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System: Switch
Release date: December 10, 2019
Developer: Techland
Publisher: Techland


When it comes to first-person shooters, it’s fair to say that the market has taken a very distinct direction over the last decade or so. Multiplayer, map packs, and monetization are frequently touted as the core ingredients of a fun and successful modern shooter, but if you cast your mind back to the days before Call of Duty ruled the roost, you’ll quickly find that games of the genre weren’t always marketplaces or live services – they were once self contained experiences with creative flair and value. My time with Call of Juarez: Gunslinger has served as a realization that thankfully, this can still be the case today.

System: Switch
Release date: December 6, 2019
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft


Back in May, Ubisoft pulled a rather curious move by releasing Assassin’s Creed III – and its counterpart, Liberation – for the Switch. The port was widely criticized for being poorly optimized and somewhat irrelevant, especially considering the leaps and bounds that the franchise had made in scope and polish since the game’s original release. Many reviewers (myself included) longed to see the series’ fourth entry, Black Flag, released for the Switch instead – albeit without the low frame rate and ropey audio present in Assassin’s Creed III. Fast forward to today, and Ubisoft has only gone and done, well, exactly that.

System: Switch
Release date: November 8, 2019
Developer: Playful
Publisher: Playful


When many think of Nintendo, they see a single word pop into their minds: platformers. Nintendo has remained steadfast in its commitment to the platforming genre for decades, even as the gaming landscape has shifted and evolved around them considerably. Third-party and indie developers have long relied on this association too, and have routinely seen the lion’s share of their success on Nintendo consoles come from releasing platforming adventures with mass appeal. As a result of all this, you could say that the watermark for platforming excellence is considerably higher on Nintendo consoles than it is elsewhere, considering the long lineage of quality that already exists. I’m here to tell you that this watermark has been adequately met – and in some ways even exceeded – by New Super Lucky’s Tale.

System: Switch
Release date: November 5, 2019
Developer: SEGA
Publisher: SEGA


It is often said that there are but two certainties in life, being death and taxes. I propose we add a third billing to that list: party games on Nintendo consoles. There isn’t a single saggy financial quarter that can’t be pumped up significantly by the presence of a mini-game collection featuring Mario and company, and this Christmas, SEGA (in partnership with Nintendo) have answered the call of duty by sending Mario, Sonic, and both of their respective entourages to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The initial novelty and shock value of an official game featuring both Nintendo and SEGA’s mascots may be somewhat dulled since the franchise’s first outing on Wii in 2007, but you could say that this new entry is the series’ most fitting one: two monolithic Japanese companies paying homage to one equally gargantuan Japanese event.

System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: October 31, 2019
Developer: Atypical Games
Publisher: Atypical Games


Of all the genres most cruelly under-represented in modern gaming, I feel it’s the humble air-combat sim that tops the list. What was once a regular showing during the 90’s and 00’s has since withered away in significance, and outside of a handful of current and last-gen Ace Combat games, there has been little else to fill the void – especially on Nintendo’s hybrid console. As a result of this drought, I couldn’t deny my intrigue once I learned of Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders 2’s presence in the Switch’s release calendar. The mere mention of high octane dogfights and World War II aircraft are a sure fire way to get me interested (I may still be 12, need to check). What I failed to anticipate was the mobile heritage of the franchise that makes itself blisteringly apparent once you fire the game up.

System: Switch
Release date: October 15, 2019
Developer: CD Projekt Red / Saber Interactive
Publisher: CD Projekt Red


As I look at my Switch’s home-screen, I find myself questioning the reality of whatever timeline it is that I’ve ended up in. Super Mario Odyssey’s icon is nestled neatly between that of Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and I can’t quite figure out if I’m dreaming or if I’m just overtired. Existential nightmare aside, I’ve been tasked with reviewing The Witcher 3 on Switch, and despite having had months to adjust to the game’s presence on Nintendo’s hybrid, I still can’t quite wrap my head around the idea of it being real. Not only is it actually real, but it’s the full package too – the base game in its entirety along with every scrap of DLC – all present and accounted for, and all on a single 32GB cartridge. I have two questions: How? Followed closely by: How good?

System: Switch
Release date: September 26, 2019
Developer: THQ Nordic
Publisher: THQ Nordic


Earlier this year, THQ Nordic treated us to a rather lovely Switch port of Darksiders – titled Darksiders Warmastered Edition – that proved, if nothing else, to be a bit of a technical achievement. Being a fast-paced hack and slasher that relies on precise inputs and visual cues, it gave Switch owners the choice of either playing the game at high resolution and 30 frames per second, or at a lower resolution whilst running at 60 frames per second. This choice, and the work that went into making it possible, resulted in a technically magnificent game that drew plenty of praise across the Switch community. As we near the all-important holiday season, THQ Nordic has decided to bolster its late 2019 lineup with a Switch port of the game’s sequel, Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition.

System: Switch
Release date: October 1, 2019
Developer: Rebellion
Publisher: Rebellion


If you were lucky enough to first became acquainted with gaming during any decade earlier than the one we’re in now, then you’ll surely be familiar with a breed of game that has faded in prominence over recent years – “AA” or “Double-A” games. As budgets for both development and marketing have skyrocketed throughout the industry, little space has been left for plucky upstarts to cut their teeth alongside the EAs and Activisions of the world, no more so than when it comes to shooters. Developers often have to scale their projects and studios back, or submit to becoming a cog in the bigger machine through acquisitions and buyouts just to remain in operation. That hasn’t been the case for the rather aptly named Rebellion though, and their seemingly-ever-present tactical World War 2 shooter Sniper Elite. Over four main entries and a handful of spinoffs, Sniper Elite has managed to garner something of a cult following for itself, solidifying its position in the dwindling “AA” space – so much so that Rebellion has seen fit to bring not one, but two Sniper Elite games to the Switch this year. We now find ourselves treated to an “Ultimate Edition” of the third game in the series, but just how “Ultimate” it can be considered is ultimately up for debate.

System: Switch
Release date: September 20, 2019
Developer: Level-5
Publisher: Bandai Namco


Okay, full disclosure: I’m something of an uncultured swine when it comes to JRPGs. The closest I ever got to a JRPG obsession growing up was the obligatory copy of Pokemon that saw me through many a car journey – oh, that and Persona 4. Having said that, I have always been able to appreciate the objective level of polish and nuance that seemed baked into the genre’s foundations. Having said that though, my last attempt at getting on board with JRPGs was Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – an objectively fantastic game – that forced my three remaining brain cells to run in circles kicking each other up the backside. This was thanks to a bevy of layered systems and mechanics, that quickly proved far too much for an utter dunce such as myself. It was with a certain apprehension, then, that I put myself forward to review Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – an absolute unabashed JRPG through and through. Developed by Level-5 and originally released back in 2013, the game drew rave reviews at launch, and it’s a title that I have had constantly recommended to me as a potential gateway-drug to a problematic full-on JRPG addiction. I was honestly a little intimidated jumping into the game’s 50-hour campaign, but I persevered, and after only a short while with Ni no Kuni, all of my initial trepidation melted away into joy.

System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: August 6, 2019
Developer: Daybreak Game Company
Publisher: Daybreak Game Company


I would confidently place a meaty bet on the proposal that you, the reader, have definitely envisioned your own ideal superhero at some stage of your life. It’s one of those things we all do, and it’s always been a solid proposal for a video game. Daybreak, developers of Everquest and H1Z1, saw the potential of this idea, and in partnership with DC they crafted an MMO that brings this concept to fruition. As an opening statement to DC Universe Online, its character creator is an absolute treat. I used the bevy of available options, powers and weapons to create a flying, fire-wielding Neo knock-off named “Ultra-Dad”, but I could have made anything, really. A quick search of YouTube will offer up guides on how to create all manner of Marvel and DC heroes within the toolset, and just about the only thing that has to differ from existing properties is your character’s name (for some reason I couldn’t pick “The Incredible Father” for instance).