Archive for the ‘Mario’ Category

The Sad Story of Super Mario

August 22, 2011

20110802-103719.jpgSo strange. I wonder why Nintendo would kill Super Mario on the cover of his first game. In case your not familiar with the game (which you should be, if you’re not), Mario is about to fall into a pit of lava.

I don’t know the original source of this photo, so I’m sorry I can’t credit you, who ever you are.

Advertisements

Nintendo Adds 4 More Games to Nintendo Selects Line

August 16, 2011

Super Paper Mario, Mario Strikers Charged, Punch-Out!!, and Super Mario Galaxy are joining Mario Super Sluggers, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Animal Crossing: City Folk, and Wii Sports as $20 Nintendo Selects titles starting August 28th. View the press release here.

Via Gonintendo.

Well, I Now Own a 3DS

August 16, 2011

So, I am now the proud owner of a 3DS. I know I’ve said all my reasons for not getting one before, but through a set of awesome circumstances, I couldn’t resist. If ya care, you can read them below.

My Glasses

 

So about two weeks ago, I got a new pair of glasses. They have a very, very different prescription from my previous pair (which I’ve worn every time I’d played the 3DS). One of the first things I thought when I put them on was “I wonder what the 3DS’s 3D looks like now?”. Previously, when I’ve played the 3DS, the 3D effect hurt my eyes/I couldn’t see it. So I went to the nearest Target to try out PilotWings Resort (again) and  I was surprised to find out that I could see the 3D effects perfectly. It was like night and day. The 3DS’s 3D looked fantastic. Every effect, everything that popped out at me, looked clear, crisp, and totally awesome.

The 3DS Price and Ambassador Program

For people who don’t know, the 3DS has been selling bad enough for Nintendo to take action and drop the price from $250 to $170 starting on August 12th. Now for people who had bought a 3DS before August 12th, Nintendo is giving 10 free NES and 10 free Gameboy Advance games to (are you following along? It’s a lot to take in. I’ll do a post all about the 3DS Ambassador program soon.) People who updated there 3DS’s or opened the eShop before midnight on the 11th were automatically signed up for the program. Now retailers weren’t supposed to drop the price of the 3DS before August 12th, however, Target and Walmart dropped the price a few days early. This means that people who bought the 3DS at Target or Walmart between the 9th and 11th could get the 3DS for $170 AND still be part of the 3DS Ambassador program. This was too good of a deal to pass up for me and I knew I had to find a way to get one.

The 3DS’s Future Games

The 3DS has a stellar future line-up, including Super Mario Land 3D, Mario Kart 7, Luigi’s Mansion 2, and Paper Mario, and that’s just the Mario titles! We also have Animal Crossing, Kid Icarus: Uprising, Star Fox 64 3D, and more! I knew I would end up with a 3DS eventually just so I could play these games.

These factors combined just made it so I had to get a 3DS. This means I will be giving much deeper coverage of all things 3DS. See why I couldn’t resist?

Mario Kart 7 Preview

August 6, 2011

I played two tracks on Mario Kart 7 during my brief time with it at Comic-Con. I wish I could have played more, but there were so many other games to try. I played the underwater track and the Donkey Kong Country Returns based track (courtesy of Retro Studios involvement in the game). Both were pieces of excellence.

The 3D greatly improved Mario Kart 7. There were many subtle things, and many massive/in your face things. In many cases the subtle things seemed to be better. For one, when I was driving through the course, my little character (I was playing as a Koopa) looked behind his kart at me, and his little  face stuck out of the screen. Not by much, but still very noticeable. There was no blur, just a crisp Koopa face staring at me. Sure there were bigger 3D things (like the blooper ink spraying in your face), but I found all the small things particularly eye catching.

Of course there is depth too. When you look ahead you feel the expanse of the track. It really helped judging distance and added a whole new element to the amazing virtual mushroom kingdom. Main gameplay is set in standard Mario Kart style, but there are a large number of new features (customizable karts, kites on karts, and underwater karts) and one major returning feature that hasn’t been around for a long time (coins that increase your speed the more  you collect). I can’t really talk about the customizable karts because I didn’t get the chance to build my own kart, although I’ve heard it works very well, and the giant kart someone had created before me was quite awesome. Let me go into detail on the other features.

The kites on karts gimmick works really well. For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about, in Mario Kart 7, when you catch some air after going over a ramp, your kart sprouts a kite that allows you to fly back down to the track. It’s a great change of pace from standard driving and a lot more fun than I thought it’d be.  Also, I can see how you could really shave time off courses by cutting corners with practice.

In Mario Kart 7, when your kart goes underwater, it sprouts a propeller/jet/thing that propels you forward. Underwater you move much slower, which gives you more time to avoid the giant cheep cheeps and clams. The under water level I played had particularly good 3D effects. Bubbles and such were very pronounced.

Coins have been in only 2 of the previous 6 Mario Kart games (Super Mario Kart and Mario Kart: Super Circuit) and not sense the Gameboy Advance. Like I said before, coins in Mario Kart 7 increase your speed. The effect is noticeable, and occasional influential in getting that last bit of speed. I am happy to see them make a comeback.

Next year at con, if Nintendo has a lounge, you’ll find me there for at least a few hours. There was so much competing for my attention, but the two tracks I did play made me want more. The two tracks, the one that was under water and the track based on Donkey Kong Country Returns, were both well designed and very memorable. The underwater track was full of life and had some nice branching paths. The Donkey Kong track used enemies from Donkey Kong Country Returns and was super fun to race on. Other tracks include one where you race on Wuhu Island (from Wii Sports resort, PilotWings Resort, and Wii Fit) and some great “retro” courses including Maple Treeway from Mario Kart Wii (which is one of  my all time favorite tracks) and Luigi’s Mansion from Mario Kart DS.

Everything in Mario Kart 7 seems to offer the complete package. Graphics, gameplay, and many new goodies. I can’t wait to play it more after it is released this December.

How to Fix Nintendo's Problems in 4 Easy Steps

July 29, 2011

It’s no secret that Nintendo has been having trouble with the 3DS and its other consoles recently. I have been pointing out things that they are doing wrong for awhile now and today my mom asked me something. She asked me if I was CEO of Nintendo, what would I do to fix their situation. I think if they did these 4 doable things, Nintendo wouldn’t have problems for quite awhile.

1. Change the Wii U’s controller into a portable device that can play games independently of the system anywhere, which would allow it to be more like a tablet.

2. Make the first 3DS’s price reduction be at a break-even point so that they don’t lose money per console. I don’t think anyone expected a $80 drop 4 months after launch.

3. Create open development programs for the 3DS and Wii U that would allow anyone to create games like it is for iOS devices.

4. Reduce the price of all retail games to $25-$30 and slowly transition all games to download only.

Super Mario 3D Land Preview

July 28, 2011

At the end of my Comic-Con adventure, I walked over to the Nintendo gaming lounge at the Marriott to play Nintendo’s newest games before they hit stores. I played quite a few games at the con, but nothing compared to the happiness I got from playing Super Mario 3D Land.

Before I go into details on the game, I need to give some backstory. I am colorblind, wear glasses, and have a stigmatism. I have been unable to see the 3DS’s 3D effects on demo systems at Target and Best Buy or playing on my friend’s. I have been thinking it was something to do with my eyes. I was wrong. In the dim lighting of the gaming lounge I could see the 3D perfectly. I’m assuming that it has something to do with the lighting, but I don’t know for sure. If you have a 3DS, can you let me know if there is a difference between playing in dark areas and light areas? Maybe it’s just the quality of the game. I don’t know. Anyway, the four 3DS games I played at the Nintendo lounge (Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7, Starfox 64 3D, and Kid Icarus briefly) all had 3D effects that worked flawlessly for me.

Now on to my impressions of Super Mario 3D Land.

There are 2 things you first notice after picking it up, how good the mushroom kingdom looks with all that depth and how slow Mario moves. First let me talk about Mario. As a design choice in this game, Mario moves much slower, strangely that’s ok. You can hold down a button to make him run faster (I ended up holding it down a lot), but you really don’t need to. It works surprisingly well.

Now, for the 3D effect. The world looks clear, crisp, and full of life. The 3D depth and effect looks amazing. I was truly mind blown just how everything looked from the depth into the world to the fireballs and ink that would fly at the screen. Once I even ducked to try to avoid ink hitting me in the face! One of the coolest experiences playing the game is when Mario goes down a warp pipe and you appear in a zoomed out room with a overhead-ish view. You are standing on a platform and there is a block with a large coin on it floating above you and in front of you. Now because you are viewing it from a top down view, that normal block floats a good inch and a half out of the screen in clear, crisp 3D. I was ecstatic. Then when Mario jumps on it! Just amazing.

I played all four levels available (cause that’s just how I am) and every level worked very well. I played through an outdoor grassy level, an underground dungeon-ish sort of level, a level based off of moving platforms, and what looked to be a mid-world airship boss with a mid-world boss character from Super Mario Bros. 3.

There were two items available in the demo: the Tanooki Suit and the Fire FlowerIn all 4 levels you have the option to use your Tanooki once a level. For reasons I can’t figure, the Tanooki suit doesn’t let you fly or turn into a statue like it did in Super Mario Bros. 3. It only let’s you flutter around and swing your tail. Now Nintendo has said that that it would be difficult to be able to fly in a 3D Mario game on a handheld. What no one is pointing out is what nonsense that is. Mario flew in Mario 64 DS just fine, and that was 5 handhelds ago! It makes no sense to me. Then why can’t you turn into a statue! There is no limitations with that! This whole Tanooki suit thing just makes me think that Nintendo is lazy. However, the game plays just fine without either of those abilities. The Tanooki suit is very fun to use and really helps complete levels in Super Mario 3D Land, it just makes me more annoyed than anything that I can’t fly.

Gameplay itself is fantastic. Mario has a full arsenal of moves including a new summersault roll move that came in handy a lot during my demo. The levels I played were well thought out, fun to play, and showcased the 3D effects well. So many great little moments. One of my favorites is when Mario is going to walk through these giant swinging spiked balls that are moving toward and away from you. Just brilliant.

The game is filled with shout outs to past Mario games, from the airship with the mid-world boss from Super Mario Bros. 3, to the way every level ends. Every level that I played ended in Mario jumping on a flagpole for the first time in a 3D mario platformer. I didn’t think this would work well, but surprisingly it worked great. They did it perfectly.

It’s hard to explain just how good Super Mario 3D Land is, and I could go on and on trying to. This game justifies spending the $170 on a 3DS (maybe not $250, but for $170 I see it being worth it). It is the perfect example of a Mario game. A great mix of quality, fun, and a great new gimic. I personally can’t wait to play more when the game comes out this November.

Mario On Paper

July 9, 2011

Incredible Mario cut-out animation. Be warned, it’s a little gruesome.

Super Mario 3DS and Mario Kart 3DS Footage

July 7, 2011

Just started thinking that I really don’t need a 3DS, then I go and watch these. Curse my Nintendo fanboyism.

Via GoNintendo.

Alternate Mario Evolution

July 2, 2011

Mario Redesign // by MaroBot

Mario Redesign // by MaroBot

 Incredibly intriguing.

Club Nintendo Platinum Reward Announced

July 1, 2011

Club Nintendo’s platinum and gold rewards were announced this morning. Platinum members receive this 25 piece pin set while gold members will receive a 2012 table top calendar. Here is the description of the pin set.

Mario™ & Friends Pin Badge Collection

• Official Club Nintendo collection of 25 commemorative pins representing the world    of Super Mario Bros.™
• The pins come packaged in six specially created puzzle-like boxes that can be  arranged to represent Mario, Goomba, and Mushroom!
• Measures approx. 9.75” H x 9.5” W x 1.5” D (box set) and 1.38” D (each pin)