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My love for video games is limitless...with the exception of sports titles. Everything else though is game. I'm fascinated with the newer games, and equally into taking strolls down memory lane with several retro titles. Currently addicted to Left 4 Dead, and trying to get through Lost Odyssey and Final Fantasy XII when I have the free-time. RPG's are where it's at. Word!

My favorite games of all time are Mega Man 2 (hands down over 3, better bosses and soundtrack, duh!), Final Fantasy X (don't care what the haters say, great combat system, and I loved the sphere grid), Half-Life series, Portal, Mass Effect, Unreal Tournament (before it got so convoluted), Parasite Eve, Diablo II and LODX, Kingdom Hearts and finally Starcraft.

I'm also huge into movies, and consider myself to be quite the cinema buff. Favorites include:
Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2
Pulp Fiction
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless
Garden State
The Matrix
I Heart Huckabees
Spider-Man 2
The Incredibles
The Dark Knight
The Brothers Bloom
500 Days of Summer

As well as an avid music enthusiast, favorite bands include:
Foo Fighters
Queens of the Stone Age
My Chemical Romance
Panic! at the Disco (especially their new stuff)
Action Action
Bloc Party.
Collective Soul
Natalie Imbruglia
Ozzy Osbourne
Gnarls Barkley
Kanye West
No Doubt
System of a Down
Phantom Planet
Following (1)  

4:18 PM on 05.29.2009

by Nintendo EAD

Super Mario Sunshine is the follow-up to the hit Nintendo 64 game, Super Mario 64. Needless to say, this
GameCube game had a lot to live up for, as Mario's first foray into the 3D realm was critically acclaimed and
broke new ground on several levels.

In Super Mario Sunshine, we see Mario and Peach going to take a vacation on Delfino Island, and before you
know it Peach gets kidnapped, this time by Baby Bowser, in his first introduction into the Mario mythos. Mario's
left on the island to rescue Peach, but before he can triple jump his way to her rescue, he has to deal with the
consequences of a Doppleganger Mario, running around and polluting the island, as well as stealing Shine
Sprites (this game's version of the stars from SM64). The story is pretty standard fare, and doesn't really ever
rise to anything interesting. The cutscenes are polished nicely, but you clearly don't go to a Mario game for the
story. Mario games are about gameplay, which is the game's biggest shortcoming.

You're introduced to a jetpack/water-nozzle/hose/whatever-the-game-calls-for machine, entitled FLUDD
(sidenote: FLUDD is apparently supposed to be a relatable character...the ending cinematic was the first time I
was aware I was supposed to care for it). The game does pretty well with the new mechanic, as the jetpack
comes in handy quite often, and the nozzle part is used quite frequently in several of the missions. Speaking
of missions, if you're expecting the variety of missions that SM64 had, you'll be sorely disappointed. Half of the
game's missions are composed of collecting red coins, chasing the evil Mario down while hosing him, and
often times cleaning the various locales. That's right, cleaning pollutants. It's an interesting gimmick the first time
you do it, but you'll have to wash, rinse, and repeat for each of the locations. And that right there is the
biggest problem of the game. It's very repetitive, as a lot of the missions don't really go out of their way to
stand out or be memorable. Even the different worlds themselves are pretty repetitive, as they are all a play on
beaches and tropical locales. (By the way, I get that that's the point, but it's boring and one expects more from
a Mario game) And most of the levels are so lacking in personality that they are completely forgettable.
Thinking back the only missions that made a lasting memory were the secret level missions and the boss
battles. Well, I should say the only positive ones that stick out. There's also the negative missions that will last
with me forever, such as cleaning an entire level (the Hotel level) in the span of 3 minutes, which is frustrating
and challenging to say the least. Then there's the penultimate level where you have to navigate a boat through
lava using the propulsion of your hose, which is needlessly difficult and tedious.

More frustration comes into play when you account for some missions requiring deadly precision jumps and
movements, when Mario is in fact controlled extremely loosely. It's the very definition of a bull in a china shop,
and it's mind-numbingly infuriating. There will be several lives lost due to over or under jumps, as well as some
wonky physics and even glitching. At one point in the game I glitched through the floor while running over it,
and fell to my death. There's also a huge problem with some of the mission structures, as you lose lives if you
don't accomplish a mission within a certain amount of time at points, as well as if you lose a race. Thinking
back to SM64, if you lost a race, you could just go elsewhere in the level and accomplish something else. The
mission structure is so linear in this game that it feels almost like a step backwards.

The camera in any 3D game is never perfect, and there are going to be problems, but I feel like I've had more of
an issue with the camera in Sunshine than any other 3D game in recent memory.

I could keep going on and on with my complaints, because ultimately, I didn't really have fun with this game.
There were moments of brilliance here and there, but overall it's extremely repetitive, boring, and forgettable.
What Super Mario Sunshine boils down to is equivalent to a step backwards for the franchise. I'm glad the
Mario team got back on track with Galaxy, as that game is brilliant and a step forward. Sunshine is ultimately a
blemish in the GameCube's library, and should be avoided. I think the only reason it got such favorable reviews
was because people didn't separate the thrill of playing a Mario game, with playing a completely uninvolving,
sub-par GameCube game. I guarantee you if the Mario brand wasn't applied to this game (kind of like a reverse
Doki Doki Panic situation), the reviews would have been significantly lowered, and you would've found copies
of Sunshine in the bargain bin relatively shortly after release. I simply can't recommend this title, as there are
two better Mario games out there, Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy. Go pick those up. Avoid this one.


UmarifficCKzzle's Review Rating Scale
BETTER THAN SEX | This game is a shining star amongst the genre. It is the best of the best and is
representative of what other titles should aspire to.
FULL PRICE | This game is among the best of the genre, but due to some flaws it doesn't quite reach gaming
nirvana. You should still pick it up without haste.
BARGAIN BIN | This game is better than average, but with some serious flaws that could prevent replayability
or minimalize the amount of fun to be had. Definitely worth a look, and should be picked up at a discounted
RENTAL | This game is entirely decent, average, and mediocre. There are equal things good and bad with the
game. Worth a rental.
SKIP IT | This is a game that has more flaws than positive features. It's not recommended, even for a rental,
and is an example of what the industry should steer away from.
F#@! YOU! | This game is the lowest of the lows, and is so vulgar in it's shoddiness that gamers should be

Left 4 Dead DLC has just been confirmed for Valve, and is due out in the extremely vague time period of "Spring". So far the only details that have been revealed are two entire campaigns for Versus, as well as a brand new mode entitled Survival. If you don't already have L4D, you might want to hold out for the Critic's Choice Edition of the game, which features all of the content from the Left 4 Dead Survival Pack DLC, detailed above.

For now, I'm thinking that the two complete campaigns for Versus are the ones missing at the moment, we'll finally be able to play Dead Air and Death Toll in Versus.At the moment, I'm kind of a little disappointed by the announcement, as it seems to be correcting what should have already been in the game (the two campaigns for versus, that is), and with no details on Survival Mode, it's a little hard to get excited. Will I buy the DLC, probably, because I absolutely love L4D.

What do you guys think of the DLC, and what would you pay for it? How do you think Survival mode will play out?

So thanks to that link, I got really inspired to do my own reworking of a video game cover, and decided to go with my favorite Genesis game, Earthworm Jim! I also might have had a little nudge to go with EWJ thanks to Phalanxxx's blog post reviewing the game. See below for his post.

I didn't put too much thought into this, as much as I just kinda wanted to do something really quickly. I had fun, and I kinda dig the piece. So let me know what you guys think.


I was wondering exactly how to start my blog, but it seems like the big thing to do at the moment are these 10 Things you Don't Know posts. Which is absolutely brilliant, as being new and such, there's pretty much a canyon of things you don't know about me.

Bonus Thing you Don't Know: That's me in the middle, with the red shirt on, surrounded by two of my best friends.

1. My nickname UmarifficCKizzle, reflects my undying love for Uma Thurman, which almost no one is ever able to pick up on. Uma + Terrific = Umariffic. At one time I everyone I knew in this University (Appalchian State), called me CK, and some took it even further given us CKizzle, pronounced "see-kizz-uhl". Simple!

2. CK, was actually started when people found out about my underground condom selling in the dorms on campus. My mom, being a health official, had access to condoms, and gave them out to promote safe sex, and would constantly send me shipments of around a hundred condoms every two-weeks to a month. With no possible way I'd be doing the deed quite enough to fully utilize them, I started selling them to other college students, at a low price. This went on for the first semester of my freshman year, and people started calling me the Condom Kingpin, CK for short.

3. In middle school, during those "crucial" years as a kid, I was extremely unpopular and didn't have many friends, which turned me to gaming, even more than I already was. The Final Fantasy games were of the top games that actually managed to get me through those times, which I'll be forever nostalgic and grateful for.

4. The first gaming console I actually owned was a Sega Genesis. My dad already had an Atari 2600 and an Intellivision, all the way up until the Genesis...but that was my first, very own console. It came with a copy of Sonic 2, my favorite Sonic game to this day.

5. I don't get games like Fallout 3 or Oblivion. Most western-RPGs. The exceptions being the Bioware games, which might put me in the unpopular opinion, but Mass Effect was one of the most addictive games I've played in years, that is up until just recently with Left 4 Dead and Rock Band.

6. I have quite possibly the most eclectic(and arguably piss poor) taste in music, that includes all genres except for Country. Some of the most embarrassing tunes I've been found rocking out too include: Natalie Imbruglia, Kelly Clarkson, and even Britney Spears as of late. God-damn Womanizer for being so unbelievably catchy...

7. I'm a graphic designer, or at least that's what I tell myself. I'm currently in school for a degree in the field, and come May this year, I'll be graduated and off into the real world to find a design job. Well, hopefully.

8. People often mistake me for being gay, due to my severe drought of girlfriends, the last one being around seven months ago, as well as my total awkwardness and severe shyness around just about everyone. I'm pretty sure I have minor agoraphobia as well.

9. Speaking of phobias, I am absolutely terrified of all types of insects/bugs. Even ones that I know won't harm me, such as ladybugs, I freak out around if I see them.

10. I'm an avid movie buff, or again I like to hype myself as such, and currently own over 650 DVDs, not counting tv series. Previous to this blog, a few years ago I had a space on Rotten Tomatoes where I did my own full-fledged movie reviews, of everything I saw, but got severely backed up and bogged down that I had to stop to keep my sanity and peace of mind intact.