Friday, August 28, 2015

Super Mario Maker (Wii U) Be a player or a Mario Maker UK Trailer

An incredibly exciting and well done trailer for the upcoming 11th of September release Super Mario Maker has been posted on Nintendo of UK's YouTube channel. Check it out and get excited with me!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Top Ten Dogs in Gaming

Today is unofficially National Dog Day here in the United States. You've no doubt seen that if you peruse social media of any kind. It only makes sense, then, to give proper props to the very best of man's best friend in the world of gaming. These woofing wonders, these dogs in games, are what I consider the greatest puppy, dog, and canine companions that video games have to offer.

10) Poochy (Yoshi's Island)

Poochy ain't stupid. At least that's what a bonus level in the original Yoshi's Island for the Super Nintendo says. In each Yoshi's Island game, and even the recently released in Europe and Japan Yoshi's Woolly World, Poochy supports Yoshi by allowing the good old dinosaur to ride on its back. It moves in the direction Yoshi is facing, granting him the ability to cross hazardous terrain and reach higher platforms. Good pooch, Poochy!

9) Sam (Sam & Max)

Between Sam the dog and Max the rabbit, Sam is without question the saner of the pair. Usually serving as the straight man... er... dog, for Max's antics, the pair wouldn't be so special without both halves. Sam might be one of the only dogs on this list who is bipedal, and he's definitely the only one who is decked out in full clothing, but he's just as lovable as the other dogs on this list.

8) Interceptor (Final Fantasy VI)

A faithful companion to Shadow, a mysterious ninja character in Final Fantasy VI, Interceptor is usually glued to his master's side, even in the fury of battle. He'll jump in front of attacks meant for Shadow. Looking akin to a Doberman Pinscher breed, this dog may or may not have a habit of eating total strangers. Though no one in Terra's party had the courage to seriously ask Shadow if it's true.

7) Blade Wolf (Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance)

A robotic wolf with advanced AI and an armada of weaponry like a chainsaw on its back, launch-able knives, claws that can stretch out from their base, and an immensely powerful rail gun, Blade Wolf indeed comes packing in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. The boss fight itself is usually the point within the game where players have to start relying on actual skill and, as the kids say, "gitting gud." Even with a high level of skill, Blade Wolf is no pushover. Far from it.

6) K.K. Slider (Animal Crossing)

Named Totakeke in Japan, after longtime Nintendo composer Kazumi Totaka, K.K. Slider is appropriately enough a musician who plays regularly in front of train stations, the local Roost, and most recently, Club LOL. For listening to one of his jams, he'll give you a full version of one of his many songs. Soon, you'll have the right music to go along with your themed room of your house.

5) Missile (Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective)

A Pomeranian partner to the player, Missile in Ghost Trick for the Nintendo DS is without a doubt one of the most sweetest canine companions in gaming. How can you not like that lovely face, fur, and stance? Although in ghost form, Missile is the type of character in Ghost Trick that accepts his fate, assisting protagonist Sissel in one unforgettable adventure.

4) The Dog (Duck Hunt)

Recently given a second chance to shine in Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, the Duck Hunt dog's original duty before he found the time to unleash his frustrations on Nintendo's all-stars was to point and laugh at players who couldn't hit the broad side of a barn with their NES Zappers. Click that trigger at the dog all you want, he'll just keep laughing at your sorry shooting.

3) Wolf Link (The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess)

Turned into a wolf when he enters the Twilight Realm, Link meets a tenacious imp-like character named Midna. The two team up on a grand adventure through both Hyrule and the Twilight Realm. With his ability to howl, leap high from platform to platform, and use his scent to uncover hidden goodies, this four-legged version of Link is one force to be reckoned with.

2) Amaterasu (Okami)

I might be cheating for including wolves on this list that aren't technically dogs, but canines all the same, but so be it. This snow white wolf is based off of the Amaterasu goddess of Japanese mythology. Okami itself is a Legend of Zelda-like adventure starring this precocious wolf who uses her brush to restore life and nature to the surrounding areas and levels of the game. Perhaps Amaterasu learned her painting skills from a community college class?

1) Rush (Mega Man)

A Mega Man's best friend, Rush debuted in Mega Man 2, and has since then stayed closely beside Mega Man as a helpful means of transportation, a way to dig up buried items, and a way to drop in items as air support. Rush can transform into a myriad of forms, such as a jet for crossing over precarious chasms and spike traps (great for Heat Man's extended disappearing block room), a submarine for underwater travel, and even supply Mega Man with a spring from his back to give his pal some extra height or turn into some powerful armor for Mega to wear and hover around with.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Underrated Games With Even More Underrated Soundtracks - Part One

I do my best to listen to the suggestions of the sizable (at least more than I thought there would be seven years ago when I started this site) reader base of SuperPhillip Central. Frequent commenter CM30 let me know of an idea for a series of articles that he desired to see on the site. Well, here it is!

Weekly, usually on Mondays, SuperPhillip Central shares five of its favorite video game music tracks. The list is quickly approaching 1,000 songs! Anyway, while I do cover relatively unknown songs and games at times, I've never made a habit out of putting those relatively unknown and/or underrated games with great soundtracks into their own article. Until now. This series of articles is dedicated to those of us who love video game music and to those underrated gems with even more underrated soundtracks. After you've taken a look at the first batch of underrated games and soundtracks, why not suggest your own in the comments?

LEGO City Undercover (Wii U)

What I consider to be the very best LEGO game by far from Tt Games, LEGO City Undercover on the Wii U is essentially a Grand Theft Auto-Lite game. Instead of delving into criminal actions for personal gain, you play as Chase McCain who goes, appropriately enough, undercover into the seamy underbelly of the LEGO City crime world. The sizable city is absolutely packed with things to do-- collectibles to find, ATMs to destroy, objectives to complete, and so much more. The soundtrack fits the game perfectly, offering a score that would fit with any late 1960s and 1970s cop show or film. Then there are epic themes for chases of criminals and tracking down the sinister Rex Fury.

Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (Wii U)

Although inferior to the original Canvas Curse Kirby adventure in the early life of the Nintendo DS, the Wii U's Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is by no means a poor product. Yes, it's a shame that one must keep their eyes glued to the GamePad screen instead of a glorious HD TV screen instead, but the gameplay of Rainbow Curse more than makes up for it. Drawing lines to guide Kirby through a wide number of obstacle-laden courses filled with enemies and secrets is always a good time. The soundtrack by Shogo Sakai and Megumi Ohara is filled with catchy, jaunty, and peppy tunes perfect for playing the game as these examples show.

Viva Pinata series (360)

Grant Kirkhope, a longtime Rare composer, lent his marvelous music composition abilities to the sometimes majestic, sometimes poignant, always wonderful Viva Pinata series of games. Unfortunately, the games didn't overly fit the demographic of the Xbox user base, who more typically seek out more action-oriented games such as shooters and racers, for instance. With the recent release of Rare Replay on the Xbox One, I'm confident that these two games, the original Viva Pinata and its sequel Trouble in Paradise, will find a captive audience after all of this time.

Go Vacation (Wii)

Released near the end of the Wii's life, Go Vacation is more than just a mini-game collection. It is more of an attraction collection with over 30 unique activities to join in on, as well as four unique zones on the island that could be fully explored, searching for well hidden treasure chests, finding new events to participate in, and plenty of NPCs to interact with. This party game brings the single player content well, and the multiplayer is a blast, too. The music is suitably chipper and cheery, great for exploring the island on ATVs, jet skis, or horseback, getting involved in a game of tennis or a water gun fight, or just having a grand old time in general.

We Love Golf! (Wii)

Designed by the same team behind the early Hot Shots Golf and currently the Mario Golf and Tennis games, Camelot Software Planning, We Love Golf! was a Capcom-published arcade golf game that flew under the radar for a lot of Wii owners. The game has a selection of seven 18 championship-length holes and three short par 3 courses. In addition to that, there are multiple mini-games to enhance your short game and approach skills, as well as a host of Capcom-related costumes for the otherwise generic characters within the game. Who wouldn't want to dress up as Apollo Justice, Arthur from Ghost 'n Goblins, or Street Fighter's Ryu and Ken? Motoi Sakuraba delivered a suitably cheerful soundtrack, a perfect companion to score under par with.

Ys I & II Chronicles (PSP, Steam)

Ys I & II Chronicles is a remake of the original duo of Ys games from decades ago. The combat remains the same in the regard that you run up to enemies and your character automatically attacks them. There's a degree of skill in how you approach foes, as to not take damage yourself. While these two games have an aged feeling to them compared to more recent entries of the Ys franchise, one thing that is a fantastic upgrade aside from the graphics is the soundtrack, composed of melodic marvels, heavy metal awesomeness, and orchestral wonders.

Monday, August 24, 2015

SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs - The 3K Edition

Maybe I'm trying to get too creative with these edition titles, but the "3K" is a reference to the starting letter of three of the games this edition of SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs contains. "Ah-ha!" you exclaim.

This week has two Square Enix games as bookends, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance and Final Fantasy XIV. The games in the middle include Kororinpa: Marble Mania, Elebits, and Knuckles Chaotix for some retro goodness for this edition.

If you'd like to go back in time and see what past VGMs I've included in this weekly segment of SuperPhillip Central, then check out the VGM Database. It has over 900 different themes from countless games both classic and modern.

v946. Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance (3DS) - Traverse in Trance

We begin this edition of SuperPhillip Central's Favorite VGMs with a delightful track from the Kingdom Hearts 3D soundtrack, Traverse in Trance. It uses the Traverse Town theme from the original Kingdom Hearts and turns into a slower and more soothing song in this currently Nintendo 3DS exclusive game.

v947. Kororinpa: Marble Mania (Wii) - Heaven's Park

If you're a fan of games where you guide a ball through a labyrinth or obstacle-laden course, you'll definitely find Kororinpa: Marble Mania an interesting game. A sequel released on the same system, the Wii, called Marble Saga: Kororinpa. However, that game's ball physics were tinkered with for the worse unfortunately. Still, both games feature a pleasant soundtrack to roll the various unlockable marbles within the game, as Heaven's Park from the original game shows.

v948. Elebits (Wii) - Boss - Sea, Sky, & Land

The first three bosses in the vastly overlooked near launch title for the Wii, Elebits, is a very peppy jazzy piece that works well as your scramble to take down the large Elebit creatures plaguing the protagonist's town. The Castlevania series' Michiru Yamane assisted with the stellar soundtrack of this unique Wii game.

v949. Knuckles Chaotix (32X) - Evening Star

Let's slip some Knuckles into this edition of the old VGMs, shall we? Unlike Sonic, Knuckles doesn't chuckle. At least that's what his theme song in Sonic Adventure says, anyway. Knuckles Chaotix was the premier title on the doomed Sega 32X for the Genesis. It's definitely worth playing as the two-characters-tethered-to-one-ring mechanic was a very interesting and enjoyable one.

v950. Final Fantasy XIV (PS4, PS3, PC) - Ultima

After the middling reviews and negative fan feedback of the initial Final Fantasy XIV, Square Enix showed remorse for putting out a poor product. The updated version, A Realm Reborn, made the hassle of the original release up to players with a much better game. Not just a better game, but an excellent MMORPG for both Final Fantasy fans and newcomers to the franchise.

Super Mario Maker (Wii U) North American Commercial

My most anticipated game for the rest of 2015 is almost here! Watch the North American television advertisement that will soon be hitting TVs across the continent!