Super Nintendo

Thoughts on Kirby: Canvas Curse

By Filipe Salgado - August 6th, 2009

Thoughts on Kirby: Canvas Curse

While the Mario series is where Nintendo refines the platformer genre, the Kirby series is where ideas are tried, played around with, discarded, and picked up again. Kirby Superstar, a half-forgotten title from the SNES era that was thankfully re-released on the DS, best exemplifies this. It’s a collection of small little experiments in form. Different types of games, different objectives, the only constant being Kirby. As a whole, it’s a series that should come with footnotes*.

So it was my surprise when I picked up Kirby: Canvas Curse, and found a unique game. Its base is a standard platformer, but its control scheme is really unlike anything out there. The premise is that Kirby is turned into a ball, and he keeps rolling in whatever direction he’s facing. Using the stylus, and only the stylus mind you, you can tap Kirby to dash, or you can create lines on screen that guide him. These lines can be used to avoid enemies, block their attacks, and be used as ramps. Basically, they eliminate the use of buttons altogether.

Sorry to draw on the comparisons again, but the Mario series is very deliberate. Everything in the game is where it is for a reason. Miyamoto and his teams build games and then endlessly tweak them until they’re just right. Canvas Curse is messy. Crisscrosses of rainbow lines fill the screen. You won’t be making the precision run jumps that platformers usually ask for. Instead, you will frantically scribble on the screen making your own platforms. On the better levels, this culminates in a frantic, fast-paced mess that’s as fun as the best entries in the platformer canon.

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Super Mario World
Thoughts From The Artful Gamer

By Toronto Thumbs Staff - May 13th, 2009

Thoughts on Super Mario World From The Artful Gamer

Not everything we do is reactionary to the news of the gaming world. Sometimes we sit down to plan out special features and collaborations with others. Unfortunately, there are occasions where things don’t go according to plan.

Chris Lepine, who runs the excellent gaming website The Artful Gamer, had agreed to work with us on assembling thoughts on a game we all have warm fuzzy feelings for: Super Mario World. We bandied about many ideas for a feature, but due to the constant influx of news that had to be dealt with by our small staff and the fact that E3 is now just weeks away, our planned collaborative efforts to discuss the game fell through.

Chris, however, still managed to come through, and just days after announcing his public disappearance on his own website, he sent through his thoughts on Super Mario World in a medium we haven’t seen from our contributors: mixed words with text. If your monitor resolution is too low to read the piece, you can click and drag to scroll it or download the image directly.

As this was going to be a bigger collaborative effort, I would love to hear your own thoughts on this game. Feel free to leave them below.

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Dear Miyamoto: We Miss OUR Star Fox

By Jamie Love - April 5th, 2009

Missing Star Fox

The weekend is a notoriously slow couple of days for gaming news. So it wasn’t surprising that when G4 posted their interview with Q Games President Dylan Cuthbert on Friday – which managed to steer the conversation toward the Star Fox franchise he helped create – that the choice quote found good traction across the Internet;

G4: Oh! People are going to love that quote. (laughs) I have to ask you, why do you think it was always difficult for developers when Fox got out of the Arwing. Fox is a pilot, but they’d always get him out of…like the tank, the tank was cool, but it still felt like an Arwing – Why do you think people wanted to take him out of being a pilot and have him run around on foot?

Cuthbert: I think that’s all Miyamoto. Whenever I speak to Miyamoto about Star Fox, he says it’s not meant to be just a flying, sci-fi shooting game. It’s meant to be anything we want to think up. But the core fans don’t want that, but Miyamoto doesn’t really care about that. He wants to make what he wants to make, so he just goes ahead and gets it done.

Still, there’s nothing particularly scandalous about the statement. The only shocking element is the rarity with which a respected designer will speak to and confirm suspicions many of us had already assumed on our own.

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Club Nintendo Members Get Cool Stuff

By Tetris Maximus - April 17th, 2008


If you happen to live in Japan and are a member of Club Nintendo, you could get yourself one of these! It’s a Super Famicom controller that plugs into a Wii Remote so gamers can play Super Famicom games on the Virtual Console in style.

Oh how we wish this was coming to Canada. But fear not: will be selling them pretty soon. I happen to like the Classic Controller, so I probably won’t be getting this. On the other hand, Shaun will have probably bought four by the time you read this.

REVIEW: Contra 4

By Shaun Hatton - December 14th, 2007

Developed by WayForward and published by Konami for Nintendo DS.

2007_12_14_contra4score.gifThe Contra series will always have a special place in my heart, despite my being unable to play through the original due to lack of skills. But what’s not to love about a game where you get to run around blasting aliens with ridiculous weapons.

Think about it for a moment. Seriously. A spread gun would never work in real life. First of all, it would kill everyone (though in the game, that’s the point) and secondly, there aren’t that many tomatoes in the world that can be used as ammo. If it’s not deadly tomatoes that thing shoots out, then I’m at a loss.

Contra games are notorious for their high level of difficulty. They’re basically like R-Type but with a lot of running. Thankfully Contra 4 contains Easy, Medium, and Hard difficulties to choose from. I’m not ashamed to admit I can only play through on the Easy setting. Medium is just too intense and Hard is, well, impossible. There are some key differences between the difficulty settings that make them progressively harder. For one, the weapons upgrades aren’t as powerful on the harder levels. Secondly, there are way more and faster enemies on the harder difficulty settings. For gamers who can actually make it through the entire game, yet another mode opens up: Challenge Mode.

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