Sunday, December 15, 2013

How many Mario cats do you have?…….

Super Mario 3D World! (Wii U)

So far I have really enjoyed owning a Wii U. Despite many people feeling that the system is "behind" in capabilities of its rivals or the fact that it does currently lack deep 3rd party supporting games, I really do enjoy the system and what it brings to the table. Things such as a lower price point, classic characters, and good BUILD QUALITY (AHEM, MICROSOFT) do mean something to consumers. And I'm sorry but I'm not upset that there isn't the same selection of first person shooters as I really don't play much of those anyway. And I do enjoy playing a console and library of games that are still challenging that also don't require me to wait until my kids are asleep before I can enjoy the full content of the game. You might think I'm foolish, maybe it's untrue, you might think I'm crazy, I enjoy Wii U….


So to save you from reading anything too fanboy-ish, I have absolutely enjoyed this game so far. It combines the 3D "free roaming" levels of Super Mario 64, with the classic 2D platforming that continues to somehow make Mario games enjoyable after 28 years. The colors look great, the gameplay is smooth and easy for anyone to pick up and play, the fun power-ups are there, and Nintendo does a great job of paying homage to itself through various musics & graphics that bring back the great memories of setting the TV to channel 3 + blowing in the game. 

Quick note: In case any of you are going to be dusting off your classic Nintendo Entertainment System, blowing in the cartridges, was part of what caused the blinking screen in the 1st place. Replace the "pin connector," which can be found at any game store or ebay for a few bucks and your golden. Just let me know if you need help and I'd be glad to. Unless you are my sister-in-law to which case, I'm not good enought to beat you at Tetris yet, so you're on your own.  ;)

The premise of the game is that Bowser is up to his usual tricks (OF COURSE!*) and Mario & Co. must put a stop to him. Right from the start of the game, we get a throwback to Super Mario Bros. 2 (US Version) and are able to chose from 1 of 4 characters to complete the levels; Mario (controls easily), Luigi (jumps high), Princess (floats), and Toad (dashes quickly). There are a few new items like the Bell which allows our heros to wear the Cat costume, and the Cherries that allows multiple versions of your character. 

Now, one of my ABSOLUTE favorite "side" parts of the game is the Captain Toad Adventures. These are side missions that center around a small Toad that don't take long and do provide a good challenge. The levels are small and easy to see with camera rotation, however Captain Toad cannot jump, so you have to plan your route and sometimes back track in order to complete the goal of obtaining all 5 green stars before time runs out. I freakin loved this and look forward to playing these almost as much as the regular game! Another neat item that coincides with "The Year of Luigi" is the addition of the bonus game "Luigi Bros." It's simply a copy of the original arcade classic "Mario Bros." with the main character being Luigi. Enjoy the POW, but use wisely my friends……..

DOWNFALLS: The only major downfall I can immediately see for myself right now is the price. Is this game worth $50 - $60? Wellllllllllllllsortttttttofffffffffffmaybeeeeeeeeeeeee, idunno. Is it worth $30 - $40? You better believe it is. I do highly recommend that any person that has enjoyed a Mario game at one time in their life or another play this game somehow.

Until next time,

I, I've been watching you

I think, I wanna know ya
Said I, I'm a little dangerous
Girl, I'd love to show ya……..

Thanks for reading, take care & have fun out there

Monday, May 27, 2013

Other: Motive


Just 5 more minutes, I promise I can still catch the bus..............

As Strickland would accurately label me a slacker, I promised a review. I'm going to drop some knowledge on you today. Okay buttheads? 

I'll stop now. 



Okay I'm moving on now before this whole write up is BTTF themed. What's that you say? USE the theme anyway? Pfft, that's about as likely as a screendoor on a battleship.

May 27th, 2013.  


Think I'll play a Wii game that I picked up on the cheap. 

$5, OH YEAH, I picked up "Metroid: Other M"

Many of the Metroid-heads did not like this game one bit. Before I get into that explanation, I'll start with some of the story itself. The overall place this game falls into the "official" timeline: after Super Metroid and before Metroid Fusion. So the short and sweet version is something that those who have played the Metroid franchise will be a bit familiar with. Abandoned space station. Samus, who joins/is joined by Galatic Federation, is there to check it out. 


You are going to try to read my thoughts.

You want me to make a donation, to the coast guard, youth auxilary.

You are probably thinking that Samus is a total Bad A__ and completely unstoppable, right?

I could see why you would think that. 

Sadly, no. In this game, Samus falls into the "man vs himself" style of story. Her connections with the Metroid, past relationships, it just isn't what you have come to expect from her normally, strong/silent type. 

I did enjoy this game. Its a fun game, and although I haven't completed it, I tend to enjoy the 3rd person control. The 1st person control, not so much. It seems that from various sources (YouTube comments, fellow gamers) the game doesn't hold up on it's place in the Metroid cannon. Maybe it is because I wasn't into the story needing to be perfect, after all, I'm not a die hard Metroid fan. Metacritic gave this game 79 out of 100, rather 8 out of 10.

 I really did like it and if you are looking for an affordable title for the Wii, pick it up. 

Thanks for reading, take care & have fun out there


Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Wrecked Game!!!!

This may be new knowledge to some of you reading on the internets, but I am a fan of what is considered "retro" games (pssh, I remember when they were NEW). Kids these days with their new finagled controllers and Nintendos (to us old folks, everything was a Nintendo). Games were cartridges and sometimes referred to as "tapes," which if you followed Commodore, they DID have games there were on actual cassette tapes. I know young ones are asking, "whats a cassette tape?" Stifle, and know your role. 

Anywho, thanks to this game review, I'm all in a fit. Fellow game expert Dave Burk stated, "It's a movie-license game. Never have your expectations up for such a property." That being said, I'd rather itch my butt like a dog on a sheet of ice instead of playing this game. 

One thing it does do well is remind me of games from yesteryear that had bad controls. Meaning, graphics may have been fine, story was sound, but you spent all of your effort fighting with the controller to produce the result you want. Castlevania. (Get behind thee Satan! How dare you Pat!) Hold on, don't hate. I love the Castlevania series for the NES, even the less than stellar Castlevania II. But anyone who ever played those knew that most of the time you were making jumps that required you to stand in a very precise spot (one foot off the ledge style WHATS UP!!!!). Don't get me started on the damage "jump backwards." Again, right now if you are confused, either find a way to play them or just save the hassle and  take my word for it. 

Back to life, back to reality.

Wreck-It Ralph could have been a great game. I saw the movie and possibly enjoyed it as much as if not more than my kids. I lost it during the "bad guys" group when they freak out and the Pac Man ghost turns blue (actually the whole time he is following the same pattern he does in the arcade game, I know, huge nerd whatever).

I thought the characters were good and actually found myself enjoying the iPhone App my wife has. Very Donkey Kong esq with the vintage graphics and game play. Thus, my expectations were upped for the Wii version. 

Why do I do that to myself. I guess as a Blues fan I'm used to...............

The game's graphics/cut scenes are a bit of a let down and look like they were done using a program on Windows '95 (yeah, I freakin went there). Basically it's just the picture of the character speaking with a word bubble above their head. SMH

I do like that the different worlds look like the different places in the movie i.e. Fix it Felix, Jr., Sugar Rush, Hero's Duty. 

The other annoying thing is the switching between the characters. See Ralph is a typical video game "big guy." He is strong and can move things but doesn't jump well and is slow. Felix is at the other end of the spectrum in that he's a bit weaker but has a double jump and can chuck his hammer like Link's boomerang (BOOYAKASHA!) Now switching between characters in a game isn't a bad thing especially if it's a one player game, but you will find yourself switching every few seconds or so. I'M NOT MAKING THAT UP. 

So in closing, don't pay the retail price for this game. I noticed that most places have it "new" for $20. I would rather eat the $20 bill and pass it. It would be more entertaining than playing Wreck-It Ralph.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play E.T. on the 2600.........

Thanks for reading, take care & have fun out there


Tuesday, December 11, 2012



Raise your hand if you have ever played any of the NFS games, almost everyone? Right then, now keep your hand up if you can name them and the differences between. Nobody? Yes, thank you, you there. No, Ridge Racer is not one of the NFS games, sorry. Please leave now. 

Uggghh. I really, REALLY, wanted to like this game more. I promise I'll be fair here. 

I noticed the new Need for Speed: Most Wanted demo was available for download on XBL. With all the excitement I tried not to download my pants (ba-dum tish)........... shut up, comedy is hard. 

This was supposed to be the next wave in NFS games. This was supposed to be unlike any other and completely set the franchise on a new path of success. After all, this is the....... wait for it.......... 19th installment in the NFS line!  So, let us review what I did like about this game cohorts. 

Graphically it is what you would expect from EA games, the cars look good, the open universe is done nicely, and it is typical NFS customization level so no surprises there. Due to the gigantic open world that you are required to race around, NFS has incorporated EASYDRIVE. This interface plays a large role and is the main way you go about your customization, switching cars, and race activation. I noticed some similarities between the race activation in NFS: Underground 2 where you have to hit a location on the map to choose your race. However in this NFS, you have the option to simply jump to the location instead of dealing with moron drone cars getting in the way. The look, sound, and idea behind the game is good. 

What is the most important aspect of any game? Being able to play it right? 

THE STEERING! OH. MY. $#^&%@^*%!!!!

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but when I play a racing game, Forza, GT, Tokyo Extreme, NFS, WHATEVER, I want to at least comprehend the correct physics with the cornering. This is one of those games that inappropriately touches drifting but almost seems like it can't decide if it wants to lean more towards arcade racer or sim racer. AND YOU MUST CHOOSE!

This becomes major apparent when you must slow down to make a turn, however the AI racers can take the same line at full throttle, no issues. EXAMPLE: If you try and shadow the AI, lets say on a 90 degree bend you HAVE to keep your foot in it, otherwise they dust you. If you do stay on it, guess what? Under steer and wall time. BUT THE AI CAR DIDN'T HAVE THAT PROBLEM! 


Again, it's not a bad game. I'd even say its one of those that is worth a shot as the full game, but I typically don't fork over $60 when I'm not 100% on board. 


 Thanks for reading, take care & have fun out there,

Friday, August 26, 2011

3, 2, 1.........GOOOOOOOOO!

Win ^
Many of you are aware that I like vehicles. So much so that I modified (minor) my family’s automatic 100whp Corolla. Why you ask? It's like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it. That being said, lets have a look at one of my favorite racing game series of all-time. F-ZERO! Whats not to love about these games? I mean c’mon, F-Zero sounds like you’re racing and dividing by zero all at the same time which means YOU’RE FRACKING AWESOME! And if that doesn’t get you all in a tizzy, two words:


That’s right, if you have ever heard these words or seen some of the funny de-motivational pictures on the interwebs, that phrase is from a character that got his start in the F-Zero franchise, Captain Falcon, who’s vehicle is named the Blue Falcon. I’m pretty sure he has a move called the Falcon Kick as well. Hmmm, someone might need to be ‘evaluated’ to see what the Falcon is going on around here [ba-dum tish]. Hey comedy is hard, but I digress.

F-Zero (エフゼロ) is a series of futuristic racing video games originally created by Nintendo. The first game was released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990. The first game in the series and a launch game for the SNES, F-Zero was also the first Super Nintendo game to use a technique that Nintendo called "Mode 7 Scrolling". When Mode 7 was combined with scaling and positioning of the layer on a scanline-by-scanline basis it could simulate 3D environments. Such techniques in games were considered to be revolutionary in a time when most console games were restricted to static/flat backgrounds and 2-dimensional (2D) objects. The result was developer Nintendo EAD creating the fastest and smoothest pseudo-3D racer ever on a console at that time. Roughly seven years later, F-Zero made its return to the Nintendo64 console. This game featured the original 4 cars plus 30 new machines and even more tracks. Critics said that the graphics lacked, which was true but this was due to the limitations of the console and the game needing to run at 60 frames per second. In 2003, The next F-Zero game, F-Zero GX, was released for the Nintendo GameCube and developed bySega's Amusement Vision team, and is the first F-Zero game to feature a story mode. I'm not going to really get into the Gameboy versions but just know they're awesome too.

I love almost everything about these games. The controls are smooth and easy to use on each of the consoles. There became more options as the technology on each console progressed. When I was younger, the only thing I remember bugging the crap out of me was that you didn’t get the ability to use boost until you completed the first lap. AND THAT SONOFAGUN car that was always flashing & would blow up if you made contact. I hated that guy. Stupid cheating games!!!!!

I really wish they would have made a version for the Wii because I thought that the Wii-motion would have been a neat thing to use to race. Maybe I’ll get my wish on the Wii-U.

Thanks for reading, take care & have fun out there everybody.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Game Boy Micro

What do you think when the word micro comes up? Micro Brewery, Micro Machines (awesome), Microsoft? In this case I felt it necessary to talk about one of my favorite pieces in 'the collection,' the Game Boy Micro! 

"....The what!?!?! I don't remember that one Pat."

Of course you do. It was released in North America on September 19, 2005 & it features a back lit screen with the ability to adjust the brightness so as to adapt to lighting. The shape itself is kept to a more simple oblong—similar to the style of the Nintendo Entertainment System controller (i.e. d-pad, a & b buttons). The Game Boy Micro also featured a removable face plate that allowed consumers to purchase alternative designs. What's not to love? 

Of course, it has flaws. Geez ya pessimist I'm getting there. 

It was small, REALLY small. So much that I find myself holding it right in front of my face (that's what she said) at times or squinting. The screen looks great but the entire system fits into the palm of your hand thus larger than average hands = fail. Not a problem for myself. 

Honestly though, for playing GBA games, I prefer to use my Micro. The battery is phenomenal and it is light so there is minimal fatigue. Basically, if you can get a good deal on one, I recommend the Game Boy Micro for the collector. Especially if you can find one of the anniversary editions like yours truly has.

Til we meet again, God bless and take care.