All posts by Matt

A Brazilian gamer with a great love for playing Nintendo games, and a hobby of writing about his gaming experiences and thoughts. Even though that is what I mainly do for fun, I also love listening to music (especially rock) and watching movies (especially animations), so also expect a few posts on those matters.

Snake Pass Review


Given that matter, Snake Pass is a game that is easy to recommend, but as long as there is a large caveat attached to its back. By moving away from the bipedal characters that dominate the platforming landscape, the game is practically the discovery of a hidden subgenre, one that seamlessly mixes the challenges of getting across chasms, gathering items, and climbing to high places with the reasoning involved in puzzle games. It breaks away from the mold by forcing players – quite literally – to think and move like a snake, altering the way with which problems that are nearly as old as gaming itself need to be approached. Without its checkpoint-placement shortcomings, Snake Pass would be a game that could embrace all kinds of players, regardless of the paradigm-breaking it requires; with it, though, it becomes a title that asks for more patience and perseverance than it should. Those who endure, however, will be in for quite a treat.

Nintendobound

It breaks away from the mold by forcing players – quite literally – to think and move like a snake, altering the way with which problems that are nearly as old as gaming itself need to be approached

snake_pass1Ever since a frustrated Mario traveled between castles in which his princess could not be found, the world of platforming games has featured a quite obvious bias: namely, the fact that – like a cool roller coaster ride that eludes the bravest children out there due to height restrictions – it sends away creatures who cannot stand on two legs. With the exception of Spyro, who certainly must have burned whoever told him he could not access his own adventure because he was walking on all fours, it is clear there is some kind of established segregative policy. Nothing else could explain how characters like Sonic (a hedgehog), Croc (a crocodile), Aero…

View original post 1,383 more words

Advertisements

E3 2017: Thoughts and Words


A brief look at Nintendo’s E3 2017 presentation and its highlights.

Nintendobound

If during E3 2016 Nintendo did not have much to show other than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which was pretty understandable given the colossal impact the game had, E3 2017 was a quite different scenario. Looking to power the Switch through its first year of life while keeping the flame of its sales phenomenon pretty well-fed with oxygen, and trying to show gamers that the 3DS is still a system that will receive their support, the company gave fans quite a bit to look forward to. Games that were still unknown to the general public were revealed, and upcoming projects whose names have been written on people’s calendars for quite a while were further detailed.

fe_warriorsFire Emblem Warriors

Nintendo and Tecmo struck a pretty nice, albeit not extremely deep, gold mine with Hyrule Warriors; one that is mutually beneficial for both companies. Nintendo is able to…

View original post 1,559 more words

Snipperclips Review


Snipperclips has clear room for improvement in a few key areas, but the quality and cleverness of its concept are just too big to be denied, and the wonderful multiplayer sessions the game produces make it easy for one to overlook its flaws. As the initial exploration of a brilliant idea, it may not take it as far as it undoubtedly could, but it does a pretty great job at making it materialize in a game that is full of charm and engaging levels. And even though it is not a title that could only have been made for the Nintendo Switch – as its gameplay would be easily portable to other platforms – it succeeds in understanding what the console is about and using its notable features to its own benefit. Snipperclips is a launch title with a Nintendo touch for a Nintendo platform, and it is hard to ask for any more than that.

Nintendobound

Snipperclips is a launch title with a Nintendo touch for a Nintendo platform; it is hard to ask for any more than that

snipperclips1Two anthropomorphic popsicle shaped sheets of paper running around simple scenarios that completely fit onto a small screen while trying to solve puzzles by snipping pieces off one another to change their shapes. That right there is the summary of the premise of Snipperclips, one of the Nintendo Switch’s digital launch titles and certainly a piece of software that ranks among the most original and charming efforts to ever hit Nintendo’s library of download-only games. And nothing speaks more for its inherent simplicity and universal appeal than the fact Snipperclips is often mistaken for a first-party title; after all, Nintendo has a lengthy history filled with electronic products that embrace straightforward and somewhat ridiculous concepts that sound way too fun to be ignored, and Snipperclips would seamlessly…

View original post 1,202 more words

Mario Party 2 Review


Even though it carries all of its predecessor’s shortcomings (namely, a single-player experience that is awfully dull; a bland soundtrack; unimpressive graphics; and an always looming luck factor), Mario Party 2 is a far better game due to all the features it adds and a collection of mini-games that is vaster and more solid. Mario Party will always stand as the franchise’s true ground zero, but thanks to all elements it introduces – pieces that are still key components of the series many years later – Mario Party 2’s fuller overall experience feels like the true beginning of a lot of what was to come.

Nintendobound

Mario Party 2 is a game that gives players way more tools to mess with their dearest friends than its predecessor did, something that will inevitably work, at some point, both for and against all players regardless of their level of expertise

mario_party21Given the original Mario Party was, for the gaming world, one remarkable first, the primary instance in which a video game was capable to capture the joy of board games; its sequel, released one year later, had it easy. Mario Party 2 did not have to reinvent the wheel: all it had to do was pick up the formula forged by its predecessor and build upon it, implementing ideas that were originally left on the cutting floor due to a lack of time and resources, and coming up with ways to improve the partying experience based on external feedback. And that is what it did, for Mario Party…

View original post 1,364 more words

Okami Review


Despite the occasional problems players may have when using the Celestial Brush via the Wiimote, it is hard – not to say impossible – not to walk away from Okami with the feeling that it is one beautiful game. Its beauty, though, is not of the superficial kind. Surely, there is a great deal of eye-candy and artistic glory to be found in its thirty-hour journey, and it is hard to avoid walking towards a beach or to a peak just to spin the camera around and bask under the magnificence of its watercolor spell. However, Okami’s real beauty is found in a level that is emotional – borderline spiritual. It is in the growth of its characters, the message of its script, and the soul that was poured into every single one of its tightly designed corners. To boot, it fills up that loveliness with a gameplay that drinks from the very best sources and that adds a special thematically cohesive flavor of its own to the recipe.

Nintendobound

Despite Okami’s undeniable visual qualities and artistic achievements, the game is able to build a journey so well-constructed and masterfully written that its greatest beauty is not of the superficial kind, but exists in a level that is emotional and borderline spiritual

okami2Being in the right place at the right time can go a very long way towards making a product successful. After all, history has shown us, time and time again, that quality itself is not the only element involved in the foggy, and certainly complex, equation that defines whether an item will fail terribly, do modestly well, be beloved by the general public, or transcend commercial boundaries to the point it will alter the very own world in which it exists. Case in point, Okami – originally released for the Playstation 2 and created by the talented hands of Clover Studio, a Capcom subsidiary – is widely considered…

View original post 1,830 more words

Zack & Wiki: Quest For Barbaros’ Treasure Review


A creative adventure that transcends the boundaries of four popular genres to bring their elements together into one continuously flooring puzzle-solving spectacle.

Nintendobound

A creative adventure that transcends the boundaries of four popular genres to bring their elements together into one continuously flooring puzzle-solving spectacle

zack_wiki2The entire concept of genres revolves around the idea of tidily organizing the overwhelmingly big quantity of games that have been released into clearly defined categories, as if the gaming universe were a messy library in desperate need of order. Such a division does come in handy when gamers need to figure out whether or not they will enjoy a new title, or when one needs to define their taste in a few concise words. Still, both their existence and power of description are brought under an inquisitive light whenever games that refuse to perfectly fit within their domains, like broken jigsaw pieces, surface. Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros’ Treasure, one of the Nintendo Wii’s first and most original third-party efforts, is definitely one of those products:…

View original post 1,646 more words

Little King’s Story Review


Little King’s Story is, then, a prime example of the Wii’s hidden treasure trove of third-party software. It may not have a big recognizable name, but it charmingly achieves a level of greatness that popular franchises sometimes fail to reach. It is an original take on the real-time strategy formula that mixes it up with world-building elements and the exploration found in the best adventure games. Being king is certainly not an easy task, especially when such a job comes with battles for world domination in its horizon; however, Little King’s Story makes it a whole lot of fun, and, if players are able to look past its punctual control issues, they will find a title that is great in size, heart, soul, and quality.

Nintendobound

Being king is certainly no easy task, but Little King’s Story makes it a whole lot of fun

little_kings_story7Ever since the dawn of the Nintendo 64 era, one stigma has been following Nintendo incessantly: the one that claims the company has a hard time garnering third-party support. Like most absolute truths, though, such a statement only holds if its intricacies are not analyzed very carefully. While lack of third-party games did indeed plague, to a large degree, both the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo Wii U; saying the same about the Gamecube and the Wii is unfair. These two systems were able to build a respectable collection of non-Nintendo software, albeit in completely different ways: the former did it by receiving games that also starred in other platforms, whereas the latter achieved that same goal with quirky little exclusives.

From a creative standpoint, the Wii’s method of constructing a third-party library…

View original post 1,840 more words

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Review


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is, then, not a continuation, but a new and exciting beginning. From this point onwards, it becomes the guiding light that will illuminate the path of not only future Zelda installments but also of any open-world game. Surely, there is room for improvement, as the Zelda aspect of the game could have been a little bit meatier in order to offer a more significant counterbalance to its open-world tendencies, which can take gameplay time up to one hundred hours. However, the existence of such shortcomings does not – in the slightest – mean Breath of the Wild is disappointing; it actually makes anyone who goes through its adventure become thoroughly excited for the road that lies open up ahead. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild may not be a pioneer, for it borrows more than it creates, but in taking two gameplay styles – open-world and Zelda – to their very apex by joining them, it earns the right to be called a classic and to become one of those tall poles that divide history into two parts: what came before it and what will come next.

Nintendobound

In taking two gameplay styles – open-world and Zelda – to their very apex by joining them, it earns the right to be called a classic

botw1Nobody, even the most creative artists, lives inside a perfectly sealed bubble. Writers, oftentimes unconsciously, pick up cues and stylistic choices from the texts they read; filmmakers drink from numerous sources and sew them together to form their own unique movies; musicians learn chord changes from songs that have already been put onto records; and the same magical process of creation applies to painters, sculptors, architects, dancers, and performers that pour out their souls into their labor to transform the raw assets that nature has given us into the art that captures the heart of many.

Game designers, for that matter, are not different; after all, the gaming industry has moved forward and built its library of classics through a collaborative effort that has…

View original post 2,717 more words

Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Review


If it were a game from a brand new franchise Shantae: Half-Genie Hero could be easily called great. It is not overly lengthy, clocking in at about eight hours if players go for full completion, but it has a satisfying duration nevertheless; it is beautiful to look at; it packs a solid soundtrack; and it has charm, humor, and level-design prowess. However, as the fourth installment in a series that has always excelled in the way it borrowed elements from Metroid and Zelda, and stuck them in the shoes of a platformer, it ends up falling short of that status. Newcomers are far more likely to thoroughly enjoy it than longtime fans, for while the former will see it as a truly delightful action-platformer with some notable quirks, the latter are bound to view it as not just a missed opportunity, but a step back, one that apparently fails to materialize half of what made its prequels so beloved in the first place.

Nintendobound

It shifts its focus away from what made the franchise unique and directs its attention towards action-platforming, stripping a portion of its originality and leaving it adrift among a sea of similar titles

half_genie_hero1Supported by a devoted fanbase that poured their hearts and hard-earned cash into a successful Kickstarter campaign, the Shantae franchise leaps from its handheld origins towards home consoles with its fourth installment: Half-Genie Hero. As a series that, with each passing game, slowly polished the edges of its unique gameplay style, culminating with the spectacular The Pirate’s Curse, one could expect Half-Genie Hero to be a continuation of the process; a game that would lean over the few lessons learned and improvement opportunities found in its prequel and catapult Shantae to a new-found level of greatness. However, even though the game does attempt to stretch its wings further than ever before – perhaps to make it more suitable…

View original post 1,131 more words

Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising Review


Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising is still a blast, though. It is a fun, engaging, and challenging game whose value is a sight to behold. It may feel far closer to an expansion pack than to a true sequel, but it is a must-buy to either those who greatly enjoyed the original and are looking for more missions of deep strategic values painted with a charming cartoonish look or to those that want to get to know the franchise and feel like starting with its most complete and well-presented installment.

Nintendobound

It may feel far closer to an expansion pack than to a true sequel, but its deep strategic values painted with a charming cartoonish look are still a blast

black_hole_rising4Save for considerable overhauls that are absolutely necessary every once in a while, Nintendo – and its closest partners – have been successful in producing sequels to their greatest franchises by sticking to one solid formula. The bases that garnered critical praise and commercial glory are preserved, and developers proceed to focus on the addition of punctual new features that will significantly alter the overall experience. Therefore, games that are simultaneously more of the same – which is what most fans want following a remarkable effort of great originality – and fresh are born destined to earn accolades to match, or come close to, those of its predecessor.

In a way, Advance Wars 2: Black Hole Rising does follow that blueprint…

View original post 1,137 more words

Mega Man 2 Review


Mega Man 2, therefore, stands as a point of reference not because it is the best game in the saga (as such a ranking is especially subjective in a series whose entries are similar to one another). It achieves that status because it marked the first point in time when all of the franchise’s qualities – its untouchable and uncannily perfect soundtrack, its great 8-bit visuals, its signature structure, its brutal difficulty, its constant sense of progress, and its balance of platforming and action – came together to form one spectacular product. Future installments, such as Mega Man 3, may have polished up a few edges to a finer degree, but it was in Mega Man 2 that these delightful pieces first formed a complete and compelling picture.

Nintendobound

Mega Man 2 rises on the horizon like a lighthouse: a point of reference that has guided the uncountable sequels of the series and all games that have tried to emulate its formula

megaman2_1As the number attached to its title indicates, Mega Man 2 did not mark the inception of what is now a long-standing franchise that is so popular and recognizable its name and main character are integral components of gaming as a whole. However, despite the fact it is not the Blue Bomber’s first adventure, Mega Man 2 rises on the horizon like a lighthouse: a point of reference that has guided not only the uncountable sequels of the series but all of the games that have tried, fully or partially, to emulate the remarkably iconic structure and gameplay the saga coined. More than a blueprint and a source of inspiration, though, Mega Man 2 is the bar against which…

View original post 1,111 more words

Super Mario Bros. 3 Review


To a whole lot of people, then, Super Mario Bros. 3 had the sound of a door being blasted open right inside their brains and revealing the vast, colorful, and enchanting universe that lied within the realm of gaming. It rises so far above its predecessors, which were great games in their own right, and surpasses pretty much everything else that called the NES its home, that it is hard to even imagine they came out for the same console. It is one of those rare instances when a game can be called both an evolution and a revolution; Super Mario Bros. 3 has served as the basis upon which all Mario sidescrollers have been built, and the fact they remain undeniably successful and astonishingly fun should give anyone that was neither alive nor playing games back in 1988 an idea of how gigantic it was, and it still is.

Nintendobound

It rises so far above its predecessors, which were great games in their own right, that it is hard to even imagine they came out for the same console

smb31Context is everything. It is the frame that allows us to put facts and occurrences into perspective, helping us give the proper weight and understand the reasons to whatever it is we are seeing. Given context is ever-shifting, like the window of a high-speed train rolling through time, it is easy to lose sight of how utterly shocking some events of our past were to their contemporary audiences: the landing on the moon, the first television broadcast, the invention of the airplane, the initial batch of bits that were sent through the internet, or that time in 1988 when Super Mario Bros. 3 became available to a Japanese market that was eager to play a new adventure by the world’s most…

View original post 965 more words

Super Mario Bros. 2 Review


In all fairness, though, Super Mario Bros. 2 is a good game. Most of its flaws are only unearthed when it is directly compared with its predecessor, which is not fair considering it is actually an entry from another franchise dressed up as a Mario title. Although its gameplay is not as entertaining as the one featured in Super Mario Bros., it is a game that – thanks to a long gap between releases – has a number of resources at its disposal, either purely technical or related to level design, that did not exist back when Super Mario Bros. was being produced.

Nintendobound

If Nintendo’s ultimate plan with the American version of Super Mario Bros 2. was to create a game that was accessible and different, they succeeded resoundingly

super_mario_bros_2_1With more than two decades elapsed since its original release, Super Mario Bros. 2 remains quite an oddity within its franchise. The explanation is quite simple: the title was not developed as a Mario game, but as a totally different adventure dubbed Doki Doki Panic. In it, an Arabian family comes into the possession of a magical book about a land where the dreams of its inhabitants determine the quality of the weather on the following day, and that gets suddenly overtaken by the devious Wart when he turns their recently built dream machine – constructed to guarantee clear skies – into a nightmare-producing apparatus. Therefore, it is no wonder the game is so completely different from its prequel and from all Mario platformers…

View original post 1,058 more words

Super Mario Bros. Review


Hindsight, especially the one that is offered by the masterpieces that Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World are, reveals that Super Mario Bros. is off the mark on some of its features. However, for a platformer that was released in 1985 – when much of the NES’ power was still untapped – it still stands up shockingly well; certainly much better than other games of the kind that were released either before it or shortly after. Super Mario Bros. may not have invented a genre, but its quality and cultural weight changed the gaming landscape, essentially becoming the lighthouse that would guide the development of various games that followed it. The fluidity of its adventure and the excellency of its level design still make the ripples of its impact be felt by most who play it.

Nintendobound

Super Mario Bros. may not have invented a genre, but its quality and cultural weight changed the gaming landscape

super_mario_bros2Super Mario Bros. is so iconic – and its characters, visuals, music, gameplay, and charm are so deeply ingrained into the world’s popular culture – that there is not much left to say about it. At the same time, though, its existence is something that people, whether they are gamers or not, have grown so much used to that it is easy to take the title’s impressive quality and revolutionary values for granted. Although platformers whose scenarios scrolled across the screen did exist before it, hence making it a game that followed a previously explored path instead of one that created its own road, Super Mario Bros. took advantage of its starring character’s major fame and, of course, its great level design to popularize its genre, turning it into the gameplay…

View original post 986 more words

SteamWorld Heist Review


By transforming technological ships in outer space into saloons of the wild west and replacing human cowboys with metallic heroes, SteamWorld Heist manages to be a fantastic mixture of genres and styles.

Nintendobound

By transforming technological ships in outer space into saloons of the wild west and replacing human cowboys with metallic heroes, SteamWorld Heist manages to be a fantastic mixture of genres and styles

steamworld_heist4While some gaming franchises are perpetually stuck inside the confines of the same genre, something that is certainly not inherently negative, SteamWorld has built its reputation on a series of titles that are completely different from one another. The self-explanatory SteamWorld Tower Defense introduced the world to a desolated future Earth inhabited by steam-powered bots that tried to protect their loot from a degenerated and zombie-like species of humans, while SteamWorld Dig sent players towards the core of the planet as they uncovered the secrets of a deep mine that was set up like a big maze. Appropriately, and keeping such tradition intact, SteamWorld Heist ditches all elements from its predecessors – save for their universe and robots –…

View original post 1,247 more words