It’s been a while since we did a baking post on the blog! We did want to do something for October, however, figuring it would be perfect to do something that showcases the Boo characters from the Super Mario series. Boos are a staple to the franchise, so we figured why not try to do sugar cookies decorated as them?
After a false start (let’s just say that if a recipe says to “stir” the ingredients together, don’t use a mixer, because the consistency of the dough will be all off), we decided to make some simple place-and-bake sugar cookies because those are delicious. They had little ghosts on them already, but we also wanted to try our hand at doing a little decorating ourselves.
We had a little bit of frosting and some icing to decorate with, so we slathered some of the white frosting on the cookies and delicately piped little details to make the cookies look more like the Boos from Super Mario instead of the squashed semi-recognizable ghouls already printed on the dough. Most of our Boos didn’t come out half-bad.
Even better, our cousin recognized that the decorated cookies were the Super Mario Boos (and then promptly ate one). That has to count for something!
We kind of cheated with our baking, considering we used ready-made dough, but it was a good time nonetheless. Rather than staring at screens and lamenting over day jobs, we spent a little while hamming it up in the kitchen, ruining our first dough before taking the simple way out and enjoying place-and-bake cookies. It was like switching to easy mode on a video game, just taking our time and relaxing instead of forcing ourselves to take a more challenging route just because we could. It’s important for everyone to take a break once in a while.
That, and those place-and-bake cookies are delicious!
Have you done any Halloween baking lately? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
I couldn’t do a Character Spotlight close to Halloween when Luigi’s Mansion 3 is around the corner without showcasing a special character from the series.
Professor Elvin Gadd, known as Professor Egad, first appeared in Luigi’s Mansion for the Nintendo Gamecube in 2001. He was an unplayable side character who helped Luigi find his way through the mansion to defeat King Boo and save Mario. Professor Egad is an inventor who created the Poultergiest 3000 that Luigi uses in the game. Professor Egad had the knowledge and tools to turn the ghosts back into portraits and to reverse Mario from being into a portrait and back to his human self.
Professor Egad shows up again in Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon with upgraded, new and improved, inventions to help Luigi find his way through yet another mansion. The same goes for Luigi’s Mansion 3.
He created F.L.U.D.D. that Mario uses in Super Mario Sunshine, though the professor doesn’t make an appearance himself. There are a few other Mario games he appears in as well with his inventions.
While Professor Egad tends to show up in random places with wacky inventions and he doesn’t do too much (other than when he’s in the Luigi’s Mansion series), he’s certainly made a name for himself and everyone seems to know who he is.
I’ll admit, when I first played Luigi’s Mansion back in the day, I thought he was a bizarre character and I didn’t care for him too much. I did enjoy his speech and the theme song of his bunker though. Over time, this character has grown on me. He’s iconic with the various tools and machines that pop up in Mario games and if he himself makes a cameo, people instantly know who he is and where he came from.
I love Professor Egad. He’s a loveable dope, in my opinion. He’s definitely grown on me and I always enjoy seeing him pop up somewhere. I would totally play a game where he is a protagonist.
Do you like Professor Egad? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Paper Mario is one of our favorite Nintendo RPGs with its unique graphics, simple story, and charming characters. The soundtrack is one of our favorites to listen to, as well, and one of the most iconic tunes from the game is Toad Town.
A few years ago, a trio of talented musicians came together and created a cover of Toad Town. The YouTuber known as MichelleHeafy was on piano while 8BitBrigadier played the flute. ThunderScott was, well… everything else. I’ll admit, I was really amused to see him use the triangle in the cover!
All three of these musicians have their own channels dedicated to covers of beloved video game music. We hope you enjoy their Toad Town cover enough to visit some of their other videos!
Generally my Friday posts aren’t for recent news, but I thought this was some good information to pass on to the blog. Anyone else participating in this?
Nintendo is hosting an online tournament for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe this coming Sunday, September 22nd. It’s open to all racers, regardless of skill level, and all vehicles and characters are welcome to be used. The races will be 150cc-level and racers will compete in a series of 24 races. The top eight racers will be awarded 2,500 gold points (or, rather, $25). And, despite not having picked up the game in a while and not being a regular online competitor, Rachel is planning on playing just for the fun of it. The tournament itself says it will be going from 1pm to 11pm EST and Nintendo revealed a simple way to enter by giving a number (2093-5045-4827) to input into the Search by Code field in Tournaments. I presume one does not need to play through the entire block and will only need to play long enough to compete in 24 races. There was one summer where Rachel and I, along with our cousins, played through all of the available courses and it took us only a couple of hours, if I remember correctly. To have to sit down and race for 10 hours for a tournament would be a little excessive. While it’s nice to have a tournament not catered to certain skill levels, I doubt beginners will be able to have good luck with the tournament. I wonder if it would be worth it to Nintendo to do more online tournaments for beginner, intermediate, and expert racers? With a growing library on the Switch — both for current and retro games — more online tournaments may become a thing. There are the big name games like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. and Splatoon, and I wonder what other games Nintendo may use for tournaments. Fire Emblem battles with custom armies. Overcooked teams competing for high scores. Retro Super Mario Kart tournaments. There are plenty of possibilities for Nintendo to exploit, and I’m interested in seeing what kind of tournaments they’ll do next!
What game would you play in an online tournament? Are you participating in the Mario Kart tournament? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
It’s been a little while since our last debate, and this topic came about when we were discussing our favorite levels from the classic Super Mario 64. We’re pitting our favorite levels against each other, with Rachel voting for Big Boo’s Haunt and me championing Cool, Cool Mountain.
We both have our likes and dislikes when it comes to certain levels in Super Mario 64, but most of the levels are pretty well done. The game, as a whole, is a lot of fun. Though there are definitely some levels that are better than others.
Cool, Cool Mountain is one of my favorites, with the aesthetic being one of the reasons. I’ve always enjoyed ice levels, finding them to be pretty — you all are welcome for me restraining myself from making a “cool” pun — usually with the challenge of having your character slipping around everywhere. The level is bright with fun touches, like pine trees, ice slides, and snowmen.
Cool, Cool Mountain is aesthetically pleasing, I’ll admit. Though I could say the same for Big Boo’s Haunt. Being a haunted house, it’s dark and mysterious and has creepy music to boot. The ghosts, during certain stars, will try to spook you throughout to get you to go away. It’s charming in its own right and there are puzzles within the level as well. You can’t get certain stars without getting the first few either.
While Big Boo’s Haunts needs to be dark for the theme, I suppose, I definitely prefer the brighter snow of Cool, Cool Mountain. The stars are mostly varied in the snow level — from ice slides to finding lost penguins to finding the snowman’s head to the wall jump challenge — while I feel the majority of Big Boo’s Haunts stars involve punching ghosts. Which, being ghosts, shouldn’t be a thing.
The stars in Big Boo’s Haunt are repetitive, I agree. However, the level itself is a puzzle. You need to get a certain star to make the stairs appear in order to get up to the second floor. You need to use the vanishing cap a few times. There’s the bookcase that you need to hit the books in a certain order and more. There’s a lot to explore in the level too. While not all of it is used, you can go to the back of the mansion and just see how big and worldly it is.
Alright, so Big Boo’s Haunt is more like one giant puzzle, with some stars piggybacking off of others, which is interesting in itself. Cool, Cool Mountain, though, is one big playground, its world just as big — if not bigger — than Big Boo’s Haunt. Cool, Cool Mountain’s overworld, if you will, is more fun to explore while Big Boo’s Haunt just has the exterior of the mansion. Cool, Cool Mountain’s only subworld is the giant ice slide, but it ties in with the rest of the exterior very well, being a natural tether between the top of the mountain and the base with the penguins.
True, true, but it’s also really easy to slip or dive off the edge and lose a life. Then you have to start all over. Big Boo’s Haunt has various areas – outside, the basement, the house itself, and the roof – and there’s no way of falling off the level… of course, unless you accidentally swan dive off the roof. Then Mario would be a pancake.
…Can Mario die from falling off the roof of Big Boo’s Haunt? I don’t think I’ve ever thought of that. With that said, that’s one of the challenges of Cool, Cool Mountain and goes right along with the ice and snow. Yes, there’s a danger to falling off of the edge, but it makes you play that much more carefully — or recklessly, whatever fits your style — in order to beat the world. The worst Big Boo’s Haunt has is that a ghost runs into you, but they tend to give you plenty of coins for your health in return to you punching them.
I have no idea if Mario can die from falling off the roof, but he can lose quite a bit of health if he falls from high spaces. I don’t think it’s bad that the ghosts give you lots of coins. In fact, I think they were foreshadowing Luigi’s Mansion and I was able to live in those glory days of a beaten, run-down mansion all to myself… plus ghosts. Ghosts always win. End of debate.
Who’s side are you on? Let us know about them in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
It’s been a hot minute since we’ve had a challenge on the blog. Kris and I have decided to do another challenge for the rest of the summer. Now that Super Mario Maker 2 is out and there are a boat-load of courses, we figured we’d challenge each other to a few – including some homemade courses of our own.
As creative as we are, I feel like Rachel and I tend to play others’ courses more so than make our own. I remember creating just a couple with the original Super Mario Maker game, having never really taken the time to fully explore all of the options the tools gave us. Super Mario Maker 2 has a lot more to offer, so I’m eager to really play around with it. Rachel, you can decide how many courses we should make for each other — two or three should be good, in my opinion — but I believe part of the challenge should include creating each course in a different game style.
I think we should make three each for each other. Creating the levels in a different game style won’t be a bad idea either. Also, we should totally have one auto side-scroller, one-speed run, and one general level. Or at least choose a variety and not have three general levels, you know?
I’m all for variety, although I’m not sure about my abilities to create a speed-run, haha! Maybe a good puzzle, though, or one with lots of twists… We shall see what I come up with. Going along with a variety of levels, perhaps we should try to give them different terrains, like having a level up in the air, one underwater, a dungeon, the plains… Try not to repeat anything.
That’s fair. I’m not too confident in my skills either. A puzzle would be good if we can think of it, for sure. Having different terrains is also a good idea. Not repeating anything is sort of what I meant with my last statement, you just worded it so much better! We’ll try to make these courses as unique as possible.
We’ll each make the courses under our own Switch profiles so we can’t see each other’s work. We’re aiming to livestream these levels on Friday, August 23rd for everyone to see. We’ll keep you all updated if the stream date happens to change between now and then but, for now, that will be our deadline to get these courses done. Anyone else who wants to share course IDs with us to play that day, just leave a comment here or hit us up on Twitter!
What do you think of this challenge? Feel free to join in and tune it on August 23 to watch us fail at each other’s courses! If you like this post, please share it around.
Title: Super Mario Maker 2 Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Action, Platformer
Release Date: June 28, 2019
How we got the game: We bought it on the Nintendo Switch eShop
Pssst…. There may be story or gameplay spoilers in this review! You’ve been warned!
Super Mario Maker 2 was highly anticipated as soon as it was announced. People went crazy for this sequel, especially with all of the new tools and options that came with it. We were no exception.
I enjoyed the first Super Mario Maker though I didn’t have too many people to play it with. I’m excited to finally have more options and more people to create and beat courses with.
There are several modes for this game. A story mode — which we give more details about in one of the below sections — the course world mode, and the course creator mode, of course. The course world mode, along with the course bot, allows the players to attempt to complete levels that other players around the world have created and uploaded.
This is, in my opinion, the best part of the game. Of course, you have some levels that are super easy or levels that troll you hard. Still, it’s all in good fun. The best part about this though is that they added a co-op option. You have to download the game in order to play two-player, but that’s not too bad. Kris and I can play through certain levels which is a lot of fun – and frustrating at the same time. There are some levels that I don’t know are best suited for single players or not.
It was definitely great to try to play a few levels with you, although we did get in each other’s way quite a bit, haha! With that said, there is the tagging system in Super Mario Maker 2 — I’m afraid I cannot remember if the first Super Mario Maker had a tagging system — and one of the tags were for multiplayer versus. Eventually, I’d love to play with some friends and Nintendo has promised that an update would happen that will allow us to do so.
I don’t think the first game had a tagging system. At least, I very quickly forgot about it if it did have a tagging system. With all the additional tools you can use to create courses, the levels are way more fun, challenging, and extra creative. Though, we did try to create a course together since there’s co-op on that mode.
That was a bit annoying, in my opinion. The first player has access to many of the buttons, almost as the director of the scene, while the second player can only select and put down so many elements. Granted, we also skipped the tutorial, so I can admit that perhaps we missed a couple of things, haha! Regardless, it was easier to create a level with one person at the controls, either with the Joy-Con or using the Switch’s touchscreen in handheld mode while the second person gave their advice and opinion.
Skip the tutorial or not, we tried a lot of things and played it both in the handheld and docked. Plus, if I was in the middle of something and you decided to do something, being the first player, my action automatically got canceled. So, I agree. It’s definitely better to create a course yourself or docked with people throwing ideas while one is behind the wheel.
This game has the beloved modern Mario graphics that the current games have brought to life. When it comes to creating and playing courses, the game also includes the graphics and art styles — with some updates — of several Super Mario games in the series, including Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, New Super Mario Bros. U, and Super Mario 3D World.
The graphics, of course, are as they should be. They all look great on the Nintendo Switch, even the older game graphics. They stay true to their games as well. The end of the older games has that hurdle thing you have to jump through while the newer games have the flagpole for you to reach the top.
The music is the good, familiar Super Mario music as well, and the game allows you to add crazy sound effects to parts of your levels, too. I think one of my favorite aspects of the game is when we’re building our own courses and every tap you do to add a new element plays the next note of the Super Mario theme.
Yes, depending on what “theme” you have set from the different Mario games, the music is pretty much the same. It’s refreshing and well done. Plus, when you create a course, a robotic voice says what the object is as you place it. If you place a lot at once, it says the object’s name to the tune of whatever theme you’re in.
New to the Super Mario Maker series, the sequel has a Story mode, which allows the players to go through over 100 Nintendo-created courses in order to earn coins to help rebuild Princess Peach’s castle after the mischievous Undo Dog obliterated it.
The story mode is, in fact, a tutorial of sorts. The Nintendo courses range in various levels of difficulty but they’re all fun and show off all the new and old tools you can plus, plus different ways to use them to make a course unique. I’ve really enjoyed going through the story mode courses.
There is literally no possibility for any repeat courses here. Each level is as unique as the person (or people) that created them. There are plenty of ways to filter out and categorize levels with tags and difficulties, and there are millions of courses already published for others to enjoy.
This is definitely a game that we’ll be playing on and off for quite a while.
Super Mario Maker 2 gets… 5 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
Title: Mario Party Advance Developer: Hudson Soft Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Gameboy Advance
Release Date: January 13, 2005
How we got the game: I bought it
I love the Mario Party series. Of course, there are some games that are better than others. When I went through my bucket of handheld games the other day, I found this gem. I forgot I had it and wasn’t even sure if I had ever played it. So, I turned it on. And, well… it exists.
I was looking forward to an “old fashioned” Mario Party game and this was not what it was. When I turned the game on, there were a ton of things unlocked so I had played it before. In fact, I had so many coins that I must have enjoyed the game at one point in my life. But today is not that day.
The main mode is called Shroom City. You can choose from Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Yoshi to play as. Depending on who you choose, you start at a different spot on the board. I don’t know why this is and the others don’t join you. There’s no multiplayer, there are no NPCs playing against or with you on the board. It’s all you and you have mushrooms as dice blocks.
Now, they give you four mushrooms to start off with. I kept rolling a 3 and got nowhere fast. When you run out of mushrooms, it’s game over. Do you see my dilemma?
Of course, you can get more mushrooms by winning mushrooms in mini-games (which is a space you have to land on) or by landing on mushrooms spaces. The object of the game is to keep moving along the board and fulfill “quests” from the NPCs scattered about. For example, Shy Guy is at the train station and needs help. So, you need to somehow make it to the train station.
You can move anywhere you please on the board, which was a fun feature. However, when you have limited moves through your lack of mushrooms, it makes the game ten times harder.
Completing quests gives you Gaddgets (you know, like Professor E. Gadd?) though I didn’t care too much for the Gaddgets. I wanted to compete against NPCs and play mini-games.
The mini-games weren’t all that bad. I played quite a few of them in the free-for-all mode and had a good time. Again, it would have been more fun if I were playing against friends or NPCs, but the games worked out just fine as personal challenges. In fact, that’s the goal for most of the games – beat your high score.
It’s a game from 2005 and for the Gameboy Advance. The graphics certainly aren’t what they are now, but they were pretty good for their time and it was charming to look back on. The characters all had their own poses and such, however, there was no voice acting. So that was kind of weird not to hear.
The music was good. Like all Mario Party music, it’s catchy and upbeat.
I don’t think I’ll be going back to this one… maybe ten years from now when I come across it again and forget I had it, I’ll turn it on and unknowingly relive this whole moment. Overall though, this is a Mario Party game to skip.
Mario Party Advance gets… 2 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
Dr. Mario World surprised us all when it came out a day early than it was supposed to! I’m glad it did too because it gave me a nice chunk of time to give it the attention it deserves.
I have to admit, Dr. Mario World isn’t at all what I expected it to be. I played Dr. Mario for the first time just a few months ago and it resembled Tetris. Dr. Mario World is the opposite where the concept is still the same but you’re working your way up instead of having the capsules dropdown – not to mention you have full control over the capsules. There are also so many different power-ups that can be on the board plus different doctors and assistants to help you out. But we’ll get to all that in a minute.
The first things I noticed about the game was the graphics and music. The graphics are so vivid and crisp. My iPad is four-years-old and the game is so bright. It looks clean and fresh which is the way a brand new game should look. On the other hand, I’m amazed mobile graphics look this good. The music was another fun part. The hub world is catchy and the levels are a throwback to the original music. There are bonus levels where the music is different, but I think that’s my favorite music, in all honesty. Overall, the aesthetics of the game are super fun.
After a quick “story” of the virus taking over the Mushroom Kingdom, you play as Dr. Mario in various levels to rid of all the viruses. The levels are set up in a hub world similar to Candy Crush so that you just keep on moving when you bet a level or you can go back and replay levels. There are also different areas. For example, when you complete the first twenty levels, you head to a new area where levels 21 through 40 are. Plus, some bonuses on the way.
But, I’m getting off topic for now.
You start as Dr. Mario and, in the first few levels, Toad gives you a quick rundown on how to play. The viruses are scattered about the board and a purple liquid fills up allowing you to place the capsules on the board. The capsules are on the bottom of the screen. They show you two at a time, though you can’t swap them out (at least, I haven’t figured out how to if you can). It just shows you which capsule to expect next so you can strategize. You can tap the capsules to go either vertical or horizontal depending on how you need them to fit on the board. Connect three of the same color together – whether it’s two blue capsules and one blue virus or two red viruses and one red capsule – and the virus will disappear.
The cool thing about this is that, in addition to turning the capsules around, you can place them anywhere on the board. As long as you drag it with your finger, you have full control over the capsules. Even if a capsule pops and half is still left, you can grab the half and move it where ever you think it would be best. However, it is in the purple ooze so you can’t move a capsule downward if you’ve already brought it up. Also, if you try to move it on top of a virus, it’ll float up until it hits the ceiling or a block or something else blocking its way. So, you need to think about where you want them to go carefully. I’ve forgotten that a few times in my panic to complete the level.
Of course, I say I panic and I don’t know why because these levels aren’t timed – which is great! The level tells you how many viruses you need to get rid of and gives you a certain amount of capsules. This makes it so you can take your time but I sometimes forget that. Of course, there are bonus levels that are extra challenges. Those are timed and difficult for me to bet because I panic too much and am terrible at video games.
You don’t get into the levels without help though. You can play as Dr. Mario, Dr. Princess Peach, or Dr. Bowser. There are other doctors to be unlocked as well. Each doctor has their own special skill as well. For example, I love Dr. Bowser – he wears a lab coat and has a spikey stethoscope! (Take that, tie at E3!) He has the skill when his meter is filled, to get rid of two rows. He just sets it on fire and there you go.
The doctors can equip assistants as well to help you out. You can have one or two assistants with you throughout the levels and change them as you want.
So many different things can happen in the levels as well – there are different goals to reach. For example, you can either get rid of all the viruses or collect all the coins that are hidden within the blocks.
In addition, there are a lot of obstacles in the game. For example, sometimes the viruses will be frozen and you’ll have to get three in a row just to thaw them and then get three in a row to actually pop them. There are different colored shells so that when you activate them by getting three of the same color in a row (shell, virus, or capsule – as long as it’s touching the shell) then the shell will move back and forth and get rid of the row it sits on. There are bombs that will blow up everything around it when activated and more.
This game plays like most mobile games though. There are microtransactions. So, if you want a pass or try a level again without re-doing the whole thing, you need diamonds which costs real life money. Also, you have to wait. No, you don’t need to wait real time for your farm to grow, but you only have a certain amount of hearts. Five hearts, to be exact. It costs one heart to play a level and in order to get that heart back, you need to wait about 30 minutes. Sometimes, a heart will be given to you for completing a level which is nice. Or you can receive hearts from friends.
That’s another great feature of this game. You can have friends. Not only can you see where they are on the map and send one heart a day to them, but you can actually play with them. You can versus your friends in a duel of sorts which is a lot of fun. If you don’t have any friends currently online, you can versus other players who are currently on and looking for a challenge.
I’m sure there’s so much more to the game that I haven’t gotten to yet. I’m looking forward to playing more, for sure! Nintendo did a great job with this one.
Dr. Mario World gets a rating of…
PLAY IT | Download It | Delete It
Overall, Dr. Mario World is an aesthetically pleasing game with fun characters options and a twist on the original gameplay. It’s free to play, other than the optional microtransactions, so it’s definitely worth a try.
Have you played Dr. Mario World yet? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.
I’m anticipating the arrival of Luigi’s Mansion 3 for the Nintendo Switch. The official box art was revealed yesterday and it’s made me more excited than ever to play the game.
I came across the official cover art of Luigi’s Mansion 3 on the Internet yesterday and I was impressed immediately – though not surprised. The graphics for the Nintendo Switch have really come a long way compared to previous consoles and games. So, the fact that they added as much detail to the cover art as possible is not a surprise to me at all.
The flat, yet the 3D effect of the title looks like gummies to me that I could eat. Or those slime stickers that you can easily peel off the paper and stick to your windows. No matter what it looks like to you, it looks good. Gooigi, at the top, looks just like the title. Just less sticky and gooier, I guess.
I remember when Super Mario Odyssey came out and so many people were impressed by Mario’s hair and the slick effects on Bowser. Now, it’s Luigi’s turn for the spotlight. What stands out of the most to me is his hat. You can clearly see the thread lines in the “L” the fabric of his hat overall. Of course, Luigi’s hat is his trademark in a way, similar to how Mario’s hat is his own. Having the main feature and details in Luigi’s hat was a great choice.
On the other hand, I feel like the rest of Luigi looks like clay. Especially his mustache, eyebrows, and the sweatdrop on the side of his face. It doesn’t look bad, though. I think it looks cool.
Overall, the cover art looks great and I’m excited more than ever to play the game. The end of 2019 can’t come soon enough. (And yet, I hope the summer lasts a long time.)
What do you think of the cover art? Let me know in the comments below! If you like this post, please share it around.