Videogame Releases: Week of February 16th, 2014

In this week’s new videogames, one of Nintendo’s most anticipated but oft-delayed Wii U projects finally hits store shelves, while cult favorites get some much-desired sequels. It’s not even spring and the release slate is in full blossom.

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (Wii U)

It might be too rare an event nowadays, but once again Nintendo has a big exclusive. This time around it’s ‘Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze‘, the sequel to Retro Studios fiendishly good ‘Donkey Kong Country Returns’ on the Wii. Though the barrel rocket levels might be painful, the platforming style is not to be missed. With a completely different tempo from the ‘Super Mario’ games, this new flavor of ‘Donkey Kong Country’ is poised to be an instant classic for players of all ages.

Rayman Legends (Xbox One, PS4)

Re-released for the two new consoles, ‘Rayman Legends‘ promises uncompressed textures, negligible loading times and some slight but new features for each of the new platform versions. This is the one game that really makes the Wii U touchscreen useful and fun, so it may be hard for this reissue to top the Wii U version (reviewed here.)

Earth Defense Force 2025 (360, PS3)

Despite some other half-hearted attempts, ‘Earth Defense Force 2025‘ is the first true sequel to cult favorite ‘Earth Defense Force 2017‘. Grab a friend for co-op giant bug killing and enjoy the rough romp (and hopefully gem) of a game.

Strider (XBLA for Xbox One, 360, PSN for PS4, PS3, PC)

It’s been a long time since ‘Strider‘ last graced consoles. The series’ fast 2D gameplay and varied visuals earned a large cult fan base, many of whom are dubious about this new downloadable title. Developer Double Helix (which was just acquired by Amazon) did a nice job resurrecting ‘Killer Instinct‘, and the new ‘Strider’ is built around the idea of repeated challenges and speed-runs. Could Capcom have a new hit from an old IP?

NASCAR ’14 (360, PS3, PC)

The most important thing to know about ‘NASCAR ’14‘ is the games’ focus on online racing. If the online experience can match the hype, next year’s game could have a massive debut on the Xbox One and PS4.

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