Results tagged “Nintendo DS” from kwc blog

New Super Mario Bros

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newsupermario.jpgI don't think I've ever reviewed a game on my blog, except to briefly note when I beat Zelda: Wind-Waker. This is mainly because I don't play that videogames that often. I will often buy the latest Nintendo console just to play Zelda, and while the SSX series had me obsessed with virtual snowboarding, it's really the classics that bring me out of semi-retirement. When I saw that New Super Mario Bros was coming out, it was the first order I placed when I returned from Japan with my DS lite.

It's a fun remake of the original side-scrollers and I love the nice touches they added in, like when the enemies jump in unison to the music. I also like that they maintained the ultimate boss-defeating strategy of the original (I view that as a spoiler as much as saying, "Kong dies"). The main game doesn't make that much use of the dual screen capabilities of the DS, which would probably interfere with the remake quality, but the minigames will test your dexterity with the touch pad.

I stopped caring about the Super Mario series when they went into 3D, which is not a complaint about 3D: I became even more obsessed with Zelda when it went into 3D. The transition into 3D for Zelda was a natural progression of the series for me, whereas Super Mario Bros lost its essential character. Zelda is a game about exploration; Super Mario is about getting from point A to point B in a straight line, occassionally taking a shortcut through a pipe. The levels are short, which is good because I don't want to aggravate my wrists, and even though the overall game is fairly short, there's plenty of sub-missions like, "collect all the gold coins," to keep completists occupied a bit longer.

ArsTechnica Review of New Super Mario Bros

Back

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No time for full posts, but some random bits:

  • In a correction to my previous Japan trip log, I'd like to proudly state that I now have a DS Lite. ota, m, and I waited in line at the Ikebukuro Toys R' Us and were able to pick some up. I promptly bought a copy of old-school Dr. Mario, which doesn't use the capabilities of DS Lite in the least, but I'm looking forward to trying some other games out. I did pick up a copy of the 'America' travel assitant, which I will play around with to see if it is good enough for reverse English->Japanese usage.
  • Jangara Ramen in Akihabara/Omotesando makes me sad to eat ramen in the US again.
  • All-you-can-eat food in Japan is awesome. We had all-you-can-eat dessert at Sweets Paradise in Ginza for ~$13 and all-you-can-eat shabu shabu at Mo Mo Paradise in Shinjuku for ~$15. I suggest that you visit these places first when visiting Japan, as your stomach will start to shrink from the smaller Japanese food portions the longer you're there. I think I lost weight despite the constant consumption of highly sugared vending machine drinks.
  • I think I should have been using Japanese soap and shampoo my whole life. It's possible that it's the California desert climate, but my half-Japanese skin didn't feel the least bit itchy like it does with US products.
  • Is Karl Rove indicted, or no? I'm confused.
  • Lost is finally going somewhere, just in time for the season finale this week. It sure does make me think that the entire first half of the season was a waste.
  • TiVo let me down on recording the Giro di Italia. Bad TiVo!

Akihabara is awesome

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... but if I lived there I would quickly spend all my money on every gadget and toy ever known. I visited both the old Akihabara with the various small shops with various specialties as well as Yodabashi Camera, which is pretty much Akibahara sanitized and compressed into a single giant building. My purchases were as varied as Akihabara: a SATA/IDE to USB converter, model Shinkansen trains, an LED light on a cellphone strap, a Godzilla toy out of a capsule machine, an R2-D2 bottle cap, and pixel blocks for recreating Nintendo sprites. Yes, a bunch of crap, but now I own it all. I would have bought a radio and hopups for my unfinished R/C car if only I had a bit more room and actually remembered what I needed.

One of the coolest things I saw was that they have video games where you use trading cards to control the action. In a military strategy game, you manuever and command your units by moving their cards across the table. In a soccer game, you control your lineup by positioning your player cards on the table. We tried one of the more boring card games that just involves sticking your cards into the machine, but we didn't get beyond the tutorial section -- that darn goblin just wouldnt die!

I also saw a Nintendo DS Lite for the first time. I would buy one if they weren't sold out everywhere. I didn't fully understand the coolness of that platform until y's sister showed me an America travel program that teaches American English. It fully utilizes the two screens of the DS. If you select a phrase to 'say' something in English, you can display that phrase upside down on the top screen so that the person you're talking to can read it. You can also use the touch screen to practice writing English phrases displayed on the top screen. There's currently programs for America, Germany and Thailand, among others, but that's not too helpful for me as they are all in Japanese. I wish that all of our Japan guides could be compressed onto a signle DS cartridge.