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 Nintendo I am a multi-console gamer, with that being said I have personally had numerous conversations and debates with other gamers from other platforms. What I hear from gamers from such platforms like the Xbox brand and the Sony brands and the consensus is that you are missing key features that are current in today’s console market. These features are Technologies like in-game chat and cross-game chat, I am Not sure if your system is setup in such a way that you can add something like in game or cross game chat into the Wii U infrastructure but, these are very important in today’s social gaming scene.

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 It behooves me that with such the foresight to create a social gaming network like the miiverse you did not have the insight to add something like in-game chat. In-game chat has been around since the original Xbox, something that has proven to be a valuable additive in the gaming scene. Since then the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 continued on that idea that online social gaming is the next logical evolution of local multiplayer. It is understood that the local multiplayer experience is one of the pillars of gaming even today. In-game chat helps family and friends who are no longer available to physically sit down with friends and play games with in-game chat we can join online with our families and friends to stay connected. The inclusion of cross-game chat helps us play the same multiplayer games that we enjoyed playing while sitting on our families and our friends couches.

Local Multiplayer                                                            We have grown up Nintendo

 It is known that PlayStation 3 infrastructure was not set up for the addition to cross game chat though it did have a fairly decent in-game chat system to later with the Playstation 4 add cross-game chat. I know that the Wii U for the new Nintendo network is set up to be updated via the web framework design. I am not sure how this could be applied to this feature though, I hope it is possible that you could add some features like in-game and cross-game chat into the Wii U if not both. There is a couple of my friends on PlayStation 4 that actually got rid of their Wii U’s simply because there was no in-game or cross-game chat.

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 Here are the experiences that draw today’s gamer with in-game and cross-game chat. Today’s gamer loves to play online multiplayer and that is a fact games like first person shooters, sports titles such as NBA, NFL, FIFA and any other genre that local multiplayer could be used. We totally enjoy poking fun with our friends or helping them get through a certain level of a game. The Miiverse does fill in that gap but, this method while highly viable is not a constant stream of interactivity that is sometimes wanted or needed as far as social gaming is concerned. Nintendo, you of all people know how fun it is to sit and have fun with your loved ones in your living room or wherever you have your console. The inclusion of in-game and cross-game chat will help to dramatically raise interest in the Wii U along with helping developers see the light that the struggling platform is much more than something that only Nintendo loyalists flock too. The Nintendo Wii U has provided a safe haven for independent developers and I believe with the addition of current features like in-game and cross-game chat the major AAA developers will give your console a second look. I love the Wii U and at this point from my experiences with my playstation 4 you can actually compete with the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 but, you first have to catch up with the times and add in-game chat/cross-game chat though, you should focus on inputting cross-game chat because thats where it truly matters and much more simpler. Please help promote Real Otaku Gamers initiative on all your favorite social networks along with the #WiiUvenate Thanks and game on!

By Brandon Boatman On 8 Apr, 2014 At 03:07 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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Remember that time you went out for the midnight release of that highly anticipated Wii/Wii U game? Oh you don’t? Well that’s okay because neither do I. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a game and thought man I can’t wait to play this on my Wii U…that I don’t own.

Like most gamers I love Nintendo, or at least I think I do. I bought a 3DS XL last Christmas, does that count? Having been brought up alongside the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo I feel wrong saying anything otherwise.nintendo-nes-box

That’s the problem though. Whenever I think of Nintendo it’s never of their latest console or future plans; it’s purely of Super Mario Bros., Super Metroid or The Legend of Zelda whose gold cartridge captivated me.

So we’re going to try and help our good friends at Nintendo out with some things the staff here at ROG thinks they need to do to #WiiUvenate. My contribution to this effort is ads.

Since the Wii U was released back in November of 2012- yeah it’s been that long- I haven’t seen a single ad. For games or for the console. That’s not to say they don’t have any though. At the end of last year Kotaku actually wrote an article about their ads…and how they ignored the biggest selling point which is their off-TV play.

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That’s kind of a problem. The Wii U’s best feature isn’t showcased. Another problem is how I couldn’t tell you off the top of my head what games for the Wii U are coming out or when.

So Nintendo that’s where I think you should start. Take a page from Sony and run an ad about a single little feature. There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t see the Playstation 4′s “sharing is caring” commercial.

Simply put, at least use ads so you become relevant again. It’s kind of sad that you’re still developing great games yet gamers can’t tell you their title, aside from Super Mario Kart (arbitrary number here). You may have never been big on advertising games or your console but times change. I want to be 23 and experience this again.

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With just a few days into April, it looks like we have another time consuming, wallet draining month of video games ahead of us.

April 1
Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate Deluxe Edition (PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, PC)
Mercenary Kings (PS4)
MLB 14 The Show (PS3, Vita)
Ragnarok Odyssey ACE (PS3, Vita)

April 3
Call of Duty: Ghosts – Devastation DLC (Xbox One, 360)

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April 4
Awesomenauts Asssemble! (PS4)
The Elder Scrolls Online (PC, Mac)

April 8
Daylight (PS4, PC)
Kinect Sports Rivals (Xbox One)
Lego The Hobbit (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, Wii U, 3DS, Vita, PC)
Strike Suit Zero (Xbox One, PS4)

April 10
Trials Frontier (iOS)

April 14
Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PS4)

April 15
Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars (3DS, Vita)
Moebius: Empire Rising (PC)
War of the Vikings (PC)
2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil (PS3, 360)

April 16
Trials Fusion (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)

April 22
Batman: Arkham Origins – Cold, Cold Heart DLC

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April 25
Dark Souls II (PC)
NES Remix 2 (Wii U)

April 29
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, 3DS, PC)

April 30
Child of Light (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U, PS3, 360, PC)

Personally, I’m most excited about Elder Scrolls Online. I’m a little on the fence about buying it on launch day, but I will probably buy it by the end of the month. I was involved in the last four beta weekends, and I liked what I saw. What are you most excited about this month? Let us know in the comments below!

By NoirZillaGamer On 1 Apr, 2014 At 05:23 PM | Categorized As Company Spotlight, Editorials, Featured, News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U | With 2 Comments
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 The Wii U has been the butt of a lot of jokes for sometime now but, to the majority of the install base it is known as an underrated piece of hardware. Some of our ROG staff including myself would like to share our perspectives on this and what Nintendo could possibly do moving forward to gain more traction in other demographics beside the Nintendo loyalists.

 It is commonly known since summer of last year that Nintendo has embraced the small time developers (Independent Studios) in droves. According to Nintendo Enthusiasts there are reportedly 120+ indie games all slotted for the launching on Big N’s Nintendo eShop for the Wii U. In addition to all these indie games being released Nintendo’s Senior Manager of Marketing, Damon Baker also announced during the Game Developers Conference that 50 titles are being developed with the Unity Engine 9 in which were on display at that event, games like Nihilumbra, Teslagrad, Ballpoint Universe: Infinite & Armillo. If you don’t know the Unity Engine is a recently popular software engine gaining steam late last generation for most consoles and now handhelds.

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 What I would like to see coming from Nintendo since they have a strong current and future lineup with independent studios is possibly a better exposure of these Online and Television advertisements. Flexing off their eShop indie title muscles Nintendo could flush in a great amount of indie-centric gamers along with Retro & Casual gamers. The eShop has favorites of mine like EarthBound, Unepic, Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams and Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara all titles that proven to shine with me and are apart of my 52 games for the wii u along with resonating with the awesome social experience the Nintendo Miiverse.

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 I should jump on this while its fresh, Nintendo should also promote heavily their as always family friendly gamer social network Miiverse (here’s my personal Miiverse profile follow or friend me) this experience can only be absorbed on the Wii U and within recent months the Nintendo 3DS. Here you can gather true Nintendo gamers thoughts on such subjects like connecting with new friends, displaying all types of artwork using the Wii U gamepad sharing hints, tricks, funny glitches, gripes on issues within certain games but most importantly what game out there is actually a great game. Nintendo Miiverse is set up to be like a hybrid of Twitter and Facebook built from the ground up for Nintendo gamers. This is another Wii U strong suit that should be advertised on all media outlets and no longer be kept close to the chest of Nintendo and only promoted by us Nintendo loyalist. Please help promote Real Otaku Gamers initiative on all your favorite social networks along with the #WiiUvenate Thanks and game on!

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Sony stepped from the shadows of Oculus Rift during the Game Developers Conference 2014 in San Francisco for a project that is not new to the ears and visually what was seen in the past. Originally shown off to the public back in 2013 as a Head Mounted Display, it is on sale for a whopping $999.00 on Sony’s website.

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$999.00 is the price for this puppy

PlayStation head Shuhei Yoshida revealed “Project Morpheus” expanding upon what is already provided by Sony. “Project Morpheus” is geared towards gaming 1st with a minor in multimedia. Yoshida, spoke on how the industry moved up until this point and how this new project would effect Sony and this was said;

“We believe Morpheus will further enhance the world of PlayStation 4 with seamless integration with PlayStation Camera, DualShock 4, and PS Move…may well shape the future of games.”

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“Project Morpheus”

Dr. Richard Marks of Sony R&D elaborated on Sony’s Six Principle of VR on sight, sound, tracking, control, ease of use, and content. He pointed out that “Project Morpheus” will not be limited to just gaming. Pushing this idea Dr. Marks revealed that he is currently working on a virtual walk on the surface of Mars project in partnership with NASA. Sony believes that with their expansive knowledge in High Def audio/visual displays places them in a good advantage. It was also, revealed that “Project Morpheus” will take advantage of PlayStation 4′s technology such as PS Move, Camera, and Dual Shock 4′s glowing lights & sensors. While the final specs for this device is still a mystery to the general public, it was revealed that the current prototype does include a 1080P display with allowances of wireless audio headsets (probably, Sony branded) full 360 degree positional tracking, reportedly low latency.  Sony showcased some compatible games for their VR display, one in which is a title previously slated as an Oculus Rift exclusive “EVE Valkyrie” along with an underwater adventure demo from Sony London titled “The Deep” and additional compatibility with the Thief franchise.

Before Sony’s newly revealed VR device at GDC 2014 Oculus’s VP of Product, Nate Mitchell had a conversation with IGN (Paraphrased):

“We’ve tried to assemble one of the best VR teams in the world and I think we’ve absolutely achieved that, as far as the competition goes  we’ll have to see what they (Sony) will announce, we are all about having more people involved in the VR space, We are really hopeful that they do it right, what we don’t want is for someone to rush an experience out the door and deliver something that is sub-par, that isn’t that “holy grail” So, as long as everyone is delivering great VR at the end of the day, That is whats important.”

Microsoft, of course not to be left out of the fray has rumblings surrounding their mill of rumors too. Sources close to Wall Street Journal, if correct, reported that the hardware manufacturer has already filed one patent for the project and developed virtual reality devices. The project (Fortaleza) is expected to be in a “suite of experiences unique to Microsoft’s Xbox products.” Apparently Microsoft’s rumored virtual reality project uses augmented reality technology, which is already used in today’s mobile devices such as smartphones & tablets.

One thing is for sure this sure isn’t the early 90′s and these new-found devices are definitely not low-def red and black display i.e. Nintendo’s Virtual Boy.

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The Legend of Zelda series has been heralded as one of the most influential and overall greatest game series of all time. After playing all the games it is understandable that an avid fan would drool at the prospect of the next Legend of Zelda title. Over the past few years we have come to “expect” certain notions of the future games due to the “Zelda Formula.” However, with the advent of of Skyward Sword and A Link Between Worlds the Zelda Fomula has been challenged in multiple ways such as traversing the world, dungeon entering and layout, item acquisition, and changing or even abolishing established linearity. These new additions and changes leaves room for the imagination on what the next title would be. However there are some questions that most Zelda fans want answered, with these being some of the most common…

-Will it be sequel title?
-What Timeline will it take place?
-What will it bring to the Zelda Franchise?

With these questions in mind the future of the Zelda series is both a scary and beautiful thing to think about. Where would you like to go in the next adventure with Link?

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What if this were to happen?

Sequels

Within the Zelda series there has been a number of direct and indirect sequels to established titles that ignore the rule that “each title is its own Legend.” Legend of Zelda had Zelda 2, A Link to the Past had Link’s Awakening, the Oracle games and A Link Between Worlds while Ocarina of Time had Majora’s Mask as a few examples. In recent months many rumors and fans have been debating that the next Zelda in line may be a Twilight Princess sequel or a Majora’s Mask sequel. A driving force behind this is the appeal and the desire for more darker installments within the franchise which is understandable as Majora’s Mask and Twilight Princess currently serve as the leaders of edgier adventures.

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Would you return to the Twilight?

Timeline

With the official Zelda timeline out of the bag, gamers and historians eagerly await where to drop a new title in the lineage. With the release of A Link Between Worlds, the downfall timeline now has 7 titles in its ranks and many fans believe that is enough for now. With this in mind, they have pointed either toward the unified timeline or to continue the path of the child timeline as the adult has little room to grow after the events of Spirit Tracks.

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Hmmm where to go?

Innovations

Most Zelda games bring innovation to the Zelda franchise and the gaming world in one way or another. Nintendo has kept a good trail with Skyward Sword and A Link Between Worlds to try and keep things fresh and bring new concepts to the table. I’ll put my money on that they can do it 3 times in a row. In recent talks during interviews and editorials, series producer and director Eiji Aonuma stated that he is ready to keep challenging the Zelda formula and to keep things fresh. His work on the series has shown that he is a worthy successor to series creator Shigeru Miyamoto and since he is returning to direct the mysterious Legend of Zelda for Wii U we can expect great things from Mr. Aonuma.

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The Zelda series is in good hands.

With E3 knocking at our doorstep and the promise of the new Zelda for Wii U confirmed, it will truly be a good event for gamers and Zelda fans everywhere. Until then the creative juices within the minds of legions of fans seem to only get more potent with each passing second. The future of the Legend of Zelda is looking bright.

By NightingaleSilva On 14 Mar, 2014 At 11:49 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Tales of Real Otaku | With 0 Comments
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I remember my very first gaming console: A Sega Master System. I was about 8 years of age when I had received it. That right there was my gateway into the realm of gaming. My favorite games to play were ‘Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?’ and ‘Alex Kidd In Shinobi World’. From there, I got my very first NES and SNES. I was done for after that. Those two systems started what would become a life-long obsession for me. I got those two Nintendo systems when I was about 9 or 10…I’m almost 27 now, and I’m still obsessed with Nintendo, and it’s an obsession that I am proud of and will never quit obsessing over.

Mario Bros. was my first game, then there was The Legend of Zelda. That game is what created the gamer within me. The Legend of Zelda sparked a fire in me so fierce, I could hardly contain it. Still to this day I play the original Legend of Zelda for the NES and all of the ones that came after it. It was the story behind the game, the fantastical world of Hyrule, that drew me in deeper and deeper as the series carried on. Hands down, I can say that The Legend of Zelda is my all-time favorite game series.

As a little girl, you’d expect me to be playing with dolls and ponies. Instead, I was busy adventuring, saving the land of Hyrule, and defeating Mother Brain in Super Metroid. Gaming has molded me to be who I am today. Today, I have found passion in a career that is based around a world I love so dearly: Video Games. I am a gaming journalist for several websites, and as time goes by, I can only hope to branch out further into the world of gaming journalism. I am ambitious, and know that I will reach my goals one day!

So who am I you ask? Well, the name is Felisha, but I go by Nightingale . I am an avid gamer, cosplayer, anime enthusiast, artist, writer, blogger, sculptor, mother, and a wife. I have many responsibilities and many titles. But what is it that defines me as a gamer, anime enthusiast, and so forth? As I’ve mentioned previously in the beginning of this short novel, you see why I consider myself a gamer. I never out-grew gaming, and it never out-grew me.

Life-long Gamer Addict: 

Today, I own a Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, 3DS XL, and PSP Go. Not to mention the multitudes of emulators and roms on my smartphone. I will always be partial to Nintendo because that is what I grew up with and loved, but I love my many other consoles as well, and game on each and every one of them in my free time.

Part of my gamer set-up!

Part of my gamer set-up!

As a child, video games helped me escape a world I didn’t really care for at times, and helped me sink into a world where I felt I belonged, and where I was most happy. They hold a special place in my heart and always will till the very end.

Anime Enthusiast: 

I didn’t get into anime until much later on in life. I remember my first introduction to it being Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball. Later that moved on into Cowboy Bebop, Wolf’s Rain, Witch Hunter Robin, Fullmetal Alchemist, and so many others. Still to this day I watch anime…some of my favorites are Attack On Titan, Soul Eater, Hare+Guu, Elfen Lied, Spice & Wolf, Fruits Basket, Ouran High School Host Club, and Rosario+Vampire. I even read manga too! As it is just the comic version of all my favorite animes!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Current Anime/Manga Obsession: Attack On Titan

Current Anime/Manga Obsession: Attack On Titan

 Cosplayer In The Making: 

I have a long ways to go when it comes to cosplaying, with only a few under my sleeve. I think the most elaborate one I did was one of Midna, from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in her human form. I made everything by hand…I even hand painted all of the intricate designs on her cloak, her sleeves and on her skirt. It took me at least 3 months to complete it all. Someday, I’ll revamp it, making it better and more professional. My last cosplay was Saya Takagi from the anime High School of the Dead, the only thing I hand made from her costume was the pleated skirt…First project on a sewing machine, and I just had to go and make a pleated school girl skirt…

My human-form Midna Cosplay

My human-form Midna Cosplay

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My Saya Takagi Cosplay

Everyday Nightingale: 

Most days you will find me in my comfy pajamas, typing away on my computer while video game sound tracks play in the background, with my 3DS XL at my side. And while doing all of this, I also tend to my baby girl who is almost 2 years old while I’m missing her 5 year old sister who is away at kindergarten. Amidst all of that chaos, I add more fuel to the fire by working some days for my apartment complex, and babysitting three others kids about 4-5 days a week. Luckily, through it all, I have an equally geeky gamer of a husband to keep me somewhat sane through everything I do. I am a busy woman, and that at times gets in the way of my ‘otaku-ness’, but I’m still a super geeky otaku gamer at the end of each and every day!

Everyday Otaku, Nightingale

Everyday Otaku, Nightingale

Whoever said you can’t do what you love for living was dead wrong! I do what I love everyday and make somewhat of a living off of it! I can only hope to continue using my Otaku Gamer wit to get me far in life, and make an awesome living for my two beautiful girls and my loving fellow-otaku of a husband. Peace, love, & Video Games! Nightingale, out!

By HMK On 7 Mar, 2014 At 07:42 PM | Categorized As News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, ROG News, Toys and Merchandise | With 0 Comments
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Mario Kart 8 for Wii U is set to drop on May 30th in North America and in Europe, however our friends across the pond are going to be getting a little extra. Confirmed by Nintendo in this short teaser European fans will have the chance to grab the Mario Kart 8 Limited Edition set, which comes with a copy of Mario Kart 8 and a Spiny Shell item collectible. This little shell of blue doom has been an iconic item within the Mario Kart franchise since Mario Kart 64 and its use within the games have been heavily desired due to its awesome power. No word yet if this little bundle of joy is coming stateside but we are still a few months away from this anticipated release. Check out the video below to see it in action!


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Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS is set to drop sometime this year, and we all cannot wait. In the time since it’s announcement last year Mashiro Sakurai has been revealing some cool information on the game little by little. Among this new information are changes that happening to the games overall system in contrast to its predecessor Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii. Though the game may still be months from being released let’s recap on the updates that are happening in Nintendo’s next fighting extravaganza!

First up is game flow, Sakurai has stated that the games speed will be a bit faster this time around. Using Melee and Brawl as standards in game speed the next Smash is supposedly going to be a bridge between this gap. Faster than brawl but slower than Melee. The are a multitude of divided gamers that mark their preference with either the quick-paced action of Melee or the more casual, defense oriented style of Brawl. With this new flow in mind perhaps all can come to enjoy this upcoming title.
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Second is the removal of tripping, in an interview conducted with IGN it was confirmed that this sporadic annoyance in Brawl would get the ax. With tripping gone unintentional openings and preventable K.O’s will drop drastically, leaving more room for non-stop and aggressive combat.
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Third is changes in regard to grabbing a ledge. For those who play Smash Bros. edge guarding is a very popular tactic when it comes to securing a K.O. This time around it seems that might a bit harder to pull off. Quite recently Sakurai revealed that players hanging from a edge will actually have their edge grab overridden by those who attempt to grab the same edge. With this in mind players may now have to think twice about edge guarding. With this update it was also confirmed that Air time and accumulated damage will determine your period of invincibility while hanging on an edge, and grab controls will no longer be affected by whether you have above or below 100% damage.
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Lastly is the change in standard hit combos. These combos are referencing the likes of Fox, Falco, and Captain Falcon as example. In Brawl you can just hold the attack button to do consecutive hits as a combo. The has be a number of scenarios and situations where this can be turn into an “Infinite” combo. However another recent change that Sakurai reveal is that “consecutive standard attacks will always transition into a finishing move.” Meaning that there may be a point where consecutive standard combos will reach a certain number of hits before finishing. This may seem like a small change but it looks to shape combos and strategies differently than before.
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With these changes it seem that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS is being groomed to be a beast in its own right to set itself apart from its predecessors. There are bound to be more changes in store for this game and Real Otaku Gamer will keep you posted.

By Lorie Taylor On 27 Feb, 2014 At 04:44 PM | Categorized As Featured, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments
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First Appeared on The Legend of Lorie

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

If you’re looking for a challenge on your Nintendo Wii U system, look no further as Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze will most likely make you go bananas… in a good way, of course. Retro Studios brings a direct sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns giving players a new adventure, additional playable characters, and unique ways to take on brand new, gorgeous levels.

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze takes place after the Nintendo Wii title, Donkey Kong Country Returns. Starting the game, you see Donkey Kong and his friends watch as their home is overrun by animal vikings known as the “Snomads” who freeze Donkey Kong’s island. Donkey Kong and his gang set off in an attempt to take back their home traversing through water levels, icy terrains, and many other challenges.

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The evil snowmads that are the new enemies in Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.

If you’ve played the previous Donkey Kong Country games, you’ll be very familiar with the frustrating yet addicting platforming mechanics. Donkey Kong can roll, jump, and ground smash his way through enemies and obstacles. Besides your basic maneuvering on the ground, Donkey Kong and the gang will need to swing on vines, travel on various vehicles and animals, and now swim through treacherous deterrents. Controlling DK and the gang while swimming will take some time getting used to at first as the controls were a bit shaky, however, I was surprised at the attention to detail that was given to the newly added swimming gameplay. If you were to jump in the water, DK gracefully dives right in instead of his normal clunky, gorilla jump. In addition to the new underwater levels and swimming mechanics; the vehicles in Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze have been revamped a bit. When riding in a mine cart, the screen will sometimes switch to 3D where controls will be shifted to navigate the cart by jumping from side to side. This happens interchangeably from side scrolling, to 3D, and  then viewing the game from above.  This adds a slightly new challenge to the already difficult mine cart levels. Speaking of difficulty, the Donkey Kong Country series has been known to give even the best of platformer gamers nightmares but in Tropical Freeze, the difficulty has been toned down a notch. Now don’t get me wrong, this game is still incredibly difficult. If you press the jump button too hard while on a mine cart level, you’ll hit an enemy flying only inches above the track or an incorrectly timed barrel shot will equal your inevitable demise. Nintendo, however, added a few things to make DK’s adventure a little bit easier for players like a shield power up you can buy from Funky Kong’s shop to help you pass that frustrating mine cart level. Regardless, if you’re a patient person then you’ll be looked at as a saint in the gaming community for beating a pretty difficult game.

DKCTF
Underwater levels are a new and fun addition to the Donkey Kong Country series.

Retro Studios has done an amazing job at rebooting an already beloved video game that originally released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System about 20 years ago. One of the most notable things has been the revamped soundtrack and the stunning graphics. A new soundtrack has been added to Tropical Freeze but veterans of the Donkey Kong Country series will notice a couple of tracks that sound a bit familiar. Why does it sound so familiar? Because David Wise, the original composer of the Donkey Kong Country series, was brought back on board for Tropical Freeze. You’ll find yourself humming or bobbing your head to the catchy, island-y type tunes that are in this game. On the subject of island-y type… “things”, the graphics in Tropical Freeze are beautiful. DK’s home has been transformed into an tropical mix of arctic and fire-y madness. Many levels take place in chaotic situations that DK and his gang have to escape from. One specific example that was actually one of my favorites in the game was a level that took place inside of a tornado. I found myself several times putting the controller down and just gawking at some of the brilliantly thought out levels and scenery. If you’re like me and notice the little things, you’ll see that the updated graphics have improved on the Wii U system. Donkey Kong looks “fuzzy” and you’ll notice Cranky Kong’s wrinkles in his muzzle. Basically, the game is gorgeous and it looks absolutely flawless playing on the television and off-screen on the Wii U Game pad. Tropical Freeze does not utilize the Wii U game pad in anyway except for having the ability to play off screen while leaving the main television screen available for another activity. I was slightly disappointed that there was not as much integration with the Wii U game pad but was still satisfied with the ability to play the game on the game pad when someone else in my household demanded the main television.

I’ve mentioned a few times in this review already but obviously Donkey Kong can’t save his island alone and in Tropical Freeze he has more than just Diddy Kong to help him on his quest. Besides Diddy Kong, additional playable characters have been added to the game with nifty abilities that will help with certain challenges players will come across. Diddy and Donkey Kong’s blonde haired friend, Dixie Kong, joins the gang and has some pretty useful tricks up her sleeve… or should we say ponytail? Look for the barrel with the cute, pink text to release Dixie and utilize her helicopter-like pony tail ability. This ability will help Donkey Kong hover in the air after a jump and will also lift him higher for a bit. If you’re playing as Dixie in co-operative mode, Dixie uses a bubble gun and a projectile and can also double jump. Cranky Kong also joins the team this time and even though he’s old, he is definitely still useful to Donkey Kong. Cranky can use his cane to bounce DK off of the ground and traverse through terrains that contain spikes or thorns. If you’re playing as Cranky Kong in co-operative mode, he throws dentures at enemies as his projectile weapon. With all of these playable characters; when you collect 100 bananas, you can utilize a new ability called “Kong Pow”. When you use Diddy Kong’s kong pow, all enemies on the screen will be turned into red balloons which are extra lives. If you use Dixie Kong’s kong pow, all of the enemies on the screen will turn into golden hearts which allow Donkey Kong to withstand one more hit before depleting red hearts. Last but not least, if you use Cranky Kong’s kong pow ability, all enemies into banana coins which allows players to purchase items from Funky Kong’s shop. With the addition of these characters, tackling the challenges in Tropical Freeze makes things a bit more interesting.

After collecting 100 bananas, players can activate the "kong pow" ability which does different things depending on which character DK is partied with.
After collecting 100 bananas, players can activate the “kong pow” ability which does different things depending on which character DK is partied with.

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is a fantastic addition to the Donkey Kong Country series. Fans of the Donkey Kong Country series will instantly recognize the upbeat music, the difficult yet addicting platforming mechanics, and the memorable characters that really make the Donkey Kong Country series special. Don’t be fooled, however, this game is different from it’s predecessor. With a new story, new ways to take on the environment, additional playable characters, and a brand new soundtrack; you’d be doing yourself a disservice to not have this game in your Wii U library.

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