Tearaway is a joy. Whether it was a riding a pig towards the sunset or playing basketball with a super-powered accordion, it never failed to make me smile. It sincerely believes that imagination really is the most important faculty, and in turn, succeeded in transporting me back to a time of crayons and card. It does this by using every aspect of the Vita, crafting an experience that I can’t imagine being realised elsewhere. It might be short but it’s very special. Please come back soon, Iota.
While its core story might not have the emotional punch of the original, Unravel Two improves upon the original in every other respect. The platforming is more responsive and demanding, while the puzzles are far more inventive and satisfying to solve, which is largely due to the excellent implementation of a second character and co-op.
Unravel took me on a surprisingly thoughtful and reflective journey, which encouraged me to appreciate the small and the insignificant with every step. As a puzzler it has charm due to Yarny's engaging skills, but as a platforming experience it's less remarkable. But to judge it solely on these mechanical aspects would be to overlook its greater achievement: the way it provokes subtle and complex emotions through the use of nature and nostalgia. It all makes for a sincere, warm-hearted, and extremely likeable adventure.
Poochy & Yoshi’s Woolly World remains one of the cutest games around. Even though most of the tactile charm of the Wii U original has been lost to the 3DS’s technical limitations, there’s still plenty of fun to be uncovered in this colourful and often inventive platformer. Incidentally, it also brings some of the happiest, catchiest music ever to the 3DS.
Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water is a disturbing tale well told. While the GamePad brings the series' camera-as-a-weapon concept to life in a way that feels very natural, the combat lacks real mechanical variety, which, combined with overly repetitive encounters, undermines the impact of its most terrifying enemies. Fortunately, there's an abundance of darkness to be found, with some of the most unsettling and stylish scares I've experienced in a while.
Rogue felt like a throwback when it was originally released alongside the next-gen Assassin's Creed Unity. This same feeling accompanies this remastered version. After the significant advancements made to the series by last year's Origins, Rogue second outing feels equally dated and mistimed. Ironically for the series, Rogue Remastered proves that going back in time isn't always fun.