Platforms: Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, WiiU, PC
You can’t talk about Child of Light without mentioning its extraordinary style. While the game is a rather straightforward platforming adventure with some RPG elements (you know, leveling up is important), it’s the incredible style of the worlds that really makes Child of Light a standout game. The story is a typical tale of an underdog saving a world from an evil villain; in this particular case you play as a girl who falls asleep only to awake in the mythical land of Lemuria, where the sun, moon, and stars have been stolen by the Black Queen. Needless to say, you should set aside your hopes for plot twists. Instead, hunker down, work out your thumbs, and prepare to take in one of the best-looking worlds we’ve seen in a game since Leisure Suit Larry gatecrashed an auditorium full of coeds.
Platforms: Xbox 360, PS3, PS4, WiiU, 3DS, PC
Another Spider-Man movie is on the horizon and, as usual, it brings with it another Spider-Man game. Luckily, Activision has chosen to continue its tradition of letting the wall-crawler loose in an open-world city of Manhattan, and we couldn’t be happier about that creative choice because there’s nothing worse than a Spider-Man game where you can’t swing from the Empire State Building to the Daily Bugle’s offices in Flatiron. As expected, the game loosely follows the plot of the upcoming movie and characters from the blockbuster will feature prominently in the game; so expect to get some action from Electro, Green Goblin, and several other iconic Spidey villains as you sling your way around Manhattan. New mechanics make that swinging great too, with triggers controlling your right and left hands so you can connect with your surrounding architecture in a much more intuitive way. There’s also the new element of morality, where your strategy in taking down the scum of the city will label you either a hero or a menace. We all know that, deep down, Spidey is a hero, so try and act accordingly, you hoodlums.
There is no shortage of golf games out there, but when it comes to golf in video games, there have only ever been two names that should be taken seriously: Tiger Woods and Mario. T-Woods is almost exactly what you’d expect, year after year, but Mario keeps throwing surprises our way ever since his inaugural outing on the N64. This time around, Mario takes his sticks to Nintendo’s handheld behemoth, the 3DS and, surprisingly, the game has a bigger focus on multiplayer, given its disappointingly short solo campaign. This shortcoming was easily overlooked as the multiplayer modes offered us more than enough gameplay, against online leaderboards or actual friends, to keep us occupied. When Nintendo tries their hands at the gentleman’s game, the product is always something we enjoy, overall. The end result of Mario Golf: World Tour is a golf game where quirks of the Mario series, like Bullet Bill and Fire Flowers, add to the challenge. Now, if we could just put a club in our bags that let us burn through the rough with Flower Power, we’d finally be ready for the PGA.