Charlotte Says…

Nothing.  Because Kirby’s Return to Dream Land is serious business.

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Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)

Mario Kart 8Another Nintendo console means another installment of the definitive Kart Racing franchise.  Mario, Bowser, Donkey Kong and their friends return to the Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 8.  Like every home console version that’s come before it, Mario Kart 8 tries to keep its style while adding new gameplay elements, tracks, characters and functionality.

Since I was disappointed in the Gamecube release Mario Kart Double Dash I ended up skipping the Wii release, and having never owned any flavour of DS handheld, it’s been a while since I really spun my wheels in a Mario Kart game at all.  With that said, for me, Mario Kart 8 is a return to form.

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Fat Dad With Glasses: Super Nintendo Greatness

If I’m not on record with this statement elsewhere on this blog… I’m going on record with it now.  The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is the greatest console ever made.  Every game on it that I loved, I’ve gone back to play again over 10 years later, and they still hold up.  This can’t be said for many of the great games of older consoles.  It can’t be said of (many) newer consoles, either, because enough time hasn’t past yet.

“But… that’s just nostalgia talking,” I can hear you saying.

“Is not!” was once my go-to response to such naysaying.  But no longer!  I now have evidence.  It’s Charlotte’s favourite system.

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Let’s Play, Nintendo

Since the advent of YouTube, there have been videos about video games, made by fans & reviewers of all types… professional, amateur and asshole.  In recent years, a type of video called “Let’s Play” videos have become increasingly popular.  These videos generally feature gameplay of the game, and overlapping commentary from the player.  They could be intended as humourous, critical or as a walkthrough of the game.  No one seemed to care very much about them for a long while… until YouTube started allowing video creators to monetize their channels and videos using ads.  It’s been a while now, and all hell has started to break loose.

Recently, YouTube has pursued video game companies like Nintendo, Mojang, Microsoft, Sony (and presumably all the others out there) to get them to cash in on the advertising revenue of videos featuring their games.  I haven’t exactly got my finger on the pulse of gaming news any more, but now that a company as big as Nintendo has jumped into the fray, with a seemingly heavy handed, Big Brother-esque stance on the issue, it’s gotten my attention.  Nintendo has apparently claimed all rights to any advertising revenue generated by a video featuring gameplay of their games.  At first glance, depending on where you stand on copyright issues, it seems either pretty shitty, or perfectly  understandable.  But like everything else in life, it’s never quite so black or white.

Okay, maybe not everything.

Okay, maybe not everything.

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Do Want

Do Want.

Do Want.

Apparently these two Japanese exclusive figures are entering a re-release phase that will have them end up at North American distribution houses.

If you’re wondering, these are two iconic Nintendo characters.  That’s Link, from The Legend of Zelda series on the left, and Samus from the Metroid series on the right.

Stuff like this is precisely the reason I try to never follow toy-related news.  I end up seeing pictures of amazing things that I do not–and probably never will–have.  I should try to get a hold of a couple of those Samuseses.  (Sami?  What’s the plural of Samus?)  One would look fantastic in a box on the shelf, and Charlotte deserves to have a Samus, even if she’d certainly destroy it in minutes.

http://www.tomopop.com/figma-link-and-figma-samus-return-this-winter-30254.phtml

Metroid: Zero Mission (Game Boy Advance)

Metroid_--_Zero_Mission_(box_art)Metroid has been around for almost 27 years.  The original game was released in Japan in 1986, and it got a North American release around the same time the next year.

The original game features a space bounty hunter in a high powered suit named Samus Aran.  Samus has come to the planet Zebes to stop a group of Space Pirates from exploiting an alien species, Metroids, in a bid to rule the galaxy.  The game was incredibly successful, influential and ground breaking.  It’s exploratory gameplay was among the first of its kind.  An incredibly eerie atmosphere, created by fantastic music, level and creature design marks it–arguably–as the invention of the Survival Horror genre of video games.  It’s practically like playing a video game of Alien.  And, of course, Samus Aran is the world’s first (recognized by Guinness Book of World Records) Playable Female Protagonist in a mainstream title, what’s more, is that the discovery of Samus’ gender comes as a surprise ending (Unless you know Justin Bailey…)

So, what happens almost 20 years later when you’ve created one of the most successful franchises of all time?  That’s right, kids… it’s time for a remake/reboot combo.  Enter:  Zero Mission.

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Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (Game Boy Advance)

FFTA GBA CoverSomewhere in the real world, 4 bullied kids with low self-esteem are brought together after school.  Mewt is the runt of the class and too smart for his own good.  Doned is a poor unfortunate soul in a wheelchair.  Ritz has the displeasure of being a young girl with white hair.   Doned’s older brother Marche catches flack for being “The New Guy”.   After losing a snowball fight with the school bullies, the kids gather together in a lonely room and pick up a copy of The Never Ending Story Final Fantasy: The Book and get sucked into a fantastic world known as Ivalice.

His friends lost to him, protagonist Marche has trouble adjusting to the fact that he’s not in Kansas anymore.  In Ivalice, bands of adventurers known as clans cross the country side looking for bounties, treasures and… well… adventure.  Clans often compete against one another and/or monsters in battles known as “Engagements”.  Each engagement is presided over by a Judge, the law enforcing class of the governing body of Ivalice.  Marche joins a clan, figuring that they’re his best hope to finding his friends, and a way back home.  Over the course of the game, Marche discovers that his friends aren’t as eager as he is to return home, and that convincing them–and himself–to go back home is going to be difficult work.

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