BrondaBailey’s Weblog

Coming to you live from the Village!

Video Games I’ve Beaten with Commentary

  • Super Mario Bros. (NES)
    • I beat this one on our original NES that we earned WAY back in the day.  I remember that we got a marble in a jar every time Wendy, Jeff, or I did something good.  When we had earned 100 marbles our Mom and Dad bought us an NES.  It was the model with R.O.B. who, (while worthless) was at least cool looking.  I’m glad I beat this one as a kid, because to be honest, I have zero desire to go back and play it (the later Mario games are much more fun in my opinion – Tanooki suit FTW!)  I only made it through the maze that is World 8 – 4 once, but that’s good enough for me.
    • Here’s a video of someone beating it on YouTube, you have to go through the pipes just right to get to the end:
  • Contra (NES)
    • I remember when I returned home from Brazil and the Internet had just opened up the world.  One thing that I believe Jeff showed me, was that it was now a possibility to download and play NES files (and pretty much all other older video games system files) and play them on your computer.  The fact that they downloaded super fast in dial-up days only sweetened the deal.  I used the Konami Code to beat it, obviously.

  • Mega Man (NES)
    • After discovering the illegal magic of emulation, I decided to make my way through the Mega Man series.  I never completed it, but I did make it through the first two.

    This picture is from the remake, Mega Man Powered Up!, but it was too cute not to include.

  • Mega Man 2 (NES)
    • The details of me beating Mega Man 2 are sketchy, but I’m pretty sure it did happen, which is good, since it is often considered the best of the NES series.
    • Fun fact:  Mega Man 2 was turned into a novel!  I never read it (and I can’t imagine it’s very good.) Read about it here!

    I wish I had created a Mega Man out of post it notes like this guy.

  • The Legend of Zelda (NES)
    • I can remember playing Zelda at my friend Austin’s house when I still lived in California, but we never had it at our house, so it wasn’t until adulthood that I beat it.  It’s still a great game, though I admit to using GameFAQs to figure out where to go next, rather than exploring my way through it for fun.
    • Here is a really weird commercial for the original Zelda game:
  • Jurassic Park 2: The Chaos Continues (SNES)
    • Ben, a good friend of mine of mine in High School, and I played this game over and over.  It’s a 2 player simultaneous run-and-gun shooter that is extremely difficult.  The game is not based on any of the books or movies, but is a brand new story in itself (although, let’s face it, the story is just window dressing for having you shoot dinosaurs.)  JP 2 featured an interesting mechanic that you could only kill so many of the peaceful dinos (read: herbivores) in a stage or you would game over.  You had to stun them instead, but feel free to kill all the raptors.  I’m not sure if Ben and I ever beat this without a code, but since I’m making this list, I choose the criteria.  It’s also the first console game I can remember that had full fledged recorded speech on it in the intro cut scene.  Ben, if you’re out there, thanks for playing, I have many happy memories of this one!  Since I’ve found you on Facebook since I first wrote this, just know this is on my list of games I need for my retro collection.
  • Contra III: The Alien Wars (Super Famicon, Wii Virtual Console.)
    • When I lived in California, for whatever reason, most of my good friends were Asian.  I’m not sure if it’s because they were nerdier than the rest of the population, or what.  Maybe they were just more accepting.  Anyway, I had a great friend named Chester Lin and we spent hours playing video games.  He didn’t have A Super Nintendo, he had a Super Famicon (the Japanese version) so most of the text on games we played were in Japanese.  We beat this game on Hard mode – something I’m still proud of.  I bought this game for the Wii Virtual Console as soon as it came out.  Bren and I have only beat it on Easy so far.
  • Super Mario World (SNES)
    • yoshiI can’t think of a bad Mario 2D platformer made by Nintendo (i.e. the crappy Phillips CD-i games don’t count-I’m looking at you Hotel Mario.)  I really enjoy all of them, but the one that is nearest and dearest to my heart is Mario World.  I’m not totally sure why.  Maybe it’s because until recently, I never owned it (seeing as I played the SNES era mostly at friends houses.)  I realize it’s not as revolutionarily great as SMB 3, but I think it takes SMB3’s mechanic and takes it up one notch.  Plus, this is where Yoshi was introduced.  The pride of my SNES collection is my Super Mario World and Super Mario All Stars (SMB 1, 2, and 3 and the Lost Levels)  cartridge.  Go me!
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time (N64, also on GCN Collector’s Disc)
  • Pokémon Snap (N64 VC)
    • Sometimes trying something new in the video game world pays off tremendously.  Super Mario RPG is a great example – Nintendo let Square take their platforming mascot and put him in a role-playing game and ta-dah,Pokemon_Snap you’ve got Super Mario RPG, the great swan song of the Super Nintendo.  EA garnered much good will (though perhaps not as many sales as they would have liked)  by created a new first person style of gaming with Mirror’s Edge (first person parkour?)  Pokemon Snap is a great example of doing something totally out of left field and having it work.  The first 3D Pokémon game ever wasn’t the battle system that people at the zenith of Pokémania clamored for, it was instead an on-rails safari-style picture taking adventure.  And it actually turned out really good!  There were limitations – it only featured 62 of the 151 (then)-current Pokémon and the graphics now look comically “chunky.”  However, this game does a really good job of distilling the whole Pokemon experience into a safari adventure.  You’ve still gotta catch ’em all, only now you’re photographing them, not capturing.  You also have to make clever use of items to get the Pokémon to interact and evolve.  I love this game-plus when they added it to the Wii Virtual Conssole, they added the ability to send your pictures to other Wii owners!
  • Spider-Man (PS1)
    • Spider-Man PS1This game is hands down the best Spider-Man game up to this point in history.  I remember playing it on the N64 when I was younger (none of my friends had a PS1) but I have since purchased it for PS1 (because I got a PS2 long before I got my N64.)  The game is just fun.  There are great web chase levels (“Move it Spidey, move it!”), a fitting narration provided by Spidey-creator  Stan Lee, a slew of cool alternate costumes, and the first time in a game where I really felt like I was web-swinging (although a lot of the time you seem to be swinging with nothing above you to swing from.)  It was not without it’s problems – swinging to anything not close to you required tedious first-person aiming all hands in the game are blocky fists, and in the end of the game (fitting for the symbiote-crazed 90’s) Doc Ock and Carnage merge leaving you to flee it’s rampage – only it doesn’t let you see where you’re going, you’re looking back to see how close Symbiote-Ock is behind you.  The requisit trial and error and pathway memorization to beat this part was a little tedious.  I bought this game’s sequel as well, but as of yet, haven’t gotten to playing it.
  • Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA)mario-vs-donkey-kong
    • Part platformer, part puzzle game, this game originally started development as Donkey Kong Plus, a sequel to the original Donkey Kong game.  It morphed into Mario vs. Donkey Kong somewhere along the way.  DK, jealous that Mario has a highly successful toy line of “Mini-Marios” that he cannot obtain, steals all of them.  Mario chases after DK to take the toys back (possibly, he’s behind on the rent and needs the money.)  Sometimes you controlled Mario as he rescued Minis and then the game would switch to a Lemmings style puzzle that required Mario to keep them safe.
  • Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga (GBA)
    • Choosing a favorite video game of all time is really hard for someone like me who plays a lot of games (Exhibit A: This list.)  But Superstar Saga is way up there.  As an Action / RPG / Platformer Superstar Saga hops between the genres as easily the Bros. hop back and forthbetween the Mushroom Kingdom and the neighboring Beanbean Kingdom where most of the action takes place.  This change of venue allows for some cool art-direction tweaks to established characters that keep things fresh while firmly rooted in the visual cues of other Mario games.  The gameplay encourages you to pay close attention during the turn-based battles by offering defensive and offensive bonuses for correctly timed button presses.  However, the thing I like about Superstar more than any other is the humor.  Good humor in video games is  rare (unless you’re laughing at bad voice overs) but AlphaDream nailed it in this case.  The whole games oozes with style and is a joy to play.  I also liked the platforming bits where both Bros. were required for extra-high or extra-long jumps.  Plus, Bowser continues the grand tradition of not being a lot friendlier in the Mario RPGs.  Perhaps all those kart races and tennis games are making the old Koopa soft.
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA)
  • Metroid Zero Mission (GBA)
  • Metroid Fusion (GBA)
    • I just beat this a few minutes ago (as of this writing of course so the impressions are still fresh in my head.)  Wow, that was really cool.  Due to the last Metroid sacrificing itself to save Samus during her climactic battle with Mother Brain at the end of Super Metroid, she and her suit have had some Metroid DNA grafted into them.  It changes her look and provides a conveinent excuse for her to once again recollect all of the items that she gained throughout the previous games.  I really like the new look (and since other than the Zero Suit she’s looked pretty much the same since Metroid 2, it was a good choice IMO.)  This game also branches out a lot more into Samus’s backstory – well, it hints towards a branching back-story at least.  A lot of questions look like they will be answered by the upcoming Metroid: Other M coming out for the Wii.  If it builds on what Fusion did, I’m all for it.
  • Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (GCN)
  • Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (GCN)
  • Batman: Vengeance (GCN)
  • Batman: Dark Tomorrow (GCN)
  • X-Men Legends (GCN)
  • Rogue Squadron: Rebel Strike (GCN)
  • The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Destruction (GCN)
  • Spider-Man 2 (GCN)
  • Spider-Man (GCN)
  • Ultimate Spider-Man (GCN)
  • Pikmin 2 (GCN)
  • Lego Star Wars (GCN)
  • Lego Star Wars 2: The Original Trilogy (GCN)
  • Resident Evil 4 (GCN)
  • 007: Nightfire (GCN)
  • 007: Agent Under Fire (GCN)
  • 007: Everything or Nothing (GCN)
  • Guantlet Dark Legacy (GCN)
  • Luigi’s Mansion (GCN)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker (GCN)
  • Return to Zork (PC)
  • Wolfenstein 3D (PC)
  • Doom (PC)
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces (PC)
  • Star Wars: Jedi Knight Dark Forces II (PC)
  • Star Wars: Jedi Outcast (PC)
  • Star Wars: Jedi Academy (PC)
  • Star Wars: Republic (PC)
  • Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (PC)
  • Star Wars: Republic Commando (PC)
  • Half Life 2 (PC)
  • Half Life 2: Episode 1 (PC)
  • Half Life 2: Episode 2 (PC)
  • Bioshock (PC)
  • Portal (PC)
  • Feeding Frenzy 2 (PC)
  • Bioshock 2 (PC)
  • Time Crisis 3 (PS2)
  • Kingdom Hearts (PS2)
  • Kingdom Hearts 2 (PS2)
  • Katamari Damacy (PS2)
  • Star Wars Battlefront (PS2)
  • Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune (PS3)
  • Ghostbusters (PS3)
  • Assassin’s Creed II (PS3)
    • As I loved the first Assassin’s Creed and loved it enough to do all the side missions, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that I greatly enjoyed the much improved sequel.  There’s more variety, more missions, more assassinations, more things to do with money you earn, pretty much more of everything – including confusing meta plots with pseudo-wannabe-religion stuff.  Oh, and a ton more uses of the F-word (something I did not appreciate – why can I turn of blood but not swearing?)  I still appreciate the exploring of new areas as they open up.  I’m not sure why, but I do.  Unfortunately, the Pope you try to assassinate at the end is not wearing the cool hat.  😦
  • Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (PS3)
    • Pretty much everything I said about Assassin’s Creed II applies here as well.  More, more, more. . . . more of the same.  Rome is larger, you get to face off with da Vinci’s fighting machines , you recruit a guild of people to help you take out more people and the meta-story gets even more confusing!  The shock ending left me wondering what the heck was going on. . . Maybe Assassin’s Creed III can clear some of this up.  Very fun though, and you finally get to see the Pope die and take out his evil progeny!
  • Toy Story 3 (PS3)
  • Flower (PS3)
  • Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3)
  • Halo: Combat Evolved (Xbox)
  • Halo 2 (Xbox)
  • Halo 3 (Xbox 360)
  • Call of Duty 2 (Xbox 360)
  • Superman Returns (Xbox 360)
    • Ah, the licensed game to beat all licensed games.  They took some really interesting ideas like switching Superman’s life meter for a damage meter for Metropolis.  If too much bad stuff goes down game over.  It’s not that different than a normal life meter, but it was nice of the game makers to help maintain the superness of Superman.  Flying is fantastic – like Superman the movie’s tagline said, it will convince you a man can fly.  Breaking the sound barrier was fun too.  However. there’s just not enough different things for Superman to do.  Putting out building fires is only fun for so long and repeatedly fighting the same enemies gets old too.  Looking back, maybe they should have localized it to take the strain off creating an entire city since it appears they simply ran out of time to keep adding activities.  At least (unlike the movie) there are some enemies to fight.  Biggest plus of all though – it left out the whole “Superman is a dead beat dad” storyline that I hated so much.  In fact, the game barely ties in with the movie at all (again, this is a plus for me.)  I liked Kevin Spacey’s Luthor, but I’ll take Metallo and Mongul any day in games (since you can, you know, punch them.)
  • Assassin’s Creed (Xbox 360)
  • Spider-Man: Friend or Foe (Xbox 360)
  • Spider-Man: Web of Shadows (Xbox 360)
  • Batman:Arkham Assylum (Xbox 360)
  • Lego Indiana Jones (Xbox 360)
  • Super Mario 64 DS (DS)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass (DS)
  • Pokemon Pearl (DS)
  • Feel the Magic (DS)
  • New Super Mario Bros. (DS)
    • While this is of course a fun Nintendo game that hearkens back to the days of yore, one thing is very different – this game is much easier than it’s earlier counterparts from the 1980s.  To compensate for the easiness, I went back through and collected the golden coins from each level.  Stompingthrough the levels and giant Mario or giant Luigi is a blast and the lack of a flying power really focuses in on the platforming dynamic which pretty much set the foundation for many of the games of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras.  The new koopa shell power-up was a big let-down though- it was pretty much useless.  Sounded really cool, didn’t work out so well in real life.  Overall, a great game.
  • Yoshi’s Island 2 (DS)
  • Mario and Luigi: Partners in Time (DS)
  • Mario and Luigi: Bowser’s Inside Story (DS)
  • Super Princess Peach (DS)
  • Ninja Gaiden: Dragon Sword (DS)
  • Chrono Trigger (DS)
  • The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii)
  • Ghost Squad (Wii)
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (Wii)
  • Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
  • Red Steel (Wii)
  • Elebits (Wii)
  • The Conduit (Wii)
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii (Wii)
    • There’s a reason Nintendo is a ton less concerned about graphics than the other major companies at the moment. When you’re having a real good time, you don’t notice that they’re not phenomenal.  Like the it’s also not-so-creatively-named cousin on the DS, this is a return to the formula of the early 2D, side scrolling Marios of yore.  However, while the DS version is more concerned with emulating SMB, the Wii version seems to be channeling a more SMB3/SMBW vibe.  The new power-ups are great (the Propeller Suit zooms you up in the air with the shake of a remote and the Penguin Suit (aside from giving the Bee Suit from Super Mario Galaxy a run for it’s money in the cuteness department) is fun and somehow a lot more functional than I remember the Blue Koopa Shell being in the DS game.
    • Oh, and did I mention multiplayer?  Finally, Mario, Luigi, and two Toads can all traverse the varied terrain of the Mushroom Kingdom together.  When four play at once, there’s a fair amount of jostling for position and knocking each other into pits and such, but the game is delightful anyhow and the ability to pick up your fellow players and chuck them down a pit in revenge is quite entertaining as well.I really like this game.  I think they nailed the nostalgia factor while also adding in the  new suits and the multiplayer factor to keep it fresh and invigorating.  Yoshi is a little under-utilized, but otherwise, this one is awesome.
  • Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Wii)
  • Metroid: Other M (Wii)
  • Rabbids Go Home (Wii)
  • Epic Mickey (Wii)
  • Contra: Rebirth (WiiWare)
    • Like Contra IV on the DS, this game is channeling Contra III for the SNES with authentic 16 bit-ish graphics and incredibly similar play style.  The big difference is that Konami added infinite continues to this version which is why it’s on the list and Contra IV isn’t (at least so far.)  They added weird cutscenes.  Something about what a Contra is and stuff.  It’s weird.  I highly recommend skipping all cutscenes and simply moving on the actual game.


  1. Mom wants to know about Legends of Zork “Want some Rye? ‘Course you do!”

    Comment by Brittany | October 23, 2008 | Reply

  2. We beat the version of Return to Zork before that version. The text only one… Your sword is glowing.

    Comment by WendyLou | October 26, 2008 | Reply

  3. List updated. I still need more time to work on this. Did we really beat the original Zork, Wendy? I remember playing it but not beating it. It seems like I’ve forgotten a bunch of PC games I need to add still. Plus there’s the commentary. Slow and steady, right?

    Comment by brondabailey | November 3, 2008 | Reply

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