I'm angry that I had to write this review of 1001 Spikes, as I would have rather spent this time playing more of it. That anger makes me all the more similar to the game's titular hero Aban Hawkins. Neglected and disrespected by his famous father and stuck in the shadow of his intelligent and responsible sister, he's got every reason to be a grump. This is a man with something to prove and he doesn't care how badly he's going to get hurt in the process. He's not going to stop until he shows the world that nobody and nothing can keep him down.
Aban's story is a perfect fit for the world of hurt he runs into headfirst. 1001 Spikes is a game of endless danger, a place where eye contact with death is a near constant. The game fights you nearly every step of the way, but it always fights fair, making each small victory feel like a life affirming success. Those who can summon the bravery to risk the challenges here are bound to discover that they are capable of more than they had given themselves credit for.
[Update: Apparently, just this morning, Sega decided to subtitle both Sonic Boom for Wii U and the upcoming Sonic 3DS game. Sonic Boom on Wii U is now Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, and the 3DS title is Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal. This preview only looks at Rise of Lyric.]
Heading into a recent play session with Sega's Sonic Boom, I was filled with odd, conflicting senses of hesitation and anticipation. Would this be an all-out trainwreck that I had to cringe my way through? If I set my internal bar low enough, would I be strangely surprised? Heaven forbid, might it actually be good?
The Sonic name has sat in an uncomfortable place for years now -- past failures in the franchise simultaneously meriting both more lenient expectations and a more critical eye to future installments. Sonic Boom looks to be no exception. Its faults stick out like poorly bandaged sore thumbs, but some of them are sort of acceptable because it's Sonic. Sort of.
The demo that we were shown was broken up into a few different sections that could be selected. There was a level from the campaign, a boss fight against Doctor Eggman, and a fast-paced, on-rails level to zoom through. They all played very differently from one another, and gave good indication as to what Sonic Boom's strengths and weakness truly are.
After the first three console entries, Mario Kart and I have had a semi-bumpy ride. After hundreds, possibly thousands of hours spent playing Super Mario Kart, 64, and Double Dash, I didn't have the same fervor as I once did from the DS iteration on.
I barely played Mario Kart Wii due to a lack of interest, and I was let down in many ways by the underwhelming Mario Kart 7. But thanks to the magic of Mario Kart 8, I'm all in again just like the olden days. It helps that it's one of the most gorgeous and breathtaking games on the market right now.
All week long we'll be asking the Destructoid community for your predictions for each of the major press conferences going into E3 2014! Share your thoughts in the comments, and upvote your favorites! We'll be recapping these posts this weekend.
Nintendo has a lot to prove this year at E3. Don't get me wrong: I love my Wii U. But even still, I rarely find a reason to turn it on these days. Nintendo's first-party titles have been just as stellar this generation as they were on the Wii, but they aren't coming at a quick enough clip to make up for the disappointingly dwindling third-party support as of late, which makes early adopters such as myself sigh the saddest of sighs at every new "Wii U version delayed" announcement we read.
Still, that could all be set right with the right support from the right parties right now... right? So how do you think they'll fair? What major reveals do you foresee? Any new franchises you think they'll announce? Old favorites brought back from the dead? Or just more of the same? Share your thoughts below! Or, if you feel yourself getting too long-winded, go write a community blog!
[Update: Nintendo isn't sharing any other details about the adapter other than what we know below. Hopefully more details are shared at E3.]
When Super Smash Bros. on Wii U releases later this year, it'll include optional support for one of the most beloved controllers of all time. That's right, Nintendo's found a way to bring the GameCube controller to the party.
Nintendo of America tweeted the news, along with a picture of the adapter that'll make it all possible. There's no news yet as to how much it'll cost or when it'll release. We've reached out to Nintendo for more details.
A hot topic of discussion around our office is whether or not this adapter will include Wavebird support. Apparently we all like to do our smashin' from the kitchen.
Spider-Man games used to rule the roost when it came to licensed comic book properties. Spidey led the way in fact on the NES, and continued his streak into the SNES with classic brawlers like Separation Anxiety and Maximum Carnage, and one of my personal favorites -- the 1995 cartoon adaptation.
But ever since 2004's Spider-Man 2, developers have struggled to recapture the magic of what it means to swing about in 3D. While I saw a lot of hope in the first Amazing Spider-Man game, there's been an unfortunate drop in quality the second time around.
Mario Kart 8 has unveiled two "new" characters. They are Baby Rosalina and Pink Gold Peach. What the heck, right? You're probably rolling your eyes at the lack of surprise with Baby Rosalina (who's joining Baby Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Daisy), but Pink Gold Peach?
Think Metal Mario, but a more precious, royal metal (gold) and then pink because femininity is pink even though I'm wearing a pink shirt right now and I am super manly. Seriously. I am eating a pound of salami and a half pound of cheese for lunch.
When Ubisoft revealed that it was working on an old-school JRPG with modern visuals, I was utterly surprised. It's not really in its wheelhouse, and the striking visuals of Child of Light were immediately apparent -- even more striking than either of the recent Rayman games, which utilized the same UbiArt engine.
Now that it's finally here, I'm pleased to say it looks even better in action, and I'm eager to see what the team can do with this formula in the future.
The developers at Toys For Bob are back in the saddle with Skylanders Trap Team, the next entry in their hit toys-meet-videogame franchise. This time the hook involves you capturing villains and enslaving brainwashing reforming them to work for you. Same overall formula where you use Skylanders both old and new, but now you have the aid of all the bad guys.
This means a new Portal of Power, plus a whole new set of toys specifically designed for capturing the villains.
The delay of Ubisoft Montreal's new open world IP, Watch Dogs, surprised many. With only a month away from launch, and a rather bold marketing push for the holiday season, Ubisoft appeared ready, but then we found it wasn't. At all. It's not too often you see publishers holding back a game's release to further development, and it's certainly admirable of them to be so honest.
"The game wasn't finished," said lead game designer Danny Belanger rather bluntly. "You see all the content we have, there was a lot of different parts of it that were not at the level we wanted -- so it was hard, there was a lot of others reasons too, but at the end of the day, we didn't want to release the game in state we weren't happy with."
With its May release approaching, Ubisoft is ready to unveil its upcoming open world action title, and the publisher invited the press to get plenty of hands-on time with the game. As you can tell with title, I came away pretty pleased, though I have some reservations still.
So far, the Batman Arkham Origins Season Pass has been a steaming pile of poop. Buyers have received some extremely underwhelming skin packs, and a piss-poor series of challenge maps for their cash, with the promise of another "story" addition down the line.
When I heard that said story DLC would feature Mr. Freeze however, I couldn't help but at least get marginally excited. As one of my favorite villains in all of Batman lore, it would be really hard to screw up a narrative involving the iconic frozen doctor.
NES Remix was able to scratch an itch for many retro enthusiasts out there, but it lacked a certain spark that made it a must-buy for the average gamer. It would be hard to really consider half of the selections "classic," and it lacked any real extras beyond a hit-or-miss array of remixed stages.
But the second time is a charm in this case, because with heavy-hitting newcomers like Kirby's Adventure, Punch Out!!, and Metroid on top of returning franchises like Mario and Zelda, NES Remix 2 really knocks it out of the park in terms of its selection.
Here is a blowout gallery of 130 new screenshots from the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros., featuring new looks at new characters Zero Suit Samus, Yoshi, Sheik, Charizard, and Greninja. This comes hot off the Nintendo Direct broadcast that featured these new guys.
My favorite of the bunch is the one above. It depicts all that is right about videogames today, though Luigi getting busted in the nose by Samus' knee is also great.
Nintendo has dropped a huge bomb on us at the start of the Smash Bros. flavored direct. The 3DS version will be released this summer, and the Wii U version will be released this winter. Yes, that's months after the 3DS iteration.
Wow! That's one way to get you to buy the game on 3DS. Smash director Sakurai notes that the 3DS version will run at 60fps, even in 3D, but some of the Pokemon will run at 30fps. It looks pretty great so far, but I know more than a few people will be pissed at this development.
Last year, the news of Ubisoft making an old-school throwback to the JRPG genre took a number of people by surprise. When Destructoid got the chance to check it out, there was a healthy amount of curiosity around it. Not too many people knew what to make of it, especially considering it was coming from the team that made Far Cry 3, which is a title that seems very far apart from it.
But after spending some time with Child of Light, about three hours to be exact, there might be more in common with these two titles than you think. I got the chance to talk with lead writer Jeffrey Yohalem, and saw what passion and a small team working on a unique throwback to JRPG titles managed to come up with.