If I were to describe Knytt Underground in one word, it would be \"contradictory.\" In some ways, it\'s everything I could hope for in a metroidvania-style game: it\'s beautiful, intuitive, clever, and most importantly, fun. For large portions of the game, you are pulled into an almost dreamlike state, exploring the massive world and marveling at the eerie ambiance. It\'s then that the game truly shines. But then, it turns around to have horribly unfitting dialogue and characters that pull you out of the experience that the developers work so hard to involve you in while the game simultaneously grows more and more tedious.
The visuals, the gameplay, the music, the story, and everything else — when all of these elements come together perfectly and form a true world. A world that takes no effort to get lost in, a world that takes you far away. Individual parts of a game are huge, to be sure, but it is a world that we as gamers truly crave, a world that takes us to an experience beyond anything we previously could have imagined.
To say that Mario Kart is popular is an understatement. Few series have ever matched its twenty-year legacy of sheer popularity and critical acclaim, so needless to say, Mario Kart 8 has a lot to live up to. Expectations have perhaps never been higher, as this is the first entry on a high-definition, online-competent console, but the game pretty much fulfills all of them. It is classic Mario Kart and that means it\'s great — the game even throws in several cool improvements and additions to the franchise. But it is not quite perfect, and by no means is it a revolution.
Steamworld Dig was one of the biggest surprises to come out of the 3DS E-Shop. Slipping silently, unnoticed, into the store, Image & Form\'s title soon spread by word of mouth to become one of the 3DS digital shop\'s biggest successes. Now, it makes its way to the Wii U\'s download service. But is it worth a buy for either new players or those who have bought the game already? Well, I\'ll just say this: it is awesome.
Teslagrad from Rain Games has at long last arrived on the Wii U. But was it worth the wait? Fortunately, the answer to that is a resounding yes. The game is positively brilliant and nails everything it sets out to do, from the unique visuals to the ambient music to the elegant gameplay.
In Cosmophony, you die. A lot. If there\'s one thing to know about the game before going in, it\'s that. The developers know this, too, and the entire game is based around you dying with regularity. The experience is made up of five 2-to-3 minute levels that gain length purely through your failure. Fortunately, it\'s challenging in just the right way, and offers ways to get better, so in the end Cosmophony winds up being a must-play for any who yearn for the days when a game would utterly and completely kick your butt.
All-in-all, Mario Kart 8's first DLC pack is utterly remarkable. Not only is the track design better than ever, not only do they add new characters and karts, and not only does it live up to the visual and online standards of the main game – it even expands the possibilities of what Mario Kart can be.
Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a game no one asked for. There aren\'t many out there who thought, \"You know what Nintendo should do? They should make a Mario spin-off puzzle game filled with tiny levels where you can\'t jump. You would, of course, control the mushroom guy who tells you the princess is in another castle. He\'s everybody\'s favorite character, after all!\" So naturally, despite the odd concept, the team at EAD Tokyo made something absolutely magnificent out of it anyways.
Much as we may not like to admit it, Flappy Bird was a legitimately clever game. Taking its extraordinarily simple premise, it wrapped the challenging gameplay in a coat of exceedingly charming paint, masking the constant frustration it ought to have elicited and instead gave players the drive to do better. Within the confines of cheap, too-close-to-Mario sprites and one-note gameplay, it garnered a massive following as people joined together to play with – and against – their friends. Flappy Bird worked because it was simple. It did exactly what it needed to do; had it been any more fancy, any more complicated, any more detailed, it would not have become the phenomenon that it was.
Trine 2: The Director's Cut was the first time the series appeared on a Nintendo platform, way back at the Wii U\'s launch. Over two years later, we finally get to see the first adventure the three heroes shared – and now we get that tale with significant visual improvements. So how does the game fare? Well, it's not as good as the sequel. Of course it isn't – the sequel improved on practically everything about the original. Even so, that doesn't mean it doesn't share the same beautiful visuals, stunning music, fantastical world, and clever gameplay as its follow up – and that means that it is most certainly worth checking out all the same, and is a great place for newcomers to start.