Category Archives: Featured Content

Internal Invasion Review

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Release Date: July 3, 2014 | Price: $4.99
Genre: Action | Platform: Wii U eShop
Publisher and Developer: Bear Box Media

The Nintendo eShop has been invaded by independent video game developers and this latest title contains an invasion of its own. Of course, I’m talking about Internal Invasion: in this world, nano-bots are injected into sick human beings to seek out infections and bring the patient back to health. In Internal Invasion, players take control of a nano-bot known as Ro’bert, who needs your help to save the life of his patient.

Internal Invasion is a unique gravity-based action game where players must launch Ro’bert from special nano-devices to find and destroy the infection. Once Ro’bert lands in a nano-device (usually a nano-cannon), players must use the Wii U GamePad’s touchscreen to manipulate the nano-devices. Controlling these nano-devices is simply done by tapping them and dragging back to increase launch power. Of course, these devices can also be rotated to launch Ro’bert in the desired direction. Gravity takes over as Ro’bert is launched throughout the level, but you must be careful as Ro’bert can only withstand being outside of a nano-device for a limited time.

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While the main objective in every level is to find the exit, players can also collect pills to use a special power and to perfect a level. Pills add power to a special meter that allows you to use a special power to attract Ro’bert to the stylus. This can be useful to help Ro’bert navigate the level. In addition to collecting pills during the level, players can also obtain two more pills for completing the level under the time-limit, and using the specified number of nano-cannons designated on each level.

Collecting pills during the level is quite easy, though navigating the levels in general can make obtaining the others a little frustrating. Usually, I had difficulty finishing a level on time, unless I bypassed most of the level, which can be done on a few levels. Also, especially during my first time playing a level, finishing it using the designated number of nano-cannons was really difficult. Of course, because of these design choices, Internal Invasion must be played numerous times to learn the best way to navigate through each level.

As for the game mechanics, they work quite well throughout the majority of the game. However, there are a few times where launching Ro’bert would lead to some unnecessary deaths. This can be chalked up to the level design and not the game’s mechanics. An example would be trying to launch through a tight corridor only to have Ro’bert bounce around wildly, resulting in having to restart the level. Opening some of these corridors even a little bit would make a world of difference.

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To keep things fresh, Internal Invasion introduces other mechanics like magnets, air bubbles, and lasers. Magnets and air bubbles will push Ro’bert in different directions, while lasers will restrict his movement through the level. These are nice additions to the game and prove even the simplest of concepts can provide players with some variety. The gameplay doesn’t really change up much throughout the game, though players must avoid a boss character while navigating every tenth level.

Final Thoughts:

In addition to interesting gameplay, Internal Invasion also features both great art and music tracks. There are a few questionable object placements that make some levels a tad frustrating to complete, though these are in the minority. Also, the game suffers from slight, but noticeable performance issues in most levels. However, I have been assured by Bear Box Media that these issues will be addressed in an upcoming update. If you like gravity-based gameplay and have the $5 to spare, Internal Invasion could provide you with an afternoon of fun. Others may want to hold out for a sale, if one should happen.

7.5/10 – Good

Review copy provided by Bear Box Media

Poker Dice Solitaire Future Review

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Release Date: July 3, 2014 | Price: $1.99
Genre: Tabletop | Platform: Wii U eShop
Publisher and Developer: RCMADIAX

Poker Dice Solitaire Future is the first game in RCMADIAX’s “Tabletop Gallery” series, of which two more will be released this summer. Much like Blok Drop U – which has since received an excellent update – Poker Dice Solitaire Future was developed using Construct 2 software. Video game developers can use Construct 2 to create a myriad of truly unique games, though Poker Dice Solitaire Future opts for a much simpler approach.

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Poker Dice Solitaire Future is – as its title suggests – a solitary form of poker that uses a dice rolling system. You start by rolling the dice to create a hand of poker. Poker chips range from 1 to 6 and will be either green or pink, meaning players posses the ability to create flushes, full houses, and other common hands of poker. You can hold desired chips by tapping them and roll the dice two more times to try to create a better hand. After three rolls have been used, you will be notified to select an eligible poker chip that matches the hand you’ve built. Each hand has a different point value with the most valuable hands being the hardest to compile. For example: say you’ve built a full house, you will be able to select the poker chip that represents a full house, three of a kind, or a flush if they are all the same color. Of the three, the full house will give you the most points, so that would be the best hand to select.

Of course, your main objective is to create the best hands to gain the highest score possible. However, the number of winning hands you can keep are limited to four. If you create a hand that doesn’t match an available hand, you will lose a chip, which applies a negative value to your overall score. This also takes away one potential chip from that hand. Once all potential hands have been used, the game will end and your final score will be tallied, which may include bonus points for getting one of each hand.

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The concept is quite simple making Poker Dice Solitaire Future easy to pick-up-and-play. Its simplicity will appeal to a broad range of demographics, though it’s unlikely that Poker Dice Solitaire Future will appeal to gamers that prefer testing their skills as opposed to relying on luck. The only real strategic element is deciding which poker chips to keep. This doesn’t make Poker Dice Solitaire Future a bad game by any means, though there’s really not a lot to see in this package.

Poker Dice Solitaire Future features a nice presentation that sports clean, colorful, futuristic graphics, as well as a great user interface. Also, while the game only has one music track, it’s relaxing and quite catchy, which most certainly fits the Poker Dice Solitaire Future style created by RCMADIAX.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Poker Dice Solitaire Future does exactly what it sets out to do, and does it remarkably well. However, Poker Dice Solitaire Future doesn’t provide gamers with challenging gameplay, or any incentive to keep coming back. As a single title, Poker Dice Solitaire Future isn’t an attractive purchase, even at its $1.99 price point. That being said, those that really enjoy tabletop games might still want to give Poker Dice Solitaire Future a look. I’d normally consider Poker Dice Solitaire Future an average game, but its fantastic presentation is hard to ignore.

6/10 – Above Average

Review copy provided by RCMADIAX

Chubbins Review (Wii U eShop)

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Originally released on the App Store, Chubbins has bounced its way to the Wii U eShop. As its title suggests, you play as Chubbins, a chubby bunny who must bounce his way to victory. Achieving victory isn’t going to be an easy task, though it’s one that Chubbins is willing to tackle.

While there is no story to follow, Chubbins makes up for it with clever and challenging gameplay. Chubbins – the character – continuously bounces on blocks and its up to you to control his movement. This is accomplished by pressing left and right on the d-pad, the only two buttons you will need. Your objective is to reach the end goal on every stage, which is definitely easier said than done as enemies and obstacles are cleverly placed for maximum difficulty. Getting through walls of enemies and obstacles takes patience, though it can be done with some skill and maybe even a little luck at times. Overall, there are five worlds in Chubbins and each contains eight levels. The first seven levels are traditional side-scrolling levels while a boss encounters waits for you in the eighth. Like any boss fight, learning their pattern is the key to victory.

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Chubbins can be completed in a short amount of time, that is, if you’re playing the game’s “Soft Mode.” The Soft Mode can be considered the game’s easy – or casual if you will – mode, which gives you tons of checkpoints to make each level a little less frustrating. The other mode is “Hard Mode,” which is a more traditional Chubbins experience. There are no checkpoints and each death sends you back to the beginning of the level; however, you have unlimited lives in Chubbins, so those whom fear death can rest easy. Providing players with both modes is a nice touch, because Chubbins can be a little on the unreasonable side when it comes to enemy placement.

Chubbins can be played with the Wii U GamePad, Wii U Pro Controller, and Wii Remote (Plus). Like many Wii U games, Chubbins also supports off-TV play. While having all these control options is nice, one odd decision stands out; you can’t control Chubbins with the analog stick. This may seem like a nitpick, and you’d be correct, though I found myself reaching for the analog stick more than once out of habit. I don’t think the game would be better if it had this option, though it also wouldn’t be the worst thing.

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Those looking for variety in Chubbins will be disappointed. While the game’s levels employ good design, the basic gameplay remains the same. Yes, there are different blocks – some that break and others that bounce Chubbins to different heights, though neither of these make Chubbins a more interesting game. There are also some vegetable power-ups that allow Chubbins to travel through spikes of the same color, which creates some interesting moments. Overall, if you’re up for a good challenge, Chubbins can be quite fun to play.

While the gameplay for Chubbins isn’t terrible, its graphics certainly don’t impress. The backgrounds may have a simple look, though I find them to be quite enjoyable and entrancing. However, the game’s character models and overall generic design does disappoint. The Wii U is capable of much more and this game’s look may put some people off despite its clever gameplay.

Final Thoughts:

Chubbins is an interesting and challenging game that fans of platforms could easily enjoy. It’s not without faults – moments of unreasonable challenge and generic art – though it could easily provide you with some great entertainment should you give it a chance. Chubbins is available for $5.99 on the Wii U eShop, which is a tad high for the relatively small amount of content in the game. The game is $2.99 on the App Store, which would have been a more reasonable price on the Wii U eShop, as well. It may be better to wait for a sale on this game, though the asking price isn’t too high if you believe you really need to play this game today.

6.5/10 – Above Average

Review copy provided by Dahku Creations

Nintendo Digest: Day 2 of E3 2014 – The Nintendo Digital Event

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Nintendo Digest: Day 1 of E3 2014 – Indie Games Galore

Nintendo’s big day has come and with it they have brought plenty of stuff for me to write about. Actually, the amount of content is kind of overwhelming. Today, I’m going to highlight the biggest announcements, tomorrow I will do a trailer roundup.


Nintendo Announces Amiibo Figurines

One of Nintendo’s biggest announcements today comes in the form of Amiibo figurines. Amiibo figures are part of Nintendo’s Nintendo Figure Platform (NFP) initiative that was mentioned earlier this year. Amiibo figurines will be compatible with multiple games across the Wii U and Nintendo 3DS, starting with Super Smash Bros. U this year.

Nintendo is planning to launch 10 figurines later this year, though no price has been as of yet. Other games that Nintendo plans to add Amiibo support to include Mario Kart 8, Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (mentioned below), Mario Party 10 and Yoshi’s Woolly World.


Super Smash Bros. Welcomes Mii Fighters, Palutena, GameCube Controllers, and Amiibo Support

For the first time ever, players will be able to fight as their Mii characters using one of three fighting styles: Mii Brawler, Mii Swordfighter, and Mii Gunner. Each style has a set of 12 special moves that can be customized to your liking, giving you plenty of choices for making the ultimate Mii Fighter. In addition to Mii Fighters, Palutena was also announced for both Super Smash Bros. games. Palutena will make use of her powers to overcome the battle.

Also, a special edition of Super Smash Bros. U will be available for those wanting a GameCube-like experience. The game will come bundled with a Wii U GameCube Adapter that lets players use GameCube controllers, and a special Super Smash Bros. GameCube controller. This bundle will be available for $99, though the adapter and controller can be purchased separately for $19.99 and $39.99 respectively.

Lastly, Super Smash Bros. U will be the first game to feature support for Nintendo’s Amiibo figurines. These figurines can be summoned to fight for you or alongside you and can be leveled up with repeated use. It’s a unique feature, though not one I’m particularly sold on. However, the figurines will probably be worth the price alone.


The New The Legend of Zelda is Revealed

Unfortunately, not a lot was showcased concerning the new The Legend of Zelda game for Wii U. However, we are being assured that the conventions of Zelda are being tinkered with, and that the game will feature a large, open-world that lets players tackle situations and puzzles in a variety of ways.

The Legend of Zelda Wii U is currently scheduled for a 2015 release.


Miyamoto is Bringing Four Wii U GamePad Focused Games to Wii U, Including Star Fox

Shigeru Miyamoto is working on four games that focus on using the Wii U GamePad to present gamers with unique ways to play. All four games are currently scheduled for 2015.

  • Mario Maker: Gamers will now be able to use the Wii U GamePad to build their own Super Mario Bros. levels with Mario Make. Players will be able to place a variety of enemies, power-ups, and more using the Wii U GamePad. Sharing features weren’t mentioned, though it seems like an inevitable announcement, but gamers do have the ability to switch between classic Super Mario Bros. and the New Super Mario Bros. aesthetics. Mario Maker is scheduled for a 2015 release.

  • Star Fox Wii U: Finally, Star Fox will be making a big comeback in 2015 by utilizing the Wii U GamePad to change the way Star Fox is played. Players will be able to hop inside the cockpit of Fox’s Arwing using the Wii U GamePad and target enemies using an intuitive gyro sensor control scheme. While this is happening, players will receive the classic Star Fox presentation on the TV screen. Also, players can switch between the Arwing and Landmaster with the press of a button, and control a new helicopter-type.
  • Project Giant Robot: Project Giant Robot (which I assume is a tentative title) lets players build a fighter robot on the Wii U GamePad then puts them inside the robot’s cockpit to battle other robots. Players will look through the Wii U GamePad as if they’re really inside their robot.
  • Project Guard: Gamers must place and use 12 cameras to stop a robot invasion. This unique game combines the TV screen with the Wii U GamePad for an experience that can only be had on the Wii U.

New IP Splatoon Splashes onto the Scene

Perhaps the most original title showcased on today’s Nintendo Digital Event was Splatoon. Splatoon is a unique third-person shooter that combines ink shooting and graceful squid movements to create a new kind of experience.

Players are divided into two teams of four and must battle to cover the arena in as much ink as possible. The winning team is the team that covers most of the arena in their ink, however, to do this, players must master diving into the ink and becoming a squid to travel around the map.

It’s an interesting concept and it’s great to see Nintendo branching off and bringing a one of a kind online experience to the Wii U.


Captain Toad Embarks on a Full-fledged Adventure

Captain Toad is getting his own game for Wii U called Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker. This game expands on the concept first seen in Super Mario 3D World. Captain Toad must navigate his way through a maze-like structure in order to reach the star goal. The level design looks great and there seems to be plenty of new concepts that could make this a sleeper hit.


Yoshi’s Woolly World Spins a Gorgeous World

Finally, Yarn Yoshi has been given some time to shine and boy does it shine. Yoshi’s Woolly World takes the yarn aesthetic first seen in Kirby’s Epic Yarn and knits a brand new experience.

Yoshi will be able to unwrap secrets and use yarn eggs in unique ways to traverse the environment. Also, the two-player co-op looks particularly interesting as player’s can inhale their Yoshi partner and fling him around like a yarn egg.

Yoshi’s Woolly World is scheduled for a 2015 release.


Hyrule Warriors to Release in Sepetember

Hyrule Warriors will be coming to the Wii U on September 26 and with it comes a multitude of playable characters. Of course, Link will be playable, but gamers will also be able to play as Zelda, Impa, and Midna. The game looks to be shaping up nicely and we’re sure to learn more before its release date.


Bayonetta 2 Comes Packaged with Bayonetta in October

As you can see above, a new Bayonetta 2 trailer has been released, however, the biggest news is that Bayonetta 2 comes packaged with the original Bayonetta. Bayonetta will also include Nintendo cosplay, allowing gamers to dress Bayonetta up as Samus, Link, and more.

Bayonetta 2 is coming to Wii U during October 2014.


A Curse Returns in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse

The unique touchscreen gameplay from Kirby’s Canvas Curse is returning in Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. This time, the world Kirby inhabits is made of clay, including environments sculpted to look gorgeous in HD. Overall, the game looks similar to Kirby’s Canvas Curse, albeit with a fantastic visual upgrade.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is scheduled for 2015.

Nintendo Digest: Day 1 of E3 2014 – Indie Games Galore

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Nintendo Digest: Day 1 of E3 2014 – Indie Games Galore

Nintendo’s E3 2014 presence can be felt a day early thanks to an abundance of trailers uploaded to Nintendo’s YouTube channel. Also, a few other significant announcements were made with regards to the big N.

 


Capcom Unveils a Large List of Virtual Console Games Coming in 2014

Capcom unveiled 14 games coming to the Wii U and 3DS Virtual Console in 2014. This list of games included NES, SNES, and GBA titles.

Read the full story here

 


Shantae and The Pirate’s Curse Will be Coming to Wii U

In a somewhat surprise announcement, WayForward announced that their 3DS title, Shantae and The Pirate’s Curse, will be Coming to Wii U. The game is expected to launch late Summer 2014.

Read the full story here

 


Gunman Clive 2 Announced for Nintendo 3DS eShop

Another surprise announcement, and a big one for fans of Gunman Clive, was the announcement of a sequel. Gunman Clive 2 looks to bring back the solid platforming of the debut title, but adds more color, more dynamic levels, more interesting bosses, and more ducks.

Read the full story here

 


Trailer Roundup featuring Tappingo 2

Swords and Soldiers HD (Wii U eShop) Review

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Two Tribes is certainly no stranger to the Wii U eShop. They have previously released the highly anticipated sequel, Toki Tori 2, and a series of updated, classic Two Tribes games for an unbeatable price. Now, they have remade another classic Two Tribes game for the Wii U eShop, complete with high-res HD graphics and Wii U GamePad integration. This remake is known as Swords and Soldiers HD, a game that originally enjoyed a release on the WiiWare service in June of 2009. I never played the game when it was first released on the Wii, though I’ve spent many hours challenging Swords and Soldiers HD on the Wii U.

Swords and Soldiers HD is a simplified real-time strategy (RTS) game that is presented with a side-scrolling perspective. Players control a team of soldiers based on one of three ethnic groups – Vikings, Aztecs, and Chinese – and must summon troops to carry out battle with the opposing team. While many RTS features appear in Swords and Soldiers HD – mining for gold, summoning troops, and building towers – they are presented with a simplified approach that makes Swords and Soldiers HD easy to learn and play for RTS newbies.

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You will be responsible for only a handful of activities, all of which are easily manipulated with the Wii U GamePad. On the Wii U GamePad, you must touch icons to build troops and towers, summon spells, or to advance through your skill tree. Building troops and upgrading your team comes at the cost of gold, which is gathered by special units, while summoning spells comes at the cost of mana. What differentiates Swords and Soldiers HD from other RTS games is that you have no direct control over your troops. Instead, when they are summoned, they begin advancing toward your opponent and will automatically fight opposing troops when they come across them. Taking direct control away from the player is an interesting choice, but Two Tribes has done a fantastic job of making it work in Swords and Soldiers HD.

Players can also use the Wii Remote if they wish – utilizing the IR pointer to select options on the TV screen – though I preferred the Wii U GamePad. Using the Wii Remote does work just fine, though selecting icons on the Wii U GamePad is much faster, which is especially important during the tougher rounds.

There are a few ways to play Swords and Soldiers including campaign mode, skirmishes, and challenges. The campaign mode consists of three campaigns, with each one based on the three ethnic groups in the game. Skirmishes are single encounters that can be played against the computer, or another player. Lastly, there are three challenges that are unlocked after completing a group’s campaign mode. Of the three, I spent the majority of my time with the campaign modes, though I will commend Two Tribes for including a lot of maps – small, medium, and large – in the skirmish mode, as well as some neat distractions in the game’s challenge modes.

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I thoroughly enjoyed playing through the campaign modes in Swords and Soldiers HD. Each campaign is made up of 10 missions, all of which have similar objectives – such as destroying certain objects, or defending for a set amount of time. While the gameplay is strikingly similar throughout all three campaigns, each group has special units and spells that make each experience feel fresh. For the most part, each mission can easily be conquered, though there were a few that kept me on my toes for up to 30 minutes at a time. Knowing which units and spells to use will be the key to victory in some of those longer, tougher missions.

As its title suggests, Swords and Soldiers has received a wonderful HD upgrade. The game’s world and characters drip with personality and look absolutely gorgeous on my HD TV. While the graphics are fantastic, they can only be fully enjoyed if you’re playing with a Wii Remote. However, the game still looks great on the Wii U GamePad’s screen.

Final Thoughts:
Swords and Soldiers HD is another great Wii U offering from Two Tribes. The game controls beautifully with the Wii U GamePad and there are approximately 3 to 4 hours of gameplay in the game’s campaign mode – many more if you enjoy multiplayer skirmishes. There is currently no online multiplayer or DLC, but the game is a steal at its $2.99 price point on the Wii U eShop.

8.5/10 – Great

Review copy provided by Two Tribes

Turtle Tale Review (Nintendo 3DS)

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Saturnine Games is back with another platformer for Nintendo fans to enjoy. This time, however, Saturnine Games is leaving behind the gravity flipping mechanic of Antipole for a more straightforward experience in Turtle Tale.

Turtle Tale is a tale about Shelldon, a water gun wielding turtle who enjoys relaxing in his hammock. One day, however, Shelldon’s relaxation time is interrupted by Capetian O’Haire and his gang of pirates. Realizing they are looking to capture his island again, Shelldon sets off to take it back from this band of pirates. This is as deep as the story ever gets for Turtle Tale, which is complemented by the game’s simplistic gameplay.

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Turtle Tale is a 2D, side-scrolling platformer that plays extremely similar to many platformers from the NES era. Players must guide Shelldon to the end goal of each level – of which there are 15 – by jumping over pits and obstacles, and defeating enemies in his path. You’ll only need to use the B button to jump, the Y button to shoot his water gun, and the D-pad (or Circle Pad) to control Shelldon. Players must also keep an eye on Shelldon’s health meter as four hits will do him in.

Players can expect to find a variety of classic platforming elements including automatically scrolling levels, falling and moving platforms, tricky enemy placement, etc. For the most part, Turtle Tale is really easy, making it a less interesting game for platforming veterans; however, I could see children really enjoying Turtle Tale. In general, Saturnine Games does a good job with the game’s level design, making great use of every enemy and obstacle. There are a few places in the game that are considerably more challenging than the rest of the game, but nothing comes close to being impossible, especially seeing as there is an unlimited amount of continues and a great continue/level select system.

Perhaps the most interesting element of Turtle Tale is Shelldon’s water gun. This water gun doesn’t shoot a single blast of water, rather it shoots a burst of water that travels slightly downward. Your aim is to hit enemies with as much of this water as you can. This mechanic makes using the water gun a fun experience. I would like to see this mechanic used again, though it would be nice to add a charging system to send out larger blasts of water.

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It takes nearly an hour to fully complete Turtle Tale’s 5 worlds (Beach, Forest, Cave, Tiki, Sky), which includes collecting 100 fruit on each level, and defeating the game’s final boss. While collecting 100 fruit on each level sounds like a gigantic task, fruits are placed in your general path making it a simple task to complete. It is worth completing as a second quest will open up with 15 brand new levels to tackle. The second quest also challenges you with a reduced health meter. This second quest will essentially double your time with Turtle Tale.

Turtle Tale isn’t the most impressive in the art department, though I think the graphics are far from terrible. They are a tad generic with little sense of style, but should be commended for their bold use of colors. The game certainly looks better in motion as opposed to screenshots, and even better in 3D – though the stereoscopic 3D has been done better in other 2D side-scrolling games. In the audio department, Turtle Tale scores with enjoyable theme songs for each world. While the music is certainly above average, the sound effects aren’t quite as memorable.

Final Thoughts:

Turtle Tale will definitely be enjoyed by young children, though platforming veterans might find it a little underwhelming. Regardless, I can still recommend Turtle Tale for those days you need to find an affordable game to scratch your platforming itch. The game is only $2.99 on the Nintendo 3DS eShop (soon to be found on the Wii U, as well), which is fair for a game that will take around 2 hours to fully complete.

7/10 – Good

Review copy provided by Saturnine Games

Bit Boy!! Arcade Review

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Bit Boy!! Arcade is a sequel to the 2009 WiiWare game, Bit Boy!!, and presents a similar premise. Players take control of Kubi to navigate mazes so he can rescue his friends. This time around, Bit Boy!! Arcade drops the “throughout the generation” gimmick found in Bit Boy!! in favour of a more focused approach.

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Super Mario Bros. 3 Review

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Super Mario Bros. 3 Review

Super Mario Bros. 3 is the final Mario game in the NES trilogy and definitely the best. This game takes what made  Super Mario Bros. fun and not only improves it, but also adds elements that can still be found in the series today.

Bowser is back and he’s trying to rule the Mushroom Kingdom once again. Instead of just kidnapping Princess Peach, Bowser instructs his Koopa Kids to steal magic wands from every king in the Mushroom Kingdom. Not only do they steal their magic wands, but they transform the kings into a variety of animals. Now it’s up to Mario and Luigi to save the land… again.

Super Mario Bros. 3 plays a lot like Super Mario Bros; however, this time around, Mario can don a variety of different suits, each with their own power. Mushrooms and Fire Flowers are still present, but it’s the new suits that take center stage. Some of the suits include a Frog Suit that increases swimming ability, and a Super Leaf that transforms Mario into a raccoon, giving him the ability to fly for a limited time. Mario can also find the Hammer Brother Suit, and of course, the magical Tanooki suit.

Other than for visual appeal, these suits – particularly Racoon and Tanooki Mario – changed the way levels were designed. Flying allowed the developers to include secret areas in the sky that can only be accessed by using one of the aforementioned flight suits. Flying into the sky for the first time is an incredible feeling and was certainly a game changing experience for the Mario series.

There are 8 worlds in this game including: Grass Land, Desert Land, Water Land, Giant Land, Sky Land, Ice Land, Pipe Land, and Dark Land, home of Bowser himself. Each world is represented by an overworld map, a first, but consistent feature for the series. Players move Mario around the map and choose which level (or Mini Fortress) they want to enter. Also, on the map, players can access an item menu that lets them store and use items found in Mushroom Houses. The overworld map is a fantastic addition to the series and sometimes hold secret areas of their own.

At the end of each world, players will have to conquer the dreaded airship. Airships are intense levels accompanied by heart pounding music and dangerous level design. Getting to the end is a feat in itself, but a battle with one of seven Koopa Kids still waits. These levels are awesome in design, and its theme song is one of the best in the series. Airship levels aren’t the only new level additions in Super Mario Bros. 3 either, also, for the first time, players can venture through many fortress levels.

Fortress levels are castle-like levels that feature many ghostly enemies, some of which make their first appearance in the Mario series. Enemies such as Boos, Thwomps, and Dry Bones instantly come to mind. Also, at the end of each fortress, players will fight Boom Boom. Boom Boom doesn’t offer much of a challenge, but he does serve his role as a mid-world boss quite well.

Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of the best looking NES games, and definitely the best looking game in the NES trilogy. Sprites in general are not only highly detailed and colorful, but also varied. Having such variety creates a feeling that there is much more to discover; in fact, there is quite a bit discover in this game.

Secrets are around every corner in SMB3: one of the most famous secrets of all time are Super Mario Bros. 3′s warp whistles. Warp whistles are located at various hidden spots throughout the game and give players the ability to warp to a world of their choosing. Scouring the game for secrets is quite fun, plus there are plenty others to find, such as secret coin boats and white mushroom houses.

 

5/5 D-Pads: Overall, Super Mario Bros. 3 is an example of game design at its finest. Level design is among the greatest in the series (rivaled only by Super Mario World), as well as having some of the catchiest theme songs. Suits are a lot of fun to use and add some variety to the gameplay. Super Mario Bros. 3 is a classic game and definitely one of my favourite games. Anyone who hasn’t played this game should download it on the Wii U or 3DS Virtual Console as it’s only $4.99.

Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball Review

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One has to be curious about Nintendo’s entry into the world of free-to-play gaming. While that technically started with Steel Diver: Sub Wars, the game was so tedious and boring that I couldn’t even play enough of it to warrant a review. However, Nintendo definitely upped their game with the surprisingly glorious Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball, though I wouldn’t necessarily call it free-to-play.

Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball is a free-to-play game – though I use the term loosely – that was released on April 3rd, 2014. The game is free to download on the Nintendo 3DS eShop and gives gamers a small sample of what they can expect from the game. After downloading Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball, players can hop into the first game right away without making any purchase commitments. The game Nintendo gives you is actually a demo of the insanely addictive Bat and Switch. You get to sample a handful of levels for free, though you’ll need to purchase the full Bat and Switch game to experience everything. Technically, I don’t consider this free-to-play by any means, and truly believe Bat and Switch should have been completely free, though it was a fantastic enough experience to convince me to dive deeper into Rusty’s world.

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So, when you’re ready to purchase Bat and Switch, head over to Rusty’s shop. You – and by you I mean your Mii character – will be greeted by Rusty Slugger, a former pro baseball player that now sells sporting equipment and Nontendo 4DS hardware and games. Yes, you read that right; the Nontendo 4DS is Nintendo’s clever way of selling you mini-games, or 4DS cartridges if you prefer. You’ll notice right away that Rusty is a glum fellow, which plays a part in the 6 episode length story. You’ll be constantly cheering up Rusty with donuts and a variety of miscellaneous items, which help him solve some of his problems. Rusty’s wife is missing, he isn’t properly caring for his kids, and his confidence is at an all-time low. He practically lays a guilt treatment on you to convince you to buy his mini-games, to help him better his life. This, of course, leads to the game’s haggle mechanic.

rustys-real-deal-baseball-ss2To see the whole story, you must purchase six specific mini-games (there’s a total of ten mini-games) from Rusty. These are the mini-games that you must haggle with Rusty to buy. You haggle with Rusty by giving him donuts to cheer him up, providing the best answers to his questions, and providing specific items when necessary. Making all the right moves will give you the lowest possible price on each game. The game will tell you that you’ve reached the lowest price and then ask you to continue to the Nintendo eShop to buy the game. Of course, you’ll be spending real money on these mini-games. There are four other mini-games available, though these aren’t necessary to complete the game’s story and can’t be haggled for; you must use discount coupons on these mini-games, which can be earned by playing through the game’s mini-games.

So, how are the mini-games from Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball? As I alluded to above, these mini-games are fantastic, specifically the hitting mini-games. Every mini-game has 50 levels that challenge you to top a set score without losing your hearts. The hitting mini-games – Bat and Switch and Cage Match – challenge you to read pitches and swing for the fences, complete with a satisfying hit sound effect. Missing a pitch means you’ll lose a heart and when all three hearts are gone, you’re out. The mini-games start off easy enough by giving you slow pitches, but will ramp up the difficulty by throwing fast and trick pitches at you. The first 25 levels you’ll face are considered basic challenges, and once you complete over half of these stages, 25 advanced levels will open up.

Of course, there are other mini-games that put you in different roles. There are some catching and throwing mini-games, as well as an umpire mini-game. They all follow the 50 level format, though with a variety of new challenges to experience. Every game also has a pick-up-and-play control scheme that usually require only one button to play. I won’t detail them all, but these are also quite enjoyable and worth the low price of $2 or less that you’ll spend on them. In general, all of the mini-games have an addictive quality that is hard to explain.

rustys-real-deal-baseball-ss3Each mini-game offers a ton of replay value, not only in finishing its 50 levels, but also in the Hi-Score Derby modes A and B that each offers. These challenge you to go for the highest score possible in grueling endurance-like challenges. You have to unlock these Hi-Score Derby games by collecting stamps, which are given after completing levels. Collecting stamps will also unlock donuts and items that are needed to advance the story. Each level and Hi-Score Derby modes also have gold, silver, and bronze medals to be won for those that like to complete everything. Lastly, you can unlock new costumes for your Mii character by getting gold medals in the Hi-Score Derby games.

Besides being quite addictive, Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball is a visually and aurally pleasing game. It sports colorful graphics and some fine use of stereoscopic 3D. Not much else can be said about the game’s graphics as they are quite generic, in the sense that there’s not much flavour to be added to baseball. Frankly put, the game’s music and sound effects are awesome. The soundtrack is full of delightful, retro-inspired tracks that fit the game well. However, the awesome, satisfying bat cracking sound effects keep me coming back to Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball.

Final Thoughts:

Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball is an excellent free-to-play experience – if it can truly be called that – and proof that Nintendo is testing the Nintendo eShop waters in unique ways. The full game can be purchased for $16 after some tough haggling with Rusty, with a handful that are worth visiting over and over again, especially to hear the sweet sound of baseballs cracking off your aluminum bat. It’s hard to recommend the game to everyone, though Nintendo has made it easier by giving everyone a free sample, which you should ultimately use to influence your decision. If Bat and Switch doesn’t suck you in, then it’s likely that you won’t enjoy the rest of what the game has to offer. However, if you do enjoy the game, prepare to get lost in a strange, but satisfying world of baseball mini-games.

8/10 – Great

Downloaded from Nintendo eShop (All six story games and one additional mini-game were purchased)

I’ve got Video Game Music Stuck in my Head: Super Mario Galaxy – Final Battle with Bowser

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Every now and then, a certain song will come along and get stuck in my head. Today, it’s the little ditty above from Super Mario Galaxy.

Great music can make a bad game bearable. Epic music can make a masterpiece unforgettable. Without a shadow of doubt, Super Mario Galaxy was an instant masterpiece and certainly a contender for the greatest Wii game.

Picture yourself as a kid and battling Bowser against bland, black backgrounds for five or more years. Fast forward to 2007 and you’re defying gravity, traveling through space, and fighting King Koopa to save the galaxy… then this song plays.

There are few words to explain how this song makes me feel, but without question, the hair on my arms stand on end every time I listen to this orchestrated epic.

WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game Review (Sega Genesis)

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WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game Review (Sega Genesis)

It’s no secret that wrestling video games didn’t hit their stride until the Nintendo 64, and to a lesser extent, the Sony PlayStation. However, before those systems were even a thought inside my youngster brain, I was happily playing wrestling games like Nintendo’s own Pro Wrestling, WCW World Championship Wrestling, WWF Royal Rumble, and Saturday Night Slam Masters. On occasion, I would slip into the arcade to try my best against shady teenagers at WWF WrestleFest, but that isn’t the arcade game I’m reviewing today. Today, I’m looking at one of my all-time favourite wrestling games, WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game.

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101 Free Indie Games Offered in The Pirate Bay Bundle

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I appreciate video games of all shapes and sizes, not just those that can be found on Nintendo hardware. So, when I found out about The Pirate Bay Bundle – a legal bundle comprised of 101 free indie games – I knew I had to share it immediately.

You can head over to The Pirate Bay Bundle page to start downloading this massive bundle (1.03 GB) of games, in fact, I’m downloading it as I write this post. I can’t vouch for any of the games in this package because I haven’t played any of them, but you can take a glimpse at this trailer to get an idea of what you’ll be downloading.

So, see anything that interests you?

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