Kirby25: Kirby’s Pinball Land (GB, 1993)

Kirby25 is a week-by-week video celebration of the Kirby series’ 25th anniversary. For more, check out the Kirby25 archive.

This week, Michibiku’s own Jenni Lada (@JMariye) drops by to check out Kirby’s first he’s-a-ball-now outing, Kirby’s Pinball Land for the Game Boy! HAL combined its Kirby world and Revenge of the ‘Gator expertise to make a game that’s silly fun if you’re as bad as we are and less silly fun if you can actually accomplish anything.

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Kirby25: Kirby’s Dream Land (GB, 1992)

Welcome to Kirby25! To celebrate the Kirby franchise’s 25th anniversary, we’re playing all the games in the series in weekly video features. It feels like 2017 could use some happy, relaxing fun, and we hope these episodes will be a welcome respite from the stress of life.

This week, Lucas White (@HokutoNoRucas) joins in as we play through the very first game: Kirby’s Dream Land for the original Game Boy. The game’s a fascinating case study in just how much of the eventual formula was in place in the first title and how much wasn’t.

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Pokémon Yellow is perfect for Nuzlocke runs

The Pokémon games are designed with accessibility in mind. While there are deeper elements to each installment, exploring these intricacies is optional. The basic experience is a rather balanced one that anyone, regardless of age or familiarity with RPGs, can enjoy. As long as you can read, you can play a Pokémon game. Which probably explains the popularity of Nuzlocke runs. By adding self-imposed rules to the experience, you create an additional challenge. And, when it comes to facing a Nuzlocke challenge, Pokémon Yellow might be the perfect game to take on that journey.

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Mario’s Picross 2 is all about the ambiance

Picross doesn’t have to do anything flashy to be good. All nonogram games really need is to be functional and have control schemes that work with the player to be successful. This is why most of Jupiter’s Picross games are so great. They deliver plenty of puzzles in what’s almost always a user-friendly environment. But, there’s one Picross game that really stands out, and it’s an installment that never appeared outside of Japan. I’m talking, of course, about Mario’s Picross 2.

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Pokémon Yellow’s bonds can never be broken

The Pokémon games have done wonders for defining the roles these monsters play in our virtual lives. We’ve seen the characters as protectors, workers, heroes, villains, tools and even unique individuals with defined personalities. But the one role the series constantly attempts to drive home is that of a friend.

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Five Japan-only sequels offer a second helping of fun

It’s a fairly common game development practice: build on a game’s engine and assets to make a new experience on the same platform with less time and effort. It’s resulted in some all-time great games, like The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and it’s also meant dev teams could deliver more than one title in a generation.

These games aren’t often the ones we miss; once a series starts being localized, it tends to stay that way for a while. But sometimes it happens! Thankfully, these are easy games to import, as you know the controls and systems well from the previous game we did get.

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