Posts Tagged ‘nintendo’

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You guys. THIS is how you do a compilation disc. Rare Replay for the Xbox One is a collection of 30 classic games made by video gave developer, Rare. The games range from arcade classics, like Jetpac, all the way to 360 hits like Viva Pinata and Kameo: Elements of Power. I just wanted to spotlight some of the games and features I enjoyed the most.


Favorite Game: R.C. Pro-Am. 

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This is a game I’ve been playing since I was a kid. It is such a blast to play. Taking the radio-controlled car around the track while collecting power-ups and blasting your opponents with rockets never gets old. Even before Rare Replay this was a game I revisited every so often. But some of the added features (which I will talk about momentarily) make this the definitive version.


Favorite Feature: Snapshots

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Snapshots are bite-sized challenges tasking you with accomplishing certain goals in each game. For instance, the above screenshot depicts a Battletoads challenge in which you have to survive the Turbo Tunnel for 45 seconds. Starting the snapshot will immediately throw you into that portion of the game. I enjoy these challenges because most of them force you to play the game in new ways. One Jetpac snapshot has you try to win a level with your laser gun disabled, which is entirely possible, just incredibly more difficult.


Most Useful Feature: Rewind

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So you’re playing Battletoads, right? You’re in the Turbo Tunnel when all of a sudden WHAM! You smack a wall. You have to start at the last checkpoint, right? NO! With a simple pull of the left trigger, you can rewind up to 15 seconds of gameplay so you can try that section again. The rewind feature is only used on the pre-Nintendo 64 era games, but let’s face it, that’s where it’s needed most. The rewind feature even has a neat old-tyme film scratch effect. Sure, it’s cheating, maybe. But it really mitigates the difficulty of the retro games.


Game That I Played For The First Time That Everyone Has Played Before And It’s Slightly Embarrassing For Me To Admit That I Only Played It For The First Time Three Days Ago:  Banjo-Kazooie

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I’m so sorry, you guys.


People, if you have an Xbox One, this game is a no-brainer. There is SO MUCH more to this collection than what I spotlighted here. It’s $30! Go! Now! Stop reading this, get to the store, and get all nostalgic.

mariokart

Mario Kart Month continues… surprisingly (new readers may not know I tend to take a lot of breaks or start-stop projects). A lot of focus and discussion, or rather, arguments about the Mario Kart series centers around either the characters or the games, themselves. This is why I chose to do the Top 5 on the tracks. I don’t feel like tracks come up enough when discussing the merits of the Mario Kart games. I feel like the tracks have as much personality as the racers. I can’t think of any particular track that feels exceptionally bland. Between actual go-kart tracks and tracks that take you into space on a road made of reflected and refracted light, there are enough tracks to fit anyone’s playing styles. The following is my personal Top 5. These are my favorites, not necessarily THE best tracks in all of Mario Kart. Let’s a-go!


Honorable Mention- Royal Raceway (Mario Kart 64)

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I actually added this one in as an honorable mention after I finished typing this article. While I don’t care for MOST of this track, there is one corner near the end of the circuit that I wanted to highlight. This corner ALWAYS gave me fits when I played this track. I always ended up either in the grass, well off the track, or in the water. The corner is very reminiscent of the infamous corkscrew turn at Laguna Seca. Those that play Gran Turismo or Forza Motorsport may be very familiar with this corner. It’s a quick left turn, immediately followed by a quick drop, immediately followed by a quick right turn. This corner cost me quite a few 1st place finishes for me. But the reason I wanted to highlight it here is because it MADE me want to become a smarter Mario Kart player. This corner made me not want to rely on items and luck to ensure victory. I wanted to learn how to take this corner smarter. I learned the merits of drifting, letting off the gas, and even braking because of this corner. Lessons I would apply to other racing games and even real-world go-kart racing. I learned you can’t just go flat-out all the time. Sometimes slow-and-steady DOES win the race.


#5- Excitebike Arena (Mario Kart 8)

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This is one of the newest tracks in the series, being part of a DLC pack for Mario Kart 8. While I haven’t raced on it more than a few times, it has left quite an impression on me. I love how it combines simplicity with exciting atmosphere. The Excitebike Arena is a basic oval shape, but features motocross-style jumps and classic Excitebike hazards. This takes the 5-spot solely for being the newest of the tracks on this list.


#4- Baby Park (Mario Kart: Double Dash)

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I look forward to this track and this track alone when playing Mario Kart: Double Dash. This track is so frantic and fusterclucky, but in a good way. It’s an extremely short track but lasts for 7 laps. The action is so frantic, that anyone can win this race. Even if you find yourself sitting in a low position, you can still affect the outcome of the race, due to the ease of lapping and getting lapped by other racers. It’s one of the few bright spots in a Mario Kart game I don’t hold in too high of regard. It’s a good thing this track was brought back for the retro cups in future Mario Kart iterations, because this is a track that makes an already fun series, just that much better.


#3- Toad’s Turnpike (Mario Kart 64)

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This was my favorite track when I was younger (read: before I could drive). I always thought it would be fun to take a go-kart onto a real road and this was as close to simulating that as I could get (actual, real life go-kart tracks, notwithstanding). The track is a rather basic shape, but the cars and trucks on the road provide one of the most frustrating hazards to avoid in the entire series. Successfully avoiding those that you’re sharing the road with is almost as rewarding as getting the victory. It’s like “Yeah, I only finished 3rd, but at least I didn’t plow into yet another semi-truck for the 17th time.” I feel like this is one of the most challenging tracks in Mario Kart 64. If it were a more abstract shape and not a figure-8, it could have probably fit in with the Special Cup tracks.


#2- Neo Bowser City (Mario Kart 7)

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Wow. What a track. The setting is unique. It’s dark, but not in a typical Bowser way. The environment is much different from your typical Bowser’s Castle course. It reminded me more of the Oil Ocean and Metropolis levels from Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Or even downtown Hill Valley in Back to the Future Part 2, with Biff’s Pleasure Paradise smack dab in the middle. It has a very dystopian vibe. Like, it almost feels like this course takes place in an alternate universe where the Mario Brothers don’t exist and Bowser grows more powerful. As for the track itself, it is superb! I’ve never seen a track where one stat had such an advantage over the others. This track has so many tight corners, a well-handling character/kart setup combo is a MUST. Top speed is useless here. You are turning, one way or another, almost the entire time on this track. Even the few, short  straightaways have to be spent planning and getting into position for the next corner. This track is the technical Mario Kart racer’s dream course and it’s no surprise that it remains a favorite of the diehard Mario Kart community.


#1- Mario Raceway (Mario Kart 64)

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This right here, I feel, is the DEFINITIVE Mario Kart track. I’ve always enjoyed the tracks that actually look like go-kart tracks (not to discount the other, more imaginative courses). But this has everything going for it. Semi-realistic setting, long straightaways, tight corners, sweeping corners, tricky shortcuts. This circuit is the most complete course. It has everything. Even the hazards are subtle. There’s nothing in the environment designed to screw you over. The only thing you have to watch out for is your fellow racers. All these are factors I took in to account when I decided that this was my favorite track in the entire Mario Kart series.


So there we are! Those are my top Mario Kart tracks! What are your favorites? Agree or disagree with anything on the list? Let me know in the comments or on my Facebook page!

As always, thanks for reading!

mariokart

I love Mario Kart. The series provides multiplayer gaming bliss like no other. Which is why I’m going to devote the entire month of June to Mario Kart! It’s Mario Kart Month, baybay!

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I don’t have a graphics department.

I want to kick off a month of Mario Kart-related articles by ranking all eight Mario Kart games from my least favorite, to my absolute #1. As with any list I do or have done, this isn’t a list to say “this list is fact, your opinion is wrong.” I know my list differs from other people’s (SPOILER: I have Double Dash ranked lower than most other people would). Let’s get this thing started!


#8- Mario Kart: Super Circuit

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This was a was a game I didn’t play until well after it was released. When I say “well after” I don’t mean it was a few months or a year. It was over 11 years before I got to really sit down and play this game. I played it for maybe 30 seconds while I was at a Best Buy when I was 14 years old. I received this game for free as a part of the 3DS Ambassador Program (Nintendo’s way of rewarding early 3DS buyers before a rather quick price drop). Maybe it was because I already had several years of more technologically advanced Mario Kart games under my belt, but I never felt the connection with this game that I do any of the others. But, that’s not to say it’s a bad game. This is surprisingly only the 3rd game in the series. This game was released in Sept. 2001 and missed being a Game Boy Advance launch title by only 3 months. It was the first handheld Mario Kart handheld game and really didn’t look bad for being a near-launch title. But the problem is nothing really stands out about it for me aside from being the first handheld Mario Kart. It doesn’t hold any special place in my heart for nostalgic reasons or anything. It’s the only one on this list that’s just kinda “there” for me, which is why I have it ranked last.


#7- Mario Kart DS

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Because I was never REAL big on Double Dash (more on that later) or Super Circuit and was Mario Kart 64 just kind of appeared for me one day, Mario Kart DS was the first Mario Kart game I actually got hyped about before release. 3D-modeled characters, online play, etc. This game was gonna be big! And it was! But it was surpassed by every Mario Kart that came after it and didn’t have the staying power that the classics did. It was super fun at the time and definitely gave you an idea of where Mario Kart was heading in the future (online play, kart and character stats), but by the time the next game in the series, Mario Kart Wii, came out, it seems like this one was forgotten.


#6- Mario Kart: Double Dash

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I know this will be THE controversial selection for this spot (if at all). Mario Kart: Double Dash is fun, don’t get wrong. Remember, I like ALL the games on this list. But I know a lot of people who would rank this game, or the game I actually have #1, at #1. Maybe it’s because this was the newest console version of the game when my friends and peer age group were in high school. I really don’t know. But I just don’t see what other people see in this game. It does have the unique feature of two racers per kart allowing for a little bit more strategy when selecting your racer. But later entries would see the strategizing go further with the expansion of stats for karts. For me, I feel like this is the first game that took a turn for the worse. It can get to be a real fustercluck during races with the number of items and characters flying around the course (something that persisted during Mario Kart Wii as well). Playing with friends was alright, because you could share in the misery of getting destroyed by 3 red shells in a row. Single player was a nightmare for me, however. But for whatever reason, it remains the go-to party game if you have a Gamecube laying around. Although my enthusiasm is low going into it, I always end up having a good time by the end.


#5- Mario Kart Wii

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For me, I feel like I hold Mario Kart Wii on the same level as Double Dash, but I think the hype surrounding Double Dash and some features in Mario Kart Wii helped me decide to put this one at #5 and Double Dash at #6. The item and character fusterclucking return for this one, but some gameplay enhancements keep it from dropping lower down the list. I did enjoy the different vehicle types (this game introduced dirtbikes and motorcycles) as well as auto-drift if I was playing with a Wiimote. This seems to be another popular version of the game for get-togethers, but its popularity seems to be waning (at least in my social circle).


#4- Super Mario Kart

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The game that started it all! This game is quite the challenge and still gives me fits, even today. This is the only game in the series to have 5 laps per race, as well as 5 races per cup. I was only 4 or 5 when this game came out and I didn’t get my first Super Nintendo until Christmas 1995, so I discovered this game a little late. I remember being blown away by the idea of a Mario racing game. Usually Toad is my go-to character, but I usually go with Bowser in this one, only because I love is post-race results screen music. Bottom line: How cool was this game back in the day? Heck, it’s still a cool game to play today even with 7 Mario Kart games building upon what this one started.


#3- Mario Kart 8

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This is the most recent game in the series, having only been out just over a year as of this writing. But man, did they do a lot of good things with this game. The anti-gravity, topsy-turvy tracks, the customization, the DLC, everything about this is great. There’s some characters in this game that I’d never thought I’d see in a Mario Kart game (Link!). The DLC is worth every penny and adds plently of neat courses and characters (including one track I’m now including among my all-time favorites). Some of the tracks that go heavy on the anti-gravity stuff are intense! It’s so easy to lose track of your orientation and where you are in the game world, but I feel it just adds to the fun and excitement. I actually, legitimately got dizzy during one race. I haven’t been able to spend too much time with it. It took a while to track down a used copy of it (I’m on a budget, yo!), but I know this will go down in the annals of, not just great Mario Kart games, but great Nintendo games.


#2- Mario Kart 7

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This game blew me away when I first picked it up. I put so many hours into single-player, unlocking nearly everything. I put a lot of time into the online aspect too, becoming one of the few games I regularly won playing online.The unlock system in this game made me a better Mario Kart player, not just in this game, but in all Mario Kart games. Since you have to collect coins to get unlocks, you had to play the races over and over again. This made me discover better lines, better strategies, and better kart customizations. Online multiplayer matchmaking (especially when playing with friends) could have been better, but that is my only major gripe with this game. As far as I’m concerned, this is EASILY the best handheld Mario Kart game. But not THE best Mario Kart game. That distinction of course goes to…


#1- Mario Kart 64

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Yes. YESSSSSS! Mario Kart 64 is the DEFINITIVE Mario Kart experience for me. It provides the fun, multiplayer goodness, and action of the others, but it lacks the gimmickyness of games like Double Dash. It’s a pure Mario Kart game. Mario Kart 64 defines the phrase “less is more.” I could talk more about this game, but I have something planned for later this month where I will delve deeper into Mario Kart 64.


So that’s my ranking of the Mario Kart series. How does this list differ from yours? What do you agree or disagree with? Let me know in the comments or on my Facebook page.

As always, thanks for reading, and stay tuned as I continue Mario Kart Month, taking a look at my favorite Mario Kart racetracks!

homealonebox

Home Alone, the movie, is a classic. It’s on TV every year during the holidays. It’s loved by many worldwide. What can I say about Home Alone that hasn’t been said before? Home Alone was one of my favorite movies as a kid, so much so, that I requested the Game Boy version for my 5th birthday. That game is a challenge. Perhaps too much for 5-year-old me (27-year-old me still struggles with it), but it was a good game in my opinion. The NES version, on the other hand, is a challenge because it’s awful. In a bit of shortsightedness, I asked the fans of my Facebook page to request a game for me to play, and in turn I would plug some kind of content for them. I did this once before, and it turned out okay. But what Mike Nedwick had for me was sinister and I think he did it on purpose. He KNEW this game sucked. He could have picked ANY game for me to play. “Hey, play Super Mario Bros. Plug my YouTube channel.” But no. NO! That wouldn’t be funny! “Hey, FiveDollarGamer, play this garbage ass game, then give me free advertising. Kthxbai.” Jokes on you, BUDDY! I’m not that popular! I’m about as popular as the no-name studio that developed this insult to the memory of Macaulay Culkin (Oh, he’s still alive? Yeesh, he sure doesn’t look it). What asshole studio farted out this travesty anyway?

bethesda logo

Oh shit. The same people that would go on to create such classics as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series cut their teeth making NES games based on licensed properties. I barely want to talk about this game. It’s bad. It’s ugly as that girl you took home from the bar this weekend. You can control it as well as you can control a crying 4-year-old at the mall. It overall just bums me out. Ned wanted me to promote his YouTube gaming series This Level Sucks, where he actually plays this trash game. Go see it in action there. I’m done.

This Level Sucks on YouTube!

Thanks for reading!

Hey there! When I’m not playing games on dares or reviewing something on a strict budget, I like to play other games. Like, normally. Stuff I choose of my own volition. I wanna talk about them. So… I’m gonna do that. Now.

pkmnshffl

Pokemon Shuffle (3DS)

This game is cool. If you’ve played the Pokemon Trozei games or Doctor Who: Legacy or most any other “match-3” games, you’ll be familiar with the concept. It’s a free download from the eShop. Nintendo is dipping their toes into the free-to-play and microtransaction waters, but it’s cool. Whatever. Just don’t spend money on it and you’re cool. The energy system probably keeps you from playing too long anyway. It’s Nintendo’s roundabout way of saying “Take a break and get some air already! Geez!”

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Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox One)

I had it on 360. Got it for the One. It’s the same game, BUT BETTER! OMG GRAFFICKS U GAIZ!

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Tinder (Android)

They show you a picture of a pretty girl and you have to determine if it’s a spambot or not. I’m not very good at this game.

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NBA Live 15/NBA 2K15 (Xbox One)

One is absolute unadulterated garbage trash that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemies, the other is NBA 2K15.

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The Crew (Xbox One)

It’s seems like a very ambitious idea. The entire country is your car racing playground. Well, not the ENTIRE country. The map is kinda shaped like America and shrunk down to maybe the size of Ohio? I don’t know. I’m still in the starting area of Detroit, or an actually decent facsimile of Detroit. Downtown Detroit in this game actually does look similar to the real Downtown Detroit. Even Comerica Park (sorry, America Park) is well represented. I have a feeling that this will be similar to a racing game from a few years ago called “Fuel.” The central hubs will be well done, but the areas in between will be sparsely detailed. The racing itself is not bad, it doesn’t control the greatest, but I’ve played worse.

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The Elliptical Machine At My Local YMCA (Real Life)

People thought Wii Fit was a workout! This thing works out your arms and legs at the same time! Looking forward to setting some high scores on this one!

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NES Remix 1 & 2 (Wii U)

These games are both fantastic. Nintendo takes some of their classic 8-bit games and turns them into mini-game challenges. I would like to see Nintendo reach out to their 3rd party partners and get some more games into the 3rd installment. Konami and Capcom had some fantastic NES games.

mariokart

Mario Kart… All of Them (All the Nintendos)

I love Mario Kart. I’m starting a Mario Kart team. Join me.

Thanks for reading!

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System: Nintendo 3DS

Price: $2.99

Okay, so you know when you’re at the store, right, and you see this game for a current gen console priced super cheap and you’re all “omg, dis gaem is so cheep, it prolly sux lololol.” Well I’m here to tell you to KNOCK IT OFF! This is my mission. I play the cheap games, so you don’t have to. I want you, in the future, to be all “omg, dis gaem is so cheep, it prolly sux lololol, but I will withhold judgement on this piece of software until I read what Scott over at Five Dollar Gamer says about it. Come along, let us retire to the computing room in my domicile, so that we may peruse the ramblings of a man who so cherishes the games in which we so foolishly ignore so that we may play *scoff* Call of Duty? I bellow a hearty guffaw at my foolhardy gaffe. An aberration like that will not happen again, thanks to Scott and Five Dollar Gamer!”

*checks word count*

Okay, a decent first paragraph.

Centipede Infestation is a re-imagining of the classic 1980s hit Centipede. You play as some guy who was an extra cut from an episode of Captain N: The Game Master. You rudely interrupt a young lady planting a garden by saving her life from the giant mutant bugs surrounding her. You and Miss “All The Bugs Are God’s Creatures What If They’re Attacking You Because You’re Shooting At Them” escape to the city to do God knows what because I skipped a lot of the cutscenes. Once I realized our hero wasn’t going to fart out a “Well excuuuuuuse me, Princess” in response to this chick’s sassyness, I stopped caring.

Get on his level.

Get on his level.

But you don’t buy games on the cheap for award-winning scripts. You want surprisingly fun gameplay! Well… you get surprisingly competent gameplay, at least! The game plays similarly to another classic game, Smash T.V. Each level takes place in an enclosed environment as you mow down waves of insects, with each level culminating with a battle against the classic centipede boss. Your Y/X/B/A buttons serves as directions for your shot (hold two down to shoot diagonally). The circle pad moves the 80s dudebro (I think his name is something cliche, like Max). The touchscreen is used to activate power-ups you collect, like flamethrowers and machine guns. It’s nothing real ground breaking, but if you’re going to borrow ideas, at least do it right, which this game does, but not overwhelmingly. If I had to assign a letter grade to the effort used when applying these borrowed ideas, it’d be like a C+, B- tops. Basically me in high school.

Me in high school. (Photo altered in order to prevent someone from being a known associate of this asshole back in the day)

Me in high school. (Photo altered in order to prevent someone from being a known associate of this asshole back in the day)

Verdict: BARGAIN BIN

I mean, it’s a decent game, but it’s not like it’s some hidden gem waiting to be discovered. The action gets a bit repetitive and the cutscenes try to capitalize on that ironic 80s cheesiness with the voice acting, but the bargain bin script holds it back from being tolerable. This was a game destined to be $2.99. I’m not saying AVOID AT ALL COSTS! But it’s not something I’d necessarily recommend. So the guy who was using all them big fancy words in the opening paragraph is no closer to finding out if this is a game he should play or not. He probably won’t. He doesn’t even have a 3DS because “it’s for children.” He’s a dick. Screw that guy.

Thanks for readin’, y’all!

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What the hell am I doing? I mean, seriously?! I haven’t written a damn thing in 8 months and I come back with THIS?! I hyped my blog up to an audience in a completely new area of the country. “Oh I review a lot of retro games and hidden gems, check it out sometime.” I get them to like the Facebook page, I tell them something new is coming, and then… Then I give them HELLO KITTY CRUISERS FOR THE WII U! Ya-friggin-hoo!

Okay, to be fair, I was dared by a co-worker to play this game. I caved because YOU DON’T DARE ME TO DO STUFF, TAYLOR!

*ahem* Sorry.

So, let’s take a look at the back of the box bullet points to see what we can look forward to in this adventure.

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Everyone in the split-screen screenshot is doing terrible. Symbolism?

Okay, so nothing specific. You can race boats, karts, and planes with up to 4 people. Basic stuff, nothing you couldn’t do in Diddy Kong Racing 18 years ago. Speaking of Diddy Kong Racing, I’ll just come right out and say it: in every way, Diddy Kong Racing is an infinitely better game. Shocker, right? Did anyone reading this really thing that Hello Kitty Kruisers would be a good game? A diamond in the rough? A 6th round pick that leads his team to 4 Super Bowl victories?

Alienating my readers in 3... 2... 1...

Alienating my readers in 3… 2… 1…

So there’s not much meat to the bone that is this game. There’s a championship mode that I completed within the hour and an adventure mode ripped right off from the mission mode in Mario Kart DS. Now I will say that this game deceived me just a bit during the first cup. It was a bit bland and slow, but otherwise there was nothing I’d say was bad. In fact, the races using the airplanes were actually pretty decent. The airplane controls and physics, while not complicated, were surprisingly unterrible. It was during the 2nd cup where I ran into my first set of issues.

Unlocking this fat French dog being one of them.

Unlocking this fat French dog being one of them.

It was obvious that the kinks and bugs were worked out of the first cup. But I feel like the developers went “Meh, no one is going to want to play it after that. I think we’re good. Ship tomorrow.” One race I was sucked into guardrails no matter how much I positioned myself in the middle of the track. It didn’t help that the environment was an egregious rip-off of the Mario Kart 64 version of Rainbow Road. But what I encountered most, and my biggest gripe about the game, is the A.I. and the timing issues. A.I.-controlled cars would easily get stuck in walls or turned around. Now, when I say turned around, I don’t mean they’d spin out a lot. They would start driving in the complete wrong direction. These guys were more confused than Geno Smith playing football.

More football jokes!

More football jokes!

The timing issues were really weird. Things like extremely long lap times, lower-placing finishers having better overall times than those placing higher than them, and the bad A.I. and timing issues going hand-in-hand to create a mess of a post-race leader board. The following images are just a glimpse of what I saw.

Notice the last two times. 10th place has a better overall time than 9th.

Notice the last two times. 10th place has a better overall time than 9th.

I had lapped everyone in this race. Somehow, me and 2nd place had identical times.

I had lapped everyone in this race. Somehow, me and 2nd place had identical times. Also notice last place’s extremely quick lap time.

Hello Kitty spent the last 2/3rds of the race going backwards. Despite this, I somehow only beat her by .23 seconds according to the official scoring.

Hello Kitty spent the last 2/3rds of the race going backwards. Despite this, I somehow only beat her by .23 seconds according to the official scoring.

I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone. Not to kids, not to enemies, not even as a “Hey, let’s get drunk and play this game” game. Even if you’re a fan of Hello Kitty, you won’t like it. It borrows many elements from games much older and better than itself and proceeds to do less than nothing with them. The only thing I would like to know is who was the moron that was scoring the times on those races?

Aww, sonofa---

Aww, sonofa—

Thanks for reading!