Category Archives: Reviews
Donkey Kong is back, and no one is going to steal his banana hoard this time
Back in November, 1994, Rare released a game on the Super Nintendo that changed the image of what we all thought when someone mentioned the name ‘Donkey Kong’, which a little game titled ‘Donkey Kong Country’. Since then, it’s breathed new life into the franchise, with DK being the hero (rather than the villain) and spawning sequels, racing games, and becoming one of Nintendo’s iconic mascots. Unfortunately, Rare are no longer at Nintendo’s side, instead making horrible Kinect games for Microsoft, Retro Studios are now at the helm, and brought the Donkey Kong universe back to life with the Wii game, Donkey Kong Country Returns.
But it’s now 2014, almost 20 years since the original release of DKC for the Super Nintendo, so does DK bring his A-game to the Wii U?
Leaving us hungry…
After playing the opening section of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 I was excited. It featured some great combat, a huge mechanised siege machine, a brilliant backdrop for the combat to play out on and a dangerous Paladin to fight. I was excited to see where the game could go with such a great opening, but quickly realised that what I’d just played was the peak of what Lords of Shadow 2 could offer.
After the cliffhanger ending of the original Lords of Shadow left Gabriel (now Dracula!) alive in the modern-day, the sequel held a lot of promise in continuing the story. Now, tired with his immortality, Dracula seeks a way to end his turmoil. This comes at the hands of an old ‘friend’ who tells of Satan’s return, promising to end Dracula’s torment if he can defeat Satan’s followers to stop his return. Be prepared for cutscenes, as this game is jam-packed full of them. They taper off after a little while, and whilst the series recap video is helpful, I found that it was overly long and the abundance of them tends to pull you away from the action for too long.
Run away, and live to steal another day.
The Baron’s Watch patrol the jewellery store, but they’re no match for me. I stalk in the shadows. Unseen, unheard. I manage to lift everything that isn’t bolted down, but I still crave more. I peer through a keyhole, where I see my prize.
A wall safe.
Problem is, there’s a sleeping guard no more than arm’s length away from it. It’s nothing Garrett, the Master Thief can’t handle. I slip through the doorway, and tiptoe up to the safe. I pull out my trusty lockpick in order to gain entry to the riches locked away.
First pin, set. The second, set. The tension in the room is almost unbearable as I have certain death just a few feet behind me. I go to set the final pin, and it slips out of place. The loud crack wakes the guard from his slumber. With no time to lose, I dive behind a couch, resigning the fact that I will soon be discovered. The guard rises from his chair, looks around to see nothing disturbed, and thankfully returns to his slumber.
I return to set the final pin before claiming my prize, and getting the hell out of there, like a ghost in the night.
“Time for another approach”-Claire “Lightning” Farron
(York Robilliard returns with his review of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII)
Lightning Returns is an interesting beast, a melange of new gameplay ideas, the final chapter of the Final Fantasy XIII saga is both exciting for its bold new gameplay direction and conflicted for it’s desire to shed the tonality of both XIII & XII-2.
Concerning the now eponymous Lightning and her awakening in time for the end of the world, the final entry of the XIII series puts players in what remains of the former Gran Pulse, the name given to the natural landscape of the world.
Having awoken five hundred years after the end of the previous game, Lightning is empowered by the All-God Bhunilvelze and tasked as his “saviour”. Given the power to save the souls of the populace, paired with former ally Hope and set upon the world to rush against time, Lightning has the unenviable task of saving as many people as she can to be reborn in the new world to be created…but not everyone can be saved.
Party time on an Island tour!
If you’re at all familiar with Mario Party you probably have fond memories of sitting around a television with three friends, Nintendo 64 controllers in hand, battling to be the Superstar across various boards and near controller breaking minigames. The latest instalment, Mario Party Island Tour on 3DS, still provides a four player board game party akin to the originals but unfortunately does so forgettably.
The game is spread over three main modes; Party, Minigames and Bowser’s Tower. Each has its own merits and all provide varying degrees of short-term fun.