Fans have waited a long time for Rodea the Sky Soldier, but unfortunately the final experience never comes within range of Yuji Naka's past masterpieces. The issues begin with the fundamental mechanics of flight and persist into its pacing, controls and stability, ultimately tainting even the most joyous moments of freedom afforded by Rodea's affinity for the open air. There are moments of bliss that shine through the mess, but the pure celebration of flight that Prope set out to deliver on Wii has lost many of its most important features during the transition to Wii U, and in the end, Rodea the Sky Soldier fails to live up to its lofty ambitions.
Though it may scare off many players with its plodding pace and immediately complex array of commands, Nobunaga's Ambition: Sphere of Influence is an engrossing and fiercely detailed journey through feudal Japan, offering a deep, lengthy strategy experience that simply can't be matched on PS4. It's not for everyone, but if you surrender yourself to its intricacies you may well find yourself crafting your own ornate strategies for victory long into the night.
Side by side, Pro Evolution Soccer 2016 doesn't stack up to FIFA 16 in licenses, game modes, or team selection, but Konami's annual soccer series once again positions itself as a more complex and realistic soccer experience than EA's flashy, but predictable, offering. With individualized players, explosive tactical potential and unparalleled realism, PES 2016 redefines what a soccer game can be.
J-Stars Victory VS+ fumbles what should have been a glorious, celebratory experience. It's combat is banal, its design is overcomplicated and its presentation is completely halfhearted. Even so, there's a lot to be said for the pure fanservice of J-Stars Victory VS+.
Adventures of Pip is a delightful little platformer full of charm, challenge and impeccable level design. While still a little rough around the edges, its mechanics are unquestionably solid, and it's clearly been crafted with the love and talent of a team determined to realize their vision.
Splatoon is all about staying fresh, and despite its lack of content somehow manages to remain just as appealing after twenty hours as it was in its first. Its core gameplay is so unwaveringly solid that it's bound to only become better as more maps, weapons and modes are released in the months after launch, but even now Splatoon might just be Wii U's long-awaited killer app.
When we reviewed Shovel Knight at its initial release back in June 2014, we were amazed by its impeccable design, rock-solid mechanics and loving homages to classic games. All of those aspects still ring true on PS4, and Yacht Club Games has without a doubt successfully replicated one of 2014's finest experiences on Sony's flagship console.
Xenoblade Chronicles was an incredible experience on Wii and it has transitioned beautifully onto New 3DS. Some compression concessions were made in the process, but the underlying quality of the narrative, setting and mechanics ultimately mean the cosmetic blemishes make little difference. Once again cementing its status as a JRPG masterpiece, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D is a game you owe it to yourself to experience.
Despite its flaws, it's hard not to have fun with Mario Party 10 in small doses. Obnoxious amiibo functionality and an overall lack of variety make it hard to recommend to anyone who's not already a fan of the franchise, but those who enjoy a bit of Mushroom Kingdom chaos with friends might just find reason enough to give it a shot.
Much like Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is a constantly creative adventure that offers players something they won't find anywhere else. Its claymation visuals are astoundingly beautiful, and while brief, Kirby's latest adventure is never anything less than satisfying.
Fans of the Ace Combat series are destined to be disappointed with Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+. Aside from some small control additions and swanky new amiibo support, the aerial combat game is largely unchanged from Bandai Namco Games' initial 3DS release in 2011. The flying itself is decent, and greatly enhanced by the game's outstanding soundtrack, but ultimately Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy+ feels like nothing more than a poorly-disguised cash-grab.