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Super NES Remake and one Japanese Import Down
Published on April 9, 2007 By iTZKooPA In Gaming
As promised I returned MUCH sooner than my previous posting, a man of his word. We left off with the completion of two solid, yet not without flaws, Co-op games and move onto the realm of handheld single player titles. I should point out that I am not listing what I have completed in any specific way, most of these titles are just what I have finished since my posting last April. I am trying to order them chronologically but its doubtful that its right, since I am positive I am missing some titles that I completed recently which I will add in as I remember them.

The first title that I can remember beating is one that I really should have played as a child. I have always loved platformers ever since I got my hands on an NES and Super Mario Bros. I still have fond memories of playing Super Mario Bros. 3 every day after elementary school for almost two years with my brother and a neighbor. We had that game down so well that I still remember all the ins and outs of it all these years later (and even pop the title on occasion). The title I speak of is originally from the Super NES era but I played the fantastic GBA remake, Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3. Why didn't I play the title on Super NES? I really have no idea, maybe I was already saving up for Nintendo 64 which was to come out in a year, who knows.

Yoshi's Island: Super Mario Advance 3 deserved all of its praise and surprisingly came with little bickering from the hardcore who believe remakes are the act of demons. The title was true to the SNES feel and got me wanting to play Super Mario World and achieve the 102 completion all over again. Speaking of which, despite the fact that Yoshi's Island was indeed a fantastic platformer in all respects, I really had no inclination to worry about the perfection like I did for Super Mario World or more recently Mario Kart DS. Maybe its the fact that I am older and more crunched for gaming time or its a sign that I didn't like it THAT much. I rarely do 100% completions on titles now, normally I just do what needs to be done to get through the main story and optional side stories. Games which I do go for the 100% completion can safely be considered some of my favorite titles. So all in all if you enjoy platformers and haven't already played Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island then grab the GBA title for its as classic as its forbearer with some fun egg-shooting mechanics. And yes I will be picking up the properly titled DS sequel, Yoshi's Island DS, when I get the time or see it on the cheap.

The next title I grabbed came after I had my Nintendo DS stolen. The day of my final college classes I got a bit inebriated and stupidly thought my DS would be safe hanging in my coat pocket, in a bar. I checked on it a few times throughout the night but that probably just ended up tipping someone off that I had an item worthwhile stealing sitting in my jacket. So basically I got sent back to the GBA realm for sure since I had no ability to play DS titles at the moment (this also gave me a perfect excuse to buy a DS Lite).

So I grabbed one of the original launch titles for the GBA and decided to beat it because I never had. At this point in time there were already 5 sequels for Capcom's Mega Man Battle Network but I didn't care. I had actually imported my GBA from Japan when they were released and received this as one of my import titles. Not speaking Japanese I decided not to play it since I would have no idea what I was doing or what was going on in the story. Some months later after the US release, my girlfriend at the time (and still today) bought me the localized version which I never truly got into till I re-picked it up.

The formula is obviously pretty well known to most handheld players now, since there have been 5 sequels of varying quality but besides that Mega Man Battle Network is your basic card-based RPG set in the Mega Man world. The story does a good job of blending Mega Man into the mix of a digital world where damn near everything you see is connected to the net. Characters seen in the animated-series make appearances although they have no connecting story that I saw (but I didn't really watch the show at all). The combat is where the title really has its strong points, with cards (weapons, power-ups and health) and bad guys all familiar to anyone who has played a Mega Man title. To be honest I didn't really like the title as a whole, the story was very childish and basic, LAN is trying to save the world from a team of evil-doers who are using the Internet to promote their evil tendencies. Puzzles presented to players are often pointless, stupid, very annoying or a combination of all three but the stages do generally have hints on how to go about them (thank god I didn't try the Japanese version). The combat, although the best part of the game, is very slow paced with not much to keep you interested in it other than living. If the sequels had better combat and more of a RPG aspect to building Mega Man other than just collecting a better subset of cards it would certainly improve the series, but I don't think I will be checking any of them out since the original has one of the best meta-rankings of the series. Okay title and a descent choice for those people who love their card-based collecting titles but I have never been a fan of that type of gameplay.

More to come, hopefully around the same time frame!

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