8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Super Mario Maker 2 Review


It’s finally time to take a look at the new Mario Maker game. The first one I still have listed as one of the greatest Mario games of all time. Mario’s tackled many different genres and for the most part they have obvious #1 titles. The best 3D Mario is 64, the best Mario sports title is Strikers, the best racing game is Double Dash, and the best 2D is Super Mario World. The question is…where does Maker fit into all of this? It’s basically its own genre, but it can hold its own all the same. Ultimately I wouldn’t say it is quite as good as the first Maker, but it’s very close and is definitely a game with tons of replay value.

This time around we do have a real story mode, but only barely since there aren’t really any cutscenes. There isn’t much of a plot either but I am still glad that Nintendo at least made the attempt and gave us something. They definitely could have gone the lazy route and just not included it. We did get some quality levels as well and it is a good way to learn all the mechanics of the game. By the time you’re done with the story you’ll be ready to tackle the others modes. A new addition to the game is the ability to fight other players online. The 4 of you are thrown into a level and the first to clear it wins. If you die in the level then you’ll be taken back to the start or the checkpoint. These segments can be a bit laggy at times, but for the most part it works well.

There is also the classic course world from the previous games. You can play new and popular levels while honing your own skills. Try to grab some world records while you’re at it. You can sort through the levels a bunch of different ways or even look up specific levels from the course ID. There are endless levels to have fun with here so there’s no reason to stop playing. Unfortunately the star system is gone and in its place is a more simplified like/dislike button system. It doesn’t really let you see how the stage is doing quite as well, but that was a pretty minor part of the process anyway.

As this is Super Mario Maker a big chunk of your time will likely be spent on making levels as well. I mean, it varies I suppose, but I imagine that for most people this would have been the main reason to get the game right? There have been new items and enemies added so the sky is the limit on what you can make. The stage builder is incredibly detailed and there are almost too many options. You can’t even fit everything on one screen so to find more items you have to go through a settings window. It’s all pretty intuitive once you start though with two exceptions. You can’t draw on the screen with a pen so you have to do it by hand which is a little tricky. There also doesn’t seem to be a way to zoom out and that would be handy. I actually feel like making levels in Mario Maker 1 was a little easier, but maybe that’s just my memory playing tricks on me.

As of the time of this review I have completed two stages and am in the process of uploading a third. In this game you can only upload 32 stages instead of 100 like in the last one so you don’t want to use up all of your slots too soon anyway. I don’t think I would get over that amount anyway so 32 isn’t a bad limit for me, but it is a pretty disheartening change for the more experienced makers of the game. So, as you can see Maker added a lot of improvements, but also slid backwards a little bit. I think the main part that is disappointing is how they got rid of all the extra characters here. It was awesome getting to play as characters like Daisy and Mega Man. It was also fun to try and collect them all as it added a lot more end game content as opposed to simply going around and playing all of the levels. It gave the game more of a focus and it’s just a shame that it is gone.

Naturally the graphics are definitely pretty solid here. All of the styles look good and Nintendo never cuts corners in this area. The soundtrack is pretty limited, but the tunes all sound pretty good so that’s not really an issue. On a technical level this game is quite sound and the fact that you can spam your levels with a ton of objects is also impressive. You don’t run out of space in a level for a verrrrrry long time. That’s something that other stage builder games still have a lot of trouble with.

There’s definitely a lot of replay value to be found here. Really the game never quite has to end. I’ll have to put it back to sharing game time with other titles now that the story is over, but I’ll still be playing it a little every day for a while. It doesn’t quite have the full array of content that the first game had to keep you going, but so long as you like the classic Mario gameplay then there’s no reason to stop playing. Also there are little medals and achievements built into the game this time around so that’s something to focus on. I imagine that getting all of the medals will take a very long time.

Overall, Super Mario Maker 2 is definitely one of the definitive Mario games. It’s the kind of title that can last you throughout the whole life of the Switch. You’ll be able to just keep playing it over and over again. At this point Nintendo can’t really release another big 2D Mario game since there isn’t much of a point when you can make all of the levels here. That means they’ll need to either come up with a cinematic story or stick to the 3D Mario games. Either way the mascot is in good hands right now as he isn’t leaving the limelight anytime soon. I wonder what this game will do for paid DLC. Maybe they’ll add a new style or more objects for maker mode.

Overall 8/10

Game Records

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Stats and Records

Stats time!

90% of Areas complete
15% Chests Opened
0% Zombie icons
850 Skill Orbs found
2/28 Artwork
8/40 Music
5/48 3D Models
8/22 Tarots

7 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Review


It’s time to look at one of the new Christmas games! I’ve always been a really huge fan of Mario Power Tennis for Gamecube and in many ways it was incredibly ahead of its time. The gameplay was exceptional and there was a good array of characters to choose from. There were many modes and the replay value was off the charts. Since then the series has struggled and unfortunately Ultra Tennis does nothing to escape from this. It ends up being a vastly inferior version of Power Tennis.

Right from the start you will realize that something is off as there is no Tournament Mode. You really only have 3 options here. Vs battles with the CPU, Mega Rally, and Online battles. There are some nuances here like Simple Tennis, Standard Tennis, Mega, etc. These are just different versions of the battles though. Gone are the minigames and such. You’ll just be playing a lot of Tennis so get ready.

This game really tries to get you to play around with the new Mega options. So much so in fact that this is the default Tennis game and is used in the survival mode rumble. Get ready for this to extend every match as it is hard to lose when you are big. The only real way to stop the computers is to also turn huge and at that point it’s just a lot of back and forth. I can tell you now that I am not a fan of this mechanic. It’s a very forced gimmick. I don’t mind having it as an option, but certainly not as the default. You just can’t get around it for most of the game.

The actual gameplay aside from that is unfortunately a step down from the last game as well. You now have a bunch of different shots that you can use based on the color of the circle next to the ball. I guess this is a way to let newer players know when the proper time is to use each one. The main problem with this is that it makes the game easier and makes those shots more effective. You’re now letting the game tell you what to do. Power Tennis had it perfect so why change the setup? Nintendo really went overboard with all of the extra gimmicks during this era. I would say that the new Mario Tennis for Switch could fix it, but I played a bit of that one and it seems like a step below Ultra so that’s worrisome.

Again, if you want to have fun you should go to the Simple Tennis mode. That one plays the most similar to Power Tennis and is just a far more rewarding experience. The matches are quicker without the turning huge part and it just feels a lot more natural. Still, if you like the new additions then you’ll be able to experience that everywhere else. Not for very long though as the game is quite short.

So I mentioned that there is no tournament mode so why are you playing anyway? Well, there are 25 achievements in the game. All of them are meant to grind the experience even further. You have to beat 15 opponents in a row with a bunch of different characters to get their Star form. You also have to play 10 games of each mode, get to 100 in the Rally mode, and make it to round 40 in survival. They’re mostly fairly easy or at least achievable with time, but you can tell that they just take a really long time to do. That’s easily well over 100 games if you want to do them all. Fortunately you can buy the achievements with money that you earn from the matches. It still takes a long time and I lost count of how many matches I completed, but buying them all is definitely the best way to go about it. I finished the game with 3 hours and 39 minutes of play time so it is considerably short. That is 100% of the single player content done. At that point all there is to do is online and local multiplayer. A good multiplayer game can last with just that, but this isn’t exactly Super Smash and there is virtually no reason to play it if you still have Power Tennis. As a result, I have to give this game the thumbs down there.

Still, to give it a bad score just because it isn’t as good as a previous installment just isn’t enough of a justification for me. If Power Tennis did not exist then this game would probably be more fun. I’ll acknowledge that the game could and should have been a lot better, but at its core it is a reasonable tennis game. The gameplay is still fairly entertaining and you’ll be able to play it for a few hours at least. The price isn’t that bad nowadays either. I recommend playing the Mega Ball rally a bit just because it’s at least a slightly different way to play here. It’s the only minigame that survived but what wrecks this one as well is the fact that you can lose if you beat your opponent. You have to keep the ball going back and forth so if you or the CPU loses then it’s all over.

Then there are the graphics which are quite good. The game still does look very modern. The colors are vibrant and the character designs are on point. That’s certainly what I like to see in a big Nintendo game. I’ll also give the soundtrack a thumbs up even if it isn’t the most original one out there. It sounds nice while you’re playing and that’s the important part. Even if the replay value isn’t high, the technicals are on point. It’ll be a fun game for a while even if the time is limited.

Overall, Mario Ultra Tennis is not the game changer that you would hope it could be, but it’s not a bad title. I do think the developers spent a reasonable amount of time with it. They just tried to be too inventive with the controls. It’s a Tennis game, they really don’t need to be doing anything too fancy with it. Just nail the fundamentals and the rest would come into place just fine. If you haven’t played the other Tennis games then this is a reasonable pick. If you still have a Gamecube/Wii though then I would recommend picking up Power Tennis instead. Trust me, I’ve put in over 100 hours on that game and it is legendary. You would not be disappointed in the slightest.

Overall 7/10

Game Records

NES Remix Pack Stats and Records

Stats time!

Play Time 12h 44m

Remix 1

Stars 429/591
B Points 37949
Stamps 78/100

Remix 2

Stars 359/477
B Points 39181
Stamps 83/100

Game Stats

Remix 1:

“Remix 1” 58/75 Stars
Stage 1 2/3
Stage 2 2/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 1/3
Stage 8 2/3
Stage 9 2/3
Stage 10 3/3
Stage 11 2/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 3/3
Stage 14 2/3
Stage 15 2/3
Stage 16 1/3
Stage 17 2/3
Stage 18 3/3
Stage 19 3/3
Stage 20 3/3
Stage 21 3/3
Stage 22 2/3
Stage 23 3/3
Stage 24 2/3
Stage 25 1/3

Remix 2 49/75 Stars
Stage 1 1/2
Stage 2 2/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 1/3
Stage 8 2/3
Stage 9 2/3
Stage 10 3/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 2/3
Stage 13 1/3
Stage 14 2/3
Stage 15 3/3
Stage 16 –
Stage 17 1/3
Stage 18 3/3
Stage 19 1/3
Stage 20 3/3
Stage 21 2/3
Stage 22 1/3
Stage 23 3/3
Stage 24 2/3
Stage 25 1/3

Bonus 18/75
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 –
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 –
Stage 5 –
Stage 6 –
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 –
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 –
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 –
Stage 14-
Stage 15-
Stage 16-
Stage 17-
Stage 18-
Stage 19-
Stage 20-
Stage 21-
Stage 22-
Stage 23-
Stage 24-
Stage 25 –

Donkey Kong 20/21
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3

Donkey Kong Jr 17/21
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 1/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3

Mario Bros 22/30
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 1/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 1/3
Stage 8 1/3
Stage 9 1/3
Stage 10 3/3

Pinball 18/18
Perfect

Golf 7/21
Stage 1 1/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 –
Stage 5 –
Stage 6 –
Stage 7 –

Clu Clu Land 20/24
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 1/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 1/3

Excitebike 22/30
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 1/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 –
Stage 10 3/3

Balloon Fight 37/39
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 2/3
Stage 10 3/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 2/3

Ice Climbers 27/30
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 2/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 1/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 3/3

Wrecking Crew 27/33
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 1/3
Stage 10 2/3
Stage 11 2/3

Super Mario Bros 52/69
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 1/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 1/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 2/3
Stage 11 1/3
Stage 12 1/3
Stage 13 3/3
Stage 14 3/3
Stage 15 2/3
Stage 16 3/3
Stage 17 2/3
Stage 18 3/3
Stage 19 1/3
Stage 20 1/3
Stage 21 2/3
Stage 22 3/3
Stage 23 3/3

Legend of Zelda 35/51
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 2/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 1/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 2/3
Stage 10 2/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 2/3
Stage 13 2/3
Stage 14 3/3
Stage 15 –
Stage 16 –
Stage 17 –

Remix 2 Best Championship Score 0199980

Remix 2 Game Stats

Remix 1 49/60
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 2/3
Stage 3 2/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 2/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 2/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 1/3
Stage 11 2/3
Stage 12 2/3
Stage 13 3/3
Stage 14 3/3
Stage 15 3/3
Stage 16 3/3
Stage 17 3/3
Stage 18 –
Stage 19 3/3
Stage 20 3/3

Remix 2 46/60
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 2/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 –
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 2/3
Stage 10 1/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 2/3
Stage 14 3/3
Stage 15 3/3
Stage 16 2/3
Stage 17 –
Stage 18 3/3
Stage 19 3/3
Stage 20 1/3

Bonus 29/60
Stage 1 2/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 –
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 3/3
Stage 11 2/3
Stage 12 –
Stage 13 3/3
Stage 14 –
Stage 15 –
Stage 16 –
Stage 17 –
Stage 18 –
Stage 19 –
Stage 20 –

Mario Bros Lost Levels 10/21
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 1/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 1/3
Stage 5 1/3
Stage 6 2/3
Stage 7 1/3

Metroid 32/36
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 2/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 2/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 2/3

Kid Icarus 18/24
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 2/3
Stage 5 1/3
Stage 6 2/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 3/3

Adventure of Link 26/30
Stage 1 2/3
Stage 2 2/3
Stage 3 2/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 3/3
Stage 8 2/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 3/3

Punchout 18/21

Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 2/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 2/3
Stage 7 2/3

Mario Bros 3 42/48
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 2/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 1/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 3/3
Stage 14 3/3
Stage 15 1/3
Stage 16 3/3

Dr Mario 13/18
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 –
Stage 4 2/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 3/3

Super Mario Bros 2 32/36
Stage 1 2/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 3/3
Stage 5 3/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 3/3
Stage 11 1/3
Stage 12 3/3

Kirby’s Adventure 31/39
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 1/3
Stage 4 1/3
Stage 5 1/3
Stage 6 3/3
Stage 7 2/3
Stage 8 3/3
Stage 9 3/3
Stage 10 2/3
Stage 11 3/3
Stage 12 3/3
Stage 13 3/3

Wario’s Woods 13/24
Stage 1 3/3
Stage 2 3/3
Stage 3 3/3
Stage 4 2/3
Stage 5 2/3
Stage 6 –
Stage 7 –
Stage 8 –

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

NES Remix Pack Review


It’s time to look at an interesting video game collection known as the NES Remix Pack. It brings both NES Remix 1 and 2 which is a pretty good deal since both of those titles had quite a lot of content in it. The price isn’t bad for the collection as I got it for 20-30 as well and it’s roughly triple the length of Sonic Forces. It’s definitely fun to see them mashup the games in Remix mode or even the mini challenges from the classic games. It’ll really test your knowledge of the older Nintendo titles.

The main mode is pretty self explanatory in these games. You’ll start off with a few options like Mario Bros, Donkey Kong, and Mario 2 for example. Each of these games will have 7-20 levels depending on which game it is. You try to beat each level where your result will range from 1-3 stars. The more stars you get, the more games you unlock. The main mode in each game is known as Remix and there are around 45-50 of these levels in each Remix. (1 and 2) Once you complete those you will have completed the game but you can keep on playing to clear the bonus world and any leftover game levels that you haven’t beaten yet. Obtain enough points and you will also get all of the stickers in each game which will really prove that you have come far. The simplicity of the game’s menu is certainly something to take note of as it makes navigating through the games rather enjoyable. More games should strive for a similar menu.

An average challenge will range from 7 seconds to around 1 minute. You may find an occasional challenge that is around 2 minutes or so, but I can’t stress enough just how rare these are. The average challenge is around 20 seconds I’d say. For example, “Grab 8 coins in a Mario level” may be a challenge. Some challenges have multiple phases and if you get a game over during it you can continue but the price is that you will only get 1 star for your efforts. The game is rather lenient on stars so you can unlock the final level even if you lose during a bunch of the stages but naturally your goal will be to grab as many of them as possible.

Of course with so many games not all of them will be a hit. From the first game the weak links were Golf and Donkey Kong Jr. I just never liked Golf in any video game format as it always seems to really be luck based. I know there is skill involved here and I just need to learn the mechanics, but it’s just no fun. Donkey Kong Jr. is just a little slow for me and I can see why it never became much of a hit. On the other side of the equation I thought that Excitebike was even more fun than I expected it to be and Clu Clu Land was really unique. I definitely enjoyed that one quite a bit. The only challenge in the first game that was quite grating was the Donkey Kong level where you played as Link. I must have died 100 times there before I finally found an opening. There must be a trick that I don’t know about for that one.

In the second game, Wario’s Woods was the game that I couldn’t get behind. The controls were a little convoluted for my liking and the levels did tend to drag on quite a bit. It was like playing a really twisted version of Dr. Mario and I don’t really know what Nintendo was thinking on this one. All I can say is that I’m not surprised how the game isn’t very well known. I don’t see how it would catch on. The other game would be NES Golf, but I don’t believe I actually got enough stars to unlock that one. I’ll probably have it unlocked by the time I have my Stats page up, but I certainly won’t play it much.

Meanwhile it was cool to have Metroid included this time around and Link II was also pretty interesting. It’s a shame that it didn’t do well since a 2D Link series would have been fun to compete with the others. It was rather rough around the edges of course, but they could have ironed that out with sequels. It’s like how the original Mario games were a little slippery, but they’re a lot easier to handle in the modern day.

It’s important to clarify that the good games outnumbered the annoying ones quite easily. Also from the games that I didn’t care for, only the Golf games were truly bad. Donkey Kong Jr and Wario’s Woods may not have been my style, but it’s not like I actively disliked playing them. There is enough content here for everyone as even if you don’t like a game you can have fun with the rest.

As I mentioned, the length of the game is pretty good. The first Remix took around 6-7 hours and the sequel was only a little shorter than that. Couple those two together and you have a reasonably long title. Then there is quite a lot of replay value here as getting 3 stars on every level will take a lot of practice and you will likely get all of the stickers on the way to accomplishing this feat. I do think it would have been cool if there was some kind of two player mode though. I think that’s the only thing that this game is lacking. Competing in these challenges would be an absolute blast and would certainly increase the replay value of the title. Still, as a single player experience it is not lacking. There is also the Super Luigi Bros where you see how far you can get in the Super Mario game while backwards and the Championship Mode where you are given 3 random tasks and have to see how well you complete them. They won’t keep you for very long, but each bit helps.

Naturally the graphics are kept true to the original game counterparts so this isn’t exactly Madden. The main menu looks fairly crisp though which will remind you that this is a modern title. The games all look pretty good as well. The soundtrack is quite solid as well since the individual game themes have always held up well against the test of time. Then the remix levels add a little extra pop by distorting the stages and zooming in on the map. I loved the gimmicks they would add here to make the games a little more unique. One Mario level for example had a bright blue background which is a cool “What If” scenario. I think that would make a good idea for a future Mario level even if it’s just for a level or two.

Overall, NES Remix Pack is a great homage/tribute to longtime Nintendo fans. It’s a great way to experience their older titles in a convenient minigame format. It’s the perfect kind of game for on the go or to play here and there. The challenges are fun and exciting without being tedious. This is where the short duration comes in handy as even if you die a bunch of times it is not as if you have lost a bunch of time. It never feels like a waste either since most of the challenges revolve around skill instead of RnG so you know that with enough practice you’ll get it. It’s also not too difficult so it’s fine for kids as well as they may have some trouble but will be able to crack the level eventually. There was certainly a lot of heart and effort put into this game to really make it a finished product.

Overall 8/10

8 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Mario vs Donkey Kong Review


After many years, I have finally been able to play the legendary Mario vs DK game. I actually always thought that it was in the same style as the original Donkey Kong and was surprised to see whole levels and puzzles in this one. The final boss is the only level that is just like the old game. It was cool to see such variety though and it’s a pretty fun game. There is also quite a bit of bonus content to be found here as well. I have one issue with how you obtain stars in this game, but beyond that it’s a solid experience.

The plot is that DK has decided to steal all of the toys for himself. Mario doesn’t take too kindly to this and calls DK a big monkey as an insult several times. Seeing as how this doesn’t work, Mario decides to beat DK down until the monkey finally gives in. Will DK let go of his toys or will Mario have to hit him with a clean uppercut? Only time will tell. Meanwhile, the Mario toys are fairly advanced and seem to have some rudimentary A.I. going for them.

There are 6 main worlds to the game and each one has 8 levels. This makes for a decently long campaign. It should take you a few hours to complete the game in total and add a few depending on how difficult the puzzles can get. There is an extensive amount of replay value to be found as well since beating the game unlocks 6 Plus worlds. After this you unlock the X levels. Once you complete those, then you can face the true final boss and unlock the ultimately true ending. I believe you need to get all of the Stars to make it this far so that should really take a while. The game has an unbelievable amount of bonus content in it so you’ll b getting your moneys worth.

Now, I originally thought that to get a star for a level you just had to complete it while holding onto the three bags in the level. It turns out that you actually have to beat the level’s high score to do it which is a little annoying. It’s hard to know how to do such a thing so repetition is your best bet. Just keep playing until you can really ace the level. It’s a little harder than I’d like and I still think grabbing the bags will be enough. It does help raise the difficulty once again though.

The graphics are pretty solid for the GBA. It’s certainly a AAA title as the competitors wouldn’t really be able to match this. It’s that golden era in Nintendo where all of the character models are right. There was only one boss level where I couldn’t even see the ladder so I died a few times. It was more of an optical illusion than an issue with the graphics though. As you’d expect from a Mario game, the soundtrack is quite solid. I particularly like the Fire Mountain themes, but the game has a good variety to it. Most of the level themes are quite good and it certainly amplifies the quality of the game. You’re able to play the level over and over again because you have good beats to listen too. It helps that the loading times here are great so you never have to wait for long.

Even the story felt like it had more effort to it than you’d expect. Mario talks quite a bit here, certainly more than I expected. He may be a bit meaner than usual as he calls DK a big monkey at times, but this is the plumber who calls you stinky in Mario Party. It’s easy to forget that Mario wasn’t always the very chipper guy that he is today. Even the Mini Marios rub the loss in DK’s face as they laugh at him quite a bit. You end up almost feeling bad for the monkey by the end. He certainly didn’t ask for this. Of course, DK is a robber so he ultimately did bring this upon himself. You gotta just live with the consequences. I only got the first ending, but at least it gives DK a fighting chance as he grabs more toys and runs. Mario’s going to need to hire more security even if it hurts the whole budget cuts angle.

The gameplay is sort of like a 2D Mario adventure, but you’re stuck in a limited space. There are two acts to each level. The first act has you hit a bunch of switches and get past obstacles to bring a key over to the door. In the second act you just need to get to the Mini Mario. The gameplay is actually quite spread out and diverse. You have an array of many different jumps to use. I personally liked spamming the dash dance jump as it would give you a lot of height and you could cheese many levels with this. I’m sure that the developers really thought the level designs through but with this many different options it makes sense that you would be able to cheese parts of it. They just can’t expect to cover for every contingency.

There are also the Mini Mario levels. There is one of them in every world and they’re a nice change of pace. The little guys get lost rather easily so you have to make sure not to go too fast or you’ll leave them behind. I enjoyed the levels in this format that I played and while the main ones were certainly more fun, it’s always satisfying to lead the little guys to the goal. The Mini Marios have heart.

It’s relatively simple gameplay which is likely what makes it so fun. It’s only half brain teaser while the other half of the puzzle is having the ability to physically get through the obstacles. It’s a great blend and a lot of fun to play. The game does a good job of bringing in many different enemies and obstacles so that the levels don’t feel the same. It would have been nice to have seen classic characters like Luigi and Peach, but I suppose even Mario has to work alone sometimes. It’s probably nostalgic for him to be the lone hero like in the original Donkey Kong game.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this title. It’s easy to see why it became so popular. The game’s just a lot of fun and it even has some cutscenes. It’s pretty impressive since the game is so old. The graphics and soundtrack are both on point as well as the level designs. There is a lot of replay value here and my only complaint is that getting the stars in the levels to unlock the final bonus ones is maybe a little too tedious. I’d like to have a clear metric so I know exactly what I have to do in order to clear the level. That seems a little more fair if you ask me. Maybe they’ll implement that in the sequel. I’ll certainly buy that one although it could be a little while until I do. In the mean time, buy this one and let me know what you thought of it.

Overall 8/10

5 Star Games, Game Reviews, Games, Reviews

Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels (VC) Review


It’s time for a really retro Mario game! I typically don’t use the virtual console all that much since I’m a physical game collector, but when a title has no alternative then it’s time to take the plunge. I got this one on the Wii U Eshop and it works pretty well. One advantage that this digital copy has is the ability to save at any point in the game. I can’t really imagine completing this game otherwise since I died over and over again many times. That’s because of the controls though so more on that in a bit.

It’s a classic retro Mario game from start to finish. There are 8 worlds with 4 levels each. There’s also a 9th world if you really want to test your mettle, but you get to see the ending after World 8. Each level is fairly short so you could easily complete the game in a few hours if you don’t die all that much. Of course, not dying is far easier said than done in this game. I’m not sure if it’s just this version or not, but as I mentioned earlier, the controls are terrible. I’m talking Ninjabread Man levels of bad which is actually crazy. You just don’t expect something like this from Nintendo and it makes you wonder if the Emulator guys were able to make the controls smoother..not that I’d try it tho!

The VC is a nice re-release of the original Lost Levels as the graphics are as old as you can get. It feels nice and retro to look at the sprites. The soundtrack isn’t quite as inspiring as usual, but it’s not bad either. It’s pretty good for its time on the technical merits. The level designs are also on point and I like the game’s attempt to make a snow level by making the background white. I can definitely roll with that and it’s something that I’d do in one of my sprite videos as well. Whatever works right? I really need to make another sprite video….one of these days.

There really isn’t any replay value to be found here aside from playing the levels. Usually that would be enough, but Mario Maker basically invalidates this game. You can just replay the levels over there, but with superior controls and graphics. It’s fun enough and still worth the money since the game is pretty cheap, but you probably won’t be coming back to this one. I’m also not sure what happens if you get a Game Over. I didn’t risk it so I kept saving before I would lose, but if you go back to the beginning then that would be pretty tragic. I was under the impression that this was the case, but I don’t remember actually reading about it so it could just be an incorrect assumption on my part.

I heard that you’re better off playing Luigi in this game and I can see why. Jumping a little higher would definitely be useful a lot of the time although the controls getting even more slippery doesn’t sound like my idea of a fun time. To elaborate on the iffy controls, it’s like the game added a gravity mechanic. You have to time your jump at just the right point so that you can cover a good amount of distance. Too short and Mario will barely turn and if you’re too far then he’ll float too far and you’ll die. It’s just really hard to take everything into account and a simple jump can take up to 10 tries or maybe even more. It gets a little tedious after a while. Luckily, the actual gameplay style is something that I’m still a fan of so it’s not as bad as it could have been. Without the instant saves on the VC version, it’s safe to say that this game actually would have gotten a negative score.

That’s due in part to the fact that the game doesn’t play fair. There are a lot of Mario Maker tricks included here like invisible blocks right before a jump and poison mushrooms that will destroy you if you make contact. Blind jumps are also around and it really does feel like Mario Maker users borrowed from this game. I never expected to actually see this stuff in a real Mario game. It can be a little funny here since I just restart, but imagine starting the level all over again because of it? There are also never ending mazes that don’t end unless you complete a level in exactly the right way. A little ping sound will let you know if you’re doing it right, but the VC version seems to have cut that out.

As such, it would be just about impossible to have beaten the level without knowing the trick. There are so many paths and trying them all would drive you crazy. I don’t see why a maze should be added to the game either. It just feels cheesy and almost like cheating. The level is literally changing depending on where you go and that just doesn’t feel right. There are only two levels like this, but the fact that they pop up out of nowhere makes it just that much trickier.

Overall, I forgot the exact origins of this game, but I think America skipped it for a while. I can safely say that we made the right move in that case. This is easily the worst Mario 2-D sidescroller out there. The levels aren’t really fair and the controls are just painfully bad. I died well over 100 times during the course of the game but I feel like I would have only died maybe 10% of those times if the controls were smoother. If you’re a huge Mario fan then it’s probably worth buying this one. You should see the one time that Nintendo messed up the classic formula. Still, I can’t call it a bad game. It has a reasonable amount of levels and playing the game is still fun. Once I started, I couldn’t stop until I had completely taken it down. It still has that addictive feel to it, but with only a fraction of the usual Mario fun. Soon I’ll be playing Metroid on the Virtual Console as well so we’ll see how that one fairs. The controls are certainly better which is already a nice improvement.

Overall 5/10