Donkey Kong Country Returns Review

Written by Thomas Read

Donkey Kong is one of the best-known video game characters of all time, but the last few generations of consoles have been a strange experience for the ape. The original arcade game Donkey Kong is one of the major success stories of early gaming, and predates even Mario Bros. The Donkey Kong series became truly adored for its series of Donkey Kong Country games on the Super Nintendo, and with the release of the Nintendo 64 came the outstanding DK64 3 years later. After some oddball rhythm games on the Gamecube we finally saw another platforming DK game, more than a decade after DK64.

And boy, does it ever.

Donkey Kong Country Returns has the perfect name, as that’s exactly what it feels like. Retro Studios (Makers of the renowned Metroid Prime series) has done an excellent job of capturing the overall feel of Donkey Kong Country while still managing to make it new and fresh in many ways. Most of the elements that appeared in DKC return, like Diddy Kong, the dreaded minecart levels, Rambi the Rhino, collectible KONG letters in every level, and much more.
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Best of E3 2012

Here at IPGR, we watched E3 with the glee of children in a candy shop. Every year, new games and systems are shown off, the Internet is abuzz with video game talk, and people get very excited for the coming months. However, this year, our overall elation at new public video game announcements was punctuated with disappointment at the abundance of sequel announcements and general lack of focus on gaming. It certainly wasn’t all bad, though, and in fact, we’re very excited for some of the upcoming games! It’s no secret that some games and companies “win” E3, so without further ado, here are our winners in various categories:

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Wii U Game Pricing

According to a well-known game retailer, Avengers: Battle for Earth, Your Shape 2013 and Sports Connections will all be priced at $49.99 on the Wii U. However, the Wii U version of the much-anticipated Assassin’s Creed 3 will be $59.99, the same price as the Xbox 360 and Ps3 versions. Could this mean the blockbuster games will be the same price on the Wii U as other consoles? That’s what it seems, but time will tell.

Nintendo Direct Pre E3 2012 Impressions

By Thomas Read

Just a few hours ago, Nintendo finished their Pre E3 Conference, offering some new details and clarification on the Wii U. Some interesting and innovative new features and details were announced for the tablet controller, now named the “Wii U Game Pad.”

Before and After

Iwata stated that the Game Pad could also be used as a “social window” to communicate with other players independent of the system’s activity. I’m anticipating a Facebook channel on the Wii U. The camera can be used in a webcam-type experience, allowing players to see and talk to each other using the Game Pads. This is a cool feature that we’ll hopefully get more details on. For example, can more than two people have a conversation with their cameras as once? Can you chat while in-game? Could you see someone on your controller while you play a co-op game online with them? Could the Wii U use the image of the person you’re chatting with as a live in-game graphic?

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God of War Ascension: What can they Improve?

Written by Micah Messer

Greetings friends! With the recent announcement of the new PS3 exclusive, God of War: Ascension, being developed by Sony Santa Monica Studios, I made the decision to play through God of War 3 again. In my opinion, the game is a total mixed bag, but despite its flaws, I enjoy it quite a bit. With a new installment in the God of War series on the way, I thought I might give my thoughts on what I feel they got right, and what they can improve on.

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Has EA Changed its Ways? Probably Not

Written by Micah Messer

 

As you may have heard, on April 4th 2012, Consumerist readers voted Electronic Arts the worst company in America. With the Golden Poo award under their belts, it seems as though EA might be trying to change their image. On April 10th 2012, the Resurgence multiplayer DLC pack for Mass Effect 3 was released for free, as well as the promise of additional free story-based DLC in the future. The Rebellion multiplayer DLC pack is also set to come out on May 29th for no charge. This is a massive change from EA’s standard policy on DLC releases. Whether this will be a permanent change in attitude or just a temporary “Look, we’re being nice!” remains to be seen, but my bet is on the latter.

Bioware and EA are notorious for their horrible DLC track record. The Legacy DLC for Dragon Age 2 is a perfect example of their average release. Of course, they do have their moments, but usually they try to get as much money for as little content as possible. Well, EA’s customers have voiced their opinion, and they’re sick of it. Signs point to EA listening, but there’s nothing stopping them from switching back to their old ways in a couple months. While it seems unlikely, it sure would be nice if EA turned into a company that actually gave a crap about their customers.

Uncharted: Golden Abyss Review

Written by Micah Messer

I never thought I’d see the day when an Uncharted game was released without the Playstation powerhouse developer, Naughty Dog, being the folks behind it. Well, that day has come. I went into Uncharted: Golden Abyss knowing full well that it just wouldn’t be able to compete with Naughty Dog’s level of polish. I was terrified that the new developer, Sony Bend, would tarnish the Uncharted name. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Although Uncharted: Golden Abyss doesn’t  keep up with the console titles, Sony Bend does a respectable job of bringing Nathan Drake over to a portable system.

You just couldn’t have an Uncharted game without Nolan North as Nathan Drake. Most of the other key points to the Uncharted experience are here as well, so you can expect top-notch voice acting, entertaining characters, cut scenes recorded through motion capture, clever dialogue and beautiful graphics. Speaking of graphics, holy shit! This game looks absolutely incredible. Notice that I didn’t say “for a handheld game.” No, this game just looks great, period.



Don’t mind if I do.

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Batman: Arkham City Review

Written by Micah Messer

Back in August 2009, comic book fans everywhere rejoiced. Batman: Arkham Asylum was released, and Batman fans finally had a high quality game that accurately portrayed the Dark Knight in all his glory. It was fun, innovative, and if you were a pre-existing batman fan, it was a dream come true. Many called Batman: Arkham Asylum the greatest comic book game to  be released thus far. With Arkham Asylum being the critically acclaimed success that it was, naturally a sequel was immanent. Rocksteady games attempts to recreate their success with yet another adventure in the Batman universe.

The premise of Arkham City is a serious head scratcher.Quincy Sharp, former warden of Arkham Asylum, is now the mayor of Gotham City. Now, old Sharpy thought it would be a good idea to move all of the inmates from Arkham Aslyum and Blackgate Prison into a blocked-off area right in the middle of Gotham, and call it Arkham City. Brilliant plan, right? Sharp hands the reigns of this train wreck of an idea over to Dr. Hugo Strange. Bruce Wayne actually ends up getting arrested and thrown into Arkham City, thus starting another “I can’t leave Arkham until I find out what’s happening” adventure. The rest of the game’s story is actually pretty good, but the way that you’re eased into it is kind of silly, as the idea of an “Arkham City” is very obviously a fucking stupid one.


“Who’s shit idea was this?”
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Dota 2 Hero: Lifestealer

Written by Micah Messer

There he is… Isn’t he beautiful?

Even though N’aix the Lifestealer looks like the kind of creature that would devour my soul with a smile on his face, I’ve still been enjoying him greatly. It’s been hard for me to get into strength heroes recently, but Lifestealer is special. Instead of taking the front line like most other strength hereos, he actually spends a lot of his time hiding behind his team mates. Did I say behind? I meant inside. Lifestealer’s ultimate ability is called Infest. The ability’s description is as follows:
“Lifestealer will infest the body of the target unit, lying dormant and undetectable inside. When he reveals himself, he deals damage to all nearby enemy units. Lifestealer can gain experience from units that die while he is infesting a unit. If the unit is a creep, he will devour it first, gaining health equal to the unit’s current HP. Does not work on enemy Heroes.”

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations Review

Written by Patrick Maginnis

Running at full-speed, I leap off a building, extend my hook-blade and catch myself on the ledge in front of me. I drop down to the ledge below and break my hip.

Welcome to Assassin’s Creed: Revelations, Ezio Auditore da Firenze’s final story, which in my opinion, is about goddamn time. I love the Italian Renaissance, but the setting has gotten a little old, and so has Ezio. The game takes place in 1511, meaning that Ezio is 52 years old. As much fun as the game is, it’s sometimes hard to feel like a badass when your avatar is well past middle aged.

Try not to look so serious, bro.

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