Treasure Tracker still feels close to unique, and gains new life on both of Nintendo's current systems. Switch is very much the better choice, but 3DS is by no means a bad option. Still smart, prettier than ever and, in retrospect, genuinely important as part of Nintendo's modern history, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker is a rare example of a game that actually feels better for being a few years old.
The Champions' Ballad isn't the extra dose of story for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild that many fans were expecting, but it would be churlish to turn down another chunk of hours with one of gaming's greatest achievements. Even better, those hours are filled with new surprises, endgame-level challenges, and the weirdest post-game reward of recent years.
Cuphead made me feel more good and more bad than any other game I've played in the last several years. I swore, laughed, and hollered with delight. I hated it (and my own fingers) for long stretches but, having finished, I realise that's more or less the point – I emerged from all that pain smiling. Rather than simply offering the player what they want, Cuphead makes them earn that right – the rewards, if you can hack the tests, are absolutely worth it. Cuphead is incredible for more than just its looks. But before you dive in, make sure you actually want a game that plays like this, and not just a game that looks like this.
The Master Trials doesn't make any epochal changes to the established Breath of the Wild formula, but by packing in one of the game's best quests, some welcome new features, and a hard mode to be reckoned with, it more than paves the way for the starrier story expansion to come.
Perception is as much a disappointment for the clever and inherently frightening idea it wastes as it is for the mistakes it makes. At its heart, there's the promise of playing something genuinely new, from a perspective that could help teach and thrill simultaneously. It's unfortunate that, like its echolocation mechanic, the more I saw of Perception, the more there was to worry about.
Like Hide and Seek, Little Nightmares confidently captures the exhilarating fear of waiting to be found by something that's hunting you. But it also replicates the alien horror of being a child that doesn't understand what's happening to and around them, and of a seemingly familiar environment turned into a series of opportunities for safety and danger. Smart, grotesque and never-endingly weird, this is a very different, extremely welcome kind of horror game that left me wanting more than its brief five hours provides.
Rain World is a maddening thing, because of quite how special it could have been. Beautiful environments, incredible animations and enticingly hazy mechanics are fantastic, but the sheer cruelty of how it's pieced out to the player transcends challenge and becomes an unwanted trial.