Kingdom Hearts is a series that was huge when it originally released on the PS2 back in 2002. Blending Square Enix and Disney franchises together was such a strange move, that it worked wonderfully. Seeing success, Disney & Square Enix decided to make a huge sequel on the PS2 in the form of ‘Kingdom Hearts 2’. Focusing more on action instead of exploration/platforming, Kingdom Hearts 2 pushes the series further into being an action game then ever before.

Exploring new Disney worlds and fighting heartless again, does Sora’s second adventure unlock gamers hearts? Or does it sink into the darkness? Get your Keyblade ready and go on Disney-themed adventure to find out!

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The Meroidvania genre has games in all shapes and sizes but many of them don’t focus on using melee combat. While games like the Castlevania series have some melee combat, the main focus is using long-ranged weapons like whips and magic. Metroid is also known for long-ranged combat with Samus’ various weapons and beams. But what about a game set within the Metroidvania genre that not only uses physical combat, but uses it in creative ways to solve puzzles and get through tricky platforming?

From the studio that creative Mutant Blobs Attack, DrinkBox developed a game called Guacamelee which has you don the shoes of a farmer-turned luchador named Juan who sets out to save the world from an evil skeleton warrior.

Pushing the genre in a interesting direction, does Guacamelee offer a great brawling time? Or ring out a bit to early? Lets don our masks and go on an adventure to save the world!

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2D action platformers are a genre of games many enjoyed over the years. But to stay fresh and creative in the ever expanding genre, many games tend to go in odd directions and explore unique concepts. Playing as a sack of meat to save his bandage girlfriend, jumping in/out of the screen to kill mud-themed monsters, and running around as a dragon with speed rivaling a blue hedgehog across colorful landscapes; the genre isn’t afraid to explore interesting concepts.

So how about dusting? You know, that chore that we do in ensuring our homes are nice and clean. Indie studio called Hit-Box said lets turn that into a 2D platformer. The end result is a really creative adventure being formed. Through cleaning the world of leaves and dust, four heroes set out to save the world from dust monsters. Does this interesting adventure create one of the genre’s best? Pick up your broom and get dusting to find out!

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The Metal Gear series is a strange franchise. I mean that in the best of ways though; covering serious subject matters while also having a silly side that just works. The series has had many games release throughout it’s life span and one game many were interested in was called Metal Gear Solid: Rising.

This would blend the stealth gameplay from past games with action/combat where you can cut objects with precise angles. It looked promising but it was silently scrapped within Konami & Kojima Productions.

Kojima went to Platinum Games and asked if they could salvage the game. Fast forward one year and we see Metal Gear Rising: Revengance released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 (with a PC port one year later). With past works like Bayonetta, Madworld and Vanquish under the studio’s belt, does this sword swinging adventure a platinum hit? Or just a bronze metal?

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Skylanders is a series that has grown massively over the past few years. Originating as a simple reboot for the Spyro series using toys grew into a massive success for Activison & Toys For Bob. But the series had the helping hand of Vicarious Visions, producing a mobile light-gun style game for the franchise. When the series went for yearly releases, Toys For Bob asked Vicarious Visions to make an original Skylanders game for consoles.

This birthed SWAP-Force, being a game taking elements from Vicarious Visions 3DS releases of Skylanders games and Toys For Bob gameplay structure. When it originally released back in 2013, many were impressed with the higher production values and more platforming-focused gameplay. Being the template for all future Skylanders games going forward, does SWAP-Force hold up as a great action platforming adventure?

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2D platformers are a genre of gaming many love and continue to enjoy. They blend a number of mechanics into creating unique and fun experiences, originating from established core foundations. Jumping and shooting with Mega Man, bouncing around on a cane in Ducktales and jumping around with Super Mario; these three games are classics many love today. But what happens when you combined them together?

Say hello to Shovel Knight, the successful Kickstater project from Yacht Club Games that continues to get supported with new content. But the base game released in 2014 to great success. Does this platforming adventure offer a digging good time?

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Sonic the Hedgehog is a series that continued to improve as it got more releases back in the 90’s, with the series 2D run establishing the series strong track record as one of the best platformers on the market. With Sonic 1 and 2 being such successes, a lot was riding on Sonic 3 to be an even better experience.

With two massive games being locked-on to each other and new gameplay mechanics being added, does Sonic 3 & Knuckles continue to impress and continue the quality that past 2D Sonic’s established?

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Sonic the Hedgehog on the SEGA Genesis/Mega Drive is one of the most iconic games in the industry, as it helped SEGA find footing in the console space against Nintendo’s SNES back in the early 90’s. Sonic is still around today but he had humble origins with his very first adventure.

Sonic was made to be anti-Mario and was built to have speed-focused level designs. It resulted in one of the most iconic gaming characters being created and many love the series to this day.

We covered the series many times on 3WIREL but I feel like today is a great day to dash through his Genesis adventures back-to-back. Lets take a look at the game that started it all and see if the game holds up today as a fun action/platformer.

Lets roll into action and see what Mr. Needlemouse has to offer in his very first adventure!

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Rebooting a franchise for the modern age takes work. You have to look at where it came from and say ‘What can I do to make it work today?’ but also trying to find out how to make a 2D classic work in 3D. Trying to answer both at the same time, Capcom teamed up with studio Grin to revive the iconic Bionic Commando series in two ways.

Grin released the critically acclaimed Rearmed in 2008 and followed it up a year later with a 3D revival continuing the series story with Bionic Commando.

Proving they can make great games with Rearmed, does Grin produce a strong third person action game that not only honors the series but brings it into 3D for the first time?

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