At some time in the past I used to have some amount of skillz, but no more. Nothing has proven this more than me playing the New Super Mario Bros. Wii. You can play it like a standard Mario game in which case it plays pretty much like every old school 2D Mario platformer. It really reminded me of Super Mario Bros. 3 quite a bit. The other way to play it is is multiplayer which just adds to the madness. The second you add another player on the screen the game changes completely. It makes many things in the game that were simple very hard and several hard tasks very simple. If you play the game with the right people it will add to the fun especially if you use the bubble trick during some scrolling parts and if you use the team ground pound. Also partners can make getting the coins so much easier. But if you play with some other people death by scrolling and “stolen” powerups can lead to some petty grudges. Our little group pretty well together. We beat the game proper without too much difficulty but having some very good players did not hurt. We still had to go back and get all the star coins but I think we had a great time.
Playing New Super Mario Brothers Wii with 4 players is the only way to roll, seriously. It is fun, it is insane, it is hysterical, and it is deadly! Biggest issue that we all had was when someone would get hit there would be a slight pause of delay which totally threw off your rhythm causing much mayhem and plenty of extra deaths. This was never more evident than in the hidden world in World 8 with the rollercoaster-like contraption. I also found the game to be the right mix of difficulty, which is certainly ramped up with multi-player. While I agree that is references Super Mario Bros. 3 a lot, I think it really took a ton for Super Mario World, possibly my favorite, and things from Mario 64 and even Super Mario Bros. 2 U.S. This game was a wonderful culmination of great pieces from each older game and I have faith that when they make a sequel, they had better make a sequel, that they will fix some of the annoyances and add even more fun stuff! I can’t recommend this game enough, it’s a gem, Mario’s still got it!
Dissidia: Final Fantasy is Square Enix’s grand Final Fantasy crossover action RPG. It has a main character and villain from each of the main games from one to ten. The choices seem pretty logical for the most part. The gameplay is a fairly entertaining action RPG style that bills itself as a fighting game. You use regular attacks to build up bravery points and then use special attacks to deal HP damage equal to the number of bravery points you have built up. If you can’t stand action games there is a turn based mode you can play as well. It still has some timing based elements but it is far simpler. The story mode is super duper cliche. Light vs dark and gathering crystals is about as standard as you get. You are not here for the story but to have Bartz vs Sephiroth or Terra vs Tidus much like any other fighting game. I know there is still a bunch of stuff I have yet to unlock by going all the way through the story mode and I have not even touched any of the villains. I am happy that difficulty is very variable at your convenience. I think I will be playing this during my commute for awhile. If this game does well I am sure they can make dozens upon dozens of sequels.
Natsu e no Tobira is for the most part a tragic love and friendship story, I thought it was going to be BL, and there is one element of that, but it is more of a complex tetrahedron of boys and girls. We follow Marion and his three guy friends one high school summer (in what seems like France because like 75% of all 70’s shojo takes place in France it seems!). Marion is cold and logical toward love until he meets an older, experienced woman who takes him to the heights of passion! This starts to change the dynamic between the friends, who are each unique in there way of approaching the world. Then it is basically sad, sad, sad from there on. This movie is littered with broken hearts, betrayal, duels, suicide, and misunderstandings in amazing melodramatic fashion. Unfortunately it’s hard to connect to the characters because of the length and the breakneck pace. There are also some very odd sequences of animation at points, maybe they are symbolic but they came off strange. It is decent enough but quite a depressing ride.
Bleach: The 3rd Phantom is the Bleach strategy RPG. The game starts before the present time where you pick to play as one of two twin shinigami who have recently started working as Soul Reapers. In the beginning of the game you meet a slew of the cast when they were younger and eventually engage in a fight with Arturo Plateado that transports them to the present. There is some attempt to wedge in the story in between the Soul Society arc and the Hueco Mundo arc. It works better in some places than others. Overall it is an excuse to explore the world of Bleach a bit outside what we see of Ichigo’s perspective. It is interesting to see certain characters like Kaien in a little more detail. The original characters for the game are fine but none of them stand out. The game play in the strategy RPG section is serviceable but not going to amaze anyone who is not already a Bleach fan. It is a solid game but nothing that will shock anyone either way.
First of all the box itself of Gundam Seed Complete Best CD/DVD is very nice as are the booklet which has tid-bits from the musical artists and the two inserts which fold out to mini-posters of the ending pictures (if you remember they are very long images that are panned over during the ending songs). As for the actual content, there are some ups and downs. It is a singles collection, plus some remixes, so the actual songs are just fine as Gundam Seed had a great number of good songs. The remixes are variable from forgettable (song name) to entertaining (song name). There is also a DVD that kind of disappointed me. It has all the openings and endings from the show, but they aren’t even creditless versions. And that’s it! I think at the very least they could have added the actual music videos of the songs since a lot of them were big singles and therefore had such. This is an okay set, but really they could have put more effort into it.
Since New Super Mario Brothers Wii has the return of the Koopalings I figured it was only fair to make them the picture of the week: