A place for thoughts about the dangerously high number of Switch games I own. A place to record my own thoughts more than a real attempt to analyze or recommend.
Using italics for placeholder titles without reviews for now, and highlight for new reviews.
A timeline of reviews can be found here.
An N64/Gamecube style collectathon 3D platformer with memorable and funny characters, fresh new mechanics and story concepts in every level, and solid gameplay from top to bottom. Fully voice acted too!
The game's levels go in surprising directions, like the genuinely tense and scary segment in the game's "spooky" level. A Hat in Time takes heavy inspiration from Mario Sunshine, with its time rift platforming segments being intentionally similar to the no-F.L.U.D.D. segments in Sunshine. The episodic style of each hourglass is really Sunshine-esque, too, and the collectathon aspect is quickly downplayed since you amass enough yarn to render it irrelevant quickly. And the coins don't amount to much. So the hourglasses are all that's left, and they tend to be long, extravangant setpieces more than things you explore the environment to find. The vanilla game was a bit short, with only four stages, but the DLC adds two more to bring it to a more respectable length. It also adds some extra achievement style challenges with Seal the Deal, but they feel a little tacked on.
A sort of NES style platformer that fails to leave much of an impression. You travel between the normal world and some kind of mirror demon world, but the game never does anything interesting with that. The last few stages are very spammy and annoying, and the final boss is pretty hard. You get clobbered by him in the first few minutes of the game in a fight you're supposed to lose, and it looked identical to the real final fight, so maybe something happens if you win at the start. Never found out though.
A Super Metroid inspired roguelite. The gameplay is slower and more deliberate. It's not as relentlessly hard as others in this genre, and the final areas can get pretty easy if you get lucky with your loadout. The fleshy monster designs and environments are gross and I love them. It does lose a little of the Metroid charm, since every run's map is randomly generated and they can't get too clever with hiding upgrades. The final part of every run being scouring old areas for your final upgrades is a blessing and a curse, since it's kind of boring but you also get to vaporize every old area with your full kit and that's fun. There's a lot of content to find, too. The game tracks every upgrade you unlock for future runs, and I still haven't found all of them after several full clears.
You're a little bird and you have a big island to explore. This game is short but it's worth it. There are so many interesting details and buildings everywhere, and flying around is such a joy. The aesthetics and music are so chill. This was my favorite game I played in 2020.
A classic 2D platformer explicitly modeled after the old Wonderboy games. I got this because the screenshots in the eshop looked cool and the game is great. The spritework is amazing, boss fights are hard but not unfair, map is fun to explore and there's stuff to find everywhere. I've replayed this several times because it's great when I'm in the mood for something like Zelda II or Faxanadu but remember those games are bad.
A sort of Metroidvania NES style platformer with distinct areas. Think Faxanadu. The game was a passion project by a small team, but it falls into the same trap a lot of other retro bait games do. It superficially mimics old games, but lacks much substance. It's at least easy enough to still have fun exploring (weird difficulty spike and omnipresent instant death in the final area aside), and there are numerous sequence breaking tricks that are easy to perform. The whole game can be beaten in under an hour if you know how. The ending is some nonsense. Maybe it'll make sense with the sequel.
This game came out at the perfect time in 2020. Everyone staying at home, visiting each other on their little virtual islands. As a game, there just isn't much there. But that's really beside the point. It's a cute bit of escapism in a dumb world.
It's a daily routine that doesn't amount to anything, but that's okay. I have 100 million bells and all my neighbors literally cannot stop talking about trans rights. That's just life on my island paradise.
Most people have moved on from the game, but I can't drop it. Not yet. Animal Crossing is a virtual dollhouse more than anything, and you have so many little toys to arrange however you want. It's less about having a concrete goal and more about making your own fun.
I loved seeing what other people did with their islands, and the game dropping off in popularity means that stuff dries up too. A real shame.
A very strange game. Some describe it as Zelda-like, but that description really isn't accurate. The game is immensely empty, and aims to be strange and vaguely unsettling more than having any kind of compelling gameplay.
Maybe a better way to describe it is dreamlike, and just like most dreams, I've forgotten virtually all the details, and it only gets fuzzier the further behind me it gets. This might have been more memorable if it wasn't so incredibly empty. This isn't an exaggeration, the world is quite big and a very large amount of time is spent aimlessly wandering through it. The game breaks the fourth wall aggressively, but not in the smug, winking way so many games do. It mostly just adds to the strange and unsettling aura. It's very unlike the games I usually play, and to its credit (?), that ends up being the most memorable thing about it.
I got this game because a reviewer likened it to Lufia 2. Finishing it makes me think that reviewer didn't remember much of anything about Lufia 2. The characters are less charming and funny, more snarky and fourth wall breaking. The gameplay isn't simple fun with surprising depth, it's stale and poorly balanced. And there are no real puzzles. You really can't compare any game to Lufia 2 and forget about the puzzles. Ara Fell starts out in a very conventional way and will never do anything to defy your expectations until maybe the ending. You play as a girl named Lita. She explores some old ruins, awakens an ancient power, is tasked with saving the world etc.
There are elves and vampires and demons. The game's setting is a floating island, but don't expect that to affect area design too much. They had one cave tileset, and by god they're going to use it. The gameplay pretends at giving you options, with things like a class system, but one option tends to be clearly superior to others. Ara Fell feels very RPG Maker, so seeing it was made with Unity in the credits came as a surprise. Games like this market themselves on their ability to evoke the experience of classic games, but they tend to fail to capture it entirely, bearing only surface level similarity. Retro bait if I've ever seen it. At least you can crawl. It has that going for it.
Hyrule has so many warriors.
You're a girl whose mom is dying, so you have to go the moon for the cure. Obviously. The Moon Men are out to stop you, but you have a big gun. There's lore about how your mom is the exiled queen of the moon, and you are her half-Moon person daughter, but it doesn't really matter.
You run through a bunch of short stages, have fun. For some reason, I've taken to buying every Mega Man clone I see. It's mostly led to terrible, broken games, but I won't stop. I'll never stop. Moon Raider is one of them. The basics of jumping, shooting, and platforming only sort of work, and the stages just come and go. There are hidden upgrades — better hope you find the gun power ups — and a very janky dash that instantly kills every enemy. There are also 200 hidden jewels to find. The game implies they're tied to some kind of good ending, and it doesn't matter at all because there are nowhere close to 200 of them in the levels and the final boss just automatically gives you all 200 anyway. The game is very short, with 10 worlds that are all some flavor of cave. The final boss just vanished on my first attempt, softlocking me, so I had to restart and try again. Perfect way to cap off the game, honestly.