Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas.....

.....and a Happy New Year!! I'll be back to blogging here in a week or so. In the meantime, why not take a look at my other posts in this blog - there's bound to be lots more stuff of interest to you. And don't forget to check out my group of free fun and games sites, such as the Mario and Sonic games site, the Disney and Pixar games site and the Shrek and DreamWorks games site. All the sites also feature large collections of wallpaper pictures and other great freebies in addition to all the free games. Have fun!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Sonic Unleashed = Sonic Disappointment

Sonic Unleashed

I played the brand new Sonic Unleashed game, which was released this month, on the Nintendo Wii the other day. I haven't got much to say on the subject other than that I am very very very very very very very disappointed with it!!!!

I had hoped for so much from this game, and while it isn't a bad game, it isn't a particularly good one either. Why oh why couldn't Sega have just expanded the really good daytime 2D side-scrolling bits of the game and removed everything else, especially all the nighttime "Werehog" rubbish, then it might have been the best Sonic game ever?!?!?!?! Good grief, another wasted opportunity.........

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Which are the best Mario and Sonic online games?

I get asked this question quite a lot by visitors to the site. In my opinion, the top 5 online games featuring either Mario or Sonic (or both) are as follows:

  Super Smash Bros. Brawl Flash

  New Super Mario Flash

  Super Mario Sunshine 64

  Ultimate Flash Sonic

  Ultimate Robotnik Duels

However, this is a very subjective list, and I might give a different answer on a different day. Why not visit the site and check out the more than 150 Mario and Sonic games there to see for yourself which are the best ones.....

Saturday, November 01, 2008

26th UK Annual Golden Joystick Awards

The 26th UK Annual Golden Joystick Awards took place yesterday, and the combat game "Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare" scooped many of the major prizes.

There were 17 categories of awards which were all decided by UK gamers, with more than 850,000 of them voting this year.

Call of Duty 4 received the "Ultimate Game of the Year", "PC Game of the Year", "Online Game of the Year" and "Multiplayer Game of the Year" awards. The next game in the series, Call of Duty 5: World at War, received the "One to Watch" award. And Activision, publishers of the series, won the "Publisher of the Year" award - so a resounding all-round success for them, then.

Rockstar, developers of Grand Theft Auto IV, the fastest-selling video game of all time, won three awards, picking up "Developer Of The Year" plus "Soundtrack Of The Year" and "Xbox Game of the Year" for GTA IV.

"Family Game of the Year" went to Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock, while the "Handheld Game of the Year" prize went to Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass on the Nintendo DS.

The "Nintendo Game of the Year" award went to Super Smash Bros. Brawl, while the "Playstation Game of the Year" was named as Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots.

Other award winners were Bejeweled 2 (Mobile Game of the Year), Fallout 3 (Most Wanted), Stickman Madness (Grand Master Flash) and (Retailer of the Year).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sonic the Hedgehog voted favourite computer game star

According to an article in yesterday's English Daily Telegraph newspaper, in a recent poll to find out who is the most popular video game character, UK gamers handed victory to Sonic (with 24% of the vote) over Mario (21%) and Lara Croft (16%). Other favourites were Donkey Kong (11%), Pac Man (10%), Link (5%), Max Payne (4%) and Pikachu (3%).

I am surprised, but happy, that Sonic won. Too often the professional game critics claim Sonic games aren't as good as Mario ones. Even though at times that also seems to be true to me, clearly the game-playing public disagree. Hoorah for that, then! The biggest surprise to me from this poll was the very poor showing for Pikachu, given the overall global popularity of Pokemon. Perhaps Charizard would have polled higher.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sonic Chronicles for Nintendo DS - free widget download

The excellent-looking new Sonic game for the Nintendo DS, "Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood" (see the official site for it here, which includes a lovely playable DS game-type interface) has just been released in Europe and Australasia, and will be released on the 30th of this month in North America. In an unusual move by Sega, it has been given a really cool promotional widget which offers you some training for the game proper, and which you can download from the official widget site here. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Giant-size Mario and Sonic wallpaper pictures

It's not easy to find high-definition extra-large Mario or Sonic wallpapers at the moment, so to help out if you are having problems finding some here are two 1600 x 1200 pixels sized ones (shown here at 400 x 300 pixels - click on the images, or the links below each image, to go to the relevant full-size pages for them):

Super Mario wallpaper

1600 x 1200 pixels version

Sonic the Hedgehog wallpaper

1600 x 1200 pixels version

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Sonic Unleashed - new official screenshots

I am so looking forward to getting hold of and playing Sonic Unleashed, due for a platform-wide release in November (see my previous posts about it here and here).

23 new official screenshots of the game have just been posted on the GameSpot website, and they are amazing. Take a look for yourself here - all the previously released screenshots are also viewable from there too.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

A change of ownership of is undergoing a change of ownership at the moment, which will result in a new and much improved site early next year (the current site is still working fine though, with its 150+ games all still present and correct, just in case you are wondering).

As a result of that, this companion blog will be "on hold" for a short while, until things are "properly re-aligned". But fear not, normal service will be resumed in the near future. In the meantime, why not visit the current site and play some of the Mario and Sonic games. Or you could read back through all the previous posts in this blog by going to the Home Page... there's bound to be something of interest to you if you're a Mario and/or Sonic fan. :-)

Friday, July 18, 2008

"Sonic Unleashed" E3 2008 live demo

Sega's eagerly-anticipated "Sonic Unleashed" game, due for a system-wide release in November, was shown actually running as part of a live stage show hosted by GameSpot at this year's E3. And oh my gosh - it looks absolutely awesome! Maybe this, at last, is the game all us Sonic fans have been waiting so long for.

You can watch the most excellent video of the show by visiting GameSpot's page for it here.

And while you're at it, it's also well worth checking out the Nintendo press conference video over at GameSpot too - see it here.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is now a truly global phenomenon

Now that the greatest fighting game in history, "Super Smash Bros. Brawl", is available on the Wii all over the world (it was released in Australasia on June 26th and in Europe yesterday, just in case you missed it somehow), and now that the Wii is at last easy to get hold of all over the world, all is well in the Nintendo gaming universe. Happy days indeed!

If you can't play "Brawl" yet for whatever reason, don't worry too much - here is a truly excellent Flash online version (featuring Sonic and his gang in addition to the usual Nintendo suspects, and also with unlockable extra characters and levels) that you can play for free until such time as you can get hold of the real thing:

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Game - Flash Online Version

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nothing to report at the moment... least, not anything that is of great importance or interest on the Mario and Sonic side of life anyway. However, that doesn't mean I haven't been busily blogging away, because I have - take a look at my personal blog to see what's been interesting me in other areas of life lately (such as Prince Caspian, WALL-E, Disney games, retro games and Dan Dare)...

England, Thailand and Other Things

Actually, there is one small Mario and Sonic thing coming up in a few days time that is of some minor interest....... the Australasian release (June 26th) and European release (June 27th) of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, at long long long long last!! What a ridiculously long wait - it's been almost 4 months since the US release - it has been for those of you living in those parts of the world! Still, in the case of this absolutely awesome game, it really is a case of "better late than never", trust me on that!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Danny Dare

When I started this blog at the beginning of this year I was using the nom de plume Danny Dare, just for the fun of it since I am a huge fan of Dan Dare. However, for some reason a lot of people seem to think that is my real name, so I have now changed my Blogger profile to display my real name of Peter Inns, in the hope of avoiding any future confusion. My posting name will still be Danny Dare though. I hope that clears that up! :-)

Monday, June 09, 2008

I love Mario and Sonic!

I just thought you should know that! :-)

I've been playing "Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games", "Sega Superstar Tennis" and "Super Mario Galaxy" on the Nintendo Wii for the past 4 days, and they are all such brilliant fun! I don't think I will ever get bored of any of them. Next I will be getting back into "Super Smash Bros. Brawl". Gaming life doesn't get any better than this!!

To help you join in the fun, in case you're feeling left out having read the above, here's a brilliant collection of 150+ completely free Mario and Sonic online games for you play to your heart's content: - Page 1 - Page 2

Friday, June 06, 2008

Sega confirm release date for "Sonic Unleashed"

Sega have today confirmed that their new "Sonic Unleashed" game will be released on the Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox-360 and Sony PS2 and PS3 in November this year. Hoorah! I hope this will be the game that finally, at long last, lifts Sonic back up to his former glory and puts him level with Mario once more. Mario's been streets ahead in terms of the comparitive quality of each character's new games ever since the mid 90s, which is far, far, far too long!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mario & Sonic Online Game Recommendations - Part 8

Here is Part 8 in my ongoing, but now more occasional, series of Mario and Sonic online game recommendations (see this post and also Part 7 for previous entries in the series), which this time features three new Sonic games for you to try:

Sonic the Hedgehog: New Sonic Matchit
This is a Flash version of the classic and addictive "match the hidden pairs of picture cards" game featuring Sonic characters for the cards, plus music and sounds sampled from the first ever Sonic game that appeared on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis way back in 1991.
(And if you like this game, you might also like to try the original Java version of Sonic Matchit.)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Sky Chase
In this Flash version of the Sky Chase Zone from the classic 1992 game "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" your mission is to help Sonic (who is flying on the wings of Tails's Tornado airplane) to defeat all the Valkyn badniks and finally to take on Dr. Robotnik in an aerial battle.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Smash Brothers
This brilliant Sonic the Hedgehog version of "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" features 15 different characters for you to battle it out with (3 to begin with and 12 more that can be unlocked), including Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy Rose, Cream, Shadow, Silver and 8 more.
(And here is a Flash version of Super Smash Bros. Brawl for you to play too if you wish - it features Sonic characters as well as Mario and other Nintendo stars.)

As always, you can find these games at my website together with over 150 more.

Monday, May 19, 2008

More free Sonic game downloads

Last month I posted an article about some free Mario and Sonic game downloads for you to play on your computer (you can read the article and download the games here). Now there are two more great Sonic games that you can download and play for free:

Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Matchit -> .zip format, 2.09 MB

Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Sky Chase (2nd Version) -> .zip format, 1.28 MB

As before, the games are written in Flash, so you can upload them to your own website to play online as well as playing them offline on your PC. To use the downloads and play the games click on either of the links above, then select "Save" for the .zip compressed file that will be downloaded, and select a folder on your computer to save the .zip file into. Once the .zip file has downloaded successfully, unzip it and then you can play the game by double-clicking on the .htm file that was unzipped. (Note that the .htm file is an offline webpage that runs the .swf file which is the actual Flash game - you don't need an active internet connection to run it.)

To use the games in your own website, simply upload the .htm webpage files (which you may want to modify to your own site's style first) and the .swf Flash game files to your webspace, link to the .htm files from you site's home page, and you and your visitors can then play the games in your site.

You can play both these games, plus over 150 more, online at my site.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mario and Sonic animated GIFs/sprites, MP3 music, desktop wallpapers and more

Just in case you haven't seen it all yet, my site includes a huge collection of free Super Mario Brothers and Sonic the Hedgehog (and other related Nintendo and Sega) goodies for your enjoyment, in addition to all the free Flash and Java online games and Flash movies.

There are loads of Mario and Sonic images, animated GIFs/sprites, MP3 and MIDI music samples and WAV sound effect samples, all of which come from the all-time classic 16-bit era of both game franchises. There are also dozens of desktop wallpapers/background pictures, plus lots of other Nintendo and Sega surprises for you to find. Here is a list of links to all the relevant pages...

Mario, Sonic, Nintendo and Sega images, animated GIFs/sprites, music and sound effects (plus Flash and Java games and Flash movies):

Super Mario Bros.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Mario and Sonic Bonuses,  More Mario and Sonic Bonuses

Extra Mario and Sonic Bonuses,  Even More Mario Bonuses

More Games-Related Images and Music,  Even More Games-Related Images

Mario, Sonic, Nintendo and Sega desktop wallpapers/background pictures:

Super Mario Bros.

Sonic the Hedgehog

Super Smash Bros.

Donkey Kong



Super Monkey Ball

Puyo Pop Fever

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Free Mario and Sonic game downloads

Here are three excellent free game downloads for you to play on your computer - one Super Mario game and two Sonic the Hedgehog games. They are written in Flash, so you can even upload them to your own website to entertain your visitors if you wish. :-)

To use these downloads and play these games, first click on one of the game download links below. Then select "Save" for the .zip compressed file that will be downloaded, and select a folder on your computer to save the .zip file into - I give you my personal guarantee that all three of these downloads are virus free! Once the .zip file has finished downloading, unzip it into a folder of your choosing, and then simply double-click on the .htm file that was unzipped. This starts a simple webpage that runs locally on your computer - you don't need an active web connection to run it, it isn't part of a website. The game runs within the webpage, and you can play it there (because the game is Flash, it needs to open and run inside a webpage to work properly).

To use the games in your own website, simply upload the .swf Flash game files and the .htm webpages (or your own customised versions of them) to your web server or web space. Link to the game pages from somewhere in your website, and the games can then be played online from within your site.

Here are the three download links - the game titles give you a good idea of what the games actually are:

Super Mario Bros.: Paper Mario World -> .zip format, 9.57 MB

Sonic the Hedgehog: Amy's Whack-A-Nik -> .zip format, 0.45 MB

Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Sky Chase -> .zip format, 1.28 MB

Remember, you don't need to be connected to the internet to play any of these games once you have downloaded them. Enjoy! :-)

All three games, plus over 140 more, are available to play online at my site.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

U.K. games industry sales figures for Q1, 2008

According to data released yesterday by the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) and compiled by Chart-Track, the UK games industry earned a record total of £418.4 million (US $828.9 million) in software sales in the first quarter of 2008.

Nintendo was the biggest winner, with 37% of all unit sales thanks to the success of its Wii and DS consoles, which took the top two spots. The PC was the third most popular hardware platform for game sales, followed by Microsoft's Xbox 360. The report also showed that "Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games" was the best-selling game in the first quarter.

ELSPA's director general, Paul Jackson, used the release of the figures as an opportunity to urge the government to increase its support of the UK games industry. He said, "The UK continues to blaze a trail in terms of creativity yet over the last few years it is becoming apparent that some talent is being lured away by more attractive prospects overseas. As it stands, the UK is already down to fourth place from third as the world's creative centre for games. It is time the Government recognised the massive financial contribution we make to the UK economy, especially when compared to the film, TV and music industries."

A very sensible point, in my opinion. I hope the UK government listens and acts accordingly.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Super Smash Bros. Brawl U.S. sales figures for March '08

It's selling better than expected... this is from an article at yesterday:

Nintendo's Super Smash Bros. Brawl was the top-selling game in the US for the month of March, with 2.7 million units sold according to NPD data.

Brawl sold more than three times as many copies as the second game on the sales charts, Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2.

Overall, US $1.7 billion worth of hardware and software were sold in the month of March - a 51 per cent increase from last year.

"You'd never know that the U.S. economy was under distress by looking at the videogames industry sales figures," NPD's analyst Anita Frazier said in a statement.

Three Nintendo Wii games finished in the top 10 - including Super Smash Bros. Brawl at number one, Wii Play in the fourth position and Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock at number seven.

Two PSP games - God of War and Crisis Core: Final Fantasy - also made the list.

The ten best-selling US titles for the month of March were:

1. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii) 2,700,000
2. Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (360) 752,300
3. Army of Two (360) 606,100
4. Wii Play (Wii) 409,800
5. God of War: Chains of Olympus (PSP) 340,500
6. Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII (PSP) 301,600
7. Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock (Wii) 264,100
8. MLB 2K8 (360) 237,100
9. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (360) 237,000
10. Army of Two (PS3) 224,900
(End Quote)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Mario Kart Wii is released in Europe today

Another absolutely fabulous game from Nintendo...

Mario Kart Wii

...which was released in Japan yesterday, is being released in Europe today and is due for release in Australasia on April 24th and North America on April 27th.

Each copy of "Mario Kart Wii" comes with the Wii Wheel accessory, a steering wheel device designed to house the Wii Remote to give a more realistic control interface for racing the karts. Cool!

You can visit the official site for the game here.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is released on Wii in North America today!

It's here at last, the first English-language version of "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" is released in the U.S. and Canada today - Hoorah! I hope it stomps all over the competition console games! I'm sure it will - it was released in Japan on January 31st and is selling like the proverbial hot cakes over there. :-)

One slight downer in this time of great happiness though... release dates for the game in Europe and Australasia are still, even now, to be confirmed. Come on Nintendo, sort it out!!

If you can't play it yet for whatever reason, don't worry too much - here is a brilliant Flash online version that you can play for free in the meantime:

Super Smash Bros. Brawl Game - Flash Online Version

Sunday, March 02, 2008

A Mario Online Game Recommendation

A bit of a change from my previous online game recommendations now (click here to read the last one)... with just one Super Mario Flash game for you to try out this time, which I hope will prove entertaining and challenging enough on its own:

Super Mario Bros.: Paper Mario World (W1)
This is the second game sponsored by my site (see also Sonic the Hedgehog: Amy's Whack-A-Nik, which was the first game sponsored by my site).

It is World 1 of a pair of games (World 2 is currently undergoing development) partly based on Super Paper Mario, but primarily being original games in their own right. It is a very tough challenge to complete the game, but hopefully you're up to that challenge and will find it enjoyable along the way. :-)

You get to take Paper Mario on a journey through lots of mini-levels, complete with his trusty hammer which you can use to whack Goombas and the like. You can also jump on them in the usual Mario fashion if you prefer - but me, I like squishing them with the hammer best! :-) Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Super Smash Bros. Brawl - European release update

There still seems to be some uncertainty about when SSBB will be released in Europe (see my earlier post about it here) - this is from an article at Nintendo Life yesterday:

Update: Nintendo Puts Things Straight On European Brawl Release
26th Feb 2008, 09:47am by Anthony Dickens.

It seems that 1up's recent podcast suggesting Brawl has been delayed until Autumn in Europe isn't exactly true.

While recounting some of the info that I learned from Nintendo of America's President & COO, Reggie Fils-Aime, I implied that the European release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl had been moved to the fall of 2008...that's not quite accurate, as neither NOE nor Reggie has announced any official release date at this time. Reggie did tell me (and the other media present) that the release had been pushed out of the winter/spring time frame due to the amount of localization required to get the game up and running all the various European languages. But Reggie did not say WHEN Europeans will get Smash Bros., just that it would be at a later date than the U.S.

So now angry gamers, it seems Brawl might be heading to Europe sooner than we first thought, however Nintendo of Europe haven't confirmed any specific date, all we know is that it won't be released before May.

Reggie also explained that the recent announcements of Wii Fit and Mario Kart Wii release dates were to "balance out" the release list. I'm sure these won't please faithful NoE fans of Brawl but perhaps it isn't as bad as we first fear.

Our thanks to NoA for clearing this one up.
(End Quote)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mario & Sonic Online Game Recommendations - Part 7

Here is Part 7 in my ongoing series of Mario and Sonic online game recommendations (see also Part 6):

Super Mario Bros.: Monoliths Ultimate Mario World (and its sequel
Super Mario Bros.: Monoliths Ultimate Mario World II)
This is an excellent Flash version of the original "Super Mario World" game, with an even better sequel to play once you've completed it.

Super Mario Bros.: Super Mario World Flash
Another great Flash rendition of Super Mario World, but this time with a slightly altered format that results in a completely new version of the classic game.
(And if you like the above game, you might also want to try Super Mario Bros.: Super Mario World Revived.)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Blox
Although superficially very similar to the all-time classic "Tetris", this game has some unique Sonic additions that make it even more fun and challenging.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Chaos Crush
A Sonic the Hedgehog version of "Breakout", with the added benefit of Sonic, Shadow and Silver the Hedgehog power-ups.

Enjoy! You can now play over 130 Mario and Sonic online games by visiting my website. More recommendations coming soon...

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Expansion of the main site

I have now added a second main index page to my site, so there are now even more Mario and Sonic online games for you to try out. I hope you like it...

Monday, February 04, 2008

A nice little Mario "time-waster" game

I think this little Mario game is great for whiling away the time during coffee breaks, although it does eventually get insanely difficult... see what you think - it runs directly within this blog post:

You can play loads more Mario (and Sonic) online games by visiting my website.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Crash Bandicoot, the 3rd platforming hero (after Mario and Sonic)

When the first "Crash Bandicoot" game was launched for the original Sony PlayStation console back in 1996, it seemed to me and many other people at the time that it was mostly an attempt to c(r)ash-in on the popularity of Mario and Sonic in order to create an iconic character for the PlayStation. (Sorry about the pun.) If that was the intention it certainly worked very well, with the game proving to be extremely popular and with "Crash" becoming the PlayStation's unofficial mascot for a while.

I have to say that I actually liked it a lot, it had some original gameplay elements as well as the standard platforming ones, and was great fun to play. I thought the sequel that was released in 1997, "Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back", was even better. The third and final game in the original PlayStation series, 1998's "Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped", was a near-perfect game and is rated as one of the best platform games of all time by many fans and critics, which certainly ended any remaining thoughts about Crash being a derivative and unoriginal character. Crash is now a multi-platform franchise in much the same way that Sonic is, with a variety of games being available for all the modern consoles.

Here is an excellent online version of "Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back" for you to try: Crash Bandicoot Flash

You can find it and hundreds more quality-tested games at my free online games site.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A slight change of priorities

This month has been my most productive ever in terms of blogging, with a total of 23 posts prior to this one split between this blog and my England, Thailand and Other Things blog. However, I need to spend much more time on other projects next month (not least of which is the ongoing development of my websites, including the actual site) and so I will have to cut back on my blogging a bit for a while. But I will still be posting news and views here as much as possible, including some more Mario and Sonic online game recommendations, so it will still be worth your stopping by once in a while! :-)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

"Super Mario Galaxy" for the Nintendo Wii

One of the best-selling games of 2007, despite only being released in November and at the same time as another Mario (& Sonic) game...

Super Mario Galaxy

I thought it was very strange that the worldwide release of "Super Mario Galaxy" was timed such that it significantly overlapped with the worldwide release of "Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games". To clarify: "Galaxy" was officially released in Japan on November 1st, 2007, in North America on November 12th, in Europe on November 16th and in Australasia on November 27th. Meanwhile, "Olympics" was officially released in North America on November 6th, in Japan and Australasia on November 22nd and in Europe on November 23rd. Still, it doesn't appear to have done either game any harm, going by the December U.S. sales figures.

Having recently played "Galaxy", I can honestly say that I think it is the best video game ever made, and it must surely be set to become one of the best selling games ever because of its all-round brilliance. It is worth buying a Wii just to play it. The fact that "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" will soon also be available for the Wii is just a perfect bonus... So, come on Sega, please get it together and make a Sonic game that's as good as the Mario game (you haven't really managed that since the glorious 16-bit days, let's be honest), then video gaming life will be just absolutely perfect as far as I'm concerned.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mario & Sonic Online Game Recommendations - Part 6

Here is Part 6 in my ongoing series of Mario and Sonic online game recommendations (see also Part 5, which includes a summary of all my previous recommendations). This is a little bit different to the previous parts, as one of my game recommendations actually runs from within this blog post...

Until the first version of the Nintendo GameBoy was released in 1989, early handheld video games were expensive single-game machines with basic LCD displays and simple gameplay - pretty much like the ones that are sometimes given away as free gifts with fast-food meals nowadays. But they were (and still are) great fun to play, due in large part to that very simplicity - they're perfect for short bursts of "boredom relieving". Here are some Flash online recreations of a few of them for you to try:

1982 Nintendo Game & Watch: Donkey Kong Jr.
(Monochrome LCD "Wide Screen" type, Model No. DJ-101)

1983 Nintendo Game & Watch: Donkey Kong II
(Monochrome LCD "Multi Screen" type, Model No. JR-55)

1983 Nintendo Game & Watch: Mario Bros.
(Monochrome LCD "Multi Screen" type, Model No. MW-56)

1983 Nintendo Game & Watch: Mario's Bombs Away
(8-Colour LCD "Panorama Screen" type, Model No. TB-94)

2003 McDonald's Happy Meal Game: Sonic Speedway
(Monochrome LCD Single Screen - included here as a modern-day comparison)

If you haven't already tried it out (I recommended it in Part 5 of this series), here is a Flash recreation of a handheld game that provides a real modern-day comparison with those early handhelds:
2007 Nintendo DS Game: Sonic Rush Adventure

Enjoy! You can play loads more Mario and Sonic online games by visiting my website. I'll post some more recommendations in the near future...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Official U.S. sales figures for consoles and games, Dec '07

Released at the end of last week, these sets of sales figures for the U.S. gaming market, for December 2007 and also for the whole of that year, make for some very interesting reading indeed (source data from

All Hardware, December 2007
1) Nintendo DS - 2.47 Million
2) Wii - 1.35 Million
3) Xbox 360 - 1.26 Million
4) PlayStation 2 - 1.1 Million
5) PSP - 1.06 Million
6) PlayStation 3 - 797.0 K

Top 10 Software, December 2007
1) 360 Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare - 1.47 Million*
2) Wii Super Mario Galaxy - 1.40 Million
3) PS2 Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock - 1.25 Million*
4) Wii Play with Remote - 1.08 Million
5) 360 Assassin's Creed - 893.7 K*
6) 360 Halo 3 - 742.7 K*
7) NDS Brain Age 2: More Training In Minutes A Day - 659.5 K
8) PS2 Madden NFL 08 - 655.2 K
9) 360 Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock - 624.6 K
10) Wii Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games - 613.0 K

*Includes Collector's, Limited, Legendary, Bundles (Guitars) Editions

All Hardware, Full Year 2007 (Life to Date)
1) Nintendo DS - 8.50 Million (17.65 Million)
2) Wii - 6.29 Million (7.38 Million)
3) Xbox 360 - 4.62 Million (9.15 Million)
4) PSP - 3.82 Million (10.47 Million)
5) PlayStation 2 - 3.97 Million (41.12 Million)
6) PlayStation 3 - 2.56 Million (3.25 Million)

Top 10 Software, Full Year 2007
1) 360 Halo 3 (September Release) - 4.82 Million*
2) Wii Play with Remote (February Release) - 4.12 Million
3) 360 Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (November Release) - 3.04 Million*
4) PS2 Guitar Hero III: Legends Of Rock (October Release) - 2.72 Million*
5) Wii Super Mario Galaxy (November Release) - 2.52 Million
6) NDS Pokemon Diamond (April Release) - 2.48 Million
7) PS2 Madden NFL 08 (August Release) - 1.90 Million
8) PS2 Guitar Hero 2 (November 2006 Release) - 1.89 Million*
9) 360 Assassin's Creed (November Release) - 1.87 Million*
10) Wii Mario Party 8 (May Release) - 1.82 Million

*Includes Collector's, Limited, Legendary, Bundles (Guitars) Editions

What's clear from all of the above is that the Nintendo DS and Wii console systems are doing fantastically well - clearly Nintendo's best hardware year for ages, possibly ever. I wonder how much of that success, if any, is due to former die-hard Sega fans now firmly switching their loyalty to Nintendo, in the light of recent and future Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Team and related releases on the two Nintendo systems.

Meanwhile, Sony's Playstation 3 continues to trail in last place against all of its rivals, including its own predecessor. (And all of Sony's systems are selling less than those of Nintendo and Microsoft.) Oh dear. For me, it's not such sad news, as Sony's earlier consoles helped kill off Sega's superior (to me anyway) Saturn and Dreamcast systems in turn - clearly, what goes around does indeed come around.

What's also clear is that, with combined December sales of the Wii's "Super Mario Galaxy" and "Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games" titles being in excess of 2 million units, Mario and Sonic have a very bright future ahead even after all these years (which so far will be 27 years for Mario and 17 years for Sonic as of this year). Marvellous!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

I really, really want one of these...

Since I love the original Super Mario Bros. games and the original Sonic the Hedgehog games above all others, for me this new product seems like it might just be the best games console ever made, far better than any of the newer machines (from an article by John Biggs in the New York Times, January 17, 2008):

A Console Plays the Classics, Like Old-School Sonic and Mario

The holidays are long gone and the bloom is already fading on that hot new game console. What is a gamer to do? The Gen-X Game Console System, which looks like a cross between a sandwich maker and an old-fashioned answering machine, is here to give new life to the games of decades past.

The Gen-X emulates the eight-bit Nintendo Entertainment System and 16-bit Sega Genesis consoles. It plays all of the original cartridges — from Super Mario Brothers to the original Sonic the Hedgehog — and can connect to any TV with standard RCA cables.

The Gen-X, which is available from Game Asylum ( and other online stores for about $50, includes two controllers and also works with old Sega Genesis / Mega Drive controllers.

Nintendo released the NES in 1985 and stopped producing cartridges about 10 years later.

Clearly the Gen-X is aimed at a certain generation of gamers - those who know that eight bits is enough to make a great game, and that if you’re having trouble getting a cartridge to work it always helps to blow into it.

Friday, January 18, 2008

"Super Smash Bros. Brawl" for the Nintendo Wii

If this isn't one of the best-selling games come the end of this year, I'll be very surprised...

Super Smash Bros. Brawl

Scheduled for a Japanese launch on January 31st and a North American launch on March 9th (European and Australian dates are still to be announced as I write this), this third game in the hugely popular "Super Smash Bros." series will be the first to feature third-party games characters in addition to the usual Nintendo roster. Solid Snake from Konami's ever-popular "Metal Gear" games series will feature, but by far the most eagerly anticipated addition to the list of playable characters in the game is Sega's mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog...

So, at long long last, video game fans will be able to have their very own "Mario vs. Sonic" fights in an official game! Amen to that!

This is only the second official game ever to feature Mario and Sonic together - Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games of course being the first one - and I think that this game will be much more well-received by critics than was the first joint outing of the two characters. You can visit the official site for the game here.

While you're waiting for this epic game to be released, don't forget that you can have some unofficial Mario vs. Sonic battles in these two brilliant fan-produced Flash online games:

Super Smash Brothers: Super Smash Flash

Sonic the Hedgehog: Ultimate Robotnik Duels

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Flash online Super Sonic jigsaw puzzle...

...that you can have a go at solving right here (i.e. the Flash program for the jigsaw will actually open in this blog post) - click on the button with the Japanese for "Start" on it to break up the jigsaw pieces:

You can play some more Flash online Sonic the Hedgehog jigsaw puzzles here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games

This is the first in a new series of posts in which I'll highlight what's going on in the official Mario and Sonic gaming world...

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games

A truly landmark title, this is the first ever official video game to feature both Mario and Sonic, the one-time rival mascot characters of Nintendo and Sega respectively, together in one game. It is an officially-licenced game for this year's (2008) Summer Olympics being held in Beijing, China, and includes twenty different Olympic events, divided into eight different categories - athletics, gymnastics, shooting, rowing, archery, aquatics, fencing, and table tennis.

In addition to Mario and Sonic, 14 other characters from the two game franchises (7 from each) are available for play: Luigi, Yoshi, Princess Peach, Princess Daisy, Wario, Waluigi and Bowser on Mario's side, and Tails, Knuckles, Shadow, Amy Rose, Blaze, Vector and Dr. Robotnik/Eggman on Sonic's side. Miis can also be used if so desired.

"Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games" was developed jointly by Sega and Nintendo, and was released worldwide by Sega on the Nintendo Wii gaming console in November 2007 (which overlapped with the worldwide release of Nintendo's "Super Mario Galaxy" game for the Wii, also released that month - more on that in a future post).

Despite some reviews only giving it slightly above-average scores, not surprisingly the game has proven to be very popular, reportedly selling almost 1 million copies worldwide as at the end of 2007. A Nintendo DS handheld console version is scheduled for release on February 8th of this year. You can visit the official game site here, and you can watch an official trailer for the game here.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mario & Sonic Online Game Recommendations - Part 5 (With a Summary of Parts 1 to 4)

This is the continuation of my series of Mario and Sonic online game recommendations that I began over in my personal blog. To start off with, and to save you having to flip back and forth between the two blogs, here is a summary of the previous 4 parts, consisting of 17 different game recommendations for you to try:

Part 1:
Super Mario Brothers: New Super Mario Flash
Play as either Mario or Luigi in this brilliant fan-produced Flash remake of the classic 8-bit and 16-bit Super Mario Bros. platform games. As well as including its own excellent ready-made series of levels for you to play, the game also features a programmable level editor for you to create and play your very own levels (and some example level codes are included for you to try too). This is rapidly becoming one of the most popular Flash games on the web - play it for yourself to see why.

Super Mario Brothers: Super Mario X
An entertaining Super Mario platform game with lovely original Flash graphics and a unique twist in gameplay.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Xtreme
A fast-paced and challenging Sonic platformer with Super Mario "Wigglers" to defeat in addition to classic Sonic Badniks.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Amy's Whack-A-Nik
Go on, you know you want to - Use your mouse to control Amy Rose's "Piko Piko Hammer" and whack as many SWATBot Badniks as you can in the time limit!

Part 2:
Super Mario Brothers: Super Mario Sunshine 64
A superb fan-produced 2D version of the 2002 Nintendo GameCube game "Super Mario Sunshine", complete with a fully-functioning FLUDD.

Super Mario Brothers: Mario Bros. in Pipe Panic
Play as either Mario or Luigi in this lovely Super Mario Bros. themed homage to the all-time classic "Pac-Man" arcade game.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Ultimate Flash Sonic
One of the most popular Flash games on the web, and it's easy to see why - this incredible fan-produced effort is as close to a perfect game as you will find anywhere. With fast-paced, flawless Sonic platforming fun all the way, this game incorporates the best elements of all the classic 8-bit and 16-bit Sonic games, and includes unlockable extra characters, levels and other fun bonuses too.

And just in case you want it, here is a lovely little cheat password for the Ultimate Flash Sonic game that allows you to level-select the Ice Paradise zone when you play the main game as Tails, and also allows you to have Tails follow you if you want when you play the game as any other character (just like in the 16-bit Sega Mega Drive/Genesis "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" game if you have Tails follow Sonic): 115013101010101

(Additional note: If you use the above cheat password and have Tails follow Cream, he replaces Cheese the Chao who normally follows Cream.)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Rivals Dash
An official Flash mini-version of Sega's excellent 2006 "Sonic Rivals" game for the Sony PlayStation Portable, this has a 2-player option in addition to the single-player game for some real "Rivals" fun.

Part 3:
Super Mario Brothers: Luigi Gunman
Also known as "Mario World Overrun", this truly unique Mario game offers an exciting and challenging combination of first-person-shooter action and tower-defence strategy, all based in a Super Mario World setting.

Super Mario Brothers: Super Mafia Bros.
The classic original Super Mario Bros. game gets "The Godfather" treatment in this brilliant single-level homage.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Shadow the Hedgehog Flash
An excellent official Flash mini-version of Sega's 2005 "Shadow the Hedgehog" game for the Nintendo GameCube, Sony PlayStation 2 and Microsoft Xbox, complete with the gunplay that is now synonymous with Shadow.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Scene Creator
One of a series of three slightly differing Sonic Scene Creators (click here and here for the other two), this is great fun for Sonic fans who have an artistic side in addition to their gaming side.

Super Smash Flash
The name (almost) says it all - this is an awesome fan-produced version of Nintendo's 2001 GameCube game "Super Smash Bros. Melee", but with the added bonus of being able to play as (or against if you prefer) Sega characters such as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles and Shadow in addition to the standard Nintendo characters. The game features a host of unlockable extra levels and characters in single-player mode, plus there is a 2-player mode for some serious "VS." brawling action.

Part 4:
Super Mario Brothers: Mario Remix
This clever fan-produced game is actually three different games in one great package - grab hold of Mario and go and play some "Super Mario World" with him, and when you're done with that, go and play some "Megaman" and then some "Gradius" with him too!

Super Mario Brothers: Bullet Bill (and its sequel
Super Mario Brothers: Bullet Bill 2)
Play a version of the classic original "Super Mario Bros." game, but with a quite literally smashing twist - you get to play as a Bullet Bill! Smash blocks, bash Mario, avoid scenery!

Sonic the Hedgehog: Ultimate Robotnik Duels
Take over the controls of one of Dr. Robotnik's (a.k.a. Eggman's) amazingly destructive flying machines for a head-to-head "death match" battle. You can play as any of the main characters from the Sonic the Hedgehog games, or even as Super Mario - so you can have your very own "Mario vs. Sonic" fight if you wish! Features brilliantly entertaining single-player and 2-player modes, and also a neat spectator mode where you can watch your computer play against itself.

(Just in case you want some more "Mario vs. Sonic" action, and just in case you haven't played it yet and haven't found out, you can also have a Mario vs. Sonic fight in the Super Smash Flash game I recommended in Part 3 above... plus you might also want to check this out: Mario vs. Sonic Interactive Flash Movie)

Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Boom
Shoot Sonic from a giant cannon and try to get him as far as you can. Hit the bonus items to increase Sonic's flight distance, but avoid the traps and bombs that will slow him down and stop him. Features unlockable extra characters and bunuses.

And now... here is Part 5, with my next four game recommendations for you to try:

Super Mario Brothers: Classic Mario Bros.
In case you didn't know, this year marks the 25th anniversary of the first appearance of the original "Mario Bros." arcade game. When that game was launched way back in 1983, it was actually the first time that a Mario game had the name "Mario" in the title - 1981's "Donkey Kong" being the first ever Mario game. It was also the game that first introduced Mario's brother, Luigi, to the world, and was the game that established the brothers as being plumbers by trade (Mario was a carpenter in Donkey Kong) with pipes being a key feature of gameplay. This was the game that set the scene for all that was to follow...

To celebrate this milestone in video gaming history, why not have a play of this superb fan-produced version of the original game - as well as the great single-player game, there is also a 2-player "VS." mode for added retro-enjoyment.

Super Mario Brothers: New Super Mario Bros.
If you enjoyed the retro-trip provided by the game above, why not play this rather twisted version of the first ever "Super Mario Bros." game from 1985 next? It features some very interesting and amusing variations on the classic original.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Sonic Rush Adventure Flash
This official Flash mini-version of Sega's excellent 2007 "Sonic Rush Adventure" game for the Nintendo DS handheld console actually features a simulation of the DS, complete with a mouse-driven "stylus"! Using the stylus to control the Wave Cyclone waterbike, you must perform stunts, collect rings and avoid obstacles in this race against the clock.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Character Designer
Another great game for all you Sonic fans with an artistic flair (see also the three different Sonic the Hedgehog: Scene Creators I recommended in Part 3 above).

Enjoy! You can play all of the above games, plus loads more, at my website. More recommendations soon...

Monday, January 14, 2008

First Post

Welcome to the blog.

Rather obviously I hope, this blog is going to be about the Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog video game franchises, my number one video gaming favourites. However, to a lesser degree it is also going to be about other Nintendo and Sega related games series of which I am a fan, such as Super Smash Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Kirby, Megaman, Super Monkey Ball, Puyo Pop Fever and so on. There is one thing that it isn't going to be though, and that's any kind of "personal" blog - if you would like to read my personal blog, which is about my life and everything in it (including Mario, Sonic et al, of course), please see here: England, Thailand and Other Things

This blog is intended to be a helpful and informative companion to my website, which contains a huge collection of completely free Mario and Sonic online fun and games. If you are a fan of Mario and Sonic games, you might like all the Flash games, Java games, puzzle games, pictures, animated GIFs and sprites, music, desktop wallpapers and much more that are included in the site. Why not check it out to see for yourself... :-)