Game Freak has really outdone itself this time, and Pokemon X and Y will be remembered as great transition point for the series’ transformation into an even more social, beautiful, and strategic game. Building on five generations of games, a digital menagerie of captivating creatures, and a wide range of diverse regions to explore, Pokemon X and Y proves this formulaic portable role-playing series can still deliver an innovative experience.
Yoshi’s New Island’s inconsistent art and tacked-on new ideas are all layered on top of the same strong platforming and level design that made the original great. This deep understanding of pacing and flow helps Yoshi’s latest adventure stand out as the best iteration on Yoshi since the SNES original. Even if I wanted to play with the sound turned off.
Kirby Triple Deluxe may look great and has some clever ideas for how to use 3D, but falls into a rut of simple platforming and puzzles that rarely require any thought or skill. I admire that it tries to give us more powers and abilities to play with than ever before, but that empowerment shouldn't come at the expense of any real difficulty.
Tomodachi Life offers a great kind of humor: it's just fun to laugh at yourself and your friends in absurd situations. Nintendo gets a lot out of mileage out of this Sims-like concept, but still manages to find ways to make it simple, accessible, and entertaining. The stiff, robotic voices could use improvement, but the effect of hearing the Miis speak is still novel in it's own way. The easy-breezy pace makes it ideal for short bursts of play, and it leaves me eager to check in on my town early and often.