Yoshi’s New Island looks great and plays like a Yoshi’s Island game, but that might not be enough for some people. The levels are bland, the bosses are blander, and the difficulty is too low and too static. It has bursts of creativity and maintains competency, but Yoshi’s Island deserves better than competency.
For newcomers, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is the ideal starting place, with more accessible combat than ever, a vastly improved single-player experience, and some endlessly gentle tutorials. For veterans, the game's less difficult introduction may prove less enjoyable at the outset, but some extremely fresh evolutionary steps ensure that those feelings are fleeting at best. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is a great experience through and through – it just might take a little while to see that.
But when all of its parts come together, it feels weird and clumsy. It takes out one of the best parts of the series, doesn't quite deliver on others, and compromises its difficulty progression. The best things about it are, for better or worse, the things it has been doing well since the Game Boy Advance.
It’s ostensibly that game but with a new, better story, a new gimmicky mechanic, and some fan service to boot. The game is finally starting to show its age fifteen years and ten games later, but the fact that it has taken this long is nothing short of a miracle. And make no mistake: a solid Phoenix Wright game with a strong story is still a game that demands one’s attention.
I had a lot of fun with Yo-kai Watch 2. If you can deal with fetch quests and a passive battle system that requires a bit of patience, Bony Spirits is a great sequel with a fun story that feels refreshingly nostalgic to experience. This is the game you wanted the first Yo-kai Watch to be.
Long story short: these are the most ambitious sequels this franchise has ever seen. Are there problems? Of course. Am I pleased with the end result so far? Absolutely. Pokémon Sun and Moon is a refreshing rethought on what it means to play a Pokémon game.
River City: Knights of Justice is a game that tries a lot of new things and succeeds at few of them. Despite some clever ideas and a bolder approach to combat, the lack of progression, difficulty, and an engaging plot prevents this River City game from reaching its potential.
I'll have more to say when I beat it, especially because these third-version games always seem to load the super-cool, crazy stuff into the back half. Right now, Pokemon Ultra Sun comes across as the same game as last year with a bunch of new stuff on top. I dig it.
Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon are very good third-version games. They expand the story alongside as well as the post-game, and barring some not-ideal motion controls and a slow intro, there's very little to complain about. It may be the same game as last year with a bunch of new stuff on top, but considering this is one of Pokémon's finest generations yet, I have zero problem with more of a good thing.
Overall, it's a game that feels explicitly made for fans of a very specific series in a very specific genre. If you don't like Advance Wars, you almost certainly won't like this. If you like Advance Wars and come into Tiny Metal with slightly measured expectations, you will find a good strategy RPG that borrows unashamedly yet reverently.