Tag Archives: nintendo
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.
Finally, after three long years, I’m compiling another list of horror games that can be played on Nintendo consoles. This list is a little shorter so think of it as a supplementary list for the Top 10 Horror Games to Play on Nintendo Consoles article. Some of these games may scare you silly; some of them are full of blood and guts. Regardless, all of these games can be played on Nintendo consoles and they are great to pop in during the macabre month of October.
Today is a sad day for Nintendo fans: a legendary video game visionary is no longer with us. Former Nintendo president, Hiroshi Yamauchi, passed away earlier today at the age of 85.
Hiroshi Yamauchi was instrumental in switching Nintendo’s focus from playing cards to video games, and led the company through the introductions of the Famicom/NES, Super Famicom/ SNES, N64, and Nintendo GameCube before stepping down in 2002.
Hiroshi Yamauchi was in the hospital when pneumonia complications took his life.
His influence was strong during his years at Nintendo, and that influence will continue to be felt by all of us as the years roll by. Let’s take a moment and honor his life by remembering the memories made possible by Hiroshi Yamauchi.
While everybody expected Nintendo to announce a price drop for the Wii U, I don’t think anybody could have predicted the arrival of Nintendo 2DS. One move gives Nintendo’s newest console a real pair of legs to stand on, while the other takes legs away.
Nintendo Digest: Nintendo Goes Free-to-Play
It’s still early in the week, but that isn’t stopping the news from flowing freely through the interconnected computer networks that make up the Internet. Today, we’ll take a look at the shocking news of Nintendo developing a free-to-play game, Nintendo 3DS sales from May, and a promising indie title coming to the Wii U.
Explore the Nintendo Digest
- Nintendo Trying out the Free-to-Play Model with an Unexpected IP
- Nintendo 3DS is the Top Selling Platform in May 2013
- Teslagrad is Coming to the Wii U
- Trailer Roundup
Shigeru Miyamoto revealed to IGN that Nintendo will be testing the free-to-play waters with one of its newer IPs, Steel Diver. No platform has been announced for this free-to-play endeavour, but it has been confirmed that this iteration of Steel Diver will be a completely new experience.
Early 3DS adopters will recognize Steel Diver as a Nintendo 3DS launch title, but others may not be familiar with the game. This brings an interesting question to mind: why isn’t Nintendo choosing to use one of its more recognizable franchises to test the free-to-play waters?
For Nintendo, the answer is simple: there is already a degree of trust between Nintendo and consumers regarding its most valuable properties and the value those games offer, so they aren’t willing to risk losing that trust on a free-to-play experiment. Nintendo is promising to balance the pricing model with the entertainment value one receives from a free-to-play game. No specific details regarding the pricing model have been announced.
The free-to-play Steel Diver game is expected to debut later this year.
Nintendo 3DS was the best selling platform in May 2013, according to a press release from Nintendo. Nintendo also had two Nintendo 3DS games in the top 10 selling software for the month of May, as well. These titles are Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D and Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon, third and fifth respectively. Unfortunately, Nintendo didn’t give any sales figures for the Nintendo 3DS hardware or its software.
Note: May 2013 is the worst performing month for software sales in the video game industry since May 2000; overall, software sales were down by 25%.
Source: Nintendo PR/2
Earlier today, Rain AS announced they will be bringing its puzzle platformer, Teslagrad, to Nintendo’s Wii U console. No Wii U features have been announced, but a mockup image shows that Rain is thinking about using the Wii U GamePad to display a map.
No release date has been announced for Teslagrad, but the game is expected to come to the Nintendo eShop.
Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link Review
The Adventure of Link is the second game in the Zelda series, and sequel to the NES classic, The Legend of Zelda. However, Zelda II isn’t exactly a carbon copy of the original like most sequels tend to be; in fact, it changes up the formula quite a bit. Zelda II is widely known to be the black sheep of the Legend of Zelda series. Its gameplay style differs the most from other Zelda games, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Zelda II: The Adventure of Link is a bad game.
As a direct sequel, Zelda II takes place a few years after the defeat of Ganon. Even though the king of evil was defeated, his presence is still felt throughout Hyrule. Seeking to revive their master, Ganon’s minions cast a spell on Zelda, one that puts her in an eternal slumber. With Zelda out of the way, the minions seek the three pieces of the Triforce to resurrect Ganon. It becomes necessary for them to annihilate Link and steal the Triforce that he bears. Link learns of Zelda’s misfortune and sets out to break the spell and wake her from her slumber.
Already possessing two pieces of the Triforce, Link has to find the third piece to help the princess. The last piece, Courage, resides inside the Great Palace, which is blocked by a mysterious energy. Gaining entrance isn’t an easy task as Link has to set crystals in six statues, each overlooked by one of Ganon’s guardians. It is only after defeating the guardians and setting the crystals that Link can venture inside the Great Palace.
Upon starting the game you will notice right away that Zelda II plays much differently from its predecessor. Zelda II begins without pulling any punches by throwing you directly into the sidescrolling perspective. This is something that you will have to get used to quickly because this is how the majority of the game is played. Link does navigate an overworld with an overhead perspective, but this only occurs when traveling between towns, palaces, caves, etc. Link can not battle enemies or collect items in the overworld as it’s mainly used to connect the world.
The majority of this adventure will take place in the sidescrolling view. When touching enemies, caves or palaces, Link will enter a sidescrolling action stage, but more on that in a little bit. Towns also play their first big role in a Zelda game. They are explored in the sidescrolling perspective, much like the action stages, but contain depth that you wouldn’t normally expect in a sidescroller. Link can talk to the villagers, heal, and learn new magic: things you would expect to experience in a town from an RPG. Link may also get hints to help him throughout his journey, making it worthwhile to chat with everyone.
Let’s get back to the action stages. Link fights much differently in this game because of the sidescrolling perspective. He can stab high with his sword, or low while ducking, and even jump – helpful when using new sword techniques. There is an upwards stab and a downwards stab that can be learned, both can only be done after pressing the jump button. Combat is varied as there are a number of different enemies and bosses each with their own pattern. Without mastering these techniques you may have trouble defeating some enemies.
Aside from sword combat, Link can also utilize magic for the first time in the series. There are a total of eight spells including: Life to refill your health, Shield to halve damage, and Thunder to destroy all on-screen enemies. There is a magic meter which will limit the amount of spells you can cast, an element seen in many Zelda games since. It’s also noteworthy to mention that Magic pretty much replaces the item mechanic of the first game, which is severly missed. Regardless, all of the above elements make for a deep, different, and enjoyable combat experience.
Zelda II can be a hard game and it boils down to certain design elements chosen for the game. I think Link controls well in both combat and jumping, so I wouldn’t necessarily blame the controls. However, the game can become frustrating when learning enemy patterns, platforming sections, or when there are multiple enemies on-screen. In these situations it’s best to be patient and advance wisely. Link can also utilize 1UPs for the first time, which can give you a second crack at the obstacle you are trying to overcome. However, this next design choice will have you throwing your controller around quite a bit.
If you lose all of your lives and get the dreaded Game Over screen, you must start again from Zelda’s chamber. This forces you to navigate through the dangers you previously had to overcome, to get back to the area that took all of your lives. Luckily, Zelda II also introduced an experience system which can be used to level up your life, magic, and attack stats. You will even endure grinding similar to that found in RPGs. Using this experience to level up your stats will lend a helping hand, and I think that this is something future Zelda games could expand upon.
Overall, the gameplay is well-designed, save for a few complaints above. Palaces are similar to the dungeons in The Legend of Zelda in that they are mazes that are gradually uncovered by exploring each room, finding keys for locked doors, and culminating in a boss battle. Other familiar elements such as fairies and sword beams can be found, as well. New elements introduced in Zelda II – including the magic meter and towns – even carry forward in the series. So, if you were told this game isn’t like Zelda, somebody lied. Yes, the sidescrolling stages are quite different, but this is a Zelda game at heart.
Visually, I feel that The Adventures of Link does lack a little bit. Sprites are nicely design with great animations, but other aspects lack originality. Most of the game will look almost entirely the same, save for some palette swapping. Maybe I’m picking on this aspect a little too much, but I feel more could have been accomplished. Regardless, there is no doubt a unique atmosphere created in Zelda II, one that is consistent. Musically, Zelda II is better than The Legend of Zelda. There are extremely catchy tunes in the Town Theme and Palace Themes, as well as a beautifully crafted opening and overworld theme. The Palace Theme happens to be one of my personal favourite Zelda tracks, of all time.
3/5 D-Pads: Zelda II isn’t the game you’d expect to play upon insertion of the cartridge, or booting up the Virtual Console, but it’s a satisfying experience. Sword combat is varied and perhaps influential behind Nintendo’s decision to make combat a more complete experience in Skyward Sword. Also, Zelda II carries forward elements that have become staples in the Zelda franchise. Add in a touch of great music and you have a complete Zelda experience, despite what you may have heard. If you’re one of those Zelda fans that has completely ignored this game, please give it a chance, you may be surprised.
Nintendo has just opened its E3 2013 website, which promises to bring game announcements, behind-the-scenes video tours, interviews, and more. This actually sounds a lot like the E3 hubs Nintendo has created in the last few years. The website also reveals, in a subtle manner, the run time for Nintendo Direct to be an hour long.
Earlier today, news broke concerning the 89 Best Buy locations in the US that will be holding events to showcase Nintendo’s E3 2013 Wii U Demo lineup. Now, thanks to Cohn & Wolfe and Nintendo of Canada, I have a list of the Canadian locations that will also be holding these E3 2013 events. These events will take place at the same times slotted for the US events: June 12 (4-8 P.M. local time) and June 15 (1-5 P.M. local time).
- North York
- Calgary (2 locations)
Nintendo is unleashing a campaign to get customers into Best Buy stores to play the demos they will be bringing to E3 2013. I’m sure Nintendo is hoping that some people are so impressed, they buy a Wii U during their visit. As of right now, only 89 Best Buy locations have been announced for the US, however, there are still 21 locations to be announced for Canada.
You can visit any of the following Best Buy locations on June 12 (4-8 P.M. local time) and June 15 (1-5 P.M. local time) to play Nintendo’s E3 2013 demos:
North Little Rock
West Des Moines
Long Island City
King of Prussia