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Dec 062013

Welcome back. Well, if you thought the Super Mario Bros. graphic novel was something, you should see this one. It’s called The Best of the Nintendo Comics System and it contains comics about other Nintendo franchises that are just as rare.

It starts with Game Boy: In the Palm of your hand. You remember the original Game Boy? Back then the most popular game at the time was Super Mario Land. I expected this to be about Mario’s adventures in that world, but it isn’t. It’s about all of these characters coming into the real world and causing havoc. What a disappointment, and even though Princess Daisy appears, she is nothing like the modern version.

Next we have Legend of Zelda comics. Now here’s some great material, but once again it’s much easier to reference this to the cartoon series with all of the sword zapping battles and Link attempting to get Princess Zelda to kiss him. However, there are some references to Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link, like Link’s friend Bagu, who helped him cross the Saria River.

Would you believe it? There are some comics about Captain N: The Game Master as well. One major difference from the cartoon series is that Samus Aran actually appears and helps the N team on Metroid. What a gorgeous blonde she is.

Another major difference is that Mother Brain’s league of evil also included a villain named Unanos. I have no idea what video game he’s from.

Then there’s a Metroid comic, which is about one of Samus’s adventures in space as she battles Mother Brain and her forces. It’s unfortunate that there’s only one here.

The last group of comics in this graphic novel is about Punch-Out. Now I’ve never played Punch-Out, so this is tough to get into. From what I understand, it’s about a struggling boxer named Little Mac that’s being trained by former heavy weight champ Doc Lewis in order to be the best.

If you thought that the referee in the video game looked a lot like Mario, in the comics he actually wears the hat. Can you believe it?

There you have it. Two awesome graphic novels containing classic adventures based on Nintendo characters. It’s too bad they don’t make comics like this anymore.

Jul 082011

There are many sorts of video game types. The most common are action games, where you fight your way through the end of a level to a boss, and adventure games, where you have to search every nook and cranny of each area in order to find your way through the quest.

Normally I have always preferred action games because they are so much simpler to figure out. However, there are some classic adventure video games for the NES I came to enjoy, mainly for the story, once I understand how it’s all put together. But no matter how many times I play these games, I still need the maps, like in the old NES Game Atlas, every time in order to get through them. Here are my top five favorite timeless NES quest titles.

#5) Startropics: This tropical adventure is about a young man named Mike, who searches all over Coracola Island for his uncle, Dr. Jones, who was kidnapped by aliens. (No, it’s not Indiana Jones.)

Armed with only his yo-yo and wits, Mike must fight through eight chapters worth of tunnels, caves, and dangerous creatures. His jumping skills are tricky sometimes, but Mike is real smooth when he automatically jumps to each section.

#4) Metroid: Like Super Mario Bros. and Legend of Zelda, this was yet another highly popular franchise from Nintendo. Here is where it all started, with Samus Aran on a mission to defeat the Metroid on Planet Zebeth and destroy the Mother Brain.

Samus is usually only shown in her suit, but with a special password, you can play her as a hot warrior woman. As simple as the mission sounds, you have to search all over for various items in order to succeed and they are not easy to find.

As for Mother Brain, she appears easy to fight. The hard part is staying alive with those flaming donuts coming from every direction. I was also curious about this character after seeing the more elaborate version on Captain N: The Game Master.

#3) Castlevania 2: Simon’s Quest: Unlike some of the other earlier Castlevania games, this is Simon Belmont’s first adventure quest. The task, of course, is to once again slay Count Dracula at his castle in order to restore peace to Transylvania.

In order to get there, you must search for five Dracula body parts (a rib, a heart, an eyeball, a nail, and a ring) scattered throughout the five different mansions as well as a whole bunch of other items and pieces of Dracula’s riddle. They could be anywhere. I admit that Simon is no Van Helsing, but you’ve got to give him credit. He’s a brave man on a mission.

#2) Crystalis: Now this was a more unique epic adventure quest game. As a nameless hero, you explore many caves and towns to search for weapons and items to fight Draygon in a tower in the sky and save the world.

There are also different types of magic the four wise men teach you to help you along if you have enough MP (Magic Points) to use them.

You also get to fight bosses, but you have to know what weapon to use and what skill level you need to reach in order to take him on. Otherwise, the boss is completely unaffected and you’re dead.

#1) Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link: The original Legend of Zelda game was good, but I find its sequel so much better with a more interesting story line. Princess Zelda is under a sleeping spell and only the third triforce can wake her.

But first, Link must return six crystals, each to a different palace inhabited by a boss. That will unlock a seventh palace, which the triforce is in.

Link also has to collect magic spells from different towns to improve his skills.

Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link plays a little differently from the first Legend of Zelda game because you’re not just following a map screen like before.

Although there have been many new Legend of Zelda games later on, I still rank Zelda 2 as my most favorite.

Nov 182009

Like the Super Mario Bros. cartoons, Captain N The Game Master – The Complete Series (1989-1991) expands on the video game world with popular franchises like Castlevania, Mega Man, Metroid, and others. This show also made me more familiar with these titles and become interested in the video game versions.

Kevin Keene is a regular high school teenager summoned to the video game world, known as Video Land, to lead a team of heroes from the popular franchises to protect it from their archenemies. Leading the pack is Mother Brain the main villainess from Metroid. It’s too bad that Samus Aran, the hero of Metroid, isn’t part of the N team. She would’ve been helpful.

The sound effects are the same as on the Super Mario Bros. cartoons and as the enemies are destroyed, they become digitized. It’s a neat effect. What I don’t understand is why none of the Super Mario Bros. characters have ever been on the show. It’s like this series explores every video game franchise except Super Mario Bros. I mean, didn’t they deserve at least one guest appearance?

Legend of Zelda even got in on the series. During the second season, a few episodes took place in the world of Hyrule. But this time, it’s based on the sequel Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link. Link and Princess Zelda have a different look, but the original voice actors reprise the roles. As for the video game version, I liked it better than the first one. Not only because Link actually jumps, but the story line is much easier to follow.

This is a great show for those who are familiar with the original Nintendo system. I think it ended much too abruptly. During the third and final season, Captain N was part of The New Super Mario World on Captain N and the New Super Mario WorldSuper Mario World had 13 episodes and Captain N only had seven. What a rip off, but it still had a good run nonetheless.