Weekend Gaming Review – February Pickups

It’s show-and-tell time again! I had kind of a short weekend and didn’t get to spend much time playing games, but got some time looking through a few stores and talking about games. I actually ventured outside and stopped by my local used game store to check out the selection as well as the nearby pawn shop for the off chance something interesting had turned up. The pawn shop ended up having a pretty impressive amount of games other than the anticipated abundance of Madden and Call of Duty games. I was able to get a couple pretty good deals and added a few more entries to my ever-growing list of RPGs in my backlog.

Mario & Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story – I’ve had my eye on this one for quite a few years, Alpha Dream’s Mario & Luigi games are always easy to pick up and play, but provide enough depth to them for a satisfying RPG experience. The humor and dialogue are also similar to Paper Mario games. I did happen to find a very nice copy of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door also….then proceeded to talk myself out of buying it.

Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose! – As a kid in the 90’s, I spent plenty of hours sitting watching cartoons. The Steven Spielberg produced cartoons like Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs were very popular, so of course there was a variety of games based on them. I remember always getting the SNES game Buster Busts Loose! confused with the NES game, simply titled Tiny Toon Adventures. I’m curious to try this out…

Sin & Punishment: Star Successor – I recently mentioned Sin & Punishment 2 in my post about underappreciated Wii titles. I had previously owned the game, but ended up parting with it a few years ago when I attempted to downsize my game collection. I started replaying some of my old Wii games a couple months ago and really wanted to play Star Successor again, so I’ve been looking out for a copy of it in decent condition. This copy was in near mint condition when I found it, though it took a little effort to get the sticker residue off once I got it home.

Tetris Attack – I love puzzle games, especially games like Tetris, Dr. Mario, or Tetris Attack. There’s something so simplistic, yet satisfying about them that I find myself completely getting lost in them even after many years of play. I found Tetris Attack at the pawn shop for only $1, making it too hard to pass up. I had never played it on the Game Boy before, but it seemed to play remarkably fluid when I tested it out on my trusty old Game Boy Color. Nice!

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – I’ve been on the lookout for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for the Switch for a while now, with the lowest price I had seen to this point being about $40. While at the local pawn shop looking through the surprising amount of good games available, I noticed a copy of it for a mere $20. A pretty simple decision…

Also, I happened to acquire an Xbox One X over the weekend. I haven’t played too much Xbox since before the One was released and was excited to jump back on Xbox Live and play some Microsoft exclusives like Halo 5, Forza Horizons 4, and Gears 5. After my initial setup I spent a fair amount of the weekend browsing the different games available on Game Pass Ultimate, which is one of Microsoft’s better moves of this current console generation. After adding a few dozen games to my “play later” list, I decided to download the Rare Replay games and try out some R.C. Pro-Am and later a bit of Perfect Dark(this is where I’ll re-state how AWESOME this collection would be on the Switch given Microsoft and Nintendo’s current working relationship). The Xbox One X bundle I received came with the code for the deluxe version of Jedi: Fallen Order, so I do intend to play through that shortly and will more than likely write up a post of my thoughts on the game; it being a game that I had been incredibly anxious to play(Star Wars/Dark Souls/Super Metroid, double-bladed lightsabers!).

Have you made any recent pickups? Have you played Jedi: Fallen Order yet? Let me know. I’m off to go for a little drive in Forza and then jump into some Star Wars. Thanks for reading!

Underappreciated Games – Nintendo Wii

Due to the vast expanse of games to choose from in nearly any gaming console, there’s unfortunately, always going to be games that get overlooked and/or neglected. I was recently thinking about the Wii and for what a successful console it was for Nintendo in terms of sales, and yet it seems it’s large library of games went largely ignored or dismissed as being merely shovel-ware, games hastily made and implemented with rudimentary motion controls existing only to capitalize on the successful sales of the console. Given the success of the Wii and it’s innovative motion controls with generally more casual gamers, many quickly disregarded the console’s library of games as nothing but a few Mario games alongside countless collections of half-baked mini games(there were a LOT of those, to be fair). The popularity(at the time) of Mii-centric mini game collections such as Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Wii Party comprised of six out of the top ten best-selling games on the Wii. The Wii sold 100 million+ units during its lifespan, but there is a great disparity between the number of units sold versus games, which is quite unfortunate, as the Wii had a selection of great titles available for all us “hardcore”gamers and not just for “Grandma and the kids”. I WILL defend my opinion that the Mario Galaxy games are top-tier 3D Mario games….anyways, here are some Wii games that I feel never got the love they deserved.


Despite its sometimes own insistence on the “family-friendly” image, Nintendo has released many games that appeal to more mature gamers, with Platinum Games’ over-the-top violent MadWorld being one of them. Players control Jack, a chainsaw-armed contestant in a sadistic reality show called DeathWatch, as you must eliminate other contestants in order to receive the giant cash prize. The game features stylized black and white visuals similar as you would see in a Frank Miller graphic novel. The brutal mini games, gigantic bosses, and dismemberments have since turned MadWorld into somewhat of a cult hit among gamers. The color commentary by the announcers(John DiMaggio and Greg Proops) added an extra dash of dark humor to this twisted game.

Sin and Punishment: Star Successor

Another Wii title that I loved, Sin and Punishment: Star Successor, the sequel to the Japanese N64 exclusive. I remember picking up this game a few months after its release and couldn’t believe how little I had heard about it. This explosive rail-shooter packs non-stop action, not surprisingly as the game was developed by Treasure(Gunstar Heroes, Dynamite Heady, Ikaruga). Star Successor also proved incredibly challenging at times, another trademark of Treasure games. I heartily recommend any fans of action/shooter games, or someone just looking for a challenge to give this a try.


Punch-Out!! is among Nintendo’s oldest and most memorable franchises, with Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! for the NES still popular among retro fans and speedrunners. Next Level Games did an incredible job in bringing back a series not seen since the Super Nintendo. The cel-shaded graphics fit the bill nicely and Punch-Out!! also provided several control options, such as combining the balance board with Wii-mote and nunchuk or simply holding the Wii-mote horizontally and use the D-pad and 1 & 2 buttons just as you would an NES controller. There’s also the fact you could eventually square off against Donkey Kong himself, pretty freaking awesome. (Side note: the game did sell well enough to become a Nintendo Select, but Punch-Out!! is one of my favorite Nintendo franchises and would love Next Level Games to step in the ring once again, after their success with Luigi’s Mansion 3.)

Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom Ultimate All-Stars

The Wii may not have been the console of choice for fighting game fans; outside of Super Smash Bros. Brawl there wasn’t much in the way of fighting games. Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom followed the formula of the popular Capcom Vs. Marvel games, but instead featured a roster of characters from the legendary animation studio Tatsunoko. The 2-v-2 matches were action-packed and intense in this Wii exclusive. Where else could you pit Ryu and Ken the Eagle against Speed Racer and Viewtiful Joe? There’s also that sweet Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom arcade stick you could purchase alongside the game.

Boom Blox

Another oft-overlooked game for the Wii, one that happened to have the legendary Steven Spielberg involved in its creation. Boom Blox is a puzzle game in which you aim bowling balls or baseballs at columns of blocks and swing the Wii-mote to hurl the object forward and knock down specific columns. Other levels may have you using the Wii-mote to remove blocks from stacks without causing them to fall, similar to Jenga. I have always loved puzzle-type games and Boom Blox provides over 300 levels and multiple game modes to play. A sequel Boom Blox Bash Party was released for the Wii, but the series never seemed to catch on, sadly. I’d love a chance to replay the Boom Blox games on the Switch, but due the combination of Steven Spielberg and EA has me doubtful that will ever happen.

What are some Wii games that you loved and feel should have gotten more attention? Let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!