Turning your home into a smart home is still a scary prospect for many – mainly because it sounds like something that will cost a lot of money and there’s an assumption you have to go ‘all in’ to get any real benefits. This just isn’t the case anymore, however, with smart systems such as Hive allowing you to start off small and add some smarts to your home bit by bit.
Titanfall 2 lets you play as a human-sized robot, which can call down giant, AI-powered robotic mech suits, which you can then get into and pilot. The little robot climbs into the bigger robot, and then you boost around and blow up your enemies… some of whom are also robots. Your loadout options include ninja stars that catch on fire when they hit, burning pilots to death and blinding the giant titan suits, should your aim be true. It features a limited-use colosseum mode that looks like the developers just wanted to include a one-on-one Rocket Arena-like option. Titanfall 2 might not fix every issue you had with the previous game (and depending on your tastes, it might introduce one or two new ones), but it’s a bigger, bolder game that takes a few chances and comes out better and more distinctive for it. On top of all that, it simply feels great.
Lincoln Clay has a mission. If you’ve played any big open-world game of the last decade or so, you probably have a decent idea of what that mission is. In Mafia III, Lincoln is your archetypal revenge protagonist. Something has been taken from him; in this case, friends and adoptive family in a mob hit that should have left him dead too. In order to set things right, he has to tear through a detailed rendering of a familiar place–in this case, the city of New Bordeaux, which is loosely based on New Orleans circa 1968–laying waste to the various tiers of enemies that stand between him and the crime boss who betrayed him. You know this story. You know how this all plays out. You’ve avenged this sort of thing before.
It’s been awhile since Gears of War has felt absolutely vital. Five years, if you want to be a little more exact about it. The release of Gears of War 3 was the high-water mark for the series up to that point, both narratively as it closed off most of the loose ends you wanted to see wrapped up by the end of the trilogy and technically. Gears 3 was a great-looking Xbox 360 game that built up some terrific gameplay additions when compared to the earlier games in the franchise.
Rather than have two concurrent Mario RPG series, Nintendo has kept most of that genre’s trappings confined to the Mario & Luigi series for over a decade. Paper Mario may have taken the torch from Super Mario RPG with its first two entries, but later titles strayed further and further from the formula. Super Paper Mario was a platformer for all intents and purposes, and Sticker Star took a different approach altogether. The 3DS title eliminated XP and leveling, severely handicapping any sense of progression. In addition, combat was regulated by a finite collection of stickers that Mario would collect in the world. As polarizing as Sticker Star was for fans of the series, Paper Mario: Color Splash doubles down on its most frustrating elements and makes them even worse.