As with any 20-year-old video game, there are elements of Final Fantasy IX that don't go down today quite was easily as they used to, but the characters, wacky story, and overall gameplay hold up very well in a modern context. Its medieval-style setting makes it a fun nostalgia trip for fans of the older series entries, or players fed up of all the futuristic Final Fantasies.
Mega Man X Legacy Collection is a fantastic re-release of several must-play gaming classics, presenting them as authentically as possible while still including a few modern features on top that help to improve the overall experience and keep it from feeling antiquated. Throw in the new X Challenge mode and an enormous archive of museum content and this stands as the definitive way to play the Mega Man X games in the modern era. Four fantastic games, a bevy of extra content, and the ability to play at home or on the go — nothing not to like here.
With its amazing visuals, fantastic presentation, varied gameplay and deep, rewarding combat, Astral Chain could well be PlatinumGames' most accomplished game yet. It mixes detective work with exhilarating battle sequences that are inventive, challenging and – perhaps most importantly – breathtakingly cool. The complexity of the game's myriad systems may prove intimidating for some players, but the inclusion of a co-op play and the ability to automate many of the mechanics via the 'Unchained' mode means that even complete newcomers can still enjoy the ride. Astral Chain isn't just one of the Switch's stand-out hits – it's one of Platinum's best video games.
We had an absolute blast playing through these three gems all over again, especially now they look sharper than ever. It’s a shame that the presentation is practically barebones with no bonus content beyond the soundtracks, but there can still be no denying the quality of the games on offer here. Super Mario 3D All-Stars is the Beatles’ Greatest Hits of the video game world, and is an absolute treat whether you’re reliving it in HD or discovering it for the first time.
Unfortunately, if you didn't grab it before it was delisted on 31st March 2021, you'll have to rely on the secondhand market if you want a copy of this triple pack of platforming goodness. It's certainly not too hard to find, though.
Disco Elysium's narrative and dialogue, which is already wonderfully compelling on its own, was given a massive boost thanks to the excellent voice acting introduced for the Final Cut. The gameplay features a host of branching paths for you to explore, and while the slow, methodical approach may turn a few people off, this is nevertheless one of the most well-told stories in any medium from the last few years. The performance issues at the time of our review slightly took the shine off things, but even with them present, Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is a triumph and stands as one of the best RPGs available on Switch.
It’s mostly the sublime Aria of Sorrow that’s doing the heavy lifting with Castlevania Advance Collection; it really is one of the best entries in the entire Castlevania series. Circle of the Moon and Harmony of Dissonance are alright but on a lower tier, while Dracula X is middling even on its own standards. These are still very much worth playing, though, and this collection makes for an essential purchase for both longtime Castlevania fans and newbies.
SteamWorld Dig 2 is another confident effort from Image & Form, and a worthy successor to the original. Stylish and good-looking, it also has the series' trademark humour and, yes, a pretty good soundtrack. It refines and expands upon the qualities of SteamWorld Dig and hits some delicious high points. Whether you played the first game or not, SteamWorld Dig 2 is a must-have — its charming aesthetic and cast set the scene for a tightly designed and clever exploration game.
Streets of Rage 4 is the very best the series has ever been. Its hand-drawn graphics breathe new life into Wood Oak City and its inhabitants, the soundtrack is outstanding and the combat feels better than ever. Lizardcube, Guard Crush Games and Dotemu managed to completely modernise the look and feel of Streets of Rage, expanding on the experience without losing sight of what made the original games so popular to begin with – and the handful of additions made to the action here serve only to enhance the classic core gameplay, resulting in one of the best side-scrolling beat 'em ups we've played in a long time.
And the Mr X Nightmare DLC is pretty tasty, too. A truly fantastic brawler.
Mario Party Superstars is a love letter to the parties you remember attending 20 years ago. A disappointingly slim selection of boards takes the shine off things somewhat, but it’s hard to argue that this is the best Mario Party has been in over a decade. No new ideas absolutely feels like a missed opportunity, but by the same token we’d much prefer to have all these classic ideas intact rather than potentially tainting them with unwanted and unnecessary inclusions only added for the sake of being new. Grab a can of Tango and a fistful of 10p Freddos — you’re going to party like it’s 1999.
DOOM Eternal has undergone one of the most severe visual downgrades we've ever seen in order to get the game running on Switch, but the fact that it runs at a solid 30 frames per second and, most importantly, is still fantastically good fun means this 'impossible' port is nothing short of a miracle. The looks may have taken a hit, but the non-stop action, incredible soundtrack and sheer satisfaction in taking out hordes of demons all add up to a game that is just as pure as it was on other formats.