The Random Number Generator has decided that the next game I should write an article about is Kirby’s Dream Land.
In January of 2015, I beat the game Punch-Out!! (NES) on the Wii U Virtual Console. Even though I used Restore Points to take most of the difficulty out of the game, it wasn’t completely easy.
Instead of immediately moving on to Super Punch-Out!!, I settled on what would probably be an easier target. Available on the 3DS Virtual Console were the first few entries in the Kirby Series. The Kirby Series was high on my list of targets, Kirby himself having been a playable character in the very first Super Smash Bros. game.
For me, the completion of Kirby’s Dream Land began a month and a half long binge of the Kirby Series as it existed at that time. I would end up beating 15 Kirby Games before moving on to the Kid Icarus Series and the rest of Punch-Out!!
The thing about Kirby’s Dream Land in particular is that it came out before Kirby was able to use his trademark Copy Ability, which is what allows Kirby to steal the abilities of his enemies. The Copy Ability is something that Kirby is well known for, but he would only start using it in the second Kirby game, Kirby’s Adventure for the NES.
Kirby’s Dream Land is also so short that the entirety of the game was able to be remade and inserted into a later game, Kirby Super Star, where it would serve as one of the mini-games. It was short enough that I was able to complete both it and Kirby’s Adventure in the same afternoon.
I think I did a pretty good job of completing most of the Kirby Series. It’s been almost 5 years though, and many titles have been released in that time. I’ll have to return to Dream Land to finish the job, but currently, I’m in the middle of trying to complete the Greater Mario Series, which is like fighting a dragon with many heads.
The random number generator chose Pokémon Silver Version. That’s interesting.
Pokémon Silver Version was a Game Boy Color game that came out in October of the year 2000. It was one of the two video games that introduced players to the second generation of Pokémon (the group of 100 Pokémon that were revealed to players after the first 151). Silver Version’s mascot is the legendary Pokémon Lugia, who had been introduced to audiences earlier that year in the second Pokémon Movie, “Pokémon the Movie 2000”.
When Pokemon Gold and Silver came out, I didn’t get Silver right away, but I did get Gold Version the first day it came out. I chose Gold instead of Silver because I preferred Ho-oh over Lugia. To me, Ho-oh seemed like a Pokémon that was even newer than Lugia, and that is what made me decide to get Gold first.
I eventually received Silver as a Christmas present, seemingly on Christmas of 2001, but it possibly could have been 2000. My memories of that time in my life are a bit fuzzy. The only evidence against me having gotten it for Christmas of 2001 (that I can think of) is that Pokémon Crystal was already out at that point, and Silver was considered to be inferior to Crystal. I can’t say for certain whether or not I got Crystal on its release date, but if I really did get Silver for Christmas of 2001, it seems that Pokémon Crystal might have been received on another occasion some time after its release date.
I was about 9 back then, and looking back at it, I seemed to be more focused on playing through the story rather than playing beyond the end. I got all 16 Badges in the game and beat Trainer Red like I had done in Gold Version, but in Silver, that’s where I stopped. My starter Pokémon was Totodile because I had already chosen Cyndaquil in Gold, and because Chikorita was in my opinion the lamest of the three.
In those days, I had a guide which I attempted to use with my friend Jonah to complete the Pokédex, but it was a fruitless endeavor. There was no known way to get Mew or Celebi without cheating, and I wasn’t goal-oriented enough to capture the other 249 that were possible to catch. My first real attempt at catching em all would have to wait until Generation 3.
I remember reading that Pokémon Silver Version was considered by the Scholastic Book of World Records to be the most sold video game. I don’t think it was true though, even at the time it was printed. Maybe it was the most sold game during a specific year, but I’m not sure. Even so, if it was true that more copies of Silver were sold than Gold, it seems to indicate that people favored Lugia over Ho-oh at that time, even though the metal Gold is usually considered to be more valuable and thus better than Silver. The reason for Lugia’s popularity might be its design, but it seems to me that people were starting to prefer Pokémon that they were familiar with over those that were perceived to be new. Lugia had its movie, and although Ho-oh did appear in the first episode of Pokémon on TV, I know I never saw that episode until years later, so to many, it was completely new. The sentiment of preferring the familiar would drive some people who had previously liked Pokémon to dislike the newer Pokémon simply based on the fact that they were new and not of the original 151.
Pokémon Silver Version was good, but it was pretty much the same exact game as Gold. It was because I had already beaten Gold and Silver that I later found Pokémon Crystal to be not worth finishing until I finally did in 2014, but that’s a story for another time.
Technically, I have still not played through the remake of Pokémon Silver that came out in 2010. I played Heart Gold but it was my brother who played Soul Silver. I’ll be sure to think of an excuse to play through Soul Silver one day.
I played Pokémon Silver again in the year 2014. I won’t tell you why, but you may be able to guess. Until the time is right, I’m leaving it as a sloppily kept secret. By the way, here’s a trailer for The Yellow Quest!
The random number generator has determined that the game I should write about next is WarioWare: Twisted. It was one of the 3 portable motion controlled Game Boy games that I know about, as well as the second real installment of the WarioWare series.
WarioWare games are great. They’re difficult to play at first, but with practice they become more enjoyable. It consists of playing various micro games in quick succession. Each micro game is only a few seconds long, and the player either wins or loses based on their actions after quickly being given the instructions. Some of the instructions can be too vague to understand the first time you see them, but there are only about 200 micro games in the game, so you end up memorizing a lot of them by the time you’re finished. 200 micro games sounds like a lot, and it is, but they are divided into categories when you play through the main story, so the rotation of possible micro games should only consist of about 20 when you’re first learning them. You can play a mode at the end when any game can appear, but that’s after the main story.
Aside from the first one, WarioWare games have always had a gimmick related to the controls. This time, the gimmick was motion controls. At the time, the Wii didn’t exist yet, so motion controlled games felt new and exciting. Despite how common they are now, this game is one of the best motion controlled games I ever played.
The other motion controlled Game Boy games I know about are Kirby Tilt-N-Tumble and Yoshi: Topsy Turvy. WarioWare: Twisted is the first one I played, and the best of them, but I eventually beat all 3. I wonder why so many of these titles use the letter T so prominently. It might just be a weird coincidence.
The story starts with Wario accidentally breaking his Game Boy Advance. He takes it to his friend Dr. Crygor and tells him to fix it. Instead, Crygor modifies it to have motion controls. Wario sees the potential of it and starts developing games for the new system.
The whole game uses tilt controls and occasionally the A and B buttons. This also applies to the menu. You will never use the directional pad for anything.
I’m a big fan of WarioWare. My friend Jonah introduced the series to me, but I only really got into formally completing the games myself once I received a download for the first WarioWare game through the 3DS Ambassador program. My local Target store dropped the price of the 3DS from $250 to $180 a day early, so I bought it for $180 the day they dropped the price but still got the Ambassador games.
I always strive for 100% completion in WarioWare games. In order to do that, there’s a certain process I undertake. First, I try out the first category of micro games. If I make it to the boss and win, I unlock the next category of micro games, but I don’t move on to playing them yet.
There’s a mode in the better 4 WarioWare games that lets you play a particular micro game over and over until you lose 4 times. Just like in the regular mode, the micro games get faster and sometimes trickier the further you progress. If you can reach the high score goal for beating a micro game a certain amount of times in one go, the game acknowledges this achievement with a flower icon (I think) on that particular micro game in the micro game selection menu.
I work to get the achievement for every single available micro game, and I stop once I’ve reached all the high scores. If there are micro games you can’t access in challenge mode, it means that you’ve never encountered them before in regular mode. In those cases, I would go into regular mode with the express point of finding the locked micro games. Having practiced the micro games unlocked so far, I’d be able to survive long past the first time encountering the boss micro game, and as I progressed further, the faster micro games went and thus the more likely I was to encounter the locked micro games quickly. WarioWare is definitely a situation where practice makes perfect.
Once I unlock all the micro games and complete their challenges, there are still neat things to collect. WarioWare: Twisted takes advantage of its unique controls by adding in neat virtual toys that they call “souvenirs”. I think it’s great that ideas like these see the light of day because they are bundled with a product that is actually worth buying.
My favorite micro games in WarioWare are generally the ones developed by the character 9-Volt. He’s a Nintendo Fan who (by an extension of logic) lives on the same planet as Mario, Wario and Donkey Kong. His games remix old Nintendo games with changes either in controls or context. This time he added Motion Controls to classic Nintendo titles.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he grew up to develop NES Remix.
WarioWare: Twisted was never localized in Europe. Some say it was never sold there because the mechanism inside the cartridge used mercury and mercury is one of the poisonous substances blocked from being sold in the European Union, but this is probably not why.
The main reason I don’t believe that the mercury rumor is true is that mercury is poisonous no matter what country you’re in. I am pretty sure that people wouldn’t allow a poisonous substance to be used in a toy or video game sold in America, so the only other theory I’ve read that makes sense to me has something to do with the long bureaucratic process for approving games to be sold in Europe. The idea is that either the process for getting the game’s approval took too long or it was predicted that it would take too long and (either way) was abandoned by Nintendo of Europe since their focus shifted from marketing Game Boy Advance to the Nintendo DS. A similar thing happened with Earthbound Beginnings between its release in Japan and its lack of localization anywhere else. Earthbound Beginnings eventually did get released worldwide on Virtual Console, but it took a long time and a lot of fan outcry to make it happen. For anyone wanting to play this game in Europe, I’d recommend just buying an American copy, since there was no region lock on the Game Boy Advance so it should work with a European console.
Europe did get some of these WarioWare: Twisted micro games via the inclusion of a few of them in a category within the WarioWare game for Wii, WarioWare: Smooth Moves. Both games had motion controls, so the category’s inclusion was an elegant throwback to “retro” motion controlled micro games.
Theoretically, Nintendo might be able release the entirety of WarioWare: Twisted for the Wii U Virtual Console, but honestly, I don’t see it happening. WarioWare: Twisted is a great game, but it’s relatively obscure. If you want to play it, definitely order a copy online. I recommend it!
The random number generator has determined that the next game I should write about is Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.
Wario Land is an interesting game in that it continued an existing series by transforming it. It is the last game in the Mario Land series as well as the first in the Wario Land one. You play as Wario, who was the main antagonist in the previous game, Super Mario Land 2.
I bought this game from the 3DS Nintendo eshop when I was bored, along with Mario Land 1, Wario Land 2 and Wario Land 3. I already had Mario Land 2 from an eshop sale.
After finishing Mario Land 2, PAX East 2014 happened. I didn’t have a Ticket for the Friday, but I did meet my friend Absol from the Internet outside the venue that day. I then sat for a few hours and streetpassed with people who were in line to get in. This campaign finally ended when my 3DS ran out of battery power and I decided to take the train home.
When I got home, I was experiencing gaming withdrawal. Though it was true that I had been playing the Mii Plaza games Puzzle Swap and Warrior’s Way, I had only played them so intently that day because PAX East presented me with an opportunity to progress faster in those games than I usually could. That said, you can only play the street pass games for so long before they stop being fun.
That afternoon, I played through the entirety of Super Mario Land 1 and then started Super Wario Land.
Super Wario Land is pretty easy, even without Restore Points, but I did use them for the sake of convenience. I ran into a problem early on in the game that taught me to be careful with restore points. I had accidentally created a restore point at a moment in the game when Wario was healthy, but there was no possible way to survive to the end of the level (there was a moving platform I was supposed to have jumped off of). This taught me that there are dangers to using restore points, and one should always be careful in their use.
Wario Land 1 plays similarly to regular Super Mario games. Wario can obtain power ups like the Dragon, Bull or Jet to traverse levels differently or attack enemies more easily. If you get hit by an enemy, just like in Super Mario, you lose your power up, and if hit again, you become “Tiny Wario”. If Tiny Wario gets hit, it’s a death.
Following Wario’s defeat in Mario Land 2, Wario wants to build a new castle. To pay for it, he decides to steal treasure from pirates.
He eventually duels with Captain Syrup, the leader of the pirates, and her genie.
After he wins, the genie builds Wario a new castle. Depending on how well you do collecting treasure, you get ranked at the end by how big the castle is.
Wario is a character defined by his flaws. In that way, he’s a much more believable character than his doppelgänger Mario. This game introduced his greed, and other games would feature his sloth and gluttony. Greed is his primary personality trait, because that’s what motivates him to get off the couch once in a while.
The only Wario Land game that I haven’t beaten yet is the one they made immediately after this one, which was for the Nintendo Virtual Boy gaming system. The process of writing this article incited me to bite the bullet and order a Virtual Boy gaming system online along with the Wario Land title for it. I’ll hopefully play it soon.
Through the process of writing this article, it can be said that my life has been slightly affected by a random number generator. Thanks for Reading! I Appreciate it!
Excellent! The random number generator has decided that I should write about one of the most important games from my childhood.
I would consider Pokémon Yellow to be my first video game. It’s true that I played computer games before I got Yellow, some of which are even on my list of beaten games (See JumpStart 3rd Grade), but Yellow was the first game I ever owned for a console, and back then there was a bigger distinction between computer games and video games than there is now.
I was a big fan of Pokémon before I even owned any of the games. I watched kids trading Pokémon cards on the bus before they were banned, I watched my friend play Blue Version on the bus every day, I saw the movies in theaters when they came out, and I watched the TV show if it happened to be on. The only reason I didn’t own any Pokémon games was that my parents were resistant to letting me get into video games. One day, however, when I was almost 8 years old, my Mom asked me if I wanted to get a GameBoy Color, and I was totally on board with that. I did the math, and though I’m not 100% on it, I’m pretty sure it was August of the year 2000, and I’m guessing that Toys R Us was having a sale. My mom decided to get me a GameBoy so that I would make friends easier with people who had the same interests as mine (it worked).
When I went into the store, I chose the lime green GameBoy Color, and though I had intended to decide between Pokémon Red or Blue, when I got there, I noticed that a third Pokémon game had come out staring Pikachu. I knew that it was the game for me, and so I named my character ASH and the rest is history.
I was super excited to have a Pokémon game of my own, and also to be able to obtain badges faster than the real Ash did (I previously noticed that his progress was so slow, and it was bothering me). However, try as I might, I wasn’t very smart back then and after getting to Vermillion City I lost Pikachu in the PC System, either because I didn’t know what Deposit meant or I accidentally released him. I didn’t think to turn my game off to return to the last save and I didn’t want to wait for Jonah’s advice the next day, so I started a new game with a vengeance. After all, even I knew that two badges wasn’t a lot to lose.
The second time I got to the Battle with Brock, I somehow had a lot of trouble trying to beat him. I determined that this was because Pikachu only knew electric type moves and they don’t affect ground type Pokémon like Geodude or Onix. To address this, when my Dad had to go on an errand, I stayed in the car and trained my Pikachu in the patch of grass south of Pewter City for about an hour. It only took an hour to teach Pikachu the move Slam, and in the process, Pikachu got to level 20. That one hour of training made the rest of the game a breeze. I don’t exactly remember my pace, but I think that I remember watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade three months later while making my way through Victory Road for the first time. The next year, a Pikachu balloon would be added to the parade, but I know where Pikachu was during the 2000 parade. He was helping me beat the game.
So eventually I did beat the game. It must have been hard work, but I don’t really remember. I know I eventually got Pikachu to Level 100 and that it felt like a pretty big deal. Having recently done the math (considering the US release dates of the games and movies), it may be that I actually bought Pokémon Gold Version before finishing Pokémon Yellow, but that fact must have previously been erased from my memory (The passage of time is strange when you’re young). I wasn’t quite good enough to catch all the Pokémon back then, but that would eventually change.
In August of 2009, I returned to Yellow Version, and brought along a recording device. Some time this year I’ll be posting my abridged playthrough of filling my Pokédex in Yellow with all 151 Pokémon. I also added a feature for people who own Pokédex 3D Pro for the 3DS. Here’s the playlist of The Yellow Quest!