Friday, September 17, 2010

Donkey Kong Country Returns: A Video Game Revival

Retro Studios have their task cut for them- the Texan video game developers, who shot to fame in the early 2000′s following their masterful revival of Nintendo’s sci fi space trotting series, Metroid, with the expertly crafted first person adventure, the paradigm shifting Metroid Prime, are now in charge of the revival of yet another beloved Nintendo series, yet one that’s very different from Metroid in every way imaginable. The Donkey Kong series is arguably amongst Nintendo’s most iconic, with the titular protagonist having entered popular lexicon, and the series coming to be synonymous with a major technological leap in gaming. In the Super Nintendo days, Donkey Kong was Nintendo’s last bastion that proved that 2D gaming was indeed relevant in a day when the onslaught of 3D gaming was becoming increasingly severe. The game went on to become one of the highest selling of all time, and Donkey Kong became one of Nintendo’s hottest properties, with the SNES and N64 sequels that were every bit as iconic.
To this day, people remember the original games fondly- everything from the graphics to the characters to the epic soundtrack have become firmly ingrained in every gamer’s consciousness. To take on the task of reviving such a series, then, is a task that would deter most developers- the chances of burning one’s fingers, and of tarnishing the brand equity, both of the franchise in question as well as the developer, are too great. And yet, Retro seems to be plowing on full steam ahead, as the game creeps towards its November release date. So far, what we’ve shown seems to be nothing more than a delicate update to the beloved formula of the SNES original- by all means, a good idea, and yet Retro runs the risk of treading ground that might be too familiar for veterans, and of sticking to a formula that is irrelevant by nineteen years of obsolescence. On the other hand, they tinker with the formula too much, and they run the risk of alienating the original fanbase.
It’s like walking on a bed of coals at the edge of a precipice. How will Donkey Kong Country Returns turn out?
Here’s the debut trailer for Donkey Kong Country Returns, via
Looks great, doesn’t it? That’s because Retro has carefully and almost lovingly recreated the Super Nintendo original. Watch:
Barring the almost expected improvement in graphics that you would expect after a hiatus that was nearly a decade and a long, the two games seem to be identical. Unlike with Metroid Prime, where Retro breathed life into an old franchise by approaching it from an altogether diferent perspective, which initially angered many fans, this time, Retro seems to be playing it safe. Not that that’s a bad thing at all, mnd you. The original Donkey Kong Country is still not dated in any sense- the graphics and the sounds expectedly hold up, and the gameplay is as tight and whimsical as it ever was.
However, with the game being so apparently familiar to its predecessors that it looks more like an update rather than a sequel, it’s almost natural to be slightly cynical- is this a quick rehash, a cash in on Nintendo’s part to shut the ever moaning hardcore gamer up? But that doesn’t seem like- as legions of Metroid Prime fans will attest to, Retro is possibly Nintendo’s most talented developer- why waste them on such an insignificant side project?
It’s obvious then, that Nintendo intends for this to be a major game. Obviously, then, there’s more to it than meets the eye, something that neither Nintendo nor Retro are letting on just yet.
Donkey Kong is a very important franchise. It represents one of Nintendo’s most lucrative brands, right behind Mario and Pokemon. Obviously, they’re not gonna mess this up. A sense of deja vu may pervade the entire experience, but a rehash this will not be.
Of course, this is Nintendo- they simply won’t stand for stagnation, and it is obvious that there has to be something in Donkey Kong Country returns that indicates the time span that separates it from its SNES progenitors. So far, we know of no major changes that may be worth mentioning- okay, so we know for sure there are no Kremlings this time around, with Tikis acting as primary antagonists instead. The inclusion of any of the Kong family except for Diddy, or of the animal buddies is up in the air too.
One major difference we know of is the fact that Didy will be playable this time around not like the SNES originals, where the same player had to control one after the other, but rather in a two player co-op experience, something like New Super Mario Bros Wii, which also makes infinitely more sense, if I may say so. Each character feels sufficiently different, so that Donkey Kong will have his own lumbering weight, while Diddy has a jetpack that enables him to negotiate long chasms, resulting in extremely different and distinctly unique platforming controls for both of them.
Of course, we have no idea how the final game will turn out. It might be a complete retreading of the SNES games- in which case, it’s likely that gamers’ nostalgia will make them impervious to this game’s fault, if there are any. However, as is most likely when you have a developer like Retro and a publisher like Nintendo, this game will be something else entirely, a landmark title that sets the standard for 2D sidescrolling platforming for years to come. And we only have to wait a couple more months before we find out.

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Friday, September 10, 2010

Silent Hill 8 Coming 2011

Yes, that’s the E3 2010 video for Silent Hill 8, Konami’s upcoming survivol horror action adventure title.
When is it coming out, though? Konami have just announced the game will be out for the PS3 and the Xbox 360 in 2011, and that it will stick to the franchise’s roots, presenting a similar knd of third person adventure, and an all new, eeries, thrilling storyline. The game’s working title is Silent Hill 8.
The game centers around Murphy Pendelton, an Asylum inmate, as the protagonist, as his truck carrying them to some place meets an accident, and he finds himself alone in Silent Hill. New, terrifying enemies, mind-boggling puzzles and thrilling action sequences have been promised, as the player uses everyday objects, from tables to jars of jam, to fend of his enemies.
The game will also feature repurcussions based on our choices throughout the game, revealing the ‘unknown evils within the town.’
“In honouring the rich history and strong following of Silent Hill, we’re working hard to build a next generation horror game that the fans truly deserve,” said Shinji Hirano, President of Konami.
“This Silent Hill introduces an all-new storyline and unique evolutions in gameplay, building on innovations and successes from over a decade of true survival horror and terror.”
Exciting, innit? We’ll keep you posted as more info comes our way.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

New content for Halo: Reach Extended Edition

Halo: Reach, as was confirmed some time ago, will be releasing with Halo: Reach Legendary and Halo: Reach Limited Editions, following in the footsteps of the conclusion to the highly acclaim Halo trilogy, Halo 3.
We already know this: the Limited Edition of Halo: Reach will be coming with the game disc housed in recovered ONI “black box,” An exclusive Elite armour set for use in multiplayer modes, Artifact bag containing Dr. Halsey’s personal journal and other classified documents and effects that unravel long held secrets from the Halo universe.
The Legendary Edition will come with even more: the game, the manual, all the contents of the Limited Edition, a Noble Team statue expertly crafted by the artisans at McFarlane Toys. Individually molded, hand-painted and individually numbered, this statue is a must-have for any serious Halo fan, UNSC-themed custom packaging, an exclusive multiplayer Spartan armour effect (thanks a ton, CVG!).
Howeverm Bungie have announced there’s MORE to their Legendary Edition. Bungie have announced that the game will come with a two hour commentry on the single player campaign. This is their entire statement:
“To commemorate those fans who picked up the Legendary Edition of Halo: Reach – Creative Director, Marcus Lehto, Audio Director and Composer, Marty O’Donnell, Cinematics and Story Lead, Lee Wilson, and Effects Lead, Steve Scott sit down together to deliver two full hours of exclusive, behind-the-scenes campaign commentary covering unrevealed aspects of Halo: Reach’s production. From concept to cutting room floor, this last look back is the final word on Halo: Reach’s development, straight from the team that built the game.”
Halo: Reach releases on September 14th, just in about 5 days from now. Till then, you can whet your apetite by reading our exclusive Halo: Reach preview here.

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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dragon Age: Witch Hunt DLC review: Build a bridge out of her

"But whether you seek answers, revenge, or reconciliation with your lost love, you may find more than you bargained for."

Contrary to the marketing line, you'll likely find less than you bargained for in Dragon Age: Witch Hunt, a disappointing and flimsy finale to the Dragon Age: Origins storyline. It's not a terrible chunk of content -- and it would have to do far worse before it could tarnish BioWare's other efforts in keeping the Dragon Age universe alive for almost a year now -- but the crucial failure to deliver a satisfying conclusion is hard to forget. We'll ...Read the original post.

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Platform Wars: PC versus Consoles

The biggest dilemma for gamers all around the world is that which platforms they should consider for their games. With a ton of games going multiplatform, a video gamer is forced to think which platform he/she should pick the game for. The decision becomes even more difficult when a gamer has both: an amazing rig or an Xbox 360. With the help of this infographic we settle the matter once and for all.

Check out this cool article, guys.

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Transformice# 5

This will be the last of my transformice articles. For the rest of the blog's time I wish to post all kind of video game articles, since focusing on just one game is too hard. Thanks for listenining and enjoy this video, friends!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Transformice #3!!

      Woah, freaky stuff today. I saw a couple of flying cats in my street today. I didn't get to ctach any of them. Maybe I was dreaming, I'm not sure.

      Anyways onto today's segment of Transformice. I know you guys are still playing this game. Right? ;-; Well if you have been playing you would notice the ability to beocme a "Shaman" in this game. A shaman is the leader mouse in each room that has special desginated powers. THe powers tend to vary form room to room but alot of them stay the same such as canonballs (force physics) and the popular spirit (an other force physic). Sometimes shammys are given the power to build various structires to help thier mouse brethen, although many shamen tend to be naughty about this. Anyways you haven't really payed the game until you are a shaman and have created a mass of LOLANVILGODS.

      Here's a video of what I mean (a static anvil god found in a level, already made not by shaman):

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Transfomice!! #2

     This week I will be focusing on this game. I really can't stop playing this game. If I'm not checking out other people's blogs I'm usually playing Transformice. I have to say, one of the funnest things about the game is the exploits in it. Walljumping is an error in Transformice's programming, allowing the player to scale vertical walls that are otherwise a death trap. As you progress in the game you will find yourself trying to imitate other veteran players as they jump form wall to wall leaving others to the curb and doing a /dance while they are at it. The first times I tried to walljump I would fall straight into a pit without even being able to jump more than once. I was really frustrated at the game but I still had fun trying to learn.

     The community is pretty friendly. If you ask them questions they will answer back. Just be sure to not be a total kaboose at it or none one wiill want to help you. I learner to jump walls by befriending a couple of people and looking at how they do it. It turns it is easier than it looks. It is a rythmic pattern of the asw or dsw keys, depending on which side you are facing. When you approach the wall you do not want to jump to early, because then you will "slip" and you won't be able to make another jump. Jump too soon and you won't even be able to make it or just fall into a pit if there is one. The best time to jump onto the wall is when you are at the highest point and starting to descend. You will "latch" onto the wall and effectively begin a running animation that will continue as long as you hold the directional key you were using (a for right side walls and d for left side walls).

     You will slowly but surely begin to descend if you don't do anything. The higher you jumped the faster you fall. To avoid this and to gain height you press the opposite directional key so you can let go but you will stop descending. then you press the w key to jump and you will gain a lot of height. At the highest part of your jump you press the original directional key and you will "jump" onto the wall again. It looks like the mouse is jumping diagonally by pressing two keys at once but its just a pattern to be done.

     There are there factors that affect jumping and walljumping such as latency (lag), gravity, and shaman shenanigans. Someitmes there are collision maps where devious mice can now "bump" into you and even stop your jumps and lead you to an early demise.

     At the end of the week I will do an overall review on the overall game after playing it for a week. Here's a walljumping video, I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Mice That Don't really Transform...


I just got done playing a round of Transformice. What is Transformice you say? Well to put it simply it's a flash game involving mice. French mice.

French mice with HILAIROUS french physics. Formage? You got it. Awesome Dance moves? You got it. However the best part is being able to hang out with people who also enjoy hilarious mouse antics (and french physics, seriously just play for an hour and you'll find out what I mean).

In this flash game you have the basic wasd movement. w to jump, a to duck, and the rest to move left and right. The objective of the game is to safely get the cheese from a random point in the given map, to the mousehole. You may be saying, but DerpWizard, isn't it more complex than that? The beauty of it is that isn't true. It's pretty simple but very addicting. Besides what kind of tacky, cheesey story could they come up with for this physics flash game? It would be pretty fun to think of a story for it though. Maybe they are on the verge of extinction and need to gather as much cheese as they can before the apcoloapyse. I don't know.

I usually play on room v and r9k but sometimes I play in any default room I start at. My in-game is cakesnwaffle. Add me to your friends list and we can have a blast!

Fun Video Links (Video games, Welcome)

Hell Yeah. I'm going to post some fun, cool  links. I'll post them soon.

Keep in mind that although I intend for this to be a video games blog, I will be occasionally using it for  some crappy posts of my life (so I can look back it one day and laugh at myself). I'l also be posting cool links to fun games that we can all enjoy!

If you guys have any thoughts, or ideas, come at me. This is the post to comment at for (greetings, hellos, etc.).