Itâ€™s increasingly apparent that the pandemic has affected how Nintendoâ€™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 â€“ one of Nintendoâ€™s biggest releases of the year â€“ isnâ€™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 â€“ of all companies â€“ has given us fully-fledged remasters of the Crash and Spyro trilogies at a far more appealing Â£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 Â£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 Sunshineâ€™s sublime delights.
Fans of physical Switch games may also find this weekâ€™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 Playgroundsâ€™ footsteps, it features stylised visuals and arcade sensibilities. eFootball PES 2021 is this weekâ€™s other sports title â€“ this year Konami is offering it as a cut-price (Â£24.99) Season Update, which seems a smart move.
Then thereâ€™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.
Thatâ€™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. Itâ€™s the first proper Harvest Moon game to grace the Xbox, no less. (Last monthâ€™s Mad Dash doesnâ€™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
- Vampireâ€™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.