Nintendo

Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch)

Armed with a mallet equal to the size of his head, Kirby marches through the “forgotten” land wailing on wolves and circus seals, the brand’s distinctive, morbidly hilarious lullaby horror intact. Kirby can suck up whole cars though – that’s new – running over the non-threatening enemies at full speed. Or, commandeering a vending machine,… Continue reading Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Switch)

Nintendo

River City Girls Zero (Switch)

Ignore the loose, campy dressing that brings this distinctly Japanese brawler Stateside. Connections to River City Girls, characters aside, are tenuous. Instead, the clumsy and awkward, anime-amplified core story finds root in social rebellion, a fantasy amid a country dominated by obedience. High school student protagonist Kunio is out to do right, clear his name… Continue reading River City Girls Zero (Switch)

Nintendo

Mayhem Brawler (Switch)

For a moment, Mayhem Brawler seems to mock Streets of Rage, which concerned three cops who walked the streets, punching suspected criminals without due process. Alongside Mayhem Brawler’s comic book interludes, a faux social media feed scrolls. Users question why the “heroes” needed to use force against the villains. They shout complaints about excessive force,… Continue reading Mayhem Brawler (Switch)

Nintendo

Super Mario 3D World: Bowser’s Fury (Switch)

Bowser’s Fury isn’t typical Mario. There’s the transforming, mustached plumber fighting against the spiky, fire-spitting dinosaur – but in comes Bowser Jr. Often the spoiled, obnoxious offspring, Bowser’s Fury makes this kid a victim. Junior flies in his always bizarre floating clown pod, but his goal isn’t to keep Princess Peach locked away, but to… Continue reading Super Mario 3D World: Bowser’s Fury (Switch)

Nintendo

Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Switch)

Putting this Mario trio side-by-side shows evolution in design – certainly more so than with the 2D iterations beforehand – and a notable cultural change. Mario 64 existed in the earliest reality show bubble, where a camera follows and traces Mario’s steps around the Mushroom Kingdom, broadcasting them to viewers. MTV’s The Real World debuted… Continue reading Super Mario 3D All-Stars (Switch)

Nintendo

Treachery in Beatdown City (Switch)

Treachery in Beatdown City doesn’t hide its raw, multi-targeted anger. Dialog satirizes inequality, capitalism, racism, gentrification, police brutality, white privilege, social media, sexism, gig economies, EULAs, protests, and more. It’s… a lot. Not that it’s wrong – any of it – but the satirical net is cast so wide, Beatdown City doesn’t land a specific… Continue reading Treachery in Beatdown City (Switch)

Nintendo

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 (Switch)

Released as the first Marvel film universe story comes to close, Ultimate Alliance 3 retools that same story. Infinity Stones go missing, mega-big bad Thanos wants them, superheroes must stop him. The videogame edition tells this with no real style. It’s crowded. Most of the action is noise, with four Marvel characters slicing or punching… Continue reading Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 (Switch)