November 17, 2012

Review – New Super Mario Bros. U

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 6:08 pm

Review New Super Mario Bros U
From the Acorn Plains to the Rocky-Candy Mines, the road to Princess Peach’s castle is littered with tiny details, signs of attention that haven’t graced the Mushroom Kingdom since the last time a 2D Super Mario Bros. game launched alongside a new Nintendo console – for those keeping score at home, I’m of course referring to Super Mario World, which released with the Super Nintendo back in 1990.

Nintendo still assigns numbers to the myriad of stages within each zone, but also includes subtitles for each, lending some insight into the hurdles Mario and company face, but more importantly, adding a bit more personality to the endeavor – from Porcupuffer Falls to Which-Way Labyrinth, with a stopover at Walking Piranha Plants!

The name game here is one very small example of an enthusiasm that has somehow been renewed despite Mario’s burden of supporting two consoles simultaneously. When you add up the layers of attention spread throughout this curious new world, it’s easy to suggest that the plump plumber is embarking on his most energetic 2D adventure since the 1990 classic that lends overdue inspiration here.

And yet, the greatest accomplishment may be that the game also showcases Nintendo’s new hardware with less gimmick and more of an invitation to play with company, while not inhibiting the option to play solo.


December 14, 2009

New Super Mario Bros. Wii – The Jerk Factor

Filed under: Editorial Rants — Tags: , , , , — Jamie Love @ 9:18 am

The Jerk Factor

Like most fragile and mentally fragmented individuals, I’ve developed a few strange rules to regulate my life and make for interesting conversations over the years. I don’t eat seafood because fish have sex in the water, I buy fattening treats and leave them unopened to bother others, and I refuse to play a Super Mario Bros. game when fellow gamers are in the same area.

That last point should be a golden rule of thumb, because if you’ve grown up playing from the earliest block busting beginnings through to the Yoshi riding bliss, you are a Mario expert. It doesn’t matter if you agree with that generalization or not. The truth is that there may be no other series as personal to those that grew up playing it as side-scrolling Mario titles. As a result, turning any of these games on while surrounded by other gamers is inviting backseat gaming and controller grabbing as everyone in the room feels more capable than whoever is in control.

This touches on the frustration of the series throughout my childhood, the dreaded two-player option that forced me to watch someone else play while my fingers itched for a turn and I tried to not act excited when the other player died.


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