Yacht Club Games has a hit on its hands with Shovel Knight. With brilliant game design, charming presentation and a ton of content, this is a wonderful first title from the fledgling developer. It will only get better with post-release content, and if Shovel Knight becomes the hit it deserves to be, gamers will hopefully be seeing much more of Yacht Club Games — and its plucky mascot — in the coming months and years.
Mega Man Legacy Collection is a great package with a lot of content and stuff to do - for newcomers it's worth acknowledging that each game is very challenging, and could be too much for someone who isn't used to the steep learningcurve. With that in mind the wealth of extras, the challenge mode and the sheer scope of six games nevertheless make Mega Man Legacy Collection a great option for anyone who's looking for an old-school treat.
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse is a triumph for WayForward and a treat for gamers. Very minor issues aside, this is one of the strongest titles on Nintendo's eShop and should be looked at as an example of how polished and robust a downloadable game can be. We're glad to see Shantae expand her horizons with the multiplatform Half-Genie Hero, but it's going to be hard to top this excellent Nintendo-exclusive adventure.
The 3DS eShop has a new hit in Go! Go! Kokopolo 3D. With addictive gameplay, pleasing aesthetics and plenty of unlockable content, you'll find a lot to love in what is clearly a labour of love from Tanukii Studios. Hopefully, this imaginative and charming sequel will find the audience and success it clearly deserves.
The frustrating lack of off-TV play aside, 1001 Spikes is a spirited, fun title that exemplifies the creative indie spirit that is permeating the eShop. With tons of unlockables, several distinct game modes and a charming presentation, 1001 Spikes is highly recommended. Just be sure to do some yoga and go to your zen place — you don't want to rage-quit your GamePad at the television after that 800th death.
Elliot Quest is a solid new entry to the ever-growing stable of great eShop titles. While it's not perfect - there really shouldn't be slowdown in a game with 8-bit pixel art, and it can be frustrating to try to figure out where to go next - anyone looking for a challenging, satisfying action adventure will likely get a lot of enjoyment out of it. As well as all this, Elliot Quest is a great showcase for what HTML5 can do. Just be prepared to do a lot of exploring.
Mobot Studios clearly put a lot of effort into this title, adding a new overworld and several new levels. The use of a physical controller as opposed to an iOS touch-screen makes Paper Monsters Recut the definitive edition of the game; though Paper Monsters Recut does unfortunately falter a bit technically, this lovingly crafted platformer is a fine addition to the eShop.
With a lengthy campaign, lots of customisation and plenty of variety, CastleStorm is a strong eShop title. There is a bit of a learning curve for the controls, and the presentation doesn't go as far as it could, but the satisfaction of taking down opposing castles make this frantic experience worthwhile. If you like strategy, tower defence, or even physics-based puzzlers and action games, CastleStorm is highly recommended.
Xeodrifter is a fun little game that Nintendo fans should get a kick out of. We wish it was longer and had more visual variety, but those criticisms are mainly because we enjoyed our experience and wanted more of it. We'd love to see Renegade Kid revisit this world at some point in the future, and wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who hasn't played the 3DS version already.
Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. is a fun, quirky new release from Nintendo. While there are a few flaws in the game design, we think that there's enough good here to justify a purchase from any Nintendo fan looking for something different. We'd love to see more of this compelling and riotous new world from Intelligent Systems; it's a great way to learn about classic literature...sort of.
Dr. Luigi is a fun, if overly familiar puzzle game that will satisfy anyone who knows what they're getting when they download it from the eShop. While we would have liked a little more variety and some more twists for Luigi's puzzle début on Wii U, Dr. Luigi is a good way to end the Year of the Tall Green Brother. It's a simple, clear experience with strong gameplay that reminds us why we love the Mario Bros. in the first place.
Hyperlight EX is a fun shoot-em-up high score chaser with an interesting hook. It's recommended for fans of the genre, but for those who aren't used to extremely challenging games like this it may prove to be too intense. Still, Overall it proves to be a worthy new entry in the 3DS library.
Ghost Blade HD is a good bullet hell shooter. The training mode is a solid addition for newcomers to the genre, but in the end if you don't like this kind of game you won't find much to persuade you otherwise here. For score chasers and fans of hardcore arcade shmups, though, there's a lot to like about Ghost Blade HD.
Swap Fire is not a bad game. Its charming presentation and central hook is fun, and it's always nice to see a local multiplayer game in this generation. But its control issues and lack of multiplayer options seriously inhibit Swap Fire's lasting appeal. With more polish and tuning, Swap Fire could have been great. There's potential here; it's just not all realized.
There's fun to be had in Suicide Guy. There's a nice variety of situations and environments and exploring each stage can be a blast. The technical problems are what ultimately drag Suicide Guy down. Still, if you can get past the bugs and glitches, there's a nifty little puzzle game waiting for you on the eShop.
Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON'T KNOW! is not a complete failure, but it's also not the game that Adventure Time fans deserve or should expect from a developer like WayForward. While the story takes some fun turns, the gameplay is too dull and one-note to keep players interested in the long term. While multiplayer will extend the experience and provide for some laughs — characters do say some funny lines, even if they get repetitive — this title is recommended primarily for the most devoted Adventure Time fans.
Mighty No. 9 is not a terrible game, nor is it even a bad one - it's just plain mediocre. From its downright disappointing visuals to its flat music and bland-at-best level design, everything about Mighty No. 9 screams of mediocrity. And let's be clear - if this were a fan game made by a small group of devoted Mega Man fans it'd be deemed more impressive. Yet this is a budget retail title developed by one of Mega Man's lead designers, which also had involvement from Inti Creates, a proven studio with hits like Mega Man 9 and Azure Striker Gunvolt among its credits. We're not sure where things went wrong, but Mighty No. 9's finished product is just a "mega" disappointment.
Lost Sea isn't necessarily a bad game, but if you're not a fan of roguelikes, steer clear. For fans of roguelikes, Lost Sea doesn't quite nail what makes them so addictive and replayable. If you don't mind a slow, plodding trek over and over again, Lost Sea can provide some hours of mindless enjoyment.
Big Red Button spoke enthusiastically about the development process throughout the promotion of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, which makes us think that the disappointing final product is a victim of being rushed out the door to accommodate the cartoon's release. As a result, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric is recommended only for those starved for a new adventure platformer and patient enough to sit through the poor technical performance.