With August drawing to a close, the fall and winter onslaught of new video game titles will soon be upon us. How has the staff been doing with clearing out their gaming backlogs before titles like Super Mario Maker, Star Fox: Zero and more arrive? Read on to find out!
I recently ordered a Super Game Boy 2 from eBay alongside a bunch of Japanese games; Wario Land 2 being the main focus. However, as of thirty minutes before writing this, Donkey Kong ’94 was finally delivered. I wrote about this a little bit ago and it still looks just as amazing as I remember it. Playing through a few classic Donkey Kong levels, then playing the ultimate inspiration behind the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series is proving to be a tougher task than I imagined. The game starts off innocently, but as with all Nintendo games, it makes you regret entire life decisions as you progress.
I’ve also bought a sea of SNES games over the past month or so and I’ve spent a considerable amount of time playing Out of This World. It’s not hard or anything, but the levels move like a cinematic 16-bit video with various jumps here and there and I’m enjoying the art of it all. I’m really just plugging away at retro games.
This week I managed to transition back to Nintendo, pulling myself away from the clutches of Sony and Microsoft. A few weeks back, I stumbled upon a massive collection of DS games that someone had sold to my local GameStop. GameStop in turn was selling the titles at dirt-cheap prices and I snatched them up, and have been slowly picking my way through them. One that I’ve really been having a good time with has been Mr. Driller: Drill Spirits. Mr. Driller is a super old-school Namco series. Obviously not as beloved or notable as, say, Pac-Man, but despite its limited exposure, Mr. Driller has a pretty devout following-which counts me amongst its numbers!
First off, the game looks great on DS. If there’s one thing I liked about DS more than 3DS, it was how the system’s two screens were used in tandem by many different developers. With 3DS rocking its 3D screen, we don’t generally see games where the action is taking place vertically from top to bottom. Mr. Driller revels in the lengthened view that the dual screens of the handheld offered, with the action running across both simultaneously. It’s not the most technologically advanced game that DS ever played host to, but the Mr. Driller formula is in fine form here. It’s also really stuffed with content! There are a lot of game modes and stages to get through!
I’ve also been plugging away at New Super Luigi again. Is it weird that the green box alone makes me want to play it every time I see the game on my shelf? What can I say? I’m weird like that. With the disc whirling around in my Wii U once more, I’m reminded of why I liked NSL so much in the first place. The lessened amount of time that’s offered to beat each course remains a bit of a letdown, but it’s a fun twist on traditional Mario platforming and it lends a real sense of urgency that I’m not accustomed to. It’s also… really hard! I forgot how tricky this game is, and it’s been awesome challenging myself with it once more. Overall, not a bad week catching up with some older titles in my collection.
After quite a bit of struggling, I achieved 100 percent completion of Kirby’s Dream Land 3! Boss Butch, the challenge of fighting every boss in the game in a row, was so much easier than Mini-Game 5. None of the bosses in this game are really that difficult, so it wasn’t as tough as The Arena from Kirby Super Star. After that, I was presented with the challenge of completing the Jumping minigame ten times in a row, with the difficulty ramping up significantly after each jump. It feels great to have another Kirby game under my belt.
Now I decided to play Mega Man Maverick Hunter X on PS Vita, just to mix things up a bit. I decided to beat all the levels with the X Buster, and so far I’ve taken down every Maverick besides Armored Armadillo. Sting Chameleon was by far the most difficult to fight, but Storm Eagle was an honorable mention because I fought him without the Foot Parts. Did I mention that I’m playing hard mode?
After I get my Mega Man fill, I’ll probably return to my Kirby binge with Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. I probably haven’t played this game for close to fifteen years, and I’ve never achieved 100 percent completion. Here’s hoping that changes soon.
I’m really not helping myself with this whole backlog debacle of mine. Not only have I hardly played any of my backlog titles, but I also leave the country in a few days for a well-earned vacation. However, that being said, I have managed to complete another area on Donkey Kong Country Returns. I’m now at the start of the forest area (World 5.1) after defeating Mole Miner Max in the frantic Mole Train boss level at the end of the World 4. It wasn’t too difficult, although, I would be lying if I said I had completed it on my first attempt. I especially loved the “whack-a-mole” inspired fight with the worker moles in the train carts as I made my way to the front to face off with Max.
Aside from this, I have to admit, I have been a little overzealous on eBay of late. To continue my collection of retro consoles I placed a few bids on a GameCube, which I am pleased to say were successful! As I reveled in my success at the auction, I suddenly remembered… I have no GameCube games! Back to eBay I went and a few hours later I am now the proud owner of Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, Luigi’s Mansion, Rogue Leader: Rogue Squadron II, and The Legend of Zelda: Collector’s Edition, along with an RGB cable to enhance the GameCube’s’ visuals on today’s modern HD TV’s. Oh, and whilst I am on the subject of cables, why the heck is the component cable for GameCube so expensive? This was going to be my first choice to connect to my HD TV, but after looking online, even second-hand cables are fetching around £150 to £200 ($230 to $310). Wow!
I have given Luigi’s Mansion a whirl and played up to the first boss. Once again, I have to say that Nintendo really knows how to make an amazing game. Almost 15 years on and the game still looks and plays great. I also love the history behind it; Nintendo choosing to release the GCN with Luigi’s Mansion as a launch title, much to the bewilderment of Mario fans. Although I enjoyed Super Mario Sunshine, Luigi’s Mansion for me was the stand out title from the Mario universe for GameCube. Speaking of Super Mario Sunshine… oh look, here it is on eBay…Hmm, pretty cheap too…BID!
Craig, make sure you check out the Resident Evil games. And Eternal Darkness! Not to mention Skies of Arcadia and Tales of Symphonia! Man… I loved the GameCube way too much!
This week, I knocked another game off my summer backlog! Yoshi’s New Island has now been completed, and I stand by every nice thing I’ve said about it over the last few weeks. Sure, the music can be repetitive, and extra lives are given out like Halloween candy, but it’s just so charming! And the final levels start to ramp the difficulty level up a bit. It won’t make you sweat like Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, but you’ll still lose a few lives on your way to battle Baby Bowser. One thing is for sure: the game totally ramped up my anticipation for Yoshi’s Woolley World!
With just about a month before Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer takes over my 3DS, I’m thinking about starting Mighty Switch Force. I got it as part of the Humble Nindie Bundle, but I have yet to start it up (or any of those Humble Bundle games, to be quite honest). I’m still spending a lot of time on Splatoon and Super Smash Bros. on Wii U, but it’s always nice to have a 3DS game to play when I’m away from home!
How is your summer backlog coming along? Let us know in the comments below!