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Showing posts from September, 2021

Super Mario 64: 25th anniversary

Today is the 25th anniversary of the North American debut of the Nintendo 64 and its headline game, Super Mario 64! Although the N64 didn't sell nearly as well as its predecessor consoles, Super Mario 64 lived up to its own legacy, bringing Mario boldly into the third dimension. Watch a video version of this review I didn't own an N64 as a child, so I only played multiplayer N64 games socially. As a result, I only played this Mario classic a couple times. That's why I was thrilled when it was re-released last year as part of Super Mario 3D All-Stars . I finally got to try it for myself, and I was not disappointed. It was tricky to get used to, though. Moving Mario in three dimensions is a lot harder than in two, especially when you have limited control of the camera! Mario doesn't always move in the precise direction you want, which can be problematic when he's on a tight ledge. And the control limitation has only gotten more frustrating with time, since modern game

BurgerTime: Playing with Peter Pepper and Mr. Pickle

BurgerTime is another classic arcade game that already looked dated when it hit the NES in 1987. I played BurgerTime on a PC a few times when I was a kid, and it definitely seemed primitive even then. Still, it's fun in a challenging kind of way. In BurgerTime you control a tiny chef named Peter Pepper, who is constructing hamburgers that dwarf him, all the while avoiding anthropomorphic food adversaries. They have very creative names: Mr. Egg, Mr. Pickle, and Mr. Hot Dog—whose small size suggests he's actually a cocktail wiener. Peter doesn't cook the burgers (maybe he did that before the game started); he only assembles them by causing their top bun, patty, and lettuce to fall down onto the bottom bun. The ingredients are already vertically aligned along various platforms. To make one fall, he need only walk across it, causing it to fall one platform, which also crushes any enemies below it. If an enemy is on it at the time, it falls down an additional platform and dest

Volleyball: The worst NES sports game?

Volleyball, Pro Wrestling , and Slalom constituted the second wave of games for the NES's sports series, which launched with 10-Yard Fight,  Soccer , Tennis , Baseball , and Golf . These games were popular in the early days of the NES, but they don't hold up today, and Volleyball is no exception. Watch a video version of this review As in those other games, the players are small, identical sprites. You can choose from several different teams, as well as men or women. I'm not sure if these changes are merely graphical, or if the different teams and genders have different difficulty levels. Different sources give conflicting information. It could be carefully tested, but honestly the game isn't worth it and it doesn't matter. This is in large part because the controls are bad. At any given time you control two or three players that move together. There's no easy way to tell who they are, which caused me frequent confusion and missed balls. This is probably the ga