Saturday, June 23, 2012

Top 10 Favorite Things About New Unova

As we know, Black 2 and White 2 will have plenty of new features. Since it was released today in Japan, I feel like it should be time to say my 10 favorite things that will happen in the new games in no order.

10. More Areas

If anyone else has played Black and White, many of us would agree that Unova was nothing more than a large oval, but we now know that there will be plenty of new areas to explore in Black 2 and White 2. Finally found a good map with only Black 2 and White 2 locations thanks to Bulbapedia.

Old map
New map

Looking at them, the map to the left has a lot more to explore compared to the original. Many new areas include Aspertia City, Virbank City, a new cave that is made of magma in one version and just a cold wet cave in the other and may more to know.

9. New Leaders

New leaders are to be in the game. I expected there to be many, but there are only going to be three. The last five are all from Black and White. Still new challenges, so game is still refreshed.

8. World Tournament

This is a new feature where tournament is held consisting of past gym leaders which you get to battle. It feels to me like a good replacement to the Battleground in Platinum. Supposedly, Gym leaders will be downloaded to the game when they are released.

7. Pokemon Dream Radar

The Dream Radar is the upcoming app for the 3DS that allows you to catch pokemon and transfer them to your copy of Black 2 or White 2. It is unique because it is 3DS exclusive, giving 3DS users something to be proud of. I can't wait to download it and try it.

6. Frozen Unova

When I saw the frozen map, I thought it just covering up things that Game Freak was hiding. Apparently the region is frozen in certain parts according to pre-released pictures. Since all technical difficulties have been eliminated, I can finally put up this frozen picture and I will try to find more in the future.

5. Continuing Story

In Black and White, many answers were untold, like where N went, who is the Shadow Triad, what happens to the Sages after they are arrested, what is the complete backstory of the two women in N's Castle, and many more. According to what I see, many of these questions will be answered.

4. Exclusive Pokemon

The three pokemon, Keldeo, Meloetta and Genesect were known before Black and White were released, but were never revealed. According to Game Freak, Black 2 and White 2 will be the right time for these pokemon to come around.

3. Pokewood

Pokewood is a new movie theater in which you can help make movies. To me, it sounds like a fairly good alternative for Musicals, which get fairly boring after a while. While I am not sure how it will 100% work, I'm sure it will be great.

2. Black and White Kyurem

Kyurem's new forms are very exciting for me since they are the new mascots. They are always welcome in my book. Also, they are rather interesting to see and make me wonder what is going to happen.

1. Expanded Pokedex

To me, an expanded pokedex is always welcome. Compared to before, the pokedex will have 300 pokemon, consisting of pokemon from previous generations. Some pokemon I wanted made it in, some did not, either way, I'm happy that more older pokemon are going to have another appearance (but Zubat?!).

And these are why I can't wait for Black 2 and White 2 (but seriously, Zubat??!!).

Review: Mario Kart: Super Circuit

Mario Kart: Super Circuit is the 3rd game in the Mario Kart franchise that was released on the Gameboy Advance and was released as one of the 3DS Ambassador games. While it doesn't stick out as much as the other Mario Kart games and may feel weird at first, it is still a fun game. It also takes  the position as the first handheld Mario Kart game. Like Super Mario Kart, it has 20 courses and now has five cups instead of the usual four, but also includes the original courses from Super Mario Kart. It also has the original  50, 100 and 150cc classes, along with a new mode, the Quick Run mode, where you can race on any course unlocked without having to enter a whole cup. Time Trials also makes its return, like all the other games. 

Multi player returns and requires a link cable and at least one copy of the game. One problem is that the multiplayer is unplayable on 3DS because it has no way to read a link cable due to it being a wireless system, which is a classic fail. Battle mode returns and like before, only available in multi player. Then there is still versus and grand prix mode like before, where you can race your friends. As I mentioned before, you need only one copy of the game to play multi player, so if two Gameboy Advances and a link cable are lying around, find a possible way to get this game and have a friend try it along with you. 

As I mentioned before, the Super Mario Kart courses are all unlockable, but there a few problems. One is ALL of the road hazards are removed, ranging from the pipes to oil spills. Second, backgrounds from the game's main courses are used in the classic courses instead of remaking the old ones, which probably took away nostalgia factors.                                     

If this were in Super Circuit, that pipe on the top screen would be gone and the background would be replaced with the background in the course above,

After all that, the controls tend to be a little slippery, making it difficult to turn and do drifts. It doesn't ruin the fun, but I feel that the controls could have been more polished. Overall, it's not the worst controls, though. 

The graphics are pretty good for Gameboy Advance standards. It uses Mode 7 style graphics that make the flat courses look 3D. The racer models are the same ones from Mario Kart 64, in which if you read my review for it, I mentioned the models looked really bad for its system. They were lowered down graphic wise for the Gameboy Advance, in which they don't look bad on. The backgrounds on the courses were very nicely done along with the courses themselves. The Mode 7 stages are great and look good in the game. Graphic-wise, I pretty much have no complaints.

While graphics are good, this topic is a little mixed. Most of the music is in fact enjoyable, while most of it appears to be pretty low tech for the Gameboy Advance. Voices are just flat out weird. Many of the voices are from the Japanese version of Mario Kart 64, which sound slightly weird and a little unrealistic. A few characters use voices from the American version, which sound more comfortable . I don't really have a comment on the sound effects, as they sound decent and well enough for its time. 

This game, like other Mario Kart games, is a must have. Sadly, the Gameboy Advance era is over, so this game is rarer than it originally was. It was released as a virtual console game for the 3DS Ambassador program, so if you are a 3DS ambassador and have not downloaded it yet, I highly recommend you download this one. There are no current plans to release it to the public, but trusting Nintendo this may happen in the future. If it was, this would indeed be a must have for your virtual console collection.



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Facebook Page is Now Up

The official page for Nintendo Extreme is now up and running. Please follow it for upcoming articles and news. Here is the link.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: Mario Kart 64

Welcome to my first review. I plan to make more reviews as I get better. Until then, enjoy.

Mario Kart 64 is the second game in the Mario Kart series and was originally released on the Nintendo 64. It is an overall classic and should be tried out for different reasons. While it does have pros and cons, it's still an overall fun experience.

Before I go on, it should be easy to explain. Mario Kart 64 is a kart racing game where your goal is to win 1st place in four cups, Mushroom, Flower, Star and Special. In each cup is four courses making an overall sixteen courses to enjoy.

Like already mentioned, Mario Kart 64 is a racing game where you try to be the best in racing go-karts through sixteen racecourses. The courses themselves are quite colorful, interesting and a blast to play on. The game is made up into a single player and multi player mode. In single, you can race against computer players in Grand Prix mode (which requires practice and at times luck). During races, you get certain items that are meant to help you gain first place. These include mushrooms to help you gain speed (though it may not feel like it), various Koopa shells to throw at your competition, banana peels to annoy your competition, and many more. You must race through the four courses in one of the four cups and win as many races as possible. But that is only in one of three difficulties. 50cc is pretty much is beginners, 100cc is the for anyone that is used to the game and 150cc is harder and more advanced. There is also a harder unlockable difficulty but I wish not to spoil it. The next mode in single player is Time Trial, which you basically try to race against the clock and try to beat your current time. It also can be used to practice for courses that you may want to practice on.

Multi player is a more filled mode. Two to four players can play so this game is fun to play with friends, siblings, or anybody that wants to. Grand Prix mode is in this mode, only you have two race against your friends and computers. Versus mode is where you race only against your friends, which is more fun. Like Grand Prix, you grab items and throw them at your friends. The only difference is that small cars called Bomb Cars infest the stages for a little extra difficulty. Also, you get to chose a lone stage instead of having to race a whole cup. The final mode is Battle, where you battle your friends in arena-like courses. Each player starts with three balloons tied to their karts. You must throw shells or place bananas in their paths in order for a balloon to pop. When all three balloons are gone, you lose. If you are playing with more than two players, anyone that loses all their balloons before only two karts are left will turn into Bomb Cars, which they can drive into anyone they chose, blow up, and cause that person to lose a balloon, which makes ironic revenge.

The controls are fairly confusing and a little hard to use at first, but it doesn't deem the game unplayable and only requires adjusting. While on the subject on controls, please compare how the controls are used on the original Nintendo 64 controller and on the Wii Classic Controller.

Nintendo 64 controller

Wii Classic Controller (also can be seen as Classic Controller Pro layout)
One problem with these two controllers, though, is that the Classic Controller does not have a memory card slot. The Nintendo 64 controller has a slot in which a certain memory card was to be placed. Using this card, the game would save ghost data. This is the data of your best times in Time Trials, which you can race to help you attempt to beat your time or just race for fun. Here is one of the memory cards below.
This card is placed into the port on the back of the Nintendo 64 controller.  Because there's no such thing on the Classic Controller, that means trouble.
Because there is no memory card, the game reads it as if a memory card is not inserted. That means that it is completely impossible to save ghosts. While this does not bother me, many people may wish to do so if they have played any future Mario Kart titles before this one.

This one is a little mixed, while the courses themselves are well done for a Nintendo 64 game, the racers appear to be nothing but flat sheets of pixels that are barely animate. It's a shame to see comparing it to other Nintendo 64 games that use polygons for such things.

When compared there is a big gap between Mario in Mario Kart 64 (above) and Super Mario 64 (below). As you can see, the Mario above is fairly pixilated and definitely looks like a print on paper, while the Mario below looks more three dimensional and uses more movement. Overall, yes the graphics used to design the courses are rather nice, but the racers' designs are pretty poor.

The music is fairly catchy, fun and interesting to listen to. Each course has a very fun and catchy tune to go with it. The title screen and menu music is fairly fun too. Voice acting is well recorded and easily heard, though it may get annoying and a little awkward after you hear it for a while. When playing and hearing the racers scream like kids for a while, especially if you're caught in a group of racers using items or running into hazards, it may get a little annoying.

With a fun idea of racing, throwing items and duking it out with friends, Mario Kart 64 is a great game and a recommendation for Virtual Console. While it does suffer from a few things thrown around, it is nothing that will render the whole game useless. It's strong multi player is a joy that can be used to eliminate boredom with a few friends. If you plan to download it on your Wii, I would highly recommend so. It costs the usual Nintendo 64 Virtual Console price, which is 1000 Wii Points. Overall, this game has proved it's worthy.

Gamplay- 5
Graphics- 4
Music- 5
Voices- 3

Overall- 9.2

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Virtual Console Recommendations

For fun, I am doing a new segment where I discuss virtual console games and if I would recommend them or not. This segment may appear monthly since I do not have that many virtual console games. For now, I guess I'll get things rolling. Please do not accept these as 100% reviews, as I hope to start those later on.

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars

Platform: Snes

Release Date (first)
U.S.: May 13, 1996
Japan: March 9, 1996

Virtual Console Release
U.S.: September 1, 2008
Japan: June 24, 2008
Europe: August 22, 2008
Australia: August 22, 2008

The first game I recommend is Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. This certain game is unique in many ways. First of all, the game was designed by Squaresoft, who we know as Square Enix. Second, it is the first RPG in the Mario series, making it the possible start of the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi series. Third, Square Enix (or Squaresoft) is a genius in designing because the game's graphics resemble that of a 3D game, which is quite impressive for the Snes.

Though not as close as Star Fox, this game is still  quite impressive for its console.

 As for the story, it is quite interesting, but I wish not to spoil it. All I will give you is this odd and very important part of the story.

Bowser did not add a new decoration, this guy simply decide to rudely walk in, or fall in.
Though it is a good overall game, it still has one problem. This is the "run away from a battle option", which seems to not want to do as said. For me, that is a big problem, especially against enemies that you know can probably kill you in one punch. Overall, this game is a must for your Wii virtual console collection.

Recommend? Definitely. With good graphics for its time, interesting characters (including the giant sword), and a good story, I highly recommend this game for anyone.

Super Mario Kart

Platform: Snes

Release Date (first)
U.S.: September 1, 1992
Japan: August 27, 1992
Europe: January 21, 1993

Virtual Console Release
U.S.: November 23, 2009
Japan: June 9, 2009
Europe: April 2, 2010
Australia: April 2, 2010

Super Mario Kart is the first game in the Mario Kart series. Just like the other games, it has what it's known for, interesting racecourses, colorful themes, and the famous battle mode. It is also the only game to use a split screen to show the map on the bottom half of the screen, similar to how the map is shown on the touch screen in Mario Kart 7 and Mario Kart DS. Here is a sample below. 

The game is also the first in its series to have 20 courses, opposing the common 16 courses. It also uses the coin system, which we know is used in Mario Kart 7. If not, basically, you have to collect coins to gain more speed. Unlike other Mario Kart games, this game gives you "lives" instead of a simple re-do. So if you lose a certain race and lose all your lives, it's game over like other Mario games.  Due to the Snes technology, the game is quite simple looking, though, so I would probably recommend this game to people who would like to try the older games in the series. 

Recommend? Possibly. The game itself is good and should be given a try before judging, but newer fans of Mario Kart may not like the ideas of the game having lives and a split screen. However, it does not damage the game in any way and is only something to adjust to. So this game is a definite yes if you are a hardcore fan of Mario Kart. 

Super Mario Bros 3

Platform: Nes

Release Date (first)
U.S.: February 9, 1990
Japan: October 23, 1988
Europe: August 29, 1991

Virtual Console Release
U.S.: November 5, 2007
Japan: December 11, 2007
Europe: November 9, 2007
Australia: November 9, 2007

Super Mario Bros 3 is often called "the best Mario game ever". This is something I would probably agree with. The game has a lot, including colorful worlds and creative levels, which is definitely an upgrade from Super Mario Bros. Basically, if you love side scrolling Mario games, you'll love this little treasure. 

Recommend? Yes. New generation or not, this game should be tried by all Nintendo fans. It is overall fun, catchy, and worth the time played. An overall must for your virtual console collection.

And there we have it, three very interesting Mario games that I highly recommend trying. Thank you for your time and please offer advice in places you see it fit.