Pokémon Explained

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Pokémon (short for “Pocket Monsters”) is a franchise spawned by Nintendo that has encompassed nearly every medium possible for children: widely popular video games, hit TV shows, accessible and thought-provoking trading card games, and more. This article centers around the handheld games, but there are also a number of console games that have similar themes and multiplayer options. The video games center around the capture, training, and cultivation of several Pokémon, eventually leading up to the defeat of several superior Pokémon trainers known as gym leaders. The goal is to become the most powerful Pokémon trainer in the world.

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Zelda A Link Between Worlds

New Release: The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

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The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds was released today by Nintendo for the 3DS. It is the latest installment in The Legend of Zelda franchise, and it is a direct sequel to the 1992 classic A Link to the Past.

Despite the fact that this game is picking up where a 21-year-old game left off, reports say that A Link Between Worlds is anything but stale. The game mostly takes place in the familiar setting of Hyrule, with many of the same enemies we’ve seen time and time again. However, the 3D puzzles have been reinvigorated by Link’s new ability to become temporarily two-dimensional; at the press of a button, the player transforms into a painting on a wall, and can move along flat surfaces to reach new areas of each level.

Additionally, unlike other Zelda games, Link now has the option to traverse dungeons in almost any order. Whereas traditionally, Zelda games held your hand from item to boss to item to boss, this game decided to emphasize exploration and discovery. The result is a decidedly fresh take on an old favorite.

The game is rated E for Everyone.

Read reviews:

Polygon – 9.5

IGN – 9.4

Gamespot – 9

Super Mario 3D World

New Release: Super Mario 3D World

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Super Mario 3D World, the newest game in the Super Mario franchise, was released today for the Wii U.

The game contains all of the recognizable landmarks of a Super Mario game: bright colors, satisfying puzzles, simple plot, and a slew of familiar characters and enemies. But Super Mario 3D World has managed to accomplish what no previous Super Mario game has before: smooth integration of multiplayer and single-player gameplay.

Throughout the game, the player has the option to play as Mario, Luigi, Peach, or Toad, and each one has his or her own special forté. Peach can hover, Toad is fast, Luigi has a good high jump, and Mario is (as usual) a well-rounded balance. The game can be completed as any character and with any number of players, which means you can go back and forth between playing alone and playing with a group with total ease. Plus, the new catsuit feature, which allows characters to climb walls, is being hailed as incredibly fun.

Critics are calling Super Mario 3D World a perfect blend of all of the best parts of the Mario universe, with inspired level design and cleverly satisfying puzzles left and right. Most negative remarks have been in regards to occasionally tricky camera angles, though IGN also notes that this game fails to take full advantage of the Wii U’s second-screen technology.

Either way, it looks like Nintendo, which desperately needed a big winner for the Wii U, has finally found one.

Read reviews:

Polygon – 9

 IGN – 9.6

Gamespot – 9

Joystiq – 5/5

Will There Ever Be Strong Women in the Nintendo Canon?

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Ever noticed how often Princess Peach needs rescuing?

When Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of the massively popular Super Mario Bros. franchise) designed the 1981 classic game Donkey Kong, he designed it for a male audience. After Donkey Kong took off and Miyamoto’s reputation and career skyrocketed, his game philosophy became more and more influential, not only for Nintendo (where he still works) but for all of the gaming industry. Read More