Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New Super Mario Bros. Wii Review

I know I haven’t done a game review in a very long time, but I’ve just finished New Super Mario Bros. Wii and I thought what a perfect game to do a review on.
New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a new 2D Mario platformer, something we haven’t seen in years.
The game plays very much like Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. It brings back the Koopa Kids, who are awesome, and all the great classic gameplay we loved from those classic Mario titles.
That’s the biggest complaint when I talk about this game or even read about it. People can’t just have fun with the game they have to over think things and look at this game not as a step forward but a step backwards, but that’s where this game gets all its charm.
Yes, the game does not do anything really innovative and yes it lacks online play but who cares? A game like this you don’t need online play, I rather play with people in the same room then some stranger across the world. This game isn’t Modern Warfare 2 and I don’t really think it would have benefited all that much from online. With that said let’s dive in to the game.
The first thing I want to talk about is the cool new feature that gives you the ability to have up to four friends play the same level with you at the same time! Yes, there is no more waiting to play your level or pausing the game to make the second player die so you can have your turn (you know you all did it) you can play the same level and help one another out in tight situations.
Yes, the game can get challenging in some places, not The Lost Level challenging but challenging enough to give the veteran Mario players some trouble.
The only problem I have with this mode is the character selection. You have Mario and Luigi, of course, and then Blue Toad and Yellow Toad? Nintendo what’s up with that? You couldn’t off thrown another character in there? It would have been fun to play as Wario, Donkey Kong or even a Shy Guy, but another Toad? You know that’s just lazy.
The story in the game is not groundbreaking or revolutionary, it’s just classic Mario. Princess Peach once again gets kidnapped by the Koopalings and Bowser Jr. on her birthday. They do this by sneaking into the castle in a cake, popping out of it and throwing the cake on Peach and then moving it into their airship.
It’s now up to Mario, Luigi, Blue Toad and Yellow Toad (they should of at least have given them names) to trek across the Mushroom Kingdom and rescue the Princess.
The worlds are setup the way they were setup in Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario World. The music is still the same in some levels and Yoshi once again makes an appearance as Mario’s noble stead. Yet, even after all these years if Yoshi get’s hit once he drops Mario and runs away, what’s up with that? If you do finish a level with Yoshi you do not get to keep him like Super Mario World. Mario will jump off Yoshi and wave to him and continue onto the next level. That means that Yoshi is only in a few levels, but the ones he’s in were my favorites.
You can play through the game in an hour or so (that’s if you don’t stop to collect everything and unlock every path way). The multiplayer is great and the gameplay makes the replay value very high. The graphics might not be cutting age and the two toads gets confusing but you can look beyond all that because it's such a solid and fun game.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Best Pictures That Never Were: Day 18

Year: 1998
Movie: Saving Private Ryan
Best Picture Winner: Shakespeare in Love

Winner of five Academy Awards including Best Director, the film also captured Oscars for Cinematography, Film Editing, Sound and Sound Effects Editing. More than 70 critics and critics' groups named the film Best Picture of the Year, while the Los Angeles, Toronto and Broadcast Film Critics honored it with both Best Picture and Best Director awards. Spielberg also received his third Directors Guild of America Award, the American Legion "The Spirit of Normandy" Award, a USO Merit Award from the USO of Metropolitan Washington, as well as the highest civilian public service award from the Department of the Army. Selected for more than 160 Top Ten lists, Saving Private Ryan's other honors include Golden Globes for Best Picture (Drama) and Best Director, the Producers Guild of America Award and ten nominations from the British Academy Film Awards. Saving Private Ryan was the top-grossing motion picture of 1998.
After all that the Oscar did not go to Saving Private Ryan but to Shakespeare in Love? Well that's just wrong on so many levels. Shakespeare in Love was a good movie but nothing compared to Saving Private Ryan, I mean nothing! This is the movie that set the way war movies would be shot and told.
The movie begins with the D-Day invasion, then moves beyond the beach as the a group of men embark on a dangerous special mission. Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks) must take his men behind enemy lines to find Private James Ryan, whose three brothers have been killed in combat. Faced with impossible odds, the men question their orders. Why are eight men risking their lives to save just one?
A very well put together film and a movie that should be viewed by everybody.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Best Pictures That Never Were: Day 17

Year: 1997
Movie: Good Will Hunting
Best Picture Winner: Titanic

Yeah Titanic was all right ... its not one of my favorite films and I really think that Good Will Hunting should of won Best Picture.
The movie was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning Oscars for Robin Williams and Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
The movie is about a brilliant mind at America's top university and he's the kid who cleans the floors. Will Hunting (Damon) is a headstrong, working-class genius who's failing the lessons of life. After one too many run-ins with the law, Will's last chance is a psychology professor (Williams), who might be the only man who can reach him. With acclaimed performances from Academy Award nominee Minnie Driver and Ben Affleck the movie is comes together in a very powerful way.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Best Pictures That Never Were: Day 16

Year: 1996
Movie: Fargo
Best Picture Winner: The English Patient

Nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, and winner of two, Actress and Original Screenplay.
In this very dark, but amusing film, Jerry (William H. Macy), a small Minnesota town car salesman, is in terrible debt, but he's got a plan to escape it. He hires two thugs (Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare) to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law.
The plan goes off the deep end when people start dying. Police Chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), a coffee-drinking, parka-wearing and extremely pregnant investigator who stops at nothing to get her man.
It is one of my favorite Coen brothers movies, the Big Lebowski is the best still though. The film is dark but funny and it is able to weave those two elements together flawlessly.

Best Pictures That Never Were: Day 15

Year: 1981
Movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Best Picture Winner: Chariots of Fire

Ok ... before I start just let me say that I do not think that Chariots of Fire should be stripped of Best Picture because it was great, I'm saying that I would of liked to see Raiders of Lost Ark win it too.
This was the first Indiana Jones movie and in my opinion the most exciting. Indy (Harrison Ford) and his feisty ex-flame Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen) dodge booby-traps, fight Nazis and stare down snakes in their incredible worldwide quest for the mystical Ark of the Covenant. Experience one exciting cliffhanger after another.
The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Lawrence Kasdan based off a story by George Lucas. It was a great adventure movie that will go down in film history.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Best Pictures That Never Were: Day 14

Year: 1980
Movie: Raging Bull
Best Picture Winner: Ordinary People

Robert De Niro once again teams up with director Martin Scorses for the performance of his career. The unflinching realism that film has is something that stays with you and will shock you. Yes the film is violent but there a sense of poetry within the film that holds it all together.
The movie is loosely based on the career of Jake La Motta (De Niro), a boxer whose psychological and sexual complexities erupt into violence in and out of the ring.
Joe Pesci is brilliant as the brother who become prey for Jake’s paranoia and jealousy and Cathy Moriarty is also excellent ad the fifteen-year-old who becomes Jake’s prized trophy.
There is no reason that Raging Bull should have lost Best Picture. Ordinary People has a great story and the movie has its moments, but Raging Bull is just by far the superior film.
Raging Bull is filmmaking at its best and if you haven’t seen it then you truly are missing out.

Best Pictures That Never Were: Day 13

Year: 1979
Movie: Apocalypse Now
Best Picture Winner: Kramer vs. Kramer

Francis Ford Coppola’s dark and intriguing vision of a man’s heart of darkness revealed through the Vietnam War.
In the movie Lieutenant Willard receives orders to seek out a renegade military outpost, which is being led by Colonel Kurtz. Willard’s mission is to “Terminate with extreme prejudice.”
The film is very powerful and in my opinion one of the most powerful films of all-time. It was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won two for Best Sound and Best Cinematography and it should of taken home Best Picture.