Month: November 2016

Super Mario Maker 3DS Review

Super Mario Maker 3DS Review

Super Mario Maker may well have been the crowning achievement of the underwhelming Wii U. It was a completely original and creative concept that was executed perfectly and capitalized on gamers’ undying love of Mario without merely giving them the same old thing. Well, to clarify, the game very much did deliver the same old thing, just with a level of interactivity unlike any previous game to bear the Mario moniker. It was a mini-masterpiece from the folks at Nintendo and now it’s come home to the palm of your hands. Super Mario Maker 3DS essentially offers absolutely everything that you loved about the previous game, only now available on the go and at any time. It’s a damn delight and a nice way for those who didn’t bother to invest in a Wii U to find out what all the fuss was about.

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So once again, this is an ingenious game that allows players to design their own side scrolling Mario levels using all of the iconic elements that we love so dearly. When in the course creator, you’ll have the bottom touch screen as your playground. Everything is very simply and sweetly designed. The level is broken into squares to fill with items, enemies, and obstacles with the touch of a stylus. It’s all laid out in a very intuitive manner, but there are playful tutorials to help get started (although anyone who has played the Wii U version can skip these, since the games are essentially the same). With the touch of the button you can change entire courses between original NES Mario to Mario 3, Super Mario World, or New Super Mario Bros. graphics in a spit second. You can also change level layouts to various templates for classic worlds like the ghost houses, Bowser castles, the airships, or underwater with ease.

It’s amazing how easy it is to pick up the basics and design of Super Mario Maker 3DS right away. Everything is so familiar and iconic to longtime Nintendo nerds that there is barely a learning curve. You know these templates like the back of your hand. The trick is to now load them up with insanity. There are 60 level elements to play with, half of which are available immediately. Players can stack a few supersized Bowsers with wings on top of each other if they so choose (and they should). It’s all ridiculously easy and creative and levels can be tested in the middle of construction with the touch of a button. It’s pretty impressive that the game transferred from console to handheld with such fluidity. Even on my ancient launch model 3DS there was virtually no lag (well, following some long initial load screens anyways). I was off to the races pretty much immediately.

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Beyond the level building, there is also a challenge mode featuring 100 new Mario levels designed specifically for Super Mario Maker 3DS. You’ll play through them like the Wii U version. They vary in intensity, difficulty, and insanity from exact replicas of old Mario levels to insane odysseys designed by Nintendo lunatics. They all feature two additional challenge coins should you choose and players can unlock the remaining course design items by playing through this mode. It’s fun. It’s Mario. Frankly, it would be an acceptable game on its own without the amazing level design features. Everything looks pretty and plays like a dream. Unfortunately, there is absolutely no 3D functionality. That shouldn’t bother most people since A) all the levels are 2D side-scrollers anyways and B) most folks weren’t as wow-ed by glasses-free 3D as I was. I also found that the game took a little longer to load and close than most 3DS titles, but this could just be a result of using my launch system and it may play smoother on a new system.

Now we come to the differences with this addition. They mostly come down to the online Super Mario Maker world. It does exist. Players have access to a variety of recommended levels created from Wii U Mario Maker players as well as well as the 100 Mario challenge mode that tosses you into a barrage of user created levels with 100 lives at your disposal. Not every user level is available though, likely due to the fact it doesn’t seem as though every single element and costume from the previous edition is available in Super Mario Maker 3DS. User levels cannot be searched in the same detail either. Thankfully, any level that can be accessed plays instantly and like a dream (plus players can download them to their 3DS and edit the levels to their heart’s content). Levels can be shared with other 3DS-owning buddies and players can even download levels from strangers automatically via Streetpass (which I haven’t tried given that I didn’t walk past other reviewers with the game in this pre-release review window).

Super Mario Maker 3Ds Review 4So, Nintendo has at least made it possible to share Mario Maker levels via the 3DS in ways that makes it a unique experience to this system. It’s a shame they can’t be shared in an online database like the Wii U edition, but hey…you can’t have everything right? While this might not quite be an identical port, it is a damn impressive one and even features 100 new playable levels for those who polished off the Wii U edition. Other than that, it’s hard to find absolutely anything negative to say about Super Mario Maker 3DS. This is one of the most creative titles that Nintendo has delivered in quite sometime and having a portable edition is a dream. If you own a 3DS, you should own this game. Especially if you don’t have a Wii U. Nintendo created something really special with Super Mario Maker. Hopefully it’s a franchise that will continue and a style of game the company will only expand upon from here (designing Metroid or Donkey Kong levels sounds preeeeetttty sweet, no?).

Well played Nintendo. You done good (again).

Despite Analyst Fears, PlayStation VR Sales On Track for Sony Plans 1

Despite Analyst Fears, PlayStation VR Sales On Track for Sony Plans

The latest SuperData forecast for VR sales has downgraded PlayStation VR units for less than 750,000 total sales in 2016. Compared to their original 2.6 million estimate, that’s quite the jump. But there may be more to Sony’s VR plans than SuperData’s initial panic suggests, despite strong criticism of Sony’s PlayStation VR release by analysts.

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Humble Tycoon Simulator Bundle Features RollerCoaster Tycoon, Democracy 3 1

Humble Tycoon Simulator Bundle Features RollerCoaster Tycoon, Democracy 3

Another Humble Bundle is out, and this offering is focused around tycoon games. Launched on Nov 29, 2016, Humble Tycoon Simulator Bundle features Train Simulator 2016, RollerCoaster Tycoon: Deluxe, Democracy 3 and more.

“Simulator, alligator,” the Humble Tycoon Simulator Bundle’s description section states. “Want to be a car mechanic? A train driver? Political leader? Baseball manager? Owner of a pharmaceutical conglomerate? With this bundle, you can build the empire you’ve always dreamed of. Power! POWER!!”

Humble Tycoon Simulator Bundle’s tiers are straightforward enough. For $1 USD or more, Train Simulator 2016, Roller Coaster Tycoon: Deluxe and Out of the Park Baseball 17 are available. Beating the average lands buyers a copy of Democracy 3 Collector’s Edition, Car Mechanic Simulator 2015 and Big Pharma. For $12 USD or more, Youtubers Life is available. Normally, these games would land buyers a price tag of $140 USD. Instead, the total bundle is available for $12, saving approximately $128. Just in time for the holidays, too.

Charity donations go to DirectRelief and charity: water. Direct Relief provides medical relief to provide care to those who would otherwise go without via supplies for surgery, injuries, infection and more. Meanwhile, charity: water is dedicated to providing safe drinking water in developing countries.

Youtubers Life, which is currently in Early Access on Steam, is a tycoon simulator based on becoming a YouTube video star. The game holds critical acclaim from such outlets as Kotaku and IGN and has also won award nominations from the Spanish National Videogames Awards and the Indie Developer Burger Awards for its interesting and quirky premise.

As always, Humble Bundles only last for a limited amount of time. With Humble Tycoon Simulator Bundle clocking out on Dec 13, 2016 interested buyers should pick up the bundle sooner rather than later if they’re interested in the details. Meanwhile, check back in the coming weeks ahead for more Humble Bundle news.

Lego Worlds Coming in 2017

Lego Worlds Coming in 2017

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games and The LEGO Group announced LEGO Worlds will finally commercially launch on February 21, 2017 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and STEAM.

LEGO Worlds is an open-world, sandbox style game reminiscent of Minecraft. LEGO Worlds was initially released on June 1, 2015 on STEAM for early access so that the company could get feedback and improve the game before release.

LEGO Worlds brings the very essence of LEGO play – building – to the digital world, more than ever before,” said Niels Jørgensen, Vice President, Digital Games for The LEGO Group in a press release. “We are excited to bring our physical and digital play models closer together and know it will resonate with our core audience – and engage new ones. We believe LEGO Worlds has the potential to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through its experience of open-ended creative play.”

LEGO Worlds is a game where players will be able to play however they choose to become a Master Builder. Players can explore the worlds available and encounter weird and interesting characters and vehicles (as per the usual themes of LEGO). From Cowboys riding giraffes to vampires scaring Yetis, to steamrollers, racing cars and colossal digging machines. Gamers will be able to complete various quests like finding a sword for a king, protecting a farmer from a zombie invasion, or building a home for a caveman.

Players will also be able to change their environments either by building brick by brick, placing down prebuilt LEGO structures, or by using innovative tools that let them paint and customize the landscape. LEGO Worlds even has an online multiplayer function so that players can play with friends or anyone from around the world. They will be able to explore together, create together and will be able to engage in cooperative and competitive play experiences that they can build themselves.

Along with this, a LEGO Agents DLC pack will be a timed exclusive on the PlayStation 4. Players will be able to add new characters, vehicles, weapons and more from the Agents collection to their worlds.

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