Monday, October 14

Mini Reviews: October 14th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Valfaris [Nindie Choice!] - If you’ve been looking for an experience on Switch that takes some of the core shooting mechanics of games the likes of Contra, then bolts the ability to hack and slash, and tops it all off with some cranking metal tunes and loads of intensity… Valfaris is going to be your new jam. Made by the same team who brought the platform Slan: Back From Hell, Valfaris varies up the action and tones down the frustration factor a little bit, though not much. This is a grit your teeth, laugh as you turn enemies into a bloody mess, and enjoy the thrills kind of experience that sets itself apart from the current pack on the Switch nicely. Be sure you’re ready to take a bit of a beating at times, but from start to finish this is a top-notch shooter/slasher with personality and adrenaline to spare, a great game for cranking up the volume and letting it all hang out for a while.

Mistover - Fans of challenging and highly strategic turn-based play have had a number of quality picks on the system to choose from, and though Mistover has a lot on its side with great art and an interesting setup its random elements may make it a bit too unpredictable at times. There’s no doubt that when you have a pretty well-balanced party you can do some serious damage by positioning your characters correctly and making use of key skills to try to wipe out your enemies with great efficiency. The problem is that since in Mistover permadeath is very much a thing once you move past that starter party and its complementary characters you’re at the mercy of fate, and it can indeed be cruel, potentially giving you a team that’s doomed to fail before it even gets out of the starting gate. It’s one thing to need to roll with the punches and have your strategy remain fluid, it’s another when your lack of an ability to buff your team effectively or perhaps target enemy rows begins to make it feel a bit too lopsided against you. The main problem tends to be how much it feels like everything seems to fall apart at once on you, even when you’re playing as effectively as you can. If you like to grit your teeth and dig in this may be precisely what you’re looking for, but for anyone even moderately casual this may be a hair-puller.

Ghostbusters: The Video Game Remastered - If you’ve ever thought it would be cool to strap on a proton pack and join the likes of Peter, Egon, Ray, and Winston to bust some ghosts this may be a thrill for you. Working as a team you’ll be taken on as a new member of the squad and together you’ll move to different locations taking on all manner of spirits with various attacks and defenses to be aware of. In terms of presentation and ideas it’s all pretty solid, just be ready for the gameplay itself to be a bit on the clumsy side. As you may imagine fine control isn’t the strength of this technology and that can make for some pretty chaotic and confusing battles as you try to wear down, capture, and then contain ghosts while trying not to get incapacitated by ghostly counter-attacks. If you’re into the license this may be a really good time, but if you’re less enamored with it your mileage may not be as good.

Aeternoblade II - Side-scrolling slashers are pretty well-represented on the Switch, though none of them have game mechanics quite like Aeternoblade. Early on the ability you acquire to capture your actions in time and then replay them, effectively either doubling your attacks or allowing for you to trigger switches remotely, adds a nice wrinkle of puzzle-solving to the mix. The action itself can struggle a bit, especially as it switches perspectives at times and the mechanics that work just fine (though a bit spammy) in two dimensions can get a bit wonky when introducing a camera and trying to manage enemies in more open 3D spaces. Still, it has some original elements so that may attract some interest for people in love with the art style or are looking for something a little different.

Community Inc - If you’re looking for a community building game where you’ll create and define every element piece by piece, setting up your workers, assigning their roles, and cultivating their well-being Community Inc may be of interest to you. However, at least in its current state it’s hard not to notice quite a lot of rough edges to the interface and even the experience itself. While using the controller is workable it’s hardly ideal, the game feels much more like it was designed for a PC with a mouse and keyboard and getting through the many menus can be a bit arduous. Throw in wonky animations, workers who seem to get lost or have difficulties executing your commands, and just random periodic issues and you’ll need to keep an open mind and show patience as on the whole the game doesn’t seem to be finished or at least polished in its current state.