Nintendo Life's Scores

  • Games
For 4,421 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 8.8 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 65
Highest review score: 100 MotoHeroz
Lowest review score: 10 Monster High: 13 Wishes
Score distribution:
4425 game reviews
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For people who loved the collect-craft-combat loop of Fantasy Life, this game might scratch that same itch, and it'll certainly take up a fair few hours – even if the "combat" part is missing. Littlewood is an incredibly impressive game for a solo developer, and though none of its ideas go particularly deep, it more than makes up for it in breadth. Fans of the life sim genre should definitely seek this one out.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The single-player Arcade mode is good, and the Missions have a lot of difficulty headroom, but it will sting a little to pay full price if you don’t have an opportunity for multiplayer. Mighty Fight Federation nevertheless remains a very interesting proposition for fighter fanatics craving a new set of mechanics to explore. Assuming the Switch online community grows, or if you have players ready for local fisticuffs, it will scratch an itch other fighters can’t reach.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Astrologaster is perhaps the only time you'll ever get to play through a pop-up book version of London's 17th-century medical history. It's an extremely specific pitch, but when it hits, it hits well – and its musical interludes are as delightful and giggle-worthy as any of Shakespeare's best. Sure, it's not going to be to everyone's tastes, but if you're looking for something a little different and you're a fan of the classic British historical sitcom Blackadder, then you could do a lot worse than give this a spin.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Hellpoint is a reasonably decent sci-fi/Soulslike effort that sticks closely to FromSoftware's well-worn formula whilst introducing a few neat new tricks and twists of its own. The combat here is solid, the space station setting often spectacular and the narrative as enticingly cryptic as you'd expect from the genre. However, the whole thing suffers massively due to myriad technical issues on Switch. Constant crashes to the console's homescreen, a seriously flaky framerate, long loading times and a pretty huge graphical downgrade result in an experience that's infuriating for all the wrong reasons and one that it's almost impossible to recommend in its current form. Here's hoping Cradle Games has some big patches incoming.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Azur Lane: Crosswave is a game that was best left on smartphones. The visual novel sequences are perfectly fine, and the story itself – while utterly bonkers – is interesting enough to keep you engaged, while the characters are both charming and unique. Sadly, the naval combat sequences bring down the entire experience. They’re slow, repetitive, rarely require much strategic thought, and look incredibly bland all at once. This is a game for hardcore fans of the genre only; everyone else ought to look elsewhere for their naval combat needs.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As if it was ever in doubt, Square Enix has demonstrated once again that it understands exactly what ingredients are necessary to make a great RPG. The interesting, risk-based combat is supported by a diverse class system and a well-told story, which all combine to make for an experience that can be tough to put down. That said, one can’t help but feel a consistent sense of ‘been there, done that’ with Bravely Default II; Square certainly could’ve pushed the envelope just a little more with this entry. That aside, you really can’t go wrong with Bravely Default II. This is a well-crafted and expertly-made RPG that is easily worth your time and money; we’d highly recommend that fans and newcomers alike look into picking this up.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A breezier, simpler game than its clear inspirations, what Curse of the Dead Gods lacks in narrative it makes up for in focused, crunchy gameplay. Combat is interesting, exploration is rewarding and the systems in play are sufficiently diverse to make this a winner. It won't consume you forever, but you'll feel far from short-changed by this game of meaningful, divergent dungeons.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Overall, Capcom Arcade Stadium is a very good package filled with brilliant games, each updated with modern functionality. It doesn’t rival the quality of original hardware or the likes of M2’s sublime individual ports of arcade masterworks as seen with the release of Esp.Ra.De Psi, but at £30 for 32 games, it is well worth the price, warts and all.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Taxi Chaos feels very much like a proof of concept; it's certainly evidence that a taxi game has its place in 2021, though it's lacking that vital spark that would truly make it a must-play title. The city itself is well-made, with plenty of sights to behold, but the overall visual design feels a bit generic and lacks its own voice. There are few incentives to play for extended periods of time, so how long the game lasts is largely dependent on your own willingness to climb the online leaderboard. Nevertheless, Taxi Chaos is an admirable revival of a genre that’s been dormant for far too long, and a good foundation for a potential sequel down the line.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ghosts 'n Goblins Resurrection is Tokuro Fujiwara’s love letter to a thirty-five-year-old series that’s famous for burying mortal men, and it’s a job done exceptionally well. By ignoring it, we risk having to wait another thirty-five years for a new entry, and, in a world where so many games have become cinematic, one-button-does-all 3D picture books, that’s an unacceptable prospect. If challenge is what you live for, toughen up, don that mental armour, and take up the mantle like a lance. If you put in the time and effort, Ghosts ’n Goblins Resurrection will see you reap the most valuable of gaming accomplishments: the prestige of victory.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As it’s a package from 2013 of a game that reportedly sold a million copies, you probably already know if you need to get Thomas Was Alone. If you haven’t played it and you have a Switch then you absolutely must get the demo – right away, no excuses. Its playful elucidation of how games work shouldn't be missed by anyone interested in the medium. The full game gives you a few hours of good platforming with great presentation and a well-told story. And as an artefact of its era of indie games, Thomas Was Alone is a delight. The game can be experienced start-to-finish in a few short sessions and Bithell’s commentary provides a sort of meta-narration to motivate another playthrough if you haven’t heard it before. In short, Thomas Was Alone was pretty great when it came out, it’s held up well and now it’s on your Switch.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Haven is a beautiful game about a relationship that is best in its quiet moments. The conversations and tenderness between Yu and Kay, its two leads, are the lifeblood of the game, and everything else is secondary. Its interesting combat system would benefit from a bit more signposting, and the flying traversal is a fun sci-fi addition to the game that works more often than it doesn't. Still, it's a wonderful experience, especially in co-op, but perhaps one to get on sale.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite some re-release shortcomings, SNK vs. Capcom: Match of the Millennium remains not only a charming piece of history, but a comprehensive fighting game with impressively taut elasticity. Bursting with move-sets that accurately mirror the arcade counterparts from which they’re derived, it represents the moment that a legendary rivalry thawed out and shook hands, and a fanfare for SNK’s excellent but ill-fated handheld. There also remains something special about having so many faces from so many different series occupying the same screen space, and in such good spirits. Seeing pocket-sized Kyo and Chun-Li battle it out on her Great Wall stage or Ken and Ryu’s fireballs trailing across Krauser’s cathedral is an experience worth revisiting. It’s an object of both its time and format, and you need to be prepared for that; but SNK versus Capcom? That really is the match of the millennium.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A very pleasant and enjoyable surprise, Blue Fire is an auspicious debut from ROBI Studios. Only the performance issues, mildly sloppy combat and high difficulty are points of contention, and the latter will certainly depend on your point of view. Developed with passion and skill, this is a world you can lose yourself in that'll reward you the more you play and the better you get. It's uncompromising in its difficulty but doesn't resort to cheap tricks and "gotchas". The graphics are appealing and, crucially, clear as day. This is a fantastic experience overall, even if it isn't made up of the most original pieces. It's gameplay first and once you're traversing the infinite space of the Void stages, everything else basically just falls away.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rogue Heroes: Ruins of Tasos is a delightful Zelda-inspired roguelite that's chock full of secrets, surprises, and some top-notch dungeon crawling action. There's an excellent central hub area to evolve and expand here, lots of fun little side quests to indulge in and a well-designed overworld that takes full advantage of your hero's ever-growing armoury of weapons, skills and gadgets. There are perhaps a few too many skill trees and upgrade mechanics for our liking and the story is entirely forgettable, but overall this one comes highly recommended for co-op and solo adventurers alike.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Cathedral is a well-made and enjoyable action-platformer that’s sure to please fans of the genre, as it showcases lots of strong level design, tough difficulty, and plenty of rewarding secrets. Even so, there’s a sense that something is missing here to take the experience a step higher, as it’s the epitome of ‘just’ another entry in an already crowded genre. All the same, we’d give Cathedral a recommendation to anybody who enjoyed Shovel Knight (or its many imitators) and is looking for something to hit that same appeal. Cathedral very likely won’t be your favourite action-platformer, but it’s got more than enough going for it to be worth your time and money.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Perils on Gorgon is a well-written and highly enjoyable expansion to The Outer Worlds that provides lots of interesting new background info and lore whilst whisking players off on an engaging eight to ten-hour long sci-fi mystery. There's nothing new here in terms of mechanics, no great big surprises or new gameplay additions, but it sure does feel great to get back together with the crew of the Unreliable in a Switch port of Obsidian's sci-fi RPG that's been patched into a much more playable state in the months since it initially released.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Neoverse Trinity Edition succeeds at being an enjoyable deck builder, but it does so in a way that's seemingly desperate to highlight its limitations. It runs embarrassingly poorly at times, and does almost nothing to ingratiate the player to its many systems, all of which must be puzzled out more or less from scratch. While this is far from ideal, it's not enough to totally kill the game's appeal. Robust strategy is both possible and necessary in order to progress much beyond even the second boss. If you vibe with Neoverse Trinity Edition, it'll last you a while. It's just very, very difficult to get to grips with this bizarre, confusing game.
    • 53 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Ultimately, we have to ask ourselves one crucial question when it comes to Half Past Fate: Romantic Distancing: do we really need yet another reminder of the truly awful situation we’re all still in? The story being told here is an uplifting one, but it’s also stuffed with terms we’ve become all too familiar with over the course of the past year: social distancing, flattening the curve, remote meetings… we could go on. Games are – perhaps more than ever – a means of escapism, and Serenity Forge’s new title strays a bit too close to reality for our liking. We’d probably recommend other developers try again in a few years time when the dust has settled.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Gal*Guns Returns is a so-so remaster of a tedious on-rails shooter that features dull, unchallenging and highly repetitive action set against a cringe-worthy story that's neither titillating or in any other way engaging. This is a very short and basic game for the asking price, and one that it's hard to see anyone outside of hardened (no pun intended) Gal*Gun fans deriving even the slightest amount of enjoyment from.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Heaven's Vault is a game deeply concerned with the past, how it affects the present, and whether or not it can predict the future. Its fantastic translation puzzles and intricate story are often overshadowed by its unfortunate need to constantly pause and load, sadly denying it the higher score that it otherwise deserves. Aside from these technological issues, Heaven's Vault is a world that's beautifully realised, with a mystery that you'll be thinking about long after the game is done.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    UnderMine is a ridiculously easy game to recommend. If you are at all a fan of roguelite games, you owe it to yourself to pick this up at your earliest convenience. UnderMine demonstrates clear mastery in its overall design, controls, upgrade systems and presentation, which all come together to make for a thoroughly engrossing experience. The one caveat is that those of you who are sick of roguelites won’t find anything to change your mind here; if you fall in that camp, it’s perhaps best to take a pass, even if you're essentially missing out on one of the best examples of the whole genre. Otherwise, we’d give UnderMine a high recommendation; this is absolutely worth your time.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The overarching story within NUTS is probably worth experiencing on its own, despite the repetitive gameplay. It’s reasonably well written and is just about compelling enough to hold your attention for its 2-3 hour duration. There’s nothing here that you’ll connect with on an emotional level, but the voiceover work really helps drive the mystery. Unfortunately, there also a number of framerate dips throughout the experience that will really hamper your enjoyment; hopefully, this will be ironed out in the future.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you’re after something challenging and, shall we say, different, then PUSS! could well be right up your alley. Its gameplay is simple enough for anyone to pick up, but the difficulty ramps up quickly to outrageous levels. Nevertheless, it remains strangely addictive, and will likely hold your attention for a good while as you pour blood, sweat, and tears into progressing through its levels, inch by inch.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Hero-U: Rogue to Redemption is a successful return to the Quest for Glory universe as well as a clever, addictive and highly replayable adventure game in its own right. Fans of the franchise will find lots of little references and in-jokes to revel in as they make their way through the substantial campaign, and newcomers should enjoy the well-written, smartly balanced mix of point and click puzzling, time/relationship management and turn-based combat on offer.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Super Mario 3D World remains one of the better linear Mario games, and anyone playing it for the first time is in for an absolute treat. Add to that the curious bonus adventure that is Bowser's Fury and you've got a package that provides great value for money. It isn't without its flaws, but most of these (online multiplayer, repetitive missions in Bowser's Fury) relate to the new additions; the main game itself remains as pure and perfect as it was seven years ago. Had it just been Super Mario 3D World on its own, we'd be thoroughly recommending it anyway; Bowser's Fury is just the cherry on top.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Persona 5 Strikers is a slick and stylish spin-off that manages to successfully combine a surprisingly strong story with some satisfying Musou-inspired hack-and-slash action. There are a few issues here and there, with some necessary grinding at points, slight difficulty imbalances and a camera that can be a bit of a pain during busy battles but, overall, this is a thoroughly entertaining action RPG that comes highly recommended.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Little Nightmares II is nothing less than engaging from start to finish, with superb pacing, entertainingly varied level design and excellent graphics and performance. Its only real flaws are based on the imprecision that comes with all games in its sub-genre, as well as a few sections that feel more about trial and error than reactive survival. In our view, though, this doesn't detract from a far superior sequel and one of the best cinematic platformers we've had the privilege of enjoying. A real stylish treat.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With smooth, stable gameplay, Glyph is truly a joy to play. The exploration levels in particular are incredibly creative, with plenty of collectables to keep you occupied. The accompanying soundtrack deserves a special mention too; the ambient music really suits the tone of the game, and the way it swells when you’ve collected all of the required keys is excellent. The only major downside is the time trial levels; if you enjoy this kind of thing, you can bump the score up by one point, but there were a few too many of these levels for our liking.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Despite its unconventional structure, Starship Project X is an undeniably creative endeavour. It’s clear that the developer has enjoyed making it, and it manages, against all odds, to do something new and interesting with the often tired shoot-em-up premise. Once you learn its catalogue of obstacles and sync with its immediacy, it gets a lot more manageable and enjoyable, and trying to finish stages unscathed is a fun pursuit. Unfortunately, no matter how skilled you become, the experience is occasionally marred by unexpected attack overlaps and ensuing ship positioning struggles. While the balance isn’t perfect, and its longevity in terms of holding your attention is questionable, it deserves applause for its originality and its short, fun, adrenaline-fuelled nature: the kind arcade gaming was designed for.

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