Amazing VGM: Face Shrine (The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening)

Link's Awakening | Wind Fish Mural

It just now occurred to me that I have not covered a Zelda song in either Amazing VGM or its predecessor I wrote on that site that will not be acknowledged. I actually just beat the Switch version of Link’s Awakening about a month ago, and I enjoyed it, but I won’t be reviewing it given that I’m too behind on shit to write reviews for, and that this is one of those games that has been reviewed to death. In short, I’m not reviewing it because I have too much on my plate already, and wanted to prioritize the games I felt like talking about more.

But it’s also that I don’t have overly strong opinions on Link’s Awakening. It wasn’t bad or anything, and I enjoyed it, but I also wouldn’t include it among my favorites in the series.I’m sure there is some irony in that a site called Guardian Acorn isn’t covering the game that it’s namesake came from, but there is thankfully another game with a guardian acorn in it that I’m going to be reviewing in the near future. I bet you can’t guess which game it is though. Read more

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (SNES): Shoots for the Moon, Lands Among the Stars (Detailed Review)

Super Mario RPG | Bowyer

Super Mario RPG is a game that, when it was originally released, likely met with a lot of skepticism. Squaresoft’s RPGs are generally known as their huge sweeping tales that were not like anything that most gamers have seen at the time. Mario games, on the other hand, generally had no story beyond the typical excuse plot involving rescuing the princess. I can imagine the surprise when the two ended up going together like peanut butter and chocolate.

Since then, there have been two sub series that have been considered spiritual successors to Super Mario RPG; those being the Paper Mario series, and the Mario & Luigi series. Super Mario RPG was also one of the last games released for the Super Nintendo in 1996 and was the last game Squaresoft developed for a Nintendo system until Final Fantasy Tactics Advance in 2003. Super Mario RPG was the source of many technical achievements and innovations for the time of its release, but the real question is if it is as impressive today as it was in 1996. Read more

Bayonetta (PS3/PS4/360/XONE/WiiU/Switch/PC): One of a Kind (Detailed Review)

Bayonetta | Sapentia

I’d imagine that given my propensity towards fanservicey anime-esque games with sexy women involved, that it comes as a surprise that I haven’t played Bayonetta until recently. The major reason I haven’t played it until recently is because it originally released back in 2010 when I didn’t have a PS3 or 360. I actually acquired a copy of the Wii U version of Bayonetta 2 back around 2014 or 2015, but I never got around to playing it or many of the Wii U games I owned in general due to the fact that depression hit me pretty hard around that time, and before that I was in a phase where I was only interested in JRPGs.

I actually decided to play and review the first Bayonetta as a result of a poll I held on my now suspended Twitter account, and it was held to serve as a milestone to me gaining $50 a month through Patreon. That was over a year ago, and I am just now getting to that review. Yes I know, I am very slow. And Bayonetta is fucking amazing! Read more

Amazing VGM: The Eight Melodies (EarthBound Beginnings)

EarthBound Beginnings | Melody

Oh what’s this? Annie has remembered that her Amazing VGM series exists after not posting anything one since May? Yeah, this series has been put on the back burner for quite some time. Really this blog in general was more of a side thing since I have been so heavily focused on political activism as of late, and thus when I found time to write gaming content, it was for my standard reviews. Of course I still need to get a few of those and I don’t know how soon I’ll get back to doing those, but I have thought back to my Amazing VGM piece on NieR Automata’s “Weight of the World. ”

I just re-read that piece and I forgot how touching it was. Generally my Amazing VGM pieces are short and and quick, but I basically used this piece to speak to both the current state of the world and my own personal life. The same went for my piece on “Reunited ” from Undertale, and I wrote that one before I even had this blog. Considering how emotional this year has been for me, it is only right that I continue this tradition, and to make it even more poetic, I will re-write the last pre Guardian Acorn VGM piece that I needed to revise, Earthbound Beginning’s “The Eight Melodies.” For the purposes of this piece, I will be sticking to official arrangements.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (Switch): Ultimately, A Letdown (Detailed Review)

Super Smash bros. Ultimate | Box art

I enjoyed Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. I enjoyed it… but I also felt it was a let down in a number of ways, and I consider it the weakest in the series (with exception to the original which I haven’t played and thus can’t speak on).

I want to emphasize that most of my criticisms of Ultimate are as a single player experience, and that I couldn’t care less that you can’t doowop an skippity uppity airslap into a wavedashed cockdump sparklenut or spitshine a ledge canceled dickknob after twirlywhirly dibdidybobbidyboo 2: Electric Boogaloo. I am aware that fighting games are typically multi-player focused, but I never got into strictly multi-player games. Also there is the fact that the Switch now requires a subscription for online multi-player that I’ve heard isn’t an improvement over Smash 4’s free online. Read more

Standard Review: Luigi’s Mansion (GC/3DS)

Luigi's Mansion | Logo

There are two kinds of people in this world; those that like Luigi’s Mansion, and people who hate fun. The first Luigi’s Mansion was apparently not well received when it originally came out since it wasn’t a sequel to Super Mario 64 and had some big shoes to fill. Luigi’s Mansion is not even in the same genre as Mario 64 so those comparisons only came up due to the fact that Mario platformers were previously released as launch titles for Nintendo consoles, and this likely lead kids to assume that Luigi’s Mansion was a platformer because it was a Gamecube launch title.

The Gamecube did eventually get a Mario platformer with … which apparently also had a bunch of people who didn’t like it because Nintendo fanboys are just unpleasable it seems… and also it’s kinda been close to two decades since it’s been released. This means that plenty of people have had time to examine Luigi’s Mansion on its own merits and many have rightfully concluded that it is a good game. Of course I always liked it to begin with and lost count of the amount of times I played it as a child, but what prompted this review was me playing through the 3DS port a few weeks before this was written.

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Fangame Review: (Mario) The Music Box – ARC

(Mario) The Music Box - ARC | Title Screen

CW: Violence and Gore.

The (Mario) The Music Box series is just so insane and absurd that I can’t get enough of it. The first installment was a solid Corpse Party clone marred only by having button mashing prompts that will make your arms fall off before completing the game. I did have some other complaints about unresolved plot points and a lack of relevance to the Mario canon, and the sequel, (Mario) The Music Box – ARC, takes those criticisms into account… in the weirdest way possible.

The first (Mario) The Music Box was a fairly standard Corpse Party clone but (Mario) The Music Box – ARC decides to abandon any semblance of sanity that remained in this series… if there was any to begin with. Read more

Fangame Review: Mother: Cognitive Dissonance

I have been a fan of the EarthBound series for many years at this point. I first became a fan from watching various lets plays of the game back around 2008 or 2009, because at the time I knew nothing about roms and emulators, and I clearly could not afford a copy of EarthBound. After having been moved by both EarthBound and Mother 3, I was enamored with the series for several months to the point of near obsession. As such, the series was very influential to my experiences as a gamer, despite me having experienced them over a decade after EarthBound’s release.

I didn’t end up playing EarthBound on my own until I bought a cart myself despite the huge price, and I’m still glad I have a physical copy seeing as how it’s my favorite game of all time, and I only played Earthbound Beginnings last year when it was released on the Wii U e-shop. Hell I still have not legitimately played Mother 3 and am waiting until its inevitable e-shop release to do so (although as I said, I have seen let’s plays of it and know enough to say that’s it’s pretty much a masterpiece) Read more

Fangame Review: (Mario) The Music Box

(Mario) - The Music Box | Title Screen

TW: References to violence, gore, suicide, cannibalism, child abuse, and murder.

Though I have yet to play many of them, I have always held a special interest in fan games. It is especially interesting to see what fans can do with an existing property with nothing other than their own money and free time, and it is especially noteworthy how many have managed to create an experience on par with or better than the original creators can.

Or you could be like (Mario) The Music Box and have nothing to do with Nintendo’s flagship series aside from having Mario and Luigi in it. It’s quite fitting that “Mario” is in parentheses in the title of this game because this game is not really about Mario. Of course one can get the impression that the last type of game that would be appropriate for Mario is a Corpse Party clone, but even still there is so little that has to do with the Mario series involved. Read more

RPGs of the Famicom: Earthbound Beginnings

Earthbound Beginnings | Title

With the release of Earthbound Beginnings on the Wii U e-shop, Nintendo of America has corrected a 26 year old mistake on their part. Earthbound Beginnings is the prequel to Earthbound on the SNES that was not originally released in Japan. The game was originally intended to be localized but was canceled despite the localization having already been fully completed. Until now the translated version of Earthbound Beginnings (which was otherwise known as Earthbound Zero) could only be played via emulation or a reproduction cart. Nintendo just now released the translated version for the Wii U e-shop making it available more easily and legally.

Earthbound Beginnings is different from its successor in plenty of ways and is mostly an inferior game, but this is usually to be expected in terms of sequels. Even if one were to hold Earthbound Beginnings to the standards of a lot of modern day games it still handles things far more competently than most and is an amazing game on its own. Read more