Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet is one of the stronger outings for the series in a video game format. However, it’s still bogged down by heavy-handed and often thematically troubling melodrama that’s delivered at a glacial pace and prefers to eschew the potentially interesting aspects of the world it depicts in favour of stereotypical male heroics, teenage matters of the heart and questionable attitudes to its female characters.
Obsidian has created a heartfelt tribute to the classic 'Infinity Engine' RPGs of old; one that takes the best of those games, delicately updates them and – in the process – becomes something of a classic itself. For RPG fans, this is a must-buy.
If you haven’t played Skulls of the Shogun in any form over the past six years, we still can still heartily recommend the single-player campaign as a generous and devilishly fun slice of turn-based strategy action that perfectly suits the Switch, particularly in handheld mode.
Pawarumi is a tough-as-nails shmup with a unique central mechanic that takes time to master. Stick with it though and you'll be rewarded with a slick, fast-paced shooter that looks and sounds amazing and will test your skills to the max. There's really nothing else like it out there right now and, even with slight reservations over the difficulty, a lacklustre story and paucity of game modes, this is an easy recommend for fans of the genre looking for a proper challenge.
Fantasy Strike isn’t going to blow anyone away aesthetically and its arcade mode is a little barebones. However, in terms of gameplay, it absolutely achieves what it sets out to, offering fun and accessible fighting action to newcomers whilst at the same time possessing enough technical depth in its roster of characters to keep more seasoned fighters interested.
Hyperlight Ultimate is a great little arcade shooter that was good on 3DS and now arrives on Switch in a much more complete and satisfying form. The subtle gameplay tweaks here help make things a little less hardcore than in the original game, but this is still pretty tough stuff that comes highly recommended to fans of the genre who like a stiff challenge, so long as they stay away from Panic mode.
Q-YO Blaster is a great little tribute to Parodius, filled with inventive enemies and brilliantly designed boss battles. Its gameplay is solid and addictive with a beautiful art-style reminiscent in places of the mighty Cuphead. It's short and sweet for sure, but it's got lots of replayability and is perfect for whipping out for a quick blast on quick journeys and, all in all, is yet another cracking addition to the Switch's ever-growing roster of top quality shmups.
Mainlining fails to really provide any interesting commentary on its chosen subject matter, revelling instead in caricatures we’ve all experienced a hundred times before; stuff you’ll have seen done better in any Grand Theft Auto game that has parody websites involved. Its gameplay too often degenerates into trial-and-error and lacks any sort of consequences for the player getting things wrong, which renders the whole investigative process pretty much pointless.
Kudos to Mebius for creating an entry in the genre that does so much to welcome newcomers into the fold whilst at the same time offering a blisteringly difficult challenge with plenty of hidden depth to hardened warriors looking for their next shooter addiction.
My Friend Pedro, for the most part, delivers on its promise to provide you with an almost endless variety of ways with which to carry out the flashy brand of OTT violence that's had gamers eagerly awaiting its release. The controls can be cantankerous at times and the levels are far from being an eclectic mix, but it adds enough diversions to the action with light puzzling and platforming elements to keep things interesting enough to see through to the end. Also, your best friend is a banana.
Overall, fans of RTS games may get some fun out of Golem Gates, but it's hard to get around the fact that this mash-up of tactical RTS gameplay with the random nature of the deck-building element of the game leads to a watered-down tactical experience. If you're happy enough to enjoy it for what it is you'll get a decent amount of fun out of the various modes on offer, but anyone looking for a serious RTS or deck-building experience would be best sticking to either genre exclusively, rather than taking a chance on this well-meaning but misguided mishmash.
Guilty Gear 20th Anniversary Edition is a fantastic addition to the Switch’s roster of fighting games and sits right up there with the very best examples of the genre the platform has to offer, mostly due to the fact that XX Accent Core Plus R is just about the strongest, most technically refined entry in the series.
There's no escaping the fact that Strike Suit Zero is a let-down, despite the promise of this enhanced edition. The Director's Cut has fixed issues with checkpointing and, in terms of content, is certainly a generous package on Switch, but the game never escapes the fact that its central conceit isn't satisfactorily delivered upon. With better mech controls and some more time and care put into delivering more varied missions this could have been a great little space combat game, but as it stands it's hard to recommend to anyone other than diehard space jockeys.