Monday, 15 March 2010

Super Strike Gunner SNES Review

Oh my lord what a bore, back in the 80's and 90's shump's were like FPS, they were everywhere the only difference was that the popular ones were good well the less popular ones weren't. Super Strike Gunner is such a game.
To start off the game is just so dull and bland the backgrounds are lifeless and plain, the levels are repetitive and the enemy patterns are easier than a game of Simon.
At the lest I can say the developers got the gameplay right the ship moves smoothly and the controls are sound. Before each stage you get to pick a special weapon what I like about the weapons is how they react to the control's, for example with the turret the bullets go faster if you push the button down hard and then you have weapons like the spread missiles where the amount you fire depends on how long you hold the button down for. This is the nicest thing I can say about the game, if it wasn't for the games dullness I would recommend it but lets not get ahead of ourselves.
The game isn't very difficult if you were to stay focused you would easily get through the stages without dying. The enemies ranged from stuff like plans, jets choppers, thanks ,boats, turrets and all the other boring stuff, why is everything grey or brown? Why can't the enemies be a little more varied or colourful?
The bosses suck, they are over sized and fill multiple screens, it's not always a bad thing but it isn't needed the bosses week points and weapons are all spread out so it is easy to take the boss down while avoiding gun fire. Like all shump's there are power up's, but these are crappy ones they come in two flavours ammo refill and weapon upgrade (or what is in some cases a downgrade considering how bad some upgrades are) and as always you die and you lose all the time and effort you worked on.
What really annoy's me is the level design, there are times when you can go as long as 15 seconds without there being any enemies on the screen.
One more thing, if you hold down the fire button and fly the the to of the screen your rate of fire increases, this is because the game only allows so many shoots on the screen at once, it also works when you are shooting things from up close, try it yourself the bosses will go down much faster.
The graphics while not bad just scream generic dullness, the kind that visually bores you and causes you to loose interest like I did. The backgrounds vary you have your classic jungle, desert, beach, sea and sky themes along with a few others, the creativity is lacking.
The music sucks, like the rest of the game it is boring and uninspired, just pointless samples that loop over and over.
In all Super Strike gunner may not be the worst shump ever but it is one hell of a boring one, avoid.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Donkey kong Classics NES Review

29 years, that's how long it has been since Donkey Kong was released in arcades, to think it has been nearly 30 years since Nintendo changed gaming and helped shaped the gaming present.
Back in the eighties Donkey Kong was huge, its impact is comparable to that of Pac-Man, Space Invaders or Pong, it was that game that everyone wanted on their console. Atari, Coleco and several other companies fought each other for the rights to do a conversion, there were many Donkey Kong conversions, some were good and some were god awful. But at the end of the day it was Nintendo who wins the title for best conversion, but lets be honest no one knows a game better than the people who made it.
Donkey Kong Jr was another case, all those companies duked it out to see who could make the most successful donkey Kong conversion, again Nintendo won.
Both Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr were ported to NES, it seems that those games were the reason why the NES was made. While game games were both given separate releases they were eventually re-released as one game, Donkey Kong Classics.
Donkey Kong Classics is a compilation containing the NES versions of Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr, like the original releases both games have a game A and game B, game A is like the normal game and game B is like a hard mode. The games also had a two player option where players took turns to see who would get the best high score.
Donkey Kong on NES is a fairly faithful conversion, the graphics replicate the original well, there isn't much to say about it, you have the legendary first stage where you jump over the barrel's that Donkey Kong throws at you, the theme of the original game was to get to the top of the screen.
After the first stage you have the second stage which consists of classic platforming, you have several platforms scattered all over the stage and you have to jump to them so that you can complete the stage, this time Donkey Kong isn't throwing barrels at you instead he is sending giant springs off you kill you, the springs move by jumping so there is always a blind spot where they jump, they can't kill you if they stand there.
One thing that is disappointing about the NES version of Donkey Kong is the decision to drop the 3rd stage, meaning that the NES version of Donkey Kong has only 3 stages. Missing stages and all Donkey Kong is a timeless classic that you can play over and over again, the games fun rests in its challenge, each time you beat the final stage the game starts over with a higher difficulty meaning that you will play until your lives run out.
Donkey Kong Jr is the opposite of Donkey Kong, you're not the small man trying to save the fair maiden from the big ape this time you are the small ape trying to save the big ape from the small man.
Donkey Kong Jr added to the foundations that had been set by Donkey Kong, I would go as far to say that this is the better game, the stages are bigger, the game is more colourful, there is a bigger emphasis on platforming and this conversion contains all 4 original stages. The biggest change to the gameplay was the vines, you get around Jr had to climb vines, this opened up the game play to new ideas.
Graphically Donkey Kong Jr is better than Donkey Kong, but both are still good considering that this is a conversion of an arcade game.
The two games are timeless classics. Both are available on Nintendo Virtual Console.

Mach Rider NES Review

It's the year 2112, the earth has been invaded and taken over by the evil forces known as the Quadrunners. You are Mach Rider, it is your job to travel from sector to sector on your motorcycle searching for survivors and destroying all that stands in your way.
Released as a launch title in America Mach Rider is one of Nintendo's forgotten hits. The game see's you playing as Mach Rider in one of three game modes, the Fighting course, the Endurance course and the Solo course.
Each game mode is different. The Fighting course is the main game, the goal is just to get from A to B, it doesn't matter how you do it just don't run out of lives. The Fighting course is the story mode, there are ten stages in total and each stage tells you part of the story. The Endurance mode is just that, under a time limit you have to travel is certain distance before the clock runs out, fail to do the distance in the time limit and it is game over. The solo course if that game as the Endurance course only with out enemies.
The game was different to other driving games at the time, it was a fairly complex thanks to the inclusion of gears and that fact that Mach Riders bike has a machine gun attached to it. Mach Rider is seen by some as a spiritual predecessor to F-Zero due to its futuristic setting, incredibly fast vehicles and violent driving. The only thing Mach Rider doesn't share with F-Zero is weapons.
Mach Rider is a fairly addictive game, the Fighting Course is good in both short busts and long plays (it really depends on how good you are). The endurance and solo course are strictly for long plays, these modes can go on for as long as you want all you need to do is beat the stages time limit.
Mach rider isn't the hardest game in the world but it still requires some skill to play, if you are good at it you can good for ages without ever crashing, if you suck you will die, and die, and die.
One nice little feature in Mach Rider is the option to create your own stages and ride them in the game modes, sadly though like Excite Bike this feature is let down by a problem, you can not save the stages that you have made, thankfully if you own the Virtual Console version then you can.
The graphics in Mach Rider are very colourful which may not please fans of dark post apocalyptic worlds, there are some cool graphical effects in the game, the road turns smoothly and it looks rather nice. The music consists of one track that goes on forever as you race, is this a bad thing? No, the music is great it gets you in the right mood for this type of game.
Mach Rider is a fun action game in all and if I was to compare it to something I would have to say that it is like Outrun but with guns.

Super Off-Road NES Review

Developed in 1989 by The Leland Corporation Super Off-Road (full title Ivan "Ironman" Stewart's Super Off-Road) was an arcade racer that had you race around tracks against three Ivan Stewart's, the game had some success in the arcades and was later ported to every home console available at the time.
The NES conversion was handled by Rare possibly because a lot of their NES games were in isometric 3D (Like Snake Rattle and Roll).
Rare did a brilliant job with this conversion, nothing is missing from the original. The game has you race against Ivan Stewart over 8 tracks in 99 races. The amount of races in this game stunned me, I was wondering when it would end, in all it took me over 3 hours to do all 99 races and this was without any breaks, saves, passwords or continues. Depending on the type of person you are you will either find this game really addictive or really repetitive, I couldn't put the controller down so the game really absorbs you.
The original arcade game allowed up to three people to play at the same time, the NES version allows up to 4 players at the same time (depending on if you have the NES 4-score or the NES satellite), the game is already competitive in the single player so imagine how much fun you would have in multiplayer.
Super Off-Road featured something that was quite new at the time, the ability to upgrade your vehicle, at the start of the game your truck is a piece of crap, it is slow and feels chunky,upgrade it and the car becomes faster and has smoother handling. Another useful feature the game included was the use of Nitro, the Nitro can give you a speed boost when you need it but don't abuse it, Nitro works best when used in the right place, if you use the Nitro on a straight then you will cover a good distance in a short amount of time, use it in an area that is fully of bumps and rocks and you have pretty much wasted your Nitro.
The game is split into two circuits, the beginners circuit and the championship circuit. In the beginners circuit you only race on half the tracks, the opponents are easy to beat and you are allowed continues if you run out of lives. The Championship circuit features all 8 tracks and tougher opponent AI, if you lose a ace badly the game gets easier, but if you lap everyone and win a race then be prepared to feel the wrath of Ivan. It is true what they say humiliation is tomorrow's fuel.
Control wise it is ok as long as you are not to picky, at first the controls seem blocky but after some practice you get past those turns with ease.
Graphically the game looks no where near as good as the arcade versions (it wouldn't) but it still replicates the game well enough to do the NES justice.
The music is alight too, each track has different music, some tracks get on my nerves while others I enjoy listen to, even if they are just lopped.
In all Super-Off Road is one of the best racers on the NES. If you want the game you can pick it up cheap on ebay.

Fatal Fury Sega Mega Drive Review

SNK's The King Of Fighters series is entering it's 16th year, with the recent announcement of The King Of Fighters XIII I decided it would be fitting to look at the game that got the ball rolling. Fatal Fury: The King Of Fighters.
Known in Japan as Garou Densetsu - Shukumei no Tatakai (Which in English translates as Legend of Hungry Wolf - Battle of Destiny) Fatal Fury is the first game in SNK's Garou series (Which included games such as Fatal Fury, Real Bout and the brilliant Garou: Mark of the Wolves), the game see's you play as one of 3 characters Terry Bogard, Andy Bogard (Terry's younger brother) and Joe Higashi (a kick boxer who enters the King of Fighters with Terry and Andy).
The game is set in South Town, the host of the King Of Fighters. Terry enters the tournament so that he can fight Geese Howard, the who murdered Terry's adoptive father Jeff Bogard.
Fatal Fury was originally released on SNK's Neo-Geo system. The Neo-Geo was an arcade board that was later made into a home console (an expensive one two).
The Neo Geo version of Fatal Fury was on a 55 Megabyte cartridge, there was no way that was ever going to fit on the Mega Drive. Takara were put in charge of the Mega Drive conversion, to cut down the game so that it would fit on a mega drive cart several changes were made, for starters the music and graphics were toned down (which was the norm). Other changes included the removal of bonus stages and the removal of two of the games opponents, so instead if fighting Bill Kane and Hwa Jai you fight the other playable characters, also there seems to be some missing moves (you'll have to take my word for that), one last thing that is missing in the Mega Drive version is the option to fight your opponents two-on-one, that may of sounded unfair but the original Neo Geo version was a very hard game.
Changes aside this conversion stays true to the arcade game, the game play is what sets the game aside, it is a traditional 2D fighter but it spices things up a bit by adding the ability to switch between the back ground and foreground meaning you could escape the enemy if cornered. It may sound like a gimmick but the idea works and it add's extra depth to the game.The gameplay not changed much over time, it still plays like a modern fighting in terms of button commands and such.
The game features a 2 player mode where you can play as either the original 3 characters (Terry, Andy and Joe) or that opponents that were not playable in the single player mode (and Geese Howard if you know the cheat code).
For Mega Drive the sound is surprisingly good, I'll admit the title music nearly made my ears bleed but the actual in game soundtrack is fairly good, not a patch on the Neo Geo versions but still good.
The graphics despite being toned down still look the standard on Mega Drive, I'll admit it looks nowhere as nice as Street Fighter II Champion Edition but it is still very colourful.
So in conclusion Fatal Fury on Mega Drive is a good conversion that stays faithful to the original arcade game, if you are looking for some 16-bit fighters then I would recommend this.

Friday, 12 March 2010

*Article* Five games that should get the NPC treatment.

NOTE: I'll let you in on a secret. I hate NPC and I promised myself that I would never buy one. I made this because it is good article material.

These days it seems that Nintendo can advertise anything Wii game and make it sell.
These include "hardcore" (A term I use loosely) games like Metroid Prime 3, Super Smash Bros Brawl and Mario Kart.
The same goes for "casual" (another loose term) titles like Wii Fit, Big Brain Academy and Animal Crossing.
But that's not all that they have been advertising, recently they have been trying to promote their new play control range.
For those who don't know new play control is a range of past game cube titles like Pikmin that have been ported to Wii. So far the range has given us the likes of Pikmin, Pikmin 2, Mario Power Tennis and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, all with new Wii controls.
We are also getting the Metroid Prime Trilogy this September.
So with the near endless potential of the Wiimote what other games could be added to the new play control range?

Number Five

Wave Race Blue Storm.

All those who use Virtual Console will have probably seen wave race in the Wii shopping channel.
For those who are not familiar with wave race it is a Jet Ski Racing game.
There have been many Jet Ski games over the years but Wave Wace was the only one that was ever good.
If the game was ever put on NPC it would most likely play like the Jet ski game from Wii Sports Resort as that and Wave Race were made by the same development team.
As good a game it is it is unlikely that is game would ever see a re-release due to licensing and advertisement (Such as McDonalds).
Saying that through they could just do what they did with wave race 64 and change everything into Nintendo Wii and DS advertisements.

Number Four

1080 Avalanche

Hey remember that Shaun White Snowboarding that came out last year, well this would play just like that and it would be balance board compatible.
1080 is a Downhill racing game, the whole idea is to race down a mountain on a snowboard, and the game also featured a trick mode.
Sadly though I can see this being like Wave Race with the licensing issues. The game featured licensed songs and some advertising.

Number 3

Doshin the Giant

Released on the Gamecube in 2002 Doshin the Giant was strange game where you played as a giant known as Doshin, In the game you control Doshin, the idea is to make your self grow by helping the local natives, the natives will ask you to perform tasks such as reforming the land or bringing then an item. While the game may come off as boring at times there is one thing that really does the game great justice. I like Doshin the Giant because it has that Sim City Feel to it.
Just like in Sim city you have the power to do what you want, you can have things built, you can make the people happy and you can also defend from natural disasters and such, and just like in Sim City you also have the power to destroy everything when you get bored.
In the game you can transform into the hate giant Jashin who has the power to shoot fire balls from his hands, he has the power to crush villages and mountains it's awesome.
While it may not sound like much the game could work with the Wiimote.
For example, Doshin has higher and lower the ground level by waving his hands, he can also pull the ground with his hands and lets not forget Jashin's fireball throw either.
Though the game would work well with the Wii the chances of it selling are slim due to the games obscurity. So chances are that this will never get a re-release or sequel.

Number 2

Battalion Wars

The sequel is one of the Wii's better titles; it is also one of the hardest.
Sadly Battalion Wars was one of the later Gamecube titles so very few got a chance to play it. For that reason alone it deserves a release.
Being honest it isn't very different from the sequel so the control scheme would be the same.

Number 1

Mario Golf Toadstool Tour

Let’s face it how could this not be number one.
Golf is one of the most popular sports on the Wii, there is a ton of golf games available on the system, you have the family favourite Wii Sports Golf, you have the realistic Tiger Woods games and you also have the Mario Golf Rivals Such as We Love Golf.
So for the sake of good competition Nintendo should release this game on new play control. Why they haven't added it to the range yet is above me, the game is made by Camelot, the same developers of Mario Power Tennis, Golden Sun and Everybody's Golf, so you wouldn't have to worry about weather this is good or not.

So now all we can do is hope that these games get a re-release or sequel in the future.

*Article* Through the years: mario Spinoffs (all 3 parts).

Note: This was my first article for the site and it was split into 3 parts. Some things I wanted to go over, it is wrong of me to call Hotle mario terrible because I have never sat down and played it. I blame the internet.

Welcome to a series I am starting called through the years, in through the reads I will write about gaming and its history.
This week we are talking about the Mario spinoff's there have been a huge amount of these in the last 25 years due to Marios popularity, Mario has now featured in over 100 games.

Game and Watch Mario
Like I said Mario is very popular even in his early days, Nintendo decided that it would be a good idea to release game and watch games based off him so they did.
They were no different from the normal game and watch games, a total rip-off. The Mario game and watch games are now worth loads on internet auction sites like eBay.

Wrecking Crew
This was the first popular Mario spinoff.
Wrecking Crew was released on the NES in 1987 (1985 if you live in Japan or America) and featured Mario straight out of his hugely successful NES debut in Super Mario Bros.
This game saw the plumber as a construction worker demolishing buildings.
Being fair the game wasn't quite as good as Mario's first NES outing.
The game did have a sequel on SNES called Wrecking Crew 97 but it was only released in Japan.

Super Mario Bros 2
Ok I have cheated here, most people know this as the second game in the Mario Bros series but did you know that it was never a Mario game to begin with.
This one is a pretty big controversy in the gaming world, it starts like this: In 1986 Nintendo released a sequel to Super Mario Bros in Japan, the game was called Super Mario Bros 2 and it ran off the same engine as the first Super Mario Bros, after the release Nintendo came to this conclusion, this game was hard and I mean Mega man hard. Nintendo decided that the game would be too hard for western gamers to cope with. So instead they took an already existing game and put Mario in it and called it super Mario bros 2, the game was Doki Doki Panic it was a game for the Famicom disk system.
The US version of Super Mario Bros 2 was released in Japan under the name Super Mario USA but to the Japanese all it was to them was a game that they already had minus the ability to save.
A true injustice, Nintendo really got the better of everyone that time.

This Next one is a spinoff series. In 1990 Nintendo released Dr Mario a puzzle game for the NES and game boy.
The game sees you playing as Mario killing viruses using a new medicine that he has made. The game was pretty good and has had 2 sequels since it was released. The game also got a rerelease in on the Game Boy Advance 2005 as part of the Nintendo NES classics collection.
The newest game in the series is Dr Mario & Germ Buster on WiiWare.

Educational Mario
In the 1990's Nintendo released several educational Mario games,
These games spanned across several platforms including NES, SNES and PC.
These games were:
Mario Teaches Typing (PC)
Mario Teaches Typing 2 (PC)
Mario's Early Years! Fun with Letters (SNES)
Mario's Early Years! Fun with Numbers (SNES)
Mario's Early Years! Preschool Fun (SNES)
Mario's Game Gallery/Mario's FUNdamentals (PC)
Mario's Time Machine (NES/SNES/PC)
Super Mario Bros. & Friends: When I Grow Up (PC)
Mario is Missing! (NES/SNES/PC)

I won't lie these games were terrible, people tend not to speak of them.

Mario & Yoshi
Also known as Yoshi's egg and Yoshi. Mario & Yoshi is another Mario Puzzle game, it was released on NES and game boy in 1991.
The game was a fairly decent puzzle game which saw you making lines by swapping the piles around.

Mario Kart
Now here is the one we have all been waiting for arguably the best Mario Spinoff ever made this game has gone to become one of Nintendo’s biggest series, there isn't much to be said about Mario Kart that hasn't already been said.
Mario Kart is always expanding and getting bigger.
Today there are 6 Mario Kart games, chances are that there will be more in the future.

Yoshi's cookie
This game was released on the NES,SNES and Game boy and is about making Yoshi's favourite food. Yoshi Cookies. The game see's you play as Mario who has to align Yoshi cookies in The game was another decent Mario puzzler, there was a game mode based off Yoshi's cookie in Tetris DS.

Mario Paint
Mario Paint on SNES was just like MS paint so it was a bit primitive, you used a SNES mouse to play the game.
This game has become famous thanks to one of the features to be found in the game. Mario Paint has a feature known as Mario Paint Composer, this game mode lets you create music, if you wanted to you could create the Super Mario Bros theme using it, and it was a very good music program. It is still used by many people today, just go on YouTube and type in Mario Paint you will be amazed.

Mario & Wario
Mario & Wario was released on the Super Famicom in 1993, just like Mario Paint you play with the mouse. The game was developed by Gamefreak (Famous for Pokemon, Pluseman and the SNES mouse). In Mario and Wario you have to guide Mario to the end of each stage while avoiding Wario's traps.
Sadly the game was never released outsize of Japan despite the fact that the game itself was in English text.

Yoshi's Safari
This Mario game is one of a kind; it is an on-rail shooter.
Released on the SNES in 1993, Yoshi's Safari saw you playing as Mario shooting foes with the Super Scope while on Yoshi's back.

Donkey Kong 94
This is the sequel to the game that started it all.
Donkey Kong 94 is just like the original Donkey Kong but with a bit of Super Mario Bros 2 thrown into the mix. Ever played Mario Vs Donkey Kong on the GBA? While this is just like that minus the mini Mario’s.

Hotel Mario
By now I'm sure many of you would have heard of this game (Thanks to YTP, AVGN ect), hotel Mario was a game that was not made by Nintendo.
It is a long story and it goes like this.
In the 16-bit era Nintendo were trying to come up with a CD drive add-on for the SNES Nintendo hired two company’s Sony and Phillips.
Sadly talks with Sony broke down so Nintendo made a deal with Phillips.
Because of this Phillips were allowed to take well known Nintendo franchises and do whatever the hell they wanted with them, the result was 3 rubbish Zelda games and one bad Mario game.
The plot o Hotel Mario is this, Bowser has once again kidnapped the princess and it is up too Mario and Luigi to rescue her, to do this Mario and Luigi must make it through Bowsers 7 hotels.
Now the aim of the game is this. To get to the next stage you have to close doors, this is easily one of the worst Mario games ever made.

Mario's Tennis
This would you believe was the first game in the Mario tennis series, it was released on Nintendo's Virtua boy. The Virtua boy was a "handheld" Nintendo console that you had to look into. The idea of the console was that it was virtual reality.
Mario's tennis wasn't that good a tennis game; it was just tennis, nothing more.

Mario Clash
This was the other Mario title to be released on Nintendo's Virtua boy.
The idea of this game is too throw shells at enemies. That's it. The game does make good use of the Virtua Boy's 3D effects but that's just about it.

Mario's Picross series
For all those who don't know Picross is a nonogram logic puzzle involving a grid with numbers.
In Mario's Picross you have to chip have squares to solve puzzles, it isn't really that much of a Mario game but it is still pretty good for picross.
There were sequels released on the Gameboy and SNES but they were Japan only.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the seven stars
Developed by Squaresoft and released on the SNES in 1995 Super Mario RPG was the first Mario game to be an RPG.
The game saw you as Mario on a quest to save the Mushroom kingdom from an evil being called Smithy.For the time the games graphics were amazing and it was easily hailed as one of the best RPG's on the SNES.
Sadly the game was never released in Europe, but don't worry it is now available on Wii Virtual console.

Game & Watch Gallery Series
Remember what I said about the game and watch in part one well they weren't the only game & watch that Mario featured in.
The game and watch gallery is series of compilation games, the games let you play the original game and watch games as well as new versions featuring Mario characters.
In all there are 4 Gallery's.

Mario Excitebike
This game was released on Nintendo's Satellaview in 1997. For all those who don't know Satellaview was a service that Nintendo did in the late 1990's. You how these days everyone goes on about DLC and downloadable game on PSN/XBOX Live/WiiWare, well Satellaview was just that.
Mario Excitbike is just Excitebike with Mario in.

Mario no Photopi
Now this one is really obscure, Mario no Photopi is a creativity game that used a smart media cartridge that let you import photos to your N64. The game was only released in Japan and over there it is pretty rare so don't fancy your chances of ever getting this game.

Mario Party series
When ever there is an argument about Nintendo milking its franchises and characters this game is always used as evidence.
Mario party was released for the N64 in 1999 (1998 if your Japanese), it was a like playing a board game. The whole idea of Mario party is to see who can get the most starts; Mario Party also features mini games. These are the best thing about the games.
Mario Party isn't bad but you have to consider the fact that there has been 10 Mario party games in the last ten years. The fact that games are always the same from the last doesn't help much either.

Super Smash Brothers
Ahh Super Smash Bros a game that takes our all time favourite Nintendo characters and has them beat the crap out of each other.
The first Super Smash Bros was released on the N64 in 1999 and has since become one of Nintendo's biggest games.
Super Smash Bros was the game that started it all.
Melee was the best selling game on Gamecube.
And Brawl is one of the best games on wii.
Just like with Mario Kart there isn't anything that I can say that hasn't already been said.

Mario Sports Series
These are a series of Sports games that feature Mario characters, games in this series include Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mario Strikers, Mario Baseball, Mario Basketball and Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games.
The Mario sports games are all pretty good and they have all had good feedback.
The next game in the Mario sports series is set to be Mario and Sonic at the Olympic winter games.

Paper Mario Series
These three games are all Mario RPG's; these games are famous for their art style, in the game Mario is everything around him is made of Paper.
Paper Mario is often regarded as the best RPG on the N64, same for its sequel Paper Mario and the thousand year door and Gamecube.
The Latest game in the series is Super Paper Mario on Wii.
Unlike the first 2 Super Paper Mario is a platformer and not a turn based RPG.
All three games are worth owning, the first two are now fairly rare.
Paper Mario is available on Wii Virtual Console.

Mario Artist
Here is one more obscure Mario game that you have most likely never heard of Mario Artist.
This was a game that was played on an expansion for the Nintendo 64; the expansion was called the DD64.
There were 3 versions of this game Paint Studio which is just Mario Paint on steroids; Polygon studio which let you make 3D images and Talent Studio which was an animation program.

Luigi's Mansion
A Gamecube launch title Luigi's Mansion was the first Mario game on the console, but the game wasn't about Mario, it was about Luigi.
This game was Luigi's first solo adventure, the thing that makes this game standout is it's gameplay, its one of a kind I don't think that Luigi's mansion fits into a genre.
The plot to Luigi's mansion is this Luigi has won a mansion in a competition that he never entered, he tells Mario about his new mansion and they agree to meet there, but all is not well when Luigi gets there he cannot find Mario anywhere and to make matters worse the mansion is invested with ghosts.
To get Mario back Luigi has to capture Ghosts using a vacuum cleaner.
Some people consider this to be a gaming gem but there is one big fault with the game as a whole, it's very short.

Mario & Luigi Series
This is the 3rd Mario RPG series and is exclusive to Nintendo Handhelds.
Mario & Luigi superstar saga is the first game in the series and it see's Mario and Luigi on a quest to receive Princess Peach's stolen voice.
The second game in the series is partners in time, in this game Mario and Luigi have to travel in time to defeat a race of aliens who invaded the mushroom kingdom when they were children.
Last year a new Mario and Luigi game was announced.
The Mario and Luigi games play just like Paper Mario.

Mario Vs Donkey Kong Series
Released ten years after Donkey Kong 94 Mario and Donkey Kong see's you doing the same thing you did ten years ago. Only this time Mario and Donkey Kong are fighting over Toys.
There are currently two games in the series with a 3rd one announced three weeks ago at E3.

Super Mario Ball
By now Mario has done just about everything when it comes to games, so what was next for him? Pinball, sadly to say this game was rubbish.
You'd think that Mario would have learnt from Sonics Mistakes when it came to pinball games.

Dancing Stage Mario Mix
Known in the US as DDR Mario Mix this game was just like every other Dancing stage game the only difference here was that this one had Mario in.

Super Princess Peach
Just like Luigi's Mansion this was a Mario game that didn't have you playing as Mario. Super Princess Peach is a platformer for the DS that see's you play the role of the Princess. In this game the roles are reversed Mario has been captured and it is up to the Princess to save him.
Easy to say this was a decent platformer and is worth owning.

EA Sports Big
I'll be honest when I first saw this I laughed; EA sports games that featured Mario, Luigi and Peach as playable characters.
As you would expect with it being EA sports BIG these games were good.

Itadaki Street DS
Itadaki Street is a party game made by Square-Enix, Itadaki Street is a Dragon Quest crossover game for example the Itadaki Street games on PSP featured characters from Final Fantasy including Cloud Strife.
Itadaki Street DS is just like the others but this one has Mario characters.

Well that's it all of the Mario Spinoffs (Excluding Yoshi's island but that's a separate franchise).

*Article* Do Video games cost too much?

NOTE: This is an article I wrote for a website back in 2009, my opinion on some matters may have changed in the last year.

This past year I have noticed something that has begun to bother me constantly when on the look out for new games to play.
My problem with modern games is the pricing both long term and short term.
To start off lets see how the money has changed over time.
Back in the early days new titles could end up costing as little as £2 for games on your home computers (but they were normally rubbish games), bigger and more serious titles normally cost around a tenner, which was a lot of money for the time.

Then came game consoles like the SEGA master system and NES, here is when game prices started to go up, through he 1980's and early 90's video game prices had risen to about £30-£40 on a new game, which is closer to the standard we have today, by that time money had changed as well people could afford to pay that much money for a new game.
The prices in the 16-bit era were no different, games were costing the same type of money to make and buy.
The came the Playstation and N64 era, at this time developers were starting to give up on cartridges and moved to CD because it was cheaper for them to makes games on, thanks to this the playstation ended up having one of the biggest and best game library's ever in gaming, and as before these games were on average £30-£40.
The there was the Nintendo 64 a games console with twice the number of bits that the playstation had (the playstation was 32-bit).
Because of its immense power the N64 games had to be on cartridges, this angered a lot of developers because by this time making games for something like the N64 had become expensive so most of them dropped support, Square being the best example, Nintendo had lost Final Fantasy because of cartridges, with the N64 you could tell that the games cost a lot to make because of the retail price.
Nintendo 64 games retailed at £50-£60 on average, sometimes there were one off's like F-Zero X that retailed for £30 and other times there were expansion pack games like Perfect dark and Donkey Kong 64 that retailed for a staggering £70.
The fact that the N64 did so well still has be myth today, I mean sure the technology was great and it had some amazing exclusives like Super Mario 64 and Zelda but what king of person had that money, not kids that's for sure, they would have had to wait for their birthdays and Christmas for that and even then they would only be able to afford one game.
Now by the new millennium everyone was using disks, the X-Box used DVD's as did the playstation and GameCube so the price would have been the same for each console around £30-£40.
Looking at this generation I have to say that when it game to stuff like value for money and bundling I'd have to say that Nintendo had it best.
Lets just do a comparison. When it came to extras PS2 games ended up costing more, games like Time Crisis 2 & 3 ended up costing quite a lot because of the lightgun that game bundled with the games.
As for the x-box all I can say is STEEL BATTALION, it's humongous, money wise the entire thing was like £100.
Now with Nintendo it was a case of all add-on's are free, no kidding they did not affect the retail price at all, for example lets look at Donkey Konga and Donkey Kong Jungle Beat, both games came bundled with a set of bongos that you could play them with now you would think that it would add to the price but it doesn't, nothing on GameCube a price increase because of an add-on.
Zelda: Four Swords Adventures came with a GBA link cable but the price was still £40 RRP.
Pokemon Colosseum came with a free memory card but the RRP was still £40.
Mario Party 6 came with a microphone but the price was still (you guessed it) £40.
So for value I'd have to say Nintendo were best that gen (it may have finished behind the Xbox and PS2 but owning a cube was a lot cheap then owning a PS2 or Xbox).
Now we move on to the current gen of gaming and this is where I really start to get annoyed.
This generation has been dubbed "the next gen" of video games, the technology has gotten better and games look a lot more life like and realistic.
Now gaming has been hit by two big problems this gen
1) Production and development price has increased, games cost more top make.
2) We have been hit by a recession, the worlds banking system took a fall a while back and is still recovering, I'm not quite in the know when it comes to politics but I do know that things have become more expensive because of it.
as a result of the above two video games can now cost on average as much as £50, that's insane, I can understand a game being £50 when the console its on has just launched but why is it that nearly four years into the next gen that we have games been sold for £50 RRP ?
Thinking about it I suppose this is a short term effect caused by the problems involved with production and money so i shouldn't last long should it?

Well it turns out I'm wrong because video games have come to the point where the price never goes down take for example the ever so popular Call of Duty 4, it was voted game of the year back in 2007 and even came number 1 in Game's top 100 video games of all time list.
You'd think that all this popularity would make the price go down, what with things like Playstation Platinum and X-box classics now but wait, what's thins, the games is still being retailed for above £40 two years after its release despite its success and high sales why?
For nearly two years had the game been priced at £50 RRP, they even release a game of the year edition with extra content to help justify the pricing, but again that was nearly two years ago, it makes me wonder how people can happily afford to pay as much as £40 for a game that came out two years ago.
The only reason that the game price has gone down to £40 is because the sequel is out soon.
Anyway my point is this, the value of games has gone up but the value of money hasn't, £30 ten years ago is worth the same amount as £30 today so why isn't it the same for games.
Maybe the technology is moving too fast, that will be it.

House of the Dead Overkill Nintendo Wii Review

The House of the Dead first appeared in arcades in the 1990's and has since become a must for any arcade, with its fast paced action, hordes of monsters and over the top violence. How can you not enjoy it.
The last House of the Dead game (House of the dead 4) was never released outside of arcades so how did SEGA come back from this disappointment? They decided to make this one exclusive to home systems (RIP arcades). This is the 5th game in the House of the Dead series (excluding all spin offs like typing the dead) and a prequel to the first game.

Single Player and Multiplayer

These are the same; it's an arcade style shooter so there are no modes made exclusively for multiplayer it plays the same on single player and multiplayer.


I'll start off with the menus, you have 3 gameplay modes Story mode which is the main game, the directors cut mode (AKA hard mode) which has to be unlocked and the mini game mode. vThe game is your normal arcade shooter you aim at the mutant (because the Z word is forbidden) with the wiimote, pull the trigger with the B button and fire.
The game has multiple weapons to choose from, they range from Magnums to shotguns all the way to machine guns, the guns have to be brought from the gun shop before you can use them through, all guns can be upgraded in the gun shop, the guns have five areas where you can upgrade them, these attributes are:

Recoil: Upgrading this reduces the kick-back from firing, this helps you increase the steadiness of your aim.
Fire rate: This increases the rate in which you can fire bullets.
Clip size: This increases the capacity of your gun so you don't need to reload as often.
Damage: Self explanatory.
Reload: This reduces the time it takes to reload your weapon.

Of course this isn't all free you need money for these upgrades, you get money at the end of each mission depending on how well you did.
If you own a second weapon then you can equip it before a mission starts you can switch the weapons by using the Z button.

The game also what is called dual wielding, this is when you use two guns at once, to do this you will need two wiimote's, this is a good idea at first but it is ruined by the fact that you will be unable to aim correctly with your weaker hand so you best stick to the regular method.

The game has 5 different types of mutants, these are:
Normal: These will try and beat you to death, some times they will use weapons, they are not that hard to kill.
Big: Same as the normal ones but they can take more damage.
Armoured: These ones can only be shot in certain places so find the weak spot.
Super: These aren't like the normal mutants, they will run at you and try to grab you, if they do grab you shake the wiimote to get them off of you.
Puke: These are just like the Super Mutants the only difference is that they will explode if they get too close to you.

Each stage of the games stages are filled with bonus items, these are:
Slow Mo-Fo mode: shooting this will make time move in slow motion, perfect for getting high scores.
Golden Brain: There are 10 of these in every stage (15 in directors cut), make sure that you shoot them for big bonuses.
Health pack: Shoot these to regain health.
Grenades: Grenades are good for when there is a horde of mutants attacking you this will wipe out a large group of mutants with an explosion.

As you go through the stage you will also find survivors who are trying to escape the mutants if you save them from the mutants you get bonus points, if the mutants kill them you get no points and if you shoot them you lose points.

Like all arcade games you gain points for doing things, in this game you get points for shooting mutants, you gain more points depending on where you shoot them, head shots give you maximum points.
When you kill a mutant you start off a combo, the combo meter on the top of the screen fills up every time you kill a mutant the combo meter comes in 4 stages, Extreme violence, Hardcore violence, Ultra violence, Psychotic and GOREGASAM!

The better the combo the higher the points you will earn.
But remember if you miss a shot or take damage then the combo meter will go back down to zero.

Each stage has a boss at the end, these bosses aren't too hard and they all have a week spot.

One more thing I should mention, in this game is a weapon known as the hand cannon and it is the most powerful gun in the game, SEGA decided to release a hand cannon that you insert you wiimote in, so if you are willing to spend an extra £10-£15 then you can have an even more realistic experience.

Graphics and sound

The graphics in this game are pretty good it's like Resident Evil the Umbrella Chronicles only better and with added gore. Also one thing I adore about this game is the way it is presented, the screen has is black dot effect, you know kind of like when you go to the cinema to watch a movie, I can see why they made it like that because the game is made to be a bit like a B-Movie.

The music in this game is mostly country western and funk, so if you don’t like it then turn the music off through the option menu, put on some slayer and your all set.

Best House of the Dead game to date nothing more can be said, its funny, it's over the top, it is like that on purpose and I love it.

+ Aim is perfect
+ Great humour
+ It's like watching a B-Movie
+ Classic shooter gameplay.

- Too short for some
- Dual-Wielding doesn't really work.


Sonic and the Black Knight Nintendo Wii review

Sonic's back and as always he refuses to settle for that traditional Sonic gameplay that the fans scream for.
Sonic and the Black Knight are the 3rd Sonic adventure game on Wii and the 2nd game in what is called the storybook series (The last storybook game was the Secret Rings).
This game see's Sonic using a weapon for the first time in his career, a sword.

Single Player
The game takes place in the medieval world of Camelot, a world made famous by the tales of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
But all is not well in Camelot as it has been taken over by the Black Knight and his Underworld Army. The only thing that can save Camelot is a brave hero who is as fast as the wind.
Enter Sonic.
After been brought to Camelot by a sorceress named Merlina Sonic discovers that the Black Knight is actually King Arthur and that he has to defeat him in order to save Camelot.
Wielding the scared Caliburn it's up to Sonic to defeat the Knights of the Round Table and save Camelot.

The multiplayer mode lets you and your friend's battle for the title of best knight.
This mode is alright but it does have its flaws, like not playing anything like the single player mode and at times being a complete mess.

Sonic and the Black Knights game play is like a mix between Sonic and the Secret Rings and Sonic Unleashed, what I mean by this is that you are still using that back view of Sonic but with improvements like 2-D sections and a lack of On-Rails.
Game has the same jump controls as Sonic Unleashed and the same Wiimote Nunchuk set up, and that's about it for old features.
The game is focused on the idea of cutting through foes with your sword while at the same time maintaining a high speed and I will admit the games does this quite well, the wiimote responds quite well to when you attack, some would call these waggle controls and I will admit that is true but if you do just waggle and not put any effort into your swings then you might as well not bother playing this game as you will just find it to be a bore.

As you would have guessed sword attacks are done by swinging the wiimote, not anything amazing but effective none the less.
The developers have decided to keep the speed break feature from the Secret Rings and improve on it turning it into the soul surge a move that allows you to do fatal blows against the enemies. To use the soul surge you have to hold down the B button and swing the wiimote, if there are no enemies nearby then you will do a speed break but if there are enemies near by then Sonic will use the soul surge attack, what you need to do is slash while using the soul surge, this will do massive damage to any foe.
Another new ability is the block; this one speaks for its self. To do the block you have to hold down the Z button, be warned the block only lasts a few seconds.
The game also has boss fights against the knights of the Round Table, these fights are hard at first but they get easier once you get used to the sword combat in the game.
The games other boss battles vary, some are fun while others are slightly dodgy and badly put together.

The game gives you the ability to change your sword style if you not happy with your current style. You have 3 sword styles to choose from, Knight which is balanced, Paladin which is offensive and Cavalier which is focused on speed.
The game also has a few other features such as item collecting, unlock able characters.
If you have Nintendo wi-fi you can take part in the online ranking, this mode is great because it gives the game replay value after you have compleated the story.

The graphics haven't really gotten any better or worse since Unleashed.
The music loses out when compared to Unleashed and Secret Rings, it's not as catchy or as memorable as the music in those games, it's good but not as memorable. The game does gain points though for having something that Unleashed lacked language settings. I'll be honest the voice acting has been a bit poor in the last 7 years so its great that the game lets you have the voices set to Japanese.

It's not the best idea for a Sonic game but does what it set out to do.

+ Combat and speed are equally balanced
+ Sword combat does work
+ Art style is awesome
+ Online ranking gives the game new life

- Multiplayer is bit rubbish
- Few bad boss battles
- Bad voice acting
- Bit on the short side.