Super Mario World Articles RSS Feed | Super Mario World RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network 10 Epic Mario vs. Bowser Boss Battles Thu, 30 Nov 2017 14:12:48 -0500 ReadyPlayerPaige


10. Super Mario Odyssey


One of the hottest and most trending games ever developed by Nintendo, Super Mario Odyssey finds Mario and Bowser at it once again. This time, Mario is out to stop Bowser from marrying the princess. Decked out in wedding attire, Bowser's hat is equipped with punching gloves at which Mario can toss Cappy in order to seize control. Avoiding the traditional fire breath in addition to other hats and tail swipes, Mario must get up close and unleash a barrage of punches at Bowser to send him into an electric fence. After a few successful attempts, Bowser is knocked unconscious, Peach is free, and the wedding is over.




Which Mario vs. Bowser battle is your favorite? Post your comments below, and thanks for reading!


9. Super Mario 3D World  


Bowser ups the ante in Super Mario 3D World, using a magical bell to transform himself into Meowser. In the final encounter of this game, Mario must scale the tower in order to save the magical fairies in Meowser's clutches. While Mario scales the tower, he needs to watch out for the sneaky Meowser's attacks. He can attack from sliding down, climbing up, swiping his tail, and bursting the tower and clawing him. After scaling up the tower midway, he knocks off Meowser standing on a POW box. Mario scales the building at super speed using a pipe, only to see Meowser cloning more enemies. Once Mario reaches the top, he has to knock Meowser off a bigger POW box while avoiding fireballs. After successfully doing so, Meowser flies into the air and explodes into fireworks, setting the captive fairies free.


8. Super Mario Galaxy 2


In Super Mario Galaxy 2, Mario and Bowser are at it again in space -- only this time, Bowser bought the heavy artillery. A mega-sized Bowser plans to smash Mario with his super fist, which Mario must avoid along with asteroid balls and electric balls. Luckily, Bowser gets his fist stuck in the moon, which allows Mario to walk on the asteroid balls and use them to his advantage. After stunning Bowser a couple of times, it looks like the battle is over. However, Bowser is tricky as always and finds a way to return to the battlefield. One last encounter sees Mario walking on the asteroid balls with plans to defeat Bowser one last time, which he does successfully. The dark galaxy world returns to normal, and Peach and Mario are happily reunited.




7. Super Mario Galaxy


Mario and Bowser battles go into zero-gravity mode in Super Mario Galaxy. Here, the longtime foes fight in space, which makes things much more interesting. On three separate moons, Mario must use his speed and maneuvers to attack his nemesis. On the first moon, Mario has to avoid Bowser's attacks. Then, Bowser turns into a rolling asteroid, which allows Mario to attack him by punching his face. Afterwards, Mario must use green, balloon-like objects to attack Bowser. However, he must avoid Bowser as he transforms into a spike ball trying to run over poor Mario. Finally, on the last moon, Mario must avoid fireballs, a spike ball, and being crushed. Fortunately, the moon is filled with lava, and if Bowser lands in the crystal-filled lava, it will burn him, allowing Mario to attack. Successfully defeating Bowser sends him to the lava below and allows Mario to fly away with the star.


6. New Super Mario Bros. Wii


Returning to his roots of platform gameplay but now with 3D graphics, Mario once again faces his nemesis Bowser in New Super Mario Bros. Wii. Mario must rescue Peach from Bowser by avoiding his attacks and triggering a button that retracts the bridge, sending Bowser to his doom. At first it looks like Mario wins the battle, but it appears the princess was the wizard all along. Fooling Mario, the wizard uses his powers to make Bowser 10x bigger. Now running for his life and avoiding the gigantic Bowser's attacks, Mario sees Peach and a large trigger on the other side. After smashing the trigger, the lava begins to decrease, and Bowser is sent along for the ride. Finally, the princess is let out of her cage and reunited with Mario. 


5. Super Mario Sunshine 


There is nothing wrong with a family vacation, but that doesn't mean you have to kidnap someone and force them to go with you (apparently Bowser never got that memo). For the Mario vs. Bowser battle in Super Mario Sunshine, Peach, Bowser, and Bowser Jr. are swimming around in a giant hot tub atop Corona Mountain when Mario comes to save the day. This time, he has to face off against both Bowser's traditional fire breath as well Bowser Jr.'s mini-sub as he works to destroy the five platforms holding the hot tub together. Luckily, he has his trusty water pack, F.L.U.D.D. (Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device), to help him out. Once victorious, everybody is safe and sound on the island, including Bowser and his son, who will one day meet Mario again.


4. Super Mario 64


The evolution of Mario vs. Bowser battles jumped into 3D in the groundbreaking Super Mario 64 on the Nintendo 64. Meeting up high in the sky, Bowser has plans to defeat Mario once and for all, but in this three-dimensional world, Mario has some new tricks up his sleeve. In this epic boss battle, Mario has to grab Bowser by the tail and swing him around (almost like an Olympic hammer throw) into bombs just off the platform. However, his task is made no easier by having to constantly watch out for Bowser's fire breath. After three successful attempts, Bowser is defeated, and Mario uses the golden star to fly away and meet with his beloved princess.


3. Super Mario World


On top of Bowser's Castle, amidst a backdrop of thunder and lightning, our plumber hero has to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser once again in Super Mario World. This time, it is a much more complex battle than their previous encounters. With Bowser zipping around in a flying ship, Mario must throw Bowser's own toy-like minions, Mecha-Koopas, back at him, all while avoiding large, black balls and a barrage of fireballs. After Bowser has finally been defeated, Princess Peach drops down to Mario safely, and Bowser disappears to prepare himself for the next showdown with his mustached rival.


2. Super Mario Bros. 3


In his clash with Bowser in the classic Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario must again avoid fireballs and stomping as he attempts to escape the room in which he's trapped. Fortunately, every time Bowser attempts to crush Mario and misses, he smashes a couple of bricks into tiny pieces. No power-ups are going to defeat Bowser in this encounter; the only way to win this one is to make him crush all the bricks so that his own doing sends him plunging to the depths below. To add to the battle's complexity, Mario has to make sure that he himself doesn't fall! After defeating Bowser, he is finally reunited with Princess Toadstool.


1. Super Mario Bros.


We can't begin this list without the one that started it all. In the final level of Super Mario Bros., Mario has to reach the other side of a drawbridge without getting hit by fireballs and flying axes (not to mention avoiding getting stomped by Bowser). Luckily, Mario does figure out a way to send Bowser to his doom by activating a switch that retracts the drawbridge and drops Bowser into the lava below. After doing so, he rescues Princess Toadstool, and his adventure ends happily.


In my opinion, the Mario versus Bowser boss battles have to be some of the greatest hero vs. villain battles ever. Every time they fight, it feels different from their last encounters. No doubt about it, the evolution of their battles over the years has been very influential to the gaming world. It's time to take a look at ten of these historic rivals' greatest boss battles. 

Super Mario Odyssey's Theme is Great, But These Mario Covers are Better Mon, 03 Jul 2017 19:00:01 -0400 Michael Dellapi


Super Mario Bros. 3: Overworld 1 Acapella

Smooth McGroove

Smooth McGroove has over 1.8 million subscribers on YouTube for his acapella covers, thanks to his magnificent vocals and equally magnificent facial hair. His cover of this Super Mario 3 tune provides the same sensation of hearing the iconic theme for the first time, while still feeling totally fresh. The high-pitched vocals and swingy beat create an immediate earworm, and may very well be some of Mr. McGroove's best work. 




All of these covers are successful because they don't stop at just mimicking the original soundtrack from classic Mario games. Instead, they move beyond the point of imitation and reflect something about the people that make them. From island beats to metal tracks, each cover also underscores just how influential the Mario series continues to be for a number of inspired musicians.


What are some of your fan-made Mario song covers? Let us know down in the comments! 


Super Mario Bros Meets Metal


331Erock is easily one of the most famous guitarists on YouTube, and this Super Mario Bros cover serves as a reminder of why. He's known for completely adapting songs from TV, film, and games alike into intense masterpieces.


Over the course of this particular cover, 331Erock plays themes from all across the first level of the NES title and is able to make it completely his own. Killer guitar solos and heavy riffs somehow never feel out of place as the musician creates something that nearly rivals the original in terms of its distinctiveness. 


Super Mario Athlete's Rag Air Platform

Tom Brier

Tom Brier performs this classic tune from Super Mario World while seeing the sheet music for the first time -- and executes it perfectly. He even gives it a stronger sense of ragtime style, probably from never hearing the original song before. However, this combination allows for an equally interesting cover to come about.


At the end of the cover, Tom Brier goes on to perform the song even faster with equal ease. "Piece of cake."


Super Mario Sunshine: Delfino Plaza


Super Mario Sunshine has an audio-visual style unlike any of the other Mario games -- and the cover above shows exactly why the GameCube classic stands out. Many of the instruments used are never featured in other titles simply because they are so emblematic of the game's island theme.


User SquidPhysics plays each instrument in this cover, and captures the holistically joyous tone of the game with each strum of his ukulele. 


Mario 64: Dire Dire Docks

VGM Acoustic

Dire Dire Docks is among the most relaxing levels in all of Mario 64 -- at least on an auditory level. Tom Winters capitalizes on the soothing tones of the game perfectly, playing all of the instruments that are used throughout the score using just an acoustic guitar. The result is positively beautiful.


It's practically a lullaby for those familiar with the Nintendo 64 title. 


The new theme for Super Mario Odyssey is nothing short of stellar, embracing a musical styling that has never been explored by a Mario game before. The most evident change in style is the fact that this theme has vocals -- and incredible ones at that. The theme feels perfectly at home in any Broadway musical, reflecting the game's New York inspirations.


But as good as this new theme is, there are some other iterations that give it a serious run for its money. There are a number of Mario covers by fans that rival this masterpiece -- and in the next few slides, we're rounding up some of the best.

Top 10 Longest Platformers in Video Game History Tue, 27 Jun 2017 16:59:33 -0400 Adreon Patterson


1. Super Mario Bros.

200.9 hours

Of course, this list would not be complete without side-scrolling pioneer and best-seller, Super Mario Bros. In this OG iteration of the Super Mario series, ordinary plumber Mario goes on a quest to save Princess Toadstool (or Peach) and the Mushroom Kingdom from the clutches of Bowser (or King Koopa). The game's eight worlds allow for endless hours (200 to be exact) of gameplay, and lots frustration for many gamers.




While platformers may seem simple, this list proves that they are not playing around (pun intended). With the endless summer days, any player would be encouraged to test their skills with any one of these thrilling platformers. And when you're finally finished, you can brag about beating one of the longest platformers in video game history.


2. Super Mario Galaxy 2

102 hours

As the follow-up to 2007's Super Mario Galaxy,  Super Mario Galaxy 2 witnesses Mario again trying to rescue Princess Peach and save the universe from Bowser by recovering Power and Grand Stars. Once more, our hero must explore various galaxies on his out-of-this-world mission. Expanding upon the space hopping original, this sequel can lead to days of endless fun for any gamer -- new and old.


3. Super Mario Galaxy

98.9 hours

This 2007 entry into the Super Mario universe shows Mario trying to rescue Princess Peach while saving the universe from persistent enemy Bowser. In Super Mario Galaxy, our hero must explore levels consisting of galaxies filled with minor planets and worlds while dealing with variations in gravity. All this space hopping leads to hours (if not days) of gameplay for any Super Mario head.


4. Super Mario World

86.7 hours

Built on side-scrolling of earlier Super Mario games, Super Mario World follows Mario and Luigi as they try to save Dinosaur Land from their ever-present nemesis, Bowser. With the introduction of Yoshi, the brothers travel through seven worlds on their mission leading to hours of play for many Super Mario fans.


5. Lego Jurassic World

51 hours

This entry into the Lego video game series lets players explore all five Jurassic Park films as they solve puzzles with hints and dinosaur trivia by Mr. DNA. Each film's section in Lego Jurassic World boasts five levels apiece as players progress through the game. This all leads to hours of fun for kids and their families.


6. Shoot Many Robots

44 hours

This 2012 action shooter follows a linear storyline in which the player's character must prepare for robot fights. Killing robots help in collecting nuts and power-ups and boosting experience levels as players advance in the game. All this can lead to nearly two straight days' worth of play for any gamer.


7. Lego Marvel Super Heroes

36.9 hours

As an entry in the Lego video game series, Lego Marvel Super Heroes allows players to access over 180 Marvel superheroes and villains in order to defeat the almighty Galactus. With a shift between action-packed sequences and puzzle-solving games, any player can get lost for hours playing this entertaining game. 


8. Tomb Raider IV: The Last Revelation

36 hours

The fourth installment in the Tomb Raider series follows heroine Lara Croft as she searches for artifacts associated with the Egyptian god Horus before facing former mentor Werner Von Croy. With its vast linear storyline and side puzzles and games, players can spend endless hours tackling this old-school favorite.


9. Super Mario Bros. Wii

31.8 hours

Returning to the side-scrolling of earlier Super Mario games, Super Mario Bros. Wii follows Mario as he once again must rescue Princess Peach from Bowser and his motley family. This is the first game in the series to allow multiplayer gameplay as Mario, Luigi, and Yellow and Blue Toad go through nine worlds with a total of 80 levels to complete their mission.


10. Super Mario 3D World

27.5 hours

This is the third best-selling game for the Wii U, and acts a sequel to the ever-popular Super Mario 3D Land. Super Mario 3D World follows Mario and friends as they attempt to rescue the Sprixie Kingdom from the wrath of Bowser and his brood.


With so many levels and multiplayer gameplay, this game can take awhile for any player to finish.


Any gamer will tell you that their ultimate goal is to beat their current video game obsession. 


Whether it's defeating the monster or villain, conquering a rival faction or claiming the huge treasure or reward, every player wants that sense of euphoria and satisfaction you get from making all the way to the end. It's what being a gamer is all about.


Some games are easier to finish than others. Completion can range from hours to weeks as players soldier on and try to beat the game at its own...well, game. Sometimes it can be exhausting, but it's equally rewarding as well. But it's the truly long-fought, battle-wry experiences that every gamer remembers.


There are lots of games that run 200 hours or more in terms of play time -- especially open-world games where you can easily spend hours upon hours exploring the loads of side quests and wandering from place to place. But today we're shining a spotlight on one corner of the video game world that's hyper-focused on getting to the end of the game, no matter how long it takes to do it. I'm talking about platformers.


Most platformers tend to take a considerable number of hours to complete. But some go above and beyond to create a truly lengthy (and truly memorable) gameplay experience. But these 10 take it to a whole new level. Why? Because they're the longest platformers in video game history.

How to Convince Your Parents to Get You a Nintendo Switch Fri, 03 Mar 2017 13:40:34 -0500 Rob Kershaw

It's a tough ask. The Nintendo Switch is out, and it isn't cheap. You probably don't have enough money saved up to afford the $300 needed, let alone a copy of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (which is, of course, essential).

Your only hope is convincing your parents that not only do you need one, but also that if you don't get one there will be serious, potentially devastating consequences to your life. But parents are like Dark Souls bosses: tough to overcome. You need an argument, and it's gotta be a good one.

Never fear, GameSkinny is here to help.

Implement this five-point plan, and you'll be clicking, undocking, and on the move in no time at all with your very own Switch.  

Argument 1: It Will Teach You Life Lessons

If there's one thing parents love more than educational stuff, it's educational stuff that you will actually use in the real world. And the Switch has some games that will get you learning the fun way.  

With games like 1-2 Switch you'll learn how to play baseball, perform yoga, eat a sandwich, calm a crying baby, and milk a cow. These, of course, are all essential things that you will definitely do at some point in your life.

And if you're one of those rare, lucky kids whose parents insist that you need to count marbles on a regular basis, then simply show them the 1-2 Switch video and drop the mic -- because they won't need any further convincing. 

Argument 2: You Won't Spend Hours On YouTube

The Switch is not an entertainment center. It's a serious piece of hardware for serious people. Case in point: there's no media player included. How can you waste hours watching music videos and looking at cats if the ability to do so simply doesn't exist?

You can't. 

If your parents thought about it really hard, they could almost class it as an exercise in responsibility and self-control. Maybe they'll think:

"Hey, my daughter/son could have asked for a PS4 Pro, but they didn't. They went for something with far fewer features, and there's less chance of them viewing inappropriate material online!"

Place the argument in that context, and you're almost certainly guaranteed to win them over.

But if not...

Argument 3: You Won't Be Begging for Hundreds of Games

The launch window for the Switch really doesn't have that many games -- and the ones it does have, you may have already played on other consoles (or even PC). You'll have to wait until later in the year to see a decent amount of stuff get released.

Furthermore, Nintendo's online service isn't going to be like the Xbox Game Pass. You won't be paying ten bucks a month for over a hundred games. No, you'll be paying less than $30 a year, for one game a month. And that game will be an SNES or NES game, so the probability you'll want to play it will be minimal.

Look at it another way -- your parents will be investing in a console that will actually help you play less and therefore improve the chances of you getting your homework done. How can they argue against that?

Argument 4: It's Cheaper to Kill Two Birds with One Stone

Thanks to its portable nature, the Switch is not only the new must-have home console, but the new must-have handheld. And if you consider the cost saving of getting the Switch to cover both bases compared to, say, the PS4 and a 3DS, your parents would actually save money by getting you Nintendo's latest hybrid.

That also means you can sit in the backseat on long trips to visit relatives and keep quiet. Think how much those hours of peace and quiet would mean to your parents. It's almost impossible to put a monetary figure on it. 

Argument 5: All My Friends Are Getting One

When in doubt, roll out the peer pressure. Lay it on thick. Relay to your parents, in graphic, emotional detail, how much of a hit your social life will take if you don't get a Switch. Recount the story of the kid at school who was shunned because his parents refused to get him a PS3 and -- unlike his friends -- he wasn't able to headshot campers in CoD

If that fails to sway them, act miserable, mope about, communicate with one-word responses, and wait until they cave in. It will happen. 


If you try these tips out and successfully manage to bag a Nintendo Switch, which argument worked the best? Let us know in the comments!

Gift Guide: Board Game Sets Based on Video Games Mon, 21 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0500 StraightEdge434


DOOM Board Game


Rating: Not Available


Price: $67.99


Buy it on: Miniature Market (PRE ORDER)


The classic FPS has turned into a board game! For two to five players, one player is the bad guy while the rest are the good guys. To defeat the bad guy, other players have to complete different missions, challenges and whatever else this board game pits them against.


If you are willing to get this board game as a gift for a friend this holiday season, make sure that you have plenty of time to play, since each session lasts 120 to 180 minutes!


Set to release by December, let's just hope this table-top releases before the holiday season.


MONOPOLY: The Legend of Zelda


Rating: 4.5/5


Price: $27.99


Buy it on: Amazon


What happens when you combine an iconic video game series and an iconic board game? The answer is quite obvious.


This Monopoly board game is themed after The Legend of Zelda. All rules and such are the same, except the land is designed after all places Link visited throughout his journey!


If they like Monopoly and/or the love The Legend of Zelda, this will be the ideal gift this holiday season. 


Pokemon Yahtzee Jr.


Rating: 5/5


Price: $44.95


Buy it on: Amazon


The game of Yahtzee has taken an interesting turn -- Pokemon!


If you ever played Yahtzee, this is a fun gift to get. Even if the person never played Yahtzee before, but loves Pokemon, this will be an excellent gift!


As far as the game goes, all the rules are the same, except there are Pokemon instead!


The Witcher Adventure Game


Rating: 4.5/5


Price: $45.00


Buy it on: Amazon


Judging by the image above, this game has a lot of parts to it. Tokens, cards, dice, you name it!


This one is more of an original than a spin-off of a pre-existing board game. The game is for two to four players, each having to complete quests, go on adventures, overcome challenges and much, much more. It's kind of like the video game itself!


This is a must get for any fan of The Witcher series, be it the novels, the video game franchise, or the recently released Witcher 3


Super Mario Chess


Rating: 4.5/5


Price: $33.69


But it on: Amazon


Know anyone that likes chess? And Super Mario? Then look know further! 


This is a standard chess board game modeled after all characters from Super Mario. One interesting thing to note is that it's the good guys against the bad guys! Bowser and his army of Koopas against Mario and an army of...coins!


Great gift for any Mario fan -- and for anyone who generally enjoys a challenging game of chess!




Getting closer and closer to the holiday season, it's time to start picking up the perfect gifts for loved ones and friends. From technology all the way to accessories, gifts pertaining to video games are limitless!


If you know anyone in your life who is a huge fan of table-top games, board games and video games, then this is the ideal guide this holiday season. The following list showcases some of the most interesting table-top and board games that will make perfect gifts for fans that enjoy getting together with friends and engaging in old-school fun!

Best retro gaming buys: SNES games under $50 Mon, 15 Aug 2016 07:30:01 -0400 kate.farrow

Last week’s post gave you the hardware. Today’s post will give you the must-have games for your Super Nintendo. The best SNES games don’t come cheap, but these tried and true titles are worth it. Part one of this series includes games that can be bought for under $50.

Donkey Kong Country

 Donkey Kong Country - $21.25 and up (used)

Really, all three of the Donkey Kong Country games for SNES were good. Do yourself a favor and snag a used copy.

Super Mario World

Super Mario World - $19.98 and up (used)

Classic Mario. Get all the Yoshis (winged blue yoshi is best yoshi). Go to the Star World. Find the secret endings to each level.

Super Mario All Star

Meta Mario! Play multiple Mario games in one cartridge. This includes Super Mario Bros 2, which isn’t in the Mario franchise at all in Japan, but instead is a game called Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic. While new versions of the game come up at $240, there are plenty of used copies ranging from $24 and up.

Super Mario Kart

Definitely one of the best Mario Karts out there. The only comparable Mario Kart might have been Mario Kart 64. (I’m not at all biased) Used copies of the game can be had from $34 and up.

Stay tuned for Part 2: Best retro gaming buys for SNES under $100!

I’m always looking for new awesome products, so please send me your favorites at

Top 5 Steeds in Gaming Tue, 12 Jul 2016 10:41:28 -0400 Megan M. Campbell


Whether they're horses roaming the plains or dragons soaring the skies, these are the 5 steeds who get the job done. Because they're more than your steed; they're your friend that always has your back. They're willing to fight through thick & thin alongside you and take you to your next destination to complete your quest. So next time you mount a steed, think about them as more than just your ride. 


[Source Image: Chain Mail War Steeds]



Shadow of the Colossus

Your only friend throughout your adventure, Agro is the loyal steed that helps Wander travel throughout the forbidden land. Appearing in Shadow of the Colossus for PlayStation 2, Agro also plays a role in battle, as she is necessary to defeat some of the Colossi. Agro is essential when facing the Collosi Basaran, Dirge, and Phalanx.


She always has Wander’s back, as she automatically dodges obstacles and is practically invincible (minus the endgame segment). Right before Wander faces the final Colossus, Agro sacrifices herself in order for Wander to make it to the final boss. If that isn't proof of friendship, I don't know what is! 


[Image Source: Agro and Wander]



Super Mario Series

This green dinosaur made his debut in Super Mario World for the Super Nintendo back in 1990. Yoshi made it much easier to stomp Goombas and Koopas alike. He also has projectiles when he swallows enemies by turning them into eggs which can be hurled at flying Parakoopas. He is so loyal to Mario that he even takes one-hit damage for him! 


Since then, Yoshi has also made an appearance as a steed in Super Mario Sunshine, New Super Mario Bros. Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2, and New Super Mario Bros. U. With his abilities to turn enemies into his weapons and undying loyalty to Mario, Yoshi is definitely the steed you can count on to have your back.


[Image Source: Super Mario World Yoshi]



The Legend of Zelda series

This friendly horse has been by Link’s side ever since The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In the game, she is Link’s go-to steed when traveling the land of Hyrule. When Link isn’t using Epona to travel, she can be found in the hands of the Ranch Handler, Malon.


Epona also makes appearances in Majora’s Mask, The Minish Cap, Twilight Princess, Hyrule Warriors (as a DLC weapon), and will appear in Breath of the Wild. It just goes to show, no matter what incarnation of Link needs transportation, Epona will always be there. Just make sure you have plenty of carrots! 


[Image Source: Hyrule Warriors Epona]



The Elder Scrolls Series

First appearing in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Shadowmere is the dark horse who originally belonged to Lucien Lachance of the Dark Brotherhood. She is given to the Hero of Kvatch, the protagonist of the game, to help him on his adventure.


Shadowmere is the fastest horse in the game and is capable of reaching areas otherwise inaccessible. Her high health and aggression also make her valuable in combat.


You can also obtain this steed in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and The Elder Scrolls Online. Unfortunately, these iterations of Shadowmere received a decrease in speed, morality, and apparently has changed gender. If you’re looking for an awesome looking steed and all around tank, Shadowmere is the horse for you!


[Image Source: Shadowmere]


Mega Latios/Latias

Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire

The Eon Pokemon duo are your noble steeds in Pokemon Omega Ruby & Pokemon Alpha Sapphire. You are able to obtain Latios in Omega Ruby or Latias in Alpha Sapphire once you reach the Southern Island. After you save the legendary from either Team Magma or Team Aqua, you will obtain the Mega Stone for your version’s legendary and receive the Eon Flute from Steven.


With the Eon Flute, you take to the skies and soar over the land of Hoenn. On the back of this majestic Pokemon, you can travel to Mirage Spots, catch Flying-type Pokemon, and even perform aerial tricks. Plus, who wouldn't want to pet and feed cupcakes to these adorable dragons?


Mega Latios and Mega Latias add a little more flare to traveling around the Hoenn region and make the experience all the more memorable.   


[Image Source: Mega Latios/Latias Artwork]


Horses, Dragons, and Dinosaurs. Oh my! In open world games, the heroes seem to get all the glory -- and we always seem to forget about their steeds. Let's be honest, they're the ones who do all the work. They help you get around, aid you in combat, and are the ones you can trust to have your back.


From horses to mythical creatures, we're taking a look at the steeds who are more than just a mode of transportation.


[Image Source: Skyrim Horse Combat]

Check Out These YouTubers' Renditions of Our Favorite Tunes! Thu, 07 Jul 2016 09:49:58 -0400 ChocolateCat42

From the orchestral magnificence that is Nobuo Uematsu's Final Fantasy themes to the whacky Portal tunes from GLaDoS, music plays a large role in the realm of video games.

Fans migrate towards mimicking that which inspires them -- and now, thanks to the internet, performers with amazing talents are able to share their video game covers with the rest of us. Listed below are a few of the greats -- give them a listen! If you like what you hear, don't forget to visit their channels and subscribe.

1. 331Erock

From Halo to Final Fantasy, 331Erock takes the songs we've come to know and love and gives them a metal makeover. He doesn't just stick to video game music, either -- anime, television, movies, you name it! (No, really. He likes getting requests from his listeners.) Software handles the accompaniment while Erock shreds on guitar. 

2. FamilyJules7X

On the topic of guitars, next up is FamilyJules7X with a mix of electric and acoustic renditions from several games. FamilyJules7X does covers, single-game medleys, and multi-game medleys. He even holds votes in the comments to make medleys from viewers' favorite themes, such as the battle themes in the video below.

3. Lindsey Stirling

Lindsey Stirling's violin is taking the world by storm, but did you know that she has done several covers for video game music? Dragon Age, Legend of Zelda, Halo...the list goes on. One of the draws to Lindsey is how much fun she has in her videos; full costumes, great scenery and/or effects, and dancing. 

4. Peter Hollens

Not all performers use instruments -- some can make magic with their voice alone. Almost all of Peter Hollens' covers are made up of layer upon layer of vocal tracks. His voice makes up both instrumental parts and lyrics. Most of his video game covers are collaborations, including the below World of Warcraft medley featuring his wife, Evynne Hollens, and his cover of Portal 2's ending theme.

5. Smooth McGroove

Also in the realm of acapella, we have Smooth McGroove's covers. Smooth covers a lot of classics in addition to more current themes. Various themes from franchise games like PokemonFinal Fantasy, Legend of Zelda, and Super Mario make up a portion of his repertoire, but he has also covered songs from games like Undertale and Tetris. 

This man's range is incredible, and I can't help being a little partial to his constant guest star. Don't know who I'm referring to? Look at my username again, then check out his videos. (Hint: upper left square in the video below.)

6. Collaborations

What's better than one amazing star sharing their talent with the world? Two or more getting together, of course! For instance, Peter Hollens and Lindsey Stirling have done several videos together, including their amazing Skyrim collaboration.

I had to be choosy picking which videos to share on this post, but each performer has several that you should check out if you enjoyed these samples. 

Have a performer you enjoy? Heard a cover or medley that you just have to share? Give us a holler in the comments below!

The 5 Most Impressive Ways To Beat A Video Game Thu, 16 Jun 2016 16:53:23 -0400 RobotsFightingDinosaurs


Without Pressing The A Button


For those of you who might not be aware, the A button is pretty important in most games. It's especially important in Mario games, because, well, it's the jump button and Mario is the jump man


That didn't stop Pannenkoek2012 from putting together a variety of runs on his YouTube channel where, through glitches, creativity, and pure player skill, he beats Mario 64 levels without pressing the A button. The great thing about his runs is that he explains what he is doing at every turn, allowing any gamer who might want to try a similar run to follow along.


Have you ever tried to beat a video game in a weird or unusual way? We'd love to hear about it in the comments!


With Voice Commands


We've told you about YouTuber Slimecicle before, and now seems to be a great time to bring him up again. He is well-known for a series of videos where he frantically (and hilariously) attempts to play video games using voice recognition software. 


While he never truly "beats" any of these games (at least, not in the videos), the voice recognition software is so buggy and works so infrequently that whenever any progress is made, whenever any small victory is achieved, that single victory becomes pretty much the most impressive thing anybody has ever done in the history of video gaming-- especially in a fast-paced game like Counter-Strike


With Donkey Konga Bongos


We travel back to the realm of Dark Souls for this impressive run using the best controller ever devised by man or beast: the Donkey Konga bongo controller.


The really interesting thing about using the bongo controller to beat a modern game is that it necessarily means you have to cut down your movement or attack options. You can see in the video-- gbbearzly really only has 6 buttons mapped to the bongos, while Dark Souls was designed for a controller that featured 13 buttons (and 2 joysticks). These kinds of runs value more prioritization and lateral thinking that one might think necessary at first blush. 


But at the end of the day, the appeal here is clear. It's always fun to watch someone beat a video game with bongos.




Rudeism's run of Dark Souls 3 might be a "blind run", but this run of Super Mario World by speedrunner PangaeaPanga is literally a blind run--as in he's blindfolded the whole time he plays. 


The impressive thing about this run isn't simply that PangaeaPanga beats the game blindfolded, but he manages to do it in under 30 minutes. It's simply astonishing to watch him speed through the game relying only on his memorization skills and the sparse audio cues the game gives him. So let this be a lesson to you: if you think you're good at a video game, try it blindfolded and be prepared to be proven wrong.


With A Dance Pad


The trend of using dance pads to beat video games that are not called Dance Dance Revolution has been around for a while, but streamer and YouTuber Rudeism has taken it to a new level by attempting to beat Dark Souls 3 with the pad alone.


Adding to the difficulty here is that Rudeism has never played Dark Souls 3 (or any Dark Souls game) before, so this is a truly blind run. He is currently streaming his adventures over on his Twitch page, and he has already somehow taken down 3 bosses since he began in late May. It's been a trying process for Rudeism, having died over 30 times trying to take down the first boss, but at least he's getting his cardio in!


Sometimes just beating a game doesn't cut it. And sometimes just beating a game faster than anybody else doesn't cut it either. Sometimes, gamers make their own rules and impose challenges on themselves in order to fully prove their skill. 


Popularized recently with players challenging the Dark Souls series of games with a wide variety of self-imposed rules and restrictions, the trend of gamers playing (and beating) video games in ways that the creators never imagined possible has hit the mainstream. So the least we can do is pay tribute to the creative, hard-working, and insanely skilled gamers who have beaten games in insanely difficult ways. 

How an AI Learns to Play Super Mario World Better Than You Mon, 23 May 2016 12:06:58 -0400 Chris Cooper

If you're like me then you can vaguely recall playing one of your first games as a kid and it was likely a Mario Bros. game. In fact, I can remember playing the original NES Mario Bros and frantically trying to figure out how to correctly jump in time with the spring before the timer ran out and I died on whichever early level that was. It was a rookie move but I think i was six and had picked up my first game controller maybe 20 minutes prior so go easy on me.

Now how long do you think it'd take a computer AI to learn how to play Super Mario World? Well check out this video of a custom AI someone built that's designed to run through the 1st Donut Plains level as it repeatedly dies but learns various things in each death that it passes along to the next life. 

It's a fascinating look at how learning is a sort of evolutionary process.

Using only glitches, somebody made Super Mario World into Flappy Bird Mon, 28 Mar 2016 17:21:20 -0400 Bradalay

By taking advantage of glitches in the SNES classic Super Mario World, YouTube user SethBling managed to re-create mobile sensation Flappy Bird without the use of modified hardware.

The feat was accomplished in collaboration with user "p4plus2" who wrote the code. Using unmodified SNES hardware, SethBling completed a sequence of complex actions to "inject" new code into the game in a live Twitch broadcast. He says this is the "first time a human has ever completed this kind of exploit". 

You can see the creation of the modification in the video above, where SethBling explains the step-by-step process of how the code is being injected, and how it's affecting the game. You can see how the game reacts to the tampering -- with color palettes changing drastically and character sprite animations glitching out. 

This is not the first impressive Super Mario World feat SethBling has achieved. Last year he managed to exploit a "credits warp" glitch in the game, which allowed him to technically complete the title in just under six minutes. 

8 Ways women are poorly portrayed in Super Mario Bros Mon, 01 Feb 2016 12:29:09 -0500 CharlottePoitras

The Super Mario Bros series is one of the most popular video games of all time. Unfortunately, the game makers tend to forget half of their audience: women. Here are eight ways women are portrayed in Super Mario Bros.

1. Pauline: The First Damsel in Distress

The plot of the first Mario game is simple: “Donkey Kong the ape kidnapped Mario’s girlfriend!” In this action-packed rescue adventure, you move Mario through incredible dangers to save her.” The idea of a beautiful woman who needs to be saved isn’t new. Since the beginning of Mario's story in 1982, it has always been about a man saving a woman (who wasn’t even named at first).

People act and objects are acted upon. The damsel in distress is something that needs to be saved, a treasure to find, a trophy to win is treated like an object. Manual even proves Mario probably didn’t stop dating Pauline when he was with Peach, as there was a new game made with Pauline during his adventures with Peach.

2. Peach: A Woman Can’t Save Herself

The main female character in Mario Bros is the (first unnamed) Princess Toadstool: Peach. And what does she do? Nothing but wait for a man to save her so she can bake him a cake. She appears in 16 Super Mario platform games and is kidnapped in 14 of them. Even if she is believed to have the power to break the curse of the evil Koopa King, she doesn’t do anything else than waiting and sending letters of encouragement to Mario.

Peach doesn’t seem to hate being with Bowser that much as he never hurts her and even lets her write letters of encouragement to Mario. She might even be Baby Bowser’s mom, even though we never heard of her being raped. This leads to the theory that she is often willingly leaving Mario for her lover, Bowser. That way, the princess pretends to be kidnapped to play the damsel in distress, creating drama and getting the attention of two men (or man and turtle). This isn’t the greatest way to portray a woman. Otherwise, we can see it as a fight between two men in which the princess is not part of any team but rather acts as the ball men are fighting for.

In Super Mario 64, the story ends with Peach saying, “Thank you, Mario! We have to do something special for you... (kisses Mario) Listen, everybody, let's bake a delicious cake...for Mario…" Many fans agree to say that baking a cake is a metaphor for having sex, which she couldn’t say in a game for children.

Following this idea, the only female character in the game is still portrayed as a beautiful lady to save in exchange for sex. This is the best thing she has to offer to Mario after he saved her life.

3. Princess Daisy: an Improvement?

Peach's friend Daisy makes her first appearance in Super Mario Land as the damsel in distress, kidnapped by aliens, that has to be saved by Mario. “Now, [the monster Tatanga” wants to marry Princess Daisy of Sarasaland and make her his queen. Mario came to know of these events, and has started on a journey to restore peace to Sarasaland.”

Fortunately, she was a smart, competitive tomboy and adventurous in parties, sports, fighting, and racing games. She even gets to slap Bowser in Mario Party 3… but ends up fleeing and bursting in tears when someone finally defeats her. Sadly, she never truly had an important role in the game. Her looks also changed through the years as she used to have brown hair and no makeup but then turned out to have red hair, a tan and makeup on. A better appearance doesn’t have to be negative, but it can be when every woman is portrayed the same way. 

After all, looks don’t seem to matter when talking about men. This is because games often focus only on heteronormative sex appeal, thinking most of their players are boys.

Daisy doesn’t only share looks with her best friend but also an interest for a similar man: Luigi. Once again, the princesses are third role characters known for their appearance and their relationship with a man.

4. Rosalina: the New Princess

Rosalina first appeared in Super Mario Galaxy as a powerful figure watching over and protecting the cosmos by commanding the Comet Observatory. She is known as a kind, wise, and mature character with a great knowledge of the universe. Rosalina even has special powers that allow her to surround the observatory with a force field, teleport, create holograms of herself, float, speak via telepathy, and use the iconic spin move. She also protects herself with a bubble and does the same with Mario if he falls off the observatory.

Together, this all makes her even stronger than any other male character in the Super Mario games. For once, she also simply thanks Mario with a 'thank you' and not with a kiss or any bakery.

Problem is, she stays passive and let only the men, like Mario, Luigi and the Toads, take part of the action in the Super Mario Galaxy Games. The female character fits the gender role by acting like a mother to all the Lumas in her Galaxy. During this time, men are manly, working outside to help them. Fortunately, she eventually becomes an unlocked playable character in Super Mario 3D World. That makes her the strongest female character in Super Mario games and makes us hope we will see her more often.

5. Female Enemies

Female enemies are rare, but still present in some Mario games. The first to appear in the game is Wendy O. Koopa, Bowser’s daughter. New female enemies will then be created as Kammy Koopa, Cackletta, the Shadow Queen (final boss in Paper Mario), Princess Shroob, and Pom Pom. If these characters share one negative aspect, it is that they all have a classic feminine look and nothing that would be considered as more masculine or even neutral.

The good thing is they are not presented as weaker than other male enemies. The bad thing is we would like way more. Most of  the bad characters are male, according to the manual. The only enemy that differs from it is Ostro, who is made fun of for his bucking of gender norms: “He thinks he is a girl and he spits eggs from his mouth” - as if being feminine would be a negative thing.

6. Mario Bros without any Women

Some entire games didn’t involve women at all. Donkey Kong Junior was (terrifically) about Mario kidnapping Papa Donkey Kong, the first two Mario Bros about carpenters unblocking water pipes so they can take a bath and Mario is Missing in which Luigi is saving his brother. The problem is still present in recent games like Mario vs Donkey Kong, Luigi’s Mansion and Dancing Stage Mario Mix.

Even if women represent about half of the population, they still didn’t manage to have their place in any of these games. Is it better not to represent women well or not to represent them at all?

7. Female Characters in Party, Sport, Fighting, and Racing Games

The games in which the princesses are the best portrayed are the party, sport, fighting, and racing games - never the main ones. They have different characteristics (like any characters) but are still equal or even better than male characters. They also have their own special powers, skills, and personal courses.

If the princesses were first classified as lightweight with small vehicles, Rosalina was first to have a large one due to her height. If there is one negative aspect it is that, after any race or fight, they are shoved right back into the role of damsels in distress in the platform games.

8. Rarely Part of the Main Games

Female characters are playable in the party, sport, fighting, and racing games but rarely the most important ones. Peach “the Princess” with no name was first playable in Mario Teaches Typing 2 as a character just as smart as any other. Unfortunately, the game wasn’t big enough to consider it an important role.

She was then an available character in one 2D platform game: Super Mario Bros 2, which led her to become a favorite of game players. Problem is, she wasn’t even supposed to be part of the game. She was because a fourth character was needed. Unfortunately, she has been replaced by another Toad in New Super Mario Brothers Wii and wasn’t part of the action again until Super Mario 3D World.

Fortunately, the new Princess Rosalina is now the strongest female character in Super Mario Bros Games. Her female friend Luma also helps Mario (in his cap) during all the game. It is possible to unlock Rosalina in Super Mario 3D World so the players can play with her as with any other character. Women are starting to have a better place in video games, as in Super Princess Peach and Super Mario 3D World.Game makers are slowly understanding that players want to be able to play as women too. Rosalina is sure an improvement, but they still haven’t restored gender equality yet.

Mostly male game makers first tried to attract male players by giving them the chance to play as a strong manly character.

Their goal: saving their object of desire. Their price: the love of the damsel in distress. Problem is, half of the people on this earth are women and game makers disappointed them by portraying women this way. They are wrong to think so many more of their players are male as we now know that around 48% of gamers are female. Even if we now believe women are equal to men, video games have been slow to change the cliche. Many developers would rather repeat the same gendered tropes over and over again instead of trying something new. 

We need to share our disappointment to let them know we want more strong female character so they can be the heroes of their own adventures.

Top 5 mightiest steeds in video games Tue, 10 Nov 2015 10:59:45 -0500 Joe DeClara



Super Mario World

Yes, yes, I know: not an open world game, not a horse. But before you made D-Horse defecate - before you rode across the realms of Hyrule - you met Yoshi.


Making his debut in Super Mario World for the SNES, this delightful dinosaur brought some of the best platforming experiences to the franchise. After three games of stomping on our enemies like uncivilized apes, Yoshi enabled us to quite literally spit our enemies' attacks right back at them. As the ultimate power-up of the 2D Mario platformers, and our first companion in the perpetual battle against the Koopas, Yoshi stands as the mightiest of steeds in video game history.


It is so unfortunate, then, when considering how often Mario abuses his mount. Many have noticed that in the original Super Mario World animations, Mario seems to compel Yoshi to do his bidding by striking him on the head! Disturbed by this cruel behavior, some video game analysts have come to believe this to be evidence of Mario having anti-social personality disorder (ASPD). Poor Yoshi.



Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

Named for the first initial of your military group, The Diamond Dogs, Snake's first buddy takes the best from all the trotters before him. D-Horse handles the arduous terrain of Afghanistan with ease and obeys every detailed nudge of the joystick even at full gallop. Summoning your steed is easy too; with just a whistle, D-Horse will appear by your side as if by magic. Take that, Epona's Song!


Like the horses of Rockstar's wild west, D-Horse is not invincible: steep falls and gunfire will render him incapacitated. His tactical abilities, however, set him apart from his predecessors. From simple abilities like hanging on D-Horse's side to avoid enemies' line of sight, to more complex, and slightly odd, strategies like using fresh horse manure to send jeeps slipping and sliding, Metal Gear Solid V's mighty steed is a perfect fit for Snake's masterful tactics. 



Shadow of the Colossus

Nintendo may have brought horseback riding to 3D games, but Team Ico brought life to the horse. Instead of acting as an extension of the players character upon mounting, Wander's companion seemed to behave as an independent entity. He obeyed your commands, but it was Wander you were controlling - not Agro.


Epona introduced horseback combat - but Agro perfected the art. Agro's implementation in some of the colossi battles stand as some of the best boss battle experiences to date. The world in Shadow of the Colossus may have seemed bare and empty to some, but Agro's presence and companionship made this game a masterpiece for the ages.


Dark Horse

Red Dead Redemption

Few game designers could claim to have mastered 3D horseback gameplay before Rockstar had their go in Red Dead Redemption. With full range of motion and smooth, intuitive controls, playing as John Marston was best experienced on the back of a wild mare. There are few things in this medium as satisfying as lassoing bounty targets, dead-eyeing villains, or just traveling cross country, all on your trusty steed.


The problem is keeping your horse around. Like any other living thing in a Rockstar open-world game, horses are susceptible to fall damage, wolf attacks, and the occasional double-barrel shotgun shell to the head. Luckily, there are plenty of nags to be lassoed and broken. The coolest of all, however, can only be obtained by achieving the lowest level of honor: Desperado. The Dark Horse may not be the fastest in the game, but she's fast - and she's bad. Just one look at this mare's deathly pattern reminds you of all the heartless, inhumane, dastardly deeds you committed to earn you this mount.





The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time brought one of the first fully realized, three-dimensional worlds to the video game industry. To freely explore this vast, lively land, Link is given his trusty companion, Epona. This magnificent steed allowed Link free rein throughout the Kingdom of Hyrule, as well as a tactical advantage when shooting arrows from horseback.


However, Epona's empowering companionship is not given to the player freely, but must be earned. Seven years after first meeting the young filly, Link returns to Lon Lon Ranch in order to win Epona's freedom in an epic and wonderfully cliche race of justice. Similarly, in Majora's Mask, Epona is kidnapped by Skull Kid, and can only be retrieved after completing half of the game. This element of investment in your companion makes exploring these beautiful worlds with her all the more rewarding.


"In riding a horse, we borrow freedom."

- Helen Thompson

There are few things as marvelous as a robust open-world game. We often remember those wondrous moments of a game world opening up to us for the first time -- when you first emerged from Vault 101 in Fallout 3, or the day Link finally left his home of Kokiri Forest to see the vastness of Hyrule Field. These seminal experiences stand as testaments to the endless iconic imagination and infinite possibilities of video games.


And what better way of exploring these worlds is there than atop a glorious mount? Traversing worlds on horseback has been a staple of open-world games for nearly two decades, and has inarguably become the most epic way to travel.


But which of these noble steeds stand out the most? After becoming accustomed to hopping on a trusty trotter and riding onwards to the next quest, it’s important to look back on those who started, and those who perfected, the art of kicking simulated animals in the ribs and yelling “Hyah!” Here are the top five mightiest steeds of video games.

Nintendo's going after YouTube videos. Again. Sat, 12 Sep 2015 06:14:46 -0400 shox_reboot

Just when will Nintendo get with the program? Seemingly never, as they're back and better than ever. 

By using the copyright strike system of YouTube, Nintendo is now going after speedrun and ROMhack videos because they apparently fall under 'piracy'. 

The speedrunner known as Alex 'PangaeaPanga' had tweeted earlier in the month that his YouTube channel was effectively 'wrecked' by Nintendo taking down his videos, claiming they still own the rights to them. 

The following email was sent to PangaeaPanga as well:

We wish to inform you that the videos in question infringe Nintendo's copyrights. As the owner of the copyright in the games: Mario Kart 8Super Mario World, andPokémon, Nintendo has the exclusive right to perform the games publicly or to make derivative works based on the games. By making a derivative work using Nintendo's IP, and then displaying Nintendo's IP on your YouTube channel, you have violated Nintendo's exclusive rights.

Nintendo understands that its fans are the reason for its success, and we are always happy to see people share their passion for Nintendo's games. At the same time, Nintendo's intellectual property constitutes its most valuable assets, and the unauthorized use of these assets jeopardizes Nintendo's rights. Because of this, we ask that you please remove the video in question from your channel, and confirm that you will not post any videos using unauthorized software or copies of games, distribute or continue work on the modification, or take any other steps that would infringe Nintendo's rights.

Nintendo encourages fan engagement on YouTube through the Nintendo Creators Program. Under the program, participants are granted a license to use Nintendo’s characters, games, and other intellectual property, subject to the Code of Conduct included with the agreement. However, please note that this Code of Conduct prohibits you, among other things, from posting any content using unauthorized software or copies of games. This includes videos featuring tool-assisted speedruns, which require making a copy of a game's ROM file, and running the copied ROM through an emulator. If you are interested in learning more about the Nintendo Creators Program, please see:

Thank you for your understanding.


Nintendo Anti-Piracy Team

There's no reason to be beating around the bush; as long as Nintendo does not make a profit from videos on YouTube that use their content, you will never be able to hang on to them.

One thing Nintendo needs to realize is that in the long run, these same videos they keep taking down help them. Speed runners are good at making the games they're playing look fun. Plus they get millions of viewers from around the world asking 'what game is this?' daily. 

It's essentially free advertisement, but I guess we're missing some problem that Nintendo sees. 

We can only hope that the day will come when Nintendo embraces YouTube like so many other companies have. Continuing to do what they're doing is only pushing their fans further and further away. 

The 5 best songs from the Mario series Mon, 10 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Michael Slevin

Everyone knows how important Mario is to the games industry. The Italian plumber made modern video games what they are. However, the level design and pristine controls are not the only factors that make Mario games great. The music and soundtracks from each game also play a big role in our Mario memories. 

Here are my five favorite songs from the Mario series.

5. Comet Observatory - Super Mario Galaxy 

Comet Observatory is probably the most peaceful Mario song, at least in my opinion. For those who are unfamiliar, Comet Observatory is the tranquil song that plays in the Super Mario Galaxy hub world, and it becomes very catchy after hearing it multiple times.


4. Overworld Theme - Super Mario Bros.

This is probably the song you immediately think of when you think Mario. This song is special, and deserves to be on my list because it really feels like this is where Mario started. I do, however, feel like there are better songs in the series. That being said, this song is Mario.

3. Overworld Theme - Super Mario 3D World

(Song begins at around minute 10:48)

This song is phenomenal. Jazzy, light, fun, and perfect for its game, this song is just awesome. When playing Super Mario 3D World, this song got stuck in my head if I heard it even once. A very underrated song from a very underrated Mario game. 

2. Castle Theme - Super Mario World

This music is the quintessential castle music for any Mario game. Super Mario World's Castle Theme has the perfect amount of spooky, peril, and adventure hidden within every note. You should play Super Mario World, because I think it is one of the best platfortmers ever, but also because the music is wonderful. 

1. Wind Garden - Super Mario Galaxy

Can you tell that I like Super Mario Galaxy? Super Mario Galaxy is my favorite 3D platformer of all time because the level design, mechanics, and music are all pristine. Wind Garden is absolutely beautiful, and does an excellent job at capturing the spirit of adventure, heroism, and exploration that come with Super Mario Galaxy

Those are my five favorite Mario songs, but which ones did I miss? There are plenty of good ones that didn't make my list, so let me know which songs you really like!

The Five 2D Platformers you need to play Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:12:15 -0400 Michael Slevin

Platformers are my favorite genre of game, and there are a ton of great games to play within the genre.

Everybody has games that they haven't gotten to, so to add to your list here are five platformers you need to play at some point in your life.

5. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night

Forget best platformers, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is one of the best games of all time. With incredible pixel art, music and gameplay, this game is an absolute masterpiece. You can pick this one up on PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 even though it was originally a PlayStation game. 

4. Sonic the Hedgehog 3

Oh, how we miss the days of good Sonic games. Despite the infamous recent Sonic games, I still love the blue blur, and Sonic 3 is a part of what makes him great. In this adventure, we meet Knuckles the Echidna, who is actually an antagonist, who we see more of in Sonic and Knuckles. Sonic 3 is the best platformer the series has to offer and, if you get the chance, Sonic and Knuckles is great too.

3. Mega Man 2


This is one that is close. I am only doing one game from each series, otherwise we would see multiple Mega Man games and multiple Mario games. I feel that Mega Man 2 is the best that Capcom has to offer providing great music, incredible bosses who grant unique weapons upon defeat, and world-class gameplay. Mega Man 3 and Mega Man 9 are also among my favorites in the series. 

2. Super Metroid

This one might be a little divisive, as many people consider Castlevania: Symphony of the Night to be the better game. Super Metroid is one of the best games ever made, and set the stage for Symphony of the Night and define the Metroidvania game genre. The incredible music and art, level design, and a desolate world all contribute towards Super Metroid being one of the best games of all time. Super Metroid certainly surpasses any side-scrolling Metroid, and perhaps is only surpassed by its first-person shooter cousin, Metroid Prime.

1. Super Mario World

This one is tough, I can see multiple Mario games being on this list. Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario Bros. are both worth your time. The reason I feel that you must play Super Mario World is because it perfects the 2D Mario formula. This masterpiece introduces Yoshi, who plays a critical role in the game's story. Sprite art and music are both great, but the elite-caliber level design is what makes Super Mario World an absolute must play. 

What 2D platformers do you think are must-play? Let me know what you think in the comments!

Goodbye North America's Club Nintendo - Shuts Down Today, June 30th Tue, 30 Jun 2015 20:16:16 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Today in North America, we say goodbye to a six-year old loyalty program that Nintendo developed for the gamers to enjoy.

It's sad to see you go

It's very sad to see this loyalty program being shut down. The program gave the Nintendo fan-base an extra incentive when purchasing games - because when purchased "New", they came with that special Club Nintendo code. I for one have saved up tons of coins over the past six years, and bought some collectible posters for A Link Between Worlds and Animal Crossing: New Leaf. After 11:59 PDT this evening all accounts and coins will be deleted, so if you haven't had the chance to use yours up, better get to it. 

Club Nintendo's Final List

Club Nintendo has added many exclusive games to the rewards list, where you can spend virtual coins for them. Among this list includes many Nintendo Wii U, Wii, and 3DS games. 

Some of the popular Wii U games include:

  • Super Mario World (200 Coins)
  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (200 Coins)
  • Wii Fit U (600 Coins)
  • Wii Party U (600 Coins)

A few of the Wii games are:

  • Super Smash Bros. (250 Coins)
  • 1080 Snowboarding (250 Coins)
  • Paper Mario (250 Coins)
  • Star Fox 64 (250 Coins)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (250 Coins)
  • Mario Kart 64 (250 Coins)
  • Super Mario 64 (250 Coins)

Lastly, some Nintendo 3DS games included:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (250 Coins)
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 (600 Coins)
  • Star Fox 64 3D (700 Coins)
  • Super Mario 3D Land (600 Coins)

For a full list of all games available, please refer to the Rewards Catalogue on Club Nintendo. Let's all give Club Nintendo a great send off after their six-year gift to the gaming community.

The 5 things I want from Super Mario Maker Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:56:11 -0400 Michael Slevin

Super Mario Maker is becoming one of the most anticipated games of the year, and I have some expectations. The game will be all about the community creating levels and making it great, so here is what I want:

1. Top 10 Levels of the Week

It can be top 5, or top 20, but I want to be able to have a playlist set up where the top-rated levels from the week are readily available. Again, this is dependent on the community consistently creating levels, but I think it's a reasonable request.

2. Recreating classics

This can come from either Nintendo or the Super Mario Maker community, but I want the classic Mario games remade via Super Mario Maker. Imagine getting to play any level from Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, or Super Mario World! Let's make it happen.

3. Save the levels!

I really hope that you can save your favorite levels, or even download them. It would be a bummer if you had to search for a level in order to replay it. Hopefully there will be playlists that you can create to have your favorite levels readily available. We know that players will be able to follow creators and favorite levels, so one must assume that this request will be granted in some form.

4. Miyamoto-made levels

With 100 levels being packaged with the game, I have to assume that some of them will be designed by Shigeru Miyamoto himself. It would be super cool if they distinguish which levels were designed by Miyamoto, as well as other designers. This probably won't happen, but I really hope it does.

5. Consistent updates and designer-made levels

I hope that Nintendo consistently updates the game, giving creators more and more options so that they can create the craziest, best levels possible. I also hope that some of the design geniuses at Nintendo continue to add their own awesome levels.

Super Mario Maker releases for Wii U worldwide on September 11th. These are the five things that I really want from Super Mario Maker, but what do you want from the game? 

Super Mario Maker will come with 100 courses Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:39:09 -0400 Michael Slevin

Super Mario Maker will come pre-packaged with 100 courses upon release. This number comes from the Nintendo UK Website, which states that these initial 100 levels will be playable without an internet connection.

These courses will only be the tip of the iceberg, with Super Mario Maker allowing players to create and share levels. 

We have to assume that the initial 100 levels will be brand new, although we may see some remakes of classic levels sprinkled in.

If not, I am sure the Super Mario Maker community will work on recreating some of the classic side-scrolling Mario games. Personally, I would love to see Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World recreated by the community.

Instead of classic levels, perhaps we will recieve sheer Mario madness! Some of the levels played at the Nintendo World Championships were absolutely crazy.

For those excited to create their own Mario levels, or to explore the levels of other creators, Super Mario Maker comes out on September 11th. 

Why I love my Wii U more than my Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Tue, 02 Jun 2015 09:46:13 -0400 Michael Slevin

I love Nintendo. Ever since I could pick up a controller and play a video game I have loved Nintendo.

I feel like this is a common sentiment. Most of us grew up playing Nintendo consoles. At one point or another, we all loved the games that they made.

The Wii U, more than any other Nintendo console, has been incredibly divisive. Despite having what many regard as a strong library of first-party titles, the Wii U has struggled to get off the shelves of retailers.

Around this time last year, many heralded Mario Kart 8 as the potential savior of the console's abysmal sales numbers. It was not.

Then, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U came out several months later, receiving universal praise and being heralded as Nintendo's ace in the hole. It was not.

And then came the realization that the Wii U will not succeed. It will more than likely be the worst-selling Nintendo console, making the GameCube look like a commercial success in comparison. 

Is this good for the games industry? No, it is not. Does that mean we should pout? Absolutely not. Let's enjoy the Wii U while it lasts, and celebrate it for its often ignored accomplishments.

Which leads me to my bold proclamation: I love my Wii U more than Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The Wii U is fun.

I have had as much fun with my Wii U as I have with any other console that I have owned. Whether it is playing 8-Player Smash with 7 of my friends in Smash Bros. for Wii U, or exploring the incredible Mario Kart 8 DLC packs with my friends, I have made great memories with my Wii U.

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The Wii U's library of games also kept me coming back. You know the feeling when you are at school or work, and you continue to think about how you cannot wait to get home and keep playing an awesome game? 

I have that feeling constantly with my Wii U

When playing Super Mario 3D World, I could not wait to get home and continue to collect every stamp, every yellow flag, and every star. 

When The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker HD came out, I was ecstatic. I had fond memories of playing Wind Waker on GameCube, but it had been over a decade since I had experienced Nintendo's sea-faring triumph. I now had a reason to play Wind Waker again.

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It. Was. Awesome. I couldn't wait to get home and continue my journey, sailing from island to island. Was it a remake? Yes. Did that in any way affect how much fun I had playing Wind Waker HD? Absolutely not.

Honestly, the only time I've felt this way with my Xbox One was with Sunset Overdrive. No other titles have grabbed me the way that Wii U's best offerings have.

Big things and small packages

And then there are the smaller titles that took me by surprise. Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, Hyrule Warriors, and Pikmin 3 are just a few.

These were some of the games I didn't think I would love, but fell absolutely head over heels for. Captain Toad is endearing, cute, inventive, and incredibly fun. Hyrule Warriors, while not a main series Zelda game, is a fun and action packed departure from Zelda's normal makeup. And Pikmin 3 is an incredibly underappreciated title within the Wii U library.

If I could turn back time...

The final reason that I love my Wii U is because I got to experience some Nintendo classics through Virtual Console. I know this isn't really fair, but my experiences with Fire Emblem, Super Mario World, F-Zero, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past were all on the Wii U.

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I now love these games, and I'm glad the Wii U gave me the means to experience these incredible games. I can see how someone who has already played these games couldn't relate. However, I am young, and I didn't get to experience these masterpieces when I was growing up. 

I know that the Wii U doesn't have much third-party support. I know we are still waiting for Zelda Wii U. But I have enjoyed my time with the Wii U, more so than my Xbox One, and several other consoles that I have owned. And after all, isn't gaming about having fun and great experiences with the games you are playing? 

If that is the case, then I have had as much fun and as many great experiences with the Wii U as I have with any console I have ever owned.