Paper Mario The Origami King – Good – This is an open world exploration game where combat is done in a ring based puzzle system, it isn’t the usual platformer Mario. In this game King Olly an origami character takes over the paper world and Mario has to battle to save everyone with the help of an origami called Olivia, lots of Toads, a Bobomb, Bowser and Luigi plus a few others. The combat gets tedious very quickly so I found myself trying to dodge encounters as often as possible but the boss fights make the system work extremely well which becomes really fun but only for a few minutes. There are plenty of puzzles, collectibles and extra things to do in the world including bashing things with the hammer that our Italian plumber carries with him. The story has weird comedy as well as tragedy and is a decent length. Overall a decent enough game which I think could have done with a more standard JRPG combat system for regular enemies but it was good enough to recommend.
Pokemon Sword – Good – I’m an old school Pokemon fan, I’ll get that out first, I’ve played from Ruby to Black 2. Like all Pokemon games it was open yet linear, collecting gym badges and going after the champion, fairly standard stuff. The “evil” team trying to take over weren’t that important in this one, being just a few goons near the end of the game. There was no extra challenging no heal Elite Four before the champion battle. The routes from town to town were replaced by a Wild Area where Pokemon just roam around and the random encounters were replaced with physical models of Pokemon that you could choose to fight. Along with a much slower start than normal, a lack of HMs and a new Pokemon viewing camp system it just felt really dumbed down from the older games. There is a new Dynamax system which makes Pokemon giant and is used as a plot device but really just feels like a pointless gimmick. Your rival is designed to be weaker than you and you don’t capture the title legendary until after beating the champion. I’ll probably play it again because of how expensive Switch games are and because Pokemon does have replay ability value but it’s not the greatness of old games.