Paper Mario: Sticker Star3DS
Indeed, this is a game of great touches. Intelligent Systems takes great care to shape its RPG for portable play. The world is divided into Super Mario Bros-style levels that each pack a tidy little narrative. Levelling is removed in order to keep these vignettes grind-free. And it’s all wrapped up in Nintendo’s typically hilarious localisation.
As such, Blade Symphony is as close as you are likely to get to the fantasy of slowly becoming a master swordsman.
Ace Combat InfinityPS3
More will follow, but despite what its name might suggest, Infinity is extremely limited, both in terms of what little content it offers and your ability to access it.
Among The Sleep is certainly unnerving, but playing as a toddler gives you licence to be bold; a two-year-old wouldn’t be scared of venturing into the basement, so why should you be? It’s a curious effect, but one put into context later on when what appears to be a tale of supernatural abduction turns out to be something altogether more horrifying.
Raids, PvP, housing, dungeons and so on may all be familiar concepts, but it’s been a long time since they’ve been presented this comprehensively, and with this much charm, on day one.
That’s Entwined in a nutshell: a nice core bit of gameplay tarted up with unnecessary pretensions and stretched too thin, even over its short playtime. It feels like a minigame from a bigger title – specifically, those minigames from God of War and Dead Space 2 in which you guide a plummeting hero through falling debris. What it doesn’t feel like is a full a game – let alone the artsy indie hero Sony would like it to be.
Otherwise, this is a delightfully strange and often surprising piece of work; it’s more plaything than game, perhaps, but the smiles it generates will be broad and frequent.
Sir, You Are Being HuntedPC
... focus or challenge to sustain engagement beyond the point when snatching teleporter pieces from robots on the coast loses its sense of mystery. As it is, it’s caught in an awkward hinterland of its own.
Yet Transistor’s greatest asset is confidence. This is a remarkably assured game for such a young studio, the work of a small team that knows exactly what it wants to do and executes it almost without error. Its art style is divine, its soundtrack is remarkable, its combat is intricate, and the story of its odd-couple protagonists is both smartly written and deftly told.
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon PhantomsPC
With more modes and maps, Phantoms would be a formidable offering, but it’s worth dipping into until then
Mario Kart 8Wii U
...Mario Kart 8 is yet another overwhelmingly powerful argument in favour of the company’s idiosyncratic approach to design.
None of this is enough to dull the sheen on Capybara’s delirious take on the platform shooter, however. Super Time Force hands you a super weapon that feels super – one that gives you the impression you’ve hacked into the game’s code to gain the upper hand – and then dares you to try to break the game with it. That it never buckles, despite allowing you to continually rewrite history as a horde of player characters and hundreds of projectiles fill the screen, is nothing short of remarkable.
Scram Kitty and his Buddy on RailsWii U
Come to terms with its idiosyncrasies and you’ll find a unique and wonderfully characterful action game; it’s well worth suffering those early scratches for the moments where it really begins to purr.
Still, as a statement of intent it is extraordinary, and feels characteristic of what Sportsfriends sets out to achieve – a realisation that simplicity and good company are the root ingredients of enjoying games, and that far from being decisive, visual sophistication might actually be entirely irrelevant.
The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel UnlimitedPC
But it is difficult to imagine many others investing hundreds of hours in a place this bland, in a formula this familiar, and in a game this demanding of both your time and your money.
Kirby: Triple Deluxe3DS
As it is, his 3DS debut is too uneven to be essential, but too charming for fans to miss.
Mario Golf World Tour3DS
Camelot seems unsure of whether it would prefer to be held by the hand or simply set free, and ends up putting the player in that same awkward middle ground.
Nintendo Pocket Football Club3DS
...it’s a cheap thrill, a shallow way to connect input with outcome that doesn’t, in the end, compensate for Pocket Football Club’s lack of responsiveness elsewhere
NES Remix 2Wii U
The 16-bit era beckons, after all, and the prospect of a SNES Remix is positively mouthwatering.