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I'm just a dude in his mid-twenties who loves video games, movies, anime, and a bunch of other stuff. I don't write on a regular basis, so if you came here expecting that, you'll be disappointed. However, I do hope you enjoy the few things I do write here.

I'm a freelance programmer/web designer, so if you need someone to do a webpage or to make a game with, PM me. I'm also working on a game with some fellow Dtoiders, and when we have something solid, I'll talk about it here.

My five favorite games of all time are:

1. Super Mario Galaxy
2. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker
3. Portal
4. Bioshock
5. Metroid Prime
Player Profile
Xbox LIVE:GoofierBrute
Steam ID:GoobyPls
Wii U code:GoobyPls89
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Hey Dtoid, how are you doing? Good I hope. Anyway, for those of you who don't know, Super Smash Bros. 4 came out on the Wii U last Friday in the US, with Europe and Australia getting it this week, and Japan getting it in early December (SUCK IT JAPAN). After playing it on and off during the weekend, I was able to unlock all the characters and stages (I'm still working on the music), and based on what I've played so far, it's an excellent game overall that's easily in the running for my personal GOTY. It didn't take long for me to find my groove and start fisting the computer as Little Mac (WHO I TOTALLY CALLED DIBS ON BACK IN SEPTEMBER), though thanks to the 3DS version I've found that I'm also pretty good with Rosalina, Lucina, and Robin.

However, I have a problem Dtoid. As much as I've enjoyed my time with Smash, there's one part of the game I haven't tackled yet ,and no I'm not talking about Smash Tour, which you have to play at least three times to unlock Pac-Man's stage (THANKS OBAMA). No I'm talking about the online component. You see, even though I've been warming up to playing games online over the last few years, I do so under a few strict self imposed guidelines, one of those being I don't play online with complete strangers (and yes the irony of that is not lost on me). This is because strangers are terrible people who lie to you, say mean things to you, and trick you into their windowless van with the promise of free candy. That's where you guys come in.

You see, I need more people to play with online, and thought what better place to go than the site that's become my second dysfunctional family? If you own a Wii U and have Smash 4, or if you plan on getting them sometime soon, let's exchange Nintendo Network IDs, or NNIDs. I know I added a couple of you when Mario Kart 8 came out back in May, but let's see if we can do more. I'm also thinking that if I get enough people and the time, maybe I can start an online tournament or something, though I can't make any promises. Obviously not right now, since I imagine things are chaotic right now for most people, but maybe sometime down the line when we're all familar with the game.

So yeah Dtoid, if you own a Wii U and have or plan on getting Smash, comment and add people who have already commented. For those wondering, my NNID is GoobyPls89. Hell, even if you don't own Smash, show us your NNIDs anyway; the more the merrier I say. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to play some 8 Player Smash on the Great Cave Offensive. See ya guys online! 

Hello and welcome to the debut of a new series that I'm trying out called "Do's and Don'ts"(name not final), a series in which I talk about what developers and publishers should/shouldn't do when it comes to games, practices, etc. For this inagural post, I figure I start off talking about Super Smash Bros 4 DLC. If you like this and want to see more or if you think some things need to be improved, please let me know.

So did you guys see that recent Nintendo Direct covering the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. 4? It was pretty awesome, wasn't it? I don't know about you guys, but that Direct did the impossible and actually made me even more excited for Smash then I already was, which is saying quite a bit since I was already pretty excited (I had to change my pants twice during the Direct!). Eight players at once, events and coin matches are returning, Classic mode got an update, Ridley could be fought on the Pyrosphere stage, online voice chat, return of some classic stages, etc. But without a doubt, the biggest news for a lot of people was that Smash was going to have some kind of DLC when the game comes out, starting with return of fan favorite Mewtwo to people who owned both the 3DS and Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. 4.

Now while some people may have lamented Nintendo for making Mewtwo free for people who owned both copies for the time being, the one thing that stood out to me was that Nintendo is doing DLC for Smash; and honestly, that kind of worried me. Don't me get wrong; even though they only just started doing it, Nintendo has been hitting out of the park with how they've handled DLC, with Fire Emblem: Awakening and Mario Kart 8 being excellent examples of them doing it right. Super Smash Bros. is a completely different beast when it comes to DLC; you just can't throw a character into the game and call it a day. You have to make sure they're balanced and not overpowered, making sure that no one has an advantage over another player because they put down five bucks; this also holds true when you talk about including stages, since unlike other fighting games, the stages in Smash actually matter when it comes to who wins (yes that includes flat neutral stages like Final Destination).

So Nintendo, if you're reading this first of all, thank you for doing so. But most importanly, you need to handle the DLC for Smash 4 with a lot more care than you're usually famous for. So here are a few Do's and Dont's of how to DLC in Super Smash Bros. 4

DO: Make the DLC reasonable priced, and make it worthwhile


An example of doing it right.

As I said earlier, Nintendo is one of the few companies that's been doing DLC pretty well despite them only doing it pretty recently. Still, it should go without saying that the DLC for Smash 4 should be pretty reasonable, depending of course on how Nintendo wants to distribute said DLC. Do they want to do what they did with Mario Kart 8 and have a a pack containg certain characters and courses? Or do they want to do what they did with Fire Emblem Awakening Mario Golf: World Tour where you can buy characters and chapters indvidually or buy it all at once with a Season Pass? Personally, in the case of Smash, I'd lean toward the former rather than the latter, if for no other reason then you could do some pretty cool stuff with it.

Think about it: for like $8.99 you can buy a pack themed around a series, like Fire Emblem. It would include a couple of characters (which I'll go into later), a few trophies, a stage (though one not necessarily based on the series), and maybe some costumes if it's not too much trouble. Or you could buy three packs (based on Fire Emblem, Pokemon, & Star Fox for example) for a price of say $13.99, give or take. In any case, make the DLC something that's both meaty in content, but doesn't cost an arm and a leg to get.

 DON'T: Make the DLC characters exclusive to certain versions



I own the 3DS version of Smash, and I'm currently in the process of seeing how much my non-vital organs are worth on the black market (kidneys are overrated anyway) to get the Wii U version. But some people don't have non-vital organs to sell, or they don't have any desire to play a game like Smash on the 3DS (for the record, outside of the analog nub having a problem with pressing down, which it's had for awhile, I haven't had any problems playing the 3DS version, despite having an OG Red 3DS and big, meaty, claws). This in turn made the news that Mewtwo was going to be given for free to people who owned both versions of the game a hard pill to swallow for some. While I personally don't mind that (since again I'm getting both versions), I can see why some people are little upset by it, especially because Mewtwo is a pretty popular character. So protip Nintendo; going forward, don't make the characters exclusive to one version or the other.

You see that picture I linked above? That's the infamous chart on the Watch Dogs wikipedia page that shows what content was avilable for each version of the game.  Obviously, that's an extreme example, but my point still stands; make sure the DLC characters are avilable for both versions of the game. For example, if you're going to include Ice Climbers as DLC, make sure they work in both the Wii U and 3DS versions, or don't include them at all. Speaking of the Ice Climbers, this segways perfectly to my next point:

DON'T: Release only clones and veteran characters



At this point, complaining about clones in Smash is like watching Game of Thrones and getting upset because your favorite character died. The same goes with characters that aren't clones but are still pretty weird like the Ice Climbers. They may be weird and not especially popular among certain players, but they are still a part of what makes Smash unique. That being said, as much as I love both the clones (except Pichu) and the weird, unique characters, I'm not all that willing to pay money to play as these characters, especially Pichu. Because I hate Pichu.

Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't release them at all as DLC, but if you're going to, balance it out with new characters that have never been playable in Smash before. Take Mortal Kombat 9 for example (yes, I know it's a completely different game from Smash, but it's still worth a mention in my opinion); it may have had only four DLC characters, but they were evenly split between classic characters (Kenshi, Rain), and new characters (Skarlet, Freddy Krueger). As an added bonus, since Smash is a game that takes characters from famous Nintendo franchises, you have plenty of characters to choose from. Hell, here are just some new characters that I thought of off the top of my head (in no particular order):

  • Zael (The Last Story)
  • Krystal (Star Fox)
  • Lyn (Fire Emblem)
  • Reyn (Xenoblade Chronicles)
  • Magnus (Kid Icarus: Uprising)
  • Ghirahim (The Legend of Zelda)
  • Rayman (Rayman)
  • Amy Rose (Sonic the Hedgehog)
  • Zero (Mega Man X)

And before any of you bring it up, yes I know a few of those characters I listed are also Assist Trophies, but considering Little Mac debuted in Brawl as an Assist Trophy before being fully playable in Smash 4, I think it's pretty safe to assume that today's Assist Trophies are tomorrow's Smashers.

DO: Release the DLC in a timely matter


This one is pretty self-explantory, but it should still be said. Release the DLC in a timely matter; not too early after release, but not too late that the game is forgotten. Based on the (admittedly somewhat vague) release date of Mewtwo being released in Spring of 2015, it does seem like Nintendo is on the right path. I know that it sounds a ways off, but if you look at other fighting games like Mortal Kombat 9 and the most recent Injustice: Gods Among Us, the release date for the DLC is within reason, as those games were supported with quite a bit of post-launch content; in the case of Injustice, the last DLC character (Zatanna) was released almost five months after the game was initially released. Granted, at this point we only know of one character so far (Mewtwo), but if there are other DLC characters that are coming out, I would hope they come out sooner rather than later.


Anyway, that's it for this inaugral post of "Do's and Don'ts. What do you guys think? Do you agree, disagree, think I missed something? Maybe you think I'm full of it and don't know what I'm talking about? In any case, please let me know. Hopefully this won't be the last one of these that I do, and hopefully I can come up with a better title. I intend to make this be a bit more laid back than what I usually write, hence some of the swearing and the pacing. Thanks for reading; good night and good luck.

I've been walking the planet Earth for twenty five years now. And over the course of those twenty five years, I've learned some very important lessons, like what to eat and what not to eat, what not to stick in the electrical socket, etc. But of all the lessons that I've learned, there's one that I feel everybody should take to heart: always let the people you care about in your life know that you apperiate them and what they do for you. I've been a member of Destructoid for about four to five years, but I feel I haven't really expressed how much I apperciate being here as a part of the community. That changes today.

I suppose I should start from the beginning. I first discovered Destructoid around late 2009/early 2010 (it's still a little hazy on when I first discovered this site, but I know I was still in college at the time), after someone on 4chan linked to a blog post by someone in the community about the final battle with Giygas in Earthbound. It was an interesting read, and it peaked my curiosity about the rest of the site, so I began lurking around a bit. After getting over the intial shock of having random people talk about each other's dicks without someone getting offended, it became clear to me that Destructoid would be a place that I would fit in perfectly. And so after lurking for a bit, I did something that I very rarely do, even with sites I visit frequently; I started an account, made my user name, picked my avatar, and started commenting.

 I'll be the first to admit that I was kind of an asshole when I first joined. I'd get mad at people who disagreed with me, got into a couple of fights with people, and overall wasn't very pleasent. It would have been easy for me to blame the fact that I was on 4chan, but the truth of the matter was that I was never good with interacting with people, both online and in real life. Despite this, the community still somewhat embarced me, and even taught me a few things of how not to act like a terrible human being. Soon, I was commenting with some of the regulars, making random dick jokes, and overall having a good time; it was the first time I could remember since college that I felt a strange closeness to random strangers.

And honestly, that's the thing I love the most Destructoid, and it's why I've stayed here for as long as I have. You guys do an excellent job of making new people who want to be a part of this place feel welcome, as if they were always part of the community from day one. You guys have a wide range of views, opinions, and personal tastes, and while we don't always agree with each other (just reading the comments on any Holmes post is evidence of that), it's clear that everyone's opinions matter in the discussion, something that you don't see very often nowadays. And even though I haven't met most of you in person, the fact that I consider many of you to be my friends says a lot. The fact that I can get my gaming news and can read reviews here as well is just icing on the cake.

Now, as much as I love all you guys and intend to stay for as long as possible, I'm also not blind. I know that over the years many people have felt somewhat dissatisfied by what's been going on with this site, saying that things aren't as good as it use to be, that things have changed, or that Dtoid just sucks now. And right now, there are people who I care and respect who have left, are currently leaving, or are going to leave soon, and to those people I say: I'm sorry to see you go. I'm not going to stop you, nor would it feel right that I did; you guys do what you have to do, and I wish you all the best in whatever you do going forward. I understand where you're coming from, and in some cases I agree with your reasons.

But you know what? I'm not going anywhere. While I don't agree with a lot of the stuff that's been going on lately, it's not enough to make pack up my bags and move on. In fact if anything, a lot of this stuff has made me realize what's the most important to me, and one of those things is making this place as cool and awesome as it was when I first found it. Which is why I'm here to make a promise to you right now.

Starting today, I intend to be a bit more active here; which is saying a lot, considering I've been pretty active on the FP. I already have a couple of ideas of things that I want to write about (as well as a couple of things that have been in limbo for awhile), and while I can't give a solid date of when stuff will be coming around (real life can be weird like that), I can promise that you'll be see much more of me around here; the only thing I ask from the rest of you is to do the same thing. If you're a new person who just got here, tell us about yourself and how you came here. If you're an old timer who came back after a bit, tell us how you've been; regardless of who you are, let's do what we can to make this place feel awesome. Staff may come and go, people change, but the community and the memories and experinces we share last a lifetime.

And you know what, if things do ultimately end up going south, if the good ship Destructoid ultimately hits an iceberg and we go down, then it happens. But at least I can say that I tried; because I love you guys, and I always will. And so, to the staff and the community, I say thank you for welcoming me to your neck of the woods, and here's to another four to five years of me being an awkward, unfunny nerd among my fellow awkward, unfunny nerds. Also cocks.

So, Super Smash Bros. 4 came out on the 3DS a little more than a week ago in Japan, revealing the final roster for us to see (don't worry, I won't spoil it here for those of you who don't want to know, and I ask anyone who reads this to do the same). The roster was rather impressive, and I feel that Sakurai and his team should be commened for putting together a diverse roster of characters to play around with. Despite that, I still wasn't sure who I was going to use as my main. Indeed, a lot of the characters looked really fun, but none of them I felt really clicked with me as someone I would want to main.  Rosalina is my favorite Mario character and is from my favorite game of all time, but seemed too techinical for my tastes. Greninja looked cool, but I usually don't main Pokemon in Smash. Robin and Lucina were both from my favorite game of last year, but I needed someone that packed a punch. I needed someone who could hit hard and fast, who could get in close and wreck his opponent, but who was fast and nimble enough to get out of harm's way. I needed someone who had the eye of the tiger, who could float like butterfly, sting like a bee, and all those other Rocky refernces. And then it hit me.

After months of uncertainty, I felt so foolish that the obvious answer was right in front of me the whole time. And so, my fellow Dtoiders, I come to you now as a changed man. I have seen the error of my ways; I have seen the light, and it is beautiful. It gives me great joy to finally utter these sacred words at last; I call DIBS on Little Mac for Super Smash 4. Little Mac is everything that you want in a Smash character and then some. He's got the heart of a champion, and the power to back it up. He's taken on some of the biggest, baddest, meanest boxers the WVBA could throw at him, and lived to tell the tale. Little Mac is the greatest character ever, and here are just a few of the reasons why I'm going to main him.

1. Little Mac Is Great At Taking On Impossible Odds


 At first glance, you might be thinking that Little Mac doesn't stand much of a chance in Smash. I mean, the starting roster alone includes a pair of brothers that shoot fire from their hands, a Peter Pan knockoff who's chosen by the gods to wield the "Blade of Evil's Bane", a giant gorilla, two fire breathing reptiles, three legendary swordsmen and a mage, a goddess and her angel errand boy, an intergalctic MILF, a ninja frog, a robot whose nickname is the Blue Bomber, a bounty hunter that shoots missles from her arm, a British guy who can see into the future, and Captain Falcon. Yeah, those aren't exactly great odds, and to say Little Mac has an uphill battle is an understatement. But you know what? That's just an average day in the life of Little Mac. Time and again, Little Mac has proven that you should never under-estimate him, as doing so is bad for your health. In his first game, Little Mac dreamed of being a champion boxer, but no trainer would take him on because he was considered too small to box. Things changed when he met Doc Louis, a former heavyweight boxer himself, who took Little Mac under his wing and taught him everything he knows, including his patented Star Punch, and before long Little Mac was working his way up the World Video Boxing Association, before ultimately taking on Kid Dynamite Mike Tyson himself (which I'll cover in a bit). So no, I'm not worried about Little Mac; if anything, I'm worried about the other players. Which brings me to my next point....

2. Little Mac Doesn't Need A Gimmick To Win

This is for Sonic '06!

Little Mac doesn't have a gun. He doesn't have wings, he doesn't shoot lasers from his arm, he doesn't have a piece of a sacred triangle in his hand, nor does he possess a sword created by a divine dragon. He doesn't shoot electricity from his cheeks, he doesn't have Pikmin, a Toad, or Lumas to fight for him, and he isn't Captain Falcon. So what does Little Mac have? Pure, raw power. His punches are fast and powerful, which he uses to wail on anyone who makes jokes about his height. He can bob and weave like the best of them, and you can't do a thing about it because he can get up close and personal when he has to be, and clear out when he has to cool off. And that's not even considering his unique Star Punch, which is powerful enough to KO any poor sucker who was too stupid or slow enough to get out of the way.So yeah, keep your Triforce of Courage and your magic books and Power Suit. None of it is going to do you a damn bit of good as Little Mac sends you on a one way trip to the hospital; hope you don't mind the food.

3. Little Mac Took On Mike Tyson......AND WON


Yes, THAT Mike Tyson. The same Mike Tyson who holds the record as the youngest boxer to win the Heavyweight Boxing Champion title for the WBC (World Boxing Council), the WBA (World Boxing Assocation) and the IBF (International Boxing Federation) at 20 years old, and the only boxer in history to hold all three titles AT THE SAME TIME. The same Mike Tyson who won his first 19 fights by KO, 12 which he KO'ed IN THE FIRST ROUND. The same Mike Tyson who won 50 of his 58 career matches. The same Mike Tyson who BIT OFF A PIECE OF EVANDER HOLYFIELD'S EAR. And the same Mike Tyson who owned not one, not two, but THREE white bengal tigers; because he was crazy like that. Say what you will about the terrible stuff he did outside of the ring, but in the ring, at his prime, Mike Tyson was not a force to be taken lightly. And Little Mac, knowing everything I just told you, looked to Doc Louis and said, "yeah, I can take him". And he did too, something that no other Smash character can claim. 

4. Little Mac wears A Pink Jump Suit

Just looking at this picture gets me pumped

I saved the best and most important reason for last. Little Mac wears a pink jumpsuit, which is actually one of his alternate costumes in Smash 4. And since everyone knows that pink is the manliest color ever, we can conclude that Little Mac is a manly character since he wears manly colors. "But Goof", I hear you say. "Pink isn't a manly color! It's a girly color that only girly girls wear!" Do you wanna know who else wears pink? Batman. And Captain Falcon. And I think we can agree, both of them are people you don't want to mess with. Kind of like Little Mac.

And those are the reasons why I'm calling DIBS on Little Mac in Smash 4. You're probably reading this and saying to yourself "man, that intelligent, handsome, modest gentleman GoofierBrute really convinced me  of the awesomeness that is Little Mac. I can't wait to use him!" Too bad, because I already called DIBS. Don't worry though, I'm sure there are other awesome character you can use, like Mario....and Link...maybe Pit, I guess? Of course, it isn't going to matter who you pick to use, because in my hands, Little Mac is going to be unstoppable. We'll crush any and all opposition that comes our way. And we'll have a blast doing it. So if you see someone online playing Little Mac, you should probably run, since I play for keeps.

See you on October 3!

         Love them or hate them, there’s no denying the impact Nintendo has had on the video game industry. Originally a card maker started in 1889, Nintendo tried its hand in multiple industries (including rice, taxi cab services, and love hotels), settling on making toys in 1966, and then getting into the video game market by securing the exclusive right to distribute the Magnavox Odyssey console in Japan in 1974. While they began developing their own console in 1977 called the Color TV Game and their first portable device called the Game & Watch in 1979, it wasn’t until 1981 that Nintendo first found success in the video game industry by converting unsold arcade cabinets of a game called Radar Scope into what would become their first smash hit; Donkey Kong. The game would go on to do much better than Nintendo expected, quickly becoming a major success in North America, spawning multiple ports to the Atari 2600 and Colecovision, toys, a sequel the following year (with a spinoff soon after that), and even two cartoons that were loosely based on the game (which weren’t very good). Nintendo used this newfound success to release another home console in 1983 called the Family Computer (or Famicom) in Japan, and in the US as the rest of the world as the Nintendo Entertainment System a couple years later; and the rest is history.

         I personally make no secret of the fact that I love Nintendo. Ever since I got a SNES one Christmas from my godparents despite the objection of my parents, I’ve been a huge fan, with many of their games being some of my favorite games of all time. And while they do things that I don’t always approve *cough* Virtual Boy *cough*, there’s no denying the company has left an indelible mark on me. Hell, I’d go so far as to say that there games are one of the reasons I’m the man I am today, though the jury is still out on whether that’s a bad thing or not. This year, Nintendo is celebrating their 125th anniversary as a company (September 23 to be exact), and to celebrate this momentous occasion, I’ve compiled a list of my ten all-time favorite first party games, starting with numbers ten through six.

        Before we begin, a few things to go over. First, this list is only covering Nintendo’s first party games (I promise to do a list about third party games one of these days). Second, I’m only including one entry per franchise, so as to give every series a chance and to have a bit of diversity. Finally, when I was coming up with this list, I considered the various Mario spinoff games (Mario Kart, Mario Party, etc.) as well games starring characters that originated from Mario (like Wario and Yoshi) as their own series; also as always, this is my personal opinion, this list shouldn’t be taken as fact, etc. And with all of that out of the way, let’s get started. *does Iwata Nintendo Direct hand thing*

10. Kirby Super Star (SNES)

        I love the Kirby series. Ever since I played the original game on the original Gameboy, I’ve enjoyed every game in the series. From its bright colors and music, to its unique Copy ability mechanic, the series is one that I hold very close to my heart. And unlike most Nintendo franchises that I love like Mario and Zelda, I’ve yet to find a Kirby game that I didn’t like. They’re all very good games for different reasons, but the one Kirby game that sticks out in my mind is easily Kirby Super Star, a game that came out late in the Super Nintendo’s life cycle.

       Marketed as eight games in one, Kirby Super Star is unique in that there’s no overarching story in this game; rather, each game has its own self-contained narrative, akin to something you would see in a sitcom. And these aren’t simple mini-games either; each of the games present feels like it could have been a full blown game if HAL Laboratories wanted to, and it would be pretty awesome. One minute you’re playing the abridged version of Kirby’s Dream Land, and the next you’re exploring a huge underground cavern for treasure in The Great Cave Offensive; my personal favorite is Meta Knight’s Revenge, where Kirby has to board Meta Knight’s flying ship the Halberd (a.k.a that one stage from Super Smash Bros. Brawl) and disable it bit by bit, all while Meta Knight and his colorful crew taunt you over the intercom. Super Star is also the game that introduced a lot of core concepts that would be later implemented into future Kirby games (like a health meter, Kirby wearing hats whenever he got powers, co-op, etc.), as well as introducing some fan favorite Copy abilities, like Plasma, Jet, Wing, Ninja, and my personal favorite, Yo-Yo.

          Kirby Super Star wasn’t the best game on the Super Nintendo, but it’s still an excellent platformer, and is easily the best Kirby game. Hal Laboratories really put a lot of effort into making Super Star an excellent game, and they succeed as far as I’m concerned. It’s just a shame that the game came out so late in the Super Nintendo’s life cycle, that most people never got a chance to play it. Thankfully, it’s out on the Virtual Console and there was a remake released in 2008 for the DS, not to mention it was a game on the Kirby 20th Anniversary Collection. Regardless of where you get it, you should definitely check out Kirby’s Super Star; you’ll be glad you did.

9. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (WII)
       Before I go any further, let me just address the three-hundred pound gorilla in the room right now (no, I’m not talking about Donkey Kong); tripping in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is stupid. It adds nothing positive to the game, it makes matches more chaotic than they need to be, and if it wasn’t in the game, Brawl would be much higher on the list. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about how awesome Super Smash Bros. Brawl is. So it’s no secret that the Super Smash Bros. series is a love letter to all things Nintendo, uniting the Big N’s most recognizable (and not so recognizable) characters, where they ultimately beat the crap out of each other with baseball bats, fans, and the occasional Pokémon. Brawl takes this concept and love for Nintendo and amps it up to eleven.
       From the incredible opening (complete with awesome and totally out of place music) to the roster and stages, Super Smash Bros. Brawl oozes with Nintendo fan service, which on its own wouldn’t be enough to warrant a spot on this list. No, what puts Brawl on this list for me over the much popular Super Smash Bros. Melee is quite simply I had more fun with Brawl than I did Melee. Yeah that’s really all there is to it; I wish I could say more, but that’s really the main reason. The characters were a blast to play as (Lucas and Pokémon Trainer were my go to mains), the Final Smashes were as awesome to use as they were to see, and unlike in Melee, I was able to have fun with both my casual friends and my hardcore serious friends without one group feeling left out. And while it’s no Super Mario World, the Subspace Emissary mode was a fun diversion that did what it was supposed to do, which was to provide you with an entertaining alternative to unlocking all the characters.
       I know some of you are going to read this and disagree with me, and I don’t blame you. There’s a reason why Super Smash Bros. Melee is still being popular among the fighting game community to this day, being a prominent game at major fighting tournaments like EVO. However, while I do enjoy Melee, I had a lot more fun and much fonder memories of Brawl. Yeah, it’s a bit slower and tripping is the dumbest mechanic I’ve ever seen in a game, but it’s still fun and one of the best local multiplayer games to play with friends on the couch. And that alone makes it my favorite game in the Super Smash Bros. series and worth being put on this list; at least until Super Smash Bros. 4 comes out.

8. Fire Emblem: Awakening (3DS)
      Like many of you, I was first introduced to the Fire Emblem series by way of Marth and Roy being playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Melee; I knew next to nothing about these characters when I first saw them, but it didn’t take long for me to want to know more about this strange series they hailed from. So when a new Fire Emblem (subtitled Sword of Flames in Japan) game was first announced to be localized for the U.S., I jumped at the chance to see what the heck this Fire Emblem series was all about; and what I got was……completely different than what I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the game when it came out and I played it; I just didn’t think it would be a turn based strategy game with permadeath, a rock-paper-scissor combat system (otherwise known as the Weapon Triangle), and weapons that had a finite use before breaking. But once I got over the initial shock, I fell in love with the game and the series, and before long I was checking out the past games via an emulator (without English subtitles I might add) and looking forward to the future games in the series. I played all of them in some capacity over the years, but the one that stuck out the most in my mind was the latest game in the series, Fire Emblem: Awakening, which was both a new game and a love letter to fans.
      You see, even though Fire Emblem Awakening doesn’t alter the core gameplay too drastically, it did bring back and refine some mechanics from previous games. The marriage and child system (first introduced in the fourth Fire Emblem game) is in this game, as well as a world map (from Sacred Stones), and having a player created character like in the remake of Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem (I’m not even going to try spelling the Japanese name) are just a few of the examples of Awakening paid homage to its roots; that’s not to say Awakening doesn’t have original ideas of its own. This is the first game (and hopefully not the last) to incorporate a mechanic called Pair Up, in which two units become one and attack an enemy as a pair, increasing certain stats depending on which classes are paired up (a Knight increases Defense, a Mage increase Magic, etc.), as well as gaining certain benefits in battle depending on how close the two units are, such as blocking an attack or helping out in taking down an enemy. It sounds like a simple addition (and it is), but it adds a lot of depth to an already deep game, since it strikes a perfect balance between having less units to work with on the map and having two units hook up so that their daughter can reclass into a Dark Flier and learn Galeforce.
      Of course, no mention of Fire Emblem: Awakening would be complete without talking about the units themselves; I’ve played a lot of the Fire Emblem games, but Awakening is the first game in which I can remember who everyone in my army was without having to look them up on a wiki. Granted, none of the units you recruit are all that special on their own (and in fact some of them are a bit cliché), but as a whole they’re a charming group of individuals, with support conversations that are at times somber and serious while funny and wacky at other times. It really goes a long way into making you care about these characters, which in turn makes you more aware of the battlefield to insure that your favorite Pegasus Knight doesn’t get an arrow in the butt. And that’s the root of what makes Awakening so great; it’s one of those rare games where the gameplay and the narrative go hand in hand, resulting in a game that’s not only one of the best Fire Emblem games, but also one of the best games on the 3DS. Oh, and before anyone asks on who the best spouse is, the correct answer is Lucina; it’s always Lucina.

7. Star Fox 64 (Nintendo 64)
       The Nintendo 64 (or N64 for short) and the Wii U have a lot in common (okay technically you can include the Gamecube as well, but I’m going somewhere with this). They both used technology which was considered out of date at the time (N64 with cartridges, Wii U with graphics and processing power from the previous generation), both had weird controls that divided the gaming community (the N64 controller and the Wii U Gamepad), but most importantly, both had pretty lousy third party support (though to be fair, the N64 fared a bit better in that department than the Wii U has so far). But if there was one thing that N64 owners could be proud of (other than being able to play four player splitscreen), it was the fact that it was the only place to get some high quality first party Nintendo games. Indeed, many of these games released by the Big N not only became the gold standard for their respective genre (Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Goldeneye) for years to come, but were also well made fun games (Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards, Paper Mario). Not every N64 owner owned every Nintendo game, but if there’s one game that every N64 fan had in their collection (or at least every N64 kid I knew had it in their collection), it was Star Fox 64, which was not only a blast to play, but was also the first game to heavily use the then newly released Rumble Pak, a device that would attach to the N64 controller and vibrate every time something happened; it was the first of its kind, and rumble would later become the standard for all controllers going forward.
       But the Rumble Pak isn’t the reason I put Star Fox 64 on this list. No what puts the game on this list is the fact that besides being a blast to play, it also has a surprising amount of depth. Yeah, at its core it’s still a scrolling shooter (albeit in 3D), but Star Fox 64 handles the core gameplay in a way so that it doesn’t feel boring by either having different mission objectives that go beyond the usual “take out the boss” or using different vehicles in certain missions like the Landaster (a hovering tank) or the Blue Marine (a sub with infinite torpedoes). One mission for example tasks you with taking out a certain number of enemies in a massive space battle that wouldn’t feel out of place in Star Wars, while another requires you to shoot out search lights so you can fly into an enemy base without detection, and another mission even has you defend your personal ship, the Great Fox, from a barrage of missiles; my personal favorites are a mission that recreates the final battle from the movie Independence Day (complete with a giant UFO), and a mission where you pilot the aforementioned Landmaster to take out a supply train. The best part is that you can pick and choose which missions you play and in what order you do them; yeah you always start off at Corneria and end at Venom, but the missions in between are completely up to you, with you ultimately getting one of two endings depending on how well you played and what your final route is.
        I guess if there’s one complaint against Star Fox 64, it’s the fact that it’s a pretty short game. Even on the harder difficulties, you can beat the game in an afternoon if you know what you’re doing, especially if you decide to take the easy route. But while I know for some people that might be a problem (and I don’t blame you if you feel that way), for me personally, I don’t mind the length of a game as long as it accomplishes what the developers intended, and with Star Fox 64 I feel that they did. The game feels like eating a well-cooked filet mignon meal at a five star restaurant; it’s well made and goes above and beyond what you would expect, and while it’s over sooner than you like, the experience stays with you for years to come. Of course, the difference between eating a steak at a nice restaurant and Star Fox 64 is that during your meal, a random waiter doesn’t yell in your ear and tell you to take care of the guy behind him.

6. Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest (Super Nintendo)
     While we can argue until the end of time on whether or not games should get yearly releases and sequels, I think we can all agree on what makes a good sequel….good. First, it has to iron out the kinks and rough patches that the original had. Second, it should build on the foundation of the first game and improve the ideas that worked, while at the same time adding some new ideas of its own. Finally, the sequel in question has to actually be a good game, in case that wasn’t obvious. With these requirements and through the power of science, I can safely conclude that not only is Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest a good sequel, it’s also an excellent game and one of the best platformers for the Super Nintendo. And that’s saying a lot, considering this is also the console that gave us Super Mario World and Megaman X.
     If I could describe Diddy’s Kong Quest in one word, it would be more. There’s more diversity in the enemies and bosses (this time most of the enemies are pirates), ranging from small enemies like rats bugs and pirate grunts, to big club wielding brutes, giants crows, ghosts, and even a possessed sword. The levels and areas that you explore are more diverse and varied, ranging from a pirate ship, a swamp, even an amusement park and a creepy castle (again with a pirate theme). Diddy and (at the time) newcomer Dixie are much more agile and even have more moves this time around, including Dixie’s helicopter hair (which lets the duo slowly float across gaps or down winding paths), and a team throw where one of the Kongs throws the other one up to reach higher places; heck even the bonus levels from the previous game have got an upgrade, this time falling under one of three categories that go beyond the original’s mostly guessing game bonus rooms. Of course, more doesn’t always mean better and wouldn’t mean a hill of bananas if the core gameplay was up to snuff; thankfully, the game feels just as fast and fluid as the original game was, and then some.
  Of course, no mention of Donkey Kong Country 2 would be complete without mentioning its amazing soundtrack. I’m not kidding when I say this is one of the best soundtracks I’ve ever heard in a video game. Every song from this game is catchy and fits the atmosphere of each level, ranging from mischievous like Disco Train (the music heard in the rollercoaster levels) to spooky and intimidating like Forest Interlude and Krook’s March (the music heard in the forest stages and castle stages respectively), and even strangely calming with Stickerbrush Symphony, the music that plays during the Bramble levels of the game, which are some of the toughest levels in the game. It’s clear that David Wise put a lot of effort into the soundtrack (ironically, he’s said in interviews that he doesn’t like the soundtrack and thinks it’s “too gamey”); in fact, I would say that about everyone at Rare who worked on Diddy’s Kong Quest. The game is polished to a pristine shine, and stands as a shining example of good game design; and while Rare and Nintendo have long since parted ways, this game is without a doubt one of the studio’s finest.

     So that's part one of the best Nintendo games ever made. I was originally going to do the full list all in one go, but due to both my busy schedule and the fact that I tend to write a lot (the Word document for this list is almost at six pages with just these five games), I decided to split it up into two lists to make it easier for you guys read, and me to do. I promise part two will be up sooner rather than later, though things can change. In any case, thanks for reading, and let me know if you agree, disagree or think something needs to be changed with the list. If a certain game wasn't on this list, it's either higher up or it's not on here at all, so keep that in mind.

      I will be nice though and leave you with a list of games that were considered but ultimately didn't make the cut. I love Nintendo and their games, but narrowing it down to ten games was pretty tough. Good night and good luck.

11.Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)
12.Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii)
13.F-Zero GX (Gamecube)
14.Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (Gamecube)
15.Punch-Out!! (Wii)
16.Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (Nintendo DS)
17.Tetris Attack (Super Nintendo, Game Boy)
18.Kid Icarus: Uprising (Nintendo 3DS)
19.Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island (Super Nintendo, Game Boy Advance)
20.Wario Land 4 (Game Boy Advance)

† ††Ah yes†Mario Kart, one of the few franchises that invoke feelings of joy and anger; sometimes at the same time. Since its debut on the Super Nintendo in 1992, the Mario Kart series has graced almost every Nintendo console (there was supposedly one planned for the ill-fated Virtual Boy), selling 97.42 million units as of March 2012, won numerous awards over the years, and has become one of the flagship franchises for whatever new home console or handheld Nintendo releases. Itís a series beloved by many people, myself included (in case it wasnít obvious). I first got into the series with†Super Mario Kart, and with the exception of†Mario Kart 7, Iíve played every game in the series (even the arcade ones!), some of them to one-hundred percent completion. Over the years however, the series had been criticized on a wide range of issues, from its constant rubber banding, to its unbalanced items (specifically the Blue Shell).†

† † While these are valid complaints, I still love the series and its many, many, MANY flaws, and itís without a doubt one of the best multiplayer experiences you can have on a Nintendo system, if not of all time. At the end of the week, Nintendo is going to release†Mario Kart 8, and so to celebrate the eighth console release of the series, I decided to countdown the five best and the five worse courses in the series. Before I start this however, let me go over a couple ground rules: 1) one course per game (otherwise my best list would be dominated by†64†&†Double Dash), and 2) no Battle Mode maps. Oh, and these picks are based on my personal tastes and opinions, shouldnít be taken as fact, etc. And with all that out of the way, letís start our engines.


5. Koopa Beach 1 (Super Mario Kart)

† † Despite being the first game in the series and setting the ground work for future games going forward, most of†Super Mario Kartís†courses leave a lot to be desired. Theyíre not terrible mind you; itís just that outside of Rainbow Road, there really isnít much to set the courses apart from each other besides the number at the end. This makes it all the weirder that one of my favorite courses from that game is Koopa Beach 1, a course that doesnít have anything that makes it stand out that much, other than bunch of easily avoidable grass patch near the finish line. And yet when I was a kid, I played this course so much as a kid (mostly in Time Trial). What was it that I loved so much? Was it the simplicity of its design, the shortcut that wasnít really a shortcut its chill theme song, or maybe it could it be chalked up as me being a stupid 7-year old who didnít know better? Iíll never quite know the answer, but whatever it was that I liked about must have been important, because here I am, a stupid 25-year old who doesnít know better, talking about it and putting it on my list.

4. Bowserís Castle 3 (Mario Kart: Super Circuit)

† † † Bowserís Castle 3 from†Mario Kart: Super Circuit†isnít the most popular course based around the Koopa Kingís castle. Hell, the game as a whole doesnít get as much love as I think it deserves, but thatís a discussion for another day. I will say this about Bowserís Castle 3 though; it is one of the first courses that I remember getting really excited to play without knowing anything about it. From the moment I saw the foreboding icon on the course select screen that showed a surprisingly scary looking Bowser in front of a thunder laced night sky, I knew I had to check it out. And oh man what a course it was! Taking place what appears to be outside on the top of Bowserís Castle with some foreboding storm clouds in the background, this course has everything that one associates with a course based on Bowserís Castle: Thwomps that crush you if arenít careful, sudden sharp turns, and of course, lava; lots of lava. Add to the fact the course itself is a decent size to race on, and you have one of the few Mario Kart courses that is both fun to play and looks cool at the same time.

3. Waluigi Pinball (Mario Kart DS)

† † To say that Waluigi is the Poochie of the Mario universe would be an insult to Poochie. I mean seriously, Wario works because a capital ĎWí is just an upside ĎMí, but with Waluigi all Nintendo did was just put an ĎWaí in front of Luigi and called it a day; thatís just stupid (and yes Iím aware of the fact that Waluigiís name is based off the word Warui, which is the Japanese word for bad, but that doesnít make it any less stupid). However, I like to think of myself as someone who looks for the positive in all things negative, so as much as I hate Waluigi, Iíll give him credit where itís due: he has one of the best courses in†Mario Kart DS. Waluigi Pinball is literally what it sounds like; a course that takes place on a giant Pinball Table with Waluigiís ugly mug all over the place. Itís simple in its design and itís not very long, but you know what? It all works in the courseís favor, as you start the race by being shot onto the table like a pinball and before long, youíre dodging giant black metallic pinballs, bumpers, and electric flippers as you race your way down the bottom to do it all again. Of course, Iíd be remiss if I didnít mention the awesome sound design, with music and sound effects that do an excellent job in convincing you that youíre racing on a pinball table; seriously, look up the music for Waluigi Pinball; itís absolutely amazing and is easily on of my favorite music tracks in the entire series. So yeah, I may hate Waluigi as a character, but he has one of the finest courses in†Mario Kart†history.

2. †Baby Park (Mario Kart: Double Dash!)

† † Have you ever played a†Mario Kart†and said to yourself ďman this is fun, but I wish there was some sort of Final Destination-like course to prove that Iím the best Kart playerĒ? If you answered yes, then Baby Park is the course for you. Much like Koopa Beach, this was a course that I played a lot whenever I popped in†Double Dash, and for good reason. Basically a simple oval loop in the center of a Yoshi-centric amusement park, what Baby Park lacks in size (itís the shortest courses in the series to date) or stage hazards, it makes up for in its raw competitive design, with each race consisting of seven laps (five in the DS version) instead of the measly three. And boy what an insane seven laps they are; since there are no major obstacles like hills or winding paths, items like Green Shells and Banana Peels can pose as much of a threat to a first place driver as a Blue Shell or a Lightning bolt. Not only that, but when racing on this course with the speed jacked up to 100cc and above, things get even crazier, with characters able to pick up items a bit faster, and itís even possibly to overlap some players. At the end of the day, donít let name Baby Park mislead you. This is a course that separates the pleebs from the pros, a course that causes men to curse like sailors and cry like children. On the harder difficulties, Baby Park will spit you out and break you; and youíll have fun while it does.

1. Rainbow Road (Mario Kart 64)

† † Rainbow Road is usually the last course that players race on, and while they come in all shapes and sizes, the one that appeared in Mario Kart 64 is the one that stands out the most in my mind. I know that there are some hardcore Mario Kart players reading this right now that are probably flipping out right now. ďGoofĒ, I hear them say, ďwhy do you like N64 Rainbow Road? Itís one of the longest, dullest courses in the series!Ē While I do agree with it being long (seriously, itís the longest course in the series history), the idea of it being dull couldnít be further from the truth. The N64 Rainbow Road is a bright, colorful course with multiple hills, plenty of winding paths to powerslide, and constellations in the sky of the (at the time) eight racers, as well as a couple based on a Boo and a Mushrooms. In addition, the Chain Chomps that appear to attack unsuspecting players spice things up in way that doesnít feel cheap (unlike the Thwomps on the SNES version of Rainbow Road), and while some people may bemoan the course for having railings, I for one was always happy with them being there, since it meant that victories were based on skill and not by who could be pushed off the course the most (looking at you Mario Kart Wii). And of course, no discussion of MK 64 Rainbow Road would be complete without mentioning the truly amazing song that accompanies it; which is nothing short of amazing, although I prefer the F-Zero remix. In fact, amazing is the word I use to describe the entire course; it embodies everything that a Mario Kart course should be; itís fun, challenging, and an absolute blast to play. And with its return to Mario Kart 8, Iíll be playing this course constantly; even if it has been relegated to one giant lap this time.

† † So yeah, those were my favorite Mario Kart courses, but I know why youíre all really here. So without further ado, here are what I think are the worse courses in the series:


5. Desert Hills (Mario Kart DS)

† † When Iím writing up what I think about these courses, I try to the best of my ability describe why I love these courses, either because they were well designed, looked good, etc. And I imagine, that for my worst section, I can hopefully explain to you why I hated these courses. However, for the life of me, I canít really tell you why I hate Desert Hill from†Mario Kart DS†so much. Ever since I first played it, I just had an irrational hatred of this course. Maybe itís the fact that the course winds a bit at the beginning, or maybe I never liked the hazards on this course (Pokeys and that asshole sun from†Super Mario Bros. 3). Maybe it was because it was easier on the higher cups for me to go from first place to last place with no hope of recovering; or maybe it was all of the above, though the problem with that is that other courses are like that too, and even they donít frustrate me as much as Desert Hill does. Hell, my beloved Rainbow Road and Baby Park are guilty of this. I know that this sounds like a copout, but for the life of me I canít figure out why I hate this course. My personal vendetta against this course is why itís even on this list, but itís also the reason it isnít any higher.

4. Rainbow Road (Mario Kart: Super Circuit)

† † As much as I loved the†MK 64†version of Rainbow Road, that love has unfortunately not translated to later iterations in the series. The Rainbow Road in†Mario Kart: Super Circuit†is one of those courses. While it definitely looks and sound nice (the Paper Mario version of Bowser's Castle is pretty cool), the course itself is really poorly designed. While the sudden sharp turns and humps on the sides of the road that can send players flying off the course are annoying, itís the two jumps at the end of the course that really put it on this list. While the first jump is somewhat manageable (albeit a little cramped), itís the second one that always annoyed me. I lost count the number of times I overshot that second jump, causing me to fall of the course and most likely costing me the race, usually on the last lap. Now I know some of you are going to read this and say I probably suck, and to those people I say yeah, I really do. But thatís no excuse for a course this messed up and chaotic; to make matters worse, Super Circuit also has every course from the original game packed in, including the original Rainbow Road. And when a course from a racing game that came out in 1992 is better than one from a game that came out nine years later, something isnít right.

3. Choco Island 2 (Super Mario Kart)

† † As I was coming up with this list, thinking of what course I would talk about, I had four courses in mind from†Super Mario Kart: Donut Plains 3(for the broken bridge at the beginning), Vanilla Lake 1 & 2 (because ice levels in general can burn in hell), and Choco Island 2 (for that mud patch near the end of the race). It was a close call, but ultimately, I chose Choco Island 2. Why? Because like those courses I mentioned, this course has appeared in future entries in the series, specifically†Super Circuit†&†DS. However, unlike those courses, Choco Island 2ís design hasnít changed at all; it has the same winding path at the beginning, the same ill-placed ramps, and most importantly, the same mudslick toward the end of the course that turns the race into a war of attrition. I know that I sound like a broken record by constantly bringing up the mudslick, but itís the reason this course is even here on the list. It makes races on the course challenging, and not in a good way, punishing players who decide to pick a racer that isnít a medium weight class, which at the time was only Mario and Luigi. As I said earlier, most of the courses in Super Mario Kart are at best, dull and unforgettable; at worst, theyíre Choco Island 2.

2. Warioís Gold Mine (Mario Kart Wii)

† † I didnít like†Mario Kart Wii. While it built upon the online mode introduced in†Mario Kart DS, added some really cool Mario characters to the roster (Rosalina!), and introduced bikes and tricks, the cheap A.I. and lackluster courses really weighed the game down for me. Most of the courses in this game are bad, but none of them are Warioís Gold Mine bad. Warioís Gold Mine looks and feels like a course that was put together by the dev team at three in the morning because they needed to meet a quota. I can somewhat forgive the winding paths and lack of railings throughout the course, and while annoying, the mine carts and bats arenít enough to make me hate this course, though they certainly donít help. No, what puts this course near the top of my worst list are the half-pipes the course employs, both at the beginning and then end of the course. Theyíre both so out of the way and redundant, that any benefit you get for using them is instantly negated by the fact that three or four racers have passed you by; hell with one of them, itís very easy to land wrong and fall of the course(believe me, this has happened to me before)! I get what they were trying to do with this course, but itís a bunch of minor annoyances that add ultimately add it up to one enormous headache. Itís so bad, that whenever I played the Flower Cup in†Mario Kart Wii, I would make sure I get first place in the three previous races, since I knew there was no way in hell I was going to do well on this course. I actually like Wario, heís an interesting character, and heís had some pretty awesome courses named after him; Warioís Gold Mine isnít one of them.

1. Toadís Turnpike (Mario Kart 64)

† † I hate this course so much. Iím honestly tempted just to write ďfuck Toadís TurnpikeĒ repeatedly and just leave it at that, but I like to think Iím better than that, so Iíll put my nostalgic anger aside for a bit and explain as best I can my hatred for this course while keeping the swearing to a minimum (though I canít make any promises). You know how I said Warioís Gold Mine was made up of a bunch of minor annoyances to make things frustrating? Toadís Turnpike is much worse than that, with problems running the gambit from poorly placed item boxes that force you on the left side of the course at all times (right in Mirror Mode) if you want a chance to pick up an item, to cars and trucks that block your way on key parts of the course, forcing you to try and navigate small cramped pathways to avoid getting hit by said cars and trucks, which is made even more difficult by the fact that their speed is determined by what engine class you pick (so in 50 cc theyíre super slow, but crank it up to 150 cc and suddenly itís Fast & Furious), as well as avoid the traditional†Mario Kart†shenanigans like Shells, Banana Peels, and whichever jerks that got the Star and Thunderbolt. Want to know the best (worst) part of this course? In Mirror Mode, youíre going AGAINST traffic, because the developers decided that bobbing in and out of traffic wasnít difficult enough. Now before anyone gets the wrong idea, I have beaten this course before, but whenever I did I never felt a sense of accomplishment; I felt tired and drained. But more importantly I never had fun when I played this course, which is the number one goal for any Mario Kart course. This course was my personal Water Temple, a low point of whatís otherwise an excellent game that still haunts me to this day. So yeah, in other words, fuck Toadís Turnpike.

† † So yeah, those were the†Mario Kart†courses that I thought were the best and the worst. What do you guys think? Do you agree, disagree with my choices? Maybe youíre upset that I didnít include Kalimari Desert (a.k.a. that course from†64†with the train)? Regardless, if you read all the way through, youíre awesome, and I hope to see you beautiful people online when†Mario Kart 8†comes out this Friday.