While it's a shame that there are fewer games here than in other Konami collections – we'd have loved to have seen NES title Contra Force or the now-extinct WiiWare title Contra ReBirth – the ones included are universally brilliant. The 8-bit and 16-bit Contra games are among the finest examples of the run 'n gun genre, and to have almost all of them included in a single release and emulated flawlessly is an absolute treat. Whether you're a fan of the series or a curious onlooker who's always wanted to see what the fuss was all about, this is essential.
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).
When you consider how many titles Konami is packing into its Anniversary Collection packages – and that their retail price is almost half what Square Enix is demanding for the three games included here – it's impossible to not question the value of Collection of Mana.
Radiation City is shovelware, to put it bluntly. Within the entirety of its (admittedly large) open world, there isn't a single original idea to be found. The ideas it copies from its contemporaries aren't well implemented either. If you're looking for an enjoyable open-world zombie game, look somewhere else. If you just want a thrilling undead experience, check out Resident Evil.
At the end of the day, Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization is the kind of game that you probably already know if you’re interested in or not. This is an anime-inspired, in-depth RPG that comes with all the trappings, good and bad, that your mind associates with that description.
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.
Super Skelemania is a passable – if mostly superfluous – effort in a sea of similar games. The satisfying movement mechanics you uncover ensure that the hour you spend playing won't feel wasted, but whether you'll feel compelled to pick it up again – or if you soon struggle to recall ever having played it in the first place – is another matter. Nonetheless, there are certainly less competent, and more cynical releases to filter through on the eShop.
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.
Hue is an interesting title. It's unique and striking, but it always feels just a hair's breadth away from true brilliance. The few moments of exasperation after finding your way out of a confusing situation are some of the best a game of this type could possibly have, but they happen so rarely throughout the four-or-so hour running time that their impact is dulled. Hue could have been something more, but what's here is engaging enough if you're gasping for an inventive indie puzzler.
Gorgeous to behold and equally delightful to play, Timespinner is yet another top-notch Metroidvania on Switch. A lack of tough exploration challenges and an under-utilised time-freeze gimmick aside, it succeeds in using the popular genre as a vehicle for a genuinely intriguing science-fantasy tale that will motivate players to explore every inch of its fantastic pixel-art world.
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.
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.
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.