User Profile

alvieao

alvieao

Male, 26, United States

I'm an avid gamer who's into classic and modern gaming, but I'm mostly a Nintendo guy. I'm rather informative in other places...

Joined:
Sun 20th January, 2008

Recent Comments

alvieao

#1

alvieao commented on Review: Klonoa (Wii):

Klonoa is a very underrated franchise by Namco. It also helps that the series was created by Hideo Yoshizawa, the creative mind behind the NES Ninja Gaiden trilogy. Klonoa: Door to Phantomile combined charming 2D sprites with nifty 3D backgrounds for the time, an awesome soundtrack, and used a fictional language not unlike Panzer Dragoon. A shame it got lost in the shuffle among the crowd of 3D platformers of that era. Fast forward a decade later, Klonoa: Door to Phantomile was gloriously remade for the Wii.

The gameplay is just as brilliant like the original, and the visuals are fantastic on the Wii. The awesome soundtrack remained intact, and the voice acting (in Phantomile language) is just as charming if not for Kumiko Watanabe. Not many people may have liked Klonoa’s updated design, but at least he’s still wearing his Pac-Man hat. It’s still very short, but the remake has some unlockables that warrant more replayability. Maybe someday we’ll have a Klonoa 3, but for now today is not one of them…

alvieao

#2

alvieao commented on Review: Klonoa: Empire of Dreams (Wii U eShop ...:

It may not have been the first handheld Klonoa (that honor goes to Kaze no Klonoa: Moonlight Museum for WonderSwan), but Empire of Dreams is a well-made puzzle platformer starring everyone’s favorite Dream Traveler. Even for an early GBA title, the audio and visuals are excellent, while gameplay is fantastic. The voice sampling of Klonoa’s “Wahoo!” catchphrase is also delightful. It’s a short but sweet GBA platformer worth playing, and I look forward to its sequel Klonoa 2: Dream Champ Tournament on Wii U VC…

alvieao

#3

alvieao commented on Review: The Mysterious Murasame Castle (3DS eS...:

Looks similar to The Legend of Zelda, but more challenging and fast-paced. Music is very catchy, while the levels and enemies are colorfully varied for an early Famicom title. For having various cameos and references in other Nintendo games (and Samurai Warriors 3), why didn’t Nintendo bring over the game sooner? In any case, I’m glad The Mysterious Murasame Castle is finally available in the West. Better late than never, I suppose…

alvieao

#4

alvieao commented on Review: Shinobi (3DS):

Just got the 3DS Shinobi game not long ago, and I'm enjoying it despite being very difficult. The graphics aren't as good as the Genesis titles, but it's decent enough. True to Shinobi fashion, the gameplay is excellent and it takes practice to master every stage for higher scores and ranks. The bosses are also fantastic, including the H-43 Chopper (another homage to Black Turtle in Shinobi arcade) and that huge robotic shark.

I don't mind Griptonite using Shinobi III as their model, but if only the developers were given more time to polish the somewhat unfair stage designs. While I enjoyed the nods to the Genesis games like the horse riding and surfing segments, they felt tacked on and weren't as fun. Conversely, it's awesome seeing cameos and shout-outs to other classic Sega games in some stages.

As far as replayability and content goes, I love the amount of unlockables that Griptonite packed into for this Shinobi game. There's even achievements to unlock costumes, weapons, challenge stages and the obligatory music and artwork for each level. The 3DS game didn't quite top the Genesis classics, but Sega and Griptonite delivered an fantastic entry in the Shinobi series. A shame it was their last game prior to being acquired by another company...

alvieao

#5

alvieao commented on Review: 3D Shinobi III: Return of the Ninja Ma...:

Of all the Genesis games I owned as a kid, Shinobi III should've been in my collection. It wasn't until I finally played that game on Wii VC back in 2007, to which I enjoyed every moment of it. Fast forward to 2013, where Sega and M2 brought out a brilliant conversion of that 1993 Genesis classic. Most of Nintendo's efforts were forgettable besides Kid Icarus and Kirby's Adventure, but Sega and M2 put a lot more effort into their 3D Classics range.

The 3D visuals look fantastic as always, while playing the game in Expert Ninja mode changes everything. It's even better using the sword and shuriken attacks and guarding separately, with the controls resembling the recent 3DS Shinobi title by Griptonite Games. All said and done, M2 delivered a fantastic 3D Classics version of this awesome entry in Sega's Shinobi series. It's the legendary white ninja Joe Musashi in his finest adventure... in 3D!

alvieao

#6

alvieao commented on Review: 3D Streets of Rage (3DS eShop):

Sega and M2 have consistently done a tremendous job with their range of 3D Classics titles. I still love the second game, but the original Streets of Rage is plenty of fun and Yuzo Koshiro’s soundtrack remains timeless. I'd be more than happy if M2 did 3D Classics versions of 2 and 3; in the latter's case, having the option to play the Japanese release Bare Knuckle III would be awesome.

alvieao

#7

alvieao commented on Review: Super Mario 3D World (Wii U):

At long last, a new 3D Mario platformer has arrived on Wii U! It’s also one that isn’t another New Super Mario Bros. entry, which I’m glad because that subseries was too safe and lazy (besides New Super Luigi U). It's also great to see Mario, Luigi, Peach and Toad teaming up again... 25 years was long enough!

While Mario games aren’t that big on storylines, I'm relieved that Princess Peach wasn’t kidnapped yet again. The whole premise with Bowser kidnapping those cute fairies called Sprixies sounds oddly familiar, doesn’t it? That and the Mario Bros. were actually plumbers for a moment during that same intro; it’s nice that Nintendo threw in some fanservice on that one.

As much as I enjoyed 3D Land, this one absolutely puts it to shame. The new power-ups, creative level designs, its sheer variety, and everything else brought out excitement. The visuals in 3D World are nothing short of brilliance, while the soundtrack is whimsical and charming. Until I get farther in the game, I’ll reserve my judgment on the difficulty…

I was as skeptical as everyone else when 3D World was first revealed during the E3 Nintendo Direct, but Nintendo always surprises me with each new trailer up until its release. What can I say? This is a meticulously crafted 3D Mario game from Nintendo EAD Tokyo, and it's sheer awesomeness. The developers managed to pull off everything they wanted that couldn’t be done in either 3D Land or even the NSMB games. All said and done, Super Mario 3D World is another outstanding Wii U masterpiece from Nintendo. MY BODY IS MEOW!

alvieao

#8

alvieao commented on Review: The Wonderful 101 (Wii U):

Like many, playing the eShop demo was confusing on the first run, but then I got used to the game's mechanics and controls more often. Having my hands on the final game, it's a brilliant and energetic Wii U action title from Hideki Kamiya, the creative mind behind Resident Evil 2, Devil May Cry, Viewtiful Joe, Ōkami, and Bayonetta.

Gameplay seems like a mix between Pikmin, Viewtiful Joe, Ōkami and Bayonetta, with several Unite Morphs used to defeat enemies and solving puzzle elements. Like many PlatinumGames titles, there’s nothing short of awesome moments that come every five seconds or so. The Wonderful 101’s cast of characters is amazing, featuring well-known voice talent like Roger Craig Smith, Tara Strong, and Kari Wahlgren.

In some ways, I thought The Wonderful 101 shared many qualities with the 3DS game Kid Icarus: Uprising, despite being vastly different action titles. Both games evoked that Saturday morning cartoon feel with clever dialogue, fantastic voice acting and soundtrack, amazing visuals that show off the power of Nintendo’s consoles, a learning curve for the controls, challenging difficulty, and plenty of content and replayability.

I'm very appalled that Nintendo didn’t heavily promote the game much like their other Wii U and 3DS titles (which also includes last year’s Kid Icarus: Uprising). It certainly doesn’t help that it’s a PlatinumGames title, which is a shame since their games are awesome. That being said, Nintendo and PlatinumGames did a such tremendous job with The Wonderful 101. Truly a Wonderful game worth playing. Team! UNITE UP!

alvieao

#9

alvieao commented on Review: New Super Luigi U (Wii U):

I couldn’t resist waiting for the physical version of New Super Luigi U, since it sported a sweet-looking cover and I still prefer buying games boxed. While the game’s visuals and thematic worlds are identical to NSMB U, Luigi U’s stages are much shorter yet difficult. Come to think of it, these stages are well suited for Luigi’s returning abilities like the flutter jump and slippery traction from Lost Levels.

There have been many 2D Mario hacks and mods over the years, but Luigi U is essentially an official one. Otherwise, you can basically say it’s NSMB U: The Lost Levels starring Luigi. Nevertheless, New Super Luigi U is a fantastic expansion that offers much more challenge than the Wii U original while also still very fun. Cheers to the Year of Luigi!

alvieao

#10

alvieao commented on Review: Wario Land 3 (3DS eShop / Game Boy Color):

It’s about time Wario Land 3 finally came to the 3DS eShop in North America! Wario’s third adventure continues the gameplay mechanics seen in Wario Land II, with our greedy anti-hero still invincible and can transform into special forms inflicted by certain enemies, which help him discover new areas.

However, this entry takes a more Metroid approach. Not only does each level have four different exits (each with its own set of keys and treasure chests), but they also change between day and night; some enemies are replaced while different paths may open up. Also, Wario must regain his trademark moves like the ground pound, while also acquiring new ones along the way. Some treasures can’t be obtained without completing the golf minigame... which I really HATE since it's frustratingly randomized.

As Wario Land II was of the last Game Boy titles, Wario Land 3 was one of the last Game Boy Color games; the impressive visuals, detailed sprites and stages showed Nintendo R&D1's mastery of the GBC hardware. While the game is considered by many Nintendo fans as the pinnacle of the series, I still prefer Wario Land II over 3. That being said, Wario Land 3 is a Game Boy Color masterpiece worth playing on 3DS Virtual Console!

alvieao

#11

alvieao commented on Review: Kirby's Dream Land 2 (3DS eShop / Game...:

It’s nice to finally have the sequel on the North American 3DS eShop! Once again, Kirby’s back and this time he has new friends to aid on his quest. It’s also the first of the Dark Matter trilogy, followed by Kirby’s Dream Land 3 and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. These Kirby titles took a puzzle approach over combat; this is due to Shinichi Shimomora taking over the helm from series creator Masahiro Sakurai. Like Kirby’s Adventure, he can copy powers by swallowing enemies but there aren’t too many of them here.

In addition, the animal buddies Rick the Hamster, Coo the Owl, and Kine the Ocean Sunfish are useful in different ways. While there’s an incentive for 100% completion, it’s the hardest to obtain for this Kirby game (at least because Kirby must rescue a certain something after defeating a mini-boss). It’s obvious the Super Game Boy features are omitted for this VC re-release, but the game still looks great and is well animated. Kirby’s Dream Land 2 is a Game Boy classic worth checking out on 3DS Virtual Console. Sweet Dreams indeed!

alvieao

#12

alvieao commented on Review: Tails Adventure (3DS eShop / Game Gear):

Glad to see one of my favorite Game Gear titles on the 3DS eShop. It's woefully underrated, since not many people gave it a fair chance. Tails Adventure is the closest to a Metroid on Game Gear, similar to Sega’s own Wonder Boy games (Dragon’s Trap, Monster World IV) and Capcom’s Gargoyle’s Quest trilogy. Despite what the Western descriptions tell you to believe, the Japanese storyline is more canon; this game took place before Tails and Sonic first met. Just remember that Tails didn't have any spin jump abilities to begin with.

The gameplay is very fun, as the controls are perfect for the slow-paced platforming. To make up for the lack of spin jump attacks, Tails has an arsenal of bombs and gadgets that he must acquire first in all 12 stages; the Remote Robot/Mecha Tails and the Sea Fox/Sea Tail (Tails’ submarine in Sonic Triple Trouble) are very useful. For a Game Gear title, it boasts impressive visuals and a fantastic soundtrack. As always, Sega and M2's Game Gear emulations are fantastic for providing screen settings and customizable controls. Tails Adventure is an excellent Game Gear gem worth playing on the 3DS Virtual Console!

alvieao

#13

alvieao commented on Review: Sonic the Hedgehog (3DS eShop / Game G...:

Ah yes, the Game Gear version of Sonic the Hedgehog. While I also have it through Sonic Adventure DX for GameCube, it just didn't feel right playing Game Gear titles on a big screen, which is why I downloaded the game last week on my 3DS. Graphics are amazing for an early Game Gear title, while the gameplay and controls still hold up well today.

The 8-bit version of Sonic 1 was also the first game developed by Ancient Corp., a studio headed by legendary game composer Yuzo Koshiro (The Revenge of Shinobi, The G.G. Shinobi I & II, Streets of Rage trilogy, ActRaiser 1&2, Shenmue, Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Kid Icarus: Uprising). Come to think of it, Koshiro also did a brilliant job with the memorable soundtrack.

As always, Sega and M2's Game Gear emulations are top-notch with plenty of options for screen settings, customizable controls and restore points. It may be short, but Sonic the Hedgehog is worth downloading from the 3DS eShop.

alvieao

#14

alvieao commented on Review: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (3...:

The other of the two interlinked Zelda games developed by Capcom subsidiary Flagship for Game Boy Color in 2001, Ages is the most puzzle-heavy out of the duo. Ages’ storyline is compelling but not more interesting than Seasons. Still, there are some memorable characters including those from Majora’s Mask (especially Tingle!). They both make great standalone titles, but playing Seasons and Ages together culminates into a massively epic Zelda adventure. That said, Nintendo and Capcom did a fantastic job with Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages. Despite these Zelda adventures being overlooked after 12 years, they remain timeless Game Boy Color masterpieces.

alvieao

#15

alvieao commented on Review: The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons...:

One of the two interlinked Zelda games developed by Capcom subsidiary Flagship for Game Boy Color in 2001, Seasons is the most action-based out of the duo. For me, I always thought Seasons' storyline was more interesting than Ages, and it still had some memorable characters including those from Ocarina of Time. Both are great standalone titles, but playing Seasons and Ages together culminates into a massively epic Zelda adventure. That said, Nintendo and Capcom did a brilliant job with Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages. Although these Zelda adventures were overlooked for 12 years, they remain timeless masterpieces on Game Boy Color.

alvieao

#16

alvieao commented on Review: Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (3DS):

It's about time the sequel to the Luigi's Mansion finally arrived! The single-player experience is awesome, not to mention lots of exploration in each stage. Like the first, there's always ghost hunting along with puzzle solving and finding extra money, and seeking out gemstones in hidden areas. Granted, the controls aren't perfect but they take some getting used to. The ScareScraper multiplayer is also a blast to play. The presentation in Dark Moon is excellent thanks to wonderful visuals, a fantastic soundtrack, and a brilliant storyline. Even the ghosts have so much personality! Nintendo and Next Level Games (Mario Strikers, Punch-Out!!) did an outstanding job with Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon. Despite its delays, so much time and effort was put into this long-overdue sequel to the GameCube original. The wait is definitely worth it because Dark Moon is an exceptional game on 3DS!

alvieao

#17

alvieao commented on Review: Densetsu no Stafi 3 (Game Boy Advance):

I truly agree that Stafy 3 is the pinnacle of the series. The gameplay is the same as with previous titles, but having Stafy's sister Stapy as a second playable character is even more interesting. The stages are more diverse and challenging, while the new minigames are a blast. Being the final GBA Stafy title, the game boasts excellent graphics and a fantastic soundtrack. It’s also awesome that Wario made a cameo appearance in this game, along with his forms and music from the Wario Land series. Nintendo and TOSE did such an outstanding job with Densetsu no Stafy 3. It’s not only one of the best platformers ever made, but truly a brilliant GBA masterpiece!

alvieao

#18

alvieao commented on Review: Tokyo Crash Mobs (3DS eShop):

As weird as it was, I thought it was a pretty good eShop title from Nintendo and Mitchell (the same developer behind Pang/Buster Bros., Puzz Loop, and Polarium). Tokyo Crash Mobs is a continuation of Mitchell's 1998 arcade game Puzz Loop, also known as Ballistic (PS1/GBC) and Magnetica (DS/WiiWare). Instead of colorful marbles like past games, gameplay involves colorful scenesters and ninjas this time around. The use of bizarre live-action cutscenes added charm to the game, even if they don't make any sense (but then again neither did WarioWare). However, I agree with the awkward controls since it's kinda frustrating to aim your shots. All that said, Tokyo Crash Mobs is still a good puzzle game despite the weirdness and its flaws.

alvieao

#19

alvieao commented on Review: Wario Land II (3DS eShop / Game Boy):

The sequel to Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is finally here in America! After playing the game some moments ago, I must say Wario Land II is one fantastic platformer. Wario Land II was the last first-party Game Boy title and also one of the first Game Boy Color titles, as proven by its amazing graphics and music. No longer tied to Super Mario Land, Wario is now invincible and is immune to death. There's no power-up helmets either, but Wario can assume new forms and abilities caused by enemies to make progress and discover secret areas. In fact, every stage has hidden treasures to collect by winning minigames. Once again, there's multiple endings but Wario Land II has branching paths where you'll find secret exits by replaying previous stages. Simply put, Wario Land II is an awesome masterpiece that's worth playing on the 3DS Virtual Console. Thank you Nintendo! I hope to see Wario Land 3 on the US eShop somewhere along the road...

alvieao

#20

alvieao commented on Review: Fallblox (3DS eShop):

I loved playing Pushmo and I couldn't wait to download its sequel Crashmo. After spending some time with Crashmo, I was hooked into the gameplay. Although the sequel uses the same mechanics from Pushmo, the puzzles felt different and were really more challenging. The controls are even better this time as Mallo can now move any blocks in all directions; the camera controls are more in-depth as well. The presentation in Crashmo is just as charming as in Pushmo with its colorful visuals and art style. While the music is repetitive, the tunes remain upbeat and it's great hearing the victory jingle upon overcoming these difficult puzzles. It's also nice to see the return of the level creator mode, in addition to receiving new puzzles via SpotPass. Once again, Nintendo and Intelligent Systems have made an outstanding 3DS eShop game as Crashmo is a brilliant sequel to last year's Pushmo.

alvieao

#21

alvieao commented on Review: Liberation Maiden (3DS eShop):

After downloading the game from the eShop and playing through moments ago, I have to say that Suda 51 did a fantastic job. Gameplay is a lot like a free-roaming Panzer Dragoon, but with a control scheme almost similar to Kid Icarus: Uprising and a pretty cool storyline. The voice acting is excellent and the anime cutscenes (made by BONES of Full Metal Alchemist fame) look great. While the game is very short with only five stages, there's much replayability with three difficulties, score attacking, and gallery unlockables from completing challenges. This could've been a retail game had it featured more stages and weapons. That said, Liberation Maiden is an awesome game by Level-5 and Grasshopper Manufacture!

alvieao

#22

alvieao commented on Review: Mole Mania (3DS eShop / Game Boy):

It's surprising that Mole Mania arrived along with Wario Land on the eShop. After playing so far, I'm having fun because of the clever puzzle stages. It seem simple, but there's a great amount of depth to the gameplay. For a Game Boy title, Mole Mania was charming as it has nice visuals and brilliant music. It's too bad the game was released during the N64 era where it went unnoticed, so kudos to Nintendo for giving it another chance on the 3DS Virtual Console. That being said, Mole Mania is a fantastic Game Boy title that's worth playing!

alvieao

#23

alvieao commented on Review: Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (Game Boy):

It's about time Wario Land finally arrived on the North American eShop! Taking place after Super Mario Land 2, Wario is now an anti-hero protagonist this time around. Wario’s a greedy bastard who collects coins and treasures in his platforming adventures, but we love him anyway! There’s a reason Wario Land is regarded a Game Boy classic… It’s a brilliant game! It has top-notch platforming gameplay with great level design, amazing graphics and music, and rock-solid controls to boot. There are also secret levels to unlock (by finding keys) as well as hidden treasures to collect, which affects the game’s ending. While I also love Wario Land II and 4, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 remains an awesome Game Boy classic worth playing!

alvieao

#24

alvieao commented on Review: Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters (3DS...:

After playing Of Myths and Monsters for some time, I must say it’s a good game. The controls are more responsive, Pit’s wings can be used to slow his fall, the levels are more scroll-based, and the frustration was reduced. On the other hand, I also agree that it's easier than the NES original because of that reason, although I enjoyed the dungeons and challenging boss fights. In addition, the soundtrack is nice but nothing really iconic. Nevertheless, Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters is a good, if not memorable prelude to Kid Icarus: Uprising.

alvieao

#25

alvieao commented on Review: Kid Icarus: Uprising (3DS):

Kid Icarus had been one of Nintendo's long-forgotten franchises, as the series began in 1986 along with The Legend of Zelda and Metroid. After 1991's Kid Icarus: Of Myths and Monsters for Game Boy, the series laid dormant for a while... until Pit was given a re-design in the 2008 Wii game Super Smash Bros. Brawl, courtesy of Kirby and Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai. It was that very reason Sakurai revived the series with the 2012 3DS game Kid Icarus: Uprising. From the moment of Uprising's reveal at E3 2010, I knew it was the game I wanted on 3DS the most!

The gameplay is a combination of on-rail shooting, third-person shooting and Super Smash Bros.-style fighting. The Air Battles are reminiscent to classic shooters like Space Harrier, Star Fox and Sin & Punishment; the Land Battle segments have a Super Smash Bros. feel to it, as if this was the Subspace Emissary done right. The bosses are brilliantly designed, because you'll have to think differently while fighting them. I also love how the action is very intense, as the adrenaline rush always draws me in. Multiplayer is also a blast to play, and the online battles are seamless for the most part. I didn’t have a problem with the controls once everything clicks, although not everyone will agree.

The soundtrack is full of memorable tunes from composers like Motoi Sakuraba, Yuzo Koshiro, Masafumi Takada, Noriyuki Iwadare, Takahiro Nishi and Yatsunori Mitsuda. For a fully voice-acted Nintendo game, the dialogue is superb thanks to the cast of Antony Del Rio, Ali Hillis, Hynden Walch and Cree Summer. I got a kick out of listening to Pit, Palutena and other characters during gameplay, with its clever humor and references to the original Kid Icarus and other Nintendo games. Masahiro Sakurai has put tremendous effort into Uprising, as there’s plenty of content to offer. All said and done, Kid Icarus: Uprising is an exceptional game worth playing on the 3DS. Thank you Nintendo, Sora Ltd. and Project Sora for an outstanding masterpiece!

alvieao

#26

alvieao commented on Review: 3D Classics: Kid Icarus (3DSWare):

Just got this game today via download code with Kid Icarus: Uprising. It’s pretty challenging at first, but things gets easier the more you progress through the game. While not as popular as Metroid, I like playing Kid Icarus more than the former. Pretty much everything is the same as the NES original, but with new backgrounds, high scores and save files. While some of those added backgrounds look odd, they’re still neat as they suit the 3D effect well. Nevertheless, Nintendo and Arika did a great job with 3D Classics: Kid Icarus. It’s a good deal!

alvieao

#27

alvieao commented on Review: Shinobi (3DS Virtual Console / Game Gear):

After downloading the game on my 3DS, I've found The G.G. Shinobi a blast to play. SEGA did a brilliant job with the level design; these stages are short but deviously challenging as one must learn each ninja's weapons and special abilities. The graphics are impressive for a handheld game, as SEGA took advantage of the Game Gear's capabilities. Yuzo Koshiro's soundtrack is also brilliant, and there's some 8-bit remixes of music from The Revenge of Shinobi. I'm impressed SEGA put so much effort into the emulation, even more than Nintendo did. The 3D effect in the classic Game Gear border is neat! That said, The G.G. Shinobi is an excellent Game Gear title worth downloading. I hope SEGA releases The G.G. Shinobi II: The Silent Fury on the 3DS eShop in the future.

alvieao

#28

alvieao commented on Review: Dillon's Rolling Western (3DSWare):

So Dillon’s Rolling Western is finally here! Quite unexpected that it was released on Wednesday, but I must say it’s a pretty good eShop game. It’s no wonder this game has a Legend of Zelda vibe since it’s developed by Vanpool, the same studio behind the Japan-only Tingle DS games. The gameplay is a nice blend of action and Tower Defense strategy, so there’s much to do at daytime while preparing for Grock raids at night. The controls take some getting used to, but they are fluid for the most part. For an eShop title, it’s very expensive but you can’t deny the content offered in this game. That being said, Nintendo did a great job with Dillon’s Rolling Western as it's an eShop game worth checking out.

alvieao

#29

alvieao commented on Review: Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword (3DSW...:

This is an awesome 3DS eShop game. The gameplay is similar to the Punch-Out!! series, except in a feudal Japanese setting and with free movement. It is also very challenging, as dodging enemy attacks from all corners requires good timing and precision. In fact, having a good Precision Point streak helps earn more money that way. The sakura garden is a nice diversion, as this mode counts the pedometer steps towards blooming trees per day. The characters are goofy but in a good way, while everything else mostly looks great. Come to think of it, some of these NPCs looked like they were from Animal Crossing. All that being said, Nintendo did a fantastic job with Sakura Samurai: Art of the Sword and I can't wait to see how Dillon’s Rolling Western turns out.

alvieao

#30

alvieao commented on Review: Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi's Island ...:

Yoshi’s Island was quite a departure from Super Mario World, but it’s still a charming platformer. The game has brilliant level design, as there’s much exploration in each stage regarding secrets. It’s also a challenge when collecting red coins, flowers and stars; getting a perfect score takes skill and patience. Well, that and avoiding the cries of Baby Mario. The GBA version of Yoshi’s Island still plays well, and the graphics and music are fantastic; there’s even bonus stages not seen in the SNES game. Like other Mario Advance games, Mario Bros. is included and there’s voice samples (Yoshi’s voice is taken from Yoshi’s Story. Ooh boy!). It’s a huge treat when Nintendo included this game in the 3DS Ambassador program; Yoshi’s Island remains a classic Nintendo masterpiece! Yoshi's Island DS isn't quite as great as the original, for I found the sequel more frustrating than fun.

alvieao

#31

alvieao commented on Review: WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! (3DS...:

I remember playing WarioWare in Toys ‘R Us years ago; it was a game I really didn’t see coming. There’s nothing like being thrown into various microgames on the spot. The game was weird, nonstop, crazy and yet I loved every moment of it. Even the characters are unique, although 9-Volt is my favorite of the cast; his microgames are full of classic and obscure Nintendo games. Among the unlockable minigames, there’s Wario versions of Sheriff, Dr. Mario and Mario Paint. Although the franchise came a long way, I still consider the original WarioWare the best since it didn't rely on gimmicky controls like the sequels. WarioWare Inc.: Mega Microgames! is awesome, and being included on the 3DS Ambassadors program is just too sweet.

alvieao

#32

alvieao commented on Review: Mario vs. Donkey Kong (Game Boy Advance):

Mario vs. Donkey Kong is the spiritual sequel to Donkey Kong '94, which remains one of my favorite Game Boy games to this day. I've always considered MvDK better, simply because it kept the original formula from the 1994 Game Boy classic; I never liked the Lemmings-style gameplay in the DS sequels. The game is more challenging and varied, as this time around the stages are puzzle-oriented. Nice graphics and a very catchy soundtrack to boot (Mama-Mia, Mario talks a lot!). There's a few gripes that prevented MvDK from being as great as the GB original: the somewhat spotty controls (too many deaths I didn't ask for because of this) and pre-rendered visuals in the vein of Donkey Kong Country (it's weird Nintendo and NST used this art style again after all these years). Kudos to Nintendo for including Mario vs. Donkey Kong in the 3DS Ambassadors program. Although Donkey Kong '94 is still the best in my opinion, Mario vs. Donkey Kong is a worthy follow-up to the Game Boy classic.

alvieao

#33

alvieao commented on Review: Wario Land 4 (3DS Virtual Console / Ga...:

Even after 10 years, Wario Land 4 still looks amazing with an offbeat soundtrack to boot. The visuals are animated and detailed, from the distinct enemies and bizarre bosses to Wario himself and his transformations. The gameplay is excellent as there’s a nice blend of platforming, puzzles and exploration. Only later in each stage, the game then switches to Metroid-style escaping where Wario races back to the entrance within the time limit. Aside from the main game, I find the minigames fun to play as Wario's Homerun Derby is my favorite. Wario Land 4 is an outstanding GBA platformer and knowing Nintendo re-released it as part of the 3DS Ambassadors program made it sweeter.

alvieao

#34

alvieao commented on Review: The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (3...:

Nintendo, Capcom and Flagship did such an outstanding job with this GBA Zelda adventure. I actually enjoyed the handheld Zeldas more than the console ones; Link’s Awakening DX, Oracle of Seasons and Ages, and The Minish Cap are some of my favorites. This game looks outstanding, and the soundtrack features great music and classic remixes. Even if the storyline isn't very memorable, I found Minish Cap rather interesting since it's a prequel to the Four Swords saga. The dungeons in this Zelda game are unique and brilliantly designed, and there are plenty of minigames and sidequests to do outside of the main storyline. I’m glad that Nintendo included The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap in the 3DS Ambassadors program. Otherwise, this is an overlooked gem worth tracking down on GBA!

alvieao

#35

alvieao commented on Review: Pullblox (3DSWare):

I downloaded Pushmo from the eShop on day one, and I'm enjoying the game very much. Intelligent Systems is best known for developing games like Fire Emblem, Nintendo Wars, Puzzle League, Paper Mario and WarioWare, so their first eShop game Pushmo continues their brilliance in quality gaming. The game is easy to get into yet difficult to put down, as you're mostly pushing and pulling your way to the goal. The 3D visuals are great, and the music is very enjoyable. Just when you think you're finished with the 250+ stages, think again! The fun continues with the level editor, which involves creating new stages and scanning QR codes of fan-made ones. I also love how Pushmo is a smorgasbord of Nintendo fanservice; a lot of stages are modeled after 8-bit sprites. Kudos to Intelligent Systems for developing such a charming 3DS puzzle-platformer. Pushmo is an original 3DS eShop title that's worth downloading... Keep it up Nintendo!

alvieao

#36

alvieao commented on Review: 3D Classics: Kirby's Adventure (3DSWare):

Nintendo, HAL Laboratory and Arika did a splendid job with the 3D Classics version of Kirby's Adventure. Everything remains intact in this 3D Classics version, especially the iconic intro of the Kirby's drawing sequence. The 3D effects are subtle yet pleasant to look at, even more when you set it to maximum. While an NES game it may be, I really wish Kirby's Adventure was redone in a widescreen presentation instead of using borders. Also, the bottom display could at least included something like filler Kirby animations, a stage map, or even info on Kirby's copy abilities (instead of just pausing the game to see them). All that being said, Kirby's Adventure remains a classic platformer that must be experienced.

alvieao

#37

alvieao commented on Review: Super Mario 3D Land (3DS):

I finally got my hands on Super Mario 3D Land and it's awesome. It's classic Mario platforming in 3D! The visuals are brilliant and the soundtrack boasts great music and classic remixes. The StreetPass feature isn't that of a big deal, but it's a neat bonus passing random 3DS owners for items and mystery box challenges. While I await for an original 3DS Mario adventure sometime along the road, I'll be enjoying this one for quite a long time. Super Mario 3D Land is a must-have title for the 3DS; it’s one of the reasons to own the system!

alvieao

#38

alvieao commented on Review: Kirby's Return to Dream Land (Wii):

It's been 11 years since we had a traditional Kirby platformer on a console, the last being Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. Finally, the long wait is over! Kirby's Return to Dream Land is exactly what it says: a return to the classic Kirby platforming we know and love. The graphics are colorful and vibrant, while the soundtrack is great as I’m enjoying the remixed classic tunes. True to previous Kirby games, Return to Dream Land opens up a harder adventure after the main game and the return of the Arena boss rush mode. Along with New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Donkey Kong Country Returns, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land is a splendid return to form on the Wii.

alvieao

#39

alvieao commented on Review: Kirby Mass Attack (DS):

Since his debut on the Gamy Boy in 1992, Kirby's been the quintessential character for any genre, may it be platformers, puzzlers, fighting, racing, and even pinball and Arkanoid-style games. What better way for Nintendo and HAL Laboratory to deliver a DS swansong than with Kirby Mass Attack. I was expecting a Lemmings-style or Mario vs. Donkey Kong DS affair, but thankfully that wasn't the case. Controlling all 10 Kirbys at once is very challenging (especially when going for no-damage runs), but it’s a lot of fun once everything clicks. Even on the DS, the graphics are fantastic and it just feels good listening to the wonderful music. Nintendo and HAL Labs put so much effort into Mass Attack's minigames. My favorites are Kirby Brawl Ball, Strato Patrol EOS and Kirby Quest; be on the lookout for cameos of other Kirby characters! You have also a checklist featuring specific tasks to perform in the main adventure, which I find very rewarding. There’s so much to do in this game! Kirby Mass Attack is a fantastic game that’s not to be missed!

alvieao

#40

alvieao commented on Review: Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins (3D...:

When I first played it on my cousin's Game Boy, I was amazed at how brilliant this 2D Mario game was. I felt the first Super Mario Land was rather short and it looked dated for a Game Boy title. On the other hand, Super Mario Land 2 is a much better game that improved over the original in every way. It also marked the debut of Mario's greedy and anti-heroic counterpart Wario, who later starred in the Wario Land and WarioWare series. For a 1992 Game Boy title, the graphics look outstanding as Mario and the enemies are nicely animated, while the stages are vastly detailed. The game's difficulty is rather on the easy side, but I still had a blast regardless. Along with Donkey Kong ’94 and The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening DX, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is another Game Boy classic that's worth downloading on the 3DS Virtual Console.

alvieao

#41

alvieao commented on Review: Star Fox 64 3D (3DS):

When I first popped in Star Fox 64 3D on my 3DS, it was just like old times again. Back in 1997, it was a pleasure blasting enemies and bosses in the Arwing, with the occasional Landmaster and Blue Marine. Revisiting it 14 years later rekindled why I still loved Star Fox 64 after all this time; it was the outstanding gameplay and branching paths, hence unlimited replayability. Having played the original for years, I kept it old-school with N64 mode and used the classic controls. On the other hand, 3DS mode was easier (and you can save anytime), but I don't find myself using the gyro controls too much. The local multiplayer is much better than the N64 original, though I'd like to see Nintendo include online in a new Star Fox installment. For newcomers and long-time fans, Star Fox 64 3D is a must-play on the 3DS.

alvieao

#42

alvieao commented on Review: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening ...:

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX is an all-time Game Boy classic by Nintendo. The game has amazing graphics, an engaging storyline, and a memorable soundtrack by Kazumi Totaka. The dungeons stand out as cleverly designed and challenging, not to mention there's a nice balance between puzzles, combat and some platforming. There's something about the various Nintendo references that put a smile on my face like the Mario and Kirby references (Yoshi, Princess Peach, Mamu, and Kirby), Prince Richard from the Japan-only For the Frog the Bell Tolls (Link's Awakening is a spiritual successor to that game), and Dr. Wright from the SNES SimCity. Next to Donkey Kong '94, Link's Awakening DX is an outstanding masterpiece and a worthwhile experience on the 3DS Virtual Console.

alvieao

#43

alvieao commented on Review: Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition (3DS):

I've recently bought the game along with my 3DS a few weeks ago. Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition features pretty much everything from the console editions (well, except for some online features). Capcom did a great job with the presentation; the Dynamic View is nice for showcasing to other friends, but it's kinda awkward to the point where I still played in 2D view. (Also, turning off the 3D effect enables the game to run in 60 fps). It's also neat to collect figurines and use them for StreetPass battles. As a launch title, SSFIV: 3D Edition is a very impressive package. It's a must-buy!

alvieao

#44

alvieao commented on Review: Donkey Kong (Game Boy):

I'm glad Nintendo released Donkey Kong '94 (Game Boy) for the 3DS Virtual Console. For a 1994 Game Boy title, Donkey Kong '94 has excellent visuals, a fantastic soundtrack, and timeless gameplay. Just when you think the game ends with the four arcade stages, think again! That's right, Donkey Kong took matters into his own hands and kidnapped Pauline again, sending Mario on a wild chase through nine worlds and 97 stages. Luckily, Mario's has brand-new moves at his repertoire, most of them which carried over to later Mario games. It's too bad we can't experience Donkey Kong '94 in Super Game Boy presentation; the custom border based on the DK arcade cabinet is awesome. Nevertheless, Donkey Kong GB is a very fun game that's worth downloading!

alvieao

#45

alvieao commented on Sonic the Hedgehog is 20 Years Old Today:

Happy Birthday, Sonic the Hedgehog! Time really flies so fast, doesn't it? The iconic Blue Blur has had many good games and some terrible ones, but nevertheless he's been running fast for 20 years. Here's to another two decades!

alvieao

#46

alvieao commented on Review: Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii):

After years of spinoffs and side games (and Rare's departure as a second-party Nintendo developer), Donkey Kong and Diddy are back in a brand-new adventure! True to the original SNES trilogy, Donkey Kong Country Returns is as challenging as ever; it takes skill to overcome these maddening levels (especially the bonus ones!). For the sake of completion, collecting K-O-N-G letters actually count this time around, as well as puzzle pieces for artwork and dioramas. The original SNES games were a blast to play when I was a kid, but the once-slick visuals didn't age well nowadays. After spending time with Returns however, I must say the game is spectacular. Just when you think the game ends, there's time attack and mirror mode (good luck!). All things said, DKC Returns is one of the best 2D platformers to date, rivaling New Super Mario Bros. Wii in many ways.

alvieao

#47

alvieao commented on Review: Sonic Colours (Wii):

THIS... is the 3D Sonic game Sega should've made in the first place! There's none of that extra character nonsense or any unnecessary gimmicks that drag the action down. It's just trademark Sonic gameplay, where it's all about speed and platforming! Beautiful graphics, a great soundtrack and rock-solid action. I believe Sega and Sonic Team finally succeeded in creating a remarkable 3D Sonic title with Colo(u)rs... Reach for the stars indeed!

alvieao

#48

alvieao commented on Review: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (WiiWare):

For many years, Sega didn't seem to care about the declining quality of the Sonic franchise... until now. Recently, Sega somehow turned things around and revitalized the blue blur. After playing Episode 1 for a while, the game is simply awesome with props to Sonic Team and Dimps once again. A very short but sweet game, yet it's only the first episode after all. It's classic 2D Sonic gameplay, just with the added homing attack to bridge with the 3D adventures. Compared to the HD versions, the soundtrack took a hit in the WiiWare version in order to fit the size limits (the music definitely sounds more Genesis-like). While I'm aware of the polarization this game caused for some fans, I couldn't care less. What really mattered to me is that I had fun playing Sonic 4. Let's see what Sega can do with the next two episodes. That being said... Welcome back, Sonic!

alvieao

#49

alvieao commented on Review: Gunblade NY and LA Machineguns Arcade ...:

At last, Sega finally brought these classic '90s light-gun games to a console! While it's not the same without the machine gun controller, I can do just fine with and without a Wii light gun peripheral. As far as arcade ports go, both Gunblade NY and L.A. Machineguns are pretty much spot-on. Aside from unlockable weapons through ranks and online leaderboards, I'm disappointed that Sega didn't include extras like arcade flyers or galleries. Nevertheless if you're a fan of Sega light gun shooters, then Sega Arcade Hits Pack is for you. It's a great addition to Ghost Squad and The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return. Thank you, Sega... Now if only they'll release a new Virtua Cop collection (Virtua Cop 3 is way overdue) and The House of the Dead 4.

alvieao

#50

alvieao commented on Review: Henry Hatsworth in The Puzzling Advent...:

I'm usually not a big fan of EA, but Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure really surprised me the most. Lately I've played a lot of platformers like Drill Dozer, Kirby Super Star Ultra, Legendary Starfy, New Super Mario Bros. (and its Wii sequel), and now Henry Hatsworth. The game is maddeningly hard... You'll need plenty of extra lives, upgrades and patience upon clearing the later stages (and the secret ones). And just when you think you're finished with the adventure, the game offers a harder difficulty; all I can say is good luck beating Gentlemen mode! Simply this, Henry Hatsworth in the Puzzling Adventure is a must-have on the DS... Good Show INDEED!