The Switch receives its inevitable mid-cycle revamp this week, in the form of the £200 Switch Lite. The handheld only…handheld arrives alongside a slew of new software including The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered, along with the eShop only Castle Crashers Remastered, Untitled Goose Game, Devil May Cry 2, and GRID Autosport.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has received criticism from a handful of gamers who believe it shouldn’t launch at full price as it’s a “mere” Game Boy remake. We wonder if they realise it’s a full-on remake built from the ground up, and that it includes a bunch of new features including a dungeon editor. It likely had a two-year development cycle, too. Possibly even longer.
Having said all of this, it’s hard to imagine review scores being on par with The Breath of the Wild. Check back Thursday for our weekly eShop round-up – the day the embargo lifts, incidentally – to discover the critical consensus. We’ll also look at Castle Crashers Remastered, Untitled Goose Game, Devil May Cry 2, and GRID Autosport during our eShop round-up.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered reviews are now live ahead of Friday’s launch, with scores of PS4 version of the 2011 JRPG remaster currently higher than the Switch iteration.
Somewhat annoyingly, it seems critics aren’t in agreement as to how it performs on Switch. Gaming Trend claims it runs smoothly, while Nintendo Enthusiast reports that it’s in need of a patch. Who to trust? Switch owners may want to investigate further before opening their wallets.
Then there’s Rebel Cops – a tactical spin-off from This Is The Police, announced just weeks ago. Set in the ‘90s, it’s XCOM meets Lethal Weapon, pretty much.
“Rebel Cops makes some fun adjustments to an already tense formula. Its conflicts are fraught and exciting, while its meta-game is excellently woven into both the storyline and moment to moment gameplay. You should definitely kick the door down,” said Push Square.
That’s joined by Spike Chunsoft’s AI: The Somnium Files on PS4 and Switch, a sci-fi detective mystery starring an AI with X-ray vision and other superhuman abilities. Hideo Kojima’s Policenauts is cited as being a huge influence.
Over on Xbox One there’s We Were Here, which launches as a Games with Gold title. It’s a co-op (online only) adventure, requiring you to team up with another player to explore a puzzle-filled castle. We attempted to put it through its paces but failed to find anybody willing to commit– if the other player quits, you’re thrown back to the menu. So far we’ve spent more time waiting in the lobby than actually playing it. Definitely seek a reliable co-op partner before jumping in.
Other new releases to keep an eye out for include Sony’s PSVR adventure Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son (from the creators of The Sexy Brutale), the hand-illustrated Mutazione – a mutant soap opera where small-town gossip meets the supernatural – neon-hued arcade shooter Sayonara Wild Hearts, pixel art Viking slasher Niffelheim, and the first-person puzzler The Sojourn. You’ll find trailers for most of these below.
PQube’s recent 2D platformers Aggelos and Songbird Symphony both gain cheapy cheap physical releases this week too, available on PS4 and Switch. Both were well received, with Aggelos gaining favourable comparisons to SEGA’s Wonder Boy. Fans of retro throwbacks may want to check them out.
New release showcase
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered
8.5 – Gaming Trend: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a solid, no-frills, no-additions port of the original PS3 game of the same title. The first video game by Studio Ghibli has not only aged very well, but it also runs smoothly and quickly on the Switch, making it an ideal way to experience the whimsy, charm, and wonder of this fantastical world with Oliver, his friends, and his fearsome foes.
8/10 – Nintendo Life: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is an experience unlike any other on the Switch, expertly blending standard RPG tropes with a heartwarming story, innovative art style, and an immersive soundtrack composed by some of the best in the business. In more ways than one, this is a ‘dream project’ that’s very existence is a gift to fans of the genre the world over; the privilege of experiencing it is something that shouldn’t be understated.
5.5/10 – Nintendo Enthusiast: Much as it pains me to say, Ni no Kuni — an otherwise masterpiece — is not worth your time on the Nintendo Switch. Its issues are simply too frustrating to work around or forgive. The game is in dire need of patches that overhaul how the game performs on the handheld.
9.0 – God is a Geek: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered makes sufficient improvements to the visuals, bringing the same incredible JRPG to PC and PS4 without leaving any detail behind.
9/10 – PSU: One of the most gorgeous and timeless JRPGs of the last decade has now been resurrected on PS4, and if you missed it the first time around you really have no excuse now. This is how you pay tribute to a classic.
8/10 – GameSpew: From its Ghibli-illustrated cutscenes, to its brilliant world and characters you can’t help but fall in love with, it remains one of the finest JRPGs of recent years. The remaster is handy if you don’t have a copy on an older console, but if your PlayStation 3 is still in working order, you may want to hold off on grabbing this one until the price goes down a bit. Unless you have a PS4 Pro and can enjoy the game in 4K, the graphical update isn’t all that noticeable – but for those of us wanting to play again or play for the first time on a current-gen console, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered is still a worthwhile purchase.
AI: The Somnium Files
4/5 – Trusted Reviews: AI: The Somnium Files is yet another winner from Kotaro Uchikoshi, expanding upon Spike Chunsoft’s renown formula and pushing it in bold new directions. It can fumble in its visuals and mechanics, with a few character designs leaning a little to hard into generic anime archetypes for my liking.
8/10 – GameSpot: Despite the occasional frustration in exploring its dream landscapes, the whole of AI: the Somnium Files winds up being a fun, thrilling, and engaging experience. The story is filled with intriguing twists and shocking surprises, and the characters and their individual arcs inspire you to care about what happens to them
7.5 – PlayStation Lifestyle: Investigating gruesome murders in AI: The Somnium Files is fun even though it’s not particularly challenging. What really makes this game worth playing is its gritty sci-fi story and engaging characters. The mix of oddball characters work perfectly together to make you experience a rollercoaster of emotions, and piecing together all the threads of the story will reveal some surprising plot twists.
Sayonara Wild Hearts
New digital multi-format releases
- Scheming Through The Zombie Apocalypse: The Beginning
- Rebel Cops
- Bus Simulator
- Truck Driver
- The Sojourn
New on PSN
- Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered
- Groundhog Day: Like Father Like Son
- Castle Crashers Remastered
- Mowin’ & Throwin’
- Sayonara Wild Hearts
- Inferno 2
- Gravity Error
- Jigsaw Zen
- Reel Fishing: Road Trip Adventure
- Witching Tower VR
- In Between
- Lost Castle
- Dinosaur Island VR
New on Xbox One store
- We Were Here
- Mable & The Wood
- Rebound Dodgeball Evolved
New Switch retail releases
- The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
- Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch
- LEGO Jurassic World
- AI: The Somnium Files Special Agent Edition
- Tetris 99 + NSO
- Songbird Symphony
Next week: FIFA 20, Code Vein, The Surge 2, Contra: Rogue Corps, Tropico 6, RPG Maker MV , Darksiders 2 Deathinitive Edition (Switch), BDSM: Big Drunk Satanic Massacre, Constructor Plus (XO), Sally’s Law, and Mining Rail 2.