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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Banjo-Kazooie (N64/360): Rareware’s Masterpiece (Detailed Review)

Banjo-Kazooie | Mumbo Mountain

I posted my review of Yooka-Laylee almost two years ago. I had some very strong praises for it despite the fact that I had not even grown up with Banjo-Kazooie and was only familiar with the game through a lets play.That lets play was very appealing though and I loved the style of the game and everything, the only reason I didn’t play the game until now was because I didn’t own the systems it was for and didn’t know how to use emulators. What recently got me in the mood to finally check this game out was seeing a certain leftist video maker stream another Nintendo 64 Collectathon by Rare for close to three days straight to raise money for a UK charity for trans kids, and if that doesn’t inspire you to play some vidya then I don’t know what will.

Predictably as fuck, I immensely enjoyed Banjo-Kazooie but it wouldn’t be an AnnieGal review without at least one hot take; Yooka-Laylee is a better game. This really SHOULDN’T be a hot take because Yooka-Laylee was made close to two decades later with much more advanced technology, but we live in a world where Donald Trump is president and Yooka-Laylee is a “failure in every way.” As an aside, I will eventually make a full response to Derek Alexander’s review but I’d like to play Banjo-Tooie and Donkey Kong 64 for myself before that. Read more

Has it Held up? – Metroid (NES) (Standard Review)

Metroid | metroids

Recently I decided to play through the original Metroid on a whim. I have a specific set of games I want to play through but I always tend to deviate from that schedule eventually. The reason why I decided to was because I have actually never played the first Metroid before this. I have played through Super Metroid, Metroid Prime, and Metroid Fusion before but not the original. Granted I could have just played the remake Metroid: Zero Mission for the GBA but I wanted to see how the series started. I wanted to play through the first Metroid just so I can ask, has it held up?

The answer to that the original Metroid does in fact pass the test of time, but it does so with a C minus. I did have fun with Metroid but there was a lot of shit that really interfered with that and will be difficult to go back to. Nonetheless there is still quite a bit that puts this game ahead of mediocre clones like Legends of the Universe – Starcore even with the game’s age. Read more

EarthBound (SNES/GBA): Pure Artistic Desire (Detailed Review)

Earthbound | Ness's Nightmare

EarthBound is a game that has been well received since its introduction, but has only recently received a serious look by mainstream gaming websites in the past few years. We now find it frequently in top-10 lists near the number one spot. The weird thing about this however, is that Nintendo of America has ignored the EarthBound series and has given it no publicity over the years, so what was there to increase its publicity so drastically that major gaming sites started noticing? The answer would be the game’s rabid fan base that is incredibly loyal to the series and have pushed hard to get it noticed. This however has led some to some fans that are really overzealous and give the series a massive amount of hype with great expectations to fill. I myself at one point have been in that same position of near obsession with the series, but it has been years since then and I have moved on and played many other games that have made me just as passionate as EarthBound did.

I recently decided to replay EarthBound and I expected that losing my overzealous passion would make the game’s flaws more noticeable. Despite having a very special place in my heart I expected this review to be one that, while still having a positive tone, was more critical of the game. I was wrong, and being wrong has never felt so right. It turns out that not only in this play-through that I re-discovered exactly what it was that made me fall in love with it in the first place, but I discovered more. This play-through marks the only time that my opinion of a game I already played improved despite being one of my all time favorite games to begin with. 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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Standard Review: Mega Man: Dr. Wily’s Revenge (Game Boy/3DS)

Mega Man Dr Wily's Revenge | Cover Art

There tends to be a rather disturbing double standard present among gamers when it comes to comparisons regarding modern games and the “classics.” This double standard pertains to complaints regarding cash cow franchises and stagnant sequels. Series like Call of Duty, Dynasty Warriors, and even the recent Nintendo sequels have been looked at with scorn from several gamers for failing to evolve. On the other hand, Capcom released six identical titles in the Mega Man series on the NES only a year apart, and all six of those titles are looked at as classics, and Mega Man 9 and 10 were very well received despite them hardly being innovative. I am not saying I dislike the NES Mega Man titles myself, in fact I thought all of them were pretty solid action games even if they were not that different. The main point I am making is that the Mega Man series was milked to death back then.

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