Archive for February, 2014

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

Legend of Zelda – A Link Between Worlds: Post-Script.

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

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