Itsa Me, Mario!

Nearly 100,000 votes reveal Mario is the Greatest Gaming Icon of All Time according to a recent poll by Game.co.uk.

Portly plumber Mario can lay claim to being the greatest gaming icon of all time, beating off stiff competition from the likes of Master Chief, Solid Snake, Lara Croft and Sonic the Hedgehog in GAME.co.uk’s Greatest Games of All Time vote and securing an impressive 11% of the overall top 100.

His 1995 Super Mario 64 at number 5 is his highest ranked title, while other Mario games in the top 25 include Mario Kart Wii at number 13, the beloved NES (and later SNES) platformer Super Mario Bros. 3 at 16 and the stunning Nintedo Wii game Super Mario Galaxy at 21.

In comparison, arch-rival Sonic the Hedgehog’s best entry is at number 19, while only three Sonic titles made the cut, one of which, Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games, also stars the moustachioed, squeaky-voiced plumber.

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Lego: Indianna Jones - The Original Adventures

First came the classic Lego: Star Wars, now things just got better.

I’ve already pre-ordered Lego: Indianna Jones for the Wii and I can’t wait for the summer!

“LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures takes the fun and creative construction of LEGO and combines it with the wits, daring and non-stop action from the original cinematic adventures that enthralled audiences everywhere. With a unique tongue-in-cheek take on the original adventures, LEGO Indiana Jones follows Dr. Jones escapades through the jungles of South America to the mountaintops of India. Fans can build, battle and brawl their way through their favourite cinematic moments, from Indy’s entanglements with snakes to his dashing boulder run.

Of course, pop culture’s most iconic archeologist will whip through all the classic moments with the help of a host of supporting characters including Marion Ravenwood and Short Round. Players can also mix and match the body parts of more than 60 playable characters to create new heroes just as they could in the best-selling LEGO Star Wars games.”

Check out the Official Lego: Indianna Jones website or order Lego: Indianna Jones at play.com.

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Review: Koropina

Another good example of what the Wii-mote control system can bring to gaming.
As with many marble games before it (Marble Madness, MonkeyBall, etc…), Koropina has a simple game concept: guide your marble through a maze collecting to get to the goal, and along the way you collect red crystals and bonus green crystals before hitting the exit point.

Sometimes there is a sense of disorientation, especially when the Wii-mote has been turned through 180 degrees and you are not sure which way is up; or trying to jiggle the marble sideways onto an unseen platform below, but the occasional miss is not too frustrating, as each level is not overly large by design.

Each level also contains many features to liven up the game play, from magnets, conveyor belts, canons, sliding platforms, honey and more.

The best fun to be had was with the split screen two-player competitive mode, which how I have mainly played the game.

The challenge, although tricky in parts, rarely gets too difficult; as such this is a game that can be enjoyed by a wide range of abilities and ages, but that did lead to all 45 levels being fairly swiftly completed. There is a ‘mirror’ mode which is unlocked, so all the levels are available again but this time in reverse.

You can also unlock different types of marbles, playing with the rugby ball (or I guess it’s an American football) shaped marble was a little tricky!

Recommended!

Kororinpa Wii

Cost: £34.24 (at Amazon)
Pros: Good graphics. Good, intuitive use of the controller.
Cons: Some larger and trickier levels would not have gone a miss.

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Wii Number 1 arrives…

…but I can’t take it out the box!!  It will have to remain pristine, just in case Wii number 2 doesn’t make it before my brothers birthday in 2 weeks!

The box is smaller than I was expecting though!

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Wii, A new home for point-and-click games?

Monkey Island, Broken Sword, Day of the Tentacle - all fantastic and still highly playable point-and-click adventure games.

Sadly we haven’t seen too many new titles from the genre over the last decade, and those that we have are usually awful.

But things may be changing…

The Wiimote is the perfect point-and-click device for the interface and brains not brawn are what point and click adventures require, although at times you were at the mercy of the twisted mind of the game designer Zack and Wiki was a good example of how point-and-click games can work on the Wii. Although it needed a little more thought put into some of the Wiimote interactions (moving the remote in the way it asked wasn’t always successful).

It’s a shame that LucasArts don’t seem to have plans for an updated Monkey Island or Indiana Jones, but TellTale Games have announced that Sam and Max, the venerable adventure brand recently revived via an episodic series of PC downloads, is coming to Wii, as the press release rightly says, “the game’s easy-to-use interface is ideal for a broad consumer audience.” If they get the interface right - item manipulation could be a pain with the Wiimote - then Wii could become the new home for adventure gamers.

Could we be seeing the rebirth of a much-loved genre?

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When One Wii Is Just Not Enough!!

After months of searching, waiting, phoning up my local Game at 8:30 every morning and more waiting I got my hands on a Wii and not just the one, I also ordered one for my brother’s impending birthday (he is 30 only once!). And before you think I’ve come over all generous it is a present from the family not just from me.

Such was demand that most stockists weren’t just selling the Wii on it’s own, oh no, they making hay while the Nintendo sun is shining, and I was forced into ordering 3 game bundles with each Wii. Which really I don’t blame them as I’d do the same. Hopefully, I should find at least one game that might be worth the wait, although to be fair the selection of games to pick from wasn’t great, but I am pinning my hopes on Warioware Smooth Moves, Zelda and Sonic to provide several hours of entertainment.

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Super Mario 520 Dot Pin Scene

The Super Mario 520 Dot Pin Scene allows you to rearrange the different colour pins to recreate many different characters from the Nintendo Super Mario Bros games.

There are two available,

Mario includes:

  • 2 Display bases
  • 2 Pin boards
  • 90 x Skin Coloured Pins
  • 140 x Red Coloured Pins
  • 150 x Olive Coloured Pins
  • 100 x Orange Coloured Pins
  • and 40 White Coloured Pins
  • and you can recreate Mario, Koopa Troopa, Mushroom, and others!

mario dot pin scene

Luigi includes:

  • 2 Display bases
  • 2 Pin boards
  • 90 x Skin coloured Pins
  • 140 x White Coloured Pins
  • 150 x Green Coloured Pins
  • 100 x Yellow Coloured Pins
  • and 40 x Red Coloured Pins
  • and you can recreate Luigi, Fire Flower, Bowser, and others!

luigi dot pin scene

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Super Mario Bros. 3

Super Mario Bros. 3 is often regarded as one of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s greatest games and according to the Guinness Book of records Super Mario 3 is the best-selling video game of all time (not originally bundled with a console, although it would later be packaged with the NES, and sold as the “Challenge Set”).

Like most Mario games, the plot is minimal, existing mainly to serve the functions of the game play, and what game play! One of the most playable games ever made, due mainly to the creativity and thought that had been placed in every level, with hidden and secret routes and the advancement of difficulty.

In Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario and Luigi are on a mission to rescue the seven kings of the seven worlds which neighbour the Mushroom Kingdom, each of the kings has had his magic wand stolen by one of the Koopalings.

Split into 8 worlds named Grass Land, Desert Land, Water Land, Giant Land, Sky Land, Ice Land, Pipe Land, and Dark Land. To save each world Mario must navigate through a number of levels finding their way to the Koopalings’ airships and take back the wands.

Just as you think you saved all the wands, you learn at the end of world 7, these attacks are merely a diversion planned by Bowser, to distract Mario while he kidnaps Princess Toadstool. So it’s up to Mario to save the Princess once again.

SM3 introduces many innovations to the Mario series of games; power ups: the raccoon leaf, the frog suit, and plenty more as you take on Bowser’s children and the Hammer Bros. and the usual cast of Mario villains. Instead of being simply linear like the original Super Mario Bros, players have some choices in the order they play the stages. There are also bonus squares on the map with mini games that offer power-ups (which you can store and use later).

Super Mario Bros. 3 Super Mario Bros. 3 Super Mario Bros. 3

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Wii’re going Retro - C64 comes to Virtual Console

Nintendo has announced a new (or should that be old) platform will be coming to Wii’s Virtual Console, a selection of classic Commodore 64 titles.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records the C64 remains the best selling single computer model of all time, with an estimated 22 million units sold, so Nintendo should be tapping into a ready made retro-market, Laurent Fischer, Managing Director of European Marketing & PR of Nintendo Europe adds, “We are extremely pleased to be working with Commodore Gaming to provide even more retro hits for Wii owners to choose from on Virtual Console. With over 184 classic titles now available to enjoy, Virtual Console on Wii is a great way for users to access a breadth of classic retro games. We hope that this great choice of games will bring nostalgia to our gaming fans, while an entirely new generation of video game players can experience a host of classic games for the very first time.”

CEO of Commodore Gaming, Bala Keilman, reckons the “massive impact the Commodore 64 had on video-gaming is still evident today with many gamers remembering the computer and its games with great fondness. By working with Nintendo of Europe, we are ensuring that future generations of gamers can play some of the best and most popular titles that kick-started thecomputer games revolution and so keep the C64 legacy in gamers hearts.”

The first titles to make the transition will be the legendary fighting game, International Karate, and top-down shooter classic, Uridium, and more will follow.

My wishlist of games I’d like to see, which are games I think I would still play well today:

  • Wizball
  • Head over heels
  • Paradroid
  • Skool Daze
  • Impossible Mission
  • Space Rogue
  • Parallax
  • Frankie goes to hollywood
  • Creatures 2: Torture Trouble
  • Anything and everything by Jeff Minter

Wonder if they will bring out a wireless C64 joystick!? :)

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Wii Sales Keep on Climbing

Industry experts are predicting that the Wii is poised to overtake global sales of the Xbox 360 within a couple of weeks.
With nearly 10 million consoles sold since the Wii went on sale at the end of last year and it is has achieved this in half the time it took Microsoft to sell the same number of XBox 360 consoles.

Global Console Sales:

  • Nintendo Wii - 9.27m
  • Microsoft Xbox 360 - 10m
  • Sony PlayStation 3 - 4.5m

When designs for the Wii (then called Revolution) were initially drawn up the focus on was a shift away from the traditional battleground of ever better graphics and bigger processors, and more towards gamer participation and activity.

At the time Nintendo hinted that the design of the Revolution wireless controllers would be unique - “It is the game experience that will most separate the Revolution from its competitors” said president of Nintendo Satoru Iwata.

Wiimote controller contains an accelerometer that can detect movement along three axes, which has lead to the increase in social and interactive games, but the worry is that the Wii is becoming something of a party game and that the novelty may soon wear off.  To build on the innovation of the Wiimote controller Nintendo has launched a series of accessories for the Wii such as an interactive balance board.

Nintendo feel it can still innovate through hardware, I hope that the games that follow are even more innovative.

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