Pokémon Legends Arceus (Switch): For years I felt Pokémon’s gameplay has become stale. While turn-based battling is fun, doing the same thing for 25 years can get old. Pokémon Legends Arceus injects new life by adding some entertaining catching mechanics, streamlining the turn-based battling, and adding a partially open world. While Scarlett and Violet offer a more open world and freedom the aforementioned catching mechanic just edges out more for me because it is so much fun as opposed to the same turned-based catching mechanic. I can only hope that this game is only the beginning of what the Pokémon Company can do.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet (Switch): While Pokémon Legends Arceus was a breath of fresh air, Scarlet and Violet showed what can be done to shake up the gameplay of the main series games. Scarlet and Violet is a joy to play in a completely open world that gives you the freedom to play how you wish. Though I still think Pokémon Legends Arceus was a better game because of the catching mechanic. This is still an exciting change to the formula that I hope continues in the future. My only criticism is the many glitches and more that the game has had from day one. Though I feel that this isn’t just a problem with Pokémon, a big problem with the industry as a whole. I don’t know how this can be fixed, but it definitely needs to stop. Stop rushing games if something needs more time, give it more time.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch): Kirby and The Forgotten Land takes what makes 2D side-scrolling games so fun and masterfully transfers it to 3D. From how Kirby’s copy abilities work in a 3D space to the mouthful mode, where Kirby gets a power-up by trying to eat more than he can chew. One of my favorite mouthful mode power-ups is the car power-up because is fun to play and with the 3D you can move. I also loved the setting, especially the one you go to, which is kind of like an old arcade. It brought me back to my days working at DisneyQuest. Another great aspect is the music. Kirby games have always been known to have amazing soundtracks and this game is no exception. Tracks like Welcome to the New World that plays at the beginning and the background music that plays in the aforementioned abandoned arcade level just fit so well and make me want to buy the OST. All in all, it’s a fun and relaxing 3D platformer that encourages exploration with an engaging story that revitalizes the Kirby franchise.
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