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Reviews

Monster Hunter Stories 1 Switch review

System: Switch
Release date: June 14, 2024
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom


Monster Hunter Stories was easily one of my favorite titles on the system. The franchise lent itself surprisingly well to the monster taming genre, with a solid (albeit somewhat cliche) story behind it, an accessible rock-paper-scissors style of combat, and a gene system that added an unexpected amount of depth. But it was something of a sleeper hit, and most likely didn’t experience the franchise until the sequel, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, arrived on the Switch nearly four years later. Now, just in time for the franchise’s anniversary, Capcom has finally brought the original to the Switch. But is it too little, too late?

Shin Megami Tensei V Vengeance review

System: Switch
Release date: June 14, 2024
Developer: Atlus
Publisher: SEGA


It took almost five years for Shin Megami Tensei V to release after it was first revealed and now, less than three years later, Atlus are re-releasing it as Shin Megami Tensei V: Vengeance. It’s an extremely bad habit the company has maintained over the years with both the Shin Megami Tensei and Persona series in particular, but it’s difficult to be angry when the amount of additional content added, combined with the quality-of-life changes, transform the game to feel like a completely different title. Any ill will I felt towards Atlus for doing this yet again evaporated within the first half hour, as Vengeance proved to be yet another case of fixing something I didn’t even realize was broken.

Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door review

System: Switch
Release date: May 23, 2024
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo


Switch has proven itself quite the bastion for turn-based RPGs, but the GameCube of over two decades ago didn’t get quite the same treatment. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was one of just a handful of games where the eager adventurer could whet their appetite for grinding battles to level up, collecting money, and adding to their item stash at every new town. Now with a fresh coat of paint and a host of new features, is the title worth returning to after two decades?

Cupid Parasite: Sweet and Spicy Darling review

System: Switch
Release date: May 28, 2024
Developer: Otomate
Publisher: Idea Factory


When Cupid Parasite released on Switch back in 2021 I was immediately taken with it. The premise of Cupid working in a matchmaking agency to try and find partners for hopeless cases without resorting to her powers to basically cheat them into a relationship was absolute genius, and it was the perfect marriage (if you’ll pardon the pun) between romance and comedy, punctuating its more serious moments with highly entertaining lighthearted moments. Despite being satisfied with the conclusion of each of the Parasite’s story arcs, I was never going to pass up Cupid Parasite: Sweet and Spicy Darling, a fan disc that picks up where the true ending of each route leaves off and introduces a brand new Parasite into the mix. It certainly lives up to its name, but there is also a sourness to it that hints at the overindulgence of too much of a good thing.

System: Switch
Release date: May 14, 2024
Developer: Compile Heart
Publisher: Idea Factory


I think the most surprising thing about Neptunia Game Maker R:Evolution is that it’s taken Compile Heart this long to produce it. Since her introduction in Megadimension Neptunia VII in 2015, the older Neptune has proven to be a fairly well-received and popular character in the franchise, and she has been long overdue for a game where she is the central protagonist. Now, finally, she stars as president of a game development studio, alongside three brand new characters, ready to depart on her own adventure. It is, I am pleased to say, one that is well worth experiencing, although perhaps not on the Switch if you have other options available.

Animal Well

System: Switch
Release date: May 9, 2024
Developer: Billy Basso
Publisher: Big Mode


Writing a review for a game like Animal Well is difficult, because with each new piece of information you’re given it lessens the experience: it’s one less discovery that you can make for yourself, one less light-bulb moment of pure satisfaction you’ll get from correctly interpreting what the game is subtly guiding you towards doing without you even realizing it until after you try something and, miraculously, it works. My experience with the game was made up of these moments, one after another, in almost every room I entered. It’s a highly rewarding experience, and I don’t want to ruin any of it for those who are even remotely curious about picking this game up. But I’ll try and give you a brief overview and reason enough to give into that curiosity, because it might just be one of the best gaming choices that you make this year.

CorpoNation review

System: Switch
Release date: May 9, 2024
Developer: Canteen
Publisher: Playtonic Friends


In CorpoNation: The Sorting Process, you’re an employee of Ringo CorpoNation. You toil away the hours sorting genetic samples only to get back home, maybe play a video game, eat, and then sleep. There is no real joy. This is the daily process. You start to wonder if there’s more to it. Oh, there’s more to it.

Biomutant review

System: Switch
Release date: May 14, 2024
Developer: Experiment 101
Publisher: THQ Nordic


THQ Nordic’s Biomutant had a rocky upbringing. Much like the pint sized, furry denizens of the game’s open world, the origins of this troubled title are mired in mystery, and drawn out over what feels like eons. Back when the game was originally announced, it showed a level of promise and originality that genuinely raised eyebrows. Much ado was made about how the game’s developer, Experiment 101, had a level of creative liberty that – in this day and age – was uncommon. If anything, Biomutant exuded that “Double A” feeling – a game that was allowed to be what its creators wanted to be, unconstrained by the expectations of executive decision makers. Fast forward to the game’s launch in 2021 for PS4, Xbox One and PC – and then again to 2024, and we’ve been graced with a port of Biomutant for the Switch. Should THQ Nordic have bothered?

El Shaddai HD Remaster review

System: Switch
Release date: April 28, 2024
Developer: Crim
Publisher: Crim


The seventh generation of video games was an interesting time, and gave us an abundance of action titles, with many becoming critically-acclaimed, genre-defining hits. El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron, released in 2011, never managed to make that kind of impact, although it did receive a particularly interesting continuation in The Lost Child six years later. Now thirteen years following its launch, the game has finally made its way to Switch in the form of El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron HD Remaster, largely due to fan demand. While it may still be destined to remain overlooked in the face of its far more successful contemporaries, it remains the unique and unforgettable experience it was when it first debuted, both for better and for worse.

Endless Ocean Luminous review

System: Switch
Release date: May 2, 2024
Developer: Akira
Publisher: Nintendo


As thoroughly as humanity has managed to explore the surface of our planet up through the present day, it’s a well-known fact that the vast majority of Earth’s oceans remain unexplored. And while plenty of games have sought to make tangible the feeling of exploring an underwater realm, Nintendo’s Endless Ocean series remains one of only a handful that focuses on our planet’s biology first and foremost. It’s been over a decade since the last game in the series, Endless Ocean: Blue World, released on the Wii; that game has held a special place in my heart ever since, so I was excited to see Endless Ocean Luminous announced for the Switch. In some ways, it manages to bring the series forward in exactly the ways I had hoped – its expanded focus on multiplayer helps the sprawling seas feel a little more lively and dynamic, and enhanced controls and visuals make the act of exploring more pleasant than ever. Unfortunately, as an overall experience, Endless Ocean Luminous is a significant step backward from its predecessor in many ways, resulting in a package that feels significantly shallower than I had hoped.


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