[T]he Marvel license goes a long way toward absolving Lego Marvel Super Heroes of its technical sins. And while none of the puzzles will tax your brain overmuch, you will feel that familiar satisfaction bumping up that completion percentage with every gold brick collected and character unlocked. Maybe it's too much to hope for a Lego game to take any big risks. You could probably say the same about Marvel.
These are all the worst bits, of myself and of Facebook: the push towards less privacy, towards superficial relationships and walls of meaningless birthday greetings. Redshirt is a version of social media without, you know, the social part. It is the ultimate form of solipsism. If most life sims are imperfect reflections of life, Redshirt is, instead, an imperfect reflection of Facebook, itself an imperfect reflection of life. I am in a hall of mirrors and all I see is myself.
Ghosts is by no means the most creative or flawless game in this series, but it nails its core competency better than any Call of Duty before it. The immediate, uncluttered return of a successful shot paired with the rubric of near-future warfare and an inviting warehouse of unlockables still commands the attention of millions of gamers worldwide. The tightly-balanced nuance of competitive online play and its endless variables continue to draw attention, even devotion. Ghosts is my biggest supporter when I play Ghosts, and that feeling is mostly, though not entirely, mutual.
A Link Between Worlds addresses that history head-on, but somehow creates an identity that’s more fulfilling and surprising than any Zelda since Wind Waker. It might have the same map as A Link to the Past, the same overhead perspective, and the same weapons and archetypes that appear in every Zelda. It’s not the same as any Zelda you’ve played before, though, because even this reliably good series is rarely as elegantly designed as A Link Between Worlds.
Don't get me wrong, Octodad is a ton of fun. It's got a self-aware irreverence—call it the Katamari factor—that you usually only find in indie games. That being said, with games like that, I usually focus on the stand-out moments, like the big reveals in Gone Home, the progressive decay of Limbo, or even the silly mysteries of something as slight as Frog Fractions. Octodad doesn't have anything like that. It's a giddy little glide full of heart and genuine goodwill, but never manifesting into anything more than a distraction.
Tropical Freeze is hard. Even when it is hard it is adorable. The difficulty escalates at a steady pace, and never spikes dramatically, which is what a game's difficulty should do. Every aspect of the action, from the standard platforming to the periodic undersea investigations to the exploits involving mine cars and rocket ships, fits smoothly into the game's world. And best of all is our itinerant rhino friend, always ready to bear up to two gorillas aloft and bulldoze its way to the end of the level.
At one point Garrett once again risks his life to steal more riches. His friend and employer, a ruddy faced scoundrel named Basso, says, "Garrett, no one is paying you to do this." Expressionless, Garrett turns to Basso, blankly retorts "it's who I am", and runs off into a night as inert and emotionless as the game itself.