5 Reasons why I won’t main a low tier in Super Smash for Switch.

I take no credit for the images used in this article. Credit goes to their respective creators

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So the next Smash Bros game is coming out soon and you’re wondering who to main. I don’t blame you, this is the kind of decision that is super important and will come back to bite you if you aren’t careful.I’m going to impart some wisdom to you here on not only why I won’t main a low tier, but why you shouldn’t either. I mained Fox in the first 3 iterations of Smash Bros and upgraded to Bayonetta for Sm4sh. For Sm5sh I fully expect to be maining a top tier fighter as well. You need to choose quickly because otherwise you will become stuck. For example, if you approach most players who main a low tier they will deny it. You can yell it as loudly as the character in the picture above but they can no longer recognize that their character is low tier. You simply lose sight of the character’s faults and that’s why you need to make the right choice the first time around.

1. You have to develop your own Metagame.
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When you pick a top tier like Diddy Kong or Bayonetta you’re in for a fun time since you can just toss out the same old combos that you see the top players pulling off. For Bayonetta just keep using her witch twists until it gets the KO. It’s an extremely safe attack so don’t worry about getting punished for it. See, the thing with low tiers is that everybody is always eager for someone else to main them, but nobody wants to do it personally. That’s because you are the guinea pig here. They want you to learn the combos so they can just steal it along with the character once you prove that they can be viable. Of course, that’s hardly a guarantee in the first place. Odds are that you’ll be doomed. Worst case you think you are picking a great character as seen in the picture above, but then the reality is a little different.

2. You can’t have any Johns
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If you lose to someone when you’re playing one of the best characters then you can easily make an excuse like you didn’t sleep well or something and people might believe it. After all, how else could you lose to a low tier? However, if you lose to someone while playing a bottom 5 character then you only have yourself to blame for picking the character. At least that’s going to be the counter argument and it will be a very tough one to get around. How do you debunk such a statement? It gets tricky and this actually leads into my 3rd reason.

3. You always have to settle for 2nd best
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Whether you are second in your pool, in the tourney, or in your half of the pool, there will always be a ceiling that you can’t shatter. After all, when was the last time someone saw Buff The Puff win a big tourney or Melee Kirby doing anything? You’ll ultimately never get to see most of the prize money for the Smash tournaments and that will turn the game into a very expensive hobby. If you can’t make money off of it then why continue to spend money to enter the tournament? It just doesn’t make any sense. Character loyalty will only hold you back in bracket. Better to be just another Bayo than to be known as the Zelda guy who is always stuck at pools. If you don’t know any better you’d think you were out of the range of another character’s attack like in this picture, but hitboxes can be very deceiving.

4. You won’t get Top Player privilege.
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Prepare to be treated like everyone else. Overslept through a pool and want the TOs to give you mercy? Not unless you’re a top player and last I checked, to be a top player you can’t use a low tier. It’s a tough predicament, but one that you will ultimately have to live with. A loop hole that you could use for any of the reasons on the list is to pick a top tier and just call him/her a low tier. Some top players have attempted this and while most will smirk you can probably trick a few into thinking this. Top character privelege is a thing as well. Top tier characters have a lot of cheesy gimmicks and techniques to break their fall so the player can afford to get outplayed the entire set and still win anyway. If you main a low tier then there is nobody to save you from the fall.

5. The more you play, the worse your results get
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This may sound contradictory but it’s true. Low tiers thrive on match up inexperience and gimmicks. Most of them are really one trick ponies. At first they will terrify the opponent but then they realize that their attacks actually aren’t so dangerous. Zelda has her down throw to up air, but that’s it. Ganondorf has his powerful attacks, but will get combo’d to death way before that. Buff the Puff dies against anyone with range, etc. Once your opponents figure out what you are doing then it is over. Unfortunately for you, they will inevitably figure it out since this will become obvious the more you play them. You want to play a character who is really OP so even once they know what you are doing it won’t matter.
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I say all of this to help you enjoy the game more. You may think that as long as you enjoy a character that you will be fine, but this isn’t usually the case. After all, if you are still losing a lot then that will take away the joy. You can play a boring character all day meanwhile but if it delivers the wins then you won’t mind so much. Of course it will be tough to tell who the top tiers for Smash 5 are right away (Assuming it’s not a port although I have my doubts) but just listen to the general consensus and stick with it for a while. Listen to the Twitch chat or the Reddit professionals and just copy their ideas. It will help you win a lot of tournaments before everyone has picked up the pieces. This was a relatively short editorial, but one that I felt was necessary to release before the game came out. Pick a main wisely as you won’t be able to switch right away without the world taking notice.

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Mario Hoops 3 on 3 Review

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It’s time to look at a relatively obscure Mario game known as Hoops 3 on 3. Basketball and Football are the two big sports that never got a home console game to themselves and at this point I’m wondering if they ever will. Nintendo has been moving away from sport titles after all and maybe they just didn’t know how to pull it off in a satisfying way. Ah well, at least when I get Sports Mix, I’ll get a taste of what a basketballl game would have been like. Hoops does do a good job on the DS though and is a lot of fun so I’ll take what I can get.

The game really focuses on tournament mode and vs mode. I believe that there may be a mini game mode as well but I didn’t end up trying that one. There are 4 tournaments to play through and each of them have 3 rounds except for the final tournament which is 4 rounds. This is less than most Mario sport games which tend to have 6 tournaments but I suppose it’s because the developers wanted to make sure it didn’t get tedious. 4 tournaments is a fine number I suppose.

The game is definitely meant for those who are right handed as you use the control stick/pad to move and then you use the stylus to shoot or pass. You can also dribble faster by tapping the screen a lot which I did for fun a lot, but never in a way that was particularly useful. It was just a lot of fun to tap away. You are able to use super attacks which can’t miss and can’t be blocked, but I couldn’t figure out how to use it. I chalked it up to cheesy A.I. game mechanics and called it a day. There are a bunch of techniques that I didn’t learn here and I suppose I could have finished the tutorial, but why bother right? I can beat these guys using pure fundamentals!

Each game is 5 minutes long which is divided into two halves. For the first 2 tournaments you will probably want to consider just holding onto the hall and not scoring after you take the lead to make the game go quicker. After all, scoring just prolongs the game so if you have a safe lead then you don’t need to go further. Do make sure that it’s a safe lead though as a normal shot is worth 20 points and any coins that have been accumulated by the enemy are added to the total. You can easily see a 40 point lead get wiped away with a single shot. For my gameplay tip, I would recommend running to the bottom side of the court and just running back and forth. The computers usually can’t catch you and if they get bold and try to undercut you, just head up. This strategy is close to full proof for 50% of the game.

The game definitely went all out when it comes to the visuals and the sound. The graphics are on point and have aged really well for the DS. The character models are sound and a nice amount of effort went to the gameplay elements like the actual basketball and the courts. Everything is very vibrant which is nice to see. Same goes for the soundtrack. It’s fun to hear all of the iconic Mario themes like Bowser’s Airship. We even get a brand new song which talks about how they are all heroes. It’s definitely catchy and I hadn’t been expecting a lyrical song like this one to pop up. I’m certainly glad that it did though as the song gives the game more personality. Then we’ve also got Mario’s sound effects. He talks a little more than usual here like even speaking during the song. Most impressive for the usually silent main character.

As far as the length goes, that is naturally less impressive. The tournaments will take you a little less than 2 hours. This means that the game will live or die on its replay value. You do unlock the tournaments for a second time which you can try clearing on hard mode. I’m sure that would be a reasonably fun challenge. Then the rest of the replay value is in fighting other players in vs mode. Definitely a longer experience back when the DS servers were still functional. Still it will be a fun 2 hours so if you can get the game for a good price then you will be set. 25$ is certainly pushing it though so I’d recommend thinking long and hard about it. I suppose it beats most other 25$ purchases if you look away from the medium though.

Overall Mario Hoops 3 on 3 may be a very short title but it is quite polished. A good amount of effort was put into the game. The basketball gameplay is on point and it could be used exactly how it was here in a new Switch game at some point. I do like how they made longer shots a little more realistic to score as you can shoot a ball from very far away and then jump after it go force the ball in. It wouldn’t have gone in without your intervention so that’s why jumping after it is extremely important. Against a real opponent you will definitely have to huddle since they will have the same idea. In this game you feel powerful on both offense and defense which is important. There are also quite a few advanced gameplay mechanics that will help you out once you take the time to learn them. When you buy the game, prepare yourself for the intense secret final boss!

Overall 7/10

NES Remix Pack Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 12h 44m

Remix 1

Stars 429/591
B Points 37949
Stamps 78/100

Remix 2

Stars 359/477
B Points 39181
Stamps 83/100

Game Stats

Remix 1:

“Remix 1” 58/75 Stars
Stage 1 2/3
Stage 2 2/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 1/3
Stage 8 2/3
Stage 9 2/3
Stage 10 3/3
Stage 11 2/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 3/3
Stage 14 2/3
Stage 15 2/3
Stage 16 1/3
Stage 17 2/3
Stage 18 3/3
Stage 19 3/3
Stage 20 3/3
Stage 21 3/3
Stage 22 2/3
Stage 23 3/3
Stage 24 2/3
Stage 25 1/3

Remix 2 49/75 Stars
Stage 1 1/2
Stage 2 2/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 1/3
Stage 8 2/3
Stage 9 2/3
Stage 10 3/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 2/3
Stage 13 1/3
Stage 14 2/3
Stage 15 3/3
Stage 16 –
Stage 17 1/3
Stage 18 3/3
Stage 19 1/3
Stage 20 3/3
Stage 21 2/3
Stage 22 1/3
Stage 23 3/3
Stage 24 2/3
Stage 25 1/3

Bonus 18/75
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 –
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 –
Stage 5 –
Stage 6 –
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 –
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 –
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 –
Stage 14-
Stage 15-
Stage 16-
Stage 17-
Stage 18-
Stage 19-
Stage 20-
Stage 21-
Stage 22-
Stage 23-
Stage 24-
Stage 25 –

Donkey Kong 20/21
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3

Donkey Kong Jr 17/21
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 1/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3

Mario Bros 22/30
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 1/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 1/3
Stage 8 1/3
Stage 9 1/3
Stage 10 3/3

Pinball 18/18
Perfect

Golf 7/21
Stage 1 1/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 –
Stage 5 –
Stage 6 –
Stage 7 –

Clu Clu Land 20/24
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 1/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 1/3

Excitebike 22/30
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 1/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 –
Stage 10 3/3

Balloon Fight 37/39
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 2/3
Stage 10 3/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 2/3

Ice Climbers 27/30
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 2/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 1/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 3/3

Wrecking Crew 27/33
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 1/3
Stage 10 2/3
Stage 11 2/3

Super Mario Bros 52/69
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 1/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 1/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 2/3
Stage 11 1/3
Stage 12 1/3
Stage 13 3/3
Stage 14 3/3
Stage 15 2/3
Stage 16 3/3
Stage 17 2/3
Stage 18 3/3
Stage 19 1/3
Stage 20 1/3
Stage 21 2/3
Stage 22 3/3
Stage 23 3/3

Legend of Zelda 35/51
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 2/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 1/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 2/3
Stage 10 2/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 2/3
Stage 13 2/3
Stage 14 3/3
Stage 15 –
Stage 16 –
Stage 17 –

Remix 2 Best Championship Score 0199980

Remix 2 Game Stats

Remix 1 49/60
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 2/3
Stage 3 2/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 2/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 2/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 1/3
Stage 11 2/3
Stage 12 2/3
Stage 13 3/3
Stage 14 3/3
Stage 15 3/3
Stage 16 3/3
Stage 17 3/3
Stage 18 –
Stage 19 3/3
Stage 20 3/3

Remix 2 46/60
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 2/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 –
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 2/3
Stage 10 1/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 2/3
Stage 14 3/3
Stage 15 3/3
Stage 16 2/3
Stage 17 –
Stage 18 3/3
Stage 19 3/3
Stage 20 1/3

Bonus 29/60
Stage 1 2/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 –
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 3/3
Stage 11 2/3
Stage 12 –
Stage 13 3/3
Stage 14 –
Stage 15 –
Stage 16 –
Stage 17 –
Stage 18 –
Stage 19 –
Stage 20 –

Mario Bros Lost Levels 10/21
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 1/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 1/3
Stage 5 1/3
Stage 6 2/3
Stage 7 1/3

Metroid 32/36
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 2/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 2/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 2/3

Kid Icarus 18/24
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 2/3
Stage 5 1/3
Stage 6 2/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 3/3

Adventure of Link 26/30
Stage 1 2/3
Stage 2 2/3
Stage 3 2/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 2/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 3/3

Punchout 18/21

Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 2/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 2/3
Stage 7 2/3

Mario Bros 3 42/48
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 2/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 1/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 3/3
Stage 14 3/3
Stage 15 1/3
Stage 16 3/3

Dr Mario 13/18
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 –
Stage 4 2/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 3/3

Super Mario Bros 2 32/36
Stage 1 2/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 3/3
Stage 11 1/3
Stage 12 3/3

Kirby’s Adventure 31/39
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 1/3
Stage 5 1/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 2/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 3/3

Wario’s Woods 13/24
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 2/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 –
Stage 7 –
Stage 8 –

NES Remix Pack Review

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It’s time to look at an interesting video game collection known as the NES Remix Pack. It brings both NES Remix 1 and 2 which is a pretty good deal since both of those titles had quite a lot of content in it. The price isn’t bad for the collection as I got it for 20-30 as well and it’s roughly triple the length of Sonic Forces. It’s definitely fun to see them mashup the games in Remix mode or even the mini challenges from the classic games. It’ll really test your knowledge of the older Nintendo titles.

The main mode is pretty self explanatory in these games. You’ll start off with a few options like Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, and Mario 2 for example. Each of these games will have 7-20 levels depending on which game it is. You try to beat each level where your result will range from 1-3 stars. The more stars you get, the more games you unlock. The main mode in each game is known as Remix and there are around 45-50 of these levels in each Remix. (1 and 2) Once you complete those you will have completed the game but you can keep on playing to clear the bonus world and any leftover game levels that you haven’t beaten yet. Obtain enough points and you will also get all of the stickers in each game which will really prove that you have come far. The simplicity of the game’s menu is certainly something to take note of as it makes navigating through the games rather enjoyable. More games should strive for a similar menu.

An average challenge will range from 7 seconds to around 1 minute. You may find an occasional challenge that is around 2 minutes or so, but I can’t stress enough just how rare these are. The average challenge is around 20 seconds I’d say. For example, “Grab 8 coins in a Mario level” may be a challenge. Some challenges have multiple phases and if you get a game over during it you can continue but the price is that you will only get 1 star for your efforts. The game is rather lenient on stars so you can unlock the final level even if you lose during a bunch of the stages but naturally your goal will be to grab as many of them as possible.

Of course with so many games not all of them will be a hit. From the first game the weak links were Golf and Donkey Kong Jr. I just never liked Golf in any video game format as it always seems to really be luck based. I know there is skill involved here and I just need to learn the mechanics, but it’s just no fun. Donkey Kong Jr. is just a little slow for me and I can see why it never became much of a hit. On the other side of the equation I thought that Excitebike was even more fun than I expected it to be and Clu Clu Land was really unique. I definitely enjoyed that one quite a bit. The only challenge in the first game that was quite grating was the Donkey Kong level where you played as Link. I must have died 100 times there before I finally found an opening. There must be a trick that I don’t know about for that one.

In the second game, Wario’s Woods was the game that I couldn’t get behind. The controls were a little convoluted for my liking and the levels did tend to drag on quite a bit. It was like playing a really twisted version of Dr. Mario and I don’t really know what Nintendo was thinking on this one. All I can say is that I’m not surprised how the game isn’t very well known. I don’t see how it would catch on. The other game would be NES Golf, but I don’t believe I actually got enough stars to unlock that one. I’ll probably have it unlocked by the time I have my Stats page up, but I certainly won’t play it much.

Meanwhile it was cool to have Metroid included this time around and Link II was also pretty interesting. It’s a shame that it didn’t do well since a 2D Link series would have been fun to compete with the others. It was rather rough around the edges of course, but they could have ironed that out with sequels. It’s like how the original Mario games were a little slippery, but they’re a lot easier to handle in the modern day.

It’s important to clarify that the good games outnumbered the annoying ones quite easily. Also from the games that I didn’t care for, only the Golf games were truly bad. Donkey Kong Jr and Wario’s Woods may not have been my style, but it’s not like I actively disliked playing them. There is enough content here for everyone as even if you don’t like a game you can have fun with the rest.

As I mentioned, the length of the game is pretty good. The first Remix took around 6-7 hours and the sequel was only a little shorter than that. Couple those two together and you have a reasonably long title. Then there is quite a lot of replay value here as getting 3 stars on every level will take a lot of practice and you will likely get all of the stickers on the way to accomplishing this feat. I do think it would have been cool if there was some kind of two player mode though. I think that’s the only thing that this game is lacking. Competing in these challenges would be an absolute blast and would certainly increase the replay value of the title. Still, as a single player experience it is not lacking. There is also the Super Luigi Bros where you see how far you can get in the Super Mario game while backwards and the Championship Mode where you are given 3 random tasks and have to see how well you complete them. They won’t keep you for very long, but each bit helps.

Naturally the graphics are kept true to the original game counterparts so this isn’t exactly Madden. The main menu looks fairly crisp though which will remind you that this is a modern title. The games all look pretty good as well. The soundtrack is quite solid as well since the individual game themes have always held up well against the test of time. Then the remix levels add a little extra pop by distorting the stages and zooming in on the map. I loved the gimmicks they would add here to make the games a little more unique. One Mario level for example had a bright blue background which is a cool “What If” scenario. I think that would make a good idea for a future Mario level even if it’s just for a level or two.

Overall, NES Remix Pack is a great homage/tribute to longtime Nintendo fans. It’s a great way to experience their older titles in a convenient minigame format. It’s the perfect kind of game for on the go or to play here and there. The challenges are fun and exciting without being tedious. This is where the short duration comes in handy as even if you die a bunch of times it is not as if you have lost a bunch of time. It never feels like a waste either since most of the challenges revolve around skill instead of RnG so you know that with enough practice you’ll get it. It’s also not too difficult so it’s fine for kids as well as they may have some trouble but will be able to crack the level eventually. There was certainly a lot of heart and effort put into this game to really make it a finished product.

Overall 8/10

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 50m
Event Play Time 10m
London Party Play Time 40m
London Party Complete: Gold Medal
Challenges Complete 4.8%
Events Won 3%
Stickers 9/104

Character Stats (Times Played)

Shadow 3
Sonic 1
Metal Sonic 1
Terry 1
Everyone Else 0

Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games Review

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If there was ever such a thing as a low budget Mario and Sonic game then this is it. We no longer have the intense campaign mode from the first game and we don’t even get to keep the tournaments. With all of the characters and games already unlocked as well you just have to wonder what the developers were thinking. It’s not a bad game but it doesn’t do anything to help the Olympics legacy. It would have gone over better if this had been the first title in the series.

We do have a new mode though and that is essentially Mario Party mode. Here you run around a board trying to get items and bump into one of the characters who is running around. This will trigger a mini game. You want to win the mini games to get cards that you can put in your sticker album. Once you’ve obtained 16 stickers (or more depending on the length you choose) you will have won the game. Inside your sticker board you have two random items as well which may steal stickers from other players or just give you extras. They’re pretty handy so use them wisely. If you want to blast through the party then simply seek out the NPCs as soon as possible. I’m not sure if there is even a point to delaying it to be honest since grabbing the items didn’t actually seem to be doing anything. There’s probably something that I’m missing though.

I also have to point out that the mini games are starting to randomly get convoluted here. You should always be able to get a basic understanding of the game from the rules section before it starts. That wasn’t the case for the Dream Bike mini game. This one is a team game of 4 vs 4. You have to try and stay in a perfect line and shake your way to the goal. The problem is that you have to switch places during the race and the controls for being in the back were not clear. I struggled as best as I could but I just couldn’t form a line and I ended up losing the mini game and nearly the whole party map. I actually did lose the first time I played the mode, but I got them the second time.

Even the really solid games suffer from dicey instructions. Take the Nintendo/Sega trivia. The questions were solid and with prep time I could probably even get them right. However the game tells you to hold the Wii Remote horizontally when in fact you are supposed to hold it vertically. This cost me the very first question which I knew I would have gotten right. So the main point here is to read the rules carefully and be warned that you may not be able to win some of these games on the first try because you will have to figure out how it works.

One of the new games that is pretty solid is the throwing darts one. You essentially have to hit the bullseye as quickly as possible and try to get others. Essentially I don’t know if you go for all of the bullseyes but that would make sense. I hit 2 and won the mini game so just aim for the center and you will be all set.

We’ve also got some games that I believe are old like Table Tennis and Soccer. Table Tennis is the same old same old so I wouldn’t expect too much more out of that one. It’s a fun game as always but it didn’t take much effort to port it over. I forgot if soccer already existed or not but it doesn’t look good for this game either way since the soccer gameplay is probably the weakest I’ve ever seen in the genre. I know low budget Wii games with better soccer gameplay. Your passes always go too high so it is usually safest to take the bell through the whole field yourself before shooting. That’s just not good gameplay and teamwork is supposed to be the name of the game here. I just don’t know how you can possibly mess up a game like soccer this way.

100mm Swinming is another mini game that doesn’t even try to hide how recycled it is. It’s the exact same controls as always in what appears to be the same background. It’s a good mini game so I’m fine with it coming back of course, but we just should have had more games. Reusing minigames is like bringing back old fighters in a classic fighting game. It’s a great move and one that I stand by 100%. However, if the cast is unchanged then there is no point in upgrading as in the case of Godzilla Save The Earth to Godzilla Unleashed on the PS2.

What this Olympics should have done was have close to 40-50 events. They could easily have brought back events from the previous games in addition to a bunch of new ones. The only reason why I could see this being a bad thing is if they are trying to perfectly emulate the games that will be at each Olympics. If that is the case then I suppose they will need to find another solution (have the old mini games be unlockable) but either way we definitely needed more games than the rather limited amount that we got.

The graphics look nice as always at least. It’s about the same as the last game only without the cinematic cutscenes so maybe it is actually a downgrade. Those cutscenes strike me as being the hard part after all but maybe the gameplay is just as difficult. Either way the last game did manage to do both so I’d give it the edge. When it comes to the soundtrack there is no contest that the last one was better. It blended together a bunch of brilliant themes from both Mario and Sonic which made the games even more fun. While this game has a lot of those songs in the music player, don’t expect to hear them very often.

As far as the replay value goes I suppose that there is a lot to buy here. You can use your money to buy clothes which boost your stats and you can try to earn medals for all of the various mini games. That could take a little while and then you also have a lot of challenges to complete for the bragging rights. Complete all of the challenges and you will really be an Olympics champ. Considering that the game is pretty cheap I’d say that this is already enough value to justify the cost.

Overall, This is one of those games that may have been more acceptable if it had been the first in the series. However it is the third and after seeing what this series could really do with the second game it feels like a total downgrade. The game just lost all of its heart and it felt like the developers just cashed it in this time. There wasn’t much effort put behind this game as far as I could see and even though this is a decent game I would recommend going back to buy the Winter Olympics instead.

Overall 6/10

Donkey Kong Barrel Blast Review

Donkey-Kong-Barrel-Blast-NTSC-Wii-FULL
It’s time to look at Nintendo’s biggest mistake when it comes to the racing genre. A DK racer practically writes itself and just has a ton of potential. It’s a shame that the game squandered this so readily. Motion controls are what hold this game back and while it was an attempt by Nintendo it completely backfired. Sometimes just because an idea makes sense in concept doesn’t mean that it should be implemented. This is most certainly one of those times.

There is no story mode of course but we do have a few different tournaments at the ready. There are 4 main tournaments and 2 bonus ones. The bonus tournaments allow you to pick your own stages to have a tournament with friends and another one allows you to randomize the stages. Both are handy when playing with friends but you don’t get a trophy for clearing them so there is no single player incentive. The main tournaments start out at 3 races and eventually go to 5. There are multiple difficulty levels but you are forced to start with Rookie so I just stayed at that level. Even then the game is surprisingly difficult. You have to stay at top speed and use a lot of boosts if you want to come out on top here. Of course, the Mario Party luck factor is around here so sometimes you’ll just get blasted by other racers behind you which is out of your control. Not much can be done about that.

Each racer is using a pair of drums instead of a car. It is for this reason that instead of accelerating like normal you must beat the drums to keep going fast. You have to make the motion of hitting the drums constantly to stay at peak levels and just hit one drum to turn. Hit both at the same time to jump and hold down on the Nunchuk to activate your boost. Your boost is the most important skill that you have here. It can change a whole race and just know that you can extend your boost by hitting enemies or normal barrels. If you time the boost right you can keep it going for a very long time. Just focus on the combo and don’t use your boost unless you see something to bump into.

There are a lot of games that can be called painful while you are playing them, but there aren’t many which you can say that in a literal sense. Your wrists will be absolutely exhausted after playing this game and I am convinced that it wouldn’t be healthy if you played this game long term. You can even expect some neck and back pain if you were straining a lot and too rigid while playing. Naturally the trick is to simply not play too hard but that’s easy to say until one of the computers passes you. Then it’s back to hitting the drums as quickly as you can.

When it comes to the graphics then this game finally gets to shine. The character models are definitely on point and are appropriately high quality. The levels all look great and there is a lot of variety to be found here. Whether it be Jungles, Volcanoes, or even Space DK has you covered. The final level in the game is the hype space one and it is as cool as you may expect. I was pleasantly surprised at how much effort Nintendo put into some parts of this game, but maybe I shouldn’t be. In theory this was supposed to be their next big racer. The stage themes are pretty solid as well even if they aren’t all that memorable. I suppose you can’t have every game be quite as legendary as Mario right?

Aside from the tournaments which won’t keep you busy for very long, the game has other modes at its disposal as well. One of those is the challenge mode where you attack various missions and see if you can accomplish them. The missions are actually reasonably difficult as you can easily lose a stage if you’re not entirely sure how to approach it. Take one wrong shortcut and it’s time to retry. Between the various unlockables and the main tournaments, I think you’ll find that the game has a reasonable amount of content to back the pricing.

All of this is only if you can get past the gameplay though. None of the other stuff will ultimately matter if you wrists simply can’t take the pressure. The items are fun though and if you use them right they will help you take a break. Build up some good boosts and just use it when you know that you’ll be able to keep it going for a while. During this time you don’t need to beat the drums. You have other items like armor and missiles but you have to keep shaking the controllers during this. Interestingly enough, the descriptions in the game say that you can stop shaking once you’re at max speed, but they must have meant that you could stop shaking for a moment because after that the car will immediately start slowing down again. So much for that I suppose.

Overall, Barrel Blast really could have been a good game. It had a lot of the right pieces in place like the animation, soundtrack, and array of content to keep you busy. The one area where it went wrong was with the controls and you’d think that this wouldn’t be a big deal. It’s just so drastic that it ends up bringing the whole game down with it and that’s the unfortunate part. You actually feel like the game isn’t healthy to play. If you want some exercise for your wrist and don’t think that it will end up having a detrimental effect instead, then I suppose you may want to give this game a chance. However, if you’re playing this game in the first place because you want to relax while cruising through the levels then this isn’t the right game to add to your collection. There is nothing relaxing about constantly beating the drums.

Overall 5/10

Mario Tennis Open Stats and Records

Stats Time!

Play Time 1h 59m
Rackets 2/48
Shirts 1/40
Sweat Bands 0/40
Shoes 0/40

Tournaments

Mario 8/8
Everyone Else 0/8
Doubles for Everyone 0/8

Special Game Records

Ring Shot
Bronze 218
Silver –
Gold –

Super Mario Tennis
Bronze 564
Silver –
Gold –
Platinum –

Galaxy Rally
Bronze 191
Silver 228
Gold –

Ink Showdown
Bronze 350
Silver –
Gold –