Super Mario RPG Barrel Volcano — Crazy Group Trio

Crazy Group Trio was discovered via Spotify when the music streaming service recommended the artist due to the covers and remixes of video game music that the artist creates. Super Mario RPG covers were included, something that was exciting to us!

Crazy Group Trio’s YouTube channel is fairly active, with music being uploaded a couple of times a week. The music ranges from several games, including Final Fantasy, Super Mario, Legend of Zelda, and Banjo-Kazooie. The piano arrangements give familiar video game music a fun, new twist.

Below is the YouTube video that shows off the piano arrangement for Barrel Volcano from Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

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Super Mario RPG [Game Review]

Super Mario RPG

Title: Super Mario RPG
Developer: Nintendo, Square
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo SNES
Category: 
Role-playing
Release Date: 
Mario 9, 1996
How we got the game: 
We got it on the SNES Classic and also have it on the Wii virtual console, as well as the original SNES cartridge

krismii
Prepare to just have me absolutely gushing about this game. It’s one of my absolute favorites and it will never get old!

rachmii
Super Mario RPG is an old classic. We were super excited when we found it was on the SNES Classic. We have the game on the Wii virtual console if we ever wanted to try playing it again, but it’s cool to play with the old controllers again.

gameplay

krismii
Super Mario RPG features classic RPG elements in a Super Mario game. The story is linear with a large map to follow and explore, with battles following the typical RPG formula with attacks and party members.

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You, of course, play as Mario, as you go through your journey trying to save Toadstool and then the rest of the world. As you journey further you meet new people who join your party. You end up with five members total with three being able to battle at once.

 krismii
Battles allow all party members to gain experience, even those who aren’t actively battling. Members level up when they gain enough experience, increasing their HP, attack, defense, and special stats. The further you move along in the story, the stronger weapons and armor are available to you, along with accessories to ward off status ailments or increase stats as long as the character wears them.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’s easy to allow your team to work together in any given group of three since they all level up together whether they’re active in battle or not. Mallow and Toadstool were great at healing the other members of the team, so they weren’t used together much. Still, the team possibilities were pretty good.

krismii
Toadstool and Mallow were both great with magic power, yes, but Mallow could also be geared toward more fighting with his magic while Toadstool had more healing capabilities. Mario was the classic, balanced-all-around character, and Bowser was the tank with his high defense. Geno had the highest attack power, but wasn’t so great with the defense stat. It’s always interesting trying to figure out which characters to use for which boss battles. I kind of wish that all five could be used in battles together, but I suppose that would be overkill.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
It’d be cool if it was like Pokemon and you were able to swap out characters if one died. Still, the system worked and we didn’t die too many times anyway.

graphics-music

krismii
Even as a kid, I had always enjoyed this game’s graphics and music. The world was always vibrant, with each area having its own unique style, and the character models were great. Even though they were mere pixels, the character sprites had some surprisingly distinct and accurate facial expressions. Mario especially was wonderful, considering he was the silent protagonist!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
I agree each area was vivid and unique from other areas. The monsters as well as the inhabitants of the world had cool styles and were nothing like anything from Mario games today (aside from the toads, goombas, etc). Mario, as silent as he is, is a sassy fellow in this game. He tells a good amount of stories in this game and it’s always amusing.

krismii
Yes, just seeing him and the other party members mime out parts of the story when explaining key points to NPCs was always great to see. There’s even a running joke in the game with the characters falling on their faces, similar to when we would “facepalm.” The music is fantastic as well, with each pieces matching the mood of the area we were in. It was composed and arranged by Yoko Shimomura, who notably worked on the Mario & Luigi series as well as composing tracks for Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS and Wii U.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
The music, like most video games, are songs that just get stuck in your head. They’re fun to hum along with and upbeat. The battle music was fantastic as was the music for when a battle was won. Every time we won a battle, both Kris and I immediately started singing the song each and every time.
story

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Bowser is at it again! He has kidnapped Princess Toadstool and it’s up to Mario to save her. But that’s only the beginning of the story. Mario defeats Bowser pretty quickly but then his castle is taken over by Smithy. Mario teams up with two new friends, Mallow and Geno, as well as Bowser and Toadstool to defeat Smithy and save Star Road, thus saving the world.

krismii
The storyline itself is a little cliche, but it works. Smithy, in his plot for domination over Mario’s world, destroys Star Road, the place where wishes on shooting stars were granted. With the Star Road destroyed and its Star Pieces scattered over Mario’s world, wishes are unable to come true anymore. Geno, a star spirit, has been tasked with finding the Star Pieces and repairing the Star Road. Mallow is a young “frog” who is searching for his true home, finding his place both in the world and with the team of heroes. Mario and Bowser form a truce for the first time and Toadstool, before she was known as Peach, proves how formidable she is on the front lines.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
…That about sums it up. You explained it much better than I ever could.

replay-value

krismii
Yes, the story and gameplay are rather linear, and there’s not much of a variety in terms of switching out party members, but this game is one that I can replay over and over without getting bored. The graphics and music are wonderful, the writing is fantastic, and the characters are amazing. I can’t gush about this game enough!

Rachel Mii Double Jump
This is the definition of a classic. There’s nothing too special about it, but the overall game is just so much fun and upbeat. We’ll be playing this one again in due time again… and again.

Super Mario RPG gets…
5 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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Connections

connections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday Favorites: Wanted Smash Characters

Double Jump Kris MiiWith the Nintendo Switch slated for release in a couple of months, I was thinking of the games that would be available for the console. Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a game I’m anxiously awaiting, but I’m sure there will also be a new Super Mario Bros., Mario Kart, and a Super Smash Bros. for the Switch. Down below are a few characters that I hope will one day kick ass in a Super Smash Bros. title.

On a side note, where are the games with “sisters” in the title? Us girl gamers are here too!

Ch8gk7awtun-Li, Street Fighter

Chun-Li was the first female playable character in fighting game history, helping to drive the fact that, hey, female protagonists could fight, too. Considering that she was literally made for fighting games, I think it would be awesome to see her in the Smash franchise.

Tifa Lockhart, Final Fantasytifa

Hey, we have Cloud added to the abundance of sword-users in the series… Why not add another brawler? And a female one at that? Tifa Lockhart would have plenty of moves to add to the Smash franchise, helping to round out the roster of Pokemon and swordsman characters.


Professor Layton, Professor Layton Serieshershel_layton

Rachel and I were first introduced to Professor Layton when we tried out the Professor Layton vs Phoenix Wright game for the 3DS. And, honestly, we were so impressed with how much Layton kicked ass in both the game and the cutscenes. This gentleman has demonstrated being proficient in hand-to-hand combat, perfect in defending himself against fellow Smashers.

new_geno_render_by_nibroc_rock-d9kkuzkGeno, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

This probably isn’t a surprise to many of you readers who have been around for a while. Geno is probably one of my favorite video game characters of all time, and if it wasn’t for the copyright issue surrounding him, his popularity probably would have already propelled him into the Smash franchise. With a unique character design and a wide array of special attacks from his game, Geno would be an amazing addition.

What characters would you love to see in a future Smash game?

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Friday Favorites: Fan Comics

Double Jump Kris MiiVideo games, with all of their creative genius, have spawned plenty of other creators to share their skills, via fan art, fanfiction, comics, music, whatever. Being an avid gamer and reader who appreciates art, today I’m sharing a few of my favorite video game fan comics.

Awkward Zombie

Awkward Zombie is a series of mostly one-shot comics based off of various video game scenarios. Most of them are cheeky kind of jokes, poking fun at game mechanics that probably shouldn’t work. The artist, Katie Tiedrich, has been creating these comics for about ten years, starting on DeviantArt before moving everything to her own website. It updates weekly on Mondays.

The GaMERCaT

The GaMERCaT is a comic about an adorable cat who loves video games. That’s pretty much the tagline! The art is simple and clean, with a well-rounded cast of characters enjoying the nuances of gaming life. Samantha Whitten is the artist of this comic, and she tends to update it on her site every Monday.

Random Doom

Random Doom is a Pokemon fan comic following the adventures of a Sinnoh trainer and her team of Pokemon. What started off as fun little one-shots has evolved (pun certainly intended) into chaptered comics starring the teams of Pokemon. TamarinFrog, or Jenna, is the artist behind these brilliant adventures, and Ice Climbers and Splatoon comics as well, on her DeviantArt. She tends to update the next page of Random Doom every Saturday on both DeviantArt and her Tumblr.

Nintendo-Nut1

An honorable mention I would like to add is Nutty, or Kelsey. I first found her on DeviantArt years ago thanks to her wonderful Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars comics. She’s more active on Tumblr nowadays, but her older comics are definitely fun to read through every once in a while.

 

What are some of your favorite fan comics?

Friday Favorites: Villains

Double Jump Kris MiiOh my goodness, it’s almost Christmas!

Despite the awesome feel-good, jolly, everything-is-wonderful kind of emotions that run rampant during this time of the year, let’s talk about some of our favorite video game villains. You know, those people that you love to hate (or hate to love).

Team Skull

Okay, so I’m not done with the story in Pokemon Moon, but so far the antagonistic team seems awesome. These dorks are hysterical, and I can’t wait to keep going to see what sort of antics they get up to!

Manfred von Karma

This dude was ridiculous. His cold attitude towards his adopted son, towards his victims, was horrible and his aim for perfection made me want to sock him across the jaw. The pressure he put on his children did not put him on my good list, but he was a shoe-in for a favorite villain.

Ganondorf

Although the Legend of Zelda series has a plethora of amazing characters, heroes and villains alike, Ganondorf was always intriguing. Unlike Link and Zelda, who are reincarnated in almost every game, there has been evidence that Ganondorf is one man forever looping in time for his quest for power. You have to admire his ambition and determination!

Smithy

The main villain behind all the catastrophe that had robbed the world of wishes in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, Smithy was a machine-loving robot fanatic. You heard all about him throughout the entire adventure until you finally come face-to-face with him in the final two-part battle. The build-up to the scene and Smithy’s complete apathy to the heroes trying to talk him out of overrunning the world with machines really makes you dive into the fight with gusto to save the world. That, and the music during his battle is fantastic!

What are some of your favorite video game villains?