Not bored yet

Holy crap it’s already June. It’s kinda nice to know that I’m still “passionate” about the site. I’d have lost interest in anyhitng else by now. But alas, I’ve got exams in two weeks, and a huge history project due sometime in between now and then, so besides finishing Chat Radio 8, I won’t be doing anything else for the site until about the 20th. So that said, I uploaded CR8, or at least half of it. Read it to find out why.
~Ryan out.

Nintendo Surprise: The Nintendo surprise bag

It’s really amazing how much merchandise that Nintendo pumps out. Sadly, most of it isn’t exactly the kind of stuff you want to buy, and very little of it is worthy promotion for the GameCube and GameBoy Advance. Sure the Pokemon line goes over really well with kids, but very few older Nintendo hardcores want Pokemon toys all over their room. I don’t. At one point, I did have a small Gloom hanging out on my dresser, but it got lost. Kinda unfortunate because Gloom is one of my favorite Pokemon.

Of course, they have gone to certain lengths to make Mario and Zelda action figure lines. You saw a few of them in Hylian Idol. We even got a few burger restaurant deals, one promoting Super Mario Bros 3 at McDonald’s, which was a long time ago. Last year, there were Mario toys at Wendy’s, which I believe came along to help sell Super Mario Advance. The most recent was the Burger King deal, which was a menagerie of Nintendo most popular characters, such as Mario, Link, Donkey Kong, and Kirby. Everyone loves Kirby. Why we didn’t see any kind of promotion for his TV show is beyond me though.


Whee! Look at him dance! I guess that’s an ample intro for today. I really don’t think it’s that necessary anymore. After all, they do sway off the path of the articles a bit. But in the quest for longer and better articles, I must do what I have to do. But, enough redundant rambling, I’ll just start the article now.

A long time ago, actually, less than a year to date, I was browsing the dollar stores of a faraway land and came across quite the treasure. It was a simple plastic bag with candy in it, but that was just the base idea. This bag of goodies was a Nintendo Surprise. Of course, the surprise wasn’t really there, since there was a transparent area on the front of the bag. That and they all had more or less the exact same things in them. I went back this year to seek more of the bags-o-fun and I found them, only they had changed a bit.

The old Nintendo Surprise contained a sucker, a Ring Pop-like thing, a slab of gum, and a game tip card. They all sported different characters. The gimmick was that you could collect all of the different characters and candies. I guess the only surprise is what character bust you found in the ring pop. There were 2 different sucker “statues”, 6 character busts in the ring pops, and 18 different portraits in the gum. The only problem with this is that they seem to be extremely rare, and no kid would be able to resist eating them.

Now, produced by Au’some Candies, the “Nintendo Surprises” are simply plastic bags containing a bunch of gum. It’s really a sad story. Why? Because the gum was the only collectible that you could really eat. the others left plastic remains to collect. Fortunately, you won’t want to eat the gum after you try one piece. it tastes absolutely horrible. Bad, sinful, imperfect, rancid, unsuitable, wicked, tainted, hurtful, noxious, and terrible are all words that go hand in hand with this gum. the package says “sour” but this stuff tastes worse that eating Kool-Aid powder. I kid you not.

As I stated in one of the above paragraphs, there are 18 slabs of disgust that you can collect. Though, Au’some Candies seems to have cut a few corners when they were making them. The different characters are the following: Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi, Bowser, Paratroopa, Larry Koopa, Ganondorf, Ludwig Von Koopa, Yoshi, Ganondorf, Link, Link, Link, Diddy Kong, Link, Donkey Kong, King K. Rool, and Donkey Kong. Notice the abundance of Link. Even the two different DK gums are the same picture, just one is reversed. At least they look pretty good and not at all like some poor African kids drew them on.

I also mentioned earlier that the Nintendo Surprise contained a card with a game tip on it. These ones are no different. But the use of the word “latest” is a bit of an exaggeration. At least now. I guess that I forgot to mention one little detail. After a little bit of researching, I found out that these things were made way back in 2001. I suppose it’s not as bad as the Hulk gum that my brothers got. If you read X-Entertainment, you’ve seen it before. And if you want a bit of a more in-depth look at the 8-year-old crap, check out Matt’s Video Store article.

So, here’s the contents of one of the packages. It seems a lot more impressive than it really is. A LOT. There’s not a lot I can say about this pile of crap that I won’t say later so instead I’ll tell you about this GameBoy Advance link cable that I’m holding. Firstly and most importantly, it’s a pretty shade of white, with a white tip for the first player, and gray tips for the second, third, and fourth players. That said, it obviously has four heads to link GBAs together. It’s made by Pelican and was a lot cheaper than buying three Nintendo-brand cables. there’s also a little switch on the connector that enables it to work with GameBoy Colour units. Back to what’s important.

As you can clearly see, they come in a wide variety of colors. All three colors of the… uh… groraninkbow. Ha. Got outta that one with style. Oh yeah. Anyway, it’s plain to see that a character is not confined to a single color. They can appear on any one of the three shades of gross. If you look even closer, you can see both Donkey Kongs and how it’s the same picture, just flipped horizontally, just as I said. On the upside, I was lucky and scored both Koopa Kids. I’m at a loss to see why they didn’t use all of them. If they hadn’t repeated characters there would have been enough to host all seven of ’em.

Now, I’ll try my best to describe what all of them taste like. Orange is clearly the best of the three. Incredibly enough, it does taste like orange candy-type stuff. Only it’s way too soury-like. Bad memories of Kool-Aid powder are coming back… Yuck. Well, I guess I was wrong. Pink is definitely the best. It tastes decent, much like one of those sour soother things. It’s still not worth eating, but at least it doesn’t make me want to throw up so that there’s a better taste in my mouth. Green is supposed to taste like apple, I think. It does a little bit, but then you notice that it has a hint of BILE in it. The package wasn’t lying when it said they were sour. Maybe not as sour as some other candy, but it isn’t exactly tame.

Look, it’s the Game Tip card! When I say card, I don’t mean card in the normal sense, or even the tradeable sense. It’s just a piece of hard paper with a picture and some words on it. Oddly enough, it’s the only thing included in the Nintendo Surprise that isn’t collectible. I guess you could collect all of the different tips, but to date I’ve only seen three different ones, and I and my brothers have been through at the very least twenty packs of this stuff. Oh, I forgot another important thing. The gum’s taste lasts for an average of 40 seconds. You’d be much better off with some Wal-Mart candy machine gum.

As usual, you can click on the pics to enlarge them if you want to read them. The first tip is for the Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages. It’s pretty handy, and is something you might not think of right away. But, most people who played the Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past have already figured this out. The second “tip” is both asinine and redundant. It tells you that in Super Mario Advance Luigi can jump the highest. It might have been helpful, but the game itself gives you this tip, so like I said, it’s redundant. Note that they have French tips too. If you can’t read the language, don’t worry, it says the same thing. This also leads me to believe that Nintendo Surprises were only distributed in Canada.

For the sole purpose of writing this article, I saved some of the plastic carcasses from the original Nintendo Surprise. Shown above are the sucker cases. There are only two to collect, so if you went the whole nine yard to get all the gum pieces, you’d have a lot of extra sucker cases. The two characters chosen to be immortalized as suckers were Mario and Yoshi. I don’t see why not. But they could have just as easily modded the Mario mold a little and at least made a Luigi. Oh well.

If you did manage to get you hands on a lot of these guys, they could be used as really low-budget action figures. I have several Yoshis and use them to war against my Star Wars figures with Mario as their leader. The detachable bases can also double as hats or a bad game of stack-the-sucker-bases. That’s what they seem to be doing in the picture above. To tell the truth, I’m really scraping for idea for this one. There’s a cool picture of a pelican on my GameBoy Advance link cable.

Pictured above are the remains of a couple of my Nintendo ring pops. They come in the same colours as the gum, but they taste a whole lot better. In fact, so do the suckers. Everything tastes better than that gum, except clams. I hate clams. Stupid chicken nugget-looking clams. I hate you, clams. I hate you and your cousin the oyster. In fact, I hate all seafood. Except sushi, I’ve never tried sushi. Or lobster. It’s pretty sad, but I plan to try it the next time we go to Red Lobster. Which should be in about 3 years. So I may never try lobster until it’s too late. I bet lobster tastes better than that stupid gum. And clams.

By now you should be aware that this bag of sugar was made for kids. This is further evidenced by the fact that the rings barely fit onto the second joints of my fingers, never mind the third. It also teaches us that Link doesn’t look good in pink. Red, blue, and green yes, but pink no. Yoshi can come in any colour and seems to be enjoying his orangyness quite well. I think green Yoshi is a bit jealous of orange Yoshi’s happiness. And Link seems to be jealous of both of their decent colour palettes and full bodies. Poor Link is just a bust of himself.

While I’m writing about shoddy Nintendo products, I guess I should mention this GameCube watch. It’s not really that bad, I did get it for free after all. My complaints focus mostly on the extremely easy to press buttons, causing the time to change by itself. If compared to most digital watches of today, it’s got no options, just the time and date. No fancy bells, whistles, or beeps. Then again, the time and date are all you really need. I never need a stopwatch or alarm anyway, so I guess I don’t care.

Now, back on topic, after finding my goods, I went to the dollar store next to the dollar store I had just been in. There I browsed the party favors and found some Groucho masks without the mustache. I had to have them. I’m not sure why I wanted them, they don’t fit, but I wanted them anyway. So that’s me with one of the masks on. Wow… I look nerdier than usual. It would probably have been a good idea not to upload it, but nobody who would judge me reads this site anyway. I guess I’m safe.

So to turn around the theme of the article and show a excellent Nintendo product and add some cool, I’m including another picture of my AGB playing MegaMan Zero. Once again, it’s an awesome game and if you have an AGB, you owe it to yourself to get it. Really. Or you could just wait a few months and get MegaMan Zero 2. Or you could not wait and import RockMan Zero 2 if you don’t care about knowing what to do or can read Japanese. In any case, it’s one of the best games I’ve played in a long time. Well, that’s about that for that.

So now you know what I was blabbering on about in that one news update. Ummmm… this whole conclusion part is the toughest thing to write. I guess I could mention that I have plenty of gum left if anybody wants to try some. I’m more than willing to let go of a piece or eight. That’s all I have to say for today. I have no more ideas about what to review, so I don’t know when the next article will be. Maybe I’ll finish that MegaMan article sometime within the week.

Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!

Everybody say hello to my first GameBoy game review! Everybody loves GameBoy, regardless of whether they side with the GameCube, Playstation 2, or(God save their souls) X-Box. Why? Nobody really knows. It might be because it has the biggest library of games ever(probably over 1000 by now), or maybe because it’s portable. Personally, most of the franchises I love the most are on the GB. These include MegaMan Battle Network, the Legend of Zelda, Golden Sun, the Wario Land series, and a couple others.

Now, Nintendo has just released a new Wario game upon the public. The only thing that separates it from the other Wario games is, well, everything. Until now, Wario has only starred in adventure games and Wario’s Woods. Now the Wario Land games, I adore. Especially Wario Land 2. They all host huge worlds for Wario to adventure through on his never-ending quest for riches and treasure. Wario’s Woods was a bit different… actually, it was a lot different. It was somewhere in between Tetris, Puyo Pop, and Dr. Mario. Strangely enough, though, Toad was the main character…

Wario Ware Inc. takes gaming to a level that nobody had ever dreamed of until now. It redefines the term “mini-game” and will either suck you in immediately or give you that ‘Get it away. I feel dirty’ feeling. There is no middle ground. You will not say ‘It’s an OK game’. You will love it or hate it. I originally downloaded the ROM because a)I couldn’t grasp what the big N was trying to do, b)I can’t rent GB games, and c)I don’t like to take risks when it comes to buying video games. But, had I just went all-out and bought it, my sacrifice would not have been in vain. I LOVE THIS GAME. So without further adieu, I’ll get to the revieu.

Wario Ware Inc., like I said, is a very innovative game. At the heart of the little black pak is a barrel full of 5-second mini-games. Yeah, I thought it sounded weird too, but oh, I was wrong. When you start, the games lets you sign in your name, and then shows you a little cutscene of the game’s story. Then you start. One after another, these 5-second mini-games are thrown at you, providing you barely enough time to think about what you’re doing. Luckily, before the game starts, your objective flashes on the screen. These objectives consist of things like ‘cook’, ‘stomp’, ‘sniff’, ‘dodge’, and ’tilt’. Basically, if you have slow reflexes, you’re going to fail.

Now there are several levels in the game, each consisting of a bunch of the mini-games. Every level is hosted by Wario or one of his friends. I find this confuzzleing because Wario seems like the type that wouldn’t care to have friends. Maybe he does have a sensitive side under that greed and mean after all. After you beat a number of games, you’re treated to a “Boss Stage”. These stages have no set time limit, only limited by your skill, which is mostly just good timing. Did I mention that any and every mini-game utilizes the Control Pad and/or the A button. Simple, but strangely entrancing.

The story, or what I get of it, goes a little like this. Wario is just watching TV when he sees a commercial that shows how well GameBoy games are selling. Wario, never one to turn down possible profit, immediately throws on his biker outfit, jumps on his hog, and heads out to get a computer. He gets home with his new laptop and starts to make games after a quick renovation to his hilltop home. Only, he falls asleep as soon as he starts. He realizes that he’s gonna need a little help to do this, and he decides to call up his closest buddies to help him. That’s about it. So now I’ll give you a quick overview of the first couple levels.

We start our “adventure” at Wario Ware Inc. Wario has got a bunch of beginner games for the player to practice with. So, he jumps on his trampoline, and into his… radio? Now it starts. Oh, I should also say that you get 4 lives for each level. If you fail to complete your objective you lose a life. So we get to play a few games. 10 if it’s your first time. The games include a Spy Hunter parody, a Super Mario Bros parody, a Pac-Man parody, and several ‘catching’ games. The boss stage is simple. You’re Wario, you punch a small disc-like thing-on-a-string until it goes over the bar and you finish it off. Beat this and you can move to the next level. If you come back to the level later, you can keep playing until you lose.

The next level is the town’s local disco, Club Sugar. In this level, your host is Jimmy, who looks like a cross between Wario, Disco Stu, and a clown. Or maybe just a clown in polyester. Anyway, Jimmy’s level lasts for 15 mini-games. They’re a bit tougher here, with games like ski jumping, karate chopping, and lots of other sports-oriented stuff. It’s also home to the best boss game that I’ve seen so far. It’s a very simple spoof of Punch-Out!!, probably for all of us Animal Crossers who can’t get the the real game yet. It’s prettey simple, dodge and jab. Eventually the enemies will do one-hit kills, so practicing is a must. As I said, you can return to level after you’ve beaten them and play as long as you want, but I warn you, the games all have varying difficulty levels, and some of them can get extremely tough.

The third and last level I’ll sum up is the Gelateria. At this point, you can choose one of three levels to move on, and I chose this one, because the host is Mona, and well… you know how it is. Mona has a little sub-story. It seems that she’s once again late for work and now she’s on the lam because she was speeding. Oh, and she was attacking police cars with eggs, snot and banana peels. The genre of this level is “Strange games” and strange they are. Some of the objectives include flying a paper plane, catching toast, sniffing up a booger, picking a nose, and brushing teeth. The boss level is pretty stupid here. You have to hammer a nail in, and if you miss even once, you lose. Luckily, the other games aren’t too hard and you should still have 4 lives by the time you get this far.

Now that I’ve helped you get to know what the game is all about, I’ll gt to the real review. The graphics are a good point to start at, I think. Now, with this game, as you can see from the shots, it’s hard to say if the graphics are “good” or not. It’s a very mixed bag. There are cartoony full-color animations, stick figure mini-games, outline games, and even some portrait-esque backgrounds. I’d say that overall they work very well with the way the game is presented. It’s like the wind Waker, the graphics wouldn’t work any other way. If course in WWI you could give all the mini-games Golden Sun quality, but it would take away from the charm. Trust me.

But how is the sound? Well, once again, it’s a mixed bag. There are a lot of voices and sound effects, which all sound very good and fit right where they belong. OK, so the voices are a littlebit grainy. But you can’t expect perfection from the GameBoy. Even with the little grain, they sound just fine. There is music, but it changes so rapidly you really don’t take the time to notice it. And if it does annoy you, simply turn it off. It’s that simple. Not a whole lot else to say about this category.

Gameplay seems to be a big issue these days. Since it’s a Nintendo game, the controls are perfect. Of course, it would be hard to screw up since it only uses the Control Pad and the A button. Like I said earlier, the game itself is very fast paced, and I think it’s really fun. Again, this game is definitely NOT for everyone. If you like to take things slow, don’t play it. If you have a slow reaction time, don’t play it. If you have an X-Box, don’t play that. I’m not sure why, but I find Wario Ware Inc. pretty funny. To be truthful, there isn’t anything really funny in it at all, but I find myself laughing a lot when I play it.

Replay value? Length? It’s all about “how many hours is it?” these days. Why don’t people ask “is it fun?” any more? I’ll tell you this, It will not take you long to finish this game start to finish. But if you want to unlock every game and earn a flower (beat a set score) for every one of them, it’s gonna take some time. As for replayability, you could play this forever. Like Space Invaders and Frogger, it’s a never-ending quest for a high score. If Nintendo put this in an arcade machine, they could stand to make a LOT of money. But they put it in cartridge form instead. I’m kind of confused why they didn’t put the Nintendo Puzzle Collection on the GB instead of the GCN. It would have worked a lot better, I think.

Well, that’s about all I have to say about Wario Ware. I urge you to try it out as soon as you can. Not that I’m encouraging piracy or anything, but o should play the ROM first to see if you like it before you consider a purchase. $50 is a lot for a shot in the dark. I must say though, that I’m strongly considering dropping my paycheck on this game. Now if only Aria of Sorrow hadn’t come out recently. I’m really torn between a few different games right now, and my budget only has room for one. Not only that, but next month, at least 4 must-haves are coming out. I need a new job! Somebody pay me to do this!

Yeah, like I said, somebody pay me for this! It sure would help motivate me to write more often. Oh well. I guess I’m doomed to live the life of an unemployed leech. No fricikn way I’m going back to Xentel. I don’t care how well they pay, it’s just not worth it. I need a job where I’m actually doing something. But enough about that.

Sorry I still haven’t completed the MM4 article. I guess the moment just passed and I lost interest. So I guess I’ve learned something from doing this. I shall pass that lesson onto you, in case you have some kind of aspiration in the future. Always do something while you want to do it! Don’t put it off! Just look at what happened to Quest for the Cube. That could have gone somewhere. No it wouldn’t. Who an I kidding? Well, that’s all for today, have a good week and don’t get SARS!

Doodle bop

Today I added a picture of a turkey and Felix to the gallery. I did them in MS Paint, so they’re rather poorly-drawn, but I still find the turkey quite comical and charming. Maybe I should get people to submit their own art… ~Ryan out

UPDATE! – I was on a bit of a downloading spree today and came across a fun little gem. I knew that I had to write about it. Go check it out. NOW. ~Ryan out

What holiday?

I hate holidays. Well, except for when I get stuff. In other news, I just figured out how to hook up my GCN, NES, or whatever to my PC so that I can take proper screenshots without ROMs. This opens a lot more possibilities for me. Well, I’m in a bit of a rush, so I’ve gotta sign out now. I hate holidays. ~Ryan out

When Soup Attacks!!

I made soup for lunch today.

If my webcam hadn’t been so downstairs at the time, I would have made an article out of it. It sounds like a bad idea, but it was quite the ordeal getting it done. I guess I’ll just sum it up for you.

Ryan decides to have soup for lunch. He proceeds to get the box, it says “4 pouches, 16 bowls” so it looks like he’s going to be eating a lot of soup. He reads the instructions “Mix contents into boiling water”. Ryan looks at the oven and says to himself “How do you work this thing?” After much trial, error, and burning, Ryan gets the water and soup onto an element. He starts to mix the block of “soup” and the water turns all murky. Now unaware of what is going on beneath the surface, Ryan continues to whisk away. After a while, Ryan notices that the water level is rising at an alarming rate! He reads the second and final step of the package “Lower temperature and put lid on pot”. sound easy enough, but at this point the water is almost at the top of the pot. Ryan slams the lid down and lowers the temperature. The lid buckles as the water pushes it up and slops over the sides. Ryan holds the lid with all his might until the pressure dies down. After about 5 minutes, he lifts the lid to look inside and is scorched by escaping steam. He then turns off the oven and removes the pot to let it cool off. Some time later, he takes the lid off and pours the contents into a large bowl. When grabbing it, he realizes that the liquid is quite hot and that it has made the bowl quite hot as well. After thoroughly dousing his hands in ice water, Ryan takes the bowl downstairs and hopes that it tastes good, because he’s gonna be eating 4 bowls of it.

Quite the adventure, no? Well, that’s all I really wanted to say for today, so I’ll do a real update later this week. ~Ryan out.