Friday Favorites: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Tracks

Double Jump Kris MiiHappy Friday!

While I’m not the best racer out there, I’m still having fun playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Rachel did a Top Tuesday of her favorite tracks a couple of weeks ago, and today I’ll be sharing mine.

Mute Citymaxresdefault

Holy sugar, the sheer speed of this course is amazing! It gets insane the higher the CC level you pick, and it’s just tons of fun trying to ram into the other racers. The music itself just keeps you pumped up throughout the race.

mario_kart_baby_parkBaby Park

Baby Park was originally in Double Dash, one of my favorite installments of the Mario Kart franchise. The course itself my look like a simple oval, but it showcases the pure chaos that is the Mario Kart series with everyone lapping or being lapped on the course. It’s always hysterical and crazy with all the items flying everywhere, so much so that it often gets difficult to tell what place you’re in until you cross the finish line.

mqdefaultCloudtop Cruise

This course brought a real sense of adventure, soaring among clouds and sky ships, dodging lightning bolts while trying to reach the speed boosts, and carefully maneuvering around the giant vine-like road. It always reminded me of the battleships from the original Mario games as well as the Rainbow Ride level of Super Mario 64.

Hyrule Circuitmario-kart-8-dlc-pack-1-trailer-01-1280x720

Being such a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda franchise, I was so excited to hear that Link and a track of his own would be joining the Mario Kart scene. While we never bought the DLC for the original Mario Kart 8 game, he’s quickly become one of my favorite racers in the Deluxe version, as has his track. The music, the backgrounds, the use of keese and deku babas in place of bats and pirahna plants, rupees instead of coins — the course is chock-full of indulgent Zelda references.

 

mount20wario-noscaleMount Wario

This track is just pure adventure and adrenaline rush. Immediately you start at the top of a snowy mountain and traverse through ice, woodlands, and downward hills. It combines speed and technique, allowing every racer to bring their best strategies to the course.

What are your favorite or least favorite tracks in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?

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Throwback Thursday: Sonic Adventure 2 Battle

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Thursday!

I haven’t done a throwback in a while and there’s a certain game that I’ve been thinking about a lot…

 

Throwback Thursday: Sonic Adventure 2 Battle

Sonic Adventure 2 Battle originally came out in June 2001 for the Nintendo Gamecube. 2001… that’s a long time ago.

Every once in a while, I think of this game. It’s not a great game by any means, but Kris and I absolutely loved playing it at the time it came out.

The game had two story modes, Hero and Dark. Both modes were the same story but through the different points of view of the hero characters, Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles, and the dark characters, Shadow, Eggman, and Rouge. It was fun to play as both the heroes and the villains in their own unique levels going along the same storyline.

Sonic and Shadow had speed levels while Tails and Eggman were in some sort of machine for their levels, and Knuckles and Rouge had treasure hunting levels searching for pieces of the broken Master Emerald.

Each character could find a Chao key in their levels that would allow them to go to Chao world. There you could hatch Chao, put them in Kindergarten, feed them and level them up, throw them in combat tournaments and races. Then you could have them make baby Chao together. It was a lot of fun and honestly, I think that was my favorite part of the whole game.

My other favorite part of the game was the 2-player where you competed against one another in races, battles, and treasure hunting. Kris and I would compete all the time and after we beat the game once, I think we mainly just played with our Chao (we each had about ten or so Chao on our accounts) and then competed against each other.

It was a lot of fun and I remember I recorded ourselves competing and put a few videos on Facebook.

I know the game isn’t too good. It was great when we were kids, but I would love to play this again just for the nostalgic purposes. The main reason I thought of writing about this game was mostly because of the music.

While playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, I always start singing “City Escape” by Ted Poley whenever we’re racing on the Toad Harbor track. Sonic Adventure 2 Battle did have great music if nothing else.

Have you played Sonic Adventure 2 Battle? How much did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below!

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Mobile Madness

Nintendo Mobile Games

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There’s been so much hype about the Nintendo Switch, Breath of the Wild, and up and coming games. Switch aside, Nintendo has been working on other projects. Specifically, on-the-go games for our cell phones. And there’s a lot now: Miitomo, Fire Emblem Heroes, Super Mario Run, Pokemon Duel… They’re talking about an Animal Crossing game and now, they’re talking a Legend of Zelda app.

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I personally play Fire Emblem Heroes all the time. With Fire Emblem being one of my favorite franchises, being able to play a quick round of the game during the slower times of my day. A Legend of Zelda mobile game sounds intriguing, but I am curious as to how the app will run. Zelda games can be rather epic, so who knows how much data or how story-heavy the mobile game will be. Rachel, I’m sure you’re excited for Animal Crossing later this year, right?

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I too am intrigued by the Zelda app. I’m curious to see what they’ll do with it. I am excited for the Animal Crossing, but again, I’m curious about how they’ll go about it. I never imagined big Nintendo games would ever be on mobile. I have a few of the games downloaded on my iPad, but I haven’t been playing them as much as I would like to. Now that these other games are coming out, I want to give them a good try.

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Honestly, I was thinking of investing in an iPad if only for the mobile games. I like the idea of having Nintendo games with me wherever I go, but I don’t want my phone to carry the brunt of them, both for our data’s and the battery’s sake. To me, I think Animal Crossing may be more mobile ready, if you will, with the real-time aspect and the casual atmosphere. Zelda is more of an adventure franchise, so I’m not sure how they’ll pull that off. Unless they do something similar to Super Mario Run and focus on one of Link’s skills, like a target game with his bow and arrows.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I think you should get an iPad anyway… It helps a lot with work like blogging. Still, I know what you mean. I don’t download any games on my phone due to the battery and data. Animal Crossing will most likely work well on the mobile, but Zelda, like you said, may be hard. They already have Link’s Crossbow Training for the Wii, though.

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I know they have the Crossbow Training, but a tapping game to take out enemies and targets for a high score, perhaps against others on a leader board, would be a simple premise for a Zelda mobile game. Considering how large the fanbase is for the Zelda games, it may do well just for having Link’s and Zelda’s faces on the game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
That wouldn’t be a bad idea. It would definitely be a nice starting point for people who don’t typically play Zelda or people who just want to give it a try. Still, I’m looking forward to it coming out. I can’t wait to give it a try.

Are you excited for a Zelda mobile game? Let us know in the comments below!

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Mario Kart Games

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Tuesday!

It’s no secret that Kris and I have been playing a lot of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. I remember I didn’t play Mario Kart 8 as often when it came out because I still loved Mario Kart Wii. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a great game and I forgot how wonderful 8 was until now.

So, here are my favorite Mario Kart games!

Top Tuesday: Favorite Mario Kart Games

5. Super Mario Kart

Since this game came out for the SNES, I’ll admit that I don’t remember it as much as I think I should. Still, it’s one of my favorites because it was, of course, the first one. I remember playing this game with Kris at our grandparents’ house. I wasn’t great at the game because I was so young, but I still enjoyed it all the same.

4. Mario Kart 7

I wasn’t sure how I liked a Mario Kart game on the handheld because I was so used to it being on the big screen with a console. Plus, it was harder to play with friends. It’s still one of my favorites though because I enjoyed the game a lot and I used to bring my 3DS to babysit and the kids and I would play together.

3. Mario Kart Double Dash

I have fond memories of this game. Kris and I played this together all the time. She’d be Daisy, I’d be Yoshi. She’d drive, and I’d throw all the items. We made a great team. And the fact that Nintendo made a Kart racing game with such a mechanic is awesome. I hope they bring that back a different racing mode or something someday.

2. Mario Kart Wii

Like I stated in my intro, Mario Kart Wii has always been my favorite. I loved the physical steering of the remote, the courses were unique and awesome, and Rainbow Road was just fantastic. Plus, I rarely lose at that game, so that’s definitely a plus. This one will always have a special place in my heart.

1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

Sorry, Mario Kart Wii… The updated Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has beaten you. Between the various kart, wheel, and paraglider combinations, updated courses (including the DLC), various courses, and (my favorite) 200cc mode, I felt 8 Deluxe had to take over the number one spot. I feel like I’m cheating on the Wii version, but… what can I say? Technology, especially for the Nintendo Switch, just keeps getting better and better.

What’s you favorite Mario Kart game? Let me know in the comments below!

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Video Game Novels

Double Jump Kris MiiAnd it’s another week… How’s everyone doing on this fine Monday?

Rachel and I pretty much want to be done with our day jobs, haha! We would love to spend our days gaming, reading, and writing. And when you can combine all your favorite hobbies into one? It’s the best!

 

Remember when you were younger and your parents wanted you to read more books rather than spend all of your free time playing video games? Video games themselves have become such a big industry, reaching wider audiences and rightfully being treated as an art form. It makes sense that authors try to reach that same audience with novels set in video game worlds.

unofficialminecraftersadventure_gameknight999_trilogyI’ve definitely picked up some novels from Barnes and Noble simply because they’re set in game worlds. Mark Cheverton has a couple of series set in Minecraft, for example. They’re mostly aimed at a younger audience with lessons about cyberbullying, but it was a fun little trip to the world of Minecraft. 9781932796803_p0_v2_s192x300

R.A. Salvatore is an author known for his science fiction writing, with his credentials including stories taking place in the Dungeons & Dragons lore, like his Legend of Drizzt. (Not only has he authored novels, he’s also written stories for video games themselves, such as Forgotten Realms: Demon Stone for the XBox, Playstation 2, and PC.)

Ernest Cline has Ready Player One and Armada, both based on gaming worlds. Julia Durango authored The Leveller, Mark Alpert has The Six, Holly Jennings wrote Arena… There are a plethora of books out there that take place in video game settings. It’s amazing to me how far the video game industry reaches other art mediums!

Have you read any of these books? Do you have any other recommendations for books that take place in video game worlds?

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Pick Your Racer

Pick Your Racer | Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

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How’s everyone enjoying Mario Kart 8 Deluxe? Have you picked your favorite racer yet? Rachel and I have been spending tons of time on that game, having forgotten how much fun Mario Kart has been since we last dabbled with the Wii U version. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has all the DLC and unlocked characters that we had never gotten in the Wii U version, so it’s been fun testing out all the racers. We did, however, notice that since there are so many characters, we’re finding that we miss the simpler list of characters.

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In Mario Kart Wii and Mario Kart 8, I had a personal vendetta against Baby Peach. I don’t know why, but every time she was in a race with me she would always be tailgating me throwing the worst items she could. In Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, there’s not much of that. The character roster is so big that we’ve noticed that most of the computer players aren’t even from the Mario universe. Or, they’re Metal Mario, Gold Peach, or Cat Peach… Still, we miss seeing the original Mario, Peach, Luigi, and Bowser running around.

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Yes, we’ve noticed that there’s more “copycat” characters, if you will, in Mario Kart 8. Characters like Legend of Zelda’s Link or Animal Crossing’s Isabelle are unique additions, but having three different Marios or all seven Koopalings is a bit excessive in our opinions. They’re interesting aesthetics-wise, but Rachel and I miss seeing the original characters racing around with our characters. Out of the plethora of Grand Prix we’ve done, we’ve seen the original Mario in one, maybe two, of those Grand Prix.

rachmii
It’s definitely cool that they’ve added characters from other games, very similar to Smash Brothers. But it’s still Mario Kart and I personally think it would have been cool if they added a Goomba. I mean, if King Boo can drive without legs I think a Goomba could make it work without arms. Kamek also would have been a cool addition as well.

krismii
The additional characters from games other than Super Mario have made many people wonder if this will be the last Mario Kart… A better name for future installments may be Nintendo Kart or something along those lines. If we do want to stick to Super Mario characters, why not re-add Birdo to the roster? Or perhaps Diddy Kong to replace one of the half a dozen baby characters for more variety? Professor E. Gadd, known mostly from Luigi’s Mansion but mentioned in many others, would have been a unique addition.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Oh, I would love to have Professor E. Gadd there! I’m sticking with my “villains” though. I wouldn’t mind having Thwomp or King Bomb-omb or Wiggler. These are pretty far-fetched, I know, but I think they’d be cool either way. Or Nabbit. He’s a bit weird, but he’d be someone different.

krismii
It’s strange that some of your favorites in this racing game seems to be the villains, like King Boo. I miss seeing you being Yoshi all the time, haha! I don’t know what it means when you’ve gone to being the cute, innocent character to one that’s always seen as a villain. As for me, I’m all for having Link in the game. He’s my main when I used to be little Koopa or Rosalina. They’re all different characters, and I wish the entire roster was just as unique.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’ve always liked Boo in general. I always got excited at the boo mansions in the games. Luigi is another favorite of mine and I think that’s why I love Luigi’s Mansion so much. I still, of course, have a soft spot for Yoshi, and he is one of my favorites. I decided to Switch (this joke will get old, but I don’t care) it up a bit. I was Luigi for one or two races, but I was drawn to King Boo. I love his laugh and the way his “tail” wags. Which, is similar to Yoshi, if you think about it.

What other characters do you think they should add? Who’s your favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

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Friday Favorites: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Items

Double Jump Kris MiiYay for another Friday!

Considering I complained about the items in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that I find problematic, I figured today I would share the items that I love getting in that item box roulette.

Piranha Plant

I find it so amusing to have your character’s kart just have a giant pot sticking out the front of it and this man-eating plant helps tug you along while taking bites out of your opponents.

Bob-omb

Who doesn’t like explosions? I think this is a great item as long as you don’t accidentally blow up yourself. I love dropping it behind my kart to get rid of tailgaters.

Red Shells

Alright, this one is a bit of a cop-out, but how can you not love the red shells? They’re little homing devices that go directly to attack the opponent in front of you. While you can defend yourself against them, they are one of the most useful items in a race.

Mushrooms

I love the classic mushrooms! A decent little speed boost to pull in front of an opponent right before they cross the finish line, or to use during a mushroom shortcut on a course — I find them great to use in almost any situation (looking at you, Rainbow Road).

What do you think of the Mario Kart items? Which are your faves?

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