The Game Wall - Games of the Year

For both review and private purposes, I keep track of the games I play each and every year. With that in mind I thought that it would be fun if I shared this little list, this 'Game Wall' with you all.

Here are all of the games I finished this year, listed from my most favourite to least favourite. From top to bottom for each year I finished them in. 
I hope you'll find this little, inconsequential, corner of my blog fun to check out now and again.

2024

"It can't beat the first for me, I have too many good memories with that title and that shine of it being something I hadn´t yet experienced, but Octopath Traveller II is without a doubt a game worth your time if you're a fan of the original or just the genre in general. Each traveller's tale is more creative and connected. There is more depth and flexibility to the combat and a slew of QOL updates cuts down on the grindy parts of the game. Combined with the polished-up HD-2D graphics and another beautiful soundtrack, you get one excellent classic JRPG. "

"Severed is quite the remarkable title. I discovered what was a touching narrative presented in a minimalistic yet impactful manner, touching on themes of loss, grief, and acceptance. While the story requires attention to fully appreciate, it leaves a lasting impression that resonates long after the game is over. While the combat mechanics initially felt repetitive, the game gradually revealed its depth. Because of this, Severed managed to truly captivate me."

"Yes, I fully agree that Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon can easily be considered a hidden gem. The game's artistic direction, its picture book presentation, alongside its whimsical soundtrack and the rather touching journey all hit home. Yes, the unique dual-character gameplay can be clunky and the combat is too basic but the puzzle-solving and the exploration means the gameplay is still fun and, above all else, endearing."

"As the concluding chapter of Nathan Drake's story, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is a worthy send-off. Thanks to the more powerful PS4, the game is the biggest and most ambitious Uncharted game yet, with a sense of scale and freedom the games on the PS3 just couldn't achieve. Coupled with an emotional, character-driven story that is just as gripping as the bombastic and stunning action pieces, you get a blockbuster title of an adventure game that, for good reason, is the most-bought game in the entire series."

"All in all, Ghost of Tsushima is worth looking out for if you're in the mood for a well-made Samurai title. It's not what I call a 'must-play', it failed to grip me or be that revolutionary, but you cannot say that it isn't a very well-crafted and fun game. I wouldn't have poured 40+ hours of gaming into it if I weren't enjoying myself." 


"Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is a well-made and enjoyable addition to the Uncharted series, offering a brief yet engaging adventure. While it introduces a few new winner elements, such as the much-expanded open area, the game struggles to establish its own identity. Much of its gameplay and narrative beats feel borrowed from its predecessor and doesn't provide a fresh experience. While very much an enjoyable experience, it ends up feeling more like an extension than its own game." 

“Just like the base-game, Forspoken: In Tanta We Trust is a decent little package. It's a brief experience that trims the experience down to be more focused and linear. One that works better than the open-world as it lacks bloat and where the combat isn't as clunky. However, this is also to its detriment. The narrative is underdeveloped, there's a lack of variety, and the combat has become too shallow. Even so, it's an enjoyable experience for those who liked Forspoken and to me, it's a bittersweet send-off to a flawed but potential-filled game.”


"I'd say that Fairune succeeds at what it set out to do: it's a pleasant game in the style of old-school Zelda. It does a good job of bringing back that original design philosophy of really letting the players explore and figure stuff out for themselves, though fails to make itself all that noteworthy with how much it borrows from Zelda with only very minor additions. The only thing that this game can call its own compared to classic Zelda is the level and damage system, which is underdeveloped and not all that interesting, really."


"While experiencing a non-Pokémon game made by Game Freak, I can safely say that HarmoKnight isn't a game for me. It's a well-made budget release, simple in both gameplay and presentation with charm and a good amount of replay value. Yet I can't get into the rhythm of it all. My reflexes and reaction time aren't fast enough to keep up with what is asked of me. Couple that with some clear design flaws such as a lack of variation, and unremarkable music, and you get a game that, even if the 3DS EShop wasn't closed down, I wouldn't recommend."

2023

"God of War Ragnarök is an improvement over the already excellent God of War (2018). It has a bigger, more grand and epic story that brings the father-son story of Kratos and Atreus, and that of the Norse Era, to a grand and emotional close. Its gameplay has been deepened and made a lot more diverse and fun. From the rebalancing to new combos, weapons and extra layers of mechanics. It's not perfect; but then what is? What matter is that it's well made and fun game. Add in the great performances, graphics, soundtrack and accessibility options and you have one of the best PlayStation games ever made, in my humble opinion at least."

"Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart is a very fun, quality game. It has a great story with fun, if basic, platforming action and fast-paced action that is never too difficult, keeping the entire experience a comfortable one from beginning to end. The central gimmick, the dimensional shifts, is well implemented in both gameplay and story and is a good showcase of the PS5's capabilities. With all the things this game did or didn't do it provides a solid groundwork for future Ratchet & Clank titles to build upon and create an even better game from it."

"Pokémon Scarlet & Violet are some of the best titles the series has brought out in recent years. The shift to a true open-world setup is liberating and invigorating. The story is fun and catching and battling Pokémon is just as fun as ever. All of this is, sadly, buried under a pile of technical issues and performance problems. Should Game Freak be able to fix these with the patch(es) they've promised, that would really make these games a great experience."


"Initially, Retro Studios had a hard time figuring out how to translate Metroid into the 3rd dimension. When you playing Metroid Prime: Remastered I noticed none of these struggles. Quite the opposite, really: the game is so well designed that you'd almost think that Metroid was made for this viewpoint. The transition to first-person brings new elements while retaining the classic Metroid essence. The variety of beams and upgrades adds depth to combat and exploration and the graphics and sound design are excellent. Overall, it's an excellent game for Metroid fans and newcomers alike."


"
Super Mario Bros. Wonder is a fresh, and above all else, 2D Mario experience. It breaks away from the 'New Super Mario Bros.' formula with a refreshing visual style and the wonderfully creative Wonder Flowers gimmick. The badge system gives the player a sense of customizability, the multiple playable characters give you some fun options and the difficulty and multiplayer options make it a very approachable game to people of all ages and skill levels. "


"Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection is the definitive way to play the PS3 trilogy. It polishes each game up with better performance, improved visuals and standardised controls. The additions of a bunch of new modes open the games up to both the inexperienced beginner to the seasoned player looking for more challenge. T
he lack of any dedicated multiplayer mode was disappointing, as is the lack of fun bonus content but its absence is at the very least reflected in the game's pricing."


"While not sporting quite the amount of content as I would've liked, Horizon Forbidden West: Burning Shores is still a great, and above all else, enjoyable expanssion that gives what it promised. It's a fun ride with some neat character development for Aloy in a wel-realized location capped off by an epic final boss. The highlight of the entire package. The PS5 exlusivity is a let down but for those Horizon Forbidden West holders who can play it, it's a more than worthewile and fair-priced addition to the game."


"When you take into account the many similarities with its predecessor and the smaller technological jump, I can understand why people prefer that title over Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. However, that doesn't mean that the game is not worth your time. While the game does feel rather similar to Among Thieves and has issues of its own, it's still a blast. It has an excellent story, fun gameplay and above all else exciting setpieces. For my money, Uncharted 3 is the best of the PS3 trilogy and worth checking out."


"Uncharted 2: Among Thieves is a better Drake's Fortune. It has a better narrative and controls, more elaborate gameplay and is a more action-packed title which sets it apart from Tomb Raider. The introduction of a stealth system, intense action setpieces, and improved combat make for a fast-paced adventure, though at the cost of the puzzles and collectables. With some mildly improved graphics and a fittingly adventurous soundtrack, you get a great action-adventure title. I can see why this is often pointed to as the best Uncharted game."


"While not revolutionary in any sense of the word, Spider-Man 2 is still a great game. It has a well-written plot that, despite its pacing issues, tells a compelling and emotional narrative about finding balance in one's live. The gameplay remains fun and engaging with the counter and new abilities spicing things up just enough to make a difference. The activities are also rather familiar but also has some standout side-quests. Add in some great superhero set pieces, the still oh-so enjoyable web-swinging, and now gliding, and the great graphics and you get yourself a superhero adventure worth playing."


"The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero is good and enjoyable extra content, but I struggle to see it as an improvement. It has some novel new features to play around with like the synchro machine and some light QOL updates. I dug into the story and look of the areas, and I especially felt that the more difficult nature of the Indigo Disk gave rise to some really fun and challenging battles. Yet, it can't escape the problems of the base game. The poor performance compromises the experience, and the lack of many, big and small, features that would've made these games better had they been addressed." 


"The first part of The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero, The Teal Mask, tells an atmospheric story set against a backdrop of Japanese culture and the Momotarō folktale in a small land that's fun to explore. It has some nice new and returning Pokémon and a few extra features and mini-games for a Trainer to dig their teeth into and improve the overall experience. The technical and performance issues that plagued the base game, however, persist. The DLC's linear nature and relatively short length may leave some players wanting more. When it's all sad and done, it's an OK addition for those seeking for more Scarlet & Violet, but I can't recommend it to people looking for an experience that enhances the game."


"The Indigo Disk is a fun, but rather by the numbers, bit of extra content that isn't the big finish to Scarlet & Violet it could've been. It has some interesting features, quality-of-life updates and some stuff longtime fans have wanted for a while like the higher difficulty while it ties up the story elements of both the base game and the Teal Mask. However, there's not much here in terms of 'big' content and it has, annoyingly so, many small and annoying drawbacks to the new features. 
A fine piece of extra content but not much more I find."


"Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Ultimate Edition gives the entire package a lot more content and value. Of all the different modes, Pirate Queen's Quest and Friens to the End are the most substantial ones. They feature new playable characters, some story content and drastically different gameplay. The other modes are more novelties. They have their own flavour of fun but none of them have any real staying power. If you want to play Shantae: Half-Genie Hero don't cheap out and grab the Ultimate Edition for a bigger, better, experience."


"Pokémon X & Y bring a lot to the table that has stayed with the series ever since. Mega Evolution was the first battle gimmick, Wonder Trading, the Exp. Share change and so on. However, it lacks that 'one more thing' to bring the game home. No return to Kanto as with Gold & Silver or a strong story like with Black & White. Because of this, while I think it'll go down in history as a beloved title, I don't ever see it become an iconic entry in the Pokémon series."


"With Shantae: Half-Genie Hero, WayForward hoped to create a Shantae game that would appeal to a wider audience and bring more people to the series. Breaking away from the Metroidvania formula, the game delivers a streamlined platforming experience. It has engaging mechanics, vibrant visuals and an all-around fun atmosphere due to its spirited soundtrack and charming dialogue and humour. The game however grapples with gameplay imbalance and a somewhat disjointed narrative.  Its short length may leave players wanting more from this fun but flawed title."

"Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a very good game. It has the best graphics, environment and Tombs of the trilogy and is just a fun game to play. As you've probably already guessed though, it's not the greatest game. To circle back to the opening: now that I've played it I think that the game's more muted reception is a result of both Eidos not being as strong as a Tomb Raider developer and the lack of innovation on the formula making it grow stale. Still it´s a good pickup and worth your consideration."


"Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, is a successful first outing for the smooth-talking adventurer/archaeologist/thief and his friends. It does show its age with its clunky controls and some frustrating design decisions that make it feel like you’re playing a PS2 title even in this updated PS4 release. Looking past those issues though and you find an entertaining action-adventure title with an adventurous tone reminiscent of Indiana Jones and the like. A simple game that’s easy to pick up and get swept away in due to its presentation, fun cast and wildly entertaining set pieces."


"When it's all said and done, Forspoken is not a great game, but by no means a terrible one either. Just a flawed title that takes too long to get to the good stuff, to its own detriment and isn't the technical showcase that was promised. The story is nothing to write home about, with bad dialogue and difficult-to-like characters even if it does reveal some much-appreciated shades of depth as well. Its open world is very empty but the strong combat and parkour kept me engaging regardless.
For me, the good here was just enough for me to stick with the game until the end and enjoy the game for the flawed experience that it is."


"The Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass is a surprisingly good expansion and addition to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. What started as a rather barebones outing steadily improved its quality with each wave. The team seemed to get more experienced the longer they went on with tracks integrating the anti-gravity mechanic and even going back to older waves and making some minor but fan-requested changes. With 48 new tracks, 8 new racers and some other unexpected extra goodies such as the jukebox, and you have yourself some great value here."


"When it's all set and done I don't regret my time with Marvel's Avengers. It's the definition of a mid-tier game. One that has some good elements and is fun under the right circumstances has nearly as many issues that weigh it all down. Fun story, excellent graphics, and decent combat with intrusive live service elements and sections that can be quite boring and repetitive. It's not worth buying at full price but at a discount? If you want to get a chance to play as the Avengers in a big game, then yes, I'd give it a go."

"If you liked Mighty Switch Force!, you'll like Mighty Switch Force! 2 as well. It's a less challenging but more in-depth puzzle-platformer with more replay value thanks to the addition of a collectabe. It does most things better than its predecessor, or at the very least just as good at it. If you've never played a Mighty Switch Force! title before, this is the one I recommend you start with."

Mighty Switch Force! is a fun yet challenging puzzle-platformer game with a unique mechanic. The presentation is good, it has nice graphics and sound and the levels are well-crafted with a good mix of speed and puzzle challenges. It's too bad that there isn't much replayability beyond speedrunning. The game could've used some more meat on its bones, like more story elements in the game itself, but these things don't have to be a deal-breaker, especially for its low asking price.”

2022

"Horizon Forbidden West is a darn enjoyable and well-crafted open-world game that delivers on most of the promises of its predecessor. While the game may be criticized for being too similar to Horizon Zero Dawn and lacking in innovation, the improved exploration and combat mechanics, stunning visuals, and well-written narrative make for an unforgettable experience. With its quality and advancements, Horizon Forbidden West is undoubtedly one of the PS5's killer apps, alongside launch title Spider-Man: Miles Morales."

"I think that by now, I made my feelings on God of War (2018) clear. It's an excellent game thanks to its incredible story and is supported by its solid and entertaining gameplay. If you have a PS4/5 or PC you've got to give this game a shot. It didn't become Game of the Year 2018 for no good reason and nowadays, you can pick it up on the cheap under the PlayStation Hits line."

"Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an excellent JRPG. It's the best game in the series, though admittedly not my personal favourite, thanks to its accessible and refined gameplay, great story and an awesome soundtrack. It's a fitting conclusion to the trilogy or rather, with how the Xenoblade name has been growing, the chapter of the Xenoblade series. JRPGs can be daunting and not very welcoming to newcomers, but if you've never played a JRPG or Xenoblade game before but are interested then this is not a bad place to start."

"Horizon Zero Dawn is a darn good game. A well-crafted AAA open-world game that is thoroughly enjoyable with its well-written narrative and breath-taking world. It’s not the most innovative game in the open-world genre but hey, nothing is perfect. This game is worth checking out if you haven’t already. For just 20,- SRP you can get the definitive edition, including some extra goodies and The Frozen Wilds expansion so you really don’t have to spend a lot of cash if you want to give the game a go."



"I think nearly everyone who buys/plays The Frozen Wilds simply want some more Horizon Zero Dawn to play around with and this expansion gives you exactly that. A new area with new machines, gear and quests alongside some new story content. The expansion is not the most innovative, but that’s OK. There is nothing wrong with such an approach and the expansion is a lot of fun, but if you were expecting more than that, if you were hoping for a small evolution HZD, you won’t find it here." 

"Pokémon Legends: Arceus takes the 25+-year-old franchise and puts a new spin on things. It moves the series in an exciting new direction by going semi-open world, combining lots of elements that make these games so appealing with Pokémon. The result of this is the most refreshing and best Pokémon game in years, one that streamlines a lot of elements while honing in on what makes Pokémon so very appealing. It has its flaws, yes, but none of them will get in the way of playing and enjoying the game unless you're a real stickler for them." 

"Marvel’s Spider-Man is an excellent time. With an engaging narrative and excellent gameplay, it’s a fun action romp in which you get to be Spider-Man, with everything that entails. It’s a well-made game that, while not perfect of course, is the quintessential Spider-Man game. Not only that, it’s just a fun and well-made game in general."

"Kirby and the Forgotten Land is a great game. It’s a fun, easy to pick up and play 3D platformer with lots of charm. It succeeds as both the first 3D Kirby game as well as someone’s first Kirby game in general. As far as I can tell, it brings pure Kirby goodness to the table and has quite a bit of content to keep you busy with even far after the campaign has ended."

"Rise of the Tomb Raider is a very good game. It distils what worked in its predecessor and addresses the feedback gamers gave it while bringing in more traditional Tomb Raider elements. Its story is fun if a bit too similar to what came before, the gameplay is rewarding and much snappier and the game looks and runs excellent. I would go as far as to say that I would recommend this game Tomb Raider 2013. Why? Because it’s a much better ‘Tomb’ Raider game, is more representative of what the series is all about." 

"Triangle Strategy is a well-made, fun and approachable SRPG. For fans of the genre like me, the gameplay gives exactly what I wanted along with some nice additions to make it all feel a little different from the likes of Fire Emblem. It is simultaneously welcoming for players new to the genre, making it a good starting point for them. Tie this all up with an interesting, if flawed, story, lots of replay potential and the beautiful HD-2D visuals and you’ve got yourself a winner of a title on your hands!"

"Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 are a fun experiment and perfectly good Pokémon games. Seeing how the Unova region has grown and changed over 2 years is a novel experience in the Pokémon game series and while it doesn’t quite stick the landing, the story leaves a lot to be desired and the game is too similar to its predecessor in a lot of areas. They’re not as unique as their predecessors. Yet, in return, you get an experience that’s bigger but more basic."

"Super Mario 3D World is, if you ask me, a better Super Mario 3D Land. It has better visuals, level design, and music and utilizes its gimmick of a 2D/3D Mario hybrid much better. On top of that, multiplayer makes this the Mario game for the Wii U and Switch to play with friends. The stages are well-designed and fun. The music is upbeat and catchy, the graphics pop, the game runs well and the multiplayer is a lot of fun (I think)."

"Bowser’s Fury is an interesting little addition to the Super Mario 3D World Switch port. A proof of concept for an ´open-world' Mario game that's short but sweet. Fun gameplay with some nice changes and a thrilling atmosphere. It’s very short though, at around 4-5 hours which is understandable and keeps most of its flaws from becoming actual problems but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. The short length helps the experience this way, keeping things from overstaying their welcome."

"Playing Avatar: The Burning Earth again was a fun and smooth ride through memory lane for me. Even after all these years, it was like riding a bicycle. Short, flawed, but very sweet and I’m happy I went back to it. Speaking more objectively the game is good for what it is; a tie-in game for kids. It is simple but it understood the assignment. It nails the atmosphere of fun gameplay for young kids with some good visuals and sound design." 

"I can see why, looking back at the game well over a decade later, it was a big factor in making the 3DS successful. Super Mario 3D Land is a well-crafted and fun Mario game whose 3D touch gives rise to some well-designed levels. With more content than you’d expect and a low bar for just picking up and playing it. It’s big issue however, its blandness, has kept it from being a very memorable game. It gets confused a lot with 3D World, which smartly took the 2D/3D bland while ditching the hindering 3D effect. It’s not a must-have Mario game but if you’re looking to grow your 3DS library before the EShop closure it’s not a bad one to pick up." 

"I think Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl are better than the originals, are enjoyable games and are a fine purchase for the younger crowd and/or if you know what you're getting into. They are better than Diamond and Pearl in my opinion. However, if you can, Platinum is still the definitive way to experience Sinnoh."

"Spider-Man: The City That Never Sleeps is a fine add-on. It gives players a new story, some new activities to tackle as well as some spiffy new costumes. That’s, however, all it adds. The story isn’t bad, but underwhelming and not the strong hook the narrative of the base game is. There are no big gameplay additions or new features. The stuff it does add (the activities) is fun but nothing you haven’t seen before. The add-on isn’t bad mind you but it doesn’t make for a ‘must buy’ expansion."

"Fire Emblem Warriors is a good game, but one that fails to live up to its potential. It’s a solid Warriors game and a solid Fire Emblem spin-off but more so for the hardcore fans than the more casual ones. The core gameplay loop is fun and the celebratory element of the game is neat but the title got some problems that, to me at least, way down the experience. It’s not a game that resonated with me, partially because of my own preferences yes but also because the game just leaves something to be desired."

"Where the other Shantae games I've covered were easy recommendations, that's sadly not the case for the game that started it all. I can see why at the time of its release it garnered positive in 2002 but I can't do the same now. The game hasn't aged well, with lots of small problems that weren't a big deal back then feel much worse due to the improvements games have made in the last 20 years. The additions made to the game in this port, the suspend feature especially, ease the pain so to speak but aren't enough to make up for all the shortcomings that make it a much more frustrating experience than it should've been."

"The Last Airbender for the DS is better than I thought it would be considering the movie it’s a tie-in/adaptation of, it’s better than the said movie, but it’s still nothing remarkably. Nearly everything it does competently and it builds on the game before, but nothing it does is all that great or remarkable. The story is fine, the gameplay is fine, and the level design is fine. The graphics aren’t fine, nor is the soundtrack/sound design, but those aren’t super bad. Just normal bad. It’s not a game worth remembering or hunting down nowadays but were some of the other Avatar games felt like a drag to finish this one is pretty breezy."

"Avatar the Legend of Aang for the Nintendo DS got middle-of-the-road reviews but was overall better than its console counterparts. I can get behind this. The game is better than you’d think when you hear ‘tie-in game for kids. The game is simplistic but it understood the assignment. It nails the atmosphere and has a neat story with some good visuals and sound. The lacklustre, outright broken, combat is its biggest issue. It makes the fights, which are roughly half of the game, a hassle, an annoyance and a frustration all at once."

"For little kids back in the day, think 5-7, Avatar: Into the Inferno is fine. The gameplay is easy to grasp, the cartoon/humorous style is appealing to them I imagine and the lack of text and quick pace and general difficulty is perfect for kids. Nothing too taxing though nothing too special either. For anybody older than, say, 9, I wouldn’t bother with the title. Too simple, too rough around the edges and quite frankly too boring. It has bright spots, better integration of the touchscreen and multiplayer features, but even nostalgia won’t carry this one, unlike the first game." 

2021

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a magnificent game. It has a wonderful and emotional story and a large breathing world amongst many other strengths. Yes, there are some problems. The controls are way too sluggish and this version is the inferior on a technical front. For the hardware, however, it’s actually quite impressive and can be adjusted to our own personal preference for a better performance. If you’ve never played the Witcher 3 before, or just want to be able to play it on the go, then this is an excellent version to pick up.”

The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine is, once more, an excellent expansion. It brings an entirely new and quite different area to the table alongside a new story that ties up Geralt's videogame journey with a pretty neat bow. The blows to the graphical fidelity here on the Switch is and the lacklustre poster bad-guy are disappointments but by no means a detriment to the entire package. Blood and Wine is well worth your time if you played and enjoyed the Witcher 3.”

The Witcher 3: Hearts of Stone is an excellent expansion. It brings you more of that Witcher 3 content that makes the Witcher 3 such a good game. The characters, the world, the well-written story while adding in some improvements of its own. An expanded world, creepy atmosphere and returning elements from earlier Witcher games that long-time fans will most certainly appreciate. There are some hiccups, of course. Chief amongst them the expansions length and amount of content are not as vast as compared to that of The Witcher 3 base game but the value of the entire package is still very good.”

Metroid Dread is a very good game. Its production values are top-notch. It´s well designed, looks good, plays good and is a lot of fun. There´s a lot to love here for old fans while the game is welcoming enough that it´s the best spot for newcomers to get into the series. Dread has issues, yes, but aside from that issue scanning ability, they are nothing more than little gripes.”

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition is a very, very good game. The story is amazing. It’s beautiful, emotional, action-packed and character-driven. The world is well-realized and looks stunning though be aware: it does suffer from some pop-in issues. The gameplay is fun, very strategic, but can be tedious at times as well as overcomplicated with how many layers it has. It can get overwhelming at times and while I personally enjoy the longer length and 100+ side-quests you can do in the game I understand others might find it daunting or grow tired of the game before the credits roll.”

“Compared to Marvel's Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Miles Morales is a smaller game. The story, cast of characters and the stakes are much smaller. Nonetheless, it's well worth your time and money. It's a short but sweet experience with a good story, excellent characters and fun and well-designed gameplay. It might still be a little too expensive if you consider what the game lifts wholesale from the original but for what I paid, I feel that game was worth it.”

Link’s Awakening for the Nintendo Switch is a good, pleasant game. It’s top-down Zelda at its finest with enjoyable characters and a twist that’ll definitely make you think. It also got the Dungeon maker that, while not as robust as I would have liked, is still a fun activity to delve into. It is a bit pricey though. For the 60,- price tag there isn’t enough content I feel. However, if you can pick this game up for less, either second hand or through a sale like I did I definitely would.”


"Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition is a game that I wanted to play for years and didn't disappoint. It has an entertaining and interesting story, fun gameplay, awesome action sequences and more. It is not hard to see the game's flaws, the lack of importance of the Tombs for instance, but these don't detract too much from the experience. Only bringing it down to 'great'."

Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected is a well-crafted and fun little addition to Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition. Jumping into this world one more time on a new map with both old and new characters is a lot of fun. It has some stumbles, it's not as great or grand as the base game but really, that's not what I think anyone expects from it. If you have experienced enjoyed the base game you will no doubt enjoy Future Connected.”

Yo-Kai Watch is a good and enjoyable game that kids and fans of the ‘monster-hunting RPG genre will thoroughly enjoy. It has a cast of loveable creatures, a cosy atmosphere with great music, a barebones though enjoyable battle system and more than enough content to keep you busy for quite a while. If you’re even mildly interested in the game, it’s pretty cheap at most outlets at the moment, so I’d definitely consider picking it up and have a crack at it yourself. I’m almost certain you’ll be pleasantly surprised.”

Spyro Reignited Trilogy is the definitive way to play the original three Spyro games. Each game look and sound stunning with improved controls to boot. The presentation of the collection is well done and the added features make playing the games more convenient. It’s not a perfect collection, the load times are long on any platform you play it on. There’s some lag during transition screens and the games do have their own individual flaws and nit-picks. These drawbacks are only minor however and don’t amount to much more than annoyances. If you want to play the original Spyro trilogy, or just a good Spyro game or 3D platformer in general, then Spyro Reignited Trilogy is the game to pick up.”

“I've seen it written that Astro's Playroom is the best pack-in game since Wii Sports. I don't know if this is necessarily true or not but one thing is certain. It is a very entertaining one. The game is well made. It looks good, it plays well and is a lot of fun for its short length. You can clearly see it's made to be, in part, a tech demo for the console yet this aspect never felt intrusive. I myself did feel that the PlayStation pandering got a bit too much but that's a personal taste.”

Tomb Raider: Anniversary is a good and entertaining game that's a good time throughout that holds up rather well for a 15-year-old game. It has an engaging story and well-designed levels that serve as a very good introduction to what Tomb Raider is all about. Not surprising really as this game is a remake of the game that started the franchise. There are, of course, issues like the less than stellar controls and the shallow combat but there by no means deal-breakers.”

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is might just be a souped-up port of the original Wii U version with some extra bells and whistles but that doesn’t mean the game isn’t any good. On the contrary, it’s quite excellent. It looks great, it sounds great and the decades of experience Nintendo has with Mario has been put to good use. Yes, it doesn’t really stray from the established formula at all and this undoubtedly does lessen the game’s impact for those more familiar with the series. Regardless, if you want a good 2D side-scrolling Mario adventure to play then you can’t go wrong with New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe.”

Spyro: Year of the Dragon ends original developer Insomniac’s Spyro games end on a high note. Year of the Dragon doesn’t offer much new in terms of mechanics, the new playable characters are really the only significant change, but that is by no means a problem. The core of these games are very good and lead to a very fun and enjoyable game. The changes that are made, for the most part, benefit the game in terms of variety and enjoyability. If you liked Spyro 1 & 2, you’ll no doubt enjoy Spyro 3 as well.”

Shantae and the Seven Sirens is a good Shantae games, though arguably not the best. It combines many of the quality of life and accessibility upgrades of the pure platformer Half-Genie Hero with the series' Metroidvania roots alongside listening to fan feedback such as the simplified transformations. It is also perhaps too accessible, as the difficulty can easily be broken in half and the game feels like it's running on auto-pilot more than once. Even so it's a game that Shantae fans will enjoy as its heart remains the same and serves as the best entry point in the Metroidvania genre.”

AER: Memories of Old is, as I said earlier, a mixed bag. Flying around is a lot of fun and the entire experience is very calming, from the soundtrack to the visuals. However, it's also very shallow. There's just not much to this game and lacks any replay value. I wouldn't buy AER: Memories of Old at full price, but if you can find it at a discount, I'd say it's worth a shot!”

Toree 2 is, when it comes down to it, another Toree 3D but with some neat improvements. It’s a small but well-made 3D platformer that's charming and a lot of fun. As such, my advice is the same as the original. If you’re a fan of platformers, want to play something that you can just pick up and put down again without, then you can’t go wrong with Toree 2. It’s only 1,- on the Nintendo Switch EShop so if you have any Gold Points laying around you can essentially get this game for free.”

Toree 3D is a bite-sized videogame should be. It’s small but well-made and a lot of fun to play with. If you’re a fan of platformers, want to play something that you can just pick up and put down again without, then you can’t go wrong with Toree 3D. It’s only 1,- on the Nintendo Switch EShop so if you have any Gold Points laying around you can essentially get this game for free. I meant, now there really isn’t any reason not to buy this game right?”

"Are Pokémon Fire Red & Leaf Green worth playing nowadays? Yes, they are. Unlike the original Red & Blue, the game looks much better and are much more stable. None of those weird bugs and glitches here. They also offer the traditional Pokémon experience and not the simplified, Pokémon Go-style gameplay that the 2018 Let’s Go games have as well as unique content, most prominently the Sevii islands. This content might not be as good as it could have been, but it’s still nice to have. If you want to play through Kanto with the original 151 crop of Pokémon, then Fire Red & Leaf Green are the way to go."

Raji: An Ancient Epic is an interesting package. It's a good game with some pretty clear flaws. When it comes to the actual gameplay it stumbles. The controls and combat are clunky but it also has a superb graphical style and an engaging, if not minimalistic and unsatisfyingly abrupt ending, story. If the cultural, mythological aspect of this game appeals to you then go right ahead and pick it up. If not, then I don't think that you will get much out of this game.”

“If you're a Pokémon Go player, haven't played Pokémon in a long time or have very young children then Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu & Eevee is the perfect game to get your feet wet with. By simplifying the battle system and lifting elements from Pokémon Go it's a game that's easy to get into. For older players, I think this game is a harder sell. Let's Go is very charming, looks and sound excellent and has some very nifty new mechanics. On the whole, though I feel it falls short of a full-fledged, satisfying Pokémon experience. Try it out if you want but recommend trying to get it at a discount somewhere.”

“If you’ve paid close enough attention up until now, you probably already know what my final verdict is. Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks for the Nintendo DS is one mixed bag of a game. There’s nothing here that makes it an outright bad game but the lack of depth, the level of cheapness and some rough edges hold it back something fierce. As a fan, there’s enough here to enjoy and it is a genuinely fun game to play if you are, for kids especially. For everybody else: I would leave this game be.”

“My final verdict for Ben 10 Alien Force: Vilgax Attacks on consoles is quite similar to that of its handheld cousin. It’s one mixed bag of a game though to a lesser extent than the DS version. There’s nothing here that makes it an outright bad game but the lack of replay value, the level of cheapness and some rough edges hold it back something fierce. As a fan, there’s enough here to enjoy and it is a genuinely fun game to play if you are, for kids especially. For everybody else: I would leave this game be.”

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword is a good game. It some very obvious flaws and yes, the motion controls don’t work as well as they should and can be very frustrating to deal with at times. Beneath that though, you’ll find a perfectly fine 3D Zelda game does a few new things here and there, but mostly stays within the established Zelda formula. If you’re on the market for such a Zelda game, Skyward Sword isn’t a bad one to pick up. If the motion controls seem too daunting for you, Skyward Sword HD seems like a good deal to me assuming nothing has gone awry during the remaster process.”

Metroid: Other M is neither a train wreck nor this misunderstood gem. Yes, the most prevalent criticism you hear about this game is true. The story is flawed and Samus' characterization is poor. The controls are weird and clunky. Yet, the story is overall enjoyable and the controls are at least understandable and something you can get used to for the most part. The other aspects of the game are good, the FMV's are well made, the game looks good and sounds good and the level design is fun if not a bit too linear.”

Super Mario 64 is, all of these years later, still a fun game though one of which age has laid bare its flaws. It's a fun and well-designed 3D platformer that laid the foundation for the genre that is still fun to either go back to or check out for the first time. The wonky controls, weird camera and high difficulty do hinder the experience and give rise to quite a lot of frustration. Someone who has played the game since childhood might have an easier time overlooking the flaws but a new player will definitely feel them.”

"Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash isn't a very good game. It's not an outrageously bad game or anything, it's playable, just not very enjoyable. It has some good atmosphere, it has charm, but the game is weighed down by just how and dull and bland its game design is. if you've played one level, you've played them all. Couple that with some very frustrating and questionable design decisions and you have a game that's not worth playing in my book." 

"Drawn to Life: Two Realms is a mixed bag. I think the best way to describe my feelings toward this game is this: while I’m happy I played and finished it, I don’t really feel like ever playing it again. I had fun with it. There were some fun moments, some neat ideas and there is a lot of potential that a sequel could built on. However, there are just too many problems, too many frustrations, for me to play this game again any time soon."

2020

“All in all, while I have some gripes here or there, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is a great game. It has a much bigger world than any Zelda game that came before it with very well crafted dungeons and bosses. Controlling Link, as both a normal Hylian and a wolf, is much more intuitive this time around and opens the game up to much more strategy. Its visuals are a bit washed out and the story could have definitely benefited from some more polish. It's also on the long side of things, so keep that mind as well. If you can pick Twilight Princess up, you should.”

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is a blast to play. From its personality and atmosphere to its catchy soundtrack and graphics all the way to its gameplay and level design it's one hell of an enjoyable and fun ride. Its forgiving difficulty makes it easy for people to pick and play and I can highly recommend it to anyone as their first Metroidvania. The game is really good and definitely worth picking up if you're a fan of platformers, Metroidvania's or if you just liked what you read here.”

“Just as the Isle of Armor before it, The Crown Tundra is a worthwhile addition to Pokémon Sword & Shield. It's very similar to the Isle of Armor, essentially just continuing nearly everything that part of the expansion started, but that isn't a bad thing. It keeps building on all of those things, has some fun and new features of its own and offer quite a bit of extra play value with all of those legendaries. It has its own problems but those don't detract from the overall experience too much”

Ever Oasis is a little gem of a game that is worth your time. It has issues, sure. From the pacing issues to the clear asset reuse and some other nit-picks that would have just made this review even longer than it already is. These issues are annoying and can hinder you enjoyment at times, but the game makes up for it with its strengths. From its world to the blend of management and exploration to how easy it is to pick it up and play there is more than enough to like here. The game is unique and if you’re interested in what you read here or are just a big The Legend of Zelda and/or Animal Crossing fan, Ever Oasis will be a blast for you.”

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a good and fun game. It can be frustrating at times, from the issues with the interface to sudden difficulty spike, but those issues aren't enough to bog down the experience too much. The world is imaginative and fun the explore, the music a catchy and the presentation top-notch. For any Mario fan or to anyone interested in the tactical RGP genre, this game has something to offer for you.”

Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle: Donkey Kong Adventure is quite good. It builds on the base game with some nice improvements as well as featuring its own fun story with Donkey Kong. Even if you find the roughly 10-hour long campaign a bit on the short side, there is some extra content here four you to dig your teeth in. There are some problems, as always, but these are really very minor things in the grand scheme of things. If you liked the Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, the Donkey Kong Adventure expansion is definitely worth your time and money.”

Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage! is, in short, an improvement of the original game in almost every way. It adds in more cutscenes, more moves for Spyro to do, more power-ups more… everything. While there are fewer levels, they are longer and the game makes use of this by focusing more on replayability this time around. This does make levels overstay their welcome at times but at the end of the day, it's worth the trade-off. If you liked Spyro the Dragon, you'll no doubt enjoy Spyro 2 and should definitely play it.”

"Spyro the Dragon is a really good, and above all, fun game. It looks and sound beautiful and plays as smooth as butter. There's not as much variety here and there are some loading issues but these are really minor in the grand scheme of things. It doesn't hinder the game's many strong points at all, the strong gameplay and the overwhelming sense of fun." 

The Ise of Armor is a good and fun experience and anyone who enjoyed Sword & Shield will find this expansion worth the investment, no doubt. You got a very enjoyable story with a very well designed new location and a slew of returning and even some completely new Pokémon. The story is too short, the new features are unnecessarily limiting and things like the graphics are still the same as the base game and if you found that a problem there, you'll find it a problem here. Even with its problems, it's a very enjoyable and fun experience.”

Metroid: Samus Returns is a remarkable little game with its fair share of problems. It’s both a testament to the series strengths and weaknesses. It's strong in that it has solid gameplay, tight controls, a true sense of reward and progression and is both visually and auditory pleasing. It shows the weaknesses in that's on the unforgiving, 'figure it out yourself', side and has more backtracking then is really manageable. If you're new to the series or genre, these last points will definitely lead to some frustrating moments early on. The farther you get into the game, however, these problems start to fade as you get more familiar with the game.”

“All in all, Shantae: Risky's Revenge Director's Cut is a good little game. It has its own fair share of problems, from the bad map to it feeling generally unpolished, but these problems don't hold the game down too much. For the price that you pay for it, you get a good and above all fun little adventure with one of gaming's more unique characters. If you're a fan of platformers, or Shantae herself, Risky's Revenge Director's Cut is a game worth your consideration.”

“Over 17 years later, Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc is still a good game even if it doesn't shine as bright as it once did. The gameplay is still solid, its more action-oriented approach is integrated with the standard platforming very well, the game's personality, overall style and the world are memorable and the graphics still hold up decently well. However, its problems have become clearer with time. From the things that have always been a problem like the terrible audio mixing and the camera to things that just haven't aged well like the hit-or-miss humour, the scoring system and lack of cohesion.”

“All in all, Super Mario Bros. Deluxe is quite the package. It not only includes the original Super Mario Bros., which is still as good as ever alongside a plethora of new content. From the new save feature to the Lost Levels to a challenge mode, there’s enough here to keep you busy for a while. The screen crunch is a bit of a shame and the age of Super Mario Bros. is definitely starting to show but that’s not enough to keep this game down.”


"Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a stellar package of three of Mario's, and gaming, most memorable titles. It provides welcoming, if only small, updates to each title, giving them portability and makes them the definitive versions of these games to play. Add in 117 music tracks alongside a premium feeling presentation and I feel that you've got your value right there. Yes, Nintendo's decision to make the game available until March 2021 only, even the digitally, is very consumer unfriendly decision. This doesn't detract too much from the rest of the collection though and I think that Super Mario 3D All-Stars is worth picking up."

"Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a wonderful and charming game. Aside from just looking and sounding beautiful there's so much to the game. From the daily activities, you can do, form the charming villagers and the tons of customization in the game. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is an oyster and your its pearl, playing the game the way you like it best. Is it worth you investing your time and money? Yes and no. There is a heavy amount of busywork here that I feel is definitely not for everyone. If you don’t want to commit to the game and/or don’t have a friend group to play with, I'd say your time and money is better spent elsewhere."

2019

"Pokémon Sword and Shield are not bad games, but not great ones either. The Wild Area gives some much-needed control and freedom to the player, the raid battles add a fun co-op element and the gym challenges have been given some much-needed breath of fresh air. The soundtrack is superb, the Pokémon design is as good as it has ever been and the game features many quality of life changes. The game is being held back though, by its lacklustre story, less than stellar graphics an overall design that feels outdated. While their flaws are definitely felt, Pokémon Sword and Shield are still good games that are worth a consideration."