At about 10 hours, New Tales from the Borderlands is a solid successor to the first title under Telltale, and its story has all the right emotional beats. I cannot count the number of laughs the episodes drew from me, but towards the end, the game's uneven pacing was hard to ignore. Paired with its stale quick-time events, there is more New Tales from the Borderlands to improve on, but this sequel is a step in the right direction.
Rune Factory 5 may have one of the franchise's most involved storylines, but its overly ambitious graphics overshadow that effort with ease. By giving the game a 3D makeover, the franchise's customary charms are harder to make out in this new release. Still, at its core, Rune Factory 5 excels at the everyday tasks it asks characters to complete. From farming to fighting, everything is much the same here as it was in previous games. This time, though, Rune Factory's stale mechanics are easier to notice thanks to its flimsy visuals. Fans new and old will be left wondering where the series' allure snuck off to.
While Chocobo GP feels very much like a Mario Kart clone, it would do the Nintendo game a major disservice to call these titles equal. Square Enix has a polished game here that races rather well, and its surprising difficulty will challenge racing veterans. However, it is just too cluttered with junk to enjoy. Its lacking story mode can be overlooked easily enough by most, but its limited local co-op will make it a no-go for plenty. But if you're strictly in this for moogles and magic, well – Chocobo GP might not be so bad.
Mario Party Superstars might not reinvent the wheel in any way, but its additions are very much wanted. From online play to controller pairing, these little additions add up to something special. Fans new and old will definitely find joy in this nostalgic remake, so die-hard players just need to keep their expectations in line. Mario Party Superstars is a fun game like those before it, and its nostalgic flair is endearing enough to cover its flaws.
From its humor to its head-scratching microgames, WarioWare: Get It Together! is the perfect addition to the franchise. There are few faults with the game save for its quick story mode (3+ hours) and occasional character dupe. This new WarioWare game challenges old and new fans to think outside the box with its challenges. During an uncertain time, WarioWare: Get It Together! provides a fun outlet packed with perfected pandemonium. As a long-time fan of WarioWare, Nintendo couldn't have made a better follow-up as WarioWare: Get It Together! will have fans laughing for years to come.
The new control system makes Skyward Sword infinitely more accessible to gamers, and it will appease fans of the franchise who love The Legend of Zelda lore. Its colorful story strays far from the dark world of Twilight Princess, and its crafting mechanics will feel familiar to those who've only tested out Breath of the Wild. And as Nintendo prepares a sequel to Breath of the Wild behind-the-scenes, this HD remaster is filled with tales fans are certain will show up in the next Legend of Zelda game.
Ultimately, Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town is exactly what you would expect from the beloved staple. The farming sim makes some bold leaps with its crafting system, but there is nothing groundbreaking in its formula. You can expect the same charming and wholesome aesthetic from this game much like all those that came before it. And even so, this routine will keep fans of the franchise coming back for more.
Whether you are a beginner or long-time puzzle lover, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 is the perfect game for anyone who wants to work their brains. This sequel is every bit as colorful as the first, and its updated character roster brings something new to the franchise. Its enhanced multiplayer options and battle modes make Puyo Puyo Tetris 2 a true joy to play, so it will keep you up puzzling in the best possible way.
Beyond its technical limits, Age of Calamity is a welcome addition to the Legend of Zelda lore, even if it adds more timeline questions than it answers. The story's branching history will surely upset some timeline purists, but the game mitigates those concerns with a well-told story. Fans are finally given a version of Zelda they've wanted to see for years, and playing at the capable princess is a gift I will never forget. The story's emotional tale is one that I am eager to explore again, and it has reinvigorated my interest to replay Breath of the Wild. This works out perfectly for Nintendo given how the company is currently developing a sequel to the original. And if that follow-up puts as much care into its characters as Age of Calamity does, then fans are in for a delightful treat.
This title certainly marks the next phase of Just Dance, and it makes baby steps towards innovation. If you were hoping Just Dance 2021 would revolutionize the franchise as a whole, well, you will be disappointed there. The game feels and functions much like recent entries from 2019 and 2020. Still, its challenging choreography and updated features are sure to please newcomers and diehard dancers all the same.
At the heart of Ary and the Secret of Seasons rests a good story and a delightful world ripe for exploring. The only thing that keeps players from experiencing the world in full is the game's half-done execution. The glitches alone will put off seasoned gamers, and given this game's young demographic, it is hard to imagine kids suffering through the slips. This is a shame as Ary is the kind of character you want to root for. But after one too many glitches, her dazzling personality will fail to keep gamers plugged in.
While The Origami King can feel formulaic at times, the entry does more to reimagine the franchise than not. It won't impress fans who were hoping for a larger RPG focus, but its charming characters and story will keep fans hooked. Paper Mario has never felt so fun than with The Origami King, and its lighthearted feel is the perfect thing for gamers to sit with this summer.
Luigi's Mansion 3 is a magical return to the franchise which newcomers and old-school fans will delight in. Filled with adventure and spooks, the sequel brings back what fans loved about the series' first game. Luigi has never felt more loved in a game before, even when he's been put through seven layers of ghostly hell, and fans will enjoy the game even in its most frustrating moments.
Kill la Kill The Game: IF held promise of being so much more to longtime fans of Honnouji Academy, but it falls short in almost every way. Its limited online play cripples the game's competitive chances, and casual gamers will be left confused by this title's story though enamored by its artwork. Dedicated fans will no doubt stick through the game if not for Satsuki fan service, but an overly complicated story mode will drag some away. If a visual feast is all you need, then Kill la Kill The Game: IF isn't the worst pick, but this certainly isn't a successor that will meet fans' expectations.