Guest Blog by Todd M @The Top Loader
Mario is missing ... where is the star of our show? Wait, surely I'm in the wrong game because this is Luigi's Mansion. I was so wrong about the Gamecube - and Luigi - I never gave him a second thought as he always comes in second, always player 2 and never player 1. The Gamecube looked liked child's play as the launch line up looked horrific because while Mario was getting suited up with a fludd stuck to his back, Luigi is left to clean up the mansion with a vacuum strapped to his back and it sure ain't sunshine's and rainbows where he is because Luigi is moving around like a shivering, thumbling bumbling mess, but we are here to have fun so use that Poltergust 3000 and suck it up. He seems to need help, so who's he gonna call as his nose bounces when he walks and sings out for Mario when he finally talks. Boo-who you can't simply look away to stop these kinds of ghosts so try throwing a light onto the subject to really get these hearts pounding as we scare some ghosts to beat them at there own game with this C-stick in one hand and the D-pad in the other with a little Z on top.
So what's the story here? Well after owning Sony consoles for almost a decade I tried my luck with a Gamecube.. no, I mean Luigi won a mansion from a contest he never entered.. now that's lucky if not a little suspicious. My Gamecube's story was a little lucky because I got my console with three games for 100 Australian dollars (the price of a game) which sounds a little suspicious but true because .. it bombed here bad. My fondest memory is playing this with my wife over ten years ago, she loved it so much and she isn't really that into games the way I am. I even let her deal with the final boss - on her own - and now ten years later here we are again finding keys in treasure chests, working out puzzles, looking at maps while collecting hearts .. wait, what .. are we playing Zelda here? No, well What am I doing because I don't have a Cluedo of what to do here, well it's elementary my dear reader if you find the candle stick in the library all fingers would point to Colonel Mustard .. not to play detective in a game by the Parker Brothers in a game with Mario brothers - but you get the idea. The clues are found around the place and you have to solve each room with its accompanying ghost with something a little obvious or sometimes finding a not so obvious way into their heart .
Guest Blogger: Justin @JQWits
Diddy Kong Racing (N64) is a game that I have extremely fond memories for that date back to when I was just a small child experiencing 3D environments on a Nintendoconsole for the very first time. When this game first came out in 1997, the Nintendo 64 was still very new to me and having only seen Mario Kart, it was a nice little surprise to see a new kart racer come out so soon; especially since it features its own lineup of characters, many of which I had never seen before. Sure, some people slammed Diddy Kong Racing for being a Mario Kart clone, and for being too easy, but I disagree with both of those assessments. Because although Diddy Kong Racing can be pretty easy at times, there were still a few challenges that had me tearing my hair out when I first played this game as a kid (I’m looking at you Silver Coin Challenge in Snowball Valley). And as far as being a Mario Kart clone, that’s completely crazy as RARE introduced entirely new aspects to the gameplay like boss battles and Silver Coin Challenges, two features that Mario Kart definitely did not have back then or even now; which makes me wonder if there is any room today for a new release of this long forgotten racer.
Diddy Kong Racing also introduced an entire overworld where players can goof off and not really accomplish anything, adding greatly to the general atmosphere in my opinion. In fact, one of my favorite childhood memories is flying around Timber’s Island for hours in my spiffy plane, hovercraft, and go-kart, simply taking in the scenery. I mean, how great is it that you have not one, not two, but three vehicles to choose from? I hadn’t seen anything like that before this game, and driving them all around that gorgeous island whenever I wanted was so much fun that I'll never forget. That’s one of the things that I loved most about the Nintendo 64; the exploration of these entirely new and never before seen 3D environments; it was quite a time to be alive. And I don’t know about anyone else, but I absolutely love the water in this game; the look, the feel, it’s so warm and inviting! I still remember the first time that I saw that gorgeous H2O; it was the single greatest thing that I had ever seen back then, and it's still pretty nice to look at today in 2016.
Guest Blog by Kevin K @Agent_Prince
That’s the ultimate goal isn’t it? To create the perfect video game. Is Super Metroid that game? Did the Super Nintendo host some of the the most perfect Video Games? Very few video games are considered as such, and even then it is of course only opinion. There is no fact in a critic’s verdict, whether it’s print/online. People often forget that, and it is of course the same for you; we’re all critics after all. But there is the matter of consistency to take into account, which is where one of my ‘perfect’ game choices gets a unanimously positive critique/public view: Super Metroid. For those that have played through Yoshio Sakamoto’s action/sci-fi magnum opus, I may be wasting my words on you; but I’m confident you’ll read on to either nod/shake your head at this ‘critic’.
Super Metroid is as perfect as a video game can be. With its super sci-fi intro, a dark atmospheric tone is set from the get-go. This never dissipates but, even more impressively, increases or decreases depending on the location/situation. The elevator ride down to Ridley’s lair is a prime example; I don’t think a 16-bit videogame had ever given me goosebumps before. The crisp, fluent visuals complement the soundtrack perfectly, and of course vice versa, the soundtrack often giving the perfect nod of anticipation for the next section. A great example of this is the descent into Brinstar; it fades in superbly, and sets the tone for the action packed section up ahead.
Then there is the learning curve; which is seamless in its execution. It’s no different to previous games in the series in that you start with a simple blaster, but the aforementioned visuals and power of the SNES not only leaves enough subtle hints, but also develops the mind-set that success is dependent upon. Add to that the perfect pacing, an average play through of roughly ten hours first time around, which might not sound like much, but like many a Nintendo classic, it’s highly likely you’ll return for at least a second run through. Add icing to the cake in the form of one of the best and most memorable video game endings ever, and you have an instant classic.
Now I’m sure you’ve heard all this before, in some form or another. I believe Super Metroid is not a perfect video game just for its vision, production and execution, but more than that. Back in 1994 when it was originally released, I was 13 years old. Video Games were already a big part of my life, and had been for 8 years, and games such as Super Metroid only served as a positive aid to my lateral thinking, evaluation, puzzle solving, and general acumen.
Over 20 years on, it not only stands the test of time, but has indeed got better with age. Super Metroid is not just technically brilliant, but still technically brilliant, even to this day. And with the beauty of virtual console, it is already being passed on to further generations. That, for me, is perfection.
Guest Blogger: Kevin @Agent_Prince
Retro Game Reviews. Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and more
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