5) Owlboy (Switch) – Metacritic Score: 87
The developer of Owlboy describes its game as “a love letter to pixel art for a new audience, Owlboy is an open-world exploration game with a unique mix of flight and platforming.” During your journey, you’ll be able to carry anything you like, explore to your heart’s content, and take on bosses in challenging fights.
We may have been waiting a long time for Owlboy’s original release, but it paid off and it is now available on consoles. The platforming is tight and satisfying, the pixel-art style is stunning throughout, and its story of heroism and redemption is compelling and full of interesting characters. It’s is also quite a varied experience – one that introduces many unique gameplay elements and uses them well. There was a couple of frustrating bugs at launch, but the game feels at home on the Switch.
4) Night in the Woods (Switch) – Metacritic Score: 87
Night in the Woods was one of the best games of 2017, winning our ‘Best Indie Game of the Year‘ award, and it has now made its way to Nintendo Switch. You play as Mae, a cat who has returned from college to her quiet town. As she reconnects with her family and friends, she goes on adventures to escape the impending stress of adulthood.
The strength of Night in the Woods is in its writing. Conversations can be witty, funny, emotional, or even mundane, feeling natural at all times. The characters are unique and a joy to spend time with, and different people will relate to different parts of the game, whether it be particular feelings or moments of fun. The bonds you form with Mae’s friends will be so strong that you’ll want to spend every possible moment with your favorite. Night in the Woods was a great game last year but it’s perfect on the Switch.
3) Into the Breach – Metacritic Score: 91
Following Subset Games’ Faster Than Light comes Into the Breach, a turn-based strategy game in which you control powerful mechs from the future in an attempt to defeat an alien threat. Much like FTL, the game is broken up into a series of unique islands, each of which has its own number of scenarios to complete. While the islands remain the same each time you play, the scenarios you are required to complete are procedurally generated.
Into the Breach is challenging, but failure is an important part of the experience. You’re given enough information to know exactly where you went wrong and where you can improve on your next try. Time is incorporated well into both the gameplay and story, complementing the satisfying tactical side of the game. Also, there’s a good risk/reward balance that prompts you to try different things at different stages.
2) Bayonetta 2 (Switch) – Metacritic Score: 92
Bayonetta 2 was buried on the Wii U, a console that performed poorly throughout its lifetime, meaning that many people missed what is both one of the few Nintendo exclusive games that’s aimed at adults but also one of the best action games ever released. You’ll play as Bayonetta, a witch who travels to the fictional sacred mountain of Fimbulventr, and the nearby town of Noatun, so that she can save her friend Jeanne.
Many critics have lauded Platinum Games’ title as action perfection, with the deep yet accessible combo focused gameplay flowing seamlessly, looking stunning as you play. The breakneck pace of the game makes the most of the uniquely charismatic characters and beautiful set-pieces. And the best thing is that more people can play it now that it’s on the Switch.
1) Shadow of the Colossus (PlayStation 4) – Metacritic Score: 92
A lot of re-releases and remasters have been released during this generation of consoles but none have been on the same level as Bluepoint’s Shadow of the Colossus remake. Originally released for the PlayStation 2 in 2005, the game sees you take control of a young boy who sets out to take down a series of colossi so that he can resurrect a deceased girl.
The improvements were dramatic, giving the game a fresh coat of paint that made it look just how you probably remember it did 13 years ago. The fur of the monsters sways elegantly, and there’s a palpable sense of wonder throughout. The controls have also been improved, making them more intuitive, but without losing the sense of struggle that is important to the way you take on the beasts. The premise may be simple, but it’s a masterpiece of an adventure.