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Feb 222017

Normally when it comes to shooter video games, the most common genres featured are action, horror, or movie based games like Transformers and Jurassic Park. Well here’s a shooter that’s more cute and cartoony. It’s called Chicken Shoot for Nintendo Wii.

The object of the game is to shoot as many chickens as you can as they fly by. Some of which contain weapon upgrades. However, unlike other shooters, there’s not even an ounce of bloodshed. When a chicken is shot, the content is reminiscent of Looney Tunes or any of the old Hanna-Barbera cartoons from the 60s.

As you proceed through the levels the scenery takes place in different countries from Scandinavia to the Himalayas to even Antarctica. Why would a simple farmer travel that far and wide just to shoot chickens? It just doesn’t sound logical if you think about it.

The control is a little tricky but real simple once you get the hang of it. For instance, the traveling is not automatic. You have to move the Wii remote like a mouse to move in any given direction. Luckily, each stage only takes place in a small-condensed area.

Speaking of moving the Wii remote, quickly moving it off screen is how you usually reload your ammo. In this game, you just press the ‘A’ button. It took me a while to figure that out because I’m used to how other shooters reload.

At this point you might think Chicken Shoot isn’t too challenging. Well in later stages, not only do you have more chickens to find and shoot, more of them throw eggs you have to shoot before they hit you. Supposably there is a life bar, but it’s not real visible.

There are three different modes to choose from. They are the arcade mode, the classic game mode that is merely shooting against the clock in stage one, and the Catch an Egg game.

Catch an Egg is a mini game where you catch eggs in the hen house before they hit the ground. Sounds easy, but it’s not. Once again moving the Wii remote like a mouse does the control.

This was certainly an interesting game for its cute humor and game play. It’s one of those rare titles that a certain genre is not well known for, but still stands out just the same.

Jul 022013

Shrek’s Carnival Craze for the Nintendo Wii features many types of mini games and exciting challenges. What makes this game even more interesting is that there’s also a story behind it.

The Founders Day Carnival from Far Far Away comes to town and everyone is excited to go, except for Shrek. For some reason, Shrek hates carnivals, but Fiona, Donkey, and the gang convince him to come along. How could anyone hate a carnival?

After arriving, it’s also revealed that the winner of the games will be crowned King or Queen of the carnival. Shrek is determined to claim the prize after Prince Charming arrives and plans to win. In a way, it appears tame compared to his previous desire to be king of Far Far Away.

There are five different areas in the carnival with four or five games each. Every game is different, especially when it comes to the controls. Luckily, you don’t have to win first place every time to succeed. All you really need to do is score at least 500 points in 30 seconds. You can always try to improve your score at any time.

Some games are simple, but others can be pretty difficult. Events that require shaking the Wii remote and nunchuk constantly tend to wear my arms out. The really tough ones are the games that require you to aim and throw because the controls have a slight delay, which makes it even trickier.

As you complete the mini games more items unlock like video clips of the story, concept art, and more mini games. I like that you can view them at any time.

I first came to enjoy mini game titles with Mario Party DS with its interesting story line. Shrek’s Carnival Craze is one I would recommend for its hilarity and fun in the same sense of the Mario Party franchise.

May 242013

That cute lung powered hero Kirby has a unique adventure in Kirby’s Epic Yarn for Nintendo Wii. After accidentally eating a cursed tomato, a caped sorcerer named Yin-Yarn arrives and captures Kirby in a magic sock. I wonder if that sock had ever been washed.

Suddenly, Kirby finds himself in Patch Land; a whole world completely made of yarn. He also discovers that his lungpower doesn’t work because he is now made of yarn. Luckily, Kirby finds a friend, Prince Fluff. He can be arrogant sometimes, but helps Kirby learn the ropes in Patch Land.

Kirby’s new skills give him a neat edge. He can turn himself into different things to get out of jams. For instance, to go fast, Kirby turns into a car, to swim he turns into a fish, to pound enemies and floors he becomes a heavy weight, to float down from high places, Kirby becomes a parachute, and to slip through tight spots Kirby turns into a string of thread. Just watch out for the enemy scissors.

Kirby attacks with a whip and can use it to unravel hidden treasures and swing on buttons. Be sure to check around because there are three hidden treasures on every level.

Then there are boss levels. Since Patch Land was separated into eight pieces, Kirby must find the magic yarns to bring them all back together again. There’s always a trick to fighting a boss, but they all have one thing in common. The red button is the key. Defeat the boss and you get a thread.

The bosses don’t officially end each world. If you collect enough gems during the boss battle, you can open another stage that couldn’t be opened before. It’s not always easy because you lose gems every time you take any hits. However, you can always revisit any stage, including boss levels, since they’re such neat characters.

There are also areas where Kirby turns into something special like a tank, a spaceship, a fire truck, or whatever else is required to get through a level. Some transformations are neat, while others are very tricky. My least favorite is the train because if the tracks aren’t drawn in exactly the right place, it doesn’t follow the path and that can be frustrating at times.

Kirby actually stays at an apartment complex. The landlord is Dom Woole, who also tries to get more tenants and expand the place. You use the furniture treasures you find to attract new tenants who provide new challenges to earn new items for redecorating purposes.

As the story progresses, Yin-Yarn goes back to Dream Land and captures King DeeDeeDee. I was wondering if King DeeDeeDee was going to be in this game, considering that he is Kirby’s arch nemesis.

This was a great platform game, even though it did get some negative reviews about being too easy. What truly stands out is how Patch Land was creatively put together. It’s like a seamstress’s dream world with everything made of yarn, cloth, and anything else related.

Nov 302012

I remember these Koopa wizards as a one of the creatively new brands of enemies from Super Mario World for the Super NES. Their magic wands can turn blocks into random items or enemies and can also disappear and reappear anywhere, but are easily defeated with one stomp to the head. Unfortunately, in the game the Magikoopas only appearances were in two Koopaling castles, #3 and #7, and weren’t even mentioned among the other enemies after the end credits. Isn’t that strange?

It wasn’t until the much later Super Mario Bros. games like Super Princess Peach and the Mario Party games when the Magikoopas were confined to one stronger character, Bowser’s right hand man Kamek.

When Kamek returns in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, he provides a useful edge for the Koopalings in their castles by magically adding a new obstacle to challenge Mario.

In World 8, Kamek resides in his own tower. The way to beat him is still three stomps to the head. However, Kamek is tough because you have to fight him on continuously moving platform blocks. He can change them into anything and he’s also hard to catch because of his disappearing skill.

After defeating Kamek in the tower, he magically makes Bowser bigger, but meets his own demise in the process. Or does he?

Believe it or not, Kamek wasn’t the first independent Magikoopa. In the Super Mario World cartoon series, there was another named Wizenheimer (pronounced Wizz-enheimer) who lives  in Dinosaur Land’s Enchanted Forest in a ghost house. He captures anyone who enters his domain and it’s his nature to be evil. Surprisingly, it was Yoshi who defeated Wizenheimer by eating his wand in order for Mario to stomp him out. In other episodes, it’s also revealed that the Magikoopas are one of the few types of enemies Yoshi can’t eat. You can’t really tell in the Super Mario World game because Yoshi never enters castles, fortresses, or ghost houses.

I’ll tell ya, those Magikoopas can be real tricksters. You can only imagine if Harry Potter were to go up against them.

Nov 162012

If there’s one thing that makes a video game exciting, it’s a boss battle at the end of a level. Whether it’s for the creative look of the character, his or her fighting style, or even the musical score, boss fights are always something to look forward to after getting past a whole bunch of other evil minions as long as I can figure out the strategy. Every boss has one. Unless you have a strategy guide, it’s usually only found by trial and error. These are bosses that truly stand out as big favorites of mine from video games I’ve played, not including final bosses.

#10) Doppelganger from Double Dragon 2: The Revenge (NES): Normally, doppelganger bosses are a cliché, but this evil clone of Billy Lee is so mysterious and sneaky, it’s cool. The Doppelganger not only has the same fight moves; he can also turn invisible and attack by clenching onto Billy, rendering him helpless. How many evil clones do you know that can do that?

#9) Two-Face from Batman Forever (Sega Genesis): It may seem like he’s the main boss of the game, but he isn’t. The Riddler is. Two-Face has a perplexing fighting style because it’s different, depending on which direction he’s facing. I don’t believe he ever used swords and bear traps in the movie, but can you believe that Two-Face can actually restore his life meter just by flipping his coin?

On a side note: I’d also like to include Two-Face’s two girlfriends, Sugar and Spice, because I think they’re both interesting fighters even though the movie doesn’t feature them that way.

#8) Master Necky from Donkey Kong Country (Super NES): This giant buzzard can spit coconuts, but what I like most is that he only peeks his head out from either side of the screen. Necky never shows the rest of his body, even when he gets defeated. It’s hilarious when Necky’s head falls to the ground and still makes noise while Donkey Kong cheers for victory. Is that what a buzzard looks like when it has a concussion?

#7) The Wrestler from Simpsons Arcade Game: Dropping in from a set of stage lights, this strong unnamed character is the first boss of the game. Like most of the other bosses, it’s hard to determine how he fits into the story, especially since this character was never on the series. You’ve got to admit though. The Wrestler is a fun boss to fight on a game like this.

#6) Goldar from Power Rangers Super Legends (Playstation 2): Even though it seems like every boss in this game is defeated by the same simple strategy, this classic character is the most awesome one to fight, and I’m not just saying this because he’s old school. Goldar likes to talk during the battle and he doesn’t fly out of reach as often as he does in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers the Movie game for Sega Genesis. Of course, Goldar could’ve come up with something wittier to say than, “Why did the chicken cross the road? To meet his doom.” Dude, that’s lame.

#5) Horsehead from Zelda 2: The Adventure of Link (NES): Armed with a mace, he’s the guardian of Parapa Palace. Apparently, Horsehead’s only weak spot is his head, which sounds very simple. However, I never would’ve known that if I hadn’t seen that episode of Captain N: The Game Master called “Quest for the Potion of Power”, where Horsehead made an appearance. Isn’t the animated version cool? What I don’t understand is why Horsehead never returned on any of the later Legend of Zelda games as some of the other bosses in this game have. Wouldn’t it be neat if he did?

#4) Dancing Specters from Super Castlevania 4 (Super NES): Also known as Paula Abghoul and Fred Askare, this pair of dancers are the stars of the haunted ballroom. As they dance away to the awesome boss music, these ghosts use swords and flying blades that keep Simon Belmont from “cutting in”. You won’t see this on Dancing with the Stars.

#3) Phantom of the high school musical from Scooby-Doo First Frights (Playstation 2): With the aid of his skeleton henchmen, this creepy character has an edgy presence. I think it’s neat that the Scooby gang gets to actually fight a monster before unmasking him, but before doing that you have to hear the Phantom sing and take out his henchmen. What really makes him interesting is the mystery involved. So what if he’s just a guy in a suit.

#2) Nano from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Playstation 2): There are several versions of this boss, but I mainly want to focus on the giant monstrosity at the end of stage 2. I always find giant bosses more exciting because of the intensity. Although it took me a little while to figure out how to fight Nano at this point, I totally found this boss battle interesting. Just aim high, robot goes down.

#1) Lobber from House of the Dead Overkill (Nintendo Wii): Of all the different types of monsters I’ve seen in horror themed video games, this is definitely one of the most original creatures I ever saw. Lobber hides out in the fetid waters and attacks by throwing chunks of its body. That’s just nasty, but my only real concern is that you have to fight a bunch of bats also. They’re harder to aim for than the monster itself. Other than that, Lobber is a villain that’s unique as well as creepy.