I’ve never played a DQ game or Banjo-Kazooie, but I know plenty of people who love those series and I’m happy to see them so happy.
Especially given the love and attention both fighters are getting. The Hero has multiple alternate costumes and a final smash featuring different protagonists from that series, Grant Kirkhope was involved in doing the music for Banjo…
Masahiro Sakurai truly is the king of reviving Nintendo history, and looping in Rare was a great way to include a fighter with die-hard fans who fits in the roster far better than Minecraft Steve or Master Chief.
Look at how hype the Donkey Kong characters are for Banjo and Kazooie
Look I played the first couple Olympic crossover games with my sister and they were decent minigame collections.
But the fact that this series is still going astounds me.
Some of you would probably prefer I put Cadence of Hyrule in this major slot since it looks cool and is only $25 bucks, which definitely entices me to buy the game when it drops this Thursday in spite of never playing Crypt of the Necrodancer.
Breath of the Wild is getting a direct sequel, bringing it in-line with Majora’s Mask and the Wind Waker series. A sequel where Link and Zelda are going to be traveling the ravaged Hyrule together and discover some demented shit.
The trailer was just an “in development” teaser, but they sure did succeed in making it emotionally provocative. I’m curious to find out more… Though a lot of that is based on hype from my friends’ speculations.
Which means I guess I have to go finish Breath of the Wild.
Damn you, Nintendo. Quit monopolizing my time when you’re about to monopolize my time with all these new games!
Those were the big ticket items out of this E3 Direct for me, but there were a lot of smaller things that piqued my interest too.
But more than it is terrifying, the trailer feels frustrating. There’s a whole lot of missed potential from what I can see as a casual fan of the series, and I spent a fair amount of time ranting about it on Twitter:
Also the fact that that’s even a coherent sentence I can convey to people makes my temple throb.
Much like Sonic’s obscene baby teeth and gross, gangly baby legs, I couldn’t stop thinking about the idea of a Super Smash Bros. Cinematic Universe.
Or, the SSBCU, as any sane individual would call it.
My friends’ discord group became flooded with suggestions on what could conceivably be included to flesh out the universe. By the end of the day, I fell in love with the idea of putting this list together!
But I wasn’t able to come up with everything on my own.
So let’s consider this post a work in progress, and a call to arms.
I have a collection of what movies should count in the SSBCU, some that I think could be surrogate “analog” entries in retrospect, and other media that could be related.
The terror that started it all. This movie is probably going to be an utter disaster… But that means it’s also probably a blast to watch. Like a car crash after your blue cadillac haphazardly rolls around at the speed of sound. Sonic is Mario’s eternal rival, so he deserves a bad movie too.
This movie looks brilliant. Full stop. And I can conceivably throw in every Pokémon representative, so it’s a catch-all. I’ll even include Pokémon trainer, because despite the Red analog not being a character in Detective Pikachu, the Kanto starters are all there.
What’s that? You really like the Capcom train? Well, lucky for you there’s a Monster Hunter movie staring Milla Jovovich in our future. There’s technically no fighter from this series, but Rathalos was added in Ultimate. So maybe there’s room for a cameo?
Alright, I’ll stop messing around. Here’s a not hypothetical entry on the list. I considered not including Cloud because this is a purely animated movie… But if Pikachu and Sonic can be “live action” fighters, why not Angst McGiantSword?
Plus his alternate costumes in Smash are literally based on this movie. So.
Depending on your preference for horror or action sci-fi.
I don’t know if we’re ever going to get a Metroid movie. Samus would be a great candidate for the SSBCU’s Wonder Woman or Captain Marvel-esque leading female character, but in the meantime Sigourney Weaver seems like a damn fine addition.
King Kong is the obvious choice to get Donkey Kong into the SSBCU. A somewhat sentient ape who kidnaps ladies and climbs up buildings? That may as well be the original arcade game’s script. Even if there isn’t much in the way for Diddy or K. Rool.
Though for my money, I’d also recommend using Rampage. Not only is it based on a video game and has a crocodile, but the fact that The Rock stars means we can turn the film into a retroactive Thor: Ragnarok-esque team up staring Falcon and DK.
This section is the lightning round for ideas my friends and I tossed around that are either jokes or so weird that I honestly couldn’t count them
Game of Thrones as Fire Emblem representation? Don’t know enough about GoT to accurately parse that out, but I’m willing to mention it for SEO purposes.
The Legend of Zelda T.V. series was floated around, but I’m not sure I take that as seriously as Castlevania to be extended material. Zelda deserves a flagship movie.
My friend Mitchell suggested playing 127 Hours on two separate televisions, with one version color corrected to give James Franco a blue shirt. It’s the only way I can conceivably include Ice Climbers, so I’ll mention it here.
If yesterday was a day of relative progress and hard work, through going to the gym, updating my social media accounts and turning in a Spotlight article for Gladeo, today is… Well, the opposite.
Because it is way too hot out for anyone to seriously be motivated about doing anything.
The reason my Featured Image for the day is just a picture of my fan going is because that’s what I’ve been staring at 90 percent of the time since coming home today. We don’t have any kind of air conditioning here by the beach because the heat is normally counterbalanced by a cool sea breeze, but this summer things have been especially insufferable. So downstairs, hidden in the alcove of my room with the fan going is probably the coolest area in this place.
Despite the heat I have been keeping myself busy and entertained with a few things where I can.
There was so much more than that to suggest that Smash Ultimate really will be an insane, content-packed explosion of Nintendo pride from Sakurai and his team.
So much so that I considered doing a post solely on that… But I wasn’t exactly feeling the 30-minute video analysis. Today.
Just know it’s something I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come, and I’d say you should be too.
In other somewhat significant video game-related news, last night Intelligent Systems released the contents of our next special banner in Fire Emblem Heroes. So I spent some time pre-writing my post on that before starting to work on this post.
I know a lot of you probably don’t care, but I’m quite excited for these four dancers. So be ready for that on August 10th.
Those are really the two serious stand-out things that happened today between bouts of melting into a pile of goo on my bed.
I did also play some more Enter the Gungeon, which I’m having a great time slowly but surely getting better at. I’m not able to semi-reliably reach the final floor and have started the process of collecting the game’s scattered parts to unlock the true ending. But I haven’t seen even half the content available in the roguelike.
Which is, frankly, insane to me. I love how much these games are packing, since they give me plenty to distract myself with until games like Monster Hunter Generations and Smash Ultimate drop on Switch.
Plus The World Ends with You, which got an official release date of October 12th. And I’m. Just so excited to finally get to try it.
But hey all those video games aside, I also managed to do some regular work on my Senior Honors Project.
Because somewhere along the lines all of the time I had to work on having a basic product over the summer slipped away into the aether. Don’t know how that happened, but it did.
I’ll be honest, I’m not totally sure how to end this blog post. I feel like I could just endlessly ramble in a pre-heat stroke mess of keystrokes, but I’d much rather just sit around in the dark accepting my fate.
So I’m going to end unceremoniously here and say to stay tuned for other things coming soon. Things that I’m sure I have in the pipeline somewhere or another.
I could have put out this Beat Report yesterday I suppose, just to keep it aligned with my actual Comm 436 class schedule… But honestly I’ve been fluctuating between Thursdays and Fridays so much with this mini-series that I really don’t think it matters.
So I’m just going to use the midterm for the class that happened yesterday and the fact that I published two blog posts and want to space things out a bit as excuses for my laziness.
That said, let’s see what was news in the world of video gaming this week.
Mario measurements marked via phallus pixels
Let’s be serious for a second.
This is undoubtedly one of the greatest pieces of journalism I have ever had the pleasure of consuming.
Really all of this doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of everything that happened over the conference’s four days. It’s worth going back and just looking over everything that happened as far as announcements and speakers and whatever else, but I don’t think I’m going to delve too deep right now.
There’s more news to discuss, after all.
‘Sea of Thieves’ launch faces server problems
Rare’s latest game, the much anticipated pirate swashbuckling simulator Sea of Thieves, has not had the smoothest sailing opening to the public.
In the meantime, it’s about time that I head home to start Spring Break. I’ll likely post a few things over the week with whatever extra time I scrounge up, but for the most part I think I’m going to just relax and enjoy it a bit.
If there’s any other gaming news you picked up on that I didn’t, let me know about it in the comments below!
After a long week of dealing in hard news, it feels nice to finally make it to the weekend.
It feels even nicer to make it to the weekend when that weekend happens to hold the ever-tantalizing promise of a brand new video game!
The remake of Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga came out today and boy have I been waiting in absolutely impatient anticipation for it. The original game came out almost 14 years ago, and I would argue it easily makes it into my top five favorite games of all time.
No joke, I’ve probably played through Superstar Saga completely a couple dozen times, or at least enough so that I can’t really keep track. It’s one of those games that’s not only a great time, but also always brings me right back to being a youngin’ before life started to get all full of responsibilities and junk.
Oh, and when I say it brings me back, I mean that pretty literally. I have very specific memories of standing by a wall in the yard/playground area of Birney Elementary School fighting the Queen Bean boss with some of my school friends on my Gameboy Micro. We’re talking real deep cuts here.
Ironically I also remember a very similar situation with a game that also got a fairly recent 3DS remake, Pokémon Sapphire. I distinctly remember being in that same general area with my friends, raising a Silcoon in Petalburg Woods (for some reason) while some sort of an elementary school band concert was going on.
But I suppose that’s a story for another time. Cause I’m in Mario land now.
To be completely honest, this post isn’t even all that accurate, it might technically be misleading from the way I’ve been setting it up. I actually got this game a couple hours ago, but I’ve been so enthralled getting back into it that I forgot to finish writing this.
I’ve been meaning to write a post about the new Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon trailer from yesterday too, since it actually introduces us to a hell of a lot of information that makes me excited for the game… And I’ve also been meaning to study for this Statistics test I have next week… And I’ve been meaning to work on some editing for the Daily Titan to get us ahead for our special financial issue… But I guess we’ll just have to see how well balancing that all goes.
Long story short, Pokémon might unfortunately be the element that falls to the wayside, and if it is just know you can blame not knowing my opinions on an expansive Ultra Space on how much I’m playing Superstar Saga.
Having spent as much time on the remake as I have already, I can confidently say that I’m already forming a solid opinion about it, which is good because I promised our Lifestyle editor that I would be writing her a review for the game.
As a first impression blurb here before I start to put those thoughts more concretely onto paper, I’d say that the game is extremely faithful to the original game in many ways, such as the storyline and comedy that goes along with it, though just about everything graphically and in the sound design has been overhauled to… Mixed effect. Some of it is spot on, but some of it kind of misses the mark for me.
Oh, and there are a good amount of mechanical changes and improvements that sort of feel the same way. A lot of things seem more streamlined and easier to control as a result, but other things arguably feel more cumbersome, which I would almost unfortunately argue brings the issues of being so faithful to an older game to light.
Of course, I am only in the first area of the game outside of the tutorial zone, Stardust Fields, so perhaps my opinions will change as I get exposed to more and more of what’s going on. Either way, I know I’m already having a great time playing, and in a sense that almost makes all of my criticisms more the nit-pickings of an overly obsessive fan rather than anything truly damning.
I guess look forward to next week when I hopefully get that concise review put together. I’ll be working on trying not to kill my editor with an abundance of unnecessary detail… Though like I said, after last week, I’m relishing the opportunity to write something fun.
So who knows. Only time will tell. Until then, you’ll know where to find me.
Even more than a month later, I’m still deeply enthralled in the world of Pokémon Sun and Moon. In fact, I’ve just seriously begun doing some competitive breeding, so I’ll probably be posting about some teams I’m building as I get them together.
However, something else has been released recently that I felt was worth taking the time to look at.
If my post title and featured image aren’t enough to have given it away, welcome to my mini review/first impressions post for Super Mario Run (To be abbreviated SMR from here on out).
Now, to preface this just a little bit, I’ve only played through the currently available free-to-play content portion of SMR. That means I’ve done World 1-1 to World 1-3, and I’ve done enough online play to have my castle reach level 4.
However, while I’ve only played through the stuff available before hitting the paywall as of writing this, I will say that the game is well worth the (admittedly rather steep for a mobile game) $10 required to access the six Worlds. I say that for three reasons:
1) Game Feel
First, the game exudes that high level of polish most Nintendo games are known for despite being on a new platform.
After a brief control tutorial, the game drops you off at Toad Town and Peach’s Castle, both in their apparently natural state: Demolished by everyone’s favorite resident Big Bad Boss, Bowser. From this screen you can look at your collectibles, mess with your friend’s list, notifications, receive gifts, connect to a Nintendo account so you can make you player icon a Mii and access other similar mobile game mechanics. However, the three most important parts of the game come at the bottom of the screen with the Tour, Rally and Build sections.
Selecting Tour allows you to access what is essentially the main story levels in SMR, revealing just what the game is. Nintendo’s first mobile game is a 2D endless runner game similar to titles like Bit Trip Runner and the Sonic Storybook Series (Though the Sonic games are in 3D and are generally less than enjoyable… In my opinion, at least).
The game uses the New Super Mario Bros. graphical engine that’s gotten more than enough love since it brought Mario side scrolling games back in 2006, and it uses those graphics rather well if you ask me. Though the ability to translate a 2D side scroller into an endless runner may seem obvious, the execution of such an idea seems like it would be very easy to get wrong.
However, I would argue SMR gets the endless runner formula right by pretty flawlessly combining a classic, beloved look with new mechanics meant to emphasize a style-based form of gameplay and a substantially intriguing amount of challenge even in early levels.
Granted, any semblance of a story is next to nonexistent past the generic “Save Princess Peach from Bowser” series mainstay… But for a mobile title like this, the lack of a story is fine, and the fact that it even has that could probably be considered a plus. Luckily, the other portions of the game make up for this.
The second main part of the game comes from the Toad Rally mode, which is SMR’s multiplayer aspect. Part of the destruction of Toad Town and Peach’s capture involved all the Toads living in the now destroyed city running away. In order to rebuild the castle and the town, Mario needs to gather Toads, and to do this you have to participate in rally runs against other SMR players.
Using Rally tickets that you gather through various means (such as completing challenges in the single player game or through micro transactions), you can choose an opponent to Run against. Toad Rally has you racing against the opponent you’ve chosen across a set, repeating map to collect as many coins and gather as much Toad support as possible. Collecting coins is an obvious task to complete: Just run, jump, defeat foes and wall-kick to get as many as possible.
To gather Toad support, however, requires you to utilize SMR’s main new feature and arguably its main selling point: The style system. While you can perform all of Mario’s usual jumping techniques, the nature of a free runner changes how the side scroller operates. Instead of having to jump to cross all barriers and to defeat every Goomba and Koopa, Mario does an acrobatic flip over each of the small creatures and tiny gaps/barriers he comes across. The act of his instant mobility over these obstacles is automatic, but nets you no benefits. However, if you tap the screen in a timely manner, you do more fancy tricks and flips that defeat enemies and earn you style points.
Not only do these actions often get you more coins, they build up your Toad support and your style meter, which can eventually activate coin rushes.
These rushes do essentially what they sound like they would do. More coins will spawn for the duration of the meter’s charge, enemies will net you more coins and you’ll build up more hype from the little mushroom men that are cheering you on. These coin rushes perform a similar function to the classic Star power-up you can find hidden sometimes in-game, though the Star also attracts coins within a large vicinity in front of you, ensuring you get them all.
Seriously, if you played and enjoyed New Super Mario Bros. 2 for it’s coin-centric gimmicks, you’ll probably love how satisfying coin collection is in SMR.
You can keep the meter charged even while it’s depleting by performing more tricks during the rush, though Mario speeds up during that period so it can be harder to keep up a chain like you normally could. There’s a huge collection of tricks that Mario can perform to make this task easier, and there are even some tricks exclusive to other playable characters like Luigi, Yoshi and Princess Toadstool herself.
Although you pick opponents for your Toad Rally matches based on real players, you actually play against a ghost of their performance on the same level that you Run on. Therefore, although you don’t have to literally be connected to anyone in order to get in on the multiplayer fun of SMR, you still compete against the performances of other fans of the game. You still have to beat their coin collection scores as they do the same things you do, every coin rush and death included.
Deaths, I might add, are a very interesting thing to observe in SMR. The game synthesizes elements from different Mario titles together, showing a progression in style throughout the last few years of Nintendo’s history with the franchise that has really blossomed into something neat. When a player dies, you get an indication on your play area for where they died similar to the red X indicators in Super Mario Maker. A dead player will then be lifted back into the playing field with a bubble, one of the chief elements common to every New Super Mario Bros. game with multiplayer capabilities. Deaths will take coins away and bubble travel will bring you backwards through a stage, causing you to fall behind in a Toad Rally.
In single player Runs, deaths will cause the same things to happen, however the bubble can be used strategically. If you miss one of the special coins on a stage (something I’ll get into in a moment), you can activate one of your limited bubbles at any time to go backwards and give yourself another chance to catch what you missed – unless it happened to be time-based, of course.
Once a Toad Rally is over, your coins are tallied up alongside your opponent’s coins to see who has collected the most. The amount of Toad support you got throughout the round adds extra coins to your score. Whoever Toadette decides to elect the winner gets more Toads to join them in Toad Town, which in essence acts like the experience points in SMR. However, be warned, if you lose a match against another player not only have you wasted a Rally ticket, you also lose Toads to your opponent.
It’s a tough break in the SMR world, for sure.
Like I said, Toads are your experience points in SMR. The more you collect, the more you level up. The more you level up, the closer you get to repairing Peach’s castle and returning Toad Town to its former glory.
That brings me to the third major part of the game: Toad Town customization. Though not an endless running game mode, the build menu allows you to spend all the thousands of coins you’ll be collecting throughout your endless runs. Most of the things you can buy are aesthetic. Toad houses, flowers, garden pieces and so on. However, you can also buy useful set pieces like bonus mini game houses, which you can access every eight hours or so to have a chance at getting more Rally Tickets and coins.
The more Toads you collect through Toad Rally, the more decorations will be available to you. There are five colored Toads available to collect: Red, Blue, Green, Purple and Yellow. Collecting each color will allow you to unlock different things, however I believe Red is the only color available when you haven’t purchased the full game.
At least, that’s the only color I’ve been able to find.
Eventually, collecting each color will allow you to access Rainbow Bridges, which I can only assume will unlock new areas to decorate… But again, I haven’t been able to get more than the Red Toads.
Though seemingly a bit shallow as far as a reward for all the work collecting coins and Toads goes, the building portion of the game does add a nice element of personalization to the game, and the tiny hub world is honestly a really relaxing place to let your phone sit when you’re doing other things. Toads will also wander around the area and do things like roll around on the grass, so it’s hard not to find the little fungi adorable.
The second reason SMR is worth the buy: Although it’s clearly built to be in more bite-sized bits, SMR seems to have enough content to warrant the price tag without fitting the bill of a far more expensive console title.
Like I said, only 3 levels are available pre-purchase: World 1-1, 1-2 and 1-3. The levels mimic exactly what everyone has come to expect from a classic Mario game, one aboveground level, one underground level and one sky-high mushroom level.
The first three levels in Super Mario Run
The levels aren’t exactly very long. Or at least, the nature of their existence – in which you’re constantly moving – makes it feel like the levels are a lot shorter than they might otherwise be if you had total control over Mario.
However, each level has enough replay value to ensure you won’t blow through the three level trial quicker than you can say “King Koopa.” Beyond the obvious multiplayer aspect of high scores that you can compare with your friends, each level has a certain collectible that will keep you coming back over… And over… And over again.
Colored Coins for the first three levels in Super Mario Run
Every level in SMR has five collectible Pink Coins when you first play through it. Chances are you won’t collect all five on your first time through, since many of them are hidden, sometimes hard to reach based on timing or touch strength or down a fork in the road that you can only access both ends of if you utilize your bubbles well. So, on average, I would say that collecting each Pink Coin in each level would require at least two Runs, as they’re mostly in obvious places.
But once you collect all five Pink Coins, you then unlock a new version of the same map with five Purple Coins. Purple Coins are, naturally, harder to find than the pink ones are. More often than not the layout of certain obstacles and coin collections in the level will be far trickier during a Purple Coin run, forcing you to have to do things like check coin boxes to collect every coin (which is admittedly a much harder task than normal in this gameplay style).
Once you collect all five Purple Coins, you then unlock an even harder Black Coin Run of the level, which takes difficulty to a whole other level compared to the earlier versions. In Black Coin Runs, coins will be hidden better and obstacle layouts will typically require precision playing and planning ahead to collect all five.
For example, in the screenshot above, to collect the Black Coin you need to not only stay on the yellow mushroom to ensure you’ll fall in the right area, you also need to make sure you time your jumps on enemies correctly so you don’t fall to your doom instead of soaring to victory (Oh, and I have to say, Paratroopas are my least favorite enemy as far as precision jumping goes. Most of the time you need to land in exactly the right place and tap with just the right amount of strength to make sure you don’t lose a mushroom power-up or fall to your doom. It’s annoying to say the least).
Also, did I mention there’s a Paratroopa earlier in the level that if you happened to hit will send a shell forward ahead of you that just so happens to knock out the first flying Paratroopa on this screen, thus ending your chances of getting this particular coin? Yeah, it’s a pain. Hence pre-planning and multiple runs through each level. With extra space below the playing field left blank, Nintendo also set up a way to make sure your finger doesn’t get in the way of the gameplay or obscure anything in front of Mario. It’s a small but very greatly appreciated detail.
I could complain all day about how annoying the Black Coin Run on World 1-3 is, but to be honest it isn’t so much annoying in an unfair sense as it is in a truly difficult sense. When you fail, it’s because you didn’t perform an action perfectly. Every element is laid out exactly how it needs to be laid out, and the complexity is enough to make the level interesting to play and frustrating enough to want to conquer. And that’s only for World 1-3! I can’t imagine the creative level designs that show up in World 6, those have got to be ridiculous.
Oh, and by the way, there is a reward for collecting all five colored coins in a given level for all of your Completionists out there (Yeah, I can’t consciously steal the word without sourcing it out… I already used Big Bad Bosses in my post, after all).
That’s right, you can get six Rally Tickets per level if you play your cards right, enjoy a challenge and find precision gameplay fun. Luckily, I fit all three of those criteria and found the challenge fun, even if it did get fairly frustrating.
To top all of this fun, challenging and rewarding gameplay off… SMR has some kick-ass earworms music. Every track is the classic Mario song you would expect to hear that’s been amped up with techno vibes, really emphasizing the constant action of the gameplay. The menu and hub world music has also been remixed. Combine all of that with the tried and true Mario sound effects and you’ve got an audio experience that will keep you humming along hours after you finished your last Run.
3) Nintendo. Mobile Games. Winning.
The third reason SMR is worth the buy… Should be obvious. Come on now, this is our first mobile game released by Nintendo (if you don’t count Pokémon GO). That’s definitely the kind of thing worth supporting if for no other reason than to ensure Nintendo continues to create worthy mobile gaming content.
Like I’ve reiterated throughout this not-so-little review, I’ve only completed the basic free-to-play content in SMR. I spent maybe an hour and a half (two hours if I’m being generous) learning how the game works, collecting all 45 available colored coins and participating in a few Toad Rallies. While this may not seem like a lot of time in the grand scheme of things, the fact that all that time was spent on three main story levels and four multiplayer level-ups is honestly pretty impressive considering the game is obviously meant to get harder and longer the further you get in past the ‘tutorial’ levels.
Nintendo’s impressive levels of game design and polish shine through with this title just as much as it would in any main series console Mario game. The amount of care is clear in every little detail – after all, look at how much I pulled out of just two hours or so of play. As a company, Nintendo has become an expert at taking their assets and improving upon them over and over again through every installment of their franchises. Super Mario Run is no different. Despite seemingly being a rehash of various old elements covering a slightly new skeleton, the game really feels like its own unique entity.
For the challenge, for the music, for the tried and true gameplay with a unique style of mechanics, for the fun multiplayer aspects and ultimately to encourage more great content in the future, I would highly recommend not only downloading the game, but shelling out $10 to get everything currently available.