Recently, Burger King revealed the latest promotion in their BK Crown Kids Meals: The Wii U. I covered the line at Mario’s Hat, but now I’m here to examine these toys a little more closely than what the promotional website allows. It’s three of my favorite things together: Toys, fast food, and video games, so how can I resist?
Incidentally, I’ve not been able to find any Burger Kings carrying the toys until tonight, and they only had two. So rather than wait until I have them all (which may not even happen; we’ll see), I’m just reviewing them as they come. Tonight, it’s the Wii U Sticker Dispenser and a Luigi figure.
Nothing too big here, but I made a bit of an oversight in my “Building a Better Mario Kart” article from a couple of days ago, and I have just finished adding it in.
If you wanted to know without reading (or re-reading the whole thing), I added two items to the end: One is for the allowance of single races against the other seven characters without having to play an entire cup. I can’t remember which games do or don’t have it, but Mario Kart 7 doesn’t, so there we go.
The other, much more important thing (in my opinion) is individual endings and character victory themes. Super Mario Kart had them, simple as they were, so why not newer installments? They make a great motivation to go back and use each character to win a cup.
Check out both items explained in more detail (and with some video!) here.
Much as I love Mario Kart, it’s not perfect, and I feel that SEGA’s Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing has overall managed to surpass it as a more enjoyable, more competitive, and overall more skill-based experience. The sequel, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, is coming in November, and looks like it will have the unique position of beating whatever Nintendo comes up with next to the Wii U.
Some are saying that the “transformed” system is a “rip-off” of what we saw of gliders and underwater movement in Mario Kart 7, though the differences should be very clear. In volume 282 of Nintendo Power magazine, Sumo Digital Executive Producer Steve Lycett stated that they felt they had an “excellent foundation” with Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, but could do more than merely racing on land.
As mentioned at the end of my previous post, I really enjoy Mario Kart. More than anything, the characters, vehicles, and tracks tend to stand out for me. Here are some of my favorites.
Now you're driving with power!
Characters:Mario Kart has seen a lot of characters over the years. I remember gravitating towards Yoshi in the first game, and Donkey Kong in Mario Kart 64, but since then, I’ve gone with Mario as my main– even when replaying the old ones (though I’ll occasionally use Yoshi and DK for old times’ sake). At least I don’t have to worry about him going anywhere or becoming an unlockable!
As noted before, playing as R.O.B. was one of my favorite parts of Mario Kart DS, and Rosalina was fun in Mario Kart Wii. In Mario Kart 7, I tend to use my Mii a lot, just as I often use my Avatar when I’m not using Shadow in ASR. Just don’t think I’d rather play a racing game with all Miis or Avatars; playing as myself among these casts of great characters is part of the fun, and it just wouldn’t be the same without them.
Oh, and I also like using Waluigi on occasion. I don’t care what the haters think, he’s fun! Especially when you play “in-character” and ham it up during your wins and losses. Yes, I speak from experience.
Will I ever get a tribute up on time? Probably not on this site. Still, one day late (by a short margin) is better than never, I suppose.
Today’s honor is the 20th anniversary of the release of Super Mario Kart in North America (with Japan’s coming out only a few days prior). And this seemed like a good opportunity to share some memories of the game, and perhaps the series as a whole.
Matt Green over at Press the Buttons recently came upon and posted the above piece of artwork by Michael Julius Peterson on deviantART, “Yoshi’s Island of Dreams.” He notes that “this is not a real Yoshi game, but it should be” while drawing comparisons between the composition of this piece and the art from Super Mario USA (the Japanese version of our Super Mario Bros. 2 and its forebearer, Yume K?j?: Doki Doki Panic.
Obviously, I liked the piece so much that I knew on the spot I had to share it here… and offer my own two cents, of course.
New Super Mario Bros. 2 comes out this Sunday, August 19th, but over on Mario’s Hat, you can already check out my review for it. That’s right; the site’s namesake and subject of one of its first stories has finally been reviewed.
To reiterate: I like it a lot, and it is a really good game. It just doesn’t do a whole lot “new” except with the metagame (read: coin collecting) and the things which help facilitate that. If you allow yourself to be drawn into the money-grabbing madness, then there is a lot of fun to be had, even in familiar surroundings.
Two points I didn’t really get to make in the review: One is that the idea of this basically being a Wario game with Mario stealing the lead role is a fallacy. It plays nothing like a Wario title at all in any way; the collecting of coins is literally just about the only thing they have in common, and Mario has been doing that since he was kicking critters out of pipes with his brother.
The other is that if you go for the download version, your mileage may vary on download times. One colleague of mine, Matt Furtado, says that it took an hour for his to download. Mine? About five to ten minutes.
With that out of the way, I guess it’s time to look towards New Super Mario Bros. U.
What’s funny is that while the 1UP staff did a splendid job in bringing everything together with my words, there is a little bit of irony to it as well. The pitch was originally to simply look at Vs. Super Mario Bros., the arcade version of the game for Nintendo’s “Vs.”-style arcade units. And while that’s included, the game went without illustration, despite my hopes of including a very odd piece of art from it. So instead, I’m sharing it with you here:
This came from Tumblr, and sort of helped inspire the idea of looking at Vs. Super Mario Bros. (and then everything else). But the most interesting part is not only the detail of what we can only assume is a Koopa Troopa, but the sheer level of brutality on display by Mario. It really calls back to the time when there weren’t ratings and things could get a little crazy in a game as kid-friendly as Super Mario Bros., to say nothing of when Mario’s enemies would “die,” rather than be “defeated.” And those Toads sure don’t seem to mind their liberator going to some extremes.
The past few days have been like something of an information exchange between myself and Tony Ponce over at Destructoid.
Recently, in searching for something else, I came across an article he’d written late last year as a tribute/retrospective to Randy Solem’s Video Game Director’s Cuts. If you’re unfamiliar, I invite you to read the article, but the short of it is that Solem was a Flash animator who created video game parodies which helped bring Newgrounds to prominence.