Connections

connections

krismii
It’s not much of a secret that Rachel’s favorite video game is Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64 while mine is Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars for the SNES. Both of those games are dear to us, considering they’re both probably the games that we each picked up on our own when we were old enough to hold onto the controllers and read the stories.

rachmii
While this has been known to both of us for quite some time, we were talking about it the other night and realized how… funny? Coincidental? I don’t know… How weird it is that those two games happen to be our favorites.

krismii
We both grew up with video games, taking on the mantel of gamer when our uncles, father, and older sister stopped picking up controllers. I had watched our relatives play games on the original NES before picking up games myself on the next generation console. Rachel did the same, having watched me play the SNES before playing on her own on the Nintendo 64. We were amused at how we each started playing a console generation apart.

rachmii
Meanwhile, the first game Kris played and beat on her own was Super Mario RPG while for me it was Paper Mario. Both games are similar to each other as Paper Mario isn’t a “sequel” exactly, but it’s still a successor of RPG.

krismii
I believe, originally, Paper Mario was going to be a sequel to RPG, but there was a bit of an issue on some character copyrights. Still, I consider them to be in the same series, if you will, as both promote the role-playing elements of party members, overworlds, and — of course — the aspect of collecting seven stars.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’ve always loved watching Kris play Super Mario RPG, too. Then when Paper Mario came out… I still watched her play it first (I think) because I love just watching, but I fell in love and decided to try it for myself. And fell in love again. It’s funny how we love similar games, just one generation/console apart. If that doesn’t say “player one” and “player two,” then I don’t know what does.

Did you find this as fascinating as we did? What’s your all-time favorite game and/or the first game you ever completed on your own? Let us know in the comments below!

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Flashback Friday: Super Mario Kart

Double Jump Kris Mii Thank God it’s Friday! I hope everyone else’s weeks have gone well!

The Nintendo Switch will be released in a mere week, and one of the upcoming games that Nintendo has boasted for the console is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. This month we’ll be looking at the game that began the go-kart racing franchise, Super Mario Kart.

supermariokart_box

Super Mario Kart was first released way back in 1992 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It was the first in a string of related go-kart racing games, allowing the Super Mario franchise to touch other genres and gain even more popularity among gamers. It sold over nine million copies worldwide, cementing its spot as the third best selling SNES game ever.

The game allows players to select one of eight characters from the Super Mario franchise and race with said characters around themed courses. Item boxes grant characters power ups to gain advantage in the race and put their opponents momentarily out of commission. This basic premise has continued in the rest of the games in the series, albeit with new power ups and plenty of more characters and courses to choose from.

Super Mario Kart is credited with inventing the go-kart subgenre of video games, with other franchises following suit with their own racing games, including Sonic Drift from Sega, South Park Rally, and Diddy Kong Racing. The Mario Kart series itself has gained seven sequels along with a handful of arcade spin-offs over the last two and a half decades. The games have received mostly positive reception, and is one of the leading multiplayer gaming franchises.

The latest anticipated game in the series, at the time of this post, is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, which has already caused some controversy despite not even being released yet. A revamp of Mario Kart 8 for the Wii U, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has added the DLC from its Wii U predecessor along with a battle mode for the Nintendo Switch console. Many longtime Mario Kart fans wonder if the price of the Deluxe game is worth it for the additions rather than a brand new Mario Kart game.

Despite the long road, Super Mario Kart has brought about a new gaming subgenre, allowing players to game as their favorite characters in a new light.

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Game Guides Are Pretty, But What Are They Worth?

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

I love game guides. Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don’t, but I do love to collect them.

I have a drawer underneath my bed that’s filled to the brim with various game guides. It’s gotten so full that I need to look into getting another draw or just buying a bookshelf.

game-guides-price

With the Nintendo Switch right around the corner and so much hype about the new Legend of Zelda game, Breath of the Wild, it never occurred to me that there would be a game guide. I mean, of course, there would be because it’s a game and it’s Zelda.

I was scrolling through Nintendo’s blog the other day and noticed that the deluxe version of Breath of the Wild’s game guide was 40% off on Amazon.

While I collect game guides, I usually go for the standard paperback or sometimes splurge on the hardcover collector’s edition. This is mainly because I’m cheap, but unfortunately, bills have to come first.

Needless to say, when I found out there was a third edition, a deluxe version at that, I got excited. And it was 40% so maybe I’d have to buy it right away depending on the price.

The deluxe version was sold out the moment I got onto Amazon. That seems to be my luck lately, but it’s okay. Because I don’t think I would have bought it anyway.

I see why people jumped at the chance to get it 40% off because the original price is… $80.

Eighty-dollars.

What?

I have no idea what Nintendo is thinking lately with these prices.

According to Amazon, this is what the deluxe version includes that the collector’s edition doesn’t:

zelda-botw-deluxe-guideDELUXE EDITION BONUS: Deluxe format of 11 ” x 15”, premium vintage hardcover, exclusive dedicated 16-page retrospective celebrating thirty years of Zelda games, a 16-page dedicated art section, and two ribbon bookmarks.

Of course, according to the description for the collector’s edition, the hardcover also has the 16-page dedicated art section. Other than that, what’s listed above are the only add-ons.

I’m not saying the items included in and with the deluxe version aren’t worth $80, but… it still seems like so much money for a game guide.

It sure is pretty, though.

While I would love to have that added to my collection, I’m just going to settle for the hardcover collector’s edition which is only about $24 on Amazon.

And, may I add, just as pretty.

zelda-botw-collectors-guide

Do you typically buy the game guides? If so, which version will you get for Breath of the Wild? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past Game Review

link-to-the-past-review

Title: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Company: Nintendo
Console: 
Super Nintendo/Wii U
Release Date: 
November 21, 1991/January 30, 2014
How we got the game: 
We downloaded it on our Wii U through the virtual console

krismii
I remember attempting to play A Link to the Past as a kid at my grandparents’ house. I was able to perhaps reach the second dungeon before deciding to start over and run around Kakariko Village to explore, annoy chickens, and set bees upon the the enemy guards. Fairly recently, one of our favorite YouTubers played a randomizer version of the game and it reminded me that I had never played through the game myself.

rachmii
Every once in a while we get that itch to play a Zelda game and after watching the randomizer of A Link to the Past, we thought, why not give it a go? Kris played it while I watched, speculated, and back-seat played.

gameplay

krismii
The game play itself is similar to other 2D Legend of Zelda games. As the protagonist, you explore the land to reach various dungeons in order to collect amulets and rescue maidens to vanquish the evil that plagues the land. To do this, A Link to the Past had a plethora of items to use at Link’s disposal, and I believe the weapon and item collecting was one of my favorite parts of the game. It was fantastic being able to pick up a bow or fire rod and use them to figure out puzzles in later dungeons, even if I did have a hard time aiming most of the time.

rachmii
While I didn’t physically play the game, I know the basic gist of it. I spectated on the other side of the couch telling Kris what to do and when despite what she was doing. This was mainly because I panic during boss battles and it was funny whenever she gamed-over.
You would think, since it’s an older game, it would be “easier” to play, but it didn’t seem that way.

 krismii
It was a fantastic challenge, though. Of course, games have all sorts of guides floating around on the Internet and, I’ll admit, I needed to look up a bit to get to the next step, but for the most part, the game play wasn’t bad. It was a nice challenge, something nostalgic and reminding me of how far video games have come since then. Despite the advancements, you still needed to swing your sword at the right time.

graphics-music

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Since this game was originally for the SNES, the graphics obviously aren’t the best. But they’re good enough because it’s the best they could do at that time. And, at this point, it looks nostalgic.

krismii
The graphics are charming and do their job, even if they weren’t in HD. They’re simple, they’re effective, and they’re memorable enough to be nostalgic, as Rachel said. The music is perfectly Legend of Zelda, all in its pixel-y glory, able to warp you into the world the moment you turn the game on.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The music is awesome, as always. I find myself humming along with it randomly during the battle scenes or just when Kris is going from one dungeon to the other.
story

krismii
Like the majority of Legend of Zelda stories, A Link to the Past involves Link exploring dungeons in order to save Hyrule by thwarting Ganon and rescuing maidens that are related to the Sages of the kingdom. Ganon himself used the wizard Agahnim in order to kidnap the maidens and Zelda to use the women’s powers to gain access to the Dark World so he can rule both.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
What I love about this game is that you go back and forth between the Light World and Dark World. I know in most Zelda games you go back and forth between here and there (the Sky and Earth in Skyward Sword, the Twilight Realm and the real world in Twilight Princess), but I found it clever nonetheless.

krismii
This particular story actually started most of those elements, such as alternate worlds, the Master Sword itself, and plenty of other items and weapons. In this story, Link must seek out the amulets of Wisdom, Courage, and Power in order to wield the Master Sword before going to the Dark World to rescue the maidens and confront Ganon. Doing so allows Link to find the Triforce and, with his pure wish, restore the Light World and Dark World back to how they were before Ganon interfered.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Then there you go. They definitely included some interesting twists along with the very intricate dungeon layouts. Overall, they did a great job with this game.

replay-value

krismii
A Link to the Past is widely considered to be one of the best video games of all time, with the way it revolutionized the franchise itself with key elements and continued the lore of Hyrule for Nintendo. It’s definitely a game that one can comfortably get lost in with its straight-forward story and wide world. With that said, it’ll probably be a while before I pick up this game again. I prefer the newer Zelda games to this one, most likely due to my own nostalgic memories. Ocarina of Time, with 3D Link, was my first Zelda game rather than A Link to the Past, and it was a touch odd to play a Zelda game without my usual Link on the screen.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I have to agree with you. However, I’m sure we will play again in the future. After all, I have to play it myself.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past gets…
4-lives
4 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Top Tuesday: Paper Mario Color Splash Levels

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Tuesday!

If you’ve been keeping up, you’ll know that I recently completed Paper Mario: Color Splash. The game was much better than I thought it would be, so I thought I’d share some of my favorite levels from the game.

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5. Sacred Forest

There’s nothing entirely special about this level, but half of the forest is huge and the other half is tiny. It was pretty cool (and tiny Goombas are scary). What I loved most about this level was not the play through of it, but the music. It was upbeat and catchy, but most of all, I think I loved it so much because it reminded me a lot of the original Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64.

4. The Emerald Circus

There’s not much to this level, but Mario helps perform in the circus. When I say perform, I mean battling the shy guy circus members. While I’m not a fan of the battle mechanic of this game, I do enjoy levels where enemies line up to fight you. I don’t know why, but it’s just fun. Plus, there was a lot of variety in the enemies. Enemies that I’ve never encountered before, so it was new and fresh.

3. Green Energy Plant

This level is all about nostalgia. The energy plant is having some tech problems leading Mario to jump into a Toad’s TV and you’re suddenly in a Paper Mario version of Super Mario Bros. 3. It is seriously the most awesome thing ever.

2. Vortex Island

In this level (and the two levels afterwards) there is a pipe that brings you to an alternate universe of that level. Everything is bright and shiny, but there are things that block your path. You can go into the other world (and there will be a ton of enemies like dry bones and boo) there will be nothing there or something to help you in the other world to help you get through. They’re the same layout, but with slight differences. You have to go back and forth and figure out the puzzle.

1. Dark Bloo Inn

I’m afraid of ghosts, but I’m oddly fascinated by them. Boo was always one of my favorite characters in the Mario world and, in every Mario game, I always look forward to the Boo levels. Dark Bloo Inn adds an extra twist as the Inn is haunted with angry ghost Toads. You have to solve their problems in order to beat the level. You’re timed (which was annoying at first because I didn’t realize it) and ghostly things happen throughout the inn. This level has only one paint star, but I wish it had more.

Have you played this game? If so, what are your favorite levels? Let me know in the comments below!

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Press “A” to Jump

Double Jump Kris MiiIt’s President’s Day here in the US and where I’m from, we got the day off! I hope everyone else is having a lovely Monday and that you’re enjoying it!

Having time off of the day job on a winter’s day is a good excuse to curl up with a new video game… After you get past the tutorial, of course.

Many video games have tutorials for the players to push through before they can dive into the main story line, if not some very simple first levels so the player can get used to the controls. Tutorials are important in that they help introduce the game world to the players, and I definitely appreciate them whenever I turn on a new game.

people-who-skip-the-video-game-tutorials-when-playing-a-game-for-the-first-timeHowever, there are definitely games where I wish I could skip the tutorials. For instance, I’ve been playing the Pokemon franchise since Red, Blue, and Yellow two decades ago. Pretty sure I’ve figured out how to catch a Pokemon by now.

Of course, there are franchises where a tutorial is a nice refresher, such as the simple instructions at the beginning of the Legend of Zelda games when the franchise continues on the newer consoles. The controls may be different from the Wii to the Switch, so a short interlude on how to swing a sword isn’t bad once in a while.

Whenever games offer a tutorial, I tend to play it, especially if it gifts the player with experience or bonus items. Yet, I do wish  more were able to be skipped, especially on favorite games that I find myself playing over and over. Super Mario RPG and its spiritual successors in the Paper Mario line do this with the timed hits and action command tutorials, allowing the players the choice of whether or not they wanted to go through the tutorial.

What about you? Do you enjoy tutorials or just wish to be dropped into the game to figure out the mechanics for yourself? Any franchises that you think work better with or without tutorials?

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Would You Rather: Pokemon Edition

wyr-pokemon

krismii
Back in December, we did a gamer’s version of the game “Would You Rather.” We had a fun time with it, so we thought we’d do another one. This time around we have a stricter theme and have decided to have the questions focus on Pokemon. To start off, Rachel, would you rather be a gym leader or a coordinator for the Contest Halls?

rachmii
Gym leader, definitely. I always had fun with the contests, but I found them to be a bit boring at the same time. I want to be where the action is. Plus, I want to be a big shot.
Kris, would you rather never evolve your Pokemon or only be able to evolve certain species of Pokemon?

krismii
It depends on the certain Pokemon species, really. I’d probably choose to evolve certain species while leaving others to stay in their first tier. I don’t mind unevolved Pokemon on my teams. Other than walking, would you rather travel everywhere by flying or surfing?

rachmii
That’s a tough one. I’d have to say surfing though, I think. While I would love to fly on the back of my Charizard, I don’t think I’d been too keen on the height.
Would you rather have a team of all the same type of Pokemon or a team of one Pokemon? (For example, a team of grass Pokemon or a team of all Bulbasaur?)

krismii
I wouldn’t mind being a type specialist at all. It would be deciding on the type that would be the problem for me! Would you rather raise an Eevee and never evolve it, or have its evolution be a complete surprise to you?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
That’s hard… I love Eevee, but I also love the special types other than Normal. I think I would rather evolve it and be surprised.
Would you rather have your main starter (like Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander) be a complete surprise or go into the wild and have the first encounter be your starter (like Pidgey or Caterpie)?

krismii
Oh, that’s a toughie. I’m honestly good either way, as a Pokemon is a Pokemon, haha! I’ll probably go for a surprise main starter, especially since they’re the rarer ones in the Pokemon world. One last question for the road: would you rather be a champion of a region and always defending your title and the land, or would you rather never beat the elite four and constantly travel while training?

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Travel. I think I would like to see the world, especially all the different regions. It would give me and my Pokemon more freedom and I could train different teams. There’s just so much to do in the Pokemon world!

What are some of your answers to these questions? Let us know in the comments below!

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