Review – Arms

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Arms is a game that has taken me for a roller coaster ride this year. I was a little skeptical upon its initial reveal, but as subsequent information about the game came out, I got a little more excited. However, that excitement was quickly deflated after getting to play the game over the summer, and it got quickly demoted from a must-buy to a rental for me.

Now that I got to spend some time with the final product, I can’t say I regret my decision. Arms has its fair share of problems, which causes the game to float somewhere between really fun and very frustrating. Through all of this, though, Arms still manages to be a breath of fresh air coming from Nintendo. At its best, it’s a superbly designed online experience that requires complex, on the spot thinking. It takes some risks, some of which don’t pay off, but it has many good ideas that I hope are not abandoned here.

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Review – Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions

I have really fond memories of Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, the first game in the Mario RPG side-series of games. It was a spiritual successor to the previous Mario RPG titles, Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars and Paper Mario. What set this game apart from the previous titles was the wacky dialogue and gag-filled humor,  elements which made it quite the refreshing take on the turn-based JRPG genre.

Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser’s Minions on the 3DS is a remaster that feels a little strange to me. While it looks beautiful–easily on par with its contemporary iterations Dream Team and Paper Jam–the gameplay feels exactly like it did back in 2003. As a JRPG, Superstar Saga on the 3DS can be refreshing in its simplicity, while simultaneously feeling quite a bit dated in some respects.

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Ranked: Super Mario Games

Previously on Ranked: The Legend of Zelda

With the release of Super Mario Odyssey right around the corner, it’s time to take a look back at the Super Mario Bros. series in this mushroomy edition of Ranked. Now, I have to set some ground rules before I begin. Since there are so many Mario games, I have included a couple of limits on what games make it to this list:

  • Only mainline Mario games are included here. No sports, racing, party, RPG or other spin-off titles.
  • No Yoshi or Wario games. Sadly, that includes Yoshi’s Island on the SNES.
  • Super Mario Maker is kind of its own beast as well, so that won’t be on here, even though I LOVE that game.

Finally, remember that this is just my opinion as a long-time Nintendo fan. Without further ado, let’s get started!

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Review – Splatoon 2

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The first Splatoon on the Wii U was a pleasant surprise at the time. On the Wii U, a console that was lacking in “fresh” games, as it will, it was thrilling to see a game that was so original, deep and fun as that game was. On top of that, Splatoon‘s popularity made it an obvious choice for a quick sequel on Nintendo’s new Switch system. So, does Splatoon 2‘s obvious similarities to the first game make it lack the freshness of the first game, or does it still wow with its squiddy goodness?

Well, fortunately, Splatoon 2, for the most part, is good. It takes the excellent foundation of the first game, and builds upon it to deliver a game that is doubtlessly better than what came before. While there are no huge changes from the original, there are big additions and smaller changes that make this more than worth the purchase for any returning squid, and a must-purchase for any new fish out there.

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Replay Review – Metroid Prime

Note: In honor of the long overdue announcement of Metroid Prime 4, I will be playing and reviewing all three titles in the series! For context, I am replaying it via the 2009 Wii compilation Metroid Prime Trilogy, which features all three games with “enhanced” Wii pointer controls.
Metroid is a magnificent series of games. Even before Metroid Prime brought it into the 3D world, Metroid had made its mark, so much so that its name has come to define an entire genre of games (“Metroidvania”). However, after the release of Super Metroid, the series would go dormant for eight long years. In 2002, the series would return in full force with not one, but two new games, Metroid Fusion, a sequel that plays in a 2D perspective similar to the classic games, and Metroid Prime on the GameCube, which featured something surprising for a Nintendo title: a first-person perspective.

It would be Metroid Prime that would have the most impact on the series. Developed by a rookie developer from Texas, Retro Studios, Prime is today what we consider to be the equivalent of Super Mario 64 or Ocarina of Time to the Metroid series. Prime elegantly elevated the mechanics of its predecessors into a three-dimensional space, staying true to its roots, but simultaneously modernizing the series and making it achieve more than anyone thought was possible.

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Impressions from the Arms Global Testpunch Event

With this weekend’s Arms Global Testpunch wrapped up (There are additional times next weekend), I’m pretty surprised to say I’ve come out with a more skeptical opinion of Nintendo’s newest Switch game. I was really looking forward to Arms, and to an extent, I really did enjoy my time with it this weekend. However, there are some concerns that I have now after playing it, which I will address here.

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