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Showing posts from August, 2022

Super Mario Sunshine: 20th anniversary

Today is the 20th anniversary of the U.S. release of Super Mario Sunshine, the Super Mario game of the Nintendo Game Cube. Super Mario Sunshine follows the formula laid down in the tremendous Super Mario 64 . Mario's move set is largely unaltered, so if you've played that game, you'll be able to dive right in. Each level is a large (yet contained) play space in which Mario must find and collect Shine Sprites (the equivalent of Stars in Mario 64). Each stage contains eight "episodes." When Mario finds a Shine, he exits the level, thus completing an episode (unless it was one of the two secret Shines in each stage). He may then either re-enter the level to play the next episode or move to another level, if one has been unlocked. Each episode changes certain aspects of the level (same as in Mario 64). For example, in one level you are tasked with removing enemies from giant mirrors in order to dislodge an enormous Wriggler, then in the next episode you must defeat th

Kirby's Dream Land: 30th anniversary

Today is the 30th anniversary of Kirby's Dream Land, the debut Game Boy adventure of everybody's favorite pink puff ball! Kirby's beginnings were very humble: this first handheld outing is not only short, but it lacks his trademark ability to copy enemy powers. He's white! Kirby's Dream Land is a short, simple, well executed platformer. Its strengths are easy to identify: Kirby handles beautifully, with a robust flying ability and projectile attack. The levels are fun, interesting, and perfect for younger children. And, importantly, Kirby and his world are adorable. Apparently his character design began as a placeholder, but it was so good they kept it! Kirby's Dream Land reminds me of Super Mario Bros. in that it flawlessly fuses form and function. Kirby's smooth and powerful controls complement the beginner level designs. In addition to the standard analog jump (the harder you press A, the farther he jumps), Kirby can inhale a puff of air by pressing ↑. T