Nintendo Life's Scores

  • Games
For 3,280 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 47% higher than the average critic
  • 22% same as the average critic
  • 31% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 10.1 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 La-Mulana
Lowest review score: 10 Jet Dog
Score distribution:
3283 game reviews
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Nintendo Switch finally has a proper simulation game to its name, but the reality of the console’s hardware limitations proves that not every game can be ported wholesale onto the platform without serious issues. Cities: Skylines - Nintendo Switch Edition has so much potential and offers a fine alternative to SimCity’s broken reboot, but this game needed to be revamped and re-approached for Switch in a way that doesn’t turn it into a performance quagmire. Sadly, this is a game better played elsewhere.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While its short-burst gameplay is perfectly suited to phones, Reigns: Kings & Queens arguably works just as well lying on the sofa with a single Joy-Con. It’s addictive with plenty of depth to its deceptively simple systems, although like the mobile edition, it really is best enjoyed when played in small chunks. After several hours, repetition inevitably dulls its initial appeal, but if you haven’t played it elsewhere, this is a great package that’s well worth swiping right on.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Relaxing as it is taxing, The Gardens Between offers a poignant coalescence of charming visuals, a relaxing soundtrack and a bittersweet story. The simplicity of its control scheme hides an incredibly clever and frighteningly intricate puzzle formula that sees you rewinding and playing time like an omnipresent director. Its unique setup makes it one of the most unusual puzzlers on Nintendo Switch, and we can’t wait to see what Australian indie studio The Voxel Agents does next.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition HD is the sort of game that you play and then wonder why exactly it needs to exist. Though it does a great job of capturing the spirit of Final Fantasy XV in several ways, it drops the ball in some others, resulting in an inferior facsimile of a game that is already seen as something of a rough gem. There’s very little reason to give Pocket Edition HD a go if you’ve already played Final Fantasy XV, and if you haven’t, we’d give this a tenuous recommendation at best. There are many moments where the live-action combat is satisfying and the cutesy visuals are charming, but this is hardly something that we’d say should be close to the top of your wish list.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    This collection illustrates perfectly why this particular genre was the toast of video gaming in the late '80s and early '90s. Addictive, enjoyable and – perhaps most important of all – bloody good fun when played co-operatively with friends, all of the titles in this seven-strong compendium are worth your time, and by adding robust local and multiplayer support, Capcom has done its utmost to ensure they find favour with a whole new generation of gamers. If you're not a fan of the genre then you may well be wondering what all the fuss is about, but for everyone else, this is a must-have download.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Nintendo Switch is no stranger to DLC and add-on content, but few expansions are as vast in their size and content as Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna - The Golden Country. Whether you’re a season pass holder looking to revisit a series you love from a new perspective, or you’re fresh to the franchise and want a standalone adventure, this hefty slice of JRPG action will grab you right from the moment you start switching between Blade and Driver. With some welcome adjustments to combat and combos, this is a fine addition to an already brilliant game on Switch.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While a handful of legacy problems persist onto Nintendo Switch, those issues aren't enough to conceal Dust: An Elysium Tail’s true quality. With a beautiful world to explore, an intriguing cast of characters and a combat model that’ll make you feel like you're starring in an anthropomorphic version of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, this is an indie gem that’s still as fun and rewarding as it was when it first slashed its way onto the scene - despite some small niggles.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Surgeon Simulator CPR finally brings Bossa Studios’ slapstick medical ‘sim’ to Nintendo Switch, and while its use of Joy-Con motion controls is a little rough around the edges, they do make for some brilliant local co-op shenanigans. With plenty of patients to harm (sorry, we meant ‘heal’), all manner of scenarios to contend with and plenty of hidden secrets to be found both in theatres and in the interactive menu, you’re at least getting one of the better versions of this veteran title.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Wasteland 2: Director’s Cut on Switch is a missed opportunity. While the underlying systems and crunchy combat are enjoyable – and it just about works as a portable experience – a steady list of irritations make an unqualified recommendation impossible. There’s a solid foundation of gritty turn-based combat with some great writing, but a stubborn camera, disappointing performance and a lack of quality-of-life enhancements means the PC ‘master race’ take this round.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Haunted Dungeons: Hyakki Castle certainly has some interesting elements - most notably its team-splitting mechanic and use of classical Japanese folklore - but thanks to the rigidity of its first-person dungeon crawling design it soon loses steam and you’re left exploring a vast castle full of dangerous yokai and unimaginative level design. It takes plenty of inspiration from those that came before it, but does little to innovate on its own merit.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Broforce is a hilariously explosive 2D action-platformer with a memorable catch-'em-all cast of action movie caricatures. The action may be a little one-note, but when that note is as big and bold as it is here, you'll be all-too-willing to disengage your brain and engage your trigger finger. After playing through the seemingly unending series of critically-acclaimed, high-brow 2D action titles on Switch, this is the perfect way to unwind.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Undertale is a brilliant and smartly designed game that understands well what makes a good RPG work; so much so that it can upend expectations and deliver something that’s almost a satire of the genre. It’s been a long time since we’ve played a game that manages to surprise so often and in so many unique ways, and even if it doesn’t look like much, Undertale has way more going for it under the surface. Excellently written characters, a genre-bending battle system and a solid soundtrack make this one an easy recommendation, especially to RPG lovers. Do yourself a favour and give this one a download.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Spectrum Retreat is a valiant stab at a Portal-esque puzzler which largely pulls off what it sets out to achieve. It lacks the dynamite script and surgical timing of Valve’s masterpiece, but the test chambers (sorry, ‘authentication challenges’) withstand the comparison. If Gone Home’s pace is a touch too navel-gazing for your liking, we’d heartily recommend a trip to The Penrose Hotel.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While the heavy emphasis on microtransactions is still front and centre in NBA 2K19, progression has been improved enough to make this a far more attractive prospect for both rookies and seasoned vets. With a vastly superior MyCareer story, a revamped social hub, a suitably tweaked MyGM mode and all the presentation-focused bells and whistles you expect from the premiere basketball sim, NBA 2K19 continues to cement itself as one of the Switch’s strongest sports offerings. If you needed any more proof that Madden, NHL and the like can work on Nintendo’s hardware, this is it.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The third Labo kit is perhaps the best one yet; it offers a solid building experience and a genuinely entertaining way to control three distinct modes of transport, as well as a fleshed-out gameworld which is not only packed with things to do, but is augmented by a range of mini-game modes which will provide many hours of enjoyment – although the multi-player ones require you to have a second Vehicle Kit to hand, which might not be feasible for everyone. On the downside, the build time for the three main Toy-Con modules may test your resolve, and we're not convinced that the core game offers enough gameplay to make the storage of these cardboard monsters a realistic prospect for space-short families.
    • 41 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    If you’re a fan of the series, this entry won’t be of any great surprise - after all, we’ve had a water gun third-person shooter and a rhythmic cookery game under the Senran Kagura banner - but if you’re new to the series this title might look like the kind of thing you'd not normally find on Switch. As innocent and silly as it all pertains to be, it’s just a tame excuse to get a bit of cheap sleaze onto a Western games console.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Time Carnage harks back to the good old days of heading down to the arcade to play House of the Dead or Virtua Cop, where you'd drop a couple of coins into a virtual shooting gallery and kill zombies all evening. While this indie shooter lacks the reliable precision of those light gun classics, it at least offers an enjoyable FPS alternative amid Switch’s growing selection. Unfortunately, it’s not the best VR port we’ve seen, and its own brand of ultraviolent silliness soon loses its appeal.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Bastion is an unforgettable and enjoyable piece of software that stands as a strong example of how games can also be perceived as art. A charismatic narrator, beautiful visuals, intense action gameplay and heavy character customization make this a fairytale that you’ll want to dive into again and again, and while the isometric view sometimes gets in the way of the gameplay, the other aspects of Bastion more than make up for this slight misstep. We’d highly recommend you give Bastion a try if you haven’t played it elsewhere already; though this Switch port brings nothing new to the table, Bastion is a memorable modern classic that is an absolute must-play.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The first-person dungeon-crawling RPG genre has produced its fair share of obtuse and needlessly difficult titles over the years, but Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk remedies this by offering an easy-to-master battle system, silly characters and the ability to modify the difficulty of its dungeons. While its cutscenes are a little too self-indulgent in length, the voiceover work is surprisingly decent and although some story moments take the occasional questionable turn, Nippon Ichi has conjured an intriguing world to inhabit. The design of the dungeons can be a little repetitive, but Labyrinth of Refrain: Coven of Dusk is still a great way for newcomers to try out this age-old genre.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While it is a five-year-old game, there’s no denying the cultural and developmental impact Gone Home has had on the game industry. Both as a near-perfect exercise in interactive storytelling and an example of how to handle complex and very real ideas in a game, only Life is Strange has ever come close to matching its significance. While there still isn’t much ‘game’ to be found here, the story you unravel through exploring an empty home will stay with you long after you’ve put down your Switch. Essential.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Azure Reflections is a fine addition to a small-yet-gradually-growing style of shmup on Nintendo Switch. With a handful of Touhou-related games already on the platform, this addition should keep fans of the project happy with its witty dialogue and pretty character models. However, with a vast library of shmups and bullet hell shooters already available on the console - and many offering far greater content and more accessible mechanics - Azure Reflections is (much like most Touhou titles) hard to recommend to anyone bar die-hard fans.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though it suffers from some relatively minor pacing issues, Valkyria Chronicles 4 is a sublime strategy experience that fans of the genre won’t want to miss out on. The engaging, character-driven plot, third-person action, deep customization options, and high replayability make this one an easy recommendation, although pacing issues and cumbersome menu management may make it a little more intimidating to newcomers to the genre. We're also undecided about where it fits in the franchise hall of fame; the original game perhaps just shades it. All the same, we’d recommend you give Valkyria Chronicles 4 a go; this is a strong return to form for the series, and it’s a great entry point for Nintendo fans.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While its core systems don’t rewrite the rules of the genre, Fernz Gate’s wholesome RPG mechanics will whisk you back to a 16-bit era where plucky little sprites and enchanting chiptunes were the order of the day. While it’s been launched a little too close to Octopath Traveler, don’t let its poor timing rob you of its enjoyable wares. If you’re looking for an RPG built to make grinding actively more enjoyable, this could be the next retro-style adventure for you.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you’re new to fighting games - or you’re simply in the market for something that feels like a bona fide arcade fighting experience - there are few titles as easy to pick up as SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy. Its busty and over-sexualised characters might not be to everyone’s taste in 2018 - and the use of Dream Finishers definitely won’t be of appeal to purists - but look beyond the garish colours and there’s a tag-team brawler with real potential, not to mention plenty of hilarity.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    It’s impossible to not be caught up in Planet Alpha’s charms. The product of one man and a small indie team from Denmark, it’s a game that runs remarkably smoothly considering the detail of its environments and the vibrancy of its art style. The platforming won’t blow you away - especially if you’ve become trained in the twitch arts of Hollow Knight and the like - but with some brilliant puzzles, a rewarding balance between endangered stealth and peaceful exploration and some of the most intense set-pieces we’ve ever played on Switch, Freedom Planet has secured a place as one of 2018’s most important indie releases.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While its rinse and repeat Diablo-lite gameplay can get a little repetitive after extended play, there’s no denying how much fun it is to return to the world of Yo-kai Watch. Whether playing solo or via local or online co-op, Level-5 has taken all the hallmarks of the series and made it even more accessible to newcomers and seasoned monster hunters. A fine way to see off the series on 3DS, and proof the Yo-Kai series is strong enough to tweak its formula with a spin-off and still maintain that quintessential Japanese magic.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While its rinse and repeat Diablo-lite gameplay can get a little repetitive after extended play, there’s no denying how much fun it is to return to the world of Yo-kai Watch. Whether playing solo or via local or online co-op, Level-5 has taken all the hallmarks of the series and made it even more accessible to newcomers and seasoned monster hunters. A fine way to see off the series on 3DS, and proof the Yo-Kai series is strong enough to tweak its formula with a spin-off and still maintain that quintessential Japanese magic.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Like so many action-RPGs before it, Moonfall Ultimate is driven by the minutia of its combat model, but considering battles often rely on one attack (regardless of weapon) and a handful of special moves, you’re left feeling oddly unempowered and frustratingly disconnected. There’s your usual mix of quests to undertake, various medieval-style locations to explore and loot to collect, but none of it ever offers an interpretation you haven’t seen done better elsewhere; while the game calls upon the likes of Golden Axe and Dungeons & Dragons for inspiration, it never hits the same heights. A serviceable experience, but one that won’t linger in the memory for long.
    • 92 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Into The Breach is a brutal, uncompromising game of making hard decisions and living with your mistakes, but the short length of battles and endless variety of playthroughs makes for an extremely addictive experience. Though the graphics are nothing special, the gameplay is some of the very best you’ll find in the strategy genre on the Switch, and we can easily recommend this to anybody who’s looking for an in-depth game that’ll make you think. Into The Breach feels right at home on the Switch, and whether you play more at home or on the go, you’re more than likely to get plenty of value out of this release.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    While its fun for a time in single-player, Claws of Furry is definitely a brawler with two-to-four player fights in mind. With an abundance of enemies on-screen at any one time, it’s the kind of game that’s going to be twice as fun with someone sat next to you. While its Rogue mode feels like nothing more than a tokenistic doff of the cap to gaming in 2018, the Arena mode is a big selling point all on its own if you’re looking for a new regular entry in your couch-play rotation.

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