January 31, 2017

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Review

Filed under: Nintendo — Tags: , , , — Yukino @ 8:56 PM

When it comes to Super Mario Bros spinoffs, I’ve always been a Paper Mario girl. I’ll take that franchise over Sunshine, Mario & Luigi, and New Super Mario Bros any day of the week. It was due to my love of Paper Mario that I decided I needed Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam in my life, and after spending 45+ hours in this 3D world, I have thoughts. Many thoughts.

First of all, poor Luigi. The guy does his best to be helpful but somehow ends up knocking loose a book containing Paper World, unleashing every paper toad, guy, and Bowser. Now he and Mario need to scour the Mushroom Kingdom in order to collect every scrap and get them home safely.

But this is a Mario RPG, and things never go that smoothly.

Early on, our adventurous brothers run into that rascally Nabbit who absconds with several of their battle and map actions. As you progress through Paper Jam, opportunities arise in which the Bros give chase and earn back new moves to help them clear new obstacles. One of my favourite combo battle moves comes from catching this sly minion, requiring Mario and Luigi to work in tandem and tests your hand-eye coordination as you lob bombs at your enemies.

Eventually, the Princesses Peach find themselves in the same old predicament as always (seriously, they even comment on how it’s “that time in the story”, because even they know it’s a tired, played-out plot device at this point). The Bowser Jrs flee with the ladies and thus add “Rescue the Princesses” to their To-Do list.

The real hero of Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam is Toadette. She rallies the collected Paper Toads to help her create the Papercraft battle horses used in several mini-boss battles. This lone female toad is always positive, not afraid to venture out on her own, and has some of the best dialogue.

Let’s talk papercraft. This is one of the new mechanics in Paper Jam and I absolutely loved these battles. Each battle features a new giant Mario ally, atop which your three heroes ride and command the Toads carrying you. Most battles require knocking your opponent off balance (dashing away at the right time works, too) and launching your papercraft to attack. There are Toad pads on the ground to recharge your energy, which is a musical mini-game in and of itself. If your health is running low, take a look around for a ? block, which will reveal a paper mushroom when bashed.

Battle cards were another new mechanic for me to work with. Working with decks of 10 cards, each turn reveals a new card which can be used at the start of each Bros turn, so long as you have the required amount of Star Points to activate them. You can buy cards from the shop or earn them in battle from the occasional drop. Ones that are super helpful are the ones that lower Koopa Jrs and Bowser levels. I also made sure to have HP restoration cards handy in my deck.

You can also create cards with your amiibos using special cards purchased by a Toad not behind the shop counter (or earned as battle drops). Unfortunately, I don’t have a New 3DS XL or the NFC reader so that was a feature I have not tested out.

But at the end of the day, if the story isn’t up to par, it can make the game drag. Which is sadly the case with Paper Jam. It lacks the fantastic humour I’ve come to expect from my exploits with Paper Mario. Instead, there are far too many Toad collecting sidequests, some of which caused bouts of rage quelled only by ingesting handfuls of chocolate and taking a breather from the game. To be blunt, the story is flatter than Paper Mario.

If you’re a huge fan of either the Paper Mario or Mario & Luigi RPG series, I suggest waiting for this one to go on sale before picking it up. 

*This review was previously published on The Daily Crate.

December 28, 2015

Persona Q 3DS Review

Filed under: Nintendo — Tags: , , , , , — Yukino @ 4:08 PM

PQ P4 Leader

I took far too long to finish Persona Q. Not because I didn’t enjoy the P3/P4 crossover game, because I really did, even when I was stuck on a dungeon floor for three days figuring out the FOE pattern. There’s just something about Persona and JRPG games that makes me want to sink a ridiculous amount of time into them. I literally spent three weeks worth of evenings grinding my characters into the 90 levels and fusing new Personas to push my compendium completion to 90%.

I know. I have a problem. (more…)

July 19, 2013

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Filed under: Nintendo — Tags: , , , , , — Yukino @ 6:17 PM


Status: Catching cicadas and fishing, making the bells to pay back Nook’s ridiculous loans
Dream Address: 4500-2245-0852

I caved to peer pressure. I bought Animal Crossing New Leaf almost a month ago and I am sad to report that I am utterly addicted to this game. When I am not sleeping, playing Borderlands 2 or watching TV with Matt (TV time is cross stitching time), I am planting flowers and trees, playing delivery girl for my townspeople, shaking trees in the hopes that I’ll get some cool bit of swag instead of another angry beehive to drop from the branches, and digging up my town looking for fossils.

I’ve tried to stop. My continued playing of Animal Crossing is definitely not for a lack of games; I have Professor Layton & the Miracle Mask to finish, Shin Megami Tensei IV that I just picked up, and 6 other games in my 3DS backlog. Then there are the other 20-30 or so console games I’ve fallen behind on. Clearly, there are other things I could be doing with my time like getting more of my fantasy story written, which I have been getting to more often these days, all while keeping my AC town gates open for visitors. But I keep finding myself drawn to developing Yukokoku into a prosperous and bustling metropolis where the inhabitants praise me for being an awesome mayor, despite my totally bizarre hairdo and bloodied Battle Royale-inspired school girl outfit. (more…)

April 23, 2013

Paper Mario: Sticker Star

Filed under: Nintendo — Tags: , , , , — Yukino @ 2:24 PM

Status: 1 playthrough complete
Playtime: 32 hours
Luigi’s Found: 3 of 5

When I finally got my 3DS XL (Valentine’s Day gift from my husband this year) I knew there was no way in hell I was not going to get Paper Mario: Sticker Star. I had a love affair with the first two games, skipped the Wii version because, well, it’s the Wii and ours kind of just collects dust. But then I saw Best Buy had a one day sale on the game, dropping it down to $20. It was like the gaming gods smacked me in the face and I was OK with that. (more…)

July 3, 2012

The Urbz: Sims the in City (Project Backlog)

Filed under: Nintendo,Project Backlog — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Yukino @ 3:25 PM

Status: Completed main story, working on Rep quests

While I was grinding up in Golden Sun: Dark Dawn to take my second go at the final battle, I decided I needed a bit of a break and went through our DS game shelf for something new to play. I wanted a game I could play while sitting beside my husband and watching TV shows at night while he programmed. His copy of The Urbz jumped out at me, seeing as I’ve been addicted to Sims Social on Facebook. This way I could have my Sim time without being in the other room. A win-win. (more…)

June 20, 2012

Golden Sun: Dark Dawn (Project Backlog)

Filed under: Nintendo,Project Backlog — Tags: , , , , , , , — Yukino @ 1:00 PM

Status: Saved the world in 52 Hours 45 mins at Level 65

I picked up Golden Sun: Dark Dawn one night when I saw it on the shelf at Best Buy for $5. It doesn’t bother me to play a game in the middle of a series I’ve never touched before if I spot it on sale. And as long as it’s not one of those silly “kidz” games or the 7th incarnation of Naruto or Bleach. I have standards, you know.

And what sort of person would I be to pass up a $5 JRPG? I mean, really. (more…)

May 4, 2012

Trauma Centre: Under the Knife 2 (Project Backlog)

Status: Main game completed, varying difficulties

When I spot games that are under $10 I instinctively want to add them to my game library (much to the chagrin of my husband). Hence why I’m rarely allowed to peruse the game section at Fry’s when we stop in there. For the most part I’ve scored big, finding titles that I’d either forgotten I wanted or oddities that seemed to fly under everyone’s radar.

I really only picked up Trauma Center: Under the Knife 2 because 1) it was cheap, and 2) I wanted to see just how well this surgical game played. I’d heard about the ridiculousness of having to disarm a bomb using medical supplies in a previous installment, probably what had originally caused me to avoid the franchise. (more…)

April 13, 2012

Gardening Mama (Project Backlog)

Status: Unlocked a good chunk of gardenables, only a few seeds left for my collection

As a fan of the first two Cooking Mama titles, I was excited to try the first franchise off-shoot, Gardening Mama. Mama and I had gotten along pretty well in those first two games and the prospect of moving to a new environment was inviting. By the end of Cooking Mama 2 things were getting a bit too repetitive for my liking and I needed a break from the kitchen.

Unfortunately, not a lot had really changed from Cooking Mama to Gardening Mama. (more…)

November 2, 2011

Professor Layton and the Last Specter

Status: 1 playthrough complete

Total Time:  19hr 1min
Puzzles Solved: 138 
Total Picarats: 5048

Professor Layton and the Last Specter (or Specter’s Flute, depending on your region) it the first in a trilogy of prequels to the best selling puzzle series. Layton receives a letter from his old friend Clark Triton, requesting his help in the town of Misthallery. A mysterious specter comes out at night, destroying homes in various parts of town, and putting the lives of many innocent people in jeopardy. Layton barely has time to meet his new assistant, Emmy, when the two rush off to Misthallery and solve the puzzle that awaits them.

When Professor Layton reaches his friend’s home, he finds Clark shocked to see him. His friend swears he did not send the letter asking for aid. It is after this exchange that the Professor makes an effort to introduce himself to Clark’s son, Luke. Luke is amazed to meet his father’s dearest friend and asks that he join Layton and Emmy on their quest to find out what is really going on in town. (more…)

April 12, 2011

Nanda’s Island

Filed under: Nintendo — Tags: , , , , , , — Yukino @ 6:24 PM

Status: On Level 33 of 50

Poor Nanda! The island our shaman panda friend lives on has dried up and he is all alone. Nanda possesses the power to call forth the rain, but his clouds never seem to be able to get the rain to fall where he needs it most. With our help and some special seeds, we can help Nanda turn his island home back into a tropical paradise wildlife will flock to. All you need to do is put your puzzle cap on, make sure your DS is fully charged and channel your video game prowess in this latest release from MumboJumbo. (more…)

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