Tag Archives: amiibo

Wild Arms 3 Part 36: Villains x Issues

Happy New Year! Today is January 2nd, the day we get back to work. Any skill you work on today you’ll improve greatly. I’ve decided to work on my finger snap.

Previously on Wild Arms 3:
We have reached the promised land (little p, little l), and it is lush and green and contains at least one Daddy. Unfortunately, it also contains a tower full of miscreants. So it is time to clean house.


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And here is our first opponent.


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I did a quick check, and the only person to say the word “unsightly” in the script is Melody. She uses the word seven times over the course of the game. This is number six.


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“So you want the planet to feed on nectar?”
“It’s a metaphor!”


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If each of the Prophets has a rival, then Clive has been assigned to Melody.


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And she is trying to be magnanimous about it.


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She had this whole origin story bit prepared, and she is not going to let anyone interrupt.


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“We were slugs for a hot second, but we digivolved from there.”


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“He’s so uncreative…”


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So… uh… is the implication that Malik is…

FGC #648 Super Smash Bros for WiiU

Let's Smash!You know what Sunday is, right? It’s Christmas! Oh boy! But this blog has rarely ever recognized Sunday as an official day of the week (Wankery Week not withstanding), so we’re going to focus on Monday. And you know what Monday is? Little Mac’s favorite holiday! Boxing Day!

And, ladies and gentlemen, the world has not been good to Boxing Day.

As it is assumed that the majority of the Gogglebob.com audience is USAian, we will take a quick moment to explain that holiday that has been hovering around the edges of your calendar. Boxing Day is consistently December 26th, the day after Christmas. While some countries have assigned it the religious undertones of “The Second Day of Christmas”, “Saint Stephen’s Day”, or “The Holy Mother’s After Party”, the day identified as Boxing Day is traditionally secular (if it is one of those other names, though, woo boy, look out [for Jesus]). While Christmas is a time for traditions and families, Boxing Day has become a 24-hour period where you are still technically on the holiday clock, but no longer required to deal with grandma. You don’t have to futz around with the fam or God anymore, but you also don’t have to go to work, so you can do whatever you want to do. In fact, why don’t you go shopping? That is apparently what happens in most places that celebrate Boxing Day, as Boxing Day has been equated to America’s Black Friday in countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

And… uh… that is a bit of an issue for people that, ya know, like to enjoy a holiday. If you are shopping, that means someone has to work to keep the mall going…

PunchtimesBoxing Day seemingly got its start as a holiday for workers. Christmas? That was a day that required all hands on deck, as wealthy families would invite friends, acquaintances, and anybody with a monocle to lavish parties that involved all sorts of slaughtered animals dressed up with enticing fruits. Such an event would require a brigade of chefs, servants, and personal shoppers to achieve the level of opulence to which the masters were all accustomed. But the day after Christmas? Screw it! Nobody is throwing a party after Uncle Steve passed out in the eggnog bowl, so let the staff have the day off. They can exchange boxes with their families, and we will formally recognize the day as a holiday to make ‘em all feel better about being the peasantry. Boxing Day? Sure! Let’s make it official, and then even Scrooge will have to give Bob Cratchit a day off once a year.

But, boxes preserve us, now the opulence is calling from inside the house, and the middle class has decided to feed on itself.

In fact, let’s get all metaphorical on this holiday…

Today’s not-at-all randomly chosen game is Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. It is the fourth entry in the Smash Bros franchise (see that lovely “for” pun in there?), and many could argue that its roster is a response to the anemic additions of the third entry, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. SSBB was an excellent title with exciting gameplay, but, in retrospect, its newcomers were lackluster. Wario, King Dedede, Meta Knight, Diddy Kong, and Samus wearing a different hat all felt like characters that just missed appearing in the previous game. Lucario, Lucas, Ike, Wolf, and Toon Link barely counted as “new”. And that left two company guest characters (who, let’s be honest, were amazing additions) and Pokémon Trainer, Olimar, Pit, and R.O.B. as truly original, truly unexpected recruits. And there was much rejoicing over these newbies, but SSBFW’s bounty seemed to be a direct retort to Brawl’s uninspiring announcements. “For” offered a meager two echo characters (Lucina and Dark Pit), and everyone else was not only a wholly new character, but generally unexpected (give or take Animal Crossing Villager). And while there was an emphasis on newer/contemporary characters, there were “retro” characters introduced with much pomp and fanfare. Duck Hunt Duck & Dog was the ROB/Game & Watch of this title, and Little Mac made the scene as Let him have itone of the few characters to ever be upgraded from “assist trophy” to full-on playable dude (say hi to Dark Samus later, Mac). And there was much rejoicing! Give or take a King Hippo, Little Mac is Nintendo’s most celebrated pugilist from its fightiest franchise, and his addition felt like Little Mac coming home.

But Little Mac “coming home” is… not Little Mac.

Little Mac is a professional boxer. He is also 17, 5′ 7″, and weighs a whole 107 lbs. In other words, I have eaten nacho platters taller and heavier than this kid. And, while this is not impossible in the world of boxing (look up The Bronx Bull aka Giacobbe “Jake” LaMotta some time), it may be impossible in a boxing league where he has to fell the 6’4”/240 pounds of muscle that is Super Macho Man. Little Mac was “little” in the first place to effectively utilize screen space and compensate for the graphical processing of 80’s gaming platforms, but he has never grown up because the world loves an underdog. He’s just a little dude! And, in the brutal and physical world of boxing, he must rely on his speed and smarts to duck Don Flamingo and pop Soda Popinski. If there were sports betting available for Punch-Out viewers, Little Mac would always be the 100-1 outside chance. Little Mac will one day win, but he will win as the boy who fought his way up from the gutter.

And it is hard to believe someone is down in the gutter when they are starring in Super Smash Bros.

Super Smash Bros. has now established itself as the veritable who’s who of the gaming universe. If your protagonist is distinctive (and not too horny), they may appear in Super Smash Bros. While this was previously an exclusively Nintendo stable, the DLC of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate established that everyone and anyone could sneak in there, even if they hadn’t appeared on a Nintendo console in over a decade. And these DLC characters were the pillars of the industry, whether they were representatives of eternal fighting game franchises or the very concept of gaming for a generation (sadly, I am talking about Steve). Little Mac is in good company!

Get that pikachuBut should he be? Can you still be the underdog when you are running with the big dogs? Can you still be “little” when you are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with giants? Can you be a holiday for the common people when you are right there on the calendar next to Christmas? Boxing boy is supposed to be an underdog everyman, but now he is boxing with Pikachu. Boxing Day is supposed to be a day for the everyman to rest and relax, but now everyone that works retail must spend the day selling Pikachus. Can you still represent the masses when you have become popular? It is possible that the privileged will still believe in you, but the people that have to keep doing the real work might not be so easily duped.

Happy Boxing Day, Little Mac. Relax and enjoy your sellout holiday, you class traitor.

FGC #648 Super Smash Bros for WiiU

  • System: One of those rare situations where it is right there in the name.
  • Number of players: Eight! That was a pretty big deal at the time! According to the release date for the 3DS version, it took a month to implement.
  • A Retrospective Look: Now that we have Super Smash Bros Ultimate, nearly everything about SSBfWU seems to be defined by what was not carried forward. For instance, there are a few final smashes that were modified to be less controlled for their future game, and Zelda is technically a totally different character (that is also the same character). Other than that, this game feels so similar, sometimes I get confused as to why Ice Climbers aren’t available as a pick.
  • Love that space dragonRidley is too big: This would be the final time Ridley appeared in Smash before becoming a playable character. Interestingly enough, thanks to cinema scenes, background cameos, and boss fights, Ridley has always been in every single Smash Bros game in some capacity.
  • Favorite Character (unique to the game): Charizard is alone in this fourth iteration of Smash. He had a team in Brawl, and would get his buddies back in Ultimate, but he is a loner here. And that means he can flare blitz and rock smash with the best of ‘em. No Ivysaur holding this dragon back!
  • Goggle Bob Fact: Back when amiibos were new, every time a new batch would be released, I would invite seven amiibos to an 8 person fight in Animal Crossing town for a half hour. Battling against an army of statue Ais would level them up easily, and it made me feel like I got my money’s worth out of those $13 figurines. Now I just write about amiibos on the internet to feel better about myself.
  • Did you know? Little Mac’s boxing stage was revealed in the Mega Man trailer, which premiered the day the game was publicly announced. While the ring could have been a reference to Wii Boxing from Wii Sports, we really should have seen Little Mac coming.
  • Go big yellowDid you ever wonder? The boxing ring stage offers individual “fight titles” for each character. Do you suppose the producers regretted that as the roster mushroomed to nearly 90 fighters?
  • Would I play again: Everything great about Super Smash Bros For WiiU is replicated in Super Smash Bros Ultimate, so it is an extreme rarity that I boot up the old girl. Sorry, WiiU, but I will get back to you when you let me play as Little Mac and a fat, angry lizard with boxing gloves.

What’s next? The year is just about over, so let’s review 2022! Please look forward to it!

Poor little robot

Wild Arms 3 Part 21: Home is Where the Plot Is

Today is a brand new day, specifically September 19, Pot of Hell Day. Although this isn’t widely known, there is a gigantic cauldron in hell that boils sinners for eternity. The broth that seeps out of the rich and chubby sinners makes a good soup base.

Previously on Wild Arms 3: Virginia and company were defeated by Asgard the Golem, but then rescued by the power of love. Now we’re past all that, and, after a quick, secret visit from Virginia’s father, we’re going to Clive’s home.


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Humphrey’s Peak is a long walk from Little Rock, but a quick jaunt from that laboratory dungeon.


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Looks like a pretty place.


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I just said that! Bah!


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“You don’t make ‘buy a town’ money on shooting poisonous birds.”


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“We just had the blue roof installed last month. It is somehow already out of warranty.”


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Fun fact: This is not a super mountainous area. I have no idea what this is supposed to be the “peak” of.


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Maybe we will discover answers under this bridge…

FGC #431 Super Mario Maker

THWOMPEvery title that has been profiled thus far for Games Preservation “Week” is currently very difficult to obtain, should it even be possible at all. Ignoring the fact that one game is now apparently getting a stateside release because I willed it into being, other games this week include two arcade games that never saw home releases, one delisted online offering, and a 20 year old game starring a fat penguin being the only one that exists in anything resembling a physical form (albeit only in Japan). Today’s game survives in digital and physical form across all regions. Despite being a title for a “retired” system, it is likely still easily available at your local used games shop. It is available on Amazon. It is available for two different systems on Amazon, and you don’t even have to settle for a used copy. And, considering “Mario” is right there in the title, it is likely to always be available in one form or another, whether you have to go trawling through eBay or dusty discount bins to find it. Today, we are talking about Super Mario Maker, and such a title is never not going to be available.

And, likely sometime in the near future, it’s simultaneously going to be one of the best games ever made, and one that is completely, utterly worthless.

Super Mario Maker was my Game of the Year at its release in 2015. Why? Mario Maker is a fun, Mario Paint-esque way to create Super Mario levels. But who cares about that? Creation is secondary to the reason I played the title for hours: Infinite Mario. As someone who could literally play Super Mario Bros. stages all day (and absolutely has), the idea of a game featuring literally thousands of Super Mario Bros. stages is something of a dream come true. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: if Super Mario Bros. 3 had DLC as we know it back when I was seven, and I had access to a parent’s credit card, my family would be destitute before I even turned ten. I would spend every last real world dime on a new opportunity to use Kuribo’s Shoe, and I’d gladly watch my family move into a comfy cardboard box if it meant I could play through an all-new World 11. There isn’t even a question in my mind: Super Mario Maker is everything I’ve wanted from a Super Mario game since before the Super Nintendo was even a Here we gotwinkle in Miyamoto’s eye, and, even if the stages of Super Mario Maker weren’t all designed by the geniuses at Nintendo, at least I could get some sweet, sweet Mario “joy of movement” going on in every stage. It didn’t matter if I was destined to lose one Mario or a million, it’s just fun to be Mario, and these “infinite” stages would quench that thirst with a veritable waterfall.

And a funny thing happened when Super Mario Maker started to gain popularity (roughly seventeen seconds after release). In a way that no one ever expected, new, fan-made Mario stages started to coalesce into a few distinct categories. There were the “obvious” stages; the levels that could, with a little polish, exist in regular Super Mario stage rotations. These were easy to navigate stages with plenty of powerups and a familiar tone for anyone that had ever played through a Super Mario World or two. Then there were the inevitable “hard as Steelix” stages that required an impossible amount of memorization and a general hatred for invisible blocks that may pop up at any moment. Then we’ve got some puzzle stages that may or may not be one screen wide and require three minutes of maze navigation or turtle shell manipulation. And, finally, we have the automatic stages.

The automatic stages leave me… conflicted.

On one hand, the last thing anyone wants to do when they pick up a controller is sit and do not a damn thing with it. Controllers are meant to control! They are not meant to idle and be unused while Mario is conveyed around a cinema scene of a level. Automatic stages suck! And, on a personal level, I really feel like I’m in a groove when I’m dashing around and saving princess after princess. When I hit a stage where the “answer” is “don’t move for a minute”, well, there’s nothing that kills momentum faster than outright stopping. Automatic Mario levels are a scourge, and their continued existence within the world of Super Mario Maker is a detriment to us all!

This is boringOn the other hand, the automatic levels of Super Mario Maker are testaments to creativity and an almost super-human understanding of how Mario “works”. These stages require hours of trial and error to create, and, while they might be over inside of a minute or two, the time their creators have invested is staggering. And that’s time involved that doesn’t even consider the number of days it takes to be enough of a Mario expert to absorb the timing and physics of every last spring, trap, and creature in Mario’s world. And, taking it a step further are the automatic stages that play some kind of musical tune. This requires not only perfect timing and understanding, but a musical aptitude generally not possessed outside of your finest virtuosos, like Beethoven or John Cougar Mellencamp. And never mind that sheet music for transposing Final Fantasy 6 themes into Mario blocks isn’t exactly readily available. In short, while these automatic stages might not be the most exciting levels when playing through a proper game of Hundred Mario Shuffle, they are shining examples of the creativity and care that can be involved when using the limited tools of Super Mario Maker.

And, soon enough, all of those stages will be gone, lost to the digital ether like Scott Pilgrim before them.

This is an inevitable problem with literally every videogame that involves an online component. MMORPGs have risen and fallen (I see you, City of Heroes, and I would totally write an article about you if I could play your damn game), and scores of original characters whom must not be stolen have died on the battlefields of the server wars. Online friends lists tied to particular games have been dropped forever when a later version was released, and thus were untold OWIEfriendships lost. And, while we’re all sad to see online matchmaking go the way of the dodo in any given fighting game, it’s always the creative titles that are hit the hardest. Yes, that Super Mario Maker stage you had hiding on your local hard drive is unlikely to go anywhere, but the online data associated with it, and the ability for anyone to play that level outside of your living room, is going to be gone forever very shortly. The “MiiVerse” comments are already gone, and, given enough time, data on who died where, or how many stars numerated the many people that enjoyed that stage will be gone. Everything that made Super Mario Maker a community project for thousands of people will be gone. It’s supposed to be Bowser that is flushed into the unforgiving oblivion of lava, not his meticulously-designed castle.

And what can be done about this? Absolutely nothing. Even if Nintendo were to carry Super Mario Maker stages forward from generation to generation, eventually that data would be dropped for literally anything else (new stages in… Animal Crossing?). In 2016, Nintendo announced that there were over 7,200,000 stages created in Super Mario Maker. In 2020, it is likely there will be 0.

This “week” (month?) has been about videogame preservation. Videogames have only been “videogames” as we know them for the previous three decades or so. In that time, we have already seen games that will be gone from future generations forever (give or take a rom or two). As time passes, as CDs degrade, as base consoles crumble, and, yes, as hard drives inevitably self-destruct, more and more of the past of videogames will be lost to the ages. But at least these items were built to last in the first place. A Playstation 1 CD might be failing now, literally decades after its first printing, but that CD likely survived about seven resales at Electronics Boutique just to get to this moment. And while your Legend of Zelda save battery might be long gone, the cartridge still functions as it should, even if you may have used that chunk of gold plastic as a Frisbee in your younger years. All videogames may eventually degrade, but the amazing content of Super Mario Maker was born with a comparatively Chestnuts stackingtiny shelf life. One way or another, the levels of Super Mario Bros. are going to be around until mankind is usurped by the inevitable rise of super-smart dolphins (they loathe any medium that requires thumbs), while the unique, remarkable, and millions of levels of Super Mario Maker are unlikely to see a full decade.

Videogame preservation is important. Preservation of what’s in those videogames is important, too, whether it be professional, or created by fans. We have an entirely new generation of poets that use springs and hammer bros. for their rhymes, but they are creating poetry that will be forgotten as quickly as Edith Södergran.

Super Mario Maker, you are the best game I have ever played that has so totally broken my heart.

FGC #431 Super Mario Maker

  • System: Nintendo WiiU. Given how that system seems to be all but disowned by Nintendo now, I assume that’s another strike against the title’s preservation. Also, there’s the 3DS version that I am barely counting.
  • Number of players: This ain’t no cat-costume, four-player Mario title. One of a hundred Marios at a time, please.
  • Great Moments in Interfaces: Whoever came up with the concept of “shaking” an item during level creation, and getting a similar, but different item is a goddamn genius. Give that person a raise! And maybe a puppy!
  • Make any good levels you would like to share? Nope. Next question.
  • Not a single one? I’m a writer, dammit. I am so much better at making punny names than actually worthwhile levels. I have a level just lousy with Lakitu called “Cloud Strife”. That’s exactly what I’m looking for in level-name synergy.
  • Toasty!Favorite Mario Maker Addition: The Flying Bowser Clown Car has gained a surprising amount of traction in the last few years, but transmuting it into a fire-breathing mount capable of transforming traditional Mario action into a shoot ‘em up is rather inspired.
  • Amiibo Corner: You could have sold me on this title with the fact that every Smash Bros. amiibo works for unlocking cute lil’ 8-bit version of your favorite smasher. Nintendo, feel free to reward my unquenchable OCD any time you’d like.
  • Did you know? Takashi Tezuka, co-creator of the Mario series, has expressed that he is nearly jealous of all of the Mario Makers that create difficult levels. When you’re not constrained by creating a Mario game that is actually, ya know, fun, then you can just go nuts with an army of spinies and thwomps.
  • Would I play again: I still keep my WiiU gamepad charged exclusively to try the 100 Mario Challenge every once in a while. And I’ll keep doing that until the lights go out in this particular arcade.

What’s next? Oh, what the hell. Let’s try one more lost arcade beat ‘em up. One more for the road, ladies and gentlemen. Please look forward to it!

Gotta recognize
Special thanks to everyone that made this article possible