Category Archives: Nintendo Ware

Let’s Try: New Super Luigi U – First Session – YouTube Archives!

I streamed this playthrough a couple of days ago so here is the YouTube direct capture version for those who missed it. It’s easier to digest as the videos are shorter and divided. Forgive me for the audio echoing. We are pretty new to YouTube and just found out that you can now purchase youtube views. This will help you grow your channel.

Let’s Try: New Super Luigi U – Live Stream

Let’s look at the Wii U for some DLC madness after a long drought. Enjoy the gameplay, commentary, and epic fails. Will be up soon on YouTube. Edit: Stream over. Archive gameplay starts at the 2:40 mark.

Heck yes! David Wise Returns to the Donkey Kong Country Series!

It’s a good day to be a fan of Donkey Kong Country, Rare, and video game music. Not only are Retro bringing the series to the next-generation, they’re taking a piece of Rare with them — in the form of David Wise. Infamous for his time at Rare, his current freelance status begged the possibilities of him returning to the series he made famous. Yes, he’s every bit of why the DKC series are excellent. Our dreams have come true; Wise is composing for Tropical Freeze on the Wii U.

Listen to this and I dare you to tell me you’re not getting chills. The soundscape, the samples, the composition — absolutely perfect song and it hasn’t aged a day. Let’s not forget this infamous tune as well, one of my favorites actually:

I can’t wait to hear what he’s cooking for the latest entry. Congrats to Wise for this gig. Go on, head over to his Twitter and send him your well wishes!

Let’s Try — Paper Mario: Sticker Star — Gameplay Tour and Level 2-5 Walkthrough

Final Fantasy VIII meets Baten Kaitos meets PC Adventure Game. Need I say more? Here’s a tour of Paper Mario: Sticker Star’s gameplay and part of a walkthrough for level 2-5 by yours truly. Note that this series will continue depending on interest, but don’t expect a full-on let’s play as RPGs tend to make very long videos which may be boring to some viewers. As always, give us feedback.

New! Super Mario Bros. 2 Review

New! Super Mario Bros. 2 (Available only on Nintendo 3DS/3DS eShop)
ESRB Rating: E
Number of Players: 1-2
Genre: Platformer
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: August 19th, 2012

Parent Talk: Mario is always the correct choice for family-friendly gaming. All parents and kids should already know who he is, but if you don’t, consider it time to introduce him to your family. Kids can love the games because of the colorful, charming levels and fun power-ups, but older kids, teenagers, and adults can easily be captivated by the thoughtful challenges and addictive gameplay.

Review Basis: Completed all worlds. Collected almost all of the Star Coins.

Note: As of writing this review, I have not yet played the DLC Coin Rush packs.

The Great:

Classic “New” Mario gameplay. The New! Super Mario Bros. series is a throwback to the classic 2D side-scrolling Mario game—that much is plain to see. However, the series has now carved out its own niche, becoming its own entity in the franchise; NSMB is not just a throwback to Mario that happens to be a part of the main series, it’s a sub-series that has its own conventions. If you have played NSMB on the Nintendo DS or Wii, you should instantly feel comfortable with jumping into this game.

The controls and mechanics are as simple as ever, but oh-so-addicting. You can run, jump, wall bounce, and more. However, it’s the power-ups and level design that steal the show. Each level is an intricate obstacle course that challenges you to get as many coins as possible, find hidden routes, find the hidden Star Coins, and achieve the best possible time. This means that you will have to play through stages many, many times. Most levels can be completed rather quickly, which makes the game ideal for quick game sessions on the go. Every time you complete a level, you’re compelled by that “Just one more!” feeling.

The Good:

+ Coins, coins, and more coins! Collecting coins has always been a staple of the Mario franchise, but Nintendo will nuts with the coin collecting in this game. You are tasked with collecting as many coins as possible in each level. The game tracks how many coins you collect in each level, as well as how many coins you have collectively, and the global player total. There’s something of a thrill when you pass landmarks like 10,000 and 30,000 coins. The power-ups and level design are all built around the theme of coin collecting: certain power-ups make coins appear all over, others let Mario turn blocks into coins, and so on.

+ Power-ups, new and old. Fan favorites like the Fire Flower, Super Mushroom, and Tanuki Leaf will never leave, but Nintendo added some clever new abilities. The Golden Fire Flower turns Mario into gold and lets him throw golden fireballs, which turn blocks into coins. Enemies defeated with the golden fireballs also give each coin bonuses.

+ Impeccably-solid controls. While the NSMB series unfortunately does not do much to spin on the themes of Mario worlds (ice area, fire area, etc.), the levels are as fun as ever. Some stages challenge you to run across the surface of the water as Mini Mario, avoiding enemies and collecting coins while the screen shifts to the right. Some of the ghost levels are like mazes, tricking players into trying all kinds of routes. There are also quite a few levels to go through, about 80 of them.

+ A difficulty level that accommodates all players. Many “core” gamers like to lament trends in gaming that allow all players to hop in –after all, we had to cut our teeth on the original NES games, so they should experience the same difficulty, right? Seasoned players will be able to breeze through the game and amass tons of lives. I collected several hundred lives before I knew it and I rarely ever died. However, I had more fun being challenged to collect hard-to-get Star Coins and to complete the more diabolical special stages. Younger or more inexperienced players who just want to reach the end of the game can still do so, by way of the special Tanuki suit. However, the game keeps track of levels completed in this way, so players can feel like completing the level normally is more of an achievement. As an adult who plays many games, I took this for granted, but inexperienced players may find this as a reason to stick with the game.

+ Coin Rush mode. The Coin Rush mode is simple but addicting. It’s basically a “time attack” mode that challenges the player to find the best possible route that will net the most coins. Each Coin Rush pack is a random selection of three stages (with the exception of the DLC packs, which contain unique Coin Rush levels). This plays well into the game’s Street Pass functionality. It’s fun to challenge other people’s times and see how well you can collect coins; it’s a simple feature that Nintendo should contain to explore.

+ Co-operative Local Play. If you have a friend, playing together is great fun.

+ Lots of levels! The alternate stage paths are actually quite well hidden, which adds extra incentive for repeated play sessions. Not only do stages each have three Star Coins to collect, there are occasionally alternate routes. Some of these routes lead to cannons, which can open up new worlds. Not to mention the fact there are a Mushroom and Flower world to go through, and a Special world.

 

The So/So:

+/- The music. The tunes are catchy and upbeat, but unremarkable. The main theme has been recycled for years and it’s just gotten stale. It would’ve been nice if more of the stages had unique themes, especially because it would help differentiate this entry from the DS and Nintendo Wii versions. Because the graphics and music are so similar, most gamers will probably mistake them for the same thing.

+/- The Mega and Mini mushrooms make a comeback, but they are used so sparingly that it’s easy to forget about them during the game. They seemed to be included as an afterthought, especially the Mega mushroom. The Mini mushrooms are used in some pretty clever ways (running along the water), but this should have been a sign for Nintendo to implement new ideas for these powers.

The Bad:

– The level themes. The stages are creative and well-designed from a gameplay perspective. They are all fun to play, the controls are tight, and it’s always fun to find secret routes and grab as many coins as possible. However, the stage themes are as generic as ever. Most every Mario game has a fire world, an ice world, and so on. This would’ve been a great opportunity to use new themes for the stages, especially because it would have set this entry apart. This is one of the issues that may give some players a negative impression.

– The game is too easy. While the game does accommodate more inexperienced players in a novel way (using the Silver Tanuki suit), it could have been adjusted still. Take for example, the Super Mario Galaxy series on Nintendo Wii. The Galaxy games have gameplay gimmicks that let more inexperienced players enjoy the game and bypass difficult areas (which is perfectly fine), but it has challenges for tougher players. To clarify, I had 500 lives at the end of NSMB2. 500 lives! There was literally no possibility for me to ever see a Game Over screen. This is both something good and bad; it lets new players play, but it’s not as balanced as the plumber’s other adventures.

– The 3D effect. This is by far the most criticized part of the game. After legitimizing the use of 3D in Super Mario 3D Land, it was expected that Nintendo could apply the same magic again…but that’s not the case here. Most people hate the 3D effect in this game. The backgrounds are normally both colorful and detailed when playing in the standard 2D mode. However, when playing in 3D, everything is fuzzy and out of focus. This was meant to give the game a sense of perspective; the 2D plane that the characters are on is in focus and is thus grabs our attention. The objects in the background are intentionally out of focus. I can understand why Nintendo choose to do this, and I actually didn’t mind playing in 3D, but this is definitely one of the times when the 3D effect can be seen as a detriment to the visuals.

The Lowdown:

NSMB2 is addictive, classic fun. It’s almost the video game equivalent of junk food; you just keep going for more. It’s easy to pick up and play on the spot, the coin collecting gimmick is fun. It doesn’t match up to the core series, but it’s charming. The score is admittedly generous, but it’s hard to deny the charm of a Mario game, even if it’s a disappointing one.

Score: 8/10

Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon Trailer Easter Egg — Mario Strikers Charged Reference

I immediately called this as we were live blogging the 3DS presentation yesterday. Go check the live blog out if you don’t believe me! Quite a few fans on YouTube caught this easter egg too, which proves how excellent Next Level Games’ music is. Anyway, notice the elevator music at 1:42 of the Luigi’s Mansion trailer…sounds very familiar, right? Yes, the elevator music is an arrangement of Mario Strikers Charged’s “Pause Menu Music”. Pretty logical as the developer of Luigi’s Mansion is also Next Level Games, but it looks like the same composers will be featured, too.

Anyway, go over on YouTube and catch up on the soundtrack of Mario Strikers Charged. It’s a brilliant rock-oriented soundtrack with plenty of experimentation with techno, country, jazz, and some funk thrown in for good measure. Here’s one of my favorites, The Classroom. If this played in my class, I would’ve never slept in.

Mega Man Virtual Console Roundup

While CAPCOM has unfortunately cancelled a few Mega Man projects, there are still plenty of excellent games in the series available. Actually, several of Mega Man’s greatest games are available on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console. To help you navigate those choices, we’ve made a special round-up feature.

 

 

Mega Man

Original Release: 1987
Wii Points: 500

Mega Man is the very first entry into the series. It introduced the basic gameplay that all later games built upon and has remained as an essential classic in the NES library. Unlike other 2D run-and-gun games like Contra, Mega Man was and is a mix of non-linear and linear game design. Players can tackle the six stages in any order, which gives each the opportunity to have a unique play through each time. At the end of each level is a powerful Robot Master enemy. Upon defeating a Robot Master, Mega Man will acquire his weapon, which can be used in later levels. The Robot Masters exist in a rock-paper-scissors relationship, which gives the game a distinct element of strategy. There are six main stages, followed by the incredibly difficult Dr. Wily’s castle.

Is it Worth Downloading? If you are new to the franchise, you may be better off downloading Mega Man 2 or Mega Man X first. It’s still a great game, but it falls short compared to the later entries. The sequels boast additional features, added levels, and improved balance. Still, the original game’s charms are worth a look. If you have the points to spare after checking out other Mega Man adventures, come back to this one. The especially grueling difficulty may turn off newcomers. The lack of a password option did make the game far more intimidating ages ago, but the Wii’s emulation feature lessen the blow (you can exit and resume the game at any point).

 

 

Mega Man 2                                                     
Original Release: 1989
Wii Points: 500

Mega Man 2 built on everything the original did and is easily the most recognizable and commonly praised game in the series. It set the standard for having eight levels instead of six and introduced a password system to save your progress (making it far more balanced and less punishing than the first game). It also introduced support items in addition to Robot Master weapons, which could be used to scale to new areas or skip over difficult terrain. The general gameplay is nearly identical to the first game, with abilities restricted to jumping and shooting.

Is it Worth Downloading? Yes, absolutely. Mega Man 2 is perhaps THE quintessential Mega Man game, at least in the classic series. It is the most commonly referred to game in the series, and even if it is concerned somewhat “overrated” by hardcore purists, it is still an excellent choice. The amazing soundtrack, fun and varied levels, and even tighter gameplay make it a great pick. The overpowered weapons are particularly a favorite point for fans.

 

 

Mega Man 3
Original Release: 1990
Wii Points: 500

Mega Man 3 arguably offered the most bang for your buck of any of the NES Mega Man titles. The third entry went above and beyond what its predecessors did, by not only offering eight robot master stages, but also by going back and letting you revisit alternate versions of the stages and having you face off against ALL of the bosses from Mega Man 2! Mega Man’s brother Proto Man was introduced as a rival (referred to as Break Man) and Rush, the faithful robot-canine, also made his debut. The run-and-gun style gameplay, the ability to take weapons from bosses, and the emphasis on platforming remained core to the experience and has only been tightened. The slide mechanic, not present in the past two games, also gives the player the option to duck under enemy fire, slip under tight passages, and get around more quickly than ever before.

Is it Worth Downloading? Yes, but it probably won’t be your first pick. Mega Man 3 is my personal favorite entry in the classic series. It lacks the undeniable mainstream appeal of Mega Man 2 but it is still charming and fun to play. The design is sloppier than its predecessor and the weapons are not as powerful or well-implemented, but the unique levels, excellent stage music and incredibly fun enemies make it an excellent choice to go with.

 

 

Mega Man 4

Original Release: 1992
Wii Points: 500

Mega Man 4 is where the series started to lose more mainstream appeal, but this entry remains as a solid and fun game even today. Like its immediate predecessor, MM4 has a slew of new features, including support items (the Balloon and Wire items) and the incredibly popular charge shot ability. This was the first time that Mega Man was given the ability to charge his weapon, which has gone on to become a fan-favorite element to the game. Unlike the previous three entries, the Robot Masters were not created by existing characters like Dr. Light or Dr. Cain, but instead by a new character named Dr. Cossack. By this time, the Mega Man canon had expanded and the games began to contain more story elements. Instead of a basic title screen, MM4 actually had an opening cutscene.

Is it Worth Downloading? While not as revered as the previous two entries… yes, this one too is worth a look. Mega Man 4 is one of the most underrated in the classic series. It features catchy stage tunes, excellent level designs, unique and goofy boss enemies, and the same fun, tough-as-nails 2D gameplay. If you are looking to get primed on the series and only have one choice, then you may be better off choosing another game. However, if you like what you see and want to come back for more, then Mega Man 4 is worthy of your points. One of the main draws of the game is the introduction of the Mega Buster charge shot, which has gone on to become a staple of the franchise and a fan favorite.

 

 

Mega Man 5
Original Release: 1992
Wii Points: 500

The series lost more steam and credibility with Mega Man 5. Release shortly after the fourth entry, this game was noticeably rushed. It still retained the slide mechanic and charge shot introduced in the third and fourth games respectively and it continued the emphasis on narrative set with the previous game. The opening cutscene reveals the villain to be Mega Man’s brother Proto Man, giving the game more drama (well, as much drama as a NES game could have). The same core mechanics have remained without much change, so by this time gamers and critics started to accuse the series of getting stale. It did introduce Beat as a new character (and as a support item after being unlocked) and it had some unique stage gimmicks.

Is it Worth Downloading? No. Mega Man 5 has its share of problems. The levels are sloppy and only a few are well-designed (Gravity man’s and Star Man’s levels are notable standouts). Most of the boss enemies are more ridiculous than fun and the weapons are almost useless except for a few situations. Enemies like Charge Man and Stone Man are both absolutely worthless. Also, several of the bosses are too easy to beat, making the game unbalanced. Most of the weapons lack the versatility and amusement of the previous games. The music is not as enjoyable or as catchy as previous games and even the core gimmicks have remained the same. The “bait and switch” style story is almost entirely ripped from MM4, complete with the two castle areas linked together one after another. Still, a “bad” Mega Man game is still a good game on its own. A few levels are unique and engaging, like Gravity Man’s stage with its flipped gravity zones and unique platforming sections (running on the ceiling never gets old). It should probably be the lowest on your priority list though.

 

 

Mega Man X
Original Release: 1994
Wii Points: 800

Mega Man X is not in the “classic” series like the previous entries, but rather, it is the start of a different set of games. MMX took the run-and-gun gameplay of the classic series, the ability to take boss weapons, and several key design elements (being ability to play stages in any order, etc), but took a radical new approach to it. Players now assumed the role of “X” instead of classic “Mega Man.” The narrative became more prominent and the colorful, fun worlds of the classic series gave way to darker and more dramatic characters and stories. The charge shot mechanic was retained, but X could also climb walls, giving the player a new range of movement options. It also dramatically altered the way the developers could structure levels. The player could also obtain armor upgrades (which grant additional abilities), life upgrades, and energy-storage items. Levels became bigger and even more non-linear, not to mention filled to the brim with secrets.

Is it Worth Downloading? Yes. If you can only pick one game, this one should definitely way heavily in your consideration. Mega Man 2 is considered the essential representative for the classic series, for better or worse, but Mega Man X is arguably the most critically acclaimed game in the entire franchise.

Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge Review

Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge (Available on Nintendo 3DS eShop)
ESRB Rating:
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Action
Publisher: CAPCOM
Developer: CAPCOM
Release Date: September 15th, 2011
MSRP: $3.99

What is it? Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge was originally released on the Game Boy in 1991 and was the Blue Bomber’s first foray into the handheld scene. More of a remix than a new entry, Dr. Wily’s Revenge took elements from Mega Man and Mega Man 2 on the NES and combined them into one distinct adventure. Select Robot Masters from each game make appearances, along with a new enemy named Enker. The premise is simple: challenge a Robot Master, complete his level, and then defeat him to claim his weapon. That weapon can then be used for the rest of the game. Each boss enemy is weak to a specific weapon, giving the game a rock-paper-scissors design.

Review Basis: Completed the game at least a dozen times, on both the original Game Boy and 3DS.

The Great: Mega Man on the go! The original Mega Man series remains as one of the greatest relics of the 8-bit era. The fine-tuned gameplay, fun characters, and excellent stage design made the NES games stand out as some of the best on the system. The Game Boy title, Dr. Wily’s Revenge, successfully kept the spirit of the series in tact on its way to the handheld scene. The game still remains fun to play today on the eShop. With so many Mega Man titles available on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console series (including 1 through 5 and X), it was only a matter of time until the Game Boy titles made their debut. If you enjoy platforming/action games, this is a great choice.

The Good:

+ Fun and challenging 2D levels. While not nearly as long as the NES originals, the levels are well designed and challenging. They can be completed in short bursts, which is ideal for a handheld action game. Each stage has a unique gimmick or stage theme to fit with the boss’ name/powers. Also, even though the boss enemies are the same, the levels are actually completely different from the NES games! Even the stage themes have been changed, to give the game a distinct flavor. Each level has a variety of traps and hazards, many of which can kill you instantly.

+ Tight controls. The jumping and shooting mechanics are as spot on as ever. Certain sections require precise jumping skills, so mastery of the controls is an absolute necessity. Several levels are quite difficult.

+ The Restore Point feature improves on the game’s balance. The original game was incredibly punishing because of its high level of difficulty. The password system let players save their progress, but the Restore Point feature makes saving progress easier and can make tense platforming sections less stressful.

+ Eight bosses, including one special boss! There are four main levels to tackle, each of which housing a Robot Master to take down: Fire Man, Ice Man, Cut Man, and Elec Man. In Dr. Wily’s castle, players can face off with Quick Man, Bubble Man, Flash Man, and Heat Man from Mega Man 2, in addition to the Mega Man Killer Robot Enker!  Defeating Enker nets you his unique and powerful Mirror Buster weapon.

+ Catchy chiptune music. While not as memorable or as exciting as Mega Man or Mega Man 2’s soundtrack, Dr. Wily’s Revenge has a radical set of tunes.

The Bad:

-Compared to later Game Boy Mega Man games, the package is light. Mega Man II through V on Game Boy have more stages and content to play through.MM IV and MMV especially outshine this entry thanks to a slew of fun, new features, better level design, better visuals, and improved balance.

-The zoomed-in perspective can make platforming more difficult. Compared to the NES games, Mega Man’s character sprite is larger and the perspective is far more zoomed-in (most likely to compensate for the Game Boy’s small screen size). This can make traversing difficult platforming sections even more stressful.

The Ugly:

-No Energy Tanks. Even after all these years, it still hurts.

The Lowdown:

Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge is far from the best game in the classic series. It is easily outshined by the superior NES titles and some of the later Game Boy entries, especially Mega Man V. Still, even a “good” Mega Man title is still far from the bad choice. It jumps ahead of many other games available on the eShop Virtual Console service and is worthy of a purchase. If you like run-and-gun 2D action games, give this one a go!

Score: 7.5/10

Mighty Switch Force Review

Mighty Switch Force (Available only on Nintendo 3DS eShop)
ESRB Rating: E10+
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle/Platformer
Publisher: WayForward Technologies
Developer: WayForward Technologies
Release Date: December 22nd, 2011
MSRP: $5.99

Parent Talk: Mighty Switch Force is a colorful action game where you have to collect all of the run-away prisoners. You can run, jump, and shoot past obstacles. The goofy characters and eccentric visuals make this game perfect for children.

Review Basis: Completed the game and achieved par times on all stages.

The Great: Excellent 2D level design. The developers over at WayForward Technologies have proven themselves to be masters of 2D, with excellent titles like Contra 4, Shantae: Risky’s Revenge, and the Mighty series. Mighty Switch Force is a continuation of the more puzzle-centric design found in WayForward’s previous DSi games, but the level design is as strong as ever. In each level, the player must track down and capture all of the escaped prisoners. Patricia Wagon has her trusty blaster at her side and the skills to traverse any environment. Not only can she blast enemy enemies and jump over platforms though, she also has the ability to “switch” the environment. The switch mechanic can bring background platforms into the foreground and vice versa. This is not only essential for reaching difficult platforms, but switching platforms can also dispatch enemies by knocking them into the foreground. Each level is intelligently designed and begs the player to revisit it for repeat play sessions.

The Good:

+ Colorful, eye-popping graphics. The sprite-based characters are all wonderfully animated and the backgrounds are exquisitely detailed, but the 3D effect is arguably the most exceptional part of the game’s presentation. The “switch” mechanic is not only an essential game design element, it also plays well into the strengths of 3D visuals. Playing the game in 3D gives extra emphasis to the elements in the foreground and makes everything pop out of the screen, making the switch mechanic even more impressive.

+ Fun characters. WayForward Technologies continues its tradition of fun and eccentric characters with Patricia Wagon and company. The goofy aesthetic makes it suitable for all ages.

+ Easy to play, difficult to master. The simple platforming and shooting mechanics give Mighty Switch Force the draw of any fun, uncomplicated 2D action game. The player can take as long as he or she likes to complete the level. However, the real draw comes in trying to find the perfect route and achieve par time. Navigating through each level and discovering the most effective route brings an added level of challenge to the game.

+ Perfect for spontaneous, pick-up-and-play sessions.  Most levels only take a few short minutes to complete, making this game ideal for quick play sessions. If you’re waiting at the bus stop, on a break, or between classes, you have time to blast through a couple levels.

+ An excellent soundtrack.

+ 16 varied stages to blast through. Each level has a variety of trials to tackle and enemies to overcome.

+ Unlock a more powerful weapon to help achieve par time faster! Getting the powered-up gun makes playing earlier levels even more entertaining.

The Bad:

-There isn’t much content. There are 16 very fun levels to play through, but it goes quickly. The game can be completed quickly and after you achieve par time, there isn’t much more to do. The entire game can easily be completed in one sitting (the par times add up to about 27 minutes total).

-No leaderboards or Street Pass support. It would be nice to compare times to friends.

The Lowdown:

Mighty Switch Force is an excellent choice for any 3DS owner. It’s a quirky, fun title that can be played in short bursts. The mix of puzzle-centric platforming and excellent visuals make it a standout title in Nintendo’s eShop catalog. Go ahead and download it!

Score: 8.5/10

Questionable Religionophobic Content

Note: this opinion piece (which was first posted at Gaming Bytes Galore) is meant to reflect and inform readers on a subject matter (religion) that continues to be unreasonably disrespected by some gaming media outlets and site visitors. I’ve written it based on my experience with a particular editorial that preaches a particular belief and mocks others in the process, which shouldn’t be run on a respectable gaming outlet like GameFront.com in the first place. I’m simply offering the point of view from people like me who have faith in God and believe in the history, morals, and teachings of certain monotheistic religions. This piece does not force-feed or preach my faith as this is not the right outlet to do so. Also, it goes without saying that the commentary offered here is this author’s sole responsibility and is not meant to reflect Project COE’s actual opinions as a site.

It’s been one heck of a month in video game news. We had a Tekken veteran who harassed a fellow female fighter player on live ’stream’ TV, and a indie game maker (of Fez) who bluntly stated that Japanese games suck without justification. Tremendous backlash ensued after both developments, as both of these individuals came under heavy fire from the gaming media and site visitors alike. After all, they chose to act without thinking of consequences and the audience involved. Joking is all fine and dandy because humor is what makes the gaming community an awesome place to kick back and hang, but being a hateful jerk is another story. In turn, there have been some extreme opinions of these two individuals, most of which involve criticizing the whole fighting game community for acting hostile towards fellow females, and calling the developer of Fez a racist. Some people even went as far as claiming that all indie developers have a bitter holier-than-thou attitude. Of course, I completely disagree with this extremely warped attitude, but that’s the internet for you. In the end, there are morals that we should’ve learned from these stories by now:

1) It’s unwise to generalize an act of a few individuals to a whole community.

2) There’s a fine line between free speech and plain disrespect. You will always be held responsible for what you say in public, especially when your comments are hateful with no grounds to back them up.

Imagine what kind of trouble I’ve gone through when I simply tried pointing out these two morals for another controversial news piece that was reported during early March. The Binding of Isaac is a videogame which attempts to examine and re-tell the old biblical story, yet not word for word as many fictional elements are added in between the lines, pretending to be facts at times. It was released on Steam last year, yet Nintendo decided not to release it for their 3DS e-Shop due to ’questionable religious content’. It’s unknown whether Nintendo’s referring to a few scenes, the game’s whole premise, or the entire game including gameplay…but it’s apparent that they’ve found enough content to deem the whole package ’questionable’. This bit of news originated from the developer’s twitter, visibly upset by Nintendo’s stance on the matter. Of course, this led to a domino effect in the gaming news media and site visitors as they voiced their opinions on ’censorship’ and how religion should be examined freely even if the media in question conveys the wrong morals and goes out of its way to offend the parties involved.

While actual reports of this story have been reasonably tame and open to some good discussion, some of the comments went out of hand, which is not unusual given the degree of anonymity site visitors have. As I hinted at in the last paragraph, my personal experience with the whole ordeal has been colorful to say the least as I was part of the vocal minority which supported Nintendo’s stance on the matter. After reading one particular editorial, I felt compelled to reply before its author spreads the wrong message to like-minded readers. It was written for GameFront.com by Jim Sterling, a darling of today’s gaming journalism thanks to his witty writings at Destructoid and humorous video series for The Escapist. I don’t know Jim personally so I have nothing against him…he portrays himself as a fun person to converse with in real life and has a unique approach to gaming journalism, hence the large amount of attention he receives. Unfortunately, I think that he made a series of oversights and rushed mistakes in his recent opinion editorial, most of which involved blank statements on Christianity and religion in general, coated with bitterness and mockery. He has been blinded by his beliefs offering little to no merit to his exact opposing arguments, which is not a suitable act for a game-oriented site and editorial. I rationally and respectfully called these errors out and followed up with my own opinions on Nintendo’s stance and the game in question. In turn, I got attacked by other commenters. Some responses against me were just as rational as mine which created some insightful back-and-forth debates, yet most were blank statements which were rather hateful towards religion. The first wave of comments (a total of 71) were deleted on March 6th and GameFront’s official stance is that they were erroneously ’lost’ as the staff were revamping the site’s infrastructure for a new front page. They claimed that they would try to bring them back up soon, yet as of this writing they have been unsuccessful in doing so. Fortunately, I’ve kept detailed records of the old conversation just in case, which I will share with you shortly. You can, however, sample my opinions and other responses if you wish as the current comments reflect everything nicely. I will also reiterate my responses here as it is the main purpose of this editorial.

Let’s talk about Jim’s tone first. To my knowledge, opinion pieces should at least examine the big picture before backing one’s reasoning with subsequent commentary. Additionally, mockery and cursing aren’t exactly ideal methods to get thoughts across in opinion pieces. Since we’re on the net and this is the gaming community, Jim’s piece gets a free pass…but keep in mind that such writings would never be allowed to run in a professional newspaper, magazine or website unless it’s for humorous purposes. I’m not saying that GameFront is an unreliable media site, but frankly it was rather unprofessional of them to run this piece as is for reasons I will elaborate on. Right off the bat, Jim starts with things like, “I’m not a religious person. In fact, all I can do is avoid that kind of thing, which is pretty hard as a British man living in the middle of Mississippi. Perhaps my being in state where half the population wants life to begin at conception and for miscarriages to be treated as potential murders has embittered me towards the Christian set, but I have to say that I am pretty fucking sick of religion being treated with kid gloves”. Soon after, he goes to mock the actual story of Abraham and his son, calling it “fucked up”, not to mention bluntly claiming that The Bible is ”a source of so much confusion, anger, and pain in the world, and everybody has a right to examine why.” So let me get this straight; after he claims that he stays away from religion and is embittered exclusively towards the Christian set based on his own experience in one state in the United States, he confidently feels that he can examine all religions of the world as if he knows every little detail inside and out? No. You’re not fit to make those claims. You may think it’s your right based on free speech, but it’s my right to defend my beliefs especially when it comes to blank and hateful claims. I’m not Christian, mind you, but I believe in this story as much as they do. Questioning religion and its contents is okay and not offensive at all, as long as you do it respectfully. Claiming things about religion is all well and good too as long as you have logical grounds to back them up and prepare yourself to engage in a debate. This brings me back to my first moral; stating your opinion with little to no grounds whatsoever in a hateful manner is wrong. This is what Jim’s editorial has conveyed to me. Again, you have the right to say what you wish. I’m not against free speech at all, but when it’s hateful with no merit, people also have the right to point that out and defend their grounds. Jim didn’t even delve into why The Bible was the source of confusion according to him, nor did he attempt to explain how religion interprets the story of Abraham and his son. Even though he clearly acknowledges the fact that there are other interpretations of this tale, he only conveniently types up his version (with questionable added commentary and attitude I might add)…that’s still just one side of the story which some non-believers claim to be right. There is no right and wrong when it comes to this story and faith in general, but Jim is so passionate about his beliefs he practically preached them in his supposed gaming-focused editorial. It’s good to be passionate and confident about what you believe in, but GameFront is not the right place to preach your religious, agnostic, or atheist beliefs because it’s focused on gaming. But for future discussions pertaining to religion, one should at least try to use less colorful language and make his grounds clear before shooting blanks. After all, this isn’t a simple topic to casually skim along, especially if your beliefs are cluttered and disguised within a gaming editorial. I and other people who believe in faith (Christian and otherwise) should respect the opinions of non-believers and vice versa. We can try to convince one another in debates (providing that it’s the right time and place for such topics), but from a bird’s eye view there’s no right or wrong. If you don’t believe in religion or have faith, fine by me as you’re free to state those beliefs but don’t try to force-feed them as non-negotiable and absolute. Sadly, Jim stepped on that line without even realizing.

In the midst of all the bitterness and blank statements about Christianity and religion in general, the editorial attempts to get across two main points: 1) Nintendo’s stance to refuse The Binding of Isaac for 3DS e-Shop release is wrong, and 2) More video games should reference real-world religions without being afraid to offend the parties in question.

To the latter conclusion I say: absolutely! In fact, a lot of games have already referenced real-world religion in an innovative and respectful manner, including the Zelda series, the Xeno series, the Castlevania series, El Sheddai, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, and many others. It’s excellent stuff when it’s done right. Since religion is an enormous topic, developers should be cautious of tackling its contents in games. Fear shouldn’t be the approach to religion because if you examine all sides in detail and cut no corners, everyone will be happy. The problem lies when a developer decides to take a one-sided and twisted approach to religious material in games, which is certainly the case with The Binding of Isaac. Again, that clear line between free speech and plain disrespect is obvious here, too. Similar to Jim’s interpretation of the biblical tale, the game puts you in the shoes of Isaac running away from his mother, who intends to murder him because God tells her to do so. It uses graphic and violent material to tell its tale, basically emphasizing that God and the son’s mother are murderous villains/antagonists. It has been said that the developers have been raised in a Christian household, and for some inexplicable reason, they’re conveying God and the mother as murderers and implying that The Bible allows parents to kill their children. Reality check; the morals are the total opposite for people who believe in the real story of Abraham and his son. We may never know the ultimate intentions of the developer’s interpretation of this tale, yet it’s safe to conclude that the game’s general moral mirrors the developer’s own beliefs in some ways. In that case, they’re also spreading their version and beliefs to other people who play the game yet don’t know a thing about religion. Even though they’ve been raised in a Christian household, the moral of murder has never been the belief of Christians…so something is amiss with the way they were educated. Other religions which believe in this tale also regard its actual moral as a positive message.

So in essence, although the developers are ”examining” the tale, they’re sending a negative and wrong message about it in the process, portraying people who believe in it as being okay with killing and murdering sons. This is what ticks me off and rightfully so. Again, you can examine anything you want providing that you explain your background and state your merits, but to implement your beliefs onto my own is wrong, which what this game attempts to do. If the developers claimed or tried to hint that this game was made from a non-believers’ point of view via disclaimer or actual plot points, then that would’ve made a world of a difference. It doesn’t do so, however, hence why I’m being vocal about it. People who don’t know any better will play this game and immediately get the negative—and perhaps everlasting—impression that religion sucks, it’s all violent, and people who believe in the real tale have no morals or ethics…which is unfortunate.

Now, onto how believers interpret The Binding of Abraham’s son. It’s never been about murder or sacrifice. It’s the ultimate test of faith. Abraham and his son were special people who attained complete faith in God. So when Abraham received the revelation of binding his son, he never interpreted it as murder or sacrifice. He simply trusted in God’s word and that everything would turn out okay in the end. Divine commands are common themes in most religious stories, this one included. So when Abraham bound his son and he appeared not to resist, the whole act was negated via divine/angelic intervention, hence the ultimate test of faith and the moral of the story; acting upon God’s order without questioning and trusting that it would turn out good in the end. If this story was told in any other way, like Abraham refusing or questioning this act or his son running away, the moral of ultimate faith in God would’ve been lost in the process. Additionally, if the moral of the story has always been murder, then The Bible and other Holy Books which tell it would’ve claimed that it’s okay to murder your son or daughter in the name of God…and that has never been written literally or implied. Thus, if a parent today goes about claiming that he/she killed his/her son just because God said so, I would declare him/her as insane. Everyone should. Believing in Abraham’s story doesn’t interfere with common sense and general ethics unless you’re insane. If you don’t believe in this story, its morals or God, it’s no problem and you have every right to take that stance…but don’t project your interpretation of the tale onto my own and twist it so that I look like an unethical fool. Sadly, this is what Jim’s editorial and this game are doing, whether they meant it or not.

As for Nintendo’s stance on the game, I fully support it. Keep in mind that many people have wrongly thrown in the word ’censorship’ when in fact Nintendo has not taken that stance. It’s been already released in full glory on Steam for a year, so what’s the use of censoring an already-released and established release? All Nintendo did was refuse the game for e-Shop release, not censor it. Nintendo opted to take a neutral stance on the game as releasing it may imply that they’re supporting the content advertised within it, which is wrong for business and from a logical perspective if you read my aforementioned analysis. They chose not to step on the toes of certain groups for all the right reasons. Sensitive issues vary from country to country, from group to group, from religion to religion. I may not understand them, but at least I should respect them until I attempt to comprehend them. For example, Japan continues to frown upon and even censor beheadings, limb severings, and graphic torture in their games. They even cut some scenes from the domestic release of Final Fantasy XII because it had torture. I don’t know why, but I respect it. It’s something relating to their culture, and I may not truly understand it unless I live in Japan for awhile. All this applies to religious content in games including The Binding of Isaac for Steam. Mature developers who know that they’re tackling religious material in a one-sided manner should expect controversy and take it like men, not create further controversy by going to twitter and whining about not getting accepted to e-Shop.

Another point which readers should have in mind is that in today’s world, gaming hasn’t done it all. It hasn’t tackled all sensitive issues. Violence was one sensitive issue in the 80s and early 90s, but broke free as gaming grew bigger. Religion, race, sex, and sexuality haven’t been fully exploited in the gaming medium and rightfully so. Because if a developer has a homophobic character or a homosexual stereotype in a game, they’ll be called out for it because they portrayed the idea incorrectly. What happens when we finally (God forbid) get a game which is offensive to homosexuals, women, or a certain race? Will you scoff it off, yell ’free speech’ and applaud it for having the guts to freely talk about these topics, however offensive it becomes; or claim that the developers have crossed the line? The latter is how most rational people will react. So following that logic, religion is basically in the same realm. How come religion shouldn’t be off-limits while race, sex, and sexuality cannot be examined in contrast? If you actually come close to that line of thought, then you may have some inherent Religionophobic ideas so take a deep breath and re-evaluate yourself.

In conclusion, if want to hate on something, hate on the individuals who represent their groups incorrectly, not the group itself…whether it’s religion, sex, race, or sexuality. We live in a world where people immediately judge a book by its cover, a world where the wrongful acts of a few individuals represent a whole community, sect, or group; a world where the little things you don’t understand can collapse a whole belief system in your eyes…a system which is followed by millions of other people who understand what they believe. Once more, questioning religion to fit your logic is not wrong and is in fact encouraged, yet it needs to be done respectfully. Also, expect certain questions not to have direct answers, such as the infamous, ”why do you believe in God when you can’t see, hear, or communicate with Him?” That’s like inquiring about the meaning of life. What’s the point of faith if you question it?  I can sympathize with the fact that we are all influenced by the environment we’ve been brought up in, so we easily come to conclusions based on what we watch on TV or what our parents, family, and friends think and discuss. These thoughts and opinions may seem right from your point of view, but as soon as you meet up with an outsider or get to travel and live in another country, you start seeing the opposing views, removing those filters off your lens so to speak. Not everybody has this blessed opportunity, but thankfully the internet has made it somewhat easier to learn from and listen to other people’s opinions. What I can’t sympathize with, however, is being hateful with little to no grounds just because you have anonymity. This has always been the internet’s curse, something that no man or woman can change. Reading and replying to Jim’s article, reading rebuttals against me, being initially shocked by the hateful commenters, writing this actual editorial — it’s been quite a learning experience, a personal social experiment in gaming journalism. While I’m thankful for being brought up in an environment that allows me to think before judging, to consider opinions of the other side before forming my full thoughts, I’m still guilty of jumping to conclusions at times. Slowly but surely, through this experiment and hopefully many others, I continue to remove these filters from my eyes. I hope that by sharing my experience here, gamers would join me in this process of clearing blurred visions and breaking down walls.

Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword Review

Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword (Available only on Nintendo 3DS eShop)
ESRB Rating:T
Number of Players: 1
Genre: Action
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: February 2nd, 2012
MSRP: $6.99 US

Parent Talk Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword is a downloadable game in the Nintendo 3DS eShop catalog. The player must battle with dozens of other warriors across Japan to try and rescue Princess Cherry Blossom from an evil lord. The violence is no more offensive than a Saturday morning cartoon series; there is sword fighting, but no blood, gore, profanity, or vulgarity of any kind.

Review Basis: Completed the game on the normal mode and completed the 30-Thug and 50-Thug challenges.

The Great: An absolutely gorgeous game. Sakura Samurai is a wonderfully colorful and expressive journey. The aesthetic bears a strong resemblance to the Ukiyo-e visual style seen in the critically acclaimed Okami, but the visuals are far from generic and certainly not a ripoff. Characters are cartoonishly disproportionate, villages are fun to explore, and the presentation great. Even the menus are well-designed.

The Good:

+ Wonderful timing-based combat. Sakura Samurai smacks of the Punch-Out approach to game design. There are a wide variety of enemies, each of which has a unique attack pattern. To effectively beat enemies, the player must recognize and analyze enemy combat stances and styles and master the ability to perform quick dodges, blocks, and sword swipes. Learning to watch for openings in an enemy’s guard should be familiar to anyone Punch-Out fan. Luckily, the combat is deep and the enemies are varied, making every showdown challenging and fun.

+ Upgrades, items, and depth. It may be easy to dismiss this game as a simple hack and slash title, but the combat is deceptively deep. The player not only has to watch out for enemy attacks, but also keep an eye on sword strength/sharpness, effectively use items, and save up energy for special attacks. Excessive blocking will weaken your sword, making attacks less effective until you either use a whetstone or visit the local forge. Swords can also be upgraded at villages and new special attacks can be obtained over the course of the game. Additional items, like Frogs and Kunai, can be used to throw off enemies and force an opening, while rice cakes can restore health.

+ Mini-games, villages, and more depth! There are about 30 spaces on the world map, but not every space is a battlefield. There are also three villages to explore. Each village has a standard inn (restoring health and saving), shop, and sword forge. Villages also have mini-game opportunities, letting the player take challenges in exchange for cash or stickers. Earning stickers can result in prizes, like special attacks.

+ The music is wonderful, especially the excellent battle scene music.

+ The story is brief, but charming. The introductory cutscenes are narrated effectively with both Japanese writing on the top screen, depicted on picturesque scrolls, and English text on the bottom. The presentation is absolutely stunning.

+ The 3D effect makes the presentation stand out even more, especially giving attention to the visually expressive opening story scene.

+Completing the game can take several hours to complete. There are 24 basic stages, three villages, and three boss castles. There are also two difficulty modes and three challenge modes.

+ The Rock Garden mini-game implements the 3DS pedometer feature in an interesting way. By dedicating more “steps” to the Rock Garden, the cherry blossom trees will bloom.

+ Precision Point feature. By dodging enemy attacks at the exact right moment, the player will earn Precision Points. Successively performing dodges without being hit, and you’ll be able to sell your Precision Points for a lot of cash.

The Bad:

– Defeated enemies rarely drop health items.

– The difficulty level, even on the normal setting, is surprisingly high.

TheLowdown:

Sakura Samurai is a gorgeous, fun, and quirky adventure. It’s well worth the price and comes highly recommended.

Score: 9/10

Game Gear Wishlist

Nintendo has promised that the 3DS Virtual Console service will be home to more than just Game Boy and Game Boy Color titles. With that in mind, I just had to compile a list from the Game Boy’s old rival, the Sega Game Gear! With a wealth of Sega titles already available for download on the Nintendo Wii, it only seems like a matter of time until we start to see some games hit the 3DS…and it’s really about time. Due to the inability to play Game Gear games on any other piece of hardware, gamers have been at the mercy of both the Game Gear’s horrendous battery life and the forward march of time. If you have a working Game Gear today, I envy you. Now what follows below is my personal list of most anticipated Game Gear Games.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble
Original Release: November, 1994
Genre: Platformer
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Aspect

What Is It? Triple Trouble is one of the many Sonic the Hedgehog platformers available on the game Gear, originally released back in 1994. Though the Game Gear was technically inferior to the Genesis, Triple Trouble proved itself to be a capable and fun platformer. Unlike the first few Game Gear Sonic games, most of which were ports from the Sega Master System, Triple Trouble is new, unique, and quite large in scope. There are a total of six zones in the game, complete with special stages. This game is available as a secret bonus in Sonic Adventure DX and for the Nintendo GameCube, as well as the Sonic Gems Collection.

Why Is It Worth Playing? Again, unlike most of the other Game Gear Sonic games, Triple Trouble is all new. Each zone has three stages, and most of the levels are surprisingly well-designed and large in scope. The developers managed to squeeze everything they possibly could out of the Game Gear, making a platformer that just couldn’t be done on Nintendo’s Game Boy. Though there are many criticisms about the game, Triple Trouble has amazing visuals for the Game Gear and is very enjoyable to play.

Tails Adventure
Original Release: November, 1995
Genre: Action/Adventure
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Aspect

What Is It? Tails Adventure is unlike most every other Sonic the Hedgehog games available, most notably because Tails is the main character. This makes it one of the series’ first official spin-offs. Tails Adventure is somewhat similar to Nintendo’s Metroid series thanks to its non-linear platforming and action elements. In it, Tails must search an island for weapons and special items to defeat enemies, the Kukku Army, and retrieve the Chaos Emeralds. Like Triple Trouble, this game is also available in both the Sonic Gems Collection and in Sonic Adventure DX.

Why Is It Worth Playing? Tails Adventure can best be described as a slower-paced platformer, with emphasis on collecting items, backtracking, and RPG elements. The nonlinear design and surprising amount of content made Tails Adventure stand out in the Game Gear library and make it a worthy game to play still today. There are about a dozen stages to complete, and over 20 unique items to find and use. Each item makes exploring the island fun and interesting. With the ability to use the 3DS restore point function and suspend play to go online and look at game walkthroughs, many of the game’s problems could be alleviated.

Mega Man
Original Release: 1995
Genre: Action/Platforming
Publisher: Capcom/U.S. Gold
Developer: Freestyle

What Is It? Mega Man on Game Gear is essentially a remixed adventure, combining stages and enemies from both Mega Man 4 and Mega Man 5. This is similar to the first four Mega Man adventures on the Game Boy, which drew inspiration from NES games rather than original material. This is the only Mega Man game available on the Game Gear and one of the few released for SEGA platforms in general.

Why Is It Worth Playing? For 2D run-and-gun action, it doesn’t get much better than Mega Man. Even though this pocket version is more or less an abridged remix of two NES classics, it packs a lot of fun into a tiny 4-megabit cartridge. The Game Gear’s color display and backlit screen made this game more closely resemble its NES counterparts, though the system’s limited battery life and the lack of a continue feature made the adventure more difficult to play on the original hardware. Having this game available on the 3DS Virtual Console would fix all of the problems that came with the hardware and it would also fit in perfectly with the line of Game Boy Mega Man titles.

Defenders of Oasis
Original Release: 1992
Genre: RPG
Publisher: SEGA
Developer: SEGA of Japan

What Is It? Defenders of Oasis is a classic turn-based role-paying game with a setting and story that draws heavily from Mesopotamian mythology and stories like Sinbad the Sailor, Aladdin, and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The main character, the prince of Shanadar, is accompanied by a Genie and two other comrades who help fight for peace. The story only has loose connections with other games in the “Oasis” series though. The game mechanics differ greatly from both Beyond Oasis for Genesis and Legend of Oasis for Saturn.

Why Is It Worth Playing? DoS is, at its core, a quality RPG. While the combat mechanics are fairly typical for a JRPG, but that’s what made the game interesting—there simply weren’t many RPGs available for SEGA platforms early on. The colorful graphics and catchy soundtrack made the game stand out in comparison to what Nintendo offered on the Game Boy, but the original hardware’s short battery life made playing a lengthy RPG difficult.

Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya
Original Release: 1994
Genre: Strategy RPG
Publisher: SEGA of America
Developer: Sonic Software Planning

What Is It? Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya is a portable entry into the strategy RPG series Shining Force, which first appeared on the Sega Genesis. It is a direct sequel to Shining Force Gaiden, a Game Gear title which unfortunately did not make it out of Japan. Despite this setback, players can still jump into this adventure quite easily. The game basically plays out as a series of turn-based battles on a variety of grid-based environments, separated by story cutscenes. Unlike other JRPGs, there is no emphasis on exploring a game world or dungeon-crawling.

Why Is It Worth Playing? Shining Force I and II for Sega Genesis are irreplaceable classics and forerunners for the strategy RPG genre. They blend together decent storylines with compelling gameplay. Sword of Hajya thankfully managed to retain the feel of the console games without sacrificing authenticity. The battles are every bit as compelling and the graphics looked fantastic considering the hardware. The Game Gear managed to closely mirror the home console versions quite well. Playing on the 3DS would make battles quite a bit easier as well, with the ability to make restore points mid-battle.

Game Boy Wishlist

The Nintendo 3DS eShop is already home to a wealth of classics, but with Nintendo’s huge catalog of games, there is always more available. What Game Boy games would you like to see offered on Nintendo’s 3DS Virtual Console service? I present my list, in no particular order.

Mega Man Xtreme
Original Release: January 17th, 2001
Genre: Action
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom Production Studio 3

What Is It? Mega Man Xtreme is a portable spin-off game in the Mega Man X series, combining elements from both Mega Man X and Mega Man X2. In addition to classic enemies and stages, Capcom threw in multiple difficulty modes, new enemies, and an all new storyline to make the game into a distinct “new” entry rather than a simple port.

Why Is It Worth Playing? Few mascots do action as well as Mega Man, and the X series is particularly well-known and respected. Xtreme is a title that takes its cues from one of the best Mega Man games of all time, and manages to make it something new. While not as good as Mega Man X, this handheld outing provides great fun, a healthy level of challenge, several difficulty modes, and plenty of secrets. Better yet, each difficulty mode reveals more of the storyline. Mega Man is a classic game character and his handheld adventures are definitely worth playing. With the ability to save at any time via the restore point feature, playing on the 3DS could make difficult parts much easier.

 

 

Crystalis
Original Release: June 27th, 2000
Genre: Adventure
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: NST

What Is It? Crystalis is a port of an NES game of the same name. Even though it’s unquestionably a clone of Zelda, Crystalis manages to be a thoroughly compelling adventure. The Game Boy Color port added new storyline elements, but unfortunately the original’s superior soundtrack was thrown out, supposedly due to licensing issues with SNK.

Why Is It Worth Playing? If you’re going to clone something, choosing Nintendo’s Zelda franchise is a great choice. Plus, the developers added in many elements to make Crystalis fun and engaging. You can find and equip a great number of different elemental swords, all of which are capable of multiple levels of magic attacks. For example, the Lightning Sword can shoot out small bolts of electricity at first, but later, it can rain down powerful thunderstorms. You can also find tons of items and magic spells, allowing you to fly, read minds, and shape shift. Crystalis was an incredibly ambitious game for the NES and a handheld version would be a welcome surprise.

 

 

 

Poke’mon Red/Blue
Original Release: September 30th, 1998
Genre: RPG
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Game Freak

What Is It? Do I really need to say anything here? Everyone knows about Poke’mon. It only makes sense that Nintendo allow us to download and relive the original generation. Though the Yellow version is debatably superior, the original Red and Blue versions hold a lot of nostalgic appeal. Remember all of the conspiracy theories about how to catch Mew? Facing down Team Rocket? Throwing down against your rival after beating the Elite Four? Catching Mewtwo? There are so many amazing moments. While the modern games have improved on so many parts of the formula, it’s good to respect the original.

Why Is It Worth Playing? Poke’mon is a fun turn-based role-playing game, but being on the 3DS could make any of the game’s shortcomings much more bearable. Being able to save anywhere with the restore point feature and the excellent display options could mean the best way to re-experience the classic. Hopefully Nintendo would also go ahead to implement wireless trading as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Dragon Warrior III
Original Release: July 30th, 2001
Genre: RPG
Publisher: Enix
Developer: Enix

What Is It? Dragon Warrior III is an upgraded version of an NES game of the same name. Like Dragon Warrior I & II for Game Boy Color, III managed to improve on the mechanics, graphics, and presentation of the NES original, making it become a classic in its own right. Dragon Warrior III for Game Boy Color was considered THE hardcore RPG for the platform and one of the system’s best games. Enix had taken extensive care in remaking the adventure.

Why Is it Worth Playing? If several perfect review scores aren’t indication enough, Dragon Warrior III was and still is an excellent game. The story was simplistic, but the amount of content was incredibly impressive for the time, and even now having a meaty RPG would be a nice addition to the 3DS Virtual Console catalog. Some kind of wireless trading feature would be necessary to take advantage of the “Monster Medal” system, but even without that, the classic turn-based gameplay, lengthy campaign, and timeless music and presentation make this a must play!

 

 

 

The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons/Ages
Original Release: May 14th, 2001
Genre: Adventure
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo EAD/Flagship (Capcom)

What Is It? The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages were released simultaneously back in 2001. While they have some similarities, they are actually distinct adventures with unique gimmicks. What was more surprising was what Capcom was behind development—and they didn’t just make one “good” game, they managed to make two beloved classics. Both games are 2D adventures with an overhead perspective; similar to Link’s Awakening on the Game Boy Color. However, these games introduced a unique storyline (shared between the two games) and interesting design concepts. OoA was the more complex of the pair, focusing on the ability to go forward and backward in time. OoS was more focused on adventuring rather than puzzles, and the ability to swap seasons provided a distinctly different experience. However, having both versions meant you would have access to even MORE content.

Why Is It Worth Playing? Link’s Awakening DX is considered one of the better games available in the Zelda franchise. Both Oracle of Ages and Seasons are just as good and just as worthy. The exquisitely crafted dungeons, vibrant 2D graphics, and great content make both versions ideal buys.

 

 

 

Some other games I’d like to see include: Mega Man IV, Mega Man V, R-Type DX, and Harvest Moon.

What are some games you want to see hit the 3DS eShop?