Switch Review Round-Up – Taito Collection 2, Forgive Me Father, and More

More reviews than you can shake a big stick at. Yep, even more than that.

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We try to cover every Switch game we’re sent a code for here at Gamezebo. Sometimes we find ourselves with a bit of a backlog though – like right now for instance. 

So here are some shorter reviews of games released or updated on the Switch over the last few months – that we might not have gotten round to covering otherwise. 

Taito Milestones 2

“there’s a good range of titles here”

Taito has a huge presence across the Switch with separate re-releases, and now we have these Collections. If this latest one is anything to go there may be a few more volumes yet too.

It’s arguably better than the first with a solid array of shmups including Gun Frontier, Metal Black, and Darius II.

Then there’s a host of largely rock solid platforming/action fare such as Kiki Kaikai, Liquid Kids, Ben Bero Beh, and The Legend of Kage. As well as cute classic The New Zealand Story.

The less said about Solitary Fighter and Dino Rex the better, but ultimately there’s a good range of titles here. 

It’s perhaps a tad overpriced, and the presentation is bare bones, but if you’re interested in gaming history you could do a lot worse.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Super Adventure Hand

“You play as an arm who is beaten up by a load of evil feet”

Creepy. That’s the only way to describe much of Super Adventure Hand. And we’ll be honest, we’re kind of into that.

You play as an arm who is beaten up by a load of evil feet and is left only as a hand – which results in you having to traverse a range of simple standalone stages that remind us a bit of the void levels in Super Mario Sunshine.

As plots go it’s up there with the best, and this game has a great sense of humour – backed up by its base mechanics. The way your hand climbs objects is decidedly weird, but also hugely amusing.

The level design can’t quite live up to the game’s humorous set up sadly, with some interesting ideas scattered about – but it sometimes feels like gimmicks are often stretched to breaking point.

There’s also the issue with the controls, which are seemingly a little ‘off’ to account for you being a hand leaping around weird void style stages. But it doesn’t make the sometimes unfair deaths any less annoying, despite the generous checkpointing.

If you’re looking for an off-kilter 3D platformer Super Adventure Hand isn’t a bad option, but we’d recommend waiting for it to get a discount point before giving it the full two thumbs up.

Score: 3 out of 5

Forgive Me Father

“there are hordes of enemies that enthusiastically explode into viscera”

Inspired by the novels of H.P. Lovecraft, Forgive Me Father coasts by a lot on style alone. But it sure does have a lot of style.

A retro styled first person shooter with funky comic book aesthetics, it sees you blasting your way through a mystery which basically involves you trying to figure out exactly how you’ve landed in such a bizarre situation in the first place. There’s a range of items to interact with along the way too, which helps you slowly work out the plot.

You don’t have to read these logs though, with the gunplay being instantly enjoyable. Weapons boast a satisfying punch, and there are hordes of enemies that enthusiastically explode into viscera – then there’s a range of impressive bosses to face too.

There are issues, including the often overly simplistic level design and inability to read text when playing the game undocked, but it’s still hard not to be won over by Forgive Me Father.

It has a slightly high price-tag, but if you’re looking for a first person shooter that’s a little different – at least in term of aesthetics – then you should dive right into Forgive Me Father.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

The Making of Karateka

“a very unique release and one worth supporting”

Half documentary and half game, The Making of Karateka is an interesting and unique way to tell a story about a truly influential fighting title. 

You discover how Karateka was made via a range of behind the scenes images, documents, and – most intriguing of all – playable prototypes.

Unlike the many dryer retro releases out there, this one really helps you understand how important the game is in the history of the genre. We were left massively impressed.

Perhaps it’s slightly overpriced for what is ultimately a 5-6 hour experience, but this is still a very unique release and one worth supporting for anyone with even the slightest interest in gaming history.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Koa and The Five Pirates of Mara

“tight controls, colourful visuals, and a range of fast paced linear stages”

This is a new title from the developers of Mail Mole, and you can tell straight away. There are tight controls, colourful visuals, and a range of fast paced linear stages to work through.

Unlike Mail Mole there’s more of an effort to make this more of an adventure though, with a main hub and ocean to sail across to discover new worlds and levels.

This works to some degree – seeing how completing one stage helps you unlock further areas is an interesting idea – but sometimes it feels like there’s a bit too much legwork to get to the real meat of the game. Which, ultimately, is the platforming.

Which is a delight, and designed for speed running. But it also never feels like you have to rush if you don’t want to, with stages consistently streamlined and tightly designed. It’s perfect for a range of skill levels, which is no mean feat.

Koa and The Five Pirates of Mara is perhaps a little twee for older gamers, but anyone that’s after a fast paced platformer should check this out.

Score: 4 out of 5

Gastro Force

“there’s no real pace to the action”

Another retro themed first person shooter, but sadly this one doesn’t do much to stand out from the crowd.

Based around infiltrating and exploring an alien’s insides, the visuals and level designs are reminiscent of Wolfenstein 3D in their simplicity. Sadly the game can’t even live up to that inspiration, with a range of dull enemies to shoot and disappointing weapons to fire at them with.

When we play a game like this we wonder why it’s so resistant to just try and be a little bit different. There’s nothing here that excites or even confuses. It just exists, and there’s no real pace to the action to make it even satisfy fans of games like Doom or the aforementioned Wolfenstein 3D. 

You’re better off looking into a game like Project Warlock, which is still limited in many ways but infinitely more interesting.

It wisely has a low price tag but that still can’t really justify the lack of creativity on show here. Not even true die hard fans of the genre will get much out of this one.

Score: 2 out of 5

Hidden Gems Volume One

“It’s not easy to control but is just responsive enough to be fairly addictive”

This one came out of nowhere, but it’s very welcome. A package of four Commodore 64 titles, it’s hopefully the sign that the 8 bit computers will get a bit more love moving forward when it comes to re-releases. 

There’s no doubt that most modern gamers will struggle with what they’re presented with here though. All four games are rock hard and hugely unforgiving. But that is also part of their charm.

Gilligan’s Gold is a basic one screen platformer, as is Mutant Monty – with the latter quite a lot of fun once you get the hang of the controls.

The controls on N.O.M.A.D. we could never fully grasp though, but is clearly an impressive shooter for the time. Then there’s probably the best known title on the collection, Horace Goes Skiing. It starts off as a Frogger clone, but then segues into a fast paced downhill ski-ing game. It’s not easy to control, but is just responsive enough to be fairly addictive.

What’s really disappointing is that despite the existence of this game being something to celebrate on its own, there’s still been no real effort to add any notes or background history on each of the titles.

The presentation is as bare bones as it comes, but Hidden Gems Volume One is still an interesting and wisely budget priced option that’s worth investigating for Switch owning retro gamers. 

Score: 3 out of 5

Lil Gator Game

“completing various quests and generally larking about”

Yes, this came out a long time ago. But a recent update has improved what was already a massively charming experience even further.

A very easy-going adventure where you play as – you guessed it – a young alligator, you explore an island completing various quests and generally larking about.

The vibe of the game is the main selling point, and quite simply it makes any minor flaws the title have largely irrelevant. Just leaping around is fun in itself, and although it is perhaps a little too aimless at times there’s always something (or someone) nudging you in the right direction.

Lil Gator is a wonderfully refreshing and often very funny adventure we’d recommend everyone to check out.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

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      Simon has been playing portable games since his Game Boy Pocket and a very worn out copy of Donkey Kong Land 2, and he has no intention of stopping anytime soon. Playing Donkey Kong Land 2 that is. And games in general we suppose.