Mario Kart 8

2014 Favorites

It’s that time!  With the year winding down, here is my very own Obligatory 2014 TV Favorites List.  Now, if you’ve been reading for a while, none of these should surprise you.  I thought it might be a fun thing to do year to year, so even though you’ve probably read a million of these, I’m giving you another.  I’ve got two categories for you; my favorite things, TV & video games.  Without further ado:

 

TV Shows

5. Orange is the New Black | Probably my most anticipated new season of the year, OITNB’s second season did not disappoint!

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LostGirlTVSeriesLogo4. Lost Girl | I stated watching this late last year, early 2014.  This show hit every note for me, and I recommend it for Buffy fans and similar.  It’s final season is just beginning, so jump on this train.

 

Ecran_Titre_d'American_Horror_Story3. American Horror Story | Coven straddled 2013 and 2014, and Freak Show will bleed into next year.  I’m just so onboard with this show and especially Jessica Lange.  I only hope she is as onboard as I am for the next season!

 

 

The_Walking_Dead_title_card2. The Walking Dead | I watched the first season years ago, and picked up again recently just in time for the mid-season finale.  I am constantly impressed with the emotional depths this show brings me to.

 

1. Orphan Black | Recommended to me in late 2013, I watched the first season of this show just in time for the second to begin.  You may have caught my Clone Club Catch-Ups, and expect to see more next year.  Tatiana Maslany’s masterful performance as almost all of the show’s main characters is always worth watching.

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Honorable Mention: Top Chef | Another show whose seasons straddle two years, I absolutely loved New Orleans and Boston might be my favorite season ever.  Stay tuned for more recaps!

 

Video Games

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03. Super Smash Bros. WiiU/3DS | Okay, this is two games.  I’ve played the 3DS version more because it’s portable, and I’ve had it longer.  This is my favorite installment of Super Smash since the original N64 version.  The novelty of this concept has not worn off!  Kirby smashing up Pikachu is still awesome.

02. Mario Kart 8 | I hate to say this, but I’m not really a Mario Kart girl.  Sure, I loved Super Mario Kart, but the N64 days had me with Diddy Kong Racing and don’t even get me started on Double Dash.  MK8, however, single-handedly justified purchasing a WiiU for me.  I am so impressed with this game.  I love the online component, and find the DLC exciting.  I keep on coming back for more!

01. Pokémon Alpha Sapphire & Omega Ruby | Hoenn was always my favorite region so I was more excited than ever before for these amazing remakes.  I got through Alpha Sapphire fast; faster than X by far.  These games have even reignited my desire to complete an Unova adventure.  I’m so happy that more people will be introduced to this region and this story.  These games are fantastic and I can’t wait for what Pokémon has in store for us next!  I’d write more about how much I’m obsessed with these fantastic games, but I want to go wonder trade.

And there you have it!  What are your favorite shows and/or games from this year?

Nintendo Direct [11.5.14]

Well, Wednesday sure brought wonderful news to me in the form of a Nintendo Direct.  First Hoenn remakes (my favorite pokémon generation), now Majora’s Mask (my favorite Legend of Zelda game) 3DS?!  Nintendo really loves me.

"Something is on the way," says Satoru Iwata, "and it isn't just the moon."

“Something is on the way,” says Satoru Iwata, “and it isn’t just the moon.”

You can watch Nintendo Direct here on Youtube, but here’s what you need to know:

  • Majora’s Mask 3D trailer.  That’s the first few minutes of the Nintendo Direct, and it is completely epic.  It’s set to come out spring 2015.  My question: how soon can I preorder it?!
  • Codename: STEAM for 3DS, in which Abraham Lincoln is a character.  Awesome?  This game is also available spring 2015.
  • Mario Kart 8 DLC.  I already bought the combo pack of this and got my Yoshis and Shy Guys– I’m just waiting on the courses, karts, and characters.  The first bundle featuring Link and a Legend of Zelda course is available November 13.  Ahh so close!
  • Kirby and the Rainbow Curse!  Y’all know I love Kirby when it comes to Smash, but I don’t think I actually own any other Kirby games?  Anyway, I’m loving the idea of this Wii U game.  Clay Kirby sounds like an uncontrollable mess that I am so, so down for.
  • Amiibo, little figures you scan for content that I never thought I’d need… well, I might actually need some.  They do stuff for Super Smash, Hyrule Warriors, and Mario Kart 8, which are all games that I already own or have payed to own.
  • Sonic Boom is coming out very soon.  I will probably pick this one up.  It’s really just Knuckles that looks bizarre.  There’s a new panel in StreetPass themed for the occasion!
  • Mario and Luigi in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.  I honestly had no idea what this part was about and it was a little unnerving.
  • PIKMIN!  I absolutely love Pikmin 3, which is sadly my first foray into Pikmin.  It’s nice to see that Nintendo is still doing stuff with Pikmin.  Shigeru Miyamoto has made a few animated shorts with these buddies that are available for download in the e-shop for $5.  I’m down!
  • Xenoblade Chronicles X for Wii U looks absolutely insane and this became a must-have for me.  I haven’t played Xenoblade Chronicles for Wii, but I am really interested in hunting down a used copy of that as well.  This one’s coming out next year, hopefully.
  • Splatoon for Wii U gets it first new trailer since its premiere at E3.  This game looks like a cross between Tony Hawk Pro Skater’s Graffiti mode and Portal 2 to me.  The single-player mode seems secondary to the online multiplayer, but this colorful game is stuck in my head.  It’s set to come out in Q2 2015.

 

So, basically, I’m throwing all of my money at Nintendo, as usual.  Anything from this month’s Nintendo Direct strike your fancy?

Nicole Spends Money: video game pre-order list

I’m thinking I just need to sign over my next paycheck to Nintendo, because my Game Stop pre-order list is out of control.  I recently stopped in to pick my brother up a birthday present (a 3DS XL bundle, because I’m the best sister) and left with a long pre-order list!

Here’s what Nintendo is taking all of my money for:

  • Hyrule Warriors for WiiU – this Legend of Zelda game is available September 26, so it currently requires the least amount of patience… yay!
  • Super Smash Bros. for 3DS – I’ve pre-ordered the 3DS version since it comes out before the WiiU version.  This one’s available in October!
  • Pokémon Alpha Sapphire version – I couldn’t be more excited about Hoenn remakes.  I literally could not be any more excited.  November literally cannot come soon enough.
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby version – obviously I pre-ordered both versions!  Did I mention I can’t wait?
  • Super Smash Bros. for WiiU – I haven’t technically pre-ordered this one yet, but I absolutely know I’ll be getting it.  This one’s not out until December, so I’ve got a ways to go.
  • Mario Kart 8 DLC pack 1 & pack 2 – I’ve already pre-ordered the combo pack of both sets of DLC.  I get one in November and one next May.  Pre-ordering also lets me use eight additional colored Yoshis and 8 additional colored Shy Guys!
actual receipt...

actual receipt…

What games are you eagerly awaiting?!

Nerdy Nails

I love painting my nails.  It’s horribly girly of me, but I have so much fun mixing and matching colors– I’m a big fan of the accent nail.  I may be a girl who likes to accessorize, but I’m also a complete nerd.  Many of my favorite colors remind me of my nerdier interests.  Here’s some colors help you get your nerdy-girl on!

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If you like Nintendo’s Mario Kart 8, try Essie’s Penny Talk, a color that looks like you’ve melted down and bottled Pink Gold Peach.

If you like Sailor Moon, try Essie’s Go Overboard, a color that makes you want to shout, “Neptune Planet Power, Make Up!”

Finally, if you like Game of Thrones, try Sally Hansen’s Nightwatch.  The name alone will have you making puns about taking the black– err, navy!

 

Photo Finish: Spring 2014

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I must say, these last few months have been quite lovely!  You’ll notice my brother, Joey, plays a pivotal role in many of the above photo highlights, which is apt to happen as he’s one of my favorite humans. Since today marks the start of summer, I’m taking a moment now to recognize all the fun things spring brought to me.  Summer, keep the good times coming!

{1} my brother’s Christmas present, WWE Smackdown at TD Bank {2} sunny Mother’s Day in Boston Public Garden {3} dinner in the North End on my brother’s graduation weekend {4} with the Boston College graduate himself at Alumni Stadium! {5} with lifelong friend Stacie, the most beautiful bride, at her wedding reception at Stonehill College {6} Mario Kart 8 was released and I played for hours, unlocking all the characters that day! {7} in the Ocean State enjoying the most Rhode Island shandy where Narragansett beer meets Del’s lemonade {8} Rhode Island again for Father’s Day weekend, having firework fun with Amanda {9} day off Museum of Fine Arts trip

Mario Kart GR8

I bought a Wii U because I knew the day would come when there would be a game I couldn’t live without.  That day was last Friday and that game was Mario Kart 8.

Mario Kart 8 incited something in me that I didn’t remember.  We’ve all played a lot of racing games.  I am no exception.  I had one for my original gray Game Boy that I played more than freakin’ Tetris… unfortunately I can’t remember its name.  Super Mario Kart was one of the most played games of my childhood, most of my memories involving yelling while racing my brother.  Aws.  Despite my love of Super Mario Kart, I never thought of myself as a fan of racing games.  I didn’t even own MK64… which I know is weird.  But really, because my brother and I were so close in age and our parents always wanted us to play together, we did play a lot of racing games in our formative N64 days.  The first two games we got were Wave Race and Diddy Kong Racing.  I absolutely love both of them.  So why then, did I not realize how much I would love MK8?  Maybe because DoubleDash was ehh, or because I enjoyed MK7 but not enough to create any sort of fanfare.

I knew I wanted MK8.  I was excited about it, but it far exceeded my expectations.  The courses literally made my jaw drop.  I play alone, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the way I talk to my TV while playing.  I’m Peach, as always, and I audibly cheer on my dear Pesca.  This game is so, so fun!  And I’m happy to report I don’t suck!

Wendy was the last character I unlocked; they come at random.

Wendy was the last character I unlocked.

I was able to unlock all 14 unlockable characters on Friday.  All you have to do is win a grand prix in any class or cup to get a new character at random.  Combined with the 16 you start with, the game has 30 characters total. Some of the unlockables include the adorable Rosalina, your Mii, and all 7 Koopalings!  Another new unlockable is quickly becoming a favorite: Pink Gold Peach!  Her voice sounds like Peach underwater; think: the female form of Metal Mario (also an unlocakble!).  I like the rose gold color of this character and that she’s the only other metal character, whereas you’d think Luigi might have beat her to the punch.  I think pink, gold, and peach might be my new color combo of the summer.  Pretty, no?

Other unlockables include vehicle customizations.  You earn coins to unlock these.  I’m not noticing a whole lot of differences in vehicles other than visually; handling seems great in general.  I happen to love to motorcycle (or “standard bike,” I believe it’s called) because it’s easy to maneuver on my favorite courses, such as Toad’s Turnpike.

Another feature I never realized I’d love is the online play.  I tested my skills on a regional scale, which is I guess, the US and Canada.  I did way better than I expected here, able to place in the top few positions for most races.  The only time I tried the worldwide races I was stuck spectating.  It was nice to be able to play against people at will– you don’t need additional controllers or like, friends who want to play.  After a lifetime of forcing my girlfriends to play Nintendo with me, I’ve given up on them.

In short: Mario Kart 8 puts me in a total state of euphoria.  You should buy a Wii U for this game.  It’s excellent, and I love it!