Super Smash Bros is a fighting game that lets you pit the Wii Fit trainer against Pac-Man, Pikachu, a villager from Animal Crossing, Sonic The Hedgehog and weird pink marshmallow thing Kirby.
Never mind the insanity of this match, it’s the wild abandon with which you go about it that matters. The game’s collection of challenges, mini-games and multiplayer options feels like a toy box; there are even demos of dusty old classics such as Pilotwings and F-Zero, which inspired Smash Bros’ level design. It’s refined, subtle and extremely silly.
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Grand Theft Auto V, PS4, Xbox One
The series’ hallmarks are all here: gangsters, mordant satire and ultra-violence, much of it perpetrated accidentally on pedestrians. Looking even more beautiful than it did on Xbox 360 and PS3, the updated Grand Theft Auto V comes with a few new tricks. GTA Online now caters for 30 players at a time, ratcheting up the level of chaos both in races and when simply tooling around looking for trouble. You can also switch to a first-person view to immerse yourself in the game’s gleeful larceny, although it’s not terribly useful for driving or cowering behind walls during shootouts. You’ll even find doses of peyote to turn your character into a very surprised chicken.
Mario Kart 8 DLC, Wii U
Nintendo is sparing with its downloadable extras for games, but on the odd occasion the games giant decides to release some, they tend to be pretty great. The first of two add-ons to Mario Kart 8 – the next due in May 2015 – offers three new characters: Princess Peach in a pink cat outfit; Mario in his raccoon-style Tanooki suit; and a sword-waving Link from The Legend Of Zelda. It also adds two new championships, four karts and eight tracks, the best of which is the Zelda-themed Hyrule Circuit, which swaps collectible coins for gem-shaped rupees and comes with a Mario Kart-ified remix of the Zelda theme. It’s a generous and polished addition to an already brilliant game.
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