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Review: Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

Posted by Mr.Video on June 23, 2014 at 9:00 PM Comments comments (8)

Hello all, Mr.Video here. While I was talking to OmegaSword about reviews, I remembered I had written a review out for Donkey Kong Tropical Freeze for my Journalism class. So I decided to post it here for you all to marvel at, even if I am a few months late. Just keep in mind that this was supposed to be a formal review and I did have a page limit while writing, so it's going to be a bit different from what I usually write, hence the next paragraph. Now without any further adieu...

 When Nintendo first unveiled Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze at the 2013 E3 expo, many people were very vocal with their disappointment at the fact that Retro Studios was developing another Donkey Kong Country game rather than a new Metroid game. With many quickly dubbing the game as Nintendo playing it safe and that it’s just a cash grab rather than something new and unique. After having played the game myself, I’m happy to say that early evaluations proved to be false.

  Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze is anything but a rehash, quite the opposite actually. Retro Studios put just as much love and care into crafting this latest installment as they did into its predecessor, Donkey Kong Country Returns. While they look and play pretty similar to one another, the two games feel like two completely different experiences.

  The gameplay stays true to the tried and tested formula set by its older brothers, with the tight controls and level of challenge people have come to expect of a Donkey Kong Country game. Despite the sometimes intimidating level of difficulty of the game has, it does compensate less-skilled players through a generous amount of extra lives and Funky Kong selling items that’ll help the player in a pinch. The amount of lives handed to you can be generous to a fault though, as you’d be hard pressed to get a game-over this time around.

 Buddy characters Diddy, Dixie and Cranky Kong also join the DK on his quest, bringing their unique talents into the mix. Like last time, Diddy uses his jet-pack to help keep DK stay in the air for a few more seconds; Dixie can add extra height to DK’s jumps by using her hair as a propeller and Cranky gives DK use of his pogo-stick like cane to bounce on enemies and spiked surfaces. Each Kong adds something new to the mix and feel like well-considered additions rather than just gimmicky additions

  At a quick glance, one might make the mistake that Tropical Freeze and DKC Returns are one and the same, but that couldn’t be any further than the truth. The graphics have received just as much attention as the gameplay has, with the backgrounds and characters filled to the brim with detail, with characters frolicking about and interacting with one another.

  The music composed by the returning former Donkey Kong Country composer David Wise compliments the stages in which they’re played perfectly, adding all that much more to a great game. No one piece sounds the same and contains plenty of musical references to other classic tunes in the series that are sure to bring back fond memories for fans of the original trilogy.

 Despite the long list of positives I’ve written, nothing is perfect. The loading times for the game are a little staggering at times, sometimes lasting over a minute before you can start the level. It’s not an overly annoying flaw, but it is a bit puzzling that a 2-D platformer game takes such a long time to load. Other than that small discrepancy, everything about the game is pretty solid and is definitely worth checking out.


...Well hope you all enjoyed this review. Thought what I said was bullshit? Feel free to express your own opinion in the comments! I'll just go back into my lonesome little corner of the site now.

Smash Fest 2014

Posted by Shadow624 on June 15, 2014 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (4)

So I was writing this in the forum for Smash Fest, but figured I'd turn it into a blog.

     My friends I and I were planning on going to this since it was announced and on the 14th we finally were able to. The closest Best Buy that was holding it from my area was about 2 hours away. Not really sure why as there was more populated area with a Best Buy less than an hour away, but hey whatever. I wanted to play some Smash. Anyway, we got there about a half an hour before it was supposed to start and it was already cycling people through which was good, it just meant we could play it sooner. Now the way the had it set up was they had the 3DS version playable for 4 people until the people on the Wii U version were done playing. By the way, there was only one TV set up. Not really sure why as it was Best Buy and they do sell both TV's and Wii U's, but again, whatever I guess.

     We waited for about an hour or so and finally got to the 3DS version. I picked Sonic for this because I wanted to see if they changed him in any way. Turns out they actually did to a degree. They made him have a little more recoil whenever he does certian attacks. For example, for Sonic's dive kick move (aerial down A) when he lands it takes him a longer time to recover. Not really "bad" I guess. Just something I noticed. Also, I think Roger Craig Smith is voicing this Sonic now. Not that that's a bad thing. On to controls, they're aboutt he same, but they switched L from shield to grab and R and still shield. Which isn't a problem, just thought I'd point it out. Something else I noticed was that it was noticeably laggy. Keep in mind that all the players were standing less than 2 feet away from each other. Hopefully that'll be fixed later on when it's released. It actually might be one of the reasons it got pushed back to begin with. We didn't really get the chance to finish our fight because the Wii U opened up before then.

     After that, we finally got moved to the Wii U. The roster inlcuded Mario, Bowser, Rosalina and Luma, DK, Samus, Zero Suit Samus, Link, Zelda, Villager, Pit, Kirby, Fox, Marth, Greninja, Pikachu, Olimar, Little Mac, Wii Fit Trainer, Megaman and Sonic. I chose Rosalina and Luma as I still can't beleive she's a character and I just wanted to try her out. We also had to use Wii U Pro Controllers. Which is fine but kinda "eh" as they handle a lot like the Classic Wii Controller in terms of how they're held. Like if you're used to the GameCube controller like I am, switching to the Pro controller is gonna take a little while.

     Anyway, we were thrown into Battlefield and I was up against MegaMan, Greninja, and Pikachu. First off I noticed it looked fantistic graphically. It was almost Mario Kart 8 in terms of graphics. The special effects were also a HUGE improvement over Brawls too and the inclusion of that "death" hit spark special effect added a nice visual twist to combat. So the battle was going on, I was kicking ass as Rosalina, not really getting her play-style very well but still winning regardless, when all of the a sudden the Smash Ball appeared. Obviously, this created a huge panic in everybody. I ended up  snagging it and noticed something interesting. When you grab a Smash Ball, the screen goes somewhat grayscale with a red overlay. Not really important, but it deffinitely caught my attention. So I used my Final Smash and for those of you that don't know, Rosalina's Final Smash summons a Grand Star from Mario Galaxy and shoots out a bunch of stars in varying directions. So that took care of everyone else on the screen and I ended up winning the round.

     So after that, my friends and I decided that we'd go through one more time as the first line wasn't bad at all. So we got back in line and waited and waited and waited and waited. We waited for maybe like an hour and half. We noticed that around the last corner of the line, everyone had gotten clustered together and it was impossible to tell who was in front of anybody. We come to the conclusion that we'd be waiting in line for a good 2 or 3 more hours before we got around to it again and just decided to bail as we had a 2 hour drive home to look forward to.

     All and all my friends and I had a great time and I do it again if Nintendo were to do something like it again. I do have my gripes with the event though as I think it could have been organized a little better. More Wii U's to play on specifically, but maybe they just couldn't do that, I'm not sure. We were lucky enough to get a demo this early anyway. So in conclusion, I'd say the 3DS one needs some work and the Wii U version is on its way to boosting Nintendo's Wii U sales even more so than Mario Kart 8 did.

Long Time, No Update

Posted by Shadow624 on April 7, 2014 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (9)

     Hey, what's up everyone? It has been friggin' forever since I last made a post to here. So much has happened in the past, what? 4 months? Geez, it has been forever... Anyway, I have some information I'd like to share.

     First up is the release of the latest beta of the game I'm helping with. Dream vs. Dream. Yes, their latest beta has finally been released! My effects have been added in and look great in game. The game is still in early stages of development, so some bugs and other things may be noticable. Get it here:

And because I don't really care what happens to the effects. (This whole thing is just for practice) I'm just gonna give them away to the public. This pack contains all the effects in the most current version of the game and a bunch of other stuff that has yet to be added. You can use them for whatever you want, just give me credit.

I have also been asked to make some tutorials on how I make my effects. So you may see some floating around in the video section every once in a while. Although I'm no teacher, so yeah. :x

     Next, I'd like to proudly announce that my internet situation has FINALLY been resolved. Metrocast has been installed to my house and I honestly could not be happier. I played Brawl and Mario Kart Wii online in my own house for the first time, ever. With this new internet, the possibilities are friggin' endless. I've actually been meaning to share this with everybody for the longest time, but just could not get it uploaded. It's a realistic sound effects pack courtesy of Mistah-Jayden. The sounds are used in major animations ranging from Pac-Boys masterpieces, to DestructionSeries' EXTREME TAG.

Since I have good internet now, I'd like to post all my misc online things here.

Skype: Shadow.624

Wii U ID: Shadow624

3DS FC: 2707-1631-1863

XBoxLive GamerTag: Shad624

I'm not gonna bother posting my Wii FCs and whatnot as their servers are just going to be taken down next month. Oh, and all my other crap is in the "Links" section.

Well, that's all I have to say for now. Later. :P

Review: Sonic Lost World ( WiiU)

Posted by OmegaSword on January 1, 2014 at 9:45 PM Comments comments (13)

Let's take a quick flashback to the early months of 2013. I was sitting in my room watching the latest Nintendo Direct when I suddenly saw the trailer for this game; a new Sonic game. A game I had been waiting for for almost 2 years. It looked fantastic, and it seemed as though Sonic Team had solidified future 3D Sonic games for the better from now on, and no longer would their games get low scores and poor reception, I mean, Sonic Generations was one of the most, if not the most well recieved modern Sonic game, not only that, it sold over 2 million units worldwide, so naturally I was hyped for this game. The months passed, with one or two new trailers being shown here and there, boosting my anticipation even more. Finally, once Christmas came, I got it and was pretty disappointed. I think this is the first time I've ever been disappointed by a game I had my hopes up for. But enough of that, let's get onto the review.

For this and all future reviews, I will be ranking the game on 5 key elements that go in the order that I think are most important to least important. Those elements are:

1. Gameplay

2. Story

3. Music

4. Graphics

5. Other

1. Gameplay:

Probably the least disappointing thing about this game was its gameplay and controls. First of all, Sonic controls very nice and quite smooth, even while spin dashing, and there are no other stupid characters you have to control, which makes this automatically better. Although you don't move at super sonic speeds like in past entries, the over all controls more than make up for it. If you move only the control stick, Sonic walks, but if you hold ZR, he runs. Why was this not in other Sonic games? It's so darn good it seems integral to the series. This game is also the first Sonic game I feel they did everything right with the controls. The first and most important thing I feel they did was making two seperate buttons for the jump and the homing attack. While A and B both jump, only A does a homing attack. This is sooo much more convenient you wouldn't believe it, not only that, but you can't use the homing attack whenever you want, which leads to less accidental deaths. Next up is the mid-air double jump, a cool staple that I think is really useful for platforming. The third and most interesting thing by far is the parkour. Being able to run up and on the side of walls and climb up ledges is so cool, fun, and convenient. This new parkour ability goes perfectly with a lot of the platforming, especially the 2D segments, which I have to say I really enjoyed and thought they were very well designed and made perfect use of Sonic's abilities. The 3D segements were okay... for the most part. A lot of the 3D level designs I honestly didn't like too much, especially the cloud levels, man do I hate the cloud levels. The size of the cloud platforms are ridiculous and the movement is slow and clunky and breaks up the flow of the game. While on the topic of bad levels, pretty much the entirety of the snow and (to a lesser extent) water levels I didn't like. The water levels I felt were too boring/frustrating and the ice levels had really poor skating controls that made Sonic feel super floaty and impercise. Also, some of the ice world stages just made you go around in circles. Furthermore, why were there wisps in this game? There was no reason for them to be here, and most of them were just annoying to use, aside from one or two. Oh and I dunno if this counts more towards story or gameplay, but the boss battles are absolutely garbage. You can beat every one of them within seconds, even the final boss! Zomom was also the only one with a cool boss fight. Getting back to the more positive stuff, you can also charge the homing attack and target multiple enemies at once. This is something else that i find to be very well executed. I also like how there was no light speed dash or boost, making things a lot easier to control and easier to enjoy the environments. I've seen some people complain about how slow Sonic is, but if they kept the same controls for the next Sonic game, I'd be perfectly fine with the speed.

Oh, and one more useful thing I forgot to mention; the kick. Sonic now has a homing kick ability. It's nothing revolutionary, but cool nonetheless.

Score: 8/10

2. Story:

Although not the worst story seen in a Sonic game ( *ahem* Sonic 06* ahem*) it's definitely nothing interesting. All they really had to do was explain things, such as what's the Lost Hex? Where'd it come from? Who are the Zeti? Why are they there? How did Eggman find them? Why do the Zeti just disappear at the end? Why are they all bland and forgettable except 2? Etc. I mean honestly, the only characters I liked in this game were Zeena, Zomom, and Eggman. Zeena is the girl and Zomom is the fat yellow one, by the way. They were the only ones who really stood out to me in terms of personality and likeablility. There's also a couple pointless cameos from Amy and Knuckles. I say pointless because they really had nothing to do with the story. Despite that, the game does have some funny parts, particularly with the two Zeti that I mentioned before. The ending was also very short and disappointing overall, although somewhat funny, only because of Eggman though.

Score: 5.5/10

3. Music:

Do I even need to explain this one? I've yet to play a Sonic game in which I didn't like the music. Probably my favourite track from this game is either Desert Ruins Zone Act 2 or the final boss theme. A lot of the fanfare seemed very Mario Galaxy inspired, as well.


4. Graphics:

While appealing, they're certainly nothing special. The in game graphics are obviously better than Sonic generations given that this is on a next-gen system, but it notably lacks many high resolution pre-rendered cutscenes save the opening video. The backgrounds and textures are still quite nice looking regardless. I always look forward to seeing the individual hairs on Eggmans mustache.

Score: 7/10

5. Other:

Eh, there's not much to say about this part. You can race against another person in levels you've beaten (locally, not on wi-fi), and there are some hidden stages after you beat the main story. There's also a neat yet annoying Miiverse functionality that allows you to send and receive items to and from other people. You can also apparently turn into Super Sonic by collecting all of the red rings from every level, but you'll most likely end up like me and feel no incentive to track down the things. There's also some cool DLC available and more on the way.

Score: 6/10

Overall it's not a terrible game, it's actually pretty fun for the most part, but it's not something you should rush out right now to buy. It's good, but not the best Sonic game I've ever played.

Final Score: 35/50

Happy Holidays!

Posted by Shadow624 on December 25, 2013 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (12)
Whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever else, Happy Holidays from all of me to you. Here's hoping Santa didn't overload you with coal for whatever reason. If not, get everything you wanted? I really didn't ask for anything because I'm already crazy busy with all my other crap. Oddly, and I did hint at this to my parents, but I got a PS4. I found out however, that it's not backwards compatible... -_- Oh well, can't win them all I suppose. At least I have something to play Kingdom Hearts 3 on when it FINALLY comes out. I was also surprised with a Hatsune Miko T-Shirt. XD Oh how my parents know me... It's scary. Not even joking either in case you're wondering. You guys get anything cool? I'd also like to take this opportunity to give out some updates on some stuff. I have started out on CR, I am working that BoP page I just made slowly, but surely, and I have been asked to make effects for a Yume Nikki fan game called Dream Vs. Dream. That's all for now, later. ~



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