Impressions from the Arms Global Testpunch Event

With this weekend’s Arms Global Testpunch wrapped up (There are additional times next weekend), I’m pretty surprised to say I’ve come out with a more skeptical opinion of Nintendo’s newest Switch game. I was really looking forward to Arms, and to an extent, I really did enjoy my time with it this weekend. However, there are some concerns that I have now after playing it, which I will address here.

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Two Months Later, I’m Finally Ready to Say It: Breath of the Wild Is the Best Zelda Game Ever Made

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I’m a lifelong Zelda fan–one of my earliest video game memories was pouring hours upon hours exploring the sprawling world of Link’s Awakening on my large, monochrome Game Boy system. Since then, I have extensively played every game, and I have set opinions about what the “best” Zelda games are. I was struggling to place Breath of the Wild on my list after my first playthrough. I knew it was high up there–it’s a great game. But now, in the middle of my second playthrough, it’s clear as day to me now. Breath of the Wild is the best Zelda game Nintendo has ever produced.

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Replay Review – Conker’s Bad Fur Day

So, now that I took a look at Rare’s first 3D platformer on the Nintendo 64, Banjo-Kazooie, I also want to take a look at their last (and best), Conker’s Bad Fur Day. Beginning life as yet another cutesy collectathon platformer on a console flooded with them, the similarities to previous titles such as Banjo and Donkey Kong 64 prompted the developers to rework the game to make it something more unique. In doing so, you could say they went a little overboard.

What was once a kid-friendly, cartoony game became a raunchy romp, filled to the brim with sex, violence and poop jokes. But aside from the aesthetic change to an M-rated adventure, Conker is also the purest distillation of the Rare formula. It is the magnum opus of their platformers, bringing forth the highest quality of levels, mechanics and characters that we would ever see from Rare, even to this day.

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Okay, Arms, You’ve Got My Attention

Nintendo’s newest IP, Arms, left me a bit puzzled when it was first announced. It looked fun, but the idea seemed kind of shallow, like Wii Sports‘ boxing game with a coat of Disney paint. With Nintendo’s newest Direct presentation, they’ve given us an in depth look at the gameplay of Arms, and what kind of experience it will offer. I have to say, this game is looking much more interesting than I initially gave it credit for.

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Replay Review – Banjo-Kazooie

Before playing the much hyped Yooka-Laylee, I always planned on replaying the classic platformer, Banjo-Kazooie. Released smack in the middle of Rare’s legendary run of games released in the mid-to-late 90s, this game was Rare’s first dip into 3D platformers. After Rare’s initial success with the Donkey Kong Country franchise, their core team began work on a brand new IP for the SNES. Not long after, their ambitions warranted a move over to the new Nintendo 64 system.

However, after Super Mario 64 totally changed the playing field for platformers, Rare was forced to reconsider the direction of their game, and eventually transformed the it into what is now Banjo-Kazooie. While it does indeed owe a lot to Mario 64Banjo-Kazooie goes so ridiculously far above and beyond in some aspects that it truly deserves to be remembered the way it is 20 years later.

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Review – Snake Pass

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NOTE: This game is available for all major platforms. For the purposes of this review, I played through the Nintendo Switch version. 

This year, all of the attention for the neo-collectathon-platformer has been aimed at one game: Yooka-Laylee. But with all of this, it’s easy to forget that the genre didn’t disappear off the face of the planet, and other platformers do pop up from time to time. Some even dare to try new things, to the point where they can even be considered experimental.

Snake Pass, the latest game from the developers partly responsible for Little Big Planet 3 and the slightly under-appreciated Sonic & Sega All-Stars series of racers, is just that. This is a game that has one foot firmly planted in the genre’s roots in collecting items and making precise button inputs, but has the other foot in experimenting with new game mechanics and control schemes. Snake Pass is as inventive and creative as it is charming.

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