Combining the familiar elements from the Legend of Zelda with the simplistic hack-and-slash gameplay found in Dynasty Warriors makes Hyrule Warriors Legends a great game for quick bursts of pick-up-and-play, that also offers a rich storyline that handles the source material with a noticeable level of honor and respect. Whether you’re a Zelda fan or a Dynasty Warriors gamer there’s a lot to be happy about in this mash-up title.
Xenoblade Chronicles X is wonderful addition to Nintendo's impressive roster for the Wii U. It takes the well-oiled RPG mechanics of its predecessor and delivers a vast and alien world so meticulously and passionately designed that it's easy and fun to get lost inside of it. There are some grindy fetch quests and tiresome elements to the soundtrack, but these flaws become mere background noise once you begin exploring the incredibly immersive world of Mira that serves as the setting. It's a rewarding gaming experience that should not be missed by any RPG fans, or by people looking for a good reason to own a Wii U.
This game is recommended to anyone who is looking for an engrossing, time consuming and intricately detailed JRPG to sink their teeth into. What it's lacking in story and character development, it more than makes up for in strategy based gameplay.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is an excellent taste of things to come for the New Nintendo 3DS XL. The 3D presentation opens up the world of Shulk and his friends into a impressively immersive experience. While some of the graphics can appear dated, and it is missing features like touch screen or in game Amiibo support, there's very little about this seamless port that disappoints. It is highly recommended for any owner of a New 3DS XL in search of an engaging and superbly polished RPG experience.
Etrian Mystery Dungeon is a fun little strategy RPG that will surely satisfy gamers who enjoy mental taxation and heavy frustration on the go. The complicated gameplay harks back to the simple roots of the Mystery Dungeon series. The basic presentation may not interest gamers looking for a more flashy, visually stimulating experience such as "Xenoblade Chronicles," but it does offer a unique RPG experience that, once learned, can be just as engaging and stimulating as any of the top budget games on the 3DS. I recommend this game to anyone who can appreciate playing a long and thought provoking game of chess, even if it ends with you losing to your opponent.
Mario Vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars is not a bad puzzle platformer, it just doesn't bring anything new to the table. The cross-buy between Wii U and 3DS is a welcome bonus, but perhaps this was done because the game feels very much like mini game for your phone and is not very well suited for either of the two systems.
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon Legacy Plus is fundamentally the same enjoyable game as it was when originally released in 2011. This latest version adds Amiibo and thumbstick control for the New 3DS XL, but shortfalls such as repetitive gameplay and lackluster graphics remain unchanged. There's not enough new material here to warrant an entirely new release and the minor additions would be better suited as DLC.
LittleBigPlanet 3 is a worthy successor to the LBP series and a solid continuation of what made the first and second games such a hit with critics and gamers alike. But even with its new content, including three unique and playable characters, new story missions and updated 1080p graphics, I was left underwhelmed and wishing for more innovation. It's a great game, but it failed to meet my tremendous expectations first generated from the wildly entertaining and innovative original.
With amazingly photo-realistic graphics and authentic car sim-style handling, DRIVECLUB offers a uniquely integrated social experience that collects and shares all your records and achievements. While lacking in its core gameplay variety, the endless potential of its online rival club challenges opens up this next gen racer in ways never before seen.
Natural Doctrine is a broken attempt at revitalizing the tactical RPG genre. At first glance, it appears to have all the markings of a classically inspired and intelligently designed strategy game. But sadly, despite delivering its own rare bursts of satisfaction, it remains frustratingly bogged down by artificially challenging gameplay, a confusing and overtly complex user interface and a painfully slow pacing that will try the patience of even the most Zen-like of gamers. If you're looking for the next Final Fantasy Tactics, I'm sorry, but you're going to have to keep looking elsewhere.
Rather than advancing upon the legacy of its predecessor, Wii Sports Club comes off more like an HD remake of the same old game with some additional motion plus and gamepad support. While this may have been a groundbreaking package eight years ago, today it feels altogether lackluster.
The Swapper delivers on nearly every front. The puzzles are intelligent and challenging, the story is deep and philosophical and the visual style is incredibly unique and inventive. This is a title that is sure to satisfy fans of science fiction and platform puzzle games alike.
It's a fun little game with some gorgeous visual and musical style, but it fails to evoke the emotional core that similar games like Journey and Flower were able to. The challenging gameplay and the musical score may be enough for some players, but those in search of more depth will need to look elsewhere.
It would have been nice to see more thought put into the presentation, but fans of the series will feel right at home with this familiar layout. The excellent touch controls in the "Virus Buster" mode along with the new challenges posed in "Operation L," make "Dr. Luigi" a worthy successor and a nice cap off to the 2013 Year of Luigi.