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Ranking Super Mario 64 Levels (Top Five Friday) Part 3

Part 3 of ranking all the Mario 64 courses. This time we will be examining the secret stages. Check out the previous parts here:
Ranking Super Mario 64 Levels (Top Five Friday) Part 1
Ranking Super Mario 64 Levels (Top Five Friday[Saturday]) Part 2

This list was tough to construct. Most of the levels are tiny, upsetting, or forgettable. Oh well, here we go:

The Wing Cap Stage

Gah, this is easily the worst level in maybe the whole game. If you miss one of the early red coins in the sky it is basically over. In perspective, the structuring of the level highlights the Wing Cap. The problem? The Wing Cap is terrible. The imposed ceiling on the Wing Cap is obvious by design. I might could continue speaking on this course, but I think I will move on from here.

Bowser in the Fire Sea

Super Mario 64 (N64) Bowser in the Fire Sea - YouTube

This might be my favorite of the Bowser stages but I do feel it also the weakest (look, us bloggers don’t have to make sense.) This is an awesome level to watch speed runners run through, but it’s so hit or miss actually playing it. I actually like the level layout fair enough and the three sections of the level flow pretty smooth. In fact, if you tried to tell me this was the best level in the game. I would not even argue with you. The fact of the matter is I simply do not like fire levels a lot.

Winged Mario Over The Rainbow

Wing Mario over the Rainbow - Ukikipedia

Simply put, it is another flying level. A lot of these secret levels were designed to highlight some of the harder mechanics. This is put on display with the fact we have 2 Wing Cap secret stages… Ugh. However, this level also highlights why Wing Cap Stage is utter trash. Now, I said Wing Cap Stage is an introduction of the Wing Cap and why it is not great in this game in particular. Over the Rainbow is so much more massive in design, scale, skill, and every other measurable metric that how can you not look back at Wing Cap Stage and see anything but simply a bad level.

Bowser in the Sky

Bowser in the Sky - Ukikipedia

Boy, I want to really like this level. I do enjoy watching people show off all the crazy shortcuts and skips in this stage. The scale is simply massive. But, I just do not enjoy the dark and unforgiving nature of this level. Now, I can not like a stage but still respect it. I sure do respect the heck out of this stage. I can fully appreciate this level without wanting to play it again. Very cool level.

Vanish Cap Stage

Super Mario 64 - Vanish Cap Under The Moat Blue Switch - 8 Red Coins -  YouTube

I really wanted to squeeze this level in higher, and maybe I could have. Still, when it got to crunch time the turning platforms at the end caused the lower scoring. Remove that ending and this might have got number 2.

Metal Cap Stage

How to Get Metal Mario in Super Mario 64 (with Pictures) - wikiHow

I enjoy a lot about this course. I have been debating on if the small scale nature of the level helped it or hurt it. I guess since it cracks this high on the list, it did not hurt it that bad. I feel like I always connected with the Metal Cap simply because it is green and my favorite color is green. Maybe that is not fair. But that is how it is. Still, the compact nature of this stage helps its design. The red coins are a fun hunt in this stage. If there was a weak point, it would have to be how unforgiving the water mechanic is with new players or even an easy mistake from veterans. If you get lost in the current and end up in the moat, it is a hard time getting back.

Bowser in the Dark Sea

3D All-Stars Guide: All Castle Secret Stars in Super Mario 64

In a lot of these entries, you will read me say “I really liked this stage. I want to rank it higher.”. Not this time. I actually don’t think I like this course very much. In fact, I think I normally get as many stars as you can (which I think comes out to around 32 or so stars?) before tackling this course. However, there is no denying how iconic this course is to me, personally. Making the ascent up the “Dark Sea, was it?” collecting all the red coins, vanquishing the foes, dodging the fire and avoiding all the insta-deaths, was so nerve wracking. I cannot tell you how many times I get to 7 coins and bump my head or miss the jump and you fall right down to your death. Still no denying how much this level gave me nightmares as a kid.

The Secret Aquarium

super-mario-64-secret-aquarium - N64 Today

What a level, right? Yes, this is easily the most simple level in the whole game. But I cannot deny the atmosphere here. The windows revealing a whole new world outside their glass, the fishes swimming in the water, the calming music. Quite frankly, for as simple as this level is, it is darn near perfect. I do not have a lot to say about this level. It is just bliss.

The Princess’s Secret Slide

3D All-Stars Guide: All Castle Secret Stars in Super Mario 64

This is it, boys. This is sliding perfection. Someone answer me this. Was there a slide in a 3D video game prior to this? If so, tell me below. I am not sure why I am so fascinated with sliding levels, but dang it I am. I think it had to do with the mysticism of the timed star. Racing the clock, cutting off precious seconds where we could, riding the edges trying not to fall but go as fast as you could, just trying to beat that time limit. Than, once we discovered the jumping off the side shortcut, this level became an obsession. Since this, I have secretly (or maybe not so secretly at this point) judged every game I play on if it has a slide level or not.

Alright guys, there you have it. That’s my rankings. You probably wont agree. That is okay. Sound down below how you would rank these levels.

Next week is Spooky Week here on Dahubbz. So, start getting ready for all things spoky. I say this now so you guys have a heads up. Also, so you know we will not be concluding this series next Friday. Instead, we are kicking around the idea of “Top Five Creepiest Pokemons”. Hope that sounds cool to everyone.

As always, thanks for reading. Have a great day!

What Do You Know? Nintendo Actually Did It! (Super Mario 35th Anniversary) Wrote on September 3rd

Just a Note: I wrote this on September 3rd following the Nintendo Direct. I believe that was a Thursday and I had school. Well, I already wrote it, so here it is! Enjoy!

Hey everybody. The rumors were real! Super Mario 35th Anniversary direct dropped today. With it Nintendo revealed Super Mario Bros Game and Watch, Super Mario 3D World Plus with additional DLC, Super Mario Bros 35th Battle Royal, Super Mario Kart Live Circuit, The original Super Mario Brothers All Star from the SNES now included in the Online service, 35th Anniversary Merchandise, and finally Super Mario 3D All Stars.

At the end of the day, there’s not a lot to complain about here. For the die hard consumer, this was underwhelming being straight ports of the 3 Super Mario 3D games in the All Star Collection. For the average consumer though, this was a grand slam. So much of this calls outs to fans of all ages. All the Game and Watch/Super Mario Bros. content will be a delight to the older players. The 3D Collection will attract players like myself who grew up in the 90’s/00’s. While Mario 3D World and all the new merchandise not only will appeal to Switch owners young and old, it will also stand out to Nintendo fans at large.

By all accounts, I think the only people who will complain are going to be the die hard fans who wanted a bit more out of the collection. We only have ourselves to blame for getting our expectations so high. Maybe we should all be thankful were getting this experience in one complete package. Our maybe we should demand more out of $60 dollar rehashing. I mean 3D World got bonus content while the classics are simply getting ported.

Overall Grade: 9.5 out of 10. The average consumer will find a lot to like with the sheer amount of content coming to the Switch. The presentation was done near flawlessly. Even the small supplemental products seemed cool and interesting on their own. The pacing was pretty good. It kept us interested in what was being shown while still supplying a lot of information and new products. The 3D collection was an almost perfect showing. The montage felt like childhood. The only thing really missing was adding to or improving Super Mario 64.

I did a video covering this if you want to hear more of my thoughts on the matter!

Thanks for reading! Hope everybody has a great day!

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

PoleJumpingForRedCoins

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

NINTENDO64--Super Mario 64_Feb4 13_35_05

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

Mario64pic

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

SM64_Rainbow_Ride_Start

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.

Super-Mario-64

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.

Games that COULD come to the Nintendo Switch this year! (2020)

Real quick. Dont feel like reading a long article? This discussion exist in video form too on my Youtube channel.

Here: Wii u Ports Video!

Okay so 2020 has kicked off and people are already speculating on if some Wii U games will be ported to the Switch.  So let’s have some fun and look at games that might be coming to the Switch. 

Nintendo Switch Logo.jpg

Now believe it or not I actually tried to use some logic with this list. I looked at what people were wanting ported over so I knew there was at least interest in these games, plus the likelihood and how easy it was to port over these games were. Did Nintendo stand to gain anything from the effort,  how would they control on the Switch and so on and so forth. Now here’s the tricky thing. I dont think the Switch needs a whole lot of Wii U ports, so while I’ll be making a case for I’ll have arguments against most of these games. So let’s take a look at my list.

Nintendo-Wii-U-Logo.png

#1 This, in my opinion, is easily the strongest candidate of them all. Super Mario 3D World. What? Super Mario 3D World is a gem. I got it basically when I got my Wii U and I wont go too much into detail in this blog but I do have a new found appreciation for this game. Correct me if I am wrong but i don’t believe Nintendo has any Mario games lined up the Switch right now which blows my mind. We’ve carved through the Tennis Mario, the Rabbid Mario, The Odyssey Mario, The New Super Mario Bros, The Party Mario and the Kart Mario so now are waiting for Odyssey 2. This would be a great holdover. I’ve heard people mention Color Splash but A, that game is dependent on the Gamepad (after talking to myself, I dont think it relies on the Gamepad) and B. I thought people didnt like it? I could be wrong there.

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#2. Nintendo Land. Okay, Okay. I have officially lost my mind. This goes against all my rules. But hey, It’s a great game. And if I hadnt lost you already, I just did. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Nintendo Land but again, Nintendo, I believes, wants to give you the option to play in handheld mode exclusively which, just wouldnt work for Nintendo Land. It’s too dependant on the Gamepad and probably wont happen. The game may need some reworking around the need for the Gamepad, but I wouldnt be opposed to picking it up again on the Switch if it retailed for say 20 bucks and featured new Minigames and such. Maybe to reflect Bayonetta and Astral Chain, Wonderful 101, Tokyo Mirage Sessions as well as Splatoon.

Image result for Nintendo Land

#3 Wonderful 101- Again you’re going to see a constant theme of games needing to be reworked. I think Nintendo and Platinum have something to gain from this release and honestly, maybe it should be my number 2 instead but oh well, the script as already been created. Either way, Wonderful 101 is beloved but it is also stuck on the Wii U which just had such a lower install base. Now, to my knowledge, Platinum Games has been hard at work on Bayonetta 3 following Astral Chain. So I’m not sure if Platinum games would be over seeing the port or how that works. If that’s the case, I’m not sure how badly Platinum would want to allocate resources to porting it over. However, it did sale well, a new age of fans would be crying for Wonderful 102 or whatever they decide to call it.

Image result for Wonderful 101

4. Pikmin 3. The first game on the list I have never played. So I cannot speak to how dependent on the Gamepad this game is. Regardless, I kind of disregarded this port considering all of the talk about Pikmin 4. Also, Ive heard people say they would prefer a Trilogy much in the way Metroid Fans are clamoring for. However, if we dont get the trilogy the more and more I write this the more I think this could be a solid port. Pikmin 4 looks like it is taking longer than expected so giving us Pikmin 3 remastered could solve a lot of issues. A. it would tide over Pikmin fans while finishing up Pikmin 4. B. It would introduce a new generation to Pikmin. Pikmin 1 and 2 came out on the Gamecube and a lot of hardcore players jumped off the Nintendo bandwagon with the Wii meaning plenty of people could have missed the 3rd installment after loving the first 2.

Image result for Pikmin 3

#5. Star Fox. What can I say? I enjoy Star Fox even if I’ve never been into shoot em ups. Again, how dependent are you on the Gamepad? For Star Fox. Entirely. The Wii U Gamepad provides a cockpit view. There’s no way to have the Switch provide the same view while also being docked. This game needs a remaster, desperately, but it probably needs to be reworked. If they do it right this could spark interest in a new Star Fox sequel which is never a bad thing. 

Image result for Star Fox Zero

So there’s my list. Trust me I know there’s better games. Splatoon for example is not very dependent on the Gamepad as it just serves as a map. Move that up to the TV screen or do away with it entirely and you’re golden. Just not sure if they do this since we already have Splatoon 2 and I think most would prefer Splatoon 3 over a remake of the first. Its the same problem with the other 2 Zelda games. Who wants to re-buy those games for a 3rd time when Skyward Sword is still trapped on the Wii? So I think Mario 3D World and Pikmin have the most realistic shot even if I didnt order them that way. Either way, let me know what games you guys want to see ported over. I really dont think the Switch needs anymore, but they’re probably coming none the less.

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!

Life Update: New category, Youtube, and time away.

I fell in love with blogging almost a year ago. It was place to talk about anything: Mangas, School, games, you name it.

So why is it I havent made a post in nearly a month?

Multiple reasons.

  1. I’ve been sick and and unmotivated.

I had this cold back in February and it was not that bad. It keep me bed for long periods of time, because more than I was sick, I was just always tired. I don’t sleep right to begin with but I was always woke up before 11am. I can’t really say I have since I got this cold. Which makes being productive hard when I sleep for half the day.

2. School work out of nowhere.

If you follow my blog any you know in January I was doing a daily blog(If you didnt check it out than I highly recommend it) and was taking five classes and trying to start working. I was completely fine than. However, somewhere along the line my classes up’d the work out of nowhere and so many test, and written assignments, and discussions were due. I had to drop 2 classes just to even be able to balance all the things I was doing. It sucked.

3. Started a Youtube Channel

I’ve stated before Youtube was my first love. I started my first channel back in ’09 and slowly fell out of it. I went out and bought my first mic and editing software and fired up the dream once more. I started blogging back last summer. This Youtube channel has been in the works since the summer of 13. While the blog was a spur-of-the-moment thing and the youtube channel has been very calculated, I wanted to give equal attention. Sadly, I have not. The blog actually takes a lot of time and money(in some instances). Somewhere along the lines my time shrunk. This also goes hand in hand with motivation. Sometimes recording a youtube video is as easy as hitting record, playing the game, and just talking along with it. The blog, however, I either have to watch an entire anime, read a volume, or what have you, and than plan it out.

4. Decreasing Quality

Maybe the biggest reason. Watching anime, reading manga, playing the games, is not the the hard part. It’s the planning the post. I like to be insightful, unbiased, and salt in my own brand of off beat humor. I begun waiting to the last moment and just throwing together material and it got to the point of asking myself “Would I actually read this myself”. This has slowed me down greatly. Everything stems from being unmotivated. I get basically no hours at my job, my apartment is up for inspection later this month, I’m in this weird transition period between possibly transferring colleges and moving nearly 6 hours away, and everything kind of has me in a funk. One of the few things making me happy is making videos and my voice has been gone for the better half of a month so I cant even do that.

*Next topic*

As the title suggest, I am going to talk about youtube.

I am currently doing a Pokmeon Golden Age Let’s Play. I think it is going to finish up with 8 or 9 videos. I also do unboxings every Saturday. I’ve already opened two mew collection boxes and will be opening the Celebi box sometime this week! I also will be opening the dual box for Magic the Gathering and the latest structure deck of Yugioh. My top fives will eventually migrate over to the channel as well. I’m working on putting together a let’s play of Pokemon Gray Topaz and Zelda: Minish Cap. I’m debating on doing Dragon Ball Z Legacy of Goku 2 and Super Mario 64. Anime and Manga reviews may or may not move over to the channel(They may stay a blog exclusive)

Go Subscribe to Dahubbz on Youtube.

*Last Topic*

A new category. Crunchyroll has a random feature that will assign you a random episode to watch. I want to integrate this into the blog. I will watch episode one of a random anime that crunchyroll spits out at me and give my opinions on it and call this “Random Wednesday”. It’s just a test run but I’ll try it out either this Wednesday or the next so be on the look out!

Top five N64 games!

N64 was the first console I ever played and for that reason some of my favorite games are on this system. Here is my list of my favorite N64 games:

#5- Mario Kart- Mario Kart 64 was the first game that brought my entire family together. From my grandma to my two uncles, to my mom and dad, to me and my brother. We would all gather around and have a tournament. It was amazing. Everyone had their favorite character. I was Yoshi, my mom was Luigi, my brother was Mario, My mawmaw was toad, my uncle was Wario. It was a great time in my life. It brought us a lot of joy.

#4- Super Mario 64- This game was incredible to me and means a whole lot to me. I tried to get 120 stars and years later im still at 118 and that bugs me to the moon and back. The last two stars I need are for collecting 100 coins on the clockwork level and the magic carpet level(The last two levels). I will get them one day! Anyway, this game captivated me. I spent hours finding all the secrets, discovering every inch of every map. It was a wonderful experience.

#3- Super Smash Brothers- This game was an incredible idea. Blending the world of Nintendo into one game. This is probably the first game I unlocked things in. I remember rushing through the main campaign to unlock Captain Falcon. Now a days, I am obsessed with unlocking everything a game has to offer and this is probably where my obsession started.

#2- Donkey Kong 64- This game has probably stole the most time of mine more than any other N64 game. I absolutely am in love with this game. From getting the DK crew, to spending HOURS collecting all the bananas, to my favorite part, the DK rap! The best part is this game recently was added to the Wii U virtual library. YES!

Before we get to number 1, here’s some honorable mentions everyone should check out: Mario Party 2, Paper Mario, Star Fox 64, Pokemon stadiums, Kirby and the crystal shards, and 007 golden eye.

#1- Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time- Probably no surprise here. But there is a reason for it being number 1 other than it being one of the best games Ive played, even to this day. This was the first game I really learned to play. Now, almost twenty years letter, it is still amazing! Ive beat, I collected everything, Ive done everything. The memories are still strong and if I played it today I could probably still do most of the stuff in the game. Its great, if I havent mentioned it already. It started my love for Zelda and I’ve played every one except Skyward Sword. This game is kind of a big deal. If you’ve never played it, do yourself a favorite, play it!