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Hey guys it’s Sam! Do you have your game faces on? Because today we’ll be talking turkey about some of the most promising video games to expect this fall for the 7th-gen consoles (PS3, X360, Wii, 3DS) and the 8th-gen consoles (PS4, Xbox One, Wii U). And I’ll have you know now–this season has an ample number of seemingly great games. (To see information about certain games, click “Details” under each picture!)

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze (11-13; Wii U)

Donkey Kong Country is remembered as one of the most innovative, entertaining, and stellar titles the Super Nintendo had to offer. It probably has a spot in the nostalgia center of many gamers’ brains and hearts. After the game transformed into a trilogy, the Donkey Kong Country series was shelved after the uprising of the Nintendo 64. Luckily, in 2010 the series was revived in Donkey Kong Country Returns, and Tropical Freeze is the game’s upcoming sequel. The game revolves around a group of Viking animals that chase the inhabitants of Donkey Kong Island away, and the Kongs must embark on an island-to-island trek to return and reclaim their home.

Much like in the original DKC sequel, Dixie Kong will be joining the adventure alongside an unannounced character. You can now swim in the game, but you can also do underwater spin attacks if you encounter any enemies in the seas. Tropical Freeze takes pages from many classic games’ books: to regain breath you can collect underwater bubbles à la Sonic, and you can uproot things and throw stunned enemies à la SMB 2. Dave Wise, composer for the original DKC trilogy, will be returning to compose the music. But who knows?–Maybe Nintendo will make a third Returns game and add Kiddy Kong!

Just Dance 2014 (9-8-13; PS3, Wii, Wii U, X360/Q4 ’13; PS4, XBOne)

Multiplayer that allows up to six players at once. Seven new modes. Over forty songs and Auto-Dance vids. That’s what this year’s Just Dance has to offer. The game will include songs from PSY, Pitbull, One Direction, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, and more. Now, because Just Dance and Dance Central are bitter enemies, Just Dance 2014 decided to follow Dance Central 3‘s footsteps. They incorporated several old-school songs: “I Will Survive”, “YMCA”, and the Ghostbusters theme song. There will also be alternative versions, extreme versions, and sweat versions of the songs. Now, about those modes:

  • On-Stage Mode: One player dances in a main routine while two others dance backup routines.
  • “Ghost Mode”: One player dances against ghost renditions of a friend’s prior gameplay.
  • Karaoke Mode: Players get points for singing the right notes and actually don’t get punished for singing incorrectly. This mode only works on consoles with a mic, so that’s basically every console but the Wii.
  • Just Dance DJ Mode: Players can switch between songs and “shape the music” via dancing; this mode is Xbox One exclusive.
  • Party Master Mode: The Wii U’s exclusive take on Just Dance 4‘s “Puppet Master” mode. Use the GamePad to change the game rules, the current song, and select dance moves for up to four players with Wii Remotes.
  • Battle Mode: What does it sound like?

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure (9-24-13; 3DS, Wii U, PC)

This is easily the most unique chapter in Maxwell’s life 5th Cell has ever conceived. Maxwell’s debut onto the 3DS, Wii U, and PC (Unlimited) was grand enough. Working alongside Warner Bros, 5th Cell has incorporated almost every character in DC Comics history into Maxwell’s once-normal life. The ones you know and the ones you don’t. Variations of these heroes and villains also appear, so multiple Batmen and Green Lanterns are included in the game. These characters can help solve puzzles; for example, Superman’s heat vision can free a key trapped in a block of ice. Using the game’s power of adjectives, you can conjure a “Super Doomsday” or even a zombie Batman. Either way, this is definitely not your average puzzle game.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (11-13; 3DS)

Alongside several LoZ titles, A Link to the Past is considered to be one of the greatest games of all time, and stands high among the Super Nintendo pantheon. A Link Between Worlds returns to that same nostalgic world. It combines the old-school Zelda top-down perspective with the 3DS’ gorgeous stereoscopic graphics. These 3D effects come into play when exploring dungeons, and will have Link jumping between levels to solve puzzles and advance within the game.

Arrows for shooting enemies and mallets for nailing pegs was showcased in early LBW footage; besides that, the magic meter refills on its own. Yep, no potions needed. Link’s bow, hammer, and even bombs rely on the magic meter. At full health, Link’s sword shoots projectiles like in LTTP.This is probably the best new feature: Link can actually jump into walls and become a drawing to slither up the wall to reach new areas. However, this feeds off your magic meter, so be conservative. IGN says the game has “everything [they] wanted from a Nintendo 3DS Zelda game” after playing the demo.

Lego Marvel Super Heroes (9-18-13; PC, DS, 3DS, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, X360, XBOne)

Silver Surfer, herald to Galactus, is knocked out of the sky, causing his surfboard to shatter into “cosmic bricks” with immense power. Nick Fury orders the Marvel universe’s heroes to find these bricks within areas like Lego NYC and Lego Asgard before they are seized by villains like Loki and Magneto. 120 Marvel characters are at the fingertips of the player, from Abomination to Wolverine. Each character has a unique power; Spider-Man with his spider sense and web slinging, Hulk with his superhuman strength. Also, he is able to shrink into Bruce form AT WILL to do stuff like access computers. Since when was Hulk a hacker, I don’t know. Stan Lee, co-creator of Marvel Comics, is planned to be incorporated into the game in some way, shape, or form.

Super Mario 3D World (12-13; Wii U)

You’re probably wondering the same thing I am; if it’s a 3D Mario game, how is it a Wii U exclusive? Maybe the Wii U’s more special than I think it is. Anyway, the game tackles yet another Super Nintendo pantheon title, Super Mario World, incorporating four characters: Mario, Luigi, Peach, and blue Toad. Like in SMB 2, each character has a unique ability: Mario’s speed and jumping is average, Luigi has high jumping ability and slow falling speed, Peach can float in midair, and Toad is the fastest runner.

A maximum of four players may explore the same level at the same time with each character, sharing from a collection of extra lives. Like in New SMB Wii, players can pick up one another to help them across select areas. Alongside the return of the Tanooki Suit and the Fire Flower, a brand new suit will appear–the Cat Suit, allowing its wearer to wall-climb, perform unique attacks, climb to the top of the final flag pole, and run at a faster speed. The GamePad comes into play so its user can rub the touch-screen to reveal blocks or items that have been hidden, as well as to stun enemies to assist players. The Wii U’s Off-TV Play is supported by Super Mario 3D World.

Regular Show: Mordecai & Rigby in 8-Bit Land (10-29-13; 3DS)

If you’ve been following the Twitter of show creator JG Quintel, you may have already seen this coming. If not, er–SURPRISE! Following in Adventure Time‘s footsteps, the Regular Show game has finally reached its primetime thanks to the guys who brought you the first Adventure Time game. Bringing the characters and comedy from the show exclusively for the 3DS, 8-Bit Land follows Mordecai and Rigby on their epic adventure through their favorite video games, which gamers may recognize. If that wasn’t nostalgic enough, all game sounds are made from old emulated Nintendo consoles, and players can collect gold tapes, cash for buying games, and mullets to wear. It doesn’t make any sense to me either. The game design blends three popular old-school formats: Mario-esque side-scrolling, Zelda-esque top-down perspective, and Contra-esque side-scrolling shooting.

You can swap between Mordo and Rigs at any time; Mordo can double jump, and Rigby’s meager size can fit him through more confined spaces. Also, Mordo can transform into a spaceship (makes more sense in context). Anyway, be sure to check out Mordo and Rigs in 8-Bit Land when it hits stores for the 3DS this October.

Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW! (11-12-13; PS3, X360, Wii U, 3DS)

Yes, that’s actually the name of the game. But to reduce stress let’s just call it Adventure Time 2. As the sequel to Hey Ice King! Why’d You Steal Our Garbage?!, the game revolves around Finn and Jake as they are recruited by PB to investigate a rash of thefts and kidnappings that are damaging the Candy Kingdom. She thinks the root of the crime lies within the Secret Royal Dungeon in the underground depths of Ooo, where only the nastiest beasts and burglars are locked up. If they’ve found an escpae route, the entire land of Ooo might be in danger!

You can play as Finn, Jake, Marcie, and even Cinnamon Bun. However, news has it you can also play as LSP and Flame Princess. The dungeon has a massive hundred floors to conquer, and you can also play with up to three of your buddies. The game’s development by WayForward received a little aid from show creator Pen Ward himself, and it’s being published by D3 Publisher–publisher of 10,000 Ben 10 games. Oh, that reminds me–look out for Ben 10 Omniverse coming this November to the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, DS, 3DS, and Wii U. Also look out for Explore the Dungeon Because I DON’T KNOW!, also coming this November.

SOME MORE GAMES YOU MIGHT WANT TO LOOK OUT FOR

  • Rayman Legends (9-3-13; PS3, X360, Wii U)
  • Total War Rome 2 (9-3-13; PC)
  • Grand Theft Auto V (9-17-13; PS3, X360)
  • FIFA 14 (9-24-13; PS2, PS3, PS4, PSP, PS Vita, X360, XBOne, PC, iOS, Android)
  • NBA 2K14 (10-1-13; PS3, X360)
  • Beyond Two Souls (10-8-13; PS3)
  • Pokemon X & Y (10-12-13; 3DS)
  • Skylanders Swap Force (10-13-13; 3DS, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Wii, X360, XBOne)
  • Sonic Lost World (10-22-13; Wii U, 3DS)
  • Batman Arkham Origins (10-25-13; PC, PS3, X360, Wii U)
  • Batman Arkham Origins Blackgate (10-25-13; PS Vita, 3DS)
  • Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD (???; Wii U)
  • Mario Party 10 (???; 3DS)
  • Mario & Sonic at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games (???; Wii U, 3DS)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (???; PS3, PS4, X360, XBOne)
  • Walking Dead Season 2 (???; ???)

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Check in Monday for more awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak!

Stay classy,

~S~ 😎

Video of the Week: “those turtles” by Notnotsandvichhobo. Have your life changed forever or your money back. (The tune: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naJfryM0nsY)



We haven’t seen any works of the waistband warrior from Dav Pilkey since The Preposterous Plight of the Purple Potty People six years ago. Yeah, yeah, you might already know how this is going, and you might ask “Sam, didn’t we already go over this?” And we may have already talked about this topic back on 2Sam2Mwak. The most recent excuse Dav put out there was that he was caring for his terminally ill grandpa. Well, although his grandpa is gleefully watching this post from *sniffle* that big bookstore in the sky :(, he is already halfway through his four-book Scholastic contract. And this is the penultimate book on the contract, something he bargained for–but we didn’t.

Apparently, Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Re-Turn of Tippy Tinkletrousers came out two months ago while summer was just starting to decay. While I expected it to be a bit more upcoming, I’ll just tell you now. Anyway, the premise of the story–if you didn’t already know–picks up where Preposterous Plight left off. The last time we saw George & Harold, they were being arrested and headed for the slammer. Then Harold spoke thirteen fateful words: ‘”What could be worse than going to jail for the rest of our lives?”, changing the course of time itself forever. Now, Captain Underpants 9 is the most innovative entry yet for various reasons–one of them being that part of the book serves as a prequel that takes us back to the “good ole kindergarten days”! Now, they’re not fighting aliens or scientists. Now, an afro-sporting George and a not-so-badly-haircut Harold are using brainpower to fight against Principal Krupp’s equally nasty nephew Kipper.

Now, let’s go to the (hopefully) real plot: Professor Poopypants (the main villain of the fourth book) had showed up after four books in some sort of limbo. He had taken it in after the defeat of his debut appearance to change his name–but that only made him a laughingstock of a jailbird. But now, he’s back for–most likely–revenge, and he’s got plenty of technological advantages up his sleeve. (One contraption from the last book left anyone who dared to laugh at his new name frozen solid. 8-o) Now, Captain’s had plenty of hard hits (including wedgies) in his past, but the return of an old villain? Totally new. Will this competition leave this scantily-clad superhero’s underwear in a bunch? Or will Tippy be forced to “poopy his pants” once more?

Now, since the book’s already out, it’s gotten pretty good feedback. Out of the 9 reviews I saw on Amazon, most people enjoyed the book for its returning laughs and unparalleled entertainment, but some people were more critical over elements like its ending. One specific review from Louisville, Kentucky gave it its only 2-star rating–due to it not actually having any underpants or Klingon in it. And let me inform you that the person that sent this review is a mother. A mother that needs to catch up on her Dav Pilkey.

“With reading, however, it’s a whole different story–we get involved. When we read a book, there aren’t any special effects. There’s no music to set the mood, and there’s no costume designers or set decorators. We have to fill in all those special details ourselves by using our imaginations. The simple fact is, the more we read, the more we get to use our imaginations. And the more we use our imaginations, the more powerful we become. So crack open a book and start reading, because reading really does give you super powers. And imagination is the greatest super power of all.”

– Dav Pilkey in his “Author Adventures” video on Amazon

Couldn’t have said those very words better myself. Anyway, you can check out Captain Underpants 9 when it hits bookstores on–oh yeah, it’s out right now. And a small little chunk of my mind is telling me you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity. And if you don’t want to, you’ve already got plenty of dollars to save up for when the tenth installment (The Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers) comes out next January.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, Professor Poo–sorry, Tippy Tinkletrousers will be returning for this installment too! Even Sulu and Crackers will be coming back! Again! In this boo–er, first, try to imagine a world without underpants. Not only Captain, but likely undergarments in general. You’d be a dead duck if you got pantsed, and if you didn’t wipe good enough it would go straight to your pants. Anyway, this might be the future of Cap, as–er–something horrible happened to George & Harold. And why couldn’t C.U. pipe up and save them? Since Tippy and his tech-savvy hijinks had prevented the two from creating the waistband warrior to begin with! Now, having broken the yo-yo of time, George & Harold must figure out how to change changed time. It sounds ridick, but it has to happen–or else over a decade of gutbusting adventures will all be for naught. And I already saw a different version of the world as we know it in Preposterous Plight. Will the grandfather clock ever strike twelve? Find out when Revolting Revenge hits stores next year.

Stay classy, America.

~S~ 😎

p.s. Speaking of future dates, Dav’s official website @ http://www.pilkey.com, is currently on hold due to all this Tippy Tinkletrousers madness. He stated that it would be up and running in “a few weeks”–but that’s what it says every time you visit the site.

Videos of the Week: If you tuned into my second chopped, screwed, squeezed, and crunched pack of news concerning Adventure Time‘s status in the DVD world, you might have checked out my Video of the Week. It was the first entry in Swoozie’s Cheating series, “Cheating in Middle School”. And if you laughed just as much as I expected you to, ya might wanna consider this 3.4 million-time viewed sequel.

And here’s something that might make old-time gamers crack a smile:

Plus that “Author Adventures” video I got that quote from:



Mario first reared his mustachioed head in 1981 as the Jumpman in the coin-op clash of “man vs. animal”, Donkey Kong. The game had to go through a whole lot of dog doo to save Nintendo from sinking in quicksands of failure. But it did, and Donkey Kong and “Jumpman”‘s heydays were only beginning. Decades later, Mario’s put up over 700 million sold units in the combination of both Mario and Super Mario, making it easily the bestselling series of all time. Mario’s also not a stranger to sports as he is to platforming. He’s done basketball (also as a guest in NBA Street Vol 3), snowboarding (as a guest in SSX On Tour) baseball, golf, tennis, even joined forces with Sonic for the Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games series. But there’s just one sport that’s being left out. You guessed it. Soccer. The beautiful game. The world game. Football. And Mario’s just as menacing on the pitch as he is on the tracks, or the court, or the field, or the course. And just be ready for a surprise at every nook, cranny, and corner…kick.

North American cover art

Toad sets up what looks to be a menacing bicycle kick against the goalie.

Mario’s first delve into big-league soccer, Super Mario Strikers (known in Europe and Australia as Mario Smash Football) is a GameCube-exclusive good ole five-a-side football game representing the basic rules of football, except referees are ruled out and players give new meaning to the term “offense”. It was released in November 2005 for Europeans, December for Americans, January ’06 for the Japanese, and April for the Australians. (Did that offend anyone in any way?) Revealed as part of E3 ’05, the teams in Strikers compose of a Mario character–the “captain”–with a backup team of “side kicks” (get it?) whom are Toads, Hammer Brothers, Birdos, and Koopas. The game’s goalie (strangely enough, on both sides) is Kritter, a Kremling from the Donkey Kong Country trilogy (except for the robot-composed Super Team, who have a Robo-Kritter). The only playable captains are Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi, Waluigi, Wario, and Donkey Kong. (Bowser also NPCs to obstruct players occasionally.) There are several modes in-game:

  • Grudge Match – The standard single and multiplayer game mode.
  • Cup Battles – 1-4 players are allowed to compete in tournaments against AI opponents to advance through cups for rewards.
  • Super Cup Battles – Dominated the Cup Battles? Super denotes a higher tier of enemy lines, and only the strong survive…no, seriously, that was ripped from the game.
  • Strikers 101 – The game’s tutorial mode, allowing you to learn the basics of the game and then use them in “games” to hone your skills.
  • Spoils – This is for the people who love to gloat their highest milestones to others. This records awards you’ve won like soccer trophies, so you can cherish the moments and brag about them, too.

Both sidekicks and caps have varying attributes with “balanced” and “defensive” ways to play available. Strikers, for the most part, sticks to the rulebook of soccer with abilities to dash, slide tackle, etc. But then there’s the fact that players can land serious hits with or without the ball, resulting in a more arcade-esque game of soccer. The game has six stadiums/stadia that only change aesthetically and do not alter the playing field, even with electric fences to prevent to ball from going out of bounds. And yes, you can knock players into these fences. The further you go into the game, the more “cheats” you an access; these include a weakened goalie and an infinite set of items to use in impeding opponents.

I already said it was first shown in 2005’s E3, where game director Mike Inglehart and marking director Grace Kim expected the game to be more realistic, but after some consultations with Nintendo the creators opted for a more “over-the-top” turnout. The electric fences were added to accentuate the sport’s physicality, and there are no penalties or cards since the power-up system has compensated for this, considering power-ups are given to the team of a player that has been hurt.

Want to learn the basics of the game right now? Hands up, I’ve got you covered. (Do note that Strikers does not have “positions” in their vocabulary.)

DEFENSE

Slide Tackle (B) – This is one of the classic defensive tricks that always loses the victim of the ball. You can even perform one tackle after another if you wish, but that just makes you look silly. I recommend doing this if it seems like an opponent is about to take a shot at the goal. (Do note that both the tacklee and tackler will trip and fall.)

Big Hit (Y when not having the ball) – Despite being defensive, this is one of the more pain-dealing tricks on the pitch. The Big Hit is literally a bodyslam into an opponent, whether they possess the ball or not. There’s about a 7/8 out of 10 chance that the victim will fork over the ball, and there’s a 4/5 out of 10 chance it’ll go to another opponent. I recommend doing this also if an opponent is about to shoot.

Power-Ups (X, Z to switch)- A Mario game really isn’t a Mario game without power-ups. And like in Mario Power Tennis, power-ups are a major component in Strikers. You receive power-ups by charging shots or having a hurt player. When the time is right, you can use power-ups to impede opposition, relieve them of the ball, and get one step closer to a point. The power-ups include but aren’t limited to:

  • Banana Peels – They were toughies in Mario Kart, and they’re toughies now. They work by being thrown out and anxiously awaiting a player to slip on them. These peels come alone or have up to 6 of them released at a time.
  • The Normal Shells – These shells come in green, red, spiny, and–most notorious of all–blue. Green shells fly in straight lines, bouncing off walls and damaging victims. Red shells’ specialties are their homing abilities, victimizing the nearest player. But the dreaded blue shell not only apprehends victims, but freezes them in their tracks. Spiny shells do not stop after first hit, and go off until contact with another item or after hitting the wall twice. These shells all come as singles or triplets.
  • The Giant Shells – Just like normal shells, except giant-er! Giant green shells bowl over anything in its path, giant reds keep going after hitting a wall, homing in on a victim, and then acting like a mere giant green shell. Giant blues, however, freeze victims as usual, but now detonate on impact as well. Giant spinies are literal bulldozers on an unstoppable rampage down the pitch. Unlike normals, these shells only come in sets of one. But can you imagine how unstoppable they would be as triplets?
  • Bob-ombs – These living explosives will stand still for a second, and then explode, affecting victims in its range. However, the Giant Bob-ombhas a explosion radius of at least 4x larger, and it sends out a shockwave!
  • Chain Chomp – Everywhere it goes, it’s feared. It’s been considered one of the scariest foes in Super Mario 64. And it’s especially scary in this game. Like Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing can grant you an All-Star Move to get you back in the game, Chain Chomps (along with Stars) can only be obtained by the losing team. The Chomp will blaze down the pitch and damage every hand of the opposition. In fact, it won’t leave until there’s at least one man down.

Deke (Z) – When in possession of the ball, opponents are likely to go for your jugular to rid you of the ball. Now you can go for their jugulars when you deke! With a quick Z press–ahem, blue button press, the player can do a quick one-two. This is useful to get rid of opponents and proceed towards the goal.

OFFENSE

  • Turbo Run (R + thumbstick) – Have you ever heard this phrase?: What is a principle when you are venturing in the woods with, I dunno, a friend or two? A plump kid. When you encounter a bear or an equally threatening animal, your first instinct is to hightail it out of there. And with a plump kid, you don’t have to be the fastest–you just don’t want to be the slowest. And that really applies when you’re turbo-running. Sometimes, your fastest trailblaze down the pitch just isn’t enough. So what else to do than run faster? (Tip: Do note that while turbo-running, you can’t free move, deke, or shoot.)
  • Pass (A) – No one likes a ballhog, so with one of the oldest tricks in the book you can relieve yourself of the ball to another teammate. There are also special passes: besides the plain old ground pass, there’s also the lob pass (L+A) which is equally efficient in receiving the ball. If you play your cards right you could also uncover a special-er kind of pass…
  • Simple Shot (B) – The easiest to pull off, but the least likely to score. I suggest charging your shots.
  • Charged Shot (Hold B) – Okay, now we’re talking. Charged shots are more likely to score, and honestly look a lot sweeter. There is, obviously, a limit to the charge of your shot, and the sidekicks’ limit differs from the captains’ limit. Sidekicks can only go as far as–I dunno–a “fire ball”. But captains can go as far as…
  • Super Strike (Hold B for captains only) – …this. This really puts the Strikers in Super Mario Strikers. As a captain, you can hold B to the limit (you will see lightning surrounding you when you reach the limit) and you will then see a bar with two parts marked green. There is a white marker that will wave across the entire bar only once. If you time it right, you can land the marker on both green parts with a B press, and that will ensure your Strike is properly aligned. If not–believe it or not–Kritter actually has a chance of blocking it, although he will be temporarily dazed afterward. A successful Super Strike will count as two goals instead of one, and it will look like this:
  • One-Timer Shot (A + B) – Now this, my friend, is a one-two. The first part of the one-timer is a pass to a teammate. The second part, performed by the final receptor, is the instant shot. You can perform this anywhere, even across the pitch. And a volley shot will bewilder Kritter; just saying.
  • Perfect Pass (A with teammate near goal) – This is the special-er pass I was talking about. This is only performable if you are passing to a teammate near the goal. You will be certified of a perfected pass if the trail behind the ball is green. If you time it right, you can follow up with something even better… (And yes, there are such things are perfect lob passes.)
  • Perfect One-Timer Shot (B directly after Perfect Pass) – The last receptor of this one-timer not only shoots the ball. He gets a few seconds of slo-mo glory before slamming it in! The perfect one-timer is a great opportunity to score and honestly is one of the sweetest-looking moves in the game.

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Now to actually talk about the game itself. I really enjoyed Strikers; it had quality GameCube visuals, its arcade soccer had fast-paced, and energetic vibes, the game offered lots of challenge on upper tiers, and the Strikers 101 mode was really helpful. Don’t think I’ve had this much fun on the pitch since FIFA 12. It really hit gold on its addiction factor, and it would have you with the skills of a cartoon version of Ronaldo or Pele in no time. However, the game simply doesn’t feel Mario enough. No honestly, after you’ve heard Luigi says his name at least ten times in his victory celebrations, you’ll be at your wit’s end. And there’s not one chip of properly “Mario” music in the game. And besides, if there was a soccer school, Strikers would be a major dropout. (Unlike FIFA, whom would likely have perfect attendance and finish as the valedictorian. 😉 Um, let’s get back to the flaws.) It simply doesn’t follow the sane rules of soccer, and the rules it does follow have more twists than you can give to those unbreakable 50 Cent headphones. Some noticeable issues in frame rate, as well as a lack of animation and audio variety (hence Luigi) that brings the game down even further from perfection. From the cover, and artwork, you may believe that Strikers is super-hardcore. But it, well, isn’t. And besides, Donkey Kong’s breaking the rules of soccer by hitting the ball with his hands. Now I can’t criticize and praise the game all day….we need a chart for that!

2 out of 5 – Educational value – The game does teach you the basics of soccer, and you may sometimes use logical thinking as an advantage on the pitch.

 2 out of 5 – Positive messagesStrikers puts up a model of being sportmanslike, both on a playing field and off, although red-card antics are the norm of the game. As almost always in the games I review, perseverance is key as well.

0 out of 5 – Positive role models – Not really applicable.

 2 1/2 out of 5 – Ease of play – It may take a while to fully comprehend the controls of the game, but when you do, it gets a lot easier to grasp–although it’s still kinda baffling at times.

3 out of 5 – Violence – In this game, antics that would give you red cards or even worse aren’t punished–they’re rewarded. You can do all sorts of dastardly deeds on the pitch, like knocking opponents into the electric fences, victimizing them with power ups, tackling or big hitting them, or even having Giant Bowser come onto the field and make the forwards’ lives even more miserable. But all of it is cartoon violence meant more for laughs, and when played by the appropriate audiences, this factor of the game can be an uproar.

1 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – Peach and Daisy are, somewhat but nevertheless, wearing risque and skimpy outfits that show off their stomachs and legs.

0 out of 5 – Language – This aspect is not applicable.

1 out of 5 – Product Placement – Besides being a Mario game, Donkey Kong (cross-advertising?) is likely as far as the game goes in product placement.

0 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – This aspect is not applicable.

……………………………………

Are you kidding?! Now THIS is art!

Smarts: C- (2 points)

Play-Again Ratio: B+ (3.5 points)

Fun: B (3 points)

Entertainment: A (4 points)

Humor: A+ (5 points)

Style: A- (4 points)

FINAL SCORE: 21.5 out of 30 (YEESH. 80), 71% out of 100%, 4 stars out of 5

CONSENSUS: Super Mario Strikers does mark gold on some factors, like the pace of the game and all the modes–and it truly is a fun game–but serious problems like frame rate, a lack of variety, and some definite rule-bending push Strikers away from its true optimum.

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But that’s not all! You’ve heard that this is only part 1 of Game Face Mario Mayhem, right? Well, part 2 is coming soon, and it’s gonna be an even bigger, better Mario game! I can’t say what it is, but let’s just say it’s two-fisted, red-blooded, and all-American. I’ve said too much already.

Check out my latest Sammwak spinoff that’s literally like my own little social network: 3GS! http://3gsam.wordpress.com/

Stay classy, America. ~S~ 😎

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Random Videos o’ the Week: I got stuck between two videos and just couldn’t decide. Lemme describe the first one: Annoying Orange is one of the comedy moguls of YouTube history. Ever since its first episode in October 2009 (which garnered over 100 mil. views to date), Orange’s official channel has gained over 2 million subscribers and over 1 billion video views, and to add to that Orange and friends have gotten their own show on Cartoon Network! (Catch The Annoying Orange every Monday at 8:30!) Well, they’ve taken a blast to the past, giving the first-ever episode a reanimation–literally! This animated spin has already gotten over 1 mil since late July and has gotten over 20k likes. Witness the fruity goodness–now in glorious animation (and glorious 720p HD!)!

Our next video is probably just as awesome, maybe a bit more awesome even. A regular gummi worm is 10-25 cm of gelatinous, chewy goodness. In the shape of a worm. First introduced by Trolli in July of 1981 (in fact, the 60th anniversary of gummi bears), these worms come in all shapes and sizes. But it doesn’t come close to the world’s largest gummy worm, brought to you by  the makers of the gummi cola bottle and the tablet that turns sour into sweet. Clocking in at over 2 feet, 50 cubic inches, and 3 pounds of sweet, sweet goodness, the world’s largest gummi worm is 128 times of a normal gummi. And it makes a rad dirt cake, too. And it’s actually for sale too (all seven flavors), for the price of $28! The worm’s official video has over 10 million views since its launch in October 2010, and almost 30k likers are craving this monstrosity. Step aside, Epic Meal Time…this epic meal has the oomph for a whole year of fine dine. But this isn’t as far as they can go, so check out and subscribe to their channels! (, )



Hey guys it’s Sam, and we all know that when you usually can’t find out about some source, you dive into your local library, in school or not, or try to trust online sources. And as we all know, you can’t trust anyone from the mouth, so should you be able to trust someone from the keyboard? Either way, you’re definitely gonna learn something today, because I’m gonna be teaching you about one of gaming’s biggest icons and mascots. Here are a couple hints: he’s short, pudgy, has a bushy mustache, wears a red cap, and has blue overalls. Does it ring a bell? He’s one of Nintendo’s most famed, familiar, and simply best characters ever created under Shigeru Miyamoto’s name. He is Mario, one of the coolest, sweetest plumbers I’ve seen…well, the only plumber I’ve seen.

Our beloved Red Rivet (c’mon, the Blue Blur was a sweet-enough nickname for Sonic) actually did not debut in the classic Super Mario Bros in ’85, nor was it Mario Bros in ’83, but it was actually Donkey Kong in ’81. In that platformer-pioneering game, Mario was originally known as Jumpman, and he was originally intended to make his way up to his kidnapped girlfriend and defeat his own pet ape that turned against him after mistreatment. In this game, Mario was only a carpenter, and his profession was altered in Mario Bros to the plumber he is today. Mario was given such bright clothing, like his overalls, to make sure his actions were visualized. His red cap came in because the limited mid-80s video game programming animation made it difficult for enabling Mario’s hair to wave when he jumped. Mario jumped into the platformer kind of game after originally being set to escape a maze lacking the ability to jump. Miyamoto, the man that created Mario in the first place, gave him a new genre tone because “if you had a barrel rolling towards you, what would you do?”

Miyamoto conceived Mario in the first place while developing Donkey Kong (no big surprise there), trying to think of a title that could sum up for all of Nintendo’s past coin-op failures, such as the game Sheriff. What is Sheriff? Well, exactly. Mario’s full name has not been fully announced by Nintendo, although it is not “Mario Mario”, despite the inference of the Mario Bros. series title, its use in the ’93 movie, and info from the Prima guidebook for Superstar Saga.

Title says all. The games in their chronological orders are: MARIO BROS. (1981), SUPER MARIO BROS. (1985), SUPER MARIO BROS. 2 (1987), SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 (1990), SUPER MARIO WORLD (1991), SUPER MARIO 64 (1996), SUPER MARIO SUNSHINE (2002), SUPER SMASH BROS. BRAWL (2008).

Mario originally intended to be named “Mr. Video”, and was also planned to appear in every Nintendo game that hit the markets. But the idea of the name “Mr. Video” was scrapped because Miyamoto believed that this name would make our hero “[disappear] off the face of the Earth.” And it was one regular day in 1981 for Nintendo, and they were hosting a meeting trying to conceive a name in time for a game’s release. Suddenly, their landlord burst in, angrily demanding and confronting that they pay for a long-overdue rent they had gotten far behind in. That landlord’s name was Segali…Mario Segali. And it was after this being that our precious plumber got his name, as long as Segali received his share of cash. Believe me, mister…your name did more than just christen a plumber.

Mario has since appeared in several kinds of games, including racing (Mario Kart series), puzzle, party (Mario Party series), role-playing (Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars), fighting (Super Smash Bros. series), and sports (Mario Tennis, Mario Golf, Mario Super Sluggers, Super Mario Strikers, etc.).

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Here is some stuff I bet you didn’t even know about Mario. When you find out about this, you’ll be totally fascinated. I should know. I’m the person that’s giving it to you!

  • The notorious antagonist of the Mario saga, Bowser, was originally sketched out as an ox by Miyamoto, but accidental interpretation by a fellow animator turned him into a turtle after the two worked on it. And honestly, I think being a turtle fits Bowser way better, compared to the species of usual Mario enemies.
  • Recurring character Birdo, supposedly Yoshi’s love interest, is somewhat officially a dude, as stated in the Mario 2 instruction booklet.
  • The name of “Wario”, the malevolent yin to Mario’s gallant yang, was derived from the Japanese word “warui”, meaning “bad”. Both were either way voiced by Charles Martinet, who has been giving Mario the spice to his voice for 17 years now. The same thing most likely applies to Luigi’s yin Waluigi.
  • Koji Kondo, the rightful composer and sound arranger/advisor of 13 Mario titles, has had music that is known worldwide, especially the Super Mario Bros theme and its countless fan-made renditions. Heck, there was even a Mariorock opera back in ’03! Other titles he has composed for or done work for include the original Legend of Zelda among other LoZ titles, the original PilotwingsStar Fox and its N64 reboot, and the original NES Golf and Soccer.
  • Super Mario Bros. obviously enough used to hold the title of the most bestselling game in history with 40.24 million units, until it was degraded to 2nd place in 2006 by the Wii’s launch title Wii Sports. Nintendo making the two most bestselling games created? It’s like James Cameron directing the two highest-grossing movies created.
  • In 1999, Mario Golf hit the markets 3 years after Super Mario 64 pretty much made gaming history. Believe it or not, this was not the first golfing game starring Mario. There was a character resembling Mario in the original NES Golf, but he surely made an official appearance later in NES Open Tournament Golf, as well as Luigi, and Princesses Peach and Daisy.
  • Princess Peach has appeared in more games than any other female game character in gaming history, even people you’d suppose, like Samus Aran or Chun-Li. She was also originally known as Princess Toadstool ever since her debut in ’85, and, in the west (aka us), she held that name for 8 years until it was changed permanently in Yoshi’s Safari.

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So THIS is the currency system in Mushroom Kingdom. Hey, could you hook me up with, like, 30 of those?

‘Twas pretty fascinating, huh? Oh, back to our learning.

Mario also had a career outside of his namesake series. That’s right, folks, Mario also had a non-Mario life. Surprisingly enough, he serves as the referee of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!, and he is also playable in NBA Street V3 and SSX: On Tour, both by EA. He also makes cameos in both A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time as a portrait, and in Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, he appears as a minuscule statue. So all the peeps that own some or all of these games, ya better start keeping an eye out if you haven’t been already! According to kids, Mario is a more known icon than even Mickey Mouse, and that dude’s hard to beat. Mario has appeared in over 200 games since his debut, but it would probably take up a lot of space counting them all. See why this is only part one? And speaking of part one, looks like this is the end of part one!

But don’t worry! If you like, rate, comment, and jump on dat subscribe button’s head regularly, part two will come sooner than you think. Trust me, behind the dashboard, it’s almost always rush hour. Anyway, thanks for watching our show! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I got some 64-bit racing to get to. Now, if only I could stop slipping on that banana!…

– Sam

Question o’ The Day: If you could come up with and interpret any idea for a Mario power-up concept, what new power-up would you conceive?

p.s. Bro, Mario is literally my research paper topic! No, literally, he is, and I got a load of online sources to prove it. That stuff is so thick, I could literally write a novel with all that info! But of course, that’s some sort of copyright violation, isn’t it? I hope I used the right sources, and I also don’t think there’s much informational books about Mario out now, is there? But honestly, isn’t Mario such a good topic? I could’ve chosen Link or Samus or Fox McCloud, but I specifically chose Mario, and that’s all that matters…

(p.p.s. If you subscribe, I’ll stop talking so much!)



Hey guys it’s Sam and do you remember my Super Mario Crossover post?(Super Mario Bros. Crossover!?)

Well, you know how I mentioned that ninja Ryu Hayabusa from Ninja Gaiden? Well, guess what? When the game told me I was playing an outdated version, it told me that I could go to the updated version (as in 1.1)! I obviously said yes and said ‘okay’, and guess where it led me to? Exploding Rabbit.com, where the 1.1 version was! Since Ryu debuted in that version, I was so stoked to play him. And I got to say, he’s GOOD. Why?:

HE CAN WALL CLIMB! – Yeah, I said the ninja can WALL CLIMB. All you have to do is jump onto a wall, and he instantly clings on. I gotta say, that’s pretty handy for those situations where you’re climbing up a 12-story building, you know what I’m saying?

SHURIKEN POWER! – You can throw shurikens after you receive a mushroom of firepower. They’re like boomerangs; they come back to you after you throw them. And I got 2 say, EPIC.

There’s no real difference, except when you select Mario, he jumps and hits a ? block rather than jumping in the air oh so randomly.

Here’s the link to the 1.0 game at Newgrounds: http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/534416

Here’s the link to the 1.1 game at Exploding Rabbit: http://www.explodingrabbit.com/games/super-mario-bros-crossover

So, enjoy them.

 

Thx for reading please like and subscribe.

 

– Sam

p.s. I found out that we’ve hit almost 910 hits! We’ve DEFINITELY gone past the 850 mark! If we make it to 950 hits, I’ll just thank you. But if we hit 1,000…