We waggle away at Nintendo Switch Sports, embrace whacky sci-fi in 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim and go hands-on with Steel Series’ Arctis 7P+.
When the original Wii Sports released, to say it made waves is an understatement. The game burst through the gaming bubble so hard that some medical experts tried to prove playing it helped decrease the risk of elderly nursing home residents from falling. It was wild time to be alive.
15-ish years later Nintendo has gone back to the well with Nintendo Switch Sports, and while we can’t imagine it’ll leave the same dent on society, the package is still an absolute riot with a group of friends.
Volleyball is perhaps the strongest newbie of the bunch, with different actions tied to setting, serving and blocking. You’ll likely need a few games to get a hang of it all, but once you do the mode will lead to some of the most memorable experiences, with some points feeling like a real tug of war. Similarly we enjoyed the sword-swinging antics of chambara, which although simple in its control, becomes a total mind game as you try to predict and counter your opponent’s attacks.
Old favourites like bowling and tennis also reappear and hold up relatively well, but they unfortunately can’t hide the fact Nintendo Switch Sports is a little lacking with content. With only six games on offer you’ll likely blast through them relatively quickly and you’re unlikely to keep replaying them solo. Golf is on the way as DLC though, so fingers crossed Nintendo continues to build Nintendo Switch Sports in the months ahead so that the good times can keep rolling.
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13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim (Switch, PS4)
13 Sentinels can be an incredibly difficult game to talk about. It packs a sprawling, time-bending story that packs in drama, sci-fi and high school vibes all at once. Sure it’s completely whacky as you wonder why teenagers must pilot mechs sans clothes to battle devastating kaju foes, but you’ll be completely engaged all the same.
Gameplay varies between point-and-click dialogue exchanges and real time strategy action but you’ll almost certainly stick around for the story. That’s because 13 Sentinels without question provides one of the most creative and original video game tales in quite some time, and if you’re prepared for some heavy reading you’ll get quite a lot out of it. The good news is that the English dub on offer is quite strong so that alleviates some of the heavy lifting.
But considering this is still a text-heavy game at its core, this port to Switch is a welcome addition to the library and perhaps the best way to play if you have the opportunity. We never encountered any performance issues and appreciated being able to dip in and out of the tale on the go.
13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim mightn’t be for everyone, but it’ll serve as a great palate cleanser for some of the more traditional blockbuster games desperate for your attention at the moment.
Kirby and the Forgotten Land (Swtich)
Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we? For the most part Kirby hasn’t exactly been Nintendo’s brightest star. Instead, the pink puff has been relegated to a fair number of mediocre releases that have never landed with any substantial thump. The Forgotten Land changes all that, with an adventure that is filled to the brim with Nintendo’s signature creativity and charm. A large part of that is a result of mouthful mode – which lets you inhale and transform into a wide variety of objects. From a car to a vending machine and everything in between, Kirby’s forms are funny and well-implemented throughout the whole journey.
Our biggest complaint is that the whole experience is on the easy side, but if you’re after a bit of a relax after the high-pressure stakes of Elden Ring, Kirby and the Forgotten Land could be exactly what you need.
ANNO: Mutationem (PS5, PS4, PC)
We love a video game with a rock-solid aesthetic and boy howdy does ANNO: Mutationem deliver in spades. With a neon-soaked world, it smartly blends its pixelated 2D and 3D action amongst a story that starts small with the disappearance of a sibling only to unravel much more than that over time.
But it’s the mix of exploration and combat that we really enjoyed, especially the frenetic side-scrolling action. Combating mechs and other futuristic foes with a mix of guns and swordplay is a real treat, and being able to dismantle and forge new weapons only bolsters that fun. Dedicate some time and there’s a lot of depth you can delve into.
The same can also be said for the overall plot driving the action forward, which although intriguing, perhaps gets a little too big for its boots thanks to a sometimes overwhelming amount of characters. That said, it still got sucked us in, so if you’re craving a unique cyberpunk adventure, you’d do well to look into this one.
Hands-on with the Steel Series Arctis 7P+
If there’s two things we look shopping for a headset it’s flexibility and value for money. SteelSeries’ Arctis 7P+ nails both those goals with a refinement that should suit your needs no matter what or how you play.
The primary focus for the 7P+ though is for PlayStation and it’s here that the unit really shines. Simply plug in the included USB dongle and the headset pairs incredibly quickly. During our testing we never encountered any pairing issues, which has become something of a sticking point with some other competitors. Our only minor niggle is that the receiver does block the PS5’s front-facing USB-A slot of the PS5 which isn’t a deal-breaker but can become a small nuisance, especially if you want to charge your DualSense at the same time.
The beauty of the USB-C dongle though is that you can use the Arctis 7P+ well outside the Sony ecosystem. Hooking up to a Nintendo Switch or Android phone is easy as pie, as is PC and Mac devices (but you may need an included USB-A adapter). The only outlier is Xbox, but even that can be alleviated by connecting a 3.5mm cable (also included in the box). We meant it when we said this thing nailed flexibility.
You’ll be chuffed that’s the case as well, because the Arctis 7P+ delivers in the audio space as well. From Elden Ring to Breath of the Wild and everything in between it was all crystal clear with the right amount of balance you’d hope for. It lacks fancy features like noise cancellation so you’ll still get some bleed from outside noises but that shouldn’t be an issue for most people. Likewise the microphone performs admirably and we’re a big fan of its sleek implementation – able to extend and retract depending on your gaming needs.
All in all the Arctis 7P+ is one of the best all-rounder headsets around. If you shop around you can pick one up for as low as $299, which isn’t a bad investment considering how much bang you’re getting for your buck here.
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