When any video-game franchise, mainstream or niche, breaks into the double digits, developers should recognize the unique milestone as an opportunity to revamp the series, especially if the latest entry is making its debut on the mother company's latest home console. Sadly, Mario Party 10 suggests the series has reached a downward-trending low.
Even though much of Hyperdevotion Noire is indeed unoriginal, with its countless caricatures of trendy gaming icons, there's enough novelty and variety in its strategic battles to keep players, especially fans of the mainline series, interested for quite a while.
The game's 30-character roster has its pros (all hail Metal Mario and Pink Gold Peach) and its cons (too many babies, and the Koopalings aren't all that special either), but there's enough dissimilarity in weight classes that there's always a suitable option in any versus situation.
If nothing else, Three Rings could have put in the extra man hours to salvage Romance Dawn from the germinating trash heap of poorly actualized One Piece games by at least paying tribute to Oda's spirited creation. Yet, since they abstain from doing so, apparently with almost every fiber of their being, they've put forth a product so systematically undercooked as to make even the most unflappable One Piece zealots question their faithfulness.
Although the Wii U GamePad doesn't receive its due of customary prods and blows akin to SM3DW, there's more than enough ingenuity, and thoughtful nods to gaming trailblazers of old, in Tropical Freeze to forgive its lack of novelties.