Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is a fantastic addition to the Switch's library and one of the best party games on the system. While it has a few technical issues holding it back, it is still well worth your time.
As a fan of Super Monkey Ball since 2001, I found myself really happy with Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania. The package captures the fun and challenge of the first two games, while also including new content that makes it feel fresh. Banana Mania also offers a ton of content for its price point, and players are guaranteed to find something to love. Sometimes the difficulty level can get frustrating, and the Party Games could use some new options, but the game offers so much good, it's hard to complain. Whether you're a newcomer to the series or a fan from the beginning like me, I can't recommend this one enough.
Super Monkey Ball Banana Mania is a confident and addictive reminder of why Monkey Ball was so popular back in the day. It truly feels like a celebration of the franchise that’s jam-packed with content, bonuses, and unlocks. Monkey Ball still holds up with addictive challenge, fantastic music and a goofy, yet endearing premise, and all of it is accentuated by small yet meaningful additions that makes it more accessible than ever before.
Yes, Banana Mania is essentially just the kind of Super Monkey Ball game that you'd expect. I just didn't realize how much I've missed this series. The single player levels present a challenging and creative experience, while the minigame offerings make this collection essential to anyone who likes to play local multiplayer.
Keep an eye on Milestone's patch and update plans. If the company moves forward with customer-friendly moves, HWU may be a must-buy for arcade-racing fans. Until then, wait and see—unless the sales pitch of "Trackmania but prettier and more arcade-y" makes you want to immediately purchase. In which case, you'll have a good time.
Aragami 2 is a huge departure from the original game. In exchanging the linear narrative-driven stealth experience for an open-ended co-op mission adventure, Lince Works has created a game that feels just as flawed as the original, but has a lot more charm in it's small moments and simplicity. Repetitive missions and enemies make it hard to get engrossed with the game for long periods of time, but as a stealth action game to hop into for quick little bursts, Aragami 2 can be pretty fun.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is a title of high artistic value, but one that stumbles in gameplay. It's got charming characters and setting, a decent story and great looking cutscenes, but actually playing through the experience is largely underwhelming.
Kena: Bridge of Spirits is "to the point": visually it's a feast for the eyes and with an interesting percussion-based musical score. It's fun, thoughtful, made with care and inspiration, even if it doesn't offer anything original in its individual areas. Especially considering that this is Ember Lab's first effort, the future is bright, and we can already imagine an even better sequel.
Diablo II: Resurrected is Diablo II in everything that matters. Its strict adherence to the tone, themes, and even gameplay of the original makes this an incredible time capsule, revisiting a classic restored, yet not iterated on. It’s the best of both worlds; a game that looks and plays wonderfully in 2021, but embodies the dark experience that was first brought to the world more than 20 years ago. They just don’t make games like this anymore.
Diablo 2: Resurrected is, if anything, a faithful remaster of the original game. The visual overhaul and fantastic cinematics maintain the dark tone of Sanctuary’s horrifying demons and tales. Unfortunately, that alone doesn’t hold up after 20 years of innovation. Annoying gameplay mechanics, constant selling and buying, restrictive controls, regressive character art, and finicky UI poorly date this adventure. More quality of life changes should be here to truly bring the classic back to life. Diablo fans may love this remaster; others will likely not.
It's why, unlike Diablo III, I don't foresee myself spending a lot more time with Diablo II: Resurrected. That's not to say the adventure was without merit, and it's certainly great to have a way to play one of Blizzard's classics with a coat of paint that does its visual aesthetic justice so many years later. But outside of players already well-versed with the game's aged design choices and imbalance, there's not a lot here outside of a history lesson for new players to enjoy. A lot of the time spent playing Diablo II: Resurrected, I just longed to return to Diablo III.
As a big Diablo 2 fan, Resurrected has let me down in many ways. What little changes have been made to the original formula are welcome, but feel like leftover bread crumbs from a larger pie that could have been. Diablo 2 was in a bit of a weird place in that it was not hard at all to access and play the original game, even on modern PC hardware. This new release does make the game available to console audiences, which is an awesome change, but the lack of crossplay really hurts here. Resurrected could end up becoming a much better value down the road as the development team begins introducing updates and upgrades, but as of right now, you should avoid this package unless you are happy with straight-up Diablo 2. That being said, there are many reasons to be thrilled to revisit the game, particularly for the timeless soundtrack and to get a glance at the spiffy new paint job. Just make sure to set your expectations accordingly.
Successfully brings an icon into the modern era, and the underlying gameplay still shines. But while Resurrected does a better job than Warcraft III: Reforged, it leaves similar questions unanswered over its feature set and long-term community support.
Diablo 2 Resurrected is what a remaster should be. Vicarious Visions has done an incredible job with what is the cornerstone of the Action RPG genre. A visual gem that still holds against any modern title. The gameplay hasn’t changed an inch, which is what the whole community wanted. More brutal than ever. An isometric Dark Souls to terrorize the new generations of gamers.
Diablo 2: Resurrected is a game that goes far beyond the nostalgia of the fans. A solid title that reminds us of what Blizzard has meant to video games and makes us understand why we need it to come back someday. Whether or not you enjoyed it twenty years ago, it is truly a must-have.