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Fresh Start review

System: Switch
Release date: September 14, 2023
Developer: Awaken Realms
Publisher: Merge Games

Growing up, I never really believed that cleaning up could be a game. That was just a painfully transparent lie that my parents (no doubt inspired by Mary Poppins) told me in some effort to get me to tidy up, even knowing as I did that it was only going to get messed up again within five minutes. But as I grew older I learned that there was something very satisfying and rewarding about accomplishing a simple task, and Merge Games’ latest title, Fresh Start, aims to capitalize on that feeling through its cozy and relaxing gameplay. While it succeeds admirably on that front, it could have used a little more cleaning and polishing before it was brought over to the Switch, and the end result is a muddied experience that is tough to recommend.

MythForce review

System: Switch
Release date: September 12, 2023
Developer: Beamdog
Publisher: Aspyr

Booting up MythForce on Switch, and the first thing you’re met with is an uncomfortably long loading screen. After that, you’re treated to an animated intro that aims to mimic Saturday morning cartoons of the 80s – think “Thundercats” and “He-Man, Masters of the Universe”. It’s cute enough to induce a smile the first time around, but if you look past the nearly 40-year old stylistic veneer and the cheesy theme tune, you’re left with a game that sadly doesn’t know what to do with itself. It’s as though developer Beamdog started with the concept of a cartoon co-op rogue-lite, and then carried it through to its most saccharine, predictable conclusion.

System: Switch
Release date: August 24, 2023
Developer: Colorgrave
Publisher: Colorgrave

It would be fair to say that while Capcom hasn’t entirely abandoned the Mega Man franchise, it has been somewhat lax with support for it within recent times, favoring collective releases of past series rather than making entirely new games. It has fallen to smaller studios to carry the torch and deliver new experiences, and Battery Staple Games has risen to the occasion magnificently with 30XX, a follow-up to their previous take on the formula.

Super Bomberman R 2 review

System: Switch
Release date: September 13, 2023
Developer: Konami
Publisher: Konami

When the Switch first launched back in 2017, the original Super Bomberman R was a launch title. While it may have been outshined by The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also releasing on the same day, a lot of owners ended up picking up the title as a go-to for multiplayer gameplay. Now way further down the line in the Switch’s life cycle, the sequel appears with a brand new story and new modes for multiplayer in the form of Super Bomberman R 2.

[Review] Mon-Yu

Posted on 1 week ago by in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments

Mon-Yu review

System: Switch
Release date: September 21, 2023
Developer: Experience
Publisher: Aksys Games

If you’re a fan of anime or light novels, you’re probably familiar with the interesting trend of giving a series an overly long and descriptive sentence for a title. Mon Yu: Defeat Monsters and Gain Strong Weapons and Armor. You May Be Defeated, but Don’t Give Up, Become Stronger. I Believe There Will Be a Day When the Heroes Defeat the Devil King (hereafter referred to simply as just Mon-Yu for obvious reasons) is the latest in a long line of DRPGs from Experience, and has clearly been inspired by this trend in some ways, with its colorful chibi character art style suggesting a light-hearted, easygoing adventure to rid the world of evil. However, beneath this seemingly cheerful aesthetic lies a core of steel that cuts a little too sharply to be appealing.

System: Switch
Release date: August 24, 2023
Developer: Colorgrave
Publisher: Colorgrave

Side-scrolling platformers are a classic genre – in fact, for many players they’re the first kind of game ever picked up. As a child in the 90s, my introduction to video games was a classic NES Mario title, and upon booting up Curse Crackers: For Whom the Belle Toils, I had a wave of nostalgia wash over me, reminding me of what games looked like when I was small. The intro sets up the back story just like what I was used to, and seeing character portraits and pixelated text felt like a blast from the past. The chiptune soundtrack made me crack a smile immediately. Diving a little deeper, I wanted to know if Curse Crackers was more than just an homage to bygone times, or if it could stand by games of the modern age.

[Review] Fae Farm

Posted on 2 weeks ago by in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments

Fae Farm review

System: Switch
Release date: September 8, 2023
Developer: Phoenix Labs
Publisher: Phoenix Labs

The farming/life sim genre has exploded in recent years, and with an abundance of high quality titles now available on Switch, it is becoming increasingly difficult for new entrants to stand out from the crowd. Fae Farm, which comes from Phoenix Labs, is the latest to have gathered some attention prior to its launch thanks to its magic-focused premise, RPG elements, and quality-of-life features that make the pains of the genre more bearable and accessible. While Fae Farm takes several steps in the right direction towards this end, there are some design choices that make the overall experience less magical than it could have been.

[Review] Blasphemous II

Posted on 2 weeks ago by in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments

Blasphemous II review

System: Switch
Release date: August 24, 2023
Developer: The Game Kitchen
Publisher: Team17

Blasphemous was a smash hit when it released in 2019, two years after a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. Two years after the first game wrapped up with The Wounds of Eventide DLC, developer The Game Kitchen is back with this direct sequel. At this point you probably know if the Soulslike Metroidvania genre is one you enjoy, and Blasphemous II won’t be changing your mind. However, it stands out from the crowd and is a marked improvement on the original game, and one I would definitely recommend that you pick up if you’re on the fence.

System: Switch
Release date: August 16, 2023
Developer: Deconstructeam
Publisher: Devolver Digital

It’s not uncommon these days to see a game with a choice-based narrative, which allows players to engage with the story on a deeper level by placing themselves in the role of the character they play as, allowing them to shape that character’s personality and interaction as they see fit with little regard for the consequences: if you make the wrong choice, you can reload and try again, or make another choice to steer yourself back to the ending that you want. But it’s rare to find a game that doesn’t clearly signpost which choices are the “right” and “wrong” ones, and instead lets you decide for yourself and force you to live with the consequences, whatever they may be. The Cosmic Wheel Sisterhood, developed by Deconstructeam, lets you take fate into your own hands, for better or worse, in a way that results in a highly personal experience that has as much meaning as you choose to give it.

System: Switch
Release date: August 29, 2023
Developer: SEGA
Publisher: SEGA

Look, I don’t want to seem ungrateful – but out of all of the franchises SEGA could have thawed from cryo-sleep in 2023, Samba de Amigo was not the one I would have expected. The fan-favorite rhythm action celebration of Latin American music and culture last graced our consoles a whopping 15 years ago, and even that was just a Wii port of an even older title. Nevertheless, SEGA has seen fit to resurrect the franchise with a brand new entry exclusive to Switch, and they’ve even attached series creator Shun Nakamura as the game’s director and producer. You would hope that this pedigree coupled with the the console’s maraca-adjacent control method would result in a pleasantly breezy party-game smash – the reality however, is anything but with Samba de Amigo: Party Central.

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