Yep, having the same problem here. Added an example to one of my lists a couple days back but now it will not save changes made to any of my lists.
I think the edit button is what's supposed to save the changes made. Either way I'm having the same problem as you, it just refreshes when I hit the button.
I'm hoping someone can look into it soon...
You know something? I'm beginning to see on the other side of the fence about this whole "Donkey Kong 64" debacle. If you look at it without the whole "ERMAGERD ETS UH PHREE DEE PLERTFERMER" mindset stuck in your thought cloud, Donkey Kong 64 isn't that great of a game. Let's break my complaints so far into a list, shall we?
I still try to look back upon Donkey Kong 64 with a warm heart, but every time I turn my head I seem to find at least one design flaw hiding under my nose. Oh, well. Going back to my last bullet point, however, the next level we get to explore is Frantic Factory, which happens to be my favorite level of the bunch.
Frantic Factory seems to be the most lively level to me. Sure, you have to pull some strings to turn on the power before it shows off its true colors, but the very idea of a haunted toy factory just sounds so intriguing, and the different floors of the factory, from the storage facilities to the processing room, all look sharp and are pretty detailed compared to some of the other environments I've seen in the game thus far (potentially for the rest of it). It also helps that corridors are often a staple for indoor factories, so they feel more like they belong in this level.
Oh, and this is the level where you unlock Chunky Kong. I'm not sure how many DKC followers out there think Chunky is a dumb ripoff of Kiddy Kong from DKC3, but if there is anyone like that, they deserve to be thwacked with a brick. Chunky is, hands-down, my favorite Kong in the game because, despite his strongman-esque stature and hulking voice, he consistently acts like a pansy, urges you to pick other characters in the tag barrel, plays the triangle as a musical instrument (complete with ballerina tiptoe dancing), and is the only Kong in the game with the ability to sucker punch his enemies with a devastating haymaker. Damn. I'm not going to lie, when I unlocked Chunky Kong, I hardly even remembered that the other Kongs were even there. I'd straight-up do everything I could as Chunky before switching to any other character, that's how awesome Chunky Kong is. Oh, and he collects green bananas. Little known fact: Green bananas are actually healthier for you to eat than yellow bananas. No wonder this guy got so big and muscular...
Anyways, where was I? Oh yeah, Frantic Factory. Let's get in-depth with some of the challenges in here.
Frantic Factory isn't a particularly difficult level on its own. Sure, the robotic clockwork Kremlings that can only be destroyed with orange grenades are irritating, and the mechanical hornets that drop exploding grenades on your head are particularly fiendish, but I can't really complain too much about the difficulty on this level.
...that is, except for that one part. And don't look at me like you don't know what is it, because you know what it is.
Are you sure you don't know? Not even the slightest hint of the answer comes up? Fine. Let me sum it up for you in one picture...
If you're still in the dark, somehow, and you can't quite make out what that is in the picture, that is the original arcade version of Donkey Kong. Yes, the one before Donkey Kong Country. Yes, the one where you played as Mario/Jumpman/whoever the hell instead of Donkey Kong. Yes, the one with the girders, the barrels, and the stupid 75m level.
Yeah, they made a port of this game in Donkey Kong 64. Oh, and spoiler alert: it suuuuuuuuuuuuuucks. I mean, you have no idea how many hours I wasted away trying to defeat this dumb minigame as a kid. It was literally the only thing keeping me from beating Donkey Kong 64. THIS is the thing that made me quit playing the game for all of these years, and it almost made me quit again from the sheer frustrating memories of dying repeatedly.
What makes this port so wretched, though? Well, it's pretty much identical to its arcade counterpart, except for a couple of key differences:
This... abomination... goes by the name of Mad Jack. Remember all of those toys roaming around on the factory floor up above? You know, the ones that tried to kill you? Well, think about this for a second: Mad Jack is a reject of one of those toys. We're talking about a toy here that's so screwed up, it can't even be placed alongside the living, bloodthirsty contraptions in storage.
Donkey Kong 64, ladies and gentlemen! Rated E for Everyone!
Oh, and he's not just a pretty face, either; if it's your first time fighting you, he will wreck you to the moon and back. This is the wake-up call boss of the game, ladies and gentlemen. If you're not good at 3D platformers by now up until this point, you better get good. Even I had a tough time dealing damage to him because it's not immediately obvious as to what you need to do to beat him. Let's make another list detailing this guy's arsenal:
Thankfully, Mad Jack isn't terrifically hard to beat, but he's just hard enough to serve as a slap in the face to all the gamers who thought they could breeze through Donkey Kong 64 in their sleep.
I'm pretty tired of writing again, and although I hate to split most of these blog posts up between levels, I haven't posted in a long time, and Gloomy Galleon (the next level) would keep me up all night if I tried to fit it into this post, so here you go for now. Stick around, though, 'cause I've still got plenty of Donkey Kong 64 to cover, still. This is MisterBananaFoam, signing off.
Recently, my friend brought his copy of WWE '12 over to my house, and me and my friends had a ball recreating a bunch of our friends (and enemies) from our neighborhood and letting our digital beefy avatars duke it out inside the ropes. Wrestling games are the only types of sports games I could get into, largely because it involves combat and has the aforementioned customization content (which includes creating wrestlers, move-sets, finishing moves, walk-in entrances, entrance video montages, highlight reels, arenas, and even your own damn storyline). It's the perfect recipe for replayability and enjoyment...
...but for some reason, it falls short of perfection. I think it's funny as hell to be able to suplex my virtual gym teacher into a table, but the move variety isn't terribly unique. A lot of the grapple moves seem to be variations of "pick the guy up and slam him on the ground," whether it be lifting him by his arm and leg or slamming him into the floor with his head between your thighs, and while hardcore WWE fans are probably looking at me like I'm goddamn retarded, the moves all look pretty similar and not very appeasing to me. WWE '12's combat is also very slow compared to other games. You're likely to do grapple attacks in succession as fast as militiamen could reload and shoot their muskets in the Revolutionary War (that is to say, at a snail's pace). Also, thanks to the game's physics engine, the hit detection was off the mark and the countering system was crippled and skewed.
This brings me to my point. In order to put wrestling games on the board again, developers need to dig down into the roots of the wrestling genre and take a few notes from what I consider the single most enjoyable wrestling game on the market...
Yes, everyone has been begging out of their asses for a true sequel to Def Jam: Fight for New York ever since EA shoved it into the dirt like damn near all of their IPs as of late, but I'm not talking about that one. I'm talking Def Jam Vendetta, the brutal king-of-the-ring fighter developed during the golden age when EA Sports still used the BIG label. Every time I came over to my cousin's house, I'd always have him pop this game into the 'Cube and go to town for a few hours. Don't get me wrong, WWE has some destructive moves, but when I think of a wrestling game that brings the pain with a capital P, I immediately think of the Def Jam series.
Here's my dream idea: the Def Jam and WWE games combine their rosters into one (maybe dropping a few unpopular characters due to hardware limitations), utilize the gameplay popularized from Def Jam Vendetta (and, to a lesser extent, Fight for NY), and include the customization options found in WWE '12.
I'm primarily emphasizing the customization, here. Def Jam hardly had any semblance of customization before Fight for NY, and even then it was limited to one character per save file with a very finite number of options to choose from. You had a vast array of clothes to shop for, but other than that, you were down on your luck. WWE '12, on the other hand, has all of that fancy schmancy shit I mentioned up above in parentheses. Including a finishing move creator. Def Jam Vendetta and Fight for NY's Blazin' Moves (AKA the game's finisher move) aren't limited to the laws of physics, unlike (most of) the finishers you can choose from or create in the WWE games.
Now, put two and two together here. Customizable Blazin' Moves.
As it stands, the finishing move creator in WWE '12 is decent, but a lot of the moves don't correlate with one another, instead playing a preset animation for each action, such as a punch to the gut or lifting a guy above your head. Most of the moves appear to be "set-up actions" (as I like to call them) where you spend one animation slot to prepare for the final slam/blow/throw/whatever and use the next one to deliver the "impact." If you try to go from one of these "set-up actions" to another position hold, it makes the move look awkward, buggy, and stupid as hell.
The finishing move editor and the physics engine altogether need a complete revamp before we can even fathom the thought of a Blazin' Move creator. I'm primarily pointing my head towards using the Euphoria/Endorphin animation editor, as it seems to allow simpler flow between moves and makes the combat less wooden. Then again, I know next to nothing about editing the animation in video games (which I'm sure takes an unforgivably long amount of time), so I guess I'll leave this point open for debate.
But just imagine how much cooler the finishing moves (and the movesets altogether) would be if they went by Def Jam physics! Punches and kicks would sound more painful, and slams and throws would give off a more thunderous vibe. You wouldn't be limited to the laws of physics, so your unarmed skills could increase tenfold, not to mention matches would go by much faster and would generally be more exciting.
It wouldn't stop there, either. You could create your own battlegrounds (like a spruced-up ring, a UFC-like octagon cage, or maybe even an outdoor environment editor) to brawl at, as well as entrance animations and videos for ringside battles. Character customization would be influenced mostly by the WWE games, although they could tidy it up a notch so your character doesn't end up looking like a giant rock formation like he starts out in WWE '12. I'm not good with storylines, so I won't get too deep into that, but maybe they could have some kind of generic tournament thing or underground fight club deal like they did in Fight for NY. Match types could be a mix between FFNY and WWE, with pinfall matches being mixed in with K.O.-only matches, where you can only win a fight by performing a Blazin' Move on an opponent with low health (or just a really powerful move in general), which ends up knocking them unconscious.
Don't get me wrong, WWE '13 is shipping up to become a neat package (the roster is damn impressive, and the stage editor sounds pretty cool as well), but I think THQ and Yuke's could learn a lesson from the old Def Jam fighters. WWE All-Stars was a step in the right direction (although I'm not particularly sure if there was customization in that game), but it felt pretty much like a kid's game through and through, and the physics in that game made me feel like the game took place on the moon or something. I think if WWE was to tread the middle ground, which to me is the Fight for NY-style gameplay, it could turn some heads and get awesome reviews. But then again, that's coming from a guy who isn't an avid WWE fanatic, so I might not know what I'm talking about.
What are your guys' thoughts?
With the recent amount of days I've had to work retail (and my neighbor getting caught in a fatal car accident, R.I.P. Ryan), I haven't really been up to typing the second part of this retrospective. Now that I have had a couple of days to cope and relax, however, I think I can back on track to typing the rest of this tidal wave of text. I apologize in advance if those parentheses up above dissipate from this retrospective's overall tone, and here's a palette cleanser to get you back on track:
If you didn't keep track of the haps so far, I finished up the first level and have just begun to advance to Angry Aztec, a level set in a shriveling desert filled with ancient ruins (and... palm trees?) Again, I plan on summarizing the bigger and more important parts of this level.
To start, this level houses not one, but two Kongs. Both Tiny and Lanky Kong have been taken captive and held inside two different temples. Seems pretty substandard... but there's one thing that irks me to no end for some ungodly stupid reason: Tiny Kong, who is supposed to be the fourth Kong you unlock, is placed in a temple that is almost directly outside the level's entrance, and Lanky Kong, the third Kong you're expected to unlock, is held in a temple that's much, much further into the level. Unless you aren't a completionist who doesn't check every single nook and cranny whenever he gets the chance, you're likely to run into Tiny Kong first, which I guess is just an OCD complaint for me to make, but I thought that was kinda weird.
Anyways, let's talk about the new Kongs, starting off with Lanky. To describe him in one brief summary, he's basically a hillbilly-looking orangutan version of Mr. Fantastic. That is to say, he can stretch out his arms further than any other character and can use them for other purposes such as walking up steep slopes. Lanky is easily the biggest oddity of the five unlockable Kongs, and is personally my second favorite because his power-ups are so damn funny (he's only second because of the annoying sound he makes whenever he takes a hit).
Then we get to Tiny Kong, and anybody who avidly followed the original Donkey Kong Country series will most likely tell you that Tiny is their least favorite character because she replaced Dixie Kong. While it is rather puzzling that Rareware decided to replace the female protagonist from the Country series, I never really had any huge beef with Tiny (mainly because this was the first actual Donkey Kong game I ever played, haters gonna hate). Tiny's probably my least favorite character of the bunch, however, since there's not really a whole lot that adds to her character other than the "Hi, I'm the required female lead" facade. She's another small character like Diddy (with a name like Tiny, that shouldn't be surprising in the least), and thus she is more nimble than the rest of the cast. She also gains a move that makes her, well, Tiny, allowing her to travel through small openings to reach hidden Golden Bananas and other stuff.
Visiting Cranky earns you Lanky's handstand move, Tiny's shrinking move, a move for Donkey Kong that makes him invincible (to be fair, he has to find a barrel with his face on it first, but damn) and Diddy Kong gets a barrel jetpack. This sounds way cooler than it actually is. When you activate them (by finding a barrel with Diddy's face on it), you fly up into the air and can simultaneously use your popguns to blast foes in the air. So what's the problem? It could be that fact that the jetpack is slower than a tortoise, consumes Crystal Coconuts (another stupid mechanic that I'll get to later) like a Hummer consumes gasoline, and its turning maneuverability is about as sharp as that of a semi truck's. In short, it would be pretty damn worthless if it wasn't for the fact that a tremendous amount of Diddy's bananas require you to utilize the barrel jetpack. Whoopie.
Anyways, what was I saying? Oh yeah, I was going to complain about Crystal Coconuts. This item was, oddly enough, brought over from the Donkey Kong TV show, and it basically acts as a fuel for most of your barrel-related power-ups, including Diddy's jetpack and Tiny's shrink move. The problem with this is that the game pretty much never gives you enough Coconuts to stop and plan what you want to do in certain areas. I imagine the Crystal Coconut mechanic was also implemented to keep players from going wherever they wanted with it, but they already included a mechanic that takes your special power away if you try and exit the area, so Crystal Coconuts are pretty much pointless and drag the game out for far longer than they need it to. Worse still, Crystal Coconuts don't respawn until you exit and reenter the level, so if you're consistently failing a minigame and have run out of Crystal Coconuts to collect, you have to quit out of the level, go back in, and collect them all again. That's just bullshit, especially with minigames like the second rabbit race in Fungi Forest (which is another thing I'll get to later).
Here's another thing that drives me up a wall about Donkey Kong 64: In the first area you come across in Angry Aztec, you find a caged-up llama and a walled-up passageway leading to the rest of the level. The switch to this passageway is on top of the llama's cage, which can only be reached by climbing up a tree and swinging between vines, but you wouldn't know that the vines are up on top of the tree unless you bothered to look up. This is probably the worst consistency issue Donkey Kong 64 deals with, there's too many out-of-the-way objectives that are just above your line of sight. I once spent at least a couple of hours looking around DK Isles as Diddy one time searching for his last goddamn banana only to find out that it was above the island itself. That was more of an issue with draw distance, because the barrel didn't show up until I flew near it, but again, it was above the play area, where I couldn't see it. Game's shouldn't have to do that to provide a challenge.
Now I'm just droning on about how dumb aspects of Donkey Kong 64 are in general, so let's talk about some dumb things in Angry Aztec, and I have the perfect topic to rant on: that goddamned beetle race. For those of you who don't know... You know what? No, I'm pretty sure almost all of you know how goddamned wretched this beetle race is, but if you don't, I guess I'll elaborate. The race takes place on a slide, and you have to cross the finish line before the beetle does... but no, it's not as simple as that. Why isn't it simple?
If there is one thing that you should know about Donkey Kong 64, it's that the races will scar you for life. There's at least four or five more of them, by the way, so brace yourselves.
Before I talk about the level's boss, there's one more thing I'm interested in talking to you about. What I'm going to have you do is click the video below really quickly just to demonstrate this mechanic. Go on, it's completely fine. It's just Diddy Kong getting a banana in one of the temples. In fact, I'll wait for you. Go watch the video and come back.
Did you do it yet? Come on, you're not lying to me, are you? Are you a chicken? Just go ahead and watch it, you'll be fi-
Okay, that was a little exaggerated, but come on, Rare! What's with the sudden blood-curdling Amityville Horror line? In a Donkey Kong game? Am I really playing a DK game? First the game says a swear word and now it's trying to make me shit myself.
Anyways, yeah, now that you've witnessed Krack-Shot Kroc's uncanny horror, it's time for me to discuss the Angry Aztec boss, Dogadon.
I don't think anyone here would believe me, but that creature picture above that's supposed to be the level's boss? It's even easier than the first boss. I didn't think that was possible, because Army-Dillo was a giant pushover, but the only thing Dogadon does to attack you is spit easy-to-dodge fireballs at you. After that, all he does is land and taunt you, which is when you proceed to throw a TNT barrel at him. That's it. He has no other attack strategy except drag the fireball-spitting animation out as long as possible. He doesn't even have a second attack like the first boss! If you absolutely can't beat Dogadon's first phase, I weep for you as a gamer.
I'd talk about DK64 some more, but I've had this tab open forever and I really am tired of typing this stuff, so come on back next time and I'll discuss the game's third level, Frantic Factory. (well, it's technically the third level, but Gloomy Galleon is opened at the same time, and I'm not sure if that counts as - oh, never mind)
Rather than post this in the review section, which I undoubtedly proclaim that no one would read if I did, I decided to just feature this little play-by-play on my own blog. I'd call it a Let's Play, but I didn't take a billion photos while I played, so I guess you're stuck with a boring-old retrospective. I'm going to be typing this in the same style as my completely bogus Pokemon Channel review, so if you don't like rambling or giant walls of text, I suggest you steer clear.
I'll go ahead and start this post off with a brief summary of my past with Donkey Kong 64. As I've mentioned in a gazillion of my lists, I loved this game to death as a kid, despite the unnatural amount of distaste I see for it in the community's eyes. Sure, I'm kind of a sucker for platformers (especially 3D ones; I grew up in the 64 age, after all), but Rareware knew exactly what I was craving and worked with Nintendo to shape several massive worlds, five distinct player characters and a plethora of collectible items required to finish the game. It certainly shaved a lot of my spare time as a kid, and now that I've stumbled upon it again, I decided to finish what I started (I never really did beat DK64 as a kid, mainly because of the stupid Donkey Kong Arcade minigame, but I'll get to that later) and see if my high expectations still uphold to this day.
No more dilly-dallying, it's time to find out what Donkey Kong 64 has in store for me. First off, when I power on the game, the first thing I get treated to (besides a stampede of logos) is none other than...
...a cheesy rap video. Great.
At least this one in particular isn't gratingly annoying. In fact, the song is actually kind of catchy.
So they're finally here
Performing for you
If you know the words
You can join in too
Put your hands together
If you want to clap
As we take you through
This monkey rap
Honestly, the feelings I have for the opening rap are the same that I have for Vanilla Ice. Sure, if you take the time to examine it, it's corny and dumb, but if you listen to it with an open mind, it gets stuck in your head and you can't get it out.
I should probably stop dwelling on the opening rap and get to the game, but before I do, I'd like to point out a particular lyric in one of the last verses:
He may move slow
He can't jump high
But this Kong's
One hell of a guy
...Yeah, the song writer managed to sneak in a minor swear word. In a Donkey Kong game, no less. Fortunately for the sake of humanity, this game isn't pulling a Shadow the Hedgehog; that's the maximum amount of potty mouth you'll get out of Donkey Kong 64.
After you go through... whatever the hell that was, Donkey Kong lifts up a barrel and you're directed to the main menu. Oddly enough, Donkey Kong 64 also has a deathmatch-styled multiplayer component, although if my memory serves, in order to unlock it, you need to find at least one crown in the single-player adventure. Sucks, but at least the crowns aren't that hard to obtain, and the multiplayer isn't that great to begin with. Let's just go ahead and select a new save file, which DK64 supports three of.
We're treated to a lovely image of the wildlife around DK Isles frolicking about in the air and the water when the scene suddenly changes to K. Rool as he helms his self-shaped island boat thing. He gloats a little bit about his marvelous plan to capture and destroy the Kongs for good... then his idiot minions crash the boat into a rock in front of DK Isles. He calls in his guards, which gleefully assure him that Donkey Kong's cohorts have been incarcerated and his impressive hoard of bananas has been stolen... wait, what? Didn't they JUST NOW find DK Isles in the middle of the ocean? How did they manage to get a hold of the Kongs in thirty fucking seconds, let alone snatch up all of Donkey Kong's bananas (which there are 201 of)? Were they all just swimming in the ocean with their heads up their asses for no damn reason?
Oh well. Can't start out with them all, I suppose. Anyways, K. Rool lets out another MANIACAL LAAAAAAAAUGH, and then we cut to DK working out at home when his parrot buddy Squawks bursts in and informs him of K. Rool's evil deeds. Donkey Kong, presumably, gets up and begins his journey to kick K. Rool's scaly ass. Firstly, however, since the exit is blocked off by a floor switch, he needs to learn how to perform a ground pound, because we all know that that's completely impossible for Donkey Kong to handle.
Of course, this wouldn't be a proper Donkey Kong game without some familiar faces from the old Country trilogy. First up (besides Squawks) is Cranky Kong, and I swear, this senile butt-muncher comes off as the least helpful person in the world, not to mention a pretentious dick. He drones on about you being lazy and having your friend and bananas captured, and then he tells you he conjured up a potion which allows Donkey Kong to exit the starting area. But, of course, in the traditional Animal Crossing sense of tutorials, he forces you to go through a series of tutorials covering a few aspects of the game. To be fair, it's nice that DK64 is trying to get me accustomed to the feel of the game, but why isn't the tutorial optional? MANY games I've played have the tutorial be an optional part of the game (even some made before DK64, like Kirby Super Star), so why not here?
In any case, I get that shit done and head back to see Cranky. Just as he promised, he hands me the potion and I get out of there.
The first thing you'll notice about Donkey Kong 64 when you step into the hub world is that the environments easily dwarf those found in Super Mario 64 and Banjo-Kazooie. If you plan on going anywhere in this game, you better pack up a lot of food and gear, because you'll be travelling for quite some time on foot in this game.
The first task Squawks burdens you with is to check out that small island in the middle of the water. Never mind the fact that your Kong friends are missing and that you need to find golden bananas, that's all secondary shit. No, instead, go to this random floating island next to K. Rool's ship. (to be fair, the first world's entrance is still blocked off)
Inside, you find a giant behemoth crocodile known as K. Lumsy, but as it turns out, he defected from his task of annihilating DK Isles, so K. Rool locked him up in a giant cage. Okay, here's another thing I'm going to complain about; K. Lumsy is fuckoff ginormous. I'm not just talking giant, I'm talking Godzilla-giant. How did K. Rool even manage to fit him in that dinky little island, let alone cage him up? K. Lumsy could have just sat on him and his crew and we would have been done with this mess.
Never mind that. What he asks us to do is find the keys to his cage so we can free him and he can embrace his revenge upon the other Kremlings. And there's eight of them. Looks like Nintendo's pulling a Super Mario Bros. on us and giving us eight worlds. Again. At least the scope of them seems to be large at this point. Anyways, Donkey Kong agrees, and K. Lumsy happily dances around, which causes a giant boulder to blow up outside. I'd question the physics of this event and how illogical they seem, but it's a Rare game, which is generally akin to Spongebob Squarepants on the ridiculousness level, so I'll shut up.
And so we trek into Jungle Japes, the first level of the game. Before I begin the next few paragraphs, I'd just like to state that I'm not going to talk about every single movement and area in the level, only the things that interest me and the things I find rather odd.
In each level, you find a total of three buildings, inhabited by Kongs that give you moves required to progress through the game in exchange for coins (except for Jungle Japes, which only has two). The first one, Cranky, has already been covered previously (he gives you different actual moves to perform, similar to Bottles from Banjo-Kazooie), but the next one is Funky Kong's Armory. In this little shop, he outfits your player characters with weapons and ammunition (which are, humorously, made out of wood and cheap materials), as well as periodically handing out upgrades such as a larger ammunition clip. Also, he's not a douchebag like Cranky, so I usually like visiting his store. The third is Boob Ko - I mean, Candy Kong, who deals with giving you instruments which are also required to beat the game. She also helps out by giving you melons (and by upgrading your maximum health. Ba-dum-TISH).
Now that I've explained that, let's move on into Jungle Japes, a level set in, well, a jungle. Your primary objective when you start up the level is to find and rescue Diddy Kong, Donkey's cohort from the Country trilogy, by hitting three coconut switches with the gun you receive from Funky's Armory. As a playable character (there are five total in this game, by the way), Diddy Kong is slightly more agile but isn't as strong, much like the Country games. Once you rescue him, you're free to explore Jungle Japes as both characters, although you won't be able to explore some areas of the level, since they're blocked off by switches you can't press yet.
Now let's get into the noteworthy stuff. First off, Donkey Kong gains a move which allows him to shoot himself into the sky. Provided he finds a pad with his name on it, of course, but it's still funny seeing Donkey Kong launch himself into the air with no force behind it. You use this to complete bonus stages above the clouds by blasting between barrels (again, another callback to Donkey Kong Country), and sometimes you need to finish these bonuses to open up more areas in the level. Diddy Kong, on the other hand, gets a measly headbutt attack. Lame.
Speaking of Diddy Kong, one of his Golden Bananas (the bananas required to open up stages) requires you to ride a minecart through a dozen twisting caves AND collect 50 coins, for some reason. Let me tell you, me and minecart levels do not mix, and this game's isn't any different. The fifty-coin challenge is incredibly steep for an early level in the game, and to get some of them you have to lean left and right while avoiding other obstacles like this one fucker who keeps trying to beat you with a club. Also, if you don't go through the course fast enough, bomb carts spawn behind you and make you lose coins on contact, like most of the other obstacles. If you try and go through carefully, you'll get blown up and lose coins. If you go too fast, not only will you risk running into more shit, but you could potentially miss a lot of coins on the way. You have to find kind of a balance, and while the first minecart ride isn't too bad, the later ones throw more crap at you, and you can't afford to get hit more than once or twice.
There's also a point in the level where you can find a box and turn into Rambi. Again, this is a minor issue, but why does DK turn into Rambi? Isn't he a separate friggin' entity from Donkey Kong? Haven't we established that in Donkey Kong Country? Whatever. Anyways, you use him to bust down some huts which contain switches you can slam. However, you can't slam all of them yet, because the other Kongs are missing. Great.
Another thing I forgot to mention is there's actually a fourth building, Snyde's Shack. This building, unlike the first three, doesn't give you anything for trading coins, but instead houses a weasel named Snyde, who was kicked off the project of building K. Rool's super weapon even though it was pretty much completed. Now he too wants revenge against that slimy bastard, but in order to figure out how to work the super weapon he needs the blueprints that K. Rool's top Kremlings had stolen from him. In each level, there are five of these abnormal Kremlings called Kasplats, who carry the blueprints with them. They correspond to each Kong's blueprint depending on their hair color, and defeating one nets you a blueprint. However, for reasons unbeknownst to me, you can only pick up a blueprint if you're playing as the Kong who has the same banana color as the blueprint. Man, Snyde must have cracked down on security of those blueprints...
In any case, let's get down to the boss battles. To earn a key to K. Lumsy's cage, you need to fight the level's boss. However, in order to do that, you have to help a pig reach the key on top of the door because she's too small, and to do that, you need to find enough regular bananas (no, not the Golden ones) to feed to the hippopotamus standing on top of a piston that pushes the other pig up depending on his weight, and to do THAT, you need two of Raleigh's treasure keys, which are heavily guarded! ...Wait, shit, wrong game.
So yeah, if you thought all of those bananas were for high scores or something, think again. They're required to finish the game, too. That leaves us with, what, four different collectibles to keep track of throughout this game? It also doesn't help that the levels are gigantic to begin with.
Anyways, the boss of the first level is an armadillo decked out with a hard shell and two giant fireball cannons. The game calls him "Army-Dillo." Ha, ha, ha. Very clever, game. The boss shoots giant fireballs at you, although they're surprisingly easy to dodge as long as you keep strafing the boss. After he's done, he proceeds to put on his idiot pants and start laughing, which is your cue to chuck an explosive barrel at him. You know, if you think about it, if K. Rool just removed the barrel generator, the fight would be pretty much impossible for DK. I guess sentient crocodiles must have very low IQs.
This process repeats until the boss loses his shell and runs off like a coward, leaving you with the key. When you take it back to K. Lumsy, he dances around some more and opens up another level, Angry Aztec.
That's all I'm gonna type for this part. It's relatively tame compared to some of the upcoming ramblings, but until then, I'm MisterBananaFoam, and I'll be back with some more of this Retraux-Spective.
So being creative with your IP instead of mercilessly iterating is a bad thing now? Activision, Infinity Ward, and Treyarch just cracked the weirdest boners right now without realising why.
In certain aspects, yes. If the next Modern Warfare sequel suddenly turned into an on-the-rails shooter and Activision firmly denounced that it was canon, then it's a bad thing. If Modern Warfare was given vehicle levels where you actually control how the vehicle steers and shoots instead of being a gunner, then no, I would welcome that change because it doesn't swallow up the entire game.
I saw a recent Jimquisition on the subject of genre-swapping old IPs, and I began to ponder about it. Is change really what we need? Should our franchises stay the way they are, or should they take a bold step in a new direction?
I guess it depends on what series we're talking about. Probably the biggest example of unwanted change in a video game that I can think of right now (and is completely opinionated, so I don't mean to drone out the people who like it) is the newest Banjo-Kazooie game. Everyone loved the hell out of the first two games, which were both intuitive platformers that essentially vitalized the genre, but the third one was received negatively by most gamers I knew since the mechanics were drastically changed in the process.
My take on this is that they could have so very easily turned it into a new IP by forgoing the Banjo-Kazooie characters and either recycling a character from Diddy Kong Racing (like Bumper the Badger, for instance) or coming up with a completely original character. It would have given their fans something to tide over until the release of a proper Banjo-Kazooie or Conker sequel (if there ever would be one), but no, they took the lazy way out and slapped Banjo's name unceremoniously onto the game, which pretty much ruined any chance of us getting an on-foot Banjo-Kazooie game like we did in the days of the N64. I liked Nuts and Bolts, don't get me wrong, but I think it was received this way because nothing about the series previously was really that stale in the eyes of Rare's fans, and didn't really need the change.
Another egregious Rare example is Star Fox Adventures. I'll admit to not having played any of the Star Fox games prior to Adventures, but I heard they were pretty great, and when I played the game it was radically different than Adventures. I did some research and, apparently, it was another case of "the genre wasn't boring but they tried to change it anyways," and it was pretty inexcusable considering the title was first shown being developed as a new IP called Dinosaur Planet, and it had nothing to do with Star Fox or anything of the sort, and it's all because of the stupid brand name popularity. It's akin to making a shitty movie about a popular movie persona like Thor or E.T., since it is essentially pasting the characters into an already-fine game just to get it to sell better. If you had stuck with the original IP, maybe people would have liked it, and you would have another successful franchise under your belt. I'm not all biased toward gameplay-changing games based on a previously popular game series, but some games, like the ones I've mentioned, are officially canon to the story and aren't spin-offs, and it feels out of place to me.
But enough about me rambling on, what's your take on this whole subject?
Yes. Oh man, I tried watching some of the first season of Chuck and I thought it was pretty neat, but I couldn't ever pick it up from there.
Tumblr is pretty much the hive mind for anything Homestuck. I agree, though, every time I move to a new browser or forget to go back to it I just get tired of trying to look, and there's about a bazillion pages of the Homestuck story left. I haven't even gotten to the trolls yet I can't for the life of me finish it.
Some other ones I forgot to mention:
Pokemon Black/White - I loved the hell out of Pokemon Platinum, which is pretty much where I started my foray into the Poke-universe (yeah, I know, I suck), but I cannot pick up the game anymore. Maybe it's because I might be growing out of the formula as quickly as I got in. Maybe it's because none of the Pokemon in this generation look recognizable compared to the first few games, or just look like a bunch of crossed wires underneath a home theater system (an ice cream cone Pokemon? Really?). Either way, I stopped after the sixth gym or so, and haven't picked it up since.
Prototype 2 - I honestly thought I was going to love this game. There's a new protagonist, it's a sequel to one of the goriest games on the market, and there's more challenges you can do! Sadly, it all fell apart when I took a look at the ATROCIOUS writing. Heller is trying to kill Alex Mercer because supposedly he killed his wife and child, yet gets infected by Mercer for one of his grand schemes against Blackwatch. The writers of Prototype 2 try to get you invested into James Heller as a character since his wife and child are dead, but really, that's the most cop-out excuse I've ever heard. Besides that, it doesn't even fucking work! James Heller is still the manifestation of the virus! He can EAT PEOPLE! In fact, HE DOES EAT PEOPLE! It's required to finish the damn game, and he doesn't just eat people, oh no, he consumes their memories. I'm sorry, Free Radical, but I cannot get emotionally invested in AN AUTO-CANNIBAL.
I really liked most of the rest of the game, but I didn't like the writing at all, and James Heller's VO doesn't sound like the right person to portray him.
Use your keyboard!
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