In the Mario Kart series, players compete in go-kart races, distributed among several single-player and multiplayer modes, and control one of a selection of major Mario franchise characters. Up to twelve (originally eight) characters can compete in each race. When the characters are ready to begin racing in the starting grid, Lakitu comes in with a traffic light hanging from a fishing pole, which starts the countdown; when the light turns green, the race officially begins. During the race, the player's viewpoint is from behind or in front of his or her kart. The goal of the game is to either finish a race ahead of other racers, who are controlled by the computer and other players, or complete a circuit in the fastest time.
The tracks in Mario Kart Wii are based thematically on locations seen in the Mario series,[original research?] such as Bowser's Castle. Each of the eight cups features four different tracks for a total of 32 unique tracks, 16 of which are new to the series, while the other 16 are several tracks ported from previous installments. The cups (groups of tracks) are the Mushroom, Flower, Star, Special, Shell, Banana, Leaf, and Lightning Cups. The Shell, Banana, Leaf, and Lightning Cups each contain retro tracks, updated versions of tracks originally found in the five previous Mario Kart installments. There are ten arena courses available for Battle mode, which include five original courses and five retro courses.
Square Enix has expanded the Final Fantasy series into various media. Multiple anime and computer-generated imagery (CGI) films have been produced that are based either on individual Final Fantasy games or on the series as a whole. The first was an original video animation (OVA), Final Fantasy: Legend of the Crystals, a sequel to Final Fantasy V. The story was set in the same world as the game, although 200 years in the future. It was released as four 30-minute episodes, first in Japan in 1994 and later in the United States by Urban Vision in 1998. In 2001, Square Pictures released its first feature film, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. The film is set on a future Earth invaded by alien life forms. The Spirits Within was the first animated feature to seriously attempt to portray photorealistic CGI humans, but was considered a box office bomb and garnered mixed reviews.
Several individual Final Fantasy games have garnered extra attention; some for their positive reception and others for their negative reception. Final Fantasy VII topped GamePro's "26 Best RPGs of All Time" list, as well as GameFAQs "Best Game Ever" audience polls in 2004 and 2005. Despite the success of Final Fantasy VII, it is sometimes criticized as being overrated. In 2003, GameSpy listed it as the seventh most overrated game of all time, while IGN presented views from both sides. Dirge of Cerberus: Final Fantasy VII shipped 392,000 units in its first week of release, but received review scores that were much lower than that of other Final Fantasy games. A delayed, negative review after the Japanese release of Dirge of Cerberus from Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu hinted at a controversy between the magazine and Square Enix. Though Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within was praised for its visuals, the plot was criticized and the film was considered a box office bomb. Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles for the GameCube received overall positive review scores, but reviews stated that the use of Game Boy Advances as controllers was a big detractor. The predominantly negative reception of the original version of Final Fantasy XIV caused then-president Yoichi Wada to issue an official apology during a Tokyo press conference, stating that the brand had been "greatly damaged" by the game's reception.
In the Hyrule Warriors series, Princess Zelda acts as the Supreme Leader of the Hyrulean Forces and the Hyrulean Soldiers bravely serve her in much the same way as in Twilight Princess and Ocarina of Time. Despite her role as a military commander, she retains the compassion for the soldiers that serve under her but chooses to fight alongside them rather than protected by them. In turn her soldiers are very loyal to her and she can raise their moral with words alone, though this can be a double-edged sword as they become quite demoralized when she goes missing and were it not for the leadership of Link and Impa, the entire Hyrulean Forces may have been defeated by the Dark Forces. Though she later returned to fight alongside them under her guise as Sheik, they did not recognize her (though to be fair neither did Impa) and continued to search for the missing Princess. However they were relived when her identity was revealed and did not hold her deception against her. They also did not abandon her or Hyrule when Ganondorf managed to steal the Triforce of Courage and Triforce of Wisdom and later joined her in invading Gerudo Desert in order to defeat Ganondorf's generals, Zant and Ghirahim. After managing to defeat the villains, Zelda would lead her army to reclaim Hyrule Castle and defeat Ganondorf's Forces. The surviving soldiers would also fight alongside Zelda and her allies in the final battle against Ganon.
Some time before the Great Calamity, the Yiga Clan even attempted to assassinate Zelda before she could awaken her sealing magic. They would have succeeded, had it not been for Link`s intervention. After the Great Calamity, with Zelda sealing herself with Ganon in Hyrule Castle, the Yiga Clan focused on hunting down Link and any of Zelda's surviving allies instead.
In 2002, a follow-up series to the Mega Man X franchise was developed for the Game Boy Advance which starred Zero, a character created for the Mega Man X series as a sidekick/ally of Mega Man. The series revolved around Zero battling a powerful human-supremacy force as he protects the oppressed remaining reploids. In the Mega Man Zero series, the gameplay is largely similar to Zero's play style in the later Mega Man X games and features an in-depth ranking system that rewards the player with new abilities and enhancements (such as copied abilities from boss characters) in exchange for better play performance. In the fourth game, Zero can also physically steal weapons from enemies (such as axes and guns).
Upon defeating Terra, Mega Man finds out that his nemesis, Dr. Wily, was ordering the Stardroids to dominate Earth. Mega Man sets off to the mad scientist's new base, the Wily Star to stop him. In the base, Mega Man has rematches with the Mega Man Killers, before facing off against the eight Stardroids once more (strangely, Terra does not appear again). After Wily is stopped once again himself, he releases a mysterious and ancient robot called Sunstar to destroy Mega Man. However, Sunstar disobeys and attacks Wily instead, and then turns his attention to Mega Man. The hero wins the battle and tries to convince Sunstar to be repaired by Dr. Light. However, while Sunstar would like to see such a world, he is already too badly damaged, and minutes later he explodes, taking the Wily Star with him. Mega Man escapes using Rush, and in the game's epilogue he again walks through the field seen in the opening sequence, pondering the recent events, when Wily makes one last, unsuccessful attempt to attack him. The game ends with Mega Man chasing Wily off the screen.
Dr. Wily having finally managed to modify the time machine, discovers that the time machine could now only travel into the future and back, not into the past. Dr. Wily modified his plan and decided instead to spy on Mega Man’s future. Travelling approximately 37.426 years into the future (as stated in the American manual), Wily found that the future was peaceful, as his future self had reformed and Mega Man no longer needing weapons, had been reset back into a peaceful household robot. Recognizing this chance, Wily convinces his future self to abduct the now defenseless Mega Man. Dr. Wily then proceeds to capture Mega Man, and modifies him into the fighting robot Quint, reprogramming him to make him fight against the Mega Man of the present.
This game adds bikes, which I think adds nice diversity and feels very well balanced. The karts tend to be faster with better mini boosts from jumps and corners. The bikes can pop wheelies to get a mini boost on the straight stretches but are more vulnerable to being thrown off balance. My wife likes playing with karts and I like bikes, and I think she usually wins.
Both Mega Man Legacy Collections offer more than just simple emulations of the classic games. The first offers up a rewind feature that, as the name suggests, offers players a chance to rewind time if you fall off a cliff (or get one-shotted by the lasers in Quick Man’s stage). It’s not a perfect feature, as I’d often rewind further back than I’d intended to, and I’d like to get a couple of seconds after stopping the rewind to prepare myself, but these games are supposed to be difficult.
Up aerial Air Shooter 3% (early hits), 2% (middle hits), 1% (later hits), 2% (latest hits) Mega Man fires a small tornado straight above him. It travels a fair distance, drawing in opponents who touch the tornado. It is based on Air Man's weapon from Mega Man 2. It can easily Star KO opponents even at low percentages, especially if the opponent tries to jump out of it. However, it will meteor smash Mega Man himself if it is reflected.
The VS mode involves player(s) racing a track of their choice and also feature customized rules such as team racing and item frequency. VS mode has been changed several times throughout the series. In earlier games, VS mode is exclusive to multiplayer without any computer-controlled racers. Starting from Mario Kart DS, VS mode can be played either single player with CPU racers, or multiplayer with or without CPU racers. A notable exception is Mario Kart 7, where single-player VS races are removed and limited only to multiplayer, but the rules remain the same as in Mario Kart DS and later installments.
Mega Man then confronts Wily and defeats him again. As always, Wily begs for forgiveness, but Mega Man points his Mega Buster at him, saying he does not trust Wily and plans on killing him. Dr. Wily, scared out of his wits, reminds Mega Man that robots cannot harm humans. In the original Japanese version, Mega Man is speechless. In the English version, he replies that he is "more than just a robot", implying he was planning on firing his Buster anyway, which was a stark contrast to how Mega Man is normally.
Like the new weapons that Mega Man can steal from them, the new Robot Masters in Mega Man 11 are inventive and inspired. There are some familiar archetypes, like the explosive Blast Man, icy Tundra Man, electrified Fuse Man and fiery Torch Man, but most have characteristics that help differentiate them from similar bosses in previous games. Torch Man, for example, is a camping safety robot, and his outdoorsy, barbecue-inspired level helps him stand out from past fire-based Robot Masters. Other standouts include Bounce Man, whose stage is full of trampolines and bouncy balls, where Mega Man is forced to platform his way through the stage boinging to and fro; and Blast Man, whose stage is wired with explosives, many of which have to be triggered by launching the level’s combustible enemies into them in order to progress.
There’s a cleverness and care that seems infused throughout Mega Man 11, and numerous creative touches surprised me as I played. Bounce Man’s rubbery body is flecked with bits of metallic confetti, like a bouncy ball from a toy vending machine. Block Man’s level is inspired by Mayan art and architecture, supporting the robot’s backstory in which he fantasizes about building his own temple. Each of the game’s new Robot Masters is given dozens of catchphrases and punny quips. “Prepare to diode!” Fuse Man will say, appealing to my inner dad joke enthusiast.
The next three titles would be released on PlayStation 2. Due to the more advanced technology, the games no longer relied on pre-rendered backgrounds, instead using the game engine to render the backgrounds immediately. Final Fantasy X improved in the facial expressions displayed by the characters, using skeletal animation technology and motion capture, to allow the characters to make more realistic lip movements to match the new voice acting, a first in the series which previously was restricted to text-based story telling. The following release, Final Fantasy XI, was the first in the series to use online multiplayer features, which was another expensive development project for the company. Final Fantasy XII would later use only half as many polygons as Final Fantasy X in exchange for improved lighting and texture rendering.
King Rhoam initially supported Zelda's research efforts though as signs of Ganon's return increased eventually he came to believe Zelda was using her studies as an escape and was neglecting her duty as Princess of Hyrule to play scholar unaware Zelda had been training as hard as she could and was using her studies to contribute without her powers. However King Rhoam put his duty before Zelda and scolded her during a Guardian test trying to convince her that she should be focusing every waking moment to awakening her power. Zelda however insisted she already was and tried to explain herself though King Rhoam refused to hear anymore excuses and forbid her from further research. Rhoam attempted to encourage Zelda by telling her that the gossip mongers had been whispering she would inherit a Kingdom of nothing and that it was her destiny to prove them wrong. This however had the opposite effect and led to her having a sense of self loathing due to her "uselessness in the battle field" and inability to awaken her innate powers. She continued to do research such as a survey of the Shrines alongside her Sheikah court poet in secret.
Nintendo is bringing Mario and his friends with their finely tuned racing machines back and this time to the Nintendo Wii. With 3 different control styles and a Wii Wheel included in the box, Mario Kart Wii is bound to be the best in the series. The worldwide race is on with a whole new set of tricks, tracks, and ways to play! Place first in Grand Prix circuits or clear skill-based missions. Mario Kart Wii draws on courses and battle arenas from every game in the series ? not to mention tons of new ones ? the true king of the Mushroom Kingdom racing circuits will finally be crowned.
That's good to see....though it's very weird they're doing this in Asia only, and not the US where this game would have shown much better performance with retail shelf visibility during the Christmas rush, given the family friendly nature. I really have no idea what on Earth Squeenix was thinking with how they've handled the release of this game. I'm not sure Squeenix knows either...it's kind of their M.O. these days....