Waluigi Golf: Toadstool Sample Tour

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Maybe, some day, Waluigi will drop the act and just be himself. What thrill is there in being an asshole, an annoyance, a jerk? He’s nothing more than Luigi clone that went wrong, a little too much of one chromosome or another. Are crotch chops really the only way he can express himself?

Maybe it’s time he un-gels his moustache, hits the links with his buds, and drop the charade.

“I think I like you more this way, Waluigi,” Dry Bones mentions.

“You know what?” Waluigi asks, “Just call me Wally. I think it…suits me better now.”

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Links to the Past: A Look Back At The Mario Golf Series

While a Nintendo fan’s heart will beat ever faster for the likes of the Smash Bros. series or Mario’s latest outing, I’m a bit of an outlier when it comes to the series I lose sleep over.

Nothing tops Mario Golf for me.

What makes it so appealing is how it pits my efforts against no one but myself. It’s a game of constant one-upmanship, of trying to better myself with each play through. In most cases, there’s no direct competition with an AI; just a wide range of numbers thrown up on a leaderboard. That allows me to relax and focus on the bigger picture. There’s no one but myself to blame for a poor performance, no glitches or rubberbanding to scapegoat. Whether I win or lose comes down to my abilities, and Mario Golf is very unique in that sense.

In the recent months I’ve gone back to earlier installments of the series, basking in their holiness (pun not intended, originally, but now I fully intend it). It’s been interesting to see this series evolve, and the differences between the home and handheld entries.

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Happy Birthday, Game Boy!

25 years old. Just four years my junior, the Game Boy and I have been through a lot together.

Well, mostly me. The Game Boy just played games while I dealt with the real drama. And I’d be lying if I said we spent the entire time the together. Once the Game Boy Color came around, my time staring into its pea soup void turned to nil.

But now isn’t the time for such unpleasantries! We are here to celebrate the life and times of our dear friend Game Boy.

Despite owning a GB early in its life, I was never able to appreciate its wider library until much later in my life. I owned very few of the handheld’s staples, Super Mario Land 2, Tetris (of course), Pokémon Blue Version and Kirby’s Adventure made up the only notable parts of my collection. Despite that, I was very much a Game Boy Kid, and this early introduction to portable gaming shaped me into someone that understands the importance of handhelds. I made up for lost time with the Game Boy Color and Advance, buying up the gems I had missed out on in my youth.

The Game Boy’s importance is immeasurable. While its hard to believe I could ever play on a handheld without a backlight, the Game Boy made you want to do it. It felt incredible carrying your own little TV screen around, playing games at the dinner table while your family attempted to bond with you.

In saying that, I’m reminded of a time my Mom spent a lot of time with the Game Boy. Her heart belonged to Tetris, a feeling many of us can understand. As an adult, she was the one burdened with purchasing batteries, and likely felt it was a “racket”. To ease the pain, she bought some weird, bulky, rechargeable pack, produced by some unsavoury third party. While at a friend’s cottage, a loud bang drew my attention to my Mother, now ghost faced and grasping my Game Boy. Turns out, the Game Boy was so appalled by the battery pack that it had rejected it, blowing it off and across the room. It was the coolest and worst thing I had ever seen.

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While we may never see the Game Boy line return (can we accept a dual screened handheld baring that moniker?), it also feels more a part of history. It came, laid the groundwork for systems like the DS and PSP, and turned back to dust (or whatever plastic turns into when it dies). The Game Boy represents a time of my life that can never be duplicated, a time without worry, and plenty of time to play games.

Happy birthday, Game Boy.

Nice To Miku: An Interview With SEGA’s Sam Mullen About All Things Project DIVA

With a love that has culminated in me amassing an army of self proclaimed Broject Divas, I figured it was due time to talk to SEGA about Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA f (known as DIVA F on the PlayStation 3). I was put in touch with Sam Mullen, who served as producer on Project DIVA f (as well as Binary Domain and Rhythm Thief, favourites of mine), and we were able to talk about bringing the series to North America and Europe for the first time, the importance of hair bows, and why Miku is not a Sailor Moon wannabe.

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When you consider the company’s commitment to focus on successful brands, and the “massive labour of love” comments made by SEGA’s Ethan Einhorn, it’s clear that PDf was a difficult project to bring to North America. What exactly needed to be done in the lead-up to its release?

Sam Mullen: As you might know from any review of Project DIVA F/f, the Hatsune Miku phenomenon is not something that’s immediately obvious. And what I mean by that is it requires a lot of background and explanation. For our Western divisions, something like Miku is not an IP that was on everyone’s radars. To many people, she was just another incarnation of Sailor Moon, pigtails and all. Just another anime character on another Japanese game. Some people had the impression that Miku was basically doing covers of existing J-pop songs, so a lot of misconceptions like that had to be dispelled. So a lot of the lead up to the release was simply doing internal informational campaigns, informing our people what makes Miku compelling, and explaining that Project DIVA isn’t just a J-pop video game. Building that understanding and mindshare was one of the big challenges for this title.

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