When the original Jett Rocket appeared as a Wii Ware download back in 2010, I had lots of nice things to say about it. It was a simple, old fashioned run ‘n jump game with a solid feel and absolutely gorgeous texture work. I really dug it. Despite being a little on the short side and kind of bland, there was something about that generic quality which really seemed to work in its favor. Jett Rocket displayed charming modesty in spades but really, it was just nice to have a new installment in the 3D platforming genre which the great Super Mario 64 kicked off (and has sadly since been all but abandoned from the modern gaming scene). So when I found out that a sequel was in the works and this time for the 3DS, I knew I’d be drunkenly typing in my credit card number on or around its day of release. And wouldn’t you know it? That’s exactly what happened. Now after having made my way through the game, how is it? Is Jett Rocket II a worthy successor to something that was pretty good?
In Animal Crossing: New Leaf that is! As promised what seems like so long ago now, I’ve snapped shots of all the Halloween decorations that have been on display in my pad since the beginning of the month. YES, like a complete maniac I jumped ahead a few weeks back, switched the in-game clock to October and collected the entire Spooky and Creepy sets. The Spooky stuff you can acquire fairly easily, popping into Nook’s store each day of the month and buying them but the Creepy items were a little uh… trickier. You can only snag those during the twilight hours of Halloween itself by running around and scaring the townsfolk with different masks. You know what that means, right? It means you better shake that sweet thing into high gear because the clock is ticking right now!
I sure hope you’ve been stocking up on candy this whole month. READ MORE
And I don’t need to say anything other than that but I guess I will anyway. NES classics Metroid and Super Mario Bros. 2 also hit the Wii U and 3DS’ Virtual Consoles respectively today but so what? There’s a damn Empire Strikes Back themed pinball table awaiting anyone with four hours to kill installing Zen Studio’s shop onto their system and an extra $9.99 lying around.
I know someone else who’s very excited to check this game out don’t I, 8-Bit Vader?
Club Nintendo has had this sweet deal going for a while that allows members to use coins earned registering Nintendo product codes on actual video games rather than the type of paraphernalia more commonly found in Chinatown. For the most part selected titles have been restricted to stuff the majority of long time players wouldn’t bat an eyelash at but as you can tell from the headline and screenshot above, this isn’t the case at the moment. The N64 classic 1080 Snowboarding is up for grabs for a mere 150 coins as are three other selections each worth looking into. 1080 is a game that I spent a ridiculous amount of my un-prescribed medicinally medicated marijuana years playing as a teenager and it’s a lot of fun. Especially now since you can enjoy it in a higher resolution while your hands are wrapped around the asscheeksofthewomanyoulove GameCube controller. Also, if you burn some Nag Champa and listen to this track as you tear through the Golden Forest stage over and over again, shit gets really far ou-sorry? Oh right, what else is currently up for grabs: Let’s have a look.
Well Nintendo’s certainly feeling generous with this week’s top notch roundup of eShop downloads. The 3DS is now home to the full retail version of Adventure Time: Hey Ice King? Why’d You Steal Our Garbage? at $29.99 and the 8-bit Ninja Gaiden slashes its way onto the Virtual Console for five bucks. The former of course, is a game based on the popular children’s cartoon whose charms I am apparently immune to and the latter is a stone cold classic action platformer that I will never be good enough to complete but still love to death. The Ninja Gaiden games for the NES were some of my favorites to play as a kid despite their sadistic challenge level. The gorgeous graphics, revolutionary (at the time) cut-scenes and airtight controls made them incredibly fun and they still totally hold up. Still, I’ll probably pass because I really don’t want to be one of those guys who screams obscenities on public transportation. However if by some chance you’ve never had a go with this series before, I strongly recommend the experience.
These are only impressions and not a full on review due to the fact that I haven’t made much actual progress since I’m constantly wiping drool off of my gamepad. Christ, this game is gorgeous. The background lighting and details make Muramasa’s own look like some autistic 6-year old fucking around in flipnote. The basic setup is this: You control a trio of characters consisting of Gandalf, some chick archer and an armored knight (that looks a lot like the ones Link fights in Wind Waker) on a puzzle-ridden sidescrolling quest to do something or other. Like I said, I haven’t really made it that far. What’s really cool is that you can toggle between each of these guys on the fly. Tear apart some oncoming enemies using the knight’s sword, shoot open some ropes holding up a critical beam with that broad’s bow and arrow or use the force with the wizard to create and strategically maneuver blocks that help you jump across chasms and whatnot. It’s really fun and clever but I can’t keep myself from starting my file over and over again to savor every visual detail because again, this is one of the most flatout beautiful games I have ever seen. Here, have a look for yourself while I go hit a cold shower.
Why thank you so much Nintendo for giving gamers two Halloween worthy downloads to choose from today! Unfortunately neither of them are very good but hey…we sure appreciate the gesture. First up is Castlevania: The Adventure which was originally released for the Game Boy way back in 1989. Simon Belmont’s Grandaddy Christopher leads the charge in this installment as the series takes its first (of many) dips into portable water. Too bad this one whiffs it pretty hard as the end result is horrifying for all the wrong reasons. Aside from an excellent soundtrack, Adventure doesn’t come close to matching the visual or control standards set by its home console cousins. As a curiosity, I’d say this game is worth tossing a couple of bucks at but really what you should be doing is downloading the Rebirth WiiWare remake from a couple of years back. Now THAT is some damn fine Castlevania gaming right there, buddy. READ MORE
Let’s just crack a window open and let some of this tension out right off the bat. It’s true that I was a bit harsh in my review of New Super Mario Bros. 2 a while back but listen: That doesn’t mean that I didn’t like it enough to completely neglect every personal relationship until I unlocked all of the secret stages and found every special coin. Once that was wrapped up, all that was left for me to get into were the special coin rush stages in an attempt to reach 1,000,000,000 like Nintendo kept telling me to do if I wanted to feel good about myself. But unfortunately instead of newly designed levels, this mode consisted of randomly chosen ones that were already featured in the main game and that I’d already played the holy hell from. Thus, I tapped out and haven’t turned on NSMB2 since crawling past the 100k mark a few weeks ago. Well Nintendo is tossing it’s feathered cap into the DLC ring this week by releasing a series of packs featuring all new content. If you’re like me and can’t stop throwing money at whatever Nintendo tells you to, this is obviously wonderful news. Hit the jump to have a look at the marvelous options that await you: READ MORE
“Holy, Shi-moly, how can I get in on this sweet deal!?” I hear you scream at your computer monitor. Well, it’s fairly easy: If you’re a Club Nintendo member, simply pony up the first born male in your bloodline as a ritualistic sacrifice to Beelzebub any time before January 6th and wait, WHOA. Yeah I read that press release all wrong, my mistake. Actually what you have to do is buy one of these first party games: Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask, Art Academy: Lessons For Everyone!, Crosswords Plus or Style Savvy: Trendsetters, which are all available either now or very soon. As a result of your monetary donation, Nintendo will provide you with a code that allows you to download a modified NES rom of the original Donkey Kong (which includes the aforementioned “banned on Earth” pie-making level)! Now keep in mind the only way you’ll receive this password is by downloading one of these titles from the eShop rather than picking up a retail copy. Factor in the new SD card that you’ll most likely need as a result of the massive amount of memory these “full retail” games soak up and you’re looking at somewhere between $40 and $50 bucks to afford yourself the glory of playing this game for five minutes before shutting it off out of boredom. Of course if that sounds a bit steep, you could always go and grab your N64 out of the garage and throw in Donkey Kong 64. As traumatic of an experience as that game was, keep in mind that it still featured a perfect emulation of the actual arcade original Donkey Kong, pie factory included. What? You don’t want to talk about Donkey Kong 64? No, no, I understand, how thoughtless. Please forgive me.
If you find yourself reading this site to begin with you’ve likely played a Super Mario game at some point during the past five years. Chances are this game was part of Nintendo’s “New” branding for their most popular platforming franchise of which there are individual entries on both the Wii and original DS. This particular take seemingly intended to throw Mario back to his roots after allowing longtime players to hand toss a polygonal Bowser into the stratosphere for the Nintendo 64 and eventually shoot their favorite plumber through Escher-esque Galaxies for the Wii. The “New” games represented a sort of back to basics approach that would hopefully appeal to both hardcore players that had grown up maxing out their save files on the more complicated 3D games and that treasured “casual” market that sorta kinda remembered enjoying the NES original. Well since numbers never lie, this formula worked like a charm as both games hover near the top of the all time sales charts for their respective systems. So now here we are with the inevitable New Super Mario Bros. 2. A title that in and of itself is something of an oxymoron and a gaming experience that while fun of course, is tragically derivative and borderline dated. I’ve finished burning through all of the stages in this new entry and am now in the process of answering Nintendo’s bullshit “Can you collect one million coins?” campaign question.
My answer? “Sure, yeah probably. But I don’t know that I WANT to.” READ MORE
As you can see, I’m currently in the process of transferring all data (via Pikmin of course) from the original system to my shiny new “Virtual Boy Red” XL. This thing is indeed beautiful and for those of you that are still on the fence about making the upgrade I have to say just go for it already. It really does make the original design feel like a prototype. I love the matte finish and the new select, start and home buttons feel fantastic. In related news, I downloaded New Super Mario Bros. 2 at the stroke of midnight and holy hell, that game is hard. My first impressions are that it really feels more like a glorified “mode” than a whole new game which is too bad. Still, I’m having a good time playing it. I’ll have more to report soon enough I’m sure, so stay tuned.
And this week’s temporary price drop goeeesss tooooo….Mario’s Picross!(?)
To be honest, this choice immediately struck me as kind of odd when I read that it’d been included in Nintendo’s month-long build up to New Super Mario Bros. 2. I wondered what the hell these guys were smoking placing a generic puzzler alongside some of Mario’s most celebrated platformers. Then I remembered that Matt wrote a glowing review of it a while back (which you can read by clicking right here) so there must be something to it. In any case, the game is now available for 2.99.
In other news, Nintendo is dipping their tiny yellow toes into the deep blue ocean of full retail downloads by releasing New Super Mario Bros. 2 ($39.99) this Sunday both on store shelves and within the digital walls of the eShop. Personally I’d planned on picking up an actual cart but apparently downloading instead will net Club Nintendo members double the amount of coins that a physical copy provides. I guess that makes my decision for me right there. The early word is that New SMB2 is a lot of fun if not slightly derivative of previous installments of the “New” series. As the past 2 games became minor obsessions, I’m not too worried as to whether or not I’ll enjoy this new entry. Maybe I’ll even be able to pull myself away from it long enough to write a proper review!
Speaking of “limited time only” deals, Super Mario’s second portable adventure has been marked down to just $2.99 for a uh…well for a limited time. Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins is certainly a highlight in Mario’s adventures across any console featuring some truly odd yet predictably fun level design that any fan of Nintendo’s famous fat fuck plumber owe it to themselves to take for a spin. Add to that the aforementioned awesome rabbit ears power-up (that allow the player a slight hover after jumps) making their first and only appearance and you’ve got yourself a series entry that really is quite like no other.
Fun Fact: This game marks the last time Mario would headline the Land franchise as that Wario dipshit took over with part 3 and ran with it in entries on both the Game Boy Advance and Virtual Boy. True Story.
Well, what the hell. I feel like an idiot. This is the way a Goddamned idiot feels like. I’m home sick and totally drunk zoned out on I.P.A. medicine right now, so earlier I decided to catch up on my 3DS backlog. For whatever reason it occurred to me to try holding down “start” and “select” while booting up Kid Icarus: Of Shits and Giggles and lo and behold that’s me greeted by the beautiful sight of an original Game Boy border wrapped around my playscreen like a nice, warm pair of fuzzy cuffs. I honestly have no idea how this happened. How could something so completely awesome slip past me for this long? Now if that weren’t cool enough, check this out: When you’ve got your 3D slider cranked up, the screen slips a fraction of an inch “behind” the glass just like the original GB and you can even hold down the shoulder buttons and press Y simultaneously to enable the old school pea-green color palette. Glorious. Apparently rumors are swirling that Game Boy Color titles also have their own unique border replicating that system as well but since I haven’t downloaded any of those games yet, it’s far too soon for me to comment on the validity of such claims.
Because honestly, how many different ways to play the original Super Mario Bros. exist at this point? I guess more like how many times will I keep buying the same game over and over again. Let’s see, there’s the original NES cart, a graphically souped up version in All Stars for the SNES, the Wii’s Virtual Console, Super Mario Bros. DX for the GBC, the retro cart for the GBA and now a new home in the eShop for the 3DS. Actually SMB has been available for a little while now but this weekend Nintendo will be dropping the price and selling it at a loss for 3.99 (roughly 3.99 more than what ambassadors had to cough up). I’m not in any way trying to discourage you from downloading it of course. It’s just that if you aren’t already up to your short and curly’s in various copies of this game then sit back and let me tell you about a little company that I really like called Nin-ten-do. READ MORE