Approached with the knowledge that this is a full-featured side-dish, you'll have a very good time hacking and slashing your way through Calamity Ganon's minions in Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity; just remember that despite its sparkling presentation, it is still not a Zelda game. What it is is a brilliant Zelda-infused Musou experience filled with varied and satisfying combat and Breath of the Wild additions that work beautifully within the boundaries of the Warriors template. The care and attention given to detail here is hugely impressive. We found performance to be adequate and, crucially, it didn't affect our enjoyment throughout — just be prepared for a slideshow once the pyrotechnics start in two-player co-op. Regardless of framerate, though, there's definite catharsis in grabbing the Master Sword, sprinting out there and giving all the prowling nasties a sound thrashing.
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.
BioShock: The Collection stands as yet another fantastic port in the Switch’s ever-growing library, combining three excellent games and all their DLC into one convincing package. Stable performance, engrossing narratives, fun gameplay, and lots of content make this one an easy recommendation, even if these releases show their age from time to time. If you’re looking for a good single-player shooter to pick up for your Switch, look no further - it’s tough to go wrong here.
Despite its ‘Definitive Edition’ moniker, the vast majority of what you get in the Switch version of Rayman Legends has been seen in every other edition. The only truly new features here are a complete character roster for the first time and a tournament mode for its football mini-game. That’s not to say it's a bad game, though; that couldn’t be further from the truth. Rayman Legends is one of the best plumber-free platformers ever made, and its budget price means if you haven’t played it before, the Switch version is the perfect opportunity to jump in.
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.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was a technical marvel when it first arrived on the scene back in 1993. Easily one of the great Game Boy releases, it was a first bash at a handheld Zelda that took the formula as perfected by A Link to the Past, jammed it all onto a tiny portable console and, somehow, managed to make it all work while adding a host of new features and concepts to the mix. This beautiful Switch remake rebuilds all of this from the ground up in fine style. It adds modern conveniences, a dungeon creator, amiibo support and lots of little quality of life improvements whilst infusing every single square inch of Koholint – every secret passage, Piranha, Pokey and Pig Warrior – with a level of detail and depth that totally reinvigorates both its timeless story and classic Zelda gameplay for a whole new generation of gamers.
The Switch isn’t short of games that have already taken a bow, or several, on other hardware, but Skyrim might be the one that most deserves another look from both hardy Elder Scrolls adventurers and absolute beginners alike. Despite its age showing, with countless little cracks in its already fractured façade, it still delivers a palpable sense of space that few games before or since have managed. May its dancing northern lights never dim.
The original Ace Attorney is really getting on in years, which is remarkable when you consider just how well it holds up. Sure, it’s been ported plenty of times and the jump to Nintendo DS certainly helped shake off the retro cobwebs, but as a piece of interactive history, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is as utterly addictive and truly rewarding as it was back at the turn of the millennium. Whether you’re brand new to the world of virtual defence law or a veteran attorney, Phoenix Wright’s first adventures are still a fine set of cases to undertake.
What we have here is a flawless port of a game which absolutely deserves all of the praise it has received. From start to finish, Ori and the Blind Forest is a real joy to play. Challenging yet never feeling unfair or discouraging, and almost relaxing to control. The mesmerising art style and musical score are the icing on the cake that makes the player actually care about the protagonist and want to keep playing to the game’s conclusion. It was a bit of a surprise to see this game make its way to the Nintendo Switch, but we’re glad that it did. An unmissable experience.
A truly pleasant game, Spiritfarer balances undemanding platforming, gentle exploration and forgiving resource management with a beautifully-realised world with a cast full of charming, likeable, memorable characters. It's a pleasure to move around in with an evocative, endearing atmosphere and a succession of gameplay styles that gel superbly and never feel like padding. It's a long game, and you may find it becomes a little rote and repetitive before the end, but if it gets its hooks into you it's a game you'll want to go the distance with. Would it be distasteful to say it's dead good?