Saying goodbye to the Wii U – Part 2: Darksiders Warmastered

I’m bidding farewell to my Wii U by playing all of the remaining games I have for it. And the first game on my list is Darksiders Warmastered.

Darksiders Warmastered done

Damn, Darksiders is good. I can’t believe I waited so long to play this game, it’s right up my street. I was a bit put off by its metal stylings at first – the aesthetic looks like an Iron Maiden album cover come to life – but it’s totally won me over with its Zelda-style gameplay. It borrows liberally from other sources as well, with excellent results: there’s a great Panzer Dragoon style section, and another with a heavy weapon that’s pure Gears of War. There’s even a bit that rips off Portal. In short, it’s a lot of fun.

The aesthetic has grown on me, too. I think Kevin McClusky summed it up neatly in his review for Destructoid:

The story takes itself completely seriously, but there’s a disconnect between the heavy-handed narrative and the exaggerated visuals, and it can be hard to tell if Darksiders is being sincere or has its tongue planted in its cheek. The use of Christian end-times mythology as a backdrop for the story works well, and the chunky, colorful Joe Madureira designs resemble decked-out characters in World of Warcraft. Everything is edgy and over-the-top; there’s not a treasure chest in the game that doesn’t have at least three skulls in its design, and War’s enormous sword is known as the “Chaoseater.” Although this can feel overblown, it’s still fun. It gives Darksiders its own charm, kind of like a kid who’s trying too hard to impress you.

By the way, Joe Madureira also did the Battle Chasers comic, which was turned into the well-received RPG Battle Chasers: Nightwar last year – that one was also published by THQ Nordic, the same company behind DW.

I spent several happy hours towards the end of the game mopping up all the trinkets and baubles that I missed and could now reach thanks to all the abilities I’d earned. Normally this is the kind of thing that would earn you an Achievement or Trophy, but this is the Wii U, and we don’t have Achievements here. Instead I did it just because I was having a lot of fun.

The only slight disappointment was that the final boss was a bit of a pushover. Indeed, the first boss in the game is actually one of the hardest, bizarrely. Anyway, I can’t wait to get stuck into Darksiders II, which is downloaded and ready to go on my PS4.

But first, I have some Wii U games to finish…

Next up: Pandora’s Tower

Ages ago, I decided I wanted to play through all three of the Operation Rainfall games. These were three JRPGs that were released in the dying days of the Wii and that fans successfully campaigned to be brought to the west. I’ve already finished Xenoblade Chronicles (review here) and The Last Story (review here), both of which were excellent, which just leaves Pandora’s Tower.

Pandora’s Tower is very weird, but in a good way. I’m about a third of the way through it now, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it now that I’ve got used to the strange controls and the flow of the game – unlike many RPGs, you have an ever-present time limit, so it plays quite differently from the leisurely exploring of something like Xenoblade Chronicles.

Look out for the next instalment of ‘Saying goodbye to the Wii U’, when I’ll look back over the strangeness of Pandora’s Tower.

Check out the rest of the series:

Saying goodbye to the Wii U: Part 1

Saying goodbye to the Wii U – Part 3: Pandora’s Tower


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