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Found 7 results

  1. Jordan Haygood

    Super Mario 3D World

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    © Nintendo

  2. Thanks to a group of Europeans stealing land from Native Americans once upon a time, people in the land of the free have a holiday where we give thanks for being able to consume very large amounts of food. This holiday is, of course, Thanksgiving. But as gamers, we have certain other reasons to be thankful. Whether a bad game got an overhaul and became good, a game was localized that we weren“t expecting to be, or a game is just sooooooooo good, there are plenty of games we can be thankful for. So let“s take a moment and give our thanks for 10 games that came out of 2013. Note: This list is in no particular order. They“re still numbered, though, because SHUT UP AND JUST GO WITH IT. #10 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Did you ever play Final Fantasy XIV when it was first released? Remember the disappointment? The anger? The murderous thoughts flowing through your mind? That wasn“t just me, was it…? Whether it was or not, there“s no question that many gamers were disappointed, and for many different reasons. So then Square Enix goes and listens to the angry letters and just sorta “rebirths†the game, breathing new life into it to create what is essentially the “A Realm Reborn†version. And guess what – the game is good now! So good, in fact, that I must give Squeenix my thanks. 14 of my thanks. ​ #9 Fire Emblem: Awakening A fact you may not be aware of, Fire Emblem: Awakening was almost the very last entry into the series. Prior to that game, sales were spiraling downward with each new entry. But all that changed when this 3DS title became a massive success in both Japan and the U.S. One could say Awakening was a big “awakening†for the franchise. …Okay, that was bad… But of course, the level of success this game was met with was met with for good reason – it kicks ass. If you think about it, this game kinda pulled a Final Fantasy, as it was almost the final game until it became more successful than expected. Though in Fire Emblem“s case, there were other entries before it, but that“s beside the point. And while we should all be thankful for this game being so good, I“m sure Nintendo themselves are very thankful for it saving their beloved franchise. ​ #8 Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Ever watched a Studio Ghibli film? You“ve sure been missing out if you haven“t. In fact, as a gamer who has been a big Ghibli fan since the days of Hayao Miyazaki“s Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, I“ve wanted to play a game made by the studio, in the same style as something they“d make, for a very long time. With Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, that dream finally became a reality. Obviously, Studio Ghibli didn“t create the game themselves, as Level-5 played a big part in its development, but still. It“s by no means a perfect game, but just the way it looks and feels gives me that Ghibli level of joy. And for that, I am truly thankful. ​ #7 EarthBound Sure, EarthBound actually came out for the SNES back in the 90s, but have you seen the price it goes for these days? You certainly can“t give anyone $100 and expect to walk away with the game, I“ll tell you that much. Well, maybe if they were old people selling it at a garage sale without doing any research, in which case BUY IT, BUY IT, BUY IT! Other than owning a legitimate copy, your only real option was always to, y“know, break the law. But in 2013, it finally happened. After gamers everywhere begged Nintendo for a re-release, whether through the Virtual Console on the Wii, Wii U, or 3DS, or just some collection thingy, the Big N finally gave it to us through the Wii U eShop. Thank you Nintendo. Now I can finally stop breaking the law. And for around $10, that ain“t bad. ​ #6 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies Remember the sequel to Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth? I wouldn“t be surprised if you don“t, seeing how Capcom refused to translate the game into English. And because of that, many gamers were wondering whether the 5th entry into the core series would suffer the same fate or not. Especially with Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney taking so freaking long. But alas, it happened. We were stuck with a digital-only release, keeping us English-speaking peoples from having a choice in the matter, but it happened. And not only was the game given a release that would allow to play it, but it ended up being a fantastic game in its own Wright right. Seriously, Capcom, I owe you one. Actually, I owe you about $30 plus tax. Which I paid. So I guess we“re even. Thanks anyway, though. ​ #5 Pokémon X/Y Pokémon was born way back in 1996. And ever since the first entries, whether you knew them as Pokémon Red and Green or Pokémon Red and Blue, the style of the following generations has largely remained the same, while receiving updates to accommodate the advancements in technology. And while the 5th generation, which included Pokémon Black and White, followed by Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, received a certain level of 3-dimensional upgrades, it wasn“t until the following generation that the series made its true transition into 3D. As far as 3-dimensional transitions go, Pokémon X and Y was seamless. The series was transformed while not taking away all we (the fans) had come to love from the series. It was time for an upgrade, and Game Freak, Inc. not only pulled it off brilliantly, but ended up creating quite possibly the greatest Pokémon generation to date. Thanks, guys, for making something so awesome. ​ #4 Tomb Raider There are times in a franchise“s life when its parents/guardians must make the decision to either keep it running the course it“s on or give it a reboot. And once Tomb Raider received its new guardians in the form of Crystal Dynamics, it seemed it was time for the latter option. And while some franchise reboots are…questionable (did you know Sonic “06 was intended to be one?), others manage to pull it off fairly well. In Tomb Raider“s case, we got a reboot that was actually a pretty fantastic game. No more was protagonist Lara Croft known as just some badass chick with some, uh, noticeable features; she was actually a deep, compelling character that the player could feel for (assuming they have emotions) in “Tomb Raider Reborn.†The game still has its flaws, but I still found the game to be quite a bit better than the original. Thank you for making a successful reboot, Mr. and Mrs. Dynamics. I appreciate that. ​ #3 Rocksmith 2014 Before you call me a cheater for throwing a 2014 game into a 2013 list, hear me out! Rocksmith 2014 was most definitely released this year; in October, in fact. The name of this game/educational tool/jam session? seems to fall in line with all those sports games that have the following year tacked onto the current year“s game title. But that“s not what“s important here. What IS important is the fact that Rocksmith 2014 is just plain awesome. It“s essentially the same thing as Rocksmith, but turned up to 11 (see what I did there?). Seriously, never have I had such an easy time attempting to learn guitar while also having a similar level of fun as when I play Guitar Hero or Rock Band. What Rocksmith helps me accomplish, Rocksmith 2014 does better. And for that, I am grateful. ​ #2 The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Many a Zelda fan who was alive in the 90s will tell you that if they had to choose a favorite, they would choose A Link to the Past. Some will likely go with Ocarina of Time, but there“s no denying that A Link to the Past was a compelling game for a lot of people. So it“s exciting to see a sequel that takes place in the same world(s) (unlike the Oracle games and Link“s Awakening) and plays so similarly. And you know what? It might just be as good, too. Nintendo always has a knack for introducing new mechanics into a game, basing the game around that mechanic, and ending up with something truly magical. The whole Link drawing thing is actually really cool and adds an interesting level of challenge. There“s a lot more I could say about this game, but I“ll refrain from drawing out why I“m so thankful for this game. Just my saying it“s a sequel to A Link to the Past should be reason enough. ​ #1 Super Mario 3D World Back at E3, when Super Mario 3D World was first announced, many gamers were a bit disappointed by the way it looked. Unimpressed, a lot of people were asking Nintendo to just give us another Galaxy instead. But then more trailers were released, and people began giving their opinions a 180. And now that the game is out, we now know just how freaking fantastic this game is. Not only is Super Mario 3D World a really, really, really fun game for solo players, but when you play it with family and friends, the level of fun rises tenfold. Seriously, the sheer level of enjoyment I get from playing this game reminds me of why I got a Wii U in the first place. This game is bliss, Nintendo, and I am truly thankful for that. Do you agree with any of the games in this list? What games are you thankful for this year?
  3. Jordan Haygood

    Super Mario 3D World Box Art

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

    © Nintendo

  4. Jason Clement

    Review: Super Mario 3D World

    Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo Publisher: Nintendo Platform: Wii U Release Date: November 22, 2013 ESRB: E for Everyone A downloadable code was provided by the publisher for this review A true Mario game usually comes but once a generation. And while the Wii era was lucky enough to see three mainline entries, only one of them arguably made a profound cultural impact in the industry with its debut the way Mario games of old did. Make no mistake, Super Mario 3D World comes from a long line of great games before it that have shaped both the industry and generations of players, so to say that it has a huge legacy to live up to would be an understatement. It could have easily come off as a game that simply tried to ape what Super Mario 3D Land did on 3DS, essentially becoming similar to the New Super Mario Bros. series in a way. But it didn't. What Nintendo Tokyo EAD does in their studio I'll never know, because the magic is very much alive and well here. Super Mario 3D World starts off on a familiar note, with the plot introducing Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Toad, but instead of Peach being kidnapped as usual, they witness a small fairy-like character from a mysterious glass pipe being kidnapped by Bowser, and all four embark on a journey to rescue her. If you've played 3D Land, you'll be right at home with 3D World. It uses the same isometric, fixed-camera distance angle that the former game used instead of the more dynamic camera found in the Galaxy titles. Once again, levels play out on a linear 3D playing field, with the end goal being the flag post. One of the first big changes you'll notice is the option to select whichever of the four characters you want not only before the game starts, but also before each level as well. Four players can join in on the action to boot, with the other three making use of Wii Remotes, Wii U Pro Controllers, or Classic Controller Pros for some fast and frantic action as well. Of course, each of the four characters retain their exact skillset from Super Mario Bros. 2 - Mario is well-rounded, Luigi is a bit loose but can jump a bit farther, Peach can float temporarily in her jumps, and Toad is a quick little bugger. Fear not, though; even if you're playing without friends, 3D World offers a tremendous solo adventure. Perhaps the biggest addition to the game besides the seamless integration of multiplayer and other playable characters are its new costumes, especially the one that really defines 3D World: the Cat Suit. What initially seemed like a cheap gimmick (at least to me) to carry on with the animal suit theme the series has held onto for so long is actually a brilliant way of introducing a new element to the gameplay - climbing. It's amazing how much levels open up with the addition of the ability to dash up walls and even cling to them temporarily; almost every wall and platform is scalable to some degree in every level, opening up more potential areas for secrets than ever before. The suit also brings with it an increased swiftness and the ability to pounce diagonally while in mid-air, which can be useful in certain scenarios. Heck, even some of the enemies get in on the cat action - goombas and bullet bills, specifically - and it's insanely adorable. Beyond the cat suit, other new items include the cannon head, which shoots cannonballs; and the Double Cherry, which creates a duplicate of your character for every cherry you pick up and manages to pull of some really interesting scenarios because of it. Other returning suits and items include the always-useful Boomerang Suit, Fire Flower, Mega Mushroom, Propeller Block, and the famed Tanooki Suit, which still doesn't grant flight or let your character turn into a statue, unfortunately. Kuribo's Shoe also gets a bit of a classic reinvention in this game upon reaching World 3, and the result is one of the game's most memorable moments. What's truly amazing about 3D World is how it takes what worked from prior games and makes it even better. World maps return in this game, but for the first time, you can actually walk freely around, not guided by a path or on rails, and there are secrets that you can find around each world if you look hard enough. Another change is the removal of the Star Coins from 3D Land, instead replaced with something a bit more appropriate for a successor to the Galaxy titles: Green Stars. You'll find three hidden in each course and they'll be your ticket to unlocking certain levels as well as meeting the star quota for castles at the end of each world. Additionally, you'll be able to find one stamp hidden in every level, and they serve a dual purpose. They're kind of like achievements if you view them in the sense that all are needed to truly complete the game, but more than that, they serve as stamps you can actually use when posting messages to Miiverse, which is actually pretty nifty and useful. While the game eases you in with some pretty tame gameplay in the first world or two, things quickly ramp up from there, difficulty-wise. Fantastic new slide levels keep the spirit of Super Mario 64 alive; Mystery Houses keep things extremely varied with different challenges that you must finish in a limited amount of time. A brand new type of level featuring Captain Toad introduces an interesting twist - no jumping, which makes it more of a puzzle to find all three stars in the mini-level. Some of the extra and secret levels have unique ideas and takes on different things - one of my favorites had Mario and friends storming a dojo and being swarmed with enemies as you attempt to make your way through and to the top of the structure. Old enemies that haven't been seen in decades return and are celebrated here, as well as the addition of many new memorable ones. Everything looks fantastic too; Mario and friends have never looked better in HD, and the worlds are vibrant with color and detailed textures. One of the most impressive visual aspects of the game is the application of rain in certain levels; the ground looks moist and wet, your character's costume looks soaked (especially the cat suit), and rain falls on the screen itself, providing that wet, drippy camera outlook with raindrops on it. Also, the soundtrack is nothing short of astounding. 3D World has quite possibly the best and most memorable new songs in any Mario game since Super Mario 64 or perhaps even Super Mario World, whether they be quirky upbeat tunes to snazzy, jazzy, jive and big band songs and more. Rarely does music in a Mario game get any better than this; Nintendo has outdone themselves this time around. I won't lie; when Super Mario 3D World was first announced, I was disappointed that it looked so similar in function to its 3DS predecessor. Super Mario 3D Land was a great game in its own right, but I was looking forward to something that would advance the formula and design Super Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy all used. And yet, 3D World does just that; not only is it an amazing refinement of what 3D Land started, but it's also an amazing celebration of what it means to be a Mario game. This is the first title in the series to really bring back that sense of wonder I got from playing Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Mario World, and Super Mario 64. As such, Super Mario 3D World's creativity is truly inspiring and is an amazing experience that should not be missed by any Wii U owner. Pros + Extensive amount of content, including post-game as well + Insanely creative and fun level design + Soundtrack is amazingly good, even more so than normal for a Mario title Cons - Honestly, I can't think of anything Overall Score: 9.5 (out of 10) Fantastic Super Mario 3D World is a true next-gen Mario title that proves itself worthy of its legacy. Its creative gameplay and world will be remembered in the same vein as games like Super Mario World and Super Mario 64 for years to come.
  5. Super Mario 3D World is set to release a month from now on November 22nd, and Nintendo has released a six minute trailer to get you excited for the Wii U release. This video is chock full of gameplay tidbits you can look forward to. Included are the differences between characters (Luigi jumps higher, Toad runs faster, and Peach can float), a very detailed look at the new power-ups, and more. Are you going to pick up Super Mario 3D World?
  6. Today's Nintendo Direct started with a bang, with Satoru Iwata introducing a brand new trailer for the upcoming Super Mario 3D World for Wii U. The trailer is the first to really give us a broad look at the scope of the game's levels and challenges, and it also reveals a few new power-ups as well. We already knew about the game's headlining power-up, being the Cat transformation, but now there's also a cherry that will create a doppelganger for the character, a cannon-like helmet/hat that shoots cannonballs, a Goomba hat, what looks to be Kuribo's iceskate, and more. Super Mario 3D World will release on Nov. 22. Check out the full trailer below and let us know what you think!
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