Category: Feature

Any kind of post that is unique to GameLuv.

Nintendo’s Many Video Game References to Hanafuda (and Karuta)

I really doubt this list is complete, though I did my best to include as much as I could. If I find more stuff I’ll add it, and feel free to leave a comment if you can think of anything yourself!

Appearances in Nintendo Games

Game Boy Camera Japanese version has this picture in the B Album

Pikmin 2 had you collecting real-life items, including a hanafuda deck https://www.pikminwiki.com/Talisman_of_Life

Hanafuda is available to play in both Clubhouse Games …games (as well as Clubhouse Games Express: Strategy Pack and the Japan only like, reduced version of clubhouse games called Daredemo Asobi Taizen). In the DS versions, it is called Koi-Koi, as that is the actual name of the game, and hanafuda is the name of the cards.


This card shows up in Quite Puzzled microgame from the Japanese version of WarioWare: Touched! (It was replaced by a western playing card in the international versions)

One of 9-Volt’s microgames in WarioWare Gold is based on hanafuda https://www.mariowiki.com/Hanafuda

These hanggliders in Mario Kart Tour are based on a real deck Nintendo produced, see below

There were a bunch of Hanafuda items added to Animal Crossing Pocket Camp

In Super Mario Odyssey, Bowser’s Kingdom Sticker features some Mario themed hanafuda cards. Also its industry is hanafuda cards according to the in-game map – https://www.mariowiki.com/Bowser%27s_Kingdom

The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit house has this picture of Napoleon from one of Nintendo’s hanafuda deck boxes

https://www.reddit.com/r/NintendoSwitch/comments/7r5n73/the_tamagotchilike_labo_game_has_a_reference_to/

Digital Appearances in Other Nintendo Stuff

Streetpass Mii Plaza got a hanafuda themed speech bubble

https://www.spriters-resource.com/3ds/streetpassmiiplaza/sheet/76335/

Swapnote got hanafuda themed stationery

https://www.spriters-resource.com/3ds/swapnote/sheet/140667/

There were also four hanafuda 3DS themes
Hanafuda – https://youtu.be/luOe_bTo-z8

Mario Hanafuda – https://youtu.be/q3t2o_a0xyo (I love the Mario theme remix here : )


Club Nintendo Hanafuda – https://youtu.be/i8SAOq9qGWk

Pokémon Hanafuda – https://youtu.be/aO7lTu_0t8c?t=33

Real-life Hanafuda Merchandise

The Game Boy Micro got a hanafuda faceplate

And so did our other faceplate wearing system, the new 3DS!

Hanafuda themed keychains that you got from pre-ordering Giftpia in Japan

Nintendo Company Guides – 2014, 2015, 2019 Huge thanks to http://blog.beforemario.com/ for documenting these!!

The entire 2014 book is based around hanafuda with many of Nintendo’s old toys drawn in hanafuda art, I highly recommend checking out the post at http://blog.beforemario.com/2014/05/a-closer-look-at-nintendos-2014-company.html to see all the photos! Here’s a sample

2015 – http://blog.beforemario.com/2015/05/nintendos-2015-company-guide-is-visual.html
2019 – http://blog.beforemario.com/2021/05/nintendo-company-guide-2019.html

My Nintendo Europe offered postcards based on the Napoleon Mario deck (they also sold the deck itself at the same time) https://my.nintendo.com/rewards/70604724dabc9845

Nintendo themed Hanafuda Decks

You can find a list of hanafuda decks that Nintendo has produced here:
https://nintendo.fandom.com/wiki/Japanese_playing_cards

Of course, the best ones are the video game themed ones
We have the Mario Napoleon set

Better images at https://www.mariowiki.com/Mario_Hanafuda that link also pointed out these two promo images that have teeny little hanafuda cards, what a treat


Pokémon hanafuda deck

This set of Pokémon x Mario cards (I had trouble finding good photos)

Kirby also got a Hanafuda set ^^

Finally, Club Nintendo offered another set of Mario themed hanafuda cards – This set is unlockable to use in Clubhouse Games 51 Worldwide Classics!

https://www.reddit.com/r/Hanafuda/comments/s9w9d0/i_just_framed_my_club_nintendo_hanafuda_that_were/

Karuta

In Kirby Super Star Ultra there is a sub-game based on karuta card games, a different kind of Japanese playing card
https://kirby.fandom.com/wiki/Kirby_Card_Swipe

There was a first party DS game based on the karuta card game uta-garuta called Touch de Tanoshimu Hyakunin-Isshu: DS Shigureden
https://niwanetwork.org/wiki/Touch_de_Tanoshimu_Hyakunin-Isshu:_DS_Shigureden
(thanks Torchickens 💚)

Club Nintendo Japan made an Animal crossing Karuta deck

More resources for the exceptionally interested

For more general information about hanafuda and where it’s showed up in video games over the years (and where I got a lot of info from) https://nintendo.fandom.com/wiki/Hanafuda

Both NoA and NoE have PDFs of how to play Koi-koi currently up on their websites:
https://www.nintendo.com/consumer/downloads/hanafuda_en.pdf – NoA
https://cdn02.nintendo-europe.com/media/downloads/other_1/my_nintendo_store_3/MyNintendoStore_Manual_Hanafuda_MarioCards_UKV.pdf – NoE

Play Nintendo Japan got a short webcomic about hanafuda
https://www.nintendo.co.jp/kids/sp/160525/hanafuda01/index.html

It has this cute art of Mario and Toad playing!

If you’re interested in Nintendo’s history with card games in general I recommend this post!
http://blog.beforemario.com/2013/11/nintendo-iroha-karuta-part-1.html?m=1

If you enjoy this stuff, I personally loved reading the Wikipedia article about karuta, which explains the many kinds of Japanese card games and where they came from : D https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karuta

There’s a bunch of not Nintendo hanafuda video games floating around too, I’m not that concerned with them, but you can find lists here https://nintendo.fandom.com/wiki/Hanafuda or here https://www.giantbomb.com/hanafuda-card-games/3015-7399/games/ if you’re interested though. I support that decision.

Bonus non-Nintendo hanafuda sighting (this is my list I make the exceptions): The Hatsune Miku Project Diva games that have Close, Open, Demons and the Dead – In the music video, there are hanafuda cards scattered on the ground

Thanks for witnessing!

All Nintendo Wii U Box ‘U’ Designs

As far as I’m aware this list is COMPLETE. However, if you know that I have missed any, PLEASE let me know and I will add it!

Incomplete list of sources:

https://www.reddit.com/r/wiiu/comments/26ge4s/the_us_of_wii_u_all_special_u_designs_on_wii_u/
huge thanks to u/Golden_tears on reddit for compiling a huge chunk of these

https://consolevariations.com/database/nintendo/nintendo-wii-u
This is the list I used to figure out what all the box variations were and yes I checked them all, if it’s “missing” here it’s because it has the same design as one of the ones above

Unfortunately I compiled these images awhile ago and didn’t keep track of my sources but I did use google images, youtube unboxing videos, and ebay and yahoo auctions listings in order to find them all. Some of them took forever (read: 15 minutes) to track down!

Also worth noting is that there are some special Wii U boxes in Japan without U logos  – Dragon Quest X and Monster Hunter 3G HD were the two I found, but I didn’t check every box in every region so there may be more.

discord3

Thanks for witnessing!

My Top Nine Photos of 2021

I haven’t posted an “of 20xx” roundup to the site since 2018, which is embarrassingly only a few posts below this one in chronological order. 2019 was a speeding bullet train of stress thanks to my last job, destined to burst into flames and derail once we hit 2020. I dove headlong into work on Delisted Games while being unemployed and looking for a new job, and didn’t feel like I had anything to say about what I played in 2020. Spoiler alert: I feel even worse about, well, everything in 2021. But I made some neat graphics for Instagram and wanted to write just a bit more about a few things from the year.


My energy for Instagram and social media in general took a nosedive in 2019.This year wasn’t any better with only around 75 posts and very few of them featuring the *pop* of years past. Still, I’m glad to see that random snapshots of food and cats didn’t outweigh the photos I actively tried to compose. Not surprisingly, the No.1 post was a series of photos (and video) of the new Super Impulse “Tiny Arcade” Dance Dance Revolution cabinet. It’s crazy that this thing exists and is actually playable. I think I also did a pretty good job with the presentation.

In another montage post from March I wanted to share the assorted frames I finally got situated on the wall in what has become my office. No more is my desk relegated to the corner of a kitchen or front room! I’ve added more stuff since this post but Socks the Cat and Bubsy are still prominently featured on my dumb wall. No.3 is the only one I feel a little bad about since it only ranked so high thanks to #WaltDisneyWorld. It’s another montage from our vacation in October featuring some of the fantastic art for sale at Disney Springs. I totally missed my chance to buy that Darkwing illustration!

The only Nintendo post to rank so high in 2021 was the amazing sticker book that came with the original WarioWare on Game Boy Advance. They’re actually used to play more minigames found throughout the instruction manual. Genius! Next up is the only Xbox pic to break the Top Nine, although I tried my best by sharing lots of photos as I resuscitated my original Xbox and got to work capturing Dinosaur Hunting and Drihoo. The most retro thing in my top nine pics was this Magnavox Odyssey 3000 console, looking as sharp as possible after a thorough cleaning and 44 years of neglect.

The power of the Gremsters is strong! One of my most recent posts immediately broke the Top Nine, and how could it not? NECA’s made tons of gorgeously detailed figures over the years but this one, featuring the “Ultimate Gamer Gremlin”, is my first and a Christmas gift from Katy. I love the Atari 2600 inspired controller and game box as well as the creative reskin of the impossible-to-license Donkey Kong Coleco mini-arcade from the 80’s. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game finally, finally, finally made its return to form after being delisted years ago. Being the purveyor of all things Delisted, I just had to own it on physical media and I went with the mid-tier Complete Edition, laying out all the goodies inside the giant Genesis-style box.

Finally, one of the most photogenic and nerdy hotspots on the planet slid in at No.9: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. There are simply too many details and references to spot at this place! I could (and did?) take hundreds of photos here but this last post was just a handful of my favorites.

Here’s hoping that another new year might finally reinvigorate my energy for Instagram. Right now it doesn’t feel like it’ll happen, but who knows! Follow along and give me a kick in the pants if I haven’t posted anything by February.

My Most Listened Albums of 2021

I haven’t posted an “of 20xx” roundup to the site since 2018, which is embarrassingly only a few posts below this one in chronological order. 2019 was a speeding bullet train of stress thanks to my last job, destined to burst into flames and derail once we hit 2020. I dove headlong into work on Delisted Games while being unemployed and looking for a new job, and didn’t feel like I had anything to say about what I played in 2020. Spoiler alert: I feel even worse about, well, everything in 2021. But I made some neat graphics for Instagram and wanted to write just a bit more about a few things from the year.


I take issue with my Last.fm stats as there are a lot of albums I played repeatedly throughout the year that were untrackable by the service; YouTube, Bandcamp, embedded players and the like. Alas, it does account for a majority of local music files played from both my PC and phone. It even pulls in the fantastic droidsound-e app that emulates the sound hardware of dozens of platforms and deserves a separate post of its own.

While it’s probably a little farther down the list on its own, Environmental Station Alpha represents the musical mood I’ve been in for most of the year and shares the spot with the likes of Shipwreck, Niche, Assemble With Care, and some really good vaporwave mixes from YouTube. ESA was also heavily featured in my pre-stream for that crazy springtime period where I was actually doing a lot on Twitch with Delisted Games.

Creating a new soundtrack release is definitely going to add up some repeat plays and that’s exactly what happened with Dinosaur Hunting. A new, complete 3-disc album came out of the work and it’s a collection I’m really proud of making (and hearing!), right down to the fake liner notes. Of course perennial favorites, Castlevania and Ace Combat 04, made appearances this year and each moved up a few slots. In comparison, both Earthbound and Zaxxon’s Motherbase 2000 are a surprise to see as I had never heard either soundtrack before and only remember listening to them a couple of times.

One surprise that I’m happy to see is Side Pocket, a go-to album for the highly specific desire for 16-bit jazz. And rounding out the list are DJ Cutman’s Volume V, PONCHO, and Spelunky, all of which also made it into the pre-stream playlist and have those great chill vibes.

My Most Played Games of 2021

I haven’t posted an “of 20xx” roundup to the site since 2018, which is embarrassingly only a few posts below this one in chronological order. 2019 was a speeding bullet train of stress thanks to my last job, destined to burst into flames and derail once we hit 2020. I dove headlong into work on Delisted Games while being unemployed and looking for a new job, and didn’t feel like I had anything to say about what I played in 2020. Spoiler alert: I feel even worse about, well, everything in 2021. But I made some neat graphics for Instagram and wanted to write just a bit more about a few things from the year.


[HOT 2022 UPDATE: Sony finally sent out their PlayStation stats and my numbers were a little off. I updated the graphic above and some wording below but basically it just puts Rocket League in the Top 5 thanks to all the time spent playing (and idling) with my nephew]

It’s been coming on for a while now but I think it really coalesced in 2021: I am most happy playing games that simulate work and let me grind away at a personal little empire. At the top of the list is Grand Theft Auto Online which I added another 188 hours to in 2021. The Cayo Perico heist not only introduced a whole new island to the game but it also allowed me to tackle the entire thing solo. At one point I got the run, from setup to payout, down to under 3 hours. Along with most every other activity in the game, there’s still something I find satisfying about just being there… despite the overzealous griefers.

ArcheAge doesn’t have an in-game counter but by my best estimates Katy and I have already logged close to 200 hours with it in December alone. I never thought I’d go back to the game which I haven’t touched in nearly 7 years. But after the news that my dormant inventory was eligible to be transferred to a new publisher, I figured if I was ever going to check it out again, now would be the time. What I didn’t expect was becoming immediately hooked and totally overwhelmed by all the mechanics all over again. I am once again loving exploring, building, and adventuring with Katy and rediscovering favorite areas and gorgeous scenery that honestly still holds up.

What the crap!? My entire experience with Elite: Dangerous was just in 2021?? From February through April all I did was explore, mine asteroids, and try not to get trapped in outer space. All told, I probably experienced less than 0.01% of what the game has to offer after 120 hours. Things changed pretty dramatically around May, though, after we finally got a PlayStation 5. Astro’s Playroom was a dazzling diversion ahead of a ~70 hour run through Horizon: Zero Dawn. And then we discovered Tower Unite. Ho boy, that’s as close to Ready Player One’s Oasis as we’re likely to get in my lifetime. The lawless cavalcade of player-made character models is fantastic but what really hooked me was designing my own vapor cave. Beyond minigolf and go-karts, it was tailoring individual objects, colors, music, and lighting to fit my aesthetic mood. And oh what a mood it is. By far the most creative and artistic thing I made all year.

With Earth Defense Force 6 being teased again (and so, so far away from an English release), Katy and I had no choice but to go back to EDF5 for our fix. It continues to be a fantastic and hilarious experience like no other. We even picked up the spin-off Iron Rain since it was on sale but that was a much shorter and less fantastic playthrough. Getting back to the grindy, work-like gameplay, I spent not-a-little amount of time with both Snowrunner and Banished in the mornings before my actual work. Finally, with so much work going into recording, research, and modding, it’s no surprise that Dinosaur Hunting added up to a few dozen hours of in-game time in 2021.