Tag Archives: minigames

Delving into Dragon Quest: Hand of the Heavenly Bride – #6

Okay, I got it wrong. I have not yet finished Hand of the Heavenly Bride, nor was I near to doing so.

Well, actually, that might not quite be true. But I have been getting a little distracted on my way to what I can only assume is the final boss: first with grinding to get Bianca up to a similar level as my protagonist and their children, and subsequently with the subject of today’s article.

Many RPGs today concentrate primarily on their core mechanics, with their optional content involving those same mechanics: challenging combat, deep dungeons or hard-to-find items. But the Dragon Quest series, like Final Fantasy, is one that has always incorporated minigames into the mix, with their own completely separate ways of playing. And it’s that I’d like to talk about today.

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Nintendo DS Essentials: Rhythm Paradise

I’ve liked rhythm games ever since I played Bust-a-Groove on the PlayStation. And I particularly like rhythm games that do something a little bit… odd.

Nintendo’s 2009 title Rhythm Paradise (aka Rhythm Heaven, Rhythm Tengoku Gold or Rhythm World depending on where in the world you are) is certainly very odd indeed at first glance… but it’s also an incredibly solid music game that both demands and helps train a good musical ear and sense of rhythm.

It’s also a fine example of the Nintendo DS doing what it does best: providing distinctive, experimental experiences quite unlike the games you find on any other platform.

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Game Boy Essentials: Game Boy Gallery

Nintendo has always been good at handheld games — even long before its Game Boy and subsequent platforms were a thing.

Those of you as old as me will doubtless remember the Game & Watch series, a range of 60 handheld electronic LCD games created by Nintendo and released between 1980 and 1991. These dinky little devices perfectly encapsulated what makes a “good handheld game” — something that is easy to learn but tough to master, and which you can either while away a few minutes with or engross yourself in for several hours thanks to their inherently addictive, rewarding quality.

The Game & Watch series was designed by Gunpei Yokoi, who later went on to design 1989’s astronomically popular Game Boy. It’s only appropriate, then, that a number of the games that really kickstarted Nintendo’s efforts in the handheld space went on to get their own adaptations on that platform, beginning with the Europe-only release of Game Boy Gallery in 1995.

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Wii U Essentials: Nintendo Land

It’s easy to write off a pack-in bundle of minigames as being somehow “lesser” than full-scale titles. But the Wii U’s Nintendo Land was special — and in a different way from its spiritual predecessor Wii Sports.

Functioning as a joyous celebration of Nintendo’s most beloved properties — and a few slightly more obscure ones, too — Nintendo Land is an enjoyable enough experience in single-player, with several games specifically designed with solo play in mind, but it’s in multiplayer that it truly shines: Nintendo’s same-room party gaming at its finest.

And it’s an evergreen title, too; some five years after its initial release, for many Wii U owners it’s a game that still gets regular play, particularly when friends come to visit. Let’s take a closer look at what makes it so special.

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Wii U Essentials: Game & Wario

Originally intended as a pack-in game for the Wii U as a demonstration of the GamePad’s capabilities, Game & Wario has been considerably overshadowed by its eventual replacement Nintendo Land.

But it’s a great game in its own right, both as a showcase for the Wii U GamePad and as a title that provides enormously varied quick blasts of entertainment whenever you feel like it.

It’s very much an old-school Nintendo game, in other words, and while it’s rather different from previous WarioWare titles, it’s an excellent addition to any Wii U owner’s library.

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