Tri Force Heroes is the breath of fresh air in a series that's somewhat stale. It's funny, it's fun, and it's not the same story of another Zelda cycle. You can play Zelda with friends near or far, what's not to love about that? If you have friends nearby or with strong internet connections, Tri Force Heroes may be the multiplayer Zelda experience you've always wanted.
The bar has been set high for 2016: The wonderful meshing of twitch and RPG based combat, constantly growing list of abilities, ever changing enemy types, and all around charm sets Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam apart from other RPGs. Almost every aspect of Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam coalesces into a near perfect game. That's quite the feat considering how many different things are jammed into this little package. There's almost always something new to do after every notable encounter, which is important in a genre that is flooded with games that become exercises in rote repetition long before they end. Paper Jam is roughly 30 hours of portable gaming joy, and a great start to a year that should be loaded with JRPG styled goodness.
FAST Racing Neo is the love child of F-Zero and Ikaruga, that was in turn raised by Cruis'n USA. I can't think of an arcade racer in the last two decades that could touch this game. I controlled a sexy futuristic car as I raced at high speeds, avoided giant spider mechs and sandworms, and used boost to go supersonic and smash through a giant asteroid. Sounds awesome, I know, but that's only because it is.
Rodea the Sky Soldier is not without its annoying flaws, and it's certainly no Mario Galaxy, but it serves as a fitting swan song for the dearly departed Wii. It's a game that embodies everything great about the Wii, taking a simple concept and running with it, bringing us a unique and fun game.
Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is cute, but it's more of a sleep aid than a video game. It may be a good purchase for small children that want to sit around with their parents and use the game as a somewhat interactive storybook, with minigames so easy even the old fogies can play with them. Other than that? Maybe some really die-hard Animal Crossing fans could enjoy this.
Bloodborne: The Old Hunters is worth your time and money if you enjoyed the base game. For the most part, it's more of the same done better. The environments and some of the bosses are a cut above, enemy placement and interaction really stuck out, and wreaking havoc with the new weapons is almost too much fun. The Old Hunters is as far above vanilla Bloodborne, as Crown of the Sunken King was above vanilla Dark Souls 2. While there are some rough patches, the rest of this DLC scenario shines bright enough to hide those blemishes.
There's fun to be had with Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash if you're jonesing for a fix of Mario Tennis, but it's far from the best in the series, and it comes up short in terms of lasting appeal. While there's something to be said about doing one thing well, this game is as bare bones as it gets. If they had at least the same amount of content as the N64 title, this game could have been something great.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is not your typical jump-scare-laden horror game. It blends classic survival horror elements with Japanese ghost stories that focus on the feelings of terror and dread. There's no point where you'll be horrified into leaving or quitting. Instead, you'll be subjected to a constant feeling of unease, waiting for the jump scares that may never come and wondering if you really saw something or if the game is just getting to you.
Yoshi's Woolly World provides an enjoyable experience for gamers of all skill levels. Mellow Mode and badges can save even the newest of newbies, while going for completion without badges can challenge long time fans of the genre. Yoshi's Woolly World is far and away the best successor to the original Yoshi's Island.
I refuse to believe that Big Red Button looked at this and said it was done. In all likelihood their efforts were kneecapped by time and money constraints. Shame on Sega for publishing this broken, obviously incomplete mess. The glimpses of a good game that occasionally break through only serve to make this failure sting more.
TMNT Mutants in Manhattan stayed faithful to the comics in terms of art style and funny dialogue, but it failed everywhere else. There's a lack of innovation, and the replay value of this short game is shot by the fact nobody will want to play it again. If you just have to have your turtles fix, and can't get the NES/SNES arcade games, wait for this to hit the bargain bin.
Fans that absolutely must get more story from FFXV’s interesting, but poorly fleshed out, world will get their fix. Anyone that didn’t care for FFXV before, will find even less to care about here. Episode Prompto is not great, but at least the music is nice and there’s an appearance by a fan favorite character.
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments is the greatest detective experience in the gaming today. As a game though, it's fairly rough around the edges. Interesting game play mechanics and strong cases will make this a must play for any fan of Holmes, mysteries, or point and clicks. If none of those strike your fancy, this game is not for you.
Hyrule Warriors is a true crossover, not just a Zelda skin slapped onto a Warriors title. It's not the refined experience you get from The Legend of Zelda, but it's more involved than Dynasty Warriors. It's hack and slash fun that can scale with the player, mindless to skillful.
The final boss fight of the DLC is one of the best in the series. We're talking Sir Alonne and Lady Maria levels of awesomeness. The quality is here, but Ashes of Ariandel's shorter nature would be completely offset by the new PvP options, if the arena weren't so laggy.