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Day 6: Most Annoying Character

The Duck is still working through the 30 day video game posts, slowly, like an unusually fatigued squirrel, with strength left in its fingers only, creeping towards an acorn, thirty acorns.  In winter.  When they move more slowly.  No, it’s reptiles that move more slowly when it’s cold.  Never mind.

            And today’s topic, only topic 6, actually, which makes me further realize how pathetically slow I’ve been, is on the most annoying video game character, a rather difficult one for me.  Some characters are indeed annoying, like Prince Tricky from “Star Fox Adventures”.  But, is he annoying enough?  Or Kiddy Kong from “Donkey Kong Country 3”, who is actually more creepy than annoying.  Or Lanky from “DK64”, who is also creepy, in an annoying way.  There are also bossy characters that tell you what to do, like various sidekicks in “Zelda”, or whenever Professor E. Gadd harasses me in “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon”.  Stop calling me, you creepy, old man that looks like a decrepit child!

            Well, many people, I’ve heard, go with Navi, the fairy that helps you in “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”.  Probably because hearing “hey!” and “listen!” every time you target an enemy gets old.  And there are lots of enemies.  But, is she the most annoying character I can think of?  Well, as I often do, because I have no life, apparently, I made a list of annoying characters by console.  And believe it or not, I came up with one few would think of.  (Well, it would be weird if you didn’t believe it.  I never lie to you.)  And so the character that annoys me the most is…

            Mario.  Yes, Mario.  From the “Super Mario Bros.” games.  Why?  Two words.  Slippery shoes.  I hate Mario and his slippery shoes.  Never have I played a game where a character has so little traction on their feet.  You’d think the soles of his shoes are made of butter or wet soap or a slick sheet of ice.  I have so many unhappy memories of playing the old “Mario” games on the Super Nintendo and having teeny, tiny platforms to land on, and I land on them just fine (after dying many times because I kept missing prior to the times I did indeed land on them), and then Mario slides right off.  You know how annoying icy levels in video games are, when your character always slides to and fro, and you have trouble getting them to actually cooperate with you?  Well, in a “Mario” game, it’s like every level is an ice level.  Thanks to Mario.  And his stupid, idiot moron shoes.

            I’m serious.  It bothers me so much.  I seem to have much less trouble in newer “Mario” games, but I still can never get over the amount of pain those old “Mario” games have caused me.  If Mario wore some nice hiking shoes or even ran around barefoot, perhaps, the games would have been a different experience.  But, no, Mario decides that it is a good idea, when embarking on a treacherous journey to save Peach again, to wear shoes that would get you killed walking in your own house, let alone mountains and forests and all manner of other locations that all like to involve bottomless pits and stick-like platforms placed here and there throughout bottomless pits.  Does Mario think he’s funny?  Does my pain amuse him?  Is he that bent on bothering me that he’ll risk dying due to his slick shoes?  It certainly seems that way.  Few games are more frustrating than the old “Mario” games, and it is all thanks to Mario and his sadistic (and masochistic, as his own poor decisions harm him, as well) choice of footwear.

            And yet, Mario is so dang popular, which only makes things worse.  It does!  Really!  There are constantly new “Mario” games.  But, do we see new “Metroid” and “Zelda” and other such delightful things very often?  No, we do not.  Samus and Link have the common decency to wear proper shoes in their adventures, and yet Mario gets the spotlight.  Mario gets all the games.  Mario gets everything.  And this simply isn’t fair.  Not to gamers that are not infatuated with this particular plumber.  Not to gamers that would like to see characters that give a darn about their fans (by wearing shoes with traction!) get more games.  No, this man named Mario has gotten out of control.  Someone ought to rein him in.  He is a fiend.  A fiend, I tell you.  That has the nerve to wear slick shoes, and yet he still stays popular in the gaming world somehow, probably only because he has some unsavory connections, which only funds his ‘shroom addiction.

            Mario, you annoy me.  You really do.  Watching you die a dozen times in “Super Mario World”, due to your bad decisions, not mine, annoys me.  If I die in a game, I want it to be because of my own mistakes, not those of my character.  Perhaps if you wore proper shoes, maybe Peach wouldn’t be kidnapped so often.  You probably run at Bowser whilst he’s in the middle of taking the princess, yet miss and slip right on past, while that dastardly turtle gets away with his crimes once again.  You should be ashamed of yourself, Mario.  You know what, I bet you want Peach kidnapped, so you can have more games.  And more coins, that you spend on your unhealthy addiction to fungi.

            And so, my readers, do you not see what a most bothersome, most obnoxious, most annoying person our Mario is?  And it all stems from his slick shoes.  That he bought.  With the coins he didn’t spend on ‘shrooms.  Hours of my life have been wasted trying to get him to navigate precarious platforms, only to fail because of these shoes.  But, I can’t blame the shoes.  I blame the man wearing them.  I blame you for my problems, Mario.  I blame you.

The Duck That Wears Better Shoes Than Mario and Would Make For a Better Platformer Character, in a Game Called “Super Duck…um…Ducks”

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Retro Rumble: Banjo-Kazooie vs Donkey Kong 64

“Banjo-Kazooie” and “Donkey Kong 64” are two games I really enjoy for the N64, and My Two Caps discusses the good and bad aspects of both. An interesting read.

The Duck’s Thoughts on Video Games

Sana requested a post in which I tell you guys about what I like in video games and what’s not my cup of tea.  Sounds fun.  Thanks for the idea!  Here I go!

THE GOOD

            The things I like are pretty obvious.  Of course, a game must be fun, but what makes some games stand out from others is when they have a good story and good characters.  These are pretty important.  That’s why I love games from the Kingdom Hearts and Jak and Daxter series so much.  Good stories, awesome characters.  And lots of fun.  The cut scenes are often as much fun as the game.  They get a very special place in my heart.  Like a nice apartment.  With a view.  Because I can’t fit houses in my heart.  I still, of course, like games that don’t have good plots, or plots at all, such as those from the Mario or Donkey Kong series because they are still fun and creative.  They are just not quite as special to me.  But, still special.  They get a slightly less nice apartment in my heart.

            Good graphics and music are always nice, but not super important.  Good, or at least, not bad dialogue helps, too.  Other things that make me happy are when you have a lot of places to explore, items to collect, new moves to learn, which is why I like Metroid games better than Halo, even though both are awesome.  In Metroid, you get upgraded weapons and moves as you play and can collect things to upgrade your health and missile capacity.  Plus, there are many places to explore.  Unique ideas are fun, too.  In “Okami”, for example, you drew things with a brush, which was neat.

            I also like when you can save often enough, don’t have to redo a lot when you die, and can skip cut scenes.  “Kingdom Hearts”, for example, made you rewatch cut scenes, and it was annoying.  Square Enix must have realized how annoying it was because you get to skip them now.  I also like when games are a challenge, but not ridiculous.  I hate absurdly hard games.

            Specifically, my favorite games are platformers, RPG’s, and other such things with action or exploring or whatever.

THE BAD

            Now for the things I hate.  These are the things that will cause me to sell or not even buy a game.  One is dirtiness.  Some games think that because they’re rated M, they need to have as many bad things as they’re allowed.  When I was looking at new games for the XBox 360, the only games that looked good were rated M, so I checked the back, and they had things I didn’t want.  So I’m not even going to try them.  What’s nice about the Halo series is all they have is violence and a little bit of swearing.  Being rated M, they could have more, but there is no dirty things and minimal swearing.  In fact, “Halo: Reach” doesn’t even have swearing.  I’m proud of you, Bungie.  On the other end of the spectrum, I don’t like super corny games.  I can only handle a small amount of corn.

            I was also kept from getting a game because I heard it had a limited number of saves.  That would be so annoying.  I also hate it in games when you can’t save at all.

            I also hate bad controls, like when the camera won’t obey you or you can’t control it at all, and you often die just because you can’t see where you’re going.  I also hate that “Sonic and the Secret Rings” is only hard because the controls are so bad.  They tried something new, where Sonic is always moving, and you tilt the Wii remote left or right to go left or right, forward to speed up, and back to slow down.  I think you can make Sonic stop, but it’s hard.  I feel like I have very little control over him.  It’s very aggravating.

            This next thing is tolerable or horrible, depending on what game it is.  I don’t like when games have battles start randomly.  Most games, you can see the enemies and choose if you want to fight.  In games like “Final Fantasy X” and “Quest 64”, you never know when a battle may start because you can’t see any enemies.  You’re just walking, and then suddenly you have to fight things and can’t easily get away.  In the former game, though, it’s a good game so it doesn’t bother me as much, but the latter is already not a great game, and this is pretty much the worst part of it.

            Also, like I said, I hate super hard games.  I really hate them.  It’s bad enough that the final bosses of “Vexx” and “Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep” are insane, but when a whole game is a chore…  No way.  I also hate having to do stupid things or you can’t move on, such as beating the super annoying “Donkey Kong Arcade” in “Donkey Kong 64” not once, but twice, in order to get a necessary item.  I also hate when you must fight zillions of enemies or when they take super long to kill.  All this fuels the duck’s feathery rage.

            The types of games I dislike are sports, really simple games like pinball or Pacman, and fighting games that aren’t “Super Smash Brothers” and racing games other than “Jak X” or “F-Zero”.

THE UGLY

            And now, the things that simply disappoint me.  For one thing, when things don’t feel complete.  In the 2006 version of “Sonic the Hedgehog”, it was a good game, but they left some things unfinished.  For example, things would fall in the water without a splash.  Such a simple thing to fix.  I felt like they sold the game before they were completely done with it.

            I am also disappointed by bad graphics and bad music, but that’s not a big deal.  I am saddened when games are too short, especially good ones.

            I also don’t like bad dialogue and skimpy outfits.  Too skimpy, and this nears the Bad.  I also don’t like when you get to the end of the game and aren’t allowed to return to previous areas, like in “Okami” and “Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier”.  I don’t mind when it’s a kind of game where there’s nothing to collect, but in these, there is, and I couldn’t go back for what I missed.

            I also don’t like when they think they’re too cool.  I’m talking to you, Sonic.  And the characters in “Jak X”.  I don’t think they were as obnoxious in the previous games….

            Well, there you go.

An Opinionated Duck

The Return

I recently finished “Donkey Kong Country Returns”.  It took about a week, but I kind of rushed so I could get to some new Playstation 2 games I recently got.  So naughty.

            Anyway, I was very excited that they finally made a Donkey Kong Country game again.  Poor Donkey Kong hasn’t had many good games ever since Rareware stopped making them about 10 years ago or so.  What I believe to be the last decent Donkey Kong game before this one is “Donkey Kong 64”, but the very best are “DK Country 1” and “DKC2” (3 was not quite as great), made around 1994 and 1995, I believe.  But, as I said, after “DK64”, Rareware started working for Microsoft rather than Nintendo and could no longer make Donkey Kong games.  Oh, what a dark day that was.

            But, enough of that, even though this important information will no doubt end up in history textbooks someday.  You’re welcome for the lesson.  Finally, along came “DKC Returns”, made by Retro Studios, who used to make Metroid (I don’t know if they still do).  I wondered if they could make a game to rival the originals, and alas, they did!  Oh, happy day!  DK fans rejoice!

            So as you can tell, this game was a delight.  It is very fun, with lovely graphics.  The backgrounds are so detailed.  The game is side-scrolling like the originals, and Donkey can now do a ground pound to stun enemies, break things, etc. and blow on things like dandelion fluff and candles to get items and put out the fire on flaming enemies.  When you get Diddy, he rides on DK’s back and uses his jetpack to help you jump farther.  You can also collect puzzle pieces to unlock things like concept art, which is fun.  I unlocked very few so far.  And instead of one hit per Kong, it’s two hits each before you die.  Despite this, the game was still quite a challenge, but you can use Super Guide to get you through areas you simply can’t do.  (I only used it for small bits twice, never a whole level.)

            There are also some songs from the original games, which filled me with much glee.  My favorite song is the factory music from “DKC 1”.  There are still mine cart levels, too,TreeTopTown, a factory, the jungle.  Two of the animal friends returned, as well, Rambi the rhino and Squawks the parrot.  You can still ride Rambi and go on a destructive rampage, but Squawks just helps you find puzzle pieces now.  He used to carry you around, which didn’t make sense how a large parrot could tote around a gorilla and a chimp and shoot yellow things that looked like cheetohs but weren’t from his mouth, but still.

            The Kremlings, Donkey’s banana-stealing crocodile enemies throughout all of the original DKC games and DK64, plus a few newer ones, did not return, but were replaced by banana-stealing tikis.  I would’ve preferred the Kremlings, but the tikis are actually a fine replacement.  They can also apparently hypnotize people (well, animals), except not Donkey for some reason.  How convenient.

            Still no mini sheep.  What’s going on?!  The tikis are cute, though.  My favorite is the one that you see in the first cut scene in the game and is on the right side of the cover.

            Now I have some questions about Donkey Kong and his bananas.  He lives in a jungle where you would think banana trees must be quite abundant, so why do people keep stealing his bananas and not just pick their own?  And why does Donkey go on these dangerous quests just to get back his bananas when he, too, could just pick his own again and start a new hoard?  Why does he even need a banana hoard?  It’s more than he can eat.  Is he greedy?  Does he have a mental disorder?  Is he someday going to end up on that “Buried Alive” TV show about hoarders?  Does his disorder stress out DK’s friends and family like it does to people in real life?  Are they enablers or do they, too, think that hoarding bananas in a jungle is a normal thing to do?  Last of all, is it normal for me to attempt a deep psychological analysis of a fictional ape?  We may never know.

            By the way, my picture of Xigbar is done.  He’s on the Fan Art page, if you want to check it out….

            Edit: Forget to mention, Mr. Game makes a small appearance in this game.  I won’t tell you where, but watch out for him….

Donkey Duck