Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix Stats and Records

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Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix Review

This is one of the only Mario games I had never managed to get my hands on before now. It’s certainly well known but usually hard to obtain. Well, I can say that it was worth the wait. The story itself is a lot shorter than I would have hoped but you can tell that there was a good budget behind this game. The effects and graphics are just way too solid to overlook and of course the soundtrack is a blast. If you want to play a solid rhythm game then you can’t go wrong with this one.

The story starts with Toad asking Mario for help because someone has stolen the legendary music orbs. Waluigi, Wario, Blooper, and more villains have united to take these away. Now the whole world is being forced to dance because of how the music magic has gotten free. Can Mario out dance everyone who gets in his way or is this possibly game over for the entire Mushroom Kingdom? Luigi and Peach are not here to back him up this time so Mario is really on his own this time.

There are 4 worlds here which each have 4 levels and then the final world that has 2 levels. Each world ends with a big boss at the end which is always fun and of course you have music tracks from across the Mario franchise. Some of the songs are hard to recognize from their original versions but they’re definitely catchy and work well with the fast paced levels. I played the game without a dance mat so then it’s all about timing as you push your control stick in the right direction at the right time. It’s all about having perfect timing and that sounds good to me as timing is what I’m all about. It works out rather well although the game is also quite easy. I picked the most challenging difficulty level and even then the villains could never get more than a D rank. That’s just how it goes I suppose so you’ll still want to give it your all just to prove to yourself that you can achieve the best.

Without the dance mat the toughest part is when you have to click both directions at once. Of course on the mat you can have one foot in two place at once but that’s not possible with a control stick. You have to quickly hit both sides as quickly as possible but you never get the perfect scores that way. As a result maybe it’s for the best that the A.I. wasn’t too good or that could have started to get a bit tricky. Playing this game reminds me of how the Kingdom Hearts melody game could end up being fun.

Where Nintendo went the extra mile here is by adding all kinds of visual elements and extra minions to the levels. They incorporate Goombas, Boo, Bullet Bills, Koopa, and all sorts of enemies into the mix. They affect how you have to use your control stick and it makes for a fun variety in the levels. Then you have the boss levels where you see both of the characters dancing the whole time. Mario is certainly confident in his skills and its well earned considering how well he does here.

I’ll also give the game props for having a real story mode. It certainly would have been tempting to have just side stepped that entirely but that’s not what happens here. The game takes itself seriously and there are cutscenes as we face off against everyone. Even Bowser steps in at one point which is always hype. The whole story is rather crazy from the jump with how the music magic works but you can just roll with it the whole time.

The graphics are also very nostalgic with how this reminds me of the Mario Party 4 game. The character models have aged well and so have the stage designs. This feels like one of the better depictions of the Mushroom Kingdom. You really get a feel for how daily life would be like in this place. On every technical level the game went above and beyond. The only thing that would hold this title back is the super short length and even with that you’ll have had fun during the journey.

Plus there is a multiplayer mode so that’ll help with the replay value. You could end up playing through the game for quite a long time as long as you have someone to play it with. That’ll really test your skills although I hope that there is a way to speed the levels up further than you could in story mode or it’s possible that both you and your opponent will be absolutely dominating the matches the whole time. I’m sure there is some kind of tiebreaker and you guys won’t get perfect scores all the time so that helps out a bit but speeding things along would certainly help to make it all a bit more exciting.

Overall, Dance Dance Revolution has always been a fun genre for games. I don’t participate in them too much myself nowadays but it was a good way to burn some calories and get a good workout. Throwing in the Mario characters was brilliant and I almost feel like they should bring that back in the present. I think it could absolutely sell super well if it was marketed right. I’m not sure if the Switch has any compatible dance mat at the moment but if not that’s something that could be changed really quickly. Playing through this game is like digging up a lost piece of your childhood. If you like the Mario games and grew up with the Gamecube era then this is a title that you’ll want to get. It’s a title that has aged too well to pass up. There’s not much to it but the game’s a lot of fun and you’re always reminded that Nintendo made that their top priority when making games and it definitely shows here.

Overall 7/10

Super Mario: Goddess of the Demon Empire Review

The title is a bit misleading I’d say. Daisy never comes close to being the goddess here but the title sounds epic I suppose. This oneshot is a quick adaption of the Mario movie and it’s pretty fun. It’s odd to see Luigi as the brave one of the group but perhaps it makes sense since Daisy is the main heroine here instead of Princess Peach. All in all, it probably won’t change your mind on the film if you’re not a big fan but it’s a decent story here. You’ll finish it very quickly without a doubt and while it may not feel a whole lot like the game versions, it’s a decent AU.

The story starts with Daisy calling Mario and Luigi over to fix her pipes. Unfortunately a pair of hooligans take the chance to kidnap her. They jump into a pipe and take her to meet King Koopa. See, Daisy is the daughter of the lady who stole a fragment of the meteor which split the human and dinosaur realms apart. If Koopa can grab a hold of that and put it inside an artifact, he can re-merge the two planets back together. He is confident that his army and weapons would then be enough to take over the world with ease. Mario and Luigi are humanity’s last hope now. Can they really defeat Koopa though?

While the story is short, there’s a lot going on here. The details are usually left out so you have to try and figure things out on your own. For example, why did the planets split into two dimensions when the meteor struck? You’d have thought that everything would have simply blown up so that didn’t make a lot of sense but it was interesting. Then with the key, it is apparently too potent for the villains to hold for a while as it burns two of them but why can all of the heroes hold onto it? We can try to say that it’s about good intentions or something but that’s pure speculation. I don’t know how Bowser had this contraption set up to re merge the worlds either.

Then with how easy it was for Bowser’s minions to go to the human world, why does he needs to merge the worlds anyway? I get that he wants to rule the world but it seems like he already rules the other world so in that case couldn’t he just rule both worlds? It would probably be easy to rule the humans with the advanced tech that he has at his disposal or it seems like that would be the case at least. So the manga will definitely give you a lot of questions but I suppose this isn’t all very important.

At the end of the day, the characters are fun and the writing is good enough so it makes for a decent oneshot. I think Bowser has the worst design though. Not only do they just keep calling him Koopa the whole time but he just looks like a guy with warts. There’s no real attempt to make this guy look like Bowser and it’s just sad. The design does not age well at all. At least Mario and Luigi have the general builds at the ready even if their caps are gone. As mentioned before, Luigi is the brave one this time. He was eager to jump into the pipe to save Daisy and didn’t hesitate during each part in the chase. Mario was the one who was unsure and needed to be dragged along.

Mario does get his battle with Bowser where he looks brave enough though. Using explosive mushrooms to take the guy down was clever and an interesting interpretation of the fire flower. Seeing Bowser get blown to bits is also surprisingly intense. Granted, Bowser is made of sludge here so that helps but even so, you see Mario just blasting away limbs which is intense. Apparently Bowser has high speed regeneration here which is interesting though. Then of course you have his gun which can send people back to their past selves which seems like an incredibly handy tool. It’s a 1 hit KO if you hit someone because you just keep the ray on and it keeps going until the person is no longer alive.

The art is okay even if I don’t like the designs. It can be a little hard to follow once in a while because of how the manga seems to skip ahead though. It doesn’t want to waste any time and as a oneshot I can definitely understand why that’s the case. At only around 30 pages you’ll be able to read through the story very quickly. The ending leaves room for a sequel although I can’t imagine any scenario where we ever get back to this continuity. There are just too many solid games to adapt and other styles to go with.

Overall, This story is okay. It’s certainly poor as an adaption of the Mario games but if you take it as a stand alone story then it works better. There isn’t anything that the manga does particularly well enough for it to be noteworthy though and that’s what keeps me from calling this one pretty good. It’s not bad but I just don’t see you ever going back to re read it. It’s an adventure that you read once for the novelty and then it’s gone. At best I can say that I do think it was going for a TMNT vibe in a lot of ways. It just doesn’t manage to capture that same level of charm and Bowser is a really weak antagonist here. I usually like the guy but not so much in this adventure. If you really want to relive the Mario movie experience then you should jump in and check this one out. It does have a little more action than the movie version which is always a nice plus.

Overall 6/10

Paper Mario: The Origami King Review

At long last it’s time to check out the latest Paper Mario adventure. This was always going to be an emotional ride right from the start but I don’t think very many could have ever guessed just how emotional. I nearly got this game day 1 but the gameplay style turned me off from doing that. After playing through the game I can safely say that the gameplay is not very fun but ultimately the game still manages to be a good adventure. It easily has the best Mario soundtrack I’ve ever seen and I would go a step further to say one of the best Nintendo soundtracks out there.

The game starts off quite suddenly as Mario and Luigi head over to Peach’s castle only to find out that she has already been turned. The powerful King Olly has taken her down for the count and she has now joined the side of Origami. Mario and Luigi are tossed out as Olly seals the castle away and then ties down the world. Mario will now have to take down each of the streamers in order to save Peach. Fortunately he will have the help of Olly’s sister Olivia. Will they be able to save the day or are they getting into a situation that’s far above their respective abilities?

Well, the game doesn’t quite manage to match up to the sinister atmosphere that the first cutscene had. Then again, I wouldn’t expect it to. It was a really effective way to start the game up since if even Peach could be turned then that truly meant that nobody was safe. Peach is usually seen as the most pure of heart so you can see why this would be greatly concerning to all parties involved. From there we go onto the normal adventure but you won’t see Olly again until you start to get near the end of the game.

The Paper Mario games have always had pretty fun dialogue. I may give Mario & Luigi the slight edge but it’s close and this game does not disappoint. It has a lot of fun dialogue throughout the game and certainly a lot of puns to go along with that. the story will keep you engaged well enough as you’re going through it. The supporting characters aren’t even bad. For example, I liked Bobby a lot. He’s a bob omb who really means well and just wants some good friends. It takes him a while to get going but once he does, there’s just no stopping him. He adds a fun element to the whole adventure and I was glad to have him around. It’s a shame that he couldn’t have appeared longer.

Olivia’s not quite as interesting. She tends to panic a lot and doesn’t really adapt to the situation in the same way. It is probably the fate of being the main heroine the whole time though. After a certain point of appearing for such a long time, you’re bound to start faltering at some point. She can transform and fight though which puts her above some of the other sidekicks at least in a combat perspective.

There’s not much to say about Mario since he doesn’t talk here but Luigi gets his own sub plot about trying to find the key to Peach’s castle. You feel bad for him because you know from the start that this is doomed to be a gag so he won’t be helpful for a while. At least his misadventures do end up helping in other ways so it balances out. While it’s not a high bar, this probably puts him as looking better than in most games which is really crazy when you think about it.

Bowser’s role is rather small though which is too bad. The scenes that he does get here are great and true show stoppers. The whole time it’ll remind you why you wanted him to appear so much in the first place. He’s made for these kind of moments and it shows. Without Bowser things would not have gone well for the heroes. Kamek and Bowser Jr also show up with satisfying roles so fans of all 3 should certainly be pleased here. That about wraps it up for the characters aside from Olly.

So for King Olly, I like the idea behind the character but I don’t think the execution is on point. Perhaps the opening cutscene set the bar too high but he just never gets back up to that level of hype. By the end you start to almost feel sorry for him which is rarely a good thing for a villain. No, this did not end up going over very well for the guy at all. It would have been cool if Bowser betrayed him and became the main villain for a minute there although I understand why that did not happen.

So the story is fun. It lasts for quite a while at 20+ hours and there is really a lot to do here. There’s also some replay value as you try to save all of the toads and get the collectibles although I’m not sure if there’s any secret ending or any kind of prize that would really make the journey worth it. Hopefully though because it’d be a shame if there was no prize at the end of the tunnel or anything like that.

For the gameplay though, this one is quite unique. You have to spin some wheels with a limited amount of moves to get the enemies in position and then you attack. There are no level ups in the game so there’s no point in fighting except when you have to. The wheel makes each match take longer than it should and it’s always sad when you can’t win in one turn because your attack power is not high enough. The worst part is you can’t exactly increase your attack power aside from finding new health power ups so that’s that.

Not having a level up system is always a mistake in an RPG if you ask me. The ability to grow stronger by beating minions is part of the whole point of the genre. When you take that away, it’s like you’re taking the heart of the adventure away as well. It’s just not right and it certainly doesn’t suit the game. Because of that, every minion encounter just feels annoying because you couldn’t get away fast enough. The wheel also never feels fun so you’re constantly wondering why it is even here.

At least there’s no mysteries during the boss fights like in Color Splash or Sticker Star where you’d have to backtrack to get specific items. You never have to completely run away from a fight here which is a very good thing. That would have absolutely been annoying otherwise. I don’t like to have to backtrack unless there’s a good reason for it. So the gameplay does hold the game back to an extent.

The graphics look really solid here. With the paper style the game may not end up trying to look quite as impressive as the average big budget game but it’s still all very clear. You certainly won’t think this is an older game. The real highlight is the soundtrack like I said earlier though. Listen to any theme in the game and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how good it is. The boss fights all pop out at you and it’s like you’re in a whole new world. The themes are heavy rock and get you into the zone. It even makes up for the bosses having the most uninspired designs and names imaginable because they at least sound hype thanks to the music. The game should be really grateful for such excellent tunes.

Overall, The Origami King is a fun installment in the Paper Mario series. I may not have been a big fan in some areas but it’s definitely an improvement over the last two games. I’d like the series to go a little more all out though like how it used to be with the first 3 titles. There’s no reason why your villains should just be ordinary appliance or why you need gimmicks with the gameplay. Give us a normal RPG gameplay style with a solid story and you’ll have a smash hit guaranteed. Maybe Nintendo doesn’t have a lot of confidence in the series without a gimmick but they really should since people would buy this regardless. If you like Paper Mario then you’ll have fun with this one. It’s still worth a purchase and it gives you a lot of value for your purchase. Now it’s just the long wait until the next one.

Overall 7/10

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Review

Mario Kart 8 is a game I’ve been meaning to get for many, many years but it just didn’t work out. Well, that paid off in a way because then it came out for the Switch so I got to get the updated version there. The Deluxe version brings Link and everything unlocked from the jump. Throw in the smooth online and it really does feel like a Deluxe edition here. You are bound to have a lot of fun while playing through this one.

Now on one hand with everything unlocked from the jump you may feel less incentive to go and actually play through all of the cups but it also means that you can really relax and do everything at your own pace. You can play the tournaments, jump into online battles, play vs mode, etc. There is absolutely a lot of content here so you certainly won’t run out or get bored either. The amount of stages here must be a record. I’m not sure if that is a fact but at least it feels like this must be the case.

I’ve played a whole lot of stages and I’m not sure if I’ve played them all yet. Then there’s also the character roster which is just as impressive. I set a challenge for myself to play as every character before doing that review and so I took them all for a spin. It’s really cool to play as a guest star like Link here. I can definitely understand why people are getting hyped for a Nintendo Kart. You can’t go wrong with guest stars and it just enhances the amount of fun you can have. Characters are mainly cosmetic as well so you might as well throw them in.

It goes without saying that the gameplay is quite excellent here. The controls are really smooth and you shouldn’t have a problem driving around. I notice that the game does try to make it a little easier on you here as it’s hard to drive off the road. The game will usually auto correct for you to make sure that you stay on the road. That’s definitely a very useful feature to be sure. I don’t think it is quite as good as say Double Dash where you really have to be careful to master your vehicle at all times but it does make sense in terms of making the game more inclusive for everyone to have a good time with. Double Dash is still my all time favorite game after all but it’s safe to say that Mario Kart 8 is the next best.

The soundtrack is excellent with a huge variety of songs to choose from. Every stage has its own distinct theme and nothing is reused here. You’ll hear a lot of nostalgic music throughout the game and of course modern twists as well. It’s definitely a game that’s very soothing to play with how peaceful some of the songs can be and even the fast paced tunes just feel good. This is a game where you can see how Nintendo put a ton of effort into every aspect. Naturally the graphics are included with that. The game looks quite excellent at all times. The gameplay is sharp and the stage designs really pop out at you as well.

For the online modes you can play in tournaments, single races, battle modes, etc. I tried all of the options and it’s nice to be playing against other opponents in real time. I played a ton of matches and didn’t experience lag in any of them. Imagine if Super Smash had that level of attention to it? Now that would really be something. It’s also fun how you have a little point total next to your name as you play through the stages. It’s not really a ranking since you don’t know where you stack up but it does give you something to aim for as you win more and more races.

As for the battle modes, you’ve got quite a few here. The most fun one is probably the cops and robbers game as you have to dry and get out of the area before you are whacked by the other team. You can free other members who have been captured though. The game seems to favor the team making the arrests here but you do need to have strategy and doing that online can be tricky. There’s also a capture the flag game which is fun. You have to try and hold onto it for a while in order to win. This can be tough if you’re not the first to grab it though. It’s not that hard to buy 20 seconds in the initial skirmish.

There’s also the bomb and balloon modes although unfortunately the balloon one is no longer about survival. I suspect the developers were worried about players dragging the matches out too long so they turned this into a pure score battle but I always liked the idea of a survival mode since it really makes you have to drive carefully to try and stay on top there. With a score system it’s a bit more chaotic. I don’t think you will be spending quite as much time here as in the races anyway though so it’s really just more ways to play the game and you can’t go wrong there.

Overall, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is definitely a great game. There is a whole lot of replay value here which you probably guessed from everything above. This is really a complete game in every aspect. I can’t think of a single weakness that it has and so Mario Kart 8 will really end up leaving a strong legacy behind it. You will be hard pressed to find a better racing game available and of course playing online with others is a lot of fun. The items ensure that you will have a fresh experience in each race. No two races will be identical after all and the item frequency is really quite high. The stages are the right length as they aren’t too short or too long. There really must have been hundreds of hours of research pumped into this and it paid off. The bar for the 9th game is really set quite high at this point.

Overall 9/10

Mario Sports Mix Review

Mario Sports Mix is a game that definitely fell to the backburner on my wish list for a while. It always looked like fun but at the same time not fun enough to buy. I think it’s because when Mario focuses on one sport you know that you’re going to get something amazing. When it’s a bunch of different sports in one game then you assume they will probably be a lot weaker. Still, I finally bought this game and I would say it’s pretty fun. It’s certainly not touching most of the other Mario sport titles but it’s a game you can certainly have fun playing with some friends. The replay value will be considerably lower if you play by yourself though.

So lets talk about each of the sports here. First off is Basketball since that’s definitely the biggest draw here. At least it’s the sport that pops out at you from the cover. It’s pretty fun even if it may not be quite as strong as Hoops 3 on 3. You do have all the rules in and making the shots is satisfying. I think making the block a little more complicated by having you shake the Wii remote is unnecessary but I’m sure they wanted to push the motion controls a bit. The game is fun but one issue here is how long each game takes. You can be playing the same game for a very long time as there is no mercy rule and each score shuts down the clock. After I was winning by a massive amount I just started running around to waste some time. I think a mercy rule should always be enabled to prevent that. It’s not the standard though so I suppose I shouldn’t expect this game to have that necessarily.

Part of why the game feels so long is because the computer A.I. just isn’t very good on most of the settings. Either they’re broken hard or extremely easy but there’s not much of a middle ground. Then you have Dodgeball which may be my favorite from from the 4 sports. It’s never really gotten a big video game before and it’s fun to run around the field and try to hit someone. The controls can take a little getting used to but once you’ve got them down, you’ll be doing well here. It’s a game that is easy to understand and makes a lot of sense the whole time. It can also be a bit on the longer side but if you’re dominating the opponents then you can make the game quicker. There’s no big time limit you have to wait on after all, just knock everyone out instead.

Next up is Volleyball and that one’s fun. I would say that the minigame for it in Mario Party is still better but it’s hard to top that one. The Mario Party version is fairly iconic after all. This one has the motion controls to worry about as well, but it’s still fun to coordinate your moves and try to land a spike. You’ll be thinking of Haikyu while playing as you remember those hype volleyball moments. It may not top the first two sports for me but it’s another fun one into the mix.

Finally you have the Hockey game. It’s the weakest of the 4 but still makes for a good time. The controls are good and while it may be hard to score, that’s true for all hockey games. You get used to the goalie being super powerful after a while and just come to accept it. Either way the computer won’t be doing much against you so you can keep landing hits until you finally win. At that point you will have completed all 4 of the games.

Aside from the main sports there are also some minigames that use the same gameplay but switch things up a bit. They’re effectively using the game’s gameplay without the time limit. They’re fun and it’s a nice little touch that shows how the developers were trying to add some more content and variety in here. I appreciate that and the minigames are good so you can certainly have fun spending time there.

In general I would say the game has a good amount of replay value. You can play the sports in exhibition mode or in tournament mode. You have the minigames and of course the multiplayer content as well. So that’s enough to keep you playing for a very long time. Most multiplayer games by default have a lot of replay value for that reason. I’m still not prepared to put this up against most of the mainline sport games since I think they’re just on a different level, but this is a very capable game from start to finish.

The graphics are solid and will remind you of the classic Mario games for the Gamecube. It’s definitely got that kind of artstyle going for it. It’s also really nostalgic to see the characters one more time. It feels like a while since we’ve gotten some big Mario sport titles. Golf doesn’t really do it for me and the latest Tennis titles have gone in too hard with the gimmicks. We need a return to basics like this. The soundtrack is also good although it doesn’t really stand out the way it does for Mario Kart. Maybe next time they’ll be able to get in some really iconic tunes to go along with the game.

Overall, I enjoyed Mario Sports Mix. It’s a fun game and you can get it for a pretty decent price nowadays. If you enjoy Mario games and like your sports then this is one game that you don’t want to miss out on. If we’re lucky then maybe they’ll make a sequel at some point. Without the Wii Remote holding it back, I suspect the next ones will really be able to go all in on the fun gameplay. The sky’s the limit there and of course the game I’m really waiting for is Mario Football. One day they’ve gotta come out with that right?

Overall 7/10

Blastman vs Mario

Suggested by Destroyer Mario is a solid all around fighter so this is a pretty close battle. He may have some slight resistance to fireballs since he uses them so often but at the same time we don’t really know that for sure. Meanwhile Blastman is fairly fast and should be able to stay out of Mario’s range. Eventually the attacks will add up and Mario will go down. Blastman wins.

Voldemort vs Mario

Suggested by Destroyer Voldemort has quite a lot of magical abilities at his disposal. Using these powers he can certainly give Mario a hard time. That said, Mario has a lot of power ups, some of which would make him too quick to be struck by any of those abilities. Voldemort has a lot of power but he’s a glass cannon in the sense that there isn’t a whole lot he can do against an opponent with Mario’s speed and he can’t endure the counter blow. Mario just needs one good hit to win. Mario wins.