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Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice by Sanzaru Games has been carrying a heavy weight of sour expectations by its name alone since its unveiling last year. I wasn't surprised by the reception it already received, as it follows the ill-fated releases of Big Red Button's Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric on Wii U and Sanzaru's own Shattered Crystal for the Nintendo 3DS. Heck, I admittedly wasn't above writing this one off as well before its Fall 2015 launch.

Suddenly, SEGA vowed to win back fans' trust by maintaining quality over scheduling and the launch of Fire & Ice was subsequently delayed by a whole year, with promises made about incorporating fan feedback into what would become a better and faster-paced game than its predecessor. SEGA and Sanzaru have now proven that their claims were more than hot air, as Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice manages to deliver the fun experience it was set out to be, although it does take a few missteps along the way. Read on after the jump for the full review!

In early 2013, I found myself anxiously awaiting the release of Shin Megami Tensei x Fire Emblem when it was announced in a Nintendo Direct. I've been a huge fan of Atlus for quite a while, and the proposition of combining two franchises of such a high caliber was utterly enticing. Three and a half long years later, the time has finally come for it to launch in the West as Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE. It may seem like a niche title on the surface—given the role the Japanese entertainment industry plays—but underneath this outer layer is a fun, engaging RPG that is certainly one of the Wii U's highlight games of the summer, if not the entire year.

Let me be frank: I have never played a game in Blizzard's Warcraft series. I am not familiar with Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, which is the main source material for this film. If you are looking for a fan's opinion, there are a plethora of other options available online. There is no denying that there is significant fun to be had here if one is familiar with the franchise. I'm speaking as both a lover of fantasy and as a moviegoer who is new to this world. I came into this film with an open mind, eager for entertainment.

With that said, I take no joy in saying that Warcraft is an unmitigated disaster, the kind of misjudged and ill-conceived mess that only comes out of Hollywood once every decade or so. It is a type of failure rarely seen in modern blockbusters, born from unrestricted passion and misled ambition. Films almost never swing and miss quite like this, as Warcraft somehow manages to wildly oscillate between the dour and the preposterous. It's an absolute slog, but not for lack of trying.

Square Enix is a company famous for their brilliance in creating JRPG series—Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts to name their most popular. But every now and then they experiment with new IP, often drawing heavily from their previous games; such was the case with the Nintendo 3DS title Bravely Default. Initially planned as a sequel to Final Fantasy: The Four Heroes of Light, Bravely Default saw the player exploring the vast world of Luxendarc, restoring four sacred crystals, and unlocking a variety of jobs akin to the job systems of Final Fantasy III and V. Four years after its initial release, Bravely Second: End Layer takes that exact same game and improves on it in almost every single way.

Hyrule Warriors Legends is a strange proposition. It purports to be the complete edition of 2014's Hyrule Warriors, a game that already had tons of characters and weapons to chew through—not to mention tons of enemies to mow down and beautiful cutscenes to ogle at. And yet, in many ways, it's smaller in scope thanks to the limitations of the portable platform it calls home. Does this port justify its "Legends" moniker? Or were its swashbuckling battles best left behind on Wii U? Hit the jump to check out our review!

What popular modern video game series has an appearance as simple as Angry Birds? The franchise's success isn't just rooted in its addictive and accessible gameplay, but also in its easily reproduced and popular artstyle. In adapting the series to film, there's no story to account for other than "pigs steal eggs, birds fight back." That leaves a lot of room for artistic license, and The Angry Birds Movie packs in enough entertainment that it never feels like a soulless cash grab. But along with the countless puns and parodies comes a truly troubling message of xenophobia. The Angry Birds Movie may be trying to make video game adaptations great again, but it resembles a certain presidential candidate's philosophy in more ways than that.

Despite all the hype surrounding the original release of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, in 2006 I walked away feeling somewhat disappointed. Ten years later, the HD re-release has given the game a fancy coat of paint—as well as a chance for redemption. The return trip sheds light on the game's finer moments, which distinguish it as one of the best entries in the storied Zelda franchise. But beneath these virtues lie flaws and troubling design decisions that hold it back from taking the crown. Head inside to see what makes Twilight Princess HD such a difficult game to rate.

Pokkén Tournament is a new entry in the long-running history of Pokémon spinoffs, this time breaking away from past traditions to focus on action-oriented fighting. It's the first time outside of the beloved Super Smash Bros. series that Pokémon battles have been fully realized in 3D, and though it could use an extra nudge to become the Pokémon fighting game of fans' wildest dreams, as the first iteration of such an idea it's wildly satisfying. Head inside to keep reading!

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam has been out for some time now, and Nintendo sent Gamnesia a copy of the game for exclusive coverage. Typically when this happens we provide that coverage in the form of a review, but Paper Jam isn't your average RPG, and for that reason, I've been finding a lot of difficulty covering it in the typical review format.

This was one of the talking points in the Game Corner on this week's episode of Nintendo Week, our Nintendo-themed podcast here at Gamnesia. Check out the discussion video above for our full discussion about what makes Paper Jam so wildly different from other RPGs and the difficulties that's presented, or keep reading for a brief, brief summary.

I'd been looking forward to The Witness for a long time when it finally came out last week. My hopes and expectations were high, so when I sat down in front of my PlayStation 4 and started the game, I was crushed. It was nothing like I'd hoped. It didn't even seem that good, let alone like something special, worth eight years of development and directed under the wisdom of one of the industry's most renowned indie developers. Hell, it even seemed to have been making a lot of the most common, irritating mistakes every mediocre game does. Your movement was restricted, the world looked sterile, and there seemed to be a distinct lack of any tactile meaning to its features.

My first impressions of The Witness were not good.

Thankfully, my first impressions were also very wrong. Though it would have benefited unquestionably from some map or journal features, The Witness ended up being one of the most beautiful, rich, and fantastic puzzlers I've ever played.

Head inside for a full review and some advice on diving into Jonathan Blow and Thekla Incorporated's The Witness.

One of the things we've consistently heard from Nintendo about their incoming mobile games is that they're designed to put their beloved IP in front of a wide audience that may not have interacted with those brands before. Typically, people have imagined that we'll see adaptations of Nintendo's big character games for mobile devices. However, recently Nintendo's also been experimenting with free-to-start games on their dedicated gaming platforms. One of those games is Pokémon Picross.

Pokémon Picross is a perfect example of how Nintendo could present their IP to a new audience using an experience that's not only excellently suited for mobile devices, but also able to represent their IP in a way that's uniquely Nintendo (and it's actually a pretty fun game, to boot). Jump inside for the full review.

Beautiful, exhilarating, challenging—these are just a few words that come to mind when I think of FAST Racing NEO. This upcoming racing title from Shin'en Multimedia captures the best qualities of the genre and uses them to carve a prominent niche among science-fiction racers. Though comparisons to F-Zero are bound to be made, FAST Racing NEO deserves to be recognized for what it is, not what it's like.

Check out our review below!

Equal parts puzzler and platformer, Typoman is a fresh addition to Nintendo’s "Nindie" program. The entire game is centered on one very unique gimmick: the ability to use words and letters to manipulate the environment. Charmingly enough, even the protagonist is made of letters that form the word "hero."

Thanks to this innovative gameplay mechanic, the puzzles in the game have never felt more original. For instance, say you're walking trough a corridor filled with toxic gas that will kill you after a few seconds of exposure. Well, just search for the available letters to spell the word “gasp” and you will be able to take a quick breath, effectively stopping you from dying. All of this, coupled with clever touches like bridges made from the word “solid” that will fall apart to spell the word “old” as you cross them, create a very memorable gameplay mechanic.

Head inside for more!

Puzzle adventures have always been a genre that holds a special place in my heart. From the simplicity of the original ‘Escape the Room’ style Flash games to the much more elaborate worlds of Myst, Toki Tori 2, and the Professor Layton series, the combination of exploration coupled with the mental challenge of puzzles has always captivated and enthralled me. I had been particularly looking forward to Jonathan Blow’s The Witness for years as the next real game that could create that same sense of excitement and discovery within a beautiful new world, ripe to be challenged. But with minimal attention paid to the world of non-console-bound video games, I was truly surprised to discover Tom Jubert’s and Jonas Kyratzes’s philosophical puzzle adventure – The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition headed to the PS4. In obtaining a review copy, I have been scouring the many lands and numerous puzzles that make up The Talos Principle. How has the adventure fared so far? Hit the jump to dig in!

"Game design is surgery and music," reads the website for Still Games. "Both require time and patience." Curious, then, that the indie studio's recently-released Kickstarter success Animal Gods was launched a full year ahead of schedule. The project, which garnered just over $27,000 in crowdfunding support, promised a fleshed-out modern take on the magic of top-down 90s action-adventure games and JRPGS. Did it deliver?

Not quite. Given half the development time it was planned to have, it only delivered half the experience it planned to give us. Perhaps its developers disbursed their funds too soon—$27,000 is a measly amount for a video game, even for a four-man team like Still Games—but it's painfully evident that Animal Gods isn't the game its creators intended to make. Early screenshots and world art show various enemies, roleplaying elements, and a grand adventure across a fantasy version of ancient England. Early development updates tell of a cast of memorable characters to interact with. All of these ideas were to be wrapped up in an "ambitious" Legend of Zelda-inspired package. But the finished product is far from ambitious, and it cut out all of those ideas.

Head inside to find out what Still Games gave us instead.