Author Archives: thegamerpad

Let’s Play Super Mario Week

All week I’m going to be playing various Mario games from my collection! I’m going to keep a list of the games I’ll be playing, and expected play schedule up here. My twitter feed will also have updates to the schedule

Already Played

Up Next

  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
  • Mario Kart 64 (Nintendo 64)
  • Super Mario Odyssey (Switch)
  • Super Mario Sunshine (GameCube)
  • New Super Mario Bros. (Wii)
  • New Super Mario Bros U. Deluxe (Switch)
  • Mario Kart: Double Dash (GameCube)
  • Mario Kart Wii (Wii)
  • Mario Pinball Land (Game Boy Advance)
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
  • Super Mario Bros. 2 (NES)
  • Super Mario Bros. (NES)
  • Mario Tennis (Nintendo 64)
  • Mario Strikers Charged (Wii)
  • …and more

Achievements & Trophies Addiction

When Microsoft introduced Achievements with the XBox 360, it changed gaming, it changed the way developers made their games and it changed the way we played games. Sure there were games with collectibles, tasks, and a completionist % design to them, but now every game incorporated it. When I first bought a XBox 360 (Elite model in July 2007) I didn’t think much of achievements, when I played and they unlocked I shrugged it off and didn’t think much more. One night while playing through Gears of War online with a friend, he got excited that he unlocked one, I noticed how it meant something to him.

As months went on, I had played a variety of games, I’m usually picking something up new to play every couple of weeks. I had started to notice achievements more, after they’d unlock, I’d pop-up the menu and see what exactly I just accomplished. A few games later, I started looking through the list and seeing what else there was I thought I could possibly do without getting too off-track and wasting too much time. Eventually, it reached a point where I was looking at https://www.xboxachievements.com/ before a game released, or before I rented it at GameFly and seeing if the achievements seemed obnoxious, time-consuming, and possible. If a game required several play throughs, or online specific goals, such as getting a high rank, I would avoid them. I specifically remember being interested in the game Lost Planet by Capcom, but I avoided playing it because it required 4 – 5 playthroughs to get 100%.

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Bomb Chicken

With a retro style, a creative concept and a familiar feel, Bomb Chicken seems like a hit early on. You play as a bomb laying chicken that stacks and kicks bombs to maneuver through the levels and solve puzzles. While the mechanics feel like a mix of other older games, I don’t believe there is anything else like it.

In the first half of the game, I thoroughly enjoyed the challenges and clearing each level. I was actually thinking this game had 5/5 potential. But as I reached later levels, I started to encounter flaws in the level design and mechanics. Some of the later levels challenges relied more on luck, being thrown into a room full of hazards while trying to open a timed gate seemed nearly impossible. I knew I’d eventually get it, but I also felt like my strategy wasn’t bad, my skill wasn’t poor, it was just too much for the limited abilities of the Bomb Chicken. When I’d finally clear these later challenges, I only felt like I “finally” got lucky that things worked out in my favor.

The game is still a fun experience, it’s not expensive and it’s not long either. The end levels exposed some weakness, and left me with an “average” feeling but I’d still recommend it to those interested in it.

  • Purchased it at launch for $14.99
  • Played it periodically over a 6 month time frame
  • Beat all of the levels, but did not 100% it, nor do I want to
  • Took under 5 hours to beat all the levels
  • Bomb Chicken (Switch) – Digital

Nintendo Switch: Year 2 In Review

The Nintendo Switch just finished it’s 2nd Year of availability, and it is undoubtedly a huge success. We continue to hear about the device breaking sales records and it seems like every week new games and more support are announced. But besides sales, how was Year 2 for the Switch? I wanted to go back and Grade the releases by Nintendo, the support and releases by Third Parties, the Indies games released, and the Services and Systems Updates the system got throughout the year.

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My Review System & How It Works

I do not doubt at all that my system has flaws in it and someone can come along and pick it apart and tell me why it doesn’t work for them, that’s fine.  I just figure if I’m going to post reviews and score games, I should at least give some explanations to how my scoring works.

My reviews and scores are based on my personal experiences I had with the game, sometimes that may result in some outlier scores, but I believe this is how reviews should be done.   I also like to keep my reviews short, and to the point. I feel as all it really boils down to is the game good, average, or bad, and that’s how I score them.

Pretty much any game I play or review, I have an interest in it.  Most likely, I also purchased the game (I don’t receive review copies), and I only want to spend my time and money on games I am interested in.  I find it very frustrating to read a game review from someone who has no interest in the genre, or series and had to begrudgingly play the game.   Readers read reviews for games they’re interested in playing, they want that reviewer to be interested too, with similar tastes.    Even if I spend my own money, or I’m a fan of a series/genre, I can acknowledge when a game falls short of expectations or isn’t very good…this doesn’t mean everything gets good scores.

I do not doubt at all that my system has flaws in it and someone can come along and pick it apart and tell me why it doesn’t work for them, that’s fine.  I just figure if I’m going to post reviews and score games, I should at least give some explanations to how my scoring works.

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NBA 2K19: Money Over Everything

I’m not the best 2K player, but I do feel like my progress, and my enjoyment is being crippled by a greed to sell me microtransactions with in-game currency. The game has become a grind. I did not play much of the 2K series from 2K6 – 2K17, only a few hours from a couple of them. Last year however, I put in over 150 hours into NBA 2K18. I became aware of the grind for VC (Virtual Currency) then, but it appears to be even worse in 2K19.

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How I Define Retro Gaming

It’s easy to figure out where “Retro Gaming” begins, but where does it end?  Where do we draw the line that defines retro gaming, and gaming outside of the current generation? The definition of “retro” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it in relation to fashion, but says “relating to, reviving, or being the styles and especially the fashions of the past fashionably nostalgic or old-fashioned“.  All this leaves us with is a very vague “of the past” or “nostalgic” to apply towards Retro Gaming.

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[New Section] Retro Sports


Retro Sports existed before on the past version of this website and I’m bringing it back along with the segments involved in it. This will be a section where I will play various sports games from past systems. I aim to keep things from pre-PS3/360 era, but eventually I may reach into that generation.

Older sports games seem to get forgotten as time passes, each year there are new sports games that out-date the past one. Understandably with each iteration there are improvements and new mechanics that get introduced and further push the older games away. I however like to go back and look at these older sports games, which for the most part are ready to pick up and play. It’s definitely nostalgic to make big plays with the players I grew up watching, especially the non Hall of Famers that people struggle to remember.

The sports genre is practically dead these days, sure we can blame EA and the NFL’s exclusive deal for limiting our football options (even though EA also owns the Blitz and Street series too). We can blame the lawsuits that shut down the NCAA games. But what about other sports games? What about games that lack licensing? We used to get plenty of games without NFL/NBA/NHL licensing. Where are all our arcade sports options?

I created a list (at the bottom) showing the modern sports games vs sports games in previous generations. There’s a huge difference, and I’m sure I missed plenty of retro games in my tally. The Playstation 4 & XBox have 3 different Baseball and Football games, and 4 different Basketball games. Comparatively the PS2, Cube & XBox era from only 2 generations ago had at least 12 different Baseball Games. The N64 & PS1 had at least 14 different Basketball games and the SNES/Genesis had at least 23 different football games between them.

I hope to use Retro Sports to show my appreciation for these old sports games and the variety of choices we used to have.

Sports Shows

As of now, there will be 5 different sports shows focused on 5 different sports. Each show will be streamed live on the homepage and on the twitch, youtube and twitter feeds. Afterwards a highlight reel and re-cap of the game will be edited and uploaded onto the site along with a written re-cap. In most cases a review of the games will follow shortly after.

Before streaming I generally try to spend a few minutes trying out the game to get familiar with the controls, nothing would be more annoying to watch than see me stumble through half (if not the entire) game unaware of how to play. Most of the times I will play with the default settings, and the teams I select will not follow any set rules or formula. I also plan on adding bonus content with highlight reels or mini-games if possible. More details on the specific shows and their formats are listed below

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Has-Been Heroes

Early on, winning battles and progressing through the game feels rewarding, it kept me coming back to the game for more. However I hit a wall early on and still after 10 hours of play, I’m only able to get deep into a battle with the 2nd Boss. The formula and challenge of Rogue-like games is to teach players to master the game through trial and error until they can beat it without dying. After those 10 hours, I no longer felt reward and began to feel I was wasting my time, even if I was slowly improving at the game.

Maybe I’m bad at Has-Been Heroes, but there is still something to appreciate here. I personally however don’t think this game was worth the money or the time. I only picked this up because there wasn’t anything else early on in the Switch’s life. My opinion on this game has gone down as more time has passed.

  • One of my first experiences with a Rogue-like (not a fan)
  • I enjoy strategy games, so that’s why I had some fun with this early on
  • This was one of the first Switch titles, and I only picked it up and gave it a strong chance because I was desperate for Switch games to play. I would’ve never shown interest in this any other time in the Switch’s life. I’ll probably never play it again
  • Has-Been Heroes (Switch) – First Print

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild was well worth the wait. It has managed to reinvent the Zelda series with a new open-world style that brings one of the biggest changes in gameplay the franchise has ever had. The entire game feels very polished and is loaded with content. Exploring the world is fun on it’s own, even when not pursuing a main objective.

I finished the main game, but still come back once in a awhile to drop in and have fun going after the extras, shrines, and seeds I have yet to complete. This game is an absolute must-have for any Zelda fan, any Wii U owner, and Switch owner. It is one of the best games of it’s era.

  • One of my favorite franchises of all-time
  • Played the majority of Zelda games
  • Bought this with the launch of the Switch (Mar 2017) took my time slowly going through it trying to cherish it, didn’t finish it until 10months later (Jan. 2018)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Switch)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Special Edition (Switch)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U)