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The Throne of Games – Mario Fantasy

As much as I enjoyed the original Final Fantasy, I’m not sure if I have the patience to grind through this hack. Though I would much rather play this than Final Fantasy XV. Anyway, this is the complete original Final Fantasy game, with a new theme. All the art and sprites have been redone and the music remixed to fit everything into the Mushroom Kingdom.

Click on the picture if you want to check out a gameplay video. Send me a message if you’re interested in purchasing a cart.

mariofantasy

Super Mario Bros. 3 Mix Cart Ready

Super Mario Bros. 3 Mix, a rom hack made by Southbird, completed and available on cart. Max and myself did a complete playthrough of the game to “test it out”, plus it’s just awesome Mario fun. There’s a lot to do in this game. It has so much more than the original NES could offer, including game saves, alternate stage exits, unlockable stages, etc. If anyone’s interested, I could make this one for $40. I also have an alternate label available.

mario3mix

Final Thoughts on E3

Issue #0 .5 1/2

E3 has been over for more than a week now and everyone’s probably all talked out about it already, but I feel I owe Nintendo an apology.  I said some mean things about them and I don’t want anyones feelings hurt. If it sounded like I was bashing Nintendo in my other post about E3, I kind of was, but they needed it.  For those of you who may remember, Nintendo used to have the “Official Seal of Quality” stamped onto its games. If you look at them now, the word “quality”  is disturbingly absent. I have nothing against Nintendo as a company, I just really feel that their decision to reveal the Wii U, which to me seemed overly underwhelming, should have waited until they had their lineup of initial games a bit more flushed out. The Nintendo console market for the past few years and seemingly for years to come has been devoid of quality.  All that aside, their 3DS lineup completely makes up for any other of their shortcomings. Pretty much every 1st party Nintendo title coming out is a must have.

Starting with the most obvious, the king of all platformers will be making his obligatory appearance on the 3DS coming this holiday with a title cleverly named, Super Mario 3DS. It’s hard not to like these games. From what I played, it’s like a combination of Mario 64 and Super Mario 3 from the NES era, music blocks, tanooki suit, and all.

Super Mario 3DS

Mario Kart

Mario Kart

Mario Kart would be my other top pick. Always been a favorite of mine since the original on SNES and I haven’t missed a single one since.  If I had to choose, I’d say the N64 version was my favorite, but that looks like it  might change when this one comes out.  There weren’t many options to try out since it was still just an early demo, but it’s obvious that it will be a solid title when it’s complete. The best new aspect is definitely going to be customizing your karts.  You can swap the body of the kart, the wheels, and various add-ons. On the demo they only had this hang glider attachment available, but I’m sure there will be more.

Other excellent titles to play were Star Fox 64 3D, which uses the interior camera to share a live feed of your facial expressions with your opponents during multiplayer. Kid Icarus Uprising, which also has excellent multiplayer. Up to 6 people can fight in a deathmatch-like scenario. Each side has a certain amount of lives and when the last one is lost, one player becomes Pit and then the goal is ultimately to kill Pit. Didn’t get a chance to play the single player mode though. Luigi’s Mansion 2 I was rather impressed with considering I never cared for the first one, but Luigi is my favorite of the brothers so I gave this game a shot and it holds up on its own against the other big contenders.

I’m glad to see Capcom is putting a good amount of support into this new system. With the launch release of Super Street Fighter IV as snare for me to buy the system, they’re now throwing not one, but two Resident Evil games with one due out later on this month.

Heroes of Ruin

Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater will find a new home on the 3DS. It’s Metal Gear in 3D, I feel nothing more needs to be said to stir excitement. Square Enix had a Diabloesque dungeon hack for show, Heroes of Ruin which is as good as purchased as far as I’m concerned. Four different playable classes with all the standard upgrades and loot hoarding. Best of all, it’s multiplayer. The two downsides so far are that the 3D seemed somewhat lackluster and other is that it’s not coming out until next year. Now if they could only make Final Fantasy good again. Lastly, one of my favorites, the under appreciated Ace Combat series will be finding its way onto the console but also probably not until next year. Ace Combat is so good! Why doesn’t anyone else see this? Ace Combat 6 with the flightstick…. granted the $150 price tag may have been a bit much for most gamers but it was so worth it. I know Ace Combat will never give Call of Duty a run for its money, but I’d like to see the new one coming out for PS3 and 360 at least be considered a viable alternative for online gaming. But that’s a discussion for another time.

The handheld market is generally reserved for more casual titles, but it looks like the DS will be getting a hot beef injection of hardcore games. Clearly a good move as far as I’m concerned, now if they would only do likewise for the Wii. I have hope. Despite what I said about the Wii U, if the line up for the 3DS is any indication of what Nintendo has in store for its home console future, I have hope… Nintendo, I just want to say that even though we may fight sometimes, I still love you. And when you’re ready to give the Wii some serious games again, I’ll be waiting there for you with arms wide open.

These will be my final thoughts on E3. Sorry it’s been so Nintendo-centric, but you never forget your first love no matter how hard you try.

Please feel free to leave any comments/suggestions/ideas/yell at me.  A like on facebook would be awesome! Check back in a couple days, I’ve got quite a gem of a game planned to review.

Thanks for reading!

E3 Cont.

Issue #0.5mmmm....breakfast!My main source of nutrition for the three day period consisted primarily of nachos and energy drinks; the real gamers diet.

Top 5 Games of E3

1) Warhammer 40k: Space Marine. A rampage through the enemies of mankind. One of my favorite aspects of this game was the seamless transition between ranged and melee combat. That and it’s over the top, gore infused, non-stop action. They were handing out scratch off cards to people waiting in line for a chance to win t-shirts or a real life sized chainsword. Sadly, I won neither.

2) Duke Nukem Forever. This game is going to get bashed in reviews across the board, I just know it. But you kind of have to go into playing this game with that mindset. It’s a completely balls out FPS with corny, outdated humor, but I knew that already and that’s exactly what I wanted. Is it as good as Gears of War, Bulletstorm, or even Quake 4? Not really, but that’s ok. If you crossed together maybe Bullstorm and Eat Lead, I guess that’s kind of what Duke Nukem forever is like. And as long as you go into it knowing this, you might enjoy yourself.  It’s kind of like those hot dog carts in the city. The food’s great, but you know it’s not gourmet. Anyway, the line to play this was a bit longer than expected, especially since the game was coming out a week later anyway. Once at the front of the line, they put you into this room filled with Duke iconography, give you a beer or red bull inside a nifty little Duke Nukem cup cooler, and set you down to play multiplayer. I played a session of Capture the Babe; an interesting spoof of the capture the flag classic where you have to return the enemies babe to your base and you even get to spank her if she gets unruly.

3) Trenched. This was a fun spin on the tower defense formula.  Instead of just blithely placing towers and watching them take down the endless onslaught of mindless invaders from an overhead perspective, you are actively engaged in eliminating your enemies from a third person shooter view. You pilot one of three mechs: light, medium, and heavy, with light being fastest with least firepower but with the best towers and heavy with most firepower but weakest towers.  Towers remain common to the genre however, with anti-air, ground, air/ground, etc.  Coming out this summer for XBLA and it will support online multiplayer.

4) Street Fighter X Tekken. I didn’t get to play this nearly as much as I wanted to. There was constantly a large crowd surrounding the booth, much akin to the crowds surrounding the Street Fighter II cabinets from the days of yore when arcades ruled our collective video game consciousness. For those who were able to beat 3 opponents in a row, Capcom was handing out character themed bobble heads. I lost. It was a noble defeat however. The opponent who felled me had his difficulty setting at just about my level. Neither were able to land a finishing blow, instead all of our rounds ended in a time out. So I can at least walk away knowing I had a good match. The game plays mostly like Street Fighter IV but with a little MVC and Tekken Tag thrown in there.

5)Star Wars: The Old Republic. OMG! YES PLEASE! I didn’t get a chance to play this, though believe me, I wanted to. This had one of the longest lines at E3 and I really just didn’t have time to wait on another 2+ hour line. I did get to watch it a great deal though. This booth was adjacent to the Space Marine drop pod, so I got to watch an hour of so of other people playing it on several oversized displays. Looks very good, as any game made by Bioware is bound to be. It has their proprietary dialogue system, which should lend a great deal of narrative to this MMO, something that the genre sorely lacks. No official release date yet, but Mass Effect 3 has been pushed back to March so hopefully that means we’ll see a release sometime this year. *crosses fingers*

A few other interesting tidbits:

There was a bouncy castle tucked away behind all the main booths! Yay for analog entertainment!

They had a full retro video game history museum set up, complete with two dozen or so full arcade cabinets from the 70s – early 90s, all with free play activated! Not a single quarter was wasted this day. Some of my favorites on site were: Punch-Out!!, Raiden II (love me some bullet hell),  and Altered Beast. Shaolin Road was absent unfortunately, and as the self proclaimed master of that game, I would have liked to show off my skills.

I was surprised yet pleased to see so many people working well under the honor system; There was nothing holding the memorabilia down, no cameras, and no one standing guard. Their website is www.vghmuseum.org8 Bit Weapon, a chiptune group, and Descendants of Erdrick, a video game tribute band that includes a flute player, supplied crowds with live music.

A few people in cosplay, but nothing like going to a comic-con. Here we have Renegade Commander Shepherd to the left and Zero Suit Samus on the right.

Lastly and leastly, this is the best Square Enix had to offer. On display were all of the toys and collectables you can get from their web store. Some of you may argue that they were showcasing Final Fantasy XIII-2 but I would have to assume that’s a joke, because no one really cares about the garbage Square Enix produces anymore. Aside from the remake of Final Fantasy IV and the Dragon Quest games on the DS, and those don’t even really count because they’re not technically NEW, Square Enix hasn’t had any good original IPs since PSX.

Anyway, I do have tons more to say about my first ever E3 trip, but what can I say that you haven’t already heard watching G4, or hasn’t already been covered by any of the bigger websites, bloggers, or game mags.

I do appreciate your comments though, so PLEASE feel free to leave one. Don’t forget to read yesterdays post!

And I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you think of the Wii U.

Thanks for reading!

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