Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U was released yesterday. If you've picked up the game, you've likely put a few hours into it already, though chances are a lot of that time has been spent on multiplayer. Sadly, there isn't too ...
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While Sonic Boom on the Wii U has its issues, there are also some redeeming qualities. Co-op is enjoyable, the platforming is pretty fun, and the 2D sections aren't bad. With a few more months in the oven and more polish, it could have ultimately been a decent Sonic title.
Unfortunately, the same can't be said for the 3DS version of Sonic Boom. There's almost nothing redeeming about it.
While Nintendo provided me with the Link, Mario, and Kirby amiibo toys for testing with Super Smash Bros., acquiring the rest of the lot was completely up to me. So I decided to take a trip early this morning, survey any potential crowds, and see what I could get. I ended up nabbing the rest of the ones I needed, with some trouble.
I started off at GameStop (though there was a midnight release party there), and headed to Toys"R"Us, followed by two Targets and two Best Buy stores. Mario, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Link, Fox, Samus, and Pikachu were all readily available at all locations. Every store I went to (seven in total) had at least 30 units in stock for those characters. Peach and Kirby seemed more rare, but there were at least 15 units each. You should be good to go on all of the above for a few days if you can't get to the store this morning.
Professional wrestling was a cultural phenomenon when I was younger. In the third grade, conversations at school were a general 50/50 mix of Dragon Ball Z fact repetition and which was better: WCW or WWF. When Hulk Hogan started the nWo, school was chaos. I remember fistfights over nWo and WCW supremacy that lasted two years until the nWo split into nWo Hollywood and nWo Wolfpac. Then the saga between the poor kids who had white nWo shirts and whose parents couldn't afford the new red ones and the kids whose parents could afford them started to play out (because, duh, Wolfpac for life.)
As we all got older though, the wrestling fad gave way to Pokémon, then Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace (it's hard to believe, but we all loved it when it came out), and wrestling was soon forgotten by most and unfortunately relegated to the white-trash stereotype. However, wrestling continued, although these days it seems to lack the gaudy style of yesteryear. Its drama is a pale imitation of the antics of Randy Savage (bless his soul), Hulk Hogan, Sting, and others. WWE 2K15 is also is a pale imitation of 15-year-old-plus games like WWF: No Mercy and WCW/nWo Revenge.
As a character, Sonic gets a bad rap these days. No matter what is announced, I can practically hear the collective groaning from my desk. Like any popular franchise with consecutive releases, some of them are going to be good, some of them are bad.
Recent games like Generations and even Colors or Lost World were decent, and despite the bad apples, I'm generally hopeful good Sonic games still exist. Sadly, Sonic Boom is not one of them.
Spending the last week hearing how great Warlords of Draenor is has put me in a funk. I fondly remember my MMO days, but I've never been able to love another one since City of Heroes was shut down. It left a death-ray-shaped hole in my heart that Orcs, wizards, and dragons just can't fill. Hearing about people exploring new content, experimenting with balance changes, and re-energizing their old guild networks just rubs it in that my rooftop-jumping, spandex-wearing days are over.
Already feeling glum and jealous, I came to a dark realization. If Overwatch was made with re-used assets from Blizzard's scrapped Titan project, and it's all about cartoony-looking superheroes mixing it up in a Pixar-esque world, does that mean Blizzard was working on its own superhero MMO? And they killed it?
My funk just nosedived into full-blown depression.
Nintendo's long awaited foray into the toy market is here: the amiibo are ready for purchase, and the flagship game, Super Smash Bros., is right on the horizon.
While the toys look great in person and the setup is painless, so far the actual interactivity is underwhelming. Collector itch aside, I'd definitely recommend waiting until more compatible games are out before committing to any purchases.
Super Smash Bros. for the 3DS was everything I hoped it would be. It rekindled my love for the franchise after my group of friends and I lost interest due to Brawl, and I'm playing online more often than I would with most fighting games. In pretty much every aspect, the game is a success in my eyes, and it seems that sales agree.
But of course the main event is one that can be seen on a glorious television, with four (now eight) players all clamoring over some drinks and having a great time. In that regard, Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U might be the best iteration yet.
We were lucky enough to have Ron Gilbert (Maniac Mansion,Monkey Island) on Sup Holmes a few weeks back. Looking back, it looks like Ron may have been utilizing the show for a little pre-kickstarter promotion. Explains why he did the whole show in pixel-face. Fine by me. I'd have his pixel-faced puss on the show every week if I could.
Ron hinted that he may be working with original Maniac Mansion artist Gary Winnick again soon, but I didn't think it would be this soon. But here we are, looking at a new SCUMM-style game from the creators of term "cut scene" and the fathers of an entire genre. As a longtime fan of Maniac Mansion, Zak McKracken, and the first two Monkey Island games, I'm feeling like this all over again.
It's a murder mystery that contain hundreds of locations and puzzles, all centered around Thumbleweed Park, a town that "...once boasted an opulent hotel, a vibrant business district and the state’s largest pillow factory, but now teeters on the edge of oblivion and continues to exist for no real reason." Sounds like a cross between Twin Peaks and Waiting for Guffman. Outside of Ron getting the rights to make a new Monkey Island game, this is about as close to perfect as it gets for fans of classic Lucasfilm Games.
For a couple months now, I've been thinking about getting rid of my Pokémon collection.
My favorite part of the series is catching 'em all and for years that motivation has fueled my interest in these games. I'm not into forming the ideal team, breeding Pokémon with perfect stats, or finding shinies. Just acquiring them -- all seven hundred of them -- one by one.
With Pokémon X, I finally did it. It took months of whittling down a giant list of absences in my Pokédex but thanks to in-depth online resources detailing locations and catch rates, an active community of online traders, and the ability to easily transfer old legendaries and stragglers from past titles, I did it. I earned a little crown in my National Pokédex signifying 100 percent completion. (Though, admittedly, I never bothered to get #719, Diancie. Whatever.)
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire release this Friday and I thought it would be fun to start over. To work my way back up. But rather than let my Pokémon X save file go to waste, I decided to use the Wonder Trade feature extensively. It matches two players at random for a blind online trade and while most people exchange total crap, there are kindhearted folks who take pleasure in handing out rarities. I'm far from innocent, but I've given back on occasion.
Now, originally, my plan was to give away every last one of my Pokémon via Wonder Trade (excluding restricted Pokémon obtained from distribution events). I mindlessly made it to around 80 trades before realizing this was a bad idea and started questioning my sanity.
Back in 2008, LittleBigPlanet was a staple in the Carter household for a good year. It was tough to put down as we earned a full 100% completion rate, and creating levels for each other was a joy. Floaty physics hate be damned, not every level was a Super Mario Bros. clone.
When the sequel hit though, it didn't have a whole lot that was new about it to entice us further, and it fell by the wayside. Similarly, LittleBigPlanet 3 doesn't shake things up from the core formula, but the sheer commitment to keeping the level-building platform intact after all these years is something special.
For a franchise that’s continually berated for remaining the same over the years, Pokémon is wildly successful, having pushed forward on its own, full speed ahead. It hasn’t needed to change much to sweep the nation with each new release, though some of the series’ newest releases have received criticism due to lack of content. Pokémon X & Y hit the 3DS in 2013, enticing us with gorgeous new scenery, brand new monsters.
However, X & Y, although introducing the new Mega Evolution element, were otherwise lackluster when it came to post-Elite Four content and seemed a bit of a step back feature-wise. Game Freak is remedying the situation by releasing a Pokémon game that's been celebrated as having a plethora of features and is a perennial fan favorite. Oddly enough, Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire feel like a much more complete experience than the original titles or X & Y.
A cursory glance at Upper One Games' Never Alone, while sure to impress, won't do it justice. Its appeal is obvious, but its intention is buried shallow under a light dusting of snow. But, it's that intention that transcends Never Alone from another gorgeous 2D platformer to a game of great importance.
Never Alone is the rare example of a title that aims to bring culture to its audience without forcing it upon them. It skirts the oft-annoying "edutainment" category by being a game first and foremost, but is nevertheless adept at instilling a sense of curiosity about history and beliefs of the people on the screen. The execution is undeniably flawed at times, but not enough so as to undo what it strives for -- to teach, and to make that process enjoyable.
[Bumping this guide from July 2014 as-was in anticipation of Smash Bros. week, the holidays, and some new Wii U owners. The only good "Black Friday" deal for the console seems to be $360 from Best Buy with Smash, Donkey Kong Country, Mario 3D World, and Nintendo Land.]
Even if you must play all the Hot New Games, you don't need a PlayStation 4 or an Xbox One to do so until 2015. Enough of them are still releasing on PS3 and 360 this fall. The rest, on PC (and, for some of us, handhelds).
With the recent release of Mario Kart 8 and the upcoming release of Super Smash Bros., you might consider buying a Wii U, though.
I've been playing World of Warcraft off and on since it launched in 2004, but the Burning Crusade expansion came at the perfect time in my life. Throughout the years I've been dabbling in the other expansions, leveling up my characters and only stopping to raid mostly in Lich King before taking it casual.
If my first 20 hours or so with Warlords of Draenor are any indication, I might get back into it.
Grand Theft Auto V was one of my favorite games of last year, mostly due to the insanely fun Heist missions in the campaign, and the detailed sandbox of Los Santos. It suffered from some of the same trappings as every GTA and the online portion left much to be desired, but I had an enjoyable time overall.
Although I received it late, I got a copy of GTA V for the Xbox One early this morning and dug right in. So far, I haven't found any real problems with it.