Super T.I.M.E. Force's writing can be obnoxious, but the strength of the gameplay conceit carries it through. Making death less punitive puts a unique spin on a staid genre. Using these tools to solve the combat scenarios is a blast, and worth suffering through some of the silliness and frustration.
Valiant Hearts may get repetitive at times, and struggles to find its tone, but I'd be hard-pressed to name a game that better explores the complexities of war. In the end, we're reminded that lives are valuable regardless of their banner. It's rare to see a video game explore conflict with such nuance, and this one deserves commendation for that.
Infamous: First Light is at its best when it's iterating on and riffing on Second Son. In many ways, the abbreviated length of First Light makes it a better bite-sized package. It's more linear and less surprising than fans might expect from the series, but exploring this world as Fetch is just as fun as it ever was.
Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney comes out with a game that in many ways improves upon both formulas. It may be too bogged down in its own story and look slightly dated, but the pure puzzle mechanics still work both in and out of the courtroom, and are bolstered by the crossing of ideas. It's more than the sum of its parts, and as a result is a nice treat.
Still, my plucky band of characters, some favorites and some third-rate, had dungeons to conquer through the power of music. Square Enix pushed this concept much further in Curtain Call, which makes this the ideal proof-of-concept for its odd rhythm-RPG marriage. It's too bad that now that the company has shown how well it can work, it's taking a bow.