Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash is varied enough to keep every skill-level of player engaged throughout its 30+ worlds but isn't as polished as one would hope. There's a quirkiness here that's come to be expected of the series – of the more "off-beat" Nintendo efforts, this is the closest thing to a Mario game that exists in the same space as, say, Tomodachi Life — but the oddities feel incongruous with the game at large, as if the previous game's environmental and "do-good" themes were just pasted on instead of weaved meaningfully into the experience. That said, it's still a slightly above-average platformer that'll eat up time for on-the-go gamers looking to satiate their appetite.
Overall, Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer is a welcome spinoff that helps diversify the Animal Crossing brand and cements it as one of Nintendo's cornerstone franchises (if it wasn't already). The Big N has shown an increased willingness on putting fresh spins on older series and this is a case where it works naturally. It makes perfect sense for an interior design game to exist in this universe, not just because of its town-building mythos but also because of its folksy charm.
"Splatoon" is everything you could want out of a new Nintendo IP. It somehow manages to be both cute and cool. It freshens a well-traveled genre with a neat game mechanic. The only thing holding it back could be Nintendo: the Wii U Gamepad's battery life is weak, the online battle modes are presently limited by a rotation system that takes choice away from players and the overall amount of content is lacking outside of the weapons and gear customization. If the company supports "Splatoon" as they say they will, though, we could very well be talking about these Inklings for a long, long time.
There's no reason "JumpJet Rex" shouldn't be the leader in the clubhouse for Indie Game of the Year. While I don't feel its designation as a platformer is 100% on-point in describing what the game actually is, that should not be held against it. This "platflyer" is more than worth the price of admission. Its yesteryear graphics and soundtrack are supplemented by subtle nods to gaming history, both visually and in its level design. Beyond its nostalgic surface, though, is a game that's freaky fun and well-suited for pick-up-and-play gamers as much as it is for hardcore enthusiasts looking to set world records. Stop reading this review now and add it to your Steam Library.
One part hysterical, one part horrifying, all parts engrossing: "Affordable Space Adventures" is every bit worthy of consideration as the next addition to your Wii U digital library. If the idea of playing video games in a way you probably never have before – whether alone or with pals – sounds fun to you, it's a must-experience title that you'll remember long after you've traversed your way through it. Rare is the game that makes the most of its hardware; from a strictly technical standpoint, there's not a better example of the creative opportunities the Wii U Gamepad affords willing developers than "Affordable Space Adventures."
Perhaps "Ninja Gaiden" is too easy a comparison to make because it, like "Wooden Sen'Sey", stars a ninja character. Goro's got spunk, though, which translates through his comedic willingness to press onward despite repeated slaughterings by my under-practiced hands. Like the famous NES title, "Wooden Sen'Sey" packs a punch in the difficulty department (though nowhere near as distressing) that might unsettle some players. And, at times, there's a sense that the developers are trying to toy with the player rather than reward them for skill mastery. Still, "Wooden Sen'Sey" is cheap, good-spirited and chuckle-inducing. It's a charming addition to the Wii U eShop that lays the groundwork for an even more ground-breaking sequel (please?)
While life simulators in general give players the opportunity to create a persona and live out that avatar's life in ways they might not to live their own, this game gives the player the ability to affect dozens of lives without dictating every single moment of any given individual Mii's existence. If nothing else, "Tomodachi Life" presents a fascinating digital social realm that may, in time, shed some light on real-life interactions and allow us as a species to reflect upon our own selves. It may not be the prettiest game out there and it may not offer the most varied gameplay experience, but I'd be surprised if at the end of the year we in the gaming landscape don't look back on "Tomodachi Life" as the most unique title offered in 2014.
It’s my understanding that previous One Piece video games have established a positive reputation both among the series’ fans and the gaming community. If that’s the case, it’ll be better for both parties to ignore this title and hope outsiders will do the same in hopes of preserving that standard.