Chaos Blogg 65: Woolly World

I was going to write this up yesterday but I ended up in poor health and wasn’t able to make myself type. Today is looking better though and in general that’s kind of how things are looking. Still really shit but better than before. In terms of games and anime though I’d say it’s been mostly positive few weeks and I can almost recommend all of the stuff on show here. So without further ado I’d like to get into it, bit first here’s the remixes.

JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders – Part 2 (Anime):

If you’ve been following long enough you would have seen to reviews for Jojo’s last year, and you’ll probably recognise that I enjoyed my time with this series quite extensively. Stardust crusaders may have not impressed me with it’s first half but this second half most certainly improves in overall quality and I’m quite impressed with it as a whole. I think this is because of the mixture of humour and drama present here, and probably a mental shift within myself. The art style is still fantastic and so is the sound direction, although I feel ending song was a downgrade and didn’t fit the tone until the last couple of arcs. The fights are still really intense and the characters are cheesy but well written. This is the kind of series that I do recommend people to watch for themselves (like go to part 1 and watch the first 4 to 5 episodes) before deciding if they want to check it out since I’m not sure if my words convey the strangeness and enjoyment well enough. I was enthralled and found it difficult to stop watching most of the time which isn’t something I say often about anime these days. If was throw any criticisms I would say some characters are straight up shafted and under developed which is a shame but nothing that creates a significant dent. The second last arc is brilliant and unfortunately the climatic final battle fails to create the same drama and impact. It’s amazing for sure but it didn’t live up to it’s entire potential and leaves it overshadowed by the previous encounter.

With that said though there’s nothing much that would stop me from recommending this one to you guys, but I wouldn’t mind seeing what some other people who have seen this think about these points.

Donkey Kong 64 (Wii U VC):

Most notable for it’s DK rap, collectibles and Lanky Kong this game was the one that tied with Max Payne when I did that backlog tourney thing. This means I would like to both thank you people and throw pies at you. DK 64 has far too many mini/bonus games that are required to 100% the bloody thing. In itself it doesn’t sound like much but when you go through a long tough section of gameplay to be awarded with a janky ass mini-game that controls like garbage and leaves you frustrated, it’s a big pain in the ass. Thanks to the power of the save state I was able to prevail and 100% the game but I can assure you this is no picnic and there were far more irritating moments than both Banjo games combined. On a more positive note I pretty much enjoyed everything else on offer here, even if I think it would benefit from refinement *cough*diddy’sjetpack*cough*. Core gameplay is standard collect-a-thon you run, jump and attack your away around levels trying to solves puzzles and collect shit. The levels are nice but compared to other Rare made games they feel barren and lacking at times, and there are less npc’s outside of the ones in specific buildings which doesn’t help things. The writing isn’t bad but it lacks polish and it’s really easy to just skip completely as it lacks to polish of other Rare titles.

As you can see that’s a common theme, it’s a good game but it’s lacking compared to Banjo’s efforts which is most obvious from the constant need to go back to character barrels in order to complete tasks. Honestly the game needed a way to allow for more fluid switching since while I don’t hate backtracking it does get irritating when I’m only doing it to use another character. Of course this would probably break the game to a degree so there’s not much value in complain about this at length. Speaking of breaking the game though I found a glitch or two and also had a moment where the game just repeatedly froze on me forcing to restart and continue from my save point (thank goodness I save a lot). It was startling, so just take time to save your game regularly since sometimes save states aren’t enough folks. Visually the game is good for N64 standards and the soundtrack is pretty sweet even if we take the DK rap out of the equation. Also “Oooh Banana” is a voice clip I should have trouble forgetting.

So this is probably sounding rather negative but I certainly didn’t feel that way most of the game. It’s a fun 3D platformer and I enjoyed the collecting aspect quite a lot. In many ways it was an incredibly satisfying game and I kind of regret never having the chance to play it back in the day. Outside of unnecessary bullshit this game was a blast and if we consider save states it’s not as frustrating as it would have been back in the day. In fact unless we get a remake some day this will probably be the best way to play the game on a Nintendo system. In short how much I recommend DK64 depends on more on your preferences and your tolerance levels, personally I felt it was worth it but I can understand why this game falls short of the Banjo standards. God I hope this made some sense.

Inou Battle wa Nichijou-kei no Naka de (Anime):

A mediocre anime that had a decent amount of potential and never really made use of it. Inou Battle centres around a protagonist with ‘8th grade’ syndrome which means he acts like a fictional character in an action anime (well slightly more complicated then that but I ain’t explaining any more than I have to). The protagonist and the rest of the literature club end up with actual powers which leads to comedic antics. The comedy isn’t bad and visually it looks good but somewhat standard, and similarly the music is good but forgettable. The idea is pretty good but other shows/games/movies have tackled this concept far better and this show just eventually devolves into a harem situation with no conclusion. There are some really good characters here and the show has some great comedic and dramatic scenes. In fact I’ve included the best clip from the show bellow and I don’t think you’ll need full context to enjoy just that one scene. There are also several well written and entertaining characters that get shafted in favour of characters that may have depth and potential but feel boring in their execution.

The show also has some sort of action plot in the second half but it’s forgettable and feels like a waste of time, in fact they have to dump a butt-load of exposition on the viewer to do this and it feels really forced. Perhaps this series is just the beginning since it does certainly feels like it’s trying to set something long term up, but between the forced harem aspects and the inconsequential action at the end there’s just a lot here that plunges it into mediocrity which is unfortunate since there’s some gold here.

Yoshi’s Woolly World (Wii U): 

Woolly World is one of the most charming games I’ve played this year, taking the experts at Good Feel who excel at an ‘arts and crafts’ visual style and then handing them to keys to the Yoshi series which is typically known for it’s various playful art styles and a sense of innocence. It’s a really neat combination and gives fresh air to some of the clichés in level design the series has. Woolly World has 6 worlds which range from grass, desert, dessert and clouds, tropical jungle, ice, and bowser. Thankfully there’s still plenty of variety within these worlds and I never really felt bored of a particular visual style or just in general. This game is a pure joy to look at and it’s a contender for the best looking game on the system. Adding further to the charm are the various patterns of Yoshi you unlock through out the game, they’re not all fantastic but there’s some really awesome ones here including several console based patterns. This feature also makes use of most of your amiibos except for the pokemon amiibos which don’t provide any patterns. Sonic the Hedgehog Yoshi is one of the best things I’ve seen and there are a few other great designs like Megaman, Luigi and Meta Knight.

To complement the excellent visuals Woolly World has one of the most relaxing but catchy soundtracks I’ve heard in a while, and I actually had trouble choosing which tracks to present to you here. It’s got variety with some rather unexpected funky tunes, along with plenty of stuff that sounds like it came from Kirby’s Epic Yarn or yoshi’s island. Epic Yarn had a problem with being way too easy for a lot people, while you can say that the game is a perfect place for beginners having an option for greater difficulty would have been greater. Woolly World pretty much does just that, with both a classic and casual mode. By Yoshi standards this game is certainly easy, but I don’t think it’s a complete cake walk unless you’re going for a very standard run where you just finish the game and reach the credits. At the very least you can actually die and have a health meter, and the game does have some really cool challenges at times especially with bonus stages you can unlock in each world. The real fun of this game is completing it, by finding all the neat little secrets and doing pretty much no damage runs of levels including the boss battles. For added difficulty there’s a final level that really puts you to the test as far as this game is concerned and there’s also a boss battle mode hat ups the difficulty of those encounters.

Of course in trying to 100% the game there’s some bullshit moments and you can end up replaying stages multiple times to grab the missing items.Some levels therefore can end up frustrating for collectable enthusiasts, and this is where the games Badge system can be a real lifesaver. There are multiple badges which you can purchase (one at a time) that give you a certain advantage which ranges from your friend Poochy (who has been improved since the old days thank god) to invulnerability to lava and fire damage. It’s certainly possible to break the game with these but I only recommend using them on clean up runs. In terms of controls Woolly World doesn’t have too many issues although I found the D-pad more reliable for this game and even then I’d sometimes fuck up my buttons. It’s pretty much exactly like Yoshi’s Island but with arguably a better flutter jump. Of course I maybe missing some obvious nuances such as the fact yoshi doesn’t enter a ‘running’ motion straight away but I’d much rather people discover these things for themselves.

I most certainly recommend this game to anyone with a Wii U console as it’ll be a great addition to your library. It’s filled with visual and audio joy, with some great classic styled gameplay that finds a nice balance between challenge and relaxation. Or at least it did so for me. Now please listen to the music provided here and enjoy.

Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection F (Anime Movie):

These new dbz movies are hitting all the right spots, well at least for me personally. I also managed to see this one in theatres which I think made the occasion more enjoyable, even if I did have to drive to a cinema I hadn’t really been to before. The movie balances action and comedy, however there’s little tension and if you’re looking for same type of drama the series presented to us back in the day then I think it may disappoint you. With a classic villain returning this movie is filled with references (more so than the previous movie) and I can’t easily recommend it to those who aren’t fans of series. However long time fans should hopefully enjoy the almost parody like humour of this movie, as many absurdities of the series are acknowledged in an amusing way. The movie is also visually impressive except for some 3D animation effects that broke my immersion. It’s also got a neat soundtrack that helps set the really cheesy tone of the movie. In fact I think Vegeta sums up the movie quite well with his line “It’s Cheeeeeeeese”, since this movie is very delicious cheese and funnily enough embracing this fact has lead to improved characterisation or at least wittier writing. There’s not much else I wish to say, this movie has a very specific target audience so with that in mind I give it my recommendation.

The Walking Dead Season 2 (Xbox 360): 

I think it’s really difficult to try and top the first season of this game, and I don’t think they’ve pulled it off here. However this is still a fantastic narrative based game and it’s fascinating continuing the story as Clementine who feels almost like a survival prodigy. The game doesn’t hold too many punches, although I could argue that it makes death just a tad too common and expected which is going to be a big problem if they ever make a 3rd season. You’ll also probably notice the atrocious load times during the “previously on” sections, they lag like hell as well and honestly I thought my console had frozen at some points. Outside of that though the game runs better from what I can tell and the art style still works for this series. The soundtrack is pretty much just one or two memorable themes and an ending song for each episode, which are all pretty high quality although there are many forgettable tracks that I can’t praise the whole ost. If we’re talking gameplay then a big thing to notice is that there are less ‘puzzles’ and sections where you ask characters questions. It feels less point and click and I guess they’ve done this to focus more on the narrative.

The main appeal of these games has to be the narrative, characters and the way our choices effect both of these aspects. For the most part I found a lot more of these choices harder to make especially towards the end, and I felt somewhat morally tested by the experience. The characters are still well written but at times it felt like the some characters were underdeveloped and perhaps a tad bland. Either way I grew to the story and I think expanding on Clementine’s character was the right way to go as she takes on more of a leader role, and has to deal with trying to save everyone (at least that’s what I saw). There’s also some really emotionally painful moments but they don’t exactly leave the same impact as season 1’s ending did. Alright I think that’s all I’ll say since I think I’m on the edge of major spoilers, and would rather you guys check out these games for yourselves.

Yay it’s done. So yeah these headaches don’t seem to be leaving me alone which sucks but ain’t much I can do about it. Please leave a comment bellow and enjoy some pictures.