Out This Week

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D

Banana Republic

Donkey Kong fights back against rapacious tiki capitalists, leading a rash of cynical sequels promulgated this week by rapacious human capitalists.

By Drew Toal • May 21, 2013

Out This Week is a roundup of new games that are out this week. These listings don’t constitute an endorsement or a review of any sort. We also don’t pretend that this is an exhaustive list. If there’s a game on the horizon that interests you, share it in the comments.

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D
Nintendo 3DS—May 24

We live in an age of unsustainable consumption. Despite technological innovations that prolong the cycle, it has become apparent that certain seemingly inexhaustible commodities are anything but. So in this remake of Donkey Kong Country Returns, when pirate tiki gods brainwash forest creatures into stealing Donkey Kong’s banana stockpile, you can bet that he’s going to mount a response. What’s the big deal about a few bananas, you ask? Well, in the real world, the Cavendish banana—the variety you and I and angry gorillas everywhere love to eat—is threatened as never before. The culprit is a rapidly spreading fungus called Tropical Race Four. We may live to see a day when bananas get so scarce that they become a sort of “yellow gold,” with prices skyrocketing as supply plummets. (Another problem: We might need a way to differentiate between “yellow gold” bananas and actual gold, which I guess is also yellow.) So the pirate tiki gods are taking a move straight out of the Randolph and Mortimer Duke playbook.

Fast & Furious: Showdown
Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360—May 21

The Fast & Furious saga has taken America on a wild ride since the first movie’s release in 2001. The travails of ex-con gone bad gone good Dominic Toretto, undercover officer Brian O’Connor, and their string of high-speed heists has served as a balm in these troubled times. It’s like Toretto says, “I live my life a quarter-mile at a time. Nothing else matters: not the mortgage, not the store, not my team and all their bullshit. For those 10 seconds or less, I’m free.” I don’t think Aristotle could have said it better.

Resident Evil: Revelations
PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox 360—May 21

In the race of brainless sequels, Resident Evil and Fast & Furious are neck-and-neck. This high-definition port of the 2012 game for Nintendo 3DS occupies the chronological space between Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5. Chris has disappeared. Jill searches a spooky ghost ship to find him. “I don’t think we’re alone,” Jill observes. With insight like that on display in the eighth game of the legendary survival-horror series, there’s no way she can fail.

Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger
PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360—May 22

Bounty hunting can be dangerous work. Criminals on the lam are often uncooperative, and there isn’t a very strong bounty-hunting union to fight for better wages or working conditions, let alone fair renumeration for being shot in the face. Silas Greaves doesn’t give an eff. The hero of Call Of Juarez: Gunslinger is taking down the likes of Jesse James, Billy The Kid, and other ne’er-do-wells with naught but his six-shooters and some sticks of dynamite. Despite not loving the previous installments in the Call Of Juarez series, something tells me this one is worth playing. It almost feels like an updated version of Gun.Smoke, which is a thing I’ve been campaigning for, in my mind, for a long time.

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34 Responses to “Banana Republic”

  1. The_Helmaroc_King says:

    It’s not out until May 30, according to the developer, but I’ve gained a recent interest in a game called The Swapper. It looks to be a moody platformer set in space, but part of the draw is that it’s one of those rare games animated with claymation, among other things. Check out the trailer!

    • boardgameguy says:

      looks cool. even in the board game world, there aren’t many that do their art with clay. there are exceptions though and one is MARE BALTICUM which captures the life of whimsy that is commercial fishing in the baltic ocean: http://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/5142/interview-filip-milunski-and-piotr-slaby-on-mare-b

  2. Anybody play DKCR3D?

    Stupid name aside, I have a 3DS that I’ve been mostly playing DS games on, and would actually like to play/own an actual 3DS game someday soon.  Is this a remake of the SNES game(s)?

    • aklab says:

      Not a remake of any of the SNES games, but maybe of the Wii game? 

    • Girard says:

      It’s a remake of the Wii game, which was a totally new game in the fashion of the SNES games. I haven’t played it, but reportedly Retro worked their magic and produced a faithful entry in the series.

      • Xyvir says:

        I have played it in it’s entirety, and enjoyed it, but with one problem: If you are looking for nostalgic trip that hearkens back to the DKC SNES days of yore, you will not find it here. The controls are not quite as silky and the camera angle is not as zoomed-in as it’s SNES grandfather. If you want to enjoy DKCR to it’s fullest you must sadly divorce it entirely from the previous franchise and enjoy it as a game in it’s own right. Sad, but true.

        • So, best played on d-pad or the slidey control?

        • Xyvir says:

          I played it on the side-ways Wiimote. It was the best way IMO, at least for the Wii version. My Wii is also hacked so I used GameGenie codes to enable using the B-button in place of shaking the darn thing for the ‘shaky-actions’, which I found works one million times better. If the 3dS controls do not require you to ‘shake’ for particular actions, I would recommend getting that version.

        • TheBryanJZX90 says:

          @httplovecraft:disqus Does anyone else absolutely despise the slidey control? Maybe it’s just not broken in right or something since my 3DS rarely sees use, but the tension on it makes it constantly feel as if it’s about to slip out from under my thumb and return to center, usually at the worst possible moment for such a thing to happen. If I need to change directions I usually have to take my thumb completely off of the slide and push the whole damn thing from the left edge, say, to go right. That might sound like a niggling fault but it’s totally a killer if the game requires any kind of dexterity.

  3. DrFlimFlam says:

    I’ve brought this up before, but the pre-order prophets at GameStop tried to get me to pre-order DKR 3D.  I really don’t know who the audience for this game is, though I imagine it will still sell well. I already own the game on Wii and do not need a new copy of a game that, thus far, is too difficult to beat on a big screen.

  4. Aurora Boreanaz says:

    “Welcome aboard, Miss Valentine.  Here’s your cabin key.  You’re in 65B…just take a left, open the fifth door on the right, climb through the hole in the ceiling, walk along the exposed rafter above the burning furniture, drop down into the storage room (don’t forget to save your progress by using a typewriter for some fucking reason), cross the hall to 63A, get the key off the dead guy, open the bulkhead, and there you are!

    Uh, there may also be zombies in your room.  We’re overbooked, sorry.”

    • The_Helmaroc_King says:

      Should she be looking for the anchor key, the rapier key, or the ship’s wheel key? She can’t recognize keys unless they have themed images on them; it’s a terrible condition.

      Also, you have to stop at the typewriter because of the zombies, duh. What’s the point of dying in a zombie apocalypse if you don’t leave a half-finished diary that ends mysteriously?

      “Dear typewriter: what was that noise? I’m going to check it out. Write more soon.”

      • NakedSnake says:

        Haha, the connection between the typewriter and all the stupid notes you find had never occurred to me before. How great would it be in, let’s say, Resident Evil 2 if you could read the saved notes that the other player (who has passed through the area before you did), leaves when they saved their game on the typewriter? Like, if you play Leon B, you get to read notes which vary based on the choices that Claire A made.

        • Citric says:

          In Silent Hill 3 you stumble upon the notes left in Silent Hill, it’s a pretty great touch.

          • NakedSnake says:

            That’s pretty cool. I always feel bad for not having played any of the Silent Hill games beyond the first one (which I enjoyed).

    • NakedSnake says:

      “Please feel free to unpack your bags into one of our state-of-the-art Alternate Dimension storage chests. Your collection of ammunition, herbs, and cranks can thus be teleported to any section of the ship at your convenience.” 

  5. beema says:

    I for one am looking forward to the Summer Doldrums. My god there are too many games out. I can’t keep up. If we didn’t have down seasons like this I’d be even more screwed! 

  6. Fluka says:

    The Rock Paper Shotgun review of Call of Juarez actually made the game sound fairly clever for a linear, man-face-shooter.  The whole thing is basically one man’s unreliable narration of a bunch of tall tales, and the scenario and enemies will change as he gets heckled by his listeners, or decides to elaborate on a detail.  Apparently there’s even a segment where the narrator leaves to go to the bathroom, and the game starts looping.  This particular game’s not really my thing, but I love it when people explore games as subjective stories.  More unreliable narrators, please.

    • The_Helmaroc_King says:

      That… is actually a convincing argument for this game. Between this and Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, it looks like I have two games to consider if I want to pick up an FPS.

      Ever play Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time? It’s got the same post facto narration conceit, and it’s pretty funny when you hit a game over and he has to backpedal. Presumably, the narrators are getting tired whenever they “slip up”.

      “… and then I ran into a buzzsaw, which cut me in half and I died.”
      “Really, now.”
      “I got better.”

      I feel like this might have been an inventory I’m forgetting.

      • Citric says:

        I love how he keeps saying “no, that’s not how it happened.” More narrators should just randomly toss in asides about falling in a pit of spikes.

    • Aurora Boreanaz says:

      In the Cataclysm expansion of World of Warcraft, you run into three tall tale-tellers in Badlands.  As they each tell the story of how they single-handedly defeated Deathwing the evil dragon, you get to play through their story in their place.  Brilliantly done, and one of the first times I was genuinely surprised by something in WoW in years.

      Here are the three parts:

      • It’s a shame all that new 1-60 came out after I had all my guys at a high/end-game level, that stuff looks awesome.

        If WoW had a ‘prestiging’ feature, I’d re-sub and re-do 1-60 in a heartbeat.

        • Aurora Boreanaz says:

          I never had more than 3-4 characters at max level at a time, so it was easy enough to create a new one and check that stuff out, or just go with my max level for achievements.

  7. HobbesMkii says:

    Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes comes out tomorrow May 22nd. I’ve been playing the beta and can say that it’s much improved over vanilla Fallen Enchantress, which takes the Civilization model and adds magic.

    • rvb1023 says:

       I bought this game when it was Elemental: War of Magic. Is it good yet?

      • HobbesMkii says:

        I found it diverting enough for double digit hours worth of play, according to my Steam states. I believe you get this one heavily discounted and/or free.

  8. Girard says:

    The thought of a bananapocalypse is genuinely a worry that occupies my thoughts on a fairly regular basis.
    We’ve already been through one bananapocalypse! What vengeful god did we piss off that we deserve two bananapocalypses in less than a century’s time?!

    • Spacemonkey Mafia says:

      The Gros Michael banana was by all accounts a tastier and superior banana than the Cavendish.  Like so many realities of global food production, the Cavendish is now dominant, not due to any culinary superiority, but because it ships well, and until recently, immune to Panama disease.
         So when Cranky Kong is in the midst of another of his geriatric conniptions, he can add the intrinsic inferiority in quality of Donkey’s banana hoard to his litany of complaints.

    • mizerock says:

      And there will be another, lesser version of the banana after the Cavendish is wiped out, right?

  9. “We might need a way to differentiate between “yellow gold” bananas and actual gold, which I guess is also yellow.”

    No, it’s not.  It’s “gold”.

  10. ferrarimanf355 says:

    I have a feeling that Fast and the Furious Showdown will show up on an Adapt or Die column soon enough.

    If I was in charge of this project, I would have just ported over the Fast and the Furious Super Cars arcade game and called it a day. It’s a fun Cruis’n style game from Raw Thrills.

  11. CNightwing says:

    There’s a TV spot running on UK TV for the Donkey Kong game, only for some reason it’s voiced by Brian Blessed (of Flash Gordon fame), making for quite a ridiculous juxtaposition.

  12. rvb1023 says:

    As someone who doesn’t own a 3DS it will be nice to play a RE game that doesn’t suck for the first time since 2005.

  13. The_Misanthrope says:

    I could never figure out the logic of Capcom naming a game Gun.Smoke.  I  get that they probably wanted to use the name of the iconic TV series, but they didn’t want to get sued.  However, I just can’t figure out how to read or say it.  I’m sure it’s meant to be one word, but instead, it feels like a line of stage action from the world’s tersest screenplay (“Enter Guy.  Gun.  Smoke.  Bang. Dead. Exit Guy.”)