Friday, April 30, 2010

paper mario rules!

Yes, it's true, I'm a nerd.... and a Mario whore.  Maybe it's nostalgia, I have very fond memories of being a child and playing Mario games on my NES.  Whatever the reason may be, I LOVE Mario games.

One of my fave sets of Mario games is the Paper Mario series.  So. Much. Fun!!!!

Paper Mario: Prima's Official Strategy Guide

I'll admit, when I first started playing Paper Mario I was a little turned off by the amount of interaction required with villagers in the form of conversation, and all of the required reading of the story itself.  I'm more of a shoot 'em up girl.  There's no battle too big for me!  But throw a bunch of text at me and I can easily lose interest quickly.

But, Paper Mario was one of the first games that I downloaded for my Wii, and I was determined to stick it out and give it a fair chance.  Man am I glad I did.  It quickly became one of my favorite Mario games!  Such a different take on a familiar story, and the bizarre ways of interacting with the characters were just so cool! 

For those of you who are not familiar with Paper Mario games, the characters (as the name implies) are paper thin.  This adds a very unique spin because Mario can do things he wasn't able to do in any previous games, like turn sideways so as not to be seen by enemies, and to fit into small cracks and crevices.  Along the way you also meet up with other familiar characters, and you are able to play as them.  Each character has it's own special abilities, which of course help you in different battles and when trying to accomplish different tasks on the various boards.

The next game in the series Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door was made for GameCube, so if you have a Wii you'll have to pick up a GameCube controller and a GameCube memory card, which seem to be readily available used for a decent price at gamestop if you drop by one of their stores.  It is quite similar to the first as far as the style of game play goes.  You end up with a few more pretty cool abilities as you progress in the game, like being able to fold up into a paper airplane to fly yourself across large gaps.... or fold up into a paper boat to sail yourself across bodies of water.  Very cool and very fun.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

In the first two games in the series you are trying to save Princess Peach, a theme we are of course familiar with already.  She hasn't been captured by Bowser in each of these installments though.  In fact Bowser ends up being your ally as he strong-arms his way through the enemies in an effort to try save the one he loves.  Boy that Peach sure gets around ;)  In Super Paper Mario however Peach is part of your crew and you are all working together to try and save the universe basically, from the evil Count Bleck.

The newest version of the game is Super Paper Mario (made specifically for Wii).  I actually ended up playing the games out of order.  I played Paper Mario first, and then I played Super Paper Mario because it came out shortly after I finished Paper Mario.  That was when I discovered The Thousand Year Door and went to EB Games to get my used GameCube controllers and memory card

Super Paper Mario

Super Paper Mario is crazy awesome as you have the ability to switch between 2D and 3D gaming at any time, something I've never seen done in another game.  Of course since this game is made for the Wii it does implement some use of the motion sensor wiimote by being able to point the Wiimote at the screen when you have Pixl with you to find hidden objects, doors, etc.  You can also shake the Wiimote after attacking an enemy in battle which will help you pull off a "stylish move" which earns you extra points.

I seriously need to replay all three games though.  There is just so much to find and so much to do that I know there's likely a lot that I've missed.  Not to mention the fact that I haven't finished the Pit of 100 Trials in any of the games.  I know, I suck.

Currently I'd say that the Paper Mario series and the God of War series are at the top of my list for awesomeness.  Of course my list changes often.  I'd love to see Mario and Kratos try and battle it out.  Not that Mario would stand a chance, Kratos would rip of his head in about 10 seconds, but it would still be fun as hell!

Super Mario Brothers Master Replicas 5 inch PVC Figure Series 1 Mario DC Unlimited God of War Series 1: Kratos Action Figures

I'd love to hear from anyone else who's played the games, what are your opinions on the game?  Any tips/tricks?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

drumroll please...

The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower, Book 3)

Thankyou to everyone who made my first giveaway such a great success!  I really appreciate everyone's enthusiasm, and I loved seeing everyone's favorite Stephen King titles, all of which I have loved myself!  (Yes, I have a huge Stephen King collection).

So after tallying up all of the entries (sorry, you can't win if you leave me absolutely no way to contact you, so a couple of entries had to be disqualified)... and with the help of the winner of The Dark Tower III: The Wastelands is yvonne! (aka gingermommy).  Congratulations to you!  I will be contacting you shortly to get your details so that I can send you out your book.

I'm currently reading a fabulous and very motivating new book.  I am very excited to finish reading, everytime I sit down with it gives me a little extra push I need.  When I'm done I'll be having another giveaway for a copy of it so stay tuned!  :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

fabulous new place ;)

In my last post I mentioned that I would be making a new blog that would be more focused on personal stuff/cancer stuff/etc. so that I could keep this blog focused on my nerdy/geeky side.... and here it is:  Surviving and Thriving shiny and new and just waiting to be visited and followed.  ;)  Oh and I have lots of super cool stuff to give away over there too so stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

walking to save women (aka having cancer made me get off my ass)

Some of you already know I have cancer, and that I recently got the news that I am in remission.  Hooray!  Only three more years until I am declared officially cancer-free.  I know I'll get through it though, I'm in remission, and I'm staying there! 

Within days of finding out I was in remission I walked into Shoppers Drug Mart and saw the pamphlet for the Weekend to End Women's Cancers walk.  I picked it up and browsed through it... a 60km walk over 2 days where the proceeds go to finding a cure for breast cancer and gynecological cancers.  Hmmm.... I have gynecological cancer....  the walk is on my birthday weekend....

I decide that it can't be simply co-incidence that I just went into remission, this walk is fundraising for gynecological cancers, and it's on my birthday weekend.  I bring the pamphlet home with me and promtly sign up for the walk.  Then it hits me.  The realization that I have just agreed to walk 60km.  I don't mind that I've commited to raising a large sum of money for the cause, that I can deal with.  The problem is that I've been sick, for a few years now.  I've been home.  Sitting.  Puking.  Playing video games.  I'm not sure of the last time I walked 1km, how in the world am I going to manage 60???

Since signing up though I've been following my coaches advice.  Start small.  I started out walking 1.5km, then 2.6km, 3.5km, 4km, all in the comfort of my home on my manual treadmill.  Then on Sunday I participated in an official training walk for The Weekend.  It was a 5km walk around the mall before opening hours, so we even got to do a little shopping with no other people in the mall.  That in itself is a fantastic experience, especially if you're like me and can't stand the crazy crowds usually associated with downtown shopping malls. 

The 5km itself was just fine.  It made me realize that walking longer distances really isn't that hard when you've got something to distract you.  Walking on the treadmill staring at a wall makes time drag on for an eternity (although on a side note I've recently realized that I'm talented enough to play my Nintendo DS while walking on my treadmill...wooo!).  In fact after finishing up the 5km I walked another 2.5km.  Yay me!  Of course I paid for it that night and the next day.  I still get so rundown sometimes, and it seems to take me forever to recover from anything.  Unfortunately the effects of chemo stay with you for way too long after you've finished.

Now my problem is that it is soooo beautiful outside, that I want to start walking outside.  Plus the coaches said that only walking on a treadmill is not a good idea because you're feet have to get used to walking on pavement.  That's all good, I want to be outside roaming around my part of the city... but I have no idea of distance.  How am I supposed to know how far I've walked?  I thought of thinking of it in terms of time, but I don't know how accurate that would be because what if I slowed down to enjoy something that caught my eye?  I really wish I had a better sense of distance.  I really have no idea how far things are.  If anyone has any advice on this I'd really appreciate it.

Right now I'm off to go pick up some Lego (oh Lego how I love you!), and then I'm going to try to get in my first outdoor training walk.

Oh!  Stay tuned, I'm going to be starting a new blog with my home/cancer/health/family posts.  Posting about cancer walks on my gaming/book blog seems counter productive.  Procrastination and motivation just don't mix.  Once I start it I'll post the link.