To the distraught fighting game purist that would criticize Pokkén Tournament as "not a legit fighting game," I counter with this: Oh my GOD!, could Pikachu Libre get any more damned cute? No! No, it could not. So grab a controller—not a fightstick—and whoop some Pokébutt!
It's this challenge vs. reward dichotomy that makes FAST Racing Neo worthwhile. It's not quite F-Zero; it may look similar, but only in the way that cousins do, even though one's favored by the family, so the other one punches you when you're not looking for no reason. But even though it's not exactly like an F-Zero, it certainly deserves a place at the family dinner table. It's a futuristic racer for gamers who are serious about their racing, even when we hit the future at over 300 miles per hour.
If this goes out to someone who is familiar with past titles in the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series, then it's all aces. The elements of the past games are in the latest iteration, from the popular personality quiz to the familiar tactics of movement and team attacks, and if one can survive the almost criminally-awful first third of the game, Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon does improve significantly and reveals a decent little game while waiting for the next core release.
Embarrassing blatant cash grab aside, Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival is a serviceable game. It's not downright bad, but I can't see any rush for the title, unless little Johnny is getting pissed that he can't beat his older siblings at Mario Kart 8. Hardcore amiibo addicts and Animal Crossing die-hards may even pass up on this, but if you've got a wide range of gamers who want a family-style night, then you may get some enjoyment out of it.
All in all, Just Dance 2016 is the same Just Dance that millions of party people in varying levels of enthusiasm and sobriety have enjoyed for seven iterations now (not counting the multitude of spin-offs). Nothing's really changed there. What has changed, though, is how badly Ubisoft wants to get in your phone, your living room, and your wallet.
Instead of the in-your-face outright scare without substance, Maiden of Black Water goes for a sense of dread paired with an insatiable curiosity to know what happened next. It's a welcome re-introduction to the franchise in the West, a hit for the Wii U, which is still trying to prove it can appeal to "Mature" gamers. It will make you wonder just what was that sound down your dark hallway at 3am, and just when did your bathroom faucet start leaking?
Overall, Splatoon isn't a perfect game, but it's fun. Really, really fun. It's the start of a promising IP for Nintendo, and it's something unique for Wii U as an action-packed shooter that's also still capable of retaining its family-friendly image. It's the '90s paintball craze meets Call of Duty and it's totally da bomb and funky fresh.
With that being said, Affordable Space Adventures still is a fine puzzle game. If general puzzles aren't your thing, this may be the type of puzzle game you're looking for. The plot reveals itself throughout, and for those who play stealth strategies in games like Thief or the Assassin's Creed or Arkham titles, this game rewards players for crafty play.
Essentially the title is two full games (well, since the second one starts on Tuesday instead of Sunday, I guess it's more like one and three quarters), and well worth the pick up for anyone who may have missed this spin-off of Shin Megami Tensei. For those who have an older copy of Devil Survivor 2, I can't say you'll fall apart without Record Breaker, but you will be missing out on a great original story with your favorite characters shuffled up and reunited. Just be prepared to put your nose to the grindstone.
The controls on the Kinect are solid, and the multitude of game modes turn this downloadable title into exactly what it was on your smart device: a fun, somewhat addictive time-waster. And frankly, there's not a darn thing wrong with just some good, old-fashioned pointless fun from time to time.
Overall, though, Resident Evil Revelations 2 suffers from the same disjointed quality that initially makes it look appealing. It's a good game that potentially could have been great had Capcom just given it a bit more time or a bit more direction.
Overall, Episode 4 is a solid effort that just couldn't seem to find the traction it needed until it was too late.
Judgment at this point is the best of the episodic series, and though there are several unanswered questions at the end of the episode, it feels like the disjointed condition of the two stories are about to come together in some bizarre, just-go-with-it fashion that Resident Evil fans are used to at this point.
For the strategy gamer, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a must-grab. But even for those who may not be too familiar or comfortable with strategy games or the genre as a whole, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. still merits a healthy look. The title eases the player into the ideas that relate to both the game itself and the genre as a whole, and highlights necessary details through pointed, yet laughably-bad dialogue. Players will enjoy Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., and I personally guarantee this, or my name isn't ol' "Honest Abe" Lincoln. (Guarantee subject to availability, and void where prohibited, and also, I'm not Abe Lincoln, so that kind of nullifies that guarantee anyway. See what you learn in the fine print?)
Resident Evil: Revelations 2 is really trying its damnedest to wipe away the memories of some of the less pleasurable Resident Evil games we've had to slog through in recent years.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy Plus will definitely appeal to aviation aficionados who happen to game as well, but not to many other gamers. Either way, the "Plus" feels like a misnomer—the title doesn't offer enough new or entertaining features to justify a full-price purchase point for a four-year-old marginally average game.
Altogether, the sum of the parts for this first episode makes for an enjoyable run and, despite the rocky start, will make gamers look forward to the next episode.