Nintendo Life's Scores

  • Games
For 3,522 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 48% higher than the average critic
  • 22% same as the average critic
  • 30% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 9.5 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Game review score: 64
Highest review score: 100 Axiom Verge
Lowest review score: 10 Kidz Bop Dance Party! The Video Game
Score distribution:
3525 game reviews
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Remarkably solid and satisfying, SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech is a card battler with an abundance of charm in its art, mechanics and writing. The presentation is slick, the dialogue’s witty and the gameplay’s addictive, although nothing about it feels particularly special – not in the way SteamWorld Dig 2 felt special. It does what it does well, though, and it’s still a thoroughly enjoyable time in that universe. As long as you’re not expecting anything revolutionary, we recommend anybody who likes turn-based battling or who enjoyed any previous games in the series check it out.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Screenshots really don’t do The friends of Ringo Ishikawa justice. What looks like a traditional side-scrolling brawler is actually something far more intricate. It’s more of a teenage simulator than anything, and with some really well-written dialogue (filled with the kind of malaise and sense of directionless rebellion we all experienced in our formative years) there’s a really interesting story to be found. Its everyday activities will remind you more of Bully or Shenmue than Street Gangs/River City Ransom, just don’t expect to have your hand held as you head out into the world to discover them.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    There’s no denying that it is rough in parts and really could have done with a full remaster rather than a straight re-release, but Dragon’s Dogma nonetheless remains a fantastically gripping role-playing experience t hat manages to straddle the divide between exhilarating real-time action and stat-based adventuring.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Final Fantasy X was a watershed moment for the storied franchise, rightfully gaining widespread acclaim while also ushering the series into the new generation, and while Final Fantasy X-2 hasn’t quite reached the same level of influence, it stands as a fantastic adventure in its own right with a level of quality that surpasses most of the competition in the Switch library. Having both of these incredible games in one package, with all the international content thrown in, and with prettied up graphics and audio makes picking up this release a no-brainer. Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster successfully does justice to these two RPG classics as it brings them to a new age of players; we can’t recommend it highly enough.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Super Dragon Ball Heroes: World Mission is the best version of the long-running card-battling series yet, boasting a raft of new adjustments, extra cards and fresh missions to keep you coming back for more. It’s packed to the rafters with content, from a heavy-duty story mode to local and online battles, so if you’re a fan of the series you’re going to lap up this entry now it’s finally arrived in the West. While it lacks the deeper tactical nuance of Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Champions, it’s still a fun and unapologetically Japanese arcade experience right there on your Switch.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With the addition of extra modes, including the Arena of Echoes and Realm Trials, and the option to scan in cards from your physical deck, there's a deep and customisable experience that's ideal for genre veterans. Joy-Con controls work well enough – enabling you to play in docked mode – but it's at its best when played intimately in handheld mode with the touchscreen. The need for a constant internet connection will irk some, but for those that are willing to be tethered to Wi-Fi, PlayFusion has served up a fine rival to the likes of Hearthstone.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    If you haven’t gleaned it already from reading up to this point, Katana Zero is unmistakably a game that you need to add to your Switch collection at earliest opportunity. The tough, hair-raising action sequences, gripping narrative, and impeccable sense of style elevate Katana Zero high above many of its peers, cementing it as a modern classic that sets new standards for what a side scrolling action game can be. This is the kind of game that you’ll blindly play through once and soon find yourself wishing you could have that first-time experience again; there’s nothing else quite like it on the eShop and we can’t recommend it enough.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    Cuphead was an absolute masterpiece when it launched on Xbox 18 months ago and nothing has been sacrificed in its move to the Switch. It’s the same visually jaw-dropping, aurally delightful, knuckle-whiteningly difficult game it was on Microsoft’s console and the Switch’s library is all the better for its presence. Its focus on intense boss battles won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but as long as you know what you’re getting yourself into we can’t recommend it enough.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While The Padre is a far from perfect indie offering, its mixture of satisfyingly challenging puzzles, a dark sense of humour and a perennial love for classic survival horror makes for an intriguing addition to the genre. The issues with combat and the sometimes infuriating nature of its puzzles can grate, but with a little extra polish The Padre has the potential to be a real hidden gem on Nintendo Switch.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The gap in quality between mobile games and console/PC releases is almost non-existent now, as is proved by the likes of Shadow Blade: Reload. As such it fits the portable nature of Nintendo Switch like a glove, with its short-yet-challenging levels offering a platforming experience that’s ideal for both short bursts of play and longer speedrunning sessions. The sound design helps create a rhythm to your progression through each level, and there’s plenty of secrets to find in each level, but the absence of the level editor included in the PC/PS4 port makes this version feel a little hollow by comparison.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    My Time At Portia is an ambitious game that actually delivers on what it sets out to do. The crafting can be extremely overwhelming at first and the presence of some in-game timers can be a mild annoyance, but get your head round its detailed multi-step building missions and you’ll end up with a game that could end up racking hundreds of hours on your Switch.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Cel Damage HD isn’t going to rocket to the top of the eShop charts and become the kind of unit-selling monster that publishers only dream of, but that doesn’t mean it should be passed up if you're a brand new player. As a local multiplayer affair, its vehicular combat is bombastic and silly in a way that makes for countless rewarding matches. It’s still too easy to unlock every new weapon and arena in a couple of hours, but with full support for four-player multiplayer, this cartoonish caper finally gets the handheld iteration it deserved all along.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Shadowgate on Nintendo Switch is very much the same reboot we saw on PC back in 2014, taking the same mix of puzzles, difficulty and exploration the original was famed for and mixing it up with some enhanced conundrums and much more appealing presentation. Even with the updated visuals, Shadowgate still has a clunky UI, however, the button mapping on Switch does help negate this issue a little. Problems aside, this is a faithful remake that retro fans will lap up, although newer players might find this elder gaming statesman has teeth that bite a little too hard.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 30 Critic Score
    If you’re a rabid Mega Man fan, have already played all the main games to death, and are desperate for something to fill that void, Metagal is maybe worth your five bucks. Otherwise, we’d encourage you to save your money and put it towards something that’s more worth your time.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    As an officially licensed game – complete with character likenesses in Reigns’ angular portrait format and Ramin Djawadi's instantly recognisable score – Reigns: Game of Thrones is about as close as you’ll come to living the day-to-day life of a Westeros monarch, short of visiting the Seven Kingdoms for real. By bringing in key characters and events from the books and show, you’re given enough authenticity that exploring storylines only ever teased in the source material (such as seeing Jamie on the throne or a more compassionate version of Cersei) feel just as meaningful.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    To have Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice on Switch in this form is a blessing that you shouldn’t miss out on. The game itself is a psychological sensory experience that we thoroughly recommend, but the fact that it’s been translated to Switch in such a complete fashion is the true surprise here. It doesn’t feel like a downgrade at all – it stands proudly alongside the other ‘miracle’ ports on the system, arguably surpassing them in some ways. It’s a remarkable effort and a challenge to other developers who insist Switch couldn’t handle their games. Anything’s possible, it seems, and we take our hats off to QLOC – bravo.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Out There: Ω The Alliance is a roguelike that takes the terrifying prospect of travelling the lonely stars and makes a pulpy comic book adventure of it. Luck and chance are often as important an influence as tactics and knowledge, but with so much to discover (and enough content to warrant multiple playthroughs) this intergalactic adventure will have you humming that iconic mining menu theme tune from Mass Effect 2 in no time.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    The Mystery of Woolley Mountain might have more of a low-rent aesthetic that’s more South Park than Monkey Island, but it all ties back into a homemade feel that really sells its quirkiness and sense of personality. Its puzzles can sometimes be so obtuse in their design they verge on the infuriating, but they’re consistently clever and will have you scratching your head throughout. With nods to indie gaming websites, Sinclair ZX Spectrums and other entries in British pop culture, this entertaining little romp offers up a fun – if not wholly original – point-and-click adventure.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    Nuclear Throne proves to be an enjoyable and devilishly challenging roguelike shooter that no fans of the genre will want to miss out on, even if it does tend to become more frustrating if you add in a second player. Though the visuals and music are rather disappointing, the core gameplay of Nuclear Throne more than makes up for any deficiencies through its variety and feedback loops; it’s the kind of game that’s so easy to jump into, you just can’t refuse having ‘one more go’. If you’re a fan of Enter the Gungeon, roguelikes, or difficult games in general, Nuclear Throne is going to be right up your alley; we’d give this one a high recommendation.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The original Ace Attorney is – dare we say it – almost 20 years old, which is remarkable when you consider just how well it holds up 2019. Sure, it’s been ported plenty of times and the jump to Nintendo DS certainly helped shake off the retro cobwebs, but as a piece of interactive history, Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney Trilogy is as utterly addictive and truly rewarding as it was back at the turn of the millennium. Whether you’re brand new to the world of virtual defence law or a veteran attorney, Phoenix Wright’s first adventures are still a fine set of cases to undertake.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 70 Critic Score
    If you’re the type of player who doesn’t mind very much grind in their games, or you’re looking for something rewarding, but relatively mindless that you can dump a lot of hours into, Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy! is a solid purchase that’s sure to entertain. If you’re not in either of those camps, we’d caution you to think about it a little more before taking the plunge, as this could easily prove to be a disappointing experience if you come into it with the wrong mindset.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    While M2's emulation work cannot be faulted and the inclusion of a 'Rewind' feature reduces the frustration, there's no escaping the fact that Gain Ground isn't a particularly good video game. Granted, it was perhaps slightly misunderstood back in 1988 because it tried to present a more cerebral experience to an audience weaned on games like Gauntlet and Commando, but the end result is a slow-paced and tactical experience that isn't really suited to amusement arcades. Even when played in the comfort of your home, Gain Ground has too many issues to be anything more than a retro curiosity.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 50 Critic Score
    Super Kickers League is an inoffensive attempt at the arcade football sub-genre, but it lacks the excitement, fluidity and personality of the games it emulates. Now Nintendo, about that Mario Strikers Charged follow-up...
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    We've been stung before with ports of console and PC games - especially those lauded for the size and intricacy of their worlds - but Panic Button has proved, once again, that it really does know how to do the right games justice within the constraints of Switch's hardware design. Hob: The Definitive Edition retains all the qualities of the original, with only a reasonable downgrade in its visuals serving as a caveat. With a cel-shaded art style helping negate the effect of this aesthetic sacrifice and all the improvements genuinely helping elevate Hob's overall quality, Hob becomes the latest 3D platformer to secure a well-earned place among Switch's most exciting new additions.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With Cuphead just around the corner, we can’t help feeling sorry for Mechstermination Force. It's certainly less of a head-turner, but it's a more approachable take on boss rush platforming, with less of an emphasis on twitch-based, pixel-perfect precision. It's peppered with ingenious design and amusing writing and we thoroughly enjoyed our time with it. We'd recommend it as a more accessible alternative to (or appetiser for) Studio MDHR’s upcoming game. If you enjoyed Gunman Clive, this is a great expansion on the concept and well worth investigating.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 90 Critic Score
    While it lacks the arcade pedigree that makes other Switch-based shmups so popular, AngerForce: Reloaded has clearly been put together by a team that understands what makes this long-established genre so appealing. It offers tight gameplay, fantastic visuals and a stern challenge, but the addition of a rich Campaign mode – which rewards repeat play via a series of unlockable upgrades and abilities – extends AngerForce: Reloaded's lifespan considerably. Fans of the genre should ignore the lack of a big-name IP and pick this up as soon as possible, while newcomers can be assured that the gently-scaling challenge of the story mode offers a perfect introduction.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    GODS Remastered is an odd remaster. The brand new visuals help give this incarnation of Ancient Greece a far more agreeable presentation with a proper lighting system, some much-improved character models and a soundtrack that helps do justice to the unforgettable original. But peel away those cosmetic changes and you’re left with a once brilliant action-platformer that has not aged well. Compared to the side-scrolling platformers that followed – including Metroid II: Return of Samus, which came out later that very same year – GODS’ groundbreaking approach to AI and premium presentation quickly went from innovative to a creaky old fossil. This remaster is faithful in its desire to retain the meat and bones of the original, but that’s also its undoing.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Final Fantasy VII is a relic of its time, but that doesn’t mean it’s to be respected any less; if you can look past the obviously antiquated elements, this is a well-paced, engaging RPG that’s still fun to play today – it’s more than worthy of your time.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    GALAK-Z isn’t a game for everyone: its rogue-lite nature, its high difficulty level and its punishing policy on death (even in its easier Arcade mode) will infuriate some players who are just expecting a quick blast of non-stop action. Treat it like the slower-paced exploration and survival game it’s supposed to be, and your patience will be rewarded with some genuinely satisfying space combat and a wide variety of customisable parts (not to mention its brilliant mech upgrade), all wrapped up in a fantastic ‘80s style aesthetic.
    • tbd Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Alex Kidd’s floaty, slippery platforming may not be for everyone, especially those who didn’t get to grips with it the first time around. Long-time fans and newer gamers willing to see past its niggles, though, will be treated to the definitive version of an iconic Sega game, one whose new additions are both genuinely useful (adding a Janken walkthrough to the border is genius) and transformative (you may have played the game hundreds of times, but you’ve never played it with FM sound). A must-have for fans, but merely recommended for newcomers.

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