Ports That'd Make Sailors Proud:
The DKU New Year's Forecast 2009
In the end, 2008 turned out to be a pretty good year for the DKU. Even with minor (and major) annoyances in some of the most anticipated games, they finally arrived, bringing with them new fans and familiar faces. Will 2009 continue on the legacy of anticipated titles? Probably not. Regardless, pour your drink of choice in your flasks as we countdown to 2009 and what it means for the DKU.
1. New Play Control! Donkey Kong Jungle Beat (Nintendo Wii)
Even if it isn't officially named that (yet), Mario Tennis' recent renaming should reasonably assume that the Wii re-release of Jungle Beat will be called the same thing. A few days after the Thanksgiving Feature was posted with all its delightful negativity, something changed. The developers gave Jungle Beat a story, and with that came a mildly satisfactory reason why DK is beating the shit out of everything. Sure, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense (such as why DK wasn't having fight clubs with Kremlings on DK Island in the past), but at the very least it's something to repeatedly mutter to yourself when and if you play this. In just those days it went from being that bratty family member everyone in their own family has to the tolerable, yet not perfect, new step-parent. And for Jungle Beat, that's saying something.
The Wow-O-Meter Rating: 8/10
2. Banjo-Tooie XBLA (Xbox Live Arcade)
With Banjo-Kazooie's release on XBLA as well as Nuts & Bolts' release on the 360, there's something that seems to be missing in-between. No, silly, not Grunty's Revenge, but the bigger (and debatably better) sequel to Banjo-Kazooie. While details on the game are scarce other than the fact that it exists and that half of the Achievements have been revealed, it's the game that didn't quite live up to expectations for some back in 2000 with the lackluster (but still better than Nuts & Bolts') Stop N' Swop, some dreary levels here and there, and the occasional slowdown. Not to say that it's a bad game at all, but those that prefer the original do so with very good reasons. To hope for the original Stop N' Swop between Kazooie and Tooie (remember, the Eggs and Ice Key are still in the SNS menu after transferring the Eggs and Key to Nuts & Bolts) may be hoping for too much, but hoping for no slowdown this time seems reasonable. Will it be received better more than eight years down the line? We'll see.
The Wow-O-Meter Rating 8/10
3. New Play Control! Mario Power Tennis (Nintendo Wii)
With the Wii re-releases brings about one of the oddest named titles for a DKU game in years. Much like Mario Super Sluggers and Tennis in Wii Sports, Nam Pai Chuan! Mario Power Tennis uses the Wii Remote to swing the racket to and fro with Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong, and the other characters everyone already knows about. In addition, you can use the Nunchuck, which I can safely assume is for that pretty handy feature of, you know, moving your character around. While it's sad to say that they're probably not going to add Gamecube controller support (as all Wii games should do if possible, period), it's a re-release of one of the best Cameo games to ever grace our Nintendo systems, and definitely worthy for those that never got the chance to play it due to other games like DKC 2 GBA, for example, coming out back in 2004.
The Wow-O-Meter Rating: 8/10
Well…that kind of sucks, doesn't it? All the games coming out in the near future are ports. Obviously, they're all the announced games, which means that with absolutely nothing to base it on, here's what we may (or may not, hopefully, in some cases) see announced in 2009!
1. Possible DKU Rare DS Game (Nintendo DS)
Looks familiar, doesn't it? A few months ago, it was revealed by Pocket Paradise's producer that the DS team was already working headfirst on a new project. Other than that, here's what logically fits in the realm of possibility: it'll be for the DS, and it'll probably be a DKU game. With the ratio of Rare DS games that are DKU going 2-for-2, will they continue the trend? If so, what will it be? Will it be Grunty's Revenge 2: Full Throttle? Banjo-Pilot: Dueling Banjos? Viva Pinata: Trouble in Your Pocket, the logical sequel to Pocket Paradise? Either way, since we didn't see anything at E3, expect something new from them this upcoming year year. Or not.
The Wow-O-Meter Rating: 5/10 (It could go either way)
2. Mario Party 9/DS 2 (Nintendo Wii/DS)
Just as you're surprised to see this on the list once again, I'm surprised that neither current-gen incarnation of one of many Nintendo's cash cows didn't make an appearance this time around at the lackluster E3. Perhaps that explains it. Perhaps it doesn't, but whether you like it or not, the games sold well enough to justify sequels. Whether we'll actually see it, let alone any improvements that take advantage of the console (City Folk, I'm looking at you), is something that'll probably haunt your every waking moment.
The Wow-O-Meter Rating: 2/10
3. Obligatory Mario Cameo Game That's Not a Re-release (Nintendo Wii)
In 2007, Mario Strikers Charged came out for the Wii. This year, Mario Super Sluggers was the second Cameo DKU sports release. So where exactly does that leave sports lovers post-Camelot? Judging by the patterns of Cameo games in order of release, Golf and Tennis (ports notwithstanding) seem impossible due to Camelot's lack of developing them. If I was a betting man, I'd say that a Cameo game based on Mario's basketball antics on the DS will eventually make its way on the Wii. In some sick and twisted way, it makes sense, and I hope I didn't jinx it by posting this feature.
The Wow-O-Meter Rating: 2/10
That would be all he wrote for this (next?) year's New Year's Forecast. As mildly cloudy it may seem to be right now, there's still a lot of time for it to get better or significantly worse! Until this time next year, have a Happy New Year, and try to keep your resolutions for more than three days!