June 3, 2012
It’s release day! The day that you have been waiting for. The game that will change your life forever comes out today. I know that feeling, the same feeling you get as a kid when you see all of the presents under the Christmas tree. Today is your day and nothing can go wrong. The only thing that you want to do is get your game and go play!
You finally arrive at your local Game Stop, walk to the register and ask for your game. All of the signs are on the door promoting the new release, posters and all. The cashier says to you, “Hey what can I do for you?” and you respond, “Obviously I want the new game that just came out! Here is my $60, now give me the game!” The cashier responds back, “Did you reserve it?” and you reply “Heck yeah, of course I paid my $5 to reserve it, give me the game!” The cashier goes to get the game from the back, before he hands it to you he says, “Do you want to pre-order this new game coming out next month? or how about sign up for our reward system that you can get points and discounts? It will save you money on this purchase and future purchases. I really recommend it.” At this point you are furious, but the cashier still has your game in his hands and wont hand it over. You just want to go home and play! Giving in, you agree to sign up for the $15 reward program and pay $5 for a future reserve of a game that you will probably never buy. You then take your game, run out of the store and run home. Time to play right?
Finally you start-up the game and sign online. You get prompted that there is a new downloadable content pack with all of the new maps and new characters that you just have to get. This is another $20 that you just have to spend in order to get the full experience, so you just purchase the extra content. Finally, its time to play! About $100 spent on a trip to the game store.
Between the price of the game and all of the add-ons, it is becoming a ripoff for the gamer. It is coming to a point where it is just about the money and not about the consumer. When a new game is released now, you can automatically count on their being a sequel and even a prequel. The video game company tries and to every possible penny out of a game that is released. There are rumors surfacing that there will no longer be used games for the release of the Xbox 720 and PlayStation 4. That all but insures that game companies only care about money.
When you walk into a store like a Game Stop, they pressure you into buying every possible add-on for a game. This includes a strategy guide, a custom controller for them game, custom faceplate and so on. It is insane how people pressure you whenever you walk inside of a Game Stop. Just guess who plays most of their video games? If you said young teens and kids you would be correct! It is so easy to show a kid a new shiny extra to a game so they could run to their parents and beg them for them to buy it. Going to a game store is just like trying to buy a new car. They will keep on pressuring you to buy something until you finally say no and leave.
What ever happened to the good days of gaming? Going to the store and getting a game, knowing that it will be a complete game from start to finish is a thing of the past. There are no extra characters, or maps that you need, everything is right there in the brand new game that you have just purchased. I wish I could say one day it will get better, but as new systems and games are released this problem is going to continue. Realize how much money your going to spend on a game the next time you buy one. Your probably only buying about sixty percent of the game with the other forty percent to come at a later time by spending extra money. Its just getting to a point now where its not fair for the consumer, but as Game Stop likes to say Power to the Player.
May 22, 2012
Imagine not having only one life to live, but now you have two.
Another day just walking through the park. All of a sudden, you find a box floating in the air with a question mark on it. Playing Mario multiple times before, you know exactly what you have to do. Of course your going to jump up and hit the block! That is exactly what you do and out comes a green mushroom. It falls to the ground, starts moving to the right and you chase after it. Finally catching up to it, you touch it and it disappears.
Days goes by, even months and you go to the doctor for your yearly checkup. He tells you that he has discovered something that has given you another life, meaning if you would happen to die you have another chance to live. All of a sudden you freak out, well obviously, it’s crazy that you have another life. Thinking to yourself, you remember the trip to the park, finally it all comes together. Mario, a yellow question mark block, a green mushroom and another life, It was a 1-up mushroom!
What would you do? Now you have another life!
Let’s lay down some rules. This extra live is exactly how it is used in Mario, if you would fall off a cliff or run into a goomba you would be dead. Well in our world if you would run into a bus, but you get the idea.
I don’t know what I would do, should I just go to the top of a mountain, jump off and see what happens? I think I would have to do something like that, right? I need to utilize this 1-up, it’s not every day you find these kind of things lying around.
On the other hand, it would pretty scary. I’m not sure if I would want to kick the bucket and come back, even if it was for only a few seconds. It would be pretty crazy, because who knows what actually happens to you in those few seconds when your gone. I know when Mario falls of the edge of a platform, he just gets right back up and continues on his journey. I’m not too sure that I would be able to get up like that and go on like nothing ever happened!
Now that I think about it, I’m not too sure that I want that 1-up. Maybe I should just stay away from yellow question mark boxes if I ever see one. They are pretty suspicious now that I think about it!
May 1, 2012
Everyone knows Mario. Let’s face it, the guy is pretty much a global icon. He has kept us up many nights past our bedtime, just for so we can step on some goombas and jump on some turtles. Super Mario Bros on the classic Nintendo is where he really took off. Then came Super Mario Bros 2 and 3. Mario just doesn’t like to save Princess Peach from castles, he enjoys other activities as well. He is pretty versatile believe it or not. Some Mario games have been swept under the rug that have been released after Super Mario Bros. I am going to bring back the memories and list the top Mario spin-off games of all time.
#3 Mario Party
Take all of the Mario characters that we have loved over the years and throw them on a virtual board game. Throw in dice to roll, some coins and a star to collect and you have Mario Party. This is the ultimate, quick, fun, sit down and play Mario game. There have been 9 Mario Party games so far and I think the can make 100 of them. The basis of the game is to win mini-games and collect coins. In Monopoly when you pass Go, you get $200. Instead of gaining $200 in Mario Party, if you have enough coins you can exchange them for stars. Whoever has the most stars when the game is over, wins! This game is a lot of fun especially when playing with a lot of friends. Definitely worth of a spot in the top Mario spin-off games.
#2 Mario Tennis
Mario loves his sports. There have been games such as Mario Golf, Mario Baseball, Mario Basketball and Mario Soccer. I would not be surprised to see Mario Volleyball. Let’s not forget about Mario Tennis either which makes #2 on my list. Mario Tennis is not like regular tennis. Sorry to say but, tennis on television is pretty boring. Two people hit a little, green ball back and forth over a net until someone misses. That is not very exciting at all, but when you add Mario and his gang to the mix, it is a lot of fun. Mario Tennis has backhands and even drop shots. It still stays true to the game of tennis, but for some reason it is a lot more fun than real tennis. It is faster paced and playing doubles with a friend makes it even more exciting. Mario Tennis for the N64 was fun, but Mario Power Tennis for the GameCube is a lot better. In the GameCube version, players have a special shot that adds a whole new element to the game. Take Diddy Kong for instance. When you use his special shot he will automatically go to the ball and hit is back. It is not your normal return though, he puts a crazy banana shaped curve on the ball, making it hard to hit back. This game takes tennis to the next level. I sometimes wish real life tennis was exciting like it is in Mario Tennis.
#1 Mario Kart
Who even knew that Mario was old enough to drive? I honestly never knew he was able to. I also didn’t know that a dinosaur and a monkey were capable of operating a vehicle. I have no clue who passed them for their drivers licenses. Whoever it was, I would have to thank them.
Mario Kart is the hands down #1Mario spin-off.
There have been Mario Kart games released for handheld systems like the Game boy Advance and Nintendo 3DS. The classic Mario Kart’s on the N64 and GameCube is where it is at. Mario Kart puts Mario and his crew behind the wheel of go karts and lets them race to the finish. It is no simple three lap race though. There are items that you can pick up along the way. Some of them include, shells that you can throw at other divers and bananas that you can place down, in hope that your opponent drives over it and spins off the track. Mario Kart first started off as one person behind the wheel. Then Mario Kart Double Dash was released on the GameCube that featured two drivers on one cart. One driver would throw the items and the other would drive the cart, you could switch back and forth between drivers as well. Each character has a special item, similar to special shots in Mario Tennis. The courses are awesome as well. Courses take place in deserts, jungles and even on top of Daisy’s Cruiser. Yes, you get to drive on a yacht in the middle of the ocean.
Mario Kart is a classic and is my #1 Mario spin-off game!