The first, and lasting, impression that SWORD ART ONLINE: Alicization Lycoris gives is anime, and plenty of it. All of the well-trodden tropes are present here. Blue-haired swordsman protagonist? Check. Fast-paced and heavily over-cut intro? Check. Inexplicable amnesia? Check. Anime waifu goodness? Check, check and check.
This also means, however, it suffers a couple of the pitfalls too.
As divisive as the Paper Mario series has been, it’s undeniable that the brightly coloured and playful likes of our truly 2D plumber are welcome in all the current doom and gloom. Revealed only a couple of months ago, and promising a whole load of fun around origami, it was honestly hard not to look forward to another instalment of ‘Nintendo messing around’ in 2020.
I am bad at rhythm action games, however, I will happily gorge myself on any one I come across simply because I find them so fun. From playing Dance Dance Revolution in the arcades to tapping away with Theatrhythm: Final Fantasy, I genuinely adore the genre. So, when I heard that the legendary Taiko No Tatsujin series was coming to Switch, I simply had to play it, even if I was going to be terrible at it.
A couple of weeks ago, during the Pokémon Presents broadcast, we were shown the timely return of Pokémon Snap for us to flaunt our amateur photography skills prompting much fanfare. But, I was much more intrigued by another little project, a little app designed to help children brush their teeth properly and continued proof that any random word can follow the word “Pokémon”.
In New Horizons you get to move in with a bunch of dumbass animals, and pitch a tent on your very own randomised deserted island (that you pick from a small selection). This excursion is arranged by that Bell-grabbing scumbag, Tom Nook, and a selection of animal folk join you at first. From here it plays out much like other games in the Animal Crossing series.
The story of Granblue Fantasy is quite utterly delightful nonsense. Taking place inside the popular universe of the Granblue franchise, it follows Gran and the other passengers of the Grandcypher – including the scintillating navigator Rackam – as they attempt to investigate the mystery of how the sinister Erste Empire has somehow returned to full power following their prior defeat.
Everybody loves Sonic. There, I said it. The series has suffered a lot in the last ten years or so, but it’s legacy is undeniable. This can be seen pretty strongly in 2014’s Freedom Planet, a game clearly inspired by the ‘Blue Blur’.
Freedom Planet has a predictable but nonetheless charming story, following Lilac, Carol and group of other anthropomorphic characters as they try to save the world from destruction from a powerful force from another world, led by Lord Brevon. Along the way, they meet various other increasingly ridiculous characters from the different warring nations that form the majority of the games setting.
Playing a lot of anime games, you quickly become desensitised to a lot of things that other people might find egregious, with the quirks becoming mundane over time. Then, on the rarest of occasions, you get hit square between the eyes by something so absurdly Japanese that the force practically leaves you with whiplash. You likely already know where I’m going with this.
Being a lover of anime fighting games, I’ll pretty much give any of them a shot. Koihime Enbu RyoRaiRai piqued my interest right from the first footage I saw of the game in motion whilst perusing Steam. However, now having played the game for a decent while, how actually is it?
The iconic Professor Layton’s daughter, Katrielle, has set up a Detective Agency all of her own in a fictionalised version of London. With her assistant Ernest and a talking dog called Sherl, she pledges to help anyone who walks through their door with the mantra “Any Mystery Solved”. But Katrielle barely has time to recover from a dog talking to her before an Inspector from Scotland Yard arrives …