Let’s Blog Award from AK

letsblogaward

Alright, it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these tags. The responsible party, once again, is AK of Everything Is Bad for You, although the tag is slightly different this time around. It’s the Let’s Blog Award, and the rules are as follows:

  1. Answer the 10 questions sent by the nominator.
  2. Write your 10 questions for the nominees.
  3. Answer your own questions.
  4. Nominate as many bloggers you want for this award and notify them that they got nominated.
  5. Tag the post #Let’s Blog Award.

It’s quite a lot of work, but I think I’ll manage, so here we go.

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October 2021 in Summary: A Shot in the Arm

Sorry for the lack of content this month. I recently started a new job and haven’t really had much of an opportunity to work on any reviews as a result. In the meantime, and to give the title of this update post a second meaning, I also got a booster COVID shot as was recommended. I suggest anyone who can does likewise.


Films watched in October 2021:

In theaters:

  • <None>

At home:

  • My Cousin Vinny (Jonathan Lynn, 1992)
  • A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956)

My Cousin Vinny is commonly known as the court comedy that somehow manages to be more realistic than 99% of court dramas you’ll find. In addition to being one of the funniest movies out there, it really dispenses a lot of great advice (e.g. don’t talk to the police without an attorney present, make sure to know what, exactly, is going on before acting, etc.). Really, it’s Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei at their best, so what’s not to like?

Ever wanted to see an escape film minus the Hollywood bombast? Try looking into Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped. This film is based off of the memoirs of André Devigny, a French Resistance member who, true to the film’s name, managed to escape Nazi imprisonment in 1943 after having been sentenced to death. The film is a real triumph in minimalistic storytelling, and, in many ways predicted the French New Wave movement that would occur just a few years later.


Games reviewed in October 2021:

Donkey Kong Land III

Fun fact: Unlike the Donkey Kong Country games, I played the Donkey Kong Land trilogy in reverse order. I couldn’t tell you why I did that, although I would end up doing the same thing with Metroid Prime years later.

I also did a 101% playthrough (yes, really) of Donkey Kong 64 recently, so you can expect a review of that game in the near future.

Anyway, Donkey Kong Land III is one of the last games of its kind, selling itself as a watered-down version of a console game when, as a result of both Pokémon’s international debut just a year later (one year prior in Japan) and Super Mario 64’s success, handheld consoles at last had a dedicated niche to fill, providing 2D experiences when the mainstream wasn’t and in a time when 2D was considered outdated. I highly doubt the1 people making these games really knew of it at the time, but those early Game Boy experiences really didn’t have much of a chance of holding up in the long run.

Ultimately, what holds Donkey Kong Land III back is that it’s every bit as guilty of being a watered-down rehash as its direct predecessor, although the level design is more bland than uninspired. It’s a bit of a shame that the trilogy didn’t continue following in the footsteps of the original game, which, while flawed itself, at least tried to pitch entirely new ideas (and succeeded about 55% of the time) because if Rare had taken the handheld platform more seriously, they could have made an underrated gem. Sadly, it wasn’t to be, and as per usual, there’s not much point in revisiting this game when you can play Donkey Kong Country 3 just as easily – and often on similar platforms, at that.


Featured articles:

The Outer Worlds – Matt from Nintendobound talks about the smash 2019 action RPG The Outer Worlds. It’s a highly acclaimed game, though it seems to be guilty of featuring the patented bloat of your average big-budget 2010s AAA game.

Life is Strange Before the Storm Review – Teen Angst the Game – Alex of Alex’s Review Corner takes a look at the slice-of-life game Life is Strange: Before the Storm, a game many people have likened to TellTale’s titles.

Movie Review – Poltergeist – In preparation of Halloween, ManInBlack reviews the classic Poltergeist, which I have strangely only seen the latter half of.

Denis Villenueve’s Majestic Dune – Starloggers reviews the latest attempt on Hollywood’s part to adapt the classic Dune series of sci-fi novels. It appears to have turned out much better than David Lynch’s attempt. Mr. Villenueve claims you need to see it in theaters, but I’m under the belief that if your film is only good if it’s seen in theaters, you’re doing something wrong.

Project G: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) – Aether continues his Godzilla project by reviewing Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Kind of interesting how the Heisei era decided to introduce mainstay King Ghidorah only three installments in. They certainly didn’t waste any time raising the stakes, did they?

Demo mode: Blue Reflection: Second Light (PS4) – And finally, AK tries a demo of the game Blue Reflection: Second Light, a sequel to an RPG set in modern-day Japan.


Links to my articles:

Game reviews:

Donkey Kong Land III

Donkey Kong Land III

Donkey Kong Country 3 was released in November of 1996. Although it received positive reviews, its sales figures were noticeably less than those of its direct predecessor. This is largely because it had the misfortune of being released in the shadow of Super Mario 64 and the 3D revolution it kickstarted. Regardless, as Rare had much success in the Game Boy market with their Donkey Kong Land series, it only made sense for them to make an equivalent game for the concluding Donkey Kong Country trilogy installment as well. This game, entitled Donkey Kong Land III was released in October of 1997 in both North America and Europe. Japanese enthusiasts would receive a color update for this game in 2000, which utilized the abilities of the then-newest Game Boy model. Donkey Kong Land III was widely praised with some calling it the best game in the Donkey Kong Land trilogy. Was the game the power move its Super NES counterpart managed to be?

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September 2021 in Summary: Monochrome

Donkey Kong Land - Ship

2020 was a pretty lousy year, but if it’s thing I did like about it, it’s that, because I was working from home, I didn’t have to deal with the annual cold season. And then I ended up working in an office these past few months and was reminded of how much I did not miss getting a cold when I got a particularly persistent one a few weeks ago. I’m over it now, fortunately.

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Donkey Kong Land 2

Donkey Kong Land 2

Donkey Kong Country 2 was released in November of 1995. Much like its predecessor, it was a critical and commercial success. It became the sixth bestselling game on its platform, the Super NES. In fact, it was the single bestselling game on that console to not be packaged with the system. Meanwhile, developers at Rare had another success on their hands in the form of Donkey Kong Land, a Game Boy counterpart to the original Donkey Kong Country. As Donkey Kong Land sold over three-million copies, a sequel was inevitable. The game was finished and subsequently launched in North America in September of 1996 before seeing a broader release in Japan and Europe the following November. With Donkey Kong Country 2 being a massive improvement over its direct predecessor, how does its Game Boy counterpart fare?

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Donkey Kong Land

Donkey Kong Land

In the year 1994, the Twycross, England-based developer Rare put the finishing touches on Donkey Kong Country. Their game saw its release that autumn, and it quickly became one of the SNES’s bestselling titles. While the company had success developing games for the NES, Donkey Kong County was what put them on the map for many an enthusiast thanks in part to their close collaboration with Nintendo and the eye-catching presentation courtesy of the then-state-of-the-art Silicon Graphics workstations they employed.

However, as Rare co-founders Tim and Chris Stamper helmed the development of Donkey Kong Country, a second team formed to create another game starring the title ape. Nintendo’s Game Boy was released in 1989 and had become the single most successful handheld console to date. Realizing the potential of the handheld device, this second team sought to create a game for that platform. Created with the same Silicon Graphics workstations and Advanced Computer Modeling technique they utilized to develop Donkey Kong Country, this game was completed in the summer of 1995.

Named Donkey Kong Land, the game received fairly positive reviews with many critics praising its graphical presentation. It was eventually awarded the title of “Best Game Boy Game of 1995” by both Electronic Gaming Monthly and GamePro. Having moved more than three-million units, Donkey Kong Land ensured that Rare had a bestselling game in both the home console and handheld markets. With a high standard to live up to, how does Donkey Kong Land compare to its 16-bit counterpart?

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August 2021 in Summary: It’s on Like Donkey Kong!

Donkey Kong Country 2 - Haunted Hall

The release of a new Ace Attorney game is something I’m both excited for and slightly annoyed by. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great series, but it’s also filled to the brim with spoilers that I know that when a new installment comes out, I have to drop pretty much everything I’m doing to play it if I’m to experience it completely fresh, hence the low number of films I ended up watching this month.

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Kalimba

Kalimba

In the year 2006, a video game development studio named Press Play was founded in Copenhagen, Denmark by Ole Teglbjærg, Rune Dittmer, and Mikkel Thorsted. Two years after the release of their 2010 inaugural title, Max & the Magic Marker, the company was acquired by Microsoft Studios where they joined the same family of studios that included 343 Industries, Rare, and Lionhead Studios.

In 2014, Press Play announced “Project Totem”, which would see the creation of a new title slated for release on the Xbox One. Later in the same year, it was officially titled Kalimba. It saw its original release on Microsoft’s platform in December of 2014 before debuting on Steam the following April. Kalimba was released to a fairly positive reception with critics praising the concept, but finding the graphics and sounds forgettable. Selling itself as a puzzle-platformer, what does Kalimba bring to the table?

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Commander Keen in Aliens Ate My Babysitter!

Commander Keen in Aliens Ate My Babysitter

In the same month the Goodbye, Galaxy duology saw its release, so too did the standalone sixth official episode of id Software’s Commander Keen series: Commander Keen in Aliens Ate My Babysitter. Although the second episode of Goodbye, Galaxy, The Armageddon Machine, teased at a new set of games entitled The Universe is Toast!, this sixth episode would be the series’ finale. Was it able to give id’s first triumph a proper sendoff?

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Commander Keen in Goodbye, Galaxy – Episode Five: The Armageddon Machine

Commander Keen in Goodbye, Galaxy – Episode Five - The Armageddon Machine

Programmed in but a single month, the fifth official episode in the Commander Keen series, The Armageddon Machine, was released on the same day as its immediate predecessor as part of the Goodbye, Galaxy duology. Does this installment allow the duology to end on a high note?

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