Screamride is an odd case of a game where I enjoy it while I'm playing it, sinking hours at a time into mastering a screamrider track, finding the perfect pressure point to detonate a demolition level, or tweaking a roller coaster of my own creation for the best balance of speed and excitement. But the hooks aren't fully there, and when I step away from playing I'm neither eager nor excited to return.
What this first episode sets up though, holds tremendous potential for the season ahead. And while banking on potential can be dangerous for an episodic game, if Telltale can maintain the precedent it's setting here for narrative risks and twists then the payoff will be all the better for it in the end.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a bit of a flawed masterpiece. The core fighting game is the best it has ever been, expertly balancing approachability for newcomers and intricate depth for hardcore fans. If the core Smash Bros. experience is all you are after, then the Wii U's iteration is a no-brainer.
Never Alone is, nevertheless, an important game offering a fascinating window into a rich and ongoing culture among native Alaskans. And if you are open to accepting that cultural exchange then the barriers dividing the people of the world get a little bit smaller, and we all grow closer to never really being alone in the world again.
This War of Mine creates an oppressively bleak landscape, but with just enough humanity shining through that you want to keep digging to find and hold onto that source of light. That earnest human touch keeps This War of Mine compelling even when you mess up and the rubble all comes tumbling down around you, leaving you just enough hope for the next attempt that you'll dive back in and endure it all again.
D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die may just be the beginning, but it is easily one of the most delightfully bizarre trips of the year. It won't always make sense, but there is a consistent earnestness to its oddity that somehow makes it all work in harmony of '80s saxophone riffs and overly-affected Boston accents.
Yes, Hatoful Boyfriend is a dating game with a bird gimmick, and that alone will be enough to keep many players at arm's length. But to pigeonhole your time at the St. Pigeonation's Institute as a mere gimmick would be a grave misjudgment of a game that is far more delightful and unexpected than even its bizarre premise would suggest.
It isn't a bad story, with plenty of intrigue from its setting and characters. The issue comes in when it tries to take a leap into the realm of allegory, where it never ties itself together thematically in a satisfying way. In that way, Transistor is like a virtual croissant. It is layered and delicious, but there is a lingering airy emptiness to it that makes it hard to fill up on just one.