EShop Selects July 2022 Strange Horticulture Capcom Arcade Second Stadium Azure Striker Gunvolt 3
Image: Nintendo Life

Another month has been and gone, and that means it's time for another look back at the eShop last month. July was a pretty big month for physical RPG releases, but the eShop has had a fair few hidden nuggets that may have passed you by. Once again, we've tried to pick the best of the best for you!

It's the same as always for the eShop Selects — we're focusing on download-only games that we've reviewed because we want to showcase the special gems that you might have missed amidst all of that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 hype!

First, let's kick off with some titles that didn't quite make our top three, but are worth shouting about.

Honourable Mentions:

From indies inspired by classics to surprising classic rereleases, there's a nice little selection here, and all of them are worth your time:

3. Strange Horticulture (Switch eShop)

Strange Horticulture (Switch eShop)
Strange Horticulture (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Iceberg Interactive / Developer: Bad Viking
Release Date: 28th Jul 2022 (USA) / 28th Jul 2022 (UK/EU)

We're not really sure what to call Strange Horticulture. Part narrative game, part puzzle game, part mystery, part... herbology sim? One thing we do know, however, is that it's a grower. It starts off slow and simple, but once it begins to bud, it's difficult to put down.

Part of the game's charm is this unusual mix of occult mystery and plant cultivation, which drip-feeds hints and gameplay to you through its wonderful writing. It's like an ivy try of intrigue, with every new leaf that sprouts, you get more entangled in the experience. Even if the Switch port takes a bit of getting used to.

We'll say no more and leave our 8/10 review to convince you that Strange Horticulture is the right kind of foliage for you.

2. Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium (Switch eShop)

Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium (Switch eShop)
Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Capcom / Developer: Capcom
Release Date: 22nd Jul 2022 (USA) / 22nd Jul 2022 (UK/EU)

Is this one a little bit unfair? Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium is technically 32 games, after all. But it's a package of 32 varied titles that detail Capcom's history, and you know we can't say no to a bit of nostalgia.

Full to the brim with fighting games, shooters, sports games, and puzzle titles, this is a big old history lesson on Capcom's arcade history, just like the first Arcade Stadium. Some of the highlights here include LED Storm, The King of Dragons, Gun.Smoke, Pnickies, and Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors. It's a sweet shop of unusual arcade curious that has us itching to pop some pennies in and get playing.

The nostalgia and the excellent emulation of this package are what helped award this compilation an 8/10 from us.

1. Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 (Switch eShop)

Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 (Switch eShop)
Azure Striker Gunvolt 3 (Switch eShop)
Publisher: Inti Creates / Developer: Inti Creates
Release Date: 28th Jul 2022 (USA) / 28th Jul 2022 (UK/EU)

Can you believe it's been 6 years since Azure Striker Gunvolt 2? We've had other games in the wider Azure Striker Gunvolt series since, but the third sequel is what we've been waiting for. And my, lightning does indeed strike three times.

The biggest difference for the third game is that you largely take control of Kirin, a katana-wielder who can throw talismans at enemies, but you can 'tag' Gunvolt in at any point. And, like the previous games, the gorgeous pixel art action is as smooth as butter. This series continues to impress with every new entry, and captures that lighting-fast Mega Man action that we're always craving.

We can't stop playing it, and that replayability is just one reason why it's our number one eShop game of July. Our very positive review should confirm why it's worthy of that spot even more so.

< Nintendo Life eShop Selects - June 2022

What was your favourite eShop game last month?

How we decide our eShop Selects top three: As we reach the end of every month, the Nintendo Life staff vote on their favourite titles from a list of games selected by the editorial team. To qualify for this list, these games must have been released as a digital-only Nintendo Switch eShop title in that particular month, and must have been reviewed on Nintendo Life; we select the qualifying games based on their review scores.

Staff are then asked to vote for three games that they think deserve to sit right at the very top of that list; first choice gets 3 points, second choice gets 2 points, and third choice gets 1 point. These votes are then tallied to create a top three list, with the overall winner taking that month's top prize.