There's not much else to Mushroom 11 beyond the core movement mechanic, but the game is confident in its limited scope. It allows the simple and innovate control scheme to take center stage, and though it requires both patience and practice, it contributes greatly to the novelty of the puzzle platformer experience. If players fall into a few lava pits along the way, so be it. At least an overwhelming sense of accomplishment awaits the green organism at the end of each chapter.
The fantastic pulsating soundtrack kept me hooked for a little while, but eventually Pixel Galaxy repetition sets in. The lack of meaningful content holds the game back, which is a shame because the idea itself creates a foundation for something more. I still had fun forming ships out of enemies and the boss fights in particular provided a welcome challenge, but that only remains fun for so long. At least I see myself going back to the soundtrack on occasion.
The combination of fun rhythm gameplay, impressively choreographed dances, and costume variety make Persona 4: Dancing All Night a worthy addition to the Persona 4 universe. It offers a strong challenge for players and even includes in-game items to make individual tracks easier or harder depending on skill level. The narrative falls short of other games in the franchise, but at least it features the familiar faces that fans have come to love. Now put those familiar faces in wacky costumes and watch them dance for their lives. Ya know, Persona-style.
It's unfortunate that Assault Android Cactus feels a bit slight, because the game is quite a bit of fun in short bursts. Playing through the five zones provided a strong challenge, and the inclusion of so many distinct characters rewards those who experiment and try out different combinations. The luster eventually wears off, but players that enjoy seeing their names near the top of leaderboards will find a reason to keep coming back. As for everyone else, Assault Android Cactus occupies a handful of hours with a solid dual-stick shooter campaign.
Despite the draw of the EASHL and the core gameplay in NHL 16, there's a layer of familiarity that might turn away some folks. But after the missteps of last year's series entry, NHL 16 represents a step back in the right direction for EA's virtual hockey franchise and its fanbase. Some of the game modes feel underdeveloped in key areas, namely Be a Pro, but the variety on display and the hook of online multiplayer make NHL 16 an easy recommendation.
Super Mario Maker captures the childlike glee of seeing a game in action and wondering what it would be like to create one. Players in the game are crafting classic Mario levels just like Nintendo has done for all these years, albeit with simplified tools. It showcases the imagination of the video game community at large, and it hasn't even been released to the public yet. I can't wait to see how Super Mario Maker grows and improves as more Wii U owners purchase the game and join that community.
The variety in game modes doesn't quite make up for the lack of heroes, but Toy Soldiers: War Chest provides some quality entertainment for tower defense aficionados. Even those who typically avoid the genre might appreciate the ability to control turrets and heroes.
Galak-Z rewards players who stick with it. There's an overwhelming sense satisfaction that comes from seeing player growth, and I know I improved as I played more of the game. I learned enemy patterns and knew when to pick my battles, which is a stark contrast to when I first loaded the game up and went in guns blazing. The mission structure and narrative leave something to be desired, but when I think of Galak-Z, I think of my many triumphs and the elation I felt when I completed a season. Few games manage to instill that feeling of triumph quite like Galak-Z.
The worst part about my experience with Godzilla is the fact that it didn't provide laughs or enjoyment because of its poor quality. Instead, I just sat there bored for much of the time as I endlessly destroyed cities and fought other monsters in terribly unbalanced fights.
I still love the idea of a game with only bosses and a single weapon, and the contrast between the small protagonist and the towering bosses emphasizes the thrill of victory. It's a shame the game ends when it does, because there's potential here for an even greater product. But even with its short length, Titan Souls is a fresh and inventive indie release.