It’s increasingly apparent that the pandemic has affected how Nintendo’s development studios operate, prompting a change of plans to their 2020 Switch line-up. The Switch is in its prime, yet the majority of games in the pipeline are smaller-scale titles and remasters, all of which can be handled easily by small teams.
Super Mario 3D All-Stars – one of Nintendo’s biggest releases of the year – isn’t quite what fans expected, again leading to the belief Nintendo had to scale back plans. The collection features HD re-releases of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine and Super Mario Galaxy, along with a jukebox player and new JoyCon controls.
Fans seem disappointed by the lack of other enhancements, however, especially when Activision – of all companies – has given us fully-fledged remasters of the Crash and Spyro trilogies at a far more appealing £35 price point.
The general consensus is that Nintendo should have remastered Super Mario 64, at the very least, or included Mario Galaxy 2 also to help justify the £50 price tag.
Another sore point is that the collection is only on sale until March, with no explanation as to why. On the bright side, a new generation can finally sample Mario Sunshine’s sublime delights.
Fans of physical Switch games may also find this week’s line-up of note – Void Bastards, Crosscode, No Straight Roads, and Samurai Shodown Neogeo Collection are due at retail.
WWE 2K Battlegrounds also launches this week. This is a replacement for the usual annual WWE 2K update, developed by the team behind NBA Playgrounds. Following in Playgrounds’ footsteps, it features stylised visuals and arcade sensibilities. eFootball PES 2021 is this week’s other sports title – this year Konami is offering it as a cut-price (£24.99) Season Update, which seems a smart move.
Then there’s Spelunky 2, the long-awaited sequel to one of the most beloved indie games of all time. EDGE magazine deemed it worthy of a 9/10. We imagine a lot of gamers will find it their next obsession. Expect social media to be whipped in a frenzy on launch day.
That’s joined by Pacer, the promising futuristic racer once known as Formula Fusion, and a belated release of Crysis Remastered on PS4 and Xbox One, this time boasting raytracing on current-gen hardware.
Dog Duty might be worth a look too. This comical RTS was well received on PC.
Speaking of RTSs, the frequently delayed Commandos 2 / Praetorians HD Remaster Double Pack is finally out. Commandos 2 was quite a big deal back in the day. A huge seller, if memory serves.
The Xbox One also gets Welcome to Elk, a cartoon adventure set on an extraordinary island where every character has a tale to tell, and a surprise release of Harvest Moon: Light of Hope SE. It’s the first proper Harvest Moon game to grace the Xbox, no less. (Last month’s Mad Dash doesn’t count.)
New release showcase
Super Mario 3D All-Stars
WWE 2K Battlegrounds
Welcome to Elk
New multiformat releases
- Dog Duty
- Exp Parasite
- WWE 2K Battlegrounds
- Commandos 2 / Praetorians HD Remaster Double Pack
- Crysis Remastered
- eFootball PES 2021
New on PSN
- Spelunky 2
- Flying Soliders
- Banner of the Maid: The Oriental Pirate
New on Xbox One Store
- Johnny Rocket
- Active Neurons 2
- Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle
- The Blobs Fight
- Vampire’s Fall: Origins
- The Secret Order: Return to the Buried Kingdom
- Harvest Moon: Light of Hope SE
- Welcome to Elk
- Shotgun Farmers
New Switch retail releases
eShop round-up coming Thursday
- Super Mario 3D All-Stars
- Void Bastards
- No Straight Roads
- Samurai Shodown Neogeo Collection
- WWE 2K Battlegrounds
Next week: Mafia: Definitive Edition, Port Royale 4, 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim, Rebel Galaxy Outlaw, Tennis World Tour 2, Unrailed!, Dungreed, This is the Zodiac Speaking, Going Under, Twin Breaker: A Sacred Symbols Adventure, Tears of Avia, Little Big Workshop, Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia, and BIG-Bobby-Car – The Big Race.