All posts in NES

Europe – Nintendo Download 27th June

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Nintendo_eShop_logo

This week’s European Nintendo Downloads are as follows….

Wii U

Wii U Retail

Game & Wario – €39.99/£34.99

F1 Race Stars: Powered Up Edition – €49.99/£39.99

Wii U VC

Balloon Fight – €4.99/£3.49 (This is the updated european version of the game with the correct gameplay speed and aspect ratio)

Vegas Stakes – €7.99/£5.49

3DS

3DS Retail & Digital Only

Dillon’s Rolling Western: The Last Ranger – €6.99/£6.29 (price will change to €9.99/£8.99 from July 5)

Mighty Switch Force! 2 – €5.00/£5.00

Aqua Moto Racing 3D – €9.99/£8.99

Urban Trial Freestyle – €5.99/£4.99 (price will change to €6.99/£6.29 from July 5)

3D MahJongg – €9.99/£9.79

Mon Haras 3D – Au gallop vers l’aventure – €39.99

3DS VC

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 – €4.99/£4.49

Crystal Warriors – €3.99/£3.59

[Source: Nintendo]

Mega Man 2-4 Are Now Available On the Wii U eShop, Mega Man 6 On the 3DS eShop

Mega Man 4 Dive Man Stage

Probably most of you are looking into Nintendo related trailers after the big E3 Nintendo Direct couple hours ago.

But there is something that you may missed until now and I am talking about the special addition of Megaman 2, 3 and 4 on the Nintendo eShop!

You can purchase each Maga Man game for 4,99$€/$.

Update:

Starting today, you can also buy Mega Man 6 on the *European” 3DS eShop for £4.49/€4.99!

Club Nintendo – New Featured Games Offers (June)

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club_nintendo

These are the new game offers that are available for Club Nintendo members based in the US until June 30:

Club Nintendo - June's featured game offers

 

[Source: Gonintendo]

Europe – Nintendo Download 6th June

Nintendo_eShop_logo

This week’s European Nintendo Downloads are as follows….

Wii U

Wii U VC

Spelunker (Tozai Games, NES VC) – €3.49/£2.39 (Ends June 13)

Wii U Sale

Trine 2: Director’s Cut – €8.49/£6.99 (Ends June 27)

Wii U price drop

ZombiU – €29.99/£24.99 was €69.99/£54.99
Just Dance 4 – €39.99/£29.99 was €49.99/£39.99
Ben 10 Omniverse – €29.99/£29.99 was €44.99/£35.99

3DS

3DS download

Tetris (Tetris Online) – €9.99/£8.99

DSiWare

Jewel Quest 4 Heritage – €7.99/£7.19 (800 Points)
Break Tactics – €4.99/£4.49/ (500 Points)

[Source: Nintendo]

North America – Nintendo Download 30th May

Nintendo_eShop_logo

This week’s Nintendo Downloads are as follows….

Wii U

Wii U VC

Keep in mind that if you purchase either Mega Manx or Ghosts’N Goblins, you can get a 50% discount on the other one! You can make use of this cool “combo” until June 6.

Ghosts’N Goblins – $4.99
Mega Man X – $7.99

Wii U Sale

Just Dance 4 – 30% price drop and you can select downloadable content (ends June 4)

3DS

3DS download

The Denpa Men 2: Beyond the Waves - $11.99
Gummy Bears Mini Golf - $5.99

3DS VC sale

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages  - $4.99  (was $5.99, ends June 20)
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons – $4.99  (was $5.99, ends June 20

3DS Demo

Project X Zone: Imperial Demo (from June 4)

[Source: Nintendo]

Europe – Nintendo Download 30th May

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Nintendo_eShop_logo

This week’s European Nintendo Downloads are as follows….

Wii U

Wii U VC

Keep in mind that if you own Super Ghouls’n Ghosts you can get a 50% discount on Ghosts’n Goblins! You can use this chance and purchase this new entry for just €2.49, only until June 6.

Ghosts’n Goblins - €4.99

Wii U Sale

Toki Tori 2  - €11.24 (ends June 6)

Wii U price drop

Chasing Aurora – €6.49, was €11.99

3DS

3DS download

THE “DENPA” MEN 2: Beyond the Waves - €9.99
SpeedX 3D Hyper Edition – €1.99
Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games – €39.99

3DS VC sale

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages  - €4.99 (was €5.99, ends June 20)
The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons – €4.99 (was €5.99, ends June 20

Wii

Wii VC

King of Fighters 98′ – 900 Points

[Source: Nintendo]

No More SNES Classic Controller Wii?

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SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERA

This week we noticed a small but important change on Club Nintendo’s European Stars Catalogues. One of the best rewards, the SNES Classic Controller for the Wii, was not listed anymore among the other goodies.

We reached out to the German Club Nintendo support service to see if this removal is permanent or just an out of stock case:

“When and if the SNES Classic Controller will ever be available again on our catalogue is something that we don’t know at this moment.”

So it seems that there is no clear information about the future of the availability of this rare controller. The SNES Classic Controller was perfectly suited for playing on the Wii’s Virtual Console and was very popular among gamers. It’s “price” was nevertheless pretty high (7,000 stars) and that made it a hard-to-get reward.

Another interesting thing about this removal is the fact that the Mario Kart Mushroom Trophy has also dissappeared from the listings this week.

mkarttrophy

Could it be just a coincidence or a simple matter of stock? Or is Nintendo preparing new entries for the European Stars Catalogue now that the E3 is getting closer? We’ ll let you know when we get an update on this story in the following weeks.

Europe – Nintendo Download 23th May

Nintendo_eShop_logo

This week’s European Nintendo Downloads are as follows….

Wii U

Wii U VC

Keep in mind that if you own Kirby’s Adventure you can get a 30% discount on the two new Virtual Console entries! You can use this chance and purchase each Kirby game for €5.59 / £3.79, only until May 30.

Kirby’s Dream Course – €7,99 / £5.49
Kirby Super Star - €7,99 / £5.49

Wii U Retail Downloads

Resident Evil: Revelations – €49,99 / £39.99
LEGO Batman 2: DC Super Heroes – €49,99 / £39.99

3DS

3DS download

Swords & Soldiers 3D – €7,00 / £5.90
Air Battle Hockey 3D – €4,99 / £4.49
Groove Heaven – €3,99 / £3.59

3DS retail

Donkey Kong Country Returns 3D – €39,99 / £34.99
Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars 3D – €19,99 / £17.99

3DS VC

-

3DS Demo

Project X Zone
Rabbids Rumble

3DS sale

The Denpa Men: They Came By Wave – €6,39 / £5.69 (ends May 30)

[Source: Nintendo]

Wii U Virtual Console Launches Worldwide, Panorama View Demo Also Now Available

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virtualconsole_onwiiu

Nintendo have finally released the Wii U Virtual Console around the world as well as the demo for Panorama View…

Wii U Virtual Console Launch Line Up Revealed

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Nintendo have finally revealed the launch line up for the North American Virtual Console on Wii U, which should launch sometime this week….

Wii U Virtual Console Announced

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Nintendo didn’t just talk about games in today’s Nintendo Direct. The first details about the consoles virtual surface where finally announced…

Playthrough: Mega Man (part 2)

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Happy 25th Birthday Mega Man! 25 years ago today the world saw release of one of the finest NES games ever made and the start to one fantastic franchise. For those who missed part 1, that can be found here. With that said, here is the four Dr. Wily stages.

Dr. Wily Stage 1

This level starts out with three of the pogo enemies in a row, but at this point I have the Ice Beam so I just froze them when they jumped high and walked under them. The boss of this stage is tricky, so whatever trick you can find to make the level easier should be exploited to its fullest. Immediately after these guys  are a pile of boulders that need to be moved and then some stairs with low ceilings. Between each ledge is a fire pillar and the best way to get past this part is to freeze them and use them as makeshift platforms.

The next room has some free health but the low ceiling makes the jump difficult, so naturally I messed up and didn’t get it. Upon climbing the ladder you will be in a long hallway with more boulders to move and those fast screw enemies. The good news here is that the boulders will kill most of them with a single toss. The next room after climbing a ladder down will have some narrow platforms with a low ceiling, and to top it off a Bullet Bill enemy will always be coming towards you, making it extremely easy to be knocked back into the pit of spikes.

If you can get passed the last section unscathed then the moving platforms that shoot will make their annoying return. There are only three of them and for some reason they never gave me as much trouble as Ice Man’s stage usually does. Remember that Platform Gun you got all the way back in Elec Man’s stage? Now comes the first time where you need it, as a wall is blocking your way and a ladder is just out of reach. In case you run out of ammo you can always go to the previous screen and farm the item pick-ups to restock on ammunition. I recommend you also make sure your electricity gun is maxed out too as the boss is after this section.

Clay Man is hard in how long the fight lasts rather then just being difficult. You can only attack him once per turn, and each time you attack he will separate into blocks to reform on the opposite side of the room. The pattern in which the blocks move is always the same, so it comes down to memorizing when to jump out of the way and when to stay still. There is a glitch here to make it easier though, and that is when the electricity hits his eye, pause and unpause the game as fast as you can to make it count many more times. I, of course, did not use this glitch. I beat the game enough times that I should not have to rely on dirty tricks anymore. That said, I died on Clay Man four times.

Death count 4

 

Dr. Wily Stage 2

This stage started off with some easing platforming, but it was made hard by dive-bombers from above and below you. One of them killed me right away as I was making a jump and it pushed me back into the pit. With this section, the best way to deal with the enemies is to equip the Elec Man beam as it shoots up, down, and straight in front so as soon as they close in for the attack, fire the beam to take care of everything on screen.

Another interesting thing about Mega Man 1 is that instead of having a room before Dr Wily with eight teleporters for a rematch against the eight robot masters, this game just throws in the bosses through the stage. I fought Cut Man here after the dive-bombers but this time there were no boulders to throw at him so I died on my first attempt. He actually is not too hard; just keep firing at him with your normal buster and avoid his scissor attack.

After this fight was more easing platforming but with turrets that shoot in five directions this time. This section was much easier as the timing for when they shoot is consistent and it is not as challenging to destroy them. Upon clearing this part I had to fight Elec Man again, and needless to say wrecked him with the Rolling Cutter

At this point is becomes clear that this level is just the same routine over again with platforming followed by a boss. Once I beaten Elec Man I had more jumps to conquer, and the enemy here was the ones that rise from the bottomless pits and explode into separate pieces. They are a bit difficult to avoid due to their numbers, but the good news is they don’t do that much damage. Instead of the level’s final boss right after this, there are some ladders to climb down with enemies that move back and forth in their basic pattern. Once again, the Elec Man beam does wonders here and makes quick work out of all the enemies.

The boss here is actually one of the hardest in the game. Maybe there is a secret to beating him efficiently, but it took me four tries to destroy him. The reason it is so hard is because a machine clones you, and whatever weapon you use, he uses. The way I finally managed to beat him was unload all the Elec Man beam ammo I had, followed by the Fire weapon. It is a really intense, pulse pounding battle as he will use the same strategy and constantly move towards you. It is simply exilerating and feels like an accomplishment when he is bested (not saying the rest of the game isn’t satisfying).

Death count 5

 

Dr. Wily Stage 3

This is by far the shortest stage in the game and it surprisingly does not make up for it in difficulty. There are a few screens where you must work your way down, avoiding wall and ceiling mounted turrets and the enemies that move back and forth. As always, the Elec Man beam is the preferred weapon, but really any weapon is helpful here. I took a few hits due to the shear numbers of all the potential threats, but this section is over in a jiffy.

Once the vertical descent is complete there is a long hallway that gets flooded with water. All this means is that it is constantly pushing you, making you run fast while the robot penguins charge at you. It is easy to get hurt due to their post death explosion but with proper timing, jumping and shooting will make short work of this hallway.

The boss is in the next room and can be a pain if you are stunned like me. I died on it three times because it did not seem like any weapons hurt him. The boss is a machine part in a bubble that will circle the room and shoot bullets at you. Each time you destroy one another will take its place and move faster. There are four boulders in the room that will kill one each, but after that you must attack it head on. When attacked with a weapon, it does not seem to be taking any damage, but the best way to deal with the remainders is too mash that fire button as fast as you can when it rolls along the bottom of the screen. Unless you are a world champion button masher you will probably take a few hits, but hopefully you can destroy all eight of them before they kill you. It may not be the best strategy, but it will get the job done.

Death count 3

 

Dr. Wily Stage 4

Here we are, the final stage of the game and this playthrough. To start off on the wrong foot I died two times in a row on the very first screen. It involves three very simple jumps and climbing a ladder. Sure, those enemies that rise and lower from the floor and ceiling respectively show up, but they didn’t even faze me. I missed the ladder twice due to me not pushing up in time on the control pad to grab onto it. Let this set the tone for how much I died on this level.

If you can get past the torturous notion of grabbing a ladder then you will find yourself in a long hallway of turrets, but as usual, the Elec Man beam will take care of this section with little trouble. After climbing some ladders (don’t worry, they are on solid ground this time) there will be another rail platform similar to Guts Man stage. There is only one of them this time, so I jumped on it and the section where the platform drops was so big that I panicked and fell into the spikes below. The second attempt I just missed the platform entirely. The third try I used the Platform Gun so I could jump on them and walk over to the ledge I was suppose to go on, but I fell through a tiny gap before the ladder and died. I have no idea why ladders were so hard to me this time.

Admittedly, I was becoming pretty angry at this point, but once I managed to get through these parts I had to fight the remaining bosses. Bomb Man was first and always easy to beat. Next was Fire Man, and I can never get the pattern down for him; he just keeps firing randomly and always taking off a fair bit of health. Ice Man is third and while he is easy to beat, the controls freeze up for a split second once he is defeated; this caused me to die many times as his last missile just killed me when I couldn’t move. Last up is Guts Man and while not particularly hard, he is just a pain as I was always low on energy.

To sum it up quickly and embarrassingly, I died on Bomb Man zero times, Fire Man zero, Ice Man four times, and Guts Man six times.

Thankfully, there is a checkpoint after these bosses, giving you some mercy before you fight Dr. Wily. He has two forms; the first one is weak to fire and the second form is weak to electricity. The only difference between the two forms is the type of projectiles they fire. Form one will shoot many small bullets while part two will fire one big rotating bullet. He is not the hardest final boss ever, but I still managed to die on him eight times.

To be honest, before I beat the game I had to take a break, so I ended up walking to the local comic book store to pick up the newest issue of Deadpool. Once I came home after some air and read the comic, I picked up the controller and beat the game after two deaths. In short, Deadpool is the man.

Death count 23

Total Death Count: 54

 

Final Words

After playing through Mega Man for the first time in awhile, I remembered why I love the series so much. Unless you play the games constantly, there is always a challenge to them after a small break. There are tons of games from my childhood that are considered hard that I can pick up now and plough through, but Mega Man always gives a challenge. Depending on my personal mood, some sections offer more resistance then others but it always feels like a fresh experience no matter how many times I play through. Maybe one day Capcom will make another Mega Man series, or make part 11 with updated features rather then banking on pure nostalgia (as great as 9 and 10 are), but until then, we have numerous games and genres to sink our teeth into and have fun while doing so.

So here’s to 25 years of pissing gamers off and making them enjoy every second of it.

Playthrough: Mega Man

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by Ryan C.


It’s almost Mega Man’s 25th anniversary! Don’t act surprised, how could I not write up another article about the Blue Bomber. Instead of reviewing a game that you know how much I love, I figured I would just have some fun and play through the original game once more and write a little walk-through. It won’t be a complete guide, rather it will be me talking about each level, if I am having a hard time at a part, or just funny moments that happen. So turn on some classic tunes and join me in the play by play of the first Mega Man.

 

Bomb Man Stage

Every time I start out I always pick Bomb Man. I find him the easiest to take care of and he is pretty weak against the default Mega Buster, so my advice is to start with this chump. Upon starting the level, I was introduced to some jumping screws that hurl themselves at a high speed. These enemies aren’t tough, but they are easy to get hit by. After these were some bottomless pits, but each one spews out an enemy that rises and separates into 4 segments that explode on contact. Each of the pits are pretty close together, so get ready to avoid anywhere between 4 and 12 explosives. This is a nice start, not even a minute into the game and already these jumping screws and projectiles are wrecking me. If that wasn’t enough, immediately afterwards are some turrets that can fire high speed bullets in 5 directions, and like the previous section, there are numerous turrets grouped together. I hope you like avoiding bullets that cover the screen because this game certainly does.

After clearing this long stretch of hallway comes basic ladder climbing and platforming where I found some health, unfortunately I had to clear 4 wall clinging turrets to get it, meaning I probably could have avoided it altogether and kept the same amount of health, but live and learn. Upon regaining my lost health came another long hallway that introduced the shielded bad guys that can only be harmed just before they fire their weapons. If you can get the timing down they are not so bad, but I did take some damage. Once I killed him the game introduced a Bullet Bill type enemy that has a wavy pattern similar to the Medusa Heads in Castlevania. If you shoot them, they explode and respawn; if they go off the screen, they respawn. Top this with those enemies that come from the bottomless pits and it can be a challenge, but I found if I kept moving and shooting then they couldn’t touch me. Once I cleared this there was a ladder to climb and some platforms to jump over with spikes underneath. One of those Bullet Bills started chasing me, but the secret here is to let it go ahead of you and not shoot it, or else it will just respawn behind you again.

In case you forgot how much the game loved having projectiles shot in every direction, the next segment involves jumping on small ledges over spikes with enemies that fire in all 8 directions and respawn infinitely until you finish the part. Thankfully, after this part you can jump down into a small area and snag a free 1up. After getting my reward for dealing with this bullet hell styled level, I was off to fight the boss. I always found it weird that in this game there are a few rooms before the boss fight, whereas every other game just has a corridor before the encounter. I also forgot how short the level was, I will have this game done in no time.

Climbing down the ladder towards Bomb Man and there are enemies that move back and forth. Careful timing is the key here, but the first one hit me so I fell the rest of the way, not exactly great strategy but it got the job done.

Like I said before, Bomb Man is not hard, he jumps around and throws his bombs in an arc that are easy to avoid. I died here because it has been awhile and the explosion was big enough to reach me. On my second try at almost full health (got hit on the ladder again), I successfully destroyed him and made my way onto Guts Man.

Death Count: 1

 

Guts Man Stage

Similar to Bomb Man, Guts Man is not that hard of a boss. His weakness is the bomb weapon as it can kill him in three shots, but the bombs take an eternity to explode so I find it just as easy to shoot him with my default weapon.

The level starts out with some stairs to climb and the hard-hat enemies that can fire three bullets at a time. For some reason, I never bothered learning of the enemies’ names, so you’ll have to excuse my mediocre detailing of the enemies. After the stairs comes the infamous “rail platform” section. For those who do not know, there are rails with moving platforms on them that will drop if they go over a broken section. The timing needs to be perfect; otherwise you fall to your death. After playing this game so many times I generally don’t have an issue with this part anymore and only died here once.

When I got on solid ground again the game sent out three dive-bombers that stay high up in the air until you’re in range and then attack rapidly. They are cheap, annoying and took off a bit of health, but if you get past this then the hardest parts of the stage are thankfully over with. Once I climbed more stairs I met some evil miners that threw their pick axes at me. They can take a great damage of damage before they die and they need to be killed before you can jump to their platform.

In the final stretch of the level you are given a choice of falling down one of three pits. I wanted to go down the most leftward path, but those pesky dive-bombers knocked me into another one where I got some free health. That was nice, but the way I originally wanted to go had a 1up. Next up is my least favourite enemy: a pogo-jumping, one eyed, steel behemoth of a monster. One touch by them and 1/3 of your energy is gone. I could have stayed and fought but I took the wussy way out and ran underneath him when he jumped high enough. Once I fled I found myself at Guts Man’s door; low on health and no spare lives I did my best against him but died anyways. After doing the whole stage again and dying once more on the rail platforms, I killed Guts Man and was on my way to the next stage.

Death Count: 3

 

Elec Man Stage

Elec Man’s stage is unique in that it focuses on vertical platforming with an abundance of ladders and stair like jumps. The first screen involves three platforms with enemies that move faster if you’re on the same ledge as them. They are tricky to avoid but with careful timing they can be bypassed with ease. In fact, timing is everything in this stage, more so then any other thus far. From the enemy placements to the environmental hazards, this stage can be relatively easy or downright devious.

Anyways, passing the first screen will introduce the hazard of electricity shooting out from the ends of platforms. If you’re not careful they can knock you back, but the timing is consistent and are easy to avoid when jumping. The hardest part is the next two screens when I found myself climbing ladders with six incoming enemies. During these parts, three enemies will rise from the floor and three descend from the ceiling. Once they get in range of you they will fire two beams, which are hard to avoid, and getting hit will mean a drop down a few screens. While that seems like it would be annoying (it is) the next section features disappearing/reappearing blocks. How it works is a block will appear, and then the second one, once the third one appears that first will disappear. Straightforward in design, but devious in its execution and I fell down multiple screens at this part three times in a row. There is absolutely no trouble to tell how pro I am.

If you can pass all this nonsense then you will be given a choice as the level separates into two paths, right or left. I recommend going right to avoid enemies, but you will still have to avoid electricity beams. After this you can go left or right again and this time I went left, as all I had to do was climb the ladder in sync with the electricity beams. Once you get near the top there will be those annoying screw enemies that will knock you down, but in my case – killed me. What you got to do is sit tight near the bottom of the screen and let the screw just kill himself like an idiot.

At this point if you’re tired of ladders the game will finally give you some left to right platforming for a bit, but then it is straight back to ladders and vertical climbing again. There is an item that is required to beat the game in this level after the ascent continues, all you need is Guts Man’s power arm to lift the blocks to get it. What it does is make platforms to jump on. It is only necessary in two parts of the game, but it can make some levels easier. With the ability to make platforms, I ingeniously decided to call it that Platform Gun. With one more ladder left and that giant pogo tank-like enemy avoided like a boss, I died on Elec Man and got a game over.

To save you the time, I kept breezing through the level only dying once due to the electricity beams. When I finally made it back to Elec Man I use the Guts Man arm to throw those boulders at him, but they do very little and I kept dying repeatedly on him. After a lot of deaths and temper tantrums I realized I messed up the order and Elec Man’s weakness is actually the Rolling Cutter from Cut Man. The game just trolled me by having boulders in the boss room. This stage is to be continued…

Death Count: 11

 

Cut Man Stage

I took my failure to heart and decided to conquer Cut Man’s stage. It has one of the most memorable tunes in the series and it perfectly fitted my mood. The stage started off with some platforming and those pesky dive-bombers, but they did not faze me in the least. The level then went vertical, with ladders, wall turrets and enemies that move back and forth in their basic pattern.

To be quite honest, the only think I could think of while playing this stage was how much I was going to kill Elec Man when I got his weakness. I was on a vengeful path, taking minimal damage and kicking maximum ass. Even when the game rolled out the burly pogo-jumping tank, did I take damage? Of course not, I was on a mission and would not stop until I had Elec Man dead.

After climbing all the way up and passing some fortresses that shot out scissors, and climbing all the way down on the other side, I engaged Cut Man and defeated him in two hits with Guts Man strength. With scissors in hands, I made my return to Elec Man and settled the score.

Death Count: 0

 

Elec Man Stage re-visited

It was on like Donkey Kong. After ploughing through the level once again and taking only 2 hits, I finally beat him. Sweet sweet victory was mine. Forget Dr. Wily, I beaten Elec Man, my personal vendetta was complete.

Death Count: 0

 

Ice Man Stage

Before I even selected this one I knew I was going to come out rotted. This level infuriates me to no end, no matter how many times I play through it, I wondered if this time would be any different.

With a name like Ice Man, you can expect a lot of the ground to be covered in slippery ice and to be fair, the level is not that hard until the end. Starting off I made my way to the right climbing stairs and killing robot penguins that move in a wavy pattern. This part is pretty easy and after this are two rooms with the appearing/disappearing blocks again. I often hear a lot of people say how hard it is, but there is nothing to worry about. Sure there is an enemy on the ground, but it can be killed with the Rolling Cutter. There no spikes, no timer, nothing at all to worry about so if it takes you an hour, so be it; just figure out the pattern and do it.

What always got my blood boiling was the next section. It involves jumping on platforms that move and shoot bullets. Their movements are irregular, they shoot randomly and if you do get hit then it will most likely be a instant death in the bottomless pit where all this takes place over. Sometimes you think you can make a jump and the platform will move out of the way, or just shoot your ass down. If that is not enough, towards the end they send out the penguins again. This part is the worst and I always spend at least a half hour on it, but I got extremely lucky and only died once. Imagine that.

Right after this mess of a section you fight Ice Man, and the Elec Man beam kills him in three shots.

Death Count: 1

 

Fire Man Stage

For some reason, I always loved Fire Man’s song. It has a different vibe to it, but I absolutely love it and it fits the stage well and will probably be stuck in my head all day.

Starting off I found myself climbing up ladders and zig zagging my way up the screen, blasting turrets and then zig zagging downwards. The next room involve some platforms over fire pits, with flame pillars shooting up from the floor and fire enemies raining down from the ceiling. The platforms are narrow enough that one hit could of sent me straight down into one of those pits.

I am pleased to say I did not die here and then I climbed the ladder to do some vertical platforming. This room has some health behind the flame pillars, but obviously I didn’t need them. In the next section there is a combination of horizontal and vertical fire beams; some of the roofs are low, which made the fire hard to avoid sometimes. Before leaving this area I picked up more health and starting making my way downwards, whereupon the enemies that rain down knocked me into the lava. Luckily, this was the checkpoint room and actually spawned me a little further from where I died. I avoided falling in again and started climbing upwards once more, where I found some fire being shot through a tube. I had to cross through the tube twice, getting hit both times in the process. I always get hit here and I hate it.

After clearing another hallway and avoiding more fire pillars and raining enemies, I made my way to Fire Man where I died straight away. A defeat made more insulting by seeing another game over screen. I wanted to take a break from this playthrough after the robot masters, so I played through the level again, dying once by being pushed into the lava near the beginning. When I made it to Fire Man again I just unloaded the Ice Beam into him, it was a close call because he was using the same tactic as me, but thankfully I came out on top and the way to Dr. Wily was open.

Death Count: 3

 

So ends part 1, tune in Monday (Dec 17) where part 2 will be put up.

 

Halloween Special Part 2: Best Games to Play

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by Ryan C.


With Halloween rapidly approaching and October almost coming to an end, people should be perfectly in the mood for this time of year. But lets say you have no decorations up or any candy to eat, well, have no fear for I am going to share the perfect games to play on each Nintendo console, starting with the classic NES.

NES – Castlevania

I had a difficult time trying to pick which NES Castlevania game to put on the list. The first one is a classic, Simon’s Quest was different, but I still love it, and 3 is arguably the best, but most difficult. When it came down to it, I had to pick the first, as it was the first of its kind and my personal favorite on the system.

As Simon Belmont, it is your job to hunt down and destroy the evil Count Dracula. As far as story goes, it is pretty bare bones. The game features no dialogue or any cutscenes. Now that there is a huge Castlevania timeline, the game is important in regards to the big picture, but as a stand-alone title, a story is not the main selling point. Here, it is all about whipping monsters while listening to kick ass tunes. In my opinion, Castlevania has some of the best songs of all time, and is up there with other classics such as Mega Man.

What separated Castlevania apart from any other game at the time was how it honours all the classic Universal movie monsters. Dracula is the main villain, and under his commands include Frankenstein’s monster, the hunchback, mummies, a giant bat, the grim reaper, and merman similar to the Creature From the Black Lagoon, medusa, and more. It uses a more serious tone then other games at the time and offers a stiff challenge.

NES – Ghosts n’ Goblins

One of the hardest games in existence, Ghosts n’ Goblins is a classic gem that is not afraid to make you beg for mercy.

Why is it so hard? The biggest reason is that you can only take two hits, but it is not like Super Mario Bros, it is more like they made a Mega Man game and the life bar depleted with two hits. The game is six stages long, but they will put your skills to the ultimate test, and just when you think you are done, the game gives you a false ending and you are forced to play through a second time. This is remedied (somewhat…not really) by having unlimited continues and even if (read: when) you get a game over, you will start at the same checkpoint as before.

Ghosts n’ Goblines feature a wide variety of enemies such as zombies, devils, dragons, ghosts, among other traditional horror-type enemies. The game also includes numerous weapons such as the lance, knife, fire, and a shield. Each has their advantage, but the knife is the weapon you would want to stick with.

With a brutal difficulty curve and enemies straight out of any Halloween special, this game is worth a playthrough, pending you can risk some controllers breaking.

SNES – Zombies Ate My Neighbours

Similar to how Castlevania honoured classic Gothic horror, Zombies Ate My Neighbours celebrates all the campy ‘B’ films. Back when Lucas Arts made games other then Star Wars, they were known for creating games that dealt with off beat humour and ridiculous scenarios.

This game can be played solo, but I strongly recommend finding a buddy to sit down with for some two-player co-op (no online needed). Players can take control of two stereotypical 90’s kids, Zeke and Julie. The goal of each level is to rescue at least one neighbour from all sorts of monsters. It may sound easy, and at first it is, but the difficulty quickly ramps up when the game introduces chainsaw wielding maniacs, or giant babies. If that sounds quirky, that is only because it is.

Weapons are not of the typical zombie massacre variety, as the default weapon is a water gun. Of course, this would not be a SNES game unless there were some weapon pickups, and this game features plenty such as a fire extinguisher that freezes monsters, soda cans that act as grenades, tomatoes that can be thrown through walls, dishes and silverware, weed whackers, and more. Essentially, it is the Dead Rising of the 16-bit era.

It is simple quirky fun that is best enjoyed with a friend, and while it may be rare and expensive, just hop on that Virtual Console and spend 800 points for this radical cult classic.

SNES – Super Castlevania 4

I know I already put the first Castlevania on the list, but there was no way I was leaving this one out. Super Castlevania 4 is the perfect Castlevania game in my opinion. While I do enjoy the Metroidvania style ones, to me, nothing beats Super 4. The whipping in eight directions, moon walking, level design, and bosses all howl perfection.

Super Castlevania 4 is more of a remake of the NES original, as players once again take control of Simon Belmont going through Dracula’s castle to destroy the evil. Although a remake, it features more levels and bosses along with the updated graphics and improved controls. This game is a beauty, with loads of little details to pull you into its atmosphere. The soundtrack is classic, with both new tracks and remakes of beloved songs from the NES era. The enemies and bosses are again lifted from old mythology such as the Gorgons, Wolfman and Mummies, but with new additions to keep things fresh.

While all that is great, the controls steal the show. Whipping in eight directions ensures that enemies cannot run to unreachable locations, nor can they attack from cheap positioning. As a result, the difficulty is not controlling snapping-ly frustrating, but it is not a walk in the park either. If players hold the attack button, the whip goes limp, and by playing around with the d-pad, Simon can swing around the Vampire Killer in irregular patterns. It may not be as powerful, but it sure is fun.

I cannot recommend this game enough, I always wanted to talk about it but could never find an excuse, but now that it is Halloween, I can finally tell everyone to play this gem.

N64 – Resident Evil 2

Resident Evil 2 has a special place in my heart. Sure it aged pretty poorly in the presentation department, and the tank controls is a love it or hate it control scheme, but I cannot deny the brilliance of this game, no matter how old it gets.

Similar to how the first game took place in a mansion, Resident Evil 2 is set primarily in the Raccoon City Police Station, and what an area it is. As Leon or Claire, the player explores the police station solving head scratching puzzles, fending off legions of the undead, and finding notes that flesh out this disturbing world. The actual game may be scary, but some of these notes can be flat out disturbing. One memorable moment is when you find a journal of a person who has been recently bitten, and as the dates become more recent, you can tell the person’s mind is starting to deteriorate. Once finish reading you can check the closet behind you and find the writer of these journals.

I am impressed with the atmosphere and that it does put some emotional weight behind the characters and scenarios, with the aforementioned journals, or a police officer on the verge of turning that offers you help.

On the gameplay side, it is very similar to the other pre-Resident Evil 4 days, but it is executed perfectly in 2, offering a healthy balance of puzzles, mystery, fighting, and scavenging health and ammo. As far as I am concerned, this is one of the best Survival Horror games before the genre (sadly) became focused more on cheap scares and third person shooting.

GCN – Luigi’s Mansion

Not everything about Halloween has to be scary, case in point: Luigi’s Mansion. After all these years of playing second fiddle, Nintendo finally let the lovable loser have his own game. Unfortunately for some, it was not a traditional Mario game in any sense of the word; Luigi could not even jump. The focus was instead shifted to exploring a haunted mansion and solving puzzles (think more Resident Evil then Super Mario).

Similar to the first Resident Evil, Luigi explores a mansion that are infested with the undead at every turn, except this time the player uses a vacuum to suck up the ghouls Ghostbusters style. On its own merits, it is a solid game with a few quirks, such as its short length and relatively non-existent difficulty curve.

Most of the time, progression boils down to find a key and open the specific door, solve a puzzle to capture the boss to get another key, repeat. Later in the game the players have more room to explore, even with some side attractions that reward the player handsomely.

With those few issues aside, Luigi’s Mansion is insanely fun no matter the age or skill level, definitely worth a play through this time of year.

GCN – Eternal Darkness

When it comes to the horror genre, there are generally three types: survival (Resident Evil 2), action (Resident Evil 6) and psychological horror that focuses on getting into the mind of the player to cause an uneasiness and sense for foreboding doom. One of the best examples I can think of for this type is Eternal Darkness, a game that literally messes with you as much as the character you control.

Players take control of Alexandra, who visits her grandfather’s mansion to investigate his mysterious death, and in the mansion she finds a book called “The Tomb of Eternal Darkness”. Each chapter in the book is the story of a different person in history, and each time you read it, the player takes control of that person. With 12 chapters spread across the mansion, it makes for an intriguing plot with plenty of suspense and character development.

However, one of the most unique and memorable aspects of this game was the Sanity Meter. While commonplace in games these days such as Amnesia, Eternal Darkness started it all and even broke the fourth wall sometimes. Some examples are random noises such as women screaming as they are being murdered or doors slamming; bleeding walls, your characters head randomly being decapitated, and the infamous memory card glitch that informs you that all your save files have been erased. It is effective in creating a dreadful atmosphere, and one that is not afraid of making the player feel stressed out as well.

While rare and expensive, it is a gem of a game that was sadly overlooked by many. However, with the upcoming release of the Wii U and the promise of Gamecube Virtual Console games, I would not be surprised to see this title be available for download in the near future.

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories – by Hjort

For those who want their Halloween kicks to be of the more psychological variety, Konami and British developer Climax deliver the goods in the form of their 2009 Silent Hill installment.

Its story begins with Harry Mason waking up behind the wheel of his recently crashed car, unable to find his young daughter, Cheryl. Armed only with a flashlight, Harry sets off into the snow covered, abandoned streets of Silent Hill, desperately looking for any trace of his child. While the initial premise is instantly recognizable to anyone who played Silent Hill on the PlayStation, the plot actually turns out to be quite a different beast, and one of the most intriguing storylines out there, with absolute world class pacing and top-notch acting.

As good as the story itself is, it’s the immersive gameplay and tense atmosphere that truly sell it. Having been developed ground-up for the Wii, Shattered Memories features pixel-perfect flashlight controls by way of IR, motion controlled puzzles, and some of the most impressive visuals on the system, with high resolution texture work letting you gather information from the environments seamlessly – all in the name of immersion. For the same reason, the developer has completely eliminated the HUD, and placed all vital information and menus inside Harry’s smartphone. This game was made to make you think of it more as a nightmare than a game, which brings us to one of the most controversial design decisions: getting rid of combat.

As the world freezes over, and faceless monstrosities start to well out of the darkness, all you can do is run for your life, and pray that they won’t catch up. You can slow your stalkers down by tossing flares, or toppling furniture behind you, but there is no killing them. And as if that wasn’t enough, the game is watching your every move. Analyzing you.

An ambitious profiling system registers your behaviour, and adjusts plot elements to fit your personality. The psychological profiling system may not be able to do all – or even most – personality types out there justice, but those who find their personalities reflected in it will have a horrible time. In the very best way possible.

With Halloween only one more sleep away, what better way to celebrate then by playing or re-playing any of these classics? So dress up, grab some candy, turn off the lights and immerse yourself in this wonderful holiday.

 

The Golden Touch of Miyamoto: Part 1

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Miyamoto excited

The Golden Touch of Miyamoto: Part 1

by Menashe


This series will look at the many different franchises and series of games that Shigeru Miyamoto has had an influence on throughout his illustrious career. But, we will let a bit of history lead us into the gaming series.

Miyamoto’s Youth

Miyamoto wasn’t a good student in school. He would often miss classes– instead, providing exemplary attendance to his favorite activities and interests. As a child, he  would explore the surrounding areas of his town and get lost in nature. He once entered a dark cave in Kyoto with a lantern in hand and explored all the hidden areas within. This experience would be the foundation for the Legend of Zelda. He loved many others activities such as drawing and painting, playing baseball, swimming, reading, playing piano and guitar, and partaking in puppet shows. A few times a year, he would go into the city and watch Walt Disney movies, which he loved. In middle school he developed a fascination with manga and anime. While attending the Kanazawa Munici College of Industrial Art & Design, he was mostly interested in playing the banjo with his band and performing at various venues across Japan.

Somehow he scraped by in college and after five years Miyamoto managed to graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Art & Design. His father was a friend of Hiroshi Yamauchi, the former president of Nintendo, and succeeded in getting an interview for Shigeru. At the interview, Miyamoto showed off some simple toy ideas he had designed such as a three-way seesaw, children’s clothes hangers with animal designs on them (in the shape of birds and elephants), and a clock designed to be used at an amusement park. Miyamoto liked dabbling in all sorts of creative designs. He was hired and given the position of Concept Artist, where he would design new products for Nintendo to manufacture. He only took the job because it allowed him the freedom to try out all the different ideas he had in his head for his creations.

The first project he was involved in was the housing design for the casing of the Color TV Racing 112. From there he stepped up to a character design role for Space Fever, Sheriff, and Space Firebird. At last, Miyamoto was given the opportunity to work on the actual design of a game. And it was a…

FAIL: Radar Scope

Nintendo, at the time, was very into making clones of popular games. Who would have thought Nintendo’s early entry into the video game industry would have been full of clones? Miyamoto would soon change that, but first they had to hit failure. The truth is that Radar Scope did have a small gimmick that tried to separate it from the rest of the arcade games of the time. But, it was essentially a recycled Space Invaders with an angled psuedo-3D perspective. Nintendo was hoping Radar Scope would herald their entry into the North American market. Instead, it flopped. Nintendo was left with thousands of extra Radar Scope cabinets. They had to something about it if they wanted to stay afloat. Without making a turnaround of the situation it spelled financial collapse for Nintendo. Luckily, Nintendo demonstrated a quality that they would carry with them for the next three decades: the ability to learn from their mistakes and improve.

President Yamauchi trusted the skills of Shigeru Miyamoto and decided to place the weight on his shoulders. He paired the young mind with Gunpei Yokoi, another creative mind in the field of hardware (having already found success with the Game and Watch franchise.) Together, they would convert the existing Radar Scope cabinets into a new game and give the housing a fresh coat of paint. Miyamoto put on his unfettered and unfiltered video-game-thinking-cap for the first time. He thought out of the box and came up with a vision that would become the pioneer of the ‘platformer’ game. Lucky for Nintendo, it was a…

WIN: Donkey Kong

Imagine if Radar Scope would have been a moderate success. Miyamoto might never have gone on to change all of gaming. However, fate was on our side, and Radar Scope’s failure led to the brilliant comeback of Miyamoto with Donkey Kong. In coming up with the premise behind the game, Miyamoto did a bit of thinking that probably would not have gone over very well in this day and age. He decided he would make a game that revolved around the love triangle between a man, a woman… and an ape. Miyamoto felt that video games didn’t try hard enough to tell a story or give you an emotional motivation for playing the game. Until then, most games revolved around space shooting, sports, or mazes (Pac-Man). So, Miyamoto tried out something completely different. You were respresented by an actual character, Jumpman, who was out to save the girl from the evil ape, Donkey Kong, who would throw barrels at Jumpman as obstacles. The gameplay was new and the premise of the story was new. The game was much more personal because you felt like you were actually controlling an on-screen avatar and helping him run, climb, and jump around the screen. Another innovation in the game were the multiple levels, each looking completely different than the rest. This was a sharp departure from games such as Space Invaders and Pac-Man, which consisted of the reuse of a single screen layout.

The motivation of “saving the damsel in distress” and the gameplay of running and jumping would both become staples of the entire future of gaming. And Miyamoto was very taken with the characters he created: Jumpman, Donkey Kong, and Pauline. He would use them as the prototypes for our modern day Mario, DK, and Princess Peach. When he got the chance, he would revisit these characters and try to evolve the gameplay once again. Lucky for Nintendo, Miyamoto had save the company. Donkey Kong got shipped to America and the old Radar Scope systems were gutted and replaced with the new hardware. Word got out very quickly about this new type of game and Nintendo soon had to send over thousands more of the Donkey Kong units.

Nintendo then put Miyamoto to work on a sequel. That game was Donkey Kong Jr. What was interesting in this case was how Miyamoto sympathized with the apes and decided to put Donkey Kong’s son in the role of the protagonist. Mario became the new villain, as he had locked up Donkey Kong in a cage. DK Jr.’s job was to rescue his dad by swinging across vines and overcoming other obstacles. The game was also a big success and even became a new breakfast cereal at one point.

Before moving on to games that deal with Jumpman, who would turn into Mario, I first want to look at this original series of Miyamoto, Donkey Kong. It was clear that although Miyamoto had made Donkey Kong the villain in the first game, he had begun to take the series in a different direction with the sequel. Miyamoto placed the monkeys in the starring role and also gave DK a younger partner. This would eventually spawn a completely different series: Donkey Kong Country.

So, we all know that Miyamoto created certain series, but we often forget about his impact and influence on other gaming series that he oversees. That’s what I call the Golden Touch of Miyamoto. Miyamoto sometimes sits at the helm other times he mentors another team- but in both cases, the games turn into something special. Later in this series we’ll take a look at how Miyamoto had this effect on Eternal Darkness and Metroid Prime. But, for now, we’ll talk about how Miyamoto had a hand in the series which he started, Donkey Kong. Since EAD was mostly working with Mario and Co., Nintendo decided to give Rareware a try at bringing the Donkey Kong series to the SNES. That project became a very special series called Donkey Kong Country. The Stamper Brothers were the heads of Rareware and they too sat in the director’s chair of Donkey Kong Country. However, Miyamoto didn’t abandon his baby entirely. In an interview with IGN, Miyamoto said:

The first point that I want to make is that I actually worked very closely with Rare on the original Donkey Kong Country. And apparently recently some rumor got out that I didn’t really like that game? I just want to clarify that that’s not the case, because I was very involved in that. And even emailing almost daily with Tim Stamper right up until the end.

And with [Donkey Kong Country Returns] too, I’ll be involved on a check/confirmation level, looking over the game and checking the content. So it’ll probably be a similar role to what I played in the development of Donkey Kong Jungle Beat.

In Donkey Kong Country, you were given the opportunity to play as either Donkey Kong or Diddy Kong, who is obviously the spiritual successor of DK Jr. But, this time, they have a new enemy called the Kremlings led by King K. Rool. The game was praised for its pre-rendered 3D graphic and its excellent platforming gameplay. The series prospered under Rare’s leadership and Miyamoto left them to their own devices in developing three more sequels: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong’s Double Trouble!, and Donkey Kong 64.

Sadly, Nintendo fans had to say goodbye as Rare parted ways with Nintendo and were bought out by Microsoft instead. This didn’t end Donkey Kong Country’s legacy though. During the Wii’s lifetime, Miyamoto kept on thinking about how he wanted to see the revival of DKC. He just didn’t know which team would be right for the job. Producer Kensuke Tanabe recommended giving it to Michael Kelbaugh, the CEO of Retro Studios, who had worked on Donkey Kong Country while he was employed by Nintendo of America. Kelbaugh called the game Project F8 at the beginning, because he looked at it as “fate” that he had been hooked back up with the series at a new company. Miyamoto helped decide which of the original qualities of DKC should be brought back into Donkey Kong Country Returns. Under Miyamoto’s close tutelage, the game was a success, offering up tons of nostalgia and an incredible balance of difficulty, that made it challenging, yet doable.

No one outside of Nintendo knows the future of the series, but I can imagine the franchise would make a great fit on the 3DS. Let’s hope it isn’t too long before Miyamoto decides we’re due for another installment of Donkey Kong Country

In Part 2 of this series we will look at Miyamoto’s golden touch with the Super Mario series and the Excitebike series.

A Gallery of Miyamoto in his Early Years of Game Development

 

Would Mario games benefit from having a better storyline?

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Mario vs Bowser

Would Mario games benefit from having a better storyline?

by Menashe


No one deducts points from a Mario game for having a poor storyline. It’s already something that’s expected – Princess Peach gets kidnapped by Bowser. Sometimes it has to do with some cake she’s baking or party she’s planning. End of story. No one comes into a Mario game hoping to be wowed and dazzled by a complex, ten-layers-deep story with a surprise plot twist at the end. They know that when it comes to Mario games it’s all about the gameplay and having fun.

However it’s time to start rethinking this whole concept. Mario games used to be rare releases, coming out once or twice every generation. From the NES release in 1985 until the end of the GCN’s lifespan, there were nine core Mario platformers:  seven console games and two original Gameboy games. From the release of the Wii and DS until the end of this year, we will have seen eight core Mario platformers. Some would say the formula is beginning to lose its freshness. There’s no question that the gameplay has been refined and tightened to an unmatched level of precision. But, it’s clear that in terms of the 2D Mario games, Nintendo is looking for a new angle to provide a fresh experience. For example, with the recent New Super Mario Bros 2, the core gameplay was nothing new. But, there was a new “spin” added to the game, by way of the addiction to collecting tons of coins.

A new focus to keep things fresh

It could be Nintendo should look towards evolving other aspects of the game, as well, such as the storyline and gameplay. But, the storyline is what I’d really like to examine.

Some gamers would feel disgusted by the thought of having a more complex story in a Mario game. It just wouldn’t feel “right”. It wouldn’t feel like a Mario game if the story began to take more of a focus than it has in the past. It’s similar to why some gamers don’t want voice-acting in the Zelda games. They want to preserve the tradition and feel of Zelda. But, the problem is that our brains are just too used to the Mario formula. It may help us retain the “image” we’ve developed over the years, but we will lose the excitement and passion we once had for a new 2D platforming Mario game. We need something that will surprise our brain and make it say, ‘Oh, this is something I’m not familiar with! I’m excited to see what’s going to happen!’

The story shouldn't get too philosophical

So, the question is how a Mario game should approach its storyline in a way that would actually benefit the game. I don’t think anyone would be happy if Nintendo brought in some well-known writer to work on a sophisticated and complex plot involving parallel universes and a philosophical subtext of Man’s fight against religion. Nor do we need a treatise on the psychological side effects of the jealousy Luigi feels towards being the lesser of the two brothers, as Luigi slowly joins the dark side. And we definitely would pass on a story focusing on Peach’s romantic feelings towards Bowser interfering with Mario’s attempt to save her.

The story would obviously have to be kept light, humorous, and whimsical; enjoyable for all ages. But, light-hearted doesn’t have to mean boring or repetitious. It could even be predicated on the age-old tradition of Peach being kidnapped. But, do we honestly think Peach falls into the same trap every time? How many times will they fall for the same thing. Here’s an example of a slightly altered storyline: The Princess throws a party and Bowser shows up to kidnap her. Mario saw it coming, though, and made sure to be the Princess’ personal bodyguard. He thwarts Bowser and saves the day. Bowser comes up with a new plan. While Mario is at the party, Luigi is back at home, in bed. Bowser and his minions kidnap Luigi while Mario is off with his gal. The first four worlds in the game could involve Mario chasing after Bowser in order to save Luigi. At the last castle, Mario encounters the Koopalings. He has to all seven of them, one after another. While he’s all tied up dealing with the Koopalings, saving Luigi, Bowser and an army of dry bones break into the Princess’ castle and kidnap her. After saving his bro, you can play as either Mario or Luigi as you make your way to the final confrontation with Bowser.

It’s simple and lightweight; it doesn’t require that much more of a focus on the story, but it’s enough to add a bit more of a compelling nature to the story. The conflict adds a bit more tension and motivation. It’s simple enough that a six year old who watches cartoons can understand it, but it’s enough that you don’t feel like Nintendo is being lazy about the storyline.

In Paper Mario his plans are goofy but a lot more fun

The truth is that Nintendo has always had Mario storylines in their Mario RPGs. Paper Mario has a light and positive feel to it the whole way through. The characters, villains, and side-characters are loads of fun. The Mario & Luigi RPGs are always humorous and silly. A simpler version of those plots or characterizations would work just fine for a Mario platformer.

So, what do you think? Would Mario games benefit or lose from a better storyline?

A Walk Down Memory Lane: 30 Memorable Nintendo Villains and Boss Fights

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Nintendo Villains

A Walk Down Memory Lane: 30 Memorable Nintendo Villains and Boss Fights

by Menashe and CitizenOfVerona

SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t came across some of these Nintendo villains yet, then there will obviously be some spoilers. So, if, for example, you don’t know who the final boss in Skyward Sword is, you should probably avoid the last villain in this article.


Baby Bowser

Baby Bowser

Everyone already knows about Bowser, so we won’t speak much about him. If you want to know more about him, pick up almost any Mario game. Instead we’ll talk about a younger version of Bowser: Baby Bowser.

Baby Bowser was an iconic fight at the end of Yoshi’s Island. The “little Master” turned out to be a spoiled brat, being taken care of by his babysitter, Kamek. When you defeat him in his nursery, Kamek does a little magic and turns the little Baby into a towering Godzilla who shoots fireballs and sends massive boulders raining down on you. Of course, baby Bowser proves no match for baby Mario. That recurring dynamic follows both Mario and Bowser throughout the rest of their lives. I guess it started as a childhood rivalry.


Giygas

Giygas

You cannot grasp what makes Giygas so memorable without actually experiencing it for yourself. Be it the twisted dialogue or the fact he lost of body and sanity because of his heart break, Giygas will forever be in the minds of Earthbound fans for how dark and depressing he really is. But, the most gruesome aspect of Giygas is that in order to beat him you must defeat him while he is still a fetus.


Ganon

Ganon

 

The King of Evil needs to be on any list including the best villains. He is a brutal, ruthless leader that will stop at nothing to obtain the sacred triforce. Even being banished to another dimension and transformed into a Pig Monster did not hold this particular badass back.

 


 

Mother Brain

Mother Brain

 

We do not know if Mother Brain has been taken over by the Space Pirates or joined them by her own will, but we do know that she controls Metroids using telepathy. While she was a straightforward boss in the NES Metroid, she got an upgrade in Super Metroid making her an unforgettable boss fight to one of the best games ever; this scene had to give you chills.

 


King Dedede

King Dedede

This boss is mostly carefree and just wants to eat all the food in Dream Land. Greedy for sure, and ever since the first Kirby game he has mostly been on Kirby’s side, but whenever you do fight him you are treated to one of the best tunes in gaming and a quirky fight that is sure to put a smile on your face.

 


Ridley

Ridley

While only a final boss in Zero Mission, we here at NE consider him the main villain of the franchise for being Samus’ main rival. Often down but never out, Ridley has taken multiple forms including Meta, Omega and Neo. Plus, he is a dragon, and everyone loves dragons.

 
 


Kaptain K Rool

Kaptain K Rool

 

Pirates have not had much of the spotlight in gaming as of late, but they were amazing in the old Donkey Kong Country games. King K Rool is menacing while still being comical at the same time. He has a musket, but shoots out pink and blue clouds; he has the perfect blend of all things right with villains.

 


Master Hand

Master Hand

 

Master Hand may not have any characteristics; he is a staple to the Smash Bros series. What I do like about Master Hand is that it is just a kid playing with his Nintendo toys, then promptly gets beaten up by his toys in a Toy Soldiers (look it up) like plot device.

 


Gary Pokemon

Gary

 

While not a boss in the traditional sense, the smug rival from Pokemon Blue and Red has to be here. Throughout the game, he is always gloating about how superior he is to you, and nothing is as satisfying as beating him to take the crown as Pokemon Master from him while his very own Uncle says how disappointed he is in him.

 


Pokey

 Pokey

Going from a secondary villain in Earthbound to headcheese in Mother 3, Pokey is a unique boss in which his motivations are outlandish. He thinks of the world as his personal toybox, mixing nature and technology as he sees fit and shaping the world to his perfect vision.

 


Agatio Karst

Agatio and Karst

 

Throughout Golden Sun 2: The Lost Age, Agatio and Karst are always getting in your way and always achieve the upper hand. You grow to hate them over the course of the game, until the end when you learn their motivations was to simply save their hometown. Sure, their methods were brutal, but they did it to protect their homeland, making the heroes have a change of heart.

 


Majora's Mask

Skull Kid

What sets Skull Kid apart is that he is not trying to kidnap Zelda or destroy the world; he simply wants to be loved by his friends. As an outcast who played pranks, his inner depression led him to be consumed by the cursed mask, using him as a puppet to carry out his evil tasks on Termina.

 


Titan Dweevil

Titan Dweevil

The Pikmin franchise does not focus on who or what the final boss is, but in Pikmin 2 we learn that Louie is missing somewhere on the planet. The player can guess that he is captured by something, but other then that we are left clueless. After venturing through a dangerous cave, we find him surrounded by treasure, which becomes a part of a massive spider looking for blood. With multiple elemental attacks and a fantastic musical score, this boss fight lays on the intense atmosphere thick.

 


Queen Metroid

Queen Metroid

Metroid 2 was partially inspired by the classic Aliens, where Samus goes to the home world of these extra terrestrials to wipe them out for good. Also like Aliens, the climax is a confrontation with the Queen. The arena is claustrophobic and her attacks are brutal, making it an achievement when you triumph this final challenge.

 

 


Andross

Andross

 

Star Fox on SNES made use of polygons, including on the face its villain, Andross. Star Fox 64 is a classic gem that started a plethora of internet memes including barrel rolls and Star Wolf. Andross is once again the villain, and his presence is constantly felt, with characters constantly mentioning him, plus the fact that he killed Fox’s father. Depending on which route you take throughout the galaxy will change his final form, ranging from easy to insanely difficult, unless you are a champion like me. ;)

 


 

Emperor Ing

Emperor Ing

Metroid Prime 2 features some of the most spectacular boss fights in any game, but Emperor Ing takes the cake. He resides deep within the alternate dimension and is isolated from the rest of the world, which makes this one of the most atmospheric bosses in any Metroid game, which is an accomplishment in itself. With multiple forms and a stiff challenge, the sense of accomplishment you get from this boss fight is off the charts.

 


 

Koopalings

Koopalings

 

Bowser’s eccentric gaggle of kids prove that even dysfunctional homes can produce loyal kids. And these seven are loyal to a tee. Larry likes sports, Morton is the fat one, Wendy is the spoiled brat with a bad temper, Iggy is the demented, mechanical genius, Roy is the bully, Lemmy is the clown, and Ludwig is the most similar to his father in cruelty and intelligence.

 


Fawful

Fawful

Fawful is a villain in the Mario & Luigi series, and he’s considered to be on the funniest in the entire Mario universe. Some of his quirks are his weird usage of the English language and his constant obscure food metaphors. Some of his classic quotes are:

- “Fawful is on the cozy couch, sipping tea that laughs at you!”
- “All who resist will be beat like naughty little eggs!”
- “You inhaled like a hungry syrup pig at the free pancake buffet.
- “And this battle shall be the delicious mustard on that bread! The mustard of your doom!”  

 


Smithy

Smithy

Smithy looks like a diabolical Santa Claus. He hails from another dimension, a dimension that is accessible only by the gateway Exor. In his dimension, he resides in his Factory where, day and night, Smithy creates mechanical monsters to be unleashed against the peaceful people of other worlds. In Super Mario RPG, he leads his evil organization, The Smithy Gang, in an attempt to rule over the Mushroom World.


 

Metroid Prime

Metroid Prime

 

Metroids aren’t easy to deal with in the first place. That difficulty is amplified tenfold when it’s a highly-mutated Metroid, infused with huge quantities of phazon. Even after Samus defeats the Metroid Prime’s exoskeleton and its core essence, it still manages to recreate itself as Dark Samus using some of Samus’ DNA and phazon.

 


 

Wario

Wario

Nintendo often takes their villains and turns them into protagonists of their own games. It happened to Donkey Kong. It happened to Bowser. And it happened to Wario. Wario started off as Mario’s nemesis in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. As the instruction manual says, Wario is an overgrown man-child who has been jealous of Mario since they were children. Although Wario stars in the sequel, Super Mario Land 3: Wario Land, he retains his greed and selfishness, which actually becomes a recurring plot and gameplay theme for the rest of the series.

 


Deathborn

Deathborn

Samurai Goroh is the nuisance, trouble-maker of the F-Zero series. Black Shadow is the evil emperor. But Black Shadow is a mere pawn who shudders in fear of his master, Deathborn, the ultimate villain of the F-Zero franchise. Deathborn has died three times, but was brought back to life each time by sacrificing his real body parts for mechanical ones. Through these “procedures” he has become essentially immortal. One of the devices “installed” within his body allows him to travel freely through space, making it possible for him to mysteriously appear anywhere at any time. He banishes those he dislikes to the outer limits of space, where they become drifting vagabonds for all eternity. So, how does Captain Falcon defeat him? Through racing, of course. (He should have used his Falcon Punch!)

 


Medusa

Medusa

Medusa certainly has changed appearances drastically from the original game to the recent Kid Icarus Uprising. But don’t blame Medusa for the way she looks. Palutena, in a fit of anger, changed Medusa into a cyclopic, snake-haired monster and banished her to the Underworld. It’s no wonder Medusa decided to gather an army from the Underworld and take revenge on Palutena. Lucky for Palutena, she had locked up her old personal assistant, Pit, in the Underworld. Pit is in the perfect position to take on Medusa and her army.

The only issue we had with the original Medusa fight was that if you knew how to do it correctly, you could remain hovering in one spot and never get hit.

 


 

Zoda

Zoda

Whereas Earthbound was meant to be an RPG set in a more contemporary setting, Startropics was meant to be Zelda in a modern/futuristic setting. And as we know from regular life, Aliens always have it out for us. In Startropics, Mike has to thwart the leader of the invading aliens, Zoda. In the sequel, called Zoda’s Revenge, there are many alternate existences of Zoda throughout history. Zoda-X must be stopped in the world of Sherlock Holmes. Zoda-Y can be traced back to Transylvania. And Zoda-Z is found back at C-Island, the setting from the first Startropics game. Zoda’s true form usually looks like he belongs in the Aliens franchise.

 


Tatanga

Tatanga

The Mushroom World has different regions. Two of them are Mushroom Kingdom, headed by Princess Peach, and Sarasaland, ruled over by Princess Daisy. In Super Mario Land, Princess Daisy is kidnapped by Tatanga, an invading purple alien. Tatanga faces off against Mario in a air duel- Mario in his airplane, the Sky Pop and Tatanga in his spaceship, the Pogasu. After defeating Tatanga and saving Sarasaland, Mario takes the fight to Tatanga. In Super Mario Land 2, one of the six golden coins is found in Space Zone, guarded by Tatanga, who is defeated a lot easier this time around.

 


Wart

Wart

What is Mario’s biggest nightmare? It’s Wart, apparently. Super Mario Bros 2 takes place in Mario’s dreams and the antagonist is the old, but evil Frog King, Wart. The instruction manual to the game says, “He is the most mischievous of all in the world of dreams. He created monsters by playing with the dream machine.” I think Wart has been gone for long enough. It’s time for Nintendo to bring back this old anthropomorphic frog to a new generation.

 


Yin Yarn

Yin Yarn

Yin Yarn is the main villain and final boss of Kirby’s Epic Yarn. He can manipulate most things made of yarn with his pair of wooden knitting needles, which are held in each of his hands. Yin-Yarn’s true origins and motives are never revealed throughout the course of the game, and he comes across as a land-hungry villain ultimately seeking control of Dream Land, although he confesses himself that he is not sure what to do with it.

 


Medeus

Medeus

Here’s a bit of Fire Emblem history for you. Although the Fire Emblem series has featured many different villains, probably the most iconic one is Medeus. He was the antagonist of the first Fire Emblem and its remake Shadow Dragon. He also made a return for the Fire Emblem’s first outing on the SNES. He is a product of racial tensions.

Medeus was furious over how the humans looked down on his race, the Earth Dragons, so he joined with the Doluna Empire and made the humans his slaves. The hero, Anri eventually kills him. Centuries later, the evil priest, Gharnef, resurrects Medeus. Marth, a descendant of Anri, slays him but Gharnef is still able to revive Medeus in the transformed state of the Dark Dragon. Marth vs Dark Dragon is something like David vs Goliath, and somehow Marth comes out victorious.


Count Bleck

Count Bleck and Super Dimentio

Count Bleck is possibly the most complex villain in all of Nintendo’s legendary franchises. (Menashe: My colleagues don’t agree with me on this.) Super Paper Mario’s gameplay appealed to some fans and turned off others. But, anyone willing to stay the while, was treated to a great storyline. Nintendo villains are always motivated by a lust for control or power. Count Bleck is the only villain motivated by sadness and regret. His is the story of Lord Blumiere and Lady Timpani. It’s too long to go into detail here so I’ll just summarize it:

Blumiere is a member of the Tribe of Darkness. After falling off a cliff, and being nursed back to health by a human named Timpani, he is shocked that a human would help him. After falling in love, Lord Blumiere’s disapproving and abusive father abducts Timpani and performs a curse on her that will doom her to wander the dimensions forever. Overcome with grief and rage, Lord Blumiere steals a magical artifact which enables him to perform dark magic. His spirit and personality are soon corrupted and he changes into Count Bleck. In revenge, Bleck murders his own father and wipes out his entire tribe. His goal is that no one should ever be happy since he can’t, and he tries to wipe all of the dimensions out of existence. When Mario faces him he discovers Lady Timpani is still alive, and he regrets his actions. Unfortunately for him, Dimentio has been planning to betray him all along. Combining Luigi, the Chaos Heart, and himself, he becomes Super Dimentio, the true antagonist of the game. I won’t tell you the rest of the story, because the tragic figure of Count Bleck has a powerful ending in the conclusion of Super Paper Mario. You should check it out yourself.


 

Ghirahim

Demise

Demise/Ghirahim

Demise and Ghirahim are a terrifying pair. Demise is the lord of the demons and Ghirahim is his sword, who can take human-like form. They make for a formidable opponent, and it is Demise’s curse of the incarnation of hatred which causes Link to constantly be caught up in the cycle of of the rebirth of evil in each generation.

 


SA-X Metroid

SA-X

 Our Readers’ Choices

 Brendan Lautissier: SA-X from Metroid Fusion.

 Andrew Steven Garner: Andross from Star Fox Snes and Star Fox 64.
Great Mighty Poo

Great Mighty Poo

 Steve Whitefield: Not Nintendo per se but “The great and almighty poo” from CBFD

 Urjit Rajpaul: Ganon – OOT

Gruntilda

Gruntilda

 Ryan Wequ: Wario from Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.

Louis Guevara:  Gruntilda from Banjo Tooie XD
 
 Derick Pilgrim Jr: Bowser and Bowser Jr. from Mario

Mario Theme – Like You’ve Never Heard it Before!

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