Category Archives: Essay

Pokémon Sword & Shield: The Crown Tundra – A Marked Improvement

We’ve all heard (or experienced) how middling and divisive Pokémon Sword and Shield’s base game is. Enough of that. Its second (and supposedly final) expansion, The Crown Tundra, was recently released! As you can imagine, it adds the titular Crown Tundra – a large, mostly-snowy valley with mountains and caves – to the bottom portion of the Galar map. The DLC promises fun multiplayer co-op, lots and lots of Legendary Pokémon, and a large new world to explore. Does it deliver on that promise? Actually, it kind of does! Today, we’re going to discuss The Crown Tundra in greater depth and why I think it’s breathed new life into Sword and Shield.

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Super Mario Sunshine – The Overlooked Middle Entry

We’ve been really busy fleshing out our amiibo training guides, so it’s been a whole month since we’ve typed up an unrelated essay! Back in September, we covered the Super Mario 3D All-Stars version of Super Mario Galaxy. Now we’re moving backwards a step and covering Super Mario Sunshine on Nintendo Switch! Out of Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, Sunshine is the one I’ve personally had less experience with. I owned it as a kid on the Wii, but never made the connection that you needed a Gamecube Memory Card to save progress. As you might expect, I didn’t get very far!

You often hear about 64 and Galaxy, but you hear about Sunshine much less — in my experience, at least. Still, going into Sunshine mostly blind was really interesting. The game has sort of a bizarre essence about it, and it’s one I don’t think the Super Mario series has been able to fully capture since. Sure, smacking question mark blocks and stomping enemies is bizarre, but Sunshine’s overall aesthetic takes it to a new level.

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The problem with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s Pichu amiibo

It’s been quite a while since we’ve had one of these posts! Lame titles aside, these are my long-form essays on specific Figure Player characters. Back in March, I attempted to explain to readers that Ness is a beatable FP, and in May of last year, I wrote a thousand-word rant on the Ice Climbers amiibo. This time, we’re talking about Pichu! Now, I get the feeling that quite a few of you out there have Pichu’s amiibo, especially compared to the Ness and Ice Climbers amiibo, which weren’t released quite as recently. So hopefully this is relevant to more of you!

The three FPs I’ve worked with most in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate are Ness, the Ice Climbers, and Pichu. In that order. Luckily, Ness has worked out pretty well for me! But I can’t say the same about the other two, because they’ve both at one point been considered among the worst in the game. So, what’s Pichu’s problem, then? Isn’t it top-tier in competitive Smash Bros.? All of the answers and more (maybe) in today’s post!

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Super Mario Galaxy – A Gimmicky Masterpiece

Super Mario 3D All-Stars was recently announced and released for Nintendo Switch. It contains Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, but that’s pretty much common knowledge by now. Super Mario Galaxy was first released on the Wii in November 2007, and it made central use of the Wii Remote. You’d aim the Wii Remote to collect and shoot the newly-introduced Star Bits, and you’d have to shake the controller to perform a spin attack.

Just to clarify — I’m going to be specifically reviewing the version of Super Mario Galaxy included in Super Mario 3D All-Stars. I’m going to assume that not many of you are going to purchase a Wii and Super Mario Galaxy after reading this post, so we’ve got to keep it relevant. Even so, there are a number of differences between the two versions. Do these changes improve the overall experience or do they just make everything more difficult?

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Kirby Fighters 2 – A Promising Step Forward

Kirby Fighters 2 had a strange release schedule… in that it didn’t have a release schedule at all. It popped up on Nintendo’s website all of a sudden, and Kirby fans around the world took notice of its appearance almost instantaneously. And then the game was released quietly just a few short days later. Nintendo didn’t give us much notice on this one, to say the least. But they knew what they were doing: Kirby fans will buy anything with Kirby’s face on the cover, and they took full advantage of this fact.

As someone who’s played and enjoyed many Kirby games, I picked up Kirby Fighters 2 on frame one. But for those who aren’t die-hard Kirby fans, is this game even worth getting? Especially given the fact that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been available for several years now.

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