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Smash Bros Hype: My 5 Most Wanted Songs

Sounds of Smash

The music of Smash Bros. is probably my favorite aspect of the series. It’s a place where all of my favorite tunes from a wide variety of Nintendo games that I love come together in one place. In Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the team at Nintendo went well above and beyond to bring over 200 amazing tunes into one game, and between both of the new Smash Bros. games coming out, they’re looking to do it all again. But very little has actually been shown in terms of new music tracks. We’ve seen a few titles posted like in the Pic of the Day above, and they’ve added a few samples to their website, but for the most part the music is unknown. I’ve spent far too much time thinking about it, and these are the top 5 tracks in ALL of Nintendo history, and then some, that I would love to see show up in the next Smash Bros. games. Continue reading Smash Bros Hype: My 5 Most Wanted Songs

Review: Mount Your Friends

The next great eSport.

At first glance, Mount Your Friends is dumb. It’s a game about stacking people sporting unsettling dick physics. But at it’s heart is a unique, QWOP like competitive game, whose lightheartedness makes it welcoming and engaging, if not strangely hypnotic in a way.

The game, from the one-man-army at Stegosaurus Games, is played best with a controller and with friends on Steam. The purpose is to take turns each walking your character using the four face buttons, one each assigned to a limb, towards a tower of men and reach the top. The first player who can’t reach the top in the time limit is eliminated, and play continues until only one player remains.

If you’re not comfortable with the subject matter, that is to say dudes with flailing schlongs climbing atop each other for sport, then I can’t honestly say you’ll enjoy the core gameplay. It’s the combination of this utterly ridiculous subject matter and the very silly control mechanism that makes it such a delight. Of course, the more friends you can get involved, the better. I liken it to a game of Jenga: you can play by yourself, but ultimately it’s more fun with three other friends all laughing about how silly the whole thing is.

There are multiple game modes, but all of them center around the same general premise of dude stacking. Mostly, you can change settings to control the physics, or play horizontally rather than vertically. You can play online or locally as well, and considering it was made by one guy, the whole thing works impressively well.The best feature allows you to customize your characters. You can pick from a preset stack of items, accessories, and colors, or you can import your own images to make whatever freak of nature you want!

My overall recommendation is to grab a group of 4 people on an online voice chat, or locally, and just dive into this cheap, potentially disturbing, easily hilarious little package as soon as possible. You won’t likely regret a thing.

E3 Report! Nintendo’s Digital Event

I’m really glad I got that Wii U.

It’s hard not to love a show that starts with executives fighting each other like Street Fighter characters. Iwata’s flying headbutt, E. Honda style, was a better way to wake up than Folger’s shot directly into my eyeballs. It didn’t hurt following that up with some Smash Bros. footage showing off new Mii characters. It was a strong start for a strong show from Nintendo.

Highlights include the Kirby’s Epic Yarn spiritual successor Yoshi’s Woolly World, a new Kirby’s Canvas Curse game Kirby’s Rainbow Curse, and Mario Maker, a game where you make Mario levels and share them. But it’s easy to say the real winner was the new Legend of Zelda game. I don’t want to oversell it, but it looks to be Zelda meets Skyrim. Don’t believe me? Check out the video from the briefing.

The other big story out of this digital event was Amiibo. This initiative is Nintendo’s answer to Skylanders, where real world figures can be transferred into game content. The big highlight showed Smash Bros. themed figures where you can create and level up fighters and store them in your figure for use during fights or training. These figures will also be used in other games like Mario Kart 8, Mario Party 10, and more. It’ll be interesting to see if they allow Mario to be playable in the next Skylanders game, because if they do, it’s game over.

There were other trailers you can check out on Nintendo’s YouTube page for Hyrule Warriors, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and Super Toad 67 Captain Toad’s Treasure Tracker. The downside here is, like the other conferences, most of these games are set for a 2015 release. The future is there, but we’ve got a little bit more of a drought to get us through. Fortunately, Bayonetta 2 is coming, and will include the original game, allowing you to also dress Bayonetta up as Samus, Peach, and others!

At the end of the conference was another Smash Bros. character announcement as Palutena leaps in from the Kid Icarus franchise. She looks great!

What did you think of Nintendo’s Digital Event? How do you like the format? Stay tuned for more E3 coverage throughout the week!

E3 Report! Nintendo Posts Indie Trailer Avalanche

So many trailers, so little time!

Apparently Nintendo decided to dump roughly 20 trailers for eShop and indie titles onto YouTube without telling anybody. I’m sure there will be a sizzle real for this tomorrow, but it’s nice to see each game get it’s own minute to two-minute trailer. Below are 10 trailers, hand-picked from the bunch by me, to highlight the best of what’s coming on the Wii U and 3DS eShops.

Just click on the title of the game to view the video!

Continue reading E3 Report! Nintendo Posts Indie Trailer Avalanche

On Blank Slate Creativity

Or, why running a tabletop game intimidates me

I have a pretty awesome gaming group consisting of friends who get together after work. Drinks are shared, food is made, and dick jokes are had.  As is the nature with tabletop groups, running the game is something that comes up on occasion; as schedules shift, and obligations arise, new games constantly needed to be forged.  We have a couple different of systems at our disposal, but the most recent one we’ll be looking at is Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition. (Shh, I know it’s not most people’s favored system, but that’s for another time!)

As the question arose, the combination of both enthusiasm and dread hit me. Running a game is fun, for sure. It’s a challenging, but very rewarding role. I don’t mind handling off-the-rails things, or solutions I never dreamed of.  It’s coming up with a story from scratch that is rough on me. Without a situation or concept, it’s hard dredging up an idea or story line I think will be fun. How about trying to prevent a demon apocalypse? No, wait, we just did that. We wake up cold and alone, strangers in a strange land? No, also something we just did.

For some reason, coming up with a hook, or even a general idea, is something that I have an incredibly hard time forcing. Most often, it strikes when my mind is wandering on something else entirely — in this case, while taking a post-workout shower while seriously regretting the extra plate of potluck goodies I had.   At the end of the day, I think I struggle with it because I have so many options; the immensity of what I have at my fingertips overwhelms me. It’s not that I don’t have ideas; it’s that I almost readily discard every possibility, waiting for the ‘big’ one. Adding to the difficulty of this task is that little nagging voice behind every creative process–the one that says “hey, you know, that kind of sucks. You’re bad at this.”

In this case, though, instead of a ‘story’ thread, I want to focus on things that can seem tiring in game. Specifically, since there will be a first session where adventurers awkwardly shuffle together, I wanted to target this weirdness. I want to give them a reason to fight together, a reason why they should care about each other’s fate, and a reason to undertake a journey.  I’m actually pretty thrilled to see how well it’ll go; and once my party suffers experiences what I have planned, I’ll throw up an article on how it went.  Until then, I may do a couple of world-building pieces.

How about you, fellow gamers and story crafters? When trying to concept out an idea or story into something tangible, what do you find helps you grasp an idea that sticks?

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