When you were a kid and you were playing Super Mario Bros. for the 265th time did you ever come up with new ways to make the game interesting? Did you ever do things like try to get through the level without breaking a block, jumping on a goomba or getting any power ups? I know I’ve done things like that and new games sometimes incentivize that by giving you achievements to add to your gamer score. There’s one series that’s been doing something similar called Retro Game Challenge (Game Center CX in Japan). This game, based off a popular TV show, would use fake video games that were loosely based on real titles and give you crazy challenges to do in those games. Nintendo has now teamed up with the developer of that series to create a title that would remix old NES games and do the same thing with real world titles. It’s called NES Remix and it shows you that you might not be as good at those old games as you thought you were.
What You Need to Know
NES Remix takes 16 classic Nintendo games and mixes things up. You are given a series of challenges that get progressively more difficult as you go along. They’ll start out pretty simple. For example you just need to get to the goal pole in a Mario level or make it to the finish line in ExciteBike. From there it progresses to more difficult challenges like collect all the coins in a level before time runs out, kill all the enemies in a Zelda dungeon room without being hit or make it to the top of a Donkey Kong stage with Link (who can’t jump). By the end of each games challenge you will be stringing together a dozen different challenges that take you on an abridged journey through the entire game. In addition to the challenges inside levels you also have remixed levels that completely change the way levels are played. For example you’ll have to play World 1-2 in Super Mario Bros. backwards with Luigi (who plays like he does in Lost Levels). By completing challenges you are given a star rank and a number of “bits”. The better you do the better those ranking and by collecting bits you unlock 8-bit stamps that can be used in posts on the Miiverse.
Episode three of our five episode run is live and coming at you. As of the last episode, Tony and I are tied for correct answers but will we still be after this episode? More importantly, how many answers will you get correct? Listen to this episode and send your answers to firstname.lastname@example.org. You have until October 11th to submit your answers for a chance to win the prize pack we are giving away.
The Question Block – 80
Round 1 – Western Game Music
Round 2 – What’d You Pay For Those Shoes?
Round 3 – Pinball Wizard
Round 4 – Brick And Mortar
Don’t forget, send in answers! You could win free games. We also have a Twitter account, a Facebook group and a YouTube channel. I figured I would mention those too since this is the part where I plug stuff.
I’ve played Star Wars Pinball now on three different platforms; the Xbox 360, Wii U and 3DS. Each of those versions brings something different to the table. (No pun intended) The 360 had the game before the other two platforms I mentioned. The Wii U gives you the ability to pull everything off the TV into your hands and a controller that I think feels more like a real pinball table. The 3DS gives you 3D visuals and the ability to take the game with you wherever you go. Each of them has their strengths and weaknesses, but the tables themselves have been the same across all platforms. Today I’m looking at the 3DS version of the game. There are three different tables currently available, with more coming in the future.
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back takes you through the events of the movie featuring the same name. In game missions have you landing on Cloud City, visiting Yoda, navigating through an asteroid field and more. The center portion of the table is dominated by the face of Darth Vader and portraits of the heroes. Near the top of the table is a rounded area where at times Storm Troopers will take up defensive positions and you have to use the ball to damage them and get them to retreat. Other times Darth Vader will loom over the table using the force to manipulate, and even destroy your ball. Two ramps lead to Cloud City, which will spin and give you bonus points depending on how many times the ball goes around the ring of the building. The most interesting feature of the table is ramps that are made out of lightsabers. They remain hidden until the ball activates them at which time they ignite sending the ball down from the top portions of the screen towards the flippers.
Zen Studios has released a number of tables over the last couple of years for their pinball platform Pinball FX (on the 360), Zen Pinball in other places. The tables have been a mix of original creations and also licensed themes such as Plants vs. Zombies, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Street Fighter as well as different super heroes. Regardless of the theme of the table they’ve always been of very high quality with tons of fun little secrets to find. Would Star Wars be filled with the same sense of wonder?
Pinball tables themed around the Star Wars franchise, by the same company that did the stellar Marvel themed tables a year ago? That sounds good to me. Let’s see what this is all about.
This is our first prize show of the season, folks. Listen to this week’s show for a chance to win the Resident Evil: Revelations soundtrack. You can also expect to learn about the Konami code, pinpall games published by Nintendo and spies. Turns out Tony is a spy. Who knew?
The Question Block – 51
Round 1 – Konami Code Music
Round 2 – Nintendo Pinball
Round 3 – I Spy
Round 4 – Resident Evil (Prize)
If you like our banter here, you can get even more from our normal podcast. You can keep up with the goings on of the site by following us on Twitter, joining our Facebook group, chatting on our forums or subscribing to our YouTube channel.
If there is one thing pinball has been missing, it’s a big, green guy who likes to smash things. Zen Studios has heard our cries for help and they have just released a video to ease our pain. Check out this trailer for the upcoming World War Hulk table. In it you’ll hear Hulk, speaking proper English I might add, saying that he is going to smash everything. You know, that’s what Hulk does only now his is angry. Well, specifically at a group of people this time, not just in general. Once you’re done with the trailer you can look over a few screen caps after the jump. You can expect this table to hit digital shelves this spring; XBLX, PS3 and Vita.
Zen Studios continues to provide their user base with more great tables with the release of Epic Quest. This time the theme is a medieval story right out of a child’s, fairy-tale book. Your character, the Dudley Do-Right-esq knight known as Max, stands on the left side of the table with his sword in one hand and his stick horse in the other. Behind him is a scrolling, scenery screen out of some old-time, stage play. As you shoot the array of target and ramps on the table, you will activate quests which pit you against various monsters; evil trees, skeletons, rats, vampires, etc. All through the battle, your knight will deliver his “heroic” lines as if he were King Arthur’s right hand man while in reality he is a bumbling hero more like Inspector Gadget. The table is bright and colorful as if someone turned Mother Goose into a Transformer while the background is reminiscent of a little kid’s room. On the table you will find a dynamic landscape of a forest, a water wheel and an evil-looking, plant thingy. It all looks really cool. Read more…
Tony and I got a chance to talk with Mel Kirk and Neal Sorens from Zen Studios. This is a quick 30 minute interview where we talk about Pinball FX2 as well as the upcoming Zen Pinball 3D. Both Mel and Neal give us some behind the scenes info on what goes into making tables and working with Marvel. They also announce the North America release date for Zen Pinball 3D. As an added bonus, we somehow get to talking about Mario Kart in the end.
Zen Studios Interview
Run time – 36:37
Thanks again to Mel and Neal as well as everybody at Zen Studios. If you want to keep tabs on them, they have a Twitter account, a Facebook page and their forum. As always, you can listen to the normal Okie Cast on Mondays… except we probably won’t do one this week because of Christmas… so almost as always. And you can still get in on your chance to win a free game on our trivia podcast. If you liked those Zen Studio links then you might like our Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and forum links as well.