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Mario Kart 8 is now just around the corner, and Nintendo fans the world over are likely looking forward to dusting off their Wii Us and engaging in some HD racing will pals in local and online play. Since its release is still a little ways off, why not take some time to look backward at how far the series has come since the Super Nintendo days? Many like to claim Mario Kart simply rehashes itself with each new installment; yet, while the series is generally conservative as a whole, it has come a long way since 1992 and the changes to the series formula made with each new installment are worth taking a look at. So let's take a look back at the Mario Kart series through the years.
I've made it very clear since joining Game Informer Online I have very mixed feelings about Earthbound. If one ignores how charming, wacky, and poignant the story and scenario is, what you're left with is a generic RPG with an archaic battle system that's vastly inferior to other SNES gems like Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and Super Mario RPG. Frankly, I believe Earthbound is overrated. Before you jump down my throat for suggesting this "heresy" though, keep in mind that something being overrated doesn't equate to it being bad. Just because I don't think Earthbound is the "9.5/10 master race RPG" most of its fans consider it, doesn't mean I didn't enjoy both of my playthroughs of it. Quite the opposite; my adventure through Earthbound was an enjoyable one, full of memorable and strange moments, and the game is a fantastic coming of age story, probably the best video game representation of one. So consider this blog a form of damage control if I ever criticize Earthbound in the future on this site; I'd like to share some of my favorite moments from the game with you.
The Legend of Zelda. Few game series are able to evoke such strong feelings and memories within people as this legendary franchise. It's been going strong for over a quarter of a century and (arguably) shows no signs of slowing down. However, have we ever thought to take a step back and question why it is that to this day, The Legend of Zelda series is as revered and respected as it is, and why its games are so enjoyable to play even in an age where there is no shortage of alternative action-adventure games? This blogger has, and in doing so reached out to many people, including Game Informer Online members to discover the answer to this riddle. In the interest of preventing this blog from devolving into a rant-like format, I've decided to answering this question with a numerical list. Now that the exposition is out of the way, let's begin!
Golden Sun is a bit of a perplexing series. Back in 2001, the first installment in the series launched and was critically claimed for its deep story, involving combat and impressive graphics - especially for the fledgling GBA system. The game ended on a cliffhanger, and its sequel Golden Sun: The Lost Age wrapped up the story introduced in the first. These games formed two parts of a greater whole; the first two Golden Sun games weren't ashamed, but rather proud to be your run of the mill JRPGs. But they did everything so well that no one minded, and many have fond memories of their grand journey across Weyward.
To those who don't know or didn't particularly care until opening up this blog, Miiverse is essentially Nintendo's equivalent of a social network. After creating a personal Mii, you make posts and comment on other posts for various reasons. You could ask a question on a game with an attached screenshot if you're stuck, inquire about potential game purchases or simply chat with other gamers as you can with all forms of social media. In hindsight, I should have used the past tense in that last sentence as in a recent "update", Nintendo has undermined all the value its social network had, turning it into if anything, an anti-social network. This new "update" (I use the term in quotes because it is in reality a downgrade) restricts you from commenting on other people's posts for three minutes. This may not sound like a big deal to anyone who hasn't used the service, but it essentially discourages you from commenting on the posts of your friends or people who are stuck on a game because you know you won't be able to again for 3 minutes. It eliminates one's desire to socialize ON a social network. It's an asinine concept really.
The developer of the next pair of Super Smash Bros. games, Masahiro Sakurai, has been kind enough to update excited fans on a regular basis by releasing daily "Pics of the Day." As the name implies, these are screenshots of the next installments in the Smash Bros. series that unveil new tidbits of info on the games and are released every weekday. These only add to the hype train for the new game as we wait for the day another newcomer is unveiled. But until that day, why not pass the time with some good old-fashioned speculation? This blog will be the forth of several where I discuss Nintendo fighters who have the potential to be new fighters in the next Smash Bros. games. In doing so I will analyze their background, possible movesets and likelihood of actually joining the cast. Without further ado, let's begin!
In case you weren't aware, Nintendo finally lived up to its promise to release Super Mario Bros. 3 on the Virtual Console service by the end of 2013, albeit many weeks late. However, this news was met with little fanfare, not because people no longer wanted to shell out money for this incredible game, but because its release was drowned out by the arrival of not one, not two, but eight Game Boy Advance games on the Wii U Virtual Console. Yes, the Virtual Console service, one that Nintendo seemed to have all but forgotten about (seen by their willingness to only add garbage like Urban Champion and Volleyball for months on end), was finally getting a steady stream of new games, and good ones at that. It's questionable why Nintendo chose to put these games on the Virtual Console service of its home console, and not the portable 3DS where they'd feel more at home. However, there's a time and a place for pondering that fact: this blog is going to contain micro reviews of these eight Virtual Console GBA games. Having them all release so close to one another is downright overwhelming, and in this economy there are likely few people in a position where they can comfortably buy all of them: gaming's become something of a luxury for some people. And that's where I come in. This blog will briefly describe the eight games in question, critique them (without giving an arbitrary numerical score to them due to the brevity of each review), and then judge whether or not they're worth the money or not. Without further ado, let's get started!
Even as you read this, the release date of the next pair of installments in Nintendo's long running Super Smash Bros. series looms ever and ever closer. As we sit here playing the waiting game, why not pass the time with some good-old fashioned speculation? This blog will be the third of several where I discuss Nintendo characters who have the potential to be new fighters in the next Smash Bros. games. In doing so, I will examine their background, possible movesets, and likelihood of actually joining the cast. Without further ado, let's begin!
Ah, the 3DS. The little handheld that could. It's hard to believe that it's evolved from an abysmal handheld whose owners had to convince themselves that Pilotwings was fun to justify its existence to a handheld with so many high quality games it's overwhelming. After serious thought and consideration, it has won the title for my favorite handheld gaming platform. But of course, not all games are created equal. It was tough to single out just ten 3DS games to put on a list of my favorites when there's such a substantial amount of high quality games on the system, but after re-examining my library of games, I've been able to do just that. Without further ado, let's get started!
Another day passes, and we're another day closer to that moment when we'll be able to hold the next Super Smash Bros. games in our grubby little mitts. But until that moment, why not engage in some good old-fashioned speculation? This blog will be the second of several where I discuss Nintendo characters who have the potential to be new fighters in the next Smash Bros. games. In doing so, I will examine their background, possible movesets, and likelihood of actually joining the cast. Without further ado, let's begin!
With the 3DS version of Smash Bros. confirmed to be just a few months away, and the Wii U version following not much longer afterwards, the hype for the upcoming installments of Nintendo's beloved fighting game has reached fever-pitch. It won't be too much longer until the final character roster, an integral and important part of the game, will be known by millions. But until then, why don't we engage in some good old fashioned speculation? This blog will be the first of several where I discuss Nintendo characters who have the potential to be new fighers in the next Smash. Bros. games. In doing so, I will examine their background, possible movesets and likelihood of actually joining the cast. Without further ado, let's begin!