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[Review] Cuphead

Posted on 7 months ago by (@LyonHart_) in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments

System: Switch
Release date: April 18, 2019
Developer: Studio MDHR
Publisher: Studio MDHR


Back in 2014, the world was first introduced to a peculiar game known as Cuphead that had an aesthetic thought to be long forgotten, but presented itself with such panache that it was as compelling as it was unique and eye-catching. Its 1930s art direction oddly made you excited to watch the next episode to a show that didn’t exist, and the game was able to hit the right notes with so many people from so many generations. Now Cuphead has been given a chance to shine once again thanks to its new release on Switch.

System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: April 18, 2019
Developer: Askiisoft
Publisher: Devolver Digital


Maybe Katana Zero didn’t immediately stand out to you on the eShop. Perhaps it’s because it’s seemingly just one more pixelated indie game, or because you’ve already preloaded a certain other stylish indie action game releasing on April 18. Or maybe it’s because you’re like me, and expected Katana Zero to be yet another pretty, but ultimately forgettable indie experience. And you know what, these are all reasonable expectations to have.

System: Switch
Release date: April 9, 2019
Developer: Bandai Namco
Publisher: Bandai Namco


Very few properties can say they have a long running series that have delivered such a wide array of genres for decades much like Dragon Ball has. Akira Toriyama’s magnum opus spans countless generations throughout a multitude of mediums, each with their own twist and flavor to appeal to just about anyone out there with an interest in Dragon Ball. From fighting games, to RPGs, to strategy games and beyond, Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission now builds upon that roster of titles by introducing Japan’s number one digital card game for years to the western market at last and makes it accessible at the comfort of your own home and on the go.

System: Switch
Release date: April 9, 2019
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom


It’s not often that a game can make a debate over the date on a receipt into a matter of life and death, but that’s exactly the kind of storytelling that characterizes the Ace Attorney franchise. Making their first appearance in court all the way back in 2001 on the Game Boy Advance in Japan, the series of visual novel adventure games has made a name for itself for its iconic lines, twisting narratives, and memorable characters. Capcom has now seen fit to bundle the first three entries into the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy, marking the franchise’s debut on HD home consoles with a small handful of modern changes. Of course, this begs the question: so many years after their initial releases, can the original Ace Attorney games still make a convincing case for themselves? Let’s commence our investigation and find out.

System: Switch
Release date: March 29, 2019
Developer: Good Feel
Publisher: Nintendo


Few games have put a smile on my face as much as Yoshi’s Crafted World. From its gorgeously “crafted” graphics to its adorable, friendly characters, the game is a distillation of simple joy. Even though it doesn’t do very much that’s completely new or innovative, it excels at providing an excellently-presented game that’s bursting at the seams with gameplay that anyone can enjoy.

System: Switch
Release date: March 26, 2019
Developer: Gust
Publisher: Koei Tecmo


Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists celebrates twenty years of the prolific RPG series bringing together protagonists for every Atelier title up until Lydie & Suelle for a crossover event that sees them coming together to help Nelke expand a new town and helping them thrive once again. It’s really great to be able to see all of these fantastic characters over two decades join up and utilize all of their special skills in alchemy and craftsmanship – as well as monster slaying – as they simultaneously get to know each other and understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses while figuring out the best way to go about goods distribution and town replenishment. This is something we’ve seen in plenty of Atelier titles before as we go from city to city meeting new characters and friends along the way while having an overall goal to help those around you. Altruism has always been a big charm with it, and Nelke is no different. However, this is mostly where the similarities end as the game itself has been turned on its head and goes from an RPG the series is known for, to a banal menu management experience where you’ll ultimately just watch plants grow in between massive visual novel-like segments. Everything introduced in Nelke & the Legendary Alchemists is stuff we’ve seen millions of times in the mobile gaming spectrum, and it doesn’t do it any favors here. Even as a spinoff title it doesn’t warrant paying a premium for something that only resembles Atelier by name and art.

System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: March 20, 2019
Developer: Inti Creates
Publisher: Inti Creates


In March 2017, one week after the release of the Switch, developer Inti Creates and Sunsoft unknowingly kicked off the “Metroidvania on Switch” phenomenon by releasing Blaster Master Zero to an almost empty eShop. The game served as a modern reimagining of the much loved NES classic, and was well-received by fans and newcomers alike for adhering to the source material albeit through a more modern lens. Since then we’ve had genre defining releases like Dead Cells and The Messenger along with countless other interpretations of the formula compete for our attention. It’s fair to say that if you’re a fan of Metroidvanias, then you’ve probably been spending more time on your Switch than you’d like to admit. In the hope that lightning does indeed strike twice and to capitalize on a booming trend, Inti Creates and Sunsoft have now seen fit to grace us with a wholly original sequel, Blaster Master Zero 2.

System: Switch
Release date: February 26, 2019
Developer: Pixellore
Publisher: Nicalis


RemiLore is a beautiful game at face value that brings you into a fantasy world of magic and adventure. You’ll play as the protagonist Remi and her grimoire companion throughout dungeons that are vibrant and stand out compared to other titles within the genre. However, while things may seem appealing and inviting at the surface, what you ultimately have is a game with a bit of an identity crisis as it incorporates so many elements between its story, gameplay, structure, and mechanics that it feels like a mess attempting too much at once just to stand out further. There’s promise to be had every time you play through it, but nothing ever clicks or feels as if it belongs, making the entire experience feel like one big “what’s the point?” scenario.

System: Switch
Release date: February 19, 2019
Developer: 5pb.
Publisher: Spike Chunsoft


In 2009 we were introduced to a work of science fiction that, to this day, holds great value and precedence in its prowess of storytelling and continues to be revered as one of the greatest visual novels ever produced: Steins;Gate. This was part of Chiyomaru’s Shikura’s Science Adventure series that was preceded by Chaos;Head. The Science Adventure series from 5pb. and Nitroplus spans quite a few games that are still developed to this day and all bring their own flare, charm, and narrative, with sequels more so being spiritual successors rather than follow-ups. With Switch’s first installment, Steins;Gate Elite, we have a beautiful and faithful rework of sorts that now has the chance to breathe new life again and be introduced to a whole new audience. It was something I thought wouldn’t entirely work at first since it uses most of the anime’s cutscenes to retell its original story (with a few exceptions), but what ended up ultimately happening was a rekindling of love for one of my favorite games and some of my favorite characters in the medium.

System: Switch (eShop)
Release date: January 17, 2019
Developer: Idea Factory / Compile Heart / Ghostlight
Publisher: Idea Factory


Fairy Fencer F felt very familiar to Idea Factory fans when it launched half a decade ago thanks to it using the same system and mechanics as the developer’s most successful property, the Hyperdimension Neptunia series. The game not only had the same arena turn-based RPG combat that made Hyperdimension Neptunia stick out from other JRPGs, but was progressed in a visual novel-like format with tons of dialogue and mostly static images and a much more tactical menu and layout that could change the pace of a battle in the blink of an eye. Still, Fairy Fencer F had its issues, with the occasional technical hiccups, some game breaking moments, prolonged tutorials, and a multitude of other minute things that eventually pile up and take a toll on the overall experience. Thankfully, an “enhanced” version released a few years later with Advent Dark Force, which has been the standard Fairy Fencer F game moving forward. It had tons of quality-of-life enhancements, as well as all DLC included from its original release and even included new story routes that were accessible through key decisions the player would make throughout the game. Advent Dark Force made Fairy Fencer F feel, for the most part, polished and complete. While Idea Factory’s PC ports haven’t had the best track record Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force was certainly playable on that platform and is a ton of fun. Sadly, that is more than one could say about the state of the Switch version.