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Messages - David

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31
Game Blog / Summer of Mario: MARIO PARTY 2
« on: July 08, 2020, 03:46:54 PM »
Mario & company learn the dark arts in...

Mario Party 2



Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Peach, Wario, and Donkey Kong are back to battle across all sorts of themed boards, as they compete in minigames to gather stars.  After a set number of turns, the player with the highest collection of stars wins!  Just try to get first place in as many minigames as you can.

Just like the first Mario Party, four players take turns rolling dice and moving around the board, completing actions, buying items, and visiting special squares.  At the end of each round, all four players compete in a minigame for bonus coins.  These minigames feature a nice mix of skill and luck based games, more so than some of the later entries in the series.  Players even have the option to duel!  Each themed map features Mario & crew wearing matching costumes (pirates, cowboys, etc.)

There are no "spin the joystick" challenges in this game, most probably removed after so many players injured themselves in the first Mario Party.  An interesting bit of trivia is that this game introduces "Koopa Kids" -- small enemies that somewhat resemble Bowser Jr. or Baby Bowser, but aren't.

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Game Blog / Summer of Mario: WARIO BLAST featuring BOMBERMAN!
« on: July 07, 2020, 04:46:14 PM »
A shoehorned-in Wario hurls explosives in...

Wario Blast: featuring Bomberman!



In 1994, Hudson Soft released Bomberman GB in Japan, the latest entry in the Bomberman series.  Nintendo picked up the publishing rights throughout the rest of the world and added Wario, releasing the game as Wario Blast.  Aside from the addition of Wario, the games are essentially the same.

As Wario or Bomberman, progress through eight worlds, blasting away enemies (Wario fights evil Bomberman clones, while Bomberman fights... Warios).  Kill all of your opponents and move on to the next stage, with bosses at the end of each world.  Make it all the way to the end, defeat the final giant bomb boss, and Wario & Bomberman will drive off into the sunset on their motorcycles.

Wario Blast features Super Game Boy borders and even a four player mode, assuming you have the SNES four player multitap.  Wario Blast's Super Game Boy frame features Wario leering over the playfield, whereas the original Bomberman GB had a blue Bomberman in his place.  Oddly enough, the game doesn't appear to support the Game Link cable.

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Game Blog / Summer of Mario: TETRIS ATTACK
« on: July 06, 2020, 05:06:33 PM »
Yoshi takes over for Lip in...

Tetris Attack



Puzzle games were doing well in the 90s, and Nintendo had a popular Japanese game entitled Panel de Pon.  Rather than release a puzzle game with happy little fairies in the USA, Nintendo swapped out the protagonist Lip for Yoshi and released Tetris Attack for the SNES.  However, when it came time to release a Game Boy Panel de Pon, Nintendo released the Yoshi version worldwide.  1996 saw the release of Tetris Attack (a.k.a. "Yoshi's Panel de Pon") in North America, Europe & Japan.

Line up rows of blocks to make them disappear.  Play in Endless, Time Trial, Stage, Puzzle, or Vs. mode.  Help Yoshi battle against all of Baby Bowser's forces!

The game has nothing to do with Tetris other than the title.  In fact, it's possible the Tetris name is keeping this version from seeing a general rerelease, as Nintendo would need to relicense the trademark.  Later Panel de Pon games were released in the west with the "Puzzle League" name.

34
Game Blog / Summer of Mario: MARIO'S OPEN GOLF
« on: July 03, 2020, 08:08:59 PM »
Mario wears the red, white, and blue in...

Mario's Open Golf



In 1991, Nintendo released the PlayChoice-10 arcade system, which essentially allowed players to buy time (often 300 seconds per quarter) to play modified versions of NES games.  One of the games released for the PlayChoice-10 was Mario's Open Golf, a variant version of NES Open Tournament Golf / Mario Open Golf.  The Club House (for saving the game) is missing, but otherwise you can play as much Stroke Play or Match Play golf as you can squeeze into your budget.

The title screen for Mario's Open Golf features the same artwork as NES Open Tournament Golf, with Mario and Luigi flanked by Princess Peach and Princess Daisy.  (The NES game's instruction manual clearly shows Daisy in the artwork, whereas the game's title screen doesn't make it quite as clear.)

While the in-game art renders Mario's outfit differently, promo art indicates that Mario is wearing red and white striped overalls & hat, with a blue shirt covered with white stars.  This outfit later returned in Super Mario Odyssey.

35
Game Blog / Summer of Mario: DR. MARIO 64
« on: July 02, 2020, 03:48:24 PM »
Dr. Mario battles the Wario Land 3 cast in...

Dr. Mario 64



Mad Scienstein (from Wario Land 3) & Wario have stolen the Megavitamins, and Dr. Mario has to get them back!  In Story Mode, you'll battle against all sorts of characters from Wario Land 3, including the infamous Rudy the Clown, and evil... Vampire Wario?  If you're feeling more villainous, try playing through Story Mode as Wario (and face off against Metal Mario!)  There's also a marathon mode, as well as various multiplayer modes for up to four players.

Dr. Mario 64 was only released in North America.  Japan did receive port of the game in 2003, as part of the Nintendo Puzzle Collection.

36
The free Nintendo Switch game Jump Rope Challenge has been updated, and the new update includes a variety of costumes for your rabbit jump roper.  Mario, Luigi, Peach, Toad, Bowser, and Wario costumes are available, as well as costumes from a variety of other Nintendo titles.  The title can be downloaded from the Switch eShop or from Nintendo.com's game store.

Source: NOA Twitter Account

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Game Blog / Summer of Mario: WARIO LAND II
« on: July 01, 2020, 01:05:27 PM »
It's Wario's third adventure, confusingly named...

WARIO LAND II



Captain Syrup and her "Black Sugar Gang" have stolen Wario's treasure -- and Wario's ready to ram, stomp & hurl Gooms all over the place in his quest to get it all back! Unlike his first two outings (more on that in a moment), this time Wario doesn't use garlic to power-up.  In fact, Wario is essentially immortal in this game - he can't be killed.  Being hit by most enemies merely results in Wario getting knocked back and losing some coins.  Some enemy attacks do temporarily transform Wario into odd shapes, which grant special abilities: getting smashed flat turns Wario into a pancake-thin form than can slip through cracks, getting stung by a bee and Wario will puff up and float into the air, and those are only two of the many odd forms Wario can be mangled into.

Wario Land II is quirky for several reasons outside of its gameplay.  It's actually the third Wario Land game, following Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 and Virtual Boy Wario Land, and it discards the power-up system used by both of its predecessors.  Wario Land II was originally released as a black & white title in North America and Europe in early 1998, but not in Japan.  Instead, a Game Boy Color compatible color version was released in Japan and the rest of the world at the end of 1998.  Both the original and color versions feature Super Game Boy borders and color palettes.

An interesting trivia note: there is a penguin enemy that lobs balls at Wario -- being hit by a ball turns Wario into "Crazy Wario" form.  In that form, Wario stumbles around in a haze, randomly burping and generally being difficult to control; dunking Wario into a pool of water returns him to normal.  However, in the Japanese version, the penguin tosses bottles at Wario... which turn him into Drunk Wario.

38
Game Blog / Summer of Mario: FORTUNE STREET
« on: June 30, 2020, 05:04:54 PM »
What happens when you cross Dragon Quest and Monopoly with Mario? You get ...

FORTUNE STREET



Dragon Warrior III / Dragon Quest III featured a board game segment entitled Sugoroku / Pachisi.  Players rolled a die and moved along a board, collecting valuables and trying to reach the exit.  This proved popular enough that the designer of Dragon Quest decided to release an expanded, stand-alone board game on the Famicom.  Itadaki Street: Watashi no Omise ni Yottette was released on the Famicom in 1991, and was followed by several sequels.  Some of those sequels featured characters from the Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy series.  In 2007, Itadaki Street DS was released, featuring characters from both the Dragon Quest and Mario series.

In 2011, Itadaki Street Wii was released in the west as "Fortune Street," featuring characters and stages from the Mario games as well as the Dragon Quest series.  Gameplay is reminiscent of Monopoly, but with some differences.  Each game board has a cash goal -- the first player to accumulate a net worth equal to that goal, and then get to the bank, wins.  Players can buy property, collect rent, and develop property much like in Monopoly, but they can also acquire stock (which can raise in value as other players develop their associated properties).  Players can develop properties without owning an entire set, but owning a set allows for greater development than owning just a single property.

The Mario aspects of Fortune Street include both characters and stages.  Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Toad, Yoshi, Birdo, Donkey & Diddy Kong, Wario, Waluigi, Bowser and Bowser Jr. are all playable characters.  Mario themed stages include Mario Stadium, Starship Mario, Delfino Plaza, Mario Circuit, Yoshi's Island, Peach's Castle, Bowser's Castle, Good Egg Galaxy, and Super Mario Bros. 1-1.

Fortune Street is still the only Itadaki Street game to be released outside of Japan, aside from an Android/iOS spinoff.

39
Game Blog / Summer of Mario: MARIO'S PICROSS
« on: June 29, 2020, 03:06:24 PM »
Mario suits up for archaeologically-themed nonogram puzzles in...

MARIO'S PICROSS



In this Mario themed puzzler, you solve nonograms -- picture logic puzzles.  Presented with a grid, you must determine which blocks in the grid are to be filled in and which are to be skipped, based on the number clues on the outside of the grid.  Shade in the grid properly and you'll end up with a pixelated picture!

The Mario theme of the game is limited to his appearance in the top corner of each puzzle screen, with only a small handful of puzzles having Mario themes.
 Mario's archaeology outfit ties into the motif of "chipping away" at the puzzles to reveal the hidden images.  There are 256 puzzles to be solved, and you can unlock a Time Trial mode.  The game also features Super Game Boy borders.

Due to the game's general lack of success, its two sequels (Picross 2 & Mario's Super Picross) weren't released outside of Japan, although Mario's Super Picross eventually received a Virtual Console rerelease on European Wii and Wii U systems.

Some of the music from this title reappears in the DS game Picross DS.  Mario's outfit reappears in Super Mario Odyssey.

40
Game Blog / Summer of Mario: YOSHI'S SAFARI
« on: June 26, 2020, 02:44:59 PM »
Mario shoots the bad guys with guns!  No, it's not Smash Bros., it's...

YOSHI'S SAFARI



Yoshi's Safari is a first person shooter starring Mario, played using the Super Scope 6 light gun.  Riding atop Yoshi, Mario runs through multiple worlds, blasting away flying Paragoombas, Paratroopas, and more.  At the end of each stage, you'll face off against one of Bowser's seven Koopalings -- but this time, they all pilot giant mechs.  Make sure to grab Mushrooms, Starmen, and other power-ups to help you along your way... just try not to shoot Yoshi in the back of the head.

The game's premise is that Jewelry Land has been conquered by Bowser, and that Princess Peach has sent Mario and Yoshi to save the kingdom and its rulers, King Fret & Prince Pine.  It's worth noting that this 1993 release was the first game to use "Princess Peach" instead of "Princess Toadstool" in the west, predating Super Mario 64 by three years!

The standard game only allows the player to shoot the blaster, with Yoshi automatically running through the stages.  However, two player mode does exist, and allows Yoshi to be controller on a SNES controller while the Super Scope 6 is used to fire, making the game a little more complex.

Yoshi's Safari is generally fun, but somewhat limited in gameplay.  Still, it is the only Mario first person rail shooter released by Nintendo.

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Game Blog / Summer of Mario: WARIO WARE: D.I.Y.
« on: June 25, 2020, 02:18:03 PM »
Before Mario Maker, there was...

WARIO WARE: D.I.Y.



Like the other Wario Ware titles, Wario Ware D.I.Y. challenges the player to quickly complete a series of "microgames" without making any mistakes.  Jump over a single Goomba, tap left to stick out your leg at the last moment, or press A to stop a record on Wario -- each microgame is just a few seconds long and only asks the player to complete a simple action.  The challenge in Wario Ware has always been in keeping up with the game as you jump from minigame to minigame without a break, while unlocking all of Wario & his employees' software.

What makes THIS Wario Ware different is that you can now make your own games.

Wario Ware D.I.Y. provides players with a simple visual scripting program, allowing them to create their own microgames.  You have complete control over game logic, scripting, music, and graphics -- it even includes a Mario Paint-themed sprite graphics editor!  In addition, you can view and edit ALL of the microgames included in Wario Ware D.I.Y..

Players could upload their games to Nintendo's server, and download games by others.  Games could also be sent to the Wii's Wario Ware: D.I.Y. Showcase" and played on your TV.  However, the shutdown of the Nintendo DS online services means that none of this is still possible.  The game also features an achievement-like system: the player earns medals for completing various actions, and the medals unlock music tracks; however, without the online connection,  many medals can no longer be earned, locking away several of the songs.

42
Game Blog / Summer of Mario: WARIO LAND: SUPER MARIO LAND 3
« on: June 24, 2020, 07:11:09 PM »
While Mario & crew have seen a variety of spin-offs over the years, Wario's first starring adventure is worth taking a look back on.

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3



Hot off the success of Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Nintendo RD1 took the opportunity to release a platformer starring their own creation -- Wario.  As the yellow-clad anti-plumber, run and jump through levels, hurl your enemies to their doom, and find the hidden treasures.  Your ultimate goal is to gather enough treasure to build yourself a gigantic castle, and to do that you'll need to "liberate" the golden statue of Princess Toadstool from the Brown Sugar Pirates and their leader, Captain Syrup.

Like Super Mario Land 2, Wario Land features an overworld map with plenty of sublocations to explore.  Gathering treasure and coins is important, and you'll money not only to build your castle at the end, but to unlock hidden rooms, save the game, and even to use as a weapon -- at any point in the game, you can hurl your OWN coins at enemies to kill 'em.  Don't waste too much of your cash, or you might only be able to build a squalid little shack at the end of the game.

While this game is officially "Super Mario Land 3," it really serves as the first in the Wario Land series.  It does have more in common with the Mario platformers than later titles, though: power-up blocks provide garlic pots that act much as the Super Mushroom, upgrading "small Wario" into the full-size Wario we all know.  Further upgrades allow Wario to ram through enemies and blocks, shoot fire from his hat, or even soar through the skies -- the only other Wario game to feature this power-up system is Virtual Boy Wario Land.  In addition, this game features the weirdly familiar "Gooms" -- they look a lot like the Goomba (Galoombas?) from Super Mario World, and serve as the generic foe; hop on their heads to knock them over, and toss them at other enemies.

It's worth noting that Mario does make a small cameo in this game.  If Wario succeeds in defeating Captain Syrup's forces, Mario will fly in to carry off the statue of Princess Toadstool before Wario can collect it, waving as he flies away.

Yeah, Mario's kind of a jerk in this game.

43
Game Blog / Summer of Mario: GAME & WATCH GALLERY
« on: June 23, 2020, 03:42:40 PM »
It's time to look at another slightly lesser known Mario title...

GAME & WATCH GALLERY



Play through simulations of the classic Game & Watch titles Manhole, Fire, Octopus, and Oil Panic.  While that sounds somewhat interesting, what is more interesting is that the collection comes with modernized remakes of all the game, starring Mario and the other Mushroom Kingdom folks.  Help Yoshi keep brainless Toads from falling through manholes, watch the Mario Bros. as they rescue hundreds of Toads (and others) from a burning castle, collect treasure while dodging the wrathful arms of a giant octopus, and help Mario as he... stops Bowser from dropping burning oil on innocents like Yoshi, Luigi, and DK. Jr..  Bowser has mellowed over the years, it seems.

Developed by Tose and Nintendo, Game & Watch Gallery was released in 1997 across the world, but with different names in different regions.  "Game Boy Gallery" appeared in Japan on Feb. 1 1997, while North America received Game & Watch Gallery in May of 1997.  In Europe and Oceania, it was released as "Game Boy Gallery 2" as the sequel to an earlier collection of Game & Watch remakes entitled "Game Boy Gallery."

The game featured Super Game Boy frames and tinting, and a non-playable gallery of other Game & Watch titles.

44
Site Discussion / Re: Which staff member will wed first?
« on: June 23, 2020, 02:05:27 AM »
I forgot this was a thing.

I'm mildly creeped out -- again.

45
Game Blog / Summer of Mario: YOSHI
« on: June 22, 2020, 05:26:51 PM »
Summer is officially upon us, and it's time to take a look through some of the lesser known entries in the Mario gaming universe...

YOSHI


Yoshi represents one of the odder Mario spin-offs.  In this "falling block" puzzle game, Goombas, Pirahna Plants, and Bloops fall from the sky, stacking up on four trays.  Instead of controlling the path of the falling items, the player can have Mario swap the trays -- any tray can switch places with the tray(s) sitting next to it.  Match two of the same enemies and they'll vanish, giving you points.  If you want high scores though, you'll want to AVOID matching like enemies -- instead, let the bottom half of an egg shell drop onto a platform and wait for a large pile of bad guys to stack up on top of it.  Cap off the stack with the TOP half of an egg shell and the entire stack will disappear (and a Yoshi will appear to give you bonus points).  There's no "end" to the game, but play long enough and you'll occasionally see a small cut-scene of Mario and Yoshi walking across the screen.  If that's not enough, you can always challenge a friend in the multiplayer versus mode.

Yoshi was developed by Game Freak (better known for Pok√©mon), and released in the USA for both the NES and Game Boy in June and July of 1991.  It had previously been released in Japan as "Yoshi no Tamago" (meaning "Yoshi's Egg") in December 1991, while Europe received "Mario & Yoshi" in December of 1992.

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