|Posted by Ratin8tor on August 30, 2012 at 6:50 AM|
You want to hear something totally crazy? I got my first Gameboy Colour in 1998. After that I got a Gameboy Advance, a Nintendo DS, a Nintendo DS Lite and a 3DS just a few weeks ago. I have brought every generation of Pokemon game bar Fire Red/Leaf Green. I even brought the second DS solely so I'd have someone to trade Pokemon with.
And in that 14 year history I had never brought a single Mario game. I thought there was some sort of law against that. Like you couldn't own a Nintendo system and not have a game featuring Mario in some way. But it was only a few days ago that I (having more disposable income then sense it seems) splashed out on buying the latest Mario game, Super Mario Bros 2 (try saying that three times fast whilst drunk). So what did I think of it (since reviews are apparently all anyone on the internet ever does and apparently random people's opinions about things is enough to make a living off). Well, lets find out.
Sing along everybody, you all know the tune. Someone is kidnapped by someone and it is up to someone else to go save them. Though to the game's credit, by this point I think the three people on Earth that don't know the plot of every Mario game ever made are too busy deciding which one of them is King of the rock they live under. To the game's credit, they don't even both with set-up. Thirty seconds showing the Princess gets kidnapped before BAM. Straight into gameplay. No elaborate tutorial, press one button to jump, press the other to run/swing tale/shoot flaming balls. Also, spoiler alert, the game ends with Mario saving the Princess. Now I feel safe spoiling that (besides the fact that it's totally obvious) because the story takes a measly 5 hours to complete. This is a story one completes on a rainy afternoon. So the story is pretty minimal. What else does it have going for it.
By this point I don't think Nintendo could make a bad Mario game if they tried. After doing it for so bloody long it's a simple matter of taking what they've done in the past, cleaning it up a bit to fit in with the new graphics, and releasing it to the public. The game doesn't come with a booklet, just a piece of paper that explains the very basic components. Like I mentioned before, you jump (since all of Mario's problems can be solved by jumping according to him) and you do some extra stuff if you get the power-ups. Control-wise, it all works fine. Mario is nice and smooth, responding when you need him to respond. But the gameplay is so old school it still writes in chalk and gets caned regularly. It is not a difficult game, not if you possess a decent set of reflexes. Not that it matters if you fail, because the game will give you an invincibility power-up when you do really badly. So you can't fail this game unless you really are incompetent.
Well on the upside the game does look nice. Sure it's no work of art, but it does the job. Nothing really stands out though. If you've played any Mario game, imagine that with better graphics. Can't go wrong.
So the gameplay is rather easy, going so far as to just give you invincibility when it's clear you suck. So why should people buy this game? Well it does offer one new feature in a conversation that I imagine went like this:
Developer 1: Hey you know coins in a Mario game.
Developer 2: You mean those collectable items where every one hundred gives you a new life, but other than that are totally worthless in the grander scheme of things?
Developer 1: Lets make an entire game based just around that concept alone.
Yes the point of this Mario game is to collect coins. One million in fact. It has a handy counter on screen at all times just to remind you how many coins you've collected thus far in the level, what your personal best is, how many you have all up. You have power-ups that turn Mario's head into a golden block that allows you to gain coins as you move, the ability to turn into a golden version of Mario firing golden fireballs (that make normal blocks disintegrate into coins), the ability to turn enemies into gold and have them trail coins every time they move. Every single thing around this game is based around coins. It's like the Mushroom Kingdom has hit the recession and needs all the money it can get. Coin collection is the name of the game. There's nothing more too it than that.
So do I recommended this game? Yes, but with a few stipulations. Firstly I got my copy for $75 (USA $60) after getting it on special (it was originally at $94, or $75 US). I recommend waiting till the game drops down to about the $40-$50 range (though I have no idea how prices work over there). Secondly only buy this game if you don't own any other Mario game, at least no other 2D Mario platformer. Hell only buy it if you don't own any other platformer on your 3DS or DS to start with. This is my first platformer, so I'm happy with it. But it's adding nothing new to the genre, rather going back to the good old days. That's great if this is the only game you're gonna own, but other than that I'd recommend sticking to what you got. You're not gonna miss much not playing this one. Thirdly if you really, really love platformers, then yes, this game is for you. It's competently executed, with a nice easy difficulty so it never becomes frustrating (when the goal is to get coins you end up getting over 100 lives before you're halfway done). But if you're not a fan of platformers, this isn't going to be the game that sways you. And if you don't want to spend money either play Super Mario Bros Crossover or Mari0 (both available online for free). They're just as good.
So there you have it. A good platformer that adds nothing new to the genre, but is great if it's the only platformer you own (and you want to justify having a 3DS). If you disagree with anything, or have anything to add, feel free to leave a comment. Till next time.
Categories: Video Games