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Mario's become one of the most famous faces in modern media, and it's undeniable that he's the biggest star in the gaming world. Naturally, a figure with that kind of status is going to be the star of dozens of great games, but how do you tell which ones are the best of the best? Well, that's a question that's hard to answer, but inside, you'll find my personal top five favorite Mario spinoffs, and be sure to share your own in the comments!

Head past the jump to keep reading!


[Throwback Thursday is a series where we look back on games from the past in reviews, retrospectives, and more. We will have something every week for your retro enjoyment. You may even discover something new to love!]

By early 2000, the Pokémon craze was just about over. The first games released in North America and Europe had played out their popularity; the second games were coming out soon, to be enjoyed by those who bothered staying with the series after the fad died; one theatrical film had released and another was on the way; and the anime was getting into unwatchable territory. So when the Pokémon Trading Card Game for Game Boy Color released outside of Japan, it was mostly overlooked. That's a bit of a shame, too, because the little-known pocket card game was quite the hidden gem.

Up this week on the Wii U eShop are a handful of old games, headlined by the fantastic little puzzle game Mighty Switch Force! 2. Unlike Mighty Switch Force! on Wii U, 2 is what creator Matt Bozon calls the "regular unleaded" version. Apparently WayForward polled Miiverse to find out if they'd rather have a graphical 'remake' release of the game like the first, or if they wanted the 'pixel version' that released on the 3DS earlier this year, and the pixel version won!

Elsewhere on the Wii U this week are the NES titles Urban Champion and Clu Clu Land, with the full retail games Just Dance Kids 2014 and Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut set to be available on the 22nd.

To see what's new on the 3DS side of things or to find out what the European Nintendo Downloads are for this week, hit the jump!

Ever since FireRed and LeafGreen Versions were announced back in 2004, Pokémon fans have been eager to have all their favorite games remade. In 2010—or 2009 in Japan—we got HeartGold and SoulSilver Versions. After the release of Black and White Versions, many fans picking up on this release trend expected remakes of Ruby and Sapphire, but because of the awkward timing toward the end of the Nintendo DS's lifespan—or perhaps for other reasons—we never got them. But now that Pokémon X and Y have been released worldwide, it seems that this may be another chance for Ruby and Sapphire remakes to see the light of day.

Operation Hoenn is a Twitter account dedicated to finding allusions to Ruby and Sapphire within Pokémon X and Y, and they've uncovered a boatload of in-game references to Hoenn, Ruby and Sapphire's native setting. Head past the jump to see the hints that we may be getting Ruby and Sapphire remakes for Nintendo 3DS!

Pokémon Reorchestrated, or PREO for short, is one of the most excellent tributes to video game music around. Inspired by Zelda Reorchestrated and spearheaded by Braxton Burks, PREO released Kanto Symphony, an gorgeous orchestral re-imagining of music from the first generation of Pokémon games, last year. A few months ago, Skotein released Kanto Symphony: The Lost Diaries, featuring themes based on Mewtwo and Mew. Just last month, Braxton finally announced the long-awaited Johto Legends, a series of three albums of music from Pokémon’s Johto games. And as if that wasn’t enough, PREO is bringing you yet another album: Double Team!

Double Team! will be an album of music spanning all five previous generations of Pokémon, with the potential inclusion of a few songs from the recently-released X and Y. Each of the two contributors—Braxton Burks, and Eric Buchholz of ZREO fame—will arrange one song from each generation. Unlike past PREO albums, Double Team! will feature thirty minutes of live-recorded string ensembles, rather than synthetic samples of an entire orchestra, so it’s guaranteed to sound remarkable.

PREO hopes to release Double Team!, licensed once again by Joypad Records, before the end of 2013. If you’d like to help fund the project or snag one of the exciting rewards, please visit the project’s Kickstarter page and help out!

All week long, we've been showing off our love for the Pokémon series with numerous articles discussing the mechanics, the gameplay, and the possibilities of the franchise. But with Pokémon X and Y now released, and Pokémon Week soon coming to a close, we decided we wanted to leave off on a more personal note -- and also, we wanted to get your input.

Pokémon has been around for seventeen years (fifteen outside of Japan); that's a long time. Many of us gamers have grown up with the series and invested countless hours into catching, raising, and learning about these little creatures. We all have fantastic memories of this franchise, and so for the final installment of Pokémon Week, we as a team wanted to open up the floor to our readers with a simple question: what is your favorite Pokémon memory?

Head past the jump to see what a few of our own staff members had to offer on the subject, and then make sure to head to the comments to share your own!

Welcome, PokéFans; glad to see you taking your time our of your sparkling 3D Pokémon adventure. The wait is finally over. But after we've nurtured our Mon' through Kalos for the sixteenth time, we're going to have to consider it: what is next for the Pokémon franchise? Logically, tradition allows for a third version of the main series Pokémon games to be released, but join me, trainers, as we speculate on the possibilities of many different Pokémon games for 2014 and onwards.

Does a PokéMMO, Generation III remakes, or spin-off sequels sound good? C'mon, don't be shy! Come with me, the time is right -- why not help discover "the power that's inside" by clicking past the jump?

Despite not having that many entries in its main series (only seven, XY already included), Pokémon has a very convoluted timeline, not unlike franchises like Castlevania, Mega Man, and of course The Legend of Zelda. The big mess comes because, just like with pre-Hyrule Historia Zelda, the actual timeline has never been disclosed. While there are games that clearly establish the time gap between them, most of the time the real gap or even placement in the timeline remains hidden. But with references to the real world, such as Lt. Surge being from America, and the player character always owning Nintendo's latest console, it seems as if the games mirror our world, and even our real dates. Could that be possible?

That's a bit of a curious question. What would the real world have to do with the Pokémon games? More importantly: if that were the case, then it must mean that the Pokémon world has some sort of relation to our world. This in turn brings a second question (but first to need answering): is the Pokémon world an alternate version of our world?

If you’re reading this, chances are you haven’t managed to get a hold of Pokémon X and Y. If that’s the case, fret not, because we’ve got some Pokémon news to keep you interested. We all know the original Pokémon Red and Green were released exclusively in Japan, and it would be tricky localizing the franchise in America. In fact, Iwata has revealed that some people even wanted to see Pikachu more muscular so as to appeal to the Western market.

Check out what Iwata said past the jump!

Welcome back to Pokémon Week, everyone! These past few days have certainly been hectic here on Gamnesia. We’ve gone back to the humble beginning, we’ve taken a good look at how it all started, and then some. Now, the release of Pokémon X and Y is finally upon us; sadly, that also means the end of Pokémon Week, but fret not, for we still have a few more surprises in store.

With Pokémon Week slowly moving towards its end, I figured it would be appropriate to discuss the endings of Pokémon games...or rather, how they don’t end. The series is very keen to include a continuation after the credits roll, with various side quests and activities to do and new Pokémon to catch. If you’re interested in the post-game, and want to leave a few comments sharing your thoughts, head past the jump now!

The Origin Of Mewtwo

October 11 2013 by Dan Rockwood

The world of Pokémon is filled with its own rich mythology and history. With the understanding that all of the regions coexist in one giant world and that Pokémon are constantly evolving, changing, and being used for good and evil, Game Freak has created a game that is 17 years in the making and still going strong. With the release of X and Y there will be six generations and over 700 Pokémon to capture and train.

Of all of the Pokémon in this strange world, not all of them came about from natural means. Pokémon like Grimer were created by accident—the Pokédex entry in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl states, "It was born when sludge in a dirty stream was exposed to the moon's X-rays. It appears among filth." Another Pokémon, Voltorb, also has mysterious origins. The Pokédex entry in Pokémon SoulSilver states, "It was discovered when Poké Balls were introduced. It is said that there is some connection." Yet of all of the artificially created Pokémon, few have a back story as tragic or strange as what many consider to be the most powerful Pokémon in the world: Mewtwo.

Check out what happens to Mewtwo's story after the jump!

As we have already acknowledged, even the greatest ones have humble beginnings. Back in February 1996, nobody knew a Game Boy title would cause such a revolution. They say lightning doesn’t strike twice in the same place, and after Tetris, no one expected a Game Boy title to cause the same impact, let alone when the console was already dying. But you know, sometimes, miracles happen.

Follow me to learn more about this miracle.

The Nintendo GameCube was released in 2001, and despite being remembered fondly by fans of Nintendo, its unfavorably small GD-ROM format caused many third-party developers to lean in favor of Xbox and PlayStation 2. Many members of the gaming community have come to see the GameCube as the least successful of Nintendo's console releases, and because it banked so heavily on its first-party support, many gamers see the GameCube as the poster boy of third-party neglect.

The Wii U is in a similarly tight situation, as many of you are no doubt aware. Third-party developers have been abusing Nintendo left and right in the last year, and many gamers see the Wii U as another console that will have to succeed on the quality of its first-party titles alone.

A NeoGAF user by the name of Aquamarine decided that it would be interesting to compare the number of game releases for the GameCube and Wii U. Aquamarine has taken to the forums and put forth her examination, which shows that the GameCube actually had three times more third-party support than Wii U does. Now, you may be inclined to think the is good news for the GameCube, but in fact it is quite the opposite—it means bad things for Wii U. Head past the jump to read more.

Fans of the Square Enix franchise Dragon Quest who are also in possession of smartphones can rejoice. At long last, the first eight titles will be appearing on the iOS and Android online markets, which means that you’ll be able to enjoy the roleplaying games no matter where in the world you go.

That is, as long as you go to the right place. The announcement’s exclusive to Japan, so fans outside Square Enix's home country will have to hold out for an indefinite amount of time. Moreover, no prices have been announced for any of the games. Who knows, $60 each plus DLC and Season Passes?

Pokémon Snap is one of those games that has stuck with many gamers, myself included—my brother and I rented it several times back in the days of the Nintendo 64, and we adored it. So when it was revealed that developers may still be considering a sequel, it was one of the most exciting things I'd seen in a while. Obviously I'm not the only one who wants to see Pokémon Snap 2; our own Cameron put forward an excellent article on his ideas for what the game might be like a few weeks ago.

There was a lot in his editorial that was really good—things that I hope Nintendo may yet do. On the other hand, I disagreed with some of his proposals as well. And so, the more I thought about it, the more I knew this topic deserved a second look.

Without further ado, let's dive into the jump and discuss what I would want in Pokémon Snap 2.