Tag Archives: nintendo

#967 – Console Start-Up Screens

17 Mar

No time to waste, it’s story time! I (15 year old me) have just arrived home from a trip to the store with my Dad. I was lucky enough to have him buy me a copy of Pikmin for the Nintendo GameCube. I rip open the plastic packaging and place the disc into the system. I turn on the television and hit the power button on the GameCube. Before I even get into my new game I’m welcomed by a start-up screen that I have seen hundreds of times. And despite the repetition, it makes me smile yet again and gets me hyped for the game.

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The above story is just one example that has happened numerous of times in my lifetime. The console start-up screen is something we take for granted today, but just imagine a video game world where they didn’t exist. Sure, start-up screens are less relevant today as current-gen systems can awake from rest mode in a matter of seconds, but you can’t forget that little piece of entertainment before the game. The sounds, the visuals, the pure ecstasy. The appetizer before the main course one would say.

Of course a post about start-up screens would need a video to showcase what I’m talking about and don’t you fret, I have you covered. Some of these you may know and some of these you may not, just appreciate all the different nuances from system to system. Grab some tissues as the tears of joy prepare to be expelled from your eyes and get ready to be sent down memory lane. Without further ado, here is a compilation of console start-up screens.

AWESOME!

#968 – Cheetahmen Theme Song

16 Mar

There are more than a handful of memorable video game tunes, from the infectious Super Mario Bros. theme to the epic orchestral score from the Halo series. But there is one that I find to be so awesome and really underappreciated especially since the game that it is featured in is pure and utter garbage. The mystery song is the theme from Cheetahmen (big surprise since it’s in the title of this post) a mess of a platformer featured in Action 52 for the NES and other old school systems as well.

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Before I post that amazing song that will have you nodding your head to the beat, I shall make it clear that the game is far from awesome. Action 52 contains 52 games (as the game’s title spoils) that are poorly designed with bad controls. The supposedly flagship game in the bunch is Cheetahmen, which was even planned to be a whole franchise with toys and a children’s cartoon. Unfortunately it’s garbage just like every other game in the package, with the only redeeming factor being this one song. And boy what a redeeming factor it is.  Now let’s get to the reason why we all are here, prepare your ears for video game music paradise…

I hope you are able to take a break and continue reading this post, but if not I don’t blame you. It’s hard to believe that amazing theme was made on an NES. Heck, give me the best instruments in the world and I still won’t be able to come up with something as addictive as this song. I don’t know about you, but I want this to be my theme song anytime I do something, just blast it 24/7.

AWESOME!

#974 – Isabelle (and all the lesser-known Nintendo characters)

3 Mar

The long list of memorable Nintendo characters never seems to end; Mario, Luigi, Wario, Kirby, Link, Pikachu… I’m pretty sure you get the idea. But those names I mentioned are the well-known popular characters, that tend to get their own games; if this was high school they definitely would be sitting at the cool kids table. Yet the list of lesser-known characters is just as great and just as important if you ask me. And who belongs at the top of the list, the top dog of course, Isabelle from Animal Crossing fame.

It might seem weird that I’m dedicating a whole post to her, but then again I’m weird so in reality it’s normal. Think of this tribute to Isabelle as a celebration of all the lesser known Nintendo characters, but don’t forget that Isabelle rules them all. Impeccable style, remarkable hair with a cute bell holding it together, and most importantly a genuinely nice dog that is willing to help you accomplish anything as your own personal secretary in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. She is beyond sweet, look into those eyes and tell me your heart doesn’t melt.

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It unfortunately took me too long to appreciate Isabelle’s greatness. Only recently while playing a lot (and I mean a lot) of Mario Kart 8, did I come to fully respect her appeal. Honestly, there is absolutely no one cooler than her, she is an inspiration for dogs everywhere. I guess you can say she has become a bit of a good luck charm for me, as every time I play Mario Kart I have her Amiibo watch approvingly.

So no matter what lesser-known character is your favourite, be it the sexually confused Birdo from the Super Mario Bros. series or Rick the hamster from the Kirby series, raise your glasses and toast these characters as they are…

AWESOME!

#976 – Club Nintendo

19 Nov

Yes I know, I might be living in the past with this post especially since what I claim is awesome is no longer available to the public. But let me tell you, Club Nintendo was a very cool loyalty program for all of us Nintendo lovers out there. So travel down the sweet path with me which is most commonly known as memory lane.

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For those of you who don’t know (or were born in the past few month since it was recently discontinued), Club Nintendo was a loyalty program where you were awarded virtual coins for registering your Nintendo games and consoles. These virtual coins could then be used for amazing stuff, such as a massive AR card for the 3DS or exclusive posters. These were items you couldn’t buy at your local game shop which made you want them even more. Plus when you had enough coins to trade in for one of these gifts you didn’t have to pay anything extra, shipping was included which is always awesome (tsk tsk minimum balance required Amazon). And the awesomeness doesn’t even end there, there were extra gifts for certain members… let me explain.

Depending on how many games and consoles you registered people with high coin balances in a year were given a free gift as a thanks. These items were even cooler than the stuff you traded in coins for, such as a one-of-a-kind Nintendo figure (seen below) or an exclusive Legend of Zelda soundtrack. Unfortunately, all this awesomeness recently ended with Club Nintendo being discontinued, but they did say we will see a new loyalty program soon.

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As you can see, a Nintendo fan like myself was in heaven with Club Nintendo and cherished every year the program was open. Do a quick Google search of some of the many cool items that were available, it will bring a smile to your face.

AWESOME!

#978 – Transforming Kirby

14 Nov

Kirby is everybody’s favourite pink puff who can literally do anything really. He can easily fly with a touch of a button, suck up and swallow almost anything, spit out heavy objects, punch and kick, and break out in choreographed dance numbers (check out the video below). But the mighty puff can do so much more when he swallows an enemy with powers, he absorbs their power, essentially becoming them!

Kirby has transformed into it all; he can become a fireball, don spikes, throw cutters, carry a sword, become a dolphin, get rock hard, be electric, become a massive tank… so many games and so many powers, the list can go on and on. So what Nintendo has fundamentally created is a living and breathing Swiss army knife.

Kirby isn’t powerless and weak before the transformation as proven by the list of abilities I mentioned earlier (see paragraph one) but he becomes a powerhouse when he transforms. This copy ability is his main fighting technique in the Super Smash Bros. series. You can be Link, Donkey Kong, Pikachu… anybody, just consume them and become them!  

 

Next time you play a Mario title and transform into one of his many different forms just remember that Kirby can do so much more. Not hating on the Italian Plumber, just stating the facts boys and girls. So be pink and mighty and take down those foes by transforming into so many wonderful possibilities.

AWESOME!

#980 – Games that are easy

12 Nov

Video games come in all shapes, sizes, colours, flavours, smells, outfits (maybe I’m getting a little out of hand with this) and most importantly at least for this post, they come in different difficulties. We all like a good challenge once in a while, but it’s also great when we can do something easily. Having a drink, eating our favourite food, sleeping; for most people these are easy tasks and bring a lot of joy to our lives. The same goes for video games, easy games can be a hell of a lot of fun.

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We have all played games that just so happen to be a cake walk. The Kirby series by Nintendo happens to be one of those series where the majority of the games are very easy and yet I love them. There is such joy to be had in the graphics, characters, gameplay, music, and a number of other factors that it’s hard to get mad at it being easy. Unfortunately, being easy has got a bad reputation in the industry as though it makes it generic or non-creative. If a game is fun, what’s wrong with it being easy? Nothing (responding with a different answer is incorrect).

Sometimes we just want to come home from an exhausting long day of work or school, kick our smelly feet up and play a video game without having to worry about getting our butts handed to us. Being transported to a far away land shouldn’t be a hassle, it should just be enjoyable and that’s why we play video games in the first place. So cheers to those games that are easy and focus on just being fun. There are too many things that are tough in life already anyways.

AWESOME!

#985 – Creating a Super Mario Maker level that is actually fun to play

5 Nov

Super Mario Maker is a dream come true for those of us (basically everybody) who have ever wanted to partake in the creation of Nintendo’s magic. Think about it in another way; imagine if you had the opportunity to help create the latest Disney or Pixar movie, the films those studios create are literally what happiness is made out of. The only thing is without a background in film or connections in the industry, that will probably never happen (and if it does just remember who came up with the idea first!). SMM at least makes game creation a reality, but creating something worthwhile is a hefty task.

  
After playing and watching hundreds if not thousands of levels online, you realize that most of your own levels suck. I thought it was cool at the time to put 30 goombas on top of each other only to find out… that it’s not. It gives you a greater respect for those people who created the legendary Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World, they not only made wonderful levels but also had to program it all, it wasn’t as easy as these tools make it out to be. So after frustrating creation after frustrating creation, I came up with something actually… decent. Notifications start popping up that people are playing my level and are actually commenting with positive criticism. I know I’m far away from Shigeru Miyamoto status, but this made me feel all awesome inside.

No doubt that creating something is fun, but creating something that is actually fun is even better. Give someone the proper tools and they can create a masterpiece. Don’t give up just because your first 723 attempts failed, you may finally hit the fun jackpot with number 724.

AWESOME!