[Review] We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie
Posted on 2 months ago by Edan(@@Virtualboi92) in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments
Release date: June 2, 2023
Developer: Bandai Namco / Monkey Craft
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Sometimes, the biggest challenge we face as reviewers is in describing simple concepts – take Katamari, for instance. You play as a tiny green man called the Prince, and you’re tasked with rolling around a comically large and sticky ball. You navigate contained levels with the aim of rolling stuff up into that ball, and growing larger as a result. It sounds closer to a cheese-dream than a compelling gameplay loop, doesn’t it? Despite the outlandish premise, Bandai Namco’s Katamari series has garnered a sizable fanbase over the last two decades. While us super-fans collectively pine for a brand new entry in the series, a re-release of the franchise’s phenomenal second outing We Love Katamari has found its way into our lives courtesy of developer Monkey Craft. Out of all of the base expectations you can have for a remake or a remaster, matching or exceeding the original title in every metric is paramount. When it comes to We Love Katamari Reroll + Royal Reverie, we get a couple of hits, and a whole bunch of misses.
[Review] Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life
Posted on 3 months ago by Dennis Gagliardotto(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch, Switch eShop | 0 comments
Release date: June 27, 2023
Publisher: XSEED / Marvelous
Story of Seasons has had a series of ups and downs as the franchise has tried to find its footing in a genre it once had a monopoly on. It’s true that each new title has offered an exciting prospect of things to come within the series itself. It’s also always seemed to go against the idea of being a market leader once more in favor of keeping things traditional, but much that stubborn thinking may be to its detriment. This rears its head in the series’ new remake, Story of Seasons: A Wonderful Life.
[Review] Loop8: Summer of Gods
Posted on 3 months ago by Dennis Gagliardotto(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments
Release date: June 6, 2023
Publisher: Marvelous / XSEED
I’ve said in prior publications that the concept of time travel is a fascinating yet very sensitive one, as the topic tends to lend itself to narratives that ultimately have no idea how to go about ending a topic that can take myriad of forms and paths, leaving a story open-ended and potentially with too many plot holes because of a traditionally endless structure. Even with limitless routes comes limitations, however, Loop8: Summer of Gods, despite all its positives, is yet another victim of a time loop sci-fi snafu that has its heart in the right place, but any potential excellence in a different timeline.
[Review] Sunshine Shuffle
Posted on 3 months ago by Nicholas Serpa in Reviews, Switch eShop | 0 comments
Release Date: May 31, 2023
Developer: Strange Scaffold
Publisher: Strange Scaffold
There’s a series of famous paintings from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s featuring dogs playing poker in various settings; there’s a good chance you’ve seen at least one of them represented in a TV show or movie over the years. Sunshine Shuffle, the latest game from eclectic indie developer Strange Scaffold, asks the question: what if these cute animals were actually retired criminals, and what if you got to play poker with them on a boat in the middle of the ocean?
Release date: April 25, 2023
Publisher: Marvelous / XSEED
Trinity Trigger is set in a world caught in an ongoing war between Order and Chaos, each with a chosen champion fated to fight one another to the death to choose a victor. Generally, one of the chosen ones is assassinated before the duel can begin, resulting in zero changes for the world as a whole, but a pretty grim fate for our protagonist who just so happens to be the Champion of Chaos. Opening up, the plotline of the game seems to thrust a very heavy burden on the player, but will it deliver on its hefty narrative, or will Trinity Trigger be just another hack-and-slash action RPG that falls to the wayside?
[Review] Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon
Posted on 5 months ago by Dennis Gagliardotto(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch, Switch eShop | 0 comments
Release Date: March 22, 2023
With Bayonetta 3 having just released last October, it was unexpected, to say the least, when a new game in the form of Cereza and the Lost Demon was revealed so soon after. However, it was clear from the get-go that this wouldn’t be the typical experience fans have grown to know and love, and would instead delve into a more relaxed but still engaging tale of the character’s upbringing. Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon is a game that is surprising in more ways than one but is a pleasant gift to longtime fans of the franchise that gives Bayonetta a different, charming perspective with a gorgeous art direction and not once overstays its welcome. In some cases, despite being a spinoff, it could arguably be the best title the series has seen to date, and it’s a perfect place to jump into for those that have been hesitant to get acquainted with the Umbran Witch.
[Review] Atelier Ryza 3: Alchemist of the End & the Secret Key
Posted on 5 months ago by Dennis Gagliardotto(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments
Release date: March 24, 2023
Publisher: Koei Tecmo
There’s no denying the staying power that the Atelier series has had since the 90s with its charismatic loveable characters and heartwarming stories and worlds. In 2019, however, the debut of Atelier Ryza brought a whole new wave of popularity and love for both the franchise and Ryza, and since then Koei Tecmo and Gust have capitalized on the success of the million seller with two new sequels that have seen just as much love and success. Now in 2023, Atelier Ryza becomes a trilogy with Alchemist of the End & The Secret Key with the biggest adventure yet, and it’s a grand spectacle that builds and refines on the formula once more for a seamless experience in feeling like an alchemist. Unfortunately, each time the game has been built on its successes and ambitions, it becomes a heavier load for the Switch to handle, and this time around the game is just too much of a technical powerhouse that Atelier – despite a perpetual bright future – seems like it may not be at home anymore on the hybrid system.
Release Date: March 22, 2023
Developer: Magic Design Studios
Typically, when I’m craving some side-scrolling action, roguelike games aren’t my go-to. Simple procedurally generated levels, frustrating or unrewarding progression loops, and by-the-numbers combat have plagued my experiences in the genre, so I’m perhaps a bit more skeptical than others of run-based titles. Fortunately, Have a Nice Death is not only an exception to this trend, but also one of the tightest, most creative, and most satisfying roguelikes I’ve ever played. It’s an example of what a talented team with a strong vision can accomplish, and its fine-tuned concoction of charm and challenge resulted in constant fun.
[Review] Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse
Posted on 6 months ago by Nicholas Serpa in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments
Release Date: March 9, 2023
Developer: Koei Tecmo
After a whopping 15 years, the fourth mainline entry in the Fatal Frame franchise is finally accessible for English-speaking players for the first time, and as such, the release of Fatal Frame: Mask of the Lunar Eclipse feels like something of an event for horror fans. These games have long been singular experiences, possessing a unique weight that is felt in each footstep, each click of a camera shutter, each piece of unsettling lore. I was excited to finally have a chance to experience this acclaimed piece of horror history on a modern platform, and to see why fans have been begging for a localization for so long. While I enjoyed unraveling the weaving, sinister story threads of Mask of the Lunar Eclipse and soaking in its atmosphere, the game’s unrefined pacing and desperate need for extra polish should make casual horror fans pause.
[Review] Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo
Posted on 6 months ago by Dennis Gagliardotto(@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch eShop | 0 comments
Release Date: March 9, 2023
Developer: Square Enix
Publisher: Square Enix
In the realm of horror, the genre has numerous ways to latch onto the viewer, player, or reader in ways that most other genres wouldn’t. That sense of mystery that comes from being unable to discern what it is that haunts piques a level of curiosity that keeps the one consuming the media involved and captivated, and Paranormasight: The Seven Mysteries of Honjo does an incredible job of getting players in an engrossing story that never overstays its welcome and gets to-the-point in a matter of minutes. On Switch, especially the OLED, the game shines despite its dark colors and atmosphere, and Square Enix has done a tremendous job in creating a unique visual novel that can be up there with the genre’s greats.