So many games, and so little time to cover them all! 

 

Between the site’s scheduling and the amount of great looking indie titles releasing every month, there sometimes just isn’t time to shine a detailed spotlight on every single one of them. As such, our QuickShot reviews are designed to provide smaller bitesized reviews on a few other releases along with some footage of it in action!

Many thanks to the publishers for the review codes!

SWORDSHIP
Digital Kingdom | Thunderful | 913 MB | €19.99

Swordship para Nintendo Switch - Sitio oficial de Nintendo

We’re kicking off our first QuickShot Reviews segment with a bang, as we cruise straight into Swordship – a high octane roguelike arcade-style ‘dodge ’em up’. That’s a lot of long adjectives! If you’re wondering what a ‘dodge ’em up’ is, just imagine a shoot ’em up where you have almost no way of defending yourself. You pretty much have to dodge lots of incoming fire and pray that you can stay alive.

Levels play out in a rather similar fashion over the game’s numerous cities (which are, in essence, harder versions of the previous ones with a slightly different colour filter) as you jet down the river at high speeds stealing abandoned containers that you can then either sell off for points or keep for yourself. If you choose the latter option, you’ll get an extra life for each container and a choice of upgrades to choose from – although you can only choose one to help give you an edge, forcing you to choose wisely.

Grabbing containers is hardly an easy task either, as the game will only show you the yellow line leading to a container only moments before it appears on screen, forcing you to prioritise the loot should you want it. What makes that even more difficult are the enemies that stand in your way: gunships, mines, turrets, plasma cannons, and more, all wanting to take you down. It’s all RNG, but also rarely unfair as you can turn their gunfire against each other to help you survive. It’s an adrenaline packed experience that’s extremely addictive.

Whilst the levels themselves offer little variety, each city sets themselves apart by offering vastly different enemy types for you to evade. When combined with the myriad of unlockables, there’s certainly enough here to keep you hooked. There’s a great sense of progression that gels really well with the exhilarating gameplay and keeps you wanting to try ‘one more time’ to see if you can progress a little farther.

VERDICT
As an arcade-like experience, Swordship both runs at a smooth 60 FPS and provides an unputdownable roguelite dodge ’em up for your buck. Its difficulty may not be for everyone, but if the game gets its hooks into you then it won’t let go!

JITSU SQUAD
Tanuki Creative Studio | ININ Games | 1.067 GB | €29.99

Jitsu Squad | Programas descargables Nintendo Switch | Juegos | Nintendo

I do love a good beat ’em up, but unfortunately there are so many mediocre ones out there that I tend to walk away feeling disappointed. In steps Jitsu Squad with its charming colourful visuals and quirkiness that brought back memories of some of the 32 bit classics.

Choosing from one of four characters, each with their own range of skills, you’re tasked with beating up all the baddies until there’s no more left to beat up. Well, actually it’s all about a wicked sorcerer that has summoned cursed ancient warriors to hunt for a special stone and you have been tasked to stop him – however, the story is so inconsequential that you’d be forgiven for forgetting that the game even has one.

For the most part it plays rather traditionally, with you having a small number of attacks and grabs to deal with your foes; however, collecting scrolls will help level up your chosen hero that will give them access to whole new moves to play around with. It’s a fun sense of progression that works surprisingly well, as you always seem to have new stuff to experiment with and it encourages you to actually try out all your moveset. In addition, you can also gain special screen-clearing attacks and sub weapons to help cut through the crowd.

It’s a lot of fun, and attacks have a very weighty feel to them making it feel like you’re doing hefty damage. What’s more is that the enemies all seem to have pretty generous hitboxes too, which really helps the game avoid that sense of not lining up with your opponents just right.

Of course, the game is more enjoyable and easier when played with friends, and the multiplayer here is just as fun as most games in the genre. What impressed me the most though was that I actually had equally as much fun when playing the game alone, which is something of a rarity with the genre.

VERDICT
This beautifully animated beat ’em up is probably one of the best in the genre on the Switch. With weighty combat, a rewarding upgrade system, and catchy music, this is a game you’ll really want to try out if you’re into this type of game.

 BOT GAIDEN
SwordSwipe Studios | eastasiasoft | 1.146 GB | €14.99

Bot Gaiden for Nintendo Switch - Nintendo Official Site

When it comes to Mega Man clones, I have a bit of an addiction. Whenever I see anything that even vaguely resembles the series, I jump at the opportunity to pick it up and see how it fares. Bot Gaiden is the latest one, and it’s clear from the offset that the creators are big fans of the franchise too.

Rather than being modelled after the classic mainline titles, however, this game is more reminiscent of the Mega Man X series – specifically the ones where you can play as the luxuriously haired Zero. Much like Zero, the protagonist in Bot Gaiden is a robot with a sword who runs and slashes his way through anything that gets in his way. Your goal is to obtain the power skulls from the six hench-bots before eventually confronting the big bad himself. It’s hardly innovative as it’s almost exactly the same as the standard plot in a Mega Man game, but it’s presented really well and also throws in its own unique surprises too.

The power skulls, as the name suggests, is able to grant tremendous power to its user. How that plays out in-game is that the hench-bots will get stronger based on how long it takes for you to get to them. Get there fast enough, and you can probably take then down in a measly couple of hits – but take longer and they’ll be at full strength and require way more effort to take care of. On the flip side, the less power the hench-bot drains from the skull will also benefit you by granting you additional abilities that help make things easier. Merely collecting the skull will just give you an extra life to use when playing the stage, but clearly the stage at speed will give you extra benefits. It’s a unique system that encourages replayability and speedrunning by making the game easier as a result.

That’s not to say the game is easy though, as it certainly is not. Whilst the game does offer you an assortment of power-ups throughout each stage that grant you a wide range of OP abilities, getting hit on the normal difficulty in above will result in you losing at least one of them. Die (even on easy), and you will lose everything. Your base power is still strong enough to deal with most enemies, but when compared with your fully upgraded Ninja it’s a noticeable difference.

What really makes the game enjoyable though, aside from the gorgeous environments and enemy designs, is how the game controls. Your Ninja Robot moves super fast and, when combined with the upgrades, is able to plough through the opposition with such badassery that doing well feels extremely rewarding. It’s not all perfect, as the wall clinging ability is a little bit too sticky, and the dodge manoeuvre results in you self-destructing if used for too long, but on the whole it feels really good to play.

VERDICT
The high level of difficulty may not be for everyone, as the game is quite punishing even when played on the easiest setting, but any fan of the Mega Man X franchise should have a blast with the game. It feels so smooth and is quite clearly a labour of love from the small development team that crafted it.

ELVES CHRISTMAS HENTAI PUZZLE
Sweet Banana Games | Gamuzumi | 267 MB | €2.99

Elves Christmas Hentai Puzzle | Nintendo Switch download software | Games |  Nintendo

And finally, it’s Christmas so we’re contractually obliged to cover a title fitting for the season. Although that isn’t snow that it’s covered in…

Elves Christmas Hentai Puzzle follows in the same vein of Gamuzumi’s other elven title Elves Fantasy Hentai Puzzle in that you find yourself dumped in a first person dungeon reminiscent of a window’s screensaver and have to select various portrait puzzles to solve. You’ll typically find these in groups of four, with each picture revealing more and more skin of your naughty little elf.

Puzzles themselves consist of pictures that are broken down into mixed up tiles, which you will have to swap, rotate, and flip in order to get the image assembled correctly. Things start off simple as the clothing tends to provide more clues as to where each piece goes, but as she starts to strip away it can get surprisingly tricky – especially once tiles requires flipping as well as rotating. There’s not really much in the way of actual nudity here, keeping things tame in order to keep Nintendo off their backs no doubt, but the saucy images will no doubt appeal to those after some festive frolics. 

VERDICT
Elves Christmas Hentai Puzzle is a pretty straightforward game that has slightly more depth than I had initially expected – and also proved to be a relaxingly pleasant experience too. It’ll probably only really appeal to those looking for a cheap thrill, but thankfully it does supply some amount of entertainment too!

And so ends 2022 and its final four reviews. Hope you all had a great year – why don’t you treat yourself to one of these great titles to make it even better?