Category: Nintendo Switch

Cattails Review (Switch) – cute, charming, and full of heart

Cattails is a charming exploration game full of cute pixel cats and winsome personality! Many describe it as “Stardew Valley but with cats” and I would agree to a certain extent– mainly in the environmental design, the sacred temple (similar to the community center), and the wake-sleep, daily gameplay loop. Though a bit rough around the edges with room to grow, I found the game entirely enjoyable and addictive.

Continue reading “Cattails Review (Switch) – cute, charming, and full of heart”

The Banner Saga Trilogy Review (Switch) – a dark fantasy Oregon Trail

The Banner Saga Trilogy held my attention from the moment I picked it up! I would describe this series as a hybrid of Oregon Trail and Fire Emblem, nestled comfortably in a Norse mythology-inspired dark fantasy setting. The Banner Saga presents the player with a high stakes story full of make or break decision making, with the player positioned as the reluctant, elected leader of a caravan full of survivors fleeing the end of the world.

Continue reading “The Banner Saga Trilogy Review (Switch) – a dark fantasy Oregon Trail”

Ethics and Tragedy of Blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2

One of the central themes of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is whether or not Blades should be considered a race of people rather than weapons or tools, or if it is fair to treat them as weapons even if it’s their nature. Are they slaves no matter how well their Driver treats them? Just because a Blade and Driver have a good relationship, even a loving one, does that make it right to use them? On the other hand, is it acceptable to leave them dormant forever, in effect unalive?

Continue reading “Ethics and Tragedy of Blades in Xenoblade Chronicles 2”

The Red Strings Club Review (Switch) – ghost in the machine

The Red Strings Club is a fantastic little point and click adventure game by Devolver Digital that can be completed in one sitting. Running about three to four hours long but with great replay value, The Red Strings Club provides a quality, succinct cyberpunk package fortified with superb dialogue and sprinkled with the tendency to make your question your own opinions.

Continue reading “The Red Strings Club Review (Switch) – ghost in the machine”

Final Fantasy XII HD Review – under the skies of Ivalice

Final Fantasy XII is a game I wish I had been old enough to appreciate when it first released in 2006, but am very pleased to be playing now with its new coat of HD polish. The tale of Final Fantasy XII is refreshingly mature compared to past installment of the series; it does not involve stopping a global catastrophe right off the bat or a mysterious bad guy intent on world domination. Instead the plot is a bit closer to home for the characters, more true to life, and therefore feels very down to Earth (or rather down to Ivalice).

Continue reading “Final Fantasy XII HD Review – under the skies of Ivalice”

Koral Review (Switch) – taking a deep dive

Playing Koral left me feeling ambivalent. It is safe to say that Koral is best approached as a “zen game” in that it is a visually appealing yet simple game good for relaxation. Its dazzling graphics and mundane puzzle gameplay co-exist in discord. This game will only be a good fit for some and that’s okay.

Continue reading “Koral Review (Switch) – taking a deep dive”

Hyper Light Drifter (Switch SE) Review – a masterclass in “show, don’t tell” design

Hyper Light Drifter is the game that finally won me over on pixel graphics. For a long time I thought it was just a modern gaming fad (“Retro style is so cool, bro!”). I had a hard time empathizing with pixel characters due to the lack of facial feature details. I understood the difficulty of pixel art design, but I was unaware of the depth and nuance that could truly be achieved with this medium– Until I met the Drifter.

Continue reading “Hyper Light Drifter (Switch SE) Review – a masterclass in “show, don’t tell” design”

Gris Review (Switch) – an emotional masterpiece

Gris is a game I never knew I needed and yet wish had been developed years ago. Whomever had the idea for this game has a heart made of gold. Gris’s story is one that speaks most clearly to those who have experienced intense hardship or loss. It is meant to resonate somewhere deep within your soul, a quietly rising, inspirational call to the part of you that would never give up in the face of tragedy.

Continue reading “Gris Review (Switch) – an emotional masterpiece”

The World Next Door Review (Switch); a regretful lark

The World Next Door makes a great first impression with its unique character designs and interesting art style, which is a pleasant blend of mystical, rustic fantasy elements and modern urban sensibilities. The environments are vibrant and detailed, with lovingly designed NPCs inhabiting the world. However, there are not enough of them.

While absolutely beautiful, the world feels oddly empty as you move from area to area, even places such as the market that are typically a hub of activity in any other game. Just a handful of additional NPCs would have made the world of Emrys feel more alive. The World Next Door is a pretty package disguising a lack of functional content…

Continue reading “The World Next Door Review (Switch); a regretful lark”

Little Dragons Café Review (Switch) – a feel-good fairy tale for dragon lovers

Little Dragons Café is much more polished than I was expecting, to be honest. It boasts a pleasant pallet of pastels and warm shades, with Wind Waker-ish cell shading that look as if drawn with colored pencil by a skilled artist. The inside of the café itself is a quaint, homey scene that could have been torn directly from a page in a children’s storybook tale, one of those picture books that both parents and kids adore.

Continue reading “Little Dragons Café Review (Switch) – a feel-good fairy tale for dragon lovers”