Video Game Boom Box: History of Mario Music

To celebrate Thanksgiving, as well continue Mario’s 35th Anniversary, here’s a video by Youtuber String Player Gamer with an awesome medley of the themes.

(Thanks for the suggestion @ubernerd527 !)

Happy Thanksgiving Arcaders!

Nintendo’s Arcade Archives: Puzzle Bobble (Ultrasonic’s thoughts)

For those who remember playing the Bubble Bobble video games, you remember the cuteness and bright cartoon-like atmosphere which balanced out a very deep game, and one that caught the attention of many an Arcader, myself included. After all, what’s not fun about trapping creatures in bubbles and then popping them once trapped? It’s quirky, yet good fun all at the same time.

But there’s no way anything else could be done with these two lovable dinosaurs, right?

Wrong!

In June of 1994, Taito created a game called Puzzle Bobble (also called Bust-A-Move) that featured their two dinos in a new type of game, but one that wasn’t too unfamiliar. Much like other puzzle games like Tetris, Dr. Mario and Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, this puzzle game was distinct over how to solve the puzzles.

The way each stage starts, you have an assortment of creatures trapped in different colored bubbles, and our two dino heroes are at the bottom with more bubbles which you can then shoot onto the field, with one being loaded onto the launcher and another waiting in the wings to be used right after. The bubbles then go flying until they either touch the wall or until they touch another bubble. The objective is to line up three or more bubbles of the same color which then clears that specific assortment. Now one would think that would be all to it – which it is to some extents – but if an assortment of bubbles is cleared, and there’s another set below it that’s connected to the former collection, then that set will drop and increase your score more, which can come in handy in tight moments, plus as you play the stages more Arcaders can get pretty creative with this, which only increases the replay value.

But to be able to pull this off takes a great deal of practice, not just with knowing how to use the color bubbles given to you but also how the launcher is positioned, for that is what really makes the difference. Even the slightest adjustment can make or break your game, but since this part is trial-and-error, you won’t really know until after you make a mistake a few times.

But make sure not to take too long, because while you don’t have a timer counting down, the ceiling of the playing field starts to narrow the more time goes by, so the game does force you to think on your feet a bit.

In all, this Arcade game is definitely a must have if you are a fan of puzzle-type arcade games, and while I myself was more of a fan of the regular Bubble Bobble titles, I got hooked on this the moment I played it the first time back during my Disney Quest days, and now that I have this game on my Switch I get to relive those moments again.

Screenshot from my Nintendo Switch.

While this game does take quite a long time to master, the learning curve is small, and the fun factor is high, plus the colorfulness and whimsicalness of the game make it appealing for everyone. And even if you aren’t the biggest fan of puzzle-games, it will grab your attention for sure. It’s 2-Player mode also makes it ideal for two friends to play together, especially since you can get competitive as you clear out your own field and fill up your opponent’s in the process.

So whether it be as a digital copy for any of the consoles, or if you’re fortunate enough to have the Arcade cabinet, go turn it on and Bust-A-Move!

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity Demo Impressions

Article by Joshua Jordan

To set the stage I am a big fan of the original Hyrule Warriors game when it released on the WiiU back in 2014. I had never played a Dynasty Warriors game prior to playing Hyrule Warriors but I was a fan of all things The Legend of Zelda so I knew that this was going to be a game I needed to play. The game impressed me so much I spent countless hours fighting hoards of classic Zelda villains and trying to unlock every weapon and character. Not to mention that I also bought the 3DS version that released two years later and the Definitive Edition released on the Switch in 2018. From the get-go, I could tell that there was a lot of love of Zelda history put into the game. Yet I feel the one downside of the game was its story. Which wasn’t bad but I feel it could have been better. Yes, I know that the story wasn’t the focus of the game it was just a springboard for the fact that all these Zelda characters were in the same place. Yet Zelda games for the most part have always had a compelling story and with that expectation, Hyrule Warriors missed the mark for me. That minor flaw has seemed to be dealt with in the new game Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity which was announced several months ago. In the announcement trailer we go a brief look at the story of Age of Calamity and found out it was is a prequel to the events in the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Then out of nowhere just recently, Nintendo dropped a Direct Mini online with a closer look at the Age of Calamity and the announcement of the release of a demo. After hearing of the demo’s release earlier in the day of the writing of this article I had to try it out and I thought I would share my thoughts on it.  Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition | Nintendo Switch | Games | Nintendo 

My Impressions of the Demo

Warning: Gameplay spoilers ahead! However, there will not be any story spoilers

The demo throws you right into the action after a pretty lengthy cut scene setting up the premise of the game. If you played Hyrule Warriors previous to Age of Calamity you will have no problem with the control scheme as it is identical to the original but there are a lot of new additions. In the first game, it was definitely a pretty mindless button masher. You have combos and defensive moves that you could perform but they weren’t really all that important to progress. In the demo, it gave me a variety of button commands that I could implement to do a wide variation of attacks from using my default weapon to using the Sheikah Slate and even being able to pick up weapons dropped by enemies similar to Breath of the Wild. This gives the gameplay more diversity and different ways you can address a situation. The best part is that I didn’t feel overwhelmed but encouraged to experiment with my different attacks.

One of the biggest ways this game will be much different than its predecessor is the art style, cut scenes, and environments look exactly like they do in Breath of the Wild. So much so that at times while playing the demo I almost forgot I was playing a different game. This was heavily talked about and shown in the original announcement trailer but it’s different once you actually play the game. I love this because even though the gameplay is different it feels like one cohesive narrative, which is much appreciated. 

If you played Breath of the Wild but haven’t played Hyrule Warriors I wouldn’t worry too much as the game’s story acts as a prequel to the events in Breath of the Wild and the gameplay is very simplistic.  I am not sure about just going into the Age of Calamity without playing Breath of the Wild though as I feel you defiantly get more appreciation for the Age of Calamity’s story if you already know the just of the story from Breath of the Wild. I would only hazard a guess that it could be possible to play the game and enjoy it but more enjoyment would come from actually playing Breath of the Wild. 

The demo is much longer than I expected as I clocked in almost 2 hours before the demo ended. I feel if you want to get a good feel for what you’re in store for come November then I highly suggest downloading the demo which is now on the Nintendo E-Shop as of today. On top of that if you play the demo the save file you create will carry over to the full game once it releases. If your a fan of Zelda games and especially Breath of the Wild you will not be disappointed by this demo.

 

Video Game Boom Box: Super Mario Bros. 35th – Super Mario Bros. Super Show Tracks

Ready your NES Controllers and Zappers Arcaders, because here’s a track composed by Shuki Levy and Haim Saban (of Power Rangers fame) for the show, or rather, a pretty awesome remix of a classic track from the first Mario game!

Video Game Boom Box: Super Mario Bros. 35: Mario Medley

To start off this month’s Video Game Boom Box – as well as to celebrate not just National Video Games Day but the 35th Anniversary of the original Super Mario Bros., here’s a medley that Nintendo came up with to help celebrate.

But that’s not all-stay tuned Arcaders, for more tracks are coming!

RayGunn’s High Score Review!

Hey Arcaders!

Let’s talk High Score– the new six part documentary on Netflix. This one kind of came out of the blue for me. There have been a lot of video game documentaries. Some are great (Once Upon Atari is one I liked) some.. not so much for me (Videogames, the Movie– I’m calling you out!) I’m really going to have to do reviews on them as well.

Once I saw the trailer for High Score- it peaked my interest- a documentary not just about the games, or the players…but focused on the designers and programmers (some of which have never done interviews!) I had to watch. And… I wasn’t disappointed.

Right off the bat, it felt like an episode of The Toys That Made Us- which is a great thing. Also, having Charles Martinet- The voice of Mario- narrating… was genius. Another thing I loved about the series, was the chapters- focusing on an era or genre of gaming, and making the flow seamlessly was fantastic. Which should be no surprise- one of the executive producers, France Costrel- has some experience with this subject: she also directed the seven part series- 8 Bit Legacy: The Curious History of Video Games for Great Big Story (a part of CNN). Which seems to be the case for this series as well.

Let’s talk about the episodes (spoiler free where I can.)

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