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May 29, 2015

Wii Sports Resort (Part 1)

After I finished my rather, uh, abrasive review of Mario Kart DS last Monday, I realize I was still in the mood for a sport game. Mario Kart is, after all, a very silly version of racing, what with the power-ups, the shells, the other items, the ******* powersliding, and so on. It’s as far from real racing as a chimp is from a squid. That’s weird, I wanted to do something sports-related. Just Dance 2015 was just waiting there for me. So I went ahead and played a couple songs… and then went on to try playing the old Wii Sports game again. Because I’d rather play video games than do real sports.

Oh, no worries there, it’s still fun aplenty. Sure, compared to everything else people have come up with for the Wii, it’s far from impressive. But still very enjoyable for a quick bowling match, or to hit a few balls. Maybe even a tennis match, if you’re in the mood. Or perhaps would you prefer to play golf? For maximum enjoyment, also try out the Training section!

Anyway, the game, which was shipped with the Wii for a couple of years, soon found itself outclassed. Then came the idea of MotionPlus Wii remotes. Those little blocks were originally plugged into the remote and were supposed to ameliorate the movement detection. As a result, the later Wii remotes all contained MotionPlus when you bought them. And I can understand why; who doesn’t like it when the remote works even better than before? However, when the MotionPlus thingy was put on the market, we ended up with a few games that specifically required it; as a result, you couldn’t play these games with the old remotes. It's the case for today's game.

As for Wii Sports Resort itself, just admit it: The original Wii Sports had only five sports, and you could get tired of it pretty fast. The "series" desperately needed a new installment, one that expanded on the idea of Miis playing sports for fun, one that would offer a larger selection of sports, with achievements, variations… Nintendo of Japan didn’t even wait for us to ask. And indeed, we received. Wuhu Island is waiting for you. Let’s dive right in… Wii Sports Resort!

May 25, 2015

Mario Kart DS (Part 2)

(Read Part 1 here. Also, for the first time since the creation of this website, I'm issuing a warning: Hateful comments will be deleted. I may be a jerk towards the bad games I'm reviewing, I may get vulgar and rude, but I try to never, ever insult people. I will respect your opinion even if it differs, but I will not tolerate insults or disrespect. (So far, the only people I've insulted were the guys at Data Design Interactive, and they deserved every bit of it.)

On to this review of Mario Kart DS.)

FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT-Oh… Um…. Hi again… Uh… welcome back to this review of Mario Kart DS. As you may have guessed, I have been rather, um, vocal about my hatred of this game… Never thought the second part of the review would start the same way the first part ended. Well, that’s embarrassing. It’s not like I spent the entire weekend repeating “FUCK IT”. But then again…

Okay, fine, fine, FINE! I’ll try to avoid saying “FUCK IT” once more. Alright? I'm probably gonna fail, but I'll try.

Good. Can I continue the review, then? Thanks.

As with many Mario games on the Nintendo DS, the Multiplayer Mode is a class all by itself. Just think of the other Mario games:
-New Super Mario Bros. has a whole Minigame Mode;
-Super Mario 64 DS has even more minigames, as well as the option to have up to four players battle to collect Stars;
-Mario Party had the regular game, as well as plenty of modes based around the minigames, and even more stuff;
-And here, Mario Kart DS let multiple players compete in the races, or in the two battle modes (Balloon Battle or Shrine Runners).

May 22, 2015

Mario Kart DS (Part 1)

I don’t like Mario Kart DS. There, I said it. Start the hating. I don’t give a fuck. You wanna know the irony? Mario Kart is a household name, an ultra-popular spin-off to a famous series. And yet, I would rather play Cartoon Network Racing than Mario Kart DS. Just… before you start hating, please understand that my hatred of Mario Kart DS can be explained in a few points. But I’ll get to those in due time. I’m walking on eggshells here… and I’m probably gonna break all of them.

The Mario Kart series has always had a spot in Mario fans’ hearts. It’s, without a doubt, one of their favorite Mario spin-offs. After all, if it didn’t sell, wouldn’t Nintendo stop making those? I mean, this and Mario Party are the spin-offs with the most installments. I must admit that, in general, I like the Mario Kart series, too; whenever I got to play Mario Kart Super Circuit, or Double Dash, when I was visiting friends, I would jump on the occasion. The Mario Kart series is fun, regardless of the defects. In fact, you will probably find me very unfair in this review… But you know what? You’ll only understand if I explain it. So, let’s start this review, shall we?

May 20, 2015

More new titlecards!

Hey everyone! It's that time again! Here are the title cards I've created for earlier reviews of the site!







And that's it so far. Remember that you can view all the title cards in the designated section of this site. I'm also going to add the titlecards from the last few reviews.

May 15, 2015

An Episode In Gaming: My Thoughts On The Upcoming Film Pixels

This week, I’m doing something a little different. Instead of looking at a movie’s complete story and giving my thoughts about it, I’ll review a few things related to an upcoming movie that will be released in September this year. You might have heard about that movie, called Pixels. It will be directed by Chris Columbus (who has directed many great films) and will star Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Monaghan, Brian Cox, Ashley Benson, and Jane Krakowski. My memory isn’t that good, I’m just going by the Wikipedia page. Anyway, I’m conflicted about this upcoming movie, and so I decided to spend one post talking about it, instead of doing a VGFlicks segment as usual.

Now, you may have noticed the title doesn’t say “VGFlicks”, it rather says “An Episode In Gaming”. Why? Well, I’ve been reviewing movies about video games for a while now, and I’m thinking about expanding my scope of reviews to TV shows and cartoons. There are TV shows that dedicate only one or a few episodes to video games, and there are shows that revolve completely around them. In the future, I might do more articles on TV shows about video games. I’ve been searching for a good title for this new segment of Planned All Along, and so far, I have: Gamepisodes, An Episode In Gaming (the one I went with for now), Gaming Shows, Shows Gaming, TVGaming, VGTV… Tell me which one you prefer!

So, Pixels, the 2015 movie, is itself based on Pixels, a 2010 short film that has received nothing but praise. Among others, it won the Annecy Crystal for Best Short Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. Well, allow me to be a little more negative. First off, here’s the short film.

May 8, 2015

Top 12 Bonus Nintendo Challenges

We’ve all got video games that we love. And chances are that there are video games, among the ones we love, that include sidequests. Or bonus dungeons. Or bonus bosses. Or unlockable, ultra-hard levels. You know, all those things that are not necessary to beat the game; maybe they are, in fact, necessary to get 100% completion, but many gamers won’t give themselves the trouble to do them. Yet, they should. After all, can you really say you’ve enjoyed everything a game had to offer, if you haven’t completed everything in it? The full experience, or nothing!

There’s a certain charm to bonus material in a game. In most cases, these have to be unlocked, and as a result are a lot more difficult than the rest of the game. Especially in RPGs, bonus bosses are often harder to defeat than the final boss of the game. Boss Rushes, like the one in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, are also a common bonus challenge. Today, I decided to list the 12 bonus challenges I liked in the Nintendo games I’ve played, and even some in games I haven’t played. As usual, I’m keeping it to Nintendo franchises. Let’s get this celebration of bonus content started!

12. Completing the Creature Card Collection (Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards)
I suppose Kirby's on a diet, that's why he only gets the glossary
cards on the map. Besides, with 29 lives, he's far from ever
getting a Game Over.
I just stopped talking about this game, and yet I’m discussing it once more. An optional side-quest in Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards is to collect data on every enemy. Kirby can’t do that himself, yet you control him through the entire game. How do you collect the info to fill the glossary, then? Simple. At the end of every level, Kirby and pals have a picnic (which implies they spend more time lazing off than doing actual heroics). On the picnic cloth, there are health-restoring items, stars that boost Kirby’s star bar (bringing him closer to an extra life) and a 1-Up. The last thing is a card with a question mark on it. Kirby has to aim well and catch the card. There’s a total of 81 cards to get, while there are only 22 levels in the entire game! Get ready to play through each level four times or more, because the card is always randomized and after a while, it’s more than likely you’ll pick up cards you already have. And that makes Kirby cry.

May 4, 2015

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (Part 2)

Ready to continue this review? I sure am! Let’s see what happens to our team of heroes! The next world happens to Shiv-aaaaaa Shive---- Shi--- Shiv-ATCHOO! I meant Shiver Star. It’s a world of ice, in case the title didn’t make it obvious. And since our heroes just left Neo Star, and the boss right before was a living puddle of lava, I expect the quick change in temperature is going to cause the five heroes to catch a mighty cold.

Well, gee, that continent on Shiver Star appears to be shaped
pretty much like America! What if....? ... Is it... ...Nah!

You should know that factories always mean trouble in video
Cold… Shiver Star… That pun wasn’t intended. Although, it’s kinda odd how this fifth world suddenly goes from a cold land to an industrial world; the last two levels take place in a factory! Oh, and the boss in that world? A giant robot. Not any giant robot; a tough giant robot that attacks with its two pole arms and a mean head laser. Still not enough for you? When you defeat it while it’s in a humanoid form, it transforms into a spaceship from which you must escape, unless you want it to send you down into an endless pit! Oh, and of course, it’s armed with rockets. Because of course it is. Dangit, why is it that the bosses in this game are so difficult? Anyway, Kirby manages to defeat it (I noticed it was easier to beat if Kirby didn’t have any abilities with him; you could just inhale his rockets and toss them back at it), and so we’re treated to a small cutscene.

Frickin' robot... why are all robots so dangerous these days?

After Kirby picks up the crystal shard guarded by the robot, the group meets up in the cold lands outside. The portal opens, revealing Ripple Star, Ribbon’s home world… it’s being devoured by darkness! Oh, snap. Thankfully, her four friends make it clear she can count on them. Hop, Ribbon, Kirby, Waddle Dee, Adeleine and Dedede jump in the portal. Direction: Ripple Star!

May 1, 2015

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (Part 1)

Hey, everyone: This is officially the 64th review I’m writing! If we count only the different reviews I’ve been doing (including VGFlicks and Top 12s), and not the total number of posts I have written, we get 64. I was tempted to review a long, complex Nintendo 64 game… but after a big month like April, I’m in the mood for something simpler. And the only simple Nintendo 64 game I have on my Wii is Kirby and the Crystal Shards. …You know, all things considered, I have reviewed only one Kirby game so far… Now’s the perfect time to review another one!

This little face here is too much kawaii
for a single man to enjoy.
For those who don’t know, Kirby was created by Masahiro Sakurai, and the little pink puffball’s first game came out in 1992. That would make Kirby about just as old as me; and now I’m picturing a 22yo Kirby, with a beard and adult mannerisms, and it’s just wrong. Anyway, his humble beginnings didn’t even include the ability to inhale other enemies’ capabilities, something that became his trademark starting with the second Kirby game. Clearly, Sakurai loves his Kirby series, going as far as to pretty much giving King Dedede the role of "Almighty Savior Of All That Exists" in the universe of Super Smash Bros. Brawl's Adventure Mode. Unless it’s a simple coincidence and not blatant, obvious creator preference. Anyway, the teams behind the Kirby games always have a lot of fun giving him new abilities at every turn. That’s the core point of the series, so it’s just logical that the programmers would put a lot of effort on that aspect and how it impacts the gameplay. A new form means a new appearance and a new attack that goes with it. However, one can safely say the game that cemented the creativity of the Kirby series when it comes to forms is Kirby and the Crystal Shards. Sakurai has been experimenting with new ways to use Kirby. That’s part of the reason we got games like Kirby's Canvas Curse (in which Kirby is controlled by the stylus, and you draw lines to make him move through the levels and avoid enemy attacks) and Kirby and the Rainbow Curse; Kirby and the Amazing Mirror, where Kirby ends up with four clones… and Kirby Mass Attack, where Kirby is split in 10 smaller versions of himself; Kirby’s Epic Yarn, where Kirby visits a land of fabric where he can’t inhale enemies…

However, unlike the titles I mentioned, which remove Kirby’s power-copying ability, Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards went and did the opposite. Now, not only can Kirby inhale abilities… he can COMBINE THEM! The result is an impressive amount of abilities (35!), in a normal platforming game that also includes a bit of logical thinking. But, you might ask me, what is the story?