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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Favorite Tunes #111: April Showers

So yeah, it's supposed to rain a lot in the month of April. Pretty sure everyone is familiar with the old saying. Rain and water themes are in the spot light of this Favorite Tunes. Betcha can't guess what Favorite Tunes #112 is gonna be about.

Rainy Day - Animal Crossing (GCN)

You kids with your Animal Crossing: New Leaf have it lucky. In that game, rainy sessions can last for roughly an hour or so and you can put the umbrellas away. In the original Animal Crossing , a rainy day was just that, a rainy day, lasting for the entire day, which made it impossible to do some of the regular activities. The different hourly arrangements of the game's main theme was also replaced with this rainy theme, which also uses the game's main theme.

Slam Shuffle - Final Fantasy VI (SNES)

The one town in the whole game that has rain. Perhaps that's to further paint a rather depressing image of Zozo, a town ripe with thieves and liars in what is without a doubt the most crap sack place in the World of Balance. It defeinitly isn't a nice place to visit. Along with the random bodies laying on the ground, you can also get into random encounters no matter where you are in the town.

Rainy Turtloid Stage - Mega Man X6 (PS)

I'm going to be blunt. Mega Man X6 SUCKS. Never mind the fact that it's mere existence craps all over the splendid finale that was Mega Man X5. The game's atrocious level design which is filled with blind jumps, Nightmare System interference that can make some stages unplayable and the overly long, poorly translated text conversations are far greater atrocities than mucking up where the X series was supposed to conclude. The game's one saving grace is the soundtrack, which is loaded with so many memorable themes.

Bubble Man Stage - Mega Man 2 (NES)

The game that gave the Blue Bomber his fame. Much as I love this game I have to confess to it feeling a bit overrated. Still, Mega Man 2 was a massive improvement over the original with less bugs, Energy Tanks tanks to balance the difficulty and a super catchy musical score. Lame as he is, Bubble Man's stage tune is undeniably cool.

Neo Bowser City - Mario Mart 8 (Wii U)

One of my favorite tracks from Mario Kart 7 was brought back as part of Mario Kart 8's DLC Pack 2. The track was given that HD coat of paint and it looks better than ever. The music has also been updated. Driving on on a rainy night, on a super high highway full of neon lights has never looked or sounded so good.

Here Comes the Rain - Gungrave (PS2)

Most fans are probably familiar with Gungrave from the numerous anime series. While I'eve only seen two episodes of the first one, it did look like something I'd be interested in checking out. The first PS2 game was blasted by critics from what I recall but it did have some good music, chief among the game's tracks being this lovely vocal ending theme.

Favorite Tunes Database

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Much Needed Re-Releases Part 1

Through compilations and the rise of digital gaming, replaying the games of yesteryear has become quite the easy task. Want to play Super Mario Bros but don't own an NES? That game has been ported to nearly every Nintendo platform under the sun. Ditto for the original Sonic the Hedgehog. Sadly, not all games have been so lucky. Welcome to Much Needed Re-Releases, where we'll discuss games that should get an extra shot at life.

Mega Man: The Wily Wars (GEN)

You could look at this anthology release as the Super Mario All-Stars for the Genesis. Mega Man 1-3 were brought to SEGA's 16-bit powerhouse sporting updated graphics and Genesis music, though some may argue that the flair from the NES originals was lost in this transition, there are some nice Genesis versions of the classic themes, while others don't sound so hot. The game also features a save system and upon completing all three games, you unlock Wily Tower, a lovely four stage bonus with original Robot Masters. What's more, you can select any eight Robot Master weapons and assist items from all three Mega Man titles before starting each stage. These stages also carry a unique musical theme that rank among Wily Wars best musical compositions. The collection certainly isn't perfect. It suffers from some bugs, glitches and somehow, even worse slowdown and the NES originals. The save feature gets wonky on emulated versions, often erasing saved data and the version that came in SEGA's 2012 At Games Ultimate Portable Game Player suffers from even worse emulation. With Capcom giving so much love to Mega Man re-releases over the years, it really wouldn't kill them to show some appreciation to the first Mega Man anthology, giving players a more ideal method of playing it.

OutRunners (ARC)

A significant step up from the the first OutRun, OutRunners features even more stages, multiple cars with different drivers for even more endings and ultra lively arrangements of the classic OutRun themes along with new tracks such as "Speed King"  and "Blow Your Cool." Being a 1993 arcade release, the game runs on much more powerful hardware. As impressive as SEGA's super scaler technology was, the SEGA Multi 32 board hardware makes OutRunners look and run super smooth. The sprites and scaling in OutRunners is nothing short of breathtaking. OutRunners was definitely worthy of the OutRun name and it's quite unfortunate that it never gained the popularity that the original game did. It received a single, shoddy Genesis port, making the arcade version the only way to go. With the excellent work M2 is doing on the classic SEGA games like Super Hang-On and OutRun on the 3DS, one can dream that the developer will get to take a stab at OutRunners so more players can experience this exceptional game.

Alien vs. Predator (ARC)

It isn't that all aliens are bad. Its just that, well, more often than not, they are up to no good and that is unsurprisingly the case with Alien vs. Predator. While there have been a plethora of games to use the Alien vs. Predator name, Capcom's 1994 beat 'em up has been the only one I've ever really cared about. Playing as either the marines or the Predators, you must stop the Earth from being overrun from those creepy things from the Alien flicks. Enemies come at you in droves and get quite relentless in their assault. Even with another player watching your back, it doesn't take much for both of you to get overwhelmed. Thankfully you've got a nice supply of special moves and weapons to dispose of the Aliens with. Punching down thugs in your standard beat 'em up is fun to be sure. But there's nothing quite like mowing down a slew of Aliens with different fire arms in Alien vs. Predator. The game still looks quite nice and has a soundtrack that does a good job of getting you pumped to thrash some Aliens. This game was never ported to anything and being a licensed property that Capcom no longer holds the rights to, it may never see the light of day again.

Space Megaforce (SNES)

Developed by the now defunct Compile, this game is actually known as Super Aleste in Japan, making it part of that long running series. With Zanac and MUSHA (also games made by Compile) being Virtual Console releases on the Wii, I had some hope that Space Megaforce would join those games, but no such luck. It's a real shame because for me, this is the pinnacle of the Aleste games. The levels themselves can be quite long, possibly a little too long for the standards of a shooter but it has a great weapon system used in earlier Compile games and each of them can be upgraded up to five times for some serious firepower. I always preferred the three shot lasers myself. As is the case with most shooters, you can expect lots of on screen mayhem and you might be expecting the to experience some slowdown from so much clutter. Nope. Compile had a knack for maintaining high frame rates on shooters even in their NES days and Space Megaforce is no exception. I would love for this baby to be given new life in digital format. Even a non complete copy of the game runs for over $100.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Greatest Video Games of All-Time Vol. 1

Some games are truly near and dear to my heart. These are the games that I go back to and play time and time again or look back on with immeasurable fondness. These are what I consider to be the greatest games in the history of the medium. It should go without saying that this is my own personal list. No doubt some gamers will take issues with some of my choices and that's fine. I've decided not to rank my picks. This feature isn't about where each particular game stands but rather about the games themselves. All of these games are here because I think they deserve to be so I'm not going to be bothered with attaching a number placement to them.

Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES, 1990)

My first, clear memories of gaming began with Mario so this feature may as well kick off with one of his best efforts. After taking a trip to the strange, yet intriguing world of Subcon in Super Mario Bros. 2, Mario and Luigi returned to the Mushroom World to take on the Koopa Troop once more. This time, Bowser got himself some extra help. Bowser has the Koopalings at his aid and has sent each one off to conquer seven worlds. Super Mario Bros. brought back the familiar power ups from the first Super Mario Bros. while introducing a slew of new ones. The Super Leaf allowed Mario the brief power of flight. The god-like powers of the Hammer Suit made losing it the most painful feeling in the world. The Frog Suit made those torturous underwater levels a breeze. So many power-ups and suits were at your disposal that you could stock them up for later use. But Super Mario Bros. 3 didn't just expand the number of power-ups. The worlds of the game were so much bigger than the ones in Super Mario Bros. 1-2 that they were each comprised on their own world map. This of course meant you could bypass certain levels all together. Super Mario Bros. 3 also hosts some of the shortest levels of the franchise, which made lack of checkpoints on the more difficult levels especially painful. Improved controls made using the new abilities you gained so much more satisfying, making for a platform fan's utopia on the NES. From start to finish, Super Mario Bros. 3 is an unforgettable thrill ride that never gets old no matter how many times I play it.

Also on: SNES, GBA, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, 

Sonic 3 & Knuckles (GEN, 1994)

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 was released in Feburary of 1994. Come October of that same year, Sonic and Knuckles stormed onto the Genesis. Strap Sonic 3 onto Sonic & Knuckles through the later cart's lock-on technology and you get Sonic 3 & Knuckles, the mammoth sized game Sonic 3 was always intended to be. Taking plenty of cues from Sonic 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles has expansive zones to explore and keeps much of the same high speed fun and platforming. The game does, however, spice things up by giving you three characters to play as. While Sonic, Tails and Knuckles are all speedy little devils, each one has something that sets them apart. Sonic controls the same way he always has but Tails can fly and swim for brief periods of time. Knuckles can't jump as high as the previous two but he can glide, climb walls and bust down certain walls to reveal shortcuts. Those new elemental shields really came in handy depending on what area you were in and were a step up from the first game's vanilla shield. Throw in some slickly design zones, some incredible final boss battles and some catchy, mondo cool beats and you've got my all-time favorite Sonic game. Don't bother play these games as stand alone titles. You're doing yourself a great disservice.

Also on: SAT, GCN, PS2, XB, DS, Wii

Final Fantasy VI (SNES, 1994)

Final Fantasy VI features an intriguing plot driven by some of the most colorful cast of characters in an RPG. Through Terra, Lock, Celes, Shadow and the rest, the game deals with some pretty heavy issues like coping with the loss of loved ones, suicide, teenage pregnancy and coming to terms with who you are. The good guys are a wonderful band of protagonists but they really do get upstaged by the game's villain, Kefka. Initially introduced as a gofer, by the time you reach the second half of the game, Kefka is the god of magic, has transformed the world into his own private hell and most of the remaining populace lives in fear because the maniacal clown can pretty much put an end to their existence whenever he feels like it. The different character classes keeps the battles from growing stale and the relics that can be equipped turn some characters into walking tanks. Fine as the battle system is, though, the real attractions of Final Fantasy VI are the story and memorable cast members.

Also on: PS, PS3, Wii, iOS

Gunstar Heroes (GEN, 1993)

Konami's Contra franchise houses some truly magnificent run 'n gun games, with the crown jewel being Contra III. So it's fitting that some of Contra III's staff would go on to form Treasure and their first game as the company was the legendary Gunstar Heroes. Gunstar Heroes does much to make it stand out from most games in the genre. You actually have a health meter that can be increased. The first four levels can be selected in the order of your choosing. You can mix and match weapon combos for devastating, even game breaking results. Even your partner in co-op play can be hurled at the enemies and will receive no damage in turn. The level design is also quite lively. The anti-gravity mine cart level lets you shift gravity at any time and is capped off with a jaw dropping battle against Seven Force, a shape changing mech. There's even a crazy board game stage where you roll dice and get sent off to do a myriad of different trials such as getting through a maze or fighting a pint sized soldier who is far stronger than his size would lead you to believe. All of this and some of the most impressive visuals and audio on the Genesis make Gunstar Heroes a 16-bit masterpiece.

Also on: PS3, Wii, 360, iOS

Final Fight (ARC, 1989)

Mayor Mike Haggar's daughter has been kidnapped! That's terrible! Does Haggar sic the police on those awful Mad Gear thugs? Nope. Being a former pro wrestler, he's not afraid to get his hands dirty so he takes to the streets along with Cody and Guy to clean their filthy clocks. Walk to the right and beat up mook after mook. Some are harder to take down than others but the concept of the game is simple, repetitive, beat 'em up fun and great for when you just want to zone out. Being an arcade game, Final Fight is on the brutal side and if you happen to being playing the arcade version, expect to see up to eight Mad Gears on the screen at one time, even if you have back up. Guy is quick and can wall jump, Cody has a really good stabbing hand whenever a knife is nearby and Haggar moves like a tank and has the muscle of said machine. Choose your brawler and go save that daughter!

Also on: SNES, SCD, GBA, PS2, XB, PSP, Wii, PS3, 360, Wii U, iOS

Mega Man 3 (NES, 1990)

The second Mega Man game I ever played is, in my honest opinion, the greatest Mega Man game of the whole franchise, yes, even eclipsing the highly praised Mega Man 2. Mega Man 3 kept plenty of what had become series staples by this point. Crafty level design, a catchy chiptune soundtrack, and some pretty memorable bosses, even if Top Man is a little bit of an oddball. This game also brought some new things to the table. The mysterious, fan favorite Proto Man would often show up to challenge you and other times, he'd aid you. Mega Man gained his faithful robo canine Rush in this outing as well as some faster maneuverability with the slide move. Along with all the new stuff the game has going for it, Mega Man 3 shows that it isn't afraid to tread some old ground. All of the Robot Masters from Mega Man 2 are back and so is a second incarnation of the dreaded Yellow Devil. Mega Man 3 is a long (at least in terms of classic Mega Man), sometimes frustrating, but very entertaining Mega Man experience that I love returning to.

Also on: PS, GCN, PS2, XB, Wii, Wii U, 3DS

Donkey Kong (GB, 1994)

Everyone remembers the 1981 arcade classic Donkey Kong. Platform through four levels to rescue Mario's girlfriend Pauline all the while being assaulted by her captor, the big ape himself. At the end of the fourth level, Mario trounces DK and is reunited with Pauline. But then Donkey Kong gets back up, kidnaps Pauline again and initiates one of the lengthiest video game chases ever, going to the city, the jungle, the desert and even the arctic to name a few locals. Huh. That never happened back in 1981. This masterful handheld Donkey Kong game contains all four original arcade levels and 97 brand  new stages. Mario can perform hand stands, back flips, double jumps and more. And you thought Mario's jump game didn't get crazy until Super Mario 64. You'll need Mario's insane acrobatic moves to navigate through this platform/puzzle affair to reach the key and proceed on to the next stage. Mario still has access to his trusty hammer, he can pick up certain enemies and chuck them at other baddies a la Super Mario Bros. 2, and his durability has been improved so he can fall from slightly greater heights and still keep breathing. If you're looking to see Mario and Donkey Kong's rivalry at it's very best, look no further than Donkey Kong on the GB.

Also on: 3DS

Out Run (ARC, 1986)

Yu Suzuki's driving masterpiece is quite simply one of the finest video games that has ever come out of SEGA. The only thing you're outrunning in Out Run is the clock as you drive cross country with your girlfriend at your side through five different stages. When you approach the end of the stage, you'll come across a fork in the road, which lets you choose which destination you'll travel to next. Most arcade racers at the time had you traveling the same path over and over but the non-liner stage progression really keeps Out Run from getting stale. Using "super scaler" technology (also used in games like Super Hang-On, Space Harrier After Burner, and Galaxy Force II) Out Run pumps put some eye widening visuals that remain impressive almost 30 years after the game was released. Ditto for the game's soundtrack. "Magical Sound Shower", "Splash Wave", "Passing Breeze," and "Last Wave" rank right up there with the "Ground Theme" from Super Mario Bros. when it comes to iconic game music. It may seem dull on paper, but passing other cars, handling tight turns and traveling the world on four wheels at high speeds is one of the best experiences the medium of gaming has to offer.

Also on: SMS, GEN, GG, MSX, SAT, PCE, DC, GBA, PS2, XB, 3DS

Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty (PS2, 2001)

The stealth action gameplay had been refined from the original Metal Gear Solid. Being able to aim in first person mode with any gun allowed for greater accuracy and the inclusion of lockers meant you could hide bodies to avoid alerting other enemy soldiers to your presence or unleash your inner bully. Many were butt hurt upon learning that Solid Snake had been replaced by newcomer Raiden , but I honestly didn't mind this because, as much as I like Snake, the gaming world is overrun with characters just like him. MGS2 also catches flak for its cheesy romance between Jack and Rose and absurd story moments. Yeah, let's pretend the other MGS games are perfection and don't have more than their fair share of eye rolling moments.

Aslo on: XB, PS3. 360

Kirby's Return to Dream Land (Wii, 2011)

Good things are worth waiting for and such is the case with Kirby's Return to Dream Land, a game that went through a lengthy development cycle, spanning a little over ten years.  The game plays like a bigger, better Kirby Super Star, which is pretty impressive when you consider that Kirby and Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai had nothing to do with this game's development. New abilities are introduced, older abilities are enhanced and it has chaotic, but super fun, drop-in-and-out four player multiplayer. Anyone that isn't the first player can play as non-pink Kirbys or select from King Dedede, Meta Knight and Waddle Dee. The game also sports a beefy amount of bonus content like an EX version of the game's main story mode, which gives bosses more attacks, cuts your life bar in half and overall makes the game a lot more challenging. There's also the Challenge mode that has you mastering each Copy Ability to be awarded the highest ranking medal, which, surprise, surprise, isn't gold. The Arena, a boss rush mode also makes a come back as does The True Arena. From Pop Star to Halcandra, to insane duels with Galacta Knight, to fun with acronyms, and cutting a mountain in half with a giant fish, Kirby's Return to Dream Land gets my vote as the best Kirby game ever.

The Greatest Video Games of All-Time Vol. 2
The Greatest Video Games of All-Time Database 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Game Over Part 3

Those old-school game overs were really something. They take up the bulk of Game Over Part 3 but we do make the transition from sprites, to polygons to HD in this one.

Zelda II: The Adventure of Link (NES)

Ganon is not a real threat in Zelda II. His minions, however, are quite the salty bunch since Link took down their lord and master. All the baddies you encounter in the game serve Ganon and he can be brought back to life if they sprinkle Link's blood on his ashes. No joke, that stuff comes straight from the game's manual. So every time you get a game over in Zelda II, the mooks were successful in reviving Ganon and in true villain form, he taunts the player with a cackle for their failure.

Duck Hunt (NES)

Every time one of those mallards flies off the screen that infernal mutt will pop out of the grass to laugh at your shortcomings. Nintendo must have known how irksome it was so they decided to paste his mug on the game over screen. After years of being powerless to do anything against that dog, we can now kick the crap out of him in Super Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U.

Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! (NES)

There's something about seeing a dejected Little Mac sitting down, filled with the disappointment of shattered dreams that just crushes the soul. The road to become a boxing champ is a painful one as players were quick to find out. Bald Bull, Mr. Sand Man, Super Macho Man and especially Dynamite Kid himself do not pull their punches.

Banjo Kazzooie (N64)

Bear and bird are on a quest to save bear's sister from an evil witch out to use said bear's sister's cute looks to get a makeover. The game over shows the witch Gruntilda's scheme being successful and when she steals Tooty's looks she transforms from a hideous witch to a smoking hot babe. You can pretty much guess what happens to Tooty. What's interesting about Banjo-Kazooie's game over is that you don't even have to lose all of your lives to see it. Simply saving your game and quitting results in this scene playing out in full.

Bayonetta (PS3, 360, Wii U)

If you opt to call it quits after the witch falls, she's dragged down to hell by a host of hands. It isn't overly long and drawn out. She's snatched down so fast you barely have time to take it in.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Favorite Tunes #110: Days of SEGA Gone By

Oh, SEGA. You were once one of the greatest console manufactures in the business with some of the best first party software on the planet. Then you got out of the console game and became a third party, but you still cranked out some hits. Alas, you are now a shadow of your former self with the most we see from you being Sonic games with varying degrees of quality. I'd love to see the company return to form but until then, I can always look back on the glory days.

Main Theme - Space Harrier (ARC)

"Welcome to the fantasy zone. Get ready!" These were the words that welcomed players to the world of Space Harrier, SEGA's 1985 arcade shooter. Unlike most games of the genre at the time, there's no overhead perspective and you don't pilot a ship. You control a blonde gent armed with a huge cannon blasting away the bizarre creatures of Dragon Land. The game's main theme was composed by Hiroshi Kawaguchi, who is known for composing songs of a more lengthier, yet memorable variety.

North Crimson Wing (Track 5) - Hang On GP (SAT)

This game plays nothing like the arcade Super Hang-On and as such, feels like just another generic racing game. OK, so not every game listed in Favorite Tunes is gonna be a winner in the gameplay department but Favorite Tunes has always been about the audio and that's where Hang On GP shines. While Hang On GP was a console release, the music wouldn't at all feel out of place in one of SEGA's stand up arcade games. This isn't Hiro's work but Shirou Ioroi still does a commendable job. In Japan, this game is known as Hang On GP '95 and Hang On GP '96 in Europe.

Ancient Weapon 1 - Panzer Dragoon Orta (XB)

SEGA supported Micorsoft's first console with some great exclusives like Panzer Dragoon Orta. The Panzer Dragoon games were among the best on the Saturn and Orta was another fine entry in the rail shooter series, Among Orta's bonus content was an unlockable port of the original Panzer Dragoon game. You'd think this would be one of those titles SEGA would mine from their extensive back catalog and give it a digital release. You would think, anyway.

Sprinter - Super Hang-On (ARC)

What can I say, despite the the very short amount of games in the series, Hang-On music is undeniably awesome. But then, the music in Super Hang was done by Hiro so, one can expect nothing short of excellence. It's another long, complex musical piece with lots of twists and turns throughout. Sprinter is the probably the most famous Super Hang-On jam, second only to Outride a Crisis.

Long Distance - Monster World IV (GEN)

In 2012, Monster World IV, the pinnacle of the Wonder Boy series was at long last officially translated and given a digital release. It's filled with lots of dungeon crawling, some simplistic puzzles and lots and lots of solid platforming. The game's main them gets reused a lot but the way its done with each piece makes it so it doesn't grow wearisome.

Storm - Super Monkey Ball (GCN, PS2)

Welcome to the final ten floors of Super Monkey Ball's Expert difficulty. These floors will take the sanest gamer and reduce them to a gibberish-spouting lunatic. This rock theme is used on all ten floors to emphasis that monkey business is officially over.

Favorite Tunes Database

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Latest Purchases #80

Freeze may have been the first major big bad off the three truly complete monsters in Dragon Ball Z, but my favorite of the lot has always been Cell. Yes, I realize that he may come off as vanilla when compared to Freeze, but I like him more anyway. This Perfect Cell vinyl Pop figure has the honor of being the first Cell merch I've ever bought. Ain't he precious?

I found a new store at my local mall called T-Shirt Kingdom that has the most impressive selection of t-shirts that I've ever seen. Sports, anime, gaming; you name it, they've got it. In particular, the amount of different gaming tees is astonishing. They had a ton of Pac-Man tees and since he's become one of my mains in Super Smash Bros., I thought I'd give him some shirt love. I ended up leaving the store with tree Pac-Man tees and one matching hat.

The Ginyu Force makes the cover of the latest Dragon Ball 3-in-1 manga releases. This one collects volume 22-24. Like a lot of long time DBZ fans, I love the Ginyu Force and this book contains some of my favorite fights from early DBZ, including Recoome making light of Vegeta. The next DB 3-in-1 has Goku turn Super Saiyan during the lengthy battle with Freeza. Hot dog!

Jaco The Galatic Patrolman is a manga I'd heard of just days before making this post. I found out about it on Amazon while I was looking around. I've got a few other manga works of Akira Toriyama like Sand Land, Cowa! and some Dr. Slump volumes (give that series the 3-in-1 treatment) and I'm always eager to check out other stuff he's done. Turns out Jaco actually takes place in the Dragon Ball universe and is a prequel to the entire series.

Disney, thank you remembering that wonderful Disney Afternoon cartoon block from the 1990s. Sure, you aren't giving these DVD releases the excellent treatment that you do your classic films like Sleeping Beauty and 101 Dalmations (need to get those on Blu-Ray) but I'm happy to have TaleSpin, Gargoyles and now Goof Troop on DVD, nonetheless. Probably gonna binge watch this.

I'd meant to pick up Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker when it released back in December but I had Christmas shopping I needed to take care of. $40 Wgames are a lot easier for me to swallow in this HD gaming world we now live in. I found the Captain Toad levels in Super Mario 3D World to be very enjoyable so its great that we have a whole game revolving around that particular play style. It didn't take me long to finish Kirby and the Rainbow Curse so I'm guessing it shouldn't take me too long to finish Treasure Tracker. I've got a few more days off work so I'm planning to dive right into this one.

Its always bugged me that SEGA dropped the "SEGA" from this title. I mean, really, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed? Maybe its just me but that sounds a little strange. Yeah, there's a bunch of Sonic characters in this game but we've got other SEGA stars, too. On the other hand, Sonic is pretty much all we get from the company these days. Apparently this is the Bonus Edition of the game which includes stuff like the OutRun Bay track, Metal Sonic and stickers. I'm guessing those stickers are like the stamps from Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8 and the NES Remix Pack, which I still need to grab despite the fact that I already own NES Remix and NES Remix 2. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed was only $10 at Target. Steal!

A while back, I'd noticed that Nintendo had added more characters to the World of Nintendo figure line. Among these are Wind Waker Gannondorf, Diddy Kong and Samus. I was especially happy to see they'd give us a Samus figure to nab because I love me some Metroid. And now I've got some more Metroid stuff besides my Samus amiibo. Sure the World of Nintendo poseable figures may not be as detailed and articulate  as the S.H. Figurearts Nintendo figures line, but for the price, you get some pretty impressive figures to display. I give Toad a lot of flack whenever he isn't a playable character, but I really do love the little guy but I love Blue Toad among all others. He's fast and he picks things up with the quickness. Blue Toad has the least amount of articulation thus far with a measly three points of articulation. I wasn't expecting much since he's so short and I still say he has no legs, just feet. I copped Luigi because Mario needs his little bro. That's three thirds of the Super Mario3D World cast. I'd love to see a poseable Rosalina. I wonder how many points of articulation they'd give her.