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Shovel Knight! The Vidya Bum


Shovel Knight is one of the best games I’ve played so far this year. In fact, it’s one of my favorite games that has been released in recent memory. In my honest opinion, it’s the best game to come out so far in 2014. It does have some staunch competition coming in this 2nd half of the year, though.

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Shovel Knight is an 8-bit inspired platform medley of Mega Man, Ducktales, a little bit of Zelda 2 and Castlevania, with a sprinkle of Super Mario Bros. 3. On top of all of this, however, it manages to produce some exciting and unique features not seen in any of the aforementioned games. This game is pure fun, sounds fantastic, and has some really great tunes and some beautiful artwork. Shovel Knight was developed by Yacht Club Games; whom are based out of California. The game was funded by a very successful Kickstarter campaign. The minimum goal was 75k, and Shovel Knight went on to raise over 300k before the conclusion of the Kickstarter Campaign.
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Shovel Knight has two goals in this game: To defeat the evil Enchantress, and get some answers about his lost beloved companion, Shield Knight. However, throughout his quest, he is met by staunch resistance in the form of the Enchantress’s henchmen (and Shovel Knight’s mortal foes) The Order of No Quarter. These other quirky Knights attempt to block Shovel Knight’s passage to the Enchantress, and it is up to you to guide Shovel Knight to victory. Can you dig it?

The gameplay is mostly reminiscent of platformeresque Mega Man, but then you have to add in a shovel. Why a shovel? Well, Why not? Besides being his namesake, the shovel is the Shovel Knight’s main weapon. The shovel behaves similarliry to Scrooge McDuck’s walking cane pogo …

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Underrated Retro – Cobra Triangle – The Vidya Bum

Cobra Triangle is a single-player action game, developed by Rare, and released in July of 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was designed by the Stamper brothers, who would go on to provide us with all sorts of Rare goodness for the SNES and Nintendo 64.

Following the critical success of R.C. Pro-Am, Rare chose many of the same aesthetics for Cobra Triangle, such as the isometric perspective the game is presented in. The main difference being that instead of Trucks racing, Cobra Triangle is a boat action game with some racing elements.

Cobra Triangle

David Wise composed the soundtrack for Cobra Triangle, who at the time, was an extremely prolific composer for many video games. Other games under his belt include; Marble Madness, California Games, Battletoads, and eventually even the beautiful OST for Donkey Kong Country.

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Cobra Triangle is a really enjoyable game, and in addition to racing levels, the game features several different kinds of missions such as; collecting mines from one area and depositing them in a detonation area whilst outwitting another boat trying to steal the mines back, protecting stranded people from enemy boats attempting to capture them, jumping waterfalls, and even battling enemy bosses. My least favorite stages are the waterfall levels. You must hit moving ramps at a certain speed to jump across the waterfall. If you miss, you automatically lose a life. As you can see, I died quite a few times here.

There are 25 stages in the game, each section containing 5 levels of each different type of game mode, with the 5th level generally being a boss fight. The boss fights are pretty cool too, they feature a giant sea snake (as seen on the game cover), a giant crab, and several others.

Cobra Triangle was fairly well received when it …

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Underrated Retro – Wrecking Crew feat. The Vidya Bum

On October 18th, 1985 the NES launched in the United States in NYC. Although Super Mario Bros and it’s progeny would become some of the most beloved games in the NES library, Super Mario Bros didn’t actual release on launch day with the NES. Thats not to say Mario wasn’t present in the launch of the system in the US, Mario was the protagonist of a lesser known game called Wrecking Crew.

The game was designed by Yoshio Sakamoto, who would later go on to work on great games such as Metroid, Kid Icarus, Super Metroid and most recently he’s credited with supervising Nintendo’s much anticipated Splatoon.

Wrecking Crew Retail Box

The player assumes the control of Mario in this arcade style game and instantly you will notice he looks a little funny. He’s wielding a giant hammer and his hat looks like a helmet. Apparently before Mario got into plumbing, he was smashing down buildings and avoiding eggplant men. He also doesn’t seem to be capable of jumping, which the manual explains is a result of the weight of the hammer. The objective here is to smash down walls using whatever means possible.

Once the game begins, you’ll start with 5 lives, you can only lose these lives by coming in contact with an enemy, or by getting hit by a fireball. After you use up the five lives, you’ll get a game over. It’s also fairly easy to trap yourself on a floor with no way to exit, in this instance you must quit the game and start over. Wrecking Crew also has a level select option, so you can skip around levels. Level 100 is no joke.

One of the other characters that makes an appearance in this game is a foreman named Spike. He’ll chase Mario in some levels of …

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Watch_Dogs EP#1 VidyaBum Plays!

In this video we take a first look at Watch_Dogs on the PC from Ubisoft. I had some audio issues for the first few episodes but I worked them out, the sync is off a bit. All fixed in future Ep’s.

Watch Dogs is actually a lot of fun, though it does have some shortcomings, it’s generally been better then /v/ and /r/gaming/ have made it out to be, no surprise there.

Enjoy!