All posts by themancalledscott

Born of cold and winter air and mountain rain combining, the man called Scott is an ancient sorcerer from a long-forgotten realm. He’s more machine now than man, twisted and evil. Or, you know, he could just be some guy who loves video games, animations and cinema who just wanted to write about such things.

The Weekly Wizard: Issue #10: Should We Be Saying Goodbye to the 3DS?


Tye Dillinger
“Let’s hear it for issue number 10!”

Hello and welcome to The Weekly Wizard, the part of Miketendo64 brought to you by the nefarious outlaw responsible for Wizard Dojo, where I talk about current goings-on with Nintendo, or take a look at their past.


 

3DS

The Nintendo Switch has been out for nearly a month, and with its release and rapid success, Nintendo has almost immediately abandoned its predecessor, the Wii U. The Nintendo Switch serves as the logical evolution of Nintendo hardware, as it combines their home console output along with that of their handheld systems. Nintendo no longer needs to separate development teams between hardware divisions, and no longer needs to relegate certain franchises to certain systems. Continue reading The Weekly Wizard: Issue #10: Should We Be Saying Goodbye to the 3DS?

Advertisements

Tetris Attack Review


Wizard Dojo looks at one of the best puzzle games ever.

Wizard Dojo

In 1995, Nintendo released Panel De Pon on the Super Famicom. It was something akin to an inverse Tetris. A falling-block puzzle game where the blocks ascended from the bottom of the screen, as opposed to falling from the top. In 1996, Panel De Pon was brought stateside under the name Tetris Attack, swapping out the original Panel De Pon characters with a motif based on Yoshi’s Island. The game was later re-released on the Nintendo 64 with yet another new title, Pokemon Puzzle League, using characters and visuals from the Pokemon anime. While Pokemon Puzzle League is the version that has seen subsequent releases through Nintendo’s downloadable services, the Yoshi’s Island aesthetic makes Tetris Attack the most endearing version of this overlooked gem of a puzzler.

As stated, despite having the name Tetris in its title, Tetris Attack works as a reversed version of the falling-block puzzle genre made…

View original post 618 more words

The Weekly Wizard: Issue #9: All Hail the King (Dedede, that is)


Welcome to The Weekly Wizard, the segment of Miketendo64 brought to you by the nefarious cad responsible for Wizard Dojo, where I talk about the current goings-on with Nintendo, take a retrospective look back at their past, or just share some thoughts on the Big N. Whatever I feel like.


 

Yes, I know this edition of The Weekly Wizard is late. Things happen. Plans change. I get lazy there are unavoidable circumstances. What can I say? I know you all have been at a total loss without my ramblings and my gifs for a whole extra day, but hopefully this late edition of TWW will make up for lost time. Continue reading The Weekly Wizard: Issue #9: All Hail the King (Dedede, that is)

The Weekly Wizard: Issue #8: Morning Breath (of the Wild)


Welcome to another edition of The Weekly Wizard, the segment of Miketendo 64 brought to you by the malicious entity responsible for Wizard Dojo, where I talk about Nintendo’s recent happenings, or take a look back at the Big N’s history.


the-legend-of-zelda-breath-of-the-wild-screencap_1280.0.0

It’s rare that I play a video game that consistently amazes me, but The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has entered that elite group.

Continue reading The Weekly Wizard: Issue #8: Morning Breath (of the Wild)

Tetris Battle Gaiden Review


Wizard Dojo looks at one of the most obscure – and best – puzzle games on the SNES.

Wizard Dojo

Tetris Battle Gaiden

Sometimes, the simplest video games are the best ones. Look no further for a testament to this than Tetris, the original falling-block puzzler which remains one of the most timeless classics in the medium. Tetris is essentially perfect as is, but its iconic status (as well as its simple formula) also means that other games have tried to put their own spin on its gameplay. One of the better of these Tetris spinoffs is also one of the most obscure, and comes in the form of Tetris Battle Gaiden, a puzzle game released exclusively on the Japanese Super Nintendo, the Super Famicom.

This Japan exclusive, released in 1993, features the same addicting gameplay as the perennial classic, with the same exact block shapes that the players must construct in such a way as to complete a row, which eliminates those blocks and prevents them from stacking too high. If the blocks…

View original post 450 more words

Dr. Mario 64 Review


Revisiting one of the last notable N64 games.

Wizard Dojo

Dr. Mario 64

Dr. Mario was one of Mario’s earlier forays in branching out to genres outside of the platformer, and remains a fun and addictive puzzle game to this day. In 2001, as the Nintendo 64 was coming to a close and the GameCube was readying its way to store shelves, Nintendo released a relatively obscure entry in the Dr. Mario series as part of the Nintendo 64’s last breath titled (what else?) Dr. Mario 64. Though Dr. Mario 64 retains the fun of the series, its lack of newness to the formula may mean you’ll only break it out during parties.

Dr. Mario 64 retains the gameplay of the series: It works like a falling-block game, but instead of blocks, it’s vitamins (or “megavitamins,” as the series calls them). The vitamins are separated in two halves, with either side being red, blue or yellow. Additionally, there are several red, blue and yellow…

View original post 451 more words

Snowboard Kids 2 Review


Revisiting an N64 alternative to Mario Kart.

Wizard Dojo

Snowboard Kids 2

The two Snowboard Kids titles on the Nintendo 64 were some of the unsung heroes of the console. They provided some good, Mario Kart-style fun, and they’ve held up surprisingly well for N64 titles. Playing Snowboard Kids 2 today, it may not be anything too spectacular, but it still has a charm about it that’s hard to deny.

As stated, Snowboard Kids more or less took the Mario Kart formula, and applied it to snowboarding. From the start, players can select one of six cartoony characters, with three additional characters being unlockable. Each character has their own stats (similar to the earlier Mario Kart titles), with some being faster, others jumping higher/farther, and some being well-rounded.

The characters are all pretty cute, and the game has a fun art direction where everyone has a really big nose (as a kid, I mistook the characters for penguins due to their appearance)…

View original post 552 more words

The Weekly Wizard: Issue #6: Wii Wish U Goodbye


Welcome back to the Weekly Wizard, the segment of Miketendo64 brought to you by the mustache-twirling, old-timey villain behind WizardDojo, where I look at the current goings-on with Nintendo, or take a retrospective look at their past.

images

Oh, Wii U. You never had a fair chance. The dust has settled, a new era for Nintendo is about to begin with the Switch, and the Wii U is taking its final bow. Sadly, it will go down as Nintendo’s least successful mainline console. It even sold considerably less than the GameCube, a console that had to compete with the Playstation 2!

In short, the Wii U is seen as a failure for Nintendo. But in truth, it was a great console in its own right (between you and me, I’d say it kicks the Nintendo 64’s backside a few times over). Certainly a flawed console, but much, much better than it gets credit for. As excited as I am for the Nintendo Switch, its launch can’t help but be a little bittersweet when I think about how the Wii U is being quickly forgotten.

200

Where did the Wii U go wrong, and what did it do right? As the console that’s quickly usurping the Dreamcast and Sega Saturn for the title of most underrated console ever comes to a close, let’s take a look at its shaky history. Let’s start with the bad first.

Perhaps the biggest reason why the Wii U failed was due to a failure of communication between Nintendo and consumers. The original Wii was a massive success, there’s no denying that. And perhaps Nintendo got a little overconfident due to the Wii’s success, because with the Wii U, the Big N was incredibly vague when it came to the finer details of the console, simply thinking that yet another new controller method would lead to a repeat of the Wii’s success.

Sure, any hardcore gamer who follows the industry knew that the Wii U was the successor to the Wii, but if you were one of the millions of non-gamers who were sucked into the world of gaming thanks to the Wii, and didn’t follow gaming news and events, it would have been much harder to see that the Wii U was a follow-up to the Wii, and not a mere add-on.

Nintendo could have solved this problem by simply emphasizing the newness of the console itself. Instead, the game’s marketing ahead of launch (and for the first year afterwards) focused way too much on the Gamepad controller. Nintendo was so proud of the Gamepad, that they put all the focus on marketing on it, when they should have made it clearer that this was a brand-new system, and not just a new controller. I even remember an episode of the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon in which they showed off the Wii U during E3, and Jimmy Fallon infamously stated that “you plug it into your Wii.” (I can’t blame good ol’ Jimmy, he was just saying what was evident before the reveal, but it should have been a red light for Nintendo that they might have needed to change their marketing strategy).

68904b16b719daeb1da8205775adc2ed

The Gamepad itself, while innovative, was also far more underutilized that the motion-based gameplay of its predecessor. None of the Wii U’s launch games put up much of a compelling argument in its favor, and only a handful of games ended up doing just that. Super Mario Maker would prove how useful the gamepad could be for something like a level-editor, but it was released in 2015. If something like Super Mario Maker had been released sooner, it may have opened a few more eyes to the possibilities the gamepad brought to the table.

This of course brings us to another issue that no doubt held the console back due to miscommunication: The name.

Given how successful the Wii was, it only makes sense that Nintendo would want to continue the Wii name with its successor. One reason Sony’s consoles are so quick to fly off shelves is that the name tells you exactly what it is. Playstation 2, Playstation 3, Playstation 4. It’s not exactly creative, but it does immediately tell you that’s it’s something new that continues a beloved brand.

Nintendo probably should have went a similar route, either calling their (then) new system the Wii 2, or at the very least something along the lines of the Super Wii (as silly as that sounds). Instead, they went with Wii U. But what does that mean? What is the “U” for? What does it say? I don’t know. Do you?

Now, I’m not saying calling it the Wii 2 would have given it the same success as the original Wii, but it probably would have helped the early sales of the system.

The other two big downers of the Wii U were a weak launch and the infamous lack of third-party support. The launch wasn’t exactly completely empty, with Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U bringing a fair bit of fun to the table, but neither title was anything particularly special. And the sad thing is, most of the other games released during the first few months of the console weren’t very memorable, and it wasn’t until Pikmin 3 was released that the console finally started seeing a stronger flow of quality titles.

The lack of third-party support was something that started early, however, and never really picked up. Sure, you could say that most of Nintendo’s consoles don’t have the best third-party support, but again, this was coupled with a very quiet first few months on Nintendo’s part. And with the 3DS taking up a lot of Nintendo’s time, that meant that there were notable gaps in big releases from Nintendo on the Wii U, and with little third-party efforts to fill those gaps, there were some unfortunate dry spells for the Wii U. And it goes without saying that games sell game consoles.

So, there were some obvious mistakes made in regards to the Wii U, which hopefully were prominent enough that Nintendo knows how to avoid repeating them with the Switch (the fact that the new console combines Nintendo’s console and handheld divisions is a good sign that they won’t be so spread out this time, which is a good sign). But there was also a lot to love about the Wii U as well. Namely, it boasted some of the best Nintendo games ever.

list-gif-3aa52caff2850528f99f75ad03fa3b74

Again, Pikmin 3 was where the quality really picked up. It brought the fun of the Pikmin series, while finding a good balance between the strategic elements of the original Pikmin title and the action of the second entry. Shortly thereafter was the release of Super Mario 3D World which, although maybe closer to the 2D Mario games than the 3D entries that came before it, was one of the most polished and fun entries in the illustrious series.

Though Breath of the Wild’s move to the Switch means the Wii U is the only Nintendo home console not to have its own exclusive Zelda, it did boast the definitive versions of two classic Zelda titles. The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess were given new life with an HD makeover (which may have turned Wind Waker into the most beautiful game ever), and the Gamepad was put to fantastic use with them, as it streamlined the map and item organization of the series to make them more fun.

I think it’s safe to say that 2014 was the Wii U’s best year, however. That was a year when the system really just kicked all kinds of ass. My favorite Wii U game, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, was released that February, quickly followed by Mario Kart 8, which stands as the most finely-tuned Mario Kart yet. That year also saw Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, which I can safely say is the most polished entry in the series, as well as Bayonetta 2, which brought a whole new flavor to Nintendo consoles. Not to mention the simple-yet-engaging Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker.

Once again, 2015 saw the release of Super Mario Maker, which is the best level-editing game I’ve played, and a brand-new Nintendo IP in Splatoon.

On top of all of these, the Wii U also saw some great indie games with the likes of Shovel Knight and Freedom Planet, as well as many others that were released on the Eshop over the years.

t_screwattack_avgn_battletoads_gt-n

The Wii U also had some fun additions like Miiverse, which helped make the Wii U something of its own little social network (though we could have done without the less-desirable fanart).

So the Wii U was an imperfect console, but it did have a good share of amazing games, and it was a fun, unique little gaming machine. It’s time in the sun is good and done, and Nintendo is ready to enter a new era – one that will hopefully bring them better fortunes – but no doubt the Wii U was also much better than its lackluster sales suggested.

You could say the Wii U was a gamble for Nintendo that didn’t exactly payoff. But in a few instances, it could feel like winning the jackpot for us gamers.


That’s all for this issue of The Weekly Wizard! What did you think? Do you agree that the Wii U was underrated but flawed? Or was it all flaw? Feel free to let me know in the comments, and be sure to check out my site, WizardDojo.com for more nonsense from me, including reviews for games and animated films, and some other stuff too, maybe!

Zelda II: The Adventures of Link Review


Wizard Dojo tackles the black sheep of the Zelda family.

Wizard Dojo

Zelda 2

Unlike movies, video game sequels are usually expected to be better than their predecessors, though third entries can still see some mixed results even in games. This is an area where Nintendo differentiates from other developers. While many developers see their franchises meet high points with their second entries (such as Capcom with Street Fighter 2 and Mega Man 2), Nintendo’s second installments are often seen as the black sheep of their franchises, while their third entries break new ground.

Super Mario Bros. was a revolution, while both the Japanese and English versions of Super Mario Bros. 2 were relatively less well-received (with the Japanese game being extremely difficult, and the American game being wildly different from the original). Then Super Mario Bros. 3 served as the benchmark for 8-bit gaming. This also occurred with the 3D Mario titles, with Super Mario 64 once again serving as a gaming revolution, its…

View original post 942 more words

Pokemon Moon Review


The fastest-selling titles in Nintendo’s history, the biggest Pokemon games ever. The Wizard Dojo’s long-overdue review.

Wizard Dojo

Pokemon Moon

When Pokemon Sun and Moon versions were released on the 3DS towards the end of 2016, they became the fastest-selling titles in Nintendo’s long history. New entries in the mainline Pokemon series are always a big deal, but it seemed more of a big deal than ever with Sun and Moon. Perhaps due in part to the (long overdue) changes the games made to the formula, and maybe partly due to the wild success of Pokemon Go earlier in the year, and maybe a little bit due to them being some of the last major 3DS titles before the Switch takes over Nintendo’s priorities. Whatever the case, Pokemon Sun and Moon were big. But did they live up to the hype?

In a lot of ways, Pokemon Sun and Moon were the breath of fresh air the series sorely needed for a long time. Despite Pokemon being a series that’s…

View original post 949 more words

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure Review


TheManCalledScott of Wizard Dojo reviews possibly the worst game he’s ever played. Head for the hills and take cover!

Wizard Dojo

Bill & Ted

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Video Game Adventure on the NES may very well be the worst video game I have ever played. It’s right up there with Wizard of Oz on SNES and Superman 64. It’s a game that’s so bad, that I can’t even begin to comprehend how anyone involved with it could have thought any of its aspects were anywhere near finished. It’s a broken, unplayable disaster.

The game serves as something of a sequel to the 1980s comedy Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. The film was not exactly a classic, but it’s a fondly remembered and pretty entertaining comedy about two idiots (Bill and Ted, obviously) who are about to fail their history exams, and go back in time to find historical figures to help out with said history exam.

It’s not the worst concept for a movie to be turned into a video game, but…

View original post 936 more words

The Weekly Wizard: Issue #5: Super Mario Oddities


Welcome to The Weekly Wizard, the weekly segment of Miketendo64 brought to you by the dark magics of Wizard Dojo, where I look at the current goings-on with Nintendo, or take a retrospective look at their past.

nswitch_supermarioodyssey_07_mediaplayer_large

Super Mario is weird. It always has been. But somewhere along the line, it seems we all took its weirdness for granted. Perhaps it’s because of Mario’s status as the “face of gaming” or because it’s a multimillion dollar franchise, but somehow, we all kind of forgot just how baffling weird Mario is. Continue reading The Weekly Wizard: Issue #5: Super Mario Oddities

The Weekly Wizard: Issue #4: The Worst Nintendo Console of All Time


Introduction! This is The Weekly Wizard (TWW), the Miketendo64 segment brought to you by Wizard Dojo, where the maniacal cad behind said site discusses current happenings with Nintendo, or gives a retrospective look at Nintendo’s past.

Last time, the Weekly Wizard looked back on the greatest Nintendo console of all time, the Super NES. What better way to follow that up than with a look back at Nintendo’s worst?

Continue reading The Weekly Wizard: Issue #4: The Worst Nintendo Console of All Time

The Weekly Wizard: Issue #3: The Best Nintendo Console of All Time!


Welcome back to the third edition of The Weekly Wizard, the weekly segment of Miketendo64 brought to you by Wizard Dojo, where I talk about current goings-on with Nintendo, or take a look at their past.

For this installment, I’ll take a look back at the greatest Nintendo system that ever was. But which one is that? Continue reading The Weekly Wizard: Issue #3: The Best Nintendo Console of All Time!