Perhaps the biggest marvel of Kirby Star Allies is that games like this still exist at all. This is an unashamedly old-school platformer, brought home with the kind of sparkle and polish that's synonymous with Nintendo and its close affiliates, yet wipe away that syrupy surface and you've got something deliciously weird - a fever dream of a game, with sugar sweet backdrops patrolled by waddling electrical plugs that are just begging to be swallowed and consumed so that you might absorb their powers and spit out sparks of your own.
The first major update for Capcom's Monster Hunter World is landing next week, introducing a new monster into the ecosystem while also adding some welcome new features.
V-Rally, the much-loved arcade racer from the original PlayStation era, is making a return later this year thanks to BigBen Interactive and developer Kylotonn Games.
In an instant, it became my most anticipated game of 2018. Kunos Simulazioni, developers of the brilliant Assetto Corsa, had bagged the rights to the Blancpain GT series - perhaps motorsport's healthiest championship, and certainly one that boasts the most diverse manufacturer participation with Ferrari, Porsche, Lamborghini, Aston Martin, BMW, Mercedes, Bentley, Audi and McLaren all taking part. Not a bad list, really, and the racing's more than half decent too.
It just shouldn't exist, really. The Isle of Man TT, a yearly event that turns the island's roads into the world's most daunting race track, is an anomaly - a relic of a bygone age when motorsport was raw, untamed and shockingly lethal. An epic course that thunders between the towns of Douglas, Ramsey and Peel and climaxes on the climbs of the Snaefell mountain road, it makes the Nordschleife look like a seaside karting track; modern day legends such as Michael Dunlop and John McGuinness, their elbows scraping the hedgerows of islander's front gardens as they speed past at 180mph, are heroes of a different order. Or reckless fools, if you want to look at it another way.
Splatoon 2 is getting its first paid DLC with the Octo Expansion, coming later this year.
Undertale, Toby Fox's cult classic RPG that takes its inspiration from Nintendo's Earthbound series, among other things, is coming to Nintendo hardware for the first time.
Octopath Traveller, the sublime looking JRPG from the Bravely Default team at Square Enix, finally has a release date, with the Switch exclusive coming out on July 13th.
Surprise! There's an all-new WarioWare game coming to 3DS later this year.
Rejoice! Bloodborne, a nailed-on cert for one of the games of the generation, is now available to everyone with a PlayStation Plus subscription, and it is soooooo goddamn good; From Software's finest, if you ask me, a razor-edged, blood-soaked distillation of the Souls formula into something that's headily unique. It's a work of exquisite art, basically, yet there are still some put off by it all. There are still those who haven't sampled its delights.
What's the best title to have come from PlatinumGames? My own answer changes with the wind - sometimes it's the just about perfect third-person shooter Vanquish, other times it might be the outrageously eccentric Wonderful 101 - but when it comes to the purest expression of what the industrious Osaka studio is about, then there's only really one answer. And that's the brilliant Bayonetta, of course.
How best to chart 12 months in which Nintendo returned to the frontlines, and stirred up a frenzy not seen since the phenomenon that was the Wii? For a console that's uniquely personal - one that will follow by your side wherever you go, allowing video games to slot in all those gaps in our everyday lives - it's 12 months that have been defined by some truly magical moments.
DICE, it's easy to forget in all the kerfuffle that's surrounded the developer in recent months following the Star Wars Battlefront 2 debacle, can still craft a damn fine shooter. When the parts align - when you're sprinting between falling masonry on Battlefield 1's depiction of the western front, as a Sopwith Camel buzzes overhead and a Saint Chamond tank churns over the hills on the far horizon - it's still capable of making some of the most dramatic and spectacular shooters around.
Version 1.13 of Gran Turismo Sport has just gone live, and it brings with it a bevvy of new cars as well as some online fixes and a selection of new track layouts. Perhaps more importantly, given the online focus of the PlayStation 4 exclusive, it introduces some amendments to how driver conduct is policed in multiplayer races.
Its name invites calamity, a certain misfortune, and I absolutely adore it for its blunt simplicity. Human: Fall Flat. That, there, is slapstick served up with a certain eastern European dryness. It's perhaps little wonder, then, that this comic puzzler has done so well in the 18 months or so since its release, having recently racked up some two million sales. Fall flat? It's done just about anything but.
From deep within the bowels of Konami, there comes a howl. It looks like developers of Metal Gear Survive, the first in the long-running series to come out from post-Kojima Konami, have left a message at the front of the game marking a moment of respect for those that went before.
Konami's Metal Gear Survive - the first in the Metal Gear series since creator Hideo Kojima's departure - is out in the UK today. It's an okay video game! But it also contains one of the more bizarre - and perhaps obnoxious - examples of microtransactions I've seen in a full price video game to date.
This was always going to be a tough sell. Metal Gear Survive is Konami's first big console game outside of PES since its infamous split with Hideo Kojima, and as if that wasn't enough to raise eyebrows, it has the temerity to carry on the lineage of Kojima's most famous creation, too. Survive? Given the spittle-flecked rage the mere mention of Konami is often accompanied by these days, you'd be surprised if any new Metal Gear game post-Kojima could.
Zuntata, Taito's legendary house band, has just seen a large part of its back catalogue hit Spotify, with some 3000 songs now available via the streaming music service.
A new Assetto Corsa is hitting early access this summer - and it's set to be the official game of the Blancpain GT series.
Pity poor Koei Tecmo and developer Omega Force, who've found themselves in quite the bind. The musou games, so it goes, are ones that refuse to change - an immobile force that, instead of evolving, simply undergo a costume change whenever the mood takes them. One day they'll show up for work in a hulking mech suit for the enjoyable Gundam spin-offs; the next, they might don Link's green hat in the well-received Hyrule Warriors. It's a formula that's constantly adapted, and seemingly never-changing - underneath those cosmetics, the well-oiled musou machine grinds away relentlessly.
Splatoon 2's superstars Pearl And Marina are getting their own amiibo in the not-too-distant future, with the two members of fictional band Off the Hook soon to be immortalised in plastic.
You wouldn't cheese an Odogaron - even a tempered, high rank bastard that had carted you and your team over and over until you'd all convinced yourself this demon doggy was not going to be put down - because, well, you just wouldn't. It's a question of respect, isn't it? And Monster Hunter: World's many beasts, from the humble Kula-Ya-Ku to some of the mightier elder dragons, certainly command your veneration.
This, with any luck, will be the year of Dragon Quest in the west. Details on Dragon Quest 11's localisation are still nowhere to be seen - it's due at some point in 2018, the last we heard - and when that occasion finally comes it'll mark the series' first all-new mainline release over here since 2009's exceptional Dragon Quest 9. Before all that, though, there's the chance to get reacquainted with Dragon Quest Builders, one of the series' many spin-offs, when it comes to the Switch later this week, and having spent a couple of dozen hours in this new version's company the past few weeks I strongly recommend that you do.
First things first: this really isn't the Dissidia you might know from the series' PSP days. Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, which sees Square Enix and Team Ninja teaming up for the return of the all-stars arena fighting series, boasts little of the verticality of the originals, and the RPG elements are toned down until they're almost non-existent. It's a three-on-three fighter now, rather than offering up the one-on-ones of the originals, and the results are fairly messy too. The story mode - and, indeed, much of the single-player content - has been pared back until it's pretty much inconsequential. If you're coming to this expecting a continuation of a series we last saw back in 2011, it's sure to be something of a disappointment.