The decade old adventure has received a nice rejuvenation, that's fixed a number of gameplay elements, sped up inventory management and polished the aging, gritty visuals. That said it's also brought up a couple of new fiddly issues like laggy offscreen play and a lackluster new dungeon. Still The legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD is nice update to one of the franchises best, a great way for fans to reminisce and a fantastic starting point for newcomers.
Dark Souls III certainly lives up to the brutal difficultly levels of its predecessors. It constantly gets you to push your boundaries as you're encouraged to press deeper in each run, plus the tension and challenge very rarely lets up, even if it does occasionally resort to cheap tricks. It's robust, exciting combat is by far the most appealing element of this game, offering many ways to fight, allowing players a great deal of depth to character building and giving them many choices on how they would like to proceed through this melancholy world.
Runbow is a fantastic experience whether you're adventuring alone or running amuck with some mates. There's a huge amount of content to try out and enjoy from the various different modes, the huge amount of content and staggering number of playable scenarios. The whole colour switching mechanic makes for some interesting, varied and frighteningly addictive gameplay that'll eat up great quantities of your time.
Splatoon is without a doubt one of the best games out there for the Wii U. The games unique paint mechanics make for great frantic, fast paced matches that anyone can get some enjoyment out of. Unfortunately it's disappointing how little content there is at launch - with only two online modes and short hero mode it leaves you wanting more. Yet the quirky nature of the game makes it highly addictive and something that'll keep you entertained for hours on end.
After the shocking conclusion of Chaos Theory, Life is Strange Dark Room ups the ante once more and continues on it path of out of the blue surprises. Taking a darker and at times almost gruesome turn, episode 4 offers not only the longest story of the four but the best in the series so far. Character development reaches a new emotional level of depth and the gameplay has developed further again to gain a sense of challenge.
Underneath the One piece slathered visuals and story you have your typical Warriors game, but the two fit perfectly together. The hack 'n' slash combat feels nice and fluid and makes it accessible for anyone despite their level of skill plus the anime style is a real treat to look at just be wary of the drop in local multiplayer. One Piece Pirate Warriors 3 is a game that fans of the series and Warriors franchise will absolutely love plus its one that players unfamiliar to series will be able to enjoy.
A Bastard’s Tale is a great game if you’re looking for a challenge. The combat mechanics take a little getting used to but they’re really top notch and there’s a great gameplay setting to go along with it. True it’s a little on the short side and it could have done with an actual story to give an extra push through those difficult times. However the addictive gameplay and need to get just a little further will keep pulling you in every time. This is a game that’s great for killing time in short bursts and one to recommend.
Polarized ending may split some players with some saying the endings offer a satisfying conclusion to this teen sci-fi drama while others may find it a somewhat underwhelming climax to what has been a great series. The ending aside, this has been another very well written chapter, as the tension continued to rise throughout and as for the character development it was again on top form rewarding players with some very moving moments.
Elliot Quest is a great homage to the classic 8-bit era that inspired it. The game is visually impressive, boasts a catchy, enjoyable soundtrack and features hours upon hours of replayability. However the best thing about this game also happens to be the worst; it definitely doesn't hold your hand. While it is very easy to get lost on your journey across the island the game provides a great challenge that'll keep players entertained for a long time.
The steampunk artstyle is a nice approach but it hasn't been pulled off to well coming across more bland than enticing. The gameplay more than makes up for it though, kept fresh by procedurally generated missions and rewards it ensures that no two playthroughs are ever the same. Ironcast offers up plenty strategic possibilities for players to mess around with but be warned that luck plays a heavy role in progressing to the later stages.
Tales of Zestiria sticks to a lot of the typical JRPG stereotypes with its plot and characters but it's still an enjoyable ride from start to finish. Sure the linear dungeons can be rather tedious to explore, the camera swings around uncontrollably and some of the characters are a tad on the bland side but the pros far out way the cons. That charmingly beautifully anime art style and deep robust combat system make this title another great instalment in to the Tales series, one that both fans and newcomers will love!
Beneath the stunning visuals there's an interesting deal of mechanics to learn which brings a fresh approach to the fighting genre. It's just a shame there's not more to do, and only having 16 characters is a bit of a let-down when you know the franchise has hundreds more. Pokken Tournament is a must get for any Pokemon fan, replacing the slow battles of the main series and providing us with the fast, energetic duels we've come to see in the Anime and Smash games.
Samurai Warriors 4-II is neither sequel nor expansion but sit's somewhere neatly in the middle. Reusing environments, characters and combat mechanics from the original the narrative has a nice rewrite to make a more engaging character focused story and upgrade mechanics have been revamped to make them easier and more enjoyable to navigate. Fans of the series and even the 4th instalment will still enjoy this, there's enough of a change to make it stand out and it's also a great place to start for those new to the franchise.
Sickness is sinister, violent and bloody yet it's one you'll find hard to put down. It's a real stand out title from the visual novel genre, with much more brutality than romance. The protagonist for the most part can be very unlikeable as he takes some repulsive actions to which you don't have a choice over, but the rest of the narrative and characters more than make up for it. A must read for any visual novel fans looking for a bit of variation in their library.
It's taken several years for us to get a new instalment into this series that can live up to the N64 classic, but with Star Fox Zero that wait is finally over. With a new lick of paint, a vast amount of secrets to discover and solid gameplay mechanics it'll easily provides players with hours of thrilling dog fights and action packed set pieces. The new Gyrowing and Walker vehicles are fun new additions but they're thrills that quickly wear off leaving you wanting more of the fast action packed Arwing missions. Star Fox fans will surely not be disappointed with this title.
The Deadly Tower of Monsters is a short but charming experience. The gameplay is what lets the game down needing an extra dose of polish in several areas but it's still decent enough to play. A creative style, a cheesy story and a stellar in-game commentary performance make this a title that shouldn't be missed for anyone with even a passing interest in classic sci-fi b-movies.
Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 4 really embraces the style its anime roots. The frantic combat is very enjoyable, despite an initially steep learning curve, and there's a multitude of modes and scenarios to duke it out in. Combine that that with stunning, flashy action packed scenes and you don't just get the best looking Naruto game but possibly the best looking Anime style title.
Hyrule Warriors Legends feels more awkward to control on handheld and doesn’t perform nearly as well as the Wii U version but it does add some interesting new modes and features like character switching and fairy skills. For newcomers playing on the New 3DS is recommended, otherwise you’ll be faced with naff camera angles, fiddly controls and massive framerate drops. Of course these flaws won’t matter too much to super fans who are sure to enjoy the experience, the many new features and the upcoming content, providing they don’t mind starting over.
Using only a series of interesting artwork, an eerie soundtrack and a string of text it's surprising just how much Sound of Drop – fall into poison – can put players on edge and disturb them. Of course this is a choice based visual novel and not going to appeal to everyone, plus it's a shame that there's no voice acting as it could have added something to the experience. Avoiding the typical VN romance tropes with a unique horror approach makes this a quality product and highlight for the genre.