It does such an outstanding job of artfully revitalizing a somewhat dormant series that the preponderance of its faults can be written off.
The core gameplay model is so flavorless that nearly every new feature quickly becomes mixed in with the primarily luck-based advancement that's marred these titles in recent years.
Media Molecule understands that tying in each newfound maneuver to a storytelling element strengthens the bond between character and player.
It's a generally by-the-numbers excursion through big-budget wartime set pieces that, due to an unavoidable air of familiarity, wears out its welcome much quicker than it should.
A blatant rip-off of the Super Mario Galaxy series, unsuccessfully transporting the high-speed antics of Sega's famous blue hedgehog to the planet-vaulting environs of Nintendo's Wii-era masterpieces.
This game will likely be remembered as the biggest leap forward for the franchise, an amazingly smooth and altogether necessary transformation in presentation that does well to preserve the nostalgia that comprises much of the series's lifeblood.
It's easy but pointless to criticize The Stanley Parable for not being more of a "game" when it bills itself (correctly) as a parable and, in one ending, acknowledges that it offers neither the freedom of Minecraft nor the puzzles of Portal.
What might have been an assembly-line, recherché plot serves as a love letter to fans, covering the vast history of the DC Universe with both respect and a sense of humor.
While the game may be behind the curve when it comes to its graphics, it's miles ahead in terms of indefectible SRPG goodness.
The game still tells a beautiful, gripping tale, thanks in part to the voice and motion-capture performances of Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, making 2011's L.A. Noire, acclaimed for its facial graphics, seem decades old.
It takes note of the finger-wagging gripes unreasonably lobbed at the original and tweaks details to elevate an already fantastic journey to towering heights.
The game does a generally solid job of educating the uninformed on how to manage the extensive skill set necessary to prevent shattering Nintendo's latest handheld in frustration.
Like an actual storm itself, the game expends all of its invigorating freshness within the first 10 minutes, and what follows is more of a tedious and waterlogged slog.
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