Super Mario 3D World: Post-Script.

Ever since the dawn of 4-player Mario games, I’ve only wanted one thing from the experience: A game that plays like a 4-player version of Super Mario Bros. 2.

The “Fab 4″ of video gaming: Mario, Luigi, Toad, and Princess Peach, each running around with their respective abilities, while having all sorts of fun adventures together. When later New Super Mario Bros. games came out, you can imagine my disappointment of having two generic Toads swapped out for the latter two characters, and each player having generic abilities.

Nintendo has decided to either read my mind (or start mining that particular NES game for nostalgia value), and has provided precisely the gaming experience that plays like an old-school dream. This game, however, decides to take the play style from the 3DS title Super Mario 3D Land as a template, which was a delightfully challenging game in itself.

If it seems like I’m referencing a lot of previous Mario titles, there’s a reason for that: This title cherry picks elements from practically every game in the franchise ever created, right down to a level inspired by Mario Kart. So what you get is a very big Mario tribute in the form of Read the rest of this entry

While I have enjoyed The Legend of Zelda since the initial NES game, I will admit that the last game in the series I truly “loved” was The Ocarina of Time. It captured everything in the series that I liked, and was the closest that Link’s adventures every got to what was in my mind.

It’s funny how we interpret art. The original Zelda was a pleasant collection of pixels with an unforgettable soundtrack. But to me, the land of Hyrule looked just like the illustrations in the instruction manual when I played:

I had always hoped that a Zelda game would come along with this graphical style, and while Wind Waker is an attractive game, Link’s goofy facial expressions in that title never came close.

And then A Link Between Worlds came out, and that title is the closest to realizing that visual style.

It’s not subtle in comparison. Link sports a larger “big ’80′s” style harido as he did in the NES games. The enemies share that ’80′s style look. Even the burly, bearded merchant looks like the one from the manual. Nintendo frequently mines for nostalgia, and in this case, they hit the jackpot,

The retro illustrated Read the rest of this entry

What I Would Do To Fix The Wii U.

So over Christmas, the Missus got me a Wii U (NNID: GuyCC75). I was actually pretty fine with this as a console choice as Xbox One and Playstation 4 just don’t have any games I really want at this time, and I really wanted to check out Super Mario 3D World. In playing it, I really like the ease of accessibility, the use of Miiverse, seeing Nintendo games in HD (which was long overdue), and I really like the new controller. The touchscreen is great, I’ve always liked the dual-screen aspects of the DS family as they kept the main game’s interface looking “clean”, and finally, I don’t have to “waggle” my fool head off to enjoy a game (though Nintendo mercifully lessened this in the final years).

Nintendo’s struggle with the Wii U has been documented long before it even released. People tried to figure out what it was before it came out: Was the new controller a new accessory for the existing Wii? It didn’t help matters that it looked exactly like a slightly streamlined version of the then current Wii, and had a name that was far too close to the previous product. Read the rest of this entry

NES Remix: Post-Script.

Let’s face it: NES Remix is simply the “9-Volt” section of WarioWare, down to the “Dah Dah DAH!” musical ditty that precedes each challenge.

And overall, that’s okay.

The game is a collection of the first run of the NES titles that came out when the system debuted (minus the light gun games, robot games, Popeye, 10 Yard Fight, Mach Rider, and Donkey Kong Jr. Math). This is simultaneously a good and bad thing, as there are some genuine classics to be found… and a few duds that Nintendo can’t seem to let go of.

Yet for what what the game is trying to accomplish, those “duds” also make up a part of the overall experience: Barring licensing and accessory issues, this is how the NES began its rise to fame.

With 16 games in the collection, there really is something for everyone, from sports, to arcade, to adventure. And each title looks, sounds and controls exactly like the original game, which makes it a perfect “All in one” title instead of purchasing each game outright. Classics like Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros., remain undisputed, but so do titles like Balloon Fight and Excitebike. The arcade classics, Read the rest of this entry

2013 Games in Review.

I know, already: My writing on here has been sporadic.

Being a freelancer, it is either a period of “Feast or Famine”, and I’ve feasted well since October with work-related writing. When I do have free time to write, you can probably imagine that the last thing I want to do is more writing. Even if it is a subject I enjoy writing about.

But free time has come to me, and now I actually can write about the things I enjoy. I also got a Wii U for Christmas, so I’ve had time to set up some sessions where I can actually, you know, play. Not to mention transfer all my downloaded Wii games over. My NNID is “GuyCC75″, if you want to add me.

Regardless, I did have a chance to play some great games for 2013, so I’ll touch on a few of them here as my “Must Plays” for the year.

1.) Super Mario 3D World (Wii U) – Already out of the box, the latest Mario highlights some of the most iconic moments of several previous titles, making it a “Best Of” version. I loved the 3DS version, and sticking Mario, Luigi, Read the rest of this entry

Bioshock Infinite: Post-Script.

I decided to wait on doing this review until I actually finished the game, but my workload backed up, and playing games took a backseat to… everything else. The sad part was that I was so close to completing it, had I pushed on for another two hours, I could have finished weeks ago. But finish I did, and here is that review.

Bioshock Infinite doesn’t take place in the underwater city of Rapture as found in the first two titles. While I was surprised to see a revisitation in the second game, this one takes to the air in the floating city of Columbia, and is set even earlier in the timeline. For the third game in the series, the relation to the first two games is not apparent for a long time. Sure, there are upgrades that alter your character’s DNA with unnatural abilities, and the game itself plays out as a first person adventure, but the similarities seem to end there… at first.

Booker DeWitt is a detective sent to find a girl named Elizabeth. There are mentions of “wiping away debts”, and a sense of vaguery found in the previous two titles. Read the rest of this entry

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