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 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

Super Mario Odyssey (Switch): A Platformer of Epic Proportions (Detailed Review)

Super Mario Odyssey | Pauline Band

It may be safe to say that Nintendo is going through a renaissance of sorts as of late.It seems like just a few years ago everyone was on Nintendo’s ass for their refusal to innovate and going on and on about how much of a failure the Wii U was. Ever since that awful E3 conference in 2008, people have assumed that Nintendo stopped caring about their core base. Even when the Switch just came out, people were saying it was just a fluke and that the support the system had was going to wane. Yet here we are and Nintendo seems to be back on top. Despite the fact that it had mostly positive reception, I have yet to play Super Mario 3D World due to the fact that I did not care for its predecessor Super Mario 3D Land or New Super Mario Bros U.

NSMBU was hailed as the best 2D Mario platformer since Super Mario World, and given how much I loved Super Mario World I was very excited to play NSMBU. Unfortunately NSMBU fell way short of my expectations. Not only did I find it nowhere near as good as Super Mario World, but it wasn’t even as good as New Super Mario Bros Wii. While I planned and still do plan to play Super Mario 3D World at some point, I never quite got around to it. For the purpose of comparison, I HAVE played every other 3D Mario platformer with the exception of the DS remake of Mario 64. Read more

New Super Mario Bros U (Wii U/Switch): Same Old Super Mario Bros (Detailed Review)

New Super Mario Bros U | Box Art

New Super Mario Bros U was often claimed to be the strongest entry in the New Super Mario Bros subseries. There have even been some who claimed it was the best 2D Mario game since Super Mario World. I will say right now that neither of those two statements are true. Not only does New Super Mario Bros U not hold a candle to either Super Mario Word or Super Mario Bros 3, but it is also a step down from its predecessor New Super Mario Bros Wii (although it is superior to the mediocre handheld installments of the New Super Mario Bros series). While New Super Mario Bros U is an entertaining game on its own merits, it is disappointing that Nintendo seems to be unable to improve upon a twenty one year old game. Read more

Amazing VGM: Celadon City (Pokemon Red & Blue)

See, I told you I would go with something happier than last week’s VGM… although I could probably upload the sound of dying kittens and it would be less depressing to listen to then “Sayo-nara” was. But anyway, since the last track seemed to take heavy influence from the “Lavender Town” theme, I decided I would go with the song that plays in the next town in the game; “Celadon City.”

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The Top 25 Most Disturbing Video Game Songs (12-1)

Well, here is part 2. The last 13 entries have started out fairly tame but creepy before getting to downright freaky. I will say that each of the top 10 in particular could have worked as the number one spot and it was NOT easy picking the order, but I managed, and I think I have got some fairly solid reasoning. Well anyway, here are the final 12.

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Amazing VGM: The Eye Awakens a Jungle (Earthbound)

Earthbound | Deep Darkness

How surprising that I have yet to make an Amazing VGM entry on my favorite game of all time. Yes, I have covered something from Earthbound Beginnings, The Halloween Hack, and Cognitive Dissonance, but not Earthbound itself. Anyway, I am going to be covering one of the more underrated tracks in the game, the area theme for The Deep Darkness, “The Eye Awakens a Jungle,” also sometimes titled “The Deep Darkness,” by Asgore apparently.

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The Top 25 Most Disturbing Video Game Songs (25-13)

Top 25 Most disturbing video game songs

Music has always been a very integral part of almost any media. The idea of musical accompaniment to plays dates back thousands of years. In video games, the interactivity means players will precede at their own pace, so the music is often more “full” than in movies. Tracks are often used to signify places, events, or characters in games to set certain tones.

Naturally, one of these tones set is the element of fear. Most of the time, we don’t stop to think about the music used for these sequences. There are some tracks that people will listen to in their spare time for their own enjoyment; these are not those tracks. These are instead songs that, upon hearing them, will leave the listener uneasy and jarred through both their sound and their in game use.

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