Monday, October 28

Mini Reviews: October 28th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Roof Rage [Nindie Choice!] - OK, Smash fans, hear me out. When it comes to fast-paced and somewhat crazy fighting Smash tends to be in a class all its own. That said, I’m here to tell you that someone has managed to capture a fair amount of that energy and surprising depth and put it into a budget pixel fighter. Roof Rage may just have a stable of pretty familiar and generic fighters overall by appearance but its fighting action is a pleasant surprise, especially when combining the pretty diverse combatants with the numerous stage layouts you’ll contend with. In general fighters feel responsive, their individual attacks have enough variety to encourage experimentation, and for the most part the game exceeds what I would have expected from a title at this pretty humble price point. If you’ve been looking for something with the spirit of Smash to enjoy with some friends and can live without the wild and wacky power-ups Roof Rage may be a great choice for your next throwdown.

Anthill - If you’re a fan of strategy gaming that skews a little more to the casual side, cutting your teeth on things like tower defense titles, Anthill may be a perfect experience for you. Given the responsibility of managing your small colony of ants you’ll need to create paths for your various unit types to follow to maximize efficiency collecting resources, defending your hive, and ensuring that old supply lines are pruned to avoid waste. You’ll need to decide how many of each unit to work with to tackle the challenges you face, a draught of workers will slow your growth but what use are they if they’re being lost to enemies of various kinds? Played exclusively in handheld mode the controls are intuitive and the action is pretty bite-sized and fun if you’ve been looking for a new variation on somewhat casual strategy gaming.

Baldur’s Gate / Baldur’s Gate II - If you’re a “vintage gamer” like myself who has been in the PC space you’ve definitely heard of, and likely played, one or both of these pen and paper inspired RPG classics. While visually there’s no doubt they’re limited and the controls are obviously a conversion from their native PC roots if you feel like modern RPGs too often lack diversity and depth in their character building you should really appreciate the degree to which you’re able to cater to your preferences in these two epic adventures. While some of the oddball characters and their dialogue, for me, are among the more memorable elements of the series there’s a good reason these titles are held in high regard so if you’re willing to overlook the experience being a bit creaky in places it’s worth getting to know for the first time or perhaps revisit to enjoy the nostalgia.

Remothered: Tormented Fathers - With it being that time of year where people are looking for an experience that’ll get them on edge and throw in some scares with a game like Remothered checks multiple boxes. The stage is set with a creepy mansion and an old man who is thoroughly creepy, where it goes from there is for you to discover. Like many other survival horror games your character isn’t able to be much of an aggressor, you’re generally going to be focused on evading detection and trying to hide while putting together what’s going on and trying to make your escape. Mechanically setting small traps and trying to defend yourself is possible but it’s also a bit clunky, so while there’s some great tension if you’re receptive to the experience others may find it repetitive and frustrating. With more than one option on the system in this same vein I don’t think any aspect of Remothered makes it the clear winner, for the most part I think it ultimately would come down to tastes in how graphic or intense you want your experience, and under that criteria this is pretty middle of the road overall.

Beast Quest - When you aspire to match up to the likes of the Legend of Zelda series and its ilk, taking on a grand adventure in a 3D world, you’ve got quite an endeavor ahead of you. There’s no doubt some of this desire lies at the core of Beast Quest, as your main character is a young man charged with setting out to save the kingdom provided with a sword, shield, some armor, and sage words from an old wizard. Along the way you’ll enlist some help you can call on periodically to get out of a pinch but for the most part you’ll explore the world solo, generally following a very linear path with only minor puzzles to work through. Perhaps if the game’s combat were engaging and exciting some other areas coming up lacking would be more forgivable but unfortunately as much time as you’ll spend fighting various beasts and bandit fighting is stunted and awkward all around. There are simply better options, even on a budget, for this sort of play on the system so it’s hard to recommend Beast Quest for just about anyone.