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As the direct sequel to Ocarina of Time, one of the most critically acclaimed games of all time, Majora's Mask had colossal expectations to live up to when it debuted in 2000. Fans of Ocarina might have expected the follow-up to be another grandiose adventure, set in an even wider world, packed to the brim with dungeons to explore and bosses to conquer—in other words, a game that built on the core conventions of the Zelda series.

What Majora's Mask inevitably delivered, however, wasn't quite in line with the vision of a convention sequel—it was a deeply personal adventure, set in a more intimate world, driven as much by a desire to spread happiness as by the threat of evil. Where past Zelda games turned players loose in a vast world that they could explore at their own pace, Majora's Mask focused more on experiencing the stories of the characters that inhabit its world—lived out over and over again as the clock counts down to oblivion.

Fast-forward to 2015, and Majora's Mask is still a delightfully offbeat, deeply personal quest to bring happiness to a troubled world. But just as Majora's Mask divided fans over its controversial shifts from the conventions established by Ocarina of Time, the 3DS remake revisits many of the original's cherished elements—and the results are similarly mixed.

One of my favorite video games of all time is EarthBound from the Mother series. This SNES cult classic combines standard RPG elements like turn-based battles and experience points, but takes place in a modern setting based on 1980's American culture. Given my love for the series, I was delighted to see Eden Industries take inspiration from it and create a goofy, nostalgia-fueled modern RPG in the same vein. That game is Citizens of Earth, and publisher Atlus supplied us with a Wii U copy for review. Does Citizens of Earth live up to the high standard set by its predecessor? Hit the jump to catch our review!

There's been lots of hype for big Nintendo titles like Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Hyrule Warriors, but Nintendo's got another Wii U exclusive coming out this year (in Japan and North America at least) as well. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, an adventuresome puzzle-solving game, was first revealed at E3, and Nintendo has supplied us with a copy for review. You may be familiar with the good Captain from the minigames in Super Mario 3D World, and the core concept remains the same, but everything is fleshed out into a much deeper and bigger experience in Treasure Tracker. So how does it hold up as its own game? Hit the jump to find out!

Earlier this year, Hyperkin released their long-delayed 'next gen' clone console, the RetroN 5—a system that boasts the ability to play games from five different types of cartridge digitally in HD. Think of it as an emulation machine for your TV that plays your old games and then some. By dumping the game's ROM to the system temporarily, you're provided all of the conveniences of emulation (save states, controller mapping, cheats, patching, etc.) without having to start all over again or dealing with the legal gray area that is PC emulation. The console itself plays cartridges for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, Super NES, Super Famicom, Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, the entire Game Boy era of formats, and through the use of an adapter, Sega Master System. That's ten formats, fifteen including PAL regions, all playable on one machine in nostalgia-defyingly crisp HD. But how does it hold up? Pretty well, actually.

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is almost here, concluding the end of the ride for the biggest hype train Nintendo fans have seen in six years. While the review copy Nintendo sent us has just arrived in the mail this morning, our sister site, Zelda Informer, has had the game for a week now, and I’ve poured hours on end exploring every nook and cranny the game has to offer. So is Super Smash Bros. for Wii U worth your time?

Head inside to find out!

Super Smash Bros. is a line of the best character fighters the industry has to offer, and time and again Nintendo has astounded their fans with excellent gameplay and wonderful rosters of characters. The latest entry has just been released, now on a handheld console for the first time in the series, and hype is at an all-time high. But how does the game compare to its predecessors? Let's find out.

If you linger on the title screen, the game will begin a “How to Play” video for series newcomers. Unlike traditional fighting games, there’s no health bar to whittle away; each character has a damage counter that rises with each hit. The higher your damage counter, the farther you’ll fly when your opponents land a blow, and if you fly off-screen, constituting a K.O. And the goal, of course, is to score K.O.s.

There are a total of 51 characters in the final roster, including all-stars like Mario, Link, Pikachu, and Kirby; fan favorites like Captain Falcon of F-Zero fame, Shulk, from Xenoblade Chronicles, and Little Mac, from the classic Punch-Out!! series; alongside famous third-party icons Mega Man, Pac-Man, and Sonic the Hedgehog.

Hyrule Warriors was announced early in 2014 much to the surprise of Nintendo fans, not only is it the first fully-fledged spinoff the beloved Legend of Zelda series has ever seen, but it was a crossover with Koei Temco’s Dynasty Warriors franchise. But now that it’s finally here, what is Hyrule Warriors really like? Head inside to find out.

Editor's note: Bungie has released an official statement urging players and reviewers to keep in mind that Destiny is a revolutionary multiplayer experience, and that early reviews of the game won't properly reflect its true import. With this in mind, I will happily write an editorial or even a new review if time proves this one antiquated or inaccurate. But for the time being, I believe this review is trustworthy and complete.

I never played much Halo. I never played much Call of Duty. The shameful list goes on, but I’ve long felt it’s time to broaden my gaming horizons. And luckily, it turned out that Destiny is just the game for the job. With intrinsically enjoyable gameplay and a well-adjusted learning curve, no new experience has earned my love so quickly as Destiny. (And the bandwagon hype of the most successful franchise launch didn’t hurt, either).

Head inside to learn more!

[Throwback Thursday is a series where we look back on games from the past in reviews, retrospectives, and more. We will have something every week for your retro enjoyment. You may even discover something new to love!]

Few people in the States may have heard of Mega Man: The Wily Wars. Wily Wars is a compilation à la Super Mario All-Stars featuring 16-bit upgrades of Mega Man, Mega Man 2, and Mega Man 3, with an unlockable 3-boss game called Wily Tower after you beat the first three games. The reason so few people here may have heard of it is simple: it was only released on Sega Channel, Sega's short-lived download network for the Genesis. While the rest of the world enjoyed a full retail cartridge release of the game, we were limited access only through a somewhat expensive paid service. But Wily Wars lives on with the likes of importing, reproduction, emulation, and those weird At Games licensed systems. But is it worth it to find yourself a copy? Find out after the jump!

Tomodachi Life is not quite like any other game I’ve played; it’s a life simulator that makes a point not to simulate life. You don’t play God, like in The Sims; you don’t walk around improving your life and others’, like in Animal Crossing; you just throw Miis on an island and see what happens. It gives you a modicum of control over your Miis’ clothing, houses, possessions, and so on—almost like a Mad Libs story—and the rest is totally unpredictable.

For this reason, it’s very hard to communicate the nature of Tomodachi Life through text, which is why this review is going to follow a different format than you’re used to. Head inside to keep reading.

The words “Mario Kart” are practically—nay, literally—synonymous with the party racing genre. This is an incredible feat in its own right, so the challenge to improve the formula without making changes too radical becomes tougher with each new game. After the intuitive steering of Mario Kart Wii and the airborne and underwater sections of Mario Kart 7, this very balance seemed unthinkable for Mario Kart 8 to achieve.

And no, Mario Kart 8 does not achieve this balance; it exceeds this balance in ways I never thought possible. It unifies the ideas introduced in each new entry in the series in an entirely cohesive way. It adjusts the mechanics of speed and items and recovery so that unpredictability of blue shells and banana peels works toward a more fun end for everyone, rather than an unbalanced nuisance for those in the lead. And hot damn, check out those graphics!

Head inside to read our full review of Mario Kart 8!

Recently, I started up my PlayStation Plus subscription and I decided to see what free games the PlayStation 4 was offering. After downloading Resogun, I found this quirky little game, Stick it to the Man! I had never heard of this game until recently through word of mouth. Since it was free, I decided to check it out. I even asked myself, “What could possibly go wrong?” The result of this lone thought was one of the weirdest games I have ever played. Let us jump into this world of paper craft, mind reading, and all-night-long burrito-eating binges, and review Stick it to the Man!

Jump to read the rest of the review!

There are a million different ways to write game reviews, and somehow, I feel like every single one of them misses the point of gaming. They might say, "this is buggy," "the bosses are clever," or even the dreadful, "it's fun." Professional sites that are supposed to be leading this medium forward are plagued by impressionistic reviews that tell the reader diddley-squat (and yes, we're often just as guilty). The reason, I fear, is that nobody has any idea what the hell game reviews actually are.

The main purpose of a “review,” as we know it today, is to judge the quality of a game and explain why someone should or shouldn’t get it. But how do we do that? There are so many lenses through which we can examine games. We could explore the level design and mechanics; we could explore the narrative and how it’s conveyed; we could explore the difficulty curve and the feelings that instills in its players. These are all excellent ways of understanding the medium, but they don’t work when they have an ulterior motive—using any of them to declare a game’s overall worth seems downright crude.

So reviews must be something else… But what? Head inside to keep reading my thoughts, and be sure to head over to the comments to help us figure out what game reviews are supposed to be.

If you're reading this, chances are you've heard about Transistor, Supergiant's newest game and successor to their previous title Bastion. Like its predecessor Transistor is both a visual and audible masterpiece worth seeing and hearing at least once, but that won't make it a great game all on its own. Since its announced Transistor has been shaping up to be a title well worth playing, but did it deliver or did it end up being just another game not worth paying any attention to? Hop on in to read the review!

I am going to say this right now: I don’t think it is a bit much to ask developers to give us some variety and change when it comes to the games they are developing. With this new console generation finally starting up, we need to push the idea that we can have a varied gaming experience with a game, big or small. I know there have been studies saying that gamers don’t know what they want, but I find that statement snobbish, and anyone that says it makes them sound like condescending jerks. Variety is the spice of life, and the gaming industry needs to know that there are more kinds of games than Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga, and Call of Duty. That is why companies need to actually listen to what gamers want, or observe the indie scene to see what is going on, since the downloadable side of gaming is the only way, so far, to get some variety when it comes to gaming. With today’s review of Child of Light, Ubisoft is showing us why variety is nice. This is one of the best looking games around, and is one of the best RPGs that I have played this year. Why not jump on into this beautiful watercolor world, and see what makes this game so great?

Jump to read the review!