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Vampire Survivors review

System: Switch
Release date: August 17, 2023
Developer: Poncle
Publisher: Poncle

Every now and then a game will be released that breaks away from the labels that we use to define titles and will become a thing entirely unto itself. Vampire Survivors is one such game, having been met with massive success when it first launched last year. Part rogue-like, part bullet-hell, and entirely self-contained, it has already inspired several other titles that have tried to capture its unique magic. It is magic, I am very pleased to say, that is a perfect fit for the Switch, and a game that is more than worth your time.

Stray Gods review

System: Switch
Release date: August 10, 2023
Developer: Summerfall Studios
Publisher: Humble Games

Greek mythology has been a popular inspiration for video games for some time now, with both AAA series and indie titles placing us into the world of the pantheon of gods and their various conflicts, which are typically resolved with violence. Stray Gods: The Roleplaying Musical brings with it a different approach, giving us a modern-day setting and challenging us to resolve our differences through the power of song. The result is something that probably won’t be winning over the hearts and minds of those averse to breaking out into song with the flimsiest of excuses anytime soon, but will have anyone else singing its praises.

Bomb Rush Cyberfunk review

System: Switch
Release date: August 18, 2023
Developer: Team Reptile
Publisher: Team Reptile

Jet Set Radio is one of SEGA’s classic Dreamcast games – its combination of fast-paced rollerblading, urban vandalism and high-energy hip-hop have remained unique in the decades since the original release. Sadly, it’s a title that’s become increasingly inaccessible these days, and the franchise has been dormant for a long time. Well, if SEGA were to make a Jet Set Radio game in 2023, it would probably look a lot like Bomb Rush Cyberfunk – the developers at Team Reptile have taken everything you loved from the titles that inspired it, revamped it all with modern controls, and repackaged it with some incredible music and a high-energy cast of characters. This is the game Jet Set Radio fans have been waiting for – and for everyone else, it’s one of the most creative, exciting skating games released in decades.

Disney Illusion Island review

System: Switch
Release date: July 28, 2023
Developer: Dlala Studios
Publisher: Disney Electronic Content

Mickey, Minnie, Donald & Goofy may be some of the most recognizable characters of all time, but it’s been a hot minute since they featured in a noteworthy game of their own – something true of many Disney franchises since the shuttering of Disney Interactive in 2016. As such, Disney Illusion Island is something of an experiment; an attempt to craft a modern, original Mickey Mouse story in a new world with new characters, with the structure of a Metroidvania (or “Mickeyvania,” as the developers have put it). While a lack of meaningful surprises can cause the experience to drag and feel overly simple, the game’s charming humor and silky-smooth platforming result in a fun and amusing adventure.

[Review] Cross Tails

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

System: Switch
Release date: July 20, 2023
Developer: RideOn Japan
Publisher: Kemco

The age old war between cats and dogs has never been more illustrated than what you see in Cross Tails. Two kingdoms at odds with one another in a deep-rooted hatred fueled by generations of animosity, the game’s narrative opens with the canine Kingdom of Ranverfurt and the feline Republic of Hidiq currently embroiled in a decade-long battle. With a third faction trying to drive things in their own direction, will we be able to solve the conflict and steer destiny in a peaceful direction, or will the people continue to suffer due to the interference?

Master Detective Archives: Rain Code review

System: Switch
Release Date: June 30, 2023
Developer: Spike Chunsoft / Too Kyo Games
Publisher: Spike Chunsoft

Waking in a strange storage room, our protagonist dusts himself off and finds himself without memory. Unsure of who he is, or what he was doing beforehand, he quickly investigates his surroundings. With a strange voice echoing now and again, sometimes seeming to guide him, he finds a letter in his pocket. Perplexed, worried, and with just his name and destination in mind, he exits out into a train station in a rush to hopefully make the journey to learn of himself and his fate. This is Master Detective Archives: Rain Code, the latest game from the creator of Danganronpa.

Atelier Marie Remake review

System: Switch
Release Date: July 13, 2023
Developer: Gust
Publisher: Koei Tecmo

Atelier has been around for over twenty five years, and even though it’s only felt like it’s really started to take off in the last five or so, it’s had a rich history with its slice-of-life RPG experience that is as cozy as it is adventurous and riveting. With the success of recent titles like Atelier Ryza and Atelier Sophie 2, the series has grown exponentially in both detail and scope. However, it’s the humble beginnings that really define how and why the franchise is so unique and special. Atelier Marie Remake: The Alchemist of Salburg now brings the series’ debut title to the modern day in a gorgeous fashion, and does so in such a grandiose way that it’s a contender for being the best Atelier game in some time and on Switch.

Oxenfree II: Lost Signals review

System: Switch
Release date: July 12, 2023
Developer: Night School Studio
Publisher: Netflix

When Oxenfree released in 2016, I was enamored with it. I was younger then and found comfort in its high school drama and socially awkward characters, who were relatable and felt real. The supernatural yarn it weaved was surprisingly dark, yet grounded in events that felt possible in its strange world of ghosts and timeloops. But players who made it the end were likely left with at least a few unresolved questions, and Oxenfree II: Lost Signals tantalizes with promises of answers, or at least a deeper glimpse into the strange phenomena that occurred on Edwards Island all those years ago. While Oxenfree II delivers in that regard, its narrative and new exploration mechanics felt disappointingly safe for most of its runtime, failing to surprise and hook me in the way its predecessor did (outside of a few key moments); still, fans of the original owe it to themselves to see this story through to its conclusion.

Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope - The Last Spark Hunter review

System: Switch
Release Date: June 21, 2023 (new DLC)
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft

2022’s Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope was an excellent evolution of its predecessor’s fast-paced, freeform strategy gameplay, and I’ve been eager to check out its DLC to have an excuse to play more of it. The Last Spark Hunter is significantly larger in scope than the run-based Tower of Dooom DLC from earlier this year, this time offering up a whole new planet to explore, a new antagonist, and even some new mechanics to shake up gameplay. But for players who have likely already sank dozens of hours into the base game, is the overall quality high enough to justify revisiting the world of Sparks of Hope?

Legend of Heroes Trails into Reverie review

System: Switch
Release Date: July 7, 2023
Developer: Falcom
Publisher: NIS America

Following the steady drip of titles from Falcom’s Legend of Heroes series, Trails into Reverie is the latest installment coming to western players. As before with Trails to Azure, our latest game is also interwoven into a storied timeline. This time, we’ll be following up after the events of Trails to Azure and the Great Twilight events of Trails of Cold Steel IV. With these stories being so connected, there are no ways to absolutely avoid spoilers for the previous games, but we’ll do the best we can in case this is your first introduction to the series. With this particular entry first launching in Japan, the Switch port will see the world of Zero/Azure in HD for the first time, and follow up almost immediately after the events of Trails of Cold Steel IV – the interwoven timeline for both lines of games finally converges, and both protagonist groups of Lloyd and Rean are joined by a third protagonist – the black-clad and mysteriously masked “C.”

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