L.A. Noire's troubled development resulted in accusations of poor management at Team Bondi, the fallout of which was enough to effectively sink the studio. Despite its troubled history, it's heartening that players are being given the chance to revisit Los Angeles on Nintendo Switch. While the game's myriad faults remain and the revised interrogation system fumbles its chance to fix one of the most egregious part of the game, the great acting, stunning atmosphere and amazing facial animation all combine to make this a detective adventure that's worth experiencing, despite its rough edges. It wasn't a faultless game back in 2011 and that hasn't changed now, yet it somehow manages to be more than the sum of its parts. We suspect it will be regarded as a pioneering classic in the future; few games treat the player to such a grown-up and mature experience as this, and that's important for the video game industry as a whole.
A genuinely creepy creation, Oxenfree combines a clever story and smart dialogue mechanics with superbly sinister music to leave a deep and lasting impression on the player, one that should encourage an all-important second playthrough. Fans of Stranger Things and Poltergeist will love the direction this game takes – if not to hell and back, exactly, then absolutely to some other place where horrors abound, just waiting for an invitation into our world. It’s yet another Switch essential.
Point-and-click beginners may struggle with the myriad puzzles Thimbleweed Park lays across its curiosity-piquing plot, but its developers have rightfully made it possible to get ahead even when all you see are dead ends, with the inclusion of the tips line. It means that what would have been an essential only for a very specific audience is, with no explicit fail states, easy for anyone to not just enjoy, but actually finish. And going around for a second time is still a treat, much as Monkey Island et al were, as you can clearly see all the pieces of the grander picture coming together to comprise a fascinating whole, climaxing with one of gaming’s better twists.
FAST RMX is as good as the Wii U original and then some. Updated visuals, more tracks, more vehicles; it was an utterly outstanding launch title for the Switch and it holds up very well to this day, keeping the futuristic high-speed racing game alive in the absence of F-Zero. With the console's ability to allow multiplayer on the go rolled in, this is without doubt essential for racing fans with a Switch.
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime caught us by surprise; we were expecting a great multiplayer party experience but ended up with something much more than that. If you have a great bunch of friends and the necessary controllers, be sure to gather everyone round for some challenging but hilarious teamwork. If you don’t, or if you prefer playing alone, load the game up anyway and enjoy an intense, strategically-minded campaign with a warm and welcoming exterior. Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime deserves to be played and should most definitely be on your eShop wishlist – we’re still in love, for sure.
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero has never been better than on Switch; the enhanced versatility of the console lends the game a new sort of appeal and convenience that wasn’t there before. This is a charming, colourful, and sometimes challenging Metroidvania that will no doubt prove to be a memorable addition to your collection. While it could be a little longer, we would give this one a strong recommendation to anyone that hasn’t yet picked it up for any other platform. For those of you that have, know that you’re essentially just paying for the ability to play this on the go, but that’s still arguably worth the asking price. Either way, this is one of the most polished Shantae games.
Snipperclips - Cut it out, together! makes no bones about the fact it's a game best played with others, and the formula is functional but lacking a real hook in single player. When in a team, however, it transforms into an intelligent yet cute set of co-op puzzles, with plenty of content and variety to keep duos busy. It's a shining example of how games can be accessible and fun for players of any level, and in the Switch launch line-up is probably the most laid-back and flexible multiple experience available. The built-in multiplayer aspect of the Switch is played up to nicely (to the point that only Joy-Con controllers can be used), and beyond the lengthy main mode there are larger four player puzzles and a few competitive minigames (two of which are fun in short bursts). Couple all this with some great DLC (included with the expanded 'Plus' retail version) and you've got one of the Switch's finest co-op experiences.
Judging a game on its own merits is very important. However, when a title happens to borrow just about every aspect of its design from an iconic game series, it’s hard not to acknowledge. Claims could be made that a game like this is nothing more than a shameless clone, but thankfully in the case of Blossom Tales: The Sleeping King, the developer has intentionally crafted it with a sense of love and admiration of classic Zelda games. While it’s not as flawlessly executed as the series it draws inspiration from and it doesn’t add anything particularly groundbreaking, it's still a heartfelt tribute to the earlier entries in Nintendo’s long-running series.
Overcooked is an absolute must-buy for anybody looking for a fantastic party game to play with friends. The wacky visuals and chaotic gameplay make it an ideal game for local co-op, and there’s plenty of content to work through. We still give this one a strong recommendation overall, even if the sequel has stolen its thunder to a certain extent; it's a more compact experience and a title that perfectly nails what makes local multiplayer games so fun.
Blaster Master Zero is a lovely addition to the Switch's library. We suspect that it will help to fill the gap between major retail releases for anxious Switch owners looking for a low-impact game to play on the go. Perhaps thanks to its non-taxing visuals, we were able to squeeze some extra battery life out of our Switch while playing it when compared to some of the more visually intense titles already on offer. If you are looking for something new, we highly recommend Blaster Master Zero; it's a great homage to the original and one you will have a blast (sorry) playing.