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Category “Bucket List Games”

Why Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a Bucket List Game


I was not even going to buy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for the Nintendo Switch. No plans whatsoever.

I already had my fill of Nintendo kart goodness when I purchased Mario Kart 8, along with the two content packs, on the Wii U years ago. Fun was had with my spouse and playing solo through the games dozens of courses and cups. But with that said, I did not sink too much time into it. Life happens and new games are released.

Fast forward to the present with the release of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and my lack of excitement. Nothing really changed. I took a gamble, and I am here to say it was a gamble well made.


Mario Kart 8 is a kart racing game with single and multiplayer configurations. The game asks the players to choose a character, a customizable kart, and a race track to play on. The game, then, tasks the player with completing the race as close to first place as possible by avoiding items, dangers, other players, hazards, and without falling off the track. This has been the formula for Mario Kart for ages, and it is a fun one.


I have played all of the home console and handheld Mario Karts  up until this point. The very first game on the Super Nintendo in the 1990s was a blast to play with my brothers and it was my favorite iteration of the beloved series until Mario Kart DS released. I still cannot put my finger on it, but the DS version hit all of the right notes for me. I love the graphics, game play, course selection, and side content. It had everything I wanted in a Mario Kart game including online. I remember playing against random opponents and doing modestly well. It was a lot of fun times for me that I did not think were possible to replicate. Turns out, I was right.


I did not play much of Mario Kart Wii or Mario Kart 7. Those were games that fell victim to my college days in which there was not enough time for anything besides studies. But I was ready when Mario Kart 8 released. I was able to put in a bit of effort with part 8 on the Wii U along with my spouse, and I was blown away by the games presentation.

It had some of the best music and sound in any game I have ever seen. The inclusion of non-Mario, Nintendo characters such as Link and the Animal Crossing villagers also were a fun sight to see. But the game did not hook me like the DS version did, and I moved on from the karting affairs.

As the Deluxe version approached, I contemplated purchasing it: Who would I play it with? How much would I play it? Would I get bored with it?


Even running a Nintendo themed YouTube channel was not enough for me to consider purchasing a game I already owned and played. But then my spouse’s sister came along and watched me play a session of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and commented on wanting to play Mario Kart. I told her one was releasing in the matter of weeks.

And since I really do enjoy local multiplayer, I decided to snag Mario Kart when my funds allowed it. I had a copy of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in my possession by the end of its launch month and people to play it with.


I am glad to say there was never a moment of regret in purchasing what I consider to be one of the greatest kart games of all time. In fact, I was excited as I watched videos of the new features added to the Deluxe version. I became so excited about the concept of Smart Steering, something new to this version of the game. It keeps players from falling off the track if turned on. The possibilities of this mechanic clicked in my head the moment I realized my spouse would have a much better time playing with me if she had Smart Steering available.


I immediately gathered my spouse to play cooperatively through the main Grand Prix mode: One Cup, four courses. I told her about Smart Steering, helped her turn it on, and proceeded to get beat by her race after race. I was happy for her and enjoyed myself at the same time. I think we had even more fun playing Deluxe than standard 8 thanks to my spouse being able to place above tenth in all of her races. I don’t think my spouse placed anything lower than third or fourth in any course in Deluxe thanks to her skills and Smart Steering.

It was a blast that validated my purchase on the spot. This one simple addition just made Mario Kart 8 Deluxe worth it for anyone that has a family member or friend that has varied skill levels from oneself but wanted to play Mario Kart at the same time. Now, two or more players of differing skill levels can play at the same time. It really is amazing.

I then had a Mario Kart game night with my spouse and her sister and all three of us had a blast. We did not want to stop playing. We ultimately did, but it did not stop my itch from growing. I had to play online mode.


Online play is smooth and fun and local co op is a blast to play. Every. Single. Time. It is a game I cannot stop thinking about playing by myself or with a friend or stranger. It is a game I am glad I did not avoid.

I was addicted the moment I began my first online game of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Really. I played a good hour or more a night for a good ten days straight. I was quickly teleported back to my college days of playing Mario Kart DS online deep into the night. It is good to see that Deluxe core kart mechanics, a tried and true formula of casual competitive fun, underlines every game mode and feature—online and offline.

Deluxe is so much fun, it is very easy to lose track of hours by saying “just one more race”.


I was not going to buy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and I would have been a fool. Deluxe takes the ultimate Mario Kart game—one that was finely crafted with gorgeous graphics and a memorable soundtrack—and adds groundbreaking new features for the franchise such as Smart Steering and puts it on a console which features only serve to enhances the kart racing experience.

Whether you were on the fence about this game like I was or not, do not worry: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a Bucket List worthy game I highly recommend.

–Walapie Gamer

YOUTUBE: My Nintendo oriented YouTube channel has playthroughs, gaming music, and more.

TWITTER: My Twitter feed has even more personalized content from me.

FLICKR: My Flickr account has a lot of gaming galleries and images galore.

Why the Nintendo Switch is a Bucket List Console


I have been purchasing Nintendo consoles at launch since 2001.

That has been sixteen years of standing in line and pre-ordering just to get my hands on the newest Nintendo hardware. After careful consideration due to being slightly burned by being an early adopter for the Wii U, I continued my tradition and procured a Nintendo Switch at launch.

Would I be filled with regrets?

More importantly, would there be games to play on my shiny, new $300 device?

Not only did I have not have any regrets, but I was filled with glee having snagged a Nintendo Switch at launch. And I am happy to report that it is a bonafide Bucket List console straight from Nintendo.


Happiness Cubed

Before I gush and delve into the reasons why I appreciate the Switch so much, let me take you back to 2001.

My friend’s brother and I decided to buy Nintendo’s upcoming home console, the GameCube, on day one. It was a glorious purple lunchbox of a device I have consistently called my favorite console of all time. And I am sticking to it (although the Switch is coming close to dethroning it).

We went to our local Kmart (a department store that was super popular before the rise of Walmart) to procure one. We stood in line about an hour before the store opened to snag a launch unit. And if my memory is correct, that would have been about 5 or 6am. Oh, we were dedicated gamers back then indeed.

When the doors parted at opening time, we made a mad dash to the electronics department—my friend’s brother actually bumped into me but I would not be knocked off course. I grabbed the GameCube (and a free blow-up chair with the GameCube logo on it) and headed home.

Fun times ahead and the start of my nearly two decade Nintendo home console launch-athon.

Wii, Wii, Wii, All the Way Home

In 2006, I vowed to get a Wii at launch and thought I would have an easy time doing so. After all, I was a die-hard Nintendo fan. I was one of the few who stood in line for the GameCube, Nintendo’s worst selling console at that time. Alas, the Wii had permeated popular culture before its arrival and everyone wanted one. My dreams and hopes were squashed.

It did not help that I worked the day of its release, too.

I threw my hands up in failure, but luckily, my mother did not. She told me to get ready before work, drove me to the local mall, and made me follow her as we searched electronic store after electronic store until we lucked out and found a female employee standing in front of the outer entrance to Sears. I remember thinking the search would be for naught, but then I noticed two white tickets in the employee’s hand. I asked for one; my mom looked at me and asked if we should grab the last ticket for my older brother. I said sure since my brother was supposed to meet us soon. The girl hesitated and handed the final ticket to my mother.


I was able to procure the Wii at launch after all. Even with a lot stacked against me. I had a blast over the next six years playing Nintendo’s motion controlled revolution machine.

The Wii U Acquisition

By the launch of the Wii U in 2012, I had developed a sixth sense: A console hype radar. I began to understand whether a Nintendo product would be sought after with a gut instinct. And the Wii U did not seem to have the same kind of excitement the Wii did. Or even the GameCube, looking back.

It was the easiest console for me to acquire and required little effort. I was able to walk into GameStop and plop money down for a pre-order oh so causally. Come launch day, I walked into the store and was handed my Wii U.

No fuss. Actually, no one else was in line to get one.

More so, no one seemed to know about the Wii U’s existence. I truly mean that. The employee in the electronic department at Best Buy did not even know what it was.

The Wii U launch was anti climatic (and that is an understatement). But I snagged a launch edition because I was, am, and always will be a Nintendo fan through thick and thin. The Wii U would turn out to be Nintendo’s worst selling console ever, casting doubt on Nintendo’s next hardware, doubt in the mind of Nintendo fans everywhere, as well as doubt in my mind.

Nintendo Switches Focus

As 2017 came around, it was starting to become clear that the Nintendo Switch would be more like the Wii and less like the Wii U in terms of demand. My tummy rumbled; it was my sixth sense telling me Nintendo was going to have a hit on their hands. And I needed to pre-order to secure one.

I stayed up later than usual and bounced from website to website right after the official Nintendo Switch presentation had ended in January. I stumbled upon a live show from one of my favorite podcasts, Radio Free Nintendo. My attention piqued when the host mentioned Nintendo Switch pre-orders had gone up on Walmart’s web site. I quickly pre-ordered a unit with a huge smile on my face, albeit with a little apprehension.

But it turned out being a greater deal than I had anticipated.

I did not have to pay for shipping because I shipped it to store, my tax was waived, and I got a free $20 gift card because it was not delivered on launch day as scheduled but during the following week. The following Monday after work, I sped to Walmart and picked up my shiny new Switch.

My Opinion Switched

The Nintendo Switch was everything the Wii U wanted to be: Sleek, modern, sophisticated with solid weight when held.

It was as if the Wii U GamePad had shrunk, lost weight, and put on a new set of clothes. The Switch’s high quality, higher resolution screen stood out as quality and the two separate Joy-Con controllers felt immediately comfortable in my hands. The unit felt like a solid, modern electronic device, something its predecessor lacked. Turning the Switch on only cemented this feeling of mine.

The Switch’s minimal and clean user interface loaded quickly, a far cry from what I was used to with the Wii U’s interface. With the Nintendo Switch, I checked my profile, altered settings, checked the eShop, and then jumped into a game all within seconds. Furthermore, the Sleep and Wake functions made playing games a snap. The Switch took the chore-like nature out of the game playing equation. I really appreciate the effort by everyone at Nintendo for making this device so quick and intuitive to use.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


What’s More . . .

The central feature of the Switch, the ability to switch the device from a handheld to a console, makes game playing more convenient than ever before. It is really eye opening to no longer have my play sessions dependent upon one form factor, something I felt with many games in the past.

I hated going through the cumbersome steps to get my Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate save file from 3DS to Wii U and back. I wish I could play my copy of Pokemon Moon on the television when at home. And it would have been cool to take my Wii U version of Darksiders 2 around with me as I have done with Breath of the Wild.

The Switch changed all of this: There is only one save file; only one game is needed; and both go everywhere the Switch goes. I could finally play how I wanted without having to buy two copies of a game–one handheld and one console version–and worry about how to transfer my save file without corrupting it. I have played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild at home, then in a waiting room, and then continued playing the same game and file back at home on the big screen. Simple, painless, and capable.

The Nintendo Switch Versatility

Even more, there was a level of versatility the Switch instantly provided that I have never experienced in my near thirty years of collecting and playing games. I could finally play how I wanted and that included controller methods, too.

The main unit and Joy-Con combined felt similar to holding a modern Wii U GamePad or portable device. I used this comfortable play style whenever I wanted to scan amiibo for Breath of the Wild items.

When I brought my Switch to a friend’s house to play Zelda, I removed the Joy-Con from the unit and attached them to the included grip controller to better replicate a more traditional control method.

But whenever I felt lazy, I kept one Joy-Con in each hand and laid back. Wii Remote and Nunchuck style. All of these methods can be used in Zelda. Additionally, most games thus far support multiple play styles if not all of the ones I mentioned above. I am grateful to be able to play with the control style that fits my mood rather than being limited to a single way.

The Games Are Here

The Switch is an awesome all-in-one device but it would mean nothing without games. Luckily, the games are here.

I love the lineup that the Switch has as it seems to target people who love games for what they ultimately are: Fun, interactive media. That is why I have been having a blast playing Zelda for over 200 hours, Super Bomberman R with friends and family, Fast RMX solo, King of Fighters ’98 for the first time, Puyo Puyo Tetris competitively, Graceful Explosion Man, Snipperclips with my spouse, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe locally and online, and my very first Disgaea game. And that is just a small slice of the Switch’s stellar lineup it has amassed in three months.

I still have to get many quality digital games such as Square Enix’s RPG I am Setsuna, a charming retro inspired collecting game called Snake Pass, a frantic action game called Mr. Shifty, the return of an arcade basketball type game titled NBA Playgrounds, as well as many other SNK retro games, along with heavy hitters that are sure to come in the following weeks (ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Sonic Mania–I am looking at all of you).

I am really overwhelmed, in a good way, at the amount of quality games that have been made available in such a short time frame.


Nintendo Switch. No Regrets.

I have been accruing Nintendo hardware at launch since 2001.

And although I felt a bit burned by getting a Wii U at launch, I am glad I ultimately did not let that get in the way of getting the Switch at launch.

I have had many memories so far with my spouse, her sister, our friends, online with strangers, and by myself in the last three months just playing games for the sake of fun. Zelda has been epic, Mario Kart has been a blast to play online, and delving into the King of Fighters series for the first time has been thrilling.

The Nintendo Switch is a solid hardware selection for anyone looking to reinvigorate their love of gaming, to fit into a busy life schedule, or to become a gamer’s primary console of choice.

It is a Bucket List console for sure, and I highly recommend procuring one when/if you can.

–Walapie Gamer

YOUTUBE: My Nintendo oriented YouTube channel has playthroughs, gaming music, and more.

TWITTER: My Twitter feed has even more personalized content from me.

FLICKR: My Flickr account has a lot of gaming galleries and images galore.

Why The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is a Bucket List Game

The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild is a certified Bucket List game that everyone should play before he or she “kicks the bucket”.

I have always been a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda series, but for some reason, I originally was not that excited to play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Perhaps it is because I only completed one 3D Zelda game (that being the Wind Waker) along with my undying love for the 2D entries. But as the game’s launch approached, my desire changed from apathetic to desire-filled. Having played it for over one hundred hours, I can say with confidence that not only is Breath of the Wild a bucket list game but it is now one of my favorite Zelda games. It is very, very, good.


But before we move on, let us go back in time to the week before the Nintendo Switch (Nintendo’s hybrid console, handheld device) launched. My spouse ordered a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild expecting to receive it the same day as the console itself. But to both of our surprise, a shiny new copy of the latest Zelda adventure showed up on her doorstep seven full days before we even had the console to play it on. I ogled the cover and held the new Switch cartridge in my hand for the first time with glee before placing it on a coffee table careful not to scratch or scuff the exterior. There it would remain atop the table, next to tons of paper work and puzzle books, for the next week. Wanting to be played.

At this point, my spouse and I really wanted to play it. My Zelda enthusiasm was at full force now that we had the game in our possession. A friend gave me her copy of Game Informer magazine that had Breath of the Wild as a cover story. I offered to look at it with my spouse but she declined, not wanting to spoil or ruin the experience which I thought was a good idea as well. The next seven days could have been slow, waiting for the Switch console to launch, but real life events surely made the time fly by. Real life events that will forever be intertwined with my memories of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.


A month before the game released, my spouse was diagnosed with cancer. Our days were filled with appointments, rehabilitation, taking medicine every few hours, cooking healthy foods, and sleep. Time passed very fast. By the time Zelda released and we finally had the Nintendo Switch in on hands, my spouse was ready to delve into a giant adventure to take her mind off of matters. And I was, too.

I will never forget the first moments of the game, waking up as the main character—Link—inside a darkened cave only to step outside into a vast world of green with mountains and structures as far as the eye could see. It was the start of an adventure that would take two months to complete with over one hundred hours (and counting) of play time. And that is without collecting all there is to collect and completing all of the puzzle rooms called Shrines.

So if my spouse and I spent so much time playing the game without completing everything, what were we doing? Adventuring! This world is huge and allows the traversal through water, up mountains, through vast plains, into enemy lairs, across deserts and much more. If we were not running from a huge mini-boss or the many Bokoblins throughout the lands, we were cooking food we could use to heal us later. Or perhaps we were completing a side quest and helping the man from Kakariko Village collect his chickens. We stopped to help those in need and adventured to everything we saw far off in the distance.


Is that an aircraft in the shape of a bird? We have to get there. Is that something climbing on the volcano? We have to visit it. What is that shining light coming from the mountain in the distance? Let us find out. This game is full of exploration; furthermore, the detail crafted into the anime inspired graphical presentation (along with the minimalistic sound design) only made the exploration more enjoyable to watch, hear, and experience.

The experiences did not end there and the game allowed us the freedom to tackle the open game world any way we saw fit. We decided to explore the world of Hyrule, opening up the map by visiting grand towers that loomed in the distance. Afterwards, and dozens of hours later, we explored the beautiful painting-esque world for specific locations the game asked us to find. And finally, we decided to complete the four main quests in the game before tackling the final boss. Of course, we found treasure chests, hidden secrets, and chased after many shooting stars along the way. But our adventure was distinctly ours and we will always remember it.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was not a game I was anticipating. But it was a game I, and my spouse, needed in a tough time in our life. It is a grandiose experience worth spending hundreds of hours exploring. And I cannot wait to explore hundreds of hours more in the world of Hyrule, a Bucket List game for sure. Actually . . . I think I will play some more right now.


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Why Animal Crossing: New Leaf Is A Bucket List Game

ANIMAL CROSSING: NEW LEAF is a certified Bucket List game that everyone should play before he or she “kicks the bucket”.

Animal Crossing is one of those series that has enthusiastic players prioritizing the game over real life. So do not be surprised if you miss a real life meeting because you are preoccupied with the in-game meeting you have with a pink pig on Friday afternoon. Welcome to Animal Crossing, yet another worthy Bucket List game!


It is the Nintendo 3DS portable entry in the long running life simulation franchise (titled Animal Crossing) from Nintendo. You control a cartoon-like version of yourself who is the mayor of a town filled with walking, talking animal villagers.

The game revolves around interacting with your animal neighbors, befriending them while also running errands and collecting a ton of collectibles. You can fish, catch bugs, collect fruit, decorate your home, change your wardrobe, build town projects, set town ordinances, go deep sea diving, accumulate wealth, and much more as the game progresses. The free “Welcome amiibo” update released in late 2016 added a substantial amount of content and improvements as well.


A day in the life of Animal Crossing can be fun and addicting. Since the game is real-time (meaning that whatever time and season it is in real life it is also the same in the game), the player is tasked with making the best of the day ahead. Stores do not open until a certain time in the morning so perhaps collecting the daily dinosaur fossils that can be found throughout town beneath ground will fill your time. And do not forget to donate the fossils to the museum if you are looking to complete your town’s museum showcase.

Perhaps you find fun in socializing. Talking to your villagers can be addicting, too. So much so, you might find yourself planning your entire day around meeting an animal in New Leaf (like my spouse has done so many times before). All of the animals in the game have different personalities and can be comedic, or odd, or simply fun to interact with: I have a Wolf that really enjoys coming over to my place a little too much and can often be spotted hanging behind houses; an orange Toad that likes to workout; and a rainbow colored sheep that I think is a French clown—the awesome oddball collection of animals goes on and on.


Your animal neighbors can easily entertain you for hours through conversation and chatter alone; when they start asking you to collect things for them and run errands, that is when I suggest you cancel all other social engagements for your day. This is my spouse’s favorite series so it is not uncommon for her to play the game for up to six hours in a row. Because there is so much to do!

Maybe you like fishing. There is always a fish lurking on the beach or in the rivers that run through the town. How about catching bugs? Try hitting the rocks around town and you might just catch a centipede or pill bug. Is your town looking a little thin? Try planting more trees and flowers in the way that looks best to you. Fruit trees will drop fruit for you to sell and flowers will help improve the overall beauty and satisfaction rating of your town. There is truly something fun and addicting in this game for every type of player.


You can play the game however you like. I play with a daily routine in mind and it takes me about a half hour just to do that. If I want to explore the tropical island to the south for fish and insects that are worth a lot of cash, I need an extra hour or so. The good thing is that you can save at anytime; there is no time limits, no enemies, and no one telling you what to do.

You can play New Leaf anywhere–since it is a portable game–and spend a minute playing while you wait in a line or play for hours when the mood hits you. Each day I play, I figure out what I want to do and I scale my play style to the amount of time I have allotted. For anyone looking for a pick up and play game or a deep dive hearty meal, this game caters to most play styles.


Fans and new players alike will also surely find joy in the features New Leaf and the Welcome amiibo update adds to the core Animal Crossing game. There are more fruit, fish, furniture, and insects to collect than ever before—completionists, this is your Mount Everest so prepare to have the time of your lives collecting the thousands of items in this game.

If you own the Nintendo figurines called amiibo, you can use them to summon villagers to a campsite near your town, buy items that they brought with them, and even ask them to live in your village. New Leaf also makes it much easier for players to keep the villagers they like from leaving town and this iteration also improves on the ability to accrue wealth and items. Chores may be the main focus of the Animal Crossing series but playing the game is far from a chore. The Welcome amiibo update makes sure of that.


So, welcome to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, the game that keeps playing even when you are asleep. You will bond with your animal villagers, fall in love with the DJ dog that plays music every Saturday night, love some animal neighbors while despising others, and create a village that you will call home.

New Leaf truly improves on the core Animal Crossing concept in every way. This is the third game in the series I have put hundreds of hours into and it is as fresh and fun as it was nearly fifteen years ago when I played the first localized entry.

For anyone looking for a good time, hop on a train or the bus and travel to Animal Crossing: New Leaf, a Bucket List game, today.


Check out our back issues at this link. Available now!

Why Limbo Is A Bucket List Game (Part 1)

LIMBO is a certified Bucket List game that everyone should play before he or she “kicks the bucket”.

The following information comes from Backlog and Bucket List Gaming ISSUE 2:


I would like to introduce you to a game I bought twice—a game that is on several platforms, making avoiding this gem a hard thing to do—and a game with no on-screen display: Limbo. The next game to be added to your Bucket List.

Limbo Title Screen


Limbo is an adventure puzzle game where the player gets to control a little boy who wakes up in a dark, dreary forest who soon realizes he needs to search for his sister. But finding his sister is no easy task.

The long forest takes you to many places: into caverns, up trees, across lakes, up ladders, and face to face with dangerous . . . things. I will keep that secret for when you eventually play the game. I recommend avoiding videos of this short and sweet adventure.



I was hooked the moment I began my journey. The graphics were immediately striking with the world being consumed in darkness only brightened by the rays of white light coming from the background.

I remember waiting for the game to start only to realize it already had—the lack of on-screen health bars, inventory, and display really helped in immersing me into the game world. But it was the adventure, as well as the puzzles, along the way that kept me playing . . .


Read the entire LIMBO article and much more by snagging BACKLOG AND BUCKET LIST ISSUE 2. Available now!

Backlog and Bucket List Issue 2 Small Image