Thursday, February 26, 2015

[REVIEW] Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker
Played on: Wii U
Genre: 3D puzzle platformer
Developer: Nintendo / 1-Up Studio 
Publisher: Nintendo

One of Nintendo's surprise reveals during E3 2014, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker takes the adorable character (along with the even more adorable Toadette) through dozens of diorama-like stages in search of coins, golden mushrooms and golden stars. It's easy to think the game is merely more of the same puzzle action seen on the special stages in Super Mario 3D World, but if you do, you'll have another thing coming.

It's on like... you know how it goes.

It seems Nintendo of America has finally wised up and is releasing the original SNES Donkey Kong Country trilogy on the Wii U Virtual Console. This is awesome for a number of reasons: first, because it's one of my favorite gaming trilogies of all time (a tradition that continues to this day, given that I just elected Tropical Freeze as my favorite game of 2014), and it placed highly on my Virtual Console wishlist last year. Secondly, because it just dawned on me that I'll get to review them here, and the prospect of putting my love for the franchise in words fills me with joy. And finally, for a less selfish reason: I love that people who weren't gaming back then will be able to experience these games for the first time.

And yeah, now my afternoon at work is going to be that much harder to bear. Long live, DK.

Monday, February 23, 2015

[REVIEW] Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones

 Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones
Played on: Wii U
Genre: Metroidvania platformer, puzzle platformer
Developer / Publisher: Curve Digital

You're supposed to be a mindless clone inside a huge, mysterious facility. But, as luck would have it, you ended up defective in a crucial way: yearning for your freedom. This is the rather intriguing premise for Stealth Inc. 2, a sprawling Wii U-exclusive platformer that mixes metroidvania exploration with focused, self-contained (and sometimes super-hard) puzzle levels.

Friday, February 20, 2015

[REVIEW] Gunman Clive 2

Gunman Clive 2
Played on: 3DS
Genre: 2D platformer
Developer / Publisher: Höberg Productions

The first Gunman Clive was a pleasant surprise on the 3DS e-Shop, with its peculiar aesthetics, tight platforming, and budget price point. This sequel is everything a fan of the original could hope for, keeping what worked and bringing about some excellent new features.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

[REVIEW] Shantae and the Pirate's Curse

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse
Played on: Wii U (e-Shop)
Also available on: 3DS
Genre: Metroidvania platformer
Developer: WayForward / IntiCreates
Publisher: WayForward

WayForward’s Shantae is one of those series I’ve heard a lot of good things about over the years, but never actually got to play until now. Luckily for me, it seems Pirate’s Curse is the most ambitious game in the franchise so far, with a vast archipelago of quasi-seamless, differently-themed islands to explore. It’s one of those games that manage to strike the elusive balance between tight platforming, exciting exploration, and a very fair difficulty curve.