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Nintendo has revolutionized modern gaming in many ways, and this world would be very different without them. They began in fall 1889, founded by Fusajiro Yamauchi, originally a card company. As time went by, they evolved into a game company that has made a market value of over $85 billion! The American part of the company also owns the Seattle Mariners MLB team (imagine that), but that’s not the point. Nintendo has become gradually better with every new console releases, evolving from giant cartridges to comfortably small discs, and their skills in the industry have made them a three-time gaming generation winner by sales standings. One of their unsuccessful years was the fifth generation, which they lost to the PlayStation. However, the Nintendo 64 was still a 3D trailblazer for tons of series, and I’m here to count down the top ten creamiest creams of the crop.

Pokemonstadiumbox.jpg

#10. Pokemon Stadium (2000)

When Nintendo started the Pokemon saga with Red and Blue in 1998, they became established as heroes in the industry of RPGs. By the time they released Gold and Silver they also experimented with the Nintendo 64’s 3D specialties. The game was intended to be for the Nintendo 64DD, but transferred into cartridge format when the add-on became a commercial letdown. There is no linear plot to the game–you must win Cups and complete the Gym Leader Castle to progress in the game. The game also made good use of the console’s Transfer Pak to transfer Pokemon from past titles.

Conkersbfdbox.jpg

#9. Conker’s Bad Fur Day (2001)

Few gamers remember Conker’s Pocket Tales, which was a Game Boy Color exclusive that starred a lighthearted red squirrel named Conker that would appeal to young audiences. This family-friendly rodent went through one of gaming history’s most shocking transformations into a greedy guzzler. After a night of binge drinking, he is attempting to return home to his girlfriend while avoiding the Panther King, who wants Conker as a replacement for his missing table leg. The game was controversial for its language and inappropriate humor, but eventually gained a cult following despite being a commercial disappointment at the end of the console’s life cycle. But never will I forget hearing that giant pile of crap sing opera.

Black and white images of a man pointing a gun at the viewer, a woman and an antenna are seen at the top of the image, while at the bottom a man runs from an explosion and a helicopter flies. In the foreground is the title "GoldenEye 007", on the bottom left corner the Rare logo, and on the right side game specifications.

#8. GoldenEye 007 (1997)

GoldenEye is known for probably nothing but being the first Pierce Brosnan Bond movie, maybe being a great financial success, getting nominated for a couple BAFTAs. But it was the game made for it that not only made it ten times more popular, but made the Nintendo 64 a real force to be reckoned with. In the game you played as Bond and tried to stop this bad guy from using a satellite weapon against London to cause a worldwide financial meltdown. But no one really cared about the campaign, did they? All that mattered was the multiplayer. The game allowed one to three of your buddies to play with you in different types of deathmatch games, and I can tell you’re already remembering the memories of you mercilessly murdering your friend with the Golden Gun. Let’s face it, nothing beat the Golden Gun.

#7. Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater (1999)

Tony Hawk is known for many things: he did the first successful 900, he founded the Boom Boom Huck Jam exhibition/tour, he started a foundation to build skate parks in underprivileged areas, but everything really changed when Pro Skater first came out. This showed that Hawk wasn’t really playing around, and it’s still to this day one of the most influential skateboarding games in existence. You could skate and trick like nobody’s business and collect letters to make the word “SKATE” all while in an ambience of punk music. I also loved playing as Kareem Campbell; why, I think it was the hoodie. I was the best at Kareem, and I played no one but Kareem (ok, maybe Reynolds).

StarFox64 N64 Game Box.jpg

#6. Star Fox 64 (1997)

Star Fox began as a Super Nintendo exclusive in 1993, which spawned a sequel (also for the SNES) that could practically taste completion before being left in the dust as Shigeru Miyamoto decided to experiment with the Nintendo 64. The game turned into a 3D rail shooter starring Fox McCloud, leader of the Star Fox team, as he and his crew (Peppy Hare, Falco Lombardi, and Slippy Toad) embark on intergalactic adventures to destroy a disembodied ape head named Andross. The game was famous for popularizing the Rumble Pak, a removable add-on that provided lifelike vibrations to the controller. It also spawned some of gaming history’s most classic phrases, such as “Do a barrel roll!” and “Can’t let you do that, Star Fox!”

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#5. Mario Kart 64 (1997)

Mario and his friends first got into racing with Super Mario Kart, which is credited as a pioneer of the kart racing subgenre and helping Mario branch out its gaming styles to establish it as the most bestselling game franchise in history. When new opportunity formed in the shape of the Nintendo 64, Mario Kart went in full-force. Not only was 3D CG graphics one of the big differences (allowing changes in elevation and such), but its multiplayer allowed up to four racers at a time. There were also four different modes to play in: grand prix (compete against the CPU for different cups), time trial (race a track and try to set a record), versus (race against your friend or friends), and battle (kickin’ it old school with balloons). It was the first N64 game I ever played, and it’s still among the best I’ve ever played. Never will I forget traveling down Rainbow Road.

Image of various Nintendo characters fighting: Mario rushing at Pikachu, Fox punching Samus, Link holding his shield and Kirby waving at the player, with a bomb next to him.

#4. Super Smash Bros. (1999)

Take all of your favorite Nintendo heroes and put them together in a take-no-prisoners crossover beat em’ up, and that’s basically Super Smash Bros for you. The game starred Mario, Kirby, Fox, Pikachu, Link, and so many more famous characters. Every aspect of the game was a blast: you could slow down the speed of training, play bonus rounds that were impossible, or you could play a single-player campaign mode to face the Master Glove. You could also play campaign to unlock characters like Luigi and Jigglypuff. I essentially got good at Kirby, but I really started picking up combos for Mario. SSB was also famous for debuting the ever-so-notorious “Falcon Punch”, the unbeatable move. It also branched out into a series that included the GameCube’s most bestselling game, one of the best Wii games ever, and an upcoming something-something for the Wii U and 3DS.

Artwork of a horizontal rectangular box. Depicted is a flying cartoon man in blue overalls, a red shirt, and a red cap with white wings on the sides and the letter "M" on the front. He flies in front of a blue backdrop with clouds and a castle in the distance. The bottom portion reads "Super Mario 64" in red, blue, yellow, and green block letters.

#3. Super Mario 64 (1996)

Yeah, I really roasted this game, didn’t I? You’d expect me to put it at, like, #2. But I guess I didn’t enjoy it as much as many critics and gamers did. Anyway, this game alongside LoZ: Ocarina of Time basically paved the way into the 3D generation, and that’s one of the reasons why it is critically lauded even to this day. The game’s story is simple on the outside, but complex at the core: you play as Mario, and you must recover 120 Power Stars to stop Bowser, free Peach, and get a cake. This game had everything–helpful camera angles, stellar control schemes, and one of our generation’s greatest video game soundtracks.

Diddy Kong Racing

#2. Diddy Kong Racing (1997)

Picture this: it’s Christmas 1997. You find a gift under the yule tree that’s just for you, and you open it with trembling hands. You let out a squeal when you see what’s inside–a brand new copy of Diddy Kong Racing. You are among the hundreds of thousands of people that ordered the game a week or two before Christmas, and you have helped the game to setting a Guinness record for being the fastest-selling game of the time. Now let’s talk turkey: the game did have a story, but no one really paid attention to it. All you did was race levels and beat bosses of different “domains” to race Wizpig, the game’s final boss. There were also side missions such as racing levels while picking up silver coins, and another mode where you could race tracks backwards. If you weren’t up to the challenge, you could play tracks on your own or with up to three buddies. What puts DKR so high up on the list is that its bouncy soundtrack and unique racing environments just form an aura that attracts you to it. At least, that’s how I felt when I played it back in the day.

A sword and a shield - bearing both the three triangles of the Triforce and the bird-like Hyrule crest - stand behind the game's title.

#1. Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

Guys…guys, I’m sorry. I wasted your time and ended up picking the same game as hundreds of other lists to be at the top spot. But this game just gave me a feeling few games ever give me: the feeling of euphoria. The feeling that makes me say, “This game is unlike the rest, this game is a real gem.” At first I was skeptical about the game, seeing all its perfect scores and its Guinness records. But when I visited my friend’s house and plugged it in, I was mesmerized by the environment. Opening chests with that grand jingle or smashing pots to collect rupees was just as amazing as people had described it. Of course, the game was accompanied by a revolutionary soundtrack that made everything all the better, and I have to end on this note: Ocarina of Time is, and will be, arguably the single greatest video game of our generation. I know, that sounded really corny.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS 

  • Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask (2000)
  • Killer Instinct Gold (1996)
  • Donkey Kong 64 (1999)
  • Banjo Kazooie (1998)
  • Perfect Dark (2000)
  • Mario Golf (1999)
  • Mario Tennis (2000)
  • Resident Evil 2 (1999)
  • 1080° Snowboarding (1998)
  • Mortal Kombat 4 (1998)

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Well, that’s all for this month folks! Be sure to tune in next Friday for more awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak!

Stay classy,

~S~ 😎

Channel of the Week: This week’s honor goes to videogamedunkey, a one-man gaming channel full of hysterical play-throughs and hilarious reviews. The channel has been up since fall 2010 and has over 470,000 subs and 132.8 million hits! Check out some of his best videos and try not to laugh. (Warning: Some strong language throughout)



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.

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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! (, )



And let that be known. I already told you all about the news, and what I found next was even more than I had blogged about. A surprise beyond surprises. A surprise good enough to land the cover story of the latest Nintendo Power! Lemme recap from my previous post about the news: “Back in the years of the twentieth century, there was a craze that I’d like to call the “animation invasion” or the “cartoon boom”. This was a time where cartoons literally came into our world and ran wild, changing rules and righting wrongs. This era still echoes in our minds today, but there are some mass-media businesses that brought us the echo, most of them being stuff like Nickelodeon or Disney. Nickelodeon jumped into action in about the early to late 90s, and perhaps the early 2000s as well, introducing timeless classics like DougRocko’s Modern LifeCatDog, and, of course, SpongeBob (most likely the only creation during the cartoon boom that still runs today). But don’t forget about Disney and all they’ve done with bringing memorable characters to our time. Especially Mickey Mouse, and this brings up a new point. If you were a Wii owner headed in the right direction as of ’10, you might have picked up the M. Mouse game Epic Mickey. And, like usual, it triggered a swarm of rumors about a possible sequel. Well, everything you’ve heard is true.”

I already informed you about information like Epic Mickey officially receiving a sequel, and the tons of debuts the new sequel was gonna have: Oswald making his playable debut, the series making its debut on console and computer alike, the new modes in the game, its plot and list of tentative titles, and even its possible date: holiday 2012. Well, you’re about to add more to what you already know, because Epic Mickey and company are coming back later this year, but not in just one sequel, but two! The NP cover story issue isn’t hitting the markets until tomorrow, so be lucky I’ve got this exclusive info for you. The two sequels will be The Power of Two for the Wii, and The Power of Illusion for the 3DS. Get your paint and thinner ready, folks—you’re getting more opportunity than you even bargained for.

Although I showed you four possible covers for the game that were competing for the ultimate and official title, they basically all lost to another cover that I honestly believe doesn’t parallel as much, but is still kinda cool.

But, hey—what the creators must announce is what the fans must anticipate. Anyway, let’s talk a bit about The Power of Two, the more-known-about sequel of the two, the one that actually has a Wikipedia article. The platform range for this game have branched out tremendously, abandoning the concept of being just a Wii-exclusive title. It is now available for the Mac OS X, the PC, and the three rivals of the seventh generation of gaming: the PS3, Wii, and X360. Now that’s a severe case of irony. The excitement first kindled thanks to Destructoid when they put up an article last summer speculating the sequel and its possible covers. The rumors inched closer to reality when the French division of Disney as well as game designer Warren Spector invited the French to an “epic project”  comencing in late March 2012. The rumors came even closer when Nintendo Power announced, at the end of their March ’12 issue, that their next issue in April would have a “top-secret” preview, and this is what that would look like if you actually read the last page:

Can you tell what those things at the bottom are?…

GameTrailers also stated that their March 22, 2012 episode would involve a “world-exclusive preview of Warren Spector’s new epic adventure”, and it would be “notably significant.” Tons of clues and mind-boggles later, Warren finally confirmed that the rumors were true on the 21st, and that the title of the game would be Power of Two, and would feature new parts of the city as well as old ones ruined by earthquakes and other natural disasters. But luckily, for us, I confirmed this information even earlier. Not to be a showoff. Warren said that over 700 people would be part of the sequel’s crew, and that over a thousand alters were made to the camera issues that were criticized in the first game. Now, about the plot.

Taking place some time after the original title, the Mad Doctor (whom Mickey had defeated in the original), mysteriously returns to the Wasteland, despite being presumably blown up in the original game. [This reminds me about a metaphor you could always use in these peculiar situations: when Kenny dies in South Park, he almost always comes back for the next episode he appears in.] Claiming to have realized the error of his ways, ironically enough, he offers to work alongside Oswald and other Wasteland residents to mend the damage caused by earthquakes in order to make a few amends.

Giving him the benefit of the doubt, Oswald accepts the Mad Doctor’s helpful plan for the city. However, not long after this, the Wasteland suffers even more wear-and-tear than before, and suspicion rises that the Mad Doctor is not keeping to his own truth. Gus the Gremlin, Oswald’s buddy advisor, and his girlfriend Ortensia (confirming that rabbits can actually have love lives), all come to a conclusion: “When there’s something strange in the neighborhood, who we gonna call? MICKEY MOUSE!” And apparently this is the best possible plan since Mickey had saved Wasteland in 2010. Mickey climbs through the same mirror that he did in 2010, retrieves his magical paint-and-thinner brush from Yen Sid’s workshop, after having it taken away at the end of–gee, this game has a lot of tie-ins to its predecessor, doesn’t it? With the help of Gus, Mickey returns to the corrupted Wasteland to uncover the truth behind the Mad Doctor’s “little white lie”, with Oswald as a sidekick along the way.

And indeed, they discover that the Mad Doctor had tricked them, using his helpful offer as an excuse to create and release his new works known as “Blotworx” into the already troubled districts, hybrids of the original game’s Blotlings and Beetleworx. Realizing his mistake that could cost him the life of the city, Oswald becomes Mickey’s assist in taking down the Mad Doctor once again to fix a mess he himself had started.

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For Wii users, your game will be developed by Junction Point Studios, but for PS3 and X360 users, yours will be from Blitz Games. For everyone, it will be published by Disney and distributed by Buena Vista, running under the Gamebryo engine, used by companies like 2K Games, Ubisoft, and Sony. Instead of coming out in the holidays of the year, it will instead come around the fall season in September. Waiting 5 months isn’t all that bad, is it? If you can’t wait, you can always hitch up the Nintendo Power April issue and get your fix before the primetime release.

Yep, this is the final cover art. Not some fake that I made to be show-y…POST APRIL FOOLS! You totally fell for that, didn’t you? Yeah, this is just a fake I made, but at least it looks cool. And, Disney, if you’re coming up with a cover for Power of Illusion, you could always use mine under my 100% permission, but only with 5% of the game’s financial revenues. Anyway, Power of Illusion will be an apparent 3DS-exclusive Epic Mickey sequel, and it will probably be the second of the two sequels, as its date is not yet determined. So, the game is basically a sequel’s sequel. This time, a company named Dreamrift will be grabbing the reins of development, and Peter Ong will be designing, but Disney and Buena Vista still have their jobs. It is not yet known what engine it will run on, but it has been spreading that the sequel will possibly be running under hand-drawn sprites and scrolling backgrounds, which Spector has confirmed as true.

The plot for this game is completely irrelevant with that of The Power of Two, but still takes place after the original game. In this, the evil witch Mizrable (good name), and her Castle of Illusion, have accidentally been transported to the Wasteland thanks to the wizard Yen Sid, the same guy with the workshop Mickey got his brush back from in Power of Two. Oswald tells Mickey the news, but also adds that Minnie Mouse has been detected inside. So now, for his second sequel, the two are on a mission to save not only Minnie, but the “Illusions” of other trapped Disney characters inside the castle.

The 3DS mechanics of the game basically resemble the game Scribblenauts; where you must write out words to convert them into real objects. In this game, you must trace out those objects to bring them to existence. And for people who aren’t the best illustrators, that’s a bad thing, since the quality of your drawings reflect on the quality of the drawn object. Nintendo Power used a cannon as an example. A well-traced cannon will only inflict harm on enemies, but a badly traced cannon can inflict harm on everyone else, even Mickey! Each stage of the game will resemble a different Disney animated feature. Some announced ones include Peter PanSleeping Beauty, and even Tangled.

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So are you excited for these sequels? I know I’ll be checking the ratings in September this year to see if I should pick it up! Anyway, I’ll give you one last thing to participate in before you leave. Mwak out.

– Sam

p.s. Time for our Would You Rather o’ the Week! Would you rather…every time you go #1 in the bathroom, it lights on fire, or every time you go #2, it blows up?



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!)



This case just needed to be rested. Hey guys, it’s Sam once again, coming back this time for yet another count down for the top ten Nintendo 64 games. I personally own a Nintendo 64, but all we have is Diddy Kong Racing and the somewhat critically-worshiped Super Mario 64. This case just needed to be cracked one way or another, and especially with all these Legend of Zelda games (especially Ocarina of Time being worshiped as the best—and I mean best—game of all time), I needed to put my foot down and take a chance…and I’m looking at my own opinions, not Wikipedia’s most bestselling N64 games. Well, enough talk, let’s go onto #10…

“ClayFighter 63 1/3 goes right back to boring players to tears” – GameSpot, 3.1/10

There really was no other spot bad enough to scratch the bottom of the barrel. Interplay’s ClayFighter 63 1/3 (mocking the fad of N64 games that have 64 as a suffix in their title, like Pilotwings 64) is either one of the funniest N64 games created, or one of the console’s worst letdowns, depending on who you rely on. The third of the ClayFighter series, after the original SNES ClayFighter and its sequel C2 Judgement Clay, it still continues its ancestors’ trend of using stop-motion clay animation (aka claymation) to provide cheesy but hilarious fighting. With parodies at every corner of the game, such as Mortal Kombat-mimicking “claytalities”, and “Let’s get ready to crumble!” based off of “Let’s get ready to rumble!”, this game was too hilarious for its own good. The gameplay nonetheless was terribly derivative, pathetically visualized, and very annoying with sounding. It’s a balance between a mediocre game and a horrible game. It’s not that I don’t recommend it, but it’s just that I don’t recommend it for people who know their fighting games. Now do you know why this is at the bottom of the list?

FUN FACT: Did you know that ClayFighter 63 1/3‘s later rental-only edition, ClayFighter: Sculptor’s Cut, is one of the rarest and most expensive N64 games of all time?

“…the kind of game you will spend many sleepless nights with” – GameSpot, 8.3/10

#9 goes to Star Fox 64, also known as (in the PAL region) Lylat Wars. This game actually was not the first Star Fox game, as the real original was released for the NES four years before this. You actually couldn’t classify this game as an “aerial space shooter”, but instead a “rail shooter.” This also became a first of N64 history to include the infamous force-feedback Rumble Pak. The game actually originated indeed from Shigeru “Big Boss” Miyamoto, which evolved finally into the process of controlling Fox McCloud and one of his piloted vehicles, usually his Arwing. That Arwing is also known to deflect enemy fire in the midst of performing a popular and official meme, the “barrel roll.” Fox only has 3 other members of his new Star Fox team (passed down from his father after his passing): Falco Lombardi, Fox’s friendly rival, Slippy Toad, Fox’s youthful friend, and Peppy “Barrel Roll” Hare, Fox’s mentor. It has been praised for its enjoyable gameplay, great soundtrack, nice-enough visuals, and more, but the only bad things people had to say were of its incredibly short duration and lack of rumble support. And the reason this game couldn’t even make the top 5 is since I personally know I’d be horrible at rail shooters. Shooting bad guys while keeping track of your team is a lot of work for a kid.

FUN FACT: Did you know that Star Fox 64‘s voice acting originated from Shigeru Miyamoto’s interest in English puppet dramas? While developing the game’s animation sequences, they had the characters’ mouths open and close like puppets.

Does anyone notice "Nintendo 64" emblazoned on this snowboarder's shirt? I want a snowboarding jacket like that.

“…the best snowboarding game around” – GameSpot, 8.6/10

#8 goes to 1080° Snowboarding (pronounced Ten Eighty), the most praised snowboarding game on the Nintendo 64. The player controls a snowboarder in one of six different modes; it has two trick modes (trick attack and contest), three race modes (race, time attack, and multiplayer), a training mode, and options. The objective of the whole game is to either arrive at a finish line as fast as possible, or to receive as much credit for tricks as you can. These wee goals have resulted in 1,230,000 copies sold just in the U.S., but also a ranking as only not even the thirtieth-most bestselling game. It still has been considered either the best snowboarding game created, or one of the most strenuous created, depending on who you rely on.

FUN FACT: Did you know that 1080‘s graphics were the highest on the N64 at that time (aka 1998)?

Diddy Kong Racing probably wasn’t supposed to see the light of day for months” – GameSpot, 6.6/10

#7 goes to the Rare-Nintendo team’s world record-setting Diddy Kong Racing, with 800,000 copies ordered before Christmas 1997 even arrived. Released 2 months after the N64, this game supported the storyline of a tiger named Timber being left in charge of an island soon to be terrorized by the horrific Wizpig, so Timber recruits his racer-skilled friends to form a team and beat Wizpig once and for all. This game is either one of the best or worst N64 racers, depending on either its amazing soundtrack and smooth gameplay outcome, or its horribly tedious story-mode process. This game is the only N64 racing game I have, and so far, it’s a guilty pleasure, and a perfect example of the N64’s unusually impressive freezing abilities. But hey—racers like these don’t come often, and no one like Mickey Mouse should come along and copy it!…What? He already did? Dang it!

FUN FACT: Did you know that Diddy Kong Racing had an entire course in something like beta that sadly never made it to market? That course was called Horseshoe Gulch, and even if I don’t know what domain it belongs to, you can check out the beta course here… (Are you with or against the fact that this course was unreleased? Comment your response, kay-kay?)

“…anyone who wants a great golf game need look no further” – GameSpot, 8.7/10

#6 goes to the Camelot-Nintendo team’s creation of Mario Golf, the actual second game in the eponymous series, after NES Open Tournament Golf, which actually still starred Mario and Luigi. This game was a critic’s paradise with no review with a score dropping below a limit of 8.0/80%. IGN was even nice enough to cater a perfect score for the game! This game actually is a blast, with its keen and precise golfing engines, like setting power. There are 11 characters in the game overall (with 3 unlockables), who include Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Donkey Kong, Metal Mario, and even our beloved Baby Mario. The first golfing game our princess-saving plumber has starred in with 3D computer graphics (like Super Mario 64 introducing Mario to 3D graphics), this game was just released in mid-summer 1999, and for the duration of five years, it’s gotten two sequels, plus a mobile golfing simulator. What could be better than such a unique game?

FUN FACT: Did you know that Mario Golf was developed by Camelot, and this was its first Mario game to contribute in?

“…strikes gold on the three points that matter most: value, gameplay, and fun” – GameSpot, 8.2/10

I know, a Mario sports game beat another Mario sports game, big shocker. But Mario Tennis is our first member of the top 5 best N64 games, and the ace they served up is an unbeatable one. An amazingly good game of tennis that may make your hands sweat instead of your brow, this game really does use its material upon real-life tennis to know what they’re talking about, since every type of tennis shot is present and accounted for. “So what,”, you might scoff, “is it fun?” Yes, no doubt. Matches are fast-paced and entertaining, the hilarity increases every second of the game with unnecessary vocal and visual outbursts, and lots, lots more. Now all Nintendo needs to do is to have its people call Camelot’s people and notify it of the idea of the latest Mario sports game: Mario Table Tennis!

FUN FACT: Did you know that the Mario Tennis series is due to continue sometime in 2012 when the series is serving a brand new ace on the 3DS? Look out for it, 3DS owners (or pre-3DS-gonna-get-one-for-Christmas owners)!

“the type of game N64 owners have been waiting for since they finished Mario 64” – GameSpot, 9.8/10

Surprise! Did I not tell you that there were gonna be a couple surprises up my sleeve?…I didn’t? Well, surprise! #4 1/2 goes to the Rare-Nintendo team’s GoldenEye 007. No offense to all you spy junkies, but I don’t really like James Bond, except for his classic phrases that include “The name’s Bond. James Bond.”, and “Shaken, not stirred” that have obviously skyrocketed him. Speaking of skyrocketing, this game got lots of it into the inclusion of being one of the most important first-person shooters created. Released just as summer 1997 was coming to an end, this game is not only famed for being maybe the only acclaimed movie-licensed game of all time (based off of the 1995 movie of the same name), and also for having one of the cheesiest game-over sequences Nintendo could think of—having James’s vision get drenched in red like in the gun-barrel sequence, and watching Bond hopelessly die from different angles like in a movie. What gets cheesier than that? A ranking as the third-most bestselling N64 game?…

FUN FACT: Did you know that GoldenEye 007 sold 8 million copies, and that amount even beat out Ocarina of Time, by just 1 million consumers, to get into the top 3? Yeah, the bestseller’s list is a huge competition.

“…so graphically clean and simple, one instinctively wants to go exploring” – GameSpot, 9.4/10

#4 somewhat goes to the N64’s most bestselling game, Super Mario 64. Released as the launch game of the console, this game featured the control of Mario in a full 3D-graphic-and-polygon free-roaming platforming adventure game that was one of the most anticipated aspects of the Mario series…hopefully. This game was considered a revolutionary classic by millions of [if not] billions of gamers, getting a near-perfect-to-perfect score whenever one dared to review it. Released just as summer 1996 became official, it has to be called one of the most successful Mario games created, with it and its spiffy 11.62 million copies…

FUN FACT: Did you know that upon meeting Yoshi in the game (which requires 120 stars), he adds life after life until you have a total of 100 lives? I better start working on that!

“…a game that can’t be called anything other than flawless” – GameSpot, 10/10

I know, I know. A game you may call the most legendary of all time only got #3 on the best-of-N64 list. I have a feeling you’re probably urged to pick up your pitchforks and torches and come to my house in all-out riot mode. But this is my own opinion! And I’ll give you some reasons why Ocarina of Time fell to just a #3 score. My own best friend owns this game (like for unnecessary mentionings!), but he says he’s got his socks scared off every time he plays the game. Monsters, mostly. This game may be a worldwide sensation for its unbeatable charms, but when you give this game to a kid…their fearful juices will flow. Even if this game was so famous, even a 3DS remake couldn’t shut everyone’s pieholes, this game is a beautiful nightmare, and just like A Series of Unfortunate Events‘ Lemony Snicket says: “I cherished, you perished, the world’s been nightmarished.”

FUN FACT: Did you know that Ocarina of Time sold 7.6 million copies worldwide, and beat out Super Smash Bros. in the process, by just 2.6 million sellers? Now you know!

“…Stadium comes off as bit of a disappointment” – GameSpot, 5.7/10 (Don’t blame me when I sent vicious and fully-evolved Pokemon to this company’s door.)

I do not understand what GameSpot means when they say this, but to me, Pokemon Stadium was fun enough to reach the #2 slot. This game is just a classic revamped 64-bit imagining of your usual Game Boy Pokemon games: full of strategy, stretches your brain to breaking points, and full of hidden support. Speaking of that support, it can be found with the power to transfer Pokemon from Pokemon Red, Blue, and even Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition, all with the usage of the N64 Transfer Pak, such as how the Rumble Pak provides force feedback. The AI has been toned down to the point where average Pokemon catchers could beat it, as of the Japanese version of the game was actually a sequel, and the original Japan-only game received lots of hate for being so hard. This game is so epic, it doesn’t even need a storyline! The only progress in-game can be made by winning Cups and completing the Gym Leader Castle. People have been looking at it in mixed to positive ways, with one even complimenting it as bringing “a tear of pride to your eye.” All I have to say to that person is three letters: IKR?

FUN FACT: Did you know that the game was released as a cartridge (bet you already knew that), but was originally going to hold use of the Nintendo 64DD. But since the 64DD turned out to be a commercial failure, cartridge format became the transferred, and official, format.

Super Smash Bros. is definitely worth a purchase” – GameSpot, 7.5/10

My, this is just full of surprises, isn’t it? But that announcer is right…something has gone wrong in the happy-go-lucky world of Nintendo, with a paradise of results. Think of being able to duke it out with your favorite Nintendo characters across arenas from your favorite Nintendo games, with music from your favorite Nintendo soundtracks. Mold that all together, and you get Super Smash Bros. at our #2 1/2 slot. This game is just a free world of amazing impression, with cheesy and entertaining violence, heart-stopping enthusiasm from the off-screen audience, and even the most beneficial power-ups I’ve seen in an N64 game since I could pop on my Wing Cap in Super Mario 64 and at least try to fly away. Will you be having fun with a totally boss laser sword, amazingly powerful Bob-ombs, or are you gonna stop and have some Hammer time? You can play as Kirby and always be able to float to safety, Link with the ability to throw his own bombs, Donkey Kong with him and his banana-fueled insanity, Mario (obviously) with his roots that created this game in the first place, Captain Falcon with him and his devastatingly popular (and pioneered) falcon punch, and more! No wonder this game had the 5 million copies that beat out even Diddy Kong Racing!

FUN FACT: Did you know that the Super Smash Bros. series is due to continue with its untitled fourth installment currently announced for the Wii U and 3DS? The date of release is not announced yet, but keep on the lookout for more news!

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And here it is. #1. My favorite N64 game to play. I bet you agree with me, too. The winner of Sam’s Totally Top 10 Best Nintendo 64 Games Created is… (I am now going to upload dramatic music so the suspense can grow with every endearing second.)

“…likely to disappoint you after a week” – GameSpot, 6.4/10

If you know your Mario, there really is no other choice for the top of the barrel. Amazing soundtrack, fun racing, amusing power-up outcomes, this game has it all, but critics just don’t take the time to look at it the right way! This game really does deserve its spot as the second-most bestselling N64 game, and don’t you think otherwise! Kenta Nagata, Shigeru Miyamoto, everyone needs at least a little respect! So I’m giving you some of the best aspects of the game, in a nutshell.

  • Amazing soundtrack. (Some of my favorite songs are Kalimari Desert, Rainbow Road, Toad’s Turnpike, and Banshee Boardwalk (NOT shown above).)
  • Fun racing fueled by easy controls. (And when I say fuel, I mean fuel.)
  • Classic but still fun power-ups. (I will still remember Yoshi’s sacred cry of pain: “Owowowowowowowowowow!”)
  • Good—no, revolutionary—voice acting. (I want to give the person who voiced Toad a passionate rub on the head as well as a dog treat.)

Get the point? If you do, comment, rate, and subscribe, please. If you don’t, try rereading this entire post, alright?

– Sam

p.s. What should I Totally Top 10 next? Comment your opinions, and you could be responsible for our next countdown!



Hey guys it’s Sam, and I’ve just recently got my hands on another juicy Nintendo Power issue for more buzz from there to here! It talked about upcoming excitements such as the 25th Sonic anniversary reunion with modern and classic, Sonic Generations, the third Olympian battle between speed and style, Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games, and an old 3DS revisit to a classic in-your-face ninja adventure, Shinobi.

Sadly, that’s not what I’m entirely talking about (which doesn’t mean I’m spilling no beans at all). There’s always one page in every NP issue in the “Pulse” section that looks at the fans instead of the games. This page is called “The Score”: what Nintendo fans think, want, and do. Racked with percentages or opinions from fans, this page has some pretty surprising juice on it. Check out this page from last month’s issue:

If you’re not a fan of tiny print, I’ll break it down to you. Did you know that:

  • 40% of people first played Ocarina of Time on the N64?
  • The most people selected gray as their primary N64 controller color?
  • 48% of fans played the original Super Smash Bros. for over 2 days?
  • 32% more of you like Polygonal Mario over Paper Mario?
  • 44% of you know the DK Rap?
  • According to a pie chart, people think the best N64 wrestling game is WWF Wrestlemania 2000?
  • 14% more of you think that repeating days in LoZ (Legend of Zelda): Majora’s Mask was pure genius?
  • 2% more of you (against Super Mario 64‘s percentage and GoldenEye 007‘s percentage combined) think that the original Ocarina of Time made the most lasting impact?

See, I told you it was fascinating. Here are a couple of fan-determined facts from my Score…

  • The best way to fly is by raccoon tail (Super Mario Bros. 3) according to 46% of you.
  • When asked which 3DS virtual console game library was the most anticipated, fans decided that the Game Boy Color‘s library was the most anticipating.
  • 89% more people would be a Koopa, for a Bowser lackey, instead of a Goomba.
  • 58% of gamers hoard RPG items instead of using them frequently.
  • People believe that they could go either way when questioned if Pilotwings‘ Wuhu Island should return in future games.
  • Speaking of Pilotwings, people say the best in-game vehicle is the plane. Duh.
  • A surprisingly tough 53% of you play horror games with the lights off
  • 36% more people think that the power glove Link acquires in A Link To The Past is better than the NES peripheral’s.

And now the beans that you’ve all been wanting me to spill….new upcoming games more exciting than you can shake a tail feather at!

Mario, my dear plumbing friend, I'm not a toiletologist, but I recommend you don't step in that.

Link had his time to shine in 3D this year with Ocarina of Time 3D, so what about Mario? Don’t worry. He has a great new 3DS adventure of his own, now officially entitled Super Mario 3D Land. Flying into stores November 13, this game mixes itself into classic 2D side-scrolling Mario games, and modern free-roam 3D Mario games. Wikipedia describes: “The game offers a number of traditional Mario items, such as the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Starman, along with new power-ups that bestow a special suit onto Mario that grants him new abilities. Some revealed power-ups include the Super Leaf from Super Mario Bros. 3 which allows him to turn into Tanooki Mario and attack with his raccoon-like tail and float in the air, and the Propeller Box, which acts similarly to the Propeller Block and the Propeller Mushroom from New Super Mario Bros. Wii, allowing Mario to reach high places.” Does it sound juicy enough? This game features a 3DS autostereoscopic technology that bestows players with depth gazing at the screen. Although it’s a band fit for one man, look forward to this game as something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

Straining yourself choosing between green eyes or potbellies? Traditional platforming or unbridled speed? Well, with the 25th anniversary of Sega’s fast-n’-famous hedgehog, you don’t have to choose. We’re going back in time while still staying in the future with Sonic Generations, where modern and classic speeds of sound reunite. Sonic and company get sucked into a “time hole” during their 25th anniversary celebration, scattering everyone across time. As Sonic begins searching for his pals, he stumbles upon his old 1991 self that made the Genesis so popular, Classic Sonic. The two race through history to find their friends and mend the time stream. But this isn’t just a 3DS-exclusive..it’s also heading for the Xbox 360, PS3, and even the PC. Are you feeling a need for speed across 3 eras in 20 years of adventure (Classic, Dreamcast, and Modern)? Do you want to see your idolized hedgehog skateboard? Do you want to get your money’s worth after 6 months of announcement? Then this is the game changer for you.

If there's one warrior who can make a seriously Chinese entrance, it's Samurai Jack.

And if there’s one game this year that will have you singing a different toon, it’s Cartoon Network: Punch Time Explosion. Busting up retail stores on the 8th of November (although the 3DS edition was released at the start of June 2011), this game may literally be the Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe of the animated kiddie world…except everyone’s from the same company. Crossing over characters from the boss to the confusingly accepted, such as Samurai Jack (pictured above), the Powerpuff Girls, Chowder, Flapjack, Ben “Ben 10” Tennyson, and Dexter from his laboratory. The plot is so ridiculous and confusing, it hurts my brain trying to decipher it all on this post: but to make a long story short, the Announcer decides to watch Cartoon Network on a day off, but he realizes that all these shows are facing utter destruction. When I first saw this game, I was mad out of my wits. I was so angry, I made a bull in a rodeo look gentle. It was because there were no new (and actually important) people that had just started their lives on Cartoon Network. Mordecai, Rigby, Finn, Jake, all off the roster? Son, I wanted to sue Papaya Studio. But discovering that they were actually going to return for the Xbox and PS3 editions, I decided to cool my jets a little. And why does everyone love parodying Super Smash Bros. now? First Super Monkey Ball 3D included Monkey Fight, now this stealing the original format? And there’s still not some sort of interactive law against this…

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Want to keep track of the magazine’s site? Go to nintendopower.com and subscribe to it (also performable on Amazon) so you can get every single issue with 72% of the savings! Can you feel the power? Do you want more power? Then subscribe to Sammwak, and like this post if you blog here at WordPress. Want more Nintendo rave? Then keep rooting for more in the comment section!

Can you believe Sammwak has been running for almost 20 months now, and we’ve gotten over 40,000 hits? Keep going, and we’ll have the most epic party of our lives when we hit 100,000!…

– Sam

p.s. How do you get Pikachu onto a bus?…you poke-em-on! *lolololololololololol*….yeah, I didn’t think it was funny, either.



Hey guys it’s Sam, starting a new segment on my blog…BKZoo! An abbreviation of Breaking KZoo or Kalamazoo, this segment gives you the ultimate scoop on what’s happening at my house without all of it. This first issue is a very juicy one at most. I’m excited out of my wits for it. I have gotten my hands, for the first time, on a Nintendo Power magazine! (A monthly magazine about the juice Nintendo is squeezing out.)

The first-ever Nintendo Power magazine, just as the 80s were about to become the 90s.

Nintendo Power is one of the longest-running magazines of the American and the Canadian lands at over 20 years of age, and is the famous corporation’s official magazine. Spilling the beans about upcoming Nintendo recommendations ranging from Ocarina of Time 3D, to Dead or Alive: Dimensions, this magazine is one of the hottest funky junk I’ve read. I don’t even care leafing through pages and pages of microscopic print, but it pays off with its flamboyant styles and captivating perspectives.

The issue I have...the March 2011 subscriber edition magazine!

There, I learned lots of stuff that may be a little dated, but gives me some good recommendations whenever I get a 3DS. (courtesy of the Raise Money So Sam Mwakasisi Can Get a 3DS Fund) With the Nintendo power in your hands, Thor will look like an action figure. Check out a peek at some of March’s most anticipated games!

Some info behind some of the Street Fighter IV series newcomers.

  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters – No sporting franchise has been as consistently successful on the Wii as Tiger Woods PGA Tour. But this new installment may be his biggest tee-up opportunity…in the Masters tournament! A first for the series, players can show off their skills at the famous Augusta National Golf Club. (I don’t know it, either) Can Woods make a comeback this season? Hey; at least his game never looked better.

The back cover of my issue, depicting SSF4 in a way you'd never think possible.

  •  Super Street Fighter 4 3D Edition – Wasn’t this picture just asking for it? Anyways, my issue revolved around a lot of games, but SSF4 3D Edition was its main premise. March being the month the 3DS was launched in America, (Japan almost got a 4-week boost!) Nintendo fans must’ve screamed with joy when this game was announced. “…the biggest name in fighting games shoryukens its way into the Nintendo 3DS launch-window lineup” the magazine said. Think it’s going to be impossible executing Zangief’s first ultra? (circle motion twice + all 3 punches = Ultimate Atomic Buster) The new, and head-smackingly easy, Lite Controls think otherwise. The magazine was so revolved around this game, they had to interview several Capcom masterminds to get the full scoop! (Seth Killian, the man behind our final boss’s name, gave us some tips to fight like a boss. Alongside, the producer that made it all happen, Yoshinori Ono answering six questions.)
  • Put pedal to the metal like you never have before in Asphalt 3D. (Yes, it is related with the Asphalt app series.) Predictably the most accessible racing game coming to the handheld, this game boasts an easy power-slide system and an abundance of extra modes and vehicles, providing a lot to offer for both casual and hardcore racers.

A look at the two Ocarina of Time editions, among others: the original, from 1998, and the most recent, this year.

  • Ocarina of Time 3D – You know it. You love it.  61% want to have his ears, 54% want to play as a female lead, it is The Legend of Zelda. One of Nintendo’s most timeless series starting just around the time this magazine did, it currently ranks as the fourteenth on the chart of best-selling game series at sales paying off at 60 million. This epic has never looked better than its transition into 3D. A sensationally visual enhance of the original by far, it also graces interface improvements such as touch-screen. Whether you’re a longtime Zelda super-fan, or you’ve never played a Zelda game before, this is one adventure that shouldn’t be missed.

A snapshot of a game of Ridge Racer 3D in mid-race.

  • “It’s Riiiiidge Racerrr! If you imagined the voice of a cheesy announcer when you read that, then you’ve probably played enough Ridge Racer to know the long-running series has such a loyal following…” begins Nintendo Power. Long-running it is at 18 years of age, besides setting off the craze of arcade sensation Pac-Man, one of Namco’s biggest hit series must be Ridge Racer. Is Need for Speed too old for you? Try Ridge Racer especially after its conversion onto the 3DS in Ridge Racer 3D. Cool cars, gorgeous tracks, and racing that takes us back to the golden-aged arcade days. All that magic in your own pocket and where you go, this stellar feller goes.
  • After Ubisoft’s stumble with their Michael Jackson experience, they should be able to get back on their feet with another conversion of an old-schooled game created before 2000 was even known. It is Rayman 3D, the 3DS transition of 1999’s Rayman 2: The Great Escape. One of the most influential games of the N64 era, Ubisoft has taken the most highly regarded version of the game (the Dreamcast edition) and re-released it. Just with 3D graphics and analog controls and gentler difficulty curves, and better camera systems! In the end…not so different.

A player navigates themselves through a meadow of flowers and bananas.

  • Wow…talk about balls of steel. After a decade of Sega’s hit series titles all sharing the main premise of a bunch of simians that went “bananas” and transported around in balls to get more…kind of regular. And in Super Monkey Ball 3D, it’s kind of the same thing, except in 3D.  There are two types of ways to get things “rolling”: the circle pad, or the motion controls. But this game is a bit of new while still a bunch of old. Two new mini-games are being featured: Monkey Race, and Monkey Fight. Monkey Race is a little Mario Kart-esque, as the whole yearning for first place occurs. Monkey Fight is a little more Super Smash Bros. Either way, critics may not have had positive hearts, but they’re critics; they’re not supposed to.
  • And to believe this was the 3DS’s bestselling game, and first platinum title. Pet-raising simulation? Pet-raising? Seriously? Were all the people who bought this game girls? Nintendogs + Cats was the leading game at not too far from 2 million copies, beating out Ocarina of Time 3D at 0.63 copies! Making a 6-year return after Nintendogs hit the DS, even my magazine revolved around this for at least one half of a page, explaining its use of 3D graphics, and cute stuff like dogs jumping at the screen to lick you, or throwing a boomerang for your pal to fetch. (Note: This game launched exactly the day the 3DS did.)

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Like what you’re seeing? Then maybe you should subscribe to Nintendo Power on Amazon to get a year’s worth of this juice! Anyways, keep checking back for more breaking Kalamazoo, and more on Sammwak! (Make sure you subscribe, or like this post if you blog here at WordPress.)

This is Sam breaking KZoo, signing out.

– Sam