I remember watching commercials for Dreamworks’ Madagascar films. In fact, I actually saw the third movie first, and then watched the first two, having really enjoyed that second sequel out of order. By far, my favourite part of all of those films Are those four crazy penguins (Skipper, Kowalski, Ringo, and Private) – in fact, they are among my favourite animated characters of all time. Given how highly I regard these characters, it should come as no surprise that I would have very lofty expectations for any game based on or around them. And so, Little Orbit’s Penguins of Madagascar was ultimately disappointing – which is a shame, as it has so much more potential to be a great game with a few changes and additions.
Just when you thought that was it for great puzzle games in 2014, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker made it into the mix just in time for the holidays. With great level design, cute characters, and lots of hidden goodies all wrapped up in a good-looking package, this charming title is some of the most fun you can have without jumping – either on your own or with the family!
When Skylanders arrived on the scene a few years ago the NFC-enabled toy craze well and truly began. Shortly after, Disney Infinity hit the market, bringing some competition to this emerging genre. Now, Nintendo has thrown its hat into the ring with amiibo. Each of these three lines are slightly different from one another, but they all compete for your hard-earned money in the form of collectible figures. What does amiibo bring to the table?
In what I would like to call a “Texan gambit”, Nintendo has taken the Super Smash Bros. franchise to the next level by making it even bigger (and better) than any other Smash Bros. that has come before. Four-player multi-player fights with some of your favourite Nintendo characters in weird venues? Pffft. Say hello to local 8-player multi-player battles with access to an even larger selection of wacky Nintendo legends in even more wild and vibrant locales! And while Nintendo has chosen to add a new aspect to the title (and their games in general) with amiibo figures (which will be covered in another article), the core experience of the game has not changed, making it one of the best games for the Wii U to date. If you are one of the three people that don’t own Super Smash Bros. for Wii U yet, you should just take my word for it and grab it right now; but if you’d rather read a glowing review…
Imagine if you took the mythos from The Legend of Zelda, threw it into a pot, and then amped it up by combining it with essence of Gauntlet; then you reduced it over the fire of action – kaboom! Welcome to Hyrule Warriors, an all-action, all-crazy jamboree that dishes out plenty of enemies for you to dish it out to. Be clear: this game will not really present too much of a challenge to savvy players – but it doesn’t need to because it’s hella fun to win the day by beating the snot out of everyone with a giant sword. Omega Force and Team Ninja have hit one out of the park (many times over) for Zelda fans.
Tinkerbell, the fairy, has been around for as long as Disney has existed. Indeed, she has been a part of the Disney title sequences for quite a spell, and she has been enjoying something of a revival very recently thanks to her starring role in a number of new films. Now, this feisty fairy joins the ranks of the other characters in Disney Infinity 2.0; and let me tell you, this Disney Original character is nothing to sneeze at.
For many, downloadable content is the bee’s knees. Whether adding weapons, expanding environments, fleshing out a new story, or introducing new characters, DLC is a great way to squeeze a little more value out of a franchise – for both developers and players. Over the last few years, Ubisoft has been releasing some great DLC to accompany their flagship titles. These additional adventures extend the life of the core games in very entertaining ways. DLC like Freedom Cry (Assassin’s Creed IV) and The Tyranny of King Washington (Assassin’s Creed III) are each very compelling and entertaining (I highly recommend both of them) – and Bad Blood, the most recent story DLC for Watch_Dogs, is right up there.