Dear Mario…

krismii
So, Mario has his own email address now. This is a thing. As part of their Super Mario Odyssey promotion, Nintendo set up the former plumber with his own email so people can send him questions and he’ll answer with video responses. That, of course, got us thinking about what we would ask Mario…

rachmii
It kind of feels like sending letters to Santa in a way. I think it’s cool Nintendo is doing something like this. I honestly want to shook him an email, but I don’t know what I would say. The first question that popped into my mind was, “How did you forget to host your Mario Party games? Why don’t you party like you used to?”

krismii
I’m sure many people are curious as to that answer… I’m wondering, “Why did you stop being a plumber? What made you go off on an adventure in the first place when you had a safe job?”

rachmii
Is being a plumber really a safe job, though? Is it…? How about this one: “Why did you go from red overalls to blue overalls?” I mean, he looks spiffy either way, but just curious.

krismii
Probably safer than facing a fire-breathing oversized turtle every day. I want to know, “Do Yoshis have their own names? Do you just call them all Yoshi?”

Rachel Mii Double Jump
“Are you going to save that white tux and actually marry Peach before she realizes Bowser had the right idea? (Minus the kidnapping, of course.)”

krismii
Does Peach even want to get married? You would think she would have strongly suggested getting hitched to Mario by now. I wonder how many, “Dear Mario, please come to the castle. I have baked a cake for you,” letters they’re going to get.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Oh, yes! We shall write that letter! I’m actually really excited for this. I’m definitely going to write something to him if I can think of something cool enough.

Will you be sending Mario an email? Let us know in the comments below!

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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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Mario Party The Top 100 [Game Review]

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Title: Mario Party The Top 100
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
Party, Multiplayer
Release Date: 
November 10, 2017
How we got the game: 
We each preordered a physical copy

krismii
Mario Party is one of those game franchises that makes or breaks friendships. It was one of the games that were a stable in our childhoods as we grew with the generations of Nintendo consoles. We have lots of fun memories with the earlier installments of the games, but the newer ones were disappointing to us. We were hoping for the Top 100 to bring back a little fun to the franchise.

rachmii
I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much for this game, but I was excited nonetheless. They were bringing back old school mini-games, what could go wrong? Well, they did some wrong… but it was still nice to replay some of the old mini-games again.

gameplay

krismii
Mario Party The Top 100 celebrates the top one hundred mini-games from the main franchise. With several modes, the Top 100 allows players to compete and play mini-games either alone or by linking up wirelessly with friends. Each mini-game has been updated with their graphics and controls to bring it up to speed with today’s modern handheld technology, and they all use simple controls to play, usually only a couple of buttons and the control stick to move.

rachmii
There are five main modes of the game, one being only for the single player while you can play the other four modes with friends. 100 Minigames, Minigame Island, Minigame Match, Championship Battles, and Decathlon. Minigame Island was probably my favorite mode, but even that wasn’t too great, to be honest.

 krismii
100 Minigames is a free-for-all mode, where you can play whatever mini-games you’ve unlocked whenever you want. Minigame Island was the single-player mode, where you would go through a series of little “islands” connected via warp pipes and defeat minigames as levels. As a single player, you would choose your character at the beginning and the character you would like as your partner during two-versus-two games. Your opponents in the game are randomized, as are their difficulty level. Each minigame win earns you ten coins, which earns you a life after you collect 100, as well as star points similar to those in Mario Party 9 and 10. If you lose a minigame, you lose a life.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Well, if you come in fourth you lose a life. If you come in third, you get one mini star. Second gets you two mini stars, and first place gets you three mini stars. You want to collect all the mini stars you can (300 total) so that you can unlock something at the end. I liked this mode because it was completely random and it was all minigames, but it definitely would have been more fun playing with other people rather than alone.

krismii
I wonder, if you play through the Minigame Island again, if the mini-game levels would be random? I agree that the island would have been more fun if that was a mode you could link up with friends to play. The modes were you could link up with friends weren’t too bad, however, what fans seemed to really want were boards like the original series had. Instead, Top 100 reuses the Star Rush board with some tiny updates, a small board where everyone moves at once one to six spaces, and you play a mini-game only if someone catches a mini-game balloon. It’s… not the most fun experience.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s boring, to put it bluntly. The board is small and not exciting at all. Not to mention that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Star Rush. It probably won’t be a mode I’ll play again. Another mode is Championship Battles and that wasn’t as great as it sounded. You play 3 to 5 minigames and see who can win the most. It sounds fun in theory, but they only allow 3 or 5 minigames. What about 10? What about 20 or 50? That would certainly raise the stakes and have a longer playtime with friends. It was easy for the games to become one-sided, especially when playing with CPU characters.

krismii
Decathalon was similar enough to Championship Battles, but players would compete for earning the most points depending on their ranking in the mini-game as well as time or your score, if they applied. The higher ranking you are in the mini-game, the more points you earn. After so many mini-games, the player with the highest amount of points wins. It seemed pretty skewed, to be honest. The mini-games were random and, once you become in first place in a couple, you seemed golden on the road to win the Decathalon. With players that are fairly even in their mini-game skills, it’s not much of a challenge.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The Decathalon wasn’t too bad. But yeah, I don’t think I’ll be playing that again anytime soon. The game also had minigame packs as well. Each pack was its own category of minigames from the various Mario Party games. (Gamecube Pack, Nintendo 64 Pack, Action Pack, Sports Pack, etc.) This is a cool idea in theory. When playing Minigame Match (similar to Star Rush), you choose a pack. Then you and the other players vote from your respective pack on which game to play. This is a cool idea, but you can only choose from the five games in your pack. I would have liked to be able to vote on a set of 30 or something, that 30 would be random each time you played. I would have liked to see more variety.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics and music weren’t bad. They weren’t spectacular, but they weren’t bad. Graphics-wise, the game’s images are clear and crisp on our 2DS handhelds.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s certainly interesting to play minigames from Mario Party 1, 2, and 3 with updated graphics. I enjoyed seeing the characters and games in a new light, especially with their updated voices and such.

krismii
While the music wasn’t bad, as they seem to be reminiscent of the Mario Party series, it has changed. Many of the minigames have “updated” music, which are different tracks rather than merely updated versions of the original songs. We did notice that, in Minigame Island, the victory song matches the song that was played in the Mario Party game that the minigame came from. It was a cute, nostalgic-inducing touch.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I didn’t mind the music at all. I found it upbeat and lifting like any other Mario Party game. Also, there were the nostalgic tunes thrown in there. While updated, like Kris said, they were still nice to hear.

replay-value

krismii
The Top 100, while not what we wanted it to be, was decent for nostalgic purposes. It may be a game that I pick up once in a while if I have a little time to kill. Once you unlock all the minigames, it can be fun just to go around and replay your favorites.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree with Kris. However, Mario Party is the kind of game you want to play with your friends and I felt as though this game was better in single player mode than with friends only because there was more to do. Still, I’m glad I could revisit old games again.

Mario Party The Top 100 gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

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

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Super Mario Odyssey [Game Review]

Super Mario Odyssey Game Review

Title: Super Mario Odyssey
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo Switch
Category: 
Action, Platformer
Release Date: 
October 27, 2017
How we got the game: 
We preordered a physical copy

krismii
Super Mario Odyssey has been hailed as one of the best 3D Mario games to date, with all of its homage to Super Mario 64 and the rest of the 3D family. It’s certainly one of the more fun games that we’ve played all year!

rachmii
When this game was first announced, I’ll admit that I wasn’t too excited for it. I wasn’t sure how it was going to be with the hat. But it’s a Mario game and I had a lot of faith in it. It didn’t let me down.

gameplay

krismii
Super Mario Odyssey utilizes many of the Switch’s Joy-Con motion control aspects. With the Joy-Con, you move Mario and the camera with the control sticks and Cappy, Mario’s new companion, with flicks and twists of the Joy-Con. While you can also play the game with the pro controller and the Joy-Con grip, we found it easier to use the detached Joy-Con and their motion controls.

rachmii
It took me a while to get used to the motion controls as I preferred the pro controller. I did end up using each Joy-Con separately for the motion controls and got used to it though. While you can get through the game without the motion controls, there’s a lot more you can do with them.

 krismii
Aside from the motion controls being used to throw Cappy in various ways, Mario moves very similarly to his Super Mario 64 counterpart. Many jumps were included, such as the long jump, the triple jump, and the wall jump, as well as a somersaulting move that was wicked fun to execute! Using all of these moves enabled you to help Mario collect the levels’ various Power Moons and, holy crap, were there a lot of Power Moons to collect!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Mario was super easy to control! I mean, I still fell off cliffs a lot, but he was pretty smooth either way. Yes, there were a lot of Power Moons. In a way, we felt as though there were too many. There’s a great amount that are deeply hidden within the levels, but there are so many that are just sitting out in the open for you to collect and it makes you go through the story mode so much faster. I feel like they wanted us to explore rather than complete the story. It’s almost as though they wanted us to rush.

krismii
Yes, I wasn’t too pleased with the amount of Power Moons — it seemed as if the amount was excessive. I would have been more invested in the game if there were less Power Moons but a greater challenge in finding them. With over 800 Power Moons available in the game, I feel as if we were stopping every five minutes for the, “You Found a Power Moon!” jingle, and I felt that it got old fast. I wanted to go through the story and have more meaning to the Power Moons that we found.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
While I agree, I do understand why there were so many. I am looking forward to getting back to the game to collect them all. I just wish the main story didn’t go so fast. Once we had enough Power Moons to keep going, we just got so eager to move on. Before we knew it, the credits were rolling.

graphics-music

krismii
The graphics are absolutely gorgeous — you can see all the details of Mario’s mustache! Granted, we expected nothing less after seeing the Switch’s capabilities with games like Breath of the Wild, but it was definitely a treat to see how much effort was put into the graphics and presentation of the game.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Each level is ginormous! I feel like they definitely took a page out of the Breath of the Wild’s book. While this game, just like any other Mario game, is about saving Peach in the end, they really just want you to explore each and every aspect of the level. It seems to be never ending.

krismii
There were definitely plenty of places to explore, and the graphics just emphasized your want to search every nook and cranny. The music was right on par with each level as well, and the sound effects for whenever Mario defeats an enemy or shimmies up a tree or is capturing a T-Rex were wonderfully done. The title song, “Jump Up, Super Star,” performed by Mayor Pauline in New Donk City was probably my favorite part!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I’ve been listening to the Odyssey soundtrack on a loop while I work because I can’t get the songs out of my head. And Jump Up, Super Star is definitely a new favorite! I can’t get that song out of my head! story

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The main story is more or less the same as any other typical main Mario game. Bowser has taken Peach and it’s up to Mario to save her. However, Bowser threw in a twist by deciding to skip everything and just go straight to the wedding.

krismii
Bowser looked super dapper in his white tuxedo, and all the effort he was putting into the wedding almost made us root for him. But, I digress. After a confrontation aboard Bowser’s flying ship, Mario gets knocked out and falls down to the surface of the Cap Kingdom where he meets Cappy, a ghost-like hat that is able to transform and help Mario take over other creatures’ minds and bodies.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
And that’s about it. Mario goes from level to level finding Power Moons to get his Odyssey ship up and running again so that he can make it to Peach’s wedding just to shout, “Objection!”

replay-value

krismii
Considering how many Power Moons are in the game and how much content is left to explore after the main storyline, Odyssey does have high replay value. It can be a little addictive to search for every Power Moon on every level and unlock all of the game’s secrets that you definitely wouldn’t mind picking up the game again.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Power Moons are everywhere, but a great deal of them are hidden. Plus, I know there are a couple more levels to unlock plus all the costumes to collect. I’ll definitely be playing again.

Super Mario Odyssey 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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Friday Favorites: Mario Party Mini Games

Double Jump Kris MiiMario Party is one of those series that really tests friendships, like Monopoly. Most of the earlier installments of the series were much better, in my opinion, with mini games and the boards that you travel around for stars. With Mario Party Top 100 out today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Mario Party Mini Games. It’ll be interesting to see which ones make it into Top 100!

frifavesmariopartyminigames

Mushroom Mix-Up/Hexagon Heat

Mushroom Mix-Up from the first Mario Party (and its Mario Party 2 counterpart, Hexagon Heat) was a classic. Following the colors of Toad’s flag, players had to scramble to be on top of the correct mushroom before all of the other colors fell into the water or lava or whatever danger was below the mushrooms. While you could ground-pound on your opponents, the easiest way to prevent them from reaching the last mushroom standing was to just position yourself right at the edge of the correct color — if time was on your side, then your opponents wouldn’t have any room to jump over you to safety.

Fowl Play

Fowl Play was a duel mini game in Mario Party 3. It was a silly game where you had to catch the chicken before your opponent. It was a quick little bugger that left footprints for you to try to follow if you lost sight of it. The chicken also resembled a Cucco from the Legend of Zelda series, and I always thought that the mini game was a nod to the times when Link has to catch chickens in his games.

Team Treasure Trek

Two-versus-two mini games were always fun when Rachel and I were on the same team. In Mario Party 4, Team Treasure Trek was always a favorite. Starting off in a maze, one partner would need to find a key while the other finds the corresponding treasure chest before the two needed to meet up with each other. It was an exciting race against the clock kind of game where we always hoped that our opponents would get most lost than we did!

Dungeon Duos

Another two-versus-two mini game from Mario Party 4, Dungeon Duos was an awesome obstacle course where you needed to work together with a partner to escape the dungeon it took place in. Timing was key, both with speed and precision when it came to completing the game. Not falling into the chasms helped too.

Chomp Romp

Despite usually trying to eat you, I always liked the Chain Chomp characters in Mario games, especially when they’re portrayed as almost dog-like. In Chomp Romp, you appear to be leading your “pet” Chain Chomp through a park. Your whistle brings the Chomp charging in a straight line to you (very eager to greet you, I suppose) and you need to skillfully direct your buddy through the obstacles in the park to reach a safe place to play.

What are your favorite Mario Party mini games? Which ones are you hoping are in Mario Party Top 100?

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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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