Archive for September, 2011

1000 Days of Wii Fit

September 23, 2011

I got a pleasant surprise when I booted up my copy of Wii Fit this morning… I have spent exactly 1000 days using it since received it as a Christmas gift nearly four years ago. I hadn’t planned on picking it up, but considering I was teetering on the edge of obesity at a touch over 200 lbs, I decided to give it a shot.

Forty pounds lighter, and several clothing sizes slimmer, I’d say it was worth it.

I’m not gonna say that Wii Fit was the only thing that got me back into medium size shirts. I also changed my diet, as well as added another game to my routine, Dance Dance Revolution. And it took a while for the results to show, I did experience some periods when I actually gained more weight. And there were days when I had to force myself to do my routine. But I kept at it.

The past year I’ve sort of plateaued, and I seem to stuck at around 160, which actually is average for my height. I would love to drop down to 150 eventually, but I feel good about what I’ve accomplished, I have more energy, and not to brag, I look pretty darn good.

So I know a lot of gamers out there like to bag on Wii Fit, but for me, it’s helped me lose some extra pounds and in general made me feel better about myself.

Thanks Wii Fit!

Super Mario All-Stars + World

September 2, 2011

I don’t think it’s any secret that I have a thing for mustachioed Italian plumbers…


NOT like that, you sick bastards! I’m talkin’ the awesomeness that is the Super Mario videogame series.

Super Mario Bros. DOMINATED my childhood (and teenhood, and adult hood), and it’s probably no surprise that I’ve spent more gaming hours playing Mario related games than any other series. The controls, the gameplay, hidden secrets and tons of challenging levels kept me coming back to these games time and time again, even as Mario leaped to the third dimension and journeyed into space.

The three NES games came out during the perfect time in my life, when I was young enough not to have much responsibility, and old enough to have decent motor skills. Suffice to say Mario WAS my life for a while there. So when Super Mario All-Stars was released, it was the perfect excuse to play through these games all over again.

It was a little bit later that Nintendo started to bundle new Super NES units with a special version of Super Mario All-Stars that included Super Mario World. One might think Nintendo would just slam both ROMS together on a cart with a simple select screen and call it a day. But they actually worked Super Mario World into the actual game select screen in All-Stars (and even added an extra save slot!), as well as insert Yoshi into the new title screen. It was actually quite smoothly done, but they even went the extra mile with Super Mario World, by giving Luigi a bit of a makeover. In SMW, he was simply a pallete swap with Mario, but in the All-Stars version, they altered his sprite, making him a bit skinner and giving him new unique animations, both during gameplay and during the cut scenes that appeared after defeating a Koopa Kid. Since the game was only available bundled with new systems, it’s actually kind of hard to find now, at a decent price anyway. I was able to pick up a copy myself rather cheap, long before the retro nostalgia kicked up and sent prices skyrocketing.

Luigi sprites shamelessly stolen from The Mushroom Kingdom. You should visit them. They are totally awesome!

Oddly enough, this version was only released in America and Europe; Japan never got this edition, which may explain why last year’s Wii Super Mario All-Stars Special Edition only gave us the standard Super Mario All-Stars (well, that, and Super Mario World was being sold for eight bucks on the Virtual Console). Kind of a shame, since the little differences in the two games really stand out to die-hard Mario fans.

If you’re a Mario fan, and you ever spot this cartridge out in the wild, grab it! It’s a very interesting collectable, and a nice piece of Nintendo nostalgia.