VS

Lets face it. 2D platformers are just superior to 3D platformers in every way of the term. Hell, the public thinks so with their rejection of SMG2 with NSMBW. But that’s a dead horse I’m sure the hardcore are sick of hearing about.

So lets talk about their desperate attempts to downplay NSMBW by pointing out 2 other platformers they consider godly. Now, to be fair, these 2 games aren’t at all in the same series, but I don’t give a fuck! If you’re looking for a 2D platformer on Wii that’s not named Mario (or Kirby), then there are basically 2 other options (if you want coop, at least). You have the Nintard wet dream, DKCR, or the unsung hero, Rayman Origins. Both games come from the “scripted spectacle” school of thought, where the designers believe that doing cooky voodoo shit with level design makes for a “great game”.

But anyways, it’s the 3rd strike! Donkey Kong vs Rayman! 3RD IMPACT!

1! Presentation: Box Art

Ok, clearly Retro thinks their shit is too good to show how awesome their should be so they just stick 2 monkeys on the box and say “just go for it”. Ubi Soft had the decency to show Rayman… you know, KICKING SOME ASS! Show me the real shit you’re dealing with on the box art! Don’t give me this “box art lies” or “don’t judge a book” bullshit. You want me to buy your game, you better be damn good at lying!

They’re both very typical gaming box arts with no serious merit besides doing it’s job of showing you the characters. But in the general sense, you’d want something to at least jump out at you and look somewhat exciting. DKCR is just… there, you know? Rayman shows off some action where the main 4 characters take on an army of wtfs. You could barely notice the  2 villains on Donkey Kong’s box, hell.

On the other hand, Rayman’s box also looks a bit too cartoony, and the west has been all about “serious business” nowadays with the heaviest sellers usually having a lack of “wacky and egghead” architecture. Donkey Kong… barely having that would be more enticing than Rayman’s fat ass blue friend Globox who just seems to be… there. Still, on an interest garnering level, Rayman would be superior.

VERDICT: RAYMAN

2! STORYLINE/PLOT!

Oh yeah! The portion every hardcore dipshit will demand you not give a shit about! Granted, there really isn’t much story to be found in either game (retro throwbacks are taken literally and have little story to be found.

In Donkey Kong Country Returns, apparently in light of nostalgia, Donkey Kong’s Banana hoard gets stolen… again. But this time, it’s stolen by some tiki masks that want to use the bananas to…. repopulate their own race?

I know Nintendo makes ridiculous plots (Zelda after Links Awakening) but… using fucking bananas to reproduce more tikis!?

It all makes sense now!

How does a banana turn into wood!?

NO! Don’t… answer you sick bastard.

I was originally aware that the Donkey Universe did not go to ridiculous lengths to make up a story. The Kremlins mostly stole the banana hoard to starve the fuckers to death! And then they tried to kill off the entire DK family in 64. Now we’ve got some FUCKING MASKS needing to repopulate their stupid mask race! We don’t need another metaphor for white folks and their desperate attempts to cover up their shrinking population numbers. Speaking of crackas, they also have “mind control“. But they seem to be doing it for shits and giggles and never as a major part of the plot. Do they want to take over the island? Nah, lets just find more workers to take up more bananas even though we could use the hoard we found, make servants out of that, gather up more bananas around the island, and not risk an ass whoopin by these 2 monkeys.

On the other hand, Rayman Origins is even more ludicrous. Rayman, fat ass Globox, and 2 teensies are just chillin. Minding they’re fucking business. But since their relaxation is loud enough to disturb some old bitch who looks like death warmed over. She gets pissed off and like the cranky bastard one floor below you, starts banging on the ceiling to get them youngsters quieted up there. They keep on chillin which pisses her off some more to the point that she summons demons to kill them all! …….That’s disproportionate, ain’t it? So after beatng up said demons, rayman and crew get locked up… only to quickly bust out later and escape. Apparently, now he needs to rescue pink things called electoons.

Ok, Rayman’s story has no logic going on. It feelslike I’m just doing shit for the hell of it. There’s no real sense of a goal. If I’m being honest, that’s what a game honestly needs. You ever wonder why fighting game fans piss and moan about why they’re fighting? People need some sort of logic or reasoning behind why they’re doing something in a game. At least at first.

VERDICT: DK

3! CHARACTERS!

First up… the DK crew! ….Or… lack of.

There aren’t too many characters featured in DKCR. You just have Donkey, Diddy, and those masks. There’s nothing significant about any of them.

……..Same for Rayman Origins.

…….But on the plus side, there’s at least more of them. You’ve got Ray, Globox, a million goddamn teensies, and bitches! Oh the bitches!

WHOA! WHOA! WHOA!

Erm… well… not all of them are done yet!

VERDICT: RAYMAN

4! MUSIC

DKCR’s music was made by the same people who made Metroid Prime. And that series….. well the first game… had some brilliant music to fit the atmosphere. That said, they seem a bit misplaced in DKCR. Most of the songs are remixes of the same damn jungle japes song. Some pieces sound as though they came directly from Metroid Prime itself, which shows some limited production from the musical ahem… “talents”. There’s only one song that stuck out and that’s the factory stages where the drums sync up with the background (the level design of pretentious assholes).

Rayman Origins…. kinda the same thing. Most of the music you find here is typical of music you’d find in old black and white cartoons of the 40s (too many of those mosquito levels). Plus, you’ll hear those little pink things singing almost a million times to the point you want to shut them up. There are at least 2 songs that stuck out. The refridgerator world with that James Bond music was real nice, and the underwater stages with that “mysterious and somber feeling” or… w/e.

DKCR’s “Metroid Prime” esque soundtrack is just not fitting for the whole game at large, but that factory stage had a nice beat. On the other hand, Rayman’s music actually…..kinda fits?

VERDICT: TIE

5! Gameplay!

Alright! Time to piss off every mother fucker in the known universe!

I’ve already talked about the asinine gameplay of DKCR before, but I haven’t gone that deep.

First off, you only get 2 playable characters. Donkey and Diddy. Neither player can switch between the 2. Not that this is extremely important, but it brings up the question of “why”? Why not give player 1 the choice of being Diddy? Why not Player 2 Donkey? It also doesn’t help that Diddy has a better chance of getting through the levels due to having a hover pack. Sure, Diddy can piggy back Donkey and give him the hover, but then that strips all control away from Diddy! All he can do is shoot these weak ass peanuts that don’t do jack shit! And considering how the levels are clearly structured for single player, it sends the message that coop in this game is worthless. Diddy is better on DK’s back and sitting there for the entire game. Diddy kong himself is nothing but a powerup anyway in levels where you can find a barrel. He essentially gives you 2 more health points to live with. But that’s a really shitty design for coop.

Player 2’s purpose is to be nothing but DK’s penis pump. There was no real intent on making a coop game functional or desirable. So the question remains, why put that shit in!?

*snickers* stupid newb! 2 Player is exclusive to pros!

Well that would be swell if half the fucking game wasn’t controlled exclusively by one player! See, Retro did the dumbass thing and loaded this game up with trial and error levels labeled the hardcore love affair “the rail cart levels” as well as “barrel rockets”. Never mind the forced failure these levels provide so that you can only learn it the “correct way”. Trial and Error gameplay is nothing new to gaming, no doubt, but it shouldn’t be so damned infuriating. First off, if you ARE playing coop, say good bye to the entirety of your stock of lives. Both players share lives so if both players die, you lose 2 lives in one level or more if only one player keeps dying. So imagine trying to play through some scripted bullshit knowing damn well both players have to be accustomed to learning it at the same time that the camera can barely keep up? If either of you get separated during these events, fuck it. You cannot go back to have the camera pan to the partner. He/she will just have to suck it up and die. But that burns through your lives anyway. It’s a game that literally demands perfection from the players. And this not good design.

That said, it’s more playable as a one player game, but even then it’s not fun. Many of the levels are set up so that you can only proceed one way. Many levels are just sprawling death pits with thin ass poles or rows of enemies and springs in which you bounce off of each one in rhythm. This isn’t hard or even clever (but with 2 players, it’s murder because killing enemies for yourself leaves your partner without shit to proceed with). And more than half the damn game plays like this.

This wouldn’t be so bad if the controls weren’t ass. Jumping just feels off, like you take one leap and DK clears 2 miles almost. At least that’s how it feels. By the grace of Amma, I have no fucking idea… why they used shaking controls for basic rolling and… “blowing”. See, in the originals, you could simply roll by pressing fucking B! Now you have to run and shake the mother fucking wiimote to do the roll! Imagine if you wanted to do a rolling jump to clear a large portion of the level!? Add to it the irresponsive-ness of the motion controls and you’ve got one of the worst damn mechanics of the game.

Random Nintard: “hyuck! well, you don’t have to use the roll! You can just jump on the enemies!

Yeah, I don’t have to use a lot of attacks in video games. Maybe I’m tired of having the “jump on enemies” option as a primary attack! You think with that grab animation, he could pick up enemies and toss them around, but no that’s just for the almost non-existant barrels lying around levels in the game. The fact is thanks to Retro’s unexpected and forced “innovashun”, the rolling option is useless. But you can shake it for the ground pound, a move that’s only really useful for smashing drums during certain levels. What do drums do? Activate the next scripted events. Lastly, you can shake the wiimote to blow flowers.

*bangs head* ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?

This is easily the most worthless addition to the game, but it’s so insignificant to even bother with.  The only thing you really do is uncover more bananas and a small assortment of enemies that are covered in flames… that only appear in the final world.

The boss battles are of the typical multitasking/telegraph pattern variety and manage to be less frustrating as the main levels (aside from that damn chicken boss where you have to play guessing games with it’s random attack patterns. Not to mention that damn mole boss which was just another mine cart level)

The game in general suffers from a multitude of design errors that prevent the overall game from being fully enjoyable. But it gets a pass for being “difficult”. Ok. It’s a game that’s more fun to watch than it is to play.

Now, Rayman Origins is also pretty guilty of scripted level design, but on a much smaller scale. See, most of the game’s scripted content is saved for optional bonus levels and the final stage chase. But really, on the plus side, even if you fuck up, you can still recoup your losses and actually WIN the fucking level.

So getting THAT out of the way, Rayman Origins is much smoother in this regard. The game has the standard 4-player action that Mario and Kirby both have. You only get 3 characters to play as, but on the plus side, player 1 is no longer restricted to being simply the main character. You can change who you want to be, whether it’s Rayman, Globox, or one of the millions of Teensies (smirf looking midgets) in the game. Gameplay wise, all characters possess the same abilities and attacks. Attacks range from basic jumping on enemies as well as beat ’em up style of combat where you gt to knock your enemies senseless with a series of punches, slaps, or magic wind…. I think. And there’s little risk to doing this for every enemy. Just know that if you’re playing a teensie, you’re gonna rage over the short range. You also have a dash feature by holding the B button on the Wiimote. It’s actually… not as bad as it sounds as it almost feels damned natural. You can also perform an additional dash attack.The game also gives you wall jumping which really helps if you fuck up and nearly fall into a death pit, but if you’re pressed for time and have to do multiple wall jumps, you’re gonna be fucked. Jumping from wall to wall is slow as the characters have to do some retarded spin animation saying “woo hoo” as they leap from wall to wall.

Through the game as you progress, you gain new abilities (why not have them from the beginning of the game!? Oh well, at least you can get a glimpse of the bitches). Yes, you need to free the bitches in order to get your powers and a magic stick. It’s not a daunting task, but why? It doesn’t really serve much of a purpose than to show off the next world’s primary gimmick. The jungles have nothing, the deserts have flying (and wind currents and pretentious musical tricks), the… “food” world has shrinkage, the water world has the obvious swimming, and the mountains have wall running (which is actually quite fun). None of which justifies the need to earn new abilities because you gain them as soon as you start a new world. Plus, they offer nothing to you if you go back to previous worlds, no secrets to obtain via these new abilities, nothing. It just irks me.

The levels play out naturally and accommodates 4 players decently despite looking absolutely bizarre at times. Players can (and probably will if they’re all assholes) smack the shit out of each other during play. Usually, this was for fun, but accidents happen far too much and you’ll up pissing off your friends through gameplay as you can smack them over death pits often. The coop can be a little detrimental if none of your friends or family have any self-control on their attacks. Some parts of the levels do demand all players speed through in unison. For example in the fire… erm… oven stages, you’ll have these zip lines in which the players must all traverse at the same time. You cannot leave a player behind or else they die. This isn’t too much of an issue as the game gives you unlimited lives removing the necessity of speeding through the game. And similar to NSMBW, you can bring them out of their bubbles or bubble forms by punching them. Also like in NSMBW, dying while your party is in bubbles results in a gamer over and a retry of the same area you were in.

There’s also a sizable portion of “shmup” levels where you hop onto a bug and fly around shooting things about. They’re fun and simple, but usually fall short of being enjoyable after the first time. Nevermind those levels are goddamn everywhere.

Overall, the game is fine except for the final levels and the few boss fights the game has. There are only 5 bosses but the way they play out is tedious. First off, all you do is run around the bosses and wait for weak spots to appear (they look like big ass herpes spots with eyeballs). Once they appear, you have to rush over to them, hit them, rinse and repeat 2 more times with varying attack patterns. This is irritating as most of the time, your busy avoiding death while needing to chase those damn spots. And the final boss, ugh. The weak spots appear for only a split second, so you have a tiny ass window of opportunity to attack that bump. It’s irritating because that’s literally all you do. Chase after weak spots before they disappear.

Overall though, I have to give this to Rayman Origins for at least being inclusive in it’s design.

VERDICT: Rayman

6! Replay Value!

As typical of many platformers this generation, the replay value of both DKCR and Rayman are steeped in fetch-quests and collectathons which, in the end, just give you the rewards of harder levels. You can also unlock galleries in DKCR (despite having access to the internet without the hassle) and for Rayman, you have the ability to unlock several costumes for the 3 selectable characters. The teensies are disproportionate to Rayman and Globox, however, as those 2 only get 2 extra costumes. Then you just get a secret final world with a secret final boss.

DKCR just gives you 9 harder levels and one “banana heaven” level. You also get “harder” versions of the main levels. First off, the main game is already frustrating, and you reward the player with even more frustrating levels?

VERDICT: Rayman

Final word: In all honesty, if you’re into coop games in general, you can’t go wrong with Rayman Origins. It’s a fun and smooth multiplayer game that, in my views, rivals that of even NSMBW. DKCR…. yeah right.  That game is reserved for masochists who simply want to increase their E-peen and nothing more. DKCR is a giant spectacle fest with enough bells and whistles to fool to hardcore gamers and nintards into thinking it’s the most incredible thing since sliced bread. Origins has a little bit of that as well as stable gameplay that doesn’t exclude multiple players. Origins pacing is also faster, if that counts. Plus, who can’t resist playing a Ninja teensie?

I am a student of Joe Musashi! You’ re already fucked!

Winnar: Rayman Origins

And hopefully, the sequel won’t have any of that rabbit shit!

…..MOTHER FUCK!

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