Friday, October 3, 2014

Top Ten Super Smash Bros. Series Stages

Such alliteration for a top ten list! Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, the first of a duo of Smash games being released, has launched in North America and Europe. While not every place in the world has the game yet, the majority seems to, so what a perfect way to celebrate the next generation of Smash with a top ten list talking about my favorite stages of the series! By no means is this an objective list by any stretch of the imagination. This is merely a selection of my personal favorites, so take a deep breath, stop sulking over the loss of the Ice Climbers, and get ready for some Super Smash Bros. stage action!

10) Rumble Falls - Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

Right off the bat with my list you will notice I couldn't care less about whether a Smash stage is banned in the competitive field or not. I'm no competitive player, and I never will be. Of course, if you are, that's fantastic, and may your skills always be improving!

With that out of the way, Rumble Falls is a bongo drum-bashing salute to Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat. It has an obvious similarity to Icicle Mountain from Super Smash Bros. Melee in that it scrolls upward. However, unlike Icicle Mountain, Rumble Falls only moves upward and not downward intermittently.

At times during a brawl, the stage can speed up, requiring combatants to forget about fighting and focus on jumping up on the plethora of platforms, 'else they lose pace with the screen and get K.O.'d. Rumble Falls presents players with the aforementioned platforms, as well as ladders, buttons to activate traps, and dangerous thorns and spikes that will cause for a painful experience to an unobservant fighter.

9) Delfino Plaza - Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

If you don't have the time to fully invest in a session of Super Mario Sunshine, you can take a tour of the game's hub, Delfino Plaza, within Super Smash Bros. Brawl instead! This stage transports players around the tropical town via a propeller-propelled (is that redundant?) platform, dropping them in various locations. Each spot has its own set of natural platforms, landmarks, and features to them to keep fights interesting. Past Smash Bros. games would have battle participants sink line a stone in the ocean waters, but in Brawl, players were able to tread water for a limited time. It wasn't certain death this time around to go for a little swim. Delfino Plaza not only serves as a fascinating and fun stage to fight on, but it gives me good memories of Super Mario Sunshine in the process.

8) Brinstar Depths - Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)

Are you looking for an innovative stage? Then why not give Brinstar Depths a spin? To be truthful, the giant, green, lava-loving monster Kraid will give the battleground a spin regardless. Brinstar Depths is an unlockable level with Super Smash Bros. Melee and features a giant meteor as the primary floor to battle on. During fights, Kraid will emerge from the lava and interact with the platform, rotating it some-odd degrees. This makes fights all the more interesting, not knowing when Kraid will arise and which direction the battleground will turn.

7) Temple - Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)

Temple, based on the Zelda II: The Adventure of Link, was the largest stage in series history. That was until Super Smash Bros. Brawl's New Pork City came along (and soon-to-be Super Smash Bros. for Wii U's Palutena's Temple). Temple features various venues in its large exterior to participate in pugilistic and special attack contests in. It has a top level and a lower level. The latter can result in prolonged battles, as the stage geometry is made up so characters cannot be K.O.'d so easily, even when they are at high damage percentages. Meanwhile, the top offers great vantage points, especially for ranged fighters. It's all too easy to play cat and mouse with players, a reason why this stage is understandably banned from tournament play. I happen to like it because of the varying geography, locations to fight in and on, and the aesthetics.

6) Great Bay - Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)

Let's keep The Legend of Zelda as a theme going here with my second of three Zelda stage picks. Great Bay is based off of Majora's Mask, and it rests in the middle of the ocean waters, just off the main coast of the area. It features three distinct platforms, the main one at the highest point contains the Marine Laboratory. The lower platforms, one on each side of the main platform, are much smaller in size, perfect for easy K.O.'s if you're into that sort of thing. The battles here are mighty interesting! Occasionally a turtle enters the arena, making for a makeshift island for combatants to battle on, even housing a pair of palm trees for some elevation excitement. Great Bay is an enjoyable level from one of the most cherished titles in The Legend of Zelda franchise.

5) Yoshi's Island - Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)

For suckers of Super Mario World, the Yoshi's Island stage in Super Smash Bros. Melee probably holds a close place near your nostalgic hearts. However, that's not my only reason for choosing the stage as my number five pick. No, the design of the stage itself is something special, featuring two slopes on either side of the main battle area. One on the left is a warp pipe which is supported by two miniature pipes, and the other side houses a hill that can K.O. a player if they stray too far to the right. In the middle of battleground is a collection of blocks that when hit, spin around, no longer enabling players to stand on them. This means the pit in the middle can be wide open for foolhardy players to fall into. Yoshi's Island sports a unique aesthetic and exciting design, making it one of my faves.

4) Saffron City - Super Smash Bros. (N64)

Just like I'm a lover of city-based courses in the kart racing games, I love city-based stages in the Super Smash Bros. series. Saffron City from the original Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros. is a favorite of mine due to its battles that take place on various building tops, such as the infamous Silph Corporation from the very first Pokemon series of games, which makes up the largest amount of real estate in the stage. Many times Pokemon will exit the rooftop door to make a quick cameo appearance, as well as causing all sorts of trouble for battle participants. Saffron City is an always busy metropolis that makes for an almost always interesting battleground for Smash all-stars to fight in.

3) Hyrule Castle - Super Smash Bros. (N64)

The third and final Legend of Zelda stage representative on my list, Hyrule Castle is also from the original Super Smash Bros. It is a rather expansive stage that takes place on the rooftop of the titular castle and comes with multiple elevations to keep battles entertaining. For instance, the middle part of the castle features a tower of three platforms each. Who knows what their original purpose is. Perhaps that's how Zelda escapes unnoticed for a night of binge drinking? Regardless, there's also areas to the left and right of the middle tower, which also house their own interesting geometry, such as the sloped roof on the left and the right has something similar to a gazebo, fresh with its own window. During battles winds can strongly blow on the rooftop, spawning small whirlwinds that can damage unbeknownst fighters and make for a bad hair day to boot.

2) Corneria - Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)

A battle aboard the Great Fox amid a flight through the Cornerian countryside and capital city? Where do I sign up? Oh, I just have to select the stage-- no signing required? Corneria in Super Smash Bros. Melee takes the Sector Z stage of the original Super Smash Bros., makes it smaller, and of course, takes it out of the loneliness of space to make a stage with less chances to run away and more options to participate in some grand fights. Arwings fly down a fire alongside the Great Fox, and the Great Fox itself can charge its two powerful laser beams to blast anyone foolish enough to fall in front of it. It seems that Corneria is such a popular stage that the development team of the Smash games couldn't help but include it in not one Smash sequel, Brawl, but two, the Nintendo 3DS game.

1) Onett - Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)

My number one favorite Super Smash Bros. stage as of Super Smash Bros. Brawl is Melee's Onett stage, the first representative stage of the EarthBound series. Its wide array of bright colors, multitude of fascinating geometry, and stage gimmicks make for exciting battles. Three major buildings make up the battlefield, with the middle being but a couple of awnings that will fall apart when enough weight has been exerted onto them. The left and right buildings are are shorter, but each possess their own quirks like slanted rooftops. The right building contains a power line over it that can be traversed on. The last main attraction to Onett is the intermittent traffic that can make battles in the street very painful for an unlucky bystander. Cars occasionally pass through the usually bare streets, causing some smashing damage to anyone caught in its path. This all adds up to a stage that is without a doubt my favorite, Onett.

Honorable Mentions:

Mushroom Kingdom - Super Smash Bros. (N64)
Princess Peach's Castle - Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)
Rainbow Cruise - Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)
Kongo Jungle - Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)
Mute City - Super Smash Bros. Melee (GCN)
Port Town: Aero Dive - Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
Frigate Orpheon - Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
Pirate Ship - Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
Mario Circuit - Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
Skyworld - Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
Smashville - Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

October 2014 Nintendo 3DS Play Time Results

A really cool and nifty feature of the Nintendo 3DS is its Activity Log. This allows you to look at how much of your life you've actually spent playing each and every individual game, software, and app on the system. It's nothing that's a system-seller, obviously, but again, it's really neat to be able to see what you've played and how much you've played.

That's what the focus of this line of articles is all about. These are the top ten games I've played the most on my Nintendo 3DS. After you've seen my ten games and times for each, please share yours in the comments section below!

10) New Super Mario Bros. 2 (37:38)

There's something to be said when half of the titles on my overall play time list feature Mario in some aspect. Regardless, New Super Mario Bros. 2 saw the younger generation of Nintendo employees working on it, and it wasn't just a great game for a less experienced team-- it was just a great game in general. While getting through the game doesn't take too much time, the majority of hours spent on New Super Mario Bros. 2 for myself and Bean was in grinding coins for that "awesome" (see: awful) million coin reward.

9) Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon (39:54)

I found myself loving this sequel to 2001's GameCube launch title Luigi's Mansion much more than the original. I loved the mission structure, the sense of progression, and the length of the game. Next Level Games did a phenomenal job with Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, and it pleases me greatly that they were rewarded with their hard work on the game with remarkable sales worldwide. Here's hoping we see the studio's next project come though the pipeline sooner rather than later.

8) Paper Mario: Sticker Star (47:35)

Paper Mario: Sticker Star was a game that I would not have liked had I not had a guide to assist me through it. Sure, Sticker Star had eye-catching visuals, a catchy soundtrack, and oodles of charm, but it also possessed many things in its design which made for an obtuse and oftentimes frustrating experience. For instance, without the guide I had, I would not have known which stickers to use where, where to uncover them in the first place, and how to progress in Sticker Star. The fact that the game is easy to find at a low price speaks volumes, as Nintendo games, especially Mario-branded ones, seldom go down in price so fast.

7) The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (48:39)

No doubt one of my picks for the best Legend of Zelda game ever and one of the best games ever made, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was an exciting, thrilling, and wonderful ride from the opening title screen to the ending credits. The opened structure of the game was a breath of fresh air, the dungeon design was superb, and the world, although familiar, was engaging to explore. No doubt puzzles were easier due to each dungeon having one or two required items to use, but overall, A Link Between Worlds is a game that I will no doubt be returning to time and time again.

6) Mario Golf: World Tour (49:33)

Hot Shots Golf Fore! was once my favorite arcade golf game. After Mario Golf: World Tour came out and I spent enough time with it, Mario's latest golfing outing replaced Hot Shots for that title. With a bevy of content, costumes, courses, characters, and more, Mario Golf: World Tour was arcade golf made sensational. The addition of online play and tournaments meant that one could enjoy World Tour long after the traditional PGA golf season ended.

5) Mario & Luigi: Dream Team (63:03)

While Paper Mario: Sticker Star disappointed many, Mario & Luigi: Dream Team did the opposite, save for a plethora of unneeded tutorials that annoyed several players. Regardless, Dream Team continued the Mario & Luigi series's pension for humor, engaging reflex and timing-based battles, and colorful lands to venture through and discover secrets in. The addition of entering Luigi's dream was a cool aspect to the gameplay, and it offered some ingenious mechanics thanks to it.

4) Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (63:52)

There are some rumors that Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance will be receiving the HD treatment, much like all of the games in the Kingdom Hearts series before it. Nonetheless, Bean and my separate save files in Kingdom Hearts 3D were met with fun times, awesome action-RPG gameplay, and a myriad of overarching story elements that made absolutely no damn sense, a tradition of the Kingdom Hearts series that continued with 3D. Thankfully, the tried and true aforementioned gameplay salvaged the game and made us enjoy our time with Square Enix's latest wholly original Kingdom Hearts title.

3) The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D (65:33)

Let me get this out of the way immediately-- The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is my favorite game ever made. This 3D edition implemented changes that made the overall experience the definitive version of this historic game. Using the touch screen for inventory management (I'm looking at you, Iron Boots in the Water Temple!), easy access to ocarina tunes, and the addition of a more difficult Master Quest all added up to an experience that I will cherish as a gamer and aspiring developer for the rest of my years on this earth. That's not even mentioning the excellent improved visuals that make Ocarina of Time 3D a must play for any action-adventure game fan. Make that double for any Zelda fan.

2) Kid Icarus: Uprising (66:35)

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, the first of a duo of new Smash games, releases tomorrow in North America. Before Masahiro Sakurai worked on those games, he worked on this title, Kid Icarus: Uprising. Bean and I absolutely loved this game. Whether it was the on-rails flight segments, the ground combat portions, or the immense level of detail, content, and love poured into the game, Kid Icarus: Uprising is one of our favorites for the Nintendo 3DS. No doubt it's a much harder sell for left-handed gamers. We definitely feel you, left-handed guys and gals.

1) Animal Crossing: New Leaf (525:39)

Well, Rosie, it certainly feels like Bean and I played Animal Crossing: New Leaf forever with over 500 hours of combined play time! Something tells me that it will be long time (if ever) before Animal Crossing: New Leaf is usurped as having the highest play time on my Nintendo 3DS! It's really the perfect time-killer with all the chores that you can do, visits with villagers, alterations to your town, your house, your own looks, and so much more. I'm almost afraid to return to New Leaf, just because I think it'd suck another 500 hours from my life!


If you'd like to check out past looks at my play time results on my Nintendo 3DS, check out these following links!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review Round-Up - September 2014

A duo of Mega Man-style games lead
SPC's month of reviews for September.
September of 2014 was a month of but a handful of reviews. We started off with a look at Super Mario Kart, racing across the finish line earning a 9.0. What followed was Mega Man X3, releasing on the Nintendo Virtual Console for the first time since the service's debut over eight years ago. I then reviewed the only retail title of the month, Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure, which received the lowest score of the month, a 6.5. Lastly, we went further into our direction of Mega Man and Mega Man-styled games with Mega Man X4 and Azure Striker Gunvolt.

During the next month, business will most certainly pick up with reviews of Hyrule Warriors, Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS, and so much more. You can really tell that we're getting into the busiest part of the gaming year, yes?

Super Mario Kart (SNES, Wii U VC) - 9.0
Mega Man X3 (SNES, Wii U VC) - 9.0
Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure (Wii U, 3DS) - 6.5
Mega Man X4 (PS1, SAT, PSN) - 9.5
Azure Striker Gunvolt (3DS eShop) - 8.75

Mega Man X4 is SuperPhillip Central's
Game of the Month for September 2014.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Azure Striker Gunvolt (3DS eShop) Review

We, as in all of this site's readers and myself, seldom get other people's opinions on games. I think it's an unspoken rule that if anyone posts an opinion that goes against mine, they are taken out. No, I'm kidding there!

In all seriousness, Bean, who has written content for SuperPhillip Central in the past, is back with a brand-new review to cap off this action-packed month of reviews. His contribution is Azure Striker Gunvolt, a game crafted by Inti Creates of Mega Man Zero and Mega Man 9/10 fame. Is Gunvolt a shocking success or a mighty number disappointment?

Gunvolt's Electrifying Entry

Mega Man games used to be a given no matter what traditional gaming platform you owned. Console owners received Mega Man 9 and 10, Nintendo handheld owners were given no less than four series, and even the PSP managed to sneak in Powered Up and Maverick Hunter X. Yes, you could always count on Capcom to take the series out for another spin... until Keiji Inafune and Capcom parted ways a few years ago, that was. With Mega Man now in hibernation, it's up to the company that used to make the Zero and ZX games in Inti Creates to create a spiritual successor to keep the run and gun gameplay going. With Azure Striker Gunvolt, I can safely say that they have done that and arguably more.

The art is amazing in Azure Striker Gunvolt.
Expected from Inti Creates, but still amazing.
Azure Striker Gunvolt definitely feels like it's another branch of the Mega Man family, most notably the aforementioned Zero and ZX series. Our hero is none other than a teen resistance fighter that goes by the name of, wait for it, Gunvolt. What is he fighting? Well, there is this group in his world named Sumeragi that are trying to both suppress and enslave psychic Adepts to control the world under the guise of peace. In fact, Gunvolt's first mission in the game is to find and eliminate an artificial life form that has the power to control other Adepts with music. As it turns out, said artificial life form named Lumen is the manifestation of another character named Joule. Seeing as how Gunvolt is not into the whole taking down an innocent character, he spares and saves both, effectively leaves his QUILL resistance group and making him the number one target of the Sumeragi.

Meanwhile, the dialogue doesn't mind
having a little fun at times.
If you're going to help Gunvolt hold his own and protect his newfound friend, you'll have to know how to do it. Sure, Gunvolt uses a blaster that isn't unlike the ones found in Mega Man Zero and ZX, but don't think shooting your enemies is the answer to everything because it's not. Instead, Gunvolt himself is an electrical Adept, and he puts his power into every bullet he shoots. When you are able to tag an enemy with a shot, a glowing-colored target will surround said foe. Said colors are blue (one tag), yellow (two), or a full-powered red (three). It's once they're tagged that you want to press the R button to fry those enemies with an electrically-charged current that also turns on a shield around our hero, and believe me, this deals damage way faster than your bullets ever could. Just make sure you keep an eye on how much juice you have left. If you are running low, you can double tap down on the D-Pad to restore your electrical power or EP quickly, but if you run out, you'll be forced to wait for a few seconds while enemies are trying to pick you off. Yikes.

In the beginning, you can only tag up to three enemies with a level one or blue charge, but you will gain guns over the course of your adventure just by completing stages that have different capabilities. Personally, my favorite gun was the one you unlock just two levels in called the Naga as it allows up to five tags. There aren't many opportunities to get that many enemies at once, but you'll be able to tag enemies with more than one shot apiece and get quite a few double or even triple takedowns to help your score out. I really didn't care for many of the other ones as more tags just seems to equal more power, but I bet there are some skilled players that could make good use of the other weapons Gunvolt can wield.

On top of just that, Gunvolt also has a skill set on the bottom screen that you can activate with the touch pad. These moves take special points or SP, and you only have three in the stage. For the most part, the only time you're really going to want to use things like an overly-powered sword stab or an instant heal are against bosses, but this power will recharge as you go along through levels. Basically, you have plenty of ways to put the hurt on your foes, and it's a good thing since some of the bosses in this game can be quite tough if you don't catch on to how their moves work and fast.

While boss battles start out simple...
The Sumeragai Adept fights are interesting in that they have a three-segment health bar. In the first phase of the fight, you'll see them perform basic attacks or weaker versions of what's to come. When they hit the second phase, this is when you'll start witnessing some of the more powerful strikes they have. Get them down to the final phase, and I guess they'll hit the bottom of their own 3DS touch screen to activate their super-powerful attack. In some cases, you'll want to go on the offensive right away and take down the boss or his hands before they try grow too big and crush you like a grape. In others, you'll be forced to stay on the defensive as lasers that are summoned through warp holes try to pick you off or you have to endure a bullet hell type scenario. What I like about these fights are just how many attacks these bosses have and how they build up to a finish. The better you play, the more likely you'll be able to bring a quick end to the fight, but you can always heal up if you have the SP to do so. It's your call!

...They quickly become quite hectic!
I think what makes the game more interesting is that Gunvolt's powers aren't just used for offense and defense. You can also activate the Flashfield with the R button to give you a pseudo-hover jump. In many stages, this can help you safely land on some jumps that would otherwise cause issues. In one particular stage, Gunvolt's shield is used as a magnet to cross up and over large spike beds looming below. That said, spikes aren't even lethal in the Azure Striker's world... barring you don't equip a very specific item that you can get from the shop. Yes, this game even has a Synth Shop that will allow you to equip items to give you abilities like a double jump, a mid-air dash, or a more powerful Flashfield ability. The way to get items to use for the shop is to go through and complete stages before partaking in a post-level card game. You can find medals in stages to give you extra tries as well as earning them by getting a higher grade in levels. Certain materials are specific to certain levels, so there is a bit of a grinding aspect that can come into play if you don't get what you want. It's one of the main gripes I have with this game, actually.

As for grading, the game wants you to basically do a speedy no-hit run while doing as many double and triple takedowns as you can throughout the course of a level. Sounds hard? Well, it is, but the good news is that you don't have to earn a super-high score to get all of the good stuff like you used to in Mega Man Zero. Throughout levels, you'll earn Kudos points which increase in the same fashion as your main score. Doing things like a full-powered tag will get you extra Kudos as well as triple tag takedowns or finishing off an enemy while in mid-air. If you get that Kudos score to 1000 in a level, you'll even have a song pop up from Lumen, and these are some of the better tracks in a game that admittedly has more songs that are just there than are stellar. The gameplay benefit from this is that you can have a chance to be resurrected should you fall in battle, but make sure you don't get hit or use a checkpoint while building your Kudos score up because you will see it drop right back down to zero then. You can increase said chances to be resurrected if you're not feeling confident by talking to Joule between stages at your base, and you'll be doing that anyway when you find seven magical Jewels that you'll want to give to her to help you eventually unlock the true ending. Yes, there's both a normal and true ending to this one. For a Mega Man-like game, there sure is a lot of content here!

Gunvolt asks the age old question,
"Which way is up?"
It wound up taking me over seven hours to get through Azure Striker Gunvolt, and I haven't even touched the bonus stages I unlocked after getting the true ending. So while the music might not be the greatest thing ever, the shop can lead to grinding, and the enemy types aren't all that varied, I had way more fun with this title than I thought I would. The gameplay is fast-paced and suits both newer players that just want to win and expert players that are seeking a true challenge. The dialogue is more hit than miss, and the gameplay definitely follows suit with some great levels that involve some neat little uses of Gunvolt's abilities.

It has been over seven years now since Nintendo handheld owners have received a game like this from Inti Creates. Obviously, Azure Striker Gunvolt isn't a part of the Mega Man franchise, but it certainly plays like it's one while also having its own unique touches to offer. I can't recommend this one enough to those that are seeking a 2D platformer that can either be a mostly fun romp or a highly challenging speed runner's paradise. I personally think is one of Inti's best games to date, and that's a pretty high compliment for a group that's made Mega Man 10, Zero 3, and ZX Advent. Yes, Azure Striker Gunvolt is a great new twist on a classic formula, but considering the developers, I guess it's not that shocking at all.

[Bean Says: 8.75/10]

Monday, September 29, 2014

SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs - Mishmash Edition

A mishmash is defined as "a confused mess, hodgepodge, jumble." While "a confused mess" could describe yours truly, it doesn't really fit in with this week's SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs theme. Instead, "hodgepodge" and "jumble" do. I mean, what else can you say about an edition that starts with the grim world of Gears of War and ends on the sunshine and rainbows of Mario Superstar Baseball? Technically, one could call every edition of this site's VGM faves as a mishmash, but it works no better than it does this week. ...At least that's the story I'm sticking with.

If you're interested in seeing what other songs and games I've featured in past editions of SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs, check out my VGM Database. It has all 700+ songs available for you to listen to, pending the videos haven't been taken down.

v711. Gears of War (360, PC) - Main Theme

It's very common to see soundtracks from Eastern games on SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs. I follow the notion that most Western games try too hard to appeal to a Hollywood mindset. They're scored like movies, with more atmospheric and less melodic material than their Eastern counterparts. Gears of War is just like that, as is VGM Volume 712. That said, that doesn't mean such material can't be presented on this list!

v712. Batman: Arkham Origins (Multi) - Arkham Origins Main Titles

I really enjoyed my time with Batman: Arkham Origins. A part of that was the soundtrack. Well, a very small part, but a part nonetheless. The upcoming June 2015 release of Arkham Knight is one of the few games that make we want to make the full transition to the PS4 or Xbox One. Nonetheless, it really is a slow and underwhelming new generation, is it not? Maybe I'm alone on that thought...

v713. Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PS2) - Boldan - Silver City

My favorite Ratchet & Clank game, Going Commando, is also one of my favorite games of all time. It does everything well, and even it's music, although forgettable a lot of the time, has some charm to it. David Bergeaud did an absurdly admirable job with his compositions and musical direction with this second entry in the Ratchet & Clank franchise.

v714. Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil (PS2) - Joliant (Great Amusement Park Joliant)

Welcome to Joliant! As you can imagine with the part of the song title in the parentheses, Joliant is a fabulous and expansive amusement park full of frights and delights for players. Klonoa's second platforming title was his first and only PlayStation 2 adventure. It really hurts that the Wii remake of the first game did not sell well.... AT ALL. If I allowed myself to post emoticons on articles, this would be where a sad emoticon would be placed. ...Aw, what the hell. :(

v715. Mario Superstar Baseball (GCN) - Toy Field

It's postseason time in Major League Baseball. For those not in the States, this is nothing special, but to Americans like me who bleed red, white, blue and do lots of super-patriotic crap that is annoying to most other countries, it's the national pastime's most intense time of year! Why not spread the love of baseball with Mario Superstar Baseball, a game that opens up baseball to a wider audience, lest we forget how popular the sport is in the developer's home country?