Tag Archives: Wii U

Forgiving the Unforgivable

Through so many years of so many letdowns, it is clear that some fans turned their backs on Nintendo either due to one of those doubtful moves or because of the sum of all parts. However, the number of people who decided to forgive, wait and develop – once more – trust in the company’s abilities were fairly rewarded. For every appealing Eastern game that was not localized to the West there was an incredible RPG; for every year that Samus stayed in the limbo there were five hours of gameplay in the fantastic trilogy that followed the lull; for every horrible Mario game there was an adventure featuring the plumber that blasted into historical greatness; for every ridiculous song in Donkey Konga there was a stage exploding in creativity in Donkey Kong Country Returns and its sequel; for every CD-i Zelda game there were many unforgettable Hylian adventures; for every inadequate Star Fox game there was a new IP or a fun adventure starring a reborn Kirby; for every botched up relationship with third-parties there were unexpected partnerships that resulted in incredible titles; and for every disastrous system there were more than plenty of successful ones.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is, then, not a continuation, but a new and exciting beginning. From this point onwards, it becomes the guiding light that will illuminate the path of not only future Zelda installments but also of any open-world game. Surely, there is room for improvement, as the Zelda aspect of the game could have been a little bit meatier in order to offer a more significant counterbalance to its open-world tendencies. However, the existence of such shortcomings does not – in the slightest – mean Breath of the Wild is disappointing; it actually makes anyone who goes through its adventure become thoroughly excited for the road that lies open up ahead. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild may not be a pioneer, for it borrows more than it creates, but by taking two gameplay styles – open-world and Zelda – to their very apex by joining them, it earns the right to be called a classic and to become one of those tall poles that divide history into two parts: what came before it and what will come next.

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Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Review

If it were a game from a brand new franchise Shantae: Half-Genie Hero could be easily called great. It is not overly lengthy, clocking in at about eight hours if players go for full completion, but it has a satisfying duration nevertheless; it is beautiful to look at; it packs a solid soundtrack; and it has charm, humor, and level-design prowess. However, as the fourth installment in a series that has always excelled in the way it borrowed elements from Metroid and Zelda, and stuck them in the shoes of a platformer, it ends up falling short of that status. Newcomers are far more likely to thoroughly enjoy it than longtime fans, for while the former will see it as a truly delightful action-platformer with some notable quirks, the latter are bound to view it as not just a missed opportunity, but a step back, one that apparently fails to materialize half of what made its prequels so beloved in the first place.

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Paper Mario: Color Splash Review

Where Sticker Star was the downfall, Color Splash is the fair shot at redemption: a game that tries to reconnect itself with what its prequel lost. However, it is visible its heart is not quite fully dedicated to that honorable quest. While it does, to an astounding degree, recover the spectacular funny writing over which the glory of Mario’s role-playing outings is constructed, it holds onto failed ideas that were introduced by Sticker Star and that ended up receiving the universal panning they deserved. Therefore, Color Splash is frustratingly ambivalent, as it shows Nintendo working at the peak of its creative powers, and at the lowest depths of its unshakable stubborn nature.

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Rainbows and Dark Clouds

If it were taken to court and placed on the defendant’s seat, Color Splash would not be able to summon a single alibi to escape the accusation of carrying those features: the verdict would be quick, and the game would be sent to the prison where all offenders of good game design rot for all eternity. However, differently from Sticker Star, an endless lifeless slog in the form of a game, Color Splash is actually fun. Undoubtedly, it does have its share of annoying vices – for example, specific Thing Cards are still a must to make boss battles manageable and to help Mario clear certain obstacles. Nonetheless, in the fixing, or in the minimal shifts in implementation, of many of Sticker Star’s dull mechanics, it finds a way to be successful and entertaining.

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Limbo Review

The world around you is awfully dark. You wake up in the middle of nowhere. It would be hard to tell exactly where you are if it wasn’t for a few shy rays of sunlight breaking through the treetops right above you. It is a dark forest where the only sounds that can be heard come from the occasional whispering wind, the cracking of a branch, and the distant murmurs of nature. Due to the darkness, everything standing in front of you has no color, or face; you can clearly tell their shapes by their distinct shadows, but it is impossible to see if that platform made out of a piece of trunk is safe to walk on or if that human-shaped form is just another child like you or a bizarre human-like creature that is set to attack. Limbo is all shadows, mystery and atmosphere; it has the dense air one would expect from a more realistic thriller, but instead, here, the creepiness and the constant feeling that there is something lurking out there somewhere is wrapped with a platforming gameplay and is pleasantly contrasting with cute cartoonish lines.

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Super Meat Boy Review

Super Meat Boy ends up being a glorious homage to the ridiculously hard platformers that were a big part of the gaming industry in the 80s. The game is not ashamed to show its influences, starting from its title with suspiciously familiar initials and its Mega Man stage progression, to the pixel art that its visuals display. It also looks back on the industry’s past via its humorous cutscenes, appropriately lacking any display of technical prowesses, which will make clear references to memorable titles of the past, delighting old-school players with its writing’s incredible humor. When it is all said and done, Super Meat Boy is so fantastic that it ends up being more than a celebration of the past; it is the proof that what is truly great will never die, but will keep being reborn and refreshed through the years, and that those who love the sheer simplicity of the brilliant platformers of gaming’s early years should be thankful for living in an era that loves to produce fresh nods to those simpler, and more brutal, days.

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