6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Mario Bros Review


It’s time to look at the classic Mario Bros game. I remember playing this one a lot back in the GBA days because it came as a special feature along with Super Mario World. It’s definitely a fun title to spend some time with. It’s also nostalgic seeing the level layout since the stage usually makes it into the Super Smash Bros titles or at least it’s been there for 2-3 of them I believe. The game uses the good ole jumping gameplay from the 2D adventures while switching things up a bit as the levels don’t have you going after a goal. It’s definitely a lot of fun and I’d recommend giving this one a look.

So the gameplay involves a bunch of enemies appearing out of pipes on the top layer of the stage. Your job is to jump and hit the ground they are walking on. This will cause the enemy to flip over. At this point they are vulnerable and you can jump onto the layer and kick them off. It’s definitely the tactic I would recommend here. The earlier you knock them off the better because once there are a lot of enemies on the map it can get difficult to isolate them. Additionally there are fireballs that roam through the levels and touching any of them means instant death. You also have a Pow Block that will hit all of the enemies at once but you should really only save that for when you are being completely overwhelmed. It’s not a resource that you just want to bust out at any ole time. Think of it as your secret weapon.

I made it pretty far here into the 20s. I don’t know how many levels there are but that seemed like a reasonable push. At latter levels you get to fight with minions that are a little faster than the original ones. You have to choose your jumping spots carefully because if they get past you then it may be all over for your chances of success. There are also little ice minions who will freeze the ground which makes it a lot more difficult for you to move around freely. You’ll end up skidding or stopping in your tracks whenever you try to change directions.

The graphics are definitely solid. This is also a game where the main theme is pretty catchy and memorable. It works well when you’re taking down the enemies. I didn’t see an option to play as Luigi but since this game is called Mario Bros I assume that there has to be some kind of way to choose him. Otherwise the title just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and I’d have to question why the game called it that. This is a very peaceful game but also so different from the other Mario games. The series really shifted gears after this one. It would be interesting to see more of a homage to this game in a future Mario installment. After all, this game did serve as a stepping stone to launch the franchise.

In terms of replay value it’s really all just about trying to see if you can beat your high score. Whether the levels have an end or not, there isn’t really an actual story here. You just jump right into the game and work on defeating the minions. It’s got that arcade feel to it where the levels are just a lot of fun to play through. You shouldn’t have any problem getting the hang of the controls and just diving in. Nintendo’s always done a good job of making the first levels pretty easy which gives you time to get comfortable with the controls. Then slowly but surely they start giving you some real challenges to work with.

Overall, Mario Bros is a solid NES game. As with most of Nintendo’s original titles it has a lot of character. You can feel the effort that went into this game. It’s just a very well designed one and so you won’t get bored here as you play it for a while. Ultimately the lack of content will prevent it from getting a higher score but I imagine it is always tough to add more content like that back in the day. The games could only hold so much space in them after all. I’m one step closer to completing all of the NES games which will be a cool milestone.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Wrecking Crew Review


It’s time to look at a game I never really got to try back in the day. It’s a fun one though and there are 100 different levels in the game as well so it’ll definitely last a while. None of them are super hard to the point where it’ll take you a while thanks to the rewind feature but the level designs are pretty well thought out. You will probably need a few resets to beat some of the levels. They just aren’t the kind that you can glance at and figure out the answer right away. As there are puzzle elements you also have to be careful what item you break first or it’ll become impossible to clear the level.

How the game starts off is you have to break everything in the level. This ranges from doors to ladders and everything must go as if this is some kind of mega sale. You just can’t afford to leave anything intact and that’s actually what stumped me for a little while on the first level. I just couldn’t figure out how to clear the level and it took a lot of running and smashing things to figure out that ladders counted as well. The gameplay is very simple. You press A to break the object in front of you. You can run from left to right as you go through the stages and climb ladders. You can’t touch any of the enemies or you die in a single hit. Eventually fireballs will also show up so make sure you avoid those as well. You can actually walk off stage so do that in order to avoid the enemies. It’ll at least buy you some time in that way.

It shouldn’t take you very long to master this gameplay. From there it’s just a matter of thinking things through. None of the levels are particularly long either so it’s easy to just boot up the game and start conquering some levels. With 100 to choose from this should definitely take you a few hours. The levels are similar enough where you may want to take some breaks though. Playing through all of them in one shot sounds like a way to get yourself bored of the gameplay style and that’s definitely not a good idea. The game is fun after all. You just need to pace yourself here.

The graphics are pretty solid as well. It’s pretty nice to see all these old versions of Mario. He really got around back in Nintendo’s original days. The enemies are also pretty interesting. It’s like a sort of creature but hard to say exactly what it is. The looks have definitely aged pretty well as with the gameplay. I can’t say quite as much for the soundtrack. It’s a very peaceful background kind of theme but not one that you are likely to remember for very long. It’s so quiet that you may not even hear it at all while you’re so focused on getting through the level.

Overall, Wrecking Crew is a pretty fun Nintendo game from their past. While I always remember Mario Bros and Donkey Kong, this is one game I tend to forget exists at times. It’s got a pretty unique gameplay style though and this is yet another Nintendo franchise that could use a modern revival. I think there’s a lot you could do with a modern take on the Wrecking Crew. Think of everything you could break in a more modern city environment and this time you’d have Goomba and Koopa minions to fight against. In the meantime I’d recommend checking this out on the Switch Online. It’ll at least buy you a few hours to have fun with.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

VS. Excitebike Review


It’s time to look at the next Excitebike game. This one is actually very similar to the original to the point where you could basically call it an enhanced remake. It gives you the classic mode like in the original but you also have the new vs option. It’s a pretty fun addition since you can finally have a true 1 vs 1 battle against someone else. That’s basically the only big new feature though so we’ll have to see if it’s enough to keep you playing for long. If you already played the original a lot then I doubt you would stick around here, but otherwise this is the game you’d want to start with. The gameplay is still pretty fun and the game has a reasonable amount of content so ultimately I would say that this helps take the game pretty far if you ask me.

The gameplay is that of a 2D racer. It’s almost overhead style but not completely from that view. The idea is to make it to the end of the stage within the timeframe in order to break records and win. You keep on doing this as you go through all of the races. You can also do the vs mode of course where the only objective is to stay ahead of the other racer. It’s a pretty fun game and it’s always fun to try and knock the opponents off of their bikes by going in front of them. Honestly it seems like landing a hit here would be pretty much fatal as there would be no way for the other racer to make up the distance at that point. From there their only hope would be for you to make a mistake. In that sense I suppose the game could be a little more balanced but it certainly does help the stakes.

The graphics are just as good as in the original title. The bikes all look pretty solid and the level designs are good as well. The game is able to keep up with your speed at all times. I do find that 2D racers like this can be a bit rough since you don’t really see the obstacles ahead of time and have to completely rely on your reflexes. It is an interesting option though and while 3D racers are my favorite I’m always game for trying these out as well. The soundtrack is less memorable though to the point where I can’t really remember any tunes. It’s a shame but that definitely doesn’t hurt the score, it just doesn’t help it.

In terms of replay value all I can really say is that you can keep on racing and try to beat your own records. Up to a point that’ll be fun but there are only so many different methods you can try. There are no shortcuts in the levels or anything like that so once you are good at consistently dodging the obstacles that are present I fear that you will plateu quite quickly. The replay value here just won’t last you for very long in the end so this is the kind of game you pick up for a day or a weekend. It’ll be fun during that period though which is important.

Overall, Vs. Excitebike is basically the original game but with an extra feature so by default I would recommend this one a little higher. It’s pretty interesting that the NES Online has both. I really wouldn’t have expected that so it’s a pretty nice surprise. If you like racing games then you owe it to yourself to try it out. This is one of the original racers after all and spawned a bunch of spinoffs. My favorite game in the franchise is definitely Excitetrucks. I remember playing that in the very early days of the Wii and it was a really nice way to start off the console.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Donkey Kong Review


It’s time to look at the original Donkey Kong game! This is definitely a title that really helped to put Nintendo on the map. It really had just about everything you could ask for from a classic arcade title. The gameplay was simple but effective and the game actually had a bit of a plot. It’s rather short with only around 3-4 levels but then the game loops so you can keep going to really test your abilities. It’s a solid all around title and definitely a good one to take a look at if you haven’t played it before.

The concept of the game is that you have to climb to the top of the DK level. To do this, you run back and forth across the stage and use ladders to climb up to the next level. DK will throw barrels at you so you have to jump over them as you make your way to the top. Be careful when doing this because a single slip-up will cause you to lose. As you get to the end of the game actual minions will also show up and you can’t touch them unless you have a hammer activated. This does force you to go with a slower, more concentrated approach. Don’t make any move without being absolutely ready for what’s going to come next. Also, you can’t fall from a great height or you’ll die. This got me in the level with the elevators. If you want to make it to the next place make sure that the distance is very short so you will be able to cross with ease.

The graphics are definitely very nice here. It’s got that classic Mario look throughout the game and the colors are pretty vibrant. It definitely looks considerably better than a lot of the other NES games I’ve played. I think what goes a long way to getting this look across are the level designs. It just helps make everything stand out. As for the soundtrack, the main theme is definitely quite iconic and works really well. You definitely aren’t likely to forget it anytime soon. I can’t say the same for most games on the console so that’s another win for Donkey Kong.

Ultimately what does hold this game back from a higher score is really just the fact that it is so short. Of course you do have replay value here for things like increasing your score and such but ultimately that’s it. The gameplay isn’t that different or difficult so it would likely get repetitive quite fast if you’re just trying to stick to this game. It’s free if you have the Switch Online but otherwise I can’t really imagine paying for this game. As such, it is a good title but these factors are holding it back from being a great one.

Overall, Donkey Kong is a game that lives on in the Nintendo legends. Without this game the video game industry would be quite different that’s for sure. It is pretty fun and I had a good time with it. It may not be a game that will last for very long but more importantly, it is a game that you will remember and that’s always a good thing. If you have the Switch Online then you should definitely go and check it out. I’d be game for a modern remake of this someday. I think you could actually make a full fledged game out of this style. You’d just need to add some more stage layouts and minions/obstacles but it could certainly be done. I’d definitely be interested in seeing what ideas they would come up with for that.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Wario’s Woods Review


It’s time to look at another classic NES game from a while back. It’s pretty neat that Wario actually got his own game so long ago. Personally I wouldn’t have really expected that. The guy’s popular but even Luigi has only had a handful of games in his career and he’s a lot more popular than Wario. This game’s pretty fun. It’s basically a slightly different take on the Dr Mario series and that works out pretty well. I prefer Dr Mario but this one has an actual story which is cool. The story isn’t deeper than just a handful of cutscenes every once in a while but they’re still pretty cool. I’ll take what I can get.

The gameplay is all about matching the objects and destroying all of the monsters. To defeat a monster you have to match it with 2 blocks of the same color. One of those blocks has to be a bomb and then you’ve got 3 objects in a row of the same color. When you get a match then all 3 objects are destroyed and you rinse and repeat as more blocks appear. New blocks constantly fall from the ceiling so you have to move quickly. If the blocks make it all the way to the top then you’ll have lost as an energy blast instantly zaps you into oblivion. Trust me, it’s not a fate that you will want to experience. At times Wario will take control of the stage and will make the ceiling start falling towards you. That is when the stages are at their hardest so keep on matching. One thing to take note of is that you can match blocks diagonally as well so keep that in mind.

Eventually the monsters themselves get a little more powerful. The only way to defeat them is through the diagonal option and that gets really hard to do when there are monsters everywhere. Other monsters can regenerate so you have to blow them up twice within a short span of time. If you only blow them up once they go back to full power. So there is definitely an increase in difficulty to the point where the final levels are incredibly difficult. It took me around an hour just to knock out 2 near the end. Ultimately I made it to level 60 out of 99. That’s pretty good progress I’d say and kudos to anyone who made it to the end. It’s definitely a lot more difficult than it would appear.

You’ll figure out little tricks as you play the game though. You can quickly grab and then drop a piece while still moving so you sort of cheat the gravity effect. You can jump on top of a bunch of blocks by holding up when lifting a lot of them. Sometimes you will match some blocks you didn’t even know were there while jumping and placing. That’s because the blocks only have to match for an instant in order to count so sometimes I recommend just running around and seeing what sticks. It’s a method that can prove to be most useful.

The graphics are solid. I like the animations and how everyone looks. Wario definitely appears as more of a villain than usual that’s for sure. The presentation is just solid with everything appearing clearly. You won’t have any issue with wondering what is going on in the screen. The soundtrack is more on the generic side, but catchy nonetheless. It’s an easy beat to listen too as you try to make the connections. Wario’s Woods is definitely a soothing game even though it’s very difficult. You can always try again and again until you have it beat.

The amount of content here is also impressive. 99 distinct levels is more than even most modern games would supply. It’s impressive and you don’t really need any replay value other than that. There are some other modes here like a Vs. mode though so you’ve got options. I’m surprised Wario’s Woods never got a sequel or some kind of re-release. I feel like there would be a market for it and you can be sure that it would work quite well as a mobile title. Just look at Dr. Mario. That was one of Nintendo’s better mobile titles if you ask me.

Overall, Wario’s Woods is pretty fun. I appreciate the extra development time they clearly put into this. This is a game that has aged well. If you plan to play the game all the way to the end then definitely expect to stick with this one for quite a while. It’s just fun to play and the kind of game that you can plug in at any time. The fundamentals will come back to you pretty quickly but you will want to play it a lot to keep your speed up. The faster you match the objects the better in order to increase your score and make it up to the end.

Overall 6/10

6 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Balloon Fight Review


It’s time to look at another NES game I recently finished playing through. Balloon Fight is definitely a pretty popular one despite the main character not becoming playable in Super Smash Bros yet. Don’t worry, it’s only a matter of time until they fix that. In the meanwhile it’s fun to look back at how the franchise began. The game has aged quite well and does something almost no other NES game at the time had even thought to do….it has 2 modes. In almost all of my NES reviews I have to mention that there isn’t really anything to do in the way of replay value. Well, that’s not the case for this game. In Balloon Fight you’ve got the main mode and an endless score version.

So the main gameplay of Balloon Fight is that you have to try and pop the balloons carrying your enemies. Then you knock them out before they can grab more. The game is endless so you just see how many levels of this you can survive. Each level has around 4-8 enemies for you to beat. At first this is pretty easy as there are no obstacles or elements getting in your way. The game gradually gets harder though as eventually you have lightning bolts being fired at you and things of that nature. It’s a challenging but fun experience. Your main incentive will be to keep trying to beat your old score.

Then you’ve got the other gameplay mode where you’ve got an auto scrolling screen and a bunch of balloons floating around. Every few balloons you grab lowers your ranking. Your goal is to make it to Rank 1 and then you’ll have beaten the mode. It keeps on going endlessly if you want to keep getting more balloons but that is your main goal. It’s pretty fun and certainly different from the main mode so I like the diversity. You can tell that this game had a good amount of development time behind it. This is what I like to see.

The graphics are simple but effective. The enemies are colorful and the background is catchy. The music theme is also pretty iconic at this point. There’s not much else to say on a technical basis but it doesn’t disappoint. Between the two modes this game should last you close to an hour. There’s also a little replay value in trying to raise your high scores although I wouldn’t say that the replay value is too high either. It’s just right considering that this is a free title with the NES Online.

The controls are very smooth as well and I like how the physics are handled. You can’t just turn at the drop of a dime or anything like that. You do have to account for gravity and everything. If you tried going somewhere very quickly then you will not be able to stop as fast as you would have liked. Also, one fun thing about the game is that crossing the edge of the screen actually doesn’t result in you losing a life the way that it does in most games. That’s a fun little element that may seem pretty random, but I think it does serve to help make the game even more unique. It’s all pretty impressive if you ask me.

There’s not a whole lot more to say about this game in part because of how simplistic it is. The gameplay you’ll understand within seconds of playing it because moving and floating is really all you can do. You beat all of the enemies the same way after all. Sometimes it seems like the simplest games ended up being some of the most addicting ones. It’s the same principle behind a lot of current mobile games that hit it big. There’s just something fun about doing repetitive actions. You start to do them real automatic like and it works out quite well if you ask me.

Overall, Balloon Fight is definitely one of the better NES games. This is exactly why I played a bunch of the low budget type games first. I figured that the longer I kept putting off the big games the more satisfying it would be when I ultimately started playing them back to back at the end. Now all I’ve got are the really big games and the marathon works quite well. I’d definitely be up for a big budget sequel to this someday. I think that would really work well since there is a ton that you can do with the balloon setup. You could even throw a plot in as that’s not something you typically saw a whole lot of back in the classic days.

Overall 6/10