Year Walk is an immensely satisfying master class in atmosphere and subtlety, and this "definitive" edition on Wii U is the new best way to have the experience. Playing it is like flipping through a storybook of yore, one passed down through the ages and meant to scare the bejeebus out of children with dire messages and dark illustrations. Fascinating mythology, clever subversions, and a satisfying storyline make Year Walk a must.
Nintendo set out to build an experience centered around the GamePad with Star Fox Guard, and the result is a great little experiment — if a wee bit overwhelming. How much you get out of Star Fox Guard will ultimately depend on your tolerance for its particular brand of gameplay. Some may take to the tense onslaught like an Italian plumber to a mushroom, whereas others might play a few rounds and get completely exhausted. There isn't a whole lot of diversity in gameplay here, and in many ways what you see is what you get.What we see is a terrifying game wrapped in a charming coating with lots to do if you're so inclined. The main game is satisfying on its own, and throw in the excellent My Squad online mode and you've got yourself a party. Player beware; you're in for a scare.
Disney Art Academy is a solid and inviting way to learn the fundamentals of artistic techniques. There's a real attraction in learning how to master these iconic characters – and while this title may primarily appeal to kids, there's certainly a lot to love here for grown-ups ready to supplement their adult colouring books with something that covers earlier steps in the creative process. The tools on offer may not be of the highest fidelity thanks to outdated hardware, but they are intelligently crafted to be more than adequate for exploring creativity or sparking a love of art. That's a net-win in our book.
Rhythm Heaven Megamix's stylish assortment of songs and supremely accessible, pick-up-and-play nature make this a great introduction to the series for the uninitiated. But for returning players, whether this compilation nature is appealing or not might depend on your perspective. On one hand, Rhythm Heaven fans have seen – and possibly already mastered – a good portion of these ditties (or at least, a version of them). On the other, each track is still great fun to play, and it's nice to have a "greatest hits" collection of a series that you can bust out at any time. We lean towards the latter perspective, ourselves. If you are looking for some quick-hit and stylish portable fun then you need to take a good, long look at Rhythm Heaven Megamix.
Ubisoft takes a lot of really big swings with Just Dance 2014 — some, like Autodance and Just Dance TV, hit it out of the park, whereas others, like competing online and a rejiggered Just Sweat mode, are something of a whiff as they can feel lonely and undercooked. Still, if you want to boogie down in your living room, Just Dance 2014 has more than enough moves to keep that slide of yours electric.
Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon: a pleasant roll through a gorgeous world, with some novel concepts, and one of the most beautiful games the Wii U has yet seen. However charming the game may be, Rainbow Curse is a few strokes from greatness: overly repetitive mechanics, underused ideas, and a failure to integrate its clay theme into gameplay in any meaningful way keep it from reaching the lofty heights to which it potentially could. Well crafted, but not a masterpiece.
Kirby Triple Deluxe is a pleasant package that doesn't push the envelope very far. The Story Mode is an elegant but conservative adventure that trades too greatly in familiarity and simplicity, the same type of neo-nostalgia that Nintendo has seen success with on the Mario side of things: it's sure to scratch that Kirby itch — or create one for new players — but fails to move the franchise forward in any meaningful direction. However, the rest of the package holds its own quite well: Kirby Fighters is a great time-sink sure to provoke new rivalries among friends, and the post-game content offers a second competitive wind to the adventure. Come for the cute platforming, stay for the battle royale.