Before you get too excited about this mash-up of funk and Greek mythology, bear in mind that it's an auto-runner. The bonus level's even an endless Flappy Bird-like game. It makes me think I'd be more enthralled with the game had it been released on mobile devices instead of the Wii U. But as runners go, Funk of Titans is decent. It barely squeaks by with a thumbs up. The music is inconsistently "funky," and the gameplay doesn't differ that much from level to level (or world to world). There is a lot of content here, though, and a lot to 100%. Plus, leveling up your hero by completing achievement-like tasks keeps you thinking about what you're doing instead of just mindlessly going through the motions. Granted, leveling up simply means you get to buy different weapons, and the weapons don't do much except for opening up the occasional secret pathway. Hey, that's actually a neat idea! Too bad most of these secrets just lead to the Flappy Bird bonus game. If more Flappy Bird doesn't excite you, then you can safely skip this one. But if you like the auto/endless runner genre, Funk of Titans is a mildly fun diversion.
Playing Bloody Trapland makes me reconsider my opinion of Super Meat Boy, since they're both bloody, difficult platformers. I didn't really like Meat Boy at the time, but I'm digging Trapland. I think the reason is simple, though: co-op. This was what Meat Boy was missing, while Trapland delivers a great multiplayer experience. Four players (local, online, and combinations thereof) can attack the single-screen levels together and can die and instantly restart as many times as needed. Only one player needs to reach the exit, too, which is great for those moments when you're just not feeling a particular level but your friends are. Unfortunately, the developers put in the ability to kill other players by jumping on their heads, which is just... so stupid. This "feature" will often mess up a perfectly good run and means you'll need to space your attempts apart to avoid any accidents. It kind of deflates the co-op aspect of the game, though there are secret co-op specific levels scattered throughout that help reinstate working together. So if you like difficult 2D platformers that you can play with others, Bloody Trapland is a sure bet.
Mortal Kombat X Mobile is almost exactly the same as the Injustice Mobile game that released alongside the console version of the same game (meaning you collect cards of various characters and have tap fights). Unfortunately, MKX Mobile has much, much less polish than Injustice Mobile did. I'm pretty much always down for free 2 play affairs, especially when they offer special in-game items for the full console releases, but the game really has to work for them to be fun to earn and for the most part MKX Mobile does not. It's actually disappointing because the game is fun, but the constant connection glitches and crashes afflicting the app just make it infuriating to play. Suffering through the app probably wouldn't be the worst thing if you were actually able to connect to unlock the in-game items for the console version, but the app can't even do that right. Honestly, I don't know how this game was released as broken as it is. Only play this if you have a great deal of patience or a sadistic streak.
After spending a lot of time with MKX I found myself yearning for a 3D fighter and while DOA5: LR is great, it was missing a nostalgic factor. Tekken Hybrid is an HD remaster of the original Tekken Tag Tournament (complete with Tekken Bowl!), a demo for Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and an animated Tekken movie. While the movie and demo are great, I'll stick to the meat of the game. The original Tekken Tag Tournament is fantastic and this is a great port. Unfortunately as you may have forgotten, TTT1 feels ten times slower than its sequel. While this isn't a problem and you can still progress through the arcade mode pretty quickly, it's really interesting to see the slower methodical style of the older Tekken games after playing in the high speed world of TTT2. Seeing how different some characters have become over the years is also interesting, but you probably won't want to spend a lot of time playing all at once as everything is already unlocked from the beginning. That is, unless you love Tekken Bowl like I do. Tekken Bowl is one of the greatest game modes of all time.
Mortal Kombat X is a game I've been waiting for pretty much since Mortal Kombat 9 came out. There were so many places that they could go after totally rebooting and streamlining the story that I just couldn't wait to see what they would do next and MKX does not disappoint. The new characters introduced to the series are some of the best new characters introduced in a fighter since Street Fighter 3 and the new characters coupled with varied fighting styles for each character means that there's a way to play for pretty much anyone interested. Online has also seen changes and each player now has the option of choosing a faction from the MK universe to support by completing in game objectives that contribute to leaderboards. Unfortunately, netcode is incredibly spotty. Sometimes, fights will be super smooth and other times it's totally unplayable. Luckily, there's a wealth of offline modes to keep you busy as there's Arkade towers, Kustom Kombat, the Krypt, and Story mode. While the netcode could definitely be better, if you are a fan of Mortal Kombat at all then you'll definitely find something to love in this.
ibb & obb must be played co-op. It absolutely must. While you can control both characters on your own if you so desire, it will undoubtedly frustrate you to no end. Hell, even playing co-op with a friend (locally or online) will probably frustrate you. This platformer has some difficult, tricky puzzles that require everyone to be on the same page. Because communication is so important, you have the option to paint on the screen to convey where you need the other player to go. This is a neat idea and definitely comes in handy, but it's pretty limited and won't fully substitute actually talking to each other. In any case, the puzzles are great. ibb & obb gets a lot of mileage out of two characters who have no special abilities. Their environment is constantly changing, though, and the gravity-swapping gateways introduce plenty of situations where you need to figure out how to get the right amount of momentum to pass through one end and land on a higher ledge. Solving one of these puzzles by propelling yourself across the screen is pretty fun and will leave you feeling like a genius. Just make sure your co-op partner is someone you work well with.
Parcel doesn't give off the greatest of first impressions. It starts out as a simple puzzle game where your character can only pick up and push blocks in order to navigate around lasers. The problem is that block-pushing puzzles have been done to death, and the special levels in particular are maddeningly difficult. The game also advertises itself as a co-op experience, but not every level is co-op enabled (or co-op enabled for four people), so extra players will often find themselves sidelined. Do yourself a favor, though, and speed through the first "chapter" as soon as possible (skipping the special levels entirely), because the following groups of levels are so much better. Each section introduces a new character, and it's these new characters that breathe some much needed life into Parcel. In the second section, for instance, you start to use a magnetized character that can pull blocks towards her. Pairing her with the original block-carrying guy gives way to puzzles that are challenging and clever without being so hard that you want to pull your hair out. You can even use the magnetized character to crush and destroy the laser robots, which is really satisfying. With more consistent co-op support, Parcel would be awesome. Played alone, it's still pretty good. But you'll need to suffer through a few tough levels first.
Dedede's Drum Dash Deluxe is one of the biggest surprises I've ever had in a game. Originally included within Kirby's Triple Deluxe and then published as a standalone game on the e-shop, it's an incredibly basic rhythm game that has you taking control of King Dedede and bouncing on Drum platforms to the beat of various songs from the Kirby series. The premise is simple, yet unbelievably satisfying. The timing and controls are married together so well that you'll rarely feel like a death is unfair and the large scoring system will make sure that those that enjoy multiple playthroughs will be playing the game for quite some time. The absolute best part is that the game's segments are broken up into such nice little chunks that songs never feel too long and it always keeps you coming back for more. If you like rhythm based games at all and miss the genre, come rest in the great arms of King Dedede.
Pokemon Shuffle is essentially the same as the Pokemon Trozei puzzle series where you are pitted against Pokemon and must arrange your box of Pokemon into various matches of three to four to do damage to your enemy. However, after you completely drain the Pokemon's health bar you are then allowed to attempt to catch it. Each match consumes a heart (you earn one every 30 minutes) and you can use jewels you earn from battles to trade for gold or hearts. Hearts? Jewels? Gold? All clearly terms for currency, right? Yep, but the game surprisingly either has a really soft pay wall or none at all as I have progressed incredibly far in the game without spending a dime yet (on stage 137 as of this writing). The best thing is that the game is fun and challenging enough to stay fun even after the eight hours I've spent with it. If you have a 3DS/2DS/N3DS and like puzzle games at all, Pokemon Shuffle is easily worth the download as it's just a wonderful game and one of the best examples of what the free to play genre should be.
I love Borderlands. Borderlands 2 wasn't bad, though I found it broke something from the original game that I loved (really overpowered classes). Thankfully, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel has brought that back to me. The Pre-Sequel is an oddity of sorts. A game handed off to a different developer for a sort of spinoff game to keep the brand fresh in fans' minds rarely ever works, right? Well, BL: TPS is that magical one in a million times where it's actually better. The writing is funny and mostly purged of the ridiculous memes that were soaked into the flesh of BL2 while actually managing to make you feel really connected to the characters, which in turn makes you feel completely horrible for murdering most of them in BL2. The best part is that while the writing is good, the gameplay adds enough with the Oxygen system and new character classes (most of which are totally overpowered) that it's just a blast to play through and experience everything that the game has to offer. If you are a fan at all of the series you owe it to yourself to experience this game just for how it will change your view of some of the bosses in BL2.
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