Nintendo Life's Scores

  • Games
For 4,693 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 19% same as the average critic
  • 34% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 8.7 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 La-Mulana
Lowest review score: 10 Lawnmower Game: Racing
Score distribution:
4697 game reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Nonetheless, Beyond a Steel Sky magically brings its 1994 ancestor back to life. The style, the humour, the chirpy dystopia are all revived. However, a lot has happened since that first golden age of adventures, and if you want a creative addition to the indie-fuelled inventiveness of the modern genre then you should look elsewhere. This is a game that remembers exactly how great things were in 1994, but isn’t much interested in how great they were last week.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain is a fun little romp which doesn’t have ideas above its station and presents its brain-teasers in a more lighthearted, rowdier manner than Dr. Kawashima's friendly but sterile style. This isn’t the kind of marriage between gameplay and (for lack of a better term) ‘work’ that you’ll find in Ring Fit Adventure, but it’s a greatly enjoyable and budget-friendly way to keep up the little pitter-patter of grey matter for all ages.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Danganronpa Decadence is a very fine package that delivers a trio of deliciously devious and salacious murder mysteries, plus a grindy side-game we can live without. The main games here are funny, dramatic and pretty problematic, so exercise some caution — this is resolutely not a game for kids, but even adults will struggle with some of its less savoury or more overtly brash, thoughtless content. If they sound at all appealing, though, we urge you to check the games out for yourself, as they're classics in the visual novel genre. Trigger Happy Havoc offers a memorable Killing Game with fantastic characters and a genuinely funny and smart script. Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair is even sicker and more delightfully disturbing than the marvellous original; it doesn't match its predecessor in some ways but makes up for its shortcomings in others. Our favourite is definitely the epic third game, though — go in blind and we promise you'll be in for the ride of your life.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Clockwork Aquario has been a long time coming, but it was definitely worth the wait. An obvious labour of love, this ill-fated arcade gem has been improbably recovered, restored, and reassembled, and it never feels like anything less than a carefully unearthed treasure that’s been polished until it shines. It won’t take long to beat — and it shouldn’t, because a good 30-year-old arcade platformer is supposed to be short and sweet — but what the game lacks in length it more than makes up for in entertainment and raw creativity, with stages pitting you against everything from mechanical flying fish to a gigantic egg-dropping robo-penguin. It’s the sort of game you come back to again and again because you want to rather than have to, and we feel lucky to have it.
    • 59 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While it's a fun time for fans, Danganronpa S: Ultimate Summer Camp is a total grindfest and plays almost the exact same way every time. With gameplay that's both luck-based and uninspiring, it's an incredibly tough recommendation to anyone but devoted series obsessives. This writer found it compelling — games don't take that long — but it is repetitive to a fault, and by design. Bizarrely, there are some ways in which it's less interesting and compelling than the equivalent unlockable feature in V3 and that was a free post-game bonus. Ask yourself if you really need to spend money to see the characters in swimsuits and make your decision from there.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It's difficult to get across exactly why Danganronpa V3 is so good without spoiling vast swathes of it, so we'll keep it simple. You'll come into the game baffled as to what the writers were thinking with some of these characters, and walk away loving each and every one of them. There isn't a single moment of slack throughout the whole 40-hour playtime, it has the most extensive post-game of any title in the series, and one of the best endings to any game ever made. Go in blind and we promise you'll be in for the ride of your life.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even sicker and more delightfully disturbing than the marvellous original, Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair doesn't match its predecessor in some ways but makes up for its shortcomings in others. Once again we'd argue that the journey is better than the destination — we thought the first game's ending was nearly incomprehensible rubbish and this one is even worse. But it's absolutely a journey well worth taking, as the brilliant cast and smart murder mystery gameplay once again sucked us in and didn't let go. An aesthetic and narrative treat, Danganronpa 2 is an easy recommendation and we're delighted it's finally made the leap to Switch.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc offers a memorable Killing Game with fantastic, iconic characters, a genuinely funny and smart script, and some superior twists and turns along the way with well-earned emotional hooks and at times shocking violence. It's funny, it's dramatic and it's very problematic, so exercise some caution — this is resolutely not a game for kids, but even adults will struggle with some of its less savoury or more overtly brash, thoughtless content. It's not enough to mark the game down in any way, but readers should be aware that this is not a tactful piece of software, which for some will ward them away but we suspect for others is a major selling point. We urge you to check the game out for yourself, as it is, quite frankly, a classic in the visual novel genre.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Ultimately, Real Boxing 2’s gameplay falls way too short of the standard expected on a console like the Switch. Without the option to use the touch screen, attacking with the analogue stick feels clunky, with no weight behind the attacks. It makes the fights feel boring and a bit of a chore to get through. In addition, while the visuals look perfectly fine on smaller screens, pop your Switch into docked mode and it really highlights how janky some of the models and animations look.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    NASCAR Heat feels like a game right out of the mid-2000s. The visuals alone are poor enough — with blocky textures, featureless environments, and a frame rate that struggles to maintain a solid 30FPS — but when you have a completely unremarkable career mode forming the main bulk of the game, there’s really no recommending this to anyone but the most staunch of NASCAR fans. Nintendo gamers have been without a true NASCAR experience for several years now, but if this is any indication of the quality we’re likely to expect, we reckon it should probably retire in the pits.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Wild at Heart borrows several of its mechanics from Nintendo IP, there’s no question about that. This could have presented a bit of a problem had it not been for the exquisite visual style and presentation, not to mention Moonlight Kids' excellent execution of those mechanics. With a story that’s equal parts amusing, intriguing, and emotional, alongside genuinely stunning 2D visuals, you’ll be sucked into this world in no time. Minor frustrations with combat and loading times aside, this is an adventure you’ll be glad you embarked on.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Even if you don’t want anything to do with League, we would highly recommend that you give Ruined King a shot; this is a spectacular JRPG that consistently demonstrates mastery of all the ingredients needed to make a great entry in the genre. The core campaign is just long enough to feel satisfying, there are dizzying amounts of character customization, and the combat system is one of the finest we’ve encountered in a turn-based RPG in a long time. If you’re a fan of RPGs, you’d be doing yourself a great disservice to pass on Ruined King. Even if you’re a newcomer to the genre we’d still absolutely encourage you to give this a punt; it's an excellent effort.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Death’s Door is a modern classic, utilizing old gameplay ideas in a new setting to make for a short and sweet experience you won’t want to miss. The snappy combat, rewarding exploration, and relaxing music will stick with you once you've finished, and while it may not have anything 'new' to offer, Death’s Door is so high quality that you’ll hardly have time to think about it's lack of innovation. We’d give this one a very high recommendation, especially to any fans of Zelda or Soulslike games — Acid Nerve has crafted an experience that’s absolutely worth your time and money.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Unsighted combines some very familiar ideas: it’s a top-down, roguelite, sci-fi Metroidvania with a strong 16-bit aesthetic. Its time-is-ticking, post-apocalyptic scenario is brought to life by the enchanting palettes of its pixel art, making a world you want to explore, full of characters you want to know. Far from punishing, it leans more on the 'lite' than the 'rogue', letting fun prevail – as it will, thanks to the addictive rhythm of the controls, backed by punchy sounds. The cooperative multiplayer is icing on top of an already well-iced cake. Combining flavours of Super Nintendo classics with modern playability, Unsighted is the game 1995 desperately wanted to make but just didn’t know how.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Though Klang 2 has its issues, we feel that it still offers up a satisfying and unique enough take on the rhythm genre to at least be worth your consideration. This isn’t necessarily a title that we’d recommend to anyone looking to get their feet wet with rhythm games, but fans will likely find enough to love here that it’s at least worth the relatively low price of admission.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Epic Chef is heaped with charm and humour that will undoubtedly put a smile on your face as you start your life as Ambrosia’s hottest chef. Unfortunately, while the cooking and farming mechanics are simple enough to grasp, the bloated nature of the game makes every task feel more arduous than it needs to be. Add to this the needlessly lengthy dialogue and bizarre limitations around the save function, and Epic Chef feels like a game that can’t quite match up with the other life sims available on the Switch. It's not unenjoyable, just more Little Chef than MasterChef.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While some of the slower elements of the original games have been fixed, and The Grand Underground makes up for the comparatively weak Pokédex, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s new art style and a few other stumbles make this pair of games a somewhat disappointing retread of Generation 4. They’re also very clearly in the shadow of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, the upcoming open-world-like Pokemon game that has fans hoping it can take the series in exciting new directions beyond 20-year-old mechanics. If the remit of these remakes was to remain faithful to the original Gen 4 pair, we wish they’d also stuck to the pixel-art aesthetic. Aside from The Grand Underground – and the connectivity with the current games in the series – there’s very little reason to play Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl over your original DS copies.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While some of the slower elements of the original games have been fixed, and The Grand Underground makes up for the comparatively weak Pokédex, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl’s new art style and a few other stumbles make this pair of games a somewhat disappointing retread of Generation 4. They’re also very clearly in the shadow of Pokemon Legends: Arceus, the upcoming open-world-like Pokemon game that has fans hoping it can take the series in exciting new directions beyond 20-year-old mechanics. If the remit of these remakes was to remain faithful to the original Gen 4 pair, we wish they’d also stuck to the pixel-art aesthetic. Aside from The Grand Underground – and the connectivity with the current games in the series – there’s very little reason to play Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl over your original DS copies.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Would we be happy to play another one of these down the line? A game that's essentially another level pack? Based on the evidence presented here, it would be nice to see what Siactro could accomplish with a slightly broader canvas, although goodness knows there are more than enough cautionary tales of ballooning scope hindering the smaller, simpler interactions that make a platformer fun in the first place. We'd certainly play another 'one of these', but we see potential for something more substantial, too — perhaps not a full three-course meal of a game, but a carefully crafted cocktail that expands on the super-charged rainbow-infused shot of platforming the two Torees currently on the Switch eShop offer. The best thing we can say about Toree 2 is that, as with its predecessor, we enjoyed every minute of our time with it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Beyond Blue has noble intentions, with an urgent and vital message about our impact on the Earth. However, it doesn’t do itself justice. Although there is some decent content in here – videos, music, sound design, gameplay, narrative – those parts do little to support or enhance one another. Gameplay is soothing but one-note, the video documentaries don’t frame the missions and neither are well connected to the narrative. While there are moments of majesty in exploring the ocean, the limited draw distance and pop-in frequently interrupt the awe. Edutainment’s a hard one to pull off, and Beyond Blue feels less like an awesome rock concert about dolphins and more like your science teacher trying to do a rap.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A Boy and His Blob hasn’t changed since its release back in 2009, but it’s still well worth checking out if you’re after a decent puzzle platformer. The visuals still look incredible after all these years, with spectacular animation to boot. Some aspects of the game feel a bit outdated by comparison, with the inability to map certain abilities being a key culprit. Nevertheless it remains a fun, breezy experience, and one that the younger generation of gamers in particular will adore.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Airborne Kingdom is a perfectly fine city builder that puts a nice spin on the genre by focusing on weight and balance to ensure the survival of your community. The act of gathering resources and building structures feels easy, although some may wish for a bit more depth in the overall management of the city’s population. A few gameplay quirks might also frustrate, with a camera that feels way too slow and a UI that’s just a tad confusing at times. If you’re after a city builder that feels a bit different, though, then this might just be the one for you.
    • 47 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Grand Theft Auto: The Trilogy - The Definitive Edition on Switch delivers three of gaming's true greats in a shockingly rough package that manages to suck pretty much all of the fun out of Rockstar's stellar crime epics. This is a poor port, a shoddy, stuttery, low resolution mess full of bugs, glitches, audio problems and more besides. If can grab this one on any other platform, we'd advise you do so or, at the very least, hold off until it's been patched and hopefully improved in the future. As things stand, this is a very, very long way from 'definitive' — this isn't the way we want to remember these games.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Happy Home Paradise makes Animal Crossing: New Horizons feel like a 'definitive' edition, especially when considered alongside the substantial free additions of version 2.0. It's beautifully polished — and that's not a reference to the ability you earn here — and provides even more variety and depth to your daily AC island life. You may discover new villagers to call friends, and perhaps even learn a little about how to better decorate rooms and homes. Most importantly, it simply makes us smile — that alone is the best recommendation we can give.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic may have lost some of its luster as the years have gone on, but the foundations of a well-written and enjoyable RPG haven’t aged a day. If you can get past things like awkward controls, middling presentation, and a complete lack of handholding, the 30-ish hour campaign offers up an engaging romp through the beloved Star Wars universe. We’d give KOTOR on Switch a strong recommendation to any fans of Star Wars or RPGs in general, just with the caveat that you’ll get more out of it if you can stomach archaic game design elements.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    As a small, short experience, it's not entirely without merit, but if you enjoy lightly randomised action then the Switch already has the likes of Enter the Gungeon, Dead Cells, and Hades for you to play. Heaven's Machine is sadly best left for collectors to keep safely sealed away.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you enjoy party games but aren’t too keen on the board game mechanic seen in titles like Mario Party Superstars, then My Singing Monsters Playground offers up a more streamlined experience that focuses purely on the minigames themselves, which might prove perfect for families with younger gamers. If you’re looking for a meatier experience, however, the lack of any overarching campaign harms the game’s overall longevity. Frame rate struggles in some of the more chaotic minigames, but for the most part, developer Big Blue Bubble has cooked up a nice addition to the party genre here.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Unpacking manages to do several things very well, all at the same time. It’s a touching story told through interaction, it provides the creative play space of a great dollhouse game, and it deftly applies established game design ideas from completely different genres. Its only real shortcoming is the repetition that is a necessary byproduct of landing its message. Effort has gone into making the controls satisfying on Switch, and the visual and sound design are delightful throughout, making Unpacking, like any sane person’s cutlery, absolutely top-drawer.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Gynoug hasn’t quite got that special extra spark that turns a great game into a spectacular one, but even so it’s still a unique and thoroughly enjoyable thirty-year-old shmup capable of standing proudly next to any other sold on the eShop, and yet another affordable retro re-release sitting in that perfect middle ground between modern convenience and hardcore authenticity.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Blue Reflection: Second Light improves on almost every aspect of the original, with a mystery that feels more personal as the characters become closer. The relationship between the girls as they seek to discover why they were brought to this strange world is the star of the show; though the combat is fun, it is always a vehicle to get you more story rather than the driving force of the game. Second Light is a fantastic-looking anime adventure that you'll love, so long as you can accept that combat isn't the focus.

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