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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Favorite Tunes #261: Metal Squad

Once again, Favorite Tunes is not in the usual Saturday slot. The reason is due to yesterday's editorial. Favorite Tunes should be back to the usual Saturday schedule this coming week, but I make no promises. Special thanks to Cat with Monocle for the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate wallpaper.

Bomb Man Stage (Mega Man) - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (NS)
The amount of remix love composers showed Rock in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate truly warms my video game music loving heart. It isn't just new Mega Man 2 remixes. Mega Man 3, 4, 5 and the original Mega Man all received fantastic arrangements. Bomb Man's music has always been a track I've adored and while this remix sticks very close to the original song (making it one of the shortest arranged tracks in Ultimate), it is still a fine jam to launch someone into the blast zone to.

Boss - Mega Man 11 (NS, PS4, XBO, PC)
I sure could have gone for some Mega Man 11 tracks in Ultimate, but that game's soundtrack is packed as is, so you can't have everything. The Blue Bomber's latest entry boasts some of the most enjoyable boss battles with Robot Masters of the entire series. Once they get down to half health,  they change up their attack patterns and become far more aggressive.

Bio Hazard Snatcher - Snatcher (PC-8801)
With adventure games making a strong comeback, you'd think Konami would re-release Snatcher. I'd really love to play it and a large part of my desire to do so is because of the amazing soundtrack. Packing heavy Blade Runner influences, Snatcher is one of those other games Hideo Kojima worked on that was not Metal Gear.

Metal Squad - Thunder Force IV (GEN)
If you've never played Thunder Force IV (known as Lightening Force in America) the game has been re-released for the Switch under the SEGA AGES label. Like all SEGA AGES releases, you get all sorts of options including one that let's your turn off slowdown, but this game is hard enough as it is, so keep the slowdown on.

Lor Starcutter - Kirby's Return to Dream Land (Wii)
The DS and Wii era treated Kirby extremely well. There was a remake of what was my favorite Kirby game, Kirby Super Star dubbed Super Star Ultra on the DS, original titles like Kirby Squeak Squad (DS), Kirby and the Rainbow Curse (DS), Kirby's Epic Yarn and what has been my all-time favorite Kirby game over the past seven years, Kirby's Return to Dream Land. From the multiplayer, to the colorful, popping visuals, the plethora of abilities to the soundtrack, I love this game so very, very much. Lor Starcutter is yet another Green Greens remix, but Hirokazu Ando and Jun Ishikawa manage to come up with some many different takes on the classic theme that it is always a joy to hear it get arranged.

Race 5 The Finale - Horizon Chase Turbo (PC, PS4, NS)
Bright, cartoon-like visuals and fantastic arcade racing make Horizon Chase Turbo one of the best racing games I've played that doesn't have a former plumber in it in a long time. The music has a retro flair to it makes burning rubber all the more enjoyable.

Favorite Tunes Database

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Captain Marvel and the Future of the MCU

This has been something that's been weighing on my mind for quite some time now. Originally, I wasn't going to post anything about it since so many people have already said something about it on YouTube, blogs, etc. Even so, I feel like I should just get this off my chest. I was going to post this a few days later, but I felt I should get this out as soon as possible.

In 2009, Marvel was bought by Disney. At the time, I didn't think much of it. It never really occurred to me that their acquisition of Marvel would affect the comics in any sort of way, but well, let's just say hindsight is a very interesting thing.

As the the holder of the Star Wars license, how much sway do they have over other companies when it comes to them handling Star Wars stuff? Enough to tell EA to take micro transactions out of Star Wars: Battlefront II due to the very bad press it was giving to the brand. Sure, they had a new Star Wars movie releasing around the time Battlefront II dropped but I guess screwing up Star Wars is Disney's job. And what a bang up job Disney is doing of absolutely wrecking Star Wars. Have you seen The Last Jedi or Solo? I know the word cringe gets used far too much these days, but that is the only word I can think of to accurately describe those films and I still don't think that sums them up right. Like so many other forms of pop culture entertainment, the Star Wars films are being ruined by feminism and social justice warrior propaganda, things that were never in the movies until Disney got their agenda hungry hands on them.

I don't know if it is still used, but long ago, Marvel was known as "The House of Ideas." Over the past few years or so, sales for Marvel comics have been very, very low. I never bothered to look into why but I'd heard a few things here and there. I hadn't come back to comics until 2016 when DC launched Rebirth, their new direction for the DC after The New 52 proved to be a short term gain. Rebirth brought much success for DC while Marvel continued (and still does continue) to struggle. There are a number of reasons Marvel comic sales are on the decline (such as event burnout) and after looking around, I think the push for feminism and SJW are two major reasons. I once read on a forum post that Marvel is looking like "A Troubled House of Ideas."

People read books, watch movies and play video games to escape reality. Sure, there is usually some form of realism in those mediums but most people hate having feminism and SJW politics shoved in their face and like Disney, the Marvel comics has become infamous for it. I'm not saying Disney told Marvel to appeal the feminist/SJW crowd, but whether they did or didn't, that is exactly what Marvel is doing and they are failing so hard for it.

And now, let's address the elephant I in the room.

Hooo boy, do I have some things to say about her.

Captain Marvel is a character that has been around since 1968. Or perhaps, I should say, Carol Danvers has been around since 1968. Despite being around for many years and having her own comic, she isn't a character that is well liked. In fact, no one really gives a crap about the Carol Danvers version of Captain Marvel. Since 2012, Captain Marvel has gone through nine reboots. Her books are filled with SJW and Mary Sue vomit. Because she failed eight times in a row, I guess Marvel figures that the ninth time is the charm. So yeah, Marvel is trying to force Captain Marvel on readers and it feels like that same "You WILL love Captain Marvel!" mentality along with all the excess baggage that makes the character and her comics so despised are bleeding into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel relaunch number eight. 

Now, you can't talk about the Captain Marvel movie without bringing up the actress that portrays her, Brie Larson. I had no idea who she was until I'd heard of this movie. A little digging revealed that she was in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, a movie I love very much. I would hear more about Brie Larson as she promoted her film leading up to it's release. When all was said and done, I wish I had remained oblivious to Brie Larson. Unfortunately while promoting her film, she also promoted her political views, something that would become a focal point of her touring. I don't even need to post or link that speech where she said A Wrinkle in Time wasn't made for a 40 year old white dude. That disaster can be easily looked up on YouTube.

I like to keep the art and the artist separate. To judge or boycott a product based on some crazy talk someone spews would be a huge disservice to what could be a very good product. Even separating Larson's foot-in-mouth comments from her film, I gotta say, Captain Marvel is not a good movie. Is it the worst thing ever? No but it does leave a horrible taste in my mouth for a myriad of reasons.

Larson has caught a lot of heat for the stupid things she's said and because no one told her to stop running her mouth, the character of Captain Marvel in the film is hated a great deal. I'm gonna do something crazy and defend Brie. Hating the character Brie plays based on what she's said during interviews and film promotion is just dumb. It isn't all her fault Captain Marvel is portrayed the way she is. Yes, some of the blame does fall on here, but not every bit of it does. After all, you can't make a movie with a single person. There's the script writers as well as the director, people that are always major players in film. I don't pretend to know everything that does on with the writing and directing of a film, but I get I get these sense that neither the writer(s) or the directer knew how they wanted to portray Captain Marvel/Carol Danvers. Yes, she she'll crack a joke on occasion but for the most part, she comes across as a dry, dull, lifeless character. Brie has displayed more emotion during interviews and touring than she has in this entire movie. In the Avengers Endgame 2 trailer, she's got that same, stoic look on her face that she has throughout most of Captain Marvel as if that is the only face she's got. Carol has no character development and those flashback sequences that are shoved in at the strangest of times don't count. She starts the movie as a blank piece of paper, and ends the movie as a blank piece of paper. Not good for what is supposed to a strong female character.

One of my biggest issues with this movie is when Captain Marvel unlocks her full power. Once her power inhibitor is removed, she has no problems adjusting to flying and everything is just so effortless for her. The movie couldn't show her struggling to a little bit? Even Peter Parker in the first Spider-Man movie in 2002 slammed into a wall when he tried to web-sling for the first time! Steve Rogers wasn't immediately placed on the battlefield after getting the super soldier formula injected into him. He proved his worth on a mission, which showed his superiors that his talents were being wasted by having him parade around on stage. We've seen numerous other heroes struggle in the MCU with their powers or be humbled by being stripped of their powers. Carol? Nothing is a problem for this girl. She isn't even fazed by the fact that she has amnesia. She comes across as such an unrealistic character and Marvel has been a company that prides itself on characters that feel relatable.

The MCU may have spent years in development but that doesn't mean last minute changes cannot be implemented and Captain Marvel feels so, so shoehorned into this universe. Yes, the movie was announced years ago but some sloppy retconning was done like making Carol's call sign "Avenger," which prompts Nick Fury to change the Protector Initiative the the Avengers Initiative, which is a slap in the face to Captain America, a movie that was called "The First Avenger." This feels like a forced attempt to play up her importance in the MCU. Don't even get me started on how Fury lost his eye to an alien cat. That is a pitiful joke.

Captain Marvel is supposed to be the new face for the MCU going forward. Her first movie did not paint the character in a good light and many fans are already not looking forward to her being in Endgame. She could improve as time goes on, but as it stands, she has not earned the right to be the new face of this universe. I'm sure you've heard much of what I've said echoed by countless others all throughout this editorial, but I feel it bears repeating. We've had ten years to see the cast of the MCU develop. Now this Mary Sue comes in and we're supposed to like her because she's super powerful and Marvel wants to shove her down our throats like they did have her failing comic series? No. She doesn't get a free pass to take center stage just because she's said to be the most powerful character in the MCU. The time was taken to work on the rest of the cast of the MCU, so the same is to be expected of Captain Marvel.

We already saw what SJW and feminism did to the Star Wars films and it looks like the MCU could be next. That crap is also responsible for screwing up Marvel comics. We've seen slumps in comics before but SJW nonsense is a hard monkey to get off your back. I hear it has also begun infesting DC's comics, which is a shame because they've been doing so well since Rebirth, but it is looking like their sales could join Marvel's in the dumpster. Like I said, Captain Marvel could grow like the rest of the members of the MCU, but considering that she's pretty much being forced on us like her comic book counterpart and Marvel Studios is giving off the vibe that they are getting woke. There's plenty of reasons to be concerned. If Captain Marvel is in, I, and I suspect many others, will be out.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Favorite Tunes #260: Shoot! Shoot! SHOOT!

Favorite Tunes on a Sunday? What gives? Well, since the Tetris 99 editorial went up on Saturday, Favorite Tunes was moved to Sunday. I don't like to post twice in one day. Soooooo, here's some video game music to go with your Sunday.

Black Rain (Stage 6) - Hyper Duel (ARC)
With so many arcade games getting digital re-releases, I'm really hoping that more of Technosoft's catalog get's time to shine again. Just listening to the music from Hyper Duel has me itching to play it. Expect more music from this game in future Favorite Tunes.

Invitation - Gradius III (ARC)
My first exposure to the Gradius series was the SNES port of Gradius III. Even so, I do greatly enjoy the arcade version's score along the the 16-bit version. It's tough for me to pick which version I like the best. When it comes to the game, however, I'll take the SNES version. Sure it has slowdown, but it actually gives me some continues.

Swanky Swing - Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest (SNES)
King K. Rool's presents in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate along with numerous spirits from the Donkey Kong Country games has reminded me of music from the SNES trilogy. Every time I spot Swanky Kong's spirit, I can hear his tune playing in my head. Why, oh why didn't someone arrange it?

Iron Attack (STAGE 1) - Devil Engine (PC, NS, PS4)
SHMUPs have been on a major comeback over the past few years. At $20, Devil Engine costs more than most games in digital shops but I can tell you that this one is well worth the money. It's also really freaking hard. As if the shoot 'em up action weren't great all on it's own, the game boasts incredible visuals and an absolute banger of a soundtrack.

Ancient Zone - Street Fighter EX3 (PS2)
I really like the music in Street Fighter IV as well as Street Fighter V. But can we get the sound crew behind the EX games to make some more amazing Street Fighter jams again? I've always felt the EX games got far more flak than they deserved but no one will dis the music. Listen to that violin! Ugggghhhhhhhhhh, so goooooooood!!!

How to Play - Super Smash Bros. (N64)
Hearing music from the original Super Smash Bros. makes me feel so nostalgic. Hard to believe the series is 20 years old now. A great deal of the first Smash's music is in Ultimate. Sadly, this theme is not. Just hearing it brings memories of Mario beating the crap out of Luigi in the tutorial.

Favorite Tunes Database

Friday, March 8, 2019

Tetris 99: Battle Royal Has Changed

That February 13th Nintendo Direct was awesome. It was loaded with what looks to be some amazing games coming out later this year and very soon like Yoshi's Crafted World, Astral Plain and Fire Emblem: Three Houses. One very interesting reveal was that of a very different battle royal game that could arguably be considered a silver bullet to all current games in the battle royal genre: Tetris 99.

Tetris is a game that everybody has played. No matter how averse to playing video games someone might be, Tetris is a game that anyone, regardless of skill level, can get into. That's how accessible a game Tetris is. So giving it the battle royal treatment was a very smart move. It also shakes up Tetris considerably.

Like any game with an online multiplayer aspect, I was apprehensive to play Tetris 99. I have enough trouble warding off players more adept than I am in Splatoon 2. Tetris 99 pits you against 98 and you can be attacked at any time by multiple players so that's far more pressure for anyone to be under. And you better believe the stress is real in this game. You think Mr. X on your heels in Resident Evil 2 is panic-inducing? Puh-lease. When those garbage blocks are piled up and you've got multiple players gunning for you, and the music is kicking it into overdrive, you'll know true panic.

Tetris has also changed quite a bit over the years. Oh sure, the basic premise of dropping blacks to form lines and make them vanish remains the same. However, all the little additions to the Tetris formula make it quite different from the 1989 Game Boy game I spent so much time with. You can see multiple next pieces coming up to plan accordingly if you happen to be a very strategic player. One piece can be held for when you need to get out of a jam. T-spins are a term I first started hearing about two years ago and Tetris wizzards can pull it off with ease.

Tetris 99 is a wonderful addition to the long line of Tetris titles. It's also good for exposing players for the crappy Tetris players they are. You may think you are hot stuff at Tetris but a few rounds with Tetris 99 will show you just how outclassed you are. Tetris is a game that has been around far longer than a lot of other games. People have been dropping blocks since 1984 so that's a lot of time to improve one's skills on a game that is more than three decades old. Just as fighting games and Pokemon are played at a competitive level, so too is Tetris. I've no doubt several former Tetris champs have come out of retirement to show the kiddies how it's done in Tetris 99. Players like Wumbo have godlike skills. Then there are players like Tafo who can talk to his chat during streams and give advice while playing. That is particularly impressive because Tetris 99 is a game that requires the utmost concentration to play even a little well.

My very first game of Tetris 99, I reached 39th place. I was proud of myself because I expected to place far, far worse. This was on the day the game came out so I might have gotten lucky. Largtely, I think I got dropped into lobbies with the Tetris gods because I've been getting KO'd super early. Before doing this write up, I had a my worst game yet where I was taken out at 98. The best I've ever managed was 7th place and I haven't been able to perform that great since.

As stress inducing as Tetris 99 can be, it has forced me to come out of my Tetris comfort zone. If you aren't a player like Tafo and Wumbo, you cannot relax while playing this game. Playing a leisurely game of Tetris is best left for titles like the lovely Tetris Effect. If we get more free games like Tetris 99 for being subscribers to Nintendo Switch Online, this could help to improve the abysmal service. I'd like to take 1st placer in Tetris 99 at least once but I know it won't be easy.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Re-Releases You Should Play - Part 7

If you've played them before, play them again. If you haven't consider taking these out for a spin.


It may have been releases more than 30 years ago, but SEGA's arcade OutRun is every bit as good now as it was when it was released in 1986. The game has seen numerous releases over the years but the Switch version going under the SEGA AGES OutRun title is the best, most accessible version to date.

No stranger to porting old games, M2 has proven themselves to be wizards at the craft, having worked on tons of SEGA titles, making them run just like they did on the original hardware they were released on. This also includes past OutRun releases like the Japan exclusive SEGA AGES 2500 OutRun on the PS2 and the 3D OutRun on the 3DS.

For the few of you not in the know, OutRun is a racing/driving game that pits you against the clock. Driving with your girlfriend in a convertible (SEGA no longer has the Ferrari license), there are a total of 15 stages, but you'll only go through five of them on each play through. Before each stage ends, you'll come to a fork in the road, allowing you to choose your own path. This non liner gameplay has been one of OutRun's biggest draws and each path has a different ending. OutRun is one of many SEGA arcade game's to use the company's super scaler technology, creating a very convincing pseudo 3D scrolling affect that is impressive to this day. That combine with the high speed you can achieve in OutRun makes for a trilling racer. On the other hand, simply cruising on the open virtual road is just as enjoyable as.

OutRun is also famous for it's soundtrack. Originally composed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi (often going under the name Hiro), OutRun's soundtrack has a heavy Latin feel with long lasting songs that can be selected before each run. Magical Sound Shower, Passing Breeze, Splash Wave and Last Wave are some of the most memorable arcade jams of all time, nay, in the history of video games. 3D OutRun brought two new songs to the overall OutRun soundtrack, Cruising Line, scored by Manabu Namiki and Camino a Mi Amor, written by Jaelyn Nisperos and they fit right in with the original OutRun music, even mimicking the original sound font. The tracks from 3D OutRun have been included in SEGA AGES OutRun and they are joined by four new arranged tracks: Step On Beat -Arcade Edition, Midnight Highway -Playback, Radiation -Nostalgic Ver., and Driver's MegaMix Vol.1. All new arrangements (with the exception of Driver's MegaMix Vol.1) use the sound format of the original OutRun and are splendid additions to the game's already stellar soundtrack.

Other features include a wealth of screen options including wide screen with optimized, non stretched pixel, multiple arcade screens, smoothing and filtering settings, scan lines or you can just go vintage and play the game with the original arcade screen, complete with screen curving. You can also play the new or old version of OutRun, the different between the two being some slight course alterations between the Japanese an American versions. There's also motion controls for those that want an even more arcade-like experience and online rankings is another reason to push you to perfect your driving skills. You can even unlock the original arcade version of OutRun that only contains the iconic three music tracks and runs at 30 FPS as opposed to the special versions 60. Unless you absolutely must play with a Ferrari, SEGA AGES OutRun on the Switch is the definitive version of SEGA's classic driver.

Also on (but without the extras): ARC, PS2, 3DS

Downwell (NS)

Part shooter, part platformer. All awesome. Downwell is a very interesting take on the two genres. This rogue-like game has you descending down what I can only assume is the world's most ridiculously deep well.

Armed with the sickest pair of kicks ever known as Gunboots, your in game persona can shoot blocks to clear a path or dispose of enemies that cannot be jumped on. Your Gunboots can also be used to position yourself  as you fall so you can reach platforms and stomp on those enemies that just so happen to be stompable. If you can continue stomping on enemies without touching terraferma, you can get a combo chain going. Maintaining that chain however, is anything but easy.

It is actually possible to beat Downwell in the 20 to 14 minute range. For those that are really, really skilled at the game and know the ins and outs of it, that is. For the rest of us mere mortals, well, Downwell is pretty dang difficult. You get one life to make your descent and when you die, you've got to start all the way back from the beginning. With the rogue elements, no two attempts will be the same but with enough practice, you'll be able to breeze through the first area with little to no problems. The second area is where things start to get harry and the difficulty only goes up from there. Did I mention that this game has bosses? If all the enemies flying and creeping your way aren't enough to end your run, a boss most surely will.

Despite the difficulty, Downwell remains a highly entertaining shooter/platformer. I've had the game hand me my butt cheeks on a silver platter time and time again but I keep coming back for more due to the simple premise being executed so well and to see how much farther I can get. There are different play styles you can unlock like one that gives you more health at the cost of far less frequent shops. You can also unlock a multitude of palettes to change the game's colors. In particular I'm fond of the Aqua palette but I'm sure others will find the GB and VB (Virtual Boy) palettes chuckle worthy. At $2.99, Downwell is a steal.

Also on: iOS, AND, PS4, PC

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Favorite Tunes #259: We Droppin' Blocks, Boys

And just like that, March is here. I'm looking forward to Yoshi's Crafted World at the end of this month as well as Final Fantasy VII finally landing on a Nintendo system. In the meantime, enjoy the latest music in this week's Favorite Tunes.

Main Theme - Tetris 99 (NS)
For a while, Tetris Battle Royal was a meme. Then, on the Wednseday of one fateful Nintendo Direct, the meme became a reality. It doesn't go by the name Tetris Battle Royal, but Tetris 99 may as well be called that, because that is exactly what it is. Facing off against 98 other players as this banger of a Tetris Type-A arrange music plays.

Lucca's Theme - Chrono Trigger (SNES)
Spoiler alert: I love Chrono Trigger. It has an easy to grasp time travel plot, a super cool battle system and one of the greatest soundtracks in any RPG. Yes, I know I sound like every other Chrono Trigger fan out there, but this is a game that is every bit worthy of the praise it has got. Luca's Theme was used as victory music in the sequel, Chrono Cross.

Trouble Brewing II (Code Name S.T.E.A.M.) - Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (NS)
Remember Code Name S.T.E.A.M. on the 3DS? No? Yeah, I don't blame you. The game was got mixed reviews from critics and was a retail bomb both in Japan and America. Super Smash Bros. games have always been good at reminding people of games they may have forgotten about and bringing games to your attention through music. This remix is so good, I want to hunt down the original.

Mochi Yasan (Shop) - Downwell (iOS, AND, PC, PSV, PS4, NS)
I've got more to say about Downwell in the coming week. For now, all you need to know (those of you that have not played it) is that this $2.99 game is well worth the pocket change. It also has one of the best pieces of shop music I've ever heard.

Mystic Cave Zone (2 Player) - Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (GEN)
I'm sure you all remember Mystic Cave Zone. It is pretty infamous for having a spike pit that is pretty easy to fall into. Why it wasn't just made a bottomless pit is beyond me, but this was fixed for the Christian Whitehead remake. Falling down that pit will now take you to the Hidden Palace Zone, originally an unfinished Zone in the game. What's more, the zone uses the excellent 2 Player version of Mystic Cave Zone.

Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 Trailer BGM - The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U, NS)
You know what tomorrow is, don't you? March 3rd. The day the Switch was released as well as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Kinda hard to believe both the Switch and one of most critically acclaimed Zelda games are turning two years old. The music that was used during the Switch 2017 presentation of the Breath of the Wild segment sure is something, isn't it? Ryo Nagamatsu must have thought so because it got a killer arrangement for the Zelda stages in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Favorite Tunes Database

Thursday, February 28, 2019

With a Little Help From My Friends - Part 2

There are times when the central character has aid from friends or allies. The former may be used in a looser sense when it comes to certain entries, but regardless, With a Little Help From My Friends shines the spotlight on those that help the main star on their journey.

Yoshi - Super Mario Series
In Part 1 of this feature, I mentioned that Yoshi had some major catching up to do if he was going to compete with Cappy, Mario's latest ally. Sure, Yoshi can't do all the OP things that living hat can, but the dino is still a powerful (and ravenous) companion to have at your side.

The green variety is probably what comes to mind when one hears the name Yoshi. This is perfectly understandable since a green Yoshi was the one that was heavily advertised in hes debut game, Super Mario World. Sure green Yoshi's are the most well known, but there are in fact, many different color Yoshi's. Red, blue, purple, white, black; if there's a basic color, there's a Yoshi for it. Depending on the game, a Yoshi's color may grant him an extra ability such as blue Yoshi's being able to fly no matter what color Koopa Troopa shell they scarf in Super Mario World. Regardless of color or type, Yoshis all have one thing in common: a boundless appetite.

Yoshis don't seem to be picky eaters and will gladly gobble up any foe that stands in your way. From Hammer Bros. to Mega Moles, if Yoshi can swallow it, it is as good as food. If he can't swallow it, it can be fired back as a projectile. Yoshis also sport some unique kicks that allow them to walk on Munchers, one of the few unkillable Mario enemies.

Yoshis are easily spooked as the mere touch from an enemy will send them running off, forcing you to chase them down it you want to reclaim them. On the plus side, if you're riding one, this gives you an extra hit. Perhaps one of the greatest uses for Yoshis is that if you're riding one and you're about to fall into a pit. you can dismount and use him as an extra jump to save yourself from harm, killing the Yoshi in the process. I'd call you an awful human being for doing so, but the fact is, I've done it more times than I can count, so I'm in no position to throw stones.

Beat - Mega Man Classic Series
Birds. Everything seems to get so much worse when they are thrown into video games. Just ask anyone that has played Ninja Gaiden on the NES. Captain Toad also has more than his fair share of bird problems in his game. One of the few winged ones I like is of the metal type. Created by Dr. Cossack to give Mega Man aid, Beat made his debut in Mega Man 5. Don't listen to Brentalfrloss. Sure Beat can't do what Rush does, but the help he provides proves that not all video game birds are bard.

Depending on the game, the aid Beat gives is different. In Mega Man 8, he assists during shooting segments along with Eddie, Auto and Rush. In Mega Man 5, 6 and IV (GB) he'll follow Mega Man around when he's summoned and attack enemies. Attack Beat was at his best in Mega Man 5 because he could attack bosses, including the final boss. Having Dr. Wily fall to a small, robotic bird has got to be one of the mad doc's most humiliating defeats.

From Mega Man 7 onward, Beat no longer attacks enemies. Instead he supports Mega Man by lifting him out of pits. This would mean that the bird would have to have a considerable amount of strength to carry the Blue Bomber. He can't carry Mega Man for very long but the fact that he can support Rock for several seconds is still quite impressive. You can even move Beat around during this brief period. With the amount of players that have died by falling into pits in Mega Man 11, the latest game in the series, Beat is working serious overtime.

EVE - EarthBound Beginnings
In a world where your own lamp, your sister's doll and hippies are out to kill you, you'll take any kind of help you can get. Lloyd, Ana and Teddy are helpful, sure, but none of them stack up against the titanic robot that is EVE.

Built by Ninten's grandfather to assist him in the coming invasion, EVE is found on Mt. Itoi, the hardest area in the entire game, which is saying something because a lot of this game's locations host random encounters that are nothing to scoff at. Mt. Itoi is home to some of the hardest hitting baddies you will face in the game but with EVE's help, your foes will fall like dominoes. EVE is a powerhouse, dishing out hard hitting damage, ensuring that you survive each and every encounter due to having the highest attack power and defense of any party member, temporary or permanent. The strength EVE brings to the party makes having her ideal for doing some leveling up on Mt. Itoi, especially when you take into account that EVE won't be sticking around for too long. During your trek on the surface of Mt. Itoi, the party will be attacked by R7038XX and EVE will self destruct to save the party.

Rambi - Donkey Kong Country Series
I do love me some Donkey Kong Country games so you can expect to see more animal companions from the series as we go. In Part 1 of this feature, Engaurde was mentioned. Now it's Rambi's time to shine.

Rambi is actually the first animal/creature companion DK and Diddy encounter in the first DKC game. He can be found as early as the game's first level, Jungle Hijinks. Making use of that horn and that brute strength, Rambi can charge into pretty much any enemy on the screen and take them out in a single hit. He can also knock down any walls hiding bonus rooms. Like Yoshi, Rambi can give you an additional hit and he'll run off if he touches an enemy without ramming into them, meaning you'll have to run him down if you want to get him back before he runs off a cliff. Rambi doesn't like fire, so attack fire based enemies is a no-no

When DK and Diddy returned to 2D platforming after a long break in the form of Donkey Kong Country Returns, Rambi returned as well along with a nifty new ability: he can break spikes, giving the Kongs access to areas they wouldn't be able to tread otherwise. He retains this ability in Tropical Freeze. Speedy, destructive and he gives spikes the middle horn. Name me a better rhino. I'll wait.