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#platformer

Gummy Bears: The Magic Medallion Review

Might be enjoyable if you were high on crack, and weren’t the one playing.

This review is part of the 2014 Sh*tty Game Review Fest - read about the event here.

I hope there is a special place in Hell for Nintendo Wii shovelware developers. Gummi Bears, The Magic Medallion alone would win Storm City Games and everyone else involved with it prime oceanfront property at the sea of fire.  With platforming gameplay akin to wading through mud, and graphics similar to a bad Sega Game Gear game, this game, frankly, makes me want to dismantle the developer so they never strike again. 

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Jett Rocket II: The Wrath of Taikai Review

Releasing this game between the launch of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 and right before Mario and Zelda was probably a mistake.

If you know the company, Shin’en, it’s likely that you associate them with their well-crafted shooters, and not the platforming genre. But back on the Wii, the team charted into these new grounds with Jett Rocket. The WiiWare title was a decent attempt at a 3D platformer that now has a follow-up on the 3DS eShop. Jett Rocket II: The Wrath of Taikai takes a slightly different approach, blending both 2D and 3D platforming, while working in an assortment of mini-games to break up the fifteen core levels. The brief experience is enjoyable at times, but more frequently blasé, being outclassed by other titles in both variants of the platforming genre.

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Cloudberry Kingdom Review

Level designer > Random level generator

I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t realize that Cloudberry Kingdom is entirely made up of randomly generated stages. They demand a level of precision and contain enough traps that you’d think some masochistic level designer was madly laughing as he put most of them together. Of course, this does speak volumes of the quality of the level generator that sits behind this intensely challenging 2D platformer, but without anything pulling everything together, it’s more of a never ending gauntlet of disparate levels than a game.

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Guacamelee! Review

¡Viva la escuela vieja!

Old school games are here to stay, thanks to gems like Guacamelee, a fun 2D beat-'em-up/platformer with endearing characters and dialogue and a distinct Mexican flavor. It's filled to the brim with humor and now-ancient video game references to Mario, Zelda, and Metroid that will leave you laughing at how blatant they are. Its setting, music, and modern design choices all work together to make something new enough that you'll forget you're off yet again to save una otra princesa.

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Rayman Legends Review

One of the best modern day platformers.

Two years ago, Rayman hit the scene with one of his most inspired adventures yet. It took series staples and wove them into one of the most beautiful and interesting platformers I’d ever seen. Well, Rayman Legends is now here and it somehow manages to surpass Rayman Origins in every way imaginable. It applies the same great platforming to gorgeous new inspired worlds and even manages to make it enjoyable for more than one concurrent player this time around.

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Steamworld Dig: A Fistful of Dirt Review

I really dig this game…

SteamWorld Dig is one of those completely out of left field games. Before it hit the market, I had no idea it was even a thing that existed. Shortly after witnessing a small sample of the gameplay, my interest level shot through the roof; rightfully so, as it turns out. This mining action-platformer is innovative, interesting, and fun from end to end.

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DuckTales: Remastered is a Thing That's Happening

Woo-oo!

PAX East just kicked off today in Boston, but we may already have born witness to what may be the event’s biggest announcement.  Capcom has announced that they will be resurrecting one of the most beloved platformers of all time.  That’s right, DuckTales is making a comeback this year.

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Pid Review

My, that’s a polished turd!

Beautiful aesthetics, wonderful music, and just about perfect controls are all you could hope for in a platformer save one very important factor and this eluded me for a while.  I couldn’t figure out with so many great things going on in Pid why I hated it so very deeply.  Eventually I realized that its well-crafted elements were completely overwhelmed by the boring, mediocre, and at times maddening level design.  It’s a shame that the designers primarily focused on the window dressing bits instead of considering all the things you would actually be doing when you play.  Pid struggles with knowing what sort of levels it wants to present, switching from puzzles to difficult platforming to stealth to long periods of just waiting around or running in a straight line.  Each of these disparate level types (and more) are middling at best on their own and when combined are a complete drag.  Pid’s wonderful presentation can’t save it from the tedium packed into every single minute of its tortuous length.

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New Super Mario Bros. U Review

Lighting effects in a Mario game are still kind of weird to see.

Being the fourth entry in the series, prepending “New” to the title seems disingenuous. Despite tossing in a new power-up in the form of a flying squirrel suit, New Super Mario Bros. U is more of the same tried-and-true gameplay the series is known for. Don’t get me wrong, this is not a bad thing, but it’s hard not to feel some fatigue with the now familiar art style, level layout, and presentation. Despite this fatigue, there’s little question that New Super Mario Bros. U is the strongest title in the subseries and a fond callback to both Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World.

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Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit Review

The road to hell is paved with beautiful 2D sprites.

As someone who cut his teeth on Super Mario Bros., Mega Man, and Sonic the Hedgehog, I have a fondness for the 8- and 16-bit sprite art classic style, but I also want to see games that evolve the 2D platformer and bring it into the 21st century. I often ask myself how things would be if the games industry never moved on to polygons but instead kept refining their sprites for 25 years. What would that game look like? Thanks to Arkedo and their new game Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit I have my answer, and that answer would be “pretty damn sweet.”

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