Nintendo Life's Scores

  • Games
For 4,812 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 8.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 66
Highest review score: 100 Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward
Lowest review score: 10 153 Hand Video Poker
Score distribution:
4817 game reviews
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While it might seem like our gripes outnumber the improvements in Xeno Reborn, this is still a weird, unique, and overall enjoyable entry point into the Metal Max world. Squad-based, single-player tank-centric games (set in a post apocalyptic world) are few and far between, to put it mildly, so this is still worth your time. And to their credit, instead of simply moving on to a sequel (which they’re doing as well in Metal Max: Wild West), Cattle Call and 24Frame took the time to improve on the foundation laid by Metal Max Xeno, to ambitious if flawed results in Xeno Reborn. You can’t fault the teams for the effort made, and whether they were totally successful or not, the whole of Metal Max Xeno Reborn is still greater than the sum of its parts.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    In its launch state on Switch, much of As Far As The Eye is unplayable. For us, neither Quick Game or Custom Matches would last long before we got booted to the Switch’s dashboard. We waited several days for some kind of update to fix both the UI and the egregious crashes and get a better idea of a game that is not without promise, but a patch still hasn't arrived at the time of writing. If or when one does come, As Far As The Eye has the potential to become an intriguing little strategy game with that Civilization-style ‘just one more turn’ effect. But for now, do not get sucked in by its soothing mood and the cute little Pupils.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Seven Pirates H is not a title that wishes to be taken seriously. While there is a decent story and fun characters behind the fan service, the shallow combat can become tiresome after a few hours. It is fun and a lot of the humour lands, but the actual gameplay can be a bit threadbare. While the headline Booby Training mechanic is an interesting way to customise your party, it doesn’t break up the monotony of the gameplay. This is a title that won't keep to occupied too long and is best enjoyed in in fits and starts, and very much within the privacy and comfort of one’s own home.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Do you enjoy waiting for public transit in the rain? Could you bear sitting next to a screaming toddler on a transatlantic flight? Do you think you’d derive pleasure from chopping down trees in the Great Forest over and over again until you had enough light lumber to fulfil three or four requests? If so, Eiyuden Chronicle: Rising has a delightful little adventure hidden beneath a lot of tedium just for you. If not, we wouldn’t begrudge you for staying clear and hoping Hundred Heroes doesn’t follow too closely in its predecessor’s footsteps. This game certainly has charm, but it makes you work too hard for it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    We’d give Citizen Sleeper a strong recommendation to anybody who liked Disco Elysium or any general role playing games with a heavy emphasis on the role. A synthwave soundtrack, strong writing, and high-pressure gameplay make this a game that’ll be tough to put down once you get into it.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Both of the games that make up Prinny Presents NIS Classics Volume 2 benefit from having a light-hearted approach to their story. With gameplay that doesn’t feature too many surprises, the humorous writing and charming characters sand over the rough edges of these older RPGs. While we had a preference for the over-the-top antics and writing of Z.H.P. over Makai Kingdom, both games have plenty to offer both new and existing fans and showcase the humour that has made these and other NIS titles so enduring over the years.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Is Fragrant Story worth picking up? Sure, as a curiosity and conversation piece perhaps. Four bucks isn’t much of an asking price, and the content on offer here is enjoyable and engaging for what it is. For the afternoon it’ll take you to play Fragrant Story, you’ll probably be satisfied with it — then you’ll have seen everything it has to offer, move onto something else, and never boot it up again. If you decide to pass on this one, there’s really not a whole lot that you’re missing out on. Given its low price and goofy nature, though, it may be worth picking up just so you can say you grabbed the last game on the North American eShop before Nintendo locked the doors for good.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Layer Section will always be a high-roller, and if you’ve never played it, you’re in a ride like few others. As a Switch port, on the other hand, the relatively bare-bones production is the only real negative. Notable historical works deserve the gold standard: a bigger, bolder package that offers the best possible representation. To that end, City Connection has failed to do this game the justice it deserves, which makes it very lucky that Layer Section & Galactic Attack S-Tribute is still so damn good.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    Waifu Impact makes the mistake of assuming that the promise of fan service is enough to carry a game through its runtime, however short. This game takes the Fortnite formula, dips the character controls in digital treacle, strips it of the multiplayer aspect that makes that game fun, and doesn’t add anything worthwhile. It feels more like a proof of concept, with no story or characterisation to speak of. Most importantly, it just isn’t fun to play. Even for the low price from the eShop, the joke here wears thin within half an hour.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Arise: A Simple Story sets out to tell a story as a video game but, smartly, doesn’t overestimate the role of gameplay. Inventive level design drives things forward, but faced with the awkward task of demanding platform-jumping in the aftermath an emotional bombshell, it simply lets the musical and visual storytelling seize their moment. It is only a simple story, but well told.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Bugsnax is a game that is brimming with potential, but struggles in actual execution. Capturing hundreds of adorable snack-themed creatures sounds like such a great idea, but the lack of memorable characters, a frustrating control scheme, repetitive gameplay and numerous technical and design problems, particularly on Switch, makes for a somewhat lukewarm experience. There is certainly fun to be had here, but once you’ve played for a few hours, the magic fades and you’re left with a disappointing game that doesn’t live up to expectations.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    “NINE OUT OF TEN,” Alex bellowed as he wrote. “A thoroughly enjoyable expansion of an already classic game treated with love, care, and most importantly a meta awareness that pays tribute to everything that made The Stanley Parable so beloved. It may leave a small few questioning more than they’d like, but we wouldn’t want it any other way.” Alex wondered if this small sound bite could be considered a complete review, but he was certain that if he needed to, he could find a way to pad things out.
    • 72 Metascore
    • Critic Score
    We’re hoping that as soon as the online functionality is live Nintendo Switch Sports will make a lot more sense, but as a purely local game there’s a lot to be desired to make this a worthwhile purchase. If you’re keen on simply playing some motion-controlled Wii Sports-like games on your Switch then Nintendo Switch Sports might bring you a good bit of enjoyment, but if you’re looking for something a little deeper and with a bit more variety than the game you first played on Wii, you’ll probably be left somewhat disappointed. [Review in Progress]
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dungeons of Dreadrock is a well-designed puzzle game that cleverly builds on its formula throughout its brief run. Those of you looking for a good game to wind down with before bed may want to give this a look, though we would encourage investigating the smart device version if you're happy to play on mobile.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Despite us making numerous comparisons to the Super Nintendo game, Pocky & Rocky: Reshrined is, for the vast majority, a completely new entry in the series. And that’s worth celebrating for several reasons. Tengo Project, well aware of the original’s pedigree, was smart enough to only use it as inspiration, rather than attempt to follow its lead beat-for-beat. Within this modern framework, the developer has constructed a thrilling tapestry of light, colour, and action-packed junctures for hardcore gamers to get their teeth into. Is it better than Natsume’s venerable 1992 outing? No, but it’s about on par, albeit for slightly different reasons. Pocky & Rocky: Reshrined is a blessing, a gorgeous-looking, delightfully artful new interpretation of a much-loved classic, and a noteworthy example of what can be achieved, creatively, with the 2D medium. If you’re even mildly into the application of old-school gaming disciplines, it should be snapped up without a second thought.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Blast Brigade is a difficult game to review. It's a lot of fun and we enjoyed our 20 or so hours with it, mopping up secrets and collectables. We can't recommend it enough if you've still got a hankering for Metroidvanias, but those exhausted with the formula aren't going to find any major deviations here. Perhaps we would feel differently had the game come out a couple of years ago, but now? Blast Brigade is still a terrific Metroidvania, and one of the best we've played outside of the very tippy-top tier (Symphony of the Night, et al). Get it straight away if you even slightly think you will enjoy it, because you almost certainly will. It has the same affection packed into it as the likes of Kaze and the Wild Masks, a real love letter to Metroidvanias. Truly exceptional it isn't, but Blast Brigade remains a great time if you're not suffering from genre fatigue.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Similarly to the many doggos it stars, it’s tough to find much to dislike about The Last Friend. Fast-paced tower defense action, a gorgeous art style, satisfying progression, and a goofy story make this one an easy recommendation. Plus, you can pet all the dogs! What more could you want?
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Zombie Army 4: Dead War is a surprisingly solid Switch port of one of our favourite Rebellion titles thus far. There's a ton of zombie Nazi-slaying sweetness to get stuck into here and, although the graphics have taken a hit and the frame rate has been halved in comparison to other platforms, what's here is eminently playable in both docked and handheld modes. Whether you're taking on Hitler's undead hordes alone or with a few friends in tow, this one's a ton of schlocky B-movie fun that gets a great big thumbs up from us.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    Ganryu 2: Hakuma Kojiro gives us one of the most mystifying pieces of software to hit the public domain in recent times. If it could muster even a stable 30 FPS, it would likely be a commendable arcade action adventure, featuring nice mechanics, stage variety, large bosses and pleasing graphics. Possibly, even, a highlight in its genre. As it stands, it’s so confusing a technical train wreck that we can barely make sense of why it's been released in this condition. Should a patch materialise that resolves these issues entirely you can add at least three points to our current score, but at present technical problems gravely undermine the positives.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Is Star Wars: The Force Unleashed worth picking up? Eh… potentially. What we have here is a shallow, short, and rather mediocre action game that’s relying awfully hard on nostalgia and the popularity of the Star Wars IP to draw in players. Based solely on its own merits, there’s little here that’s really worth your time. Simplistic level designs, weak combat, frequent quick time events, and low replay value make this one hard to recommend. It’s got a decent story and soundtrack, but neither of these things are good enough to outweigh the negatives. If you’re just looking for another Star Wars game to add to your collection, this certainly fits the bill; if you’re looking for a high-quality hack ‘n’ slash, it doesn’t. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is simply a passable game; not one we’d actively avoid, but you’re not missing much if you choose to skip it.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Formula Retro Racing is far from a bad racing game. It’s perfectly fine, it handles well enough and it does a good job of replicating the art style of the early '90s arcade era. But its performance issues on Switch and the frustrating AI behaviour means that it should only really be considered if you’ve absolutely rinsed everything to do in Sega Ages Virtua Racing and are looking for something else to scratch a similar itch.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Neptunia x Senran Kagura: Ninja Wars is a solid, fun hack-and-slash that doesn’t take too long to finish and looks gorgeous while you’re playing it, but it never reaches the heights of some of the classics from either franchise. What's here feels polished, but a lack of extra modes and features will be disappointing to fans of both series. Still, the game's charm lies in the Neptunia and Senran Kagura characters and their interactions, with writing that delivers great, unexpected punchlines that help give the game some focus. If you are a fan of either series, this is definitely worth playing despite its lack of depth. It just might be one to wait for a sale before picking up.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Toodee and Topdee is fantastically imaginative puzzle game with exceptional variety wrung out of its core conceit. It struggles most when it asks for dynamic execution of puzzle solutions, but even then it’s pretty decent. This side-on / top-down puzzler is one that other games should look up to.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Ultimately, Demon Turf: Neon Splash is a much better game than its predecessor thanks to the complete removal of the underwhelming combat. Not only that, but the experience feels more focused and streamlined without the requirement of a hub world or mandatory collectibles. This is Demon Turf at its best, and we sincerely hope to see more of the same in a true sequel later down the line.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Nobody Saves the World is a thrillingly well-paced and enjoyable action adventure that Switch owners won’t want to miss. An addictive quest system, surprisingly deep class system, attractive art style, and punchy combat all come together to make for a varied and engaging experience that oozes quality at every turn. If you’re a fan of RPGs with a lot of customization, old-school Zelda games, or classic arcade beat ‘em ups, Nobody Saves the World is absolutely a title you need to add to your library.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    The blend of all-out action, deep strategy, and Ancient's irreverent humour is as enjoyable as ever here, and smashing a huge castle-tank into evil things never stops being fun. Gotta Protectors: Cart of Darkness plays its story for laughs but the game itself is an expertly crafted challenge with lots to do and plenty more to keep coming back for.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Although Tormented Souls is a commendable homage to classic survival horror games, its focus on the past is unfortunately its biggest downfall.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    When it all works like it should, The House of the Dead: Remake is a fun update of a Sega arcade classic. The performance can be janky and the controls clunky on its default settings, but if you’re willing to put the time in to tweak them you should get something you’re happier with. You shouldn’t have to do that with a light gun shooter, though, and the fact you do has to go down as a failing on the game’s part.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Slipstream’s retro design feels a little by-the-numbers to us (its cool 2D/3D visual effect aside), but that’s not to say it doesn’t pull off the mechanics well. It shouldn’t be the first game in your retro racing collection with the likes of Sega Ages Out Run and Horizon Chase Turbo already available, but if you’ve played through those and are itching for more then you could do a lot worse than this, especially given its modest price.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The ultimate question is whether you should play MLB The Show 22 on Switch. Well, it depends. If it's your main or only platform and you're happy playing CPU and offline games, then yes, it's not bad and holds things together just enough for gameplay to be enjoyable. If you want an 'on-the-go' version to accompany a more powerful home console version, perhaps on Game Pass, then it's another yes. If you want to mainly play online in Diamond Dynasty? No, this isn't the way to go. MLB The Show 22 is admirably packed with content and features, but it's not entirely comfortably packed into the diminutive Switch. It lacks the fluidity and crispness found elsewhere, which is perhaps expected but doesn't change the fact. If you're happy with the compromises, though, then step up to the plate.

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