Tropical Freeze was my first Donkey Kong Country game (I played Donkey Kong Land 3 on Game Boy Advance), though I’m quite familiar with the character through Smash Bros. and Mario Party, as well as the arcade original, which actually starred Cranky Kong as the villain, the original DK. Well, technically the villain was Jumpman, aka Mario, as the manual explains he abused DK, and DK took his girlfriend and smashed barrels around his house. Eventually his descendant became great friends with Mario and gang, and regularly races karts and plays soccer against them. This is the DK that stars in this game. I’m aware, however, that this is the first game to star Cranky Kong as a playable character, as he originally was just a shopkeep, though that role is filled by Funky Kong for this game...Read More
Grand Theft Auto V was home to some of the greatest moments of this year in gaming, with its wonderfully vivid vistas and biting satire disguised as character development. These are the missions that helped secure its perfect score from me. *WARNING: THERE LIE SPOILERS BELOW THIS SPOILER WARNING!*
#7. Caida Libre
The Gist: Michael and Trevor are requested by Martin Madrazo (the guy who’s house Michael and Franklin yanked down a hillside earlier) to assassinate a snitching family member, who’s flying in leisure on his own private jet. Michael shoots it down with a super-sniper rfile, while Trevor chases after it cross-country, and retrieves some sensitive files aboard. Trevor take them back to Martin, while Michael destroys the van that held the rifle...Read More
Say what you want about how great past console generations were, but this is the gen where gaming finally pushed past its novel premise, and became an art-form all its own. The games featured below are, in my opinion, this generation’s watermarks, saying a great deal of the viability of video gaming as a medium, masterpieces that could only work as the video games they so humbly know they are.
Metal Gear is one of the greatest game series ever made, with 4 being one of the only two truly perfect games (in my opinion) in existence. Everyone and their grandma is stoked for the first part of the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V experience, Ground Zeroes, which is due Spring 2014 for PS3 and 360 retail ($30) and digitally ($20), and One and PS4 digitally ($30). Seeing how incredible 4 and even Peace Walker were, Kojima must pull out all of the stops if he wants to even reach an inch of 4′s raw, masterful brilliance. Luckily, I think he has. I’m going to run you through some of my thoughts on some new features and mechanics being introduced to the series by Kojima’s next behemoth, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, and, by extension, Ground Zeroes.
Perhaps the most controversial aspe...Read More
Pac-Man, one character synonymous with gaming itself, has been revamped considerably, and possibly given his first actual sequel since his early ’80s masterpiece dropped and milked quarters from all of the young boys and girls. Nowadays, we can just go and download an emulator and enjoy damn near all of Pac-Man’s classic library, but it fails to capture the absolute magic of playing the game in an original arcade cabinet. Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+ manages to bring that magic back, as well as injecting a rollicking, high-octane magic of its own.
Think of the most hectic game of Pac-Man you’ve ever played. Now, add 80 ghosts following narrowly behind, and at a speed of 120 MPH. That is every single game of DX on expert mode, the only way (in my opinion) to properly play the game...Read More
Many people were disappointed by Assassin’s Creed III, citing it’s lack of true tactical freedom as a main factor, as well as unlikable characters and a bland plot. After how incredibly hyped up III was, it seemed impossible that it would ever live up to expectations. But boy, were we ever excited. About a year after Assassin’s Creed III shipped, IV is making its way to our current and next-gen consoles. IV isn’t anywhere near as hyped up as III, but it sure does look like an improvement, and could possibly dethrone Brotherhood as the best (in my opinion) in the series. Question is: is the game going to suck?
Probably. Well, maybe a little bit. That’s my prediction, anyway...Read More
We all love the moments when we’re driving ATVs out of the back of a cargo jet, or tearing through a small town police force with a mini-gun, but a game’s narrative is truly successful when moments such as driving a truck full of expensive, stolen vehicles down a very-long countryside road is just as powerful, if not more so, due in part to excellent writing, in a very accomplished, highly ambitious, Tarantino-style narrative. At the very least, it does butt heads with the very best of Tarantino (Pulp Fiction, in case you were confused).
I consider Grand Theft Auto IV a watermark on this generation of consoles, and when taken together with its DLC partners, tells one of the best narratives in all of gaming...Read More
I may be in the minority, but I’m one of those people who cared more for Saints Row: The Third than Saints Row 2. Sure, the atmosphere and story in Saints Row 2 were great, but the controls were very bad, and overall, was not very fun to play.
Its inability to deliver a quality open-world sandbox game has been a series curse since the very beginning. The original Saints Row, was dubbed a middling GTA knock-off by almost everyone I knew, obviously clinging tight to the coattails of (the now obsolete, but no less riveting) GTA San Andreas. Saints Row: The Third was the game where the series finally found its footing, relishing in a stew of outlandish set-pieces and stylized ultra-gore, with updated controls and level-up system to boot.
Whatever similarities the series had to Grand Theft Au...Read More
Well, damn. Only 14 days to go until the mammoth seventh-gen masterpiece drops from the heavens like an atom bomb, strapped to the T with fire-works, which will spell out “GOTY in a big way!” in big, neon-esque traces of letters. Yes, perhaps the only game that can beat The Last of Us for GOTY, Grand Theft Auto V, is almost here. Ever since I was 4, and for the first few seconds I had it, into my PS2 I popped in the gritty, mafioso masterwork GTA III, I have been an extremely hardcore fan of just about every game in the series short of the original, which is quite terrible, and you have my full recommendation against playing it...Read More
Joel (voiced by Troy Baker; perhaps his best performance yet), a hardened survivor, and a 14-year old potty-mouthed girl named Ellie (Ashley Johnson), search for the elusive Firefly militia group through the states ruled by martial law, cannibalistic hunters, and human beings infected with a fungus known as Cordyceps. Simply put, the world’s gone to hell, and the apocalypse is long over. Sounds simple enough? It’s a basic zombie story, with many of the tropes associated with those works. Where The Last of Us sets itself apart, however, is its fresh new spin on the genre, with excellently scripted adult storytelling, and a powerful execution to boot, much in the same vein as last year’s “The Walking Dead”.
The Last of Us accommodates whatever playstyle you prefer, and will adapt to it rig...Read More