Finally. The Mario game all fans have been waiting for. Super Mario 3D World, for the Wii U, came out last month, and honestly, I haven't stopped playing it since I first got it. It actually was released on the same day as the Xbox One, and as excited as I was for the new console and all the cool new games for it, the only game I really cared about that day was Super Mario 3D World. In fact, after playing so many games all year, new and old, this game was the perfect combination of old and new, and quite frankly, has been at the top of my list for Game of the Year since the first level I played.
I could literally go on and on about how and why this game is so amazing, and while it might make for a great blog post, it just won't do the game any justice. It literally is the perfect Mario game, which is why I am so excited for it to be apart of My Year of Gaming, and to help wrap up My 12 Days of Super Mario series, which essentially is closing out the year for me. Instead of gushing over the game for thousands of words, however, I'm going to just do what my friend suggested I do for this post, and wrap up the entire game in two simple words...
It had been a long time since Nintendo relied on Mario to help sell a system right out of the gate. Over the years, he has been called in to action when the timing was right, or when sales were slumping, or even just to fill a void between Nintendo-published, first party games. But Mario as a launch title? You would have to go all the way back to the Nintendo 64 system launch, when Super Mario 64 was a launch title. Of course back then, it was routine for Nintendo to launch a system with it's most recognizable mascot available with it or an addition to on day one, starting with Super Mario Bros. included with the NES and Super Mario World with the SNES. After Mario 64, however, which wasn't included with the system but available to buy separately, Mario wasn't seen on launch for any of Nintendo's consoles.
Was this because they had a plethora of first party franchises to call upon for launches, or did they just want to make Mario bigger and better than just the launch day title of each generation? What the case was, it would be 16 years before a Mario game was launched with a new Nintendo console. That console was the new Wii U, and the game was New Super Mario Bros. U. That's right, not only did Nintendo welcome it's new console with a Mario game, but it plucked it right from the "New" series of Mario games, which effectively made it the second platforming Mario game in a row to share the style and namesake.
For one, I have to believe that Nintendo worried about the Wii U from before launch, as it would be the only reason to explain launching with a Mario game after being so stubborn about that notion for so long. Of course, they had plenty of reasons to be concerned for the Wii U right out of the gate, as they did a poor job marketing the new system as a new system from the get-go. The general public had no idea it was a brand new console, and not just an add-on to the existing Wii console that everyone had in their living rooms. The messaging is starting to get better now, little by little, but honestly, I still run in to people who think the GamePad controller/tablet is just a new peripheral for the old Wii console. Is it the name of the console, the lack of proper marketing, or just general apathy about Nintendo as a whole? I don't have concrete answers, but I'm sure a little of each plays a part in the struggles of the Wii U.
Also, I'm pretty confident that developing a "New" style of Mario game has to be easier and quicker than any 3D type of Mario game, or a brand new style of Mario game, which is why Nintendo can call upon on it when needed. Now, I'm not saying this is just a cut-and-paste development cycle for this game, and not saying it was super easy and required little to no work, but overall, it has to be easier than other types of Mario games. It's important to remember that this is the very first Mario game developed in HD, for an HD system, so it wasn't just the same old "New" game rehashed for the new system. Even Nintendo came out and admitted that developing for an HD system was actually more difficult than they anticipated, which might explain why is this the style of Mario they chose to go with for launch day.
In fact, this game was originally shown off as a tech demo for the new system early on in the revealing of the Wii U, as it was dubbed New Super Mario Bros. Mii. It showcased being able to play as your Mii character running through familiar Mushroom Kingdom style levels, and didn't really show off too much of a new game as it did what the GamePad could offer and what a Mario game would look like in HD. Somewhere along the way, however, they changed up their plan and turned that tech demo into an actual game, changing the name and focus of the game as well. I'm really curious what triggered that decision - was it out of desperation to launch with a Mario game or out of frustrations from trying to develop a new Mario game for an HD system? Or were they just taking the same approach with this title as they did New Super Mario Bros. Wii, trying to bring the family together on the couch, this time with a fifth player, while still showing off how the GamePad can add different gameplay styles to games?
Whatever the process was or reasons for the decisions that were made, day one adopters of the Wii U were given the chance to take home a Mario game with their new system. And whatever troubles or problems they may have encountered along the way, the final product was refreshing and amazingly gorgeous.
It was the first game I put into my Wii U, and from the loading screen, I could immediately tell how awesome Mario looked in HD. Finally, after so many years of perfecting the look of Mario, and making him look his absolute best with the capabilities available, Mario was now officially in HD. It was about time. Every second of that game is beautiful and makes you smile, as it runs flawlessly and smooth, and just makes you feel good as a gamer.
Playing on the GamePad is something Nintendo has banked on as being a major selling point for the system, and let me tell you, it is still great to be able to play a full console game right on the GamePad while watching something else on TV, or allowing someone else to use the TV for whatever else they choose. There is no lag, no drop in frame rate and despite not having the same graphics as your TV (presumably), the games played on it don't look distorted or lesser versions at all. They look great on the GamePad, which makes using it if need be still super enjoyable.
New Super Mario Bros. U also features something new to the Mario franchise, adding a new challenge mode to the game, which gives you the chance to test your Mario platforming skills in ways you've never experienced before. There are a wide variety of challenges, and types of challenges to choose from, and the more you accomplish, the more you unlock, and essentially, the better of a player you feel like. The first couple of challenges of each group are pretty easy to nail, but the difficulty ramps up quickly, as I find myself stuck on several challenges, despite trying them over and over and over again. This adds replayability for sure, and is fun to watch other people try them as well, especially when they fail horribly and you suddenly don't feel like a worthless gamer.
The game overall is just fun, plain and simple. I understand a lot of gamers and fans felt slightly cheated with this game being the Mario launch title they got, but honestly, it was by far the best launch game for the Wii U. That's not a slight to the launch line-up at all, as there were a handful of quality Wii U games available on day one, but out of all of them, Nintendo proved once again that nobody knows how to develop for Nintendo consoles better than Nintendo themselves. Even if it was just a place holder for the game they really wanted to release or not, New Super Mario Bros. U is easily the best addition to the "New" series by a long shot.
I couldn't get away with sitting here and claiming to know that I was going to play and write about this game ahead of time, as if I had it planned out all along, especially considering the recent Nintendo-filled blogs and opinions I've had. While its a fantastic coincidence, it is just that, since no one at all knew about this game until the day it was released, which was the day it was announced as well. Again, Nintendo is full of surprises constantly, and they never cease to amaze me, as evidence by this bomb they dropped on an unannounced Nintendo Direct.
Unlike Sony and Microsoft, who rely heavily on hype and build up and anticipation of games and announcements and such, Nintendo has taken a different approach since the release of the Wii U, really, where they quietly put out pre-recorded Nintendo Direct videos early in the morning for us folks here on the West Coast. In these videos, they release new information about upcoming games, show new trailers and screen shots about future titles, and even, like with this last one, announce brand new games.
Not only did they announce a Zelda and Dynasty Warriors mash-up game coming out next year, tentatively titled Hyrule Warriors, but they also announced Dr. Luigi, which is strikingly similar to Dr. Mario, only with that Year of Luigi swagger we've experienced all year. On top of those announcements, however, was the big reveal of NES Remix, a downloadable title from the eShop for the Wii U, which features hundreds of levels from 16 different classic NES games, The game revolves around getting three stars each level (Angry Birds style) for completing the small and quick challenges on both original levels and remixed versions of the levels you know and love - and probably know backwards and forwards, to be honest.
The best thing about this announcement for a game no one had even heard of was at the moment they did announce it, they simultaneously made the game available to download from the eShop right to your Wii U. Boom, just like that. Hype and instant product within seconds. Because that's how Nintendo rolls.
Like I was describing before, this game is just a mash-up of different challenges set in place from 16 different NES classic titles. The more stars you collect (three per level is possible), the more challenges and different games you can unlock. Aside from the three stars, you can always get three rainbow stars, which indicates a perfect or flawless run for whatever challenge it is. Naturally, the first time I got the rainbow stars, I was hooked and now I don't want to settle for anything less than rainbow stars for each level.
Another cool thing Nintendo seems to be trying out are the stamps, which first really were shown off in Super Mario 3D World, where all the stamps you collect you basically have tied to your account forever, allowing you to use the stamps in any and all Miiverse messages. In NES Remix, you unlock stamps as well as you progress through the game, all of which are 8-bit sprites and looking fantastic, in my humble opinion.
Playing all the classic levels with specific, quick challenges is a lot of fun, and reminds me of a WarioWare game, only with familiar games and franchises pulled from. The Remixed levels, however, are total recreations of the traditional levels and games, built from the ground up and looking better than ever. Each one has a different kind of twist that makes it unique, and it makes you see and play the level in a way you never thought possible.
This game is like a hands-on museum for Nintendo's historic early franchises, and I'm excited to see where this might lead to. Will we see SNES Remix and N64 Remix games eventually? Because let's be real here - no matter how cool and fun this game is, the possibilities are endless and even more exciting than this first step.
Even if plans like that are in the pipeline, however, we'll never know about it. Until, you know, the morning of, of course.
Over this year-long project to play a different game every day and write about it, I have played a wide variety of games. I have played most of my favorites, played old and new games, and even ventured in to some genres I didn't care for to start or just didn't know much about. I've played games I never knew existed, games I never would have pictured myself playing or liking for that matter, and games I had in the back of my mind all along, that I wanted to write about for one reason or another. I've played good games and bad games, games that could hardly be considered games and games I don't even remember playing, if I were to go back and look through all my posts.
Most importantly, I have played the biggest and broadest variety of games possible for me, to give you all, the readers, something new and different each day, each week, each month. I always tried to avoid getting stuck in repeating and uninteresting patterns, and always did my best to keep it fresh and exciting, from day one up until now.
And because of that, I want to throw yet another curve ball your way, with a game that very few people remember even hearing about, and even less actually played. In fact, I would be shocked and surprised to find anyone who has played this game, and I challenge you to write in and let me know if you played it, because honestly, I feel all alone on this one. I have since I bought it, and because of that, I want to share a hidden gem with you.
Endless Ocean: Blue World is a sequel to the original Endless Ocean game, both of which graced the Wii console as Nintendo-published games. If you aren't familiar with the series at all, which I totally anticipate, the game features you as a diver as you explore the waters and marine life. In this game, there is a legit story that progresses you through the game, taking you to diving spots all over the world, even including arctic waters and a fresh water river. While diving, you just swim around and check out the underwater environments, interacting and photographing all the sea creatures you come across.
Of course the collector in me made sure I found and documented every kind of fish and creature, even the "legendary" ones that usually require you to fulfill some act or objective in order to bring them out. There's an aquarium where you are given the power to pick whatever type of sea creatures you want to fill the tanks, and you can only select from the ones you encountered, giving you more incentive to find them all.
In this game, unlike the first one, there are predators that actually pose a threat to you as playable character, like sharks, crocodiles and electric eels, to name a few. This was a nice addition to the game, as it gave it more of a gaming vibe, as the first one literally had not threats to speak of, thus making it feel like a diving simulator as opposed to a "real" game.
For a Wii game, it is gorgeous. The textures and graphics of creatures up close and personal might not be groundbreaking, but the distant views and vast areas to explore and enjoy really are the crowing achievement for this game. For me, falling in love with this series was a piece of cake, as the ocean and animals are my favorite thing in the world. The thought of studying marine biology intrigues me to this day, and I can't always help but wonder what else is out there to explore and discover. We spend so much money as a country on exploring space when we know just as much, if that, about our deepest oceans. They are full of things to discover for the full time, and while I'm not putting on a wet suit any time soon, this is a nice alternative.
Now if I can just get a follow up to this game on the Wii U, with the use of the GamePad, and I would be one happy camper.
In this week of Sonic, I have embarked on quite the journey with the most iconic character that Sega has ever developed, and one of the most recognizable and lovable video game characters to ever grace video games. Sonic went head-to-head with arguably the king of all video game mascots, Mario, for years and even held dominance in sales over the portly plumber at one time. Sonic is an icon, a legend and a hall of famer. He has had quite the turbulent past, a roller coasted of ups and downs - the good, the bad and the ugly.
Ultimately, Sonic has had quite the existence, as his games have ranged from exciting and thrilling, to mundane and flat out boring. He's been a system seller at one point in his career, and a mere add-on character to another company's mascot mash-up game.
Regardless of his significance in the current landscape of gaming, or whether or not he is still a major player in the game, Sonic the Hedgehog will always be important to not only games, but gamers as well. And as proof of that, I had to play the newest Sonic game, which calls back the traditional Sonic speed but incorporates a very familiar style of gameplay.
Upon first look, the speed in which the game plays immediately takes you back to classic Sonic the Hedgehog titles. Sure, it's a lot better looking of a game than those old 2D platformers, but still, it feels like a Sonic game. And if there is one important aspect about a Sonic game that needs to be spot-on, it is the feel of the game. Now don't get me wrong, it's not perfect when it comes to how it is handled or how it feels while being played, but it's close enough to not remove you from the experience.
While his speed is prevalent in the game, you can also choose to slow down to a walking pace and explore the terrain at your own leisure, which isn't exactly Sonic-esque, but it allows you to explore the worlds freely without the constant demand of precise timing while traveling at excessive speeds. Needless to say, it makes the game more approachable for gamers who may not like the extreme speed of Sonic in his natural state, who feel like slowing down enough to smell the roses is just as good as flying by those same rose bushes at the speed of sound. You know, supersonic speed.
(Thankfully, this will be the last post with bad Sonic puns. You all can thank me later.)
In regards to the level design and overall gaming experience, well, this Sonic game is extremely familiar. Not familiar in the sense that I've played this kind of Sonic game before, but rather played this type of game before ... as Mario. In short, this game is a either a blatant knock-off or a respectful tribute to two of the most amazing and groundbreaking Mario games ever made, Mario Galaxy 1 & 2, Because Sonic Lost World is exclusive to Nintendo systems (Wii U and the 3DS), I'm going to go with my hunch and guess that Nintendo didn't see the game as a rip-off, but simply Sega just wanting to acknowledge that the Galaxy games are special pieces of gaming history. If Sega was able to capture even a small amount of the magic that the Galaxy titles had, they would be on the right track to finally developing a new, refreshing type of Sonic game.
Well, after playing it, I have to say that they did capture some of the magic. The levels were fun and innovative at times, and when travelling at normal Sonic speed, they can be incredibly challenging. And while the overall aspect of the game is worth playing, to be honest, all it really made me want to do was play Super Mario Galaxy. Truth is, that's all I have really gotten from this week. The more I play as Sonic, the more I just want to go back and play as Mario.
I guess that this week has been inevitable my entire life. And so was the outcome.
When people look at Nintendo, the comparisons to Sega are always there in the forefront of the discussion. Naturally, the rivalry and competition that the two companies had in they heyday of the Sonic/Mario rivalry is the obvious go-to connection for comparison. However, there is another comparison that gets thrown around quite a bit these days, and that's only due to speculation and negativity.
As you probably already know, the Sega company ceased production on hardware after the Dreamcast system. Since then, Sega has focused solely on making software, which was really weird when Sega games started showing up on non-Sega game consoles. Well, some people these days think that everything Nintendo does now is a failure, and they immediately point to the underwhelming sales of the Wii U as evidence of the supposed decline of Nintendo as a company and lack of viability in the industry. They say that Nintendo is no longer relevant to the industry they all but built and established, and the common argument and suggestion is that they should just go the route of Sega and stop making consoles and only focus on their software and intellectual properties and franchises that they own.
Granted, I don't fall under the same umbrella of beliefs, as I think there are still a lot of positives about the Wii U, and for Nintendo to just give that up and release their highly regarded and special franchises on Sony or Microsoft consoles, well ... that would be a travesty to the gaming industry.
But I'm not here to argue about Nintendo, and instead talk about Sega doing their fans, especially the long-term ones, a service by going back to their roots and bringing back the beloved Sonic the Hedgehog in his truest form to date. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 (and later 2) was released by Sega a few years ago. They just couldn't do it on their one platforms, obviously.
And yes, even to this day, it's still weird to see Sonic on Nintendo consoles.
Anyway, Sonic 4 took the Hedgehog back to where it all started, essentially rebooting the franchise and character after many - and I mean many - failed and disappointing attempts to feature him in different styles and genres/categories of games. They went back to the traditional 2D platformer formula, with all the same moves and capabilities as before. The game itself is fun and feels fairly accurate of the old school Sonic games, but it's also still Sonic. If you weren't a huge fan of Sonic before this game, it probably won't win over new fans. For me, I always saw the Sonic games as too fast paced and hard to control, while the collector in me freaks out every time I loose the rings I worked so hard to collect in the first place. But for what it is, it's nice to see and play it and be reminded just how important those classic Sonic games were to the industry.
Competition breeds creativity and innovation. Just too bad Sega was king of the mountain for the time that they were. Complacency mighty have been the downfall for that company. We should all hope that Nintendo never decides follow in Sega's footprints again.
Metroid was an incredibly revolutionary game for it's time. With that being said, Metroid II took the formula already laid out before it, and added to it, with the inclusion of a save system, finally. In the original game, players couldn't save their game, instead using the infamous NES style of save points: passwords. Typing in passwords before you started the game would take you to specific points in the game, allowing you to actually turn off your system every now and then.
Looking back on it, it's remarkable so many of the old NES systems still work, and work well, especially considering how long those consoles were usually left on in the middle of game play sessions, you know, when us kids had to go to school and bed and all that not-so-fun stuff. Sure, I guess those machines weren't running anything very heavy duty or heat-producing parts, but still, electronics are pretty sensitive as a whole. Constant power, spit and saliva blown into the machines and the game cartridges and overall misuse and abuse of them should have destroyed way more of them then actually did.
Anyway, so the save system of passwords sucked in Metroid, but was refined in Metroid II to a more normal, sufficiently adequate save system. Of course, this eliminated the possibility of the "JUSTIN BAILEY" code, which I honestly knew nothing about until a couple of months ago, thanks to my buddy Tanner, who apparently thought that every human on the planet knew of the JUSTIN BAILEY code. Despite Metroid II being a nice step up in the franchise, however, I decided to skip it in favor of one of the most highly regarded video games of all time, Super Metroid, on the SNES.
The game continued the same Metroid-style of gameplay as before, but with the upgraded visual graphics of the new console, the game felt fresher and more awesome than ever before. Sorry for the "awesome" reference, but I just couldn't think of another word to describe the game and experience as I was typing other than "awesome." There's a little fourth wall, behind the curtain writing for you also.
Sure, Super Metroid looked great, and Samus was now donning the suit everyone associates with her (which was established in II, but not fully appreciated until this game), but this game was far more important and interesting than just the graphics. They story itself was fascinating, as it captivated the minds and imaginations of gamers of all ages. The previous stories were suitable, and did a decent job establishing a new character and universe, but Super Metroid went above and beyond to ensure that this character and her story would be around for as long as possible. It cemented its place among the Nintendo franchises as one of the best and most memorable, and for everyone who loves the series, it usually always points back to Super Metroid.
Being a bounty hunter is cool, and always has been since Boba Fett. Fighting space pirates, especially when the boss of them is a pterodactyl-dragon hybrid creature. Harnessing the power of an alien larva that thinks you are its mom is a little weird, sure. But then you get to the final battle and ending of the game, and suddenly, gaming memories that will last forever happen.
You encounter Mother Brain, a biomechanical creature that is, of course, in control of base. It's not called Mother Brain for nothing, you know. Anyway, Mother Brain pushes Samus to the brink of death, only to be attacked by the Metroid you shared a connection with. After destroying almost the entire population of Metroids in the last game, the fact the last of the species that you committed genocide against is helping you was a plot twist like none other. After draining Mother Brain of its energy and transferring it to Samus, Mother Brain recovers just enough to kill the last Metroid. Samus, of course, uses the harnessed energy she was just given to finally destroy Mother Brain, and then narrowly escapes the self destruction of the entire planet.
Just sitting there playing and watching this all play out was incredible back then, and even now, is still as powerful as ever. Oh crap, and I forgot to mention something:
******************* SPOILER ALERT!!! *******************
Whoops, sorry about that. But honestly, if you haven't played this game yet and experienced one of the best endings of a video game ever, what is wrong with you? Go find a way to play it now. Even if you already know what happened, it's just one of those gaming moments you will want to keep with you in your memory bank, trust me.
If I can be frank here, it should be obvious to everyone that's ever played games that in the video game universe, females don't get near the respect or fair treatment that they deserve. While this has been a hot button debate recently within the video game media circles, I still feel like this topic is one that shouldn't be just passed over quickly. Sure, the resounding sentiment is that misogyny is overly prevalent in the video game culture, even in today's games, despite the efforts of many publishers and developers to end stereotypes and create a more balanced and respectful gaming culture. But just because everyone is of the same opinion, doesn't mean everything is lollipops and rainbows.
The fight for equality in gaming is still ongoing. Just because everyone feels the same way, we're still a long way off from those opinions be translated into actual results and a victory for equality. We've had several leading ladies in video games recently, especially this year, but there is one woman we haven't seen in a while, who pretty much started the movement for strong, lead female protagonists in games. Samus Aran, where are you?
It all started back in the NES days, with the release of a space platformer/puzzler/shooter game called Metroid. The thing is, back then, everyone assumed that Samus was a male character. With the suit on and any recognizable features hidden in the sprite character model, determining that Samus was female was impossible. Even in the guide book included with the game, Nintendo referred to Samus as "he," thus possibly being the first ones to troll gamers. It wasn't until gamers figured out to finish the game in under five hours did they discover the ending Nintendo intended the world to experience, where it is revealed for the first time that Samus was, in fact, a woman.
I don't remember this as a kid, but I can imagine how shocking it was for people to realize they had been playing a female character the entire time. While it shouldn't make a bit of difference whether you play as a male or female in a game, the unexpected shock of realizing that your preconceived ideas of what's supposed to be, isn't always what they seem. Misogyny doesn't always have to be a conscience, intentional thought or feeling, as society embedded roots of the belief in everyone long before they even realized it. This game, and that ending specifically, broke the notion that every game had to be about being the tough guy trying to save his princess from the clutches of evil. Sometimes that princess can fend for herself just fine.
Playing this game again, I unfortunately didn't get to the really cool ending that I'm talking about, but I did have a lot of fun running around, and experiencing the game that sprouted an entirely new genre of games unintentionally. Everyone has heard the term "Metroidvania," I'm sure, referring to the style of Metroid and later Castlevania games, of exploration of the map to find upgrades and new abilities that allow you access to previously unreachable paths in the map in order to advance the overall story and main mission of the game. Instead of taking Path A, you would have to travel to Path C in order to get to Path B, which would allow you to go back and continue on Path A.
Confused? Try figuring out while playing the game, when every game before it was pretty much a Point A to Point B, extremely linear type of game progression. In hindsight, it was pretty revolutionary, but back then, it was just something different.
Something different in more ways than one, thankfully.
I know I've talked about it before, but sometimes, I just want to be apart of the conversation, whatever the conversation is regarding video games. I may not have a lot of interest in whatever topic or game is being talked about, but I still like to know the ins and outs, the details and the points/counterpoints of the conversation.
I live my life like this on a daily basis, not just in regards to video games. I'm an information sponge, and want to know all I can about whatever I can. Sure, sometimes I feel like I absorb too much information, but that's just the nature of the beast. I blame my journalistic background, although one could argue that my natural inquisitive thirst for knowledge led me to journalism in the first place.
Tomatoes, tomatoes, I say.
Anyway, EarthBound is one of those games I have always heard of, but never knew anything about. When playing Smash Bros, I seemed to figure out that Ness (and later Lucas, also) was from the EarthBound series,but that's as far as my knowledge took me. I didn't get the moves, the level based around the game, or anything about anything, really. But I knew of it, and that's all that mattered. Because EarthBound is incredibly hard to find in it's original SNES form these days, and I never had the chance to play it as a kid, my desire to know anything about the game never turned into anything more. Why care about something or invest time into researching something that meant nothing to me? No one was talking about the game, other than hopeful fans clamoring for it's US re-release on a Virtual Console, so without a discussion to be apart of, I had no business worrying about it.
That is, until Nintendo shockingly and unexpectedly announced that they would be releasing EarthBound on the Virtual Console for the Wii U. And naturally, the Internet blew up. Finally, after an eternity of waiting, fans would be getting a true version of the game they probably missed out on in the first place. And because the Internet blew up, I had to know exactly what all the commotion was all about.
So when the game was released, I downloaded it immediately. It was only ten bucks, but according to the Internet, it was well worth the money for one of the most highly regarded and almost unanimously best RPG games for the Super Nintendo, ever. After I downloaded it, there it say. Because in all honesty, RPGs are not my cup of tea, especially in this crazy year of gaming. My game time is at a premium, and being able to invest serious time into an RPG - despite how good it is - just isn't something I could conceivably do. Especially for such an old game. You know, the new hotness in video games always seems to take precedent in time investment, for me.
Well, I finally got around to playing it, mainly because I wanted to make absolutely sure I got it into this year of gaming blog, because of the crazy whirlwind of conversation the release of this game caused. And while I enjoyed what I played, I just didn't get far enough into it to see all the charm that supposedly makes this game amazing. Sure, the writing was great, and how they set up the whole game and storyline was fantastic, but I just didn't sink enough time into EarthBound to fully gauge how much I will eventually like this game.
So far, it's okay as it sounds now, and I would like to eventually get through it. I know I've said that many times before over the course of this year, but I really would like to. I want to experience the admiration the Internet seems to have for this game in the same light. Thankfully, now I can. I can finally be apart of the conversation. It's just a matter of doing it of course.
For this post, I want to bring you back behind the curtain a little bit. The game I chose to play isn't just a one-day game, but instead, the start of a project within the project of my year long adventure in gaming. Yes, I decided to play Wii Fit U, for the Wii U, but by doing so, I am beginning a daily exercise regiment using video games as motivation.
I'm going to play and utilize the game and all the great exercises and activities for a month, playing it every day if possible, to see what kind of results I can get from it. My initial goal is five pounds lost in the first two weeks, and hopefully I can work my way to the goal. After a month, and hopefully two goals met, I'm truly hoping that I can see clear results, and will want to continue the program for as long as possible.
For now, though, let's give it a month. And I'll report back in ever week or so to give you updates on how it's going, in case you are curious at all. Granted, it is the holiday season, which is the absolute worst time to try and lose some weight, but hey, let's see what happens
The full retail game itself isn't available to buy just yet, but if you still have your old balance board - covered in dust and all - you can download the free 31 day trial and check out the game yourself. In December, they are releasing the full game, and also the balance board to go along with it, for those who didn't jump on the Wii Fit U train many years ago when everyone, especially their mothers, thought the Wii, Wii Fit and the balance board peripheral was the bees' knees.
Here's the catch. For the Wii Fit U game, they are adding a second accessory to the mix, this time in the form of a pedometer, which they are calling the Nintendo Fit Meter. It functions just like any other pedometer for the most part, keep track of the steps you take, calories you burn and other essential information regarding your movement throughout the day. So why is this a big deal, or even necessary, you ask? Well, because it syncs up with your Wii U GamePad when you tell it to, instantly transferring your daily data through the GamePad and right in to the game itself, adding another layer of your fitness progress stat keeping. Instead of just tracking your exercises you do every time you play, you now get to add your daily activity to your daily report.
The thing is, if you buy this Fit Meter for twenty bucks, and sync it up with your trial version of Wii Fit U by early next year (I think it was January 31), then you automatically unlock the entire, full version of the game - FOR FREE! That's right. For twenty bucks, if you have the balance board already, you essentially get the entire package. Not a bad deal for storing that board under your entertainment center or coffee table for all these years, right?
Anyway, of course that's what I did. And I made a commitment to wearing the Fit Meter at all times. So far, so good. Just clips right on to my belt, so I hardly even notice it's there.
Also, the games, exercises and routines in the Wii Fit U game are pretty much what you would remember from the original Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus games, just in "HD" for the new system, of course. There are some new activities sprinkled in as well, but they didn't try to reinvent the wheel here. They were happy with the fitness mini-games they created the first time around, and saw no reason to change it up, just add to it. I will confess, however, that the whole time I was working out and saw the Trainer, all I could think about was that character being in the upcoming Super Smash Bros. game, and how badly I want to play it. Like, I would stop this blog right now if I could get my hands on that game right now. I'm that excited.
So yeah, there you have it. In a week, I'll put up a little something detailing my progress just for those interested in how it's going. Either way, I'm doing this for me, and that's the key. I'm just nice enough to let your voyeurs peep behind the curtains a bit.
XBLA = The Noyse
PSN = the_noyse
NNID = The Noyse
3DS F.C. = 3007-8109-2329
STEAM = TheNoyse
FEEL FREE TO FRIEND ME!
Games played for project : 365