Posts Tagged With 'Kirby'

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What if Characters Switched Games?

What if Characters Switched Games?

We all have our favorite characters and our favorite games.  I have found that many times the two are not the same.  For example, My favorite gaming series is a close tie between Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy, but my favorite character is Mario.  Obviously Mario is not a good fit for my favorites.

But what if the characters swapped games?  Would they be as fun, or funner?

Imagine killing Zombies in Call of Duty as Kirby, or if Link was out to destroy Mother Brain?  Or what about a simple swap such as Zelda trying to save Link from Ganon (Although many out there think this is true already)?

I have played some flash games out there that have inserted characters such as Mega Man, Samus, and Ryu Hayabusa!  It is great to switch it up sometimes, but can also be frustrating, for example Mega Man doesn’t jump as smoothly as our buddy Mario.

Even though it is fun to play the mixed up games, I always seem to go back to the originals.  I guess you just can’t beat the classics!

What would be your ideal switch, and why?


Posted by Essel Pratt 23.02.2012 in Roundup, Uncategorized
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The “Double Game”

“Double game” is what I started calling the phenomenon Super Mario Galaxy introduced me to after the game’s credits rolled. By now, everyone and their Mario brother should know that Galaxy treated players to a post-game romp as the younger, greener Mario sibling with an upped difficulty and Luigi-specific jump/run mechanics. For Luigi fans such as myself it was a spectacular treat, but more importantly, it extended the life of an already lengthy game in a way I had never really experienced before. “Replay value” took on a whole new meaning.

I was used to getting every Star, Shine Sprite, or Star Coin in the main game, then replaying levels as necessary to get whatever I’d missed. Enter “Super Luigi Galaxy” which doubled and then some the game’s lifespan with enough variety to keep a gamer coming back for more – the “double game,” which I think deserves a title all its own. This is no mere post-game multiplayer or tying up loose ends. It’s not a boss arena or a challenge room, and it’s not World 9 – it’s the entire game twisted into something different. Mario’s certainly not the only one to do this, either. It is, sadly, one of the few Nintendo franchises I’ve seen blatantly include a “double game,” though. Donkey Kong and Kirby are the only other ones that comes to mind when I think about this kind of experience. DKC Returns includes a Mirror Mode with clear rewards for completing mirrored stages, and many Kirby games feature the famous “Meta Knight Mode” of some kind. I guess Metroid’s “Hard Modes” could also count on a certain level.

The idea that a game’s life could essentially be doubled introduced itself to me with Mario Galaxy. I’m not saying it’s the first game to ever pull something as major as this to extend its life. It is, however, what prompted me to begin looking beyond every new release’s “post-game” and seek that ever-elusive “double game” where things once familiar seem as strangers all over again.

Which games do you think deserve a “double game,” and how do you think it would be best implemented?

Posted by Michael Fletcher 30.11.2011 in Nintendo, Nintendo Wii, Uncategorized
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For the Love of Platformers

There sure have been a lot of platformers released lately, haven’t there? Super Mario 3D Land, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land, Sonic Generations, Rayman Origins…not to mention various downloadable titles.

Ah, the platformer – one of gaming’s purest genres. It doesn’t get much simpler than platformers. Simply run and jump your way to the goal while collecting coins, rings, food, etc. along the way – easy, right? Well, not always. Sure, the concept is simple in nature, but platformers continue to be some of the most diverse games on the market, as well as some of the most challenging. In this gamer’s opinion, you’re not nearly “hardcore” until you master the art of timing jumps onto a series of moving platforms filled with enemies that kill you on contact.

Honestly, how many of us grew up playing platformers? I’m willing to bet a hell of a lot did. Mario, Kirby, Sonic, Kid Icarus, Ice Climbers, Castlevania, Donkey Kong – the list goes on and on. Franchises that introduced a generation of gamers to their passion with their simple premise and punishing gameplay are still going strong even now in a world saturated with M-rated first-person shooters. It always warms my heart to see a child toting a Nintendo DS around, takin’ out Koopas and Goombas with a stern look of determination on his (or her) face.

And determined he (or she) better be because platformers aren’t for the faint of heart. That Mario game you’re playin’? You’ll want to chuck it out the window once you reach World 9. That Kirby game? Hope you enjoyed the cuteness and bright colors because things are gonna get ugly if you collected every hidden item. I’ll admit, I never completed any Sonic the Hedgehog game as a child. Those things are freakin’ insane! And don’t even get me started on Braid.

It’s this “easy concept/difficult and varied gameplay” duality that’s allowed the platformer to survive. A genre that by every right should have gone out of style years and years ago keeps churning out classics that not only hearken back to the good ol’ days, but forge entirely new paths with varied gameplay that builds on established conventions (Prince of Persia, anyone?). Even action-oriented, third-person shooters like the Uncharted series have platforming elements, and that’s sayin’ something. Platforming is everywhere.

They’re the games that anyone can pick up and play but not everyone can master. They’re invitingly simple, yet enticingly complex. Their influence can be found in the unlikeliest of places. Casual and hardcore gamers alike love ‘em. Never forget your roots, and remember – keep on jumpin’!

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Kirby’s [Glorious] Return to Dream Land

Well, folks, it’s been a long time comin’, but we’ve finally got another Kirby title to indulge in. What’s that? Didn’t Mass Attack just come out? Well, yes it did. Not to mention Epic Yarn not too, too long ago. Ok, ok – so, Kirby’s had it pretty good lately as far as new releases go. We’ve seen him quite a bit. Take a look at the bigger picture, however, and the “Super Tuff Pink Puff” has been MIA in a sense for quite some time now.

After all, where’s the headgear? The signature inhale move? The large assortment of stolen Copy Abilities? Super Star Ultra and Squeak Squad (the last two traditional Kirby games) aside, Kirby’s last console outing was eleven long years ago. It’s enough to make a Kirby fan weep…

Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it’s no stretch to say that Kirby fans have been pining for a return to the good ol’ days and Kirby’s tried and true ways. Well, the wait’s over. Kirby’s back to normal, and he’s better than ever. Return to Dream Land, which has been on shelves now for almost three weeks, is nothing short of what Kirby fans have been waiting and wishing for ever since those old screenshots and videos appeared back in the Gamecube era (remember those?).

It’s got headgear, it’s got varied Copy Abilities, and it’s got co-op! As is standard Nintendo fare, co-op isn’t integral to the core gameplay, but rather a fun sort of add-on meant to enrich the experience even further. As the image above should imply, additional players follow along as Meta Knight, King Dedede, a spear-wielding, bandana-wearing Waddle-Dee, or…a Kirby clone, if you just can’t stand being tied to one fighting style.

Oh, and speaking of fighting style, Copy Abilities have that Super Star flair once again – a welcome comeback. There’s enormous variety in the way the game can be played because every ability has a vast number of different moves that can be pulled off depending on button timing and Kirby’s movement. Sword Kirby, for example, can swing his sword with a press of the ! button. Repeated taps produce a barrage of sword swipes, culminating in one final, powerful slash. Pressing the D-Pad up and hitting 1 produces a jumping thrust with the blade, while pressing down and 1 sends Kirby crashing into the ground below, sword first. There’s a sword beam for long range attacks at full health – and every ability is like this. There are also new “Super Abilities” which pop up every now and then which have the ability to alter and destroy Kirby’s surroundings.Talk about variety.

It’s that variety that makes Kirby’s Return to Dream Land appealing to casual newcomers and skilled gamers alike. The game can be breezed through up until the end, and abilities’ basic moves can defeat any foe. However, learning every Copy Ability’s moves and utilizing them to their fullest adds considerable depth to the game, and certainly helps in the later worlds when things get pretty dicey, even for skilled players. Add in the collecting aspect of the game (retrieving lost “Energy Spheres”) and the ability-specific challenge rooms which force players to utilize a Copy Ability’s entire moveset, and it’s clear that there’s a load of content here to keep players busy.

There’s a ton to do, its appeal is broad, and it’s a Kirby we’ve not seen in far too long. Top it off with a soundtrack heavily inspired by Kirby Air Ride, Super Star, and Kirby 64, and this game is a total success. There’s honestly not a whole heck of a lot to gripe about. If you’ve played Kirby before, you know what you’re getting yourself into, and that’s really the only complaint – it’s very similar to other Kirby games. But, that was the idea behind the whole thing. It’s been so long since we had a simple, yet complex, “traditional” Kirby title, that this is just what the doctor ordered. Then again, if you’re new to the series in general, then this game is the perfect crash course, with co-op serving as a potential handicap for newcomers. Kirby’s back, so let’s show the little guy the love he deserves.

Graphics: This is no Twilight Princess or Mario Galaxy, but the visuals are colorful, vibrant, and smooth. Kirby’s never looked better.

Sound: The soundtrack is catchy and reminiscent of previous installments in the series. Sound effects are a nostalgic blend of old and new.

Gameplay: Loads of variety to suit every type of gamers’ wants and needs. Additional challenges will push completionists’ skills. Similarity to previous titles could turn a select few off..


Posted by Michael Fletcher 12.11.2011 in Nintendo Wii, Reviews
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Review of Kirby’s Adventure for the NES

First you draw a circle, then you dot the eyes. Add a great big smile and PRESTO you’ve got Kirby!

What a gem Kirby is to the gaming community, a simple pink ball that can inhale enemies, fly and bust a move when he feels like it. Yes Kirby was and still is one of the most loved Video Game characters out there. Though he hasn’t gotten a real console release since back in the Nintendo 64 days, his first appearance on the NES was a memorable as your daughters first birthday. Many think that the first Kirby game was on the NES when actually the first game of Kirby was on the Gameboy in the game called “Kirby’s Dream Land” which was released back in April 19th 1992 while “Kirby’s Adventure” on the NES was released back in November 30th 1992. Another fun fact would be Kirby’s name; Kirby was originally called Popopo this was because when Masahiro Sakurai of Hal was working on the game, Kirby wasn’t actually supposed to star as the main character. Back in the beginning of testing he was just a stand in for the real character that they would add in later but the developers grew attached to our rounded hero and stuck with him in the end, renaming him Kirby.

Now back to the NES game. Gamers might have thought that Kirby was a girl’s game, what with him being pink and looking like a piece of Gum and whatnot but this couldn’t have been more far from the truth. Kirby proved himself a lot cooler than any gaming Icon back in the day, want some proof? While Mario runs from Kingdom to Kingdom to search for one Princess just to be fooled and told “Your princess is in another Castle”, Kirby had a don’t ask don’t tell policy. He’d swallow an enemy, walk up to an old witch who is just sweeping her tree stump and slash her into star dust!!! Yeah that’s how hardcore this little guy is. Aww a little frog, who is jumping towards Kirby BAM! Kirby blasts him with Ice thus turning him into an Ice Block and kicks him into a nearby enemy, taking him down as well. Kirby man, no one messes with him!

I mean the guy inhales an enemy and takes a nap or picks up a rod and just decides to moonwalk and bust moves that even the late Michael Jackson would have been jealous of.

Kirby’s Adventure was a hit back in the day and even today it still lives up to its name. Having played it all night long yesterday (been up the past 24 hours playing Kirby, thank you Coffee) I noticed I was still as gripped and sucked in by it just like when I was 6. Its mix of fast paced game play, all out mayhem and cheerful colors, music and enemies kept me entertained for the whole night.

This game really has everything. Boss fights that are simple yet challenging and rewarding. Music that will have you humming along with it. Sound effects that you will use in your everyday life and most of all…a penguin boss named King Dedede. Who doesn’t love this guy? He swings a hammer, flies around like Kirby and doesn’t give two bits about his waist line. This guy is awesome!

But hold on, let’s actually get into the game play and such and see if we can find flaws.

And the verdict is….NOPE!

This game is flawless! The controls are amazing, everything responds the way it should, every movement and action is preformed just how any gamer would like it, thus making this game one of the few that will have you coming back for more.

Kirby can walk or dash if you hit the D-Pad in the same direction twice. Hit down and B and he slides which kills enemies. Push up and he inhales a lot of air which allows him to fly thus reaching higher platforms. The B button makes Kirby inhale enemies and such and the A button makes him jump. Once you swallow an enemy by pushing down after you inhaled them, you can take their powers and use them for yourself by hitting the B button.

The Special Attacks in the game range anywhere from Ice to Fire and Sword to Umbrella. Every power can help you in your quest to save Dream Land, some even more than others. There are times where you can swallow a Wheel and just cruise though the whole level without a care in the World, while other times a Sword can help you get through those pesky water levels.

As you carry on into the game you’ll notice the stages getting longer and more challenging than the last. This is where the game really shows its true colors of it being for everyone, yet it is the kind of challenge where you feel accomplished after a long fight through each stage and again it’s a great pay off to see Kirby bust a move when beating a boss.

The hardest enemy in the whole game would have to be Nightmare. As a kid this guy would give me a run for my money. Nightmare has 2 shapes. The first being a floating ball that attacks you by shooting stars at Kirby and the second being his true form. A sort of Vampire/Demon looking guy with a cape. Now I always thought his first form was a lot harder since you only had a certain amount of time to destroy him, if you didn’t make it in time the screen would slowly rise thus making you go GAME OVER!

Even yesterday he took every one of my health bars except for one, to which I buckled down and made sure I would own him with that last one. His second form wasn’t that hard after I remembered that you could do a spin attack while jumping with the wand (talk about a senile moment).

I watched the ending movie and couldn’t help but get Goosebumps. Memories of me as a kid flying back into my head. The summer days spent indoors with my friends, playing this amazing game. As the ending came to a close a tear crept along my cheek and hit the floor…..NAH! I jumped up at 4 in the morning and screamed how awesome I still am even after 15 years of not having played this game.

Coming to an end with this here review I have to say that everyone needs this game. It is a fantastic piece of work and is truly something everyone can enjoy, young and old. So if you don’t have it in your collection just yet then make sure to add it and watch the hours of joy roll in. And if in any way you didn’t like this game then you must have a phobia of pink balls… to be you.

This is Chaotic Signing out.

Posted by Chaotic 19.07.2010 in Original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
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