Chaos Blogg 46: Tropical Freeze

It’s been an extended period of time but I get the feeling that’s going to be the case with this series from now on. It seems like I can’t keep up the pace I had last year, which is unfortunate but expected. In this blogg there’s mainly recent games, with the main highlight being the new Donkey Kong game. I hope you enjoy the content here, and please enjoy these remixes.

The Stanley Parable (PC): 

Now this is a tough review, or is it? You see in order to describe to you the experience of playing the stanley parable I may in fact spoil the stanley parable. Perhaps this game is a huge mind fuck or perhaps it is not a huge mind fuck. It’s within your interests to check out this game on your own and experience it as freshly as you can. I had no idea what to expect when I played the game or did I? Either way I found it an enjoyable experience. In terms of visuals it’s rather basic but maybe it’s not rather basic and it is in fact incredibly abstract and off the wall. What I can assure you of though is that the game uses similar visuals to portal and half-life and while perhaps it’s outdated by today’s standards the stanley parable manages to have a unique to style. The soundtrack is in the same basket, it’s high quality but not really memorable in regard and that’s mainly because of the nature of the game itself. I really enjoyed the Stanley Parable and it’s even though I refuse to give you too much information as of this time I can highly recommend it to you. If you want to talk to me one on one about it though feel free and we can discuss some of my other opinions on the game.

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (3DS VC):

This one was in my backlog for about a year I guess, so one afternoon I decided to play-through it all. And well I was done sometime later that evening, because this game is incredibly short. Super Mario Land 2 feels a lot more like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World than it predecessor does, and it controls a lot more like a conventional Mario game but slower and perhaps a bit more floaty. Firstly this is a really great looking game for the GameBoy although there is better, in terms of style though I can’t say it feels 100% Mario other than the character sprites. The stages and the world map feel like very new a fresh for this series and diverge from what was the norm for Mario at the time. We have levels inside whales, in toy factories, in graveyards, on the moon and inside a normal house. The common theme here to me seems to be that Mario small when compared to seemingly everyday objects, sure the obvious the example is the Macro world but the toy level, and the giant tree world make me feel like Mario is an insect exploring most of this world. Or perhaps Mario built his personal castle on an island inhabited by giants? As for the music well it’s basically a single tune just remixed over and over again, and while this tune is good, it doesn’t ever quite reach the levels of the first super Mario land. The gameplay is fairly standard Mario fair but I feel like this was when Wario Land became an idea (the two games feel similar in areas) it’s rather easy for the most part and 100% it just requires you to find a few secret exits. Of course the difficulty isn’t evenly spread across the game and after an easy little romp you’re treated to a tough gauntlet like challenge for the final stage. This kind of jump pisses me off a little since I’d rather a gradual difficulty increase over time. Despite all this though I rather enjoy Mario Land 2 and it’s an easy to recommend title for someone who has a couple of hours to kill, just don’t expect something amazing.

Kanon 2006 (Anime):

Kanon is an anime along the same lines of Clannad and Little Busters, in that it attempts to cause you feels and other heart pains. Why 2006 though what does that mean? Well this anime was made twice within a rather short time span. The first anime however was, I am told, utter garbage and a different studio made a remake in 2006. Remake isn’t the right word I guess since both series were based off of a visual novel of the same name. Kanon looks rather pretty however the style is a bit on the way too cute that it’s almost creepy side of the spectrum with HUGE eyes and the like (trust me that sounds like a lot of anime to some but no this should be noticeable to regulars of the medium as well). Over all it doesn’t look bad though and on the plus side none of the character designs felt too generic. As for music I’d say Kanon does rather well in this area, maybe not so much for opening and ending themes but the soundtrack itself is beautiful and really tries to tug at the heart strings. Now as for the story itself well it’s rather sad but it’s often sadder in the first story arcs than the latter ones, with several tear worthy moments early on and then not much for later. That’s not to say it won’t mess with you though, unless of course you pick up on the obvious symbolic clues and piece together the plot twists before they happen like I did. I found myself guessing a lot of plot points before they happened and that meant reduced impact. Who knows if better pacing were in place it could have been exceptional but the way it is now it’s an inferior series that’s outshone by the likes of Clannad and some cases Little Busters as well. Only watch if you’re into the genre and have already watched the better stuff.

Remember Me (Xbox360):

A rather ironic name for a rather forgettable game. Remember Me is probably worst game in this blogg but it’s not actually an awful game. From the get go it’s a rather visually stunning game that feels like a grittier Mirrors Edge in terms of visuals. While the designs don’t always hit the mark there are some really beautiful and visually appealing segments. However most of the locations are repeated throughout the game which for such a linear design feels kind of lazy, (granted the level design itself changes but visually it’s kind of a let down), one of the most visually enthralling sections is a boss fight arena that somewhat defies my description. This boss arena also houses the most memorable piece of music in the entire game which kind of funny because the fight isn’t that fun and drags on to long. The soundtrack over all is forgettable but actually pretty neat and at least interesting and not just the usual movie sounding pieces found in modern gaming. The story and characters seem kind of ambitious and the twists are actually kind of nice, the story was no where near as garbage as I’d thought it would be but it’s not exactly a masterpiece either. The gameplay doesn’t really work well with the ideas presented and the story itself. Basically you’re a memory hunter living a world where the control of memories has become a major factor in power, I found this world interesting and I wanted to explore and really delve into peoples memories. However the gameplay for some reason is just a mediocre 3D brawler with some Uncharted style climbing segments and some dickishly placed collectibles. While it’s not exactly bad it’s rather tedious and even the twist on making your own combos just feels lacklustre. This game can grown on you at times though and there’s eventually a decent variety to your special attacks. There’s also some excellent memory manipulation segments that have you alter peoples memories and can even allow you to goof off a bit. However there’s only 4 of these segments throughout the entire game and it feels like a missed opportunity. In fact I feel like this should have been a stealth based game with a lot more memory manipulation segments and less poorly done combat. The game we got isn’t exactly bad but you’re best saving this for when it’s in the bargain bin.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U): 

Back when this game was first announced I was disappointed with Retro since I was eagerly awaiting for them to return to revive the currently comatose Metroid series. Perhaps they have something planned for later but now is not the time to dwell on that since they’ve provided another excellent game once again. Tropical Freeze excels on the ideas of returns and produce and overall more enjoyable experience and one that feels a lot more original (that’s pretty much the same story as Prime and Prime 2 by the way). First of all the game is shorter or at least feels shorter anyway, with only 7 worlds in total which when compared to the standard these days of 9 words feels like a let down. However the quality of these worlds for the most part has increased in terms of beauty and creativity, instead of just going through the standard DKC tropes (It also means none of the boss fights are repeated). I was caught off guard by a very Dutch looking world and then an African savannah. Then there’s the beauty of juicy jungle which may have been my favourite world in the game. Even the tired old snow levels feel interesting and fresh here as we see the old regions from the first game given a new icy twist. It goes without saying that the game is beautiful but something about the entire water world felt out of place in this game perhaps because it was a common trope in comparison but maybe because the water levels force you to deal with the clumsy water controls. The water controls aren’t bad but they are inferior to something like Rayman Origins or in my personal opinion the original DKC games (they’re still better than mario though). It would have been a huge relief if they bought back Enguarde for this game but alas such flexible controls weren’t available. Not only does the game look amazing (bringing back the silhouette levels and introducing dynamic camera angles for others) but it sounds amazing as well. If you read my last post you should know that I think highly of this soundtrack and bellow this review are my top 4 favourite tracks in the game. I personally felt the Donkey Kong Country 2 remixes were the best but the overall soundtrack is one that will probably stand the test of time for video game sound tracks. Now as for the gameplay it’s really fun and addictive just like the first Retro studios Donkey Kong game. This time though they’ve added Dixie Kong and Cranky Kong to the mix, Dixie Kong is op as all hell but using her doesn’t really feel like a cheat except in levels where you’re not meant to have a buddy beside you. Cranky Kong on the other hand is Duck Tales mode and in many places makes the levels harder but is also necessary for some areas of the game if you plan to 200% this thing. To be honest though I’m not really done with the game yet having only gone over the 150% mark so far. The rocket barrel levels are actually fun this time and the mine cart levels feel a lot more inventive and less over-used than Returns. I actually found the lacklustre levels to be the rhino and underwater levels but that’s only in comparison to the rest of an amazing game. What I did like about the new water mechanics were levels that were mainly land based but had optional water segments to explore, these were really nice and not that frustrating. This is probably my second favourite Wii U game so far just bellow Pikmin 3 and I say that this is a must purchase game for anyone with the console. Note: I have talked about this game elsewhere but if you have any questions feel free to ask me.

Guilty Crown (Anime): 

Guilty Crown is another example of lost potential when it comes to anime. To start with the visuals are amazing and the soundtrack while not my cup of tea is actually pretty good. What we have here though is some terrible writing, not that the story is bad or that characters are rubbish but that the plot just doesn’t focus enough on the things it should like the wide and diverse cast of characters. In fact I’d say that it’s too ambitious for a 22 episode anime and that it would have benefited from spreading it’s content across 50 episodes, which is a strange thing to say but that’s how it seems to me. In many ways this anime attempts to be Code Geass with it’s shit ton of plot twists and large cast of characters, however in terms of quality the closest thing that comes to mind is Future Diary both shows had horrible pacing and a constantly changing status quo with not enough character development when needed. In fact there’s almost no character development in Guilty Crown and because of that I rarely cared about any of the characters. Other than the protagonist there’s Inori, Tsugumi and Hare and everyone else is just kind of there and in my apathy zone. It’s bizarre because there are many moments of quality drama and these plot points if given more time could have worked really well for this anime. Instead we end up with what feels like a rush job of beautiful action scenes and a roughly thrown together plot that has more holes than Swiss cheese. If you think you can handle seeing wasted potential than this may be worth a shot, it’s a very average anime and you can all do much better.

I hope you enjoyed this blogg, I’m really sorry about how late this is but whatever, shit does happen. Here have this picture and have a good night.