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Reviews


Amidst a drought of decent Wii U games, WayForward’s top-notch HD platformer might just be the thing you’re looking for to kill time until the next big release.


Author: Jack

Originally released in late 2011 on the 3DS by Valencia, California-based WayForward Technologies, Mighty Switch Force! came out to largely universal acclaim, but seemingly got lost in the shuffle alongside the release of other great retro-styled downloadables for the system, such as Mutant Mudds and VVVVVV. Wanting to further test the waters, WayForward announced this past July an HD port of the game to coincide with the launching of the Wii U, featuring more levels and updated visual stylings. Despite the glut of self-referential style direct-download platformers abound in this day and age, Mighty Switch Force! Hyper Drive Edition manages to stand out from the rest with its natural, effortless, tacit streamlinity in gameplay, additional content exclusive to Wii U, and grade-A soundtrack.



It’s like Wave Race, only on dirt. And with less color. And fewer dolphins.


Author: Austin

The last time the gaming industry saw a truly decent entry in the “X-treme” sports genre was probably well before the launch of the last generation of consoles. Every once in a while a snowboarding game or a skating game will crop up, re-enthuse folks for a few months, and then disappear as quietly as it came (2007’s Skate, anyone?). There seems to be a perpetual cycle with such games that cannot be broken, and more often than not it’s due to the fact that they rely more on appealing to the “skater” aesthetic than having good platforming (such is what brought the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series so much acclaim) or solid racing mechanics (such as Wave Race 64).

So here comes Mutant Mudds and Dementium developer Renegade Kid, trodding up to our virtual eShop doorsteps with their own attempt to succeed within the confines of a genre that had its heyday in the early to mid-2000s. When you first see a screenshot or watch a trailer for ATV Wild Ride 3D, it looks and sounds– certainly to its detriment– like everything you’ve ever seen before. Fast paced alternative rock, lots of overly-enthused voice effects, plenty of dirt, and “massive air” are all staples of a game presenting itself in this somewhat-dated genre, but in the case of this Renegade Kid racer, bland first impressions have proven to be all but incorrect after spending some time with the game:

Wild Ride is, thankfully, neither bland nor dated.



Writer and podcast crew-member Jack takes on the latest entry in one of his favorite indie game series’– but can Runner2 stand tall on the shoulders of its beloved predecessors?


Author: Jack

Upon commencement of the critically acclaimed BIT.TRIP series, Santa Cruz-based developer ‘Gaijin Games’– formerly a simple and passionate three-man group freely designing titles emulating the Atari games they loved– was rife with change. In addition to lead programmer and co-founding member Chris Osborn’s departure to form TRACER, in an extremely swift, savvy, and hostile move, Gaijin CEO Alex Neuse went on a “company acquisition rampage” and absorbed small-time developer ‘Robotube’ in an effort to branch out and emulate large-scale publishers such as Activision and Electronic Arts, more than doubling the amount of staff.

Gaijin’s first post-acquisition move was the announcement of a sequel to perhaps the most accessible game in the slightly niche-audience BIT.TRIP canon in BIT.TRIP RUNNER, a fluid, seamless, and addicting rhythm game ingeniously masquerading as an on-rails platformer (you can read my review of the original here). Early game screenshots indicated the sequel, officially named Bit.Trip Presents Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, would be comprised of a completely different aesthetic than what we’d come to expect from BIT.TRIP, capturing more of a mainstream indie vibe as opposed to a modern take on Atari games. Would Runner2 expand upon the seedlings the first Runner game planted and blossom into a successful sequel, or would the ruthless, downright blasphemous moves Alex Neuse made as a businessperson osmose into the game and make it cave-in from sheer shallowness?

It’s the first one.



Zelda is back… in book form!


Author: Patrick

Full disclosure: I’m probably the only writer for Nintendo Everything who doesn’t really consider myself a fan of the Zelda series. My opinion of every Zelda game tends to dramatically vary, but I think the series’ art is the one area that the games consistently excel at. And so when it was announced that Dark Horse would be publishing a combination of art and history book to celebrate the Zelda series, of course I jumped at the chance to review it. The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia sure makes a great first impression. Even the regular edition Hyrule Historia has a hardcover and with over 250 pages it’s quite a heavy book. It promises plenty of fully translated information about the series from the specifics of the Zelda timeline to the shape and density of Tingle’s chest hair, but we won’t really know until we take a look inside…





Suda51 delivers a well-produced mecha anime that’s as hyperactive as it is hyper-nationalistic. But how’s the actual game?



Author:
Patrick

Level 5 really haven’t been having a whole lot of luck when it comes to the 3DS. Professor Layton and Inazuma Eleven might still bring in the cash, but the company’s attempts at starting new IPs like Time Travelers and Girls RPG: Cinderella Life sold poorly. But perhaps their biggest bomb of all was Guild 01, a compilation of quirky games that sold fewer than 15,000 copies upon its first week of release despite having some well-known game designers collaborating on the project. Oddly enough, Level 5 are now giving Guild 01 a second chance by rereleasing most of the games in the compilation through the 3DS eShop. The first of these titles to be available outside of Japan is Liberation Maiden, a 3D shooter heavily inspired by Japanese cartoons – specifically the kind where plot is second to cool robots flying around and blowing stuff up.



The ‘Call of Duty’ series may still be about intricate stories and engaging characters after all.


Author: Austin

A lot of people make fun of Call of Duty for being mindless, repetitive nonsense that too many people buy into when there are way better games out there that they could be playing. Hell, whenever I need a game to be the faceman of the excessively high-octane, testosterone-fueled trends that permeate gaming culture today, I turn to Activision’s inhumanely popular first person shooter franchise. It just seems… “right”, somehow. And yet, after playing Black Ops 2 extensively over the last week or so, I can’t help but feel as though I need to clarify something:

Treyarch is now exempt from the criticisms that apply to the Modern Warfare series.



Nintendo’s latest entry into the ever-expanding ‘New Super Mario Bros.’ series launched alongside Wii U, but can it do anything to bring this stale franchise-within-a-franchise back to the glory days of old?


Author: Jack

With the launch of a new console– Wii U in this case– industry staple Nintendo always turns to a premier intellectual property to act as a catalyst for initial sales to hopefully make a dent in the marketplace. With Wii U’s predecessor “Wii”, Nintendo forwent tradition and went with a (highly anticipated) Zelda game, in addition to a new family-friendly motion-gaming-based aesthetic, and the rest is history—Twilight Princess became one of the most critically acclaimed games of the seventh generation, and the Wii went on to outsell its Sony and Microsoft contemporaries by 29%.

This time around, Nintendo is going back to its roots and kicking things off with a Mario game, oddly enough only three months after releasing the third New Super Mario Bros. iteration on 3DS. The fourth in line for the series, will New Super Mario Bros. U break the mold of the increasingly cookie-cutter series and offer a fresh experience akin to Super Mario Galaxy, or will it continue down its road of slight obsolescence? Upon (near) completion, the latter is definitely a better descriptor, but New Super Mario Bros. U still manages to be well worthy of your time and money.



I am the minigame queen and Nintendo Land is my kingdom.

The virtual Nintendo themed amusement park may seem like a very obvious way to teach us all of the new features of the Wii U, but it also delivers a fun and charming party game with the familiarities of our favorite Nintendo games.


Author: Laura

Following in the footsteps of Wii Sports, Nintendo Land uses a fun mini game style to teach us how to get the best experience out of the Wii U’s new features. I played some of it multiplayer on the livestream we did a few days ago, and some by myself, and I’m happy to say that either way it was a lot of fun. Party games are usually only fun in a…well, a party! But I can honestly say I enjoyed playing by myself as much as I did with friends, and you can’t get that same feeling with games like Mario Party, Wii Sports or Wii Party.



Survival horror has made its triumphant return to consoles.


(Note: This is a review of the single player. Multiplayer is pretty much exactly what you’d expect.)

I’ve been playing ZombiU constantly over the last two days, and when I first started out I considered myself nothing more than certifiably intrigued. A couple of hours in, and I went from intrigued to impressed. A few hours on top of that and I was enthralled. Add an hour or two more and I found myself legitimately surprised that I was enjoying the game as much as I was. I had read in so many places that at best it was “fun-but-flawed”, and I had damn-near convinced myself that such a label was “good enough”, and very admirable for a launch title.

When it comes down to it though– and I do NOT say this lightly– I’ve ended up thinking that ZombiU is one of the best survival horror games I have ever had the immense pleasure of playing.


Note: This is the very first review written by podcast crew member Laura. Be nice, but be sure to let us know if it’s really terrible so we can fire her.


We all grew up with that love-able talking mouse who charms his way through any situation, right? Well, he’s back again with another ‘Epic Mickey’ installment, only this time he’s charming his way across side scrolling platforms.


With a lot of gaming franchises you’ll end up seeing a poorly-transferred version of a console game come out for the handheld device of the time, presumably for some easy money. Epic Mickey: Power of Illusion takes that idea and gives it more hope. While the game has quite a few flaws, it carries many of the same elements as the original console game but at the same time holds strong on its own. Disney Interactive Studios has created a whole new game for the 3DS that fits with in the Epic Mickey world, and instead of trying to recreate an entire console game and shrink it down for a handheld device, they used the transfer to their advantage.