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?
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.
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.
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 have 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.
Despite coming from the previous generation, Bayonetta 2 shines brightest on Nintendo Switch. It runs without a hitch at 60fps, looks incredible in both TV and tabletop modes, and offers an addictive free-flowing combat formula that sprinkles in platforming, light exploration and a ridiculous story to create something that you simply need to experience. If you’ve never played it for before, you’re in for a treat. If you’ve already played it, it’s even more bewitching as a handheld gem.
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.
Splatoon 2 is just about everything you could ask for from a sequel. It builds on everything the original online team shooter set up and then some; almost every single major issue people had with the first game has been resolved, showing that Nintendo is genuinely listening and wants to deliver the absolute best experience possible. It maintains the freshness you’d expect and throws in countless big and small changes and additions, every one of them for the better. Splatoon 2 is simply ink-redible.
Visually, Pikmin 3 Deluxe doesn't push the boat out much further than the original Wii U version did. Where its changes lie are in its revamped control system and the addition of a new Side Stories mode. Neither are necessarily transformative enough to warrant double dipping if you're perfectly happy with your Wii U copy, but if you're one of the vast majority who don't have a Wii U copy, this Switch update is unquestionably the best way to play it.
There's no doubt about it, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is one of the most refined and enjoyable platformers money can buy. The levels are all beautiful, the characters move with fluidity and brilliant responsiveness, and the inclusion of Funky Kong brings balance for those who have less experience with brutally tough platformers. It’s so well-made that it’s almost too well-made; there's an absence of a certain 'rough-and-ready' charm found in Rare's original DKC trilogy. You know you're splitting hairs when your biggest complaint is that a game is too polished, though. After beginning life on Wii U, Donkey Kong’s Switch debut is streamlined, rewarding, and immensely good fun; any fan of 2D platformers simply has to get this game.
Celeste is an exemplary amalgamation of style, mechanics and character. A devilishly brilliant action platformer with enough skill required to excite genre purists and the speedrunning community, while at the same time featuring a breakdown of gameplay elements to customize and cater for all audiences. While the game mechanically is great, if familiar, the art style and narrative are truly special, showing both a visual and emotional range and depth that will resonate and inspire. Celeste is the absolute peak of personal exploration and discovery on Nintendo Switch.