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Found 8 results

  1. Jonathan Higgins

    Review: Mutant Mudds Super Challenge

    Developer: Renegade Kid Publisher: Renegade Kid Platform: 3DS, Wii U Release Date: March 17th, 2016 ESRB: E for Everyone This review is based on the 3DS version of the game In 2012, a new game headed to the Nintendo 3DS eShop had caught my eye. I had low expectations at the time, though. Before playing Mutant Mudds, I went into the experience expecting to be underwhelmed. How many shades of mediocrity marketed to the retro-gaming crowd does it take until someone, somewhere finally manages to get it right? I had no idea that Renegade Kid actually would manage to have exactly what I look for in games from the genre, and that I“d go on to smash the 3DS eShop version, its twenty added levels that were once exclusive to PC, and even the when it was re-released as Mutant Mudds Deluxe to additional platforms. I know our review didn“t come away feeling as strongly as I did, back then. But I think whether your opinions of the original are positive or middling, Mutant Mudds Super Challenge offers a look at how both presentation on the outside, and structure on the inside, has evolved over four years“ time. If you managed to gather everything in the first game, you already know where this one starts. Max sets off alone to investigate a large meteor in a far-off region. If you“re going into Super Challenge hoping for some clues that point towards even more adventures, what happens will absolutely meet your expectations... and maybe even exceed them, if you notice a clever allusion or two that come together towards the end. Much like it picks up exactly where the first game left off with its story, that“s also true for its level design. The learning curve present in Max“s first adventure is completely gone -- the controls are easy to learn, and it“s only the levels themselves that get more complex, so I wouldn“t say playing the original is absolutely required. Both games can stand on their own, and offer fundamentally different things from each other -- like the nuances between the original Super Mario Bros. and the numbered sequel that didn“t leave Japan until it came over here as “The Lost Levelsâ€�, years later. Aesthetic evolution will be apparent right away. The Lost Levels didn“t change the original“s graphics much at all, but that“s absolutely not the case here. The hub world is sliced apart thematically to show off the types of levels you“ll be having a go at, if you choose to enter. If you look closely enough, you“ll even see that every third level is colored a little differently, indicating that it“s going to be like a Ghost Level first seen in Deluxe. Environments feel much more cohesive and connected. In addition to aesthetic additions, the game features a new Jukebox room where you can listen to 41 tracks you find hidden in the game“s levels. Plenty of the music you hear is the same as before, but there are handfuls of new tracks. If you liked Troupe Gammage“s music from the first Mudds, his new stuff will also delight. Last but not least, the coolest addition (in my opinion) is that there are twenty secret characters to find, if playing as Max isn“t your thing. Evidence of this game taking steps to make itself memorable, despite not “reinventing the wheelâ€� of Mutant Mudds gameplay, starts at the aesthetic level and ends at the kinds of characters you can play as. Each is expertly crafted and deviously hidden. These characters don't alter how the game is played in any way. But including a character from outside of Renegade Kid“s games, , shows that the team wants to make collecting these characters absolutely worth the effort. I feel like there“s one more addition I“m forgetting! Oh right -- a death counter. It“s definitely useful, because with this game“s level design, you“re going to die so much that you“d lose count otherwise. I died 1030 times while playing the game start to finish. But that death counter -- viewable before you even access your save file, has nine digits... indicating that someone, somewhere may theoretically die 999,999,999 times. When you look into the abyss of the Game Over screen, as it prompts you to Retry or Quit while you listen to the familiar tune from the original Mutant Mudds... does it stare back at you? All right...I“ll concede that as much as I want to paint Renegade Kid as these maniacal, evil level designers who will watch players die over and over again for fun... as challenging as these levels are, they“re both inventive and fair. Most of the time. To elaborate on “inventiveâ€�, briefly: There are three power-ups in both Mudds games. While the original required you to collect Golden Diamonds in order to unlock these power-ups, all three are available to Max pretty much right from the start in Super Challenge. Some of the levels take strategic advantage of choosing one power-up over another. Attempting levels with just the Vertical Boost at your disposal is way different than going about them with the Extended Hover. Plenty of the Secret Lands will have you only be able to access them with the Power-Shot, so you can“t use the longer or higher jumps as crutches to accomplish your mission. Adds some replay value, for sure! But the thing that stood out to me the most about the level design in Super Challenge is how the levels themselves seemed as cohesive and connected as the artistry that houses them. Longtime Mudds fans know full well about the hammers that can sometimes crash down on Max after a brief waiting period. One of the Secret Lands has a design objective that“s carried out specifically through the use of these hammers. The way they crash down...and how you“ll learn to avoid them... is by recognizing the familiar knocking rhythm that goes along with the old folk song “Match in the Gas Tank, Boom Boom.â€� Both how objects and enemies are placed, as well as specific ways to avoid them, appeal to players“ visual and auditory senses. The small touches put into Super Challenge“s inner-workings are just as impressive as the polish on the outside. For the most part, I think the objective of remaining fair but challenging is met. There are occasional portions, however, when I can“t help but question whether a design choice was fair or not. In one of the levels, for example: spikes were placed at both edges of a platform, punishing players whose instinct is to jump after a running start with immediate death as soon as one pixel of Max“s foot touches the edge. If you do make the jump... there are easily five more cleverly arranged platforms of the same design, just begging you to collect the Golden Diamonds around them. They begged me too...then I died 100 times in one sitting. In the twenty minutes it took for me to get from the Checkpoint to the end of that level, my death count went from 852 to 952. So there“s that. There are several instances, I think, where obstacles end up being cheaper than intended, exposing some flaws. I“m also kind of disappointed that mappable controls still haven“t been added. I“m very much an “A to jump, B to shootâ€� kind of guy; Mudds has always made you jump with both A & B, then shoot with Y. Giving me the freedom to choose my own controls would have sponged some of my deaths. The other things that vexed me were two of the game“s five bosses. While all of them have clever designs and executions, and many of them are more puzzle-platforming oriented than combat-based, I“d say the two that are combat-based will add a heaping handful to your death counter. I don“t think the bosses themselves are designed unfairly; it's just that some of the pain associated with confronting them could have been alleviated by having them spit up an extra heart for Max to grab when he hits them. Contemporaries like Shovel Knight, Cave Story, or Bloo Kid 2 offer similar challenges, but more life/hearts to pull them off without frustration. Mutant Mudds Super Challenge brings new level design, bosses, music, aesthetics, and playable characters to the table. Despite sometimes retreading on familiar things, and not offering any new power-ups or ways to utilize Max himself, this is a game that really does its absolute best to stand apart from the one that came before it. With loyalty discounts for owning the first game, and cross-buy options available, its price certainly shouldn“t hurt either. While this is hardly a challenge suited for everyone, it should absolutely delight fans of the first game... and give those who maybe weren“t won over by it a reason to try -- and die -- again. Pros: + Environments and visuals feel invigorated and refreshing, especially in comparison to the first Mutant Mudds. + Levels themselves, while challenging, offer plenty of unique design choices that help make the experience even more memorable + There are numerous things to collect. Golden Diamonds and music tracks are in every level of the game, and there are even secret characters to find. Cons: - Some of the game's more challenging segments may come off a little cheaper than intended. Nothing is impossible, but there are certainly some vexing moments. - Some combat-focused bosses, while unique in their own ways, are perhaps a little too challenging without some way to restore hearts. Overall Score: 9 (out of 10) Fantastic If designing a challenging, but fair action game was ever the key to thwarting an alien invasion, Renegade Kid would be the ones for the job. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using a copy of the game provided by the publisher
  2. Some pretty interesting headlines coming your way today, including a few release announcements and a few rumors that, if true, indicate some interesting things are on the horizon. Check out the headlines below! No Man's Sky coming in June, priced at $60 After a faux-scare on Tuesday with PlayStation Blog accidentally making people think that the long-awaited No Man's Sky was coming out on 3/3 (it was actually when the pre-orders started), Hello Games confirmed that the game's release date will be on June 10 and it will be $59.99. No Man's Sky is also getting a hefty collector's edition (limited to 10,000 copies) that comes in at $150. This edition includes a digital copy of the game, a hand-painted, 8-inch replica of the ship from the game, a pin, and a mystery item that has yet to be revealed. Mutant Mudds Super Challenge now has a release date and is coming soon The wait is almost over, Mutant Mudds fans, as Renegade Kid's Jools Watsham has confirmed that the game's followup Mutant Mudds Super Challenge has passed Nintendo lotcheck and is now slated for a simultaneous release on Wii U and 3DS on March 17 for $9.99. Additionally, there will be a 15% loyalty discount for anyone who has purchased the first Mutant Mudds or downloaded the Nindies@Home demo from earlier this year. Not bad at all! If you haven't played the original Mutant Mudds yet, click here to check out our review. We'll have a review of Super Challenge in the coming weeks. Source: NintendoLife Rumor: Nintendo funding Beyond Good & Evil 2 as an NX exclusive for 2017 Here's a rumor that's bound to be exciting for Nintendo fans if true. It's too early to say how accurate this is, but according to one of Destructoid's sources, Nintendo is funding (to some unknown degree) the development of Beyond Good & Evil's sequel to secure it as an exclusive for NX in 2017. If true, this would be a big win for Nintendo coming off a 2015 that saw Sony securing the Final Fantasy VII Remake exclusivity first. Does it mean BG&E2 would be a permanent exclusive? It's too early too say, but I doubt it; in all likelihood, this may be a half- or one year-exclusive to the platform, similar to how Microsoft's deal with Square Enix worked for Rise of the Tomb Raider. In any case, Destructoid pointed out that their source had been correct with previous rumors before, so take it as you will. Source: Destructoid Rumor: Kensuke Tanabe no longer working with Retro Studios; behind-the-scenes drama to blame For those who don't know, Kensuke Tanabe is best known as the director of Super Mario Bros. 2 as well as the producer behind Retro Studios' games since their inception, which makes this rumor all the more surprising. According to Liam Robertson -- who accurately leaked the announcement of a new Paper Mario game for Wii U (which was confirmed as real yesterday) -- Tanabe has been on the outs in recent years with Retro Studio and was seen as increasingly hard to deal with by the studio. This led to a falling out that saw Tanabe replaced with someone else from NCL in Japan, possibly Yoshio Sakamoto, the co-creator of Metroid. For more on the rumor, check out the source link below. Source: Patreon (Liam Roberston) Etrian Odyssey V coming to Japan in August Those looking forward to Atlus' true follow-up to Etrian Odyssey IV will be glad to know that Etrian Odyssey V officially has a release date in Japan: August 4. The game is set in a land called "Archadia" and will feature four different races and a newer sort of class system. Fortunately for those of us in North America, we may not have to wait long to play it as Etrian Odyssey games usually get localized and released within 6 months of Japanese releases. Perhaps we're looking at an early 2017 release in the US? Source: Gematsu What are your thoughts on some of these rumors? And will you be buying No Man's Sky and/or Mutant Mudds Super Challenge?
  3. It“s certainly no secret that I love Mutant Mudds. And it“s also no secret that I“m highly anticipating Mutant Mudds Super Challenge, a game built "for super players." Ever since the game was initially announced, Renegade Kid promised to take Mudds veterans to task, while introducing more than one new twist in the gameplay. Once I heard Jools Watsham was going to be at E3, I decided I would play through the original Mutant Mudds and see if I could 100% the game during my initial flight into Los Angeles. I“m happy to report I succeeded. Rest assured, I am someone who has effectively mastered that game. And Mutant Mudds: Super Challenge most definitely chewed me up and spit me out. Think of this game as the Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels of Mutant Mudds. The gameplay starts off naturally difficult, because it assumes players have at least some experience with the first game. Mutant Mudds teaches you Renegade Kid“s level design conventions. Super Challenge shows you ways those conventions can be turned on their head sometimes, often leaving you to curse out loud at the game“s tendency to be a little mean. The game picks up right where the first left off. After gathering absolutely everything in the first game, Max says he“s going to go off on his own to investigate some "new intel." His new quest brings him to a brand new hub world that feels absolutely refreshing and much more open than the first game, as though you're progressing towards some larger purpose rather than just completing levels and cleaning up muddy pests. I played one later level from each world, including the final one, as well as facing one of many bosses. So, what“s changed? First and foremost, the diamonds you collect in each level as you progress to the end are much more cleverly hidden, or in particularly cruel spots. The first game sort of treated these collectibles as a path leading to the end of the level. In the case of Super Challenge, though, I can almost guarantee you won“t get all 100 on your first go...either because they“re too tricky to get to without a challenge, or because you“ll miss them at first, since you“re too focused on the chaos around you. The overall presentation is much improved as well. The ice glistens with a sparkle effect. The game“s 3D now places Max behind clouds in the game“s sky levels instead of simply placing him on the foreground. Kind of feels like a slight nod to Mega Man. Level designs often follow various themes now, such as one of later ones being a mirrored reflection of itself that has you approach it from both the left and right sides. There are handfuls of small touches that will make you appreciate how much love Renegade Kid put into the experience. It really does feel like a stepping stone to Mutant Mudds 2. I wouldn“t be surprised if many of the stylings of this game made it into the sequel. What impressed me the most, though, was the boss I fought. Every third level in the game is a ghost level, like those found in Mutant Mudds Deluxe. And the boss I fought...was also a ghost! That meant you could only harm it (and the other enemies around it) with a ghost shot item limited to only ten uses. Hitting the boss was easy. But getting to him... ergo, defeating the many ghost Mudds that stood between me and the boss that involve tricky platforming to avoid — was another matter. Most boss battles would have you just shoot something until it dies. The boss battle I experienced cleverly meshed tricky Mutant Mudds platforming with combat. Want to take up the challenge for yourself? There's a demo of Mutant Mudds Super Challenge on the eShop right now! The game will be released this summer. Do check out Renegade Kid“s official site for more information on this game, Dementium Remastered, and more!
  4. Jools Watsham at Renegade Kid has been teasing a new game announcement from Renegade Kid for a few days now. Today, on the third anniversary of Mutant Mudds' release, he took to Twitter to announce Mutant Mudds Super Challenge for 3DS and Wii U: One last bit of info from Jools is that Mutant Mudds Super Challenge will not replace Mutant Mudds 2. "Think of it as more of a delicious stepping stone of fun and challenge," Watsham mentioned. As aforementioned, this month's Nintendo Force offers more information on the next game from Renegade Kid, including two new world themes, as well as the one shown in the article above. We'll offer more details as they come! Be sure to check out our review of Mutant Mudds if you haven't already! Also be sure to swing by Renegade Kid's official site. Are you excited for Mutant Mudds Super Challenge? Be sure to let us know!