An extended leave of abscence.

Regular readers will have noticed the lack of regular updates. The reasons for this are numerous with nintendolee.com slipping down the order of priorities in my life. As such I will be taking an extended leave of absence from updating the site.

This will be at least for 2012 and I will assess whether or not to keep it going when the new year rolls round.

 

Thanks so much to everyone who has read my reviews, previews, hidden gems, random features, history of gaming and some episode reviews.

15 years on: RIP Gunpei Yokoi

The year 1997 was a year in which there were a number of high-profile deaths.  The world mourned as Diana Princess of Wales died on the 31st August, they bowed their head in respect as Mother Teresa died on the 5th September, the world of film lost the great James Stewart on the 2nd July whilst the world of music lost Jeff Buckley on the 29th May.  Yet it was the Video games industry who lost a true great on the 4th October 1997 as Gunpei Yokoi was struck by a car and died a few hours later aged 56.

Think of the great minds behind the modern-day industry and quicker than you can say “Miyamoto” someone will say “Yokoi” and I don’t blame them.  He was the genius behind Game and Watch as well as the Game Boy, he was also behind the wonderous robot known as ROB.  He also was one of the producers for some of the best games ever: Donkey Kong, Metroid, Mario Bros, Kid Icarus, Super Mario Land and Doctor Mario.  Oh and he pretty much came up with the D-pad which is not bad at all.  Sadly his tenure is marred by the Virtual Boy but I think this quote from Nintendo after his resignation covers it nicely:

“It is reality that Mr. Yokoi has indeed left, but it has absolutely nothing to do with the failure of the Virtual Boy. There’s no doubt that the Virtual Boy was a failure, but the head of the company himself has said that the blame for that rests on the decision to sell it to begin with. The D-pad and Game Boy that Mr. Yokoi developed are incredible. Such a man taking the blame for the 32-bit device and leaving the company is completely made up.”

It stands a testament today that Kid Icarus is returning, ROB has a cult following, Metroid goes from strength to strength and Nintendo is still at the forefront of handheld gaming.

RIP Gunpei Yokoi.

Rumour: Paper Mario: Sticker Star EU release date leaked.

Paper Mario Sticker Star has received a release date of the 11th November 2012 in the North America regions.  With Nintendo announcing that tomorrow (4th October) they will be hosting a Nintendo Direct at 7pm UK time rumours have been rampant that a release date will be announced for Paper Mario in the EU region.
It seems as if shopto.net have listed an EU release date of the 20th November 2012.

Is this an educated guess or the case of the retailer knowing? Either way they seem to have jumped the Bullet Bill on that one.

Nintendo RPG coin collection get.

Back in April I brought news the Nintendo were releasing an RPG coin collection for those who bought Xenoblade Chronicles, The Last Story and Pandora’s Tower. It was also noted at the time that the coins would be unavailable until October but now October is here and you know what that means.

The coins are actually pretty good quality with the name of the game on the front and their symbol on the back.  Not bad considering they were a free gift.

Box with outside sleeve

Coins in box

Front

Back

 

Pandora’s Tower front

Pandora’s Tower back

Xenoblade front

Xenoblade back

The Last Story front

 

The Last Story back

Some questions about New Super Mario Bros 2

I suppose the best way to start after an extended break would be a follow-up on my first ever piece.  I thought it was fitting, due to the recent release of New Super Mario Bros. 2, to see what is going on in the Mushroom Kingdom.

A family feud?

 

Just calm it for the sake of your Dad!

Bowser, King of the Koopas has eight children. Seven are named after an array of music icons and are collectively known as the Koopalings whilst the eighth and youngest is named after himself. It’s no secret that in recent times Bowser has favoured his smallest child over the other lot but why? The Koopalings were the apple in Bowser’s eye during Super Mario Bros. 3 and World but as Sunshine came so did Bowser Jr. who shone during the Galaxy games and New Super Mario Bros. We saw them work together as a family during NSMB Wii, so why not again for 2? I guess it’s almost like the story of Joseph with the other brothers (and sister) jealous of the favourite son of their father. Maybe they should go on Jeremy Kyle.

Why kidnap Peach?

Che Bowser

I always assumed the reason for kidnapping Princess Peach was for money purposes and it makes sense; kidnap someone and collect the ransom. Yet it NSMB2 there is money everywhere so surely that would paint an ulterior motive behind the kidnappings. What is that?

There’s the running joke that Mario is just an obsessed person taking Peach from her husband (Bowser) who is actually the father to her children. The Koopalings and Bowser Jr. just want their mother back and is strangely backed up by Super Mario Sunshine.

Then there’s the theory that the humans have invaded the land and Bowser is the Che Guevera role who wants a rebellion. Peach is just a political prisoner in this fight.

Did they do it again?

During Super Mario Bros. 3 the Koopalings steal magic wands from seven rulers in the Mushroom Kingdom and after they are destroyed in their airships the Mario brothers take them back. The rulers are then transformed back to their rightful form and are never mentioned again. Yet in New Super Mario Bros. 2 and Wii the Koopalings have the wands back so does that mean that the Mushroom Kingdom rulers are also turned into things like Yoshi and Donkey Kong Jr?

Alchemy is almost achieved

In NSMB2 coins are everywhere and there are two things you can get that change everything into gold. There’s the gold flower and the gold ring which lasts longer than the P-block does. The P-block, which we first saw in SMB3, turns blocks into coins for a short period of time and in NSMB2 the flower and ring do it for longer. The technology is almost there to turn bricks into gold permanently. Though I better not mention that the original Super Mario Bros. Manual mentions that the bricks are people from the Mushroom Kingdom turned into blocks by Bowser as that will open a can of ethical worms.

Can music be heard?

The thing that annoys me more than the theme itself is that during the BAH B-BAH bit the enemies do a little dance. In order for them to do a dance they must hear the music which is obvious but mind-blowing at the same time. My theory is that the Mushroom Kingdom is littered with speakers which play this music as a mind control by Bowser over the Goomba and Koopas. Some may say it’s a silly theory as we’ve not seen speakers in Mario games. Hey wait a minute…

 

Paper Mario: Sticker Star gets a release date

Nintendo of America have confirmed via Twitter that Paper Mario Sticker star will be released on the 11th November 2012. There’s still not a release date for Japan or Europe but I imagine it would be around the same time.  The game is the fourth in the brilliant series and is the first handheld version of the game. The below trailer should hype you up for it.

Also please accept my apologies over a lack of updates last week, I had some technical difficulties but expect to see this week in gaming history, Nintendo news round-up and other features reappear.

Nintendo News Roundup: Week Ending 3rd August 2012

Last week was all about the 3DSXL and some sale figures are in, how did it do? In the UK it either did great or terribly depending on who you believe so I’ll leave that one where the focus is on Japan. In Japan the XL sold 193,000 units but added with the standard 3DS this came to 235,974 which outsold the PS Vita (9,081) by 25 to 1!

Speaking of new versions of handheld consoles Nintendo has now released two new colours of the DSi. Expect a new colour of the Gamecube to be announced at E3 2013.

Whilst I’m on the subject of E3, it will be remaining in L.A. Until 2015. Expect Super Mario Universe to be shown then.

According to Nintendolife via Andriasang via inside gamer is that Dragon Quest X is expected to have support for 10 years. That would be pretty nifty if that did happen but I imagine that would just be the WiiU version and not the Wii.

For years I thought it was law, but apparently it wasn’t but now (as of the 30th July) it is illegal for shops to sell video games to those under-age. Games must now be PEGI rated and if a shop sells a game without an age certificate they can go to jail for two years and be fined any amount. That includes £3.50 or £20,000,000.

This week in gaming history: 29th July – 4th August

The late Eighties and early Nineties in gaming was all about platforming or Action Adventure games, and added bonus was cute animals. With hedgehogs all the rage it seemed strange that Sega pulled a Dolphin out of nowhere, yet it worked.

The 29th July 1992 saw the release of Ecco the Dolphin who is quite fondly remembered by those who have played the game, and rightly so. It was followed by Ecco II: The Tides of Time, Ecco. Jr and Ecco the Dolphin: Defender of the future and we’ve not seen our favourite dolphin since the year 2000 but I hold on in hope.

I’m not sure if I should just write dolphin noises or make a pun and say I did that on porpoise.

What else happened?

31st July 1980: Nintendo release the game and watch title Fire.

1st August 1992: Mario Paint was released for the SNES in North America (Japan received it on the 14th July and Europe got it in December). I’m hoping for a WiiU sequel.

1st August 1993: For the first time in the Western world the original Super Mario Bros. 2 (AKA the Lost Levels) was released as North America had Super Mario Allstars unleashed on it. In addition to the Lost Levels was a remake of Super Mario 1, 2 and 3. It still looks great today and it was re-released for Wii in December of 2010.

3rd August 1984: Football manager is released for the Commodore 64 in Europe improving from the text only release of the original in 1982. Whilst not the same series as the current Football Manager games it did start the football management simulation games genre.

Nintendo News round up: Week ending 27th July 2012

That trailer just goes to show how much bigger (and better) the 3DSXL looks than the standard 3DS and today (28th July) it was released in Japan and European territories. The North American regions have to wait a little bit longer as they get the console on the 19th August.

Also released today in Japan is New Super Mario Bros. 2 and I must say I’m getting far too excited for this game. Nintendo have confirmed that there will also be a worldwide coin total which should surely clear off the deficit.

Speaking of Money Nintendo released its financial reports for Q1 and despite making a £140million loss they are confident that they will make a profit by year-end. This is due to the 3DSXL being cheaper to produce and the Christmas release of the WiiU.

There’s also a 3DS system update which does nothing aside from “Improve the overall stability of the system”. Hurrah for stability!

Sonic & All-stars racing has a release date and it’s the 16th November which is a little bit cheeky. Why you may ask? Well that’s Miyamoto’s birthday.

Whilst we’re talking of release dates Skylanders: Giants now has one and it’s the 19th October in Europe and the 21st in the NA regions. Also unveiled was a new character called Swarm. Expect a full Skylanders: Giants preview next week from yours truly.

The Beauty of Kootie

Now it’s time for Episode 4 of The Adventures of Super Mario Bros. 3. The Beauty of Kootie. As ever Princess Toadstool will be called Peach, Bowser/Koopa will be used interchangeably and for this episode only I will call Wendy Kootie as it’s in the episode title.

The episode opens with the Sultan of Desert land in the bath when the water turns to oil so the most logical thing in the episode happens: he calls the Mario brothers because they are plumbers. It should be noted that the Sultan sounds like the exact voice you would put on if you were pretending to be Indian.

“Where has the oil come from?” Toad asks in what is one of his only two lines of the episode, no Scrappy Dooing for you today. Well the oil comes from Kootie and Larry who are stealing the oil for Bowser Dubya Koopa. Kootie and Larry keep changing colours for some reason including Larry having a purple head at one point. Larry’s plan is to use one of the wands to turn Kootie into ‘Mario’s dream girl’ and he does it but she still has a tail.

Isn’t she loooooooovely?

Right on cue Mario and Luigi walk in and Mario gives out a huge “Whoa!” in true 1940′s Looney Tunes perving. Kootie introduces herself as ‘Lady Fettuccine Alfredo’ because Mario’s Italian and likes Pasta I assume. Luigi points out her tail and she’s offended. She hits Luigi with it and Mario fails to notice this.

Somehow a table with candles and spaghetti turns up without any explanation. Romantic or what? Kootie leads the other characters to the dungeon for some reason leaving Mario and Luigi behind. Larry removes the spell and Mario’s disgusted that he fell for his rivals 16 year old daughter. The Koopaling’s hit the brothers with oil and are blasted away.

Bowser turns up to gloat to the Sultan and we have a quick shot of Mario and Luigi who climb a pipe. The manage to climb up and escape just as Kootie says to Peach “you’ll never see the Mario brothers again”. Peach sees this and doesn’t hide this fact very well. Somehow though Mario and Luigi sneak in behind Kootie and Larry and steal the magic wand.

What’s the plan? Well Mario turns Luigi into Casanova Koopa. If you believe that the Koopalings and Bowser have the surname of Koopa this could be pretty awkward. Mario tells Luigi to put on a different voice and he ends up with a suave sexy voice, it is hilarious.

No I’m definitely not Luigi

Luigi goes straight in with the kiss and asks for privacy and Kootie kicks everyone out of the dungeon. Larry turns colour again as Kootie accidentally turns Luigi back. She then shouts “Auuugh I’ve been kissed by a plumber” which reminds me of Lucy van Pelt in my Christmas tradition movie: A Charlie Brown Christmas when Snoopy kisses her.

The Koopalings chase Luigi up the stairs where you see Mario and the gang who have done some sort of plan. Peach turns a pipe to fire oil which means one thing: music interlude time. The music ends with Bowser getting hit by water and asks for the Doom Ship and within 5 seconds it’s smashed through the wall of the castle.

You know in SMB3 when you get a letter from one of the kings? I always read that in an Indian accent, and the more the Sultan speaks in this episode makes me think I got this from this episode as a kid. What happens next I’m not sure on but somehow the Sultans castle collapses due to water and oil combo and Mario is on a pipe thing that looks like a camel.

Pre-FLUDD days

The Doom Ship has turned green and Mario hits it with with oil and Bowser and his crew run off.  Luigi finds the wand which fixes the palace and the episode ends with some Mario/Luigi bickering.

How do Mario and Luigi beat Bowser? By pouring oil into the Doom Ship despite the whole episode being about Larry, Kootie and Bowser wanting to steal said oil.

 

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