Sonic & Knuckles

sonic and knuckles logo

February 12, 2017 РBought Sonic & Knuckles and showed the girls for the first time; they played it on the DS for the first time then as well.

When they first read the game they thought it was “Sonic & Chuckles.” ūüėÄ

Still a joy to play.

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A Mind Changed and a Game Played

As a direct result of the Parentcast on Teabag or Die back on February 6, 2016 my oldest had her first sit down with a Super Mario game, New Super Mario Bros. on the DS.

New Super Mario Bros. screen

I had originally wanted them (the kids) to wait and play the original game first, see where the series came from, etc.

But my fellow cast mates helped me see that that wasn’t a good enough reason to make them wait; let them discover the series in their own way, and if they want to go back and play the originals that was cool but not essential.

A good point made and now the world’s most famous plumber has been enjoyed by all.

Fencing, food and fun – an evening w/Nintendo

Originally posted at GameSpot on October 9, 2010

On¬†May 31, 2010¬†we went over to a friend’s house and between the good food and Catch Phrase, we were able to enjoy some good ol’ fashioned Nintendo.

Here’s the list of what went on:

  • This was the first time I got to play¬†Wii Resort, and the fencing was something to behold – not to mention more of a workout than I anticipated! It was the closest thing I’ve played so far to a sword simulation, and just the little hint of strategy used (or tried to use) while playing made it fun. That said, I mostly just bashed away. A great time!
  • My daughter loved the jogging “game.” She went to town, running hard in place holding the remote – it was cute. We all played some bowling together as well.
  • Played several DS games with my friend’s son – he was really looking forward to it. I love the connection games give you to someone, no matter the age

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The plumber and the rodent

Originally posted at GameSpot on September 25, 2010

Mario and Sonic – two of the gaming greats.

On March 3rd of this year my brother came over a couple of times and enjoyed the sweetness that is Maro Kart for the DS.

Honestly, I thought I would mop the floor with him – but he’s a quick study and in no time had me accusing him of cheating.

On that same day my wife bought me the Sonic Collection for the DS. I had never played the original Sonic the Hedgehog, and the other games in the collection are a good trip down memory lane (not to mention fantastic) Рso I was really excited to get it.

Once again, she displays her amazing ability to get me gifts that rock.

It didn’t disappoint – but that’s for another entry.

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Be nice and play with your friends: DS multi and the big jump

Originally posted at GameSpot on July 15, 2008

Playing a bit of catch up on the gaming front; my brother-in-law had some time before he stated his new job, so he can over last week on Monday (June 7) and Thursday (June 10). He and his girlfriend just bought a DS – one for each of them. How sweet is that?

Monday it was just him and I, and we played The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. This was the first time I had ever seen the game in action, and I was impressed; I hope to get this someday for my DS as well.

I was able to see some of the single-player action; from drawing the path of your boomerang to blowing out candles through the mic. The game play looked engaging, and I think it would be great intro for me into the Zelda universe.

Watching him play was fine, but the multiplayer was outstanding. Playing as either Link or the soldiers, each of you had to stop the other from reaching your respective goals. If Link, the goal was gathering jewels – if a soldier, your goal was stopping him from doing so. The warp doors, wind barriers, and vision tricks the game made each map have its own special craziness.

I especially liked the power-ups – cloning yourself, speed or strength, and then being able to run over and deny them from your opponent was great.

We closed the night with a little “Boarding Action” from¬†Halo: Combat Evolved. He won, naturally – but I will say I enjoy that map a lot more than I used to. Some good moments.

Thursday had even more going on with four DS’s in my living room. My wife was able to try¬†Cooking Mama 2: Dinner with Friends, and she liked it. I was finally able to play some multiplayer for the first time on¬†Star Fox Command, and it didn’t disappoint. Power-ups spread throughout the map were well-balanced, from bombs to various laser options, and barrel rolls while trying to get behind the enemy.

I won more of these battles; but to be fair he had never played the game before.

Other DS multiplayer action involved the New Super Mario Brothers. This is one of the best games for the DS, not just because of the tremendous single-player campaign, but for the fantastic multiplayer. We played some very intense ten star matches, each of us jumping or shooting fireballs like mad trying to crush each other.

Besides the “level” multiplayer, we played some of the mini-games as well. Card games, rolling snowballs, and bouncing Mario’s all made an appearance here – including my former best, the hidden faces! He dominated in a way I didn’t expect – I need some training. Perhaps a refresher course with some¬†Where’s Waldo¬†books?

You can’t play any new Mario without thinking of the old, and I showed him the GBA version of theSuper Mario World. I am currently stuck on a level, but I booted it up just to give him a little nostalgia.

I entered a world just to show him where I was at, and after commenting on how I found the game a little tough I promptly fell off the edge into nothingness. We lost it, laughing so hard at the perfect illustration of my current game progress. Oh course, funnier if you were there, but it was the best set-up I could’ve had.

He fell off once as well for good measure, and we figured it was time to put that baby down before wereally hurt our pride.

Even with all the DS goodness, we managed to get some Xbox in. After trying (and failing) to figure out the multiplayer of Splinter Cell Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory, we ended up with Need for Speed Most Wanted.

I finally beat the “Get through 6 police roadblocks” on the challenges, but the real jewel of the evening came when my brother-in-law was trying to beat the same challenge. I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the best features of the game is at certain points of the city, the camera will snap back into a cinematic third-person view while everything moves in slow motion. It mixes up the racing very nice at key points, and I find myself trying to hit those “slow-mo points” with as many cops behind me as I can, just to make it a cooler shot.

Anyway, he had just come up to a road block and smashed through; happens all the time right? What was special about this time was the fact that his car was thrown in the air lop-sided, and it was just over a hill at a slow-mo part. So when he flew in the air, car twisting around, it was like watching our own action movie. The car flew up and we both could hardly speak due to all the awesomeness, and then he jumped up with an “Oh yeah!” that I was more then happy to second.

As the car landed he went back into first-person perspective, and we actually saw the landing through the windshield – the car flopping back into place. Simply put, it was a fantastic gaming moment that made us stand up and cheer. When we rushed upstairs to tell the ladies what had happened you could see the light in our eyes, describing how sweet a moment we had just witnessed.

They might not have shared our enthusiasm, but that didn’t matter. It was a great jump, and a great night.

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The New IL-2 (and the dust on the old one)

Originally posted at GameSpot on June 19, 2008

Good news:¬†IL-2 Sturmovik¬†is getting another follow-up in¬†IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey. I’m a big fan of flight simulator games, so this comes as good news. Now if I can just get a PC to play it on. . .

Truth be told, I haven’t even played the original¬†IL-2 Sturmovik, and it’s not for lack of wanting to. I have the game; it’s placed neatly on the rack with all the others. But since the game came out right around the time my PC decided to become obsolete, it has sat on that rack for years – serving as nothing more than eye candy.

It’s a sad tale, I know. It’s the same story with¬†Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty¬†for the PC. I wanted the game so bad I bought it thinking my machine could handle it and if it couldn’t, I would soon get an upgrade. But, that upgrade never came – and the game sits on the same rack, collecting dust.

I really don’t mind – I ended up playing MGS2 on the Xbox thanks to my wife, and now a bigger and better Sturmovik is soon to hit the shelves. I don’t know if I’ll get a PC upgrade or a Xbox 360 next (assuming I ever get either!), but I’ll plan on getting¬†IL-2 Sturmovik: Birds of Prey¬†when I do.

I suppose I could get it on the DS, but we’ll have to see what the general consensus is before I do that. Flight is hard to do; I love it on the PC, but everything else is a toss-up.

I have learned my lesson about getting games your system can’t handle though. I know the next time I buy a Sturmovik game, it will be when I¬†know¬†my machine handle it. And once I do, look out friendly skies!

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A big bowl of thanks

Originally posted at GameSpot on March 3, 2008

Being thankful isn’t something I do enough of. I know it’s clich√©, but I need to strive at being more aware of the blessings I enjoy each and every day.

This is no different when it comes to video games, and I want take time out with this blog to review what an amazing 4-5 months it’s been in my gaming world.

Due to the generosity of family at Christmas and our tax return, I’ve been able to advance more in my game library is these past few months than I have in quite a while:

Xbox:

Chessmaster

Forza Motorsport

Jade Empire: Limited Edition

Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders

Project Gotham Racing 2

Project: Snowblind

Sid Meier’s Pirates!

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow

DS:

Astro Boy: Omega Factor (GBA)

Diner Dash: Sizzle and Serve

Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga

Mario Kart DS

Mario Party DS

New Super Mario Brothers

Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords

Risk / Battleship / Clue (GBA)

Star Fox Command

Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 (GBA)

TMNT (GBA)

Uno / Skipbo / Uno Freefall

Hardware:

Nintendo DS Lite (2)

Fanatec Speedster 3 Forceshock Xbox Racing Wheel

I look at this list with a sense of awe and intimidation, both excited about the purchases but wondering how I’m going to find time for all of them.

That’s the problem with my gaming hobby – I’m acquiring games faster than I can play through them.

I’m not the first person to have this problem, nor will I be the last – and as far as problems go, I think having an abundance of games is probably the best kind to have.

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I quest for puzzles

Originally posted at GameSpot on February 29, 2008

Puzzle Quest for the DS came in the mail yesterday, and now I have a copy of my own. I originally had a copy, but my wife enjoyed the game – so much so she effectively took it over – and told me to take a hike.

So I did – a hike to eBay, that is, and now we can play each other and I can start the single-player campaign.

Here’s to the Quest!

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An elegant weapon for a more civilized age

Originally posted at GameSpot on February 29, 2008

A new GameStop opened up near our home, and I thought I’d help their bottom line by buying a game. I mean, it’s the least I can do, right?

Anyway, after making my way through the games – enhanced by the new carpet smell – I settled on Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga for the DS. It’s been a while since I’ve had a new Star Wars game, and I’m enjoying it so far.

There’s no real fear of dying in the game, you just go through the various levels at your own pace and collect the bricks. This highlights an area of gaming that I haven’t really been a part of before, and that’s the “casual” block. I know that term gets kicked around a lot – and I won’t define it here – but the game is fun, and almost relaxing in a way. It’s really just fan service if you enjoy Star Wars (or Legos, for that matter).

And if you don’t enjoy either of those, then I think you have some serious issues you need to work through.

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