The 'Shroom:Issue LVII
And Happy Holidays! SMB here, with the Director's Notes for the Special Holiday Issue!
I would like to start by saying I am very pleased with this Special Issue. A huge amount of effort has been exerted by all of the writers, the Core Staff, and those who submitted guest sections upon being invited. It shows that a great deal of individuals are serious about improving The 'Shroom, making an impact in the success of the project, and that they generally care about the paper. So congratulations and thanks to those individuals that have made this Special Holiday Issue a very special issue!
This issue is one of extreme importance. An issue that comes out right around Christmas is one that we should gladly and willingly give to the userbase. An issue that is the last one of the year should end the year on a spectacular note, and should build up an energy that will sustain The 'Shroom through another entire year. An issue such as this Special Holiday Issue should be of the highest, finest quality, and should be made as perfect as humanly possible. And I feel that this Special Holiday Issue fits those qualities: it is a nice, big gift for our wonderful audience. The special features of this issue are: a great amount of different Special Sections, an End-of-Year Awards section, the Director Election, and a chat party.
The End-of-Year Awards are being given to those that have earned special recognition for their contributions to the paper throughout the past year. The Core Staff considered a great deal of individuals for each award, and went through the process of confirming each nominee for the awards they were considered for. So congratulations to everybody that has been presented with an award by the Core Staff!
The Director Election is also returning. For those who do not remember, the Director Election is the process in which the individual that leads The 'Shroom is elected by the community. All wiki users that have forum accounts are able to run and share their ideas for how the paper should be run. There will be several debates scheduled between the candidates (the dates will be announced at another point soon on the Director Election article itself), and the moderator will ask questions that they are given by the debate attendees (and is also allowed to ask his or her own questions as well). Near the end of the election, the presumptive winner will write a Directorial Address that reenforces his or her plans for the year and who the individual has selected to be on their staff team. On the release of the January issue, the winner's address is posted and the individual becomes the Director for the next year.
The 'Shroom Special Holiday Issue Release Party is being held live (at the point of this issue being posted, of course) in #mwshroom from 12:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST (5:00 PM – 8:00 PM UTC). Below is a schedule by which the release of this Special Issue will follow (dashes stand for nothing being posted during that timeslot, which allows for breaks or for a period of time in which the attendees may go back and read some sections):
And that is about all for this month's Director's Notes. Please be sure to come back on January 21st, 2012 to read next the first issue of 2012!
Until next month,
Section of the Month
Hello readers of The 'Shroom! You may be asking, "what is this?" The 'Shroom Core Staff was thinking of ways to honor our writers and participants, something that could be given to those that have done hard work. As the December Issue falls right at the end of the year, is right in line with the Christmas and Holiday season, and should welcome in the new year: it seemed to be the perfect occasion to do give back to those that have sustained the paper and have made it what it is. And after a bit of brainstorming, the idea for Awards finally came up— Stooben Rooben (talk) and Tucayo (talk) had hoped to do something akin to this during their tenures, and so it was viewed as a good way to finally make their ideas a reality.
There are six categories, each of which will be explained in full depth once the section for them comes up:
And, as the great plumber Mario would say, "Let's-a-go!"
Golden Mario Award
Mario has stuck with us from the beginning— ever since he debuted as a carpenter in Donkey Kong back in 1981, Mario consistently and continuously stars in his own adventures to this day. There are also several writers for The 'Shroom that have been with this Core Staff since the beginning and continuously contribute to this day. The Golden Mario Award shall be given to those that have been writing with The 'Shroom since the beginning of the year.
The writers that have won this Award are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Golden Luigi Award
Luigi has been seen by some as inferior and secondary to his older brother, Mario. However, in reality, Mario's crew would not be the same without Luigi and his careful and tedious ways— grammar, to many, is also seen by some to be inferior to many other aspects of language and writing. Proper grammar, as well as good wiki coding and spelling skills, is valuable (especially to The 'Shroom) and is an extremely important aspect when it comes to submitting sections. Hence, those who excel with such skills in their submissions to The 'Shroom have been honored with the Golden Luigi Award.
The writers that have won this Award are as follows (in alphabetical order):
* – Formerly wrote this section.
Golden Bowser Award
Bowser is Mario's top enemy, almost always being able to swoop in and take away the Princess. In order to beat Mario to the scene and to be able to escape, Bowser must make it to Princess Peach's castle in a timely fashion. The 'Shroom admires that timeliness on Bowser's part, and feels that being on time is something that all writers should aspire to do— therefore, the Golden Bowser Award will be given to those writers that are consistently on-time when they go to submit their sections.
The writers that have won this Award are as follows (in alphabetical order):
* – Formerly wrote this section.
Golden Peach Award
Princess Peach is elegant and kind, sweet and has a pure heart... She is an excellent person and an excellent princess. This is also why Bowser always targets her in his schemes and why Mario and Luigi must always set out to save her from the forces of evil. Excellency is certainly a trait that is desired and is admired. The 'Shroom would like to honor those writers that consistently produce sections of an excellent quality with the Golden Peach Award.
The writers that have won this Award are as follows (in alphabetical order):
* – Formerly wrote this section.
Golden Toad Award
Toads can be found doing almost anything throughout the Mushroom Kingdom— watching over the Princess, playing sports, managing businesses, running a library, cooking, and much more. They are often very helpful to Mario throughout his journeys, and are dependable to the Princess. The 'Shroom will award those individuals that have helped out The 'Shroom in many different ways with the Golden Toad Award.
The writers that have won this Award are as follows (in alphabetical order):
Golden 'Shroom Award
It was definitely a hard choice to make, but the winner of the Golden 'Shroom Award— the award given for producing the best section overall— was selected after much consideration. Unlike the other awards, this one only allows for one recipient: however, the other sections that were nominated and got serious consideration for this award are given Honorable Mentions.
The writer that has won this Award is presented below, with those that got Honorable Mentions following in alphabetical order:
Congratulations to MrConcreteDonkey (talk) for winning the Golden 'Shroom Award with his Should Have Been! Congratulations also to the other three individuals (Coincollector (talk), Crocodile Dippy (talk), and Paper Yoshi (talk)) who also received serious consideration for the award due to their excellent work with their sections as well.
For those who have won awards, please feel free to add the userbox(es) that match which award(s) you received:
Hello, ladies and gentlemen, today I will be telling you about the world. The world is a large sphere, which is mostly coloured green and blue. It is, as said before, a sphere, which is very smooth. It contains 100% of the universe's human population, and 5% of the duck population. Apparently, I'm also supposed to give you some Fake News, which I believe is completely ridiculous! Ridiculous, I say!
Anyway, Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Have a Chimptastic Monkey Day! And a great Rizal Day to those in the Philippines! And, when it comes around, Happy New Year!
I'd like to take a minute here to talk about a feature of the Fake News that doesn't get a lot of attention: the Fake Report, or News Flush. For this position, you won't even need to get a job to write. All you need is an account on the Super Mario Boards, our forum. Once you have made an account, send me a personal message containing your Fake Report. I will evaluate it, and, if it's good enough, you'll see it in the next issue. Sending me a personal message is also the way to sign up for a normal position on the Fake News, along with a few extra instructions that can be seen at the top of my talk page.
Mysterious Painter Wins Local Art Show
Last Sunday, Vincent Van Gore hosted his first art show at his studio where he allowed artists from all over town to participate. The prize for winning was for the artist's painting to be displayed at Vincent's next art show and a shiny trophy.
Sadly, only three contestants participated. First, there was Hoggus, some weird pig ghost. Secondly, the next competitor was Paint Kirby, world-renowned for his amazing masterpieces. Lastly, there was some fat dude who called himself “The Purple Wind”…whatever that means.
The contestants had 1 hour to paint whatever they wanted. After the time was up, the contestants had to hang their paintings on a designated wall while Van Gore judged each painting based on three categories: color, originality, and his personal taste.
Here's what the artist had to say:
Van Gore: What do you call zis painting?
Van Gore: Zis painting is called…My Life?
Van Gore: Zis painting…
Purple Wind and his prize.
The mysterious Purple Wind won by a landslide; having a total of 100 points by the end of the competition. Hoggus received 70 points and Kirby received 5 points out of pity. After the competition was over, we had a few words with the mysterious windbag.
Me: So how did you feel about this competition?
And so ends the section, see you all next time.
Here's the real listing for MushTV: Miracle on 34th Pipe, a heartwarming film, is on throughout the month. When the Mushy's department store Santa Claus gets fired after getting drunk before a parade, Chris T. Ingle, played by Toadsworth, an old Toad they found on the street (that was talking about Toadsworth), has to replace him. He does such a great job, he replaces the previous Santa, and everyone believes he is the true Santa Claus. Except one little Toadette...don't forget to tune in on Mu- hold on a second...on Leaf Channel? Darn it, it must have happened again.
Ah, here's the MushTV listing...oh no, it's 'Shroomday the 13th? That's a Halloween film! Turns out they forgot after all! Well, a very Merry Christmas to everyone, and, to MushTV viewers, have a scary Hallochristmas!
Welcome all to another exciting month as we near towards Christmas! As you know, Mario has done a lot of games lately…wait, did I just say that? How awkward. Anyways, we are going to interview a character that has made a great appearance lately in one of his games. Let’s give a round of applause to Metal Mario!
BMB: So Metal Mario – you know, I’m just going to call you M. Mario for short for the interview. Anyways, have does it feel to get a first appearance?
Metal Mario: It’s-a alright, kind of strange to appear with Mario.
BMB: How so?
Metal Mario: We’re basically the same character.
BMB: Then explain to me how Baby Mario and Mario appear at the same time?
Metal Mario: That’s time travel!
BMB: That’s impossible M. Mario, and we both know it.
Metal Mario: Really?
BMB: Yes, I mean, in logical terms, you can’t cross each paradox. Presently, we are talking to present selves, while future us are talking in the future and past us are talking in the past.
Metal Mario: …
BMB: It is against the balance of science to have past us talking to future us and present talking to past us, and future us talking to past us. In order for both you and Baby Mario to appear at the same time with Mario has no connection to time.
Metal Mario: Can you stop derping now?
Random person in audience: Yay, My Little Pony reference!
BMB: Smasher, is that you? I swear, if it is…
Random person in audience: :P
BMB: Are you even able to do that if your face isn’t even a emoticon?
Random person in audience: You ask me.
Metal Mario: Am I done?
BMB: No! I mean, yes! I mean, hold on a second.
Random person in audience: I thought you just said that present you can’t talk to past Metal Mario?
BMB: You know what, M. Mario, I think we’ll have to end this early, I got to take care of someone first.
Metal Mario: Bye.
BMB: Well, enjoy the holidays. Now turn off the cameras so I can beat up that smart-aleck.
Hi everybody! Here’s your hostess, Chivi-chivik! And this is Cooking Guide, where we teach you how to cook excellent dishes!! So, let’s go!
Christmas is just around the corner, so this month’s issue will be...
A X-mas special!!
The special dish of this special will be made by the sisters Tayce T. And Zess T.! So please get ready for a boom of Christmas sweets!!
Me: *enters slowly* H-hi?
--After 40 minutes—
Zess T.: Take out the biscuit and the fondant and begin to cover the biscuit with the fondant.
--After that hour—
Tayce T.: Take the sweets from the icebox and put them on the cake for decorate.
For the cake biscuit:
Mix the cake mix with some water, milk and sugar. Put it in the oven for 40 minutes. You’ll have to cover it with the fondant later.
For the fondant:
Mix the half of the honey jar with the ultra shroom shake. Mix the result with the ice storm. Put the fondant in the fridge and wait for the cake mix (if the cake mix is already done, wait for 10 minutes).
For the decorating sweets:
Mix the other half of the honey jar with the juice of the pink apple until you get a thick dough. Make balls with the dough and put them in the icebox for an hour. Take them out and decorate the cake with the sweets.
Thanks for being here reading, until next Cooking Guide and Merry Christmas!!
Master KoopaKid: How did you first get into Mega Man?
*No seriously. Go look up Skull Man's theme from Mega Man 4 on Youtube. You'll be glad you did.
Rainbow Dash is best pony.
And with that, I'll be seein' y'all next year.
Happy Holidays, everybody. Sorry for no word search this issue, computer problems arose.
Music & Artwork
Director's Notes (Fawfulfury65)
Hi, everyone. I'm sure your excited to read the sections for this month, so I'll make this short.
Currently, the only open section is Photoshopped Image of the Month. If you don’t want to write for this section, but want to contribute, you are always welcome to send me a drawing of yours that is related to the Mario series, so that I can add it into the next issue of the 'Shroom. So, if you want to write, have any suggestions, or have any artwork you want to show, feel free to contact me.
That's all. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!
Sprite of the Month (FunkyK38)
This month, I have this enemy from Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga: a Tanoomba! I saw this in a picture while I was browsing the article, and it reminded me of Tom Nook from the Animal Crossing series. Definitely one of the cuter Goomba variations, in my opinion.
Character Artwork of the Month (Marwikedor)
Music Factoid (SimeaMorgana)
Just a few days more to go to Christmas! This month I am going to present you a selection of snow-themed Super Mario music! From Paper Mario to Mario Kart 7, enjoy.
1. Shiver Snowfield, Paper Mario
Relaxing, yet amazingly tense. Feel the coldness invading your Body, your blood runs cold. The sound effects are suggesting that it’s snowing, softly, not stormy.
2. Sherbet Land, MK:DD!!
This one makes me particularly nostalgic. A cheery, happy soundtrack, but those skating Shy Guys… always those skating Shy Guys…
3. Freezy Flake Galaxy, SMG 2
I am always amazed how brilliantly Nintendo knows how to suggest to the player a beautiful snowy landscape, not only by graphics, but also by music. Especially soundtracks describing a special environment, snow, fire, water… are perfect examples.
4. World 3, NSMBWii
Don’t you think the composers did a really great job on this one? This is by far my favourite soundtrack in the Super Mario Bros. series, concerning World themes.
5. Rosalina’s Ice World, Mario Kart 7
Let me hear your opinion about this music. What do you think? It might sound weird and rather chaotic to you, there is no real, defined melody. It is mysterious, undecided, is it rather cheery or sad? We don’t know for sure, but I think this matches perfectly Rosalina’s character!
6. Snow Overworld, Mario 3D Land
It perfectly matches the Happiness of the whole game. Yet another masterly rendered snow overworld theme.
Expecting joyful Christmas days? TOO BAD. WALUIGI TIME.
Screenshot of the Month (Fawfulfury65)
Hello, all. It's finally time for Christmas, and so I decided to celebrate by choosing a snow-related picture for this month’s Screenshot of the Month!
This large, high quality picture is from Mario Kart: Double Dash!! in the course, Sherbet Land. This track contains a lot of snow and slippery ice, and even Shy Guys that ice skate, as you can see in the picture. There's even more going on in this image. Most noticeably, Toad and Koopa Troopa are in the center of the picture racing their kart through the icy area. They both have mushrooms, which can be used to receive a short boost in speed. If you look at the map on the right side of the screen, you can see that Toad and Koopa Troopa are the only ones racing on this curvy track, so they must be doing a Time Trial. Not surprisingly for a Mario game, some of the structures, such as the tunnel ahead, in this picture seem to have eyes. There are also banners along the left side of the road, one of which that says "Koopa Kart."
That's all for this month! Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you again next month for the Screenshot of the Month!
Sketches Related to Mario (Fawfulfury65)
I have received three sketches this month! If you have any drawings related to Mario that you want to show off, feel free to send them to me so they can show up in the 'Shroom’s next issue.
Christmas is just around the corner. Carolers are freezing as they sing, mistletoes are causing men to be slapped by women, and the stereotypical desire to be a spoiled youngster and open presents. However, a few users got their Christmas present early this year on the Mario Wiki.
That’s right, the two somewhat-newly promoted Sysops Marioguy1 and Lindsay151. Let’s begin with MG1…
Alright, now that we got some thoughts from the first one, let’s do the later one. It’s time to sleuth upon Lindsay’s thoughts.
Well, that brings a wrap to the 2011 year. I – BMB – guess I’ll be seeing you in the 2012 year. Hopefully you’ll see more exciting interviews next year, and enjoy the holidays!
So, I received no suggestions in the last month. But that's okay, because I have a game that I really want to cover today. It's only been out for about two weeks. It's for the Nintendo 3DS. It comes in a square-but-not-cube shaped box, which opens. It is a thing. Yay, thin- I mean, uh, today we'll be covering Mario Kart 7!
What should have been in this game?
I'm really enjoying Mario Kart 7 so far. It may not be the most challenging game, but it's very fun, especially online, and there are some challenging parts of it, like getting a great time in the Time Trials and whatnot. Sure, it might be pretty similar to the rest, in some aspects, but, it's really great, overall. But there's a lot of room for improvement...First of all, Honey Queen being playableSuper Mario Galaxy games, Queen Bee. I liked the other newcomers, however. Especially Wiggler.
The Kart customization is pretty great. I'm a great fan of customizing stuff. Trying out different combinations with different stats, strengths and weaknesses is great, and unlocking stuff by collecting Coins gives me a nice sense of accomplishment. I do feel, however, one customization missing here would be colour. The colour of most Karts is the same for each character, with only the emblem changing. I feel this is a bad move, because the colour truly gives it a feeling of it being your own. Also, I think emblem customization in Mario Kart DS was pretty fun, but it's sad to see that didn't return in this game. I think it should have.
In my opinion, since the Kart customization thing was put in, a course customization tool would be a great idea. I think driving around in your own creations would be very, very fun. I think there also could have been something online, where people could post the tracks they make and play and rate other tracks. Track customization has gone far as back as Excitebike, so I'd say even the smallest amount of track customization would work great in this game.
A few, smaller, minor suggestions now: when selecting a Mii, you still only can use the one that's selected as your Mii. While it's better than Mario Kart Wii this time around, in that, you can change the Mii that's used, but you have to go to the Mario Kart Channel (which is totally not a channel - how is it a channel?) and select "Change Mii". While it's possible in this game, it's still way too much work and annoying if you want to use a certain Mii in single player, but a different one in Online or Multiplayer. I think there should have been a way to select any Mii from your Plaza directly from the Character Select screen, which was possible with players 2-4 in Mario Kart Wii.
Sherbet Rink and Honeybee House are, in my opinion, both too similar. I'm not sure why I feel they're similar, but they're both not really that interesting, and I think something with more gimmicks and features would be a lot more fun and diverse. I like Wuhu Town, but there are two other courses based on Wuhu Island, and that, in my opinion, is too much. Wuhu Island Loop and Wuhu Mountain Loop, as far as I can see, would have been good merged, because both seem way too short for just one-lap courses. On the subject of courses, why doesn't Luigi have one? If Rosalina, or even Honey Queen, gets a course, surely the green man deserves one. And the the other green one deserves a course too, in my opinion.Mario Kart: Double Dash!! would have been good to return. Bob-omb Blast was when players got points for blasting each other with Bob-ombs, and Shine Thief was where one Shine Sprite was placed on the course, and players had to fight over it, and keep it for the longest amount of time. They were both great fun, and better than Coin Runners (though that kind of fits Mario Kart 7 due to the unlocking of Kart parts with Coins). Finally, Mario Kart DS' Mission Mode was very fun, and I think that would have been a great thing to bring back.
I think the 3DS is capable of having Downloadable Content (DLC), so some of these changes could hopefully be seen in a future download.
What WAAAAracters should have been in this game?
Since this game's pretty new, there aren’t a lot of Beta elements to cover. But I'll cover what we've got so far, and, if any more Beta elements are found, I'll be sure to cover them in the future.
Anyway, in the demo version, Alpine Pass and Mario Circuit had no ramp to activate the Glider, and no other ramps, because Tricks weren't confirmed to be in the game back at that point. The only items in the demo were the ones that returned from Mario Kart Wii (which is all of them except the Thunder Cloud, POW Block and Mega Mushroom). The Spiny Shell had wings in this demo. A Kart called the "Bullet Duck" was mentioned, but not seen in the final game, and there was also a "Banana Buggy", which is probably the Bolt Buggy, which remains as the "Banana Buggy" in other languages.
Well, that's all for 2011! Don't forget to PM me on the Super Mario Boards to suggest games for me to cover and because it's the closest thing I'll get on the internet to a Christmas present...have a great Christmas, and a fantastic new year, and see you in January!
What's up, Brawlers? I hope you all aren't too busy on your 3DS's to check out what's new in Brawl Tactics! This month, I will be doing the stage Yoshi's Island!
Despite its small amount of actual stage space, the room you have to launch others is incredible. This is evident in this stage's ability to house multiple Pokemon (as items) at one time. I've had two Kyogres on the stage at one time. Talk about giving your opponent a headache! Now, I would recommend using a character that has a high jump, like Captain Falcon or Zero Suit Samus, or a flying character, like Pit or Meta Knight, so you can do some serious damage in the air. If you can knock your opponent far off the stage, it's a pretty safe bet that they won't be able to recover. However, there are two panels that move up out of the bottom of the stage that you can catch. Bad for you if your opponent manages to get on one, but good for you if you manage to hit one if you fall. they don't stay for long, though, so don't expect a long-term solution in these.
Yoshi's Island also comes complete with its very own set of Shy Guys! Yes, these flying helpers can give you a big boost by giving you food when you knock it out of their grip. Sometimes these guys can provide you with a whole meal that will restore you to full health! I'd say hit them whenever you see them. this is definitely the time for that.
If the scenery in the background doesn't distract you, I find that many items fall here, especially Pokéballs. Pick whatever suits you and go with it. With the small stage, items can be very useful here. The fireworks cannon is a big one. With its long range and high launch power, you can send midair opponents flying without having to leave the stage. Plus you'll get to see a show as well.
That's it for this month, Brawlers! Give Yoshi's Island a shot, I'm sure you'll love it. Tune in next month to Brawl Tactics! Merry Christmas!
Merhaba, benim korkunç okuyucular, ve tüm Noeller! Anyway, forget how little Google knows about Turkish grammar so I can point out that since me previous review was my debut and thus had to be "reviewed" by the core staff before being accepted, I had to hand that in much earlier than the usual deadline and it came out short and messy. Now I'm hired and have more time to do this, so now you get to read double the same shit in an even more inconsistent layout! Hooray!
Also, due to the core staff being chill blokes who don't want to censor my stuff, they've opted to put a "strong content" disclaimer underneath my section on the main page now. So if you're scared away by four or five-letter words, then I'd suggest never reading anything again ever.
You know, the more I play Ubisoft games the more I feel their "multicultural development team, totally not discriminatory" notices are insincere. They made an entire game dedicated to further destabilizing a chaotic African nation, and with the Assassin's Creed series they've aimed each game to at least one racist demographic; the first one for Islamaphobes, the second and third ones for anyone who believes Italians are tossers, and now they've made one for radical Armenian sympathizers. I'm just waiting for them to depict 17th century Caribbean so they can attract the anti-Rastafari crowd, which would be an interesting development considering the company is based in Canada.
So hoorah, it's Assassin's Creed: Revelations, the fourth "major" instalment in Ubisoft Montreal's ever-growing series of free-running platform stealth games dedicated to pissing off historians worldwide. For those of you not familiar with the series, the gist of the story is that you play some berk in 2012 named Desmond Miles, forced to relive the memories of his assassin ancestors (Altaïr in 12th century Middle East, and Ezio Auditore in 15th century Italy) via a machine that does whatever it needs to in order to advance the plot called the 'Animus', to uncover and locate the "magical" secrets of an ancient race of ethereal beings (who are gradually seeming more and more like massive dicks), which the assassins need to combat the powerful but discreet Knight's Templars order who intend to use this power to take over the world and forcefully create a utopia bereft of free will, apparently never once reading George Orwell—oh God, are you hearing this?
Following the Assassin's Creed story is like sitting in a room with multiple conspiracy theorists and being unable to tell where which conspiracy begins and which one ends. Don't get me wrong, I love alternate history and all, but it seems to me that the only people capable of deciphering what the hell is going on by this point are psychotic paranoid history buffs with way too much time on their hands (read: Me). All you really need to know is that the story of Revelations takes off from Brotherhood, in which Desmond finally learns how to be an assassin, which fails to detract from the fact that he has all the personality of a sun-dried tomato, and his voice is like a kookaburra warbling in my ears. Seems Ubisoft have been reading my fanfiction, since Revelations opens with Desmond in a coma with his psyche shattered due to overuse of the Animus, although he's unfortunately still playable and still enunciates words. He sets out on a mental quest to separate the memories of his ancestors from his own and thus piece his mind back together and return to his body in the real world. You spend the majority of the game playing as Ezio Auditore; finished buying out all of Italy and paving the way for Venice's worst nightmare, he sets out to Constantinople to seek out this year's McGuffin of choice, the Masyaf Keys – which will open the door to the artefacts the assassins need to save the world – all the while working together with Prince Suleiman to help combat the Templar Byzantines who intend to murder the Ottoman royalty, reclaim Constantinople and steal all the keys for themselves. Are you following this? Because if you are, you may want to get that checked.
Thankfully moving away from the story, core gameplay hasn't exactly changed much, and why should it? The running/jumping/climbing parkour is as fun, fast and functional as ever, and sneaking along rooftops to stalk your assassination target and promptly giving them a loving knife up the bum as a welcoming gift is what holds the entire game together. The environments are still absolutely breathtaking; although this is a Ubisoft game, so they don't win points for that anymore. Although direct combat is still frustrating, with the only two strategies being "wait until they attack so you can counter-stab them in the eye" or "wail on them until one of your spasms happens to make contact with a part of their body", but you can always do what I do and just run away to find a hiding spot so you can suck your thumb and hope the bad guys go away. The Brotherhood system makes a return, but listen Ubisoft; I'll concede to you that training novice assassins by calling them in mid-game to kill a Templar for you fits the story, but I don't want AI sub-routines to be having my fun for me! It seems the only times I ever used it were when I hit the L2 button by accident, and usually they just cocked up the assassination forcing me to finish the job for them before anyone noticed I was training an army of retarded orang-utans.
As for the new, there's a hookblade now which makes travelling easier; and grinding down a zipline to leap onto an unsuspecting guard at the end never loses its charm. There's now a surprisingly intuitive bomb crafting system, with a diverse range of ingredients for different tactical approaches, including shrapnel, datura or skunk oil (the last of which is way funnier to throw on guards than it should be). And thank Christ there's a fast-travel system around the city, because repeatedly swinging half-way across Constantinople just to get to the next mission starts to feel duller than my daily morning commute to school.
Oh, did I mention that half of Constantinople is under Templar control and you have to reclaim large portions of the city before you can tread through those areas safely? You have to traverse a heavily guarded area of the city to find the Templar captain controlling the area and assassinate him to take control of the den, and by the grace of God do you want to hold on to those dens. Every time Templars grow suspicious enough, they'll attack one or more of your dens, requiring you to partake in a tremendously out-of-place tower defence segment that must've been included to give you incentive not to piss off the Templars and guards. They're unrefined, boring and a crapshoot, and if you fail you have to do the entire den capturing process all over again; and since renovating shops builds up your suspicion, you'll be forced to play armchair general more often than any self-respecting assassin should if you're stingy and unprepared to bribe a few heralds. I at one point spent an hour just running to each besieged den to save my protégées' useless hides; fat load of good that assassin training did them, the cowards!
The benefits of capturing dens are they allow you to safely walk the streets and buy out every single shop in the area to shake them down for daily protection pay. But none of the weapons and armour really cost that much, so you'll probably find yourself just throwing your money at whingey citizens in a desperate attempt to get rid of it all. Expanding on the text-based strategy of the previous game, dens also provide you with more spaces to recruit new assassins, and you can send these recruits out to other cities across Europe, Middle East and Africa to relieve them from Templar control, all the while levelling them up enough so they can permanently protect your dens from Templar attacks, although this process takes forever and so you'll still be beating up the bullies for them about one-hundred fucking times before their balls finally drop. Aside from that, the only real benefits from capturing cities is occasionally receiving bomb ingredients that you're basically tripping over in the streets anyway, and more motherfucking money. It seems to me that whenever Ubisoft are confronted about their games being filled with padding their solution is to fix the padding with more padding, hoping that their new mistakes would somehow correct all their other mistakes.
The playability of Altaïr from the first game was the source of much hype in the pre-release stage, wherein Desmond relives the memories of Ezio reliving the memories of Altaïr – magically losing his initial American accent in favour of a proper Arabic one – during different intervals of his life every time Ezio finds a Masyaf Key. These levels are really short and mostly scripted, but they move the story along alright and I suppose it would've been weird seeing an 80-year old man jumping along rooftops; and the way Altaïr's memories blend with Ezio's story at the end of the game was beautifully done and almost made something move in my coal of a heart. I also mentioned earlier that Desmond was still playable, but for most of the game he was strangely absent, which led me to believe Ubisoft had caught wind that he's a completely unlikeable character and opted to axe him from any important developments and just keep him there as a vehicle to move the plot along. But they love to see me cry, as I found out that his side of the story is an optional group of missions that can only be accessed when you collect an arbitrary number of shiny gems spread out across Constantinople. Unlike the rest of the game, the Desmond missions are in first-person and are focussed more on solving platform puzzles than stealthing around rooftops, and the minimalistic approach to the environments gives it a strong Portal vibe, because all puzzle sequences in big name titles need to be like Portal these days. I'd say they were out of place if they weren't optional and detached from the main story, but Ubisoft take another two steps back once again since Desmond spends all five levels narrating his boring life story, failing to realize that no amount of generic backstory will make him any less irritating and detestable. So much for that, then; I was almost having fun there for a moment!
I tried to ignore the multiplayer mode when writing this, as I have a predisposed aversion to most multiplayer games due to them having all the variety of an anorexic's diet, and being played primarily by whooping chimpanzees with a tendency to fling poo at the other players. I knew that whatever I had to say about it would be biased and half-assed, but my fellow Assassin's Creed players (and that one sword-throwing faggot) told me ignoring a key part of the game's "lasting appeal" was unprofessional and made me as bad as IGN, and like hell I would take that insult lying down, so here it goes; the multiplayer is actually not that bad. You're given a randomly selected target that you have to find, stalk and assassinate without them realizing what the fuck, all the while keeping an eye out for other players stalking you and promptly run like hell when they get a clear sight on you so you can find a haystack to hide in. It's actually fun, and answers quite well to that little impulse in our brain that says "ruin everyone else's enjoyment" without being considered griefing. But I guess the reason I didn't want to mention the multiplayer is because bugger-all has actually changed from the last game; I guess if you want to scrounge, there's been HUD improvements, they've added Capture the Flag and Deathmatch modes, and most importantly they've introduced a much more varied selection of weapons and equipment to further infuriate your fellow man. But more than half the content is locked until you upgrade to the required levels, and even then you have to buy each new item with points won arbitrarily by winning accolades while playing, which makes much of the game balance a matter of who has the most levels and "experience points". Most of the equipment seems superfluous, too; at the end of the day all the primary weapons insta-kill your opponents anyway, and I never really saw anyone use anything aside from the throwing knives and smoke bombs for secondary equipment. It all just feels insubstantial, and while I'm sure some people will find enjoyability in killing the same nine characters all the time and always painfully reaching for the next shelf of unlockable goodies, I know that I'll stop selling my soul to this monster after I finish writing this review.
That said there are still plenty of fun platforming segments in the game, especially the dungeon levels which hold the Masyaf Keys. One of these levels features you racing a Templar boat through an underground lake, with you swiftly jumping along scaffolding to chase them down all the while dodging their gunfire and explosives, which is some of the most fun I've had in the entire series even if it was tremendously showy. I also like the optional objectives the game offers you every mission; although some are simple and inane, the ones that actually had thought put into them are engaging and genuinely fun to do. Just because you're a highly-trained assassin with the fate of the world resting in your hands, doesn't mean you can't casually challenge yourself during an important operation. But even so, I feel like all the good parts are being spread thinner and thinner each game to make room for more tedious micromanagement and tyrannical monopolization. 'Screed: Revelations seems to me to be a sign that Ubisoft are running out of ideas; just throwing in whatever comes to their mind in a vain attempt to keep the series fresh and interesting to disguise the fact that they have no idea which direction they're going in anymore, although in retrospect I probably should've seen that much earlier when they started writing novels for the series. I find it hard to dismiss the game entirely as it still has all the good I enjoyed from the previous titles, and it's still immersive so long as you keep the kids from throwing rocks at your windows; but since it's the same fine polish with more bullshit as a fresh new coat, I guess a recommendation boils down to two factors – how interested you are in the story and how blatantly racist you are.
Welcome Mario Karters to the Mario Kart: Wheel Tips Corner. Your friend Coincollector is here to tell you the last tip of the year.
Before getting started, I would like to announce the world-wide release of Mario Kart 7 for the Nintendo 3DS. As we can see, Mario Kart 7 brings new gameplay to us, as usual in the series: Customizable vehicles, with the addtion of gliders to fly across the sky and propellers to navigate underwater too, and much more. Looks like many of you have got one, except for me, I don't have a 3DS, meh... And don't forget that our article of Mario Kart 7 is here to tell more about this game, techniques, secrets, modes and everything about the game in general.
Now, ladies and gentlemen, I've kept this tip for a time until you needed it, and I think that moment has come. Yes, as you can see the picture, I'm gonna talk to you all about the Spiny Shell.
In my experience from playing and watching Mario Kart games, I've been investigating everything about this item, beloved by some, hated by many, to give you all the facts and secrets. I'd call this issue, the Science of the Spiny Shell.
The Spiny Shell, also called Blue Shell is a projectile that homes in on the Kart that is in front of it, much like to a Red Shell, basically. However, unlike the Red Shell, this item is made to chase the leader of the pack, that is, the racer in first place, and knock him or her over eventually. In every game that has been released, the Spiny Shell's function tends to vary a bit and I'll explain in detail what it does in every appearance.
The Spiny Shell makes its first appearance in Mario Kart 64. The Spiny Shell can be distinguished by the spikes crowning the blue carapace of the shell and can be obtained from fourth to eight place (in rare occasions it is possible to get one in third). When a player gets one and uses it, the Spiny Shell slides all along the track in search of the racer in first place. The Shell makes a distinctive alarm sound when traveling, so the other drivers should take care too, because the shell will knock over any other driver that is on its way. Once the shell finds its target, the racer will be thrown to the air. Once the shell locks onto you it's almost impossible to avoid, specially if you're first. You can prevent from being hit by the shell if you use a boo to become invisible and so the shell go through you without making any harm, while those that are not in first can take the sides of the road so that the Spiny Shell will pass in the center of track without hitting somebody. However, the shell won't disappear if it doesn't find the leader yet and will travel all across the track to find its target. The best way to prevent being hit by the shell is using a Star. Not only does the Star make you immune, but you can also destroy the item if it attempts to hit you, freeing you from a painful fate. Additionally, if you get a Spiny shell, you can also drag the item behind you and use as a powerful defense tool. The shell never vanishes when you hold it behind and can knock over any rival coming after you and any homing item like the red shell for an indefinite time. Nonetheless, you need to be careful when you use it. If you reach the first place and release the item by accident, the Spiny Shell will turn around to hit you for being in first. Although its a very dangerous item, the Spiny Shell has a real weak spot in that it cannot trespass walls. If you're skilled enough, you can cheat the shell coming after you and make it hit the wall to bowl the shell over and stop its chase.
A fact of the Spiny Shell in Mario Kart 64 is that the shell cannot be thrown backwards. Once launched, it always goes forwards. Additionally, in Luigi Raceway, there is an Item Box hanging below a balloon. If you pull off taking it, you'll always receive a Spiny Shell. The same thing happens in Koopa Beach where a lonely item box lies on the top of a big stone that can only be reached if you jump from a very narrow and steep ramp.
The Spiny Shell also appears in Mario Kart: Super Circuit and its function is essentially the same as in Mario Kart 64, except that it can be dropped backwards. in this way the shell remains motionless until the player in first place passes near to it to activate the item and stop it in a wild spin. However, that way doesn't work for a racer in first place and instead he or she will be instantly hit by the released shell.
In Mario Kart: Double Dash!! the Spiny Shell gains a pair of wings that make it more efficient and even more dangerous. It can now skip any obstacle found in the track and is virtually indestructible by other items or objects. With this new appearance, the shell also shows a radical change of its function: It no longer chases racers from other places, only the racers in first. The Spiny Shell can be obtained from fourth to eight place and once released it flies along the track at flashing speed to find its target. The screen usually advises racers that a spiny shell is coming from behind, and it can be identified by a hissing sound that the shell makes when it approaches (yes, a hissing sound that, just thinking of it, makes everybody shiver). Once it finds the leader, the shell flies behind the kart to home in right after and blow the drivers up in a blue explosion. The explosion will make the drivers fly, much like in Mario Kart 64, and with that, drop all their items over the road. The explosion can also trap nearby drivers from other places, sending them to fly or spin out of control, or even be hit by the items dropped by the victims that were blasted. As I said before, the shell will home in on the drivers that are in first place, but if the driver in first reaches the finish line, the Spiny Shell will then find the active leader of the group, that is the driver in second place, or else the ones in third place, and so on. Avoiding the Spiny Shell in Mario Kart: Double Dash is not quite easy but it can be done using certain means. One of them is dodging with powersliding. However, you must be precise and you need to be an expert of snaking. If a Spiny Shell is homing in on you, try instantly a drift and make your kart shows the blue sparks to release a mini-turbo. When the shell is flying behind you and about to charge release all the buttons to perform a mini-turbo. An important piece of advice: You need good timing to release the boost and dodge the shell successfully, or else the shell will keep following you. If done correctly, the shell will fly away without chasing you and explode somewhere on the track. As I said, it's not easy and this move does not always guarantee that you can dodge all the Spiny Shells that can appear. Other ways to avoid the Spiny Shell are far common and easier to do. The most obvious is using a Star, if a Spiny Shell is attempting to hit you. The other is to take a extreme boost to avoid the blast of the item. This is sort of rarer than the mini-turbo as none of the items that grant speed will work to avoid the Spiny Shell. In these conditions, the only objects that save you from a homing Shell are the DK Cannon of DK Mountain, or the air pipe of Rainbow Road. Personally, I've managed to avoid the Spiny Shells with a combination of Stars or Mushrooms with mini-turbos to simulate the speed gained from these means in other courses, although that usually works if the Spiny Shell charges at you from a distance. Another way, but not a recommended one actually, is to get off of the road (for example falling to a void). The shell will ignore you while falling and fly along the road. In some courses, though, the shell is able to "wait" and find you as soon as Lakitu takes you back on the track.
I have other facts about the Spiny Shell from Mario kart Double Dash!! that might help you to know how to deal with them. First, don't get hit by another item, or fall from great heights or spin out of control if a Spiny Shell is behind you. For example, a spin and an explosion make things worse, as you may end up facing in the opposite way of the road. Second, don't be always in first place, specially at the start of a race. Try to be in a lower place for the first seconds if someone gets a Spiny Shell by taking the first set of item boxes of a race course. Third, try to start in a lower place and try to get a Spiny Shell from an Item Box. In this game, a player can get one easily and when you get it, none of the other drivers can get another Spiny Shell unless that one is used and has exploded over its target. Actually this can be another way to avoid the Spiny Shell. Fourth, if you have one, don't use it if you're in first place! You know why... And fifth, enjoy having that toy, but use it wisely. I recommend you use it at the very last moment of a final lap to see what happens.
Thankfully, the Spiny Shell is not available in Battle Mode.
And now some funny facts about the Spiny Shell. The shell is known to be almost unavoidable, but what happens if the item fails? In a race through Dino Dino Jungle, a Spiny Shell was after me, making its ominous noise while I was crossing the bridges of the lake until a sudden Lightning strike hit me. Right after that moment the Shell stopped making noises and disappeared once I entered the cave... What could have happened? I really dunno, but I never saw it again. If you have a Spiny Shell and you're close to finishing a race, throw the Shell while you cross the finish line and something funny will happen. The shell sometimes will go in the opposite direction and hit the racer in second place. However, despite of its bad reputation, the Spiny Shell becomes useful to do a shortcut in one track of the game...
And that's all, Shy Guys. Yeah, due to the length of this article, this issue will be discussed in parts. For now, you've read the first part of the Science of the Spiny Shell, so look forward to the next part that will have more information about this item and its other appearances.
I hope all of you nice readers enjoyed reading the tips of the Mario Kart: Wheel Tips Corner of this year. The 'Shroom and your friend Coincollector wish you happy holidays and a happy new year!
The video game industry is one of the largest in the world these days. From big-buck consoles like the Wii and Playstation 3, to mobile devices like the 3DS and PSP, to games that you can even play on your smartphone. Games like Super Mario Galaxy, Angry Birds, and Call of Duty: Black Ops rake in millions of sales and billions of dollars. Dozens of gaming magazines, news articles, and websites (heck, even this one!) provide the latest news regarding your favorites. It would be unthinkable that this seemingly endless flow of money should end.
Too many games
E.T. is a charming and successful Stephen Spielberg movie released in 1982, and Atari soon received a license to make E.T. a video game. Unfortunately, in order to get the game out in time for the holidays, Atari had to develop, test, publish, and market a completely new video game in only six weeks. Yes, you heard me right: SIX WEEKS. Atari, learning zilch from their Pac-Man escapade, figured that E.T. would become a hit, merely because of the title. Well, gamers know a bad game when they smell one, and E.T. had the worst reek of them all. No sane person liked the game, not even the developers. Going into 1983, Atari had lost over five hundred million dollars. These bad games made gamers lose confidence in Atari and the video game industry in general.
Other Consoles and PCs
’Twas the night before Christmas,
Hey everybody! Marioguy1 here for another issue of Fading into Obscurity, with a pretty big character from the past of the Mario series for this Christmas issue, Mouser!
Mouser first came to light in Super Mario Bros. 2 - the ancient game between Super Mario Bros. and Super Mario Bros. 3 that nobody knows anything about other than "they threw vegetables". He was the final boss of worlds 1 and 3, throwing not vegetables, but bombs at the Mario bros.
Mouser made his next appearance as King Koopa's main accomplice in the mysterious Super Mario Bros. Super Show! wherein he appeared a lot, serving as his his boss's henchman. He also made appearances in the outdated Nintendo Comics System as a species, known as "Mice". But, along with Super Mario Bros. 2, the Mario TV series and Mario comics, Mouser has mostly faded into obscurity...
Merry Christmas to all!
Hello again everyone! This month, to end off the year, I think we’ll do a penultimate review. This month this review will be of Magnus von Grapple 2.0 – the last appearance of Lord Crump in the entire game!
Magnus von Grapple 2.0
If you look back at my review of the original, I said he was “good end-boss material”. I still stand by that remark, and I think Magnus von Grapple 2.0 is also good end boss material. However he is reused good end boss material. He really isn’t all that different from the original Magnus von Grapple and I really don’t see him as different either.
Magnus von Grapple was a good idea, but Nintendo should have kept him in his own chapter. Or maybe made Magnus von Grapple 2.0 a giant robot (to be unique). Either way, I don’t really like what they did to “change” him that much.
While he is still a good idea, Magnus von Grapple 2.0 is basically just another Magnus von Grapple so he will get a 6.5/10. Thanks for reading this ridiculously short holiday section, and come back in 2012 for the final review for TTYD!
My Favorite Game: Mario Kart Wii
After graduating from college, a friend sent to me a Wii console, along with a variety of video games, including Mario Kart Wii. Within a few weeks I have played all of the video games, but I literally fell in love with Mario Kart Wii. I praise the game for its exhilarating features, and for the time Nintendo took to develop the wonderful game. Its exhilaration and addictiveness made it the best-selling Mario game for the Wii console.
Mario Kart Wii has a variety of characters, as well as a collection of karts and motorbikes to choose from. My favorite character is the Heavy-Weight Mii, and my favorite vehicle is the Flame Runner. The two go well together! My least favorite character is King Boo. That ghost scares me with his death-frightening sounds! And besides, he doesn't have a bonus in anything except for handling and off-road. Bah, who cares? My least favorite vehicle, I sadly have to say, is the Bit Bike / Nano Bike. Too slow, drifts outwards (which I can't stand!) and too light! Once I raced in Rainbow Road with the Bit Bike, and although I was in first, that annoying Bowser knocked me off right at the edge, and down I went.
My favorite course is Wario's Gold Mine. It's literally like a roller-coaster ride, and I love roller coasters. The course isn't too difficult either. My least favorite course is the SNES Ghost Valley 2. That course is scary and annoying. I do not achieve an adequate time when I race on this course in Time Trials, and I'm blaming the constant background distraction for it.
In about two months, all characters, courses, vehicles, and all locked features in the game were unlocked. Unfortunately, I was busy at work since the beginning at 2011, so I haven't played the game for an entire year. Hopefully when I get to go back home, I will pick up the Wii Remote and bring back the memories from the wonderful game.
Its successor, Mario Kart 7, seems like a great game as well. However, I do not have a 3DS console, so there's no use buying it at the moment. I hope I do get to play it someday, though!
Ladies, gentlemen, trolls, sockpuppets, banned and unbanned users, veterans, sysops, 'crats, stewards, and 'Shroom readers old and new:
For those of you who don't know me (most of you probably don't), I'm Beanbean, Mariowiki user of four years. You may also know me as Autolikescake on various social networks i.e. Tumblr etc., one of the gals who is a combined VALVe/mspa fan. Surprisingly, there are a lot of those. I used to write for the "Trivia" section of this fine periodical, but that was over two years ago when I was a wee pre-teen, and I haven't been active on here since. However, the Core Staff of the 'Shroom has decided to allow me to write a special section for their Holiday Issue! When I found that I had a new message on the forum, I was surprised. I've only had 30 private messages sent to me in the four years my forum account's existed. Anyway, I've decided to take up their offer and write my heart out.
I hope the weather is fine for you folks in both hemispheres. It doesn't snow here in good ol' California. At least, not where I am. In fact, during winter, it either rains, or scorches. Mostly the latter. But enough about weather, let's talk about the thing all of us were drawn here for! Video games. Don't deny it, you've played one at least once in your life. If you haven't I'm not sure how you got here, unless you're a fan of Super Mario Bros. Super Show or any of the assorted other-media works licensed by Nintendo. Rather than reviewing a Nintendo game, which I haven't done in years, as I haven't played many recently, I'm going to review a little game called… called… wow. It appears I don't have a game to review! WELL THAT'S IT, FOLKS, THANKS AND GOODNIGHT-
Wait. I've got it. Amnesia: The Dark Descent? No, too scary. That, and I haven't beaten it, precisely because it is too scary. This leaves me no choice, but to jump into a random Delorean I found on the street a few days ago, and travel back in time at 88 miles per hour to 1947! Why are we traveling there, you ask? Well, I'll tell you. There's a little something I'd like to review, and it's called L.A. Noire. This game is developed by Team Bondi, and published by Rockstar Games, the same folks who brought you the highly-popular Grand Theft Auto series. Which I have never played. Honest.
L.A. Noire was released on the PS3 and Xbox 360 on May 17, 2011 in North America, May 19 in Australia, May 20 in Europe, and July 7 in Japan. A "complete" edition which includes the DLC cases was released for Microsoft Windows on November 8, 2011 in North America and November 11 in Europe and Australia. In this classic cinematographic-style game, we follow Cole Phelps (literally, because it's a third-person shooter/action-adventure), a detective two years out of the second world war, and one-year vet of the LAPD. During the war, he became a hero after receiving a silver Star and being promoted to First Lieutenant in his Marine Corps unit for reasons he believes are unworthy.
Detective Phelps works his way up through the ranks, beginning as a patrolman and moving through with his tactful case solving to Traffic, Homicide, Vice, and Arson. The game often uses foreshadowing to its advantage, most signage in the background referring to later cases. Except Cola King. He's just there because he's amazing. Watch for the characters in the intro as well as the signs. Those are especially important.
Cars play a big role in this game, as they are "a symbol of freedom and vitality," something Herschel Biggs would say. In fact, there are more than 90 cars that you can drive in the game, and even hidden vehicles around the free-to-explore map. However, having cars does not mean hit-and-runs. In fact, you are charged property and vehicle damage during each case, should you slam into the back of a '39 Ford, or ram into a bench while chasing a bad guy, you get charged a couple hundred bucks and are deducted points. As for the map and overall areas of L.A, the game developers used over 110,000 aerial photographs of Los Angeles to fit the time period's landmarks, streets, and housing areas to the bone.
The voice actors for the game put in over 20 hours of voice work for each scenario, case, and outcome. You see, L.A. Noire uses what is similar to a "choose your own adventure" style of gaming. As detective, you interrogate witnesses and suspects, deducting what is fact from fiction with evidence and testimonies. The better you put your evidence to work, the more you discover about those involved in the story, and the higher you score at the end of each case. Therefore, multiple sound files for each outcome are evident, shaking up the gameplay and making it different every time you play.
Not only is the voice acting well-done, but the animation as well. Team Bondi used what is called "Motion Scan," a technology developed by Depth Analysis. In this innovative device, 32 HD cameras surround an actor, capturing every angle possible in order to establish the most realistic facial movements possible without falling into the uncanny valley. (For more information about the software, go here.)
Bondi also used Mocap software in order to establish eyelines and body movement for the character models. The game focuses on being able to use deductive reasoning by telling if a person is lying to you or not, through not only what they say, but their mannerisms, tics, and eye movements. After all, that's how we figure out if one's lying in real life, yes?
The one thing I especially love about the whole game is how it comes together, tying up almost all the loose ends. Almost is the key word, as some ends are not meant to be met. You'll see what I mean when you play, or watch someone play. Newspapers in the game are minor plot devices that give a bit of background story to some of the cases, which will be most important once you reach the Vice desk. At the end of the first few cases, flashbacks to Cole's life in the Marines appear, justifying his actions and why he seems so humble despite being the LAPD's favorite son. And by favorite son, I mean favorite son. Honestly, the chief treats him like he's the cutest little school boy on the block. Though, the chief has a great Scottish accent, so that's nifty. Of course, that does make other colleagues in the LAPD jealous of him.
Each character has his or her own unique backstory, even the most minor ones. The partners have great senses of humor, particularly Rusty Galloway. His real name is actually Finnbar, but everyone calls him Rusty, so you should as well. Or else he'll kick your ass. As Cole, you're a married man with a loving wife and kids, but seem to catch an eye of a certain German jazz singer. But that's for when you get to Vice. After all, the city of L.A. is full of glamor, jealousy, vices, drugs, and sex. Just like today! Well, maybe not as much glamor as innovation. There's a thought.
However, there are some downsides. Yes, this great game has its flaws, as most if not all do. Sometimes, while chasing a suspect, you have the opportunity to fire a warning shot, by moving your crosshairs over them until a little outer circle forms and pulses, signifying your ability to fire a shot. This opportunity doesn't come often, and therefore, chase scenes on foot take much longer, and at times the controls to tackle don't respond if the suspect is running fast enough or changes their path. If you pull out your gun, which doesn't always work, and fire a bullet at them without waiting for the circle to form, then you fail the case and have to start from the last checkpoint (usually the beginning of the chase scene). At times, the chase scenes get tiring, especially if there's more than one in each case or consecutive cases with them, rather than changing it up a bit. After a while, it begins to feel formulaic.
Despite these little factors and flaws, L.A. Noire is a wonderful game which I highly recommend for those who like solving with deductive reasoning. I must warn you however, it's not for the faint of heart. There are women who are murdered and often naked/covered in their bodily fluids (namely blood). Therefore, if you're easily grossed out by blood and naked, brutally murdered bodies, then L.A. Noire is probably not something in your vein of gaming. Also, there is a lot, and I mean a lot of swearing in this game, especially when you talk to your partners. It is, after all, 1947, and there is much racial tension going around in the city of angels, especially after the war that nearly destroyed the world. Ergot, many racial slurs and stereotypes are spoken about when interrogating persons of interest. Not only that, but when working on Vice cases, there's loads of drugs that are found and talked about. It's rated M for a reason.
The price range for this game varies, but on Steam as I write this, it costs $49.99. During the holidays the price will most likely go down, and fluctuate a bit before going back up to $49.99. So, if you can, check out daily deals if you have a Steam account. If not, it's free to create one, but to add friends you must have at least one game. Check it out, there's lots of free games on there that are great for making friends.
Team Bondi has certainly done a great job with this neo noir mystery game, in the process creating new and innovating ways of developing games. Perhaps other companies will take a leaf out of their book, but we'll have to see. For now, we'll just have to wander around L.A. looking for callboxes to ask operators to check addresses for us. This is Beanbean, saying have a happy holiday season, and thanks for reading.
Hey, everybody, it’s Toad85 again. You probably know me from my new A History of Video Games section, or from my activity on Mariowiki’s Forums. For this special Holiday issue, I’m going to review a special video game, one that I find criminally underrated and underappreciated: Wario’s Woods for the Nintendo Entertainment System. So, with no further ado, let’s...
...wait. Hold on a sec. I could tell you about the history of Wario’s Woods, or recite some seldom-told story about the NES, but actually review a game? For a nerdy guy like me? That sounds stark-raving mad.
Good thing I am stark-raving mad, or I wouldn’t have made it to the ‘Shroom in the first place.
Okay, T85, you can do this. Look at how the pros do it. This is a game that is close to your heart. The ‘Shroom needs you. I’ve just got to learn how to do it.
*Cue montage of me watching game reviews on GameFAQs, IGN, and RetroWareTV*
I think I’ve got the hang of this now. So, again, with no further ado, let’s start this game review already.
Game Quickie: Wario’s Woods
I guess I should start with the plot first. After all, what’s a game review without giving an impression of what the heck is going on?
Basically, while Mario, Luigi, Peach, etc. are away (presumably in Dinosaur Land, but it’s never really said), Toad is left to look after the castle. However, he gets sidetracked on an early morning stroll and ends up trapped in the Peaceful Woods, which have been overrun by the evil Wario. As no one else is around to do anything, it’s up to Toad to save the oppressed land and “quiet the sinister lout.” However, Toad’s not alone in his quest. He meets up with some sprites, the true inhabitants of the forest, who provide him with bombs to clear Wario’s goons. Birdo also makes an appearance, but I’m not really sure how she’s relevant to the game at all besides giving the occasional “OK!!” and arriving when Wario’s gone to tell you it’s safe.
Okay, let’s actually pop this sucker into the top-loader. Or, rather, select it from the Wii menu. I don’t own a top-loader. But I want one.
There are a total of six modes: Round Game A, Round Game B, Time Race, VS, Lesson, and Option. The Round Games is basically the story mode, in which you actually fight Wario and his cronies directly. The main difference between the two very similar modes is that “B” has boss battles, while “A” lacks them. I haven’t played much of Round Game B, so I can’t really tell who all the bosses are, but it was challenging to defeat the first ones.
Time Race is basically the same as the Round Games, but it lacks a story and you race against the clock instead of fighting Wario. Not much to say there. VS is a fun mode, as it allows you and a friend to play against each other, as you each try to outdo the other guy. I spent much of my time at first in here, playing with my little brother. He usually beat me. Moving on, Lesson mode basically teaches you the basics (a rarity for a NES title, which typically ask you to use trial and error), and Option menu gives information about your profile. Out of all the modes, I’d have to say that VS is the most fun. It’s just hectic trying to compete with another gamer and vying for the high score.
Moving on to the actual gameplay. Meh, let’s take Round Game A, since it’s pretty much the primary mode. Basically, you play as Toad (if that wasn’t already clear). He regains the super-strength you first acquired from Super Mario Bros 2. He can use this to pick up bombs, enemies, and other items about your height and twice your weight. Yes, Toad is badass.
The goal is to try to stack enemies and bombs of the same color next to each other. The resulting event, after stacking 3+ of the same color in a row, is an atomic explosion that murders the enemy. The longer the row, the higher points you get, and if you manage to make the elusive 5-in-a-row, you get a diamond for your services. If you destroy the diamond, you get a whopping amount of bonus points!
There are two sections of gameplay, Birdo and Wario. Each are timed. When Birdo is in the upper right box, the fairy’s bombs fall slowly, and there are no new enemies you have to worry about. This is the section where you can actually get crap done. But it only lasts for so long, before Wario appears out of nowhere. When you receive Wario in that box, the speed kicks up, and his Pidget drops more enemies than bombs. I find myself often screaming in agony when I get up to the higher levels, BECAUSE OF THAT FRICKING PIDGEY. HOW I HATE PIDGEYS. However, the Wario sections add challenge to the levels, and it's not like they're bad or anything.
Moving on… the first levels are incredibly easy, but, as I said, the difficulty jumps pretty quickly around Level 20. It then continues to jump every ten levels until the end of the game. I’ve never made it there, but I assume it’s ABSOLUTELY BRUTAL. And the controls don’t help.
See, rather than picking up the enemy or bomb in any direction using the A or B button in conjunction with the D-pad, you can only pick up the bomb DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF YOU. I can understand this if the bomb is on the same level as you, but if you’re on a flat plane, and there’s a bomb to the lower left of you, YOU PICK IT UP. WHAT THE HECK, NINTENDO.
But the fidgety controls are pretty much my only complaint with this game. And I can overlook any blemishes it has, because it’s fun. Not to mention the graphics are amazing for an NES game, and the music is extremely catchy, if repetitive. Overall, I suggest picking this up or downloading this to your Wii Virtual Console. In my eyes, it’s the best NES games of all time, and it’s up in the top 10 on the all-time list. It’s really good.
Replay Value: 5/5
Total: 56/60 (93.3%)
Mafia? Isn’t that an Italian crime syndicate? That’s what you used to think. But today, I, Marioguy1, am here to explain the intricacies of the lesser-known definition of mafia – the party game.
Mafia is a common game played at camps or in group meetings to help break the ice and get people active. It involves the majority of the people, dubbed “innocents”, taking votes to kill each other off in an effort to find the two or three “mafia” among their ranks. However the real life game requires that all participants be trusted to close their eyes when it comes to their turn, and determining facial expressions is a crucial part of the game. When it comes to mafia on a forum, these two things play no part.
Mafia on forums, as can be found in our mafia board, is a game revolving around the use of “roles” to determine who is mafia and who isn’t. Here are a few general rules of mafia:
For more info about playing mafia games, contact me on the forums
These are some terms that should help in comprehending what is happening in a mafia game:
Here is a list of the common roles. These roles can be combined together, made more powerful or altered in many ways - but these are the main categories of roles.
Mafia specific roles:
Here are a few strategies to help with mafia games. Remember, this section is not fact, it is my opinion. However since I am always right, it could be stated to be fact.
Bandwagoning has been given a bad name due to its confusion with a similar term - sheeping. Bandwagoning is like saying "per all" on a proposal. It is just you saying you agree with the above user, but don't want to retype their reasons. SHEEPING however, is voting when you don't agree with the above person, but don't want to look bad by not voting. Bandwagoning is perfectly fine, but sheeping should be avoided.
The user that kills an innocent is not always scum! This is a common misconception! The user who randomly kills another user probably is scum. But the user who comes to the logical conclusion that another user is scum and shows their reasons is almost always simply mistaken. Scumhunting does not imply killing the user that makes mistakes - you will usually end up killing your most proactive members.
Scumhunting implies doing exactly what the user who made the mistake was doing, looking at people's posts and how they coordinate with known information. For instance, if a mafia was killed on Day 5, for the Day 6 lynch it would be a good idea to look and see who supported that mafia on Days 1-4. If there are any consistencies, this could be mafia members banding together. If a mafia defends someone and dies a few days later, the person they defended could have been their ally. Looking through the past posts of the person is always a way to scumhunt.
Another way is to look for any users that are trying too hard to look innocent. A true innocent does not have to try to look innocent as they are innocent. Any user who is constantly lamenting the loss of other innocents or repeatedly asking if there's any way to kill the mafia could be a mafia member trying to look eager to help. Or it could just be a very inexperienced innocent; that's where the threat lies in this method of scumhunting.
Something I have noticed a lot around the forums is a lack of trust. Look at the game from an objective point of view. Every single player has around a 75% chance of being innocent. The players around you are most probably innocent. Trusting them should not be hard for you. If someone comes out accusing someone else, trust that they have knowledge you don't. There is rarely motivation for the mafia to randomly accuse another user as, in the long run, the mafia will end up losing a member. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule but not many. The rule of thumb should be to trust your companions as they are most probably on your side.
Roleclaiming is a useful tactic. It can be used to convince others of your innocence, it can be used to gain doctor's protection as a cop, it can be very useful. But it can also be very dangerous. Remember that when you are roleclaiming you are telling everyone about your role. If it is valuable, the mafia will usually have some way to make it useless or to kill you. Roleclaiming as soon as you are voted for is a horrible idea, you can easily just tie up the voting or start a counter-bandwagon if their logic is faulty.
If their logic holds true however, this is the scenario for roleclaiming. When users are voting for you and they actually have strong logic behind their votes. Roleclaiming could help you survive if you are something valuable.
Is not the end of the world. Don't treat it as such. True it does not help in the long run, but one or two no lynches won't kill anyone.
This is the last topic I want to touch on. PMs not between third parties, masons or mafia members. If you are PMing other users behind the host's back, it could be defined as cheating. The host should really know all the actions going on in their game and cannot see PMs sent to other people. A simple way to solve this would be to send the PM to both the other person and the host. If the host sees a problem, they will intervene - it is their job to be impartial. It can't hurt to send the PM to the host, and it prevents any cheating so why not?
Thank you for reading this special section (at least I hope you read this special section), feel free to go onto the forums and start playing mafia! It is an excellent pass-time and lots of fun overall. I might contribute a special section to the January issue about hosting mafia games, but in case I don't, this has been Marioguy1! Merry Christmas!
I was but a boy of four years then, but that didn't stop me from playing the heck out of the game. I was beyond mesmerized. It was a world starkly different from the 2D Mario adventures I had been familiar with playing, and simultaneously very much the same. My family was simply amazed by how quickly I adapted to 3D. Few in the world during that Christmas of 1996 were used to such an innovation. As I explored, I was awestruck by the world's inside the painting and collecting Power Stars to open new doors and experience new worlds. While many say that the game did not stand the test of time, I ardently disagree. One can still have loads of fun with the game.
Let's move a year to Christmas of 1997. 1997-1999's Christmas memories are the ones I thank brilliant British video game company Rareware for. In it's heyday, they were a paragon of video game-making greatness. They simply could not be touched by any other company, and I still weep recalling that dark day in 2002 when I learned they had been bought out, and they have done nothing great since. But that is another story. The game I received that year was Diddy Kong Racing. It was truly challenging to beat the entire game at that age, but I managed to do so. I grew obsessed with the character Wizpig, a great villain who had a lot of potential. Sadly, not much has been done with him since (except for a Nintendo DS remake that had him sounding like Count Dracula and not a draconian Warthog, lamentably).
And now, let's discuss Christmas of 1998. Ah, 1998. 1998 was the year that the video game world reached it's apex. And I truly profess it is the greatest year of video games. Yes, it was a time for Ocarina of Tim and 007, but let us not forget Yoshi's Story, Resident Evil 2, and, of course, Banjo-Kazooie. Ahhh, Banjo-Kazooie. Does not the mere mention of that game enliven your soul? Side-by-side with Donkey Kong Country, is it Rare's crowning achievement. From exploring those nine world's in Gruntilda's Lair, to the unforgettable creatures and characters met along the way, to collecting Jiggies, there is a wonder to that game that is inexplicable to the point where you'll just have to play it to believe it. How dreadful that it's kind has been virtually extinguished by the pernicious incursion of the FPS. Apparently, the powers that be decided this sad world wasn't big enough for the both of them. But on Christmas day itself of 1998, the year came to a marvelous close with the magical game, Glover (which I thought was Mario's glove because a classmate lied to me about it). Not another game where the player was shooting everything in sight, instead it was fun, challenging game about a wizard's glove (and a great character named Mr. Tip, the wizard's magic hat, who could somehow bilocate, or trilocate or multi-locate somehow...) who could attack enemies with crystals that he could transform in a rubber ball, as well as many others such as a bowling ball.
That brings us to Christmas of 1999, the greatest one of all. I received Donkey Kong 64. It was the first 3D Donkey Kong game, as well as the first game since Donkey Kong Country gamers actually got to play as him. It was and is another Rare masterpiece. It introduced three new Kongs: The slow, yet meek and mighty Chunky (who was the older brother of Kiddy), the old-fashioned, clownish orangutan Lanky, and Dixie's little sister, Tiny. Until the 2011 release of Batman: Arkham City, Donkey Kong 64 held the world record for most stuff to collect in a video game. Over the years, many have believed that the backtracking between levels was overambitiously played to the hilt. But I disagree once more. Especially as a kid, I was amazed by going back as new Kongs I had unlocked and having the ability to collect new Gold Bananas and the works. Oh yes, Rare and Nintendo brought another golden Christmas memory. By and large, people measure their lives by holidays: Birthdays, Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, but Christmas beats them all. But those Christmases when you're young, they are the sweetest of all, for they stay with you forever. Those great Christmases from the mid to late 90's, so long ago, are gone. But they will never be forgotten, for the games I and millions others still have and still play will make it impossible for us to do precisely that. The Marioverse has given me so much personally, and I wish there was someway I could thank Nintendo. Well, the thousands of dollars my parents have spent buying their games through the years are not a bad way, perhaps.
Hello, this is the reappeared Tucayo, and I am here to write a special section. Or so I think. When I read in my talk page that I was invited to write a special section I felt special, but then I realized every writer had been invited. No longer feeling special, I still decided I was going to write a section. It has been around a year since I last wrote a section other than Mystery Images, so let's hope I still know how to writghaufictuds.
Number 10: Common Sense Will Take You A Long Way
I always thought many of the rules we had were stupid and excessive. While it is good to make some things clear, most of the time common sense is the best way to decide on something. Users, even if it's not written that you shouldn't do something, try to THINK. It has happened to me, an user did something wrong and I blocked him, he then pointed out that what he did wasn't against the rules. Come on, you thought it was OK to vandalize in a certain way only because it's not explicitly written?
Number 9: Haters Gonna Hate
No matter how good you are, no matter how good you do your work, someone will always hate you. Perhaps it's envy, perhaps it has no reason at all, but someone will always hate you. And you can't let that distract you from your work. During my time here I came across many trolls that only wanted to annoy other people. What they want is attention, don't give it to them. Don't even mention their names.
Number 8: Sometimes It's Better To Shut The F*ck Up
Self-explanatory. But sometimes it's better to make your voice heard. Decide carefully which of these situations you are facing, or else you'll end in a very embarrassing situation, as it has happened to me.
Number 7: Try to do something by yourself
Yessir. Sysops often find themselves doing all of the work in here, and that's not how it should be. If you are a normal user, don't go asking for a sysop's help every single time you need something done, try to do it yourself. If you keep pestering a sysop every time you need something stupid, they will only end up hating you. There's nothing more annoying than a user that asks you to do every single thing he could be doing by himself. Now, if there are things you can't do by yourself, at least try to ask different admins, that way the desperation you cause will divide between more admins.
Number 6: Don't Be A Crybaby
One of the most hateful things are users that go "waaa everyone hates me!!!11 ill go and never come back!!1". First of all, if you do that, then I know why people hate you. Second, no one cares if you leave (ugly truth). And third, instead of crying do something good. But I have to admit, sometimes users will just like to annoy you, for no other reason than having fun. Still, don't do what I mentioned earlier, seriously.
Number 5: Face It, No One Cares
There are some users who share every single effing thing. And this will sound rude, but it's the truth; as the title says, no one cares. We don't care if an angry Jigglypuff molested you. Stories to make people pity you don't make them pity you, they make them hate you.
Number 4: Respect Those Above You
Fundamental in every single ambit. Admins work for the welfare of the wiki, so show a little respect. For me, this is the basis of everything, and I blocked users many times only because their attitude was disrespectful. I understand that sometimes you think admins are lazy bums, but that's not always the case; many of the work happens "backstage", so you don't always see it. Now, if you disagree with something, the best way to fix it is to speak directly to the person you have a problem with. Don't make a freaking revolution just because you disagree with something. Well, I have to admit sometimes that is necessary, but you gotta know when and how to do it.
Number 3: Respect Those Below You
You never know when that noob you annoyed out of sheer fun will become an admin or something like that. And if that happens, well, you're f*cked. This happens more often than you would think.
Number 2: Get Every Ally You Can
Because sometime you'll need all the help you can get, and this is when Numbers 4 and 3 come in handy. It's better to be respected than feared. How to do this? Work hard, be nice to others, help them, and so on. If you get every ally you can, you can even make a mob. Or, for more practical uses, get one proposal to pass and all that stuff.
Number 1: Don't Give Up
If you are demoted, if you are banned, if you don't get what you want, when you try your best but you don't succeed
So that's all. I hope I didn't bore you and that you learned something from this. BTW, best of lucks for those who run for Director. And now I disappear into the darknessssss... BYE!