Friday (Least) Favorites: Mario Party Mini Games

Double Jump Kris MiiSo Rachel and I have Mario Party Top 100 and it’s…. Eh. We’ll probably talk more about the game a little later. It’s nice for nostalgic reasons, I suppose, but there was so much more that the game could have been, you know?

To cope with how the Top 100 was not all we were hoping for it to be, here is a least of my least favorite Mario Party mini games!

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Paddle Battle

This one-versus-three mini game in the original Mario Party was such a pain if you were the solo player. Honestly, many of the one-versus-three mini games back then were usually skewed in favor of the team with three players, but you could really tell the game didn’t like the solo player as much whenever Paddle Battle was picked to play! It was also one of the those games where you had to rotate the control stick rapidly and completely — anyone else here old enough to remember getting palm blisters from those kind of games?

Three Throw

A 4-player game in Mario Party 4, Three Throw was one of those games that I was lukewarm about. The mini games based off of sports I was never that fond of, and Three Throw was at the bottom of the list. Instead of standing in one spot and trying to find a rhythm to make the perfect shots (before another character claimed the basket, of course), I think I would have preferred to battle it out on the court with the characters, punching opponents away from the baskets in order to score some points.

Button Mashers

Button Mashers is a duel mini game from Mario Party 5. Depending on how well both your opponent and you do in the game, it can get difficult. The game makes the players catch blocks from the sky, and each block has a corresponding button on it. To avoid getting crushed by the block, one must continuously mash the button. The longer the players stay standing, the more blocks fall and the more buttons the players must mash simultaneously. It’s a bit of an annoying stretch trying to mash more than two or even three buttons at once!

 

Any Microphone Games

I really didn’t understand why this mechanic existed. It was annoying to have the extra “controller” that was the microphone, and there was a collective groaning all around. I was less than thrilled to find a game or two that has to use the microphone in Top 100…

What are your least favorite Mario Party mini games? Which ones were you disappointed to see in Mario Party Top 100?

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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!

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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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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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First Impressions: Super Mario Odyssey

Double Jump Kris MiiLike the rest of the gaming world, Rachel and I have been playing Super Mario Odyssey since it arrived at our house! And my opinion on it thus far is probably in the minority…

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We’ve had Super Mario Odyssey on pre-order for a while so we would have the game delivered to our house the day it was released. The majority of the gaming world was going crazy for the newest 3D Super Mario game, and with good reason. So far, it plays wonderfully, even if the controls took a little getting used to with the Joy-Con, and the levels remind us of the classic Super Mario 64 — different worlds that you can hop in and out of with collectible items to help power up your ship to reach even new worlds.

I like the game, from what we’ve played so far. However, unlike many other Nintendo fans, I find the 3D Mario games as just okay. Don’t get me wrong, Super Mario 64 was revolutionary for its time and it’s a fun game, but it was never a game that I would willingly turn on to play by myself. Likewise, Sunshine and the Galaxy pair were not my cup of tea. Sunshine just didn’t hold my attention at all and the first Galaxy game made me feel dizzy. It turned me off from playing the second Galaxy.

So when Odyssey was announced, I figured it would be a decent game. The Switch is a fantastic console and the mechanics from Odyssey’s trailer looked different enough to keep me interested. I was mostly impressed with Mayor Pauline singing the theme song! The music is entertaining!

After playing through the first few levels of Odyssey, I’m not completely on board with it. Not yet, anyway. I’ll finish the main story with Rachel, but I’m not invested in finding every Power Moon like I was with every shrine in Breath of the Wild. At this moment, I’m more interested in continuing Fire Emblem Warriors or even going back to the DLC for Breath of the Wild.

Super Mario Odyssey is being praised as one of the best games to be released, but I’m not seeing it just yet. It’s a good game, sure, but probably not one of my top favorites.

How are you liking Super Mario Odyssey so far?

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SM64O Take Down

Double Jump Kris MiiVideo games bring some of the best art out of the woodwork, be they fanfictions, fan art, music covers and renditions, or mods for the games themselves. Kaze Emanuar is a talented modder, being brilliant with programming new challenges and twists into video games, most notably for Nintendo’s Super Mario games. Nintendo, however, doesn’t seem to appreciate the mods as much as the fans do…

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Not too long ago, Rachel and I mentioned how there was a new mod going around for the emulated version of Super Mario 64. This particular mod gave friends the ability to set up servers to play Super Mario 64 online together in a multiplayer mode. Predictably, Nintendo heard about the mod and got the YouTube videos regarding it shut down on the grounds of copyright. Rachel and I were able to snag the download (and follow the instructional video) before they were taken down.

You can still get the mod by the Super Mario 64 Online site and forum, of course, but beware if you try to upload any videos on it.

While it was only a matter of time as to when Nintendo would strike a copyright issue regarding the mod, we were really surprised when we heard that not only were the modder’s videos on YouTube taken down, but also his Patreon. Considering that we personally haven’t been on his Patreon, we can’t say for certain that the SM64O links were also available there or what sort of art the modder offered to those that pledged to his Patreon.

Rachel and I know plenty of creators whose Patreons are their source of income as they share their gifts with those who appreciate the art enough to pledge to the creators. We were a bit shocked to find out that the modder’s Patreon was shut down — either temporarily or permanently, we’re unsure — due to this situation.

It’s a bit of a strange situation. On one hand, we all knew that Nintendo would want to strike down the mod, as they are wont to do in these sorts of situations. On the other, however, one could argue that mods generate more interest in the video game, which could be good publicity for the developer. It’s understandable that Nintendo doesn’t wish for any modders to make money off of their video games, such as rewards on Patreon, but I have heard that the modder’s Patreon had nothing to do with SM64O. Why would the modder offer it on his Patreon if it was free for all on YouTube and the created forum for it?

What do you all think? Did Nintendo go a little too far in targeting the modder’s Patreon, or is the game company merely defending what is rightfully theirs?

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Thoughts: Nintendo Direct

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We were definitely excited that we were both home to watch the Nintendo Direct live this time! While the few games that we had wanted to see were not showcased in the announcement, I don’t think Nintendo did too bad during their latest direct. Over 40 games were shown for both the Nintendo Switch and the 3DS families, ensuring that Nintendo fans will be busy during the next few months!

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Yes, that’s right. No Smash Brothers, Animal Crossing, or Luigi’s Mansion. I’m going to pretend that those games are going to be awesome because they’re working so hard on them. Still, I’m excited for what’s to come soon. I was certainly impressed with their latest Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon games as well as Super Mario Odyssey. And yet, there were some surprises here and there as well.

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Considering how much Nintendo boasts about the Switch’s portable and multiplayer capabilities, I’m especially surprised that Super Smash Brothers — even a deluxe version like Mario Kart 8 — isn’t on their radar just yet. I think the biggest surprise to me was the Mario Party game coming to the 3DS. For nostalgia reasons, seeing that the game is going to have the top 100 minigames from the entire series sounds great! Here’s hoping that it’ll be true to the original games regarding party boards instead of the last couple of installments!

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I’m super excited for the Mario Party, however, I am worried that that’s all it’s going to be… mini-games. Like you said, for nostalgic reasons, it’s great, but I don’t know if there will be any other form of “gameplay.” They didn’t show anything else for it. Maybe Nintendo is finally hearing us all say we want the original games back. Maybe, after seeing what a success this will be, they’ll make Mario Party 11 just like Mario Party 2.

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I did read somewhere, perhaps My Nintendo News, that there was to be a board game play, but I may be making that up with wishful thinking. Other 3DS games I’m excited about are Lady Layton — I’d much rather have it for the 3DS rather than mobile — and the Alliance Alive and Radiant Historia, both from ATLUS. I’m itching for a new, good RPG to sink into.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Oh, yes. I forgot about Lady Layton. I was super excited when I saw Apollo Justice, but then I realized that was just the first game… I thought it was going to be a new one. The other 3DS games look good as well. Now that we have the New 2DS XL, I’m excited to play some new games on it.
The Switch seems like it’s going to get some great games as well. I was happy to see that they’re adding more to Snipperclips. While that wasn’t our favorite game, it was still cute and enjoyable. I had wished for more levels and they’re giving it to us. I also think it’s cool that you can start in random shapes as well. That may make it easier or harder.

krismii
It is nice that they’re creating some more levels for Snipperclips. The random shapes sounds entertaining, too! I’m definitely looking forward to Fire Emblem Warriors and was thrilled when they showed Lyn as playable (along with a couple of other characters that may have been shown in international versions of the trailer that us North Americans may not suppose to know about yet, shhh!). Having another female and another character from a game other than Fates and Awakening is great to me! Skyrim is another that I want to try, although I’d rather tame the dragons than kill them (someone who’s played Skyrim, let me know if that’s an option), and we’re definitely going to download the Octopath Traveler demo to check that out.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
Octopath looks great! I can’t wait to give that one a try. It will certainly be something different. Overall, I think Nintendo has a great lineup ahead and I can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

What did you think about the Direct? Which games are you most looking forward to? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll chat!

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Flashback Friday: Yoshi’s Story

Double Jump Kris MiiYoshi is one of the most adorable characters in the Super Mario franchise, and with good reason. Ever since Yoshi’s first appearance in Super Mario World in 1990, the character has appeared in nearly 60 games!

This month’s Flashback Friday post is dedicated to one of those games, Yoshi’s Story.

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Yoshi’s Story was released for the Nintendo 64 in December 1997 in Japan and March 1998 in North America. A side-scroller platform, the game was released on the Wii’s Virtual Console ten years later and the Wii U’s virtual console almost ten years after that. Yoshi’s Story is actually the last main platform game starring the titular character until Yoshi’s Woolly World for the Wii U in 2015.

While it’s considered almost a sequel to the SNES’s Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island, Yoshi’s Story is more puzzle-orientated with a cuter style in both graphics and music. It’s levels appear as a pop-up storybook, images resembling materials that one would use to make a scrapbook, such as fabric, cardboard, and paper.

The game had two modes, Story and Trial. Trial Mode enabled players to pick a course to go through as often as they wanted, but they were not unlocked until the player beat the course in Story Mode. Getting a high score was the main objective of each level, with the level ending when the Yoshi ate 30 pieces of fruit to complete the border around the screen. Considering the story of the game involved the Yoshis journeying across their island in search of Baby Bowser, who stole the Super Happy Tree. By eating the fruit, the Yoshis can stave off gloominess while trying to save their island.

Before each level loaded, a Lucky Fruit was chosen at random, which earns more points than any of the other fruit. Players could also get bonus points for eating the favorite fruit of whichever color Yoshi they happened to pick or for eating the same piece of fruit multiple times in a row. Players can go through each level as quickly as possible by eating every fruit they come across, but they can unlock secrets of the courses by biding their time and exploring every nook and cranny of the level.

Yoshi’s story got mixed to positive reviews, averaging only about 60% to 70% by most critics. It was, however, the second most downloaded title on the Wii U’s virtual console during the week of its release. With that said, the virtual console version received similar, if not worse, reviews than its Nintendo 64 counterpart.

I remember this game from ages ago. Rachel and I never owned it ourselves, but instead borrowed it from time to time from our aunt. We didn’t do too much in the Story Mode, being young enough to find it rather confusing, and amused ourselves with picking and choosing courses in the Trial Mode. We were always fans of Yoshi and had lots of fun with the game, its art style, and especially the music.

And, don’t lie, you all got the theme song stuck in your heads as much as we did:

Have you ever played Yoshi’s Story? What did you think of it?

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