Kirby’s Return to Dreamland
Developer: HAL Laboratory
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Released (North America): October 24, 2011
Released (Japan): October 27, 2011
Released (Europe): November 25, 2011
Released (Australia): December 1, 2011
Originally Played From: December 21, 2011 – March 16, 2012
“Kirby is back with all-new Super Abilities!”
Return to Dream Land is a more traditional Kirby game than Kirby’s Epic Yarn. Kirby’s trademark ability to copy powers from certain enemies and objects returns.
The premise of the game is simple. A starship flies out of a wormhole when King Dedede and Waddle Dee try to steal a cake from Kirby as Meta Knight reads a book. When they see the ship, the investigate and meet Magolor, an alien who lost five pieces of his ship, the Lor Starcutter, and 120 Energy Spheres. These items serve as MacGuffins for the player to collect.
Magolor offers the gang a trip to his homeworld, Halcandra (eh? Ehh?), if they help him fix his ship.
Continue reading Kirby’s Return to Dreamland
Mushroom Run in Treat Land is full of tricky platforming!
Sweets Park is the cutest level EVER. Graham crackers, cookies drizzled with chocolate, tufts of frosting, strawberries, cake… and none of it is a lie!
Melody Town? The level that comes right after? Best. In. Forever.
It’s simply wonderful to integrate audiovisual stimuli into platforming. It’s compelling and rewarding.
The boss of Treat Land is Squashini. His stage is very inventive as well!
Continue reading Kirby’s Epic Yarn Part Two
Kirby’s Epic Yarn
Developer: Good-Feel and HAL Laboratory
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Released (North America): October 17, 2010
Released (Japan): October 14, 2010
Released (Australia): February 24, 2011
Released (Europe): February 25, 2011
Originally Played From: July 20, 2011 – September 24, 2011
“Go behind the seams with Kirby!”
Continue reading Kirby’s Epic Yarn Part One
Well, Sega certainly had something to prove after Gearbox ripped them off with Aliens: Colonial Marines, didn’t they? Yet, my feelings towards this game somehow aren’t as strong as they should be. Maybe because this game has you being the most vulnerable of any Alien game I’ve played. Maybe it’s because the game makes the sight of the Alien too common, without a more empowering narrative for Amanda (which her mother gets in Aliens). The game almost feels incomplete in a way. Perhaps they can do a sequel with a better story for Amanda?
I guess I’m a little disappointed because I expected constant terror, but no game is tat scary. But I do think that, for a certain type of gamer, they should check it out, if for no other reason than the later levels. It’s weird that the game is kind of back-loaded in the last quarter or so.
Continue reading Alien: Isolation Part Four: Final Thoughts and Miscellany
Amanda gets the trauma kit and tries to flee the San Cristobal Medical Facility.
I had a death where the Alien impaled Amanda and then you see it cover her face. That’s what happens if you stupidly try to flee it.
Continue reading Alien: Isolation Part Two: Alone
Developer: Creative Assembly
Released: October 7, 2014
Played From: December 22, 2015 – January 7, 2016
The game uses retro FOX fanfare!
Continue reading Alien: Isolation Part One: Breakdown
Frank has bad tanlines. I wonder where he lives where he gets that much sun.
Continue reading Dead Rising 2: Off the Record Part Three: A Safe Bet
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record
System: Xbox 360
Developer: Capcom Vancouver
Released (US): October 11, 2011
Released (Australia and Japan): October 13, 2011
Released (Europe): October 14, 2011
Played From: October 19, 2011 – November 9, 2011
Off the Record is a rerelease/reimagining of Dead Rising 2, the first Dead Rising game made by Capcom Vancouver. The key difference between DR2 and OtR is who the main character is. DR2 had Chuck Greene, a good but stoic widowed father and mechanic. OtR had Frank West, a freelance photojournalist and the star of the first game. OtR was a “what if?” scenario showing how the events of DR2 would have played out with Frank in the starring role.
The basic premise is the same: Frank goes to Fortune City, Nevada to participate in Terror is Reality, a pay-per-view zombie slaughter show hosted by Tyrone “TK” King. After the show, the zombies get released, and it’s up to Frank to try to save people and crack the conspiracy.
Whereas Chuck had access to motorcycles to take down zombies en masse, Frank has to rely on his melee skills. Chuck wore a firesuit, but Frank is doled out in a mildly embarrassing wrestling singlet.
Continue reading Dead Rising 2: Off the Record Part One: Not-So Well Met
The Legacy of Symphony of the Night
SotN is a highly influential game, both within its franchise and gaming as a whole, but the immediate follow-ups to it were not fellow Metroidvanias.
Continue reading Castlevania: Symphony of the Night Part Eight: The Legacy