Another Sunday, another edition of Nintentunes, the weekly journey down video game music memory lane. To me, music is one of the most underappreciated aspects of video games, and deserves its just as much as the visuals and gameplay mechanics. This week the worlds game is played by an unlikely robot, Mario picks up a tennis racket for the first time, and the first (and only) of the Capcom Five hits the Gamecube.
NES – Adventures of Lolo
Before Satoru Iwata was the president of Nintendo, he was making games for HAL Laboratory on the NES. Along with having a hand in franchises such as Balloon Fight, EarthBound, and the Kirby series, Iwata was also a designer on NES classic Adventures of Lolo. The game is fairly simple, collect hearts to open up a treasure chest so you can advance to the next room in the castle. The game gets progressively more difficult as you move from room to room, with enemy placement becoming more diabolical. For having such a simple premise, Adventures of Lolo is surprisingly deep and incredibly fun.
SNES – Mega Man Soccer
Mega Man plays….soccer? Well he did on the SNES. How exactly this game together is anyone’s guess, but I imagine all the Capcom sitting together saying:
“So, it’s a World Cup year, how can we capitalize on this?”
“Well we could make a soccer game with Street Fighter characters.”
“No, that’s dumb. How about Mega Man?”
“Genius! Inafune, get started!”
N64 – Mario Tennis
Camelot is one of my favorite Nintendo-partnered developers out there. While they are not owned by Nintendo and can in fact produce games for which ever console they choose, over the last decade or so, they have developed solely for Nintendo consoles. Their first exposure to the world of Nintendo was with the Mario sports line of games on the N64, my favorite of which being Mario Tennis. Honestly, before Mario Tennis I had not idea about anything related to tennis. Deuce? What’s that mean. Love what? Sorry, we just met. Afterwards I was calling faults and shooting backhands with the best of them, and even got me interested in watching the real thing. The game doesn’t do to much, you only need two buttons and a joystick to control it, but it is surprisingly deep and very rewarding when you hit that lob shot straight over that net playing cheapskate Waluigi. Am I excited about the 3DS Mario Tennis title? You better believe it.
Gamecube – P.N.03
P.N.03 has gotten a lot of flack from the press for being repetitive and lacking character development, but after recently replaying the game I can say that none of that matters because of one key factor. The game is fun. Originally announced as a part of the Capcom Five, five games that were supposed to be Gamecube exclusive, P.N.03 was the first game of the five to be released, and the only one that stayed a Gamecube exclusive. In the end, only four of the five games were actually released, and P.N.03 was seeming lost in the mix. The game is a third-person shooter with unique evasive maneuverability not seen in many games at the time. If you are able to find the game on the cheap, you should give it a shot.
Wii – Donkey Kong Country Returns
There were a lot of amazing games to come out in 2010. Mass Effect 2 was fantastic. Super Mario Galaxy 2 was in every way an improvement on the already great original. Heavy Rain provided a gaming experience never before seen on any gaming console. All of those games were great in their own right, but their wasn’t a game released in 2010 that I had more fun with than Donkey Kong Country Returns. Retro Studios just simply delivers. There are countless hours of gameplay to be found in this Wii game, and just when you think you are finished, a secret area opens up that can only be described as not being for the faint of heart. Nintendo has been criticized for releasing games that are too easy, but Donkey Kong Country Returns is anything but that. If you own a Wii and somehow don’t have this game in your library, for shame. I should go to your house right now and confiscate every Wii remote you own.