Wednesday, October 14

Mini Reviews: October 15th Edition [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Cook, Serve, Delicious 3 [Nindie Choice!] -
Following up the previous delectable outing on Switch, CSD3 is back with a new somewhat silly story with your empire having been reduced to rubble and starting over in a food truck. Aside from that, and how it has some influence on the presentation and how you’re able to customize it’s more of the same tense and quick action, new recipes, and more fun. As was the case before, this is a title I’d hesitate to say is great in docked mode because using a controller for the action is workable but can leave your fingers in knots whenever things get a bit crazy (which happens often). Playing using the touchscreen is far easier, though sometimes the on-screen buttons you’ll need to press can feel a bit small I’ll admit when you’re trying to be precise. Regardless, for fans of food prepping games I’d consider this series one of the best I’ve played, offering a fair challenge but also to a degree letting you pick your poison since you control your menu and the meals you’re looking to repeatedly prepare quickly. It’s a challenging food-frenzied blast if you can keep up.

Dustoff Z - Somewhat of following the general concept that anything can be reinvigorated and possibly improved with the inclusion of zombies we have Dustoff Z, which reaches back to the likes of the classic Choplifter for inspiration while throwing in modern progression and conveniences as well. You’ll initially control what is literally a cobbled together chopper, taking on missions where you’ll need to rescue civilians, grab some essential supplies, and occasionally take on some massive monstrosities. As you go you’ll unlock better gear, gain access to different human companions who can act as gunners or provide other necessary help, and pimp out your ride a little bit if you’d like. In spots success can require some grinding to get a crucial upgrade or two but while the idea remains relatively simple the zombies and levels themselves tend to have surprises every once in a while that prompt a giggle or perhaps even a yell. If you enjoy old school arcade-like challenges with a few modern touches thrown in you’ll likely have a good time with this one.

Seers Isle - More often than not I find that I’m not much of a fan of “interactive novels” on the Switch. It’s not so much that they can’t be a valid entertainment as they’re too often lacking in quality. Whether it’s predictable stories, tepid writing, too few meaningful choices, or a lack of immersion they just don’t typically deliver on their promise. To its credit, Seers Isle pretty well addresses every complaint I have about the genre. Its art style is distinctive and new shots of characters and the current action are constantly showing up to pull you in. Its multiple characters have some mystery and intrigue about them, generally being drawn outside of traditional archetypes and more like real people, and wow are there a lot of choices to be had ranging from those that feel small to ones that obviously have great consequence. The result is a pretty engaging story that works, though perhaps the abundance of characters and options are its Achilles heel in this case since with so many branching paths the end tends to come a bit too quickly. That said, repeat runs for different outcomes are typically rewarding due to the quality of the writing and characters so I’d say if you’re a fan of the genre this is one worth checking out.

Vigil: The Longest Night - While the Metroidvania genre had at one point been thinly represented on the Switch we’re now at the point where there are enough top-tier titles available that making a big splash is getting tougher. I think Vigil is a casualty of that reality, bringing a darker tone and some decent (if somewhat generic) action to the table with a fair amount of choice and variety, but struggling to distance itself from several titles at roughly the same level. Mechanically the action is a bit on the stilted side and feeling more from a previous generation despite its more attractive overall look. Level design, too, feels a bit like it’s from another time, managing variety but little that fuels a sense of excitement. If you’re in love with the look and theme it’s a decent romp but there are several better examples of the genre with different looks already available on the eShop.

Green Hell - My history with survival games has always been hot and cold. Whether it’s from cumbersome collecting and crafting or being put off by punishing play for me finding the right balance in the genre is tricky. In the case of Green Hell there’s actually quite a few positives. Though I’m not generally a fan of the first-person perspective with the game’s setting and story it does make sense in this case and can help to make the experience more immersive. It’s also nice to have a bit more story backing the action than normal and your goal of not just living to see another day but to rescue your wife also helps pull you in. That said, the interface and controls are really quite awful, especially when it comes to crafting and then trying to use the tools you construct in some cases. This can make many essential tasks into a chore and pulls you out of the moment often, killing any momentum you’ve built up. If you’re willing to overcome those issues there’s a solid experience to be had but you’ve been warned.

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