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Surprise mid-day Thursday article! Threw you for a loop, didn’t I?

If you’re like me and you’re going to be heading up to a cabin this summer, chances are you’ll be bringing along some sort of portable gaming device. Now, I know a lot of you might be a little more into the natural beauty of a cabin on the lake (and don’t get me wrong, I am too!), but sometimes I feel like there’s no better way to relax than getting a good game, sitting out on a lake, and playing a little bit of Picross or Chrono Trigger. So, in honor of the fact that I will be gone all weekend at my cabin, here’s a list of the 4 games I will be playing/would like to play while at a cabin out on a lake.

I think that both Nintendo fans and non-fans alike can agree on one undeniable truth—Mario and co. comprise a company that loves its franchises. Zelda, Metroid, Kirby, Pokémon—even Super Smash Bros. has become a franchise in its own right after all these years. And while it can’t be argued that fans don’t enjoy these series, it certainly can be asserted that Nintendo is perhaps a little too reliant on too few franchises. With the advent of the Wii three and a half years ago, we fans were expecting a huge influx of next-gen updates to our favorite games, but the disappointing thing (at least to this gamer) was that only a few series received those updates, a la Twilight Princess, Brawl, and Galaxy (even Galaxy 2 now—doesn’t Mario ever take a vacation that isn’t interrupted by nasty goo?).

So here’s my proposition, Miyamoto: Give these franchises a second look.

Most frustratingest game ever?

I really don’t understand Monster Hunter Tri at all. Everything that makes logical sense about the game says that it should not be good: The controls are archaic, 80% of it is grinding, the single player has a lackluster story, it’s unbearably frustrating, and it sucks up hours upon hours of your time to make any sort of significant progress in the game. Regardless, I have fallen so far in love with the game that I have spent all of my spare time playing it. I didn’t have a feature up yesterday. Any idea why? Yes, it was Monster Hunter’s fault. When I’m that addicted to a game, usually I can track the reasons why I love it. Zelda games, for instance, have fantastic gameplay, great atmosphere, and awesome level design. But Monster Hunter doesn’t have very much going for it, yet, for some reason I can tell it is going to be a game I clock well over 100 hours into. It really is the greatest bad game I have ever played.

I don’t think there’s a single gaming website on the whole internet that hasn’t written a feature on the best game music. Usually it’s the same old songs from the same old games —Zelda, Super Mario Bros, Mega Man, Parappa the Rapper…. Yes, I know just as well as anyone that the Moon theme from DuckTales is one of the greatest things ever, but I wanted to take this time to draw attention to some of the more overlooked game soundtracks.

Renegade Kid has created some of the most impressive games for the DS since the company was established in 2007. And just a few days ago, their third title for the handheld – Dementium II – made its way onto stores shelves. Renegade Kid owner and director Jools Watsham recently took some time to answer a few questions for us about his latest game and discussed other topics, which included the possibility of developing for Wii and his thoughts about the 3DS.

Nintendo Everything: Your most recent game, Dementium II, was just released last week and it looks like hands-down the scariest game on the DS system. What was the greatest challenge for actually bringing a tense, scary feel to players on a handheld system?

Jools Watsham: I think the most important thing, and one of the most difficult, is to create an authentically creepy atmosphere. We also pushed ourselves to produce a ton more variety in environments and enemies, which took a tremendous amount of work.

NE: Another thing that’s terrifying about Dementium II is the boxart – Who came up with such an awesome illustration?

JW: I agree, I think it is fantastic. This is very unglamorous, but SouthPeak hired a talented design company who came up with it. I expect SouthPeak’s PR Queen, Aubrey Norris, had something to do with it. 🙂 The image was sent to me one day and I was just blown away. I immediately thought it looked incredible, and I felt honored to have such a wonderfully disturbing image for our game.

Warning: This article contains intense, intense spoilers regarding the game Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon. If you intend to play the game, or simply have not played it yet, I highly recommend skipping the article altogether.

Preface: I’m not sure my feelings about Fragile Dreams really translated all that well in my review of the game for one reason or another, and I feel the need to really get this all out on paper. I realize it’s a very long read, but I hope some of you enjoy it and agree/disagree with me. If you do, be sure to let me know in the comments section!

Mother’s Day is a time for sitting back and thanking your mom for all the hard work she’s done. Unless she happens to be on this list. What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than by looking at a few examples of terrible parenting to make you appreciate your own mom?

Game Info:

System: Nintendo DS
Category: RPG
Players: 1-2 (versus)
Release date: March 14, 2010
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver are the latest games in Nintendo’s hugely successful Pokemon series, though they are both remakes of Gold and Silver: two Pokemon titles that were released back in 2000 for the Game Boy. Gold and Silver were believed by many to be the best games in the entire series, adding many innovations that have become standard, like the game’s internal clock and Pokemon breeding. Do HeartGold and SoulSilver manage to do these classic games justice, or do they not hold up after ten years and 200-and-something new Pokemon?

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned as a gamer, it’s that I can be entertained by some of the weirdest things sometimes. By ‘weird’ I don’t mean bad or creepy or bizarre, I just mean unexpected. And perhaps one of the most unexpectedly entertaining games of all is Harvest Moon 64.

The Harvest Moon franchise is no stranger to Nintendo consoles, having had its start in 1997 on the venerable Super Nintendo. The setup is decidedly simple: The player’s grandfather has just died, leaving behind his old farm in utter disrepair. It is up to the player to reclaim this desolate landscape and turn it into the successful goldmine of produce it once was, all while meeting and befriending the local townsfolk along the way. You’ve got all the time in the world to make a life for yourself. There are tons of crops to be harvested, cows to be milked, and women to be wooed in this intriguing little simulation.

Every week Nintendo puts out a press release talking about all the great new downloadable titles that are coming out, but never something showcasing the occasionally-decent games that come out in retail. Well, I’m gonna change that. This week, Nintendo gamers are treated with world cup soccer, free running intensity, ruthless romans, and fighting extinction.