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April 28, 2015

Once More, With Feeling: Another Updated List of Games

I figured it was time to update my list of games. I purchased a lot of new games in the past few months, and it's about time I make a new list. (Besides, I need to know exactly what I've still got to review.) As usual, the reviews are available on the Archive page of the site.

GAME BOY ADVANCE

COMPLETED REVIEWS
Crash and Spyro Superpack
Mario Pinball Land
Pokémon FireRed
Garfield: The Search For Pooky
The Simpsons: Road Rage
Rayman: Hoodlum's Revenge
Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards

NINTENDO DS

COMPLETED REVIEWS
Big Brain Academy DS
Desktop Tower Defense DS
Thrillville: Off The Rails
Midnight Play Pack
Purr Pals
Flash Focus
Master of Illusion
The Simpsons Game
Puzzler Collection
Cartoon Network Racing DS
WarioWare Touched!
Scribblenauts
New Super Mario Bros.
Drawn To Life
WarioWare D.I.Y.
Rock Band 3 DS
Mario Party DS
Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 (DS)
Super Scribblenauts
GAMES TO REVIEW
Apollo Justice Ace Attorney
Fossil Fighters
Grand Theft Auto Chinatown Wars
Hotel Dusk Room 215
Kingdom Hearts Re:Coded
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story
Picross 3D
Pokémon HeartGold
Pokémon White
Rhythm Heaven
Super Mario 64 DS

NINTENDO 3DS

GAMES TO REVIEW
Rabbids Rumble

WII

COMPLETED REVIEWS
Castle of Shikigami III
How To Train Your Dragon (Wii)
Wii Sports
Wii Music
Just Dance 3
Kirby's Epic Yarn
The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess
Bass Pro Shops' The Hunt
Super Smash Bros. Brawl
Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter (Wii)
Rayman Raving Rabbids
Rayman Raving Rabbids 2 (Wii)
Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party
Sonic and the Secret Rings
Sonic Colors
GAMES TO REVIEW
Dragon Quest Swords: The Masked Queen and the Tower of Mirrors
Fishing Master World Tour
Just Dance 2015
Kirby's Dream Collection (also includes Kirby's Dream Land, Kirby's Adventure, Kirby's Dream Land 2, Kirby Super Star, Kirby's Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.)
Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games
Mario Super Sluggers
Muramasa the Demon Blade
Naruto Clash of Ninja Revolutions
New Super Mario Bros. Wii
No More Heroes
No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Rise of the Guardians
Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space
Sonic and the Black Knight
Sonic Unleashed
Super Mario Galaxy
Super Paper Mario
WALL-E
Wii Sports Resort
Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds: Duel Transer

VIRTUAL CONSOLE

COMPLETED REVIEWS
Super Contra
Pokémon Snap
Final Fantasy
Mario Party 2
StarTropics
GAMES TO REVIEW
The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past
Mega Man
Paper Mario
Phantasy Star II
Super Mario RPG
Super Mario World
Super Metroid

WIIWARE

COMPLETED REVIEWS
Yard Sale: Hidden Treasures Sunnyville
Pokémon Rumble
Reel Fishing: Ocean Challenge
Bit Boy!! Pop-Up Pursuit
WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase
Play With Birds
GAMES TO REVIEW
Art of Balance
Deer Drive Legends
Defend Your Castle
La-Mulana
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney
Sexy Poker
Sonic the Hedgehog Episode 4 Part 1
WIIWARE DEMOS
And Yet It Modes, Aya and the Cubes of Light, BIT.TRIP FATE, BIT.TRIP FLUX, BIT.TRIP VOID, Cave Story, chick chick BOOM, Chronos Twins DX, Crazy Racers, Dart Rage, Dive, Fast Draw Showdown, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life As A Darklord, Gods VS Humans, Jett Rocket, lilt line, LIT, MotoHeroz, Pong Toss Pro, ThruSpace, Urbanix.

OTHER/NOT OWNED

Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time
Drawn To Life: The Next Chapter (DS)

NOT OWNED ANYMORE

Anubis II

April 27, 2015

Sonic Colors (Part 2)

Part 1 can be read here!


When we left off in Part 1, Sonic had just freed Planet Wisp from Eggman’s forces. There’s still a lot to cover, so I won’t waste any time making jokes in an intro. Let’s go!

Yes, do click.

Look to your left and you will see the pagodas. Look on your
right and you will see robots who are totally not doing anything
illegal, we swear, no seriously, why are you asking.
Enjoy your stay at Eggman's Park of Watery Evil- no, we didn't
say anything.
Well, there are still two planets to save: One that looks quite aquatic, and the other that looks like a giant earth worm. Or a Sonic version of an Onix. We can start with the aquatic planet, but I think Sonic can’t swim. This is gonna be difficult. …Wait a second, he can swim now? Well, “swimming” isn’t really the word. He can stay longer underwater, though, and he can just jump up and go back to the surface. He’ll still die if he stays too long underwater, though. Also, props to Eggman: Aquarium Park is beautiful, what with the pagodas and the overall Japanese feel of the place… Say what you want about Eggman, he appears to be a man of wealth and taste. If you know which song I’m referencing right now, you should know what I really mean about the doctor.

So much creativity. Yes, Eggman, keep recycling your own
concepts. You sure are going to win this way...
Anyway, I think this might be my least favorite world in the game. It’s extremely difficult to control sonic underwater, as if that wasn’t enough the underwater portions are frequently maze-like, and it doesn’t take long until you need to find bubbles of air so that Sonic doesn’t die. Don’t even get me started on the dozens of traps, the endless pits, located at the worst places possible, and oh so much more... Anyway, Sonic reaches the generator and is ready to turn it off… But a giant fish robot attacks! Imagine the earlier boss fight against the robotic captain, except underwater. This is not easy, but Sonic can use the Drill Wisp ability to give plenty of damage to the boss. It’s not “too” difficult. So, Sonic beats the boss, deactivates the generator and is joined by Tails. The poor fox tried the nearby sushi place. It made him sick. That’s not a good sign… Anyway, time to move on to the next world: The Asteroid Coaster!

April 24, 2015

Sonic Colors (Part 1)


Guys, you are NOT gonna believe it! There’s, like, a giant amusement park that just opened! And it’s almost as big as the freaking country! Oh wait, it’s located in space, and the only way to access it is thanks to a LONG elevator! Still not enough? It also links multiple planets together! Oh, and here’s even better: It was built by an evil genius! Oh wait, it gets even better: He says he has reformed!

If you believed that, I’ve got an Olympic Stadium in Montreal to sell you. If you didn’t, however, congrats! You passed the… uh… “Nobody’s Gonna Pull My Leg” test. Your reward is… um… this funny video!


Seriously though, this nonsense story is the basic idea behind Eggman’s latest scheme in Sonic Colors. It’s so farfetched that I’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who would fall for th- Knuckles, get out of this elevator NOW! Only Sonic and Tails are going!

Yep, this game has a rather minimalist cast, using only Sonic and Tails as the good guys, and Eggman as the villain, with the only other characters (aside from enemies and bosses) being Eggman’s lackeys Orbot and Cubot and the game’s little helpful power-up friends… who are they? We’ll see in due time. Let’s-a go! Oh? I’m getting a paper saying I am not allowed to mimic Mario as long as I’m talking about a Sonic game that isn’t part of the Mario and Sonic series… Okay, well, let’s… go.


April 20, 2015

Sonic and the Secret Rings (Part 4)

Read Part 1 here, Part 2 here and Part 3 here.

We've seen everything there was to talk about in the main game. Now we take a look at the Party Mode in Sonic and the Secret Rings! Yep, there's an entire Party Mode, with multiple modes, a lot of minigames, playable characters... How about we take a look at it?

Before it starts, you select the number of human players. After that, each player selects a character. If you have collected zero Fire Souls, you only have access to Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Amy. However, if you're collecting Fire Souls, you unlock, in that order: Shadow, Cream, Silver and Blaze. In the end, you have 8 characters to choose from. You can also pick Random if you prefer.

The Party Mode's world map. Bonus points for actually being,
you know... on a map.
We see a parchment unravel and locations appearing, and we are greeted by... Omochao. Damn. For those who don't know, Omochao is frequently at the top when fans list what they think are the most annoying things in the Sonic series. It manages to beat everything else that could be considered annoying, even Princess Elise, Charmy Bee, Cubot's real voice, “Get A Load Of This” and “IT'S NO USE”. Not only that; no matter the extreme amount of abuse you can inflict on Omochao, he's always back, like a harmless Terminator who just wants to state rules. Thankfully, he's not too bad here, since he just hosts the Party Mode. You won't hear him much.

Kill it with fire?
...He'll just come back.

There are six options here: World Bazaar, Tournament Palace, Genie's Lair, World Library, Treasure Hunt and Pirate's Coast. The last option is to exit Party Mode. I'll take a look at all six modes, one at a time.

April 17, 2015

Sonic and the Secret Rings (Part 3)


Erazor's attacks are easy to avoid, but sometimes he just
misses you by a close shave. Geddit? Razor?
The fight against Erazor Djinn is difficult, but once you know the patterns and Sonic is equipped with the right Ring abilities, he's not too much of a problem. Erazor can swing his razor-sword in four different ways: A vertical line, a horizontal line (which you must jump over), a V shape, and a Z shape (if you're standing on the right, you can wait till he has finished the top horizontal line to jump and aim for his head, which is placed low enough during that movement so Sonic can home in on it). Every once in a while, we'll be treated to another point of view of the battle, with Sonic on the left and Erazor on the right. Erazor will keep a safe distance with Sonic... and then he'll charge! And he'll charge too fast for Sonic to have time to home in on him, so you'll have to prepare your jump, and as soon as Erazor moves, use Time Break and jump. Hit his head a number of times, and he's as good as dead! ...Yay, we won!

No... not really. I see the credits, but we're still missing something. If you haven't collected the seven World Rings, you'll have to do that, but if you have... it's time for the real final battle. Thankfully, as I have proven through Parts 1 and 2, you can collect all the World Rings before facing Erazor. What I personally find great about this game is that it's not linear; you can do any mission at any moment, and stray off the story's path to complete other missions, and then go back to the story; or you can just do the missions as they appear, leaving none incomplete before moving on to the next world, and getting all the interesting plot details while doing so. Those who complain that the game isn't linear, I really don't get their hatred. Seriously, for once you're free to do missions in any order you want, with only maybe 15 or 20 that will always be in the same order due to plot reasons. I see no reason to complain!

April 13, 2015

Sonic and the Secret Rings (Part 2)

Missed the first part of this review? Read it here!

When we left Friday, Sonic and Shahra were on their way to the Evil Foundry. What's gonna happen there? Keep reading, you'll find out!

Can you feel the heat in here? It's enough to drive people crazy!
It already happens in Florida, and it's less hot than here!
The two travel through the Evil Foundry, which contains lava pits, robots (still called djinns – yeah, I don't get it either), large machines and all the stuff you'd expect from a factory located in a castle in a volcano. You shouldn't expect a factory in a castle in a volcano, however... Anyway, Sonic reaches the center of the Foundry, and unlocks the Soul Gauge! Enters a complicated but awesome gameplay mechanic, the Soul Gauge. You may have noticed thousands and thousands of little floating orbs in the levels. Well, those are finally gonna be relevant! You see, Sonic's soul is tied to the Judgment Flame thingy on his heart. Well, now he can use it with the Soul Gauge to get an avantage! If you press Down while the Soul Gauge is at least half-full, time will slow down (Time Break!), giving you more time to see the incoming dangers. It might even let you see special things you couldn't see before! If, on the other side, you press Up, time will speed up (Speed Break!), and Sonic will zoom through the level like crazy, only stopped when he hits obstacles or gets hurt by enemies (however, this super-speed is so damn fast that, in most cases, he'll obliterate just about any enemy in his way).

"Ifrit"? One of the lamest names ever. I can't even make a
pun about it!
At the center of the Foundry, Sonic and Shahra witness Erazor Djinn call forth a giant fire spirit, an Ifrit! (He mentions Iblis, but seriously, we don't need any reminders that Sonic '06 actually happened.) Erazor also mentions that Sonic's life force is already half gone. Funny, I'm a positive guy, so I prefer to say that he's got half of his life force still. Anyway, Djinn leaves, and Sonic tries fighting the Ifrit, but he's unable to harm it yet. He has to resource himself away from the factory, and thus he escapes with Shahra thanks to the Time Powers mentioned earlier.

April 10, 2015

Sonic and the Secret Rings (Part 1)


I think mine was different from those. Or maybe it's just not
pictured here... I think it was the blue one, at the bottom.
Once, when I was a kid, I went to McDonalds' with my parents. I got the Happy Meal, ate my chicken nuggets, and found the toy. It was a little Sonic the Hedgehog toy, like a portable electronic game. It had three buttons: an On/Off switch, and two others, one on each side. When you turned the game on, Sonic appeared at the bottom of the little screen, and gigantic cannonballs came towards him – unless it was Sonic speeding up... Anyway, the idea was to press the left or right buttons to move Sonic so that he avoided the incoming obstacles. What does this childhood memory have to do with Sonic and the Secret Rings? Well, Secret Rings is basically the same thing, albeit more complex. Way more complex.

It makes perfect sense! You tilt the Wii remote left or right to move Sonic in either direction, and you must avoid the obstacles. Except after that, we add the jump feature (obviously), the spindash feature, the enemy lock-on feature... and then we have the dozens of missions, the odd unlocking pattern, the back step, the Ring abilities (including Fire, Wind and Dark abilities), wall shuffling, edge grinding, air launching, medals, the ability to slow down or speed up time, the Fire Rings, the boss battles... Holy wow! I'm gonna have a lot to talk about...

Sonic and the Secret Rings is part of a miniature “spin-off” series of games in the Sonic franchise, called the Storybook Series. As far as I know, there were only two games in this spin-off series: This one, and Sonic and the Black Knight. In each, Sonic gets sent to a fantasy world based on a famous work of literature (in Secret Rings, the Arabian Nights; in Black Knight, the legends of King Arthur), and ends up having to save that world from an evil entity. Good idea on paper, but considering the Sonic series' continuity, we can't treat these games as anything else but non-canon. Or maybe they are, but you need some Marvel or DC level of retcon to make it work. What's more, the Storybook games and Sonic Unleashed decided to play around with Sonic the Hedgehog, trying different things: In Secret Rings, we get the odd control scheme (which, by the way, I have no problem with). In Black Knight, we get sword-wielding Sonic (That, however, I had plenty of problems with). And in Unleashed, we had normal, speedy Sonic, and powerful, brawny werehog Sonic. I'll be looking at all three games over time, but this month I'm only covering Secret Rings and Sonic Colors. That should be enough for now.

April 4, 2015

A Darker Shade of Nintendo


I'm still a Nintendo fan... but damn, this sucks. Video belongs to Joe Vargas, AKA AngryJoe. Joe denounces the money-making practices of Nintendo, who takes the money off Youtubers using footage from their games.

This is fucking horrible.

April 3, 2015

Sonic Month - An Introduction


Ah, the Sonic series. As Sega's answer to the insanely popular Mario, Sonic became an opponent to remember. Many of his earlier titles are regarded as platforming classics. The games that came out afterwards, not so much. If there is one thing that has always been made clear about the Sonic series, it's thst it is divisive as Hell. Every 3D game has its share of defenders and detractors. Some games have been struck by this debate even more, because Sega didn't seem willing to apply a stricter quality control over the games in the series (something Nintendo does with its own franchises), leading to all sorts of mishaps. We had Sonic '06, which everybody knows about by now, and more recently we had the games created for the Rebooted Sonic-verse, Sonic Boom. Dammit Sega, be careful! I've said it in 2014: Apply some goddamn quality control over your games, or else you'll become the lautghingstock of the Internet! Angry nerds will spew their rage in their videos or on their site! Critics will be negative and treat you like dirt! Comedians will resort to mentioning you when they're giving examples of bad games! IT SHOULDN'T BE COMPLICATED!

Phew. Calm down, Nic. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I actually enjoy the Sonic series. And you can say whatever you want about it, I don't really care. What doesn't have flaws, anyway? I enjoy the series despite its flaws. It might eb because I haven't played any of the really, really bad Sonic games yet.... I like the characters, I can even try to defend some of the more hated characters. (Big the Cat? When Cream the Rabbit is around, better not hurt her, because Big is gonna send yo to the hospital. Oh, and an epic flaming flail in Sonic Heroes. Princess Elise? No main character knows who she is anymore. Why should we care? Chris Thorndyke... ...okay, you got me there.) The Sonic series has a large number of games, an even larger number of characters, and so many continuities that you'll get lost without a wiki. Wait, there was AoStH, SatAM, Underground, the anime Sonic movie, Sonic X, and now we have Sonic Boom... That's just the TV shows!

So... I own five Wii games featuring Sonic the Hedgehog. In the order I got them: Sonic and the Secret Rings, Sonic Colors, Sonic and the Black Knight, Sonic Unleashed, and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games. This month, I will be looking at the first two Sonic games in that list. I've written a four-part review of Sonic and the Secret Rings, and a two-part review of Sonic Colors. I hope you enjoy this themed month! I sure will.

April 2, 2015

MORE New Titlecards!

I hope you enjoyed yesterday's little April Fools prank. I worked a lot on it. There will be a little intro tomorrow for the month of April... why? BECAUSE IT'S SONIC MONTH!!!!!


Big thanks to LeRenardRoux, as usual, for the title card. This one's even better than the one she did for Rabbids Month! And yes, that's the reason the review posted yesterday was about a song from the Sonic series.

Anyway... since my next review will be posted only next Friday, I decided I would give my readers a little something while they're waiting for the next review... Wouldja like moar title cards??? Here are title cards for reviews published between August and October 2013.

Top 12 Pokémon That Could Get New Evolutions

I hope you like them! I'll add them, as well as the title cards made since January 2015, to the Title Cards section of the site, which you can access here. I'll try to have more title cards ready before May...

As for the vlogs, I'm sorry, but I have to discontinue them. I would have liked to make more, but I realized they had too little views, and they took me way too long to prepare them. Plus, Windows Movie Maker was a pain to use, so I prefer to wait until I get a better video editing software before I start making videos again.

April 1, 2015

His World, A Video Game Song Review

Note from Nicolas: Hey everyone! I decided to start off Sonic Month on a strong note, so I asked Todd Nathanson, AKA Todd in the Shadows, a pop music reviewer, to take a look at what's probably the most famous theme from the Sonic series: His World, from the no-less-infamous Sonic The Hedgehog '06. I gave him basic details and then let him write the rest. He's out of his comfort zone, considering he usually reviews pop hits, but I think he'll manage it pretty well.



Todd Nathanson, A.K.A. Todd in the Shadows, is a reviewer from Channel Awesome, formerly That Guy With The Glasses. He specializes in reviewing pop music and artists. He is the host of two series, Todd's Pop Song Reviews and One Hit Wonderland. He also records v-logs about the Grammys and does musical movie reviews once in a while; he also participates to a multitude of review crossovers. Last but not least, he appeared in two anniversary specials from That Guy With The Glasses, Suburban Knights and To Boldly Flee.


So, that weirdo comes up to me on Twitter and says he has a favor to ask me. He wouldn't be able to repay it, I heard he's indebted, so I really wonder why I even accepted. Why should I care? Oh, right – I thought he sounded really pitiful. Who's that “Nicolas” guy? Why no H? I heard he's from Canada... And like every Canadian, he was so stereotypically nice in his request. I finally accepted to write something for his blog, but he'll have to pay me someday. I read some of his reviews. Damn, he's got some anger issues. Kind of like most people on Channel Awesome, but then again, if you kept reviewing crap for income, you'd develop some anger issues too. I know the feeling.

I never heard of His World before. I'm a pop song reviewer! I review pop songs from the billboards! The recent hits! And my plate's already full. Nicolas told me it's a song from a game in the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. I might have played a Sonic game here or there, but that must have been a long time ago. It was the first time I heard that song title. I didn't even know the Sonic the Hedgehog series had started using real songs! Nicolas also told me it was by a band called Crush 40, and that this was the theme for a game called Sonic the Hedgehog 2006.

Let's get this started, shall we? And I hope I won't regret it.