- Skies of Arcadia
- Demon's Souls
- Devil May Cry 3
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.
To be clear, I'd still wholly recommend this version of 3D World even without Bowser's Fury. The tweaks are small overall, and Bowser's Fury isn't going to sate the most hardcore of Mario fans looking for a brand new game, but the package as a whole is magical. If you were one of the many who missed out on this Wii U classic, fix that.
When playing Bayonetta 3, much to my delight, I had no clue what was going to happen next at all times. I was absorbed, and between the crazy story, the environments, and the action system that’s been refined through two prior games (and years of experience), I had very little downtime. It’s pretty much everything an action fan could want.
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.
Although I'd love the chance to play a remastered Resident Evil 2 for the first time with updated controls, I'm glad Capcom decided to revive the first entry again. Resident Evil is truly is a timeless classic that every generation should enjoy, and a perfect example of how to do survival horror without decking players out with a full armory. Welcome back to the mansion.
Second Son is by far the best inFamous yet. If you're a fan of the series, then checking this one out is a no-brainer, and if you're not, consider jumping in with Delsin. You don't need any prior knowledge of the franchise to do so, and if you have any appreciation of open-world superhero games, you'll enjoy it.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U delivers all of the rock-solid mechanics that the 3DS version gave us, with the joy of playing on a big screen with friends and a heap of worthwhile modes. It certainly doesn't negate the greatness of the 3DS edition, but for those who have a bunch of friends anxious to Smash and can only get one, this is the version to get.
From a mechanical standpoint, Ori and the Blind Forest isn't an evolution of the genre, and you've seen most of what's on offer here before. But aesthetically it's in a league of its own, and everything it does, it does well. If you're looking for a metroidvania, I'd consider this a new classic.
Heroes of the Storm has unfairly been branded as a "just a casual game" due to the removal of many tried and true MOBA mechanics. With over 100 hours of play under my belt, I can say with authority that those claims are untrue. Heroes has a ton of depth, it's very well balanced (though not perfect), and nearly every cast member is a blast to play. It achieves almost everything it sets out to accomplish, so I really hope it catches on with the non-believers and continues to grow.
Devil May Cry 4 Special Edition reaffirms the series' status as the current king of the action genre. It may not fix some of the blemishes inherent to the game's campaign, but the new characters and styles are fantastic, and will have players creating combo videos for years to come. With respect to DmC and everything it accomplished, this is the Devil May Cry I want to see in the future, Capcom.