Donkey Kong Country Trilogy, My Dream Game

I’m a big fan of the Donkey Kong Country trilogy of games. If anyone asked me what my favorite game is, I’ll say Donkey Kong Country. The level design and game play are both fun and the music is fantastic. Donkey Kong 64 was a sequel, sure, but it wasn’t ever Donkey Kong Country 4 to me.

I would love it if they released an “All-stars” version of the game series, much like Super Mario All-Stars. I’d update the already superb graphics of the original games to be cleaner and more refined, and I would add full motion videos to tell the story that sets each game in motion, only allowing you to play each sequel as you complete the last.

I would then culminate the adventures with a brand new DKC4, in the style of the original trilogy of games.

When it comes to the music in the games, I really liked most of the music in the DKC series, enough to own the soundtracks to them. But when putting together an All-Stars game, I would re-produce the music to have a solid, epic soundtrack. I would take only the best music from all three games and leave out the rest, either re-scoring those tracks to fit in with the beautiful score that is left over, or simply replacing it with music from another game. Case in point: Lakeside Limbo, the first stage of the game.

I would actually love the best music to be fully orchestrated, with a choir to provide added flair.

Another thing that I would do with the games, as it would all be connected, is allow for you to go back through the original games and use any of the playable characters into each of the games. But only after completing the first three DKC games. This would open up a new timing system, as it could lend itself to more secret areas becoming accessible in different areas, with the use of different characters. However, this is something that I would only add, if the first time through the game was still the same, and your time for that game wasn’t effected. I would have any extra time spent, with new bonus levels, be added to a “global time” and not an “individual game time” to keep players happy.

One thing that the Game Boy Advanced versions of the games did was to add new items to collect, such as a camera, to put together photo albums. That was a neat addition, but it was a little bit shocking to see how much it would slow down your time toward the complete percentage when finishing the games. That, I would change into a secondary, over worldly thing, in order to preserve the original gameplay from the SNES editions.

Next, for Donkey Kong Country 4, I would design the game with the same flair as the first one, and elements of DKC2 and DKC3. It would be an epic game with fun, new level-types, as well as familiar level styles.

And that would only be the Donkey Kong Country All-Stars portion. I would also allow you to scroll on, past the first 4 games, into the next collection of updated games. Donkey Kong Land, completely re-done, in the Donkey Kong Country style, with the same beautiful graphics, music and tightened controls to match those of the DKC series. That first DKL was insanely difficult at times, and frustrating at other times, as the screen would blur and you’d lose track of your character. It made things difficult when you’d press a button expecting one thing, but your character wouldn’t respond as quickly, presumably because of the limitations of the Game Boy.

In this way, Donkey Kong Land would become a playable game, and would be a solid entry into the Donkey Kong Country pantheon of games.

I’ve wanted this in a game for over 10 years now, and I finally decided to write something about it.

Now, Nintendo is doing something interesting by re-releasing some of their GameCube titles on Wii with updated control schemes. They are calling it the “Play it on Wii” series. Among the titles getting upgrades are Metroid Prime, Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, Pikmin 1 and 2, Chibi-Robo and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.

Donkey Kong Jungle Beat has been updated, adding new levels, a better control mechanism than the kongas from Donkey Konga, and is now more platform based. Hopefully this makes it more like Donkey Kong Country than it originally was. I never got a chance to play it, but now I’m hoping that this version of it releases in North America, if it is anything like Donkey Kong Country.

Perhaps it could be the first step toward my dream of seeing a Donkey Kong Country Trilogy released some day.

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Properties that Should Be Movies: M.A.S.K. and Dino-Riders

I’m going to start writing a bit about some of my favorite properties when I was young, that I think would make excellent films. Especially if the properties are handled correctly.

Now, some of us know that Voltron and ThunderCats are both being developed for the big screen. If you didn’t: Voltron is going to be live-action, set on our earth, and each of the five space-explorers are now from different walks of life. ThunderCats is going to be half CG and half live-action, apparently.

There was also a new TMNT film in the last few years, with more to come. G.I. Joe is coming to the big screen next summer in G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra. He-Man is constantly having production problems that are holding things up.

The primary properties that I am going to talk about here are two of my favorites that very few of you probably know about: M.A.S.K. and Dino-Riders.

M.A.S.K. stands for Mobile Armored Strike Kommand. The cartoon was basically a mixture of G.I. Joe and Transformers. It involved human characters with special armor that could each do various special things. They also each had various vehicles that doubled as other vehicle forms. One, for example, was a motorcycle that could turn into a mini-helicopter mid-motion. There could be some incredible chase sequences with transforming vehicles like the ones in this cartoon.

Dino-Riders was a cartoon that appealed to me for a number of reasons. First, I loved Dinosaurs, so this had a natural draw in that regard. Second, it had heroes and villains putting armor on the dinosaurs, along with laser beams. What more could you really ask for? The main story of Dino-Riders involved a war between the Valorians, who were under attack by the Rulon Empire. About 400 of them were on board a ship that was under heavy fire from the Rulon leaders, who were close behind. The Valorians activated the “S.T.E.P. Crystal” and travelled back in time to when Dinosaurs walked the earth.

I would love to develop both of these properties for the big screen. Both would be pretty expensive films, but both of them capture the imagination of the youth and would draw crowds. I would be the first in line for both.

The Karate Kid Remake with Jaden Smith? No Thanks!

So, news has hit the web today that a deal has been made to remake The Karate Kid. Not only that, but it will be set in middle-school. But that’s not all. It will be a starring vehicle for Will Smith’s son, Jaden Smith.

To truly understand the problem that this has caused, we have to understand the history of The Karate Kid. It’s a film that I grew up on, and more important, it’s a film that AMERICA grew up on. America learned how to be a man from life lessons by Mr. Miyagi. Who hasn’t heard the phrase “Wax on, wax off?” Where else did we learn how to paint the fence, and defend ourselves, in the same night? When else can we move from one side of the country and learn Karate by doing chores from a man who has exiled himself from his home country of Okinawa?

It’s certainly not from whomever is going to try to imitate Pat Morita’s iconic Mr. Miyagi. It’s certainly not from a younger version of the story. No, this is more in the vein of The 3 Ninjas than TMNT.

The Karate Kid has it all. It’s got a guy in high school, dealing with a new town, making new friends, and a girl that happens to be the ex-girlfriend of his new-archnemesis. It’s also got a martial arts expert.

The new faux-Karate Kid? Middle-school. Will there be a middle-school girl? Will there be a clique that all goes to a crooked teacher that teaches false Martial Arts?

Who knows and who cares. It’s not set within the correct age group. It’s just not realistic.

Now, I’m not one to pre-judge a movie unless I am well educated about the content of the film, and I am not falting them for wanting to remake this amazing movie for a new generation. Call it Kung-Fu Kid, call it Karate Kid: The Next Generation, anything but The Karate Kid. Let’s not try and replace the original film with something new and flashy.

America deserves better than this. America thought better than “The Next Karate Kid” and they should think better than this film.

The Real Ghostbusters DVD Set Shipping November 25th!

I grew up watching Ghostbusters. The Real Ghostbusters was a cartoon that I would never miss, and when it changed to “Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters,” even at a young age I noticed the animation quality wasn’t quite the same. Slimer was a popular character that made the company believe that creating a show based on Slimer was the way to go. One thing that they failed to understand was that Slimer was loved as part of the supporting cast of Ghostbusters. On his own, the heart was sort of missing. It would be sort of like taking an ensemble cast like that of The Office, and and pulling one character out for a show that isn’t at all like The Office. It’s the full cast that makes the individual characters succeed.

I digress. For years I have been anxiously awaiting any sort of release for The Real Ghostbusters on DVD. The most I expected was to get some episodes on a DVD or a best of The Real Ghostbusters DVD. They put a few episodes on the movie DVD’s second editions, and released three DVDs of episodes a couple of years ago as well.

Then it happened. They announced that more episodes of The Real Ghostbusters were coming to DVD. How much more? Everything. All of the episodes from The Real Ghostbusters and Slimer! and the Real Ghostbusters in one amazing 25 disc set. There will be over 12 hours of bonus material to boot!

It’s everything I’ve always wanted in a Real Ghostbusters set, and more! This is like a dream come true.

The Real Ghostbusters DVD Set

The Real Ghostbusters DVD Set

Today, an e-mail came with a message that it’s been delayed, but that shipping has been upgraded. But it’s not bad, because we get more, and maybe a little quicker than expected. Here’s the text of the e-mail:

Dear Fellow Ghostbusters Fan!

Some might say we went a little overboard when we put together The Real Ghostbusters complete collection. We couldn’t help ourselves! This series deserved all the bells and whistles.

In response to fantastic feedback, we’ve created a deluxe firehouse collector’s box with lenticular (hologram) panels on the front and sides. Inside this box are 5 separate steel book cases containing a total of 25 DVDs with every episode from The Real Ghostbusters and Slimer! And The Real Ghostbusters series. The 25th DVD is a special bonus disc with nearly 3 hours of materials, including the never-before-seen promotional pilot with commentary and storyboards! All in all, there will be over 12 hours of bonus material!

Unfortunately, all these extra features, many of which weren’t included in our initial release plan, have lengthened the production time for this set, originally scheduled to ship out on November 15. But, because of all the added features, we will not have completed sets to ship out until November 25.

We know this will come as a disappointment to many, so we have decided to provide all of our pre-order customers with FREE FedEx Express shipping. Our standard shipping time is 2 weeks, so you will still get your set in the same timeframe (probably sooner)!

When you see all the fantastic features this collection has to offer, we’re sure you’ll agree it was worth the wait. So charge up your proton packsThe Real Ghostbusters is almost here!

A. Davis
Time Life, Customer Care Manager

Thank you Time Life. I am looking forward to it.

Future of Forestry – Advent Christmas EP

One of my favorite bands is Future of Forestry. Today, I discovered that they have released a short EP for Christmas. Called the Advent Christmas EP, it features “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” “What Child Is This,” “The First Noel,” “Little Drummer Boy,” and “O Holy Night.” I haven’t listened to it yet, but if their full length album is anything to go by, it’s going to be a great listen.

The band’s first Christmas release brings you Holiday songs you have probably heard and loved a million times before… but you have never heard them like this!

Future of Forestry took traditional Christmas songs and infused them with their signature atmospheric tones, orchestral arrangements, and celestial melodic rock qualities.

If you love Christmas songs but are tired of hearing them the same way, this album will give you a new perspective. It will bring you through the nostalgia, stillness, and excitement of Christmas all in one listen.

Future of Forestry - Advent Christmas EP

Future of Forestry - Advent Christmas EP