11 Poorest Powerups

 powerups banner

11 Poorest Powerups (2013)

Please be advised that this feature contains strong language.


You get killed an awful lot of times in video games. Sometimes in the customary ways (falling into curiously bottomless pits, being blown away by a Franchi SPAS-12 shotgun, being crushed by some hulking enemy, falling foul of an evil glitch put in by negligent developers); others in more interesting ways (being beheaded by a chainsaw, being swallowed whole by a massive fish, having a cow land on your head arsefirst). You lose again and again, and the aggravation mounts. What do you need? You need powerups – certain new abilities or items that can swing the game back in your favour. Some hand you such a terrific advantage that they are absolute must-haves, while others give you incremental boosts that all add up to let you topple that tough as nails boss.

But not every powerup is up to scratch. Here, in no particular order, we look at 11 powerups which are at best non-offensive and at worst actively conspire against the player. Note that imitation powerups that do actively harm or impede the player character, like the Poison Mushroom of Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels, do not count. No, these are powerups which the game purports to be beneficial but, really, the programmers might as well not have bothered. Or worse, these items can be so worthless as to be damaging, if employed in the wrong way. Note that a powerup here can be any and all kinds of things to aid the player, from an item in Zelda to a spell in Final Fantasy. Please enjoy.

Continue reading “11 Poorest Powerups”

The Top 18 Fucker Donkey Kong Country Levels (Feature) (2012)

dkc logo

The Top 18 Fucker Donkey Kong Country Levels (2012)

Please be advised that this feature contains strong language.

Feature, 26/11/12

As if Mario and his travails weren’t enough to whet the appetite of SNES-owning platforming fans, up stepped Donkey Kong with his fantastic monogrammed tie. And he brought his buddies too! Actually, it’s well he did, since the big man (ape) is only playable in two of the four games we’ll be looking at in this feature. In fact you could easily argue that it’s Diddy Kong who’s the centre of the piece. But who likes Diddy Kong these days?

The difficulty involved in finding every single wee collectible that the games have to offer would be bad enough if some of the levels involved weren’t already ball-busting to get through by themselves. For all the joys brought by these games, they also were capable of ratcheting up some severe frustration. Here, we will look at the four Donkey Kong Country games (the SNES trilogy of Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble! and the excellent Wii callback, Donkey Kong Country Returns). In particular, I’ll be going through some of the most difficult and aggravating levels they had to offer, from not-too-baddest to hardest. You could probably that I’d be looking at them from a disgruntled player’s point of view, seeing as how I’ve used ‘fucker’ as an adjective to describe these fucking dickcrushingly difficult levels. 18 levels in all, in fact. A level for every… Kong?  Continue reading “The Top 18 Fucker Donkey Kong Country Levels (Feature) (2012)”