Hidden Gem: Kirby’s Dream Land 3

With Kirby and the Forgotten Land being a major success, it’s always fun to go back to the franchise’s roots. Kirby has a long history of mostly handheld games, but there are some great console games from way back when! After perusing some Virtual Console games, I found that Kirby’s Dream Land 3 was available on the SNES Virtual Console. I decided to give it a try to get my Kirby fix.

Kirby’s Dream Land 3, which was released in 1997, feels like the real deal. You don’t need to have played the other two Dream Land games to enjoy this one. Planet Popstar is in danger of being overtaken by Dark Matter that can possess any bystanders. You set off as Kirby, but there is also a two-player mode. This allows the second player to join in as Gooey, who is a piece of Dark Matter that is actually friendly. Friendship is an essential theme to Kirby games, so having someone to play with just ups the fun factor.

Not only do you get Gooey as a friend to help you, but there are also additional friends that you can bring along like Coo, Kine, and Rick. If you need to swim, fly, or jump extra high, then you can choose a friend to hook onto for help. Depending on the ability that you have, such as fire, your friends’ abilities will change, too. The possibilities and combos are endless! There are plenty of puzzles to solve with these friends, too. Though the puzzles can be pretty tricky, this is why creating save points is a saving grace of Virtual Console games. Thank you, Nintendo.

Overall, if you’re looking for an impressive and retro game in the Kirby franchise, then this game will more than satisfy. Kirby’s Dream Land 3 really paves the way for future Kirby games, too. It reminded me quite a bit of Kirby: Star Allies, which came out in 2018, and is one of my favorites. There are similar elements of teamwork that you can perform, as well as so many combinations of abilities between players. It’s quite impressive that a game that’s about 20 years old can provide some of the same dynamic gameplay of a future installment. I’m glad I found this game and gave it a chance, and I’m sure you’ll be glad to play it, too!

Guest Author:  Gabrielle Muniz

Why Ghostbusters: The Video Game is Still the Definitive Ghostbusters Game

If you always wanted to see another Ghostbusters movie with the original cast, then Ghostbusters: The Video Game is the perfect supplement. It’s hilarious, has plenty of nods to the movies, features the original music, and is incredibly fun! Here are some reasons why you should invest in this older game to get your ghost-busting fix.

Continues the Story from the Movies

Though originally released in 2009, a remastered version was released in 2019 and is available on most platforms. The game takes place in 1991, and you play as a new recruit who joins the Ghostbusters to investigate paranormal activity in New York. The story is compelling, acting as a direct continuation of the previous adventures. Oh, and Mr. Stay Puft may or may not make an appearance early on in the game. 

Features Most of the Original Cast

Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson all returned as the original Ghostbusters, and you can tell that they’re having fun doing it. There are some other surprise roles reprised, as well. These actors know their characters inside and out, so their performances really amplify the original and organic atmosphere that the movies created. It’s a delight to hear them all banter just like the old days.

Written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis

One of the main charms of the first two Ghostbusters movies was the witty dialogue. Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis helped with the script just like they did with the movies. Because of this, you get their in-depth knowledge of the technology, rules, and ins and outs of being a Ghostbuster. They also bring some great level designs, along with new and old ghosts to capture. It all feels pretty seamless with the movies. 

You’ll Actually Get Scared!

Just like Luigi’s Mansion, there are plenty of thrills in this game. When you’re quietly scanning with your PKE Meter and then have some books fly past your head or have a ghost fly out at you, then you’ll jump out of your skin. The designs for the ghosts are pretty chilling, too. Some of the best scares are at the library. Remember that librarian from the first movie? You’ll never forget her now.  

Ghostbusters: Spirits Unleashed may be a fun ride, but the remastered version of Ghostbusters: The Video Game is on another level. Get your hands on this instant classic as soon as you can!

Guest Author: Gabrielle Muniz

Electric Massage Guns for Improved Blood Circulation

What is an Electric Massage Gun?

A massage gun is a portable device that looks like an electric drill. It has a handle that you grip with one hand and a massage head, and different replaceable attachments thump swiftly against your skin, striking the muscle beneath and offering percussive treatment. Percussive treatment is a form of physical therapy that employs rapid bursts of pressure to massage muscles [1].

Massage therapists frequently use electric massage guns to treat pain and improve blood circulation. Fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds your joints and muscles, can become inflamed and painful. Tight fascia may also limit your range of movement. Furthermore, when one muscle group stiffens and restricts the range of motion of a certain portion of your body, other muscles overcompensate. This puts you in danger of serious injury [2].

Percussive therapy massage guns, unlike vibration treatment and foam rolling, penetrate up to an inch into your soft tissue (deep tissue), activating your muscles and helping your brain in releasing stress. It aims to prevent tightness, improve range of motion, and expedite muscle healing.

When to Use an Electric Massage Gun

Percussive treatment can be given before or after a workout using a massage gun. Percussive therapy before an exercise can help avoid future pain and improve the range of motion. Post-workout percussive treatment aids in muscle rehabilitation by removing waste products such as lactic acid, which cause pain and stiffness. It is preferable to do percussive therapy on yourself with a massage gun. That way, you will know precisely how much pressure to use and how deeply to massage.

Benefits of Electric Massage Guns

Early research has found numerous significant advantages to employing massage guns for percussive therapy in both pre-and post-workout routines [1]. Below are some potential benefits of using an electric massage:

  • Reduced soreness, muscle tension, and pain: Percussive massage therapy can momentarily relieve pain and relax muscle tension. It can also help to lessen delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), which is what makes you feel sore a day or two after doing exercise. DOMS is a common side effect of intense exercise; it indicates that your activity has injured muscle fibers, and your muscles are now responding to that new tension. Unfortunately, DOMS is a typical reason for missing exercises. If you’re too tired to exercise, the relaxation provided by a massage gun may be just what you need to get back into shape.
  • Increased blood circulation: Massage gun stimulation of muscle tissue increases blood flow, sending more critical nutrients into your circulation to help in recovery. Improved circulation helps in the removal of lactic acid (one of the key causes of muscular pain) and the reduction of inflammation in the muscles. Massage gun treatment can also aid in the stimulation of spinal functions and the oxygenation of muscles.
  • Improved range of motion: Massage guns have been demonstrated to improve mobility and range of motion after just two five-minute sessions.
  • Improved relaxation: You could find that a session of percussion massage after your workout is precisely what you need to relax and feel more at peace. Sit down on a chair or a yoga mat and use the massage gun to work out the knots in your muscles when you’re feeling overwhelmed by your workout.


  1. Konrad A, Glashüttner C, Reiner MM, Bernsteiner D, Tilp M. The acute effects of a percussive massage treatment with a hypervolt device on plantar flexor muscles’ range of motion and performance. J Sports Sci Med. 2020;19(4):690-694.
  2. Schoenfeld BJ, Grgic J, Ogborn D, Krieger JW. Strength and hypertrophy adaptations between low- vs. high-load resistance training: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;31(12):3508-3523.
Topicals for Pain Relief and Recovery

Topicals for Pain Relief and Recovery

Professional gaming and esports require rapid, repetitive movements that put extra strain on the neck, back, wrists, fingers, and lower arms. Many professional gamers may notice that they begin experiencing more pain in these areas due to muscle injury, nerve compression, and tendon damage (known as tendinopathy). Over time, this pain can hinder gaming performance, making it more difficult to continue training and performing at a high level [1-3]. 

Many people think of oral analgesics (pain relievers) to help alleviate their pain and inflammation. However, these medications can have systemic (body-wide) side effects that may be undesirable when used in the long term [4]. Fortunately, topical analgesics are also available, which can be applied directly to the painful area for quick relief. These creams, lotions, sprays, gels, or patches can be used to deliver several types of medication to the skin and affected muscles or tendons. Topicals may also be combined with other support methods for ultimate pain relief and recovery. 

Ingredients Found In Topicals

Topicals are available with a variety of ingredients, all with pain-relieving effects. Some may create a cooling sensation, while others are warming to help promote blood flow to the area. Applying topical analgesics during or after a gaming session can help keep pain at bay during intense training or competitions.

Counter-irritants are ingredients that interfere with the body’s sensation of pain by creating tingling, hot, or cold sensations. One example of a counter-irritant is capsaicin, which is made from capsicum chili peppers. Capsaicin is responsible for the spiciness of peppers — interestingly, it can also be used as an effective pain reliever. It can be found over-the-counter in creams and patches in stores [5]. Another type of counter-irritant is menthol (mint camphor), which helps decrease blood flow in the skin. It also creates a cooling effect, which can be soothing to sore muscles. Menthol works by activating and then desensitizing pain receptors in the skin, alleviating discomfort [6].

Rubefacients are also found in topical analgesics to help relieve pain. These work by dilating (opening) the blood vessels in the skin, creating redness and a warming sensation. Methyl salicylate, also known as wintergreen oil, is a chemical compound similar to salicylic acid—the active ingredient in aspirin. Methyl salicylate is a rubefacient that has been shown to provide pain relief for muscle strains [7].

When using topicals, it’s essential to use them as recommended by the manufacturer or a doctor. Avoid heat on the affected area once a topical analgesic is applied, because it can interfere with how well it’s absorbed into the skin [8].

Topicals and Other Support Methods

For ultimate pain relief and recovery, topical analgesics can be combined with other support methods such as bracing, compression, and massage. Braces are used to stabilize areas of the body that are commonly strained or overworked during gaming, including the wrists, neck, and back. Braces can also help take extra pressure off nerves to relieve pain [9,10].

Overall, topicals provide pain relief directly to the affected areas, helping professional gamers get back to what they love doing. Using topicals in addition to other support methods such as bracing and compression offers stabilization and can prevent further injury. 

  1. Andres BM, Murrell GAC. Treatment of tendinopathy: What works, what does not, and what is on the horizon. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2008;466(7):1539-1554. 
  2. Helliwell PS, Taylor WJ. Repetitive strain injury. Postgrad Med J. 2004;80(946):438-43. 
  3. van Tulder M, Malmivaara A, Koes B. Repetitive strain injury. Lancet. 2007;369(9575):1815-1822. 
  4. Barkin RL. The pharmacology of topical analgesics. Postgrad Med. 2013;125(4 Suppl 1):7-18. 
  5. Chung M, Campbell JN. Use of capsaicin to treat pain: mechanistic and therapeutic considerations. Pharmaceuticals (Basel). 2016;9(4):66. 
  6. Pergolizzi JV Jr, Taylor R Jr, LeQuang J-A, Raffa RB. The role and mechanism of action of menthol in topical analgesic products. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2018;43(3):313-319. 
  7. Higashi Y, Kiuchi T, Furuta K. Efficacy of safety profile of a topical menthol salicylate and menthol patch in adult patients with mild to moderate muscle strain: A randomized, double-blind, parallel-group, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. Clin Ther. 2010;32(1):34-43. 
  8. Thomas S, Shin SH, Hammell DC, Hassan HE, Stinchcomb AL. Effect of controlled heat application on topical diclofenac formulations evaluated by in vitro permeation tests (IVPT) using porcine and human skin. Pharm Res. 2020;37(3):49. 
  9. Fernandez-de-Las-Penas C, Alonso-Blanco C, Cuadrado ML, Pareja JA. Forward head posture and neck mobility in chronic tension-type headache: A blinded, controlled study. Cephalalgia. 2006;26(3):314-319.
  10. Schott C, Zirke S, Schmelzle JM, Kaiser C, Fernandez LAI. Effectiveness of lumbar orthoses in low back pain: Review of the literature and our results. Orthop Rev (Pavia). 2018;10(4): 7791.
4 Nintendo Games We Need on NES Virtual Console

4 Nintendo Games We Need on NES Virtual Console

When you’re dry on new, innovative games to play, why not go back to the old 8-bit days with the NES Virtual Console? Here are 4 games that Nintendo should make playable ASAP.

1. Tetris (1989)

Tetris is one of the most iconic puzzle games that can stand the test of time. As you move multi-shaped blocks to fit together in a perfect line, the speed that they fall increases. This ups the difficulty, but it’s so addicting that you can’t stop trying. This game has gotten many different variations over the years, including the addicting Tetris 100, but the original is still the best.

2. World Cup (1990)

This may seem like an otherwise simple soccer game, but World Cup must not be underestimated for its fun value. You can play with a friend and control some of the cutest 8-bit characters in any game. However, this game can be incredibly difficult. I definitely cried a few times playing it as a kid. The most entertaining element is the super shot ability, where you can give the soccer ball a powerful kick that goes directly into the goal. Watching your opponents get smashed by the balls and fly in the air is hilarious and satisfying. 

3. Wizards and Warriors (1987)

Not only does Wizards and Warriors have one of the greatest soundtracks of the NES games, it’s also a great action game. You play as a knight who goes on a quest to save a princess from an evil wizard. However, much like Castlevania, you get all sorts of items and weapons that 

can help you on your journey. It’s a whimsical and magical game that provides you with all sorts of secrets for a satisfying adventure.

4. Maniac Mansion (1987)

Talk about great soundtracks! This game is a funky and comical adventure game. Its storyline deals with rescuing a teenage boy’s girlfriend from a mad scientist. You get to play as three teenagers who search through the scientist’s mansion to find a way to save the girl. This is basically a point-and-click game, but you can use different items and abilities to uncover more secrets. Also, you can get different endings based on your choices.   

Nintendo offers some great games on the Virtual Console, but these are wonderful blasts from the past for me that can be enjoyable and new adventures for you!

Guest Author: Gabrielle Muniz