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Wario Ware Inc., Mega Microgame$

Game: Wario Ware Inc., Mega Microgame$
Start Date: January 7th, 2017
End Date: February 26th, 2017
Videos: 12

Mario has a lot of spinoff games. In fact, you could almost consider the Wario series to be a spinoff of the Mario series in its own right. That kind of logic will not fly with Wario however, as he’s going to do what he can to make a name for himself without that pesky Mario bro. Enter the Wario Ware series, a series that prides itself on being…strange; for lack of a better word. Even with it’s oddities though, it still has managed to crank out a smile and some enjoyment out of gamers, and that ain’t too shabby.

Since I’m once again running out of Mario Party games and since we’ve made some pretty decent progress on the Mario Kart series, I decided to try something else for this weekend project and decided to start going through the Wario Ware series, a game series I have thoroughly enjoyed since its release back in 2003. It’s a pretty fun and hilarious game that I’m very eager to share with you guys!

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Introduction
Introduction:
Every television series has to start somewhere and for The Simpsons, they started with a Christmas special. I know that might seem a little odd, because normally show runners will wait a small bit to get characters introduced and more defined before bringing up all the holiday scenarios, but the Simpsons writers seemed quite confident in their ability to get this series going and considering how well-known this particular Christmas special is, I’d have to say they got off to a pretty nice start.

One thing you will see me point out a lot in these older episodes is the animation. Because this was their first season and because they hadn’t switched to the animators that would go on to do their “golden years” episodes, the animation was pretty low-quality in their first year, at least in comparison with what it would be beyond season three, or even earlier in the following second season. However, I have to say that Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire looks quite a bit better compared to the other episodes of this season. I’m not sure if it’s just because the writing was better, making us overlook some of the visual atrocities, or if the spirit of Christmas has truly touched my heart, making me want to give this episode a pass. Regardless, I do think this is a good episode and a must-see for anyone looking to have an authentic Simpsons experience.

On the subject of this episode’s writing, I also think it’s important to point out that while this episode was the first to air on television, it was not the first episode produced or written for. In fact, of the thirteen episodes in Season 1, it was the eighth to be produced. Obviously this decision was made to air this episode around Christmas time; pushing it ahead in airing order, and also because the first-produced episode “Some Enchanted Evening,” was an animated nightmare and abomination. I’ll be getting to that episode much later in this first season retrospective though, so let’s not get into that now. This episode aired on December 17th, 1989, making it the first and last episode to air in the 1980’s. Simpsons have come a very long way since then, but how does this episode really hold up? Let’s get into it, now that all of the formalities have been taken care of.

Letter

“Speaking of life going on, Grandpa’s still with us, feisty as ever. Maggie is walking by herself, Lisa got straight A’s, and Bart– well, we love Bart.”
~Marge Simpson’s Christmas Letter

Plot:
“Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire” is a pretty standard Christmas episode, in the sense that it has a pretty typical formula that you could apply to a wide variety of other holiday specials. The main characters get excited about Christmas, something happens that threatens to ruin Christmas, and in the last moments, the true spirit of the season touches everyone and a happy ending is shared by all. We’ve seen this type of story a number of times, but the Simpsons have their own little spin to it.

The Simpson family is preparing for Christmas and during the first half of the episode, we basically get different shots of The Simpsons doing very Christmas-related things. From attending a Christmas pageant, making letters to Santa, writing Christmas cards, setting up light decorations, making plans with relatives…these are all the bells and whistles you’d come to expect with typical holiday traditions. And from examining The Simpsons, you can see that Christmas is a pretty important time for them. They take pride in these holiday traditions because they know they aren’t an incredibly wealthy or high-class family, and it’s just a time they can look forward to every year, maybe spend a little extra money on gifts for each other, and just feel the spirit of the season. Even Homer remarks that around Christmas he feels like a “big kid,” because he loves the holiday so much. And even with the upcoming and unpleasant arrival of his wife’s twin sisters, he doesn’t let anything ruin his drive to make this the best Christmas yet.

However, two big wrenches get thrown into Homer’s holiday plans. His boss, Mr. Burns, announces that all employees will not get a Christmas bonus this year. Meanwhile on a shopping trip, Bart sneaks off to get a tattoo, despite his parents objections, forcing Marge to spend the entire family’s Christmas fund to get the tattoo removed. This leaves the Simpson family with next-to-nothing for Christmas shopping, forcing Homer to shop at a cheap discount store and steal a Christmas tree from private property. The rest of the family is completely unaware of these actions though, as Homer has not told them about the denied Christmas bonus in order to keep their holiday spirit high. At Moe’s Tavern, Homer’s friend Barney gives him the idea to take a part-time job as a mall Santa Claus in order to get some extra cash, which a desperate Homer is willing to try to save Christmas for his family.

During a chuckle-emitting montage of Homer being Old Saint Nick, Bart yanks Homer’s Santa beard off, revealing his father and forcing him to tell Bart about his plight. Bart, being impressed of his father’s dedication to their family, decides to help him out and not tell the rest of the family about Homer’s secret. However, when Christmas Eve rolls around, Homer and Bart are both disappointed to find out that Homer’s paycheck is only worth thirteen bucks. Barney, however, fills Homer and Bart in on his master plan of taking the thirteen dollars and betting it down at the dog-racing track on a canine who is on a massive win streak. Homer is at first reluctant to sink to those levels, but is willing to give it a shot when Bart reveals that this could be the Christmas miracle the family needed all along.

At the track, Homer is inspired when he hears the name “Santa’s Little Helper” for one of the racing dogs and decides that betting on the little guy, on Christmas Eve, even with the tremendous odds against him, is a sign that the family will have a Merry Christmas after all. He puts all of his money on Santa’s Little Helper, and as the race comes to a close, he finds out that not only did his dog not win, but he also came in dead last. Distraught over the miracle not happening, both Bart and Homer leave the track in a very sour mood.

Before they can leave the parking lot though, they hear the sounds of Santa Little Helper’s owner yelling at the poor dog and telling him to get away, tired of his losing performance. The dog jumps into Homer’s arms and Bart asks Homer if they can keep him. Homer is against the idea at first, but he quickly changes his mind when he comes to the realization that the dog is not very different from him or his own family; remarking that “he’s a loser, he’s pathetic……he’s a Simpson!” Homer takes the dog home, confesses to the entire family about his Christmas bonus, but the entire family is immediately won over by the dog; saying it was the best Christmas gift he could have ever gotten the family. Then, the entire family closes the episode out by singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” over the credits.

Reindeer

“Um…Dasher, Dancer…Prancer…Nixon…Comet…Cupid…Donna, Dixon?”
~Homer Simpson (his attempt at naming the reindeer)

Personal History:
Funnily enough, I don’t have memory of watching this episode until very late in my life when I got The Simpsons – Season One on DVD when it came out in 2001. I’m sure it was probably on TV at some point in my household and my memory is just very bad at remembering those details, but the first experience I remember of this Simpsons Christmas story was through a book illustration I had, which basically depicted the entire episode in a picture book format. I must have read that book hundreds and hundreds of times and have probably read the story more than I actually watched it. These days, yeah, I would probably watch it instead, now that I have the DVD set and The Internet on my side, but for the longest time, the book was all I had of this holiday classic and that’s a pretty unique memory.

Santa

Bart: “Hey Santa, what’s shakin’?”
Homer: “What’s your name Bart…ner…little partner?”

Bart: “I’m Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?”

Favorite Moments:
I’ve been debating this section of this retrospective for a while now, and while a part of me would like to post all of the funny moments and quotes from each episode, it would just be way too time-consuming, and I’m sure there are many websites and webpages dedicated to being archives for all the classic sayings, quotes and continuous gags. So instead of doing that, I’m just going to focus on the highlights of every episode…at least as far as my favorite parts are concerned.
I think one of the things I find very humorous in this episode is how snarky Homer can be at certain moments. Yeah, it can come out as him being a jerk-ass at times, but in this episode, it’s hard to blame him for his short-temper. Whether it’s him constantly asking who’s on the phone when Marge’s sister just says “Marge please,” instead of any actual greeting, or when Ned Flanders easily upstages Homer’s light display by going all-out and over-the-top with Homer remarking, “It’s too bright” in an extremely defeated tone of voice. I think my favorite moment of snarky-ness though is when he bumps into Flanders and his son again after leaving the dollar store and Todd Flanders says, “Mr. Simpson, you dropped your pork chop,” even squeaking the dog toy a few times before Homer just has enough and exclaims “give me that!” taking the toy out of his hand.

The montage of Homer as Santa Claus is also very memorable for me as well. Homer is obviously not the perfect candidate for being Santa Claus, not knowing the names of Santa’s reindeer as he lists, “Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Nixon, Comet, Cupid, Donna and Dixon,” and immediately turning to violence and rage when being insulted by the instructor pretending to be a mouthy kid. But it also shows how non-serious the training is to begin with, giving literally anybody the chance to be Santa and not exactly making the standards too high either. I guess it makes sense for a service that only hands out thirteen dollars by the end of the term. What tops all of this off though is the exchange between Homer and Bart when Bart sits on his lap just before he yanks off his beard. Not only is it funny watching Homer struggle with trying to pretend like he doesn’t know Bart, but then Bart immediately responds with his classic, “I’m Bart Simpson, who the hell are you?” line, causing Homer to just continue losing his cool until the big reveal happens.

As far as other moments are concerned, another low-key visual gag that I enjoy is when Homer tells Marge in the bedroom that he wants to do all the Christmas shopping this year, causing Marge to react positively, turn off the bedroom lights, showing only Homer’s glowing eyes and fake smile in the darkness. I also like the exchange between Homer and Marge’s sisters after obtaining the stolen tree, one of them asking why there is a birdhouse in the tree (“It’s an ornament!” exclaims Homer) and the other asking “Do I smell gunpowder?” (In relation to the property owner firing a weapon at Homer as he zooms away with the tree). And finally, when Homer and Bart are at the lowest point possible in the episode, after it was pretty much guaranteed Santa’s Little Helper would finish in last place, Homer remarks that they’ll leave once their dog finishes the race; immediately changing his mind a few silent seconds later when the dog still hadn’t crossed yet, really pushing the point home that their dog had no chance in Hell to win.

As far as absolute favorite moment goes, I think I’m going to stick with the beard-yanking scene between Homer and Bart. It’s just very iconic, features a first-time quote that will be used multiple times in the future, and is just really, really funny. If I was judging not based on humor though, I’d have to also give a vote to the sweet moment at the end of the episode when Homer realizes that Santa’s Little Helper and him have a lot in common with the “He’s a Simpson” line. I think it’s perfect for not just the episode, but also for the show moving forward as it gives us insight to how the Simpson family stacks up with the rest of the world. They’re far from perfect, but they are still a family.

Hes a Simpson“But he’s a loser, he’s pathetic, he’s…a Simpson”
~Homer Simpson

My Review:
So as I said earlier, this is a pretty standard formula when it comes to Christmas stories, Christmas specials, Christmas movies…you name it. It starts with high energy and excitement, introduces some conflict that threatens that excitement, and wraps everything up on a good note with some kind of message or moral woven in between. It can be pretty cliché, but I also quite enjoy the unique effort they put into this particular story as well. The one thing I really liked about this story watching it back this time was the fact that no matter how many times Homer failed in his efforts to give his family an amazing Christmas, he still kept trying. I feel like no matter what he would have done, he would have been unable to give his family the Christmas they wanted, and heck, even if he did bet on the right dog and won the $130 dollars, I think it would have been a very cheap victory for Homer and one he would have regretted anyway. In other words, he had to fail in order to realize the true spirit of Christmas.

You could also say Homer was wrong for keeping the secret from his family, stealing private property, putting too much importance on money, betting his paycheck in the first place, and being extremely greedy with playing on unwinnable odds for a huge payout, but I do think his heart was in the right place. He didn’t do it to be rich or wealthy…he did it for his family and I think he made that very clear throughout the episode. Heck, he didn’t even want to go to the dog track at first, but because Bart was positive and confident, he figured it was at least worth a shot, and I don’t blame him for feeling that way. The point is, he didn’t give up until the very end and I can respect that. I also think it was sweet that the dog, which ended up costing the family nothing (at least when you ignore on-going food and care costs), ended up being the perfect present for the family anyway. And considering how important the dog will be for the family moving forward, I think it was a pretty solid gift for not only them, but also for watchers of the show as well, with this being the first episode and all.

It’s not the funniest episode of The Simpsons, but it’s very sweet and iconic episode of the show as well. I find myself watching this episode at least once every holiday season, mainly due to the fact that finding a holiday special on TV during the month of December is like finding a hammer at a hardware store. Despite that though, I still think it holds up very well and is still very much watchable, even with the older, cringing animation and the creation of many other Simpson holiday specials as well, some of which I do find myself enjoying a little more than this one. As far as Season 1 episodes are concerned, it is probably one of the better ones, as there isn’t really much wrong with it or much I find myself in opposition of. It’s something I can turn on and watch every Christmas with the family and never feel like it gets old or dated, even if it is the first episode of the television series.

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Hey guys! I think that will do it for my first episode retrospective. I do apologize that this is going up a little late (I wanted to release this on Christmas), but as expected, since this is a new series, I ran into some conflicts with deciding how I wanted this to go. I think moving forward, I shouldn’t have as much difficulty with this, but please be patient with me as I’m still trying to figure everything out and get into a routine with this. As for the next episode, don’t expect any new ones until the year 2017. I would like to get Episode #2 up before I leave on a trip that starts on January 4th, but we’re just going to have to wait and see what happens leading up to those dates. As I said before, the scope of this project is pretty much undefined at this point, but no matter the scope, it’s going to be a big undertaking regardless. I am looking forward and dreading this project at the same time because of that. Despite that though, I’m going to try and have fun with it anyway, as it’s not very often that I get to talk about The Simpsons to this degree.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, feel free to go to Contact page and submit some fanmail with your remarks. You can also tweet at my SlimKirby Twitter account as well, but since this is a website project, let’s try to keep messages at the former, if at all possible. Thank you everyone and have a good day!

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Question Corner #12 - 12/24/16

Hello everybody, SlimKirby here, and welcome to another edition of the Question Corner!

I decided to release this as a Christmas Eve gift for you guys. Why in particular? No reason really….I was just checking how many questions I had in my backlog and noticed that I had over 20, so instead of waiting for the next day I picked to answer questions, I figured why not just upload what I had very quickly. That’s really all there is to it I guess.

As usual, if you would like to send your own questions, you can do so at my Contact page. Just make sure the questions are questions I have not answered before, are appropriate questions that don’t get too deep into my personal life, and are at least somewhat discussion-length and not just simple “Yes or No” questions.

Q: What would you like to see in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild?
A: I think the game looks pretty promising so far, but as far as what I would want most from it; I just want the game to keep giving me a reason to come back. The idea of an open-world Zelda is pretty awesome, but if they make the world too big and too empty with not a lot of reason to come back, nor have some kind of continuous goal for me to achieve, I don’t think that would be a great move for the game. What captivated me about other Zelda games was the gameplay (in terms of adventuring, puzzle solving and combat), the cool items I could use and play around with, and the story, which was usually good enough for me to come back to and do multiple playthroughs of those games. At this point, it’s really hard to say if this Zelda will feature those elements, or at least in the same way that the other games have, so there is a little concern, admittedly. I’m still very much looking forward to it though.

Q: What are your favorite Donkey Kong 64 levels?
A: Favorite level is hands down, Frantic Factory. It has the best music, the switching between kongs wasn’t super monotonous like it is in other levels, and it had a lot of diverse areas for a freaking factory. It’s also, love it or hate it, the home of one of the greatest arcade games of all time. And considering this is the level where you unlock the final kong, I like it because it starts to feel like the game is in full swing and you’re ready to experience everything that each world has to offer (since some areas are restricted in the first two levels). I also like Creepy Castle and Angry Aztec as well.

Q: What are your opinions on Amiibos, now that they have been out for awhile and the initial craze has died out a little?
A: From the get-go, I was never super into the Amiibo functionality for games. I was more interested in having them for my collection because they are essentially figurines of my favorite video game characters, and I figured that would be the main draw anyway. I’m glad they aren’t introducing too many at once anymore and they seem to be coming out in small series waves. That way, if it’s not a series you are into, you can ignore it and wait for something else you might be interested in and save your money. I recently bought Waluigi, Daisy and Boo and it was nice being able to walk in Gamestop a few days after they came out and pick them up with no availability issue, so it’s good that they seem to be stocked better. So yeah, not much to say beyond that. I still think they are cool, but I’m not at all surprised that the craze died down.

Q: What future game do you feel nervous about LPing?
A: The Dynasty Warriors series. I love the series so much, but I’m not sure how I want to do the series yet because there is a lot I want to cover with each game, but trying to keep the videos enjoyable without being too repetitive is going to be a huge challenge. A challenge I’m not sure how to approach yet.

Q: Do you prefer to grow a moustache or beard?
A: Beard. I don’t think I look good with just a moustache. Apparently though, according to most of my subscribers, my beard is “legendary,” so another reason to have one I guess.

Q: What is your main motivation for doing Let’s Plays?
A: I do it because people enjoy my videos and I want to provide more content for them. Not to mention it’s also kind of my job now too. Aside from that though, I also do it for myself. I get bored really easily and when I get bored, I waste time doing stuff that doesn’t really serve any sort of purpose. Doing Let’s Plays and Youtube stuff is great because it puts my mind to something I can focus on and it involves video games, my favorite past time and my greatest passion.

Q: How are you when it comes to meeting new people?
A: I try to be as nice, or at least as neutral as possible, when it comes to meeting new faces. I’m not really much of a socialite and I admit I can be a little awkward at times, but I try. Truth be told, I’m actually a very shy person at heart, so whenever I’m trying to start a conversation or initiating a discussion, it takes a lot out of me and inside I’m sweating bullets. This is why I prefer people to take lead sometimes, because it allows me to contribute as much as possible to make up for any silence that I can’t really fill in myself. So really, never be afraid to approach me or talk to me, as I will do anything and everything to be kind and make a good impression, but don’t be surprised or offended if it gets a little quiet.

Q: Does fear of copyright issues stop you from doing any games on your channel?
A: Sometimes, but since I managed to do Simpsons: Hit and Run, Road Rage, and The Simpsons Game without really any issues from Fox, I don’t think there is really anything holding me back. If I had to pick one game that I’m still kind of nervous about, it would probably be Kingdom Hearts, just because of how scary Disney can be sometimes, but I think I’m still going to try and get around to it at some point.

Q: If you had children, what would you like to name them?
A: Since I am technically the third “Robert” in my family, I would like to continue that name because it does feel somewhat special to be the “3rd” in a family line. So for my son, I would probably go for that and maybe use his middle name as the more common name, just to avoid typical same-name issues. For a daughter, I’m very partial to the name “Laura” for some reason.

Q: How tall are you?
A: I haven’t measured my height in a while, but a little under 6 feet. 5’8 or 5’9; or something like that.

Q: Will you do a draw my life or play my life video?
A: Not to the former because I can’t draw to save my life, but I have thought of doing a Play My Life video at some point. Couldn’t tell you when that is going to be though.

Q: Do you want a large family or small family?
A: I’d be more partial to a small family. Having a wife and one or two kids would be just perfect for me. I didn’t grow up with the brother/sister dynamic, so I’d like to see that in action, even if I wouldn’t be the one having the sibling.

Q: Are there any games that are very popular with gamers that you don’t really care for that much?
A: When it comes to first-person shooter games like Halo and Call of Duty, I’ve never really been able to get into them, and it’s not really because of the genre either because I love Goldeneye 007. I also had a really hard time getting into Splatoon as well. I thought it was a cool concept and it was nice seeing Nintendo do something new and very different, but I just couldn’t really get into it that much.

Q: Did you ever want to follow in your parents footsteps in terms of working in the field of Education?
A: That was actually my first major when I started attending college, but I quickly dropped that major after my first year because I really wasn’t too keen about being a teacher for the rest of my life. I have nothing against kids or teenagers, as I’m sure most of my fans are in that age group, but I’d rather provide them with entertainment as opposed to knowledge. It’s a lot less stressful for me, for sure.

Q: What’s the coolest thing you have made as a gift?
A: It was not so much a gift, but more of a gesture. I was talking to a friend of mine once, and she was talking about how she didn’t like to make snowmen because they are eternally stuck in one place before they just melt anyway. So one day, after it had snowed, and since she only lived down the street from me, I made a small snowman, put it on the top of my car, and drove down to her house, calling her and telling her to go outside because “we” are going to wave as we drive by. I later told her that it was so the snowman could finally experience the thrill of not staying in one place. She thought it was a sweet thing to do for her and the snowman.

Q: If you had a genie, what would you wish for?
A: An extra hour every single day. You’d be surprised all that you could accomplish if you had one more hour to work with, and over time, that one extra hour will start to add up. I feel like every hour, minute and second is precious, so you should always make sure you are doing something you enjoy with it.

Q: Do the results of your “Project of the Year” videos impact what you do the following year?
A: It’s a small impact, but it is definitely there. That’s pretty much why I did Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and even Super Paper Mario as early as I did, just because people seemed to really enjoy my Paper Mario RPG. I also got around to Pokemon Gen 2 a lot earlier than planned as well with how popular Pokemon Blue was.

Q: What stores do you like to shop at?
A: Insert the typical gamer answer here; Best Buy and Gamestop. I’ve recently gained an appreciation for retro game stores like Game X-Change.

Q: If the Nintendo Switch fails, do you think Nintendo will pull a Sega and only work on software, not hardware?
A: While I think Nintendo is not exactly on stable ground right now, I still think it has quite a bit of life left in it. I do see this as a big possibility, bigger than I ever thought it would be, but I wouldn’t count them out just yet. The Switch will definitely determine a lot though, for sure.

Q: If you and your future wife ended up having twins, what would be your reaction?
A: It would be very shocking, for sure, going from having not just one kid, but two kids in an instant. It would also be a huge step up in responsibility and work, but I would find a way to make it work.

That’s all for today! Thanks for reading guys and thanks to all the question submissions as well! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays in general!

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Kirby Super Star Ultra

Game: Kirby Super Star Ultra
Start Date: December 18th, 2016
End Date: February 16th, 2017
Videos: 18

A common trend you will see with handheld games for Nintendo is releasing a ported version of an older game. For this game in particular, Nintendo and HAL Laboratories decided to bring back the SNES classic known as Kirby Super Star and put it on the Nintendo DS in the form of Kirby Super Star Ultra. It’s the same classic game we know and love with some additional content as well. What’s not to like?

This was a game I definitely wanted to get around to at some point once I had my permanent DS capturing device. I don’t remember what my plans initially were for this game back when I did the vanilla version of Kirby Super Star for the channel, whether I planned to just show off the new content or heck, not even show the game at all because DS capturing seemed like such an impossibility back then, but I decided to go for it anyway because it is such an amazing game as it is.

I have also included stream clips at the end of this project featuring my additional Helper to Hero runs to unlock the final movie!

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SlimKirby's Holiday Name That VideoGame Tune - 12/23/16 @ 4:00 PM EST

Introduction: Hey guys! I’m hosting a Video Game “Name That Tune” competition on Friday, December 23rd 2016 at 4:00 PM EST at my SlimKirby stream channel! This competition is heavily based and inspired by Odinspack33’s competition that he hosts on his Twitch co-op channel, Ami_Bros. I did another competition like this in October and due to its success, I’m bringing it back for a special holiday edition, this time with more notice beforehand and more songs, which means more competition!

Concept: The concept is quite simple. I play a song, and you guys try to guess what game it is from. The fastest (and correct) users will get points for answering correctly and at the end, I will crown a winner. Don’t expect any rewards though, as this is merely for fun. I just want to test you guys and see how well you will do.

Games: Any video game console, handheld and PC game is eligible to have songs in this contest, and some series will no-doubt be covered multiple times. However, no single game will be used twice. Also, these are all games that I have played at some point in my life. There will be songs from games I have Let’s Played, but there are also a lot of songs from games I have NOT Let’s Played. I also tried to pick only a small number of songs that appear in my stream grinding playlist, and the ones I picked should be very recognizable tracks anyway, so there shouldn’t be too much of an advantage for anybody.

Songs: When I am getting ready to play a song, I will mute my microphone and let people know in chat when I’m about to start playing the song. I’ll let the song play for about 30 seconds (maybe longer to account for twitch delay), so during that time, please post in chat what you think the song is from. After I stop the song, I will mute the audio again, write down who got the question correct, and then move on to the next song. After every 5 songs, I will recap the answers and who got points. This will continue for 64 songs. The last round will only be 4 songs, but may be 5 songs if needed…

Answers: There are a couple rules you need to keep in mind when answering.

a)Only the first 3 correct answers will be accepted and will get points. The first correct answer will get 2 points, while the following 2 correct answers will get one point. There will be a cut-off though for how long I accept additional correct answers, just to prevent copy/pasting and cheating.

b)You only get one answer, so only your first answer will be accepted if you answer multiple times.

c) If you don’t know the answer, GUESS! Sometimes you would be surprised how often your guess would be right, just by knowing certain styles and sound fonts of music.

d) You are answering with the game where that music track FIRST appeared in. Songs that are featured in subsequent games (unless they are remixed) will not count. Super Smash Bros is a big example here. Make sure you know the difference between original songs and remixes. If it’s a Smash Bros. remix, answer with the Smash Bros game, but if it’s the original, unchanged song, answer with where it’s from.

e)A correct answer must have correct spelling. If you spell something wrong, or make an accidental typo, sorry, your answer will not count. However, you don’t need to have exact punctuation. So don’t worry about colons or hyphens if you don’t include them. I’m also flexible when it comes to spacing as well.

f)Give full titles! Name abbreviations and acronyms are not correct answers. Example: Don’t shorten “Super Mario Bros. 3” to “SMB3” or “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” to “Zelda: OoT.” You need to spell out full game answers, only exception being the following subtitle rule.

g)Subtitles are unnecessary unless they differentiate the game in question. Example: All “The Legend of Zelda” games NEED their subtitle because if you just say “The Legend of Zelda,” that could mean the original game or any of the other games that have subtitles. However, “Zelda II: The Adventure Link” doesn’t need the subtitle, because there is only one “Zelda II” so “Zelda II” would be an acceptable answer. For another example, “Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest,” an answer of “Donkey Kong Country 2” is acceptable. You can still type out the full names, but you won’t get bonus points, and are potentially missing out on points by typing out more than necessary.

h) Roman numerals and numbers can be interchangeable, so “Final Fantasy 8” and “Final Fantasy VIII” are both acceptable answers. The only time this would matter otherwise is if the game needs the roman numerals to differentiate from another version. For example, “Mega Man 3” is an NES game while “Mega Man III” is a Game Boy game.

i) If a game is on multiple gaming machines and has a slighty different soundtrack or is a different game entirely, like the console and 3DS versions of Sonic Generations for example, you don’t need to differentiate between the two versions if they are named the same. Both games are called “Sonic Generations.”

j)Stick with North American names only. If you live in a different region and are used to calling a game by a certain name, I may make an exception in that case, but only if it would give you a point otherwise. The answer is whatever it is on the box or game disc.

Cheating: If you are caught cheating, you will be timed out. Any further cheating will result in a disqualification or a ban on my stream channel. No exceptions. This is for fun and there are no prizes involved, so don’t cheat. Unfortunately, since this contest will rely a lot on the honor system, cheating can’t be policed very easily, but in my experience, cheaters usually slip up eventually, so just don’t do it.

Lag and Stream Buffering: If you are experiencing lag or stream buffer during the event, my only advice would be to refresh the stream or reset your router/connection. In between rounds, pause the stream and play again to get caught up for optimal performance. If you continue to have problems, there is not much I can do because unfortunately with streaming, there are a lot of factors that affect performance, like twitch servers, my internet, your internet, or sometimes just random luck. WHATEVER YOU DO THOUGH, DO NOT COMPLAIN ABOUT LAG OR TWITCH DELAY IN CHAT. We know it’s frustrating, but it can be ridiculously annoying watching someone complain about it over and over again. If you make a habit of complaining, you are risking a timeout or potential ban.

My Screen is Law: Sometimes, it may show you answering before someone else on your screen, but sometimes, due to people answering at the same time, on my screen it may show a different result. Whatever it shows on my screen is what is correct, even if it shows you first on your screen. That’s the only fair way to do this.

Common Courtesy and Respect: During the event, treat all individuals; streamer, moderators and fellow competitors with respect and kindness. Do not insult anyone and if you think someone is cheating, let the moderators take care of it and not yourself. If you have a problem with the contest and think something was done unjustly, address it in between rounds and we’ll discuss it before moving on to the next one.

I think that’s all I need to address. The only other thing I can think of is just to have fun and a good time listening to video game music with other like-minded gamers! See you then!
~SlimKirby

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Super Paper Mario

Game: Super Paper Mario
Start Date: December 5th, 2016
End Date: —
Videos: —

The Mushroom Kingdom is once again greeted by a new foe, and this one hopes to destroy the very fabric of all worlds and dimensions. Mario must once again save the day in an all-new adventure that will literally take him to places where he has never been before. But first, what has happened to Peach, Bowser and his brother Luigi?

“The mighty has fallen,” is a phrase you hear a lot when referring to the Paper Mario series. While most consider that falling point to be Sticker Star, there are some who believe this game’s departure from the traditional Paper Mario experience to be the beginning of the end. I for one do not agree with this logic as this game definitely features some charm and intriguing gameplay to boot, so I was looking forward to seeing this game in action again.

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Question Corner #11 - 11/18/16

Hello everybody, SlimKirby here and welcome to another edition of the Question Corner.

It has been awhile since my last update, but to be fair, questions have been slow going again. Honestly, it wouldn’t even surprise me if some of these questions were asked by the same people. Regardless though, I did promise whenever I would get 20 questions, I would immediately update, and here we are!

As usual, if you are interested in submitting a question, please go to the Contact page to submit one. Just remember that I will not be answering any questions that are too personal, questions that have been asked before, most “Will you LP/Have you played this game?” questions, and other questions that just don’t seem appropriate for this section. Also, if you have a question about how to do Let’s Plays or other in-general Youtube questions, check out the SlimKirby’s Workshop section to see if I haven’t answered it there already, as there was a question I got last time that revolved around that.

Anyway, let’s get this started, shall we?

Q: “What are the occupations of your parents?”
A: My mom is an elementary school librarian/media specialist. My dad is an instructor for kids with special needs at a middle school and teaches a few social studies courses on the side. I am very proud of my parents for all the work they do to help children!

Q: “What did you think of the Simpsons and Futurama crossover?”
A: I actually looked into it recently and really enjoyed it. It was fun seeing my two favorite shows come together for a special!

Q: “Who would you save from a burning building? Princess Peach or Princess Daisy?”
A: Do “I” really need to answer that? Haha, well, as you guys know, I like Daisy way better than Peach, so I would be more inclined to save her. However, even though Peach is a big meanieface, I wouldn’t intentionally wish anything like a burning death on her, so if possible, I would try to save both. If this question came down to people in real life, just to make this a little more interesting, I would definitely save my family and friends at all costs. Anybody else? I would do anything I could to help, but I wouldn’t be as motivated to jump in the middle of the flames or anything, if that makes sense.

Q: “What is the best April Fools joke you played?”
A: One time I convinced my dad it was snowing outside and got him to actually jump out of bed early and go to the other room to look. Aside from that, I don’t play a lot of April Fools pranks. Although I do love the “One Hour of Impact” joke I did on my channel a few years ago, when I fooled people into believing I was doing a Radiant Dawn Let’s Play, when it was actually an hour of “I am Impact” from Mystical Ninja: Starring Goemon.

Q: “What do you think of Star Fox Adventures compared to other Star Fox games?”
A: Star Fox definitely does better as a space shooter than an adventure Zelda-style game. I do appreciate the attempt to try something new (although it was moreso a different game altogether that didn’t have Star Fox characters until Nintendo got Rare to shoehorn the Star Fox name into the game), but I think Assault was overall the more enjoyable Gamecube Star Fox game. I don’t think Adventures is a bad game necessarily, but it does fall flat in a number of areas that I think Zelda games overall do better anyway.

Q: “Are there any perks to being an only child?”
A: You don’t have to share any of your toys or games with anybody. That’s really about it. Honestly, I think I would have much rather had a brother or sister growing up. I think it would have been more beneficial in developing my social skills because I always felt I was a little too awkward in trying to make friends at school, and aside from my parents, I just didn’t really have anybody to talk to. I suppose it would also be a bit easier for your parents to provide for you too, just because there would be less mouths to feed, less school supplies to be bought and less college funds to provide for, if that makes sense.

Q: “Have you ever listened to the rock band Muse?”
A: I’ve heard a few of their songs. The first time I heard them was through Guitar Hero III, because their song “Knights of Cydonia” is in that game and I always thought it was a pretty fun song to play through. But yeah, they’ve made some good music. Wouldn’t say they are a favorite artist of mine, but definitely not opposed to them either.

Q: “What do you think of the Kirby and Donkey Kong cartoons?”
A: The Kirby cartoon was all right. I wouldn’t say it was anything spectacular, but for what it was, it was watchable, at least in my opinion. The Donkey Kong cartoon on the other hand; again, I can’t say it was bad, but it was definitely a show that’s easier to mock than enjoy.

Q: “What are your thoughts on YouTube’s new advertiser-friendly content guidelines?”
A: I will admit, it is very silly that people like the Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd, individuals who have spent years establishing themselves as channels with mature content (AVGN especially) can now have their monetization taken away due to updated content guidelines. As far as I’m concerned though, I’m kind of biased just because I try my hardest to keep my channel clean and accessible for all ages, so I don’t think I will personally have any issues. Heck, even my Walking Dead videos have been clear of issues and there are so many mature themes in those games. Otherwise though, I can’t really support the new guidelines, just because of examples like I mentioned earlier.

Q: “Do you think Spanky from Spanky’s Quest would make a good Smash Bros. addition?”
A: No. As fun as the game is, that’s just reaching way too far beyond the realm of possibility. He would have kind of an interesting playstyle though, I guess, lol.

Q: “What are we going to see for your 10th year anniversary”
A: You will definitely see a clip show (as promised) and there will definitely be a marathon stream following. As far as other specials, I’m still thinking. 10 years is a pretty big deal to me, in all honesty. Aside from that, don’t really want to mention anything about it as to keep it a surprise.

Q: “What video game do you find confusing?”
A: The only game I can think of is a game called “Populous” on the SNES, but only because my uncle had the game, but whenever I tried to play it, I couldn’t figure it out. HOWEVER, I was also only like 6-years-old when I tried it, so I would probably have a better understanding of it now.

Q: “Can I adopt you to be my son?”
A: First of all, no. Second of all, I don’t think my parents would be down for that. Third, I think I’m way too old to be adoptable. I appreciate the thought though, I guess…

Q: “How are your workouts coming along?”
A: I stopped going to the gym because I have an exercise bike at home now, but I am keeping up with it on a daily basis, so very well! Thank you! And with the weather getting alot cooler, it’s the perfect time for me to be going outside on more walks. I hate summer and early-fall temperatures.

Q: “What’s your favorite type of cake?”
A: I am very fond of cheesecake. Shoutouts to angel food cake and carrot cake though, as they are also very good in my opinion.

Q: “What’s your favorite and least favorite character in Scrubs?”
A: Favorite character is Dr. Percival Cox. Just a very funny and down-to-earth character that I really respected and loved on the show for who he was. Least favorite character? It’s hard to say, but of the main cast, probably Elliot, just because I couldn’t connect with her as well as some of the other characters, but even she was fine in doses.

Q: “Why do you play games like Walking Dead and not Resident Evil?”
A: For the very simple reason that I don’t have any Resident Evil games. Well…I guess I do have Resident Evil 4 now, but even then, I just haven’t gotten around to playing any of them yet. With Walking Dead, it’s easier because I am a fan of the show and graphic novel so the Walking Dead games appeal to me in a way Resident Evil doesn’t.

Q: “What type of car would you like to own?”
A: I really don’t care much. A car is just a device to get me from point “A” to point “B.” I would like to have a blue car (I own a silver one now since my old blue car is no longer in service), but I don’t need to have one. I guess I would also prefer cars as opposed to trucks and SUVs.

Q: “Why do you use your website as a medium to answer questions as opposed to your Youtube channel?”
A: I just think a website is more appropriate, especially since my website is kind of an archive dedicated to my online life as it is. That’s really all there is to it. Plus I’m not going to lie, it’s easier to write all of this down than get stumbled on various questions trying to think of answers. This way I have some time to think about it.

Q: “Is there a game that came out 10+ years ago that you remember initially loving, but now isn’t as good as you remember?”
A: Honestly, not really. When I go back to revisit old games, the nostalgia always seems to kick in no matter what. I remember Super Mario Kart being a lot easier than it is for me now, but I wouldn’t say it’s a bad game now because I don’t enjoy it as much. Also had a really hard time getting back into Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Mario Sunshine when I did them for my playthroughs awhile back, but again, can’t really say they are bad games, moreso I just don’t have the same enjoyment with them as I used to.

And that will do it for another Question Corner! Thanks everyone for submitting and if we get enough questions in a short period of time, maybe the next issue will be up sooner than this one!

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#1. Mario Party 2

And with that, we get to my favorite Mario Party game, ranked #1…Mario Party 2. I fell in love with Mario Party 2 pretty much from the get-go. I was already riding the high from Mario Party 1 and with the implementation of new boards, new minigames, a new item system, and various improvements to the rough-around-the-edges Mario Party 1 formula, there was very little that I honestly feel like this game got wrong. It has remained not only my favorite Mario Party game for over 16 years now, but also one of my all-time favorite Nintendo 64 games. However, I can glorify this game all day if I wanted to, so let’s get to the actual analysis, shall we?

First up we have the boards, and the one thing I will say is I am a little disappointed by the fact that this game only has six boards compared to eight original boards of Mario Party 1. However, I can’t really say this is a big glaring disadvantage of Mario Party 2 just for the sole fact that Mario Party 1 was the only game to achieve the feat of having eight boards in one game. What MP2 lacks in quantity though, it definitely makes up for it in quality as every board is unique and pretty diverse in its theme and content. After looking at screenshots, the boards are also a lot bigger than the Mario Party 1 variants, which may be another reason why the board roster was smaller. However, it’s a good thing these boards are bigger because with the addition of new spaces, new board events, and the newly introduced item system; a lot of space needed to be filled. Each board is a representation of a different type of theme or trope you can find in most media. A pirate theme, a western theme, a mystical theme, a horror theme and a space theme. Bowser also gets his own theme again as well, so the final board is pretty much what you would expect Bowser Land to be like. I think the thing that I really dig about these boards though is the fact that game quite literally puts you in these worlds to the point where you are living out the reality of each board. In Pirate Land you skim the shores of several beaches looking for treasure, in Horror Land you navigate a spooky forest filled to the brim with ghostly creatures, and even in Mystery Land, you get the feeling that you are wandering around just trying to figure out what the hell will happen next. Even the Mario characters themselves get into the spirit of the boards as all the playable characters wear little costumes representing the board you are playing on, and each board has a story centered around the notion of Bowser causing trouble and you four battling to earn the star power to stop him. In fact, the winner of each game will have a cutscene that shows them battling and beating Bowser at the very end of the game, which is always a joy to watch, no matter how many times you see them. It may not seem like much, but it shows that the developers really cared about putting a lot of charm into this title and that is something that is definitely not lost on me.

This was also the first Mario Party game to introduce items. Mario Party 1 had a few different dice blocks you could purchase that would randomly appear in the games sometimes, but this game had items you could win or obtain to make your journey around the board a lot easier. You had mushrooms to give yourself a second dice block to move, skeleton keys to open doors for shortcuts around the board, warp blocks to trade places with other players, plunder chests to steal items, dueling gloves to challenge other players to a minigame for their coins and several others that can give you a nice little boost when you may need it the most. The one downside many people see about this though is that unlike other Mario Party games, you can only hold one item at a time. I personally disagree with this statement. Yeah, having multiple items would be nice, but I don’t think Mario Party 2 needed to have that feature. There are plenty of item shops around the boards and plenty of item minigame spaces too, to the point where I feel like having only one item slot isn’t really much of an inconvenience. However, at that point it all comes down to preference anyway, so I can’t really say one way is necessarily better than the other, as I see the convenience of having 3 items, but at the same time, the one item slot never personally bothered me either. So with some solid boards and a well-implemented item system, the board game play is absolutely fantastic. I will say that Mystery Land is probably one of the weaker boards in the series though, just because like Wario’s Battle Canyon from Mario Party 1, it relies a bit on island hopping and getting lucky enough to get the right dice roll to get off an island you might be potentially stuck on. But again, far from the worst board in the series and every Mario Party game has a stinker in there somewhere.

Now let’s move on to the minigames. If you are a seasoned Mario Party 1 veteran, you will notice that there are some games that get redone in Mario Party 2. Most of the changes were purely cosmetic, but for the most part, every game does feel somewhat different in the Mario Party 2 engine and in many of the cases, better as a result. However, not to only praise the remixed games because Mario Party 2 also introduced a lot of very cool new games as well. Shell Shocked, Lights Out, Filet Relay, Look Away, Sky Pilots…the list goes on. I think what pleases me most is just seeing all the different types of minigames. You have your races, your battles, your puzzles, your tests of relexes…there’s even a game where you count enemies for crying out loud, and they’re all for the most part pretty solid. However, as expected, the game does have its weak points. Sneak N Snore, Rakin Em In, Shock Drop or Roll; yeah, I’d be lying if I said this game’s minigames were flawless. Thankfully I can’t say that about any of the Mario Party games. However, much like Mario Party 1, it did introduce a lot of classics and was a really nice line-up.

Mario Party 2 is much like Mario Party 1 when it comes to side content. In fact, I’d almost say it’s entirely the same. They have another Mini-Game Stadium board and Mini-Game Coaster is essentially Mini-Game Island Version Two. Mini-Game Coaster is pretty challenging, and when you get to the later levels of the Hard course, it can get a little frustrating, but the first time I beat it on Hard Mode, it was definitely one of those very memorable moments in gaming for me and I feel the same way every time I get to it. Like in Mario Party 1, you could also buy the minigames and play them as much as you want in Mini-Game Park. Unlike Mario Party 1 though, the games are all very affordable and don’t take the same amount of grinding that Mario Party 1 did. There isn’t much to unlock, but I think that could also be a good thing because you can easily get everything out of the gate and have a lot to explore on your own time. It doesn’t match Mario Party 5’s extra content, but it’s very solid for what’s there.

So yeah, that’s why Mario Party 2 is my favorite Mario Party game. It does so many things right to the point where I can’t really even be too negative about the things it got wrong. I think in a list like this, that’s probably the sign of a masterpiece to come, so whenever someone asks me what my favorite Mario Party game is, I will always answer Mario Party 2.

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#2. Mario Party

For #2, we have Mario Party 1. That’s right, the game that started it all is my second favorite Mario Party game. I’ve been playing Mario Party ever since the original game came out in 1999 and this is a game I still go back to, even to this day. A lot of people are kind of on the fence with this title though. Some claiming that the game is a little rough around the edges and not as polished as some of the other games. I do agree with this sentiment, and I am willing to admit there is a great deal of nostalgic bias that is no doubt going into my decision here, but I think the fact that I still play this game AND my #1 choice, 15 years after they initially came out, says a lot for how I feel about these games and how much fun I am still having with them. So how could I not put them in my Top 2? Sorry, just doing the logical math here guys.

So when talking about the first Mario Party game, I should be asking myself; why did I originally get this game? Well, to put it simply, I love board games, I thought the idea of a video game board game was a cool idea, the fact that it was a Mario game only sweetening the deal, it was a game I could play with my friends…how could I not get excited about this idea? When I first played this game, I was absolutely hooked. Heck, I only played a handful of multiplayer games compared to the hundreds and hundreds of single player games I did. It was just so much fun for me. The fact that I could completely dominate a game just by winning minigames, or I could make strategic moves and steal a victory by being clever enough with the tools I had at my disposal, just gave this game a lot replayability and variance where each playthrough could be a lot different from the last, and that’s what I love about it. But let’s focus a little more on the factors I’m judging on here.

First off, Mario Party 1 has the record for having the most playable boards in one game, having EIGHT. EIGHT BOARDS! Only Mario Party 5 comes close to that with 7 and I’m not even counting Mario Party 3 since I don’t consider the Duel Maps to be regular boards. That’s a different board every day of the week with still one board to spare. To me, that’s incredible. The boards are also pretty unique too. They all have the same objective of trying to obtain the most stars and coins, but the way you approach each board is going to be different from how you approach another board. Some boards are more linear than others and others will have you going all over the place. Each board is also themed around a specific playable character in the game, or at least 6 of the boards are. The 6 characters get their own boards, Bowser gets his own board because he is the bad guy, and Eternal Star is kind of its own thing, but it’s centered around the main theme of this game which is being the superstar, so I think it works. All of the boards themselves are pretty good in their own right, with the exception of Wario’s Battle Canyon. I’m sorry, but I just do not like this board. It relies too much on island hopping and having the reflexes of a madman when it comes to the space you want to land on, making the entire board feel like a luck-based chore in execution. Maybe not the worst Mairo Party board of all time, but it’s usually a board I will skip when I’m in a Mario Party mood and want to play a lot of Mario Party at one specific time.

For being the first Mario Party game, the board gameplay is pretty simple. Items haven’t been invented yet, there are really only 3 key board NPCs along with a bonus NPC for that particular board, and you’ll notice that turns will go by ridiculously fast. Sometimes a single turn will only last 20 seconds because you don’t move very far and events are pretty quick. Overall, I do like the quick pace of this game as it allows you to move through a game pretty quickly without spending a huge chunk of your day on just one game of Mario Party. And even with simple design and quick pace, there’s still quite a bit of substance the game offers. You’d be surprised how much strategy I put into this game to the point where just choosing a right or left direction at an intersection can impact so much in the long run, and that’s what I love about it.

Mario Party 1 also introduced some absolutely classic minigames, and even if there were some minigames you didn’t particularly care for, they at least paved the way for even better minigames down the road. We have Face Lift, Buried Treasure, Bumper Balls, Tipsy Tourney, Bombsketball…the list just goes on and on. The game does have Skateboard Scamper and the very infamous control-stick spinning minigames though, which caused many gamers INCLUDING MYSELF with the very unfortunate instance of developing a bruise or breaking skin on the palm of the hand. Yeah, admittedly, the lack of polish on this game does show at times, but it’s a thing I’m willing to overlook because it was the first game of this series and is something that would immediately be remedied by just using a better controller. I don’t know why Nintendo has been so afraid to release this on Virtual Console as the control sticks on both Gamecube controllers AND Classic Controllers are infinitely better than the N64 controller, and even these days, I don’t find myself having to spin as hard on the N64 controller anyway, so I think they are just scared for nothing. This game also had the infamous quirk of having people lose coins for losing specific minigames. This is something that I am glad gets fixed in Mario Party 2, but even then, I don’t find this quirk to be that frustrating. Although, to be fair, I don’t lose a lot of minigames either, so that’s not saying too much.

As far as side content, there isn’t really a lot here. There is Mini-Game Stadium, a small board where the results will more than likely just come down to who wins the most minigames. Mini-Game Island, a neat little single player experience where each minigame is a level on a Mario World-like grid and you try to make it to the end, and an Item shop where you can take your hard-earned coins and buy extra dice blocks for party mode, sound and music tests, and various other small things that you may or may not find worth it. My problem with the Item Shop is that some of the items are incredibly expensive and if you are a single player playing through the game, it’ll take you a very long time to unlock everything unless you do the controller trick where you turn every CPU player into a human player on the last turn and reap all the benefits. In fact, 2 of the 8 boards cannot even be played until you do a lot of this grinding, so unless you have some dedicated friends on board, you are probably going to resort to that trick I talked about.

So overall, Mario Party 1 is far from a perfect game, but for the first of its series, I absolutely loved what Hudsonsoft did with it and looked forward to any future iterations they would have down the road. And thankfully for me, near the end of 1999, a new game was announced, and that game took my love of Mario Party to the next level.

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#3. Mario Party 4

And at #3 we have the final Gamecube game that’s yet to be listed; Mario Party 4. Mario Party 4 was a game that really got me excited about the Gamecube during its first full year of launch. On the way we had a new Mario game, a new Star Fox game, a new Metroid game and a new Zelda game. Not to mention, Super Smash Bros. Melee was already a huge success as it was. For me, the only other thing I wanted was a Mario Party, and when I first saw Mario Party 4, safe to say, I was blown away. The game looked as if it was on another level than the first Mario Party games. The graphics looked impressive, the minigames looked cool, the new items looked interesting. I was ready to get this game and play the hell out of it. Now, as you can see, it wasn’t the absolute masterpiece that I was hoping for, but it still definitely hit the mark pretty high up, at least in my opinion. So let’s get into why this game is worthy of being in the Top 3.

Now, I’m gonna get the negative stuff out of the way first. While the graphics were really nicely done and the game itself looks really well-polished, I was a little disappointed by the board design, and it’s kinda hard to describe why. The best way I can put it is that all the well-designed elements in the game kind of serve as background animation while the foreground is just an incredibly basic and plain board. It’s like, there is all this cool stuff happening in the background, yet in actual game, you’re just walking above it all, not really interacting with anything. I guess if I could make a comparison to another game, just look at Mario Party 5, where you climb up towers, jump over blocks, and just get involved with the world around you. I feel like in this game, it didn’t really matter what was in the background. It was just there. It looked cool, no question, but I would have liked to see a little more integration. This is still just a minor nitpick though.

With that being said, the boards themselves are fine as they are. Each board is unique with its own kind of gimmicks, different events you can access based on what part of the board you are on, and then there is the item system that works pretty well with the game too. The items are very similar to items that you would find in Mario Party 2 or 3, but they are not the same, exact items, which I appreciate. The developers went out of their way to change things up, but not in a way that made it too foreign or too stale. You have your standard movement items, your warp items, your stealing items; all the ones that have become classic items of the Mario Party formula. Mario Party 4 does put the spotlight on two specific items though; the Mini and Mega Mushrooms. These mushrooms are VITAL for getting around the board and accessing specific events and beating your foes to the star space. The Mega Mushroom turns your big and gives you more than one dice block. And as another bonus, whenever you pass someone, you squish them and take 10 coins. This may seem broken, but its counteracted by the fact that you can’t participate in most board events, use Boo to steal coins or stars, or even purchase a star from the star space, so you have to use it strategically so that you don’t miss out on more beneficial plays. The Mini Mushroom turns you small, gives you a 1-5 dice block only, but still allows you to do any event on the board, including going through mini-pipes to access remote areas on the board you can’t normally access, or participate in mini-events that can give you some pretty awesome items, a lot of coins, or even a star. You could say the game relies too much on this mini/mega system, and I can understand why, but I think the game handles it in a very good way where it has advantages to each and disadvantages as well. It’s also a nice change-up to the Mario Party formula without completely changing up the game like OTHER installments in the series did, so for that, it gets my respect.

The minigames are also pretty well done in this game as well. I gotta say, there are very few minigames in this game that I would call bad. Sure, there are a few I would rather not get when there are other alternatives available, but you take what you can get. I think it also helped that they removed Duel minigames in this game and focused a little more on the battle games; a wise decision considering that battle games are often a weak point when it comes to minigames due to the heavy potential losses at stake and how some of them rely heavily on luck. In this game, I can honestly say I don’t have a lot of issues here.

And to continue not having issues with things in this game, the side content is not bad either. First off, in my opinion, Mario Party 4 has the best Story Mode in any Mario Party game. You go straight through all the boards, play a minigame with the owner of each board, and then take on Bowser at the very end for glory in the name of being a Party Star. The boards feel long enough, I don’t feel like I get as cheated by the CPUs, and the only trouble spots seem to come at the board host minigames which you have infinite tries on anyway, so it’s really not a big deal. I wouldn’t say the other side content has as much flair as Mario Party 5, 6, or 7 did, but it had a few things worth checking out I think and that is what I think is important, as the main focus should be on the main part of the game anyway, with the side content being there as a bonus.

So overall, Mario Party had a pretty successful jump from N64 to Gamecube and I think the Gamecube games overall were a pretty strong era for the Mario Party series. They introduced a lot of cool features, and while I wouldn’t say any of the games are my all-time favorite, I can at least acknowledge that each individual game excelled in something. However, there are still 2 games left on my countdown and if you have been keeping track, the first two games haven’t been named yet. Which game will be runner-up? And which game will be the top spot? Let’s find out!

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