The Switch rules the roost this week, thanks to the launch of Luigi’s Mansion 3 and (by our estimation) eleven other retail releases. Is that a new record? We haven’t been keeping track.
A fair few are multi-format releases, we should note, such as Close to the Sun, Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD, and Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King.
Reviews of Luigi’s Mansion 3 are positive so far, mostly clocking in an 8/10. It’s the most content heavy instalment yet, with plenty of gameplay upgrades and improvements, and new MP modes to boot. We’ve rounded up scores below.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD hasn’t arrived to an equally positive reception, however. Critics claim that while it’s great to see Monkey Ball return, this was an odd choice to dust off. It hasn’t gained any new content either – it’s merely the Wii original in HD.
Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King also arrives for around £25, offering a mixture of SNES, Mega Drive and Game Boy iterations of two Disney classics, with a bunch of modern-day features. Sadly, the SNES version of Aladdin is absent due to being originally developed by Capcom. Shame they couldn’t work something out.
Xeno Crisis also has a retro slant, being a glorious combination of Aliens and Smash TV. In addition to PS4, Xbox One and Switch it’s launching on the Mega Drive too. Yes, really.
Then there’s Close to the Sun, a first-person adventure set in a world were all of Nikola Tesla’s ideas – even the more reckless ones – came to fruition. It bears a striking resemblance to Bioshock, but word has it that it feels more like a tribute act.
“While some nicely designed environments, and a scattering of enjoyable puzzles stop this ship from sinking without a trace, Close to the Sun doesn’t manage to reach the lofty heights of ambition it’s clearly aiming for,” said Push Square.
Other games to look out for include a Switch release of Vampyr, puzzle game spin-off Harvest Moon: Mad Dash, Disgaea 4 Complete +, and Citadel: Forged with Fire – a sandbox RPG nobody seems to be talking about. Eastern Bloc road trip Jalopy also trundles onto Xbox One this Friday. We’ll have more on that soon.
New release showcase
Luigi’s Mansion 3
9/10 – Nintendo Enthusiast: Luigi’s Mansion 3 is a fantastic evolution for the series. Its significantly longer campaign, slew of multiplayer options, and more varied gameplay distinguish it from the more arcadey, speedrun-friendly original to a point that direct comparison is challenging, but Luigi’s Mansion 3 is an obvious step up from Dark Moon, which was already a great game in its own right.
9/10 – TSA: With a lot of gameplay enhancements from previous iterations, a gorgeously rendered game world, and a whole host more besides, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is easily the apex of the franchise. The sheer amount to see and do, along with the amount of adorable details, make this game a wonderful experience and one I would recommend. Sucking at games has (rarely) felt this good.
4.5/5 – GamesRadar: Luigi’s Mansion 3 takes you on a memorable spooky adventure packed full of creative puzzles, fantastic level designs, and oodles of charm.
9/10 – Destructoid: The Luigi’s Mansion franchise has come a long way since the original was criticized over its lack of content. With an absorbing single-player campaign and a Scarescraper that still packs a punch, Luigi’s Mansion 3 is the most content-rich entry in the series, and one of the best times I’ve had with my Switch in 2019.
8.5 – God is a Geek: Fun for everyone, Luigi’s Mansion 3 delights with its themed bosses and exploration. It’s a slow burn though, and not everyone will appreciate it’s pacing.
8/10 – GameSpot: The game may not radically diverge from the series’ formula, but it offers up another meticulously crafted set of challenges to overcome while smoothing out some of the issues that held Dark Moon back, and the sense of accomplishment you feel when you clear a particularly head-scratching obstacle is just as potent now as the first time Luigi unwillingly strapped a vacuum to his back and stepped into a haunted mansion.
Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
7/10 – Destructoid: As a return effort the core of Super Monkey Ball is there with Banana Blitz HD, it’ll just be hard to turn people onto it unless you’re going in with a solo mindset. If you haven’t ever experienced monkeys in balls before and plan on coming in as a rogue agent, that budget pricing helps.
6/10 – Nintendo Life: Back in the day, we gave the Wii version a crushing 4/10 score and said ‘if the controls were good then you could double the score’. Little did we know that over a decade later, our words would ring (almost) true. With more usable controls you can finally enjoy this batch of 100 levels for what they are, but the wider game is let down by weird leaderboard decisions and those lacklustre mini-games. The best monkey-in-a-ball game since Super Monkey Ball 2, sure, but not quite a return to the series heyday.
5.5 – Nintendo World Report: After spending time with Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD, I’m still confused as to why this specific game was the pick to revive the franchise. The 10 mini-games included aren’t that strong and the main game is mediocre at best, dragged down by the motion-focused level design and abysmal boss battles.
Disgaea 4 Complete +
9/10 – RPG Site: I wasn’t expecting to have this much fun with Disgaea 4 Complete. The story didn’t blow me away, but the humorous dialogue and amazing cast go a long way. It’s still an incredibly addicting game with multiple endings and an insane amount of content.
4.5/5 – DarkStation: The visuals are simply charming. While the 3D backdrops are bland and featureless, the character sprites are all crafted with care. The pixel art used for them is impeccable and some of the best I’ve ever seen in SRPGs. Combined with top-notch music, the presentation of Disgaea 4 Complete + stands tall among its peers even nearly a decade later.
8/10 – Nintendo Life: It’s hard to recommend a game such as Disgaea 4 Complete+, as it’s the sort of game that you either love or hate – there really is no in-between. On one hand, you have a mountain of engaging content, oodles of complex gameplay systems to learn, and a refreshingly irreverent tone to keep it all interesting for dozens of hours. On the other hand, these things are presented to you in an overwhelming and difficult to digest manner that will only appeal to a small subset of players.
8/10 – Nintendo Enthusiast: Overall, Vampyr is an ambitious game made with a lot of love. Given how easy it is to become immersed in its world, I was able to forgive some of the more glaring flaws with its repetitive action-RPG combat.
7/10 – GameSpew: Like many games ported to Switch, Vampyr is perfectly adequate on the format, but nothing more. If you don’t own a PS4, Xbox One or a PC up to the task and have been itching to play the game, by all means pick it up; you’ll get a lot of enjoyment out of it
7/10 – Nintendo Life: Vampyr is a brilliant take on the vampire fantasy, focusing more on drama, relationships and inner conflicts than on sucking blood. The temptation at its core can lead to frustration, as the challenging boss fights feel designed to urge you towards killing more innocent NPCs. Anyone attempting a no-kill playthrough may struggle unless they’re willing to invest the time, but if you’re enjoying the story and characters, it’s time well spent.
Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King
Citadel: Forged With Fire
Close to the Sun
Harvest Moon: Mad Dash
New digital multi-format releases
- Xeno Crisis
- Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD
- Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King
- Close to the Sun
- Police Chase
- Citadel: Forged with Fire
- Delta Squad
- Race with Ryan
New on PSN
- Disgaea 4 Complete+
- Harvest Moon: Mad Dash
- 39 Days to Mars
- Miles & Kilo
- No Way Out – A Dead Realm Tale
- Blind Spot
- CoolPaintrVR Deluxe Edition
- Vektor Wars
- Castle Costume
- Ghost Parade
- Speed Brawl
- Spirit of the North
New on Xbox One store
- Inferno 2+
New Nintendo retail releases
- Luigi’s Mansion 3
- Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King
- Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD
- Wargroove: Deluxe Edition
- Disgaea 4 Complete+
- Close to the Sun
- Into the Dead 2
- Hellmut: The Badass from Hell
- Remothered: Tormented Fathers
- Atelier Ryza: Ever Darkness & the Secret Hideout
Next week: Garfield Kart: Furious Racing, Death Stranding, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy, Jumanji: The Video Game, Need for Speed Heat, STURMWIND EX, Just Dance 2020, Blacksad: Under the Skin, Wizards of Brandel, Stay Cool Kobayashi-san!: A River City Ransom Story, Tanky Tanks, Shadow of the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Disney Tsum Tsum Festival, and New Super Lucky’s Tale.