Next Castle

Thank you Mario! But our princess is in another castle…

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Samus in “Other M”

I just saw the commercial for the new Metroid game. Does anyone else think that Samus looks remarkably like Kristen Bell?

Yes? No? Anyways, I was excited about the prospect of a new Metroid game, but as always I waited to hear what Gamespot had to say. They gave Metroid: Other M an 8.5 in their review, but they still had some quibbly things to say about it. Mainly that the game is a departure from the norm, with long cutscenes and a very action-oriented progression. Oh, and Samus finally has a voice, but apparently it’s very annoying and the voice acting in general sucks. COME ON! If you’re finally going to give Samus a voice, make sure it’s worth it!

I like the Metroid franchise, but I’m not sure I’m going to shell out the money for the new game, because to be honest, I really like taking the time to explore environments and progress at my own pace, and this doesn’t seem like that kind of game. Also, what I’ve read/seen of the controller schematics makes me wince. I’m so sick of the sideways Wii Remote–IT’S NOT COMFORTABLE to hold it that way, and the range of movement is very limited with the D-Pad. It’s makes sense when you’re playing an old school Mario platformer, not when you’re running around and killing bad guys. (Yes, I know you can then turn the Remote and point it at the screen to aim-and-shoot if you want, but why is it fun constantly flipping the Remote back and forth like that?)

Alright, I’m done whining now, especially since I haven’t even played the game. Ha! Maybe I’ll find a demo somewhere… ^_^


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Yoshi in Super Mario Galaxy 2

My first encounter with Yoshi comes in the “Yoshi Star Galaxy: Saddle Up with Yoshi” level. Hmm… what do you know.

I have to laugh, too, because when they introduce Yoshi they make a comment about how they’d thought he would help, but he’s just running around in circles and being a complete waste of space (okay, that’s been paraphrased). How funny! I know I’ve had many a frustrated moment trying to corral an escaped Yoshi…

Anyways, Yoshi is a lot of fun to ride and pretty intuitive. You can still shake the Wii remote to break objects while you’re on him and he’s got all of the standard Yoshi techniques. I like the little animation they use around eatable objects–it’s not too obtrusive and lets you know when you get close enough to gobble something up.

Yoshi also has some fun new powers. His tongue can grab and pull things (like handles) and can even pull you along for the ride if you try to eat a floating, white flower (similar to the blue stars you can grab and hover towards in SMG 1). His new tongue powers remind me of the whip in Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks. Anyone? No, just me? Okay.

After completing the first Yoshi level, I get a Yoshi egg on my ship. Right on top of my faceship’s big, honking nose. So now that I’ve got Yoshi on my ship, I can get up to a special little pavilion where I can eat a bunch of fruit, Yoshi poops out some stars, and I get a 1up. Fun stuff. I can also jump high enough to get to the chimney, which just takes me down to the creepy engine room (why are there bookshelves there, again?).

I’m hoping that we see more of Yoshi in the future~

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Start of Super Mario Galaxy 2

As I start the game, I have to say that the side-scroller introduction is not particularly well done. They’ve clouded out a large portion of the screen and all of the Toads’ speech bubbles are taking up an annoying amount of screen real estate. I’m also a bit confused–I guess this isn’t a continuation of the Super Mario Galaxy 1 story, but an odd retelling in which a giant Bowser again snatches Peach from the castle during the centennial star festival.

They throw you right into gameplay after the introduction. The first level is very reminiscent of the first level in Super Mario Galaxy 1–I’m at Yoshi’s house and I have to “go around back.” As I progress through the level I’m picking up some interesting changes, mostly the flags at respawn points (Super Mario Bros. Wii, anyone?) and the warp point that took me to a little mini-space where I could grab a rainbow star (invincibility!) and blast a bunch of bad guys real quick for 3 1ups.

The Boss is a piranha that is much the same as the first boss in Super Mario Galaxy 1, except this time I’m essentially spanking the baby piranha plant on his bottom until it’s very red, which makes me feel vaguely naughty. When his tantrum’s over, I get my first power star!

Unfortunately, the fat purple star (Lubba) takes it from me. I’m outraged until I realize that I will now have control over his planet/ship. Mwa hahaha!

He changes the appearance of the ship and okay… now the ship looks like a floating head. A giant, floating Mario head. The absurdity is not lost on Lubba (he’s a sharp tack, that one). Anyways, now I’m in charge of my own ship and there’s only a bunch of stars for company, one of which is quite rude and tells me to quit wasting time walking around the surface of my new planet/ship/giant head. There are lots of little billboards with tips for n00bs around and a creepy, hidden engine room under the bill of the Mario ship’s hat. Why are there bookshelves in the engine room, again?

I take control of my ship and head back to the first galaxy for my next star.