Shovel Knight Will Appear in Yooka-Laylee

Playtonic Games, the new independent studio formed by several former members of Rare, has released a new trailer for their upcoming Kickstarter-funded game, Yooka-Laylee, focusing on the various characters that will be appearing in the game.  This includes major characters like the main antagonist Capital B and Trowzer the Snake (heh heh) who will teach you important techniques.  The one that’s captured the most people’s attention, however, is a special guest character hailing from another crowdfunded game.

Shovel Knight, the titular hero from Yacht Club Games’ sidescrolling action game, will appear in Yooka-Laylee as an NPC.  This isn’t the first time that the hero of shovelry has made a cameo in another game, as he is also making an appearance in SWDTech Games’ detective-based RPG Pixel Noir and will be a party member in Lab Zero’s RPG Indivisible.  The game Shovel Knight had it’s own fair share of cameos with the Battletoads appearing exclusively in the Xbox One version of the game and Kratos from the God of War series in the Playstation 4 version.

Yooka-Laylee is being built as a revival of 3D platformers like Banjo-Kazooie that the team was famous for as a part of Rare.  The Kickstarter campaign raised over £2,000,000 for the development of the game.  It’s set to release on PC, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, Wii U, and Playstation 4 in early 2017.

Six Wonderful Winter Levels

It’s that beautifully chilly time of year where you can’t go anywhere without a jacket. Winter, love it or hate it there are some superb winter themed levels that have been created over the years. These levels are so cold they make you reach for the heating switch and make a cup of cocoa.

Gathered from all generations of consoles here are what I believe to be the best winter levels available today. These can be iconic levels that have stood the test of time or new additions to the winter wonderland catalog that will surely be around for years to come. There may be some cold feet, but I promise there is no need for concern. So without further ado let’s begin.

 

Hoth – Star Wars: Battlefront

Still fresh in our minds. This year EA Dice manged to recreate the universe of Star Wars in glorious HD. Regardless what you think of the actual game itself, it’s impossible to admire how the planet look. None is more mesmerizing than Hoth. The snow drenched world is a marvel to behold throwing in a battle against AT-AT Walkers rockets this encounter to a whole new level.

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Cool Cool Mountain – Super Mario 64

Ice slides, Penguin racing and red coin collecting. What’s not to like? It’s rare to find a level that excesses so much fun. Cool Cool Mountain was one of the top stand-out levels from Mario’s first 3D outing. Nearly twenty years later the level still shines just as much.

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Mountaineering – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Uncharted is known for it’s Hollywood-esque show pieces, yet Nathan Drake’s scouring of an icy mountain in Nepal is magnificent to say the least. Fondly remembered by fans of the series this “mountaineering” expedition brought something new to the series changing what the word exploration means. Horror elements were all of a sudden critical to this stage as tension rises the more you climb. The arctic chill is a new presence never fully being realised until now.  This all leading up to the impact of a moving shadow and the reveal of an ancient beast ready to tear Drake limb from limb…Tenzin the Sherpa is pretty awesome too.

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Freezeflame Galaxy – Super Mario Galaxy 

So yes this could be considered slightly cheating, but you cannot deny how beautifully tranquil this galaxy is. The combination of ice and fire creates something that had not been seen before. Skating round the molten core, Leaping through the air lets Mario twirl acrobatically showing his graceful side. One of the most stunning galaxies in the game and one of the most unexpected.

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Freezeaky Peak – Banjo-Kazooie

Christmas trees with singing lights, A fifty foot snowman, present greedy cubs and an absent father all make up this one of a kind level. Rare delivered a 3D outing still fondly remembered today, so there is no shock that Freezeaky Peak makes this list and there should be no doubt that it will continue to appear on lists like this for decades to come.

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Mario Kart: Double Dash – Sherbet Land 

What can I say, Nintendo do Winter best. Straight out of Mario Kart: Double Dash we have the the fantastically frozen Sherbet Land. Encountering Shy Guys skating on a frozen lake peppered with potholes before driving down an igloo tunnel makes this course one of the most re-playable. Oh and how could I forget the catchy soundtrack that mimics exactly what the track represents. No wonder it was revitalized for the Wii version.

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So there you have six wonderful winter levels to get your teeth into over the holiday season. What winter levels do you think are great? Leave us a comment below to tell us why. Anyway you better get inside before you catch a chill.

Happy Holidays from Vgamerz.com

 

Smash Bros: 5 Likely DLC Characters

The Smash Bros Fighter Ballot has closed. All votes are in, but who will be added to the roster? There’s no doubt that Super Smash Bros 3DS/Wii U has one of the greatest line-ups of video game characters to ever grace a screen together. From Sega’s Sonic to Capcom’s Megaman, there is such unique representation that it’s hard to believe more can fit in. Yet, back in April, Nintendo asked us all who we would want to see join the already stellar cast. Now 6 months on, it’s time to look at which likely contenders could be added over the upcoming months.

Just for reference, this list is comprised of likely candidates to join the brawler going off of popularity and statistics gathered from the community’s votes in the Smash Ballot. So as much as we would all love to see Crash Bandicoot, Spyro and Simon Belmont, you won’t find them here.

 

King K. Rool 

Wanted by thousands of Smash fans for years, the king of Kremlins seems like an ideal fit. There is a lacking presence of heavyweights and villains currently, so you have both boxes ticked with King K. His moveset already seems set up with inspiration taken from his appearances in the Donkey Kong Country series, you could use anything from his Pirate or Mad Scientist designs. Created by Rare but surprisingly still owned by Nintendo, this is an easy pick that would make fans happy.  Another Character into the Donkey Kong franchise is also welcome.  Image 6

 

Wolf

If I had to put my money on anyone from this list, I would choose Wolf without a shadow of a doubt. The antagonist of the Star Fox series has already made a debut back in Super Smash Bros Brawl, however, unlike characters like Lucas, Mewtwo and Roy, has still not made a return. It just seems like a matter of time before his announcement is made. When you think about it, Wolf makes the most sense out of the remainder of characters. On top of this, you have Star Fox Zero due to release next year and what better way is there to promote the game then by adding the nemesis of Fox McCloud?  Image 2

 

Shovel Knight

Yacht Club Games’ prized possession has  sky-rocketed since his release. Even though he’s a third-party character, Shovel Knight is becoming more probable with his very own amiibo on the way. Yacht Club Games have also got their own campaign going to get the knight into the franchise. Then there was the leak on the official Nintendo website saying that the amiibo will support Super Smash Bros. This was denied shortly after by the creators, however, more and more pieces are falling into place and making it seem as if the indie mascot is destined to be picked.

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Inkling

It’s Ink-redible how well Splatoon has done both in terms of sales and critical acclaim. Now seen as a big hit for Nintendo, their turn to appear in Smash Bros is one that will certainly happen. The question is when. Many think they will be saved for Smash 5 or will just be given a stage like Super Mario Maker was. Others believe its time to cash in on the squids while they are popular and dominating a high percentage of votes. Either way, they would be a superb edition, but I too am inclined to wait until the next entry.

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Banjo Kazooie

Another creation by Rare, however, unlike King K, the duo are still owned by the company. The least likely from the list, but one of the most requested, every N64 fan would relish in the return of Banjo-Kazooie back on Nintendo hardware even if it’s brief. The bird and bear’s reputation has never diminished due to the success of their first two games; Banjo Kazooie and Banjo Tooie. Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has even tweeted his willingness to get the much loved icons into the fighter by saying “I think it would be cool if Banjo was in the next SSB DLC” before going on to add that “We’ve worked with Nintendo on Rare IP before, no issues”. As positive as these statements are, this still seems like a pipe dream. We will have to wait and see how this one pans out before we find out if we will be getting “Jiggy” once again.

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Honorable Mentions: Shantae, Rayman & Issac 

So that concludes our list of 5 likely characters to join Super Smash Bros. Do you agree with the list? Who would you like to see join the fight? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

Yooka Laylee: Top 5 Things We Want To See

Yooka Laylee

Yooka Laylee

Ex-Rare developers, now part of Playtonic Studios, recently revealed their spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie. This was the chameleon and bat duo Yooka-Laylee. Straight away for many it was love at first sight. This was proven by 73,206 backers that pledged £2,090,104 to help bring this project to life. Now with the studio having smashed all of their kickstarter targets, it’s time to think what do we want to see?

Rare was a highly praised company in its prime and over the years it has only become more and more commended (especially from Nintendo 64 lovers), be that as it may this is not the exact same team who created iconic titles like Goldeneye, Conker, Donkey Kong Country and of course Banjo-Kazooie. It’s worth noting too that it has been 13 years since Microsoft bought Rare and in all that time they were criminally underutilised. The fantastic thing is all of the test footage we have seen so far is from 3 months work which is ridiculous. Game developers spend years and do not create work as appealing as this. So obviously there are dozens of questions for what the final version will be. What aspects of Banjo Kazooie do we want to return? What level styles do we want?  What can Playtonic do to stamp their authority on the world of gaming? Without further ado, here are the top 5 things we want to see in Yooka-Laylee:

Yooka Laylee
By Maisie Poskitt

1. A Big, Fun Cartoon World

A big, beautiful, colourful, enchanting, comical, crazy world. Is that too much to ask for? It has been years since we have had a world resembling the likes of Super Mario 64 and Banjo Kazooie. Worlds that felt endless. Worlds that when revisited you would find more hidden secrets that make you think “How did I miss that?” It’s about time it made a return and from the looks of early game-play it seems more and more likely.

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2. Collectibles

Being brought up as a Nintendo fan you are rewarded for getting everything the game has to offer. Whether this is collecting all 120 stars or all 100 Jiggys you were always guaranteed a merit for your hard work. This is why if Yooka-Laylee wants to please its fans and truly be the successor to Banjo-Kazooie it must have a collectible element to it. But what would a chameleon collect? Bugs? No matter what it is, you need a reason to keep going back.

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3. Memorable Allies/Enemies

Every now and then you need a friend. Someone to help give you hints, teach you new moves or simply have a joke with. On the other hand you also need an enemy that aggravates you therefore spurring you on to defeat them. Bottles, Gobi the Camel, Captain Blubber, Boggy the Polar Bear, Tooty and my personal favourite Mumbo Jumbo. These are memorable characters that stick with you throughout the game making the experience continuously better. Playtonic are more than capable of thinking up some witty new characters to go alongside our fearless duo. Wasting no time they have already announced Trowzer the Snake (Get it?) which is a promising sign that they haven’t lost any of their talent.

Yooka Laylee

4. A Quirky Villain

Now this is where magic can be made. The villain of a series can bring such character and Charisma. Gruntilida was and is still to this day brilliant. Her rhyming evil stole every scene but mostly it was her comical nature and quirkiness that made her iconic. For Yooka-Laylee to stand in good form long-term you need a presence that frustrates the player in one moment and splits their sides in the next. Please make it happen.

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5. Something New

I realise that Playtonic want Yooka-Laylee to be the spiritual successor to Banjo Kazooie, however it has been over 15 years since its original release. I’m sure it will be a great throwback and have just as many unforgettable moments but I believe it is time to evolve the concept. Playtonic have an opportunity to give us something we’ve never seen before. Whether it’s a new game-play mechanic or unexpected take on the genre, do something to wow us and breathe new life into the retro-style platformer.

If this can be pulled off well, Yooka-Laylee could go down as one of the greats. More importantly it could reinvigorate the classic platformer. I don’t want to wait another 10 years for another Kickstarter called Project Harmonica…

Yooka Laylee

What do you want to see in Yooka-Laylee? Leave us a comment below to tell us why. 

Top 10 Characters We Want To See Added To Super Smash Brothers

Smash

With Nintendo announcing the Smash Fighter Ballot, the gates have been open for the millions of Smash fans to have their say on who they want added as DLC. Nintendo has one of the richest libraries known to gaming, so our choices are almost endless. Here are our top picks that we think will make Smash even better. As a cheeky side note, it would also give Nintendo some extra brownie points with third party developers resulting in the ultimate win-win.

Banjo and Kazooie

Before Rare moved to Microsoft and made a string of questionable decisions, they made Banjo Kazbanjo-kazooie-introooie. As one of the pioneers of 3D Collect’em Ups, Banjo Kazooie is fondly remembered by those old enough to have owned an N64. They even made a brilliant sequel Banjo Tooie, before eventually breaking our hearts with the complete abandonment of Banjo Threeie. Ignoring all that however, Banjo and Kazooie have a number of sick moves at their disposal when platforming and fighting enemies making them ideal candidates.

Conker

Ok, ok this will be the last Rare character I throw into the pot, but not only was Conker an incredibly

controversial game on release, it was also bloody brilliant. Whilst its underlining gameplay was similar to Banjo, the games felt very different and Conker himself is quite the character. Another relic from the N64, it wouldn’t hurt too much to have a bit of juvenile humor thrown into an already ludicrous title such as Smash.

Monster Hunter’s Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter is a massively popular game, and games as massive and popular as Monster Hunter should make an monster-hunter-3-ultimate-wii-u-screenshot-2appearance. Whilst having roots on Nintendo consoles, recent titles have been outstanding, arguably the best in the series being the latest iteration of the series: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. What makes the idea even more mouth watering is the ways they could implement such a character into the game. Having such a wide variety of weapons, you could either go the “Link Route”, essentially being able to pull weapons out on the fly to suit certain situations or go the “Mii Fighter Route” whereby you can choose a weapon pre-match to suite your style. Probably the hardest character to implement,  but certainly one of the most interesting

Simon Belmont

Castlevania is one of those iconic titles in gaming, with Simon Belmont being up there as one of the most recognizable Vampire Hunters around. Brandishing a 10ft whip of darkness-destroying-holy-righteousness, that can be swung in 8 directions and attach to ledges gives Simon incredible range, coverage and manoeuvrability. Sub-weapons such as the boomerang cross, holy water and throwing axe would make him more of a item user like Link, or Pac-man with a leathery, leathery twist. Considering what they did with Mega Man, I can only imagine how true to form Simon will be when he makes his appearance.

Ryu Hayabusa

Ryu_Hayabusa_Wallpaper_(WO3_DLC)

Wielder of the fabled Dragon Sword, and slayer of demons, Ryu is probably King of the Ninjas. Another classic from the NES and long-time fighter in Dead or Alive, Ryu would fit right in with the current cast of characters. His mastery of sword play, acrobatics and martial arts as a whole make him a deadly opponent, and with a variety of special weapons at his disposal, there would be plenty of interesting combos to pull off.

Wonder Red + Friends

Wonderful 101 was an interesting game released on the Wii U by Platinum, and whilst it got some well deserved criticism (mostly directed at the controls), Wonder Red and his 100 Wonderful friends would give a sweet spin on the classic Olimar formula. Being able to morph into whips, fists and even the mighty Valiantium Blade, this is another character with heaps of potential. Whilst having 101 characters on screen at once might be a bit much, it is certainly an idea for their Final Smash, and having a handful of main characters on screen would certainly wet anybodies appetite.

Solid Snake

A solid character from Brawl, Snake was painfully missing in the latest iteration. Whilst his inclusion in the game might MetalGear_THUMB-1414797368613cause some minor heart ache for the Phantom Pain not being a Wii U title, but Metal Gear has appeared on Nintendo Consoles, and Solid Snake is already a proven brawler. A simple addition to the game, and one that should never have left.

Isaac

Making his debut on the GBA in 2002 as the main character of Golden Sun, and also making an appearance as an Assist Trophy in Brawl, Isaac would be an interesting, if somewhat “from the left field” pick

for a character. Being the lead in an RPG, he certainly has plenty of moves at his disposal, his most prominent ability being his use of Djinns and his Master Hand-like environmental control. Nintendo are not against obscure characters considering Ness has been around since the beginning…a character who only recently saw a European release.

Bayonetta

Bayonetta is probably one of the most controversial characters in gaming history. Despite beinbayonetta2g designed as every man’s dream lady, but proportioned in such a ludicrous way you cannot help but be amused, Bayonetta is probably the strongest female protagonist in history. Add to this, she is one of Nintendo’s newest IP’s, and comes from a series of games that excels at high flying brawler action, why was Bayonetta not included in the first place. I want to see Mario get shot in the face via heel-mounted shotguns and thrown across the stage only to be eaten by a demon dragon conjured from hair. Nintendo, make it happen.

So those are our top picks for the Smash Fighter Ballot, do you agree? Who would you want to join the roster, and why? Let us know in the comments. Happy Smashing.