There was a moment where I was taking in the beautiful soundtrack, hovering over a tricky jump as cat Peach, and watching the glistening water below where the game really came together. It was then that I realized that Super Mario 3D World had achieved a level of platforming design that's close to perfection, and there was almost never a moment where I didn't have a smile on my face. This is the unequivocally the best Mario game since Galaxy 2, and it shows up anything the "New" series has ever done, and then some. Good work, Nintendo.
I didn't think it was possible, but Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze has topped Returns. It's an incredibly crafted platformer with an HD sheen and an insane attention to detail, and any fan of the genre owes it to themselves to experience it. With the addition of control options to the already proven formula, Retro Studios' rendition of Donkey Kong is pretty much flawless.
Truly, I believe that we'll be seeing a lot more of Overwatch in the years to come. Blizzard has a great track record when it comes to long-term support, and given how good it is out of the gate, it can only get better from here. Blizzard has truly snatched victory from the draws of defeat.
God of War is a different game for a new era of the medium. While I'm a sucker for more frantic arcadey action there are plenty of studios left carrying on that legacy. Unless something catastrophic happens to Sony Santa Monica, there's more story to tell, and I hope the exact same team is able to tell it.
Keep in mind that this mode spans both compilations, so even with the several lackluster choices in the second X Collection you're still getting X Challenge. While it's clear that Capcom tried to think of every possible way to help sell the second pack when the first compilation sells itself, it's a valid addition nonetheless. Just don't get too excited for all the pageantry -- the rumored story is basically nonexistent.
This is a historic moment for Shovel Knight: half a decade later, I can recommend picking up anything and everything Shovel Knight related, which is easy to do with the Treasure Trove compilation. Yacht Club Games has a lot to be proud of and has accomplished a lot in their short run, and I can't wait to see what they come up with next.
Shovel Knight is one of the best platformers I've ever played, period. As I sit here with the theme song stuck in my head, I'm realizing that Yacht Club Games has created something truly special, and it was absolutely worth the risk to start their own studio. In addition to a potential Shovel Knight 2, I can't wait to see what they have in store for us down the road.