Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a quirky gem carnival

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a blockbuster release for fans of all sorts of levels of commitment and skill, but it, like the releases before it, is a particular joy for those who love the sort of quirky properties that never leave Japan. In the past, it came through the collectible trophies, but those were limited by resources and (often) availability of 3D models. As a result, the number that came from the more obscure releases was understandably limited. Ultimate‘s Spirits system changes this in very real ways.

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Yakuza Kiwami 2’s iconic characters give it purpose

The Yakuza series’ success is largely driven by its characters. Sure, there are big clan conflicts and heart-racing action sequences, but none of it would work if you didn’t care so much about the people involved. It would be too big, too sprawling, too hard to believe. But when you play these games, you just want to spend more time with the cast of sometimes-lovable misfits and learn a bit more about them. They reward that spent time with a surprising amount of camaraderie and heart.

Simply put, Yakuza is the Fast & Furious of video games. And Yakuza Kiwami 2 is its best entry.

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Kirby Star Allies is a charming, friendly 2018 respite

It’s well-known that there are two types of Kirby games: bold, experimental titles that stretch the idea of what a game can be… and traditional platformers. The first group is constantly lauded for going in its new, different directions, whether they be aesthetic (like Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse) or mechanical (like Canvas Curse and Tilt ‘n’ Tumble).

That second group gets a bad rap, though.

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Tetris Effect helps you escape an unbearable reality

Sometimes the world can be truly awful.

Not all the time. Often, and possibly even usually, participating in the chaos of existence that surrounds you can be rewarding and even life-affirming. Occasionally, though, it’s not, and in those moments, it’s helpful to be able to escape. To withdraw. To distract and recuperate and wait until you’re prepared to return. There’s value in this respite, and for some, it can be the difference between getting through the day and… well, not.

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