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Ranking Super Mario 64 Levels (Top Five Friday) Part 1

Super Mario 64 was one my favorite games as a kid. Now, I still love the game even if it’s super dated (evidenced by the fact two of my last LPs were versions of Super Mario 64 [Green Comet 64 and Odyssey 64]). The graphics are ancient and the movement is either buttery smooth or miserably debilitating. However, the courses in the game are so iconic almost every square inch of that game is ingrained in my memories, burned into my eyelids, and replicated in my dreams. In other words, I like the levels. Some are annoying, some the design doesn’t really make sense. However, most are charming and memorable in their own way.

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Now there’s 15 courses so we’re going to break it down into 3 top five posts. Today’s post will cover entries 15-11 and will move on from there. So, lets get on with the list.

15. Dire, Dire Docks

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This course scores last place not due to difficulty or being cheap as much as being boring. The stars are either super quick or super tedious. The 8 red coins may be one of the worst missions in the game. The sting ray mission is cool but makes no sense. The level does make use of two hats in at least a neat way. The atmosphere here is still solid. This means that even if this is the worst level in the game, it is still far from terrible.

14. Jolly Roger Bay

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To be fair, I think the drop off from Dire, Dire Docks to the next worst level is so extreme I am not sure officially what the 2nd worst level even is. Jolly Roger Bay simply scores this low because the exploration just isn’t that great. The level is mostly underwater. This level is cool yet still relatively boring. I definitely do not hate it. It is a very chill level, but aside from being peaceful I cannot think of too many reasons to go exploring it. I eels are some of the worst things in this game.

13 Wet-Dry World

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Let’s just finish off the water levels. This level certainly steps up the exploration but is still pretty annoying to traverse. The missions in this level are all pretty solid (though I know some will mention the secret stars. I don’t hate those.). However, it seems they fall into the “fun in theory, not so great in execution”. The level feels huge while also being pretty empty. The gimmick revolves around adjusting the water (everyone’s favorite mechanic from everyone’s favorite Legend of Zelda dungeon.). In other words, they compromise a lot of this level just to force the water mechanic. It can be seen as a nice change of pace, but means it scores pretty low. Also, the hidden town just leaves so much to be desired I just wish it didn’t exist. There’s no notable NPCs, no interior houses, nothing. Just more water adjusting and red coin collecting. It could have been something cool, but instead its just useless potential.

12 Snowman’s Land

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Anyone who knows me knows this might be a top 3 level for me personally, but I have to admit that could be personal bias. The level is relatively squared off and the exploration is very limited. You are mostly climbing a snowman. There’s some cool elements to mention like an awesome cannon that cannot kill you and a koopa shell to cruise around the level. I love this level but I have to score it lower. Sorry, Snowman’s Land.

For the record, this is where the list has gotten really hard to narrow down.

11 Rainbow Ride

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There’s no way this would normally score 11 if I wasn’t overthinking every little thing but here we are. It is by far one of the best levels to explore. However, the theme, outside of the carpet ride, is just random. I cannot tell if I love that aspect or hate it. No mission even makes sense. From the shifting triangles to the floating house. Seriously, do any of these have a rhyme or reason? As a kid I hated falling levels, so naturally I was scared of this level. In my teenage years I didn’t like the randomness of this level. As a Lets Player I hate the unforgivable nature of this course. For one reason or another, I’ve always had something to complain about. Regardless, this course is awesome for being so unique. I definitely do not hate it. It is probably just the most frustrating level left to talk about.

Well, that’ll do it for this list so far. It is very hard to rank levels past the worst two. Each level has something charming or redeeming. Despite not being the biggest fan of Rainbow Road, I can definitely appreciate its brilliant randomness and insanity. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to spend the next week torturing myself about the next wave.

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Thank you guys so much for reading this. Feel free to rank the levels down below or leave suggestions for future top 5s!

Have a great day.

Lets Talk: New Nintendo Console!

So, the Nintendo Switch or NX or whatever you would like to call it has been revealed. Be sure to go check out the release trailer if you have not already.

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This is definitely something worth talking about. I give Nintendo the benefit of the doubt, so until the actual release, I will be waiting with great excitement. I only just watched the video and there was a lot to digest. I, in no way, have all the details, nor have been following it very attentively. With that in mind, I am going to turn the discussion over to you guys.

What do you guys think of this new console? Will it reinvent the home console? Do you believe it is just a gimmick? Will this revitalize Nintendo or officially run them out of business. I’ll do a follow up blog once I’ve viewed more of the games and understand the features better.

I’ll leave you with some of my early thoughts to generate discussions.

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Games Showcased: Obviously, Breath of the Wild is the money maker. Nintendo, in my opinion, was smart holding onto this big boy. It can help get the Switch off on the right leg. Remakes of great Wii U games seem plentiful. Mario Kart and Splatoon to headlined this. I missed Splatoon on the Wii U so this might be a good chance for me to pick it up. I typically do not do remakes unless it is of games I love. However, I know remakes helped carry Xbox One and PS4 early on with the Last of Us remake as well as the Master Chief Collection. I  do not know if that was Mario remake showcased or a new title. They also showed an NBA game as well as 1st person mid evil looking game.

Mechanics/Portability: This has been a highly debated topic sense the Wii tried to reinvent gaming back in the day. However, this one looks like it makes sense. The “On the go” gaming looks like a good selling point. I mean, who doesnt want to play video games in cars? I think it is great and they have a traditional controller if this does not interest you. The real question is will this hurt the 3DS? I dont know because Pokemon should keep the 3DS alive.

So, If Nintendo has lost you over the years, what does this console have to do to win you over? The biggest fault I have with Nintendo is not the hardware, but the games. The first party’s are still amazing and the Switch is shaping up to keep that trend alive, but they do need a bigger 3rd party support. I have a One because I too need to branch out at times. Fallout 4 and Witcher are great games Wii U owners will never get to experience.

Show me great 3rd party support and this console should save Nintendo. They have moved past naming everything Wii, so hopefully there is no marketing disasters.

Here’s to hoping March is a great month for gaming!

Top Five Reasons You Should Own A Wii U

Now I know the Wii U, and Nintendo at large, gets a lot of hate now a days, and rightful so at times. But if you examine the Wii U for what it is, there is a lot to like.

#5- The Gamepad is actually awesome- Did you see the footage of Star Fox. The gamepad can be so useful if the game calls for it. In the new Star Fox, the gamepad will be used to create a first person look while the tv scene is in third person. I found the gamepad very useful while playing windwaker. I also exclusively play SSBU with the gamepad. It is actually funny. I was afraid of the gamepad and totally stayed away from the Wii U because I thought it was clunky dumb and just awkward. I heard about SSBU and bought the Wii U like two years in advance just for SSBU. I played the Super Mario game that came with it and Windwaker and fell in love with the gamepad and the Wii U. Nintendo will keep renovating the gaming world.

#4- There is more third party involvement- It seems to be believed that third party companies refuse to make games on the Wii u. That really is not true. Now rather you consider these games to be good or not is of your own opinion but they have a good list of third party games. There is the Batman series, the assassins creed series, the lego series, the amazing spiderman 1 & 2, Bayonetta 1 and 2, Call of Duty, Skylanders, Disney Infinite, Resident Evil Revelations, Madden and NBA 2k, Monster Hunter, and more. Also this list debunks the thought that Nintendo only does kids games too.

#3- Virtual Console- A lot of people believe we should be propelling into the future of games and not take the time to glorify the old ones. I believe we can do both. If you do not know what the VC is, it is a feature on the Wii U that allows you to download old games, much like running a old rom on the computer. Their selection is nice and has solid games on it. The highlights are: Megaman 1-6, Kirby’s adventure, Super Mario Brothers 1-3., Ghost ‘n Goblins, Metroid, Castlevania 1-3, Donkey Kong 1 and 3, Mother 1(Earthbound Beginnings), Punch-out, Zelda 1 and 2. But there is a whole lot more too. It is a very nice feature. Most games will range from 5-10 dollars though.

#2- Multiplayer Games- A great story is always nice, but in todays gaming world multiplayer games are at the front of the gaming world. My first experience of multiplayer gaming: Playing my brother at 007 Golden Eye on N64 as well as Mario party and Mario Kart. And Nintendo is still going strong with multiplayer goodness. Mario Kart 8, Mario Party 10, SSBU, Nintendo Land, DK Tropical Freeze, and now Splatoon. Grab a buddy or go online and spend hours having some of the most fun you can have with a friend. Not to mention the Wii U’s online access is still FREE! My friend, who is not the biggest Nintendo fan in the world, said he would buy a Wii U just to try and kill me in the new Super Mario Bros game.

# 1-The Library of games- While the PS4 and the Xbox one try to lure you in with all the bonus features, and granted I use my 360 for crunchyroll 90% of the time on it, a console should be mostly about its games. I do believe the PS4 and the One both have some respectable games, but early on their biggest titles were just remakes of their biggest hits on previous consoles(Tomb Raider, Last of Us, and Halo Master Chief Edition). I know people will say Nintendo is just remakes of Mario and Zelda, but they really are not. I have played a Nintendo system every time they come out. The games are not simply remakes. Each addition brings nice new touches to the series. But as point 4 showed, they have the third party games to go along nice with the Wii U games.

So do not believe the hate on the Wii U. It is a great system. I have had mine for about two years or so and I am loving it. I can not wait for some of the big games they have coming out this year and next.