Tag Archives: hal laboratory

Kirby’s Dream Land 3 Review

For the last ten years, Kirby’s Dream Land 3 and I have kept passing each other by, with no more than mere glances in the other’s direction before ultimately going our separate ways.  Whether in the form of a physical SNES cartridge or a quick download vie the Wii U Virtual Console, I have had multiple opportunities to play the game, but have always chosen to spend my money on the highly praised Kirby Super Star instead.  Finally, with the release of the SNES collection provided by the Switch Online service, I hadn’t any reason to ignore this game any longer.  And now, in this post, I answer the question: do I regret taking so long to play this game?  Well…yes and no. Continue reading Kirby’s Dream Land 3 Review

How Pokemon Made Me a Gamer

I used to be quite the “Pokemon” fan.  I have since, for whatever reason, outgrown my interest in the series, but it used to be such a big thing for me and has gone on to make a rather large, though somewhat indirect, impact on my life, that I needed to write a post about it.  “Pokemon”, if you’re not familiar with it, is a series that manifests itself in many forms, including cartoons, card games, video games, etc., involving Pokemon trainers that catch creatures called Pokemon, which they use to fight in battles and such.  It’s a rather simple concept, really, but addicting (oh, the countless hours I spent collecting Pokemon and leveling them up in “Pokemon Silver”).  I hear that there are now more than 500 kinds of Pokemon, which I find a bit crazy at this point, but okay.  (For me, the original 151 will always be THE Pokemon.)

The series first caught my eye quite a while ago, when I was rather young.  I saw Pikachu, the most famous Pokemon of all, in a store, and I thought it was quite cute, and when I brought it up to a friend at school, he asked me if I was a fan of the series.  Well, to be honest, I had actually not even heard of it yet.  As I said, this Pikachu thing was pretty cute, but I didn’t know what it was.  It was at this time that my friend enlightened me, and I became an instant fan.  I found the anime on TV, and I made it my goal to learn the names of all 151 Pokemon (yes, that’s all there were back then).  I watched the show and found sites on the Internet (my first major expedition into the mysterious terrain of the world wide web), and I made a list of each new Pokemon I found.  In a way, like Pokemon trainer Ash Ketchum, I wanted to collect all the Pokemon…even if only in list form. Continue reading How Pokemon Made Me a Gamer

Top Songs from Kirby’s Epic Yarn

“Kirby” games always have a lot of fun, cute music (to match their adorable puffball hero, no doubt), and now I have a list of the top songs from “Kirby’s Epic Yarn” (poorly described, as usual), a game that seemed quite fond of the piano (you can detect that instrument in many of the songs, it seems).  I have included links to Youtube, and the songs are in order from least good to most good.

            10. “Meta Melon Isle” plays in the level of the same name.  It is a fun, beach-y sounding song.  It can’t help but make you happy.  Smile, darn it!  Upturn those lip corners!

            9. “Stellar Way” is a bit annoying, as it really gets stuck in my head.  But, it is also seriously a super adorable song, and it’s a bit different, as well.

            8. “Halberd”, also known as “Meta Knight’s Revenge”, is a song that’s been in the series before.  And it shows up again in the level with Meta Knight’s ship, because it’s a good song.  Not my favorite version, but still good.

            7. “Tankbot” plays when Kirby is in his tank form.  It actually just repeats this fairly short tune the whole time, but I still like it anyway.  It’s…action-y…or something.

            6. “Vs. King Dedede”, his theme from previous games.  This is always one of my favorites.

            5. “Patch Castle” plays in the first level of the game, and it is a lovely song that is played on the piano (more so than many others).  It strangely makes me sad, though.  Don’t know why.

            4. “Butter Building”, another famous “Kirby” song.  I forget where it plays in this game, but it’s always been a fun one.

            3. “Castle Dedede”, yet another song from previous games.  I enjoy this one quite a bit, especially the piano parts.

            2. “Vs. Squashini” plays during the boss battle against some strange, pumpkin (he looks more like a pumpkin than a squash to me) magician boss (who I find adorable).  I enjoyed both the battle and the music.

            1. “Dark Manor”, which plays in, well, a very dark, spooky manor which is in dire need of some nightlights.  I knew this was my favorite song as soon as I heard it.  I think a piano and a harpsichord are in there at parts.  It’s a lovely song, but it also works quite well in this haunted little manor.  (Spooky songs often are the best, no?  Along with factory songs, but those don’t really appear in this game.  Anyway…)

Duckini, Which is Not At All Like a Bikini or a Zuchini

The Duck Accidentally Knits Kirby Into a Sweater

But, don’t worry, he’s okay now.  Ahem, a year ago, I decided to finally buy “Kirby’s Epic Yarn”.  I was a bit apprehensive at first, as the game looks much different from what I’m used to.  Kirby’s made of yarn now?  Are you mad?  But, I was running out of Wii games to buy, and I had heard nothing but good things about this game, so I decided to check it out.  As I am slow, it took me a year to get around to playing this game (even after buying it, mind you), but now that I have, I must say I’m glad I did.

            This game stars our favorite pink puffball as he goes on a quest to save Patch Land, a land made of yarn and fabric and buttons and the like (materials from my sewing box, actually) from the evil Yin-Yarn.  While I have no idea what this villain’s deal is, I don’t expect much really, as it is a “Kirby” game, after all, and they were never deep on story.  (Seriously, though, what was that guy’s motivation?  And was his boss battle really that easy, or am I missing something?  Gah, the vague story bugs me so!)

            And while I enjoy “Kirby” games, one issue I have with them is that they are all the same, really.  At least, that’s what I think.  You played one, you’ve played them all.  What this particular game has going for it, though, is the fact that it stands out from other “Kirby” games.  For one thing, it still has the same simple charm that the series has always had, and yet this time around, like I said, everything is made of yarn and fabric and the like.  Plus, Kirby can even unzip things in the environment, and one level has dinos with googly eyes.  Both of those things are positively adorable.  You also don’t have any health in this game, which I find odd, but Kirby loses beads if he gets hurt, so there is a bit of motivation not to get hit, since by collecting enough beads, you get gold medals (unsure of the purpose of these, but I still wanted them all just because), and if you have enough beads by the end of a boss battle, you get a new level to check out.

            Another difference in this game is that Kirby does not have his famous copy abilities, which may seem strange, as this is one thing the “Kirby” series is known for, but they make up for this in other ways.  Being made of yarn, Kirby is now more flexible than a contortionist, and he can bend his little, pink body into all kinds of shapes.  So at various points throughout the game, he can turn into different things, like a tank, a dolphin (I like the dolphin), a train (I hate the train), and even a little fire truck that shoots water made of blue yarn.  So at least these transformations are kind of similar to Kirby’s old abilities, and it does help to further differentiate this game from past entries of the series.

            And just a quick mention of the fact that Kirby can also decorate a little apartment with items he buys or finds, plus he can talk to his friends and complete challenges, such as hide and seek and races, some of which can be rather difficult.  This helps to get a little more out of an otherwise short game.

            So this is a pretty short post, but that’s all you really need to know about this game.  It’s still cute and fun, but what I noticed most was how it differs from other “Kirby” games, but in a good way.  This is a refreshing change to a series I feel has not changed much over the years.  If you buy one “Kirby” game, buy this one.  (Or “Superstar”.  Either one brings a little something special to the series.)

A Duck Made of Felt and String

The Duck Gets in a Melee

I decided to check out “Super Smash Bros. Melee” again not that long ago, and it was a bit of a strange experience.  I found out the hard way that characters can’t swim in this game like they can in “Brawl” when Young Link sank to the bottom of Great Bay like a stone.  I also now see that the graphics I thought were so beautiful in the past pale in comparison to the graphics of “Brawl”.  They were great for their time, but now they’re just okay.  Also, it took me some effort to figure out the controls again.  I am so used to playing “Brawl” with the Wii remote that I just couldn’t figure out the GameCube controller again.  Got A and B attacks.  Easy.  Took some time to learn how to grab people and use the shield again.  But, how in Hyrule do you throw items?  Link grabbed this fan, and I couldn’t get him to let it go.  Put it down, Link!  Put it down!  Bad boy!  Put!  It!  Down!  I felt around the controller, making the poor thing likely feel rather uncomfortable, pressing everything, until I noticed the hidden Z button I had completely forgotten about.  That did the trick.  Good boy, Link.  Now replace those tights with some pants.

            Once all that was settled, I had almost somewhat of a fun time.  Kind of.  I remember when this game first came out, I was so excited, despite not being a fan of the original “Super Smash Bros.”  The graphics looked so much better.  There were so many new characters and new levels.  There were trophies now, event matches.  It was fantastic.  But, now that I’ve done almost everything in it, it’s a bit sad and boring.  “Brawl”, too, has lost much of its original thrill.  While the games are extremely fun when I first get them, I have no desire whatsoever to do any of those things over again.  I am not suffering through those horridly difficult event matches again or playing however many hours it took to get Mewtwo.  For me, the replay-ability (is that a word?) is just not there for this series.

           Luckily, there are a few things I still haven’t been able to do, which made playing the game a bit fun again.  I found that two event matches were left, 36, I think, and 49.  I beat 36, where you play asNess, and he has to beat several characters like Samus and Kirby, but 49 is impossible.  This is where you can play as anyone, and you must beat some of the new characters.  Dr. Mario beats the snot out of me every time.  He’s a terrible doctor.  And I actually got a new trophy.  I did Adventure Mode, and for the first time ever, Giga Bowser showed up.  I have no idea why.  But, I beat him and got the trophy.  It’s weird that after a decade of having the game, I can still get new things.

           In short, this game saddens me a bit to remember how fun it used to be, and now I can’t play that long without getting bored.  Games are almost always the best the first time through, but many of them still stay fun for years to come.  But, with “Super Smash Bros.”, it isn’t fun to do things over again.  Not for me, at least.  It kind of takes the fun out of the next “SSB”.  I look forward to it, but once I play it, it’ll likely suffer the same fate as the other games unless they do another story mode and do it even better than “Brawl” did.  Let’s have a moment of silence for the awesomeness “Melee” used to have.  …  …  There, that was nice.

Giga Duck

Top Songs from SSBB

“Super Smash Bros Brawl” has a bunch of great songs from a variety of games, so I had to do my top 10 songs from this game.  It was hard to narrow it down when there were so many good songs to choose from.  I had to cut some really good ones, but here are the ones I think are the best.

            10. “King Dedede’s Theme” is the theme for King Dedede, the fat penguin from the “Kirby” series.  I always thought this was a fun song.

            9. “Molgera Battle” seems to be the original version of the song from “The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker”, which plays when you fight Molgera, of course.  It doesn’t fit a boss battle or a fighting game at all, but it’s still fun.

            8. “Bramble Blast” is the new version of “Stickerbush Symphony” from “Donkey Kong Country 2”.  This version is actually a lot different in parts (even to the point of being unrecognizable), but I still like it.

            7. “Ashley’s Song (English)” is a song that is apparently about a weird girl named Ashley that lives in a haunted mansion and can do spells.  The song is from “WarioWare: Touched!”, which I’ve never played.  Some people don’t like that the English version sounds too Broadway-ish, but I still like it anyway.

            6. “Underground Theme (Super Mario Land)” is from a game I’ve never played, but it is awesome, especially when it really gets going at 0:24.

            5. “Gerudo Valley” is originally from “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” and has always been one of the best songs from that game.  I like the guitar.

            4. “Vs. Marx” is a revised version of the music that plays when you fight Marx in “Kirby Superstar”.  I like the beginning the most.

            3. “Main Theme (Super Smash Brothers Brawl)” is the awesome version of this game’s theme that plays in the opening video.  It is epic.  It includes a chorus and is sung in Latin.

            2. “Calling to the Night” is another song with words and is from “Metal Gear Solid Portable Ops”, which I have not played.  Fortunately for me, they included this beautiful song for us all to hear.

            1. “Metroid Prime Opening/Menu” is one of the best songs ever and from “Metroid Prime”.  It has a really interesting sound to it and sounds very sci-fi-ish.  I love that siren type sound in the background at parts.  I hate the narration at the beginning, though, but it ends around 0:13 or so.

Calling to the Duck

The Duck Gets in a Brawl

I was playing “Super Smash Brothers Brawl” again recently.  There wasn’t tons to do, though, because I already got almost everything.  Darn me and my amazingness.  The game was still fun, though.

            Every “Super Smash Brothers” game is better than the last.  The graphics continue to get better.  And this one has a whopping 35 playable characters, I believe.  The characters are from a bunch of different Nintendo games, and now they’ve added two from other video game developers, as well, Sonic the hedgehog and Solid Snake.  (No idea who Snake is, but he’s apparently from “Metal Gear”.  Still tells me nothing.)  One huge thing I love about the series is that you get to play as characters you don’t normally get to play as.  I’ve never gotten to play as Ganondorf or Zelda or Falco, but now I can.  It’s awesome.  Plus, playing as characters that are playable in other games is still fun, too.  Link’s my favorite.  Always has been.  Always will be.  (Unless Ghirahim from “Skyward Sword” ends up in the next “SSB”…  Then, forget you, Link.  Sorry.)

            Some of the character changes in this game made me sad, and some made me gleeful.  They replaced Young Link with Toon Link, which made me sad.  Young Link was adorable, especially when he drank his bottle of milk.  Aww.  And Pichu was cute, too, but I see why they got rid of it.  It was a weakling.  An adorable weakling.  But, they added good characters like Meta Knight and King Dedede from the “Kirby” series, so that made me gleeful.  They also added Wolf from the “Star Fox” series.  I don’t know who he is, and I don’t know why they added him when he’s the same as Fox and Falco.  His addition leaves me indifferent.  Wario’s addition makes me disturbed.  (Don’t use down B!  NOOOO!!!)

            This game also has new trophies.  New stages.  You can also collect music and stickers.  I think the stickers are a bit odd, but okay.  You can use them for upgrading characters, I think, though I don’t usually bother.  I have over 600 of them, and no way am I going through all that.  I believe I’ve gotten all the songs or all but one.  The songs then play on stages, which would be fun if they’d actually play my favorite songs.  They almost never do.  Wah.

            You can also create your own stages, but I only did it because you get something if you do.  All the stages I made are total crap.  Just awful.  And in some, characters got stuck places or couldn’t even reach each other.  I fixed it, but still.  (I think I shouldn’t go for a career in video games.)  I’ve never ever been good when games let you build or design stuff.  My gummy ships in “Kingdom Hearts” were complete crap.  My vehicles in “Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts and Bolts” were complete crap.  When I painted the moogle in “Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles”, it looked like multi-colored crap.  Everything I do is crap.  Thanks for rubbing my face in it, Nintendo.  Now I feel like crap.

            Anyway, the best part about “Brawl” is that they’ve also added a story mode called Subspace Emissary, which has a decent story.  (I like that there is no dialogue at all.  The whole story is told through the characters’ actions.)  It is made up of a bunch of side scrolling levels with a nice variety of locations and a lot of different enemies to beat up or get beaten by.  Some locations are beautiful.  I spent quite a bit of time admiring the background in the forest.  So pretty.  So very pretty.

            There are also secret rooms and such throughout the levels where you can collect stickers and trophies.  My first time through I got 85%, so I guess I missed a decent amount.  I decided to play again and thought I could do better, so even once I finished, I went back to get what I missed and ended up with 100% in 14 hours and 56 minutes.  Woo!  I now found that the three characters missing from the story mode can be unlocked.  You have to find and defeat them first, though.  Jigglypuff is a beast.  It doesn’t make sense because she’s crap to play as, but as a computer controlled character, she is evil.  I hate you, you pink puff of death.  I finally beat her with Kirby, a pink puff of goodness.

            “Brawl” also includes lots of demos or whatever of old games, but you can only play for a few minutes or something.  I need to play those sometime.  I’ve mainly ignored them.  Possibly due to some subconscious fear of old games because of how utterly and completely they’ve kicked my feathery butt in the past.  (I hate the old “Donkey Kong” arcade with every atom in my body.  Old games mean pain.  And dreadful sound effects.)

            Anyway, I very much look forward to what they’ll come out with when the next game arrives.  At this rate, the next game may be almost too awesome for me to handle.  I think I’ll manage, though.

Super Smash Brothers Duck (that should be the name of the sequel)