FreezeME – Freeze U

There aren’t too many 3D platformers these days so I picked this up on the eShop without even looking at a review or caring about quality. FreezeME is an N64-inspired platformer in the most obvious way, directly ripping off the structure from Mario 64 and Banjo to create a non-linear 3D platformer with multiple objectives in each world. I’ve beaten the game now and had a bit of fun exploring the worlds, but the game has a lot of problems.

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Super Mario RPG – 20 Years Later

This game is an interesting and very important part of history. A landmark partnership between Square and Nintendo would see them go on to… well, do nothing, because Square fucked off to Sony after this game. You’re welcome. Nonetheless, it spurred an entire legacy of Mario RPG games, including the immediate follow-up Paper Mario, and 5 games in the Mario & Luigi series. When Square changed their ways, some of the Super Mario RPG staff actually left to form Alpha Dream, who are still creating Mario RPGs to this day. Even though Super Mario RPG was the very first Mario RPG, I had never played it until now because it never had an original SNES release in Europe and Australia.

Thanks to the Virtual Console, I picked this up on Wii U and had an absolutely wonderful experience discovering it for the first time in 2016. The art style did not look that impressive to me in screenshots, but it feels so much better when you get into the game. Once you start playing, everything comes to life like a beautiful story. The game is very well-designed and it struck such a chord that I got completely immersed and beat the game over the past week. So what’s so good about it? Let’s get into our first battle.

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Wave Race 64 – Return of the Champ

My name is Ryota Hayami. You might remember me as the two-time Wave Race world champion, but that was a long time ago. As a young kid I was insatiable and wanted to win every competition I could find. The sights were fresh, the scene was encouraging, and everything felt so new. Lately I’ve been kicking back and enjoying my new life as a fisherman. It’s a nice relaxed lifestyle, but I still think back to the glory days quite often. Sometimes I notice the waves ripple and it reminds me of when I was 18 years old, fighting for victories on my Jet Ski. The Jet Ski scene has changed a lot since then. Jet Skis of the modern era are quite complicated designs yet “easier” to ride, and for me that completely takes the thrill out of riding. Technology is so advanced now that the Jet Ski does everything for you, with auto-correction and elevation control becoming the standard. As a result, all the big dollar manufacturers were winning year after year, and there wasn’t much demand for good riders. Being a good rider now simply means showing up to as many PR events as possible. Not my life, man.

As fate may have it, I wasn’t the only person who longed for the glory days. On Friday morning I received a phone call from Kawasaki asking if I was fit for riding. They understood the struggle of true riders today and wanted to bring back the old feel. A tournament was to be held as a test to see how many people would support a change in Jet Ski design proposed for the 2017 season. They called it a “Virtual Console” championship and they have brought back all the old Jet Skis, while securing the rights to all the old locations. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Is this a dream? “No sir, we are serious about this. We have everything in place but the riders. We need you.

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Super Metroid – New for 3DS

In the recent Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced SNES games for the N3DS would be available immediately with Super Mario World launching the service on the same day, and more to follow. In Australia, one of those early games was Super Metroid and I grabbed it ASAP with the dream of finally being able to play the US NTSC version of the game. That’s right, all SNES games on the EU / AU 3DS eShop are the 60hz American versions, making it the first time Super Metroid and Link to the Past have been available here in 60hz. Even though I’m pretty happy with the Wii U Virtual Console, for some reason we’re still stuck with the PAL versions of a few games. In my experience it’s not that big a deal for Zelda, but Super Metroid is a much more action-focused game, loaded with tons of precise tricks and wall jumps you can not afford to miss. So not only was I keen to experience SNES games on 3DS for the first time, but also discover Super Metroid in its original 60hz form.

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Super Mario Maker – 6 Months Later

Shortly after the launch of Super Mario Maker I did a write-up to share my experience with the game after the first week. It was an exciting time as we all learned the tools and discovered how much fun the concept is. However, it has evolved a lot since then with new tools added, some structural changes and a much larger community. I feel like enough has changed that another write-up is necessary, so Go-a-let’s! … Wait, I got that around the wrong way… drag this… move that. Let’s-a-go!

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Code Name S.T.E.A.M. – The President Needs You

Abraham Lincoln has assigned me a special mission, to tell the world about Code Name S.T.E.A.M. and recruit world class soldiers to fight the alien menace. I’ve been deployed to the internet and there are aliens everywhere, destroying objects and devouring information before they can process it. It’s quite clear they aren’t here to talk. I can’t take them on alone so I’ve taken cover in the Pietriots Bunker to refill my STEAM tank. My health is low, I’ve got no coins and there’s no restore point here. It’s just me and this STEAM powered Typewriter, so I better get to work.

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Pokémon Picross

Pokémon Picross is Nintendo’s latest free to play puzzle game. I’ve been enjoying playing it over the Christmas-New Years break while travelling through southern Western Australia. My review could be simply ‘it’s picross, with Pokémon and free to play,’ but I’m going to write a little more explaining what picross is for those unfamiliar and detail my frustrations with the free to play economics of this particular title. Continue reading “Pokémon Picross”

Chibi-Robo! Zip Lash – Too Chibi, Too Late

badipbide, mindupapa dumdidd woppa woppa awimbidabop.

<translation> Welcome to this Review. Here you will find info about Chibi Robo and a document of my experience.

baudadw wblahblah didadihey amibwob dobada dibididay.

<translation> This introduction is pointless because you already know why you’re here.

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Snow Moto Racing 3D – Defrost Your Engines

Over the holidays I impulse-bought this game just to have a new racing game to play on 3DS while I was out. I wasn’t expecting too much but I’m very happy with it and I think it deserves some recognition. Zordix are not the biggest development team in the world but I really like their approach. Snow Moto Racing 3D is an enjoyable game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s fun to play and features a solid amount of content.

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Brain Training – Find Love In Minutes A Day

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I’ve been a naughty boy. Four long days, I have kept Dr Kawashima waiting, his game left unplayed on my Wii U. I tried to put him out of my mind and enjoy Xenoblade X, but his handsome face remained on the startup screen. His icon throbbing, yet welcoming. I couldn’t resist. I had to touch his face and boot up the game, just to feel that warmth I was missing. Nothing else could replace it. I expected a scolding for my absence, but he played it off with a cheerful razzing. He always does this, puts on an act. He’s trying his best to be strong and rational. However, behind that jolly facade I could feel the coldness in his eyes. The tears from those lonely nights had left his soul dry and empty. He needed me. He was seething on the inside, but his response was calculated. I didn’t know what to say.

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