N64

Wii U Wednesday: Mario Party 10

image: dualshockers.com

image: dualshockers.com

I consider myself a Mario Party enthusiast.  That being said, my mastery of the game is limited to Mario Party 2 and Pagoda Peak exclusively in Mario Party 7.  I own others and I’ve played others in the franchise, but these are the ones I keep on coming back to: MP2’s Horror Land & MP7’s Pagoda Peak.

I scooped up MP10 and played through each of the game boards this weekend.  That’s all I’ve done so far, though!  I’ve not gotten in on the amiibo action… yet.  Neither of the amiibo I have are compatible– sorry Kirby and Pikachu!

Here is my assessment so far:

Each game board has a start to finish.  All the players move together.  You collect mini-stars along the way.  (Question: being that there are no discernible larger stars in the game, why do we call these mini-stars?)  The most mini-stars wins.

What works for me: The mini-boss and boss battles are the most fun!  I’ve enjoyed these games immensely, and that’s where my mini-stars really get paid out.  I actually do appreciate that different games have different mini-star payouts, too.  Unlocking Bowser with the roll of the dice block is a cute feature too.

What doesn’t work for me: Luck and chance have always been an element in Mario Party, but skill could always prevail.  Even winning every single mini-game may not help you in MP10.  The fact that there isn’t a mini-game after every turn is really what bugs me.  Mini-games pop up randomly, so it can honestly be hard to rack up starts, especially if you’re not lucky enough to be the front player when you go through a mini-star-granting gate.

Now for the game boards:

  • Mushroom Park | A classic, lush-green game board with features of an amusement park.  Pretty straight-forward play.
  • Haunted Trail | Hooray for spooky!  The spooky ones are always my favorite.  Boo is honestly a lot less menacing than he was in Horror Land.  I love the aesthetic of this board, so I can see myself playing again and again.
  • Whimsical Waters | An underwater game board with a few different areas and the Dragoneel who grants treasure chests to passers-by.  Having played through them all, I think this is my favorite thus far.
  • Airship Central | This game board honestly made my anxious.  The ships switch in and out as you play through so the probability of landing on unlucky spaces is high.
  • Chaos Castle | Talk about stressful!  There were a ton of obstacles on this game board making play quite long.  Each stage gets harder as you progress.  Bowser basically destroyed me/my mini-star count.

 

I’m looking forward to playing some more of Mario Party 10.  There’s very little progression in these games; you just kind of play to play which keeps it fun for me.  I’m definitely hoping to try some amiibo features as well!

Have you played Mario Party 10 yet?

What do you think?

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?

Whatever Wednesday

Siiigh, happy hump day, kids.

image via mariowiki.com

image via mariowiki.com

Today’s post is a bit of a grab bag (I know the term is “mixed bag,” but I really wanted to work in a Mario Party 2 reference) because I couldn’t force myself to sit through honestly didn’t even try to watch ANTM last week.  What sense does recapping a recap episode make anyway?  So, no America’s Next Top Model Cycle 21 today.  In place, assorted thoughts.

I’ve been really sick and slept 5 days knocked out in bed, which was awful.  What makes it more awful, is that I’m completely in a Netflix rut.  Gilmore Girls may be occupying everyone else’s time, but I had just rewatched the series when Netflix announced its imminence.  So guys, my plea: recommend me shows on Netflix or Hulu!  The only thing that I’ve been loving lately is Drunk History, which I can whole-heartedly recommend to you.  You feel like you’re learning history, and you also feel slightly inebriated.  You know when you’re around a drunk person, or like, a group of drunk people, so you kind of start to feel drunk by association?  That’s kind of what it’s like to watch Drunk History.  Also, there were times I laughed so hard I cried, like this clip from a story about Abraham Lincoln as a lawyer.

IMG_6341

no dust jacket because I couldn’t get the B&B “Members Save” sticker off of it and I broke my nail when I tried.

Anyway, what has been occupying my waking time is the new books I braved Boston’s first snow of the season to go out and pick up– “Yes Please” by Amy Poehler and “Grace’s Guide” by Grace Helbig.

I’m almost finished with Yes Please, and it’s finally gotten me out of the reading slump I’ve been in without beach time!  After all my summer reading I kind of gave up come fall, so it was nice to get back into a book.  Has anyone read “Grace’s Guide” yet?  I’ve read snippets, and I just know it’s going to be great.

 

My recommendations to you: Drunk History & Yes Please!

Your recommendations to me: leave ’em in the comments!

 

Friday Favorites: Best Link Ever

With Hyrule Warriors on the brain this week, I’ve been super into The Legend of Zelda as a whole.  I know, I know, how is that different from any other day?  A new piece of the fandom always reignites my fervor.  I couldn’t constantly be playing Hyrule Warriors, so I went searching for reviews, videos, and all Zelda-related info.  My favorite find of the week is this YouTube video from The Game Theorists.

The premise is to determine which of the 11-ish Links is the strongest Link.  It’s a fun walk through all the Zelda games we know and love.  My favorite detail of this video is that it’s full of Doctor Who references as well– from a Tardis to symbolize time travel, to Matt Smith to symbolize 11-ish.  Perfect.  There’s some other fun references, like Lord of the Rings as well.

I’ll definitely be checking out more of The Game Theorists’ Youtube videos, and of course, playing more Hyrule Warriors.  How’s your game coming along?

Hope you all have a phenomenal weekend!

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!