Grunge pioneers Soundgarden surprised a few people when they decided to get back together, but probably surprised many more when they announced they'd be getting off the festival circuit to write and record again. It's been a while and I'm not convinced there's ever been a truly great reunion album, so the aim for the Seattle veterans on "King Animal", their first studio outing since 1996, is to avoid a flop and reassert themselves as artists before setting their sights higher. Scepticism can be excused given some of Chris Cornell's solo work since the 90s. Read more
Lego City Undercover is a joyful open-world romp for players of all ages.
- Witty writing and characters keep you giggling throughout
- The lure of Lego studs and collectables is hard to resist
- Endlessly varied and entertaining missions and puzzles
- Different disguises make for lots of diversity
- Great use of the GamePad.
- Inconsistent jumping
- Unsatisfying combat
- Exceptionally long load times.
With Lego City Undercover, developer Traveller's Tales has distilled the concept of "fun" into its purest essence and poured it liberally over a city already overflowing with wit and charm. Read more
Though an enjoyable addition to the series, Mario Party 9 is much too familiar and predictable.
- Fun multiplayer action
- Wide variety of minigames
- Cheerful, colorful visuals.
- Little lasting appeal
- Far too much emphasis on chance
- Solo mode is tedious and required for unlocks
- It's all too familiar.
If Mario Party 9 were an actual party, it'd be a high school reunion. You turn up, look around, see all your old friends, and think "Hey, you guys have changed!" Read more
Animal Crossing: New Leaf is a welcome return to the world of unabashed materialism that should entice veterans and novices alike.
- Interesting mayoral powers
- Quirky cast of characters
- Tons of different customization options
- Lots of new additions.
- Endlessly repeating dialogue
- Clumsy user interface.
There's a party in Pancako, and everyone's invited. In the southeast corner of the city, where the river cascades to the ocean below, the citizens gather in joyous revelry. Flip wears his finest clothes for the occasion--a blue sweater vest with no pants--while Isabella commands the rapt attention of the eager townsfolk. Read more
"We decided to write horror music" is how Ozzy Osbourne describes Black Sabbath's birth in the great new heavy-metal oral history, Louder Than Hell. And that's exactly what they're doing, once again, on 13 – a reunion set with three-quarters of the original band – that revisits, and to an extent recaptures, the crushing, awesomely doomy spectacle of their first few records.