Daily Dot's Reviews
You may find the title music serene if not melancholic when you first load up Valiant Hearts. When you return weeks later to replay favorite sequences and find collectibles you missed, you may find the same music moving for the way it tugs at the heart strings. You will know, as you're returning to the game, the music is a reminder of the tragedy and the beauty that lies underneath the cartoonish art and puzzles of Valiant Hearts.
Telltale has proven again how well their episodic storytelling format lends itself to adaptation of successful franchises. And the binge-playthrough taught me that anyone who hasn't been following The Wolf Among Us episode-by-episode, and who therefore might feel like they missed the boat, couldn't be more wrong.
The endings for Season Two collectively did the worst thing an ending can do for a video game franchise: They made me unsure that I cared about season three. [WARNING: Spoilers in this review]
The studio has a 10-year release plan for new Destiny content, including the first two expansions some players have already paid for. What Bungie has released so far is merely a scaffolding, which isn't immediately honest with the player about its core identity. It's a beautiful scaffolding, though, and in the triple-A video game industry, merely beautiful is almost always enough to satisfy the baseline consumer.
Hyrule Warriors is not easy. I had to turn the difficulty all the way down on more than one occasion to get through the game in a timely fashion. That's a relationship I am used to with so-called "core games," or games aimed not at casual players, but traditional gamers who want some good, old-fashioned punishment through game difficulty.
If you're willing to take a chance on Driveclub, it rewards you with its all-business design and impressively brief loading times. From a content perspective, it lands smack dab between "bare bones" and "feature-packed," with just enough content that it can't be classified as a glorified starter pack. It's a racing game with just the essentials plus added social incentives that let you compete at your own pace, as long as you're not the compulsive type who needs to win every challenge.
The more we played The Pre-Sequel, the more dubious we became as to whether it warranted a standalone release. Oxygen consumption and verticality were the only fresh elements in the level designs. The new weapons classes—cryo and laser weapons—felt like additions to our arsenal that we could take or leave. The writing was full of references to the previous two games.
[W]hen playing something as unrefined as Assassin's Creed Unity, I can't help but wonder how much better the game would have been were it given six more months of polish. What we have instead is a decently functioning Assassin's Creed that wraps the 18th century timeline not with a satisfying and fitting climax, but instead with an unfortunate sense of relief that this period is finally over.
Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is a bit of a flawed masterpiece. The core fighting game is the best it has ever been, expertly balancing approachability for newcomers and intricate depth for hardcore fans. If the core Smash Bros. experience is all you are after, then the Wii U's iteration is a no-brainer.
This War of Mine tries to give us the barest taste of what it might be like to be trapped behind the lines of a war, with our entire world crumbling all around us. If that feels uncomfortable, if it is no fun whatsoever, the developers have accomplished precisely what they intended to.
For existing fans, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker checks all the boxes as to why they love Nintendo. For the kids this game might be gifted to for Christmas, Treasure Tracker provides an adorable demonstration of what Nintendo is all about. And for that, I think this is one of the strongest titles Nintendo has released in 2014. It's a must-have for Wii U owners.
The challenge in recommending The Dark Below at this price point to anyone other than a hardcore Destiny fan (who was likely never on the fence about the purchase, anyway) is that this DLC tries to please too many masters. If you don't care about the Crucible, that new content doesn't matter. If you don't have a Raid group, Crota's End is irrelevant. And what Destiny really needs—a satisfying narrative—is still entirely absent.