Animal Crossing an ever expanding series

Animal Crossing is a popular social video game series where a human character moves to a town or village inhabited by animals, the games are known to give each player a unique experience with every play-through having different villagers and things to do. Players are also encouraged to be creative in the games and every game is able to be played in real time with the seasons and holidays being accurate to real life because of this each game is intended to be played daily until the next entry is released.

In this article we will be looking at all of the main series entries as well as its spin offs.

I haven’t played these games in a very long time so I will be using images from others peoples villages so if yours is on here and you want it removed please let me know at the email address on my contact page.

Animal Crossing was originally released for the Nintendo 64 in Japan, this version was never released worldwide and the rest of us got introduced to the series through the GameCube version which was enhanced with new features and better graphics.

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The main goal in all of the games was to pay off a property that you have on a mortgage with Tom Nook, every-time you gain enough bells by selling bugs, shells, fish and other things you collect, you can pay off your home which will make it bigger, you repeat this process until you have the biggest home available in the game.

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On a side note you can also find and collect fossils, bugs and fish which can be sent to Blathers the Owl at the Faraway Museum for analysing.

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You can have many villagers join your village, they will either stay or leave depending on how you communicate with them, many of them will ask you do tasks for them, in the first Animal Crossing game you could have 15 villagers in your village at one time.

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In the game players could, find, trade and be gifted games for the NES, all of these games were fully playable and this idea was really revolutionary at the time.

Two of these games could only be accessed using e-reader cards, and two more were giveaways to certain players, The Legend of Zelda for NES was in the games code but was never put into the final game.

Some of these games could even be transferred to the Gameboy Advance using the GBA link cable.

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Using a GBA Link cable players are also able to access a secret island that a character named Kapp’n can take them too, on this island is a hidden villager and special fruit such as coconuts.

The GBA can also be used to create special clothing designs at the Able Sisters shop.

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Animal Crossing on the Gamecube is the version I played and to this day I still think its a great game to play over and over again, there are so many cool things to do, there are the NES games to find as well meeting interesting characters such as Tom Nook, Kapp’n, Tortimer and K.K Slider who have all become fan favourites K.K slider is particularly fun because he plays music for you and then gives you a copy of the track which you can play whenever you want giving collectors another thing to collect. Animal Crossing is a chilled out experience but also a really immersive game that is still one my favourites.

In 2005 we got Animal Crossing Wild World for the Nintendo DS, in my opinion there is not much new material here and this is more of a enhanced port of the original game than it is a sequel.

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Because the DS used dual screens the sky above the player would move as the character moved making the game a little more realistic and immersive than the original

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The use of the DS stylus made certain aspects of the game such as creating patterns and writing letters a lot easier than they were on a controller.

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What is consider to be the best new addition was the ability to visit other peoples villages over the Nintendo WiFi connection, this was really cool but you could only visit villages using someones DS friend code and you were unable to connect to a random village. Online was able to be used in the game until 2014 when the service was closed down.

Apart from this there wasn’t many differences to the game-cube version, there were no retro games this time around and apart from online I cant think of any reason why this version would be superior.

Animal Crossing Wild World is in my opinion the weakest game in the main series, this does not mean that its bad, it just lacked new features and it was missing certain elements from the original game and its for that reason why I think it’s not as good.

In 2008 got the third main series Animal Crossing game for the Nintendo Wii in the US it was called Animal Crossing: City Folk but over in Europe our version was called Animal Crossing: Lets Go to the City.

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The base game of City Folk was very similar to the previous entries and not much was added as new content however for the first time a new area could be accessed without the use of a second games system. This new area was the City, players could access this area by hoping on a bus driven by Kapp’n. In the City you can take part in various activities including shopping, getting your haircut, bidding on items and visiting the local theatre, I really enjoy the city area of the game as its a nice distraction from the regular village.

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A new peripheral was available with the game, this was Wii Speak an electronical device that allowed you to talk with other players in real time using voice chat. I never owned one of these myself so I am unable to comment on its quality, other devices that could be used with the game were the Nintendo DS, you could use the DS to transfer you character and other elements from Wild World to City Folk and for easy messaging in the game you could use a PC keyboard instead of the wii-mote pointer.

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It should also be noted that using a service called Wii Connect 24 players were able to order special items from Nooks Store, during special events Nintendo would release special clothing and items that could be downloaded into the game, this service was shut down in 2013 upon the release of the Wii U.

Even though there wasn’t many new things added to this game it managed to maintain the charm present in previous games, it never tried to over whelm the player with new content and it was clear that Nintendo knew what the fans wanted, with only few extra additions Animal Crossing: City Folk was a really nice entry to the series it was as good as we expected it to be without it being to ambitious.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2012 it was the fourth game released in the main series and at this moment it is still the most recently available main entry game, the game also introduced players to new series character Isabelle.

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The game came with the usual fare of Animal Crossing game-play such as fishing, collecting shells and bugs and selling items for bells but a major change was the player being mistaken for the town mayor, this opened up many new types of game play.

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As the mayor you are now able to modify to the majority of the village, you can add new buildings, you can fund projects and construction jobs such as adding bridges and fountains to the town, also as the mayor the villagers will ask you for help in various ways, they did this in previous games but the jobs were never anything memorable and were usually delivering an item from one villager to another.

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Another thing you can do as Mayor is ordinances this works somewhat in a similar manner to legal laws, you can use ordinances to control how certain aspects of your village and residents work, for example you could ask for more trees or flowers to be planted or you could change what time the local shops will open and close.

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The special island re-appeared in this game, players could go over to the Island to collect bugs and fish not available in the regular village and some mini games could also be played over on the island.

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new mini-games were added to the Island in a free update.

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Multiplayer returned along with being able to visit your friends towns, the dream suite feature allows players to visit dream like versions of random players towns over Nintendo Wifi Connection, another really cool online feature allowed you to view players homes that you found via the 3DS street pass, you were even able to buy the items that they stored in their homes.

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The last feature I will talk about is the sewing machine in the Able Sisters shop, by using this machine you could create QR codes for the patterns and designs you create, other players can scan these using their 3DS cameras to download the patterns.

Animal Crossing New Leaf is easily the best Animal Crossing game so far, it changed up the game play while still remaining respectful of its purpose, it was a nice change of pace and its new features made the game more playable and kept players interested with its consistent game play with plenty of things to do.

 

Animal Crossing Home Designer was the first spin off game in the Animal Crossing series, the game had players designing multiple homes for villagers and trying to design the decor and furniture to suit their needs. It was released in September of 2015.

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In this game the main focus is designing homes so there is no mortgages to pay off, different villagers will hire you to theme there homes on specific things this adds a bit of challenge to the game and also encourages creativity and imagination. The shops have returned from the main series however more items are available from the get go and more can be unlocked as you progress through the game.

 

The game also incorporated Amiibo cards that could be used to invite main series villagers to join parties in the town, you might even get the opportunity to design homes for these characters.

Animal Crossing Amiibo Festival was released in November 2015, it was based on the Mario Party video game series, the goal of the game is to make your villager the happiest in town.

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In the game players will roll a dice to move around the board and you will see events, depending on how these events turn out you will either gain or lose happy points and at the end of the game the player with the most happy points wins.

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The game gave us animal crossing amiibos, by scanning these amiibos into the game you could then play as those characters, you could also scan amiibo cards to play some minigames with your friends.

Animal Crossing Pocket Camp is a free to play mobile game that was released Worldwide for android and IOS in November 2017.

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Surprisingly this mobile version of the series is not much different to the main series games that we have come to love, the biggest difference was that it was based on building a campsite instead of a village but apart from that the core game-play remains almost the same,  I personally think that this game had much more memorable events and holidays as some of these were based on other Nintendo series.

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Like similar games on mobile, the core game is free to download and play but things take a long time to build and require a lot of patience however if you are feeling up to it you can use real currency to purchase Leaf tickets to speed up the process, the tickets can also be used to build things that you may not have the correct materials for.

The next Animal crossing game will be New horizons for the Nintendo Switch, it will be released on March 20th and I am planning to add it to the list at the beginning of April giving me enough time to try out the game for myself.

but for now that is where we are left with the Animal Crossing franchise and until next time we will have to wait patiently until we able to check out the next entry in this ever expanding game series.

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

I also want to note that throughout March I am going to be celebrating the Looney Tunes by basing the entire month on their origins and various Looney Tunes media so please look forward to that

Sonic Colours (2010) (Wii) Review

A modern Sonic game that isn’t bad?

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Dr Robotnik has created an intergalactic amusement park and states that he is doing it to make up for his evil past and to start fresh, this quickly makes both Sonic and Tails very suspicious and so they decide to take a trip to the park themselves.

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While at the park Sonic and Tails meet Yacker a local wisp (Alien Species) who they are able to communicate with using a special translator, Yacker explains to Sonic that Dr Robotnik is kidnapping Wisps and using their energy to power the amusement park, after hearing this Sonic realizes that he has not only the world to save but an entire Alien race and so he runs off in search of Robotnik and all of his robots.

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The General game play is just basic Sonic platforming where the goal is too get to the end of each stage trying to not take any damage from enemy robots and obstacles, the main focus of Sonic Colours is the new wisp power-ups that Sonic can use to help him get through each stage of the game.

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There are a lot of these wisp power ups in the game especially if you include the ones that are only available in the 2p player mode

My top three favorite wisp power-ups are as follows

Orange Rocket – This power-up literally turns Sonic into a rocket ship which shoots to the top of the screen, Sonic will then sky dive back to the ground collecting loads of rings along the way.

Purple Frenzy – This power-up is pictured in the image above, Sonic will turn into dark creature with a large mouth similar to a crocodile, Sonic can now eat his way through all enemies and obstacles in his way.

Yellow Drill – This is my personal favorite power-up in the game, Sonic turns into a drill and can fly across the screen as well as drilling his way underground allowing him to find secret passages and hidden treasures.

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When you are not playing through the main campaign, you can enjoy some difficult bonus levels in the Sonic Simulator, these stages are exceptionally challenging and are the only way to collect the Chaos Emeralds, this is also where you can play the game with your friends.

The Chaos Emeralds are not needed to complete the game this time around and thank god for that because after the hell I had of completing Sonic Heroes earlier this year I was very happy when I realized that this would be a much more pleasant and less stressful experience.

The Chaos Emeralds are not needed to beat the game all though they do unlock the ability to play as Super Sonic, a feature I personally did not care about nor did I bother too unlock.

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The voice acting and in this game is almost perfect and I have never been able to say that about any of the modern Sonic games before, for once Tails is not annoying at all and he doesn’t have a stupidly high pitched voice, Dr Robotnik as always sounds awesome and menacing which doesn’t surprise me because I have never had problem with Robotnik’s character in any entry of the series, most of the minor characters are not too interesting but they are not annoying so I cant really complain, the only character I really have an issue with in this game is Sonic himself, he comes off as a complete douche a lot of the time and he keeps throwing horrible one liners and jokes at Robotnik and I cant tell if they are meant to be cringe worthy or if its just the game developers trying to be cool and funny but either way Sonic just kinda sucks.

The music really isn’t anything special, none of the songs really stuck with me when I was playing the game, but the games main theme Reach for the Stars is pretty good but its still not one of my favorite Sonic songs.

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Can we just take some time to talk about how amazing the graphics are in this game, they are outstanding for a Wii game, not only is the game full of fantastic graphical details such as grass textures and glistening stars in the sky, but there are just so many things on the screen at once that it honestly makes this world seem more realistic, this is helped by the games use of vibrant colours and many special effects.

Sonic Colours is a great game, it looks amazing for a Wii title, it has perfect controls and for most part even though it adds a lot of cool new Power-ups and unique game play aspects it stills feels like the classic Sonic games we grew up playing, but its not a perfect game as it does have its flaws, first of all the game only took me 5 hours to complete which is way to short for any game today and keep in mind that it originally came out with a price tag of £40, the music wasn’t very memorable, the completion bonus for beating the game 100 percent sucks and Sonic surprisingly isn’t very likable  but that last one is more of a personal opinion.

Its not the best Sonic game ever made but it is one of the best Sonic games to be released in a long time, perhaps one day I will get around to reviewing the DS version.

7.5/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Sonic Colours for the Nintendo Wii

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

Rayman (1995) (Atari Jaguar, Sega Saturn, PS1, GBA, PC) Review

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The recent Rayman games Origins and Legends have gotten a lot of praise since they have been released and they are very popular among both old and new fans of the series, I recently ordered a copy of Rayman 2 and I’m still waiting on that to arrive and while I am waiting I figured it would be a good idea to revisit the original game and too see if it still holds up today.

 

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Rayman has a fairly simple plot, Mr Dark steals a ball of energy called the Great Protoon, due to the Great Protoon being taken away smaller balls of energy called the Electoons are scattered across the land and are stuffed into cages by Mr Dark’s minions, a local magician calls upon Rayman to find and rescue all of the Electoons and to defeat Mr Dark returning the Great Protoon back to its resting place.

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Rayman is an action/adventure platformer with a twist, your job is not too simply get to the end of each stage but too also find and rescue six Electoons in every level.

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This may seem like a farily easy task but I guarantee that this will be one of the most difficult games you have ever played, Rayman has no mercy not only are the majority of the cages hidden in ridiculous locations but most of them require you to find small sparks in order to make the cages appear and these sparks are very easy to miss due to their small size, for example one stage requires the player to jump off a cliff to a cloud below, they then need to crawl under a small spike covered roof and then fight a rock troll only to be brought to a dead end, the player will need to walk to the left wall and look up they will then see the spark which they must jump up to grab, they now need to back track to the top of the cliff where the cage will be waiting.

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Not only is getting the cages difficult but the general game play will also provide quite a challenge, the world that surrounds Rayman may seem innocent but almost everything is out to kill you, Mr Dark’s Minions are not too dangerous as most of the time they can be taken out with a couple of punches, the biggest threat is the environment I tended to be killed the most by pitfalls and spikes as this is a very difficult platformer which requires precise jumps and good reflexes in order for you too survive.

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But fear not as a fairy called Betilla will help Rayman through out his quest by occasionally giving him new powers.

  • Telescopic fist: This ability allows Rayman to attack his enemies by literally throwing his fist.
  • Hanging: This ability allows Rayman to hang off of ledges, this is very useful for helping rayman reach far platforms as well as avoiding enemy attacks
  • Grappling Fist: This ability allows Rayman to swing from these floating pink and red rings, some sections of the game require this ability to complete
  • Helicopter: This ability allows Rayman to hover temporarily
  • Running: This ability allows Rayman to sprint

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Rayman does have its fair share of Boss fights, all of these battles are very creative and each is unique in how it attacks and how it can be defeated, my favorite battle is against the Mosquito in world 1.

With a game as difficult as this tight and responsive controls are extremely important, luckily Rayman’s controls are perfect, the game runs smoothly with responsive controls so if you die it will always be your fault no matter how difficult the game gets.

Graphically the game looks outstanding, the game goes for a cartoon style look and it really pays off, it suits the silly atmosphere of the game perfectly some of the finer details really help the game feel more realistic than it needs too which is a nice touch, while playing you will notice plants blowing in the wind and when Rayman steps on a light platform you can see the effect that his weight has on those platforms, these days such small details may not seem too special but for a game that came out over 20 years ago this is very impressive.

Even more impressive is the games soundtrack, this is in my opinion the best part of the game and its definitely what I look forward too the most when I play, you can sense the amount of love that went into every track in the game, almost every world uses a different music style to help fit the atmosphere from the charming and happy music of the first world all the way to the rock and roll soundtrack that accompanies the final boss all of it is amazing.

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The original Rayman is one of the greatest games ever made, sure its hard and it can be a real pain in the butt especially when it comes to collecting all of the cages, but with all that aside you still have a fantastic platformer and if collecting the cages is putting you off playing the game then I recommend you use the cheat to unlock em all because honestly that’s what I usually do as I hate collecting the cages and some of them are just too hard to find which is the games only real flaw.

Different Versions of the game obviously do have some big differences due to console restrictions but if you want to play the game in all its glory I recommend either you pick it up on PS1, PSN or PC, some of the handheld versions of the game are very restrictive but the best version in opinion is the GBA port (Rayman Advance), its lacking in the awesome soundtrack, and a few levels are completely missing but apart from that everything is essentially the same and I recommend picking it up as its quite cheap.

Rayman still holds up today and is still mostly a fantastic game the only problem is how cryptic getting some of the cages can be, other than that this is a game I highly recommend

8.6/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Rayman

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

 

Paper Mario Sticker Star Review (3DS)

I love the Paper Mario games with one exception the Wii version (Super Paper Mario) but I will talk about that game some other day. The Paper Mario games are great for many reasons, they are full of hilarious comedy, they have epic story lines and most importantly they are really fun to play. With me being a big fan of the series I couldn’t resist but to buy Sticker Star as soon as I possibly could

 

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The Story of Sticker Star is nothing of an epic tale which is a shame since other games in the series have had some really good story lines. The story line may not be epic but it’s not a terrible story line. The story is that the members of the mushroom kingdom are having their annual sticker festival which they have each year to celebrate to power of the royal stickers (five crown stickers which have the power to grant the wishes of the person who wears them).  When presenting the royal stickers Bowser gets his claws on one of them and the rest get blown away to other locations in the game. Bowser’s wish comes true and he becomes a super shiny sticker, he then kidnap’s Princess Peach and Mario has to save her.Image

Game play

The Paper Mario we all know and love is back, that’s right we have gone back to turn based game play with a little twist. We have gone back to turn based game play which is great but now we fight using stickers instead of using partners who have different abilities and powers and this works really well surprisingly.

It’s not just fighting you need stickers for in some cases in the game you will need to use stickers to communicate with certain objects communicating with these objects will either give you a new item which you can turn into a big sticker or you will need to communicate with certain objects in the game in order to continue.

You do not level up in sticker star which is unusual for a Paper Mario game instead you need to find health upgrades throughout the game to increase your overall health, you can get your health to a Max of 100hp and I recommend that you find all of these health upgrades because when you get to the Final boss you may need that little bit of extra hp.

Finally I want to talk about a certain type of sticker called a blue door sticker. Throughout the game you will find doors on objects but you are not able to access them. You are not able to access these doors because you need to buy some blue door stickers to access them, once you place a blue door sticker over the door you can then open the door and go inside. Inside these doors can be anything from money, sticker/objects or health upgrades. You will need to access certain blue doors in the game in order to continue but you can find them yourself.

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Apart from the story line the only other negative aspect to the game I can think of is that there are only 6 worlds and I can’t help but feel that there should be 8 worlds in the game.

 

Graphics

You’re going to want to crank that 3D right up for this game because the 3D really helps the game look amazing and it’s not the kind of 3D that hurts your eyes or makes you feel sick.  The game looks amazing, it’s full of colour, the characters and environments are smooth and at times it really feels like there is a real paper world in your hands, the 3D is perfect it doesn’t make the game look any different and it actually enhances the experience. I won’t say this too often when talking about 3DS games but if you get Sticker Star I recommend playing in 3D throughout the entire game.

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Music

My favourite Paper Mario soundtrack used to be from the thousand year door but now my favourite Paper Mario soundtrack is from Sticker Star. The music in this game is absolutely fantastic and so far some of the best I have heard on the 3DS. The music fits the characters and environments so well and just like the 3D it really enhances the experience. My favourite Piece of music is right at the end of the game before you go into Bowser’s Castle it is pretty much a rock and roll remix of the over world theme.

Final Verdict

If you like Paper Mario you will love sticker star and I highly recommend buying it. It looks and sounds amazing and finally turn based game play is back. Paper Mario Sticker Star is a hilarious adventure which can be loved by the whole family. The game may be amazing but there are a few issues I found with the game. The story line is basic and there are only 6 worlds in the game and for those reasons alone I am going to give Paper Mario Sticker Star a 8/10 the game had a few flaws but overall it is a very good 3DS title which is worth picking up.

My top 5 Mario games

Wow another blog that’s related to Super Mario good lord I just can’t leave this guy alone, there is good reason behind my slight obsession with everyone’s favorite Italian plumber though and that is of course the games and the fact that he is the Mickey Mouse of video games. There are a lot of Mario games so choosing just five for this list was one tough job. Of course I’m only basing this list on games that I have actually played and I will only be choosing one game per console.

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ImageLast Thursday I gave my honest opinion on the original Super Mario Bros for the NES in the style of a review, even though it is one of my favorite games off all time it does have a few issues one of them being the fact that the game has a very small music library and after a few hours listening to the same music can get very frustrating. I also mentioned that a lot of the levels look similar and the bosses are all pretty much the same these reasons are why the game didn’t make this list. Nintendo released not a sequel but more of a remake of the game on their hand held system the Nintendo DS it fixed all of the previous issues with the original game, it has stunning new visuals and even the Bowser boss battles have been changed immensely I love this game even more than the original and it truly deserves a place in this list.

4. Super Mario RPG (SNES)

ImageRemember when Square Soft (Square Enix) teamed up with Walt Disney and together they gave us the Masterpiece Kingdom Hearts, Well before Disney Square Soft teamed up with Nintendo to create a Mario based RPG as a farewell gift for Mario Fans entering the world of 3D gaming, as expected what got released was yet another Mario Masterpiece. Role Playing had never been used in a Mario game before and as you may expect Nintendo was not sure how the game would turn out, luckily for us Mario Fans it was great the best thing about the game in my opinion is that it is not all an RPG you still need to tackle some platforming areas which all have a 3d look to them I gather this was to help get players ready for Super Mario 64. The paper Mario Series may have never happened if it was not for this games success.

3. Mario Kart Double Dash (Game Cube)

ImageHow could I do a top 5 list for Mario games without mentioning the Mario Kart series and more specifically Mario Kart Double Dash for the Nintendo Game Cube, What makes this game better than all the rest well for one thing you race with two characters in your Kart one throws Items while the other drives the Kart, even though apart from this the game is similar to all the other Mario Kart games in the series it does provide us with one of my favourite maps DK Mountain and of course like I said before two racers instead on one. Mario Kart Double Dash, double the racers, double the power, double the fun.

2. Super Mario 64 (N64)

ImageTime for Mario to step up to the 3D gaming in his first proper 3D game Super Mario 64, What makes this game so great well pretty much everything apart from the biggest pain in ass the camera which is a serious issue in a lot of N64 game, but if you can ignore the camera problems you will realise that you are playing a brilliant game which really showed that Mario can be awesome in any 2D, 3D or any other kind of D wait that don’t sound right. As well as the game having tight controls, a humorous story, enjoyable levels, a free roaming over world and amazing music Super Mario 64 is also the first game that I recall allows you to hear that sweet Mario voice we have all grown to love.

I have previously done a full review of this game if you would like to read it please click this link https://ragglefragglereviews.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/super-mario-64-n64-review/

  1. Super Mario Bros 3 (NES)

ImageIf you read my review of this game you probably expected it to be number one on this list and it has every right to be. Super Mario Bros 3 is what I consider to be a perfect game now granted it doesn’t live up to its remake New Super Mario bros wii but that game didn’t come out in 1991 so I feel Mario 3 deserves a place in the spotlight instead. The game provided us with an overall world for each land, secrets and mini games hidden within them as well as levels and boss fights, a great soundtrack, amazing graphics for the time , good multiplayer and you could even play the original Mario Bros on the multiplayer mode, a good and enjoyable story line with loveable characters, New power ups such as the tanookie suit, the game never seems to get boring and finally it has Mario in it where could you wrong Super Mario Bros 3 was my favourite Mario game back then, it is now and chances are its going to stay that way.

Want to read my full Review of Super Mario Bros 3 click this link

https://ragglefragglereviews.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/super-mario-bros-3-nes-review/

Games which almost made the list

Super Mario Galaxy (WII)

Super Mario Sunshine (Game Cube)

Super Mario Land 2 (GB)

Super Mario World (SNES)

Super Mario Bros (NES)

I hope you enjoyed my Top 5 list

The games in the list are of my own opinion if you respect my opinion I will respect yours

This Blog was written by Dan