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[Review] Crymachina

Posted on 8 months ago by in Reviews, Switch | 0 comments

Crymachina review

System: Switch
Release date: October 24, 2023
Developer: FuRyu
Publisher: NIS America

Although not the biggest company out there, developer FuRyu has arguably made a little more of a name for themselves over recent years, bringing titles such as Monark and The Caligula Effect to the Switch with mixed reception. Crymachina is the latest game from the developer, an action RPG that acts as a sort of spiritual successor to their previous attempt at the genre, Crystar. Unfortunately, although Crymachina has a strong, well-developed narrative, its combat fails to make a lasting impression, making it another middling attempt that may be best avoided.

Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged review

System: Switch
Release date: October 19, 2023
Developer: Milestone
Publisher: Milestone

Developer Milestone knows racing games. You may not be familiar with their name, but you’ve definitely at least seen one of their titles before. From the SBK Superbike series of the 00s, through to the thoroughly enjoyable Ride games of the 2010s, Milestone are as synonymous with tires on asphalt as they are with hot dinners. Despite this, 2019’s Hot Wheels Unleashed ultimately ended up a slightly messy affair – plenty of content, but the core experience was lacking in refinement. Fast forward to 2023, and Milestone is back with Hot Wheels Unleashed 2: Turbocharged – an unwieldy name, but is it an equally unwieldy sequel?

Mineko's Night Market review

System: Switch
Release date: September 26, 2023
Developer: Meowza Games
Publisher: Humble Games

Mineko and her father have just moved into a new community. The island town at the base of Mount Fugu used to be full of hustle and bustle, but seems to have fallen from it’s former glory. With the mysterious symbol of worship, the Sun Cat Nikko being sighted, Mineko’s own encounters lead her towards the revival of the town’s iconic Night Market. Gathering items around the island and crafting various things to both sell and fulfill the townsfolks’ various requests is the name of the game with this capitalism simulator – but does Mineko’s Night Market feel like a breakaway from the daily grind, or more like actual work?

Detective Pikachu Returns review

System: Switch
Release date: October 6, 2023
Developer: Creatures
Publisher: Nintendo

Detective Pikachu first released in Japan in 2016, although it wouldn’t be until two years later that western audiences would get their hands on the game. It might be an exaggeration to say that it was a bolt of brilliance, but it clearly left enough of a lasting impact to warrant a sequel on the Switch to tie up loose ends in the plot. The aptly named Detective Pikachu Returns is more of the same, and although for many it will be a game that has arrived a little too late (especially if you’ve seen the movie) it is a game with an abundance of charm that is an easy recommendation to make for younger players and for those looking to kick back, relax, and watch a gruff, overdramatic, coffee-loving Pikachu get himself into all manner of trouble and save the day with his deductive reasoning skills. With a little help from Tim, of course.

Fate/Samurai Remannt review

System: Switch
Release date: September 29, 2023
Developer: Omega Force
Publisher: Koei Tecmo

Although Koei Tecmo has slowed down in recent years with numbered Dynasty Warriors games, one thing it has not let up on are crossover titles, which takes the familiar hack-and-slash formula and gives it a unique twist drawn from another franchise. The latest such crossover is Fate/Samurai Remnant, which takes its inspiration from Type-Moon’s Fate series, an exhaustively convoluted amalgamation of various media that started life as a visual novel in 2004. Despite a few visual hiccups on Switch, Fate/Samurai Remnant is far greater than the sum of its parts, and is a fantastic experience that is an easy recommendation for both newcomers and series veterans for both franchises.

Faerie Afterlight review

System: Switch
Release date: September 28, 2023
Developer: Clay Game Studio
Publisher: Mastiff

There is an abundance of Metroidvanias on the Switch at this point, and it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd when some of the most critically acclaimed titles in recent years are your direct competition. Clay Game Studio’s Faerie Afterlight feels like a unique and noteworthy experience thanks to its truly stunning visual design and excellent terrain-based puzzle platforming, but ultimately falls short everywhere else, making it a hit-or-miss experience at best.

Vampire: The Masquerade - Swansong review

System: Switch
Release date: September 28, 2023 (Europe) / December 5 (North America)
Developer: Big Bad Wolf
Publisher: Nacon

Vampire the Masquerade is a series that has been around for a surprisingly long time, lurking in the shadows of tabletop roleplaying games since the early 90s as part of the larger World of Darkness series. It has been adapted into video game format a few times over the years, and Vampire: The Masquerade – Swansong is the third of these games to come to Nintendo’s console. Unfortunately, it has not been worth the extremely long wait, and is something I wouldn’t recommend to even the most avid fans of the series.

A Tiny Sticker Tale review

System: Switch
Release date: October 4, 2023
Developer: Ogre Pixel
Publisher: Ogre Pixel

One of my main hobbies when I was a kid was collecting stickers. They were significantly cheaper than trading cards, and getting duplicates was slightly less frustrating because I could usually find a use for them, whether that was plastering them onto anything that had an inch of space, or swapping them with my friends. A Tiny Sticker Tale, the second game from Ogre Pixel to make its way to the Switch after a successful Kickstarter campaign, takes the idea of collecting stickers and runs wild with it, letting you change the world around you by placing and removing them with some creative environmental puzzles. Although it is over far too quickly, sometimes the most pleasant experience you can have is the one that doesn’t overstay its welcome.

Cocoon review

System: Switch
Release date: September 8, 2023
Developer: Geometric Interactive
Publisher: Annapurna Interactive

Cocoon’s mechanical brilliance is the subtle kind, the kind that sneaks up on you. I knew going into my playthrough that this was the next project from Jeppe Carlsen, the lead gameplay designer of highly acclaimed side-scrollers Limbo and Inside; that type of pedigree sets high expectations, which for me were amplified further after a summer media demo left me with more questions than answers. The most important distinction to note with Cocoon is that it’s more outwardly a puzzle game than either of its forebears, and a very clever one; its trippy, entangled web of worlds is one big metapuzzle that’s true depth astonishes the deeper one dives into it. It’s also a game that somehow builds atmosphere masterfully, but frustratingly refuses to contextualize its world or provide any real stakes, narrative or even lore to engage with. Having rolled credits, I’m still unsure what exactly was the point of my little mechanical bug’s world-bending journey; this, combined with some technical issues on Switch, results in a game that somehow manages to both impress and disappoint at once.

The Legend of Nayuta Boundless Trails review

System: Switch
Release Date: September 19, 2023
Developer: Falcom
Publisher: NIS America

In The Legend of Nayuta: Boundless Trails, Nayuta is a young lad returning home from studying abroad. Summer vacation is to be spent back with your friends, after all. Getting back to his home of Remnant Isle, Nayuta and his best friend Cygna decide to spend their summer starting their old business back up. Sort of jacks of all trades, the two gallivant as handymen, taking on any kind of job thrown their way with glee. Eventually their work leads them to a mysterious set of ruins, and it is there that they find that they’ve perhaps stumbled upon the most daunting job yet. While Nayuta and Cygna start out hanging around for a simple summer vacation, a fateful encounter with the mysterious fairy Noi sparks a lot of questions and a lot of discovery. Exploring the ruins, Nayuta soon discovers an entire other world – Lost Heaven.

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