Episode 138: Super Mario Galaxy

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Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross cram-jam Super Mario Galaxy.

3D Mario is a tricky thing. Though Mario 64 forged a path, it arrived at a different feeling and flow than we were used to in our 2D Mario games. Over a couple of iterations, it feels like Nintendo finally arrived at the apotheosis of SM64-style play... and then they promptly abandoned it. So, let's take a close look at this weirdo entry in gaming's most established series.

Episode 112: Blaster Master

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross blow through Blaster Master.

We've covered several NES platformers on the show, but mostly from bigger publishers. Capcom and Konami are mainstays, and of course we've talked a lot about Nintendo itself, but SunSoft has racked up more Abject Suffering entries than WOFF! entries. Blaster Master is a varied and eclectic game with some neat ideas and inconsistent execution. Those neat ideas count for a lot, though, and ambition gets points.


Episode 103: Demon's Crest

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross blaze through Demon's Crest.

The Summer of SNES continues with Demon's Crest, a neglected entry in a neglected series. It takes non-standard platforming mechanics, and spreads them across a non-linear story rich with bosses and evocative gothic imagery. Be sure to grab this one on Virtual Console.


Episode 100: Super Metroid

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross gush about Super Metroid in this centennial episode of Watch Out for Fireballs!

"Break Glass in Case of Emergency". There's a whole category of game that Gary and I avoid playing for the show. They're in the upper echelon. They're top tier. If we brought them out regularly, everything else would feel like a chore.

But sometimes it's a special occasion, and you have to bring out the fine china. And Super Metroid is some fine, fine China. On one hand, it's an expansion and elaboration on the stuff that made Metroid 1 and 2 unique. On the other, it's a foundational text that cemented a whole new genre in place. Listen, as we break the glass and talk about one of the best games of all time.

But first, get hyped by watching this trailer, created for us by Allison Baker:

Episode 97: Commander Keen in Goodbye, Galaxy!

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross walk backward and talk about Commander Keen in "Goodbye, Galaxy!"

We're always looking to shore up blind spots in the games we cover. After nearly four years of doing this show, it's important to avoid ruts. Commander Keen represents a particular stripe of PC platformers that was ultimately an evolutionary dead end. But in his time, Commander Keen was charming and fun. This episode actually covers two games: "The Secret of the Oracle" and "The Armageddon Machine". The former is an essential play, the latter is dull garbage.


Episode 43: Sonic 3 and Knuckles

Gary Butterfield and Kole Ross sprint through Sonic 3 and Knuckles.

Something about emeralds, something about robots, something about going real fast. There's some measure of debate over what the best Sonic game is, but Sonic 3 and Knuckles is probably the grandest expression of what "Sonic" is all about. We vacilitate for a while before ultimately concluding that the game ain't bad, it just has high highs and low lows.

Note: The sketch at the beginning of this episode is probably one of the funniest, and also most unsettling things we've ever done. Fair warning.

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