown into a property worth billions of dollars. The Switch version sees its release in 2019 three years after its launch on PC and consoles, sporting newly featured gyro controls and the ability to make the experience portable. But as great as Overwatch is, are the sacrifices made to run on what is essentially a tablet worth it at the end of the day? Parity is key here, but Switch finds itself in a situation of the age old saying, “Just because you could, doesn’t necessarily mean you should.”
Release date: October 10, 2019
Publisher: Aksys Games
When Death Mark initially released in 2017 in Japan, I knew right away that there was something special about it. There have been a few horror visual novel games in the past, but this new IP by Aksys and Experience had a certain vibe and panache to it that was so out there compared to others in the medium that it stuck out and demanded attention. A year later the game would be localized to the rest of the world and confirm the feelings I had of there simply being nothing like it. The horror genre has this incredible way of keeping you at the edge of your seat when you find yourself captivated by the events of what’s going on, and here we are a year later – in what’s now coined as the Spirit Hunter series – as its follow-up, NG, excels, refines, and builds upon its predecessor to tell yet another somber story of the unknown and afterlife, presenting itself in a format with hidden object and adventure elements wrapped in a visual novel delight.
System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: September 19, 2019
The second installment of the long-running Devil May Cry series makes its way to Switch in high-definition following Capcom’s port of the first entry earlier this year and sees Dante return to eradicate demons on the land. Devil May Cry 2 has always been the controversial black sheep of the series because of how drastically different it was before becoming more true-to-form in its highly-praised sequel, Devil May Cry 3. While a lot of fans don’t particularly look back fondly on the second installment, it’s worth mentioning that despite its flaws it is still an important part to the overall legacy of Dante and what Devil May Cry as a whole would ultimately become today. Devil May Cry 2’s impact is so fascinating to me because despite how it may be critically, everything surrounding its development and what ended up on our TVs back in 2003 paved a way for a series that was still evolving, and it was a learning experience that took sacrifices and risks – for better or for worse.
[Review] Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution
Posted on 4 months ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments
Release date: August 20, 2019
Developer: Other Ocean Interactive
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution gives fan of all ages and all eras a chance to have the experience of card gaming – from its collective nature, strategic building, and more – at home or on the go. While it doesn’t have the grab it once did, the franchise is alive and well and now has an incredibly high amount of cards. Yu-Gi-Oh! has always held a special place in my heart having grown up with it, despite me having fallen off around the time 5Ds was in circulation, so jumping back and learning so much of the new elements like pendulum and XYZ cards had a sort of thrill behind it, allowing me to catch up on all that I’ve missed. With Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution, it is exactly what it sounds like – the legacy of Yu-Gi-Oh! as a property, and the adventures of Yugi Muto throughout the history of the illustrious series.
Release date: August 22, 2019
Developer: Tokyo RPG Factory
Publisher: Square Enix
Tokyo RPG Factory’s offerings have been nothing short of fascinating, releasing the likes of I Am Setsuna as its debut title in 2016 and following it up with Lost Sphere in 2017. While those may have been hit or miss for a lot of people due to gameplay elements that didn’t feel fully realized or mechanically sound, their stories intrigued and impacted those that played them, giving players a much more somber narrative that hit specific themes of family and sacrifice that connected with many around the world. Oninaki continues Tokyo RPG Factory’s trend of melancholic storytelling by taking on much heavier topics surrounding life and death, making it easily one of the most depressing games I’ve played in years. However, the way it’s all presented from the art direction, music score, lands, cities, characters, and gameplay is all done so tastefully and with such finesse, Oninaki serves to be a message of growth not only through grief, but for Tokyo RPG Factory as a development studio.
[Review] Omega Labyrinth Life
Posted on 5 months ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments
System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: August 1, 2019
Developer: Matrix Corporation
Dungeon crawlers have hit a variety of different styles, licenses, and worlds that typically take the player into the underbelly of terrain. These titles set a tone filled with monsters, corridors, and surprises. Some can be totally random with procedural generation techniques that make for a unique playthrough while others can be meticulously crafted to be experienced with an intended sequence of events. Omega Labyrinth Life is in a league of its own due to its relentless onslaught of difficult gameplay while simultaneously lowering the guard of the player through visual stimulation – almost overwhelmingly so. It’s made known right away that Omega Labyrinth Life will be filled from top to bottom with plenty of skin, monsters, dungeons, cup sizes and the like. You’ll have to balance out a healthy education throughout your time as an exchange student while dealing with a horrible evil causing the beautiful flora around to wither and die. Unfortunately, the experience withers along with it because of barebones progression and lack of polish.
[Review] God Eater 3
Posted on 5 months ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch, Switch eShop | 0 comments
Release date: July 12, 2019
Publisher: Bandai Namco
God Eater has had a long and fruitful history since debuting close to a decade ago. The latest entry, God Eater 3, still stays true to the series’ roots with a deep customization system, mission output, and reasonable hubs. But what make it really stand out this time around is the overall tone, structure, and feel since it’s been developed by an entirely different team this time around, moving from Shift over to Marvelous. God Eater 3 takes the best portions of each of its predecessors to give a game that feels whole and connected, with seamless field traversal, new types of God Eaters known as AGEs – or Adaptive God Eaters – as well as fast-paced fighting and action to give a larger sense of fluidity that’s usually missing in games of this nature.
[Review] Senran Kagura Peach Ball
Posted on 6 months ago by Dennis(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch, Switch eShop | 0 comments
Release date: July 9, 2019
Developer: Honey Parade Games
Publisher: XSEED Games
Senran Kagura Peach Ball takes the voluptuous and equally as athletic shinobi into the crazy world of arcades with pinball. While it’s unfortunately not a mainline title filled with hack-and-slash goodness the series is known for, this new game one-ups the series’ previous Switch release, Reflexions, by not only having the crew back in action, but somehow delivering one of the best pinball experiences I’ve had arguably ever. Though this isn’t the first pinball title to make its way to Switch (and certainly won’t be the last), Senran Kagura: Peach Ball stands out thanks to its great cast and being on the more provocative side of things.