Yesterday I went over all the retail games I bought and enjoyed (or didn’t) throughout 2017. Today I’m going to go over all the games I purchased through the eShop that year and give you my quick impressions of them. You can also find my suggestions for the Top 5 eShop games of last year here.
This game is an extraordinarily charming puzzler that is better when played with another. Essentially you control one of two pieces of construction paper with eyes, legs, and a mouth. Your job is to solve physics based puzzles by overlapping your partner, and cutting off whatever piece is overlapping. This allows you to customize each of the little guys to the shapes you need to solve whatever puzzle your facing.
The charm is where this game really shines: funny sounds and charming animations of the mouth and eyes really takes the game over the top. Playing by yourself can be fun, but the real draw here is playing with another person, luckily the Switch makes that very easy to do. I played a good deal of this with my friend at work, and the laughs pretty much never stopped.
Blaster Master Zero
Back when I was a wee lad playing my NES, one of my favorite games was Blaster Master. Being able to drive a vehicle around, and exit said vehicle as a little guy, was absolutely mind-blowing to me. It was a level of freedom I didn’t think was possible in gaming at the time.
This remake does a fantastic job of capturing all of the good things about the game, while tossing the things that don’t work. It is a great platformer with vibes of Metroidvania and Zelda, that has fantastic sprite work.
You can also play the game as characters such as Shantea and Shovel Knight, and each is actually fully integrated into the game with their own combos. I’ve played through the game multiple times now, and it is a great game for the Switch.
If only this developer had managed to get a hold of the license for Nightcrawler, we would have had the best X-Men game ever. You control a protagonist that has the ability to teleport a short distance, allowing you to make your way through levels while destroying baddies. You’ll warp back and forth from room to room, throwing a grenade you caught in one room into a new group of enemies before warping back, narrowly missing being shot.
Though the story is paper thin, the flow of the game is extremely addictive, and it is extremely satisfying to take out enemies. Originally on release they did have some issues with frame rate, but they’ve since been ironed out. I still fire this up now and again, just to bash some heads and feel like Nightcrawler.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
When I was young, I recall my mother playing this game on the Master System. I was always fascinated by the fact that the warrior could change into different animal warriors with their own abilities. As they gained new forms they gained access to new areas and bosses. It also had lite RPG elements where you purchase armor and weapons, something that just wasn’t done in platformers at the time.
This is a remastered version with some of the most amazing artwork I’ve ever seen in a game. It is utterly gorgeous, and I love that you can swap back and forth between the original graphics and the new artwork with the press of a button. You can also swap the music back and forth, so you can play the new graphics with the old music or vice versa.
If you haven’t purchased this, buy it immediately.
After hearing non stop praise for this game from my PC gaming friends, I had to check it out on the Switch. It is one of the best examples of how the Switch can make pretty much everything better; the ability to take this game on the go is a perfect companion to the overall experience. Being able to duck in and check in on your farm real quick lets you rack up hours on this game without even realizing it.
And there are a lot of hours to rack up here. This game is insanely deep, I haven’t even scratched the surface of what there is to do. Like Harvest Moon before it you’ll cultivate land that you’ve inherited and slowly turn it into a money-maker. Everyday is a decision on how to proceed, whether that is dungeon crawling, farming, or chatting up the locals trying to get a romance going. There are a few issues with load times, but they pale in comparison to the sheer options here.
With co-op coming first to Nintendo Switch soon, this is the best version of a fantastically deep game that you should buy if you have even the slightest interest.
Steamworld Dig 2
This sequel to the fantastic original Steamworld Dig ratchets up the stakes in every possible way, making this one of the best games released last year. You’ll dig down while controlling Dorothy and searching for the previous protagonist, constantly lead on with small tidbits that flesh out the narrative. The draw here comes from constantly finding precious gems to mine, a cross between Dig Dug and Metroid, that is intoxicating. Every play session, no matter the length, you are constantly earning some new upgrade. Often these change the way you play the game entirely, with some of the bigger ones tied to story drastically altering the gameplay.
For the price it is significantly beefy, and finding all the secrets is a constant draw to come back. This is one of the few games I played to 100% last year; I didn’t stop until I drained every last ounce of awesome from the experience. If you just picked up a Switch this should be at the top of your list behind Zelda and Mario.
I’m not a sports fan, so this was not on my radar at all originally. Then I played the multiplayer mode with my older brother and my eyes were opened to what the game could be. I picked it up shortly after and was so glad I did. The RPG aspects of the game are fun, but it is the humor that follows along something like Earthbound that is the star of the show.
The gameplay is simple and doesn’t require knowledge of the sport at all, most of it is simple button timing and aiming. As the game progresses the difficult arcs gracefully so that by the end you’ll have mastered everything you need to know. During the course of the game I fought skeletons with golf balls, hit a hole in one by bouncing my ball off a turtle, and played on a prehistoric golf course.
Even if you don’t like sports games typically, if you like humor and RPG games, you should pick this up.
Currently we haven’t been graced with a Smash Brothers on the Switch, so the next best thing then is Brawlout. There are a few well done Smash-like games on various consoles now, but Brawlout is probably my favorite of the bunch. It features some indie guest characters in The Drifter from Hyper Light Drifter and Juan from Guacamelee, but they don’t hog the show surprisingly. The cast is filled with interesting characters that have fun move sets, everything from a bomb throwing eagle to an evil ape overlord that uses a whip.
Gameplay is almost more grounded then Smash, there are no items, so it all comes down to one on one skill. On release it had some issues with online play, but I’ve played dozens of games online with no issues at all. Frame rate almost never drops when playing on the console split screen, and tough the loads can be beefier than I might like, it is a great experience overall.
Especially for the price point I highly recommend picking this up if you want something to fill the void while we wait for Smash on Switch.
What were your favorite eShop games of 2017? Any you’re looking forward to coming up? Join us tomorrow as we discuss the future of our favorite hybrid console.