Game review of “Super Mario World”

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Review by: jakobsherman

Super Mario World was a game released in 1991 by Nintendo. This is a game that would go down in history as one of the best games to ever hit shelves in stores, and for good reason too. Many people praise this game for it’s complex yet simple gameplay. This game mostly revolves around jumping around and collecting power-ups (Mario’s version of items). The game does an excellent job of teaching you these mechanics without shoving them in your face with a tutorial like many other games. Most 2-D Marios are good at this. They show you how to dodge Goombas by letting them kill you, or rather, making you fly off the screen.

This game, however, has some flaws when it comes to that. For example, it teaches you nothing about the different Yoshi powers. Speaking of Yoshi, this is the first game to feature Yoshi, the iconic green dinosaur who’s famous for eating things, and then turning them into eggs. Yoshi sort of acts as a power-up in this game. You find him and other power ups by hitting a question mark block with your fist, although many believe it’s your head. One of these power-ups is the feather, which gives you a cape which lets you fly and glide by jumping once in a sprint. This however allows players to skip near levels entirely.

The difficulty of this game, in my opinion, is unbalanced and sometimes unfair. This is mainly due to the huge difficulty spike around the third world. Worlds are basically just a group of singular levels. At the end of each world you enter a tower and fight one of the eight Koopalings, each being one of Bower’s children. These levels range from haunted houses to underwater sequences to grassy plains, to caves with what seems like endless amounts tunnels. Nearly half these levels, have secret exits that lead to switches that help you in other levels, and even unlock more levels themselves. There are a total of 29 secret exits in this game, and there’s even the star world with five more levels and the special world with levels like Tubular which take hours to complete due to their difficulty. At the end of the last world, you finally face Bowser in his castle in a fight to save Peach from his grasps.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a retro game to play without a deep story or just a fun time, whether it be a quick play through or an one-hundred percent one with lots of content, I recommend Mario World. I give this game an 8.7/10.

A Drawing of Shu and Madonee from Ensemble Stars

By: hannahn281

For this post, I decided to draw the character Shu Itsuki and his doll who he calls, “mademoiselle”, or “madonee” for short. To put my own twist on it, I made Madonee a real human being. Shu is from the phone game Ensemble Stars, in which you can collect cards. I used the outfits from this card in my piece. I am actually not that familiar with this game because I’ve never played it before. My older sister is the one who really likes this franchise, in fact, she is sewing the exact dress that Mademoiselle is wearing! I kind of drew this in honor of her, because she is really good at sewing and she gives me a lot of support and encouragement about my art. I don’t know what I would do without her or the rest of my family!

I painted this piece using my Wacom Intuos Tablet and the art program FireAlpaca (as usual). This took about six hours, which felt like forever, especially drawing all of those gears and cogs in the background. Drawing mechanical, straight-edge objects has never been easy for me, so this was pretty good practice! This also helped me practice drawing people at a side view/ profile. The profile is definitely the angle of the face that I struggle with the most. But it quickly began to feel more natural as I went through the lining phase to the coloring phase. In the end, I really did enjoy coloring the sparkly gold trims of these outfits, as well as the steampunky feel they have. Thank you for reading!

Hannah, 10th grade (I will be, next year)

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

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Review by: coolkid73

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is the seventh game in the Grand Theft Auto series released in 2004 for PlayStation 2, and in 2005 for PC and Xbox. A high definition remaster was later released on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2015. This game is set in the fictional city of San Andreas, and follows Carl “CJ” Johnson and his friends Ryder, Sweet, OG “Jeffery” Loc, and Big Smoke as they try to rid the city of a rival gang. This game is addictive to play and is loads of fun.

The best part of the game is the music. While in a car, you have access to various radio stations. One is a talk show, and the rest play music. This game uses rock, reggae, heavy metal, gangsta rap, and various other genres of music. All songs used in the game are real songs made by real people.

This game has loads of missions, involving stuff like beating up drug dealers, stealing crates of guns from a guy’s house, catching and killing a guy, stealing a famous rapper’s rhyme book, and so much more.

This game has loads of fun missions and loads of weapons, like batons, golf clubs, and, of course, guns. This game is fun so I give it a 10/10. I hope you try this game yourself.

StarCraft 1/2

starcraftStarCraft is one of Blizzards first video games for the computer back in the days of Duke Nukem and DOOM. It was considered one of the first RTS’s ever created that involved space and alien stuff. Now StarCraft II is seen in a lot of tournaments but of course the people who mostly play StarCraft II and I are mostly Korean or Dutch. The game’s plot is set in the time when Humanity became known as the Terran and started to populate planets by terraforming them so hurray right? No, there are two other races that are rather unhappy with the Terran taking planets as their own so they fight them. The two have completely different motives and you get to play as all three, see their point of view on what’s going on and what they are fighting for. The other two races that are present in the game are the Zerg and the Protoss. The Protoss are Biological aliens that have no mouths speak through telepathy with Phi-blades (basically laser swords) as their main weapon of choice and or using robotic troops that shoot plasma or some other kind of energy. Their goal and reason to fight is to stop the Zerg from wiping out all life on every world. They also want to take back their home world of Aiur from the Zerg who overwhelmed their home and killed many of their race. Now they have Terran who want to take over planets and the Zerg who want to kill everyone and everything they have a rock in a hard place “For Aiur”. The Zerg are aliens from unknown origin that serve under one single collective mind  known as the Overmind. Picture the Zerg as ants that are the size of a full grown Doberman to the size of a three story building with claws, plus it spits acid  and they are ordered by the Overmind to kill and consume everything “For the Swarm”. StarCraft is a great game to play for the story. It’s also fun to play and really challenging at the same time. It’s basically like very spicy wings that when you bite into them it hits you really hard but you still come back for more. I’d give it a good rating of 9.1/10.

Battlefield Franchise

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The Battlefield series is by far one of the most popular large scale FPS’s (First Person Shooter) to date and it’s easy enough to say this franchise rivals the Call of Duty series. My own opinion on the two would be if you want a interesting single player play Call of Duty. If you want ground breaking graphics along with a realistic destruction feature to do damage to buildings and a large array of stuff Michel Bay would put in his movies in a game then Battlefield is for you.

History-Now to the details of the game. Battlefield’s game series started in 2002 and its first game was Battlefield: 1942 a World War II shooter (a lot of games that were released were in the WWII setting back in the 2000’s). After about a year and when all the popularity hit they released another game Battlefield: Vietnam. After that they created games every year until Battlefield: 2 then they released one every two years unlike its rival that releases another every year.

Gameplay-The Battlefield series always delivers with a fantastic multiplayer experience that would make you want to come back for more. The amazing vehicles, weapons that are easy to obtain, the large scale maps that span about 2000+ meters from one side to another, realistic suppression system and bullet drop on sniper rifles are all outstanding. Each class helps each other out in some way such as recon makes a spawn beacon so people may spawn closer to the objective and also spot enemies that are near by, support has a LMG that is great for suppression and an ammo bag to resupply his/her teammates that are near them. Some other great elements of the game are the assault that has a assault rifle that is versatile and a medical bag that heals nearby teammates and then they get a de-fib to revive their teammates, and finally the engineer that is equipped with mines, a rocket launcher, PDW/SMG and can repair vehicles with a blow torch so they all help each other out in some way. Now I’ll state it again Battlefield has one of the best multiplayer experiences that no other game could match up to besides it’s rival Call of Duty but in my opinion Battlefield has a better multiplayer by far. I’d rate this game 7/10 for single player and 9.6/10 for it’s multiplayer due to its creativity and it’s fantastic maps that make me excited to play on them.

Red Orchestra:2

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Well, if you have heard of Hero’s and Generals then you may know what I’m going to talk about, there are many World War shooters that are created every year. Some fail while some become awarded the “Game of the Year” title/ award, and that’s the game I’m going to talk about. Red Orchestra is and will most likely will be the most realistic World War shooter ever made with realistic bullet ballistics, suppression system, all the weapons from history and details about them as well. Many roles you can play and are required to win a single game from a Commander who calls Artillery, recon plains, and forced re-enforcements to a basic rifleman who is the backbone of the entire defensive/offensive front. These go along with many other roles that either in a large way or a very small way all connect with each other to achieve a single goal… to win. That is the only way a team can win, by them all working together. Red Orchestra 2 is a World War II shooter that has made realism the highest priority. To this day I still play it for hours in my  free time. To give you a warning it’s a gore filled game, so age gate 17+ or parental advisory. Besides all of the above it’s filled with a great community that is somewhat hard on new people, but treat everyone equally as long as they pull their weight. Besides that Red Orchestra 2 is a game that is made for those who are patient and want to work with others to succeed. It’s also for those who value the realism that is within the game. In my opinion I would rate this game 9.3/10 for it’s great realism and its reliance on teamwork to get things done.

Call Of Duty

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Well, let’s now talk about the Call of Duty franchise.  It has been probably one of the most on-going game series to date with it having a total of eleven games- talk about crazy work hours. This game franchise has three different game developers that make whole different genres of the game like Infinity Ward, known for their World War II games, all the way up to semi-futuristic to modern era.  Another would be Treyarch that brings you games from Vietnam to cyborg futuristic stuff(Black ops,two, and three) and probably the only reason the game series has even grown after Infinity Wards Ghosts, that I’d rather never talk about again for various reasons. The next and well only only other developer besides those two to make a game with the title “Call of Duty:…” was none other than Sledgehammer Studios which brought you Advanced Warfare that looked great at the beginning and basically crashed and burned. With all that, the Call of Duty franchise has been declining ever since after the release of Black ops and has never seen improvement until recently.  I still have yet to see Call of Duty become anywhere close to how popular the game was.  It was almost if not more popular than Counter-Strike( I have another blog about that one if you want a basic run down on what the game is) and had a great future.  It pains me to see this game franchise hurt itself anymore, but what can I do. If you are looking for a high pace game with action right out the gate with a great single player then most if not all the Call of Duty games can give you that and maybe more.  I would recommend playing the older ones first to see what the franchise was back then.