Monday, June 25, 2012

Old Games on the eShop: Some Ideas

With original software like Mutant Mudds and Mighty Switch Force, emulations of old handheld games, game demos and more, the eShop is a pretty good service thus far. I do think, however, that Nintendo has a lot of untapped potential for old games that should be ported, remade, and followed up with sequels on the downloadable service for the Nintendo 3DS. Some of its back-catalog is a perfect fit.

Bird and Beans was released for the DSiware service in 2009
The big N had the right idea with Bird and Beans and Paper Plane on DSiWare. These were both originally minigames included on the Gameboy Advance game Warioware Inc, and were both plopped on DSiWare separately for $2 a pop. This is smart. Perhaps a $1 price point for each makes more sense, but they at least have the right idea. These were fun, simple little games that make perfect sense as digital offerings for a handheld device.

One of the best minigames included in Super Mario 64 DS

So, I say, why not take the same idea and do it for the mingames included in Super Mario 64 DS and New Super Mario Bros.? Although these more almost certainly thrown into these games to show off the potential of the Nintendo DS's unique features, a lot of them were really quite brilliant. I remember one tasked you with the duty of protecting a single bob-omb from touching any other bob-omb by moving it around with your stylus, avoiding the little guy's flammable brethren to avoid a massive explosion. Another had you flicking little Mario's with your stylus to bounce them off of shy guys and keep them airborne. Many of these also had fun multiplayer options that added to the usual arcade-style lasting appeal. Bring them to the eShop, Nintendo!  

Nostalgic for you DS early-adopters?
Yoshi Touch and Go was the game that made me write this article. This game was tons of fun when it released with the original DS back in 2004, tasking you to get baby Mario as far as possible with the help of cute little Yoshi's that swapped out as different colors as you got further and further into the game. The game made clever usage of the touch screen, dual screens, and microphone of the DS; features still on the 3DS. So why not throw it on the eShop for $10 or so?  It almost seems like this game was meant for a platform like the eShop, with its compelling gameplay but steep price point of $30 when it originally released. I'd rebuy this game in a heartbeat if Nintendo threw it on the eShop - especially if they spruce it up with stereo-3D and wide-screen. 

It's time to remake it, Nintendo.
How about some truly great remakes of arcade classics Donkey Kong and Mario Bros. for the eShop? Donkey Kong has a port to the NES, and that port was ported to the Wii's Virtual Console, but how about a full-on remake for the 3DS that boasts a dual-screen, stereoscopic-3D display with Mutant Mudds-quality graphics? As for Mario Bros., Nintendo was smart to remake it and throw it on the remakes of various Mario games on the GBA: I wouldn't mind just a straight port of that great remake, although even better graphics, usage of the dual-screen display, and stereo-3D would make it even better.

Remember this game? Let's get another one. 
And lastly, I would love to see follow-ups to the Pokemon Trozei and Pokemon Pinball brands for the 3DS's eShop. It's been a very long time since I've played either of these spin-offs (I've never actually played the original Pokemon Pinball, only the GBA one), but I think they're the types of games I'd love to have always on my 3DS to play on-the-go. Pokemon Trozei, for those who have forgotten it or never heard of it, is a tile-based puzzler originally released on the Nintendo DS in 2005. It was a fun game, and I think a continuation of this IP on the eShop would be sweet. And my desire for a new Pokemon Pinball game on the eShop should be something I don't need to explain much. Nintendo could copy the Pinball FX formula by putting out a cheap download with a few boards - or even a free download with no boards initially - and offering more boards as paid DLC. Let's not forget that Nintendo is attempting to champion paid DLC now, which can be seen with its DLC strategy for New Super Mario Bros. 2

These are my ideas for old Nintendo games that should live on in the eShop. What do you think? Have any suggestions of your own? Hit up the comments below! 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grim Leaper #2 - Review

Grim Leaper #2 is a hard book to review. A book this good makes me want to tell you all about what happened and why it's so awesome, but I can't do that because I'd be spoiling it all for you. So I'm going to give this a shot, but just know that it's going to be difficult for me.

Okay, well, holy crap.

Grim Leaper, an Image comic from Kurtis J. Wiebe and AluĂ­sio C. Santos, follows two lovers - Lou and Ella - with a curse: They die very frequently, and when they do, they reincarnate as someone else in the same town. The first issue was excellent, fully exceeding my expectations, delivering a read that was so near-perfect that I was apprehensive about whether or not the next issue would keep up the high quality. This issue starts out with a curve ball that entirely extinguished such fears.

The book starts with this great reveal, leaving me shocked and disturbed, smiling and shaking my comic book in excitement, and ended leaving a similar impression on me.

Once this intro is over, we get into the main plot of this issue, which centers around Lou, for the first time, being dropped into the body of a man with a partner. This makes Lou contemplate the ugliness of his curse; a curse that he had seen as a bit of a blessing beforehand. It bothers Lou that he's probably going to die very soon as this man, without having said goodbye to the wife. This provides interesting and dramatic commentary to coincide with Grim Leaper's normal approach of comedic ridiculousness that is seen in the beginning of this issue.

Which returns at the end of the book, when Lou meets back up with Ella for familiar laughs and familiar displays of the strange cuteness of their relationship. The ultra-gory and violent ending leading into #3 is a good display of the stellar art Santos is doing. The strange color palletes, quirky character designs, and blood that practically falls off the page continues to impress.

I have a few complaints, though they may simply be holes that Kurtis intends to patch up in later issues. I don't understand how Lou manages to find the home of the person he reincarnates as, and similarly, I don't understand how Ella found Lou's current body. Blatant missteps in such a good series makes me think that I'll get answers later on, but at the moment, it's still jarring.

Grim Leaper is the real deal. It's a comic book that isn't from the two big publishers, isn't even about capes and cowls, and it's very enjoyable.


At the end of the book is a back-up from writer Ryan K Lindsay and artist Daniel J Logan titled "Love Sick." Like the actual story I purchased these pieces of paper for, it's hard to review this without spoiling things. This five-page story tells the tale of a man cheated on by a love that was meant to last forever, but instead left him very fat by the woman's cooking - a skill of her's that she took great pride in. It ends with a bizarre and morbid ending that initially caused me to be confused as to how I should feel, but I indulged in laughter and it felt right.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Door to Creativity - Coming 2013

Josh Door is your typical atypical person. He's certainly not a part of the majority, but he's not wildly different from people you already know. He lives by himself in a little apartment, entertains himself with video games and comic books, and most importantly, lives off of his writing career. He's a loser in the best way possible. 

Words From Josh Door, his first book, a collection of comedic short stories, was a success. Now, it's time to write book number two. 

Josh's life is a funny, emotional, and weird roller coaster ride of novel-worthy proportions. Hop on and watch Josh clinch success in a way better than I did with this preview, as he harnesses his door to creativity. 

Door to Creativity is a novel by Matt Petras, scheduled to release in 2013. 


(Interlocked has unfortunately been indefinitely delayed)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Grim Leaper #1 - Review

Every now and then, I read a comic book that absolutely nails it. Every aspect of the book just works perfectly, forming a stack of stapled-together pages of pure nirvana. Grim Leaper #1, the first issue in a new ongoing Image series from writer Kurtis J. Wiebe and artist Aluisio C. Santos, is one of those books.

Grim Leaper follows a crude man named Lou with a sizable desire to get laid, who obtains a curse that makes him reincarnate as someone else every time he dies. Humorously, and interestingly, he dies quite a bit, which makes him a deadly person to be around. But that's not even fully setting up the direction this book seems to be going. This is a love story, as the cover of the comic advertises - He meets a lovely lady named Ella, a girl with the same curse as him, but for what seems to be a shorter amount of time.

It's fantastic, because it reeks of style and personality, and nails pacing with fluid story-telling. The narration from Lou's perspective is entirely informal and very fun. The dialogue is equally good, spitting immature-yet-mature humor every chance it gets. I absolutely love Ella's line after she learns that Lou has the same curse as her: "Fuck me."

The imagery is equally stylized and entertaining. Santos nails coloring and gives the characters a unique, quirky look, delivering pictures that pop off of the pages. A particular full-page, satisfying scribble of a tire smashing a man's head clear off of his body is an accurate representation of the creative visuals of this comic.

I have no complaints. This book is perfect. It oozes with personality and doesn't waste a second on you, with jokes that work every time, drawings that never fail to please, and a distinct style and personality that is going to force my hand into my wallet every time this book comes out. Grim Leaper #1 absolutely nails it.


There is also a cute, enjoyable back-up from Joey Esposito of IGN included here, entitled "Drive Time Commute." It's nothing to write home about, but it's a sweet tale of a man and a woman enamored by the glimpses they catch of each other in their day-to-day, boring schedules. The fitting artwork is easy on the eyes, and the script is well-written.