The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa – Impressions

I don’t yet know what to make of The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa. Seemingly developed by one guy in Russia, The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa sees you play as a directionless high school thug who is threatened with expulsion from his school, which he hardly attends due to spending all his time getting into gang fights. It’s like a tribute to NES classic River City Ransom or some sorta slice of life anime like Cromartie High School which I’ve never watched but Deguello says is a parody.

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Metagal – Please Nerf

A Mega Man clone for $5? Heck yeah! What could possibly go wrong? Well how about everything. I bought Metagal because of its price and felt a wave of regret almost immediately after seeing the first low quality cutscene art and blurry text. This is an unfinished game that lingered as a Steam green-light title for 3 years with no approval, and has now been dumped on consoles for a few bucks. The very first screen on the Switch version is a blurry Joycon Grip diagram with white background, and it doesn’t really get better in the cutscene. Instead of a full-blown review this is going to be a short impression piece, since I could only stomach playing 4 of the game’s 8 levels. There are zero reviews online listed on Metacritic so I feel a sense of duty to warn people about this game.

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SteamWorld Dig 2 – Going Deeper

It’s been 89 days since Rusty went missing. From the small desert town of Tumbleton I’ve found myself in a brand new mining town, El Machino. This place is huge. It’s quite high up on a hill, full of houses, buildings and machines, has a population in the triple digits (so the sign says), and there’s even a rocket! The people here are quite simple minded and they are all trying to make a living, but still they are quite welcoming. Everyone wants to do business and The Mayor is happy to stand around and brag. The overall feeling is that there’s a lot more going on here than Tumbleton. Even the music is on a new level with a very funky baseline and more elements than I’ve heard before. Wait, what music? Must be in my head. I’ve come a long way to get here.

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Horizon Chase Turbo – Arcade Racing Isn’t Dead

Punk’s not dead and neither is speed. Horizon Chase Turbo delivers colourful thrills at over 300kph and has crashed into the Nintendo eShop at full speed. If you’ve recently found yourself enjoying the 12th port of Outrun and reminiscing the good old days, this could be the game that makes you feel alive again.

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GRIS – Comfortable Discomfort

You’ve lost yourself. Material objects lay scattered under a decorated tree, endless plates of food are spread across a table, but the holiday spirit has drained the life out of you. There’s no reason for any of this when you just want to lie down. You open the eShop in a desperate search for salvation, but it paralyses you further. So many meaningless titles. Pages and pages of sales. Now you are falling perpetually with no landing in sight, as the bottom of the screen never fills. Suddenly one name stands out, GRIS? The gameplay is a bit unclear but it’s a game about loss with some very high quality art. This might just do it. This might fill the emptiness within your soul.

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Chasm – Comfyvania

In the depths of the Nintendo eShop lies a treasure. Navigating through randomly generated sales offers, new releases and upcoming titles, you’ll find this gem buried somewhere a few pages back. Chasm is an ambitious game that takes the modern procedural approach and applies it to the classic handheld Castlevania formula. Groan, another randomly generated game? I know, I know. I am sick of them too, but I picked this game up because I wanted a new GBAvania experience so badly. There’s a lot of action games and loot games in the formula, but nothing based on exploration quite like this. It’s a very specific itch that needed scratching.

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