Friday, 5 December 2014

Five characters who did nothing wrong

Some characters in Rare's games and the extended media aren't exactly bad guys, but they do get punished severely for something they can't help... or didn't even do. I decided to focus on some of those poor saps in this particular issue.

5. Roysten the goldfish

We owe a lot to Roysten. His fishy self merely appearing somewhere manages to make works take place in the same universe, and his rhythmic knocking against his bowl is music to my ears. But he performs a thankless job and always ends up on the barbeque.

In Banjo-Tooie, you graciously save him from death by suffocation by dropping him off in Spiral Mountain's moat. He even teaches you how to swim faster and gives you extra air to make swimming easier. But in the end? He just ends up on Bottles' plate, burned, alongside his chips. Yeesh.

Oh yes it is.

4. Eddie the Mean Ol' Yeti

I mean, c'mon. He's obviously just a guy who has anger issues and likes his peace and quiet. Even when he keeps everyone awake by banging against the walls, he's not doing it to bother anyone. He's just being cranky.

In one episode while trying to woo Candy Clone by singing a song, sublime in its simplicity, about how he likes snow and ice and wishes to fornicate with the robotic ape lady. But in the same song, he reveals he isn't even old, nor is he really that mean.
This is proven that he only gets mad when some apes from the jungle come to steal the barrel that rained down on him. Even when they propose to trade, he burns his hand on a match. Eventually he gets pumelled by a bunch of Kritters as well.

Even worse is when you consider that in a world without Donkey Kong as shown in the subtly-titled It's a Wonderful Life, he's a friendly Guardian Angel Yeti. This means that somehow, DK made him how he is. It's not explained, but the implications are concerning.

I feel the same way when I see that old Fox Kids logo. Nostalgia is a powerful thing.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

5 wonderful, little hidden details you probably didn't notice

There's a lot of stuff hidden in these games, but some of them aren't as regularly pointed out as others. Yeah, we all know Conker started out kid-friendly and that Stop 'n' Swop isn't as real as we hoped it would be. But there's some other stuff I noticed that make these games a little more than just games...

5. David "Bon Jovi" Wise

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is a wonderful game, and the soundtrack only makes it even better. David Wise's work goes from atmospheric to melodic to hardrock. Yes.
One such music pieces, entitled Punch Bowl, plays at the final battle of the second-to-last world. The polar bear boss is a threatening guy, but that's only because DK made him drop his popsicle.
The music sounds like something from Bon Jovi, might I add. David Wise has a tendency to subtly reference existing songs, and it's pretty rad, but this is the first time it's another band I really like from the get-go. The polar bear's name is Bashmaster the Unbreakable, and it just so happens that Bon Jovi has a song entitled Unbreakable.

Coincidence? Probably. But the last time we had a polar bear in the extended Rareniverse, he was named Boggy.

"Kids crying? Nah, I'm gonna sled. Priorities, man."

4. Kazooie! Meinem Schwester ist Verschwunden!

Banjo-Kazooie is notorious in having bad translations. The humour is so incredibly British, that any attempts to translate it to anything else fall flat. Since I'm almost trilingual, I can afford to play the games in English, Dutch, and German. Which would be kinda rad, if not for the decrease in quality...
In the German translation of Banjo-Kazooie, the jokes are mostly absent. Instead of the all-famous "How's your nuts, bark breath?", Kazooie says the much less suggestive "Warm, oder?" as in, it's warm. Yeah.

The German comics, however, did everything right. Kazooie totally says there that the house reminds her of the house in Psycho. And she makes a really good point, 'cause it does.

And let's not even mention the Dutch version of Banjo-Kazooie Nuts & Bolts. Let's skip over the fact that the translator had little to no knowledge of Banjo lore and that Kazooie is a pleemeeuw ("toilet gull") rather than a breegull, but Jolly Roger/Jolly Dodger, our favourite flamboyant frog, is referred to as Piet Piraat. Which translates to Pete the Pirate, but we already have a completely unrelated character with that name, courtesy of Studio 100 from Belgium. ...Oops.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

E3 2014 Rareniverse coverage

Not much happening this year. Donkey Kong appears as a cool new figure for Nintendo's new Amiibo feature, and Diddy will undoubtedly follow. New playable characters in Super Smash Bros. are Palutena, Pac-Man and every Mii imaginable. Once again, K. Rool has been snubbed, but I'm afraid there'll be no way to predict if he really is not in the game until it actually releases. At least there's the Kremlings. Schrale troost.

Don't worry, K. Rool. I'm not in Smash Bros. either.


And of course, best of all -- Conker's back.

Definitely the highlight of Microsoft's otherwise pretty dull conference, the game's called Project Spark, where you basically create your own worlds, levels, games -- and he's a playable character. It's not a Bad Fur Day 2 (thank LOG!) but he's a DLC, and he looks amazing. The rest of the game, even without him, looks like a lot of fun as well. He sounds like Conker as well.
Sources are being vague, but right now it's not sure if Chris Seavor voiced him or not. Additionally, some sources thought for a moment that it was my dear boyfriend Bryant instead, and it honestly wouldn't have surprised me. Bry does a pretty damn accurate Conker impression. We were both in a Skype call, watching Microsoft's conference and not having much faith in it, together with another friend of ours when he came on screen. The reactions, all of our reactions, it was amazing. I wish I had recorded it.

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Tropical Freeze; where DK is relevant again

WARNING; this WILL contain spoilers! Tread carefully!

So last Monday I went out to buy a Wii U. Earlier, on Saturday, I had purchased Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze, my most anticipated game of this year.

A reason I love Tropical Freeze is because it fits in perfectly with other DKC games. Returns did too, but it fell flat on some points. And even then, Returns was amazing. We all thought it couldn't get better than Returns. Except, guess what? It did get better than Returns. Who would'a thought that?

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Why I love Conker's Bad Fur Day

(I was gonna do this as a video, narrating it, as a subtle jab to another video I don't even deem worthy of watching -- but my dumb deep Dutch vocal chords don't allow me to do anything without sounding like a complete moron. Boo hiss.)

Conker's Bad Fur Day was my most favourite thing three years ago. The game was so dear to me because it was made by Rare - I'm betting that if Rare had no involvement, I never would've picked up the game in the first place.

Truth to be told, violent and/or questionable things couldn't interest me less at the time. I got into some anime about dogs killing each other... because it was about dogs. Similarly, I got into Conker because he wasn't some buff, muscular, middle-aged guy, but instead, a cute little squirrel.

Well, really, that's the catch; he looks cute and fuzzy, but in reality, he's got a severe drinking problem and ends up depressed.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Donkey Kong theory

Sure, another theory. Except this one is one of my favourites.

So anyway. We all know the amazing Donkey Kong Country games and the... less-than-amazing Donkey Kong Country animated series. I loved the TV show a while back, around three or four years ago. But now, I'm re-watching it in amusing annotated form and now that I look back at it, I find it being less than impressive. Not because of the differences from the game, but rather because the characters sometimes get on my nerves. But this is not about that. This is about the theory that I imaginatively call 'The Donkey Kong Theory'.

The theory itself is as follows; The Donkey Kong Country TV show is a prequel to the games.

Why would I have such a bone-headed idea? Cranky would probably call me a big baboon (he calls everyone a big baboon) and I wouldn't blame him. Some things would make sense, though. For example, take Cranky, only because he's playable in Tropical Freeze (which is great) and also because he'll call me a big baboon if I don't tell about him first (which is not great.)

Honestly, Cranky's show design is quite faithful to his original design. The only thing that differs is his beard, which is shorter in the cartoon. Of course this is because back then, emulating hair with CGI was considered the most impossible thing that ever was impossible, but from a theory viewpoint, it would make sense -- it didn't have the time to grow to the length it is currently! As for his tendency to break the fourth wall in the games, we'll get to that later.