Category Archives: Video Games

Super Mario RPG Reunion

Control Your Opinions, Fans: Story of Nintendo Direct Smash Brothers Edition

Today, I saw the recent Nintendo Direct, which covered the latest news for Super  Smash Brothers for WiiU/3DS. It was a bittersweet moment as it was the last time Super Smash Brothers will get an update. First, here are my opinions:

  1.  I remember playing Final Fantasy VII in my younger days and I didn’t enjoy the game too much. Then again, this was my second RPG game I played (with Super Mario RPG being my first). Because of this, I was not excited when I heard that Cloud was going to be in Smash. Perhaps if I am given an opportunity to play Final Fantasy VII, I might enjoy it (except that everyone has played it and I have run into spoilers now and then). Nevertheless, I will admit his moveset looks pretty good and his stage, Midgar, looks even more awesome.
  2. I am interested in getting Corrin from the upcoming game, Fire Emblem Fates. Yes, (s)he is a Fire Emblem character, but (s)he’s not a clone. He/she does have a pretty interesting move set, definitely different from all the other Fire Emblem characters.
  3. Bayonetta is the craziest and possibly one of the most fun characters to play. This witch is all about style an in Smash, she does not disappoint. From initial looks, she does seem to be overpowering, but we’ll see in the final cut.
  4. Geno is available as a costume, but not a fighter. Still a win to me (see featured image).

Now, with those opinions out of the way, I will get to point of this article. Almost immediately after watching the Direct, I shared my opinions on Twitter and Facebook. After reading them, I felt they were not exactly the words I want to use, particularly my opinions on Cloud (one point, I thought he looked like a Fire Emblem clone, to which, after thinking it over, it’s not the case). From a gaming perspective, as I have mentioned, his moveset looks pretty good. However, my unenthusiastic outlook of Cloud (and Final Fantasy VII, in general), has interfered with my judgement. Nintendo may please many with their drafts, but they can’t please everyone.

Even though I have never played Bayonetta, I would still play the titular character (I have seen gameplay, and she does serve as inspiration) and it may be a while after its launch that I will play Fire Emblem: Fates, but since I am slowly getting into the Fire Emblem series, I’ll give Corrin a shot. Truth be told, I wasn’t too thrilled with Ryu as a playable character, but I still downloaded him (and his stage). So, to be fair to Cloud, I will give him a chance and add him to the roster when I have enough in my eShop account. Besides, as I said, Midgar looks really good.

And, again, Geno may not be a playable character, but having his costume available for a Mii gunner is better than nothing. Thank you, Sakurai, for keeping Geno in mind.

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Super Mario Brothers: A Little Tribute to a Big Game

The year is 1985. Nintendo is banking on the next big thing that would make them the king of the video game market. Leading this project was Shigeru Miyamoto, and with his team of designers, programmers, and a composer, Super Mario Brothers was born. With its smooth-scrolling platform levels, unusual characters, and a memorable soundtrack, the game became a stepping stone for future games, as well as one of the best-selling games of all time.

It wasn’t until 1988 that I got to play the game, and begin my love for video games. After Super Mario Brothers, I kept playing more games, not just Mario games. Regardless, my bedroom is mostly decorated with a Mario theme in mind.

Now, on the 30th Anniversary of Super Mario Brothers, Nintendo has allowed gamers to follow the footsteps of game designers, Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka, and create their own wacky levels of their favorite Mario games through Super Mario Maker, which is out now.


How wacky? Check out this clip from the Nintendo World Championships.
 
It will be a while until I get a chance to make my own level and play some of the crazy levels that have been created with Super Mario Maker (right now, I’m playing Splatoon), but when I do, I hope I get to have fun with it. I mean, I did have fun with the levels in NES Ultimate Remix and Super Mario 3D World. They were interesting, challenging, and very creative that you want to play over and over (whether it is required for you for 100% completion or not).

Satoru Iwata, wherever you are, rest assured that Nintendo is continuing the tradition of making games fun.

Thank You, Mr. Iwata

Thank You, Satoru Iwata: A Tribute to a Great Businessman

On his business card, it reads ‘Corporate President’, but he is a developer and a gamer.

He had many successes in the games he developed and the console he launched. As for his failures, he took responsibility. For example, when Nintendo was failing in 2013, he took a huge paycut to avoid employee layoffs.

He was the man behind shows like Nintendo Direct and Iwata Asks, shows where he would interview game developers and present Nintendo news to gamers.

Now I say to you, President Iwata, please understand that you were responsible for making Pokémon Gold my favorite Game Boy game of all time by having me travel through Johto and Kanto to extend the gameplay. You were responsible for developing one of my favorite fighting games, Super Smash Brothers, as well as other games such as Earthbound (which I need to finish) and Balloon Fight. You made memorable videos that featured you surrounded by Nintendo characters, or voicing a puppet version of yourself. You made me admire you more when you ignored the naysayers who accuse you of being “behind the times” to focus on fun. After all, you even said, “Video games are meant to be just one thing. Fun. Fun for everyone!”

President Satoru Iwata, you truly were a great businessman. Thank you for all of your hard work. You will be missed. Enjoy your travel down Rainbow Road.

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Splatoon: Nintendo’s Possible Next Hit

This afternoon, I had the privilege to try out Nintendo’s newest game series, Splatoon. In this game, you play squid people (or inklings) who shoot ink on land and at opponents in order to dominate the territory. Yes, Nintendo has made an original, but fun, third-person shooter.

I will admit, I am not good at shooters. My college buds can vouch that in the few times I played Halo multiplayer. Of course, other than the Halo LAN parties, I have never played a shooter genre game. So, for those who have me on their team would have to be patient with me. Regardless, Splatoon is a great game for novices and pros alike, especially for something this creative. Continue reading

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The Importance of Patience and Concentration: What I Learned from Mario Kart 8’s 200cc DLC

Last week, Nintendo released the second set of downloadable content (DLC) for Mario Kart 8. These available items included the following: three new characters, Villager and Isabelle (from Animal Crossing) as well as Dry Bowser; two new cups (Crossing Cup and Bell Cup); new vehicle customizations to match the Animal Crossing characters and Dry Bowser; and the newly-announced 200cc class karts/bikes.

After spending hours of playing 200cc class and enjoying taking the tour of the Animal Crossing track in time trial mode, I learned that in order to be the best in the currently-fastest class that is 200cc, you have to learn to control your vehicle, either by hitting the brakes or releasing the acceleration pedal. You may also have to learn your tracks real well to get the timing of drifts in order to get your boosts. Regardless, don’t worry if you get hit by a weapon or stumble onto any other hazard; keep going until you reach the finish line, even if it is the final lap. The proof is in the video link.

In short, check out my tweet.

Yeah, it’s just a further explanation of a tweet I made. But my point still stands. In fact, this is true for other competitive games. Learning about a game’s mechanics and experimenting with characters and features until you get a good feel about it makes the game enjoyable to play and to compete. I know this sounds like a standard ‘practice makes perfect’ article, but this experience proves it. You may deal with some losses, but as long as you had fun and learn something about this, the game is not a waste of your time.

You know, it may seem silly to see Bowser racing on a Vespa-like scooter with wheels that have a leaf on the rims, but he actually looks fine. Pop on a Bowser glider and it makes up for it.

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MAGFest 2015: You Have Been Good to Me

With the amazing concerts, the cool games, the entertaining panels, and all the sights to behold, you do not disappoint me. It was a so much to do, so little time thing, and there were some things I wish I could do things differently, like visit old friends more often, go to more concerts, take more pictures, get in line extra early for one autograph session, play more games like 8-player Smash and Pokémon, and not sign up for Name that Tune (because I failed miserably when I played). I guess part of me is getting to the age when you have to mind your health, though another part of me is saying that you need to be more social.

Then again, one artist whom I have followed online knows me by name, which was a surprise. And I got to meet a few new people (and got an autograph from Rebecca Sugar and Ian Jones-Quartey from Steven Universe). And I did compliment a few panelists on their good work. And all of the things I wanted to do were crammed into the evenings, but still enjoyed concerts such as MegaRan, Powerglove (see featured image above), Bit Brigade, Gamechops, and The Protomen and panels like Thrown Controllers and Cartoon Intro Sing-a-Long. And I have developed a love of indie games (which is something I never thought was possible), particularly Earthnight (see below video). Wow, I did a lot of cool things, more than I thought.

 

Nevertheless, I will focus on my confidence to stand on my own (by that I mean not rely on someone for a ride by conquering my driving fears). Here are a few pics I have taken this year.

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Memories of MAGFest 3: All Grown Up

As MAGFest slowly approaches this weekend, let us now conclude this retrospective trilogy by looking back in the last four MAGFests (if you haven’t looked at the previous two MAGFest articles, I suggest you go back and read them). This four-day festival of video games and music has become too big for a small hotel and has moved on to bigger places, leaving room for bigger faces to make their mark in MAGFest history.
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Memories of MAGFest Part 2: The Awkward Years

Welcome to Part 2 of our “Memories of MAGFest” series. If you haven’t got a chance to read the first part, check it out. It’s not required, but appreciated learning about MAGFest’s humble beginnings. In 2008, in its sixth year, MAGFest has reached over 1000 attendees, which led to a bigger location, which led to some of the craziest things to happen.
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Memories of MAGFest Part 1: The Early MAGFests

From January 23rd-26th, MAGFest, the video game and music festival at National Harbor, Maryland, will be hosting for the 13th year. As someone who has attended MAGFest for over 10 years, I will be happy to share some of my memories of possibly one of the best festivals I have ever attended (yeah, don’t call MAGFest a convention as it is not like any other convention).

Since I will be discussing a lot of MAGFests, I will be dividing into three parts. We will call this part, the early years, when MAGFest was just a small gathering of about 500 attendees before it became a HUGE event filled with 10,000+ attendees.
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