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New Club Nintendo Reward: Featured Games for October 2013

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Another month brings a different lineup of featured game rewards over at Club Nintendo. This month, as is the usual, two games are available for the Wii/Wii U and Nintendo DSi/3DS systems. Those yearning for racing or adventure will find Super Mario Kart on the Wii and The Legend of Zelda on the 3DS Virtual Console. There’s even something here for those that like to play card games. Here is a list of this month’s featured games:

Goony Review

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goonybannerGoony Review

Developed by Moragami, Goony is an arcade-style video game that challenges you to guide Goony – a jelly-like creature – down an infinite, randomly generated road full of dangerous obstacles.

When you start up the game, you are thrown directly into the action as there is no title screen. Don’t fret; the game won’t actually start until you move Goony. To move Goony, press left or right on the D-Pad, then watch him climb down the blocky road, reminiscent of the always amazing, Slinky. Your goal is to last as long as possible, and to do this you must avoid enemies and falling in the lava. Colliding with an enemy will cause Goony to devolve to weaker ball-like states, and if this happens three times, Goony is toast.

Goony_ss2Goony will build momentum if you continue downwards uninterrupted; however, if the action gets too fast, landing on an oil slick will slow things down. You can also get some assistance from the coins and buttons that can be found on the road. If Goony is in his main state, collecting ten coins will transform him into an airplane, and another ten will change him into a UFO. These transformations will allow Goony to skip safely over a portion of the road, for a limited time. Collecting ten coins will also return Goony to a more powerful state, should he be nearly dead. Coins are also used as a form of checkpoint, meaning the more coins you collect, the closer to your place of death you will spawn. match I also briefly mentioned buttons, and these can be semi-useful. Yellow buttons will change enemies into coins, blue buttons will freeze certain enemies, and the green button will automatically guide Goony down a safe path.

At its core, Goony is a simple, but addictive DSiWare game, despite its many flaws. For example, each time you play, the course you try to overcome is automatically generated, but the roads it creates can be downright hell. Sometimes the course will be too crowded, while other times it will lead you directly into the lava via a “conveniently” placed coin path. This is frustrating as your objective is to get as far as possible, but the game seems to enjoy stacking together the most difficult course possible. I have also noticed that shortly after 300 steps, the game seems to flip a switch and become painfully difficult.

Goony_ss1Difficulty aside, Goony is still a fun and addictive title, especially if you happen to generate a course that plays fair. I also credit the game’s replay value to its one infectious theme song that just melts my brain with its retro charm. As for Goony’s visuals, they have a generic retro flair, but they do work well for this game.

If you want to get more out of Goony, you can edit blocks with the game’s block editor, and share them via QR codes. I did create some to share with you, but I can’t seem to find them on my SD card at the moment, so stay tuned.

Final Thoughts:

Goony delights when its randomly generated courses play fair, but frustrates when it forces you to overcome its version of hell. I try to put the title down, but I end up coming back to try to top my previous score, which currently stands at 730 steps; I also find myself returning for its brilliant theme song. Goony is $1.99 (200 Points) on the Nintendo eShop, and can be an enjoyable experience, if you’re dealt the right hand.

7/10 – Good

Review Copy

Color Commando Review

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Color Commando Review

Developed by Goodbye Galaxy Games, Color Commando is a puzzle game with platforming elements. It was released just a few weeks back (April 25) on the Nintendo DSiWare service – and by default, the Nintendo eShop – for 200 DSiWare points. Unlike a lot of current games, Color Commando doesn’t feature a story; instead, the game focuses on a unique painting mechanic.

Color Commando features five worlds, with each world containing five levels. The goal in every level is to find a way to reach its treasure. You’ll be doing this by making use of the game’s painting mechanic. In each level, you’ll find paint that matches the color of that level’s enemies. Touching enemies will spell defeat for your character, but with proper use of paint, you can avoid nearly every situation.

colorcommando3Using the touch screen, you can touch the spot you wish to paint, of course, that is if you have paint in your inventory. If you paint over enemies of the same color, you can pass through them without getting hurt. If you paint a wall, enemies of matching color will be able pass through, adding a nice variety to the overall gameplay.

The painting mechanic is quite clever and works well, but you’ll also need to control the main character with the D-Pad. He can climb ladders, and walk left to right, but he cannot jump. Taking the jump away actually lends itself to the puzzling nature of Color Commando, mainly because it forces you to think about your available options.

In addition to the main gameplay, there are also three coins to collect on every level. Collecting every coin in a world will open its fifth, locked level. This isn’t a necessary task, but it will add a few more minutes to an otherwise short game – an experienced gamer can beat this game within an hour. Color Commando isn’t a hard game, but I did find myself stumped on a few occasions. During these moments, I had to experiment with the paint to find the correct path to each coin and treasure, but overall, Color Commando is quite easy.

colorcommando1While Color Commando is a fun, creative game, there are a few minor flaws. First, there are only two types of enemies in the game, both of which are easy to overcome. Adding more enemies could have easily spiced up the gameplay quite a bit. Level design, while good, could also be improved upon by adding new and more difficult obstacles. There are also a few coins placed in such a way that will force you to take a leap of faith, and hope for the best. Adjusting them just a few pixels could have made those sections a lot less painful.

Outside of those minor flaws, Color Commando boasts charming, colorful visuals that can easily compete with the best of the DSiWare library. Color Commando also has an ear-pleasing soundtrack, though some may argue that it has too few tracks. Overall, I think every track is excellent, so I didn’t mind listening to them multiple times throughout the adventure.

Final Thoughts:

Those looking for an interesting puzzle game might find themselves enjoying Color Commando’s clever paint mechanic. It is a short and sweet experience that is over in a heartbeat, but remains fun until the very end, in despite of its flaws. At just a $1.99, it’s hard not to recommend Color Commando, but inevitably, it won’t be for everybody.

7/10 – Good

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DSiWare Game Clash of Elementalists Coming to Nintendo eShop Later This Week

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Clash of Elementalists will be coming to the Nintendo eShop (and the DSiWare service) on April 11, 2013, and will be available at a $4.99 (500 DSiWare Points) price tag.

Clash of Elementalists is a four player arena game in which you choose to fight as one of four Elementalists that specialize in the following elements: Fire, Earth, Air, and Water. You can play on multiple battlefields in single player, or crush the competition in four player local wireless matches.

Jump Trials Extreme Review

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Jump Trials Extreme Review

Jump Trials Extreme is a sequel to Jump Trials and was released just one month later on December 27, 2012. Jump Trials Extreme is nearly identical to Jump Trials, however, setting the two apart are its many improvements to graphics, level design, and replay value.

As for concept, nothing has changed in Jump Trials Extreme. You are still controlling a stickman and must complete each of the game’s 100+ stages in less than 10 seconds. The controls are exactly the same meaning you’ll only be worrying about moving and jumping, and even the physics for how the stickman handles hasn’t changed. However, G-Style has added new features to make playing the game’s main mode, Trials Mode, both more interesting, and challenging.

jumptrialsextreme_ss1The most obvious additions to the game are its new obstacles. New additions include the pairing of colored doors and switches, intermittent spikes, limited use springs, and see-saw lifts. Of course, all the old obstacles make a return, but it’s the new ones that add some much needed spice to the game.

It’s also worth mentioning that every stage is completely new, and while some may look familiar, these familiarities fade fast. As for the stage design, it’s much more punishing this time around and will the game will start to challenge you earlier than Jump Trials did. Jump Trials Extreme has larger stages when compared to its predecessor, and also has multiple paths. While these paths have no real influence on the main mode – other than giving you a little variety – they do play a much bigger role in the game’s Challenge Mode, and the new Time Attack Mode.

Back in Jump Trials Extreme is the fascinating Challenge Mode which challenges you to collect three medals of Bronze, Silver, and Gold variety, then complete the stage. This mode has remained relatively the same, except now you will have to travel along some of the stages’ alternate paths to collect every medal.

jumptrialsextreme_ss2New to the series is Time Attack Mode, a much needed time trials experience that should have been included in the original. Time Attack Mode is similar to Challenge Mode in the sense that you are completing the same 100 stages from Trials Mode, but now you are competing for the fastest time. You are awarded a bronze, silver, or gold badge dependant on your performance. The times to beat have been set by the developers, and they make things extremely challenging. In my opinion, this is where the alternate paths play their biggest role, which is forcing you to find the quickest path to the exit.

Musically, Jump Trials Extreme is much of the same. While the tracks are new, and enjoyable, there is nothing special about them, and they do repeat quite often. However, the graphics have been improved quite a bit. Stages now look less bland with some nice background art, and the overall presentation has been given a nice face lift.

Final Thoughts:

There isn’t much more to say about Jump Trials Extreme that hasn’t already been said in the Jump Trials review. It is a much more challenging experience that also manages to retain the charm of the original. I thoroughly enjoyed this title as much as its predecessor, and believe its new features give it a slight edge. Also, the game has a secret eleventh level which holds 10 of the hardest stages you’ll play across both games. These stages even carry over to the game’s supporting modes, increasing the overall replay value. Speaking of replay value, I have been playing for a little over four hours, which happens to be double my time with the first game. If you enjoyed Jump Trials, Jump Trials Extreme is a must purchase, especially at its low price of $1.99.

8/10 – Great

Purchased on the Nintendo eShop

DSiWare Title Goony Coming Next Thursday

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Circle Entertainment is bringing its DSiWare title, Goony, to the Nintendo eShop/DSiWare service next Thursday, March 14. In Goony, you control a jelly-like creature on its journey down a road of hazardous obstacles.

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Wizard Defenders Coming to DSiWare in Late December

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Wizard Defenders is a unique match three puzzle game that will be coming to the DSiWare service (and Nintendo eShop) on December 27th for 200 Points (or $1.99). Wizard Defenders challenges you to match same colored wizards together to prevent incoming enemies from reaching the wizards. It’s a unique blend of the basics of tower defense and the match three puzzle concept. Check out the full press release below for more info. Read more

Castle Conqueror Heroes 2 Coming to DSiWare Soon

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Castle Conqueror Heroes 2 will be launching on the DSiWare service on December 20th. Castle Conqueror Heroes 2 is a turn based strategy game that features an 11 chapter story. No word on price at the moment, but you can check out the full press release below for more information. Read more