Super Neptunia RPG actually has more in common with South Park: The Fractured But Whole than it does more traditional RPGs, simply because it takes systems that can often be a little too complicated and makes them far more palatable for players hoping for a more casual experience. Combat can often drift a little too far into the casual zone – especially with the ability to speed up battles – but the strength of its environmental design and the light-hearted nature of its quests helps this spin-off hold a lot more weight than some of the throwaway cash-ins that have graced PS Vita in recent years.
Phantom Doctrine certainly shares plenty of DNA with the much-adored XCOM series, but it lacks the polish that's made the likes of XCOM 2 such an enduring example of how to do tactics right. When Phantom Doctrine really doubles down on the minutiae of its spycraft – including the solving conspiracies and the stealth-focused nature of its missions – its own personality shines through. It's certainly scrappy here and there – especially when it comes to managing the meta of its spy network – but push past these imperfections and you'll have plenty of licence for kills (and the occasional thrill).
Bullet Battle: Evolution does not bode well for the future of online shooters on Switch. With it looking increasingly unlikely Call of Duty will ever return to Nintendo hardware, it falls to other studios to fill that gap. Unfortunately, undercooked messes like this one don’t help the cause. A free-to-play shooter that’s riddled with disabled microtransactions that bottleneck progress, this is a clunky effort that’s in dire need of some proper optimisation and a complete overhaul of its progression systems and balancing.
There's no denying Warlocks 2: God Slayers has really improved upon the original game that completely bypassed a Nintendo platform release. The larger levels, more refined character traits and continued support for co-op play does help it stand out among its Metroidvania-esque, pixel art-styled brethren. However, the lack of support for online play (something present on PC and other version of the game) takes the shine off this package, especially for a game that's substantially more fun to play with others.
Cricket 19 brings the full cricket experience to Nintendo Switch for the very first time. This port can sometimes struggle in the performance – a few too many pre-match cutscenes likely being one of the main offenders – but gameplay is mostly slowdown free, letting you focus on juggling a ton of options in every corner of the field. The sheer number of modes on offer is astounding, and while the lack of consistent official licences is frustrating, the potential for community-driven support in Scenarios mode (and online) proves that the Switch continues to be a worthy platform for full-on sports simulators.
As a specific and finite experience, TT Isle of Man is superbike and supersport racing at its most intense and exhilarating. There's few tracks in the world of motorsport that are as challenging and downright frustrating as Snaefell Mountain, and even the most experienced of virtual riders will find their mettle tested. However, with a meagre career mode, few additional tracks and several issues with performance, this is a racing highlight surrounded by janky filler.
As poignant, heartbreaking and memorable as it was back in 2013, Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons hasn’t lost any of its emotional impact in those intervening years. With a captivating soundtrack, an aesthetic design evocative of Fable and a genuinely clever take on co-op, you can really see why it’s held in such high regard.
Turn-based RPGs of yesteryear and today owe a lot of their fine-tuned tactics to the legacy of tabletop board games, and For The King pays tribute to this legacy with a digital adventure where anything can happen. The fast-paced nature of its exploration and combat keeps everything feeling fresh and lively, but the considerable reliance on chance does take the shine of its otherwise competent combat. However, with adjustable difficulties (which amend the severity of each death) and a sizeable amount of expansive DLC, this is one roguelike RPG that really shines in co-op.
Darkwood is, thankfully, rather unlike any other horror game on Switch. Those with a taste for survival games will appreciate the constant pressure to salvage parts and craft new items while a clock ticks down in the background, while those with a love for all things sinister will really appreciate some of the truly disturbing moments. Despite the occasional technical flaw, the result is a purposefully slow experience that rewards multiple playthroughs with a storyline that branches depending on just how far into madness you're willing to tread.
While it might not share the intricate levels and levelling up mechanics of Hyper Light Drifter: Special Edition, Akane balances out its lack of topographical variety with a simple yet challenging set of rolling objectives and an increasingly tough variety of enemies to slay
If you're tired of Payday 2's often loud and at-large robbery antics – and you'd like to take a detour into the more quiet vocation of thievery – Thief Simulator has the new career for you. While it's not the prettiest of games and it soon starts repeating itself, the sense of freedom you're given to rob neighbourhoods full of unsuspecting victims is still an intriguing one. He might not be Garrett, but The Thief has plenty of skills to steal a place on Nintendo Switch.
While Sniper Elite V2 Remastered isn’t the series' high point, it does offer a fine opportunity to sample its most enjoyable features – including scouting entire locations and taking incredible shots at even more incredible distances – on a brand new platform. However, while its long-range action is as gripping as ever, the more traditional run-and-gun sections stick out like a sore thumb, and the absense of auto-saving can lead to some frustrating moments.
While no one expected it – and we dare say that no one asked for it – Saints Row: The Third - The Full Package revives an often forgotten open-world adventure on a new console generation, complete with a huge amount of cosmetic and expansion DLC.
Beyond Enemy Lines: Covert Operations is an Early Access game that's come out of the oven less than half-baked. The good intentions of the developer are clear to see in the open-ended nature of each map and the way you approach each objective in your way by opening locked doors and hacking computers rather than shooting your way into a facility, but none of the mechanics in place ever make these conditions feel reliable or rewarding. It's a purely single-player experience that really needed more time to work out its considerable number of kinks before enlisting on the eShop.
When it's not giving the world more reasons to 'Catch 'Em All', Game Freak continues to deliver interesting and unexpected forays into other genres. Much like Tembo the Badass Elephant before it, Giga Wrecker Alt. is a quirky left-turn that takes the exploration staples of a 2D Metroidvania and combines it with a destructible environment puzzle system for some creative and hugely rewarding puzzles. Combat is quite forgettable, but sucker-punching a boss with a giant ball can be ridiculous fun when you pull it off. It's looks might not be that memorable, but it's still a worthy way to make a mess on Switch.