Mario Sports Superstars Review

Mario Sports Superstars is the latest title in the amazing Mario Sports series that gives players five sports to choose from to play solo or with friends near and far. If you’ve played and loved previous Mario Sports titles such as Mario Golf, Mario Tennis, or Mario Strikers, then you will love Mario Sports Superstars. Mario Sports Superstars allows gamers to play Golf, Tennis, Soccer, Baseball and for the first time in Mario history, Horse Racing. Gamers can choose between 16 Mushroom Kingdom characters to play as from Mario, Luigi, Yoshi to Peach, Daisy, Rosalina and more. Mario Sports Superstars also features amiibo integration, along with some new Mario Sports Superstars collectible amiibo cards. Physical copies of Mario Sports Superstars will come with a collectible amiibo card for a limited time. Mario Sports Superstars is available now for the Nintendo 3DS systems.

We absolutely love Mario Sports Superstars. I’ve been a fan of Mario Sports titles since I first took to the links with Yoshi in Mario Golf back in 1999. Mario Sports Superstars transported me back to 1999, but instead of one game on a console, I had five games in the palms of my hands. The graphics are what you expect out of a Mario title, amazing and seamless. The audio is fun and upbeat from the music to the voicing of the characters. The game mechanics are easy enough that J (age 5) could easily learn how to play the games without getting frustrated. One of the things that I really love about the game is that it is secretly teaching your kids things while they are playing. Baseball and tennis teach young players how to better their hand to eye coordination, soccer and golf teach young gamers about angles, and horse racing teaches the younglings that speed isn’t everything.

J playing Mario Sports Superstars

©nerdyathomedad

We highly recommend Mario Sports Superstars. Fans old and young will love this game. If you (or your kids) own a 3DS or are thinking about getting one, make sure you put Mario Sports Superstars at the top of your “must have games” list. I am waiting for some friends to pick up the game so we can try out the online play, but i am sure it is amazing. Pick up your copy from your favorite shop for $39.99 today!

**Disclaimer- We received a digital copy of Mario Sports Superstars in exchange for our thoughts on the game. All thoughts are our own***

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Zelda Symphony of the Goddess

My wife and I rarely take in the symphony, but when we do it’s usually for a great show. Recently, we were lucky enough to attend Zelda Symphony of the Goddess at the Abravanel Hall in Salt Lake City, thanks to our friends at Utah Valley Online. I’ve played a few Legend of Zelda games in my time, but Zelda Symphony of the Goddess showed me there are many games that I have yet to play.

The show started off with a bang, and held your hand through 30 years of nostalgia. The orchestra was on point and the Zelda Symphony choir was fantastic. Conductor/Music Director Amy Andersson and Producer Jason Michael Paul put together one unforgettable show. The crowd was into every medley, cheering for their favorite songs and for some of the clips from their favorite games. Quite a few fans showed up in cosplay and they were put up on the big screen before the show and during intermission.

I asked a friend of mine, who took his kids, what he thought of the show.

  NaHD: As a parent who enjoys video games, how did it feel bringing your kids to Zelda                        Symphony of the Goddess?

  Mike:  I grew up playing Zelda on the NES. My kids grew up playing Zelda games.                                  Sharing this experience and listening to the music performed live with my kids was pretty  emotional. They’ll remember this for a long time.   

Mike’s kids even had some amazing things to say about the show.

  Serenity (13): I’m not a huge fan of Legend of Zelda, but I do play cello and other instruments.           After tonight, I definitely want to start playing the game. I loved it.

  Kolo (14):  It was unbelievable. It was life-changing. I would definitely go see this again.

After the show, I was lucky enough to have a quick chat with Zelda Symphony of the Goddess Producer Jason Michael Paul.

  NaHD:  What made you want to put together Zelda Symphony of the Goddess?

   JMP:  Well, I’ve been doing Zelda since about 2006 as part of another concert series that also featured Super Mario and Metroid. The premiere concert I’m talking about, Play! A Video Game Symphony, actually had Koji Kondo come down from Japan and he acutally performed. So, I’ve been working with Nintendo through that concert series and then when the 25th Anniversary rolled around, they contacted me to create a show and the rest is as they say history.

  NaHD:  What were you interested in more first? Classical Music or Video Game Soundtracks?

  JMP:  I created a concept with Final Fantasy in 2004, and prior to that I had been working in the video game industry, Square and also Playstation, and at the same time I was also having my hands in working with Luciano Pavarotti, so I kind of had both things going on in a very pivotal moment of my life and so I was successfully able to pitch the concept to Square Enix to do the concerts and they loved the idea and, of course, that is the launching pad for where we are today.

  NaHD:  My son is really drawn to the soundtracks of video games and movies, do you have any thoughts about kids being exposed to soundtracks at such an early age?

  JMP:  This concert is hopefully a gateway to other symphonic performances or other Utah Symphony concerts. When I first came up with the concept, it was really about trying to create a project that would really help get people back in the symphony halls. We’ve had a lot of success in not only bringing in a younger audience, but also getting them to appreciate classical music. I think a lot of young kids are inspired to play instruments and Zelda being that inspiration is great. This concert is designed so you don’t have to be a Zelda fan, you can close your eyes and just sit back and the music stands on it’s own.

  NaHD:  Is there a game, besides Zelda, that you just love listening to the music?

  JMP:  There’s all kinds. Skyrim, Kingdom Hearts, Chrono Cross, Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, Journey, Bio Shock, the list really goes on and on. Metroid has great music, Pikmin has good music. I’m a big fan gaming music in particular, but I am also more into the music that I can shape into a concert. That’s what I’m always thinking about. How can I present it as part of a concert.

  NaHD:  Are there any other games that you want to bring into a concert?

  JMP:  I’ve pretty much done them all, but in terms of scale in whether or not they’re like, for example, a Zelda only concert or a Final Fantasy only concert, that’s kind of where we are at right now. I don’t know of any other franchises that can be as prolific or garner as much interest, so in that sense I’m a little hesitant. I am working on it. I have some great ideas. I really think it depends on the cooperation with the game development team and the publishers. That’s really what’s going to ultimately drive the success of the concerts. Especially when you don’t have a brand like Zelda.

  NaHD: What has been the crowd reaction to Zelda Symphony of the Goddess?

  JMP:  I’m blessed. Pretty much every city we go to we have not lukewarm responses. People are very boisterous, very devoted to Zelda and Nintendo for that matter, you know they are just extremely passionate. It’s a very captive audience. It’s great. It’s exciting.

  NaHD: What advice would you have for young symphony musicians?

  JMP:  Practice. A lot of great orchestras hold auditions you know, but you gotta obviously study and be in that loop. At that level if you are great at what you do, it’s almost impossible to not be noticed. There’s a lot of great orchestras out there with musicians who are getting older and their seats need to be filled. Make sure to study a lot of the classics, but also mix it up with new rep, stuff that’s more contemporary.

  NaHD:  Last Question. Do you ever just turn on a game and just sit back, close your eyes and enjoy the music?

  JMP:  I have, but it’s kind of difficult unless the game play is pretty fluid. But, yeah absolutely I have done that.

I don’t think I can recommend Zelda Symphony of the Goddess enough. If you are reading this, you should hop on their website, check the remaining dates of the tour, and if there is a show happening near you, buy yourself some tickets. You will not regret it. A big thank you to Utah Valley Online for sending my wife and I to such an amazing show, and a big thank you to Jason Michael Paul, Amy Andersson, and the fantastic musicians for such a magical night. Check out our Instagram page to see some pictures from the Salt Lake City performance. 

*This is a sponsored post. Utah Valley Online provided us tickets to Zelda Symphony of the Goddess.*

The Giving Grinch Cosplay Charity Event

Thanksgiving weekend usually ends the same way for me. I’ve usually eaten enough that I feel like I bear in need of hibernation. This year was a little different. With my wife and J being out of town, I decided to check out The Giving Grinch Cosplay Charity event going on at Mod A Go Go in Downtown Salt Lake City.

The Giving Grinch is a year round charity that collects non-perishable foods, blankets, clothes, toys, etc. for families who may be without around the holidays. This year marked the first, of what organizers hope to be many, Cosplay event. The Cosplay Charity event was created by Geek Girls Corp members Amber Dahl and Collin Farmer. Saturday’s event wasn’t just about getting the standard donation items, The Giving Grinch has been raising funds to send a family to the most magical place in the world via GoFundMe, and Saturday’s event was capped by telling the family about the trip. Cosplayers from H.E.R.O.I.C. Inc., The Legacy Initiative, the Umbrella Corps- Utah Hive, and others dressed as Disney/Marvel/DC/Nintendo/Resident Evil characters ready to help take in donations and take pics with any and everyone that walked by.

The event itself was amazing. Besides all the amazing cosplayers, there were vendors with amazing merchandise, there were face painters for the kids (and adults), there was a silent auction that had some amazing items donated by individuals and by the wonderful people at FantasyCon. Walking throughout the event Saturday, you could really feel the spirit of charity flowing through every person that was in attendance. Everyone involved with this charity and event truly cares about their fellow human beings. It was enough to make me tear up a few times throughout the night.

A few of the moments that almost brought out the water works was seeing the youngest daughter of the family (mentioned above) interacting with the Disney Princess cosplayers. She wasn’t interacting with the cosplayers as people in princess costumes, but as though the cosplayers were the princesses themselves. My favorite moment was seeing an Elsa cosplayer singing ‘Let It Go’ to the young girl and that little girl was loving every second of it.

As we go through out the rest of this holiday season, let us remember those who are not in the best situations and let us do all that we can to show love to our fellow human beings. Sometimes it may not seem like it, but we are in this together. As you are doing your shopping I ask that you think of those around you and think of ways that you can help make their holiday brighter this year.

For more information about the Giving Grinch Cosplay GoFundMe fundraiser and to help send a much deserving family to the most magical place on Earth, check out http://www.gofundme.com/CosplayCharityEvnt. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, Happy whatever you may be celebrating.