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3DS: Friend Codes on First Page, OMG THE THIRD DIMENSION


The Damned
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Spending more time with the Virtual Console lately, and I've picked up Castlevania: The Adventure, Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon, Mario's Picross(available as Club Nintendo reward 'til Nov.18 ), Mario Golf GBC, and on the DSiWare side of things Dr. Mario Express.

Castlevania: The Adventure is the first Castlevania game on the Gameboy, and does a well-enough if a little basic job of proving that the series could have legs on the system. You don't really get much in the way of traditional sub-weapons, in fact all you get are two whip upgrads: a long chain and a fireball similar to Castlevania: Bloodlines I believe, and the game has only 5 levels(I think?), but it's still playable and fun, and it has a killer soundtrack that I want to hear arranged. It's $2.99 USD on the VC right now, and supporting it will probably get Konami to bring out Castlevania 2: Belmont's Revenge, which is much more reminiscent of the NES games.

Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon is unadulterated human doo doo. Do not grab. I'm not even going to give a description. Well, they can't ALL be winners.

Mario's Picross or as I call it "'Where did all my free time go?': The Game". This as far as I can tell is one of Jupiter's(I think the same studio that brought us The World Ends With You) first outings in portables, and it's quite the fun puzzle game. You'll spend your time chiseling out images(because for some reason Mario is exploring Egyptian ruins this time) using sets of numbers on the top and left of the screen to give you hints on where to strike. Not really much else to say other than it's a fun little time waster. Currently you can grab it as a Club Nintendo reward for 100 coins 'til Nov. 18. Best Reward we've had in awhile in my opinion.

Mario Golf is a game that I can't fully describe yet as I haven't delved into it that much other than practice and tourney modes, but did you guys know that this is a fully-fledged RPG based around playing golf, complete with rudimentary character creation, XP, and stat allocation? Neither did I at first glance, but go Camelot for this nice achievement. The golfing gameplay is pretty simple as it uses the base idea of Wii Sports Golf in that you have to line up the shot, balance your power, keep an eye on what clubs you're using and paying attention to the wind, and man is it fun. There are several modes to play in from practice, tourney, RPG, and against a master golfer. The game is somewhere between 5-6 bucks on the VS. Grab it.

Dr. Mario Express on DSiWare is just that: more Dr. Mario. If you're as into that style of puzzler as I am, then you'll enjoy it.

Happy Gaming, all.

P.S. where the FUCK is Ninja Gaiden on the Virtual Console!?

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So don't grab Kid Icarus: Of Myths & Monsters, and maybe grab Adventure Island, if just to show that you want Adventure Island II.

I got KI:OM&M, just to have the COMPLETE KID ICARUS SERIES.

yeah

also a reminder: the Adventure Time: Hey, Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage demo drops on the eShop tomorrow, so check it out to see the game in action and to hear some of virt's sweet tunes. :D

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time for another review

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Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Platform: 3DS (Retail and Downloadable via eShop)

Developer: Intelligent Systems

Genre: Action-RPG

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Ever since the original Paper Mario landed in America back in 2001, fans have been enthralled by the mystical paper world of the series. After 2004's Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door built on that world in stellar fashion, the series took a platforming detour with 2007's Super Paper Mario. Ever since then, there's been quite the call for a return to the franchise, and E3 2010 gave but a small taste of what would eventually become Sticker Star. Two and a half years later, that game is finally in our hands. However, does it return to the lofty heights of the first two installments or continue the downward path started with Super Paper Mario? Stick around to find out!

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As the title suggests, the game revolves around the usage of stickers. The story starts off with the great Sticker Fest, which is going well until Bowser sneaks in and touches the Sticker Comet (which no one should ever ever do), causing it to shatter and scatter across the world. A side effect of this is that six Royal Stickers scatter with the shards, the most powerful of which landing on Bowser causing him to go completely berserk and cause havoc everywhere. When Mario comes to, the Sticker Fest grounds are ruined and a small decal from the comet named Kersti is yelling at him. From these simple beginnings starts a quest filled with adventure, exploration, and hilarity, all to recover the Royal Stickers and restore peace to the land.

Unlike previous installments, Sticker Star has a world map; the reason for this is simply because it's on the 3DS. Being on a handheld system means smaller easy-to-access stages, which works and prevents as much backtracking as in previous installments. Since the chapters are broken up into bite-size chunk, it's almost like each stage is its own little story. Once you look at it that way, it's quite fun. Especially 3-9; you'll see why when you get there. There's also plenty of hidden paths and exploration within these stages, so it's not quite as linear as Super Paper Mario was. I found great joy in looking in every nook and cranny for items and exits; there's also stickers literally everywhere so grabbing those was fun too. Just be careful; you only have a limited number of spaces in your Sticker Album, and if it's full you can't keep picking these up until you either toss or use other stickers.

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Speaking of which, stickers are your sole source of attacking. Each sticker is also a one-time use deal; this sounds bad, but as I said above, there's stickers literally everywhere. Regardless, there's several levels of each attack to find, and nearly one hundred total battle stickers in all. These range from varying jump attacks and elementally charged smacks of the hammer to fire flowers and a snowball. There's quite the variety in these attacks, and I enjoyed finding the nuances of each of them and their action commands.

The battle system is also back to how it was in the first two games, sans the stage and audience. Partners are also gone too, though that's only because they conflicted with the stickers too much*. You can normally only use one sticker at a time, but you can use the optional battle spinner for 3 coins to pull up a slot machine. Match two icons to get to use two stickers in a turn; match three and you can use three, in addition to getting a bonus effect from the icons you matched up. You can also spend coins to ensure you get two matches or to slow down the linked panels. However, the more times you use these features in a battle, the costlier they get. The key to using this effectively is making sure you hit the action commands perfectly. If you can dispatch all enemies on the first turn of a battle (unless you were ambushed) you get a Perfect Bonus, which gives more coins than usual. This helps the risk/reward factor of pouring coins into the battle spinner.

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In addition to the normal battle stickers littering the environment, you'll also see things. I'm not being vague here, that's actually what they're called. These things are real-world objects such as a fan or a faucet, and are mostly used to solve puzzles. However, you can't use things in their native form; you'll need to go to the main hub of Decalburg to turn them into stickers. In 1-4, you'll come across a windmill whose blades block the door. This is where Kersti comes in handy; she has the ability to Paperize stickers. By pressing Y at any time, you can freeze time and scan the environment for places a sticker might come in handy, or spots where the scenery is peeling away, hinting at another puzzle.

In the case of the windmill, there's a large square to place the Fan sticker, which will conjure a giant oscillating fan in the background to blow the blades out of the way. The cutscenes that play for all these items are very entertaining to watch, by the way. There's plenty more uses for Paperize though, from finding hidden boxes to upgrade stickers to placing hidden door stickers to open secret rooms. Also, you can use thing stickers in battle as well, which serve as summons of sort, each with their own action commands. These are riskier to store though, as they'll range in size and potentially take up quite a bit space in the Sticker Album.

Any RPG isn't complete without a fantastic soundtrack, and this game is no exception. Jazz is the name of the game, and it's in plentiful supply. It also helps to set the stage and fit into each environment you'll visit, whether it's cheerful grasslands a blistering desert, or even a frozen mountain. Each track sounds great and I would buy an official OST in a heartbeat if they released one. The world map also uses the same basic music, but it varies depending on what area you're in on the map with riffs to fit the place. There's also a handful of classic Mario tunes remixed, and hearing each of them redone in the jazzy style was fantastic.

All in all, Paper Mario: Sticker Star is a great new installment in the series; though it may not be as fantastic as the first two, it's definitely a step in the right direction. The pop-up book world has never looked better, thanks in part to the 3D effect that actually adds to the game instead of just being a gimmick. The stages are fun to explore and there's quite a few spots that are deviously hidden; I know I wandered aimlessly several times trying to find something. The music is entertaining, the battle system is simple on the surface and tricky once you brave its depths, and the humor always kept me laughing. There's also several achievements to complete and an entire Sticker Museum to fill up, requiring quite a bit of exploration and gratuitous use of Paperize. Though there were worries about this game, I can safely say that everything about it falls flat. Then again, everything's made of paper, so I wouldn't have it any other way. Until next time, game on!

Edited by Mirby
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So, Derrit, still enjoying Bravely Default?

EDIT: Here have a review.

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Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!!

Platforms: DS, 3DS

Developer: WayForward

Genre: Action-Adventure

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Based on the popular cartoon, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!! takes you on a quest through the Land of Ooo to recover the garbage that Ice King stole from Finn and Jake's treehouse. I took this quest and it was quite fun. I wandered around a large map from top-down view and then went into sidescrolling areas and punched, kicked, and sliced familiar foes from episodes throughout the series. It was quite enjoyable, I must admit. However, is it a worthy buy, or just some poor title that will disgrace the name of the series? Read on, because it's reviewing time!!

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Thanks to the close partnership series creator Pendleton Ward had with the developers, the game is incredibly close to its source material. The characters are great, as is the writing; I was able to read everything that was said in the voice of the character who said it. There are also plenty of characters from the show in this game; I'm honestly amazed at how many characters do show up, and some locations as well. The story itself presents itself early and involves Finn and Jake from having to go everywhere to try to get the Ice King to give them their stuff back. Along the way, they run into a large cast of characters from the show and beat up monsters.

The overworld map is pretty cool; it's easy to figure out where one is going and each area of the map has its own unique overworld music. Occasionally, dark shadows appear on the world map, leading to a small battle that will reward you with an item. What's really cool is that the music for these battles changes depending on what area of the map you're in, and the victory tune is a calmer instrumental of the main theme of the show. It's also fun to check out all the little areas on the map itself. You can also access B.M.O. on the bottom screen, who serves as your menu. With it you can check Finn & Jake's stats, items, a map, and options. It's quite a clever take on the menu, and one that makes perfect sense for a game based on Adventure Time.

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On their quest, they'll also come across quite a few chests. These either give a free item (as in the map battles), grant Finn or Jake a new ability or contain Wizard Stars. Wizard Stars are how Finn's stats increase; there are four levels for each of the three stats. Hearts increases maximum health, Attack increases damage dealt, and Speed increases Finn's movement speed both on the overworld and in levels, in addition to increasing the overall attack speed as well. It was quite rewarding to see the changes immediately after leveling up. These stat changes are very helpful in defeating the several bosses throughout the game; in a hilarious touch, nearly all of them have humorous subtitles under their names.

There's also plenty of items to find within the Land of Ooo, some dropped by foes and others found around the environment. There's attack items, status items to increase your speed or attack temporarily, and then recovery items. This is where the fun comes in; you'll find there's normal foods and condiments which you can drag and drop on the foods to change their effect. Though most combinations heal you, there are a few that actually do damage. There's quite a bit of fun had in experimenting and making random things like ketchup in trail mix, or salt on a royal tart. A lot of the items reference past episodes of the show, and they all have some rather hilarious descriptions that scroll along on the bottom screen.

A WayForward game wouldn't be complete without a phenomenal soundtrack by Jake "virt" Kaufman, and this game is no exception. The music is incredibly fitting for the world of Adventure Time, and very entertaining to listen to. The tracks with lyrics are hilarious and well-written, and there's some surprises hidden throughout the various stages. I was constantly amazed by the variety; early on I went from the old-timey grand adventure tune to a hard-rockin' synth-fueled ballad of awesomeness and loved every second of it.

To sum it up, Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!! is a very enjoyable game, despite its brevity. Every element is fantastic and complements every other element, and the game is quite good as a result. It's also good that one can grab it for either DS or 3DS, creating some more accessibility for it; the only difference is the 3DS version has the 3D and some extra music tracks. In addition, there's a New Game+ in which all enemies have double health; however, your stats are how they were at the end of the first playthrough. The Enchiridion is also hidden somewhere within the world, though I have yet to find it. I suppose that will have to wait until another adventure. Until next time, game on!

Edited by Mirby
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  • 3 weeks later...

Anybody in Japan planning on getting their hands on Professor Layton Vs. Ace Attorney? Since Level-5 and Capcom are playing coy with this one, I'd like to hear some first hand on what the game's like if I'm never going to see it in English.

Speaking of Level-5 and the 3DS, Liberation Maiden is a fairly alright game, if a little bit weird to control towards later levels. It's short, and although there are achievements for playing through more than once, I don't know that's I'm all that tempted. Interesting way to do a Shmup, and one that I was able to get into. (No offense to you Touhou types.) I recommend it if you've got a couple of bucks and want something to play on the go that isn't a retro game.

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(No offense to you Touhou types.)

them touhou types deserve all the offense they git.

Liberation Maiden is a game I'd like I'd to try, though I am afraid there would be the usual Suda51 ways of making the game not fun, which has been present in every single Grasshopper game to date.

Edited by EC2151
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the end of the fucking game

i don't remember doing any grinding and i didn't even get how the upgrade system worked until the second half of the game. maybe they made it harder for america i didn't really have any huge problems except with the riku tron boss. not saying that to be like 'i'm teh leet' but i just don't think i had to do any grinding.

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Both are good games.

Get the patch for MK7, though. If you plan to race online, it's required. I think it's under the eShop somewhere.

I'll check that patch out eventually. It's actually surprising... I'm honestly not that good at MK7. I usually get 3 stars on all the cups in all difficulties, but I am struggling like crazy with this game. I haven't even attempted to start playing 150cc courses yet. I know if I get online, I'm just gonna get spanked.

Pokemon is pretty much taking up all of my free time now, anyway.

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i don't remember doing any grinding and i didn't even get how the upgrade system worked until the second half of the game. maybe they made it harder for america i didn't really have any huge problems except with the riku tron boss. not saying that to be like 'i'm teh leet' but i just don't think i had to do any grinding.

I didn't have to do much grinding myself; I'm sure difficulty matters (not sure which Bleck is playing on), and the difficulty was higher than in past games even on Standard. But yeah, if you're using the commands and spirits efficiently and effectively it helps a lot.

also I don't mind grinding if I'm having fun doing it, and I was having fun while grinding in that game so eh.

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Fire Emblem: Awakening is finally scheduled for release in the US:

Feb. 4th. So much awesome.

i've owned that game nearly half a year now

it's really good though look forward to it. lots and lots of text. also there's now an option to play so you *don't* lose people if they die in missions, if that's your thing.

Edited by The Derrit
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