“Wanna Watch Me Beat Super Mario 3D World?”

He got all the green stars.  He got all the gold flags and all the stamps in all the other levels.  Now all that was left was to complete the ultimate platformer level in the secret, final “Crown World” in Super Mario 3D World.  My boyfriend had been at it for weeks; you had to essentially commit the level to muscle memory and time everything just so, or you fall to your doom and die.  You have to have full understanding of how long and how far and how fast your character (Mario, in his case) jumps and runs…because that changes everything.

My boyfriend played the final level A LOT.  He even grabbed hundreds of lives to have near-infinite tries:

…And has a specific way to hold the GamePad when his timing starts getting too rushed:

The last time I saw him try to clear this level, he could only get up to the 2nd area and would curse incessantly at the TV with every death.  And then, just the other night, this transpired…

BOYFRIEND: “After playing this Mario level like 475 times, I don’t get pissed anymore.  I just take the failure and brush it off.”

ME: “Really?  No more cursing?”

BOYFRIEND: “Nah, I’m over it.”

He played the level, screwed up, and died.


I stared at him.

BOYFRIEND: “….I think my testosterone goes up when I’m around you….”

Testosterone or Pride?  Hahaha.  This isn’t the first time something like this has happened!  I guess it’s cute, he was trying to show off his skills.  About 50 lives later…he really did beat the level, for the first time ever!  We’ve been playing it together since then, going through all the levels and clearing them with every character.  It’s pretty fun, but I’m new to the whole 3D-genre of Mario…soooo I’m not accustomed to having this squat-jump thing yet.  He tells me it’s from the N64 Mario game, which is a console I completely skipped over while growing up :(  Why couldn’t we be friends in middle school!


First Impressions/Now Playing: Bravely Default

Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: N. American demo is out now; full game set to release February 7, 2014.

The first thing you need to know about this game is that Bravely Default is only a good game if you like JRPGs.

The second thing you need to know is that it’s the perfect JRPG.
Continue reading

Now Playing: PokoPang!

Platform: mobile (iPhone)

“Is PokoPang as popular in the States as it is here?” Asked my friend who lives in Singapore. I’ve never heard of it, but PokoPang is a mobile puzzle game you can download through LINE chat.

Curious, I downloaded it, and now I can’t stop playing. I’m terrible at it, but there’s something about all the flashiness, cuteness, and colors that I find indescribably addicting. You get five lives (clovers) to play in the game, which recharges over time…or your friends can send you another clover. Leveling up will completely fill your clovers too – a small thing that makes PokoPang easier to play than Candy Crush. Like Candy Crush, you do get prompted to buy power ups with real money, but there are free ways to get those too (playing 15 times yields a free, random power up).  You don’t need that much patience to play this game for free, even if you have no friends (I only have 1 friend playing this game).  The clovers come pretty easily.

All you do is drag your finger to connect 3 or more same-colored dots; if you don’t take too much time between successful connections, you rack up a combo that multiplies your points. You’ll also get bombs (to clear a whole bunch of dots) and rainbows (clear one kind of color at random) that are pretty key to getting a good score…aside from how fast you swipe your finger. Continue reading

Now Playing: Wind Waker HD, Hero Mode!

It’s even prettier in person, but attracts dust like CRAZY! Fresh out of the box, it’s already got stuff stuck to it!

After months of going back and forth on it, my boyfriend finally broke down.  We went to Gamestop, first thing after the dog park, and waited for GameStop to open.  It took a couple of hours to set everything up and even download the game – why was it not preloaded?! – but finally, it’s here…The Legend of Zelda Limited Edition Wii U!!  And the Wind Waker HD remake!  With pretty much nothing else of note on the Wii U till the end of the year, this remake is pretty much the ONLY thing moving Wii U units right now.  I’m somewhat worried about Nintendo, but feel pretty sure that by this time next year, things should be looking good for them.  They’ve always relied on top quality, polished 1st party games to sell consoles.

Even though I owned a GameCube (possibly the best console ever…I loved how portable it was!), I NEVER played Wind Waker before….After Ocarina of Time (which I played on GC because I never had an N64), the series just stopped for me.  I can’t even justify it at all, except with a dumb excuse of being cheap.  I hate buying games when I don’t have time to play them anymore, or anyone to play with.

Anyway, the new remake is absolutely BEAUTIFUL….some aspects of it no longer hold strictly to the cel-shaded look of the original version, but I’ve briefly tried the original out on Dolphin and the beautification was a welcome improvement.  Nothing about it looks dated, despite the game itself being 11 years old!!!  The remake also comes with “Hero Mode” – you take twice the damage and there are NO HEART REFILLS.  Meaning I can’t cut grass to heal myself, but I still can buy red potions to restore health.  They are, of course, pretty rare…especially in the beginning of the game.  Either that or I’m too poor (a rich person in the Zelda universe has lots of empty bottles!).

Against my boyfriend’s warnings, I decided to play in Hero Mode!  Why?  Because I like struggling in games.  I don’t really know what I could attribute it to.  One could try to justify it and say it’s because I played a lot of Starcraft and you simply have to accept you will lose at least half the matches you ever play in it.  Even in The Sims, I make everyone live in extreme squalor for as long as possible, taking sleep shifts to share beds.  Not to mention I’m also a long-time fan of the Fire Emblem series, which is another game where you’ll die 50 times an hour.  I like it though.  I like the struggle, I like feeling as if I’ve overcome things…I like feeling a CHALLENGE.  When I play games like Mario & Luigi: Dreamteam, or Luigi’s Mansion 2, I get really disappointed before the halfway point because it’s too damn easy.  It still takes me a while to complete these games, given that Nintendo is great about supplying content…but they’re just pretty brainless to play.  There’s no strategy and barely any gaming skill required to complete them.  Just time.  Even though I died a lot, it felt great to figure out how to defeat each enemy and clear an area in 2 minutes, when the first attempt took me 10 minutes.  I’m absolutely loving the challenge of Hero Mode.  You can still switch the difficulty at the Title Menu, however I’m hoping I never give in to that temptation.  Might happen during a boss fight…

This has all just gotten me even more hyped up for the Symphony of the Goddess concert coming up this November 1st!  It’s 4 movements comprised of songs from the Zelda series, played by a live orchestra….I went to the first version of it last year, and this year is supposed to be slightly different.  But who am I kidding?  Even if it was EXACTLY THE SAME I still would have bought tickets!  What’s gonna be cool this time around is I’ll be going with a boyfriend who is also totally in love with Zelda :)  More so than I am, since he’s played both the old and new ones, and I just have the old ones in my nostalgia bank.