Review: Yoshi’s Island DS

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#?:  Yoshi’s Island DS

I got this game as a gift from my brother. I was genuinely surprised as I hadn’t told him I wanted this game, and then I suddenly got it for my birthday.  I was delighted! That was really delicious, truly it was.

This is a sequel to Yoshi’s Island for the SNES. as most of you already probably know, and is meant to be an improvement on all parts. The story is pretty much the same, Kamek kidnaps the… uh… kids, babies… yeah. They’re a bit too intelligent for being babies though. Anyhow, this time he manages to take Donkey Kong Jr., Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach (and so it begins), Wario and at some point you even let Baby Bowser ride you. And you will also meet Future Bowser who will betray his younger self! Exciting stuff, exciting!

Graphics: 10/10

If you thought they couldn’t update the cutesy graphics of the first game, well, you were wrong. They look better, sharper and more detailed. The levels are bigger and you get more of an overview over the levels. All in all a pretty game that isn’t for those weak to all things cutesy, who will show their weakness to that kind of stuff through projectile vomiting. Once again they left the Donkey Kong Country esque graphics out of the game, meaning we didnt get pre-rendered 3D sprites in this game either. That’s fantastic as we don’t need another game looking like that, or Bug! either. By the way, Bug! controls really bad… and it makes me slightly nauseous. Anyhow, let’s get on with the rest of the review!

Sounds & Music: 6/10

yoshis_island_ds_conceptart_v8KwBThough adorable in nature, the music quality and the tunes have gotten better, though I wouldn’t say it’s that much better than in the last game. With that many visuals to catch your attention I guess music isn’t the highest priority in production, though I’d reckon they tried. The sound effects are very good though (bar the crying and stuff, but that’s self-explanatory). I wouldn’t say the crying itself is irritating as a sound effect alone… but coupled with the stress, that having to quickly get that baby back accounts for, that makes for a great source of frustration.  Needless to say, playing the game with little to no volume won’t hurt it.

 

Gameplay: 8/10

largeBeing able to switch between more than one baby and utilizing their respective skills is really what makes this game stand apart from its predecessor. Not only do they use their “powers” but also affect Yoshi in different ways, such as making him swifter or slower. This affects a lot of segments of the game, mixing things up and keeping them interesting. The only con is that Wario usually is less than useful, and also not available throughout the whole game. He checks in early and then checks in pretty soon after that, probably in search for stealing treasure and other glittering things. Another con is that the challenge bar can be set quite high at some segments, such as those when you’e chased by some kind of living boulder thingy, and I felt that I passed them using a combination of luck and skill, luck making up the most of them. The aiming has gotten better and the bosses are much easier this time around. All in all a solid 8.

 

Replay value: 6/10

Once again, unless you’re really anal about scores there really not much in the replay value compartment. You can collect all hidden items if you’d like to.

Trivia:

BabyWarioIGN felt that Baby Wario was a last minute addition that wasn’t tested properly and call his magnet “wonky,” and says it “misses items that are right next to him.” They’re correct in the magnet’s inferior quality, but I’m just glad they added Wario into the game! I mean, Peach is a princess with a high-end umbrella that can withstand the strongest of gusts while Wario probably has a fixation for treasure due to being born to a poor family.

 

Images from, in chronological order:  Splondinator.com, ggvogue.blogspot.se, nintendolife.com and mariowiki.com

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My Game Room

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Here you have my game room, well, to be more clear it’s my “gaming corner”. This room serves as a guest room, reading room and game room at once, and I was lucky enough to get my own setup along one of the walls. I’ve placed the gaming mini fridge at the left side of the shelves and then stacked all my console games as good as possible where possible. When we get a bigger place I’ll add two bookshelves to the sides to be able to house all of my game collection and collectibles.

Right now I’m looking at adding plastic boxes with drawers, who are either expensive, ugly or hard to come by, just beneath each console to house the controllers and accessories to give it a neat look. I’ll print the logos of each console  at the front of the drawer as well, and probably wrap them in some kind of paper as they’re transparent and semi-transparent and not that aestethically appealing. I got this idea from another gamers setup but I can’t find the original picture, and what I’ve planned isn’t exactly how he/she’d made the setup either, but still very clever indeed.

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With only one Scart input (which I can put up with as it accepts RGB and S-video natively) I had to organize the Scart cables in some kind of way, and this is what I came up with. Easy, cheap and you’ll also be able to store it behind the phat TV without anyone noticing it.

Though by now I’ve changed the Gamecube and Nintendo 64 cables from Composite to RGB and S-video respectively.

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Aaaaw yiss.

Review: Pokémon Puzzle League

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#??:  Pokémon Puzzle League

Most gamers know what Tetris Attack is, and maybe even what Panel De Pon is. They’re the same puzzle game which truly was innovative when it was released, and feature an array of different characters from the original cast of the Japanese games to Yoshi and even Pokémon.

Graphics: 7/10

The game looks cheap when it comes to the menus and such, but that might be because they wanted to makeit look kiddish and to follow the art style of the 99’s -early  00’s. The images are of good quality and the movies in the cart are of decent quality. Nothing spectacular in other words but your eyes will refrain from bleeding.

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Sounds & Music: 7/10

The music is of MIDI quality which isn’t that good, but are versions of familiar tunes to the Pokémon anime fan which is a huge plus. I guess they couldn’t add instrumental music because of space limitations, I mean they did have movies in the game after all and that’s grand for being on the N64.

Gameplay:  10/10

There’s a lot to do in the game, whether is the “League” or other modes of Tetris Attack, and there is honestly little new in this game when compared to others. As usual there’s Puzzle, Marathon and Line Clear in Easy mode onwards as well an unlockable Very Hard. Super Hard and Insane mode. I’ve gotten pretty far on Super Hard, mainly due to luck and 60 continues, but had only trouble with Gary and Mewtwo in Very Hard mode. So there’s space for improvement for the gamer and lots of puzzle fun.

You can use Pikachu, Bulbasaur and Squirtle but there is no Charmander to be seen in the game.

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Replay value: 10/10

I really like the Tetris Attack series, and for fans and non-fans alike there’s much to the replay value of the game as the game itself is easy to learn but difficult to master.

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Trivia:

Hidden inside the code of the game are two unused voice clips, presumably from staff saying  “Yumi-chan, I love you” in Japanese and the other saying “I love you Liz.” in English. (from vgfacts.com). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mVteF8wxqEY


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And as y’alls can see, I gots myself the Master Trophy. I’m a Pokémon (Puzzle League) Master!

First image from: http://www.giantbomb.com

Old Video Game Commercials

This commercial would’ve made me a huge consumer of Honey Nut Cheerios. Everything in this video is just awesome.

And here’s my all time favorite commercial:

What wen’t wrong? Why did Mario trip Yoshi? Everything seemed so cheerful and perfect until he did that. Then a brawl initiates that puts bar brawlers to shame.

I think Mario is mad that Yoshi wasn’t there for him to ride in Super Mario 64.

Why do you think Mario tripped Yoshi?

Internet Gamer Shows That Are Awesome

‘There’s a plethora of gamer shows on the Internet and there are often too many of them to browse through. I will list the ones I follow, in an attempt to introduce you to shows you shouldn’t miss out on,  and write why they are awesome. I’ll even give you a Link to the posts!

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Happy Console Gamer: Link-LoZ-Sprite

There aren’t many shows who really can show the enthusiasm of gamers as this one does. It feels genuine and the episodes are well made and have a lot of content, often centralized around the nostalgia of gamers that grew up late 70’s-90’s. There’s a full length feature movie based on the Happy Console Gamer, and it’s available on Youtube for free viewing!

Angry Video Game Nerd Link-LoZ-Sprite

While the guys behind Happy Console Gamer focus on nostalgia and the fun bits of gaming fandom, the Angry Video Game nerd is notorius for bashing and raging over really bad games from our childhood, be it games one bought with hard earned money and who didn’t deliver, games that were rented in vain giving us a dull weekend or games that are an abysmal abomination to mankind. He also reviews a lot of movies, which is a passion of his since childhood, and has a full length feature movie on the works based on the AVGN fandom which is to be released to local cinemas.

The Game Chasers Link-LoZ-Sprite

This is about two guys searching the state of Texas (and sometimes even beyond the borders of the state) in search of completing their video game collections. They are often able to get great deals, scouring flea markets, pawn shops and more, and fight competitively over rare titles. Basically it’s finders keepers, and the competition is tough!

Pat the NES Punk Link-LoZ-Sprite

Pat is a NES Punk. He collects first and foremost NES games and has a nearly limitless knowledge on all things NES. He also scours flea markets in Flea Market madness with his pal Frank in search of great deals. The episodes are mainly focused on comedy while delivering relevant information about the games.

The Completionist Link-LoZ-Sprite

Jirard tries to complete games to 100%, about 1-3 games a week, just to be able to tell you if a game is worth to complete or not. He’s accompanied by voice commentary from Greg, who has an impressive voice acting ability, and sometimes even lets him play some games as The Mediocre-ist, ultimately leading to Jirard suffering a mental breakdown and needing to get help to get back into the groove. It’s fun, it’s interesting, and well made.

Happy Video Game Nerd Link-LoZ-Sprite

Originally created as an anti-Angry Video Game Nerd, and even sporting a parody and “nice” version of the AVGN theme, this show has since then evolved to stand on its own. It’s about a dude that plays awesome games for you to show what’s good and what’s not. This is kind of a “feel good” show but with video games, and that’s great.

Video Game Take Out Link-LoZ-Sprite

This is a gaming show mainly focused on portable gaming. It gives a pretty informative opinion about games, so this is all about facts and the presentation and gameplay of games.

The Video Game Years Link-LoZ-Sprite

This is a collaboration by the dudes behind the shows in Retrowaretv.com, where they summarize gaming since the 70’s year by year, painting an epic picture of video game development and history throughout the years- year by year. It’s both informative and humorous, as it becomes entertaining when all contributors get together with their different personalities and create a great mix of different opinions and video game knowledge.

The Gaming Historian Link-LoZ-Sprite

If you like history and video games, like I do, then this show certainly is for you. We’re presented important facts from video game history in a professional and informative way without being bored in any way. That’s amazing!

Gamester81 Link-LoZ-Sprite

He’s a game collector that has an impressive collection of both common and rare systems, initially having started his channel as he saw no coverage of the rarer systems in his collection on Youtube. He has an impressive reservoir of knowledge of all things games, and is possibly the nicest guy on Youtube.

Let’s Get!! Link-LoZ-Sprite

Eric reviews games with a lot of oddball humour, ultimately giving a product of entertainment and a lot of laughs. Also he seems to know Japanese, so expect to have some Japanese words and names actually pronounced correctly for once. Now where to “put it”…

Game Hunting: Atari is What’s Retro Here

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Atari Greatest Hits: Volume 1

I found this for about 4 £, at BR Leksaker in Femmanhuset in Gothenburg, Sweden. It’s a good price and I’ve wanted to play old school Atari games for a while, and I think this is a good way for me to play them. This purchase filled me with nostalgia as the store still uses the same price stickers as when I was a kid, and still has good games for a pretty cheap price, as evidenced by this game and the Puzzle Bobble one. I remember the time when hits such as Super Mario Land 1 and 2 and Kirby’s Dream Land were sold for 12-18 £ a few years after their release, while still not out of print, and there were a lot of good games for about that price. I guess games are usually expensive to create (though I don’t think new ones necessarily are any cheaper today when compared to my childhood).

Yoshi’s Island DS

I really liked Yoshi’s Island for the GBA, and this game is just that much better. I’m at the end of World 2, and I love how the different babies have different abilities. Baby Mario is a fast runner, can turn Super and enables “M” blocks which make platforming easier, Baby Peach can fly with her umbrella when there are gusts of winds and Baby Donkey Kong has a really strong throwing arm (though his eggs  don’t bounce off walls), a tackle attack and can climb vines (though he’s really slow and has short jumps).

Now I’m waiting for Baby Wario, which easily will be my favorite. And just like Mario, he doesn’t sport his characteristic ‘stashe:

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http://de.mario.wikia.com

And it seems his ability is collecting coins, among others.

This game was a gift from my bro. Thanks a bunch bro!

Puzzle Bobble Universe

This is my second Nintendo 3DS game. I really like the Puzzle Bobble games, and one for the 3DS at 12£ really sounds like a great deal to me! I’m glad I got this game at such a great price. I haven’t played it yet as I forgot the charger at my parents’, so I’ll have to play Pokémon White 2 and Yoshi’s Island on my DS Lite at the moment.