Title: Super Mario 3D Land

Platform: 3DS


Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo EAD Tokyo

Rating: ★★★★★

Review by: Matt Peters

A Nintendo launch without a Mario game just doesn’t feel right. That may be the reason why the Nintendo 3DS stalled out of the gate. That empty space has now been filled, as Nintendo gives us Super Mario 3D Land. With a few new tricks up his sleeve and his signature hat, Mario’s ready to save the Princess again. Fortunately, this adventure was worth the wait. (more…)


“8-Bit Religion”

By Bill Jones

I wrote a poem once. Actually, I’ve written several, but the one in question is called “8-Bit Religion.” I wrote it for a contest. I did not win, but I was still pretty happy with the way it turned out. We don’t regularly post poetry on Pads & Panels, but maybe we should. And either way, we are today. It just sort of seemed like a good day to post poetry. This is a poem about religion, or more accurately it’s a poem about forming a cool religion based on awesome, old games. Enjoy it. (more…)


It’s funny how things change. When I first met Bill six years ago, I really wasn’t into video games that much. I grew up playing some of the classics and have had a lifelong adoration of Mega Man, Mario, Samus and Link, but I really wasn’t too into it. I went for from having nothing but a broken NES and a Super Nintendo a very long time, to buying a PS2, which I sold because my temporary obsession with Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Kingdom Hearts wore off. So when I met Bill, I was an obsessive music journalist who pretty much only spent his free time listening to music, either on disc or in the live setting, or looking for new music.

I was the entertainment editor of our college newspaper, and I was pretty hard-headed most of the time. I didn’t really like new ideas; I didn’t like the fact that we had to sometimes cover material that I found boring; and I really scoffed when Bill offered to do some video game reviews. I ended up sticking him to movie and music reviews partially because he was up for it, partially because he was so damn good at it. If memory serves correctly, I cracked and let him write one game review, for Shadow of the Colossus. And it was a great story, but I still wasn’t sold on video games. (more…)


Product: Boston American Video Game Candy Tins

Company: Boston America

MSRP: Various

Review by: Bill Jones

Many people might not recognize Boston America by name, as the company’s specialty is dealing in licensed products. They are, however, the people behind things like the Duff Energy Drink and Duff Mints, as well as Happy Bunny bandages. And of more interest to the Pads & Panels audience, the company has hit the video game market with products like the T-Virus Antidote Energy Drink and Pac-Man bandages.

The company sent our way Nintendo Power Mints, blue raspberry and apple Nintendo Mushroom Sours, Nintendo Super Star Candies, Nintendo Wii Controller Gum and Nintendo Power Up! Energy Drink. (more…)


Title: Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again!

Platform: DSiWare

ESRB Rating: E

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Rating: ★★★★☆

Review by: John Gustafson

Nintendo’s first major download-only title, Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Minis March Again, is the third title in the Mario vs. Donkey Kong series and just what the DSi needs to justify the handheld upgrade and bring a first-rate, original game to the DSiWare service.

The typical Mario story begins in the Mushroom Kingdom with the underused Pauline stationed at a kissing booth, smooching the toad people. Donkey Kong eagerly waits in line for his chance to plant one on the brunette only to have his dreams shattered when a closed sign slams down on his face when it is his turn. Ever the furious primate, he snatches Pauline and whisks her away. For whatever reason, wind-up Mario toys march onto the scene and are sent after the fair maiden by the portly plumber. (more…)


Title: Videogame Theater

Format: DVD

Producers: Power League Productions

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Review by: Bill Jones

Imagine Crank Yankers, the rock-bottom very worst of it. The stupid puppets, the bad jokes and the over-the-top crudeness of it all. Now, picture that mixed with some of the most classic video game characters of the 1980s – Pac-man, Mario, Donkey Kong, etc. Power League Productions calls the result Videogame Theater. I call it downright offensive. (more…)


Cool People #3 – Rachelle Williams

Rachelle Williams loves video games and comics, and she also happens to be an artist whose son requested a pair of shoes that didn’t exist. So she started painting custom shoes featuring characters from Nintendo and World of Warcraft. Could there be a much better reason to feature Williams in our “Cool People” series? She exchanged emails with Pads & Panels in early May to discuss her shoes and custom art company Paradox Artistry.

Name: Rachelle Williams

Location: Noblesville, Ind.


Interview by: Bill Jones

When and why did you start putting paint to kicks?

My son wanted Mario shoes and I couldn’t find them anywhere, so I tried painting on canvas shoes and it came out great. From there, people started asking where I got them and if I could make them a pair. (more…)