zapping ducks in duck hunt

for reasons that may be obvious to some readers, i finally got around to dusting off my copy of duck hunt and giving the game a concentrated burst of attention. i pretty much hadn’t played the game since i was a kid (so, more than 25 years ago), although i’d actually tried to play the game years ago (i know i’m not the first person who was bummed out to find out that the old light-gun games don’t work on modern TVs). fortunately people in my neighborhood have been getting rid of ancient TVs fairly regularly so i’ve had one for a while (untested), and fortunately when i hooked my NES up to it, it worked perfectly. w00t! i played the most commonly available release of the game which was the dual cart that included the original super mario bros., although apparently a single-game cart was also released, along with the 3-in-1 game version that included the power pad compatible world class track meet.

armed with an original zapper (although the orange version rather than the original gray), i was ready to go. at first the precision seemed a little difficult (anything that wasn’t near the center of the screen didn’t seem to register well), but then i realized that lining the on-screen targets with the sight at the top of the zapper the controller worked perfectly. shooting from a few feet away worked fine, although when i got nervous about completing a stage i would sit a little closer to improve my performance.

the game has three modes: two classic modes feature the infamous duck hunt dog in all his “giggling at you for missing” glory. the first of these features just one duck at a time, and you have three shots to hit it. for each round you have to shoot 6 of the 10 ducks with higher levels featuring faster-moving ducks and higher requirements (e.g. hitting 7 of 10 to progress). in the second mode you have to hit two ducks with three shots. and in the final mode you have to shoot clay discs which are tiny compared to the ducks, and which become smaller as they move off to the distance.

even with the time i’ve spent playing wii, which has much more sophisticated pointer-tracking capabilities, this blast from the past was actually surprisingly fun, much more fun than i expected. although i’m an animal lover, the game doesn’t take the hunting aspect too seriously (the dog sports a wide grin at each success and the hit ducks, instead of having X’s for eyes, look at you with narrow-eyed disdain). the physicality of the zapper makes scoring hits supremely satisfying (i think there must be some deep-rooted, primal hunting instinct that’s causing the strangely strong response), and being limited to three shots for each stage makes for a significant but satisfying leap in difficulty between the main two modes. the lack of character in the clay discs mode is a bit of a drawback and its increase in difficulty isn’t quite as satisfying, but perhaps it was added to make parents feel a little more comfortable with playing a “kid’s game”. the responsive and accurate controls make all the modes fun, with a good degree of challenge. apparently starting at level 20 you can’t miss any targets to continue, which seems a bit overly demanding, that’s acceptable for an early video game.

all in all this was a game that, somewhat surprisingly, still holds up today. the game was so solid and well designed that i was somewhat tempted to add it to my “greatest games of all time” list, but i don’t think it inspires a need to play it for hours on end and i don’t know that i’ll be yearning to play it that often, so it doesn’t quite make the cut. but i’m definitely looking forward to playing through the other light gun games on NES (and other systems) much more than i was before.

zap ducks with these duck hunt links:
video of awesome predecessor of this game by nintendo and from 1976, featuring a projector and a light gun. nintendo’s use of the technology dates back even further than that, and nintendo.wikia.com has a cool entry about their first foray into light gun based games, from 1973.
details on the scoring, from strategywiki.org
article on wikipedia, including some info on the arcade version and quotes about the laughing dog
this entry at strategywiki.org provides details on the mode in wii play that featured some elements from this game
– the game occasionally gets mentioned on top ten NES games lists, including this one from gonintendo
amusing artwork featuring a painting found at a thrift store
cool 3d chalk art animation


shiny pokemon trainer has evolved! pokemon x and y revisited

it’s finally happened. after five generations of pokemon games, i finally evolved as a pokemon player and actually learned about training pokemon for competitive battles AND caught my very own shinies — 4 of them!

i should backtrack a bit. although i’ve played through all the main games in the pokemon series and i played through the storyline of pokemon y, as with diamond and pearl i picked up my copy of pokemon y again a couple months ago after a long hiatus because my nephew was playing through it and he wanted to trade. i started off doing most of the main post-game quests, including finding all the mega stones (only available from 8 to 9 p.m. each day, an odd design choice), catching all the legendaries, and catching pokemon in the friend safari (more on that later). i also tried out all the features i’d ignored during my original playthrough, including pokemon amie (the game’s nintendogs-like features) and the pokémon global link, which is the website that you can link your game to in order to, among other things, see stats and view medals (i.e. achievements) earned from your game and play simple mini-games to earn items to transfer back to your game.

pokemon amie turned out to be fairly entertaining and cute, and the mini-games were pretty fun overall, although there’s a mini game that makes use of the 3DS’s camera that requires you to literally make face at your pokemon. getting that mini game to trigger in the first place is tricky as the lighting requirements seem finicky at best and the facial recognition seems a bit spotty (tip: try looking more directly at the camera at the top of your 3DS’s top screen, and try moving your face closer and further away from the screen in order to get it to recognize your expression), but when it does work it’s pretty fun. earning medals got to be a mini-obsession, although the two global link mini-games you earn items from seem to be completely luck-based which is somewhat annoying and much more simplistic than the previous generation (gen V’s) website features.

which brings me to super training. super training is the 3rd of the 3 bottom-screen modes, and it’s a way to train up your critters for competitive battling by playing a simple touch-controlled exercise involving tapping the screen to hit “punching bags”, and a set of mini-games involving shooting balls at targets. i’d never been able to get into EV training, but the mini-game got me interested and the ability to easily see your ‘mon’s EV distributions got me hooked (although the game doesn’t show you the actual EVs in each category, it does provide a graph-based view that is more or less sufficient). the game omits the in-depth explanation of EVs, but the info is easy enough to find online, and now i’m pretty well-versed in EV-enhancing hold items (e.g. power items and braces) and pokerus, EV-enhancing consumable items (e.g. vitamins and wings), EV-reducing berries, and wild pokemon battles for EVs (and so now i finally see the benefit of horde encounters which otherwise were just a nuisance). getting into competitive training has really opened up the depth of pokemon and has made me appreciate the series more than before.

to complement EV training, i also got fairly obsessive about getting pokemon with perfect IVs (e.g. born with the strongest possible stats). most of the recent games include an IV judge in the post game who will tell you what perfect IVs your pokemon has, if any. on top of that the game includes the aforementioned friend safari, places corresponding to people in your friend list (whether or not they even own the game) where you can catch pokemon, many of which aren’t available in the main game, and that are guaranteed to have perfect IVs in two of the six stats. not to mention wonder trading (random trades online), where people often trade away near-perfect pokemon. although i ended up only fully training a few pokemon, with this entry the series has really lowered the bar so that people can build up teams with much less effort, although it’s definitely not a trivial amount.

on top of making training pokemon easier, the game has made finding shinies easier than ever as well. the poke radar returns from previous games, and the game introduces chain fishing, whereby repeatedly fishing in the same spot without any misses will increase your chances of reeling in a shiny. i did try using the poke radar method, but it ended up being too much work, but chain fishing proved to be so easy to do that i caught my first two shinies in one morning, two shiny skrelp. i caught my other two completely randomly from the friend safari (a lillipup and a beautifly) which apparently also has a much higher shiny encounter rate than normal.

[sidebar: for anyone who cares, apparently the rates of finding a shiny are:

  • about 1 in 8192 normally
  • about 1 in 1365 using the masuda method (hatch eggs from two parents from different languages)
  • about 1 in 512 from the the friend safari
  • about 1 in 240 for poke radar and chain fishing
  • and all the above rates halved if you have the shiny charm (received by capturing all 700+ pokemon in the national pokedex, excluding event pokemon]

it was pretty cool to finally have caught some shinies of my very own, although i’ll be really psyched once i find one in the regular wild. [thanks also to my dutch pal for giving me two awesome shinies, and his awesome sister to adding two more on top of that!!!] it still astounds me to the length that people will go to catch shinies, which are literally just rare palette swaps, but they are fun to have.

along with training and hunting shinies, i also completed seeing all the entries in the first of the three kalos pokedexes (each having about 150 entries). the global trade system and trading with “passersby” (people playing the game at the same time as you) makes completing your ‘dex easier than ever, although because of the bajillion pokemon available now you’ll be juggling a combination of levelling up and evolving, breeding, and trading to “catch ‘em all”. there were many more pokemon than ever before that required breeding to get which was somewhat annoying, but they were easy enough to trade for so it wasn’t that big a deal. [a second shout-out: huge thanks to the random german girl who for pretty much no reason gifted me with a japanese mew, dialga, and a celebi. you're awesome!]

as you can surmise, i ended up spending waaaay too much time obsessing over pokemon for the last couple of months. i hope now that i’ve done some competitive battles, have some shinies, and have finished one of the kalos pokedexes that i’ll be able to keep my pokemon time down to more manageable levels. the thing that ended up curbing my enthusiasm somewhat is playing some ranked battles online and realizing that the vast majority of people were using the same twenty or so pokemon. seeing the same pokemon over and over again got old fast (earthquake = most overused move ever!) and unlike games like fire emblem the majority of pokemon don’t have high enough stats to be truly competitive. i found that competing against the CPU in the battle maison was much more satisfying, not just because it didn’t require having top-tier pokemon but because there was much more variety in the opponents. i’ll probably continue to experiment with teams via the battle maison and try them out in ranked battles. i also just found out that you can save teams that you’ve battled in game or online to fight in practice rounds via the vs. recorder, which looks like yet another cool feature to play around with.

my second look at pokemon x and y has made me realize how jam-packed the game truly is, and my total play time has rocketed up to more than 150 hours, way higher than most other games i’ve played, period. the game provides a range of satisfying, interlinked goals, with a host of OCD-inducing details, stats, and trivia, that reminds me of my beloved fire emblem series, high praise indeed. the game has impressed me so much this time around that i’ve moved it up from my original ranking to my “greatest games of all time” list, the third pokemon game to make it to the upper echelon. it will be fascinating to see how subsequent games will attempt to top this one, and i’m looking forward to playing the one that manages to do so.

shiny pokemon trainer pokemon x and y links:
my original post on the game has a lot of links, so if you’re interested you should check out that list first
bulbapedia is still my go-to site for everything you could ever want to know about the games and the series
– the guy behind serebii wrote up a nice article on starting to put together a competitive team. he also mentions one of the great new features i found out about that are part of the current global link: “Under the Rating Battle section, you have the ability to check the stats for various Pokémon. This section compiles everything you could possibly imagine about all Pokémon that have been used in the Rating Battle mode for all battle types. It lists the top 10 moves, items, the top abilities for each Pokémon. It also lists what Pokémon are commonly used to partner with it and, even better, shows the most common Pokémon that are used to defeat it.” sweet!
– as i got into competitive battling, smogon became much more interesting to read. i’m still not hardcore enough to read up on all of the strategies, but this page on top-tier pokemon in x and y is a good place to get started.
here’s a walkthrough of the pokemon bank and pokemon transporter apps, which allow you to transfer pokemon from last gen to the current games
– and just for fun, here are some super cute knitted/crocheted pokemon figures
and here’s a pretty funny video of a guy catching a shiny giratina


super pac-man: saving the world one ghost at a time

in honor of pac-man joining the smash bros. roster, i thought i’d dust off my copy of the wii namco compilation, namco museum megamix (i’d played xevious a couple of years ago) and chow down on some tasty ghosts. that compilation doesn’t include ms. pac-man, which wasn’t actually developed by namco and thus, despite its enduring popularity, tends to be less acknowledged by them in general. so instead i ended up playing super pac-man (released to arcades in late 1982).

i’d heard of super pac-man, but its availability has been somewhat spotty over the years and it wasn’t until namco museum remix and namco museum megamix that it became more readily available. at its core the game is much the same as the original pac-man in that you’ll be chomping everything in sight and avoiding ghosts until you get a power pellet, at which point the tables turn and you try to chase them down to rack up points. super pac-man adds a new twist in that some munchables are locked behind doors, and you have to nab keys located in regular spots on the board in order to unlock them. a “super” pellet transforms ol’ pac into the eponymous “super pac-man” who not only becomes big and can “fly” over ghosts and burst through doors without a key, but he can also zoom around the board by holding down a button while steering as usual. there’s also a bonus level every four boards which is the same as a regular board except there are no ghosts, you have constant super power, and there’s a time limit.

i should preface my analysis of the game by saying that ms. pac-man was one of the games i made a beeline for at my local chuck e. cheese’s growing up and that i owned the original NES version of pac-man, and so although i’m not anywhere near a competitive player, i’m not a casual player. i enjoyed the change of pace of super pac-man, and it was interesting to see how even though the board remains the same, the layout can feel quite different based on which doors are open and which are closed. the game becomes increasingly harder by making it so that keys open doors that are located far away from them, which does help add variety.

as someone who grew up playing pac-man and ms. pac-man the problem, though, is that this game doesn’t really let you get settled into a groove. in pac-man seeing the same board over and over again got a bit tiresome, but ms. pac-man has four boards which provides a good amount of variety. there’s no way of just looking at a board in super pac-man and knowing which doors the keys will unlock, which is good for variety but bad for getting into the zone. with more time i’m sure you could learn that board # X corresponds to configuration Y and i suppose eventually i would be able to adjust to having to spend every moment reacting on the fly, but in the end i just felt like the changes gave the game a new feel that just wasn’t as much fun. (compare to pac-man arrangement from 1996, which i quite enjoyed.) the wii remote controller worked fine, although the D-pad didn’t allow the really precise movements the game required: next time i’ll have to try using the nunchuk or wii classic controllers instead. last thing: as with other games on the compilation, the version of the game in namco museum megamix offers a stage select, which is great to have.

save the world with these super pac-man links:
entry at wikipedia
entry at strategywiki.org, includes a run-down of ports of the game
table of games included in each of the various namco compilations
– apparently there was a pac-man board game by milton bradley. weird! the pac-man wikia has more info.


simian villainy returns in donkey kong 3

i played through donkey kong jr. earlier this year, and i finally filled in a gap in my video game experience by playing through the often-ignored follow-up, donkey kong 3 on NES. those two NES versions, along with the NES version of the first donkey kong game were all based on arcade releases, and they were all released at the same time in north america (june 1986).

although DK jr. has vague similarities to the first donkey kong game, the same can’t be said for this release. as has often been noted, in those early days carbon-copy sequels weren’t churned out with nearly the same alacrity as nowadays, and i came to DK3 with very little previous knowledge outside of seeing a screenshot or two. the first two games are platformers with an emphasis on running and jumping, but i was surprised to find out that DK3 is actually more of a shoot ‘em up.

there’s a lot of interesting gameplay packed into the single-screen arcade experience. the setup is that DK has invaded “stanley the bugman”‘s greenhouse, and stanley, armed only with his trusty bug spray, has to get rid of DK and exterminate the bugs in order to save his plants. the player has to juggle several objectives at once: spray DK enough times to make sure he doesn’t descend far enough to attack stanley himself (thus losing a turn) (stanley can use his bug spray to push DK up off the screen and to the next level in every first and second level of a cycle, and get his head stuck in a beehive in every third level); spray individual bugs that fly around, each with unique behaviors; spray worms that crawl along and can’t be defeated but will pause if hit, often impeding progress; and in a mechanic somewhat similar to defender, make sure none of the bugs make off with any of the five plants, which provide bonus points if they’re saved. once per turn there’s also a can of super spray, the game’s equivalent of an uzi, that basically gives you a free pass through the next couple of levels.

in terms of the pace the game is pretty typical old-school arcade style in that there are only three levels and they loop pretty much infinitely. this game does introduce new enemies at various points, providing slightly more of a progression than some of the other games which increase difficulty by just adding more and faster enemies. like other classic nintendo NES games of the time, there’s a harder mode (“game B”) that can be selected from the start screen, and an alternating two-player mode.

as for the game itself, at first i found it completely foreign (nintendo has very rarely explored the the shooter genre), but after a while i enjoyed the game for what it is. the different bug types are easy to identify and are satisfying to defeat, and having to both manage DK and save the plants from the bugs makes the game feel more dynamic. stanley has more ability than the ship in galaga since he can not only run back and forth, but also move up and down a couple of levels vertically. the game has the usual bright and cheery nintendo exterior, and the game overall doesn’t have significant drawbacks. the first two stages are very similar while the third stage is too easy in comparison, and many times you can just jump in and defeat DK quickly. if you don’t manage to do that you end up spending a lot of time on the more challenging (and thus more fun) gameplay of dodging and defeating bugs, which would seem like a downside, but defeating all the bugs in a stage nets you more points overall, so for an arcade game it’s a reasonable design. (apparently in the arcade version starting with level 160 the game starts repeating only the first (and hardest) stage, although it’s not clear if this is intentional or what happens on the NES version.)

all in all i enjoyed it overall, and the game provides a fairly satisfying, if somewhat uneven, amount of challenge and fun. i wouldn’t say it’s become a great favorite, but it’s an interesting curio in nintendo’s catalog and should be more interesting to fans of shooters, classic arcade gameplay, and/or the donkey kong series, but i imagine most others would find this to be too old-school to spend much time with.

check out these villainous simian donkey kong 3 links:
miiverse community
– nintendolife has reviewed the wii, 3DS, and wii u virtual console releases of the game. the 3DS VC review is the most positive of the three.
entry at strategywiki.org, which includes a guide and descriptions of all the enemies as well as differences between the arcade and NES versions.
the entry at mariowiki.com has much the same information but a few more tidbits
entry on wikipedia


just dancin’ to michael jackson: the experience on wii

i played through just dance 2 a couple of years ago to see what the hype was all about, and had been somewhat surprised at how enjoyable it was overall. there have been a plethora of sequels and spin-offs since then, and rather than move on to the numbered sequel, instead i tried out michael jackson: the experience on wii next. on wii the game came in two editions, the difference being that the limited edition included an extra track and apparently a replica of jacko’s famous sequined glove, and i believe was only originally available at walmart (walmart = boo! hiss!).

anyway, although i’m far from a huge MJ fan, i definitely respect his multiple talents (i hadn’t realized that he’d written most of his own songs) and his long career. the game does a pretty decent job of paying tribute via a range of tracks that include some of his earliest and latest work, although it immediately becomes clear that the game is really just an artist-specific just dance game (apparently the first of its kind, and the game was followed up by black eyed peas and ABBA releases). the visuals do a pretty good job of recalling the original music videos via MJ’s avatar and the backgrounds, although i have to say one of the things that really disturbed me was seeing MJ on screen performing choreography that he wouldn’t have been caught dead doing: i don’t think MJ would ever have had to resort to doing the running man or jazzy broadway moves. as would be expected, the choreography is most successful for the songs where MJ danced a lot in the accompanying music video. in those cases the choreography in the game is generally simplified, “inspired by”, and more repetitive versions of the barrage of complicated movements in MJ’s actual video, and works reasonably well in terms of the game experience. the songs that have completely made up choreography are much less believable, esp. since the movements often don’t shy away from rehashing choreography from just dance 2. i’m guessing the average player prob. won’t mind it as much as i did, and in any case the dancing fulfilled my main goal, which was to spend part of my video game time off of the couch and moving around.

as with just dance 2 the game provides a surprisingly decent amount of movement, although i’m not sure i would call it a “workout”. also as with just dance 2, since the motion detection is via the wii remote there’s an emphasis on arm movements in the choreography, although, again, there are plenty of foot movements that are essentially optional that help keep you interested on repeated plays. as with just dance 2 the movement recognition can be a little capricious, but oftentimes it’s not too hard to figure out how the game wants you to be doing a particular dance move. and also like just dance 2 you can have friends join in (some of the songs include different choreography with duet or back-up dancer roles) and scoring is fairly incidental to the gameplay, although this game does include unlockable extras in the form of clips from MJ’s music videos and video clips where dance instructors walk you through choreography that’s actually from the music videos. all in all no huge surprises in this game, but i found it to be enjoyable overall and won’t mind dipping into the just dance series again in the future.

just dance with these michael jackson: the experience links:
review at nintendolife.com
– i’m surprised that the game has a low score on metacritic since at its core the game is pretty much the same as the just dance games. maybe MJ fans are more demanding than the average video game reviewer?
entry on wikipedia. apparently the xbox 360 version (which used kinect) has completely dwifferent choreography. i checked out a couple of videos of that version on youtube and it looks even more simplified than the wii choreography which to me seems like it would be fairly boring, although that version got better reviews.


rule the world with cookie clicker

i don’t play a lot of PC games or browser-based games, but i got interested in cookie clicker from a video game web comic i’d come across and liked called the gamer cat. i’m guessing that comic is reasonably well known, but in any case it was only after the third mention or so that i looked it up, and, somewhat surprisingly, the game was actually pretty fun. this review will tell you everything you need to know, but the gist of it is that you click on an icon of a cookie to “bake” a cookie, and pretty much immediately you earn upgrades. the main entertainment of the game comes in the form of unlocking upgrades so i’ll refrain from too many spoilers, but basically the game exploits what is apparently a basic human obsession with seeing numbers increase and unlocking completely meaningless virtual achievements (there’s something irresistibly satisfying about seeing your rate of cookie production increase from 2.916 billion cookies per second to 2.917). it’s pretty fun, although by the time i got to the twist that comes near the “end” of the game i’d lost interest and was ready to retire my baking equipment. the game is extremely polished and has retro-style graphics (although no music), and when combined with a funny premise and ludicrously simplistic mechanics and some entertaining writing it ends up being quite addictive, if not long-lived. an entertaining diversion, and one that will leave you with a craving for cookies and a newfound appreciation of the art of baking cookies, not to mention a new way of looking at grandmas.

rule the world with this cookie clicker link:
– you prob. will only really need one link, which is to the wikia for the game. happy clicking!


successful sin and punishment: star successor

one of the great things about the virtual console service that debuted on wii is the chance to play rare titles that are hard to obtain, perhaps the most satisfying of which are the hitherto previously import only titles. the original sin and punishment for N64 was one such title: despite having english voice acting in its original release it was never released outside japan on the N64. i played that title about two years ago on the wii’s virtual console, and although i enjoyed it at that time i noted that unlike the N64, the wii, with its pointer controls, seemed absolutely made for this type of on rails, light-gun-style gameplay. i have no idea how well the original game sold, but a sequel, titled sin and punishment: star successor, was released for wii in 2009. the virtual console of the first game came just two years before the release of its sequel so it’s unlikely that the response to the virtual console release prompted the sequel: it’s more likely that the original was released to hype the international release of the sequel. regardless of how they made it to our shores, i and many others were happy to get a chance to try both games, not least because they were developed by treasure, a company who i have come to count on to deliver consistently solid action titles, often with shooter elements.

sin and punishment 2 improves on the original release in several key ways, the most obvious being the pointer controls. in the original game you used the main control stick to move your character but had to aim your reticule with the second control stick (although on the original N64 controller you had to use the yellow arrow buttons), but in this game you just point to where you want to shoot. this def. doesn’t make the game overly easy, as the game is packed full of boss fights (which i now recognize as being a treasure hallmark), which require varying ratios of dexterity versus powers of observation. even getting to the boss fights takes some strategizing as well as skill: as in the original your character has the option of shooting or using her/his blade for close attacks (for example, to reflect a missile back to her/his opponent), or dodging by doing a quick roll in any direction (incidentally, the controls were subsequently echoed in the flying sections of kid icarus: uprising). on top of a decent length for the normal-mode campaign (howlongtobeat.com estimates it at 6 hours) the game has easy and hard difficulty levels, online leaderboards (although taken offline earlier this year), and two characters with different shooting abilities (charge shot or lock on to multiple targets). in order to achieve the highest scores you’ll need to keep track of the game’s hidden achievements which take the the form of medals that appear due to certain unspecified conditions (see this link for what seems to be a comprehensive list).

although kotaku ranks the game as one of the best of the wii’s library, i just couldn’t bring myself to add the game to my list of greats, despite greatly enjoying the majority of my playthrough (on normal). the game’s story is fairly nonsensical, but not nearly as hard to follow as the original (reading the instruction manual gives you a lot of the context that is otherwise missing from the game). the graphics are pretty good for the wii (esp. given all the action happening onscreen) and i don’t remember there being significant amounts of slowdown. the game has some fantastic over-the-top moments of awesomeness and at its best it throws you scene after scene of unique scenarios that all work within the game’s mechanics, but there are definitely some stages and boss fights that pale in comparison so much that they cause the overall experience to suffer and really lose a lot of momentum. the beginning in particular is quite slow, although that could almost be forgiven as it eases the player into the experience. but the game also revisits set pieces from the original, which i found somewhat disappointing, and if i hadn’t played the original i may have held this one in higher esteem. unlimited continues definitely improve the overall experience, although the two-player mode is pretty lame (basically the second player just gets to act as an off-screen shooter and point to add his/her firepower to the first player’s). the boss battles are generally satisfying, although you should keep in mind that you should always try using your sword attack to clear an area or reflect projectiles back to the enemies.

all in all this was definitely one of the top games i’ve played thus far this year as well as one of my highest-ranked wii games, but its occasional dips in awesomeness prevented me from giving it full marks. no telling if we’ll ever see a sequel, but i for one would be psyched to have one. fortunately there’s still plenty of other treasure games for me to try out in the meantime.

some successful sin and punishment: star successor links:
nintendolife gave the game a 9. gonintendo.com gave it similarly high marks.
entry at wikipedia
info on a few unlockables at gamefaqs. for info on the variants, see this thread.
iwata asks entry
info on the game’s “true” ending (from completing the hard mode; will only mean anything to people who played the first game)

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