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Sunday, May 29, 2005

RSS (Real Simple Syndication) Now Set Up

If you want to read SMBhq news from the comfort of your RSS reader, just use the link in the sidebar.

- Report By Sean Kelly at 12:39 PM

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Thursday, May 26, 2005

It's a day late than I promised, but here is the conclusion of the E3 wrapup.

Nintendo DS

Mario Kart DS
Release Date: Q4 2005

The acclaimed Mario Kart series has gone wireless! Race and battle with up to eight karts at once, regardless of whether or not everyone has a Game Card. The allstar cast includes Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Donkey Kong, Wario, Bowser, and Toad.

With courses drawn from every Mario Kart game ” Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Mario Kart: Double Dash ” players may tour many of their favorites as well as all-new tracks and battle arenas. The game has a new dimension of fun, since players can battle others around the world by connecting to Nintendos new wireless gaming service, Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, via Wi-Fi.

With over 30 courses and all the crazy items and frantic speed players would expect, this game is a Mario Kart fans dream!

Screenshots:






SK's Thoughts: This was one of the first games accounced for the DS. I am impressed how closely it looks to console version of Mario Kart.

New Super Mario Bros
Release Date: TBD

The first new 2D Mario platformer since Super Mario World has arrived. Boasting incredible 3D graphics to accompany classic 2D gameplay, this fast-paced adventure will have Mario fans cheering as they make their way over fields, under water, through castles and into the air.

New and familiar enemies are everywhere, not to mention mind-blowing challenges made possible by the dual screens of the Nintendo DS. Not only that, but players can link wirelessly with a friend to play as both Mario and Luigi in multiplayer mode.

Screenshots:







SK's Thoughts: This is my favourite of the new Mario games to be shown at E3. It's great that Nintendo is returning to Mario's routes, with a new 2 1/2-D adventure. My ownly pet peeve is that all the screenshots, so far, only have one screen. DS does mean "Double Screen" doesn't it?

Game Boy Advance

Mario Tennis Advance
Release Date: October 2005

Players can test their backhand in this unique role-playing tennis adventure. Train hard at the Royal Tennis Academy to be a champion. Gain experience and improve your skills through lessons and tournaments, and rise to the top of the ranks. Play as Mario, Peach, Waluigi, or Donkey Kong in a slew of wild modes. Advance through the story and unlock even more characters, all with their own power moves. Beat Mario at his own game, then link up with a friend or three for even more frantic fun!

Screenshots:



SK's Thoughts: It appears that, like Mario Golf: Advance Tour, Nintendo is including some pseudo-RPG storyline with this game. My only question is: Why? At least more characters, other than Mario, seem to be appearing in this one.

WarioWare: Twisted
Release Date: Out Now!

Wario is back with 200 all-new microgames and all-new ways to play them!

Features

* Each Game Pak is equipped with a Gyro Sensor that detects sideways motion
* Play over 200 all-new, lightning-quick microgames by rotating the GBA or pressing the A Button
* Unlock over 130 souvenirs from Diamond City, including bonus games, moveable figurines, music, instruments, and many other novelties.

Dr. Crygor fixes Wario's busted GBA by tossing in a high-tech piece of laboratory equipment that looks suspiciously like a washing machine. When the GBA emerges, Wario discovers that he can play games by spinning it. Always on the lookout for new money-making schemes, Wario enlists his team of developers from WarioWare, Inc. to create tons of madcap, spin-controlled microgames. Wario can practically hear the "Ka-ching!" as the masses line up for his latest creation.

In WarioWare: Twisted!, you control the action by rotating the entire Game Boy Advance left or right and, sometimes, pressing the A Button. This must be the first game to include a screen warning you to spin your game system around -- but not yourself!

The dance-crazy Dr. Crygor joins famed WarioWare developers like Mona and Orbulon to deliver tons of fast, fast microgames and collectible souveneirs that will have you twisting and shouting with joy.

Old-skool grade-schooler 9-Volt hangs plays twisted NES games with his new buddy, turntablist 18-Volt. These two spin doctors give all-new controls to 8-bit classics like Excitebike, Super Mario Bros and Clu Clu Land.

Dribble & Spitz, the demented taxi-driving duo, diffuse their hostilities before getting behind the wheel by squishing ants, hammering nails and shooting arrows at poor defenseless fruits.

Games by those ninja kindergarteners, Kat and Ana, use the A Button instead of the Gyro Sensor. Veterans of the first WarioWare will recognize that game's classic Golddigger microgame has become an epic struggle against an evil invading nose. Put on your gloves before plunging in, OK?

WarioWatch mode gives you a set amount of time to finish all your microgames. If you finish one quickly, the deciseconds saved will be added to your total. Take too long on another, though, and you're history!

Some of the other totally unpredictable games:

* Pumping Iron Heft those dumbbells!
* Shave the World Planet earth has too many whiskers. Really.
* Dear John Letters No wonder this poor guy's head is spinning: He's just been dumped.
* Busted! Capture the spy in the searchlight.
* Balancing Act Can you balance an umbrella on one finger? How about a boomerang?
* Fancy Footwork Make like David Beckham and keep that ball aloft.
* Stab in the Dark Defend your dojo from ronin gone bad.

Want a wind-up music box with a statuette of Mona on her scooter, a ski-jump game or piano lessons? WarioWare: Twisted's got 'em, along with scads more bonus games, figurines, music, instruments, and other souvenirs from Wario's home burg, Diamond City.

Screenshots:



SK's Thoughts: The WarioWare series seems to be the new Pokemon.

Yoshi Topsy-Turvy
Release Date: June 13, 2005

Get ready for an original game experience as players tilt Yoshi through topsy-turvy worlds brimming with adventure.

By tilting the Game Boy Advance SP, players will turn the environment around Yoshi to knock over enemies, swing pendulums, and help Yoshi run up walls and leap huge pits.

All of Yoshis Island is trapped in a storybook, and only by meeting the challenges of each chapter will players succeed. Collect coins, defeat enemies or race for the finish to satisfy each courses conditions.

Story

When Bowser starts wreaking havoc on Yoshis Island, a book spirit named Hongo traps the entire island within the pages of a storybook. Only by locking Bowser away can Yoshi convince Hongo to release the rest of the island, so he sets out to progress through the chapters of the book...

Each course is controlled by a spirit. One loves money, one who loves fast things, one who loves friendliness, one loves strength, etc. They will set out guidelines for the course, such as collecting fruit to free a certain number of Egglings, finshing a course before time runs out, finding a certain number of coins or destroying -- or, in a particularly clever twist, not destroying -- a certain number of enemies. By satisfying that spirits requirements, players pass the course.

Yoshim, being Yoshi, can jump and stick out his tongue to eat fruit or enemies, but the main feature of the game is the tilt mechanism. By moving the Game Boy Advance SP side to side, players tilt the world around Yoshi, causing enemies to roll around, swinging ships and pendulums and bouncing items all over the place. An impassable wall will become a climbable slope, or a rolled-up carpet will become a long platform. Each environment requires players to master not only button presses but also tilt movements to progress.

Screenshots:



SK's Thoughts: This game features some of the best graphics for the GBA (though that's not saying much - compared to the NDS games, this game looks quite fuzzy). Also, it seems Nintendo really loves that motion-sensor technology.

Well, that's E3 for 2005. Not TOO strong a Mario presence this year, but there is definitely some great games to look foraward to.

- Report By Sean Kelly at 9:43 PM

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Monday, May 23, 2005

It's time for a, slightly belated, E3 wrap up.

Here is a list of the new Mario games shown at this year's show.

Gamecube

Mario Baseball
Release Date: August 29, 2005

Continuing the tradition started by such games as Mario Power Tennis and Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour, Mario Baseball brings a new brand of fun to the world of baseball! Mario Baseball's intuitive hitting system, easy-to-learn fielding and pitching controls and wild, character-specific power moves go together like peanuts and bleacher seats. Mario Baseball delivers a terrific arcade-like experience that will appeal to baseball novices and hardcore fans alike.

Players can try their hands at Challenge Mode, where they must wander the land clearing baseball-related trials. Or they can sit down for a game in the Toy Field, where they hit balls at circles in the outfield to earn coins and other prizes. With more than 50 characters from the Mario universe, multiplayer options for up to four players, character-specific power moves and crazy mini-games, Mario Baseball is sure to be your new favorite pastime!

Screenshots:






Super Mario Strikers
Release Date: TBD

Nintendo's foray into sports titles continues with Super Mario Strikers, a new soccer game that's unlike anything ever to hit the pitch. Whether players are freezing their opponents with an ice-cold shell, unleashing a spiny shell on their hapless opponents or making entire teams flee in terror with a roving Chain Chomp, they're sure to see something new around every corner kick.

Super Mario Strikers features all the favorite characters from the Nintendo universe, as well as four-person multiplayer action that will have players and their friends cheering all night long. Get ready for the world cup of gaming.

Screenshots:







SK's Thoughts (On both Mario Baseball and Super Mario Strikers): I like them, but it seems Nintendo is making more Mario sports games than adventure games. I want some Goomba bashing!

Mario Party 7
Release Date: November 2005

The entire Mario gang is back for the seventh installment of the incredibly popular Mario Party franchise. Players everywhere will set their controllers to fun as they run, jump, swim and fly through more than 80 new minigames. But this party's about to get a lot bigger ... because EIGHT people will now be able to battle each other at one time.

The microphone peripheral from Mario Party 6 also makes a grand return “ and with the new Mic Grand Prix mode, there will be plenty of voice-over madness for everyone. The addition of two new playable characters, Dry Bones and Birdo, will ensure that even seasoned Mario Party vets can experience a new world of wackiness.

Screenshots:







SK's Thoughts: The Mario Party series is another Mario Spin-Off that I could do with less of. I haven't played since Mario Party 3.

Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix
Release Date: October 2005

Boogie down with Mario in his own dance party!

Players shake their things to more than 25 dance-flavored songs, from classic Nintendo themes to familiar favorites. With five difficulty levels, dancers of all abilities will be able to get into the groove.

Have fun getting in shape! The special Workout feature tracks the calories burned while playing.

Storyline

Someone has stolen the Music Keys and released the music they held. Without the Music Keys, the unstable power of the music is wreaking havoc on the land. Mario must recover them before the chaos destroys the entire Mushroom Kingdom! The path to the keys is simple: Left, Right, Up, Down, Right, Down ...

Characters

Mario, Luigi, Toad, Waluigi, Wario, Bowser

How to Progress through the Game

In Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix, players clear levels by performing the correct steps. Once they clear all the levels in a particular world, they'll collect a Music Key. Collect all the Music Keys to win.

Special Features

Players control Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix by stepping on different arrows on the Action Pad (included with game). Players can finally experience the thrill of stomping Goombas and other enemies firsthand. As players clear songs, they will unlock more songs, minigames and difficulty levels.

Screenshots:







SK's Thoughts: I never was that big a fan of DDR. And having Mario's face on the game isn't going to change that.

Well, that's the Gamecube games. I'll post again tommorow with the GBA and DS games.

- Report By Sean Kelly at 7:55 PM

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