NOTE: This game is available on PC, PS4 and XBox One, and a Switch version is incoming. For the purposes of this review, I played the PS4 version of the game.
If you haven’t heard somehow, Yooka-Laylee is the work of Playtonic Games, a group of developers made up of former members of Rare, the developers responsible for games such as Donkey Kong Country, GoldenEye 007 and Perfect Dark. This game began its life as a kickstarter campagin, and it was billed as a revival of Rare’s work on the Nintendo 64 with fantastic platformers such as Banjo-Kazooie and its sequel, Banjo-Tooie.
For much of its opening hours, Yooka-Laylee actually does recapture a lot of the great things about those games. I got butterflies in my stomach while discovering its many quirky characters and worlds, as well as compulsively collecting the game’s collectibles. However, along the way, the game doesn’t just hit snags–it totally derails. One moment you’re dazzled by how fun this game is, and the next you are cursing it to hell and back. This cycle repeats itself from front to back in Yooka-Laylee.
Nintendo’s newest IP, Arms, left me a bit puzzled when it was first announced. It looked fun, but the idea seemed kind of shallow, like Wii Sports‘ boxing game with a coat of Disney paint. With Nintendo’s newest Direct presentation, they’ve given us an in depth look at the gameplay of Arms, and what kind of experience it will offer. I have to say, this game is looking much more interesting than I initially gave it credit for.
I held off on getting a Pro Controller for the switch for quite a long time, mainly because I wanted to give the Joy Con controllers and their grip a fair go. I have to say, I loved them! I played 120 blissful hours of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild using Nintendo’s new concept. However, when playing Snake Pass‘s tricky platforming challenges, as well as the Splatoon 2 testfire event, it became apparent that I needed something with more substantial control sticks to provide better accuracy for certain types of games.
NOTE: This game is available for all major platforms. For the purposes of this review, I played through the Nintendo Switch version.
This year, all of the attention for the neo-collectathon-platformer has been aimed at one game: Yooka-Laylee. But with all of this, it’s easy to forget that the genre didn’t disappear off the face of the planet, and other platformers do pop up from time to time. Some even dare to try new things, to the point where they can even be considered experimental.
Snake Pass, the latest game from the developers partly responsible for Little Big Planet 3 and the slightly under-appreciated Sonic & Sega All-Stars series of racers, is just that. This is a game that has one foot firmly planted in the genre’s roots in collecting items and making precise button inputs, but has the other foot in experimenting with new game mechanics and control schemes. Snake Pass is as inventive and creative as it is charming.
After a long lull, the white bomber is back! The last time we saw him, Bomberman was gracing consoles with fun entries in the series that focused on delivering thrilling multiplayer experiences. Now, he’s back on the Nintendo Switch with a brand new, entry that tests the Switch’s capabilities as a portable multiplayer gaming device. However, it also touts a full single player campaign that calls back to the says of the old Super Bomberman series on the SNES. So, is this a blast, or is it a dud?
How long has it been since Nintendo has made an F-Zero game? Far too long. It’s no surprise then that it’s up to other developers to pick up the slack with futuristic, preposterously fast racers. Enter Shin’en Multimedia, and their Fast Racing franchise. Fast RMX is an enhanced version of 2015’s Fast Racing Neo on the Wii U, containing all of the game’s original tracks, as well as all of the DLC and 6 brand new courses, for a whopping 30 race tracks. For $20, this game seemed like a steal, so I dipped right in and checked it out.
I have read a lot of… mixed opinions on Breath of the Wild‘s soundtrack from Zelda fans. This is mainly due to the minimalist themes that play while you explore the world, a style far removed from the thrilling, marching themes of the past. It’s still a little early to say if it’s my favorite soundtrack from a Zelda, but Breath of the Wild doubtlessly has one of the greatest soundtracks ever composed in a series with consistently fantastic music.
Surprisingly, Nintendo brought on the talent of Manaka Kataoka, the composer responsible for one of Nintendo’s best ever soundtracks, that of Animal Crossing: New Leaf. It’s easy to see the link between the quiet, beautiful soundtrack of New Leaf and the new Zelda. In any case, she’s a fresh face, and it’s nice to see Nintendo tap into new musical genius that not only matches the old songs from The Wind Waker or OcariThisna of Time, but at times even surpasses it.
Here are 15 tracks from Breath of the Wild that I love, in no particular order.