Top Tuesday: Least Favorite Super Mario 64 Levels

Happy Tuesday!

So, a couple weeks ago I talked about my favorite Mario 64 levels since we’ve been playing through Super Mario Odyssey. I’m sure I’ll talk about my favorite Odyssey levels at some point, but I thought I’d discuss some of my least favorite Mario 64 levels.

5. Tiny-Huge Island

While this level is super clever and I love the idea of growing big and small within the level, this is a tough one for me. It’s not even that hard of a level, but I fail miserably at it. And I get confused easily.

3. Rainbow Ride

While this level is pretty and well done, it’s definitely one of the hardest. I mean, I guess that’s why they saved it for last. Still, this level is a death trap for me.

2. Wet-Dry World

Admittedly, I hated this one when I was a kid. I appreciate it more now that I know what’s I’m doing in the level. Still, it’s not my all-time favorite. I find myself dying a lot inside this level and the water levels always confused me despite how easy they are.

2. Wing Mario Over The Rainbow

Death. This is just death. (Okay, so this isn’t technically considered a level, but it’s where you unlock the wing cap and you still get a star, so I’m counting it.)

1. Hazy Maze Cave

Is there really anyone out there who enjoys this level…? If you’re unsure, just think about getting the 8 red coins. That should infuriate you enough.

What are some of your favorite levels? Let me know in the comments below!

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James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes [Game Review]

Title: James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes
Publisher:
Ubisoft
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
Puzzles, Strategy
Release Date: 
August 30, 2011
How I got the game: 
I bought it

I remember when I first got my Nintendo 3DS way back in 2011. I got two of the same games for Christmas that year and my mom took me to Toys R Us to pick out a new game. There weren’t very many games out at the time, that I was interested, and James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes caught my eye. I love mysteries and I enjoy puzzles, so I thought I’d give it a try.

gameplay

Gameplay is simple as it’s mostly stylus-based. It showcased a lot of things that the 3DS could do. Even though we’ve had a touch screen before with the Nintendo DS, you don’t use any buttons in this game. You have to use your stylus to continue any dialogue and use the touch screen to solve all the puzzles that are thrown at you. I sometimes tried pushing the “A” button out of habit and the game would just do nothing.

You are the star of this game the camera being in first-person, though you don’t actually move anywhere on your own. All you have to do is read through the dialogue (or listen, it’s all voice acted) and solve the puzzles that come your way.

For the game show portion of the game, where you’re on the hit TV show Puzzle Masters, you get to choose which puzzles you want to solve out of 12 options. You have to get a certain amount of points to beat your opponent and move onto the next round.

This isn’t as hard as it seems though. Depending on the difficulty of the puzzles, you earn more points. You have three hints per puzzles and gain 5 points for each unused hint. So, I ended up gaining an extra 15 points on most of the puzzles.

What I didn’t like about the game though was that you were able to back out of the puzzle if it was too hard. That’s not a bad thing, but there were no consequences to it. You didn’t lose any points or a turn or anything like that. It was just like it never happened. The game made sure that no matter what, you always won – even when you lost.

In the final round, my opponent had 520 points when the highest he could have gotten – based on the points each puzzle was worth plus the extra hint points – was 405 points. The math didn’t add up at all. For that final round, I needed at least 480 points. See the problem? And guess what, I still won.

The game obviously wanted you to win no matter what, so they should have made it so that your opponent played after you. Then they could have calculated their score based on what you got.

The other half of the gameplay was in the actual story. Outside of the game show, you help catch a serial killer who is leaving puzzles as a calling card. So, in this game, when you’re not listening to the brief cutscenes, you’re solving a puzzle either for the game show or the police.

graphics-music

The graphics were not great in the slightest… it just wasn’t the kind of art style that I’m a fan of. The characters were real people, but they were cartoon-ized (is that a word?) and their movements were played on a loop of what seemed like just 5 seconds. Their mouths didn’t match up with anything that they said and they moved too fast anyway. It just didn’t look good and it became annoying pretty quickly.

The music, on the other hand, was great. I didn’t remember much of the game since the last time I played it was about five or 6 years ago. I forgot how creepy the game could get and the music was a big part of that.

However, I will say that you’re so engrossed in the puzzles that the music isn’t really prominent. It’s when you’re investigating and you’re about to find something. You can tell because the music will get louder and creepier. That was very well done.
storyYou play as yourself auditioning to go on a game show, The Puzzle Masters. You don’t know anything about yourself other than what you look like (yes, this game uses the 3DS camera and yes, you have to take a picture of yourself). You start to learn more about yourself as the story plays through and you start to wonder who really is innocent and who isn’t.

Of course, you just want to win that grand prize, an all-expenses paid 1-year trip around the world. But an old friend of yours, an ex-boyfriend, gets in contact with you. He’s now an FBI agent and needs your help to solve a string of murders. This serial killer is killing past champions of the Puzzle Masters show and leaving puzzles behind as clues to his next victim.

All in all the story is pretty well done. However, there’s a lack of character development throughout the story. When you find out who the real killer is, the motive is pretty dumb.

But back to your ex-boyfriend, he at one point mentions your relationship and apologizes for it, but that’s it. I felt no connection to this guy. I really couldn’t have cared less about helping him out. Not to mention that he probably should have had a partner helping to back him up instead of his ex-girlfriend.

The ending gets a little twisty, which was clever, and it even leaves off on a cliffhanger. It made me wonder if there was a second game out there that I missed, but I couldn’t find one anywhere.

replay-value

There’s a ton of puzzles in this game. The ones you don’t play during the game show, you can go back to them later through the main menu. Based on your popularity with the show, you get fans who will send you fan mail. That’s how you get hints for the puzzles you solve with your FBI agent friend and it’ll allow you to play puzzles you’ve skipped.

I did not go back to do these. The puzzles were fun and certainly the best part of the game, but a few were redundant and just harder versions of ones you already played. So I didn’t care to go back and check them out.

This is a quick game, it took me 6 hours and 50 minutes to complete. So, if you’re looking for something quick and semi-challenging, go for this game, especially if you enjoy puzzles. If you’re looking for a great murder mystery with in-depth characters, go somewhere else.

James Noir’s Hollywood Crimes gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives3 out of 5 lives.

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

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Our Favorite Ace Attorney Is Coming Back!

Happy Tuesday!

2017 has been a great year for gaming, especially fans of Nintendo and the Switch. And I just found out that it’s only going to get better.

 

According to Kotaku UK, Pheonix Wright will be making a comeback in 2018!

Capcom has confirmed that there will be three new Ace Attorney games coming out next year. Two may come between April 2018 and October 2018. Those two games will be compilations of previous Ace Attorney games. The first one being the first three games and the other being games four through six.

Of course, the first Ace Attorney trilogy is on the Nintendo 3DS, but these games will now be coming to the Nintendo Switch.

When Kris and I first discovered this series, we bought Trials and Tribulations (the third and final game of the first main trilogy… not realizing it was a trilogy). It was through the Wii Ware and we bought and played through all three games.

Then they kept coming out on the Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS between Miles Edgeworth and Apollo Justice. We kept buying and playing them.

I don’t know if we’ll get these games for the Switch, but it will be nice to play them on the big screen again. I’m eager to see how the Switch will make the games appear.

The best part of this news, however, is that the third game will be brand new. It’s going to be another Phoenix Wright game with Phoenix as the main playable protagonist and five brand new cases to start off with. It’s going to be the beginning of a new mainline Ace Attorney game… which, I assume (hope) that means there will be more new games to come after this one. Maybe this will be another trilogy? I hope so.

I was worried after playing through Spirit of Justice only because they brought a lot of old characters back and wrapped up a few loose ends. While they didn’t tie every knot, it really did seem as though it may be the last game. I’m glad that won’t be the case.

I love my Pokemon, Mario, and Zelda, but I am super excited that Phoenix will be making his way to the Nintendo Switch! I can’t wait to play as him again. I can only imagine what new adventures (and troubles) he’ll get into this time.

Are you excited about this new game? Let me know in the comments below!

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I Miss My Nintendo 3DS

Happy Thursday!

When we first got our Nintendo Switch, I’ll be honest – we didn’t play it that much. But the past couple of months, there have been so many games coming out for it! Some I’ve looked forward to and some I’ve never heard of but want to give a try.

Through all this, I’ve neglected my Nintendo 3DS. And I have to say, I kind of miss it.

Nintendo 3DS & 2DS XL

While I love playing gaming on the big screen TV, I do think I prefer handhelds over home consoles. I like being able to bring my games with me and have easy access to games whenever I want.

Now the Switch can do both. Though I haven’t used the Switch in handheld mode much I’ve still been playing the Switch a lot more. More and more games come out for it each and every day and I’m trying to get through all the games and breathe at the same time.

Yet I realized I haven’t really touched my 3DS since Miitopia. While there are so many Switch games that I need to catch up on and play, there are a few 3DS games coming out as well.

Sure, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon will be out soon, so I’m sure that will take up a few days.

I also preordered Mario Party Top 100, so that should be here tomorrow. But then there’s also Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions. I haven’t played any of the games in the Mario & Luigi series, though it’s always been on my list. Other games just always took a higher priority.

Another one is Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy. I thought about getting this one on mobile, but when they announced a 3DS version, I decided I’d rather have it for that. Then I forgot about it.

I had mentioned trying out Monster Hunter Stories and Ever Oasis before, too.

There are just so many games and not enough time. I’m looking forward to getting Mario Party Top 100 though.

Are they any games that got pushed to the back burner for you? Are you eagerly awaiting Mario Party Top 100? Let us know in the comments below!

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Levels In Super Mario 64

Happy Tuesday!

With so much hype for Super Mario Odyssey, I’ve been thinking about Super Mario 64. The two games are similar, yet vastly different. I enjoy both games, but I do miss playing Super Mario 64.

 

Top Tuesday, Super Mario 64 Levels

5. Bob-omb Battlefield

I think this level is one of my favorites by default. It’s the first level of the game and can be considered the easiest, but I think it has a mixture of easy and hard. Flying with the wing cap can be difficult, yet getting the star behind Chain Chomp can take two seconds. Or an hour depending on how well you can get Mario to land that ground-pound.

4. Whomp’s Fortress

This is another level that’s well designed. I especially love this one though merely for the fact that it hands out a lot of coins. I love collecting coins.

3. Tick Tock Clock

This is a very well crafted level. It can be tricky with so many high places to jump up to, but I think it’s awesome that they have the cogs work at a certain speed depending on what time you jump into the clock to enter the level.

2. Lethal Lava Land

Um, there’s fire and a volcano. So it’s cool.

1. Big Boo’s Haunt

I always love the Boo mansions in any of the Mario games. They’re tricky with twists and turns and I just find the levels to overall be well designed because they’re supposed to be spooky and hard. While this particular level in Super Mario 64 isn’t that difficult, I still enjoy the design and the music.

What are some of your favorite levels? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Legend of Kusakari [Game Review]

Game Review, The Legend of Kusakari

Title: The Legend of Kusakari
Developer: Librage
Publisher: 
Nnooo
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
Action, Adventure
Release Date: 
August 25, 2016
How I got the game: 
I bought it

rachmii
When I first heard about this game, I didn’t really know what to think. I thought it was an interesting “spin-off” of Zelda as the running joke with Link is that he’s always cutting grass with his sword. After I had watched the trailer I thought it would be something fun and simple to try though I wasn’t in much of a rush. Now, over a year later, I finally go the game. And it’s actually better and harder than I originally thought it would be.

gameplay

This game is simple. You play as Kusakari and cut all the grass on the field. There are minimal buttons – B to cut a single blade of grass, A to use a spin attack which could cut up to four blades of grass at once, and L/R to dash.

The game is fairly short being 50 levels long, but each level is unique and gets progressively harder as you go along. So, it’s not a long game to beat (I beat the game in 3 hours total), but you won’t beat all the levels in one try. There were some levels that I had to try a few times before beating it and being able to move on.

Within the levels, the grass can be spread out far and wide throughout the area. You can dash to get to the grass, but it’s hard to control sometimes and can make you slip up. There are also various enemies throughout the area as well. Sometimes heroes are battling the enemies and other times the enemies are just wandering around. They don’t go after you, but if you walk into them you’ll be sure to get hurt.

Speaking of getting hurt, these levels are timed. No, the timer doesn’t tick down, it actually just counts how long it takes you to beat the level and then you get ranked on how fast you can complete it. But when I say you’re timed, I mean you health ticks down progressively throughout the level. You only have three hearts and you lose half a heart periodically. I assume this is because Kusakari gets tired and is using up energy. Still, it adds pressure to cut that grass as quickly as you can.

There are five different kinds of grass, by the way. The simple kind that takes one hit to cut down, a slightly bigger bush that takes two hits to cut down, and another bigger and darker bush that takes three hits to cut down. There are also two kinds of blue grass. One replenishes a heart and the other is bigger and sparkles and it replenishes all of your health. The blue grass, however, can’t always be found in the levels or they’re scarce in the levels.

In some levels, the blue grass is pretty common depending on the terrain. Some levels have sand or swamp or purple poison. That slows you down in which case tires you out which makes it that much easier to lose health.

Remember when I said you got ranked on each level depending on how fast you beat it? Well, if you get a certain amount of S ranks, you’ll unlock bonus levels. I didn’t unlock any bonus levels. I tried to. I went back to the first level where I had a rank A and beat it in 12 seconds. When I went back to it, I beat it in 6 seconds. It was still a rank A. I didn’t find it worth it enough to go back to all the different levels and try to get a rank S on all of them. Because to me, 6 seconds is worthy of an S rank, despite it being the first level.

graphics-music

The graphics were cute in this game. The various enemies were interesting, such as blue slimes, evil trees, and the occasional dragon or enemy soldier. Overall, the graphics aren’t anything fancy, but I think they work well for the game.

I especially enjoyed the level designs. As I said earlier, the levels varied from being in a forest to having sand, purple poison, or swamp around them. Towards the end, the levels were designed in a castle where the main hero was battling the big boss.

The music wasn’t bad either. I found the victory music and the music before beginning a level to be a bit much. It was fine enough to be enjoyable, but it did get old. The music during the levels was good. Some of the music was subtle while some were adventurous. Overall, it was enjoyable.

story

You play as Kusakari, a grass cutter. The world is being run by monsters and enemies. Soldiers and the “hero” of the story are working hard battling the bad guys, making it to the castle, and defeating the big boss. You, on the other hand, decide to help in a way no one else thought possible.

You’re going to clear all the grass so the soldiers will be able to play on an even battlefield and not trip over the long blades of grass.

It’s definitely an interesting story and I think it’s cool how the hero of the story isn’t the “hero,” it’s not the person who defeats the big bad guy. It’s certainly silly too, but it’s fun nonetheless.

replay-value

This was a fun, challenging game. I don’t know if I’ll ever pick it up again. Maybe someday I’ll feel good enough to go back and try to get those S-ranks on a few levels and it’s certainly a game that you can pick up at any time and do a couple levels here and there. Still, I don’t know if I’ll personally pick it back up again.

The Legend of Kusakari gets…
4 out of 5 lives.

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

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Character Spotlight: Bowser

Happy Tuesday and Happy Halloween!

It’s time for another Character Spotlight, a character we all know and love.

 

Bowser, originally known as King Koopa, is everyone’s beloved villain from the Mario Bros. franchise. He originally appeared in the Super Mario Bros. game for the NES in 1985. He’s an old man… his most recent appearance has been in Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions for the Nintendo 3DS in 2017.

He has been in countless games from main Mario games to side Mario games such as the Mario Party series, various Mario Sports games, and the Paper Mario series. Not to mention he’s included in Super Smash Brothers and has made cameo appearances in games such as The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and the Skylanders series as well as the movie, Wreck-It Ralph.

Bowser is one popular Koopa!

Bowser is one of my favorite villains because he’s not always a villain. He has a fun personality. There are some games where he’s a pain and straight up mean – Mario Party 10… – but there are other games such as Paper Mario where he has bad intentions, but he has such a great personality and funny comic relief that he doesn’t seem like a bad guy.

Then there are games such as Super Mario RPG where he actually joins Mario in a fight against a separate villain. I think my favorite versions of Bowser is from Super Mario RPG and the Paper Mario series.

Also, I love Bowser’s design. Koopas are cute, but Bowser is just a beast.

What are your thoughts on Bowser? Let me know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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