REVIEW ROUNDUP?

Every now and then, a situation arises that warrants a full deep dive into a specific series. In the case of remastered collections and console re-releases, we’ll try out each title in a package and share an overall impression of them as they are bundled together. In much the same way as the rest of our review coverage, each collection will be given a final score.

The Switch has been home to many a port that, for another platform might seem unremarkable, but Nintendo’s hybrid wonder affords a flexibility of play seldom found in other hardware. The value of bringing well established titles over to this present day machine comes from opening up franchises to a new audience, whilst toying with the possibility of potentially exploring more stories in these worlds down the line. What 2K have done with their bombardment of Switch releases shows a dedication to the platform matched only by companies like Bethesda and Ubisoft. It’s a declaration of intent that goes beyond their admittedly excellent NBA 2K ports, which have proven time and again that they absolutely mean business. The remarkable thing about these titles is that they are content complete, run exceptionally well, and are frankly a marvel to play in handheld mode. This is a triumphant achievement for the dev teams involved, and hopefully an indication that more games will make the leap down the line.

BIOSHOCK: THE COLLECTION - From the earliest moments of descending into Rapture, to blowing away fools as a gruff Troy Baker, each BioShock title offers a distinct flavour (particularly Infinite) that serves as a benchmark for quality world building. For me, the second BioShock is the most focused, with the fine tooth comb backtracking of the original replaced with a swifter march toward your objective. Infinite continues this trend, but suffers from a lack of clarity in its writing. The original is still a sight to behold, and seeing all three titles run on Switch with smooth framerates, crisp resolution, and responsive controls is sort of mind boggling. This is one of the best value collections ever assembled, and a must have on Switch. 5/5

Big Sisters will mash you up. Get ready.

BORDERLANDS LEGENDARY COLLECTION - Containing the original, follow up, and “Pre-Sequel” set between the two, Borderlands feels perfectly at home on Switch. For maximum enjoyment, a Pro Controller is almost an essential purchase; the joy cons just don’t have the heft to handle the nuance of gunplay required to efficiently navigate these gloriously silly shooters. The original has started to show its age, with pacing issues and a somewhat sterile world design, but the other two installments rectify these problems at every turn. There are big broad comedy swings, outrageous character designs, and satirical creativity oozing out of every crevice. They also happen to run extremely well on Switch, particularly Borderlands 2. Claptrap would be proud. 4/5

XCOM 2 COLLECTION - One of the biggest surprises in 2K’s cavalcade of announcements was this collection of turn based action also making the leap to Switch. It works surprisingly well in handheld mode, despite the reduced screen real estate, and through a combination of tight mechanical design and generous helpings of content it became tough to put down. From a performance standpoint, while the frame rate is solid, XCOM 2 feels like it took the biggest hit from a graphical perspective to get it running in an acceptable state (especially when compared to the other two collections). Texture detail has been noticeably scaled back, which detracts a little from the otherwise accomplished visual direction. Still, definitely worth a look. 4/5

BIOSHOCK: THE COLLECTION (NS)

Easily the best vault hunters of the series to date. Because, you know, Zer0 is the dude.

BORDERLANDS LEGENDARY COLLECTION (NS)

This alien bro has no idea the world of turn based pain he’s about to experience.

XCOM 2 COLLECTION (NS)

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BORDERLANDS, BIOSHOCK & XCOM
Some masterful remasters that 2K has mastered masterfully.


REVIEW ROUNDUP
By JAY TEE
26/06/20

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