Nintendo Life's Scores

  • Games
For 2,762 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 24% same as the average critic
  • 29% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 11.2 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Shantae: Risky's Revenge
Lowest review score: 10 STEEL LORDS
Score distribution:
2765 game reviews
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A deceptively simple idea that can become laboured and bewildering as well as oddly compelling, Kingdom: New Lands is certainly a curious take on the strategy genre. Its ambiguous, incredibly minimalistic nature will initially intrigue and could easily frustrate in equal measure. Fans of roguelikes or tower defence-style games may prefer more complexity, as the simple mechanics give you control over choices rather than actions and rely on astute observation and perseverance, rather than on skill or improvisation. There is a balance to learn and a set of rules to be discovered, but even with the admittedly gorgeous aesthetic - and progressing beyond the initial stages to where the dilemma of ambition over security ramps up - it may still not be enough of a pay off to reward your time. Definitely one to consider, albeit carefully.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    There's certainly nothing wrong with celebrating the past and polishing up classic game concepts for modern consumption, but Double Dragon 4 is a prime example of how not to do a revival - which is ironic when you consider that the WayForward-made Double Dragon Neon did a much better job back in 2012. The use of NES-style graphics isn't a negative in itself, but too little has been done to refine and improve gameplay which, even back in the late '80s, was showing its age against a new breed of slicker and more enjoyable examples of the genre. The co-op focus of the Switch and its Joy-Con controllers does at least mean it's easy to rope in another player for a trip down memory lane, but this is nonetheless a crushing disappointment given the incredible potential of the franchise, and should only be purchased by diehard Billy and Jimmy fans.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Monster Hunter Stories is an excellent adventure that channels the colourful world of Capcom’s storied series into a joyous JRPG. It suffers from performance issues on non-New 3DS hardware, but it’s still full of personality, beautifully presented and fun to play, with combat that’s easy to grasp but engaging throughout. Longtime MonHun fans will appreciate Stories as a thoughtfully-made spin-off, but the gameplay template and tone are so different that you don’t need to be familiar with — or even enjoy! — mainline Monster Hunter to have a great time here. Regardless of whether you’ve been hunting Hornetaurs since the beginning or couldn’t tell a Felyne from a Fatalis, Stories is yet another charming 3DS RPG that’s well worth your time.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    This is far and away one of the best Metroid games ever made, and one of the best examples of the entire Metroidvania genre as a result. Melee counters and free aiming have made combat feel fresh and exciting again, while the environments are incredible – especially when viewed in auto-stereoscopic 3D. It’s a given that this is a must-buy for Metroid fans, but it’s also essential for those who’ve never played a 2D Metroid and want to see what the fuss is all about. This is what the fuss is all about, and the wait was so, so worth it.
    • 59 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    There are lots of great ideas here, and every now and then you can see glimpses of what kind of potential those ideas have, but this is a gaming equivalent of what happens when you pull a tray of cookies out of the oven too early, leaving you underdone treats. The core concept behind LEGO Worlds isn’t the problem, but the execution is. Perhaps in future updates (or sequels) Tt Games will figure out how to better refine it, but we would advise you to hold off on this one for now. Creative players will get a little more utility out of this game due to its sandbox mode, but on the whole there’s not much here that you’ll be missing out on by passing.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    It looks basic but Blue's Journey can still entertain with some fun moments and precision platforming. Other times developer Alpha Denshi favours an increase in enemy numbers rather than cunning level design to provide the challenge, and it's at these points that the game can get really repetitive. There remains enough charm to prevent boredom setting in, but there's not much content to keep players coming back. The standard ACA Hi-Score and Caravan modes add replayability, but Blue's Journey is one players will be unlikely to take often.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you are able to get a decent group of people together and understand that it's inevitable if not completely ideal that this game requires an internet connection, there is plenty of fun and laughs to be had here. There's a good mixture of trivia, improvisation and interpretation that's sure to cause a stir among friends and family, and the added bonus of being available on the go (with a Wi-Fi hotspot) makes this set a great time.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    In short, Minecraft: Story Mode – The Complete Adventure is a worthwhile ride, though it is a bit inconsistent in terms of the quality of the episodes. If you’re a fan of Minecraft, or just want to try out something that feels halfway between a game and a Netflix show, this is a great game to jump on. Though you likely won’t be replaying it very much, there’s hours of content on offer here the first time through and it certainly justifies the price of admission.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite its ‘Definitive Edition’ moniker, the vast majority of what you get in the Switch version of Rayman Legends has been seen in every other edition. The only truly new features here are a complete character roster for the first time and a tournament mode for its football mini-game. That’s not to say it's a bad game; that couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s still one of the best plumber-free platformers ever made, and its budget price means if you haven’t played it before this is the perfect time to jump in. Just be warned: if you already got your fill on Wii U or any other system, there isn’t really much here you won’t have already seen.
    • 91 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This is the third time we've reviewed this game, on each occasion a more feature-packed and improved iteration. Despite its 2010 roots - and pop culture references to match that time - it stands up extremely well, as pixels this stylish and action this chaotic don't lose their edge. Retro City Rampage DX is still an anarchic, almost overloaded game that bombards the senses while, at the same time, maintaining impressive polish in its gameplay. Whether you're playing it for the crazy story, excessive retro-styled violence or a mix of both, it still has the goods.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Zed Blade might not be the most famous of Neo Geo shooters but with three craft to pick from and a number of customisation options, it has variety and point-scoring options aplenty. Of course, none of that would matter if the game wasn't entertaining, but luckily NMK has crafted a fun shooter. The music seems an unusual choice at first, but proves to be a good fit with the frantic play style required for the game. It's not without fault however, and the action is sometimes easy to lose track of when the screen gets cluttered and there are moments of noticeable slowdown. Your ship is also quite large considering all the activity onscreen, leading to some moments of frustration when you're unsuccessful in navigating high concentrations of bullets. Zed Blade remains enjoyable however, and should keep highscore chasers occupied for some time.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Piczle Lines DX is relatively pricey (at launch) for a download puzzle game, but it offers 300+ sizeable and quality picture conundrums to solve; it'll take most players a long time to solve every image. It's a fun mechanic that feels like a clever combination of other puzzle styles, and the option to detach the Joy-Con and use the touchscreen alone also makes it an appealing game for a bit of quiet downtime slouched in a comfortable chair. Its smartphone legacy lets it down a little in presentation, and beyond solving lots of puzzles it's lacking any smart variations in modes or even multiplayer. Nevertheless, in terms of serving up plenty of challenging content it does the job rather well.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    An endearing combination of influences from art and science makes The Bridge a valuable addition to the Nintendo Switch library, especially if you've never played it before. Sometimes bogged down by showing off its aesthetic strengths at the sacrifice of fully exploring the puzzle ideas and mechanics, The Bridge does suffer slightly due to slow controls and a story/ character that deserves a little more nuance to back up its ambitious and academic influences. What it does do, however, is reward players' patience, calculation and observation with moments that rival some of the best in the genre. A genuinely interesting and challenging experience that, despite a few small flaws, will stretch mental as well as physical muscles.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As part of a card game compendium, Physical Contact Speed would have at least been a local multiplayer game to distract for a handful of minutes at a time. As it stands, some serviceable yet generic music and a 'fascinating' selection of avatars can't hide what's underneath - a bare bones and uninspired package with laughable localization, rudimentary controls and trudging gameplay that quickly sucks the life out of any 'speed' related fun anyone would have during a match. Fold.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    All told, we’d give Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack a strong recommendation to anyone who hasn’t yet played these games. Although the two games can be picked up individually on the 3DS for a lower price, this still presents a good opportunity to try them both in a format that can be played on both a big screen or a portable. The two games stand high on their own merits and — when you consider additions like HD Rumble and DLC — they certainly justify the cost, but the porting job is a little sloppy; fans who have already played these out on the 3DS might want to think it over first before buying. If you haven’t played them yet, then this is nevertheless the best way to go.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There’s a surprisingly good game waiting inside Sky Ride, ready to burst out and consume all your free time. It never quite manages to get there though, and its woefully undercooked and unfinished feel makes it all the more frustrating that, given more development time, it could actually have been a bit of a hidden gem. Instead, it’s a weird one-trick pony that may keep your interest for a while but quickly gets repetitive.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    There are a few changes to the football formula, but SNK's arcade version of the sport can still provide entertainment. Caravan mode gives you a different way to play, though it lacks the replayability offered by a shooter with that mode. The regular arcade mode doesn't give players much of a reason to return once the cup has been won; a lack of options and teams limiting the game's appeal. The quick-play nature brought about by that lack of options works well for two-player matches however, and if you are looking for something simple and fun to play to play with a friend, then Super Sidekicks can provide a quick footie fix.
    • 48 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Boost Beast is a wholly serviceable match-three game with a cute theme, fun mechanics, and plenty of content to keep you entertained. It has a few notable balance issues — including an overemphasis on luck and some puzzling vestiges of its free-to-play origins — but it’s still a good time for fans of the genre, and a worthwhile addition to the Switch’s growing puzzle library.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    At its core, Puzzled is essentially a Tetris knock-off that tries to do something clever with it but in doing so removes what makes Tetris so enjoyable. Its poor stage design leads to some frustrating moments and the more you play it the more each level feels like a chore rather than an exciting step forward. The only thing we’re Puzzled about is why this was chosen for the Switch treatment ahead of far more deserving Neo Geo games.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    With the eight options of fighter plane, lots of different enemies, frantic action and multiple endings, there's a lot to like about this game. Adding to the fun is the different locations visited and some entertaining boss battles. The game can provide a tough challenge and two-player is enjoyable, but it's the Hi-Score and Caravan modes that make it easy to keep coming back to. Providing top-quality shooter action, Aero Fighters 2 is a highly recommended download.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    League of Evil on Nintendo Switch is a savagely addictive, gleefully fun and at times brutally challenging platform game, with super tight controls, bold visuals and an accessible level editor that paves the way for a forever increasing Switch community to embrace. League of Evil feels perfectly suited to the big or small screen, and the bite-sized missions are great for any length of play session, be it solo, taking turns in a group, or just kicking back to make a level which will enrage your friends. While it may test some player's skill level and patience a little too much, persistence and determination are rewarded in a way only the best of the genre can.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a must have for Switch-owning fans of turn-based tactical games. More importantly, such is the style and depth on offer that it's also ideal for those that haven't played much of the genre, for whom 'X-COM' sounds like a silly acronym from a war movie. It introduces the concept in the best possible way, and then utilises its own ideas for what becomes a smart and - at times - deliciously challenging experience.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    2nd Squad takes some things away from the first Shock Troopers, but adds some elements of its own. The result is a game that’s either better or worse, depending on your own personal taste. Regardless of that, both games are underrated shooters that are packed with action, and instead of choosing between them, fans of old-school run ‘n’ gun games should really consider adding both to their Switch library.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The presentation in Samurai Shodown is so good that it doesn't feel like it has aged all that much; the excellent audio helps immerse you in the setting and the visuals are packed with detail and character. With a focus on patience and its use of weapons, the game has a different feel to your typical one-on-one brawler. Later games would include additions to the fighting system but there's something undeniably appealing about the simpler version offered here. That's not to say it's superior (the sequel is definitely a better game), but this first instalment holds up remarkably well despite the passage of time and is well worth buying, even if you already own the later Samurai Shodown IV, which is already available on the Switch eShop at the time of writing.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Not all games are designed to transport you to another world or keep you at the edge of your seat. Sometimes a game sets out to simply exist as an outlet for its players to relax and find comfort, which is exactly what Qbics Paint manages to excel at. It's tapping into the same market that adult colouring books recently cornered by providing a similar experience in a digital, and more portable environment. Life can be stressful, and sometimes you just need a way to unwind.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    A joy to behold from start to finish, Severed is an almost perfectly executed action-adventure title. With very successfully designed dungeons full of rewarding puzzles and a combat system that is pleasing to carry out, you’ll likely find yourself wishing you could play more of the game when it is over. That’s the only real downside – you’ll be finished with the main story after six hours and be left wanting more – although wishing you could play more isn’t exactly a complaint. If you have the means to do so, we heartily recommend giving this one a go.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Forma.8 takes the foreboding and desolate landscape and gear-gating of obvious inspiration Metroid and adds its own unique spin to it. From the floaty and endearing orb you play as to the design and structure that makes players feel like they are finding new things organically, it takes a genre formula and makes it its own. If you’re looking for an adventure that is filled with inventive discovery, a sense of lonesomeness and a gorgeous world to behold, forma.8 is not to be missed.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fatal Fury 2 looks and sounds great, has a good fighting system, is very enjoyable but you should absolutely not bother buying it. Why? Because Fatal Fury Special takes all that's good about it and adds in even more content. With flowing combos and a much larger fighting roster (for the same price), this is the version of the game to go for. The main arcade mode can be brutal, but there's lots of top-notch fighting action and two-player fights provide a lot of fun.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Those with fond memories of gawping at the amazing visuals back in the '90s will no doubt fall in love with Magician Lord's charms all over again and there are some neat ideas on show - such as the ability to morph into different characters - but it sadly hasn't aged as well as its contemporaries. There are plenty of retro games that are extremely difficult, but Alpha Denshi's game combines this with confusing level design to make for a doubly frustrating experience. Perseverance will eventually bring you round to its charms but most people will give up long before it gets to that point, meaning the main trick this magician pulls is making your patience disappear.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Thanks to the design of the Nintendo Switch, Rocket Fist is best enjoyed with family and friends as a multiplayer title. It channels the spirit of classic top-down arena titles like Bomberman and manages to put its own twist on the genre. As well designed as the single player mode is, the multiplayer is the defining aspect of the title. This mode adds prolonged life to the game, providing potentially hours of entertainment for up to four players. While the Switch version lacks certain features as included in other iterations of the game - such as online play and a level editor, both offered in the Steam release - it still feels like the superior version thanks to that local multiplayer madness.

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