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January-February 2000

2/1/00
    Well, the big news this week is a new game. Mario Party 2 is out. Actually, it has been since January 23rd. Go see the game info. page for more information on the game, or check out the reviews to see if you should buy it.
    Kyle's Kommentary: More of the same here, it seems. Mario Party 2 is a great game in it's own right, but it's a little too similar to the original for my tastes. The new mini-games are nice, and the new items too, but the old game got old too quickly for me. Maybe it's because my friends think it's too slow (Mario Party 2 is a little faster). If you missed the first one,and have any friends, Mario Party 2 is a must buy. If you and your friends still love playing the first one, Mario Party 2 will give you even more party fun. Either way, I'd reccomend it to most gamers.

    Mario Party 2 commercials are also going over the airwaves. The commercial features a horde of peopel trying to get into a party at a suburban house. Two bodygaurds block the entrance while the guests call out things like "I was his friend in grade school" and "I know Mario. I'm a friend of the Princess" (This last one always cracks me up). The scene then shifts to inside where four kids are playing Mario Party and having a great time. Finally, one of the kids steps out past the gaurds, points to a delivery man who calls out "Pizza" and lets him into the party to the dissapointment of the others. Good ad. Check out Kids' WB if you want to see it.

    In Japan, another Mario game has recently come out for the just released in Japan N64 Disk Drive add-on. Mario Artist: Picture Maker seems a lot like MArio Paint from what I've seen, complete with Mario and Zelda stamps, animation, music, etc. Coming soon for the oft-delyaed add on will be Mario Artist: Talent Maker. Mario also appears when the system loads up, pushing around the N64 logo and climbing all over it. Will the 64DD and it's Mario games come to the US? Unlikely.

    On a final note, I have some unconfirmed reports detailing the storyline of Wario Land 3. According to the source, Wario gets warped into a Music Box and needs to collect 5 items throughout the box to restore his power and get out. He also figures these rare items could make him rich, so he goes off to find them. Sounds plausible. The game is set to come out in the spring.

1/21/00
    Miyamato the great has released more information about the next big Mario game. But will it even be a Mario game? In Nintendo Powers special issue he talks about his next grand vision.
I'd like people to think that the new Mario for Dolphin is something that they've never seen before. That's what I'm thinking about right now. I think I can make an entirely new game experience, and if I can't do it, some other game designer will. I'd like to make a new Mario game that appeals to everyone, full of interesting new ideas. If it turns out that Mario doesn't really fit into the type of game I want, I wouldn't mind using Zelda as the basis for the new game."
Link instead of Mario? Say it aint so, Miyamato. He continues...
"Super Mario Bros. established the category of side-scrolling action games. Mario 64 created the standard for 3-D action games (I believe). It is imperative to me that this next game also influences the direction of video games. Sometimes I think it's more important for me to create this new direction for games than to make the game fit Mario or Zelda. Perhaps Mario and Zelda fans wouldn't mind if the game is fun. If they think, ‘Wow! I've never played a game this great before,’ then I've succeeded."
Kyle's Kommentary: Miyamato's unprovoked allusions to a non-Mario first game is a little troubling. But I'm not worried, mainly because Mario has history on his side. Miyamato has always used Mario as the opening, almost "pack-in" game for a system, and then has another masterpiece with Link later. This trend is likely to continue for Nintendo's 6th system, if not because of history then because of corporate pressure (Nintendo should be behind Mario... it is their mascot). But like he said, if it's a great game, who's gonna complain? As long as it's not Pokemon...

    In other news, Mario Party 2 is coming out soon (January 24th to be exact). It's shaping up to be even better then the first. New features include many many new mini-games, a new "challenge" feature which lets you play an opponent of your choice in a mini-game, a one-player quest mode for our friendless friends, and six all new game boards. Same old characters I'm afraid, but they all dress up in cute costumes for each board. Preliminary reports on the Japanese version look good. Watch out for this one.

    The Mario Party 2 print ad has come out as well. The 2 page spread has Mario's white glove cranking the volume knob on a stereo system. The words "Mario Party" replace the 8th volume level, but Mario is turning it up past "10" to the 11th volume notch which has the words... you guessed it: "Mario party 2". On the right are three screenshots, and a little convincing blurb, "Get the place jumping with 5 new adventure boards and 64 mini-games. It's the most fun you'll have at a party without getting grounded."... or getting arrested I assume. High praise indeed!



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