Subscribe to the latest reviews and editorial content

Columns

Gamnesia's reviews and editorial content by our top columnists tells you what you should think, or at least what's going on in our minds. Our opinion is, after all, better than everyone else's.


I've had mixed feelings about The Legend of Zelda for Wii U from the moment it was first unveiled at E3 2014. On the one hand, the world Nintendo has presented so far is lush, beautiful, and open in a way we haven't seen since Twilight Princess's Hyrule Field. If Eiji Aonuma is to be believed, this new world is basically a modern iteration on the truly open, “go anywhere you want” overworld from The Legend of Zelda. No complaints there—there hasn't been a Zelda game since, that has truly embodied the qualities of the original.

But while our first high-definition trip to Hyrule is sure to offer some great views, this new Zelda game has a job to do. While most Wii U owners seem more than satisfied with their experience, the system has struggled—more than any other Nintendo console—to get people interested. And things aren't looking too hot for The Legend of Zelda series, either. Once the undisputed king of fantasy adventures, the series has trudged into a steady decline in recent years, even as unprecedented successes have emerged in the open-world adventure and RPG space.

The Legend of Zelda for Wii U faces both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge: to reclaim the crown as the best, most popular fantasy game on the planet. The opportunity: to capture an audience that is hungry for adventure. To succeed, the new Zelda needs to be modern, needs to be relevant, and most of all needs to represent the pinnacle of quality. Unfortunately, I'm not so sure the Zelda we've seen so far hits the mark. Click on to find out why.

Yesterday I polled our viewers to see if you're happy with the art style of Zelda Wii U or if you would have preferred something more realistic like the Zelda tech demo from E3 2011. As excited as I was to see the Twilight Princess-inspired graphics demo three years ago, I'm much more thrilled with how the game actually looks. More than just that, I think the stylized look of Zelda Wii U will make it a better game. Hit the jump to see why!

Bravely Default
Still considering picking up Square Enix’s latest 3DS offering, Bravely Default? If so, this spoiler free, chapter-by-chapter, informal and unfiltered review is just the thing for you!

Square Enix’s acclaimed Final Fantasy spin-off JRPG Bravely Default opens with our four heroes, Tiz, Agnés, Edea and Ringabel, setting out on a journey guided by the enigmatic writings of a mysterious journal belonging to “D.”

Here Dathen provides his own rendition of D’s journal, helping you to decide whether it's worth-your-while to embark on this controversial and polarizing gaming experience, but unlike the Square Enix and Silicon Studio development team, he’ll try not to repeat everything over and over.

Many major game series have made a name for themselves in one genre or another. Some exemplary examples can be found in Mass Effect and Call of Duty. These series are well-known in the RPG and first-person shooter genres, respectively. However, other well-known game series have crossed genre lines with various spin-offs or even some canon titles. For instance, Super Mario Bros. as a series is primarily known for being a platformer, but as seen in the current Game Clash, has spawned numerous RPGs as well as a racing series (Mario Kart). Other series have followed suit. As respected as they are, should they branch out into other genres or simply stick to what they’re best at? Hit the jump to see what I think! While you're there, why don't you tell me your thoughts on the matter?

As part of Nintendo's celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Zelda franchise, Skyward Sword launched in 2011 as a prequel to the whole series, providing an origin story for many of the traditions of the series and shedding light on some of the longstanding mysteries in Hylian lore. In this series, Secrets of Skyward Sword, I'll be exploring some of the revelations made in the last console Zelda game. First up is the often-debated identity of the mysterious Goddess of Time, mentioned most prominently in Majora's Mask. Hit the jump to dig into Hylian history!

Yesterday I polled our viewers to see what you thought of the industry standard of a $60 price tag for most games, and there was a good amount of variety in your votes and responses. The winning option, and the one I personally agree with, is that only a few games should be priced at $60 these days. The rise of frequent discounts, cheap gaming services, and a steadily increasing (in terms of quality, quantity, and affordability) indie market makes it hard for me to justify dropping $60 on a game. That said, there are definitely games that are worth the full price purchase, and I believe the industry still has a long way to go before it stops being the standard. Hit the jump to read more!

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!

With the release of Destiny coming to us yesterday, the question comes to ask, how does the game stand on its own? What would the game be like if you didn't bring friends into the equation? We've all come close to the idea that these games are inherently social, but what if we remove those aspects? What does that leave us? The experiences are bound to change, and they may very well alter your opinions, and how much it does varies on who you are.

Head inside for a look on how these worlds collide.

Now that Destiny is out there in the wild, we'll be seeing reviews start to pop up everywhere soon. Bungie's Luke Smith cautioned readers that day one reviews might not be accurate as the game has a lot of depth that can't really all be explored that quickly, and it's about a bigger experience than just a standard shooter. Some of you agreed with that sentiment while others suspected it to be preemptive "damage control" for expected reviews. That got me thinking about the role that reviews play in the industry. How important are reviews to you? Hit the jump to catch some of my thoughts and add your own!

A little while ago we talked about the video of teens left absolutely dumbfounded by the sight of an NES, and I'm sure there were a few laughs and groans along the way, but you can't really blame people for being unfamiliar with tech that was well before their time. That got me thinking about some of my earliest and fondest gaming memories — the moments that have stuck with me all my life. Hit the jump and let's get a little nostalgic!