All told, it's an impressive accomplishment, and a great start for the series on the Nintendo 3DS. I have no idea what the future holds, but for another few years at least, the beat will go right on for what may be the most important series on any Nintendo platform
Console launches typically feature two types of games. There's innovative genre-defining icons... and then there are the games that will be forgotten in a few months time. While Cerny may have defined a generation of platformers with Crash Bandicoot, Knack will be as fondly remembered as Genji: Days of the Blade is today.
At launch, Killer Instinct serves as a solid foundation for what could eventually become a good fighting game. More characters and stages are coming down the line, but at launch, the game's limited single and multiplayer modes are glaring and will grow stale quickly.
Mario Party: Island Tour never seems a natural fit on the 3DS. It feels more like the game has been hammered into shape to fit as well as it can on the platform. Yet, with no online support and inconsistent mini-game quality, those concessions just aren't enough to warrant the franchise's move to handheld.
Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is a usually fun, too-often frustrating, and always beautiful game. Being the first HD entry sets it apart somewhat, but if Nintendo intends to keep iterating on this series, it needs to fix some legacy issues and study which stages work to make the entire experience more pleasantly consistent.
Remarkably, Double Helix has managed to nail down the classic feel of what Strider Hiryu is all about: athleticism, agility, and destroying everything in his path. At the same time, the game modernizes the design into something unique, even if it borrows heavily from the Metroidvania genre. Strider may have been gone for over a decade, but his return is more than welcome.
Thief has its hang-ups, particularly with frustrating loading times and repetitive gameplay that will have players unlocking the same doors over and over again. However, Eidos Montreal has captured the essence of stealth gameplay with their take on Thief. Players may have to work to find what makes the game special, but nobody said being a master thief was easy.