Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ultra Fun!

Today is the day for a glorious milestone. It’s not a milestone for any of you, though. Only me! Seriously, though. Today I beat my 78th game of the year, meaning I am 3/4th completed with my 108 in 2008 goal! And with like 2 days to spare, too! Not only that, but the game I beat just happens to be the 450th game in my collection. Yes, it was Kirby Super Star Ultra, my recently acquired and thoroughly enjoyed DS game.

To simply review Kirby Super Star Ultra would not only be inadequate, but unfair to the game. There is simply so much to talk about, it could take weeks. So I’ll try to sum it in as few words as possible.

As previously blogged, Kirby SSU is a remake of the SNES Kirby Super Star. And while I enjoyed the original, it is quite literally no more than a shell of its descendant. The first Kirby SS had 6 modes. The first was Spring Breeze, a short mode based on the original Kirby’s Dreamland. It’s only 4 levels, which makes it short and sweet. After that, you play Dyna Blade. It’s similar in nature, but there are 5 or 6 levels instead of 4, plus you fight the giant bird Dyna Blade at the end.

Another mode is the Great Cave Offensive, which is essentially a giant maze with 60 treasures hidden throughout. This is the largest of the original modes, as it can take several hours to find all of the treasures. Following the greatly offensive cave, you get to play Revenge of Meta Knight. Basically, you try and infiltrate the Halberd, Meta Knight’s gargantuan airship, before he can use it to wreak havoc on Dream Land.

But the original doesn’t stop there. You can also play Gourmet Race, a footrace against King Dedede where you try and win the race, but also pick up as much food along the way as possible. And don’t forget Milky Way Wishes. Play through 7 element-themed planets and stop the evil Marx from taking over Pop Star. All of the main modes let you gain helpers, by releasing your absorbed power. In addition, the game has 3 fun minigames.

Now, let’s examine the differences. Kirby SSU has every main mode from the original and 2 of the minigames. Plus, it has THREE new touch-screen minigames, and FIVE new modes. Holy. Crap. This game is huge!

The first new mode is Revenge of the King. Basically, it’s Spring Breeze, but much harder. Plus, King Dedede is… upgraded. When you play it, you’ll understand. The next mode is The Arena. Essentially, it’s the Boss Battles mode from many other Kirby games. But it doesn’t stop there. If you beat The Arena, you unlock The True Arena, a much, much harder Boss Battles mode. This is the part that took me longest to beat. You get to pick any power you want, plus one helper. It may not sound hard, but you have to remember that you have to fight 10 bosses in a row, with one life, and only a few small energy refills, all of which combined would fill your life meter once. Dang. But I finally conquered The True Arena this day!

Anyways, one of the other new modes is called Helper to Hero. It’s pretty much The Arena, but you play as one of the helper characters instead of Kirby. It’s quite fun! And last, but certainly not least, is Meta Knightmare Ultra. Anyone who’s ever played a Kirby game knows how much fun the Meta Knightmare mode is. Basically, you play through the entire game as Meta Knight instead of Kirby. What fun! But how does that work in this game? Well, in Meta Knightmare Ultra, you play through Spring Breeze, Dyna Blade, The Great Cave Offensive, Revenge of Meta Knight, and Milky Way Wishes. All in a row. It takes about an hour. And it’s awesome. That in and of itself could be its own game.

Kirby Super Star was an awesome game as is, but with all the new modes and mini-games, it’s simply incredible. And don’t forget, if you have a friend with the game, you can go through most of the modes 2-player. Wow. Simply amazing. I could go on and on about this game. Suffice it to say that it is a must-have for any DS owner, and an ever muster-have for Kirby fans.

This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:

Friday, September 26, 2008

Come and Upping Games!

I just finished my run-through of the newest Nintendo Power magazine and boy, are there some good games coming out soon. Behold! A preview!

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia (DS, October) - The excellent Castlevania franchise returns to the DS for it's bi-yearly outing. The controls should remain the same as the previous games, and of course, expect some crazy bosses and insane monsters. One change is that the main character collects Glyphs, which can combine to create more powerful moves using combinations of weapons and magic. Looks to be a great continuation of the DS Castlevanias. I myself preferred Dawn of Sorrow over Portrait of Ruin, but they were both fantastic games. Let's hope this one continues that tradition.

Metal Slug 7 (DS, November) - Metal Slug is, in my humble, yet undeniably correct opinion, the greatest run-and-gun franchise ever made. Not that there are that many of those type of games. Metal Slug just has a gory, testosterone fueled charm that many violent games simply lack. In any case, this November will see the release of Metal Slug 7 for the DS. Built from the ground up, it's an all-new Metal Slug with more bad guys, more weapons (like the new Electricity Cannon), and more giant vehicles to squish people with. When I have a bad day or need to take out some frustration, nothing lets me get the anger out of my system like a good Metal Slug. Let's hope the new one doesn't disappoint.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (DS, Q1 2009) - This is not a game I would normally blog about, but it's the first GTA for DS and who knows how it will compare with the others. I may decide to get it, but it depends on how much it is like the other GTA games. I like the driving parts. Some of the other stuff is just silly. In any case, Rockstar games is building this one from the ground up just for the DS, complete with touch screen minigames, such as hotwiring a car and tattooing a member of the Triads. It looks like it's done well. Now we'll just have to see how it rates content-style.

Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood (DS, October) - Sonic is soon going to be starring in his own RPG! While I am usually not a big RPG fan, this one has captured my interest. Especially when I learned that some of the battles involve Elite Beat Agents-style stylus movements. Plus, they say it's not an extremely long RPG, which gets bonus points in my book. Characters include, Sonic, Knuckles, Tails, the adorable Chao, and many others from the semi-vast Sonic universe. It seems counter-intuitive for the faster hedgehog on the planet to be confined to a turn-based battle system, but hey, ya gotta slow down sometime, right? Or something? Anyone...

Sonic Unleashed (Wii, November) - If there's one thing Sonic needed, it was a return to the 2-D style of gameplay he was famous for back in the early 90's. Believe it or not, for a while there, Sonic was a more recognizable character than Mario. He has since falling very far from the tree. Hopefully this one will return him to his former glory. Obviously, the game stars Sonic the Hedgehog. In this game, he turns into a werewolfy type hedgehog and beats people up. That sounds like a recipe for success to me. The blue blur will control differently depending on which character you are. While regular Sonic focuses on more puzzle solving and quick maneuvering, werewolf Sonic simply wants to beat the crap out of people. Sounds like it could be good. We'll just have to wait and see.

Sam and Max Season 1 (Wii, October) - I think I talked about this one once already, but the release date got pushed back, so I'll mention it again. Made by the same awesome people who are making Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Sam and Max is the point-and-click story of a Detective Duo of a Dog and Rabbit-esque thing. Expect plenty of laughs and fun. The entire 5-episode season drops October 7th-ish. At least, that's what I'm hoping. Last time I mentioned a release date for this game, it never showed up. I had dinner ready and everything. Wait, what?

Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People (Wii, October - December) - SBCG4AP will be gracing us about once a month through December. Simply put, the games are awesome, they contain plenty of hilarious Strong Badian style put-downs, and best of all, they're only $10 apiece. Such greatness has seldom been achieved. I've had a great time with the 1st episode so far, and I hope to get the second one soon. Long live SBCG4AP!!

Samba de Amigo (Wii, Now) - Apparently, this one has already been released without my knowledge, and without my permission. Those jerks. Just kidding! The game is based on the 2000 Dreamcast title of the same name. You shake your maracas (which can be a wiimote and nunchuk, or two wiimotes) to the beat, and try to score big points. I hadn't thought much of it, but now that I've seen some video, it looks like a lot of fun. Go buy it! Now!

de Blob (Wii, Now) - Sheesh, I guess this one's out already, too. You play as a colorful blob, trying to add color and eye candy to an inky world. But watch out for the inky police! The goal is to make things colorful. I hear it's kind of a sandbox type game, where you can just kinda do your thing. But I haven't played it yet. While it does look interesting, my guess is that it will hit the baragin bin before too long. Then I'll snatch it up!

Well, there are more games than that coming out this year, but these are the ones that interest me most. Therefore, they are the most interesting games! But, if there's another game coming out soon that I failed to mention, lemme know! Also, new poll!


Currently 90% Finished With: Kirby Super Star Ultra

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Only 91 days left!

Guess what everybody!! It's only 3 MONTHS UNTIL CHRISTMAS!! How awesome is that?! In commemoration of this grand occasion, let's talk about some games out there that include some Christmas or winter-type levels or themes!

Playing Christmas games goes way back for me. Way back to when my uncle gave me an old computer and I installed classic DOS games, like Jetpack and Jazz Jackrabbit. Both of these has excellent Christmas editions that were there to spread a little holiday cheer and make the countdown to Christmas a little faster.

Jetpack in and of itself is a fantastic game. And any fantastic game that adds the ability to play as Santa and put presents under the tree becomes a legendary game. Even better there is a level editor! Such beauty has scarcely been seen by human eyeballs. Back in the day, I had a great level that was simply meant for messing around. Teleports, random enemies, no goals or anything. Great fun!

Jazz Jackrabbit was also a fantastic DOS franchise. One part Sonic, one part Rambo, the rampaging rabbit always had plenty of adventure. Plus, there was a Christmas version. And, if anything was awesome about Jazz Jackrabbit, it was the music. The holiday music remixed as a sort of techno-rock mashup is simply a joy to listen to. And the gameplay was fun, too.

But these aren't the only games that can let you have a little Christmas fun. Sometimes, you need to look for Christmas inside a regular game. For example, Mariokart has some great snowy levels. The original SNES version had Vanilla Lake, a great level where you race around a frozen lake. The best part was getting mushrooms and trying to see how far across the water you could go before you sank. The N64 version has Frappe Snowland, the snowman-bomb ridden landscape with an excellent soundtrack.

Diddy Kong Racing also has some fantastically festive levels. Frosty Village is my favorite. Weave your car, hovercraft, or airplane through falling snow, giant candy canes, and Christmas spirit so thick you can cut it with a fruitcake knife. And don't forget Walrus Cove. While not as obviously Christmasy, it still provides some winter racing excitement.

But there are even more holiday gaming options outside of racing. Mario Party 3 (the best of the series, in my opinion [and I'm right]), has the best board Mario has ever partied on. The first board is called Chilly Waters, and it has the coolest music and environment around. Watch out for giant snowmen!

Even some 1-player games have some worlds that can help bring a little more Joyeux Noel into your life. Animal Crossing has an entire season of snow and fun! There are even special events during Christmastime. Super Princess Peach, the sadly undersold save-the-plumber adventure includes an entire world of Christmasy fun, complete with jingle bells and candy canes. Most Kirby games include some sort of snowy, cream-cheese world, too.

But don't limit your options to consoles. There are plenty of PC games (and many of them free!) that bleed Christmas. There are tons of Mario-type Christmas adventures, Christmas pinball, Christmas slot machines... you name it!

Basically, there are tons of games out there with plenty of Christmas spirit. It just needs to be found! So get out there, and find some great holiday games! As for me, I think I'm gonna fire up Twinkle Bulbs and play a little Christmas Jetpack.

Have a great Christmas game that I didn't mention? Let us know!


Currently Playing: Kirby Super Star Ultra, TMNT 2 Battle Nexus, Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Awesome Video!

Check me out! Two posts in one day!

Anyways, I just wanted everyone to see this video showing some of the gameplay footage from the new Warioland Shake It! game. It's amazing!

Wario Land Shake It!


First First Impressions

Well, it was confirmed to me yet again yesterday that I have the best wife ever, 'cause she let me buy the new and awesome Kirby Super Star Ultra for the DS! That means I now own 450 games! In addition, there are a bunch of games that I started recently, so I thought I'd share some first impressions.

Kirby Super Star Ultra, as I explained recently, is a remake of an old SNES classic, with some new content. And boy, is it fun! The graphics are classic Kirby. Everything is brightly colored and all the characters are smoothly and neatly animated. Plus, the game actually comes with fully animated 3-D CGI cutscenes. Now that's awesome.

So far, I've only played 2 modes: Spring Breeze, and Gourmet Race. Spring Breeze is a short, but sweet standard Kirby mode. There are only about 4 levels, but the music, level designs, and characters are reminiscient of good old Kirby memories. Great fun! Plus, in this mode, instead of simply copying powers, you can also gain allies. If you copy a power and then press the Y button, the power turns into a helper. Then you can gain another power and have double attack ability! Additionally, you can play this mode 2-player, with one player being the helper. You can even do it if only player has the game. Awesome!

Gourmet Race is a footrace against King Dedede. But while you're running, you have to grab as many food items as you can. There are 3 races in total. Every time you win a race, you get 30 extra points, so it's important to not only grab food, but to be quick about it. This can also be played 2-player, even if only one person has the game. Double awesome!

So the game has been good so far. My only complaint is that you can't hold the up button to inflate anymore. This has proved to be a minor annoyance, since I'm used to using that move. But I'm guessing it has something to do with that interfering with other moves. So, no biggie.

Another game I started recently is TMNT 2: Battle Nexus for the GBA. It's a lot like the original GBA TMNT game, as far as graphics and gameplay go. The story is quite a bit different, though, even though it doesn't quite follow exactly the same storyline as the cartoon (nerd alert!)

There are two types of levels in this game: there are fighting levels, and there are shooting levels. Since the Battle Nexus takes place in out space, about a third of the levels involve flying some sort of alien craft and shooting stuff. The fighting levels are quite a bit different from the original, mainly because at the start of each level, you have to fight without your weapon, until you can locate it. This can be frustrating at times, but so far, it's nothing I couldn't figure out without too much trouble.

Also included is a cool new race mode. It plays a lot like the Rainbow Ride minigame from Kirby: Nightmare in Dreamland. Plus there are 18 levels instead of 3. They are quite a bit harder and more complex, but I say it's an excellent addition.
Well, we have time for one more. And by time, I mean patience. A while back, I started Metal Slug Anthology for the Wii. It has Metal Slug 1-6 and Metal Slug X, all on once disc. Plus, it was only like $17 at CD World. Man, I love that place.
Anyways, I've been through most of the games, and they have been a serious blast (no pun intended). They are all virtually the same game with new levels and enemies, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

One thing I do like about the Metal Slug games and that they all kind of tie together. The bosses from the first games apeear in cameos in the later ones. And the further you go, the bigger the plot and bosses seem to get. Great fun. In short, I almost have it done.

So, once I can get a little more free time, I can work on my 108 in 2008 goal. Hoo-rah!


Can't Wait To: Go home, take a nap, play Kirby Super Star Ultra for the Nintendo DS Portable Video Game System

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fall Cleaning!

Most people have Spring Cleaning. I have Fall Cleaning! I'm gonna review three Virtual Boy games at the same time! Ready, go!

The game I can remember best from the Virtual Boy's short lifespan is Galactic Pinball. You may think that this is no better than any other pinball game, but you would be wrong. It takes advantage of all the great features the Virtual Boy has to offer.

Instead of a ball, you actually hit a puck. As it comes closer to the flippers, it seems to actually come closer to you. There are also special modes that the game has to offer, such as protecting the spaceship from asteroids, which come flying at the screen as you shoot them down.

Essentially, the game employs several minigames that would simply be impossible to recreate on an actual pinball table. Plus, (and this is a big one), the game is actually fun! It may not be the best pinball game ever, but it's dang near the top.

This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:

Those who remember the good ol' days of Nintendo Power magazine will remember an exclusive comic featuring Nester, the clumsy but adorable Nintendo fanboy. The Virtual Boy gave him an unforeseen opportunity: to star in his own game!

Nester's Funky Bowling is like many other video game bowling games. An arrow moves back and forth across the lane, and you stop it at the right time to throw at the pins. Then you stop the power meter at the right time to allow you to hit as many pins as possible.

The game offers nothing that any other bowling game has, with the exception of funky ol' Nester. But, it does have something no other Virtual Boy game has... multiplayer! You take turns! Crazy!

This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:

One type of game that has been around for long time, and will likely continue to exist are space shooters. The screen scrolls at a constant rate and you shoot the crap out of everything in your way. But, not all space shooters are created equal.

Vertical Force uses some of the Virtual Boy's cool features in gameplay. The most noticeable is that you can not only move from left to right and front to back, you can move towards and away from the screen. Essentially, it gives depth to a depth-less style of game.

This feature can come in handy when there are tons of enemies flying all over. You can escape death by moving away from the action. Or, you could shoot stuff and get points. Who does that?

In any case, the game plays well and is actually quite fun. I can't say that it's the best shooter ever, but I can definitely say it's the best one available for the Virtual Boy.

This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:

Monday, September 22, 2008

I No Write Long Time!

Holy crap! Almost a week! But if any day needed a new post, it's today. What a day for new games!

First of all, everyone's favorite iron-stomached pink puff returns to the DS in Kirby Super Star Ultra! It's a remake of the SNES classic Kirby Super Star. The original featured several shorter modes, rather than one big adventure. The new one includes all of these, plus some additional modes.

In the original, there was a short adventure mode called The Great Cave Offensive. The point was to navigate a large series of caves and levels to find all of the treasure. This was no easy task, to be sure. There were enemies all over the freakin' place, and they always seemed to be right where they were hardest to miss... which was everywhere! But it's all good.

Other modes include larger games such as Spring Breeze, a standard Kirby adventure, Gourmet Race, a footrace against King Dedede, and the Megaton Punch, a minigame to see who can punch a bigger hole in the planet. Awesome.

The new version also includes new modes, such as the interesting Helper to Hero, where you control one of Kirby's helpers, and you do your best to help him get to the finish. Double awesome.

But the fun doesn't stop there, dear biased friends. Also releasing today is Warioland Shake It! for the Wii. It's beautiful hand-drawn style is simply amazing, combined with (hopefully) intuitive Wii remote controls.

The premise of Warioland Shake It! follows true to the other Wario Land games. Wario wants treasure! And you can use your new Shake power to get it. You can grab enemies and shake the crap out of them (by actually shaking the Wii remote), along with money bags and other treasure-containing items.

In short, the game looks incredible. Hopefully, it doesn't make you shake everything all the time. Cause that can make my arms hurt. Where's my ibuprofen?...

Well, just when you thought today wasn't an amazing enough day for video game releases, yet another amazing piece of Nintendo classic-ness appears. Mega Man 9. You may not think this is anything that exciting, but trust me, this is something I've been waiting for for a very, very long time.

Mega Man 9 is not the 'new' game that you might expect. While all the bosses are new, the powers are new, and the levels new, the game design is not. But that's a good thing. A very good thing. You see, Mega Man 9 looks exactly like Mega Man 1-6. Which were made for the NES. OVER 15 YEARS AGO!

Capcom decided to give retro fans exactly what they wanted. They created a NES-style game and made it available for only $10. They even made it flicker and slow down if there are lots of items on the screen, just like it would do on the NES. Life is beautiful, people.

All I have to say is that I need about $100 right now so I can go and buy all this crap. Any takers? ... er, givers?
Btw, don't forget to vote on the new poll!


Currently Hoping: for more NES-style games

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sweatin' Bullets

Well, yesterday I recieved the NES Power Pad I order a couple of weeks ago. It's kinda like the DDR Dance Pad, but it's for the NES, and there are various different games to play. One of those games is called Short Order. It's a take on the old Simon-type of game. A customer comes into a burger shop wanting a burger with a certain number of layers. Your job is to build it layer by layer, as the computer instructs you. So, you start with 3 layers consisting of random ingredients such as tomatoes, lettuce, hamburger patties, or cheese. If you step on the corresponding numbers according to the computer's demands, it adds another layer, and so on until you get to the goal number.

So, the point of that story is that I am extremely out of shape. I have been for quite a while, and after building a simple 10-layer burger, I was worn out. But it gaveme a great idea! Today I shall inform you all about the larger-than-you-might-realize number of video games that let you exercise while you play.

Wii Fit (Wii): This may seem like the obvious answer, simply because it was made for exercise. The game comes with a hybrid scale/balance board that lets you do many exercises right in your living room. Either way, the game seems to work pretty well. If you play several of the 30-some-odd activities every day, you're sure to start feeling a little healthier. I haven't played it in a while, but my belly says I need to sometime soon.

My favorite activity is probably the snowboarding. You turn the balance board sideways, and depending on how you move and sway, your character does likewise. It takes a lot of practice to get any good, but it has one of the key factors many exercises lack: fun.

Dance Dance Revolution (GCN/Wii): Those who haven't played this fantastic series of games is seriously missing out. The games involve you stepping on a certain direction of the dance pad in time with the music. The better score you get, the more tracks and modes you can unlock. To be honest, the only one I have ever played is Mario DDR, but it's a great big piece of fun. It's worth it just to hear all the crazy remixes of classical music and Nintendo game soundtracks.

Short Order (NES): To the untrained player, stepping on numbered pads in a certain order may not seem like a hard job. But, to add an ingredient to the burger, you actually have to step on 2 pads, which means you have to hop front to back and side to side. It makes for some serious exercise really quickly. I would suggest getting comfortable with something like DDR first, which, strangely, isn't nearly as tiring.

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games (and other motion-intensive Wii games): The Wii has sure made a name for itself, letting kids play and get a little movement in at the same time. One of the most strenuous is Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, which lets you participate in the many and varied events from the world tournament. Some of the more difficult include the 100 meter dash and the 4x100 swimming. Interestingly enough, if you play by yourself, you actually get to run all 4 legs of the swimming and running relays, which will make for some serious pulled back and arm muscles after the first day. But even though the game will make you sweat harder than Rosie O'Donnell at the equator, it's also a lot of fun. Plus, not all the games are hard-core. Some other great events include Archery, Skeet Shooting, and my personal favorite, Trampoline.

World Class Track Meet (NES): Sometimes, the first is simply the greatest. Or in this case, the most strenuous. Nintendo's Power Pad often came bundled with the World Class Track Meet/Duck Hunt/Super Mario Bros. cartridge. Obviously, there is no running required in the latter two. But the Track Meet game can require some serious hustle. Take the 100m Dash, for example. Players must run in place and be fast enough to beat the computer characters (which, as we all know, are very good at cheating). It starts out easy enough, but wait until you get to the harder opponents, such as the aptly-named 'Cheetah.' Then try moving on to the 100m Hurdles. So not only do you have to run fast, you have to jump at the right time, too. Good luck with that one.

Well, there you go, biased fans! Now let's get out there and sweat to the oldies!


Currently Enjoying: The new games included with the new Zune update

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

All That Jazz

Anyone who grew up with DOS games (like myself), will likely remember the fantastic series of games known as Jazz Jackrabbit. And, just like I did, most people probably played the shareware version a hundred times, rather than fork over $20 for the whole shebang. Either way, Jazz Jackrabbit was one of my personal favorite computer games when I was younger.

At first glance, the game looks like a Sonic the Hedgehog rip-off. And while it is likely that Sonic was part of the inspiration, Jazz stands on its own with a different gameplay altogether. Plus, it had some of the best music known to DOS.

The story behind Jazz Jackrabbit is similar to that of a familiar plumber and his princess in distress. The goal is to fight your way to the end and win the heart of the lady hare. In your way stands the evil turtle regime, bent on destroying the universe. You'd think the animal that won the fabled race would be the good guy.

In any case, I recently purchased a little known copy of Jazz Jackrabbit for the GBA. It was the last Jazz game ever made, and hopefully someone will pick it up again. At first I had my doubts, since many DOS game ports for modern systems often turn out crappy (take for example, the horrendous piece of garbage that was Commander Keen for GBC). But thankfully, the folks at Game Titan pulled out a solid platformer.

The story and gameplay stays fairly true to the original. You play as Jazz Jackrabbit, defender of the universe. As you play, you pick up new and better weapons, like rocket launchers or carrot grenades. To be honest, this new version controls better than the original, for the most part.

Interestingly, in this version, Jazz seems like a younger, less seasoned space wabbit. And that's not a put-down. The game plays almost as if it's a prequel, with younger, more jubilant characters. Plus, the humor is pretty darn good, if you consider that most games that try to be funny, simply aren't.

The style of play is a little different, too. Instead of picking up gun power-ups as you go, you can buy new ones after each world, and then find ammo refills on each level. This may seem strange to Jazz veterans, but it's also nice because it lets you stockpile your good weapons for the bosses.

All in all, I found it to be a very fun, if short, adventure. Here's hoping that more Jazz Jackrabbit games are somewhere in the pipeline.

This game has earned a Blatantly Biased:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday is not FunDay

Hello again, fans! I apologize for the sparcity of posts, but with school just starting, things have been pretty crazy. But I know where my priorities are!

As you may have noticed, there are a couple of changes to the blog. Most noticably, there are no ads. After having ads on the site for an incredible two whole weeks, Google decided that I was a "significant risk to their AdWords advertisers." They forget that my foot is a significant risk to their comfortable rumps. But I digress. The other change is a new poll. Apparently, you can only vote once, so maybe I'll keep them open for 3 days instead of 7. We'll try it out. Don't forget to vote!

Well, I managed to find a few games in a strange places this weekend. We went to Kohl's the other day, cause they have some pretty sweet video game shirts most of the time. Well, while wandering around aimlessly, I managed to find a clearance rack. With video games. Like, new ones. And some pretty good ones, too. Plus, they were Buy One, Get One 50% Off. So I scored a copy of Worms: A Space Oddity, and Mercury Meltdown Revolution. Plus the original prices were significantly discounted, so I got a perty darn goot deal.

Of course, I had to stop at Hot Topic while we were there. They had the Mega Mushroom Plushie I was missing. Behold its giant head!

Anyways, my 108 in 2008 is going fairly well. I've had less time for games lately than I would like, but I still managed to finish the great Jazz Jackrabbit for GBA yesterday. Look for a review later in the week. In any case, I'm almost on track still, which kind of blows my mind, cause I feel like I haven't made much progress. But I shall reach my goal!

So that's about all I have for you today. Be sure to check out Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 2, downloadable now on WiiWare. Look for that one later as well. Bye now!


Currently Finishing: Mario Super Sluggers, Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People, Episode 1

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Wario Goes Guff! Guff!

I know you're all starving for another award-winning* installment of BB's very own GFGF Awards. Well, too bad.

Just kidding. Since the brand-new WarioLand Shake It! is coming out soon for the Wii, now seems appropriate to give out a GFGF Award (Greatest Freakin' Game in the Franchise) to the Warioland series.

The first Wario Land game was for the original Game Boy and it was actually called Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3. I don't know why Mario was in the title, cause he wasn't really in the game, except for the very end when he came and stole your treasure. In any case, the original Wario Land was a fantastic game. It wasn't too hard, it wasn't too easy. There was plenty of treasure to find, and plenty of enemies to keep you from it. It changed up Mario's classic run-and-jump platforming a little by making Wario slower (have you seen his legs?), but also much stronger. Plus, if you manage to find some items along the way, you can increase that power. Some items, such as Garlic, make you stronger and faster. Plus you get to wear a sweet Viking Helmet. Other items, such as the Dragon Hat, let you breathe fire and burn things. You can't get much better than that.

Wario and Mario are two very different people. Mario is in it for everyone. He's always saving the Princess or fixing drain clogs. Wario is in it for himself. He's always trying to get more and more treasure. Not that that's a bad thing, because come on, he's Wario. Besides, that's where half the fun in the Wario Land games is. You go through it once to beat all the levels, but then you go back to find all the treasure. The replay value for these games is actually quite high.

In any case, the next Wario Land game came just a year later, and it launched with the Virtual Boy. Many consider it to be the VB's greatest game. I'm not sure I agree, but it's certainly in the top 14. Either way, the game is a lot of fun. It took the same great Wario Land platforming action, and added 3-D elements, such as being able to jump from background to foreground.

Then, in 1998, the game went back to it's Game Boy roots with the cleverly titled Wario Land II. This one added a new twist by making Wario invincible. Now you may be saying, "That's stupid! What's the point of a platformer if you can't die?!" First of all, there are lots of platformers where you can't die.** Secondly, the game was not made any easier by lack of death. For example, there are levels where you must climb around on nets. These nets are ridden with pointy bugs that will knock you off if you touch them. Basically, you're going to be going across those nets more than a few times. Trust me, the invincibility is for the best.

Wario Land II was also interesting in that there were multiple endings in the game, depending on which treasures you found. This gave the game even more replay value than before, letting you go back and find all the treasures, and in turn, all the endings.

But, like many TV shows and game franchises, Wario didn't hit his stride until his 4th installment. That's right, Wario Land 3. Released in 2000, it was everything Wario Land needed to be, plus more. It gave you everything from the previous games, plus a freakin' sweet golf mini-game and some of the coolest music since Mario Bros. 2.

Each level in Wario Land 3 has 4 treasures to collect. But you can't get them all in one shot. Certain conditions need to take place first. For example, one of the treasures in a level might be a light, which turns on the lighthouse, which lets you go to the level near the ocean. So some levels need to be completed before others can be played.

The level designs in WL3 are fantastic. Plus, the powers you can get accomodate a lot of strategy. Some levels have thin floors, which you can only pass through if you are a zombie. To recover from being a zombie, you need to get into the sunlight. Some areas can only be accessed by breaking through the floor, which can only be done by eating a donut and gaining a disgusting amount of weight. Don't worry. Wario has a lightning fast metabolism, letting him simply walk the fat off. These elements make for a great game all around.

Now, don't get me wrong. I think all the Wario Land games are fun. But it is clear that some are better than others. The GameCube Wario World was a fantastic piece of fun, whereas the DS Wario: Master of Disguise was good but not great. Either way, Wario Land 3 sits cleanly atop the pedestal of Wario branded adventures. Therefore, Blatant Bias proudly bestows its highest honor to Wario Land 3 for the Game Boy Color. Congraturations!

Agree? Unagree? Let us know in the comments!


* Yeah, right.
** But I can't think of any.

Still Waiting For: Looney Tunes B-Ball (SNES)

Monday, September 8, 2008

Welcome Back!

Sorry about the delay, Biased Fans! But fear not! I am returned!

This past week has been absolutely crazy! The new semester started, so there have been about a billion students coming in and needing help getting their wireless configuration working. But now that I'm not working 40 hours (cause I'm in school), I should have time to sneak in my blogs while the teachers blather on.

Well, he last week has been fun. Wario Land for Virtual Boy showed up, so I had a good time playing that one. Wario Land is amazing. In fact, there's a fantastic new one that comes out on the 22nd for the Wii. It's even hand-drawn for some amazing 2-d fun!

But despite all the great games I've been playing, there will always be crappy ones. Case in point, a week or two ago, I had the privilege (read: misfortune) of playing the epically terrible ET for Atari 2600. All I have to say is wow. Total. Crapfest. But as bad as it was, I have played worse games. So here are some crappy games that I own.

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (NES): Doesn't he look delicious? This was the second game that I ever had for my very own. I believe it was a birthday present. I even picked it myself, cause it sounded cool. And while the first few minutes were ok, it never got much more playing time than that. It's not that it's stupid, it's just that it's hard. I mean, there are old men who leave bombs in random places. There are dogs who chase cats and both of them hurt you as they run by. And don't forget the birds who fly by and drop cinnamon-roll sized turds on you. But you have a weapon. A cane. And you can use it on one thing. A bee. And that's all. This game sucks.

The Ignition Factor (SNES): One time, I was playing someone's SNES and they had this great game called The Firemen. At the time, I couldn't remember what it was called. So when I saw a fire-fighting game at CD World, I bought it, hoping it was the right one. Alas, it was the McDonald's to The Firemen's Wendy's. While the concept is cool, the game itself is simply retarded. I'm gonna be honest... I had way more fun letting everyone burn to death than fo through the tedium of saving their annoying hineys.

Resident Evil 2 ( Tiger's was a semi-decent attempt at a game boy. The commercial showed Duke Nukem talking! And he does! But that's about as far as the system capabilities take it. Resident Evil 2 takes everything that's great about the franchise... and throws it in the toilet. Take, for example, the screenshot at left. Frightening. The first level involves you wrestling away several zombies who cling to your head and make the same stupid sound effect until you're dead. I think you actually die from deafness before they manage to sonar their way into your brain. Stupid zombies.

Fighter's Megamix ( I could put just about any game on here and it would fit. They mostly all sucked. Fighter's Megamix is one of those games that sucks so hard, it could put a hickey in a chrome bumper. You can play as characters from various Sega fighting games, plus the addition of characters from non-fighting Sega games. Like the car from Virtua Cop. No, I'm serious. You play as a dang car. And don't bother trying to figure out what's going on. With a staggering 2 frames of animation for every character, you better take a break every 2 or 3 minutes to keep the screen from getting burned in. Oh, did I mention the game sucks?

Bill Laimbeer's Combat Basketball (SNES): Ok, so I don't actually own this game, but I just had to put in on here, because in my opinion, it's the worst game ever made. The cream of the crap, if you will. With the success of NBA Jam, other companies started trying to make basketball even more extreme. Then some idiot with a .20 blood alcohol level suggested robots. Come on, seriously? But they weren't just robots. They were people in robot suits. Wow. The cleverness (or lack thereof) is simply astounding. I think that's where the creative process ended. Because the game plays from an over head view. See, that can work, in a game like Gauntlet. But basketball? Really? Oh, and because everyone has a robot suit, don't bother trying to actually, you know, run. Expect to score no more than 4 points per quarter.

Well, there you go friends. Avoid these games at all costs. Or even better, buy them and show your friends so they can further cement in their mind your status as a total nerd.

Have a crappy game? Let us know in the comments!


Currently Wanting to Play: Looney Tunes B-Ball, Smash Bros. Brawl, Mario Super Sluggers

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Super Cool

Greetings, gracious and biased fans! Today is the day where I show you my wondrous acquisition. Behold! A Virtual Boy!

Yes, I actually bought a Nintendo Virtual Boy on eBay. It was kind of a pain to get (like many things on there), but here it is in it's full glory. Hoo-rah!

As you can see, it comes with a perfectly good stand, controller, and headset. I also got Mario's Tennis, Mario Clash, Galactic Pinball, and Nester's Funky Bowling. Plus, Wario Land is on its way as we speak. What fun!

Now, the system I got is not perfect, and I may end up returning it and buying another one, because one of the screens is glitchy. You see, the system gives the player a great sense of 3-d by having two separate screens, each displaying a slightly different view of the scene. For example, I took two pictures of the title screen on Mario's Tennis, one from each "eye." When you combine the images, it gives you the sense of 3-D. And it actually works quite well.

You can see how the word Tennis seems much closer than Mario does. The 3-D view works great in Mario's Tennis, since the ball actually seems closer or farther depending on where it is.

The other games also work great. Mario Clash has a mini-game where you collect coins flying at you. You run and jump to collect them, based on where they are in the air.

In short, the system is loads of fun. It's too bad it never took off. I guess people hated having to play it on a table, and others hated having their eyes get sore from looking into a pure red screen for hours. But I've always enjoyed it. My brother had one of these once, and he mounted in on a hat, so you could wear it and take it anywhere. That was about the best idea ever. I may consider doing the same.

Well, friends, that's the big surprise I was waiting to show you. I hope ya love it! Cause I do.


Currently Playing: Mario Clash, Galactic Pinball, Mario's Tennis

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Da Weekend

Well, Labor Day is over, so all you ladies need to quit havin' babies now. You're just gonna have to suck it up and wait until next year.

Anyways, it was a great weekend, and it's also good to be back home. I got lots of sun and exercise (both of which I severely needed). Now I can spend some quality time with my wife and also with my games, so all is well.

Well, the top-secret-super-awesome item I was expecting has finally arrived! But you can't see it yet because I'm at work and I haven't had a chance to play with it yet! So expect a good run-down tomorrow, pictures and all.

Until then, let's talk about a few things. First of all, this week's Virtual Console list pulled out a huge surprise. The ever-popular and ever-hard-to-find-the-original-cartridge Super Mario RPG finally makes its VC appearance. I predict it shall sell at least 100 copies. Also included in this week's Wii downloadables is Clu-Clu Land, the obscure but fun Pac-Man-esque NES game, and the (definitely not) hugely anticipated My Aquarium thingety thing.

Anyways, here's something that could be fun... take the quiz below and it will tally your score and you can see what kind of gamer you are. Tally-ho! (Get it?)

So how'd you do? Leave a comment and enlighten us all.


Currently Enjoying: Something awesome and severely under-appreciated