The Tools to be Different in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

From the outside, it can be difficult to tell when a series has gone off the rails and into rehash territory.  For years Call of Duty was criticized for being the same game released every 12 months, but almost everyone has a beloved franchise that only an active player can see the minute differences in. This is especially true when new ideas get buried in familiar elements.

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ZombiU: A Rare Victory for the Wii U GamePad and Survival Horror

Zombi U

The Wii U GamePad’s intended purpose, as a second screen experience for console gaming, is a failure. Aside from a few examples, Nintendo has largely floundered to find much of a reason to use the device. Because of this, I was drawn to ZombiU, a third party Wii U release that makes full use of the controller. However, I was cautiously optimistic.

Initially, I expected a more modern survival horror experience that empowers the player with a large arsenal of weapons. The genre’s evolution in this direction is something I’ve always disliked, although it did produce many enjoyable third person shooters. Surprisingly, I found ZombiU hearkens back to more traditional entries in the survival horror genre.

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Taking 70 Hours to Find the Fun in Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X title screen

I’ve had a rough experience with Xenoblade Chronicles X and, after clocking in 100 hours, my time with it ended prematurely. I overwrote my save with a new file. Whoops. Even before my stupidity ruined my playthrough, I had a lot of trouble coming to terms with my feelings about the game. It wasn’t until the last 30 hours that I really started to enjoy what the title had to offer.

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The Jump that Kills Ice Climber

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(Image Source: The Gay Gamer)

Ice Climber gets more attention than it probably deserves. It’s been released on about ten different platforms and its protagonists have been featured in one of Nintendo’s biggest franchises of all time, Super Smash Bros.

For an NES game, it showed a lot of promise. In 1985 it predated Super Mario Bros. in Japan and – unlike most platformers following it – the objective is to climb up rather than run right.

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Robbing Kirby of his Greatest Asset

Kirby Challenge Missions Power Up Line Up

Kirby has become defined by his ability to copy his foes powers. But what is he without them? They add variety to the gameplay and help differentiate each title. Rideable pets modify abilities in Dream Land 2, Super Star has multiple skills per power up through button combos and The Crystal Shards lets players mix and match to create all new attacks.

However, each game has one common problem linked back to the copy abilities: they trivialize the adventure.

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The Mysterious Murasame Castle

Samurai Apprentice Takamaru Oculins Box

Nintendo has a weird interest in The Mysterious Murasame Castle. There’s only been one game in the series, which was released for the Famicom Disk System in 1986. But it’s a title that they keep referencing quite often in their modern games. Takamaru, the main character, has had cameos in a handful of titles. He’s featured in a spin off mode for Samurai Warriors 3, he’s a resident of the main island in the Japanese only Captain Rainbow and he’s set to appear as an assist trophy in the upcoming Super Smash Brothers on Wii U and 3DS. The 3DS Virtual Console release is the first time the game has left leaving Japan.

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Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island — A Disappointment that Redeems Itself

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With the recent release of Yoshi’s Island on the Wii U’s Virtual Console, I thought I’d take the time to actually play the game, albeit on my 3DS instead. I was born in1990 and my exposure to the Super Nintendo was limited. I remember playing classics like Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country and Super Mario Kart, but my tiny toddler brain couldn’t really comprehend what was going on. Consoles like the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 are the start of my most significant gaming memories. I have a lot 16-bit experiences to catch up on, and playing Yoshi’s Island was an attempt to cross one of these off my list. Despite all the praise for the title, I initially found myself underwhelmed.

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