Darksiders: Warmastered Edition may be a bit late to the party, and borrows some material from other guests, but it's a welcome addition that still has a few good stories to tell and a trick or two left up its sleeve. It's a remarkably solid experience that combines a distinct aesthetic with varied gameplay, satisfying combat and fast-paced exploration, all centred around a story about the apocalypse. After you really click with a few key abilities early on the game opens wide up, and for anyone who hasn't already played the original this is a solid port of a hidden gem. The visual upgrades do make a big difference, but a slew of gltiches, crashes and software issues go to some lengths to unravel that through sheer frustration alone. Overall, then, it's not the ultimate version of Darksiders currently available, but it's a reasonable attempt for those that want to experience how it all began on their Wii U.
Paper Mario: Color Splash isn't just painting by the numbers. The series still straddles that awkward middle ground between pure RPG and adventure title, but this most recent entry has successfully found a comfortable niche that has silenced many of our prior gripes. Almost everything has been polished to a papery sheen - showcasing some of the series' best writing and presentation to date. Both the battle system and the overall plot are still some of the weaker aspects of the experience unfortunately, though they're moving slowly in the right direction.
Simply put, even when we were left unsatisfied by enemy encounters, Prism Island was always a joy to explore, with diverse environments and an endless amount of catchy tunes to keep you engaged from start to finish. It's a game of memorable moments that we would love to share but wouldn't dream of spoiling on you. Take Color Splash for what it is, and you might just find it to be a messy work of art.
Star Fox Zero may have experienced a rather turbulant flight to market but the end result has been well worth the wait, especially if you're a fan of the N64 instalment - and there can be few Star Fox fans out there who aren't. In terms of pure mechanics, content and structure it's a close match for the 1997 release, following the same non-linear branching pathways and packing each level with bonuses to collect and secrets to discover. The additions made to the Wii U title are generous, with the Walker, enhanced Landmaster and Gyrowing each bringing with them different tactics, strengths and gameplay possibilities. The only issue is that while these alternative modes of transport are fun to use in short bursts, the Arwing is much more fun to pilot - especially when you're dashing through enemy armadas or engaging in thrilling dogfights using the game's all-range mode.
Visually, Star Fox Zero is plain rather than jaw-dropping - when set against the likes of the Wii U's best-looking titles, such as or , it looks a bit ordinary - but the (mostly) 60fps performance makes all the difference, and it's important to remember that the Wii U is having to render not one but two perspectives simultaneously thanks to the GamePad's cockpit view. The sacrifice of graphical detail is therefore easier to stomach, and it's not as if Star Fox Zero can be branded ugly - "sparse" is a better description.
Once you've mastered the controls then you're faced with an outing which is easily on-par with the excellent N64 entry from which it draws so much inspiration - and that should be music to the ears of seasoned Lylat veterans. While some may mark Star Fox Zero down because of its initially obtuse interface, we feel that with perseverance it's possible to become totally attuned to the controls, thereby removing this as a legitimate concern. More pressing is the fact that the additional vehicles feel like they get in the way - a stronger focus on the Arwing segments would have been preferable, and would have made the experience far more consistent in terms of excitement. This grumble aside, Star Fox Zero is a solid entry in one of Nintendo's most underused franchises, and - if the forthcoming does indeed straddle the generational divide and launch on - arguably the last great Wii U exclusive.