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.


June 2, 2010

Review – Super Mario Galaxy 2

Filed under: Reviews — Tags: , , , , , — Jamie Love @ 12:30 pm

Super Mario Galaxy 2
Anyone who really believes that Japanese game design has a declining role against the success of Western game development needs to dunk their head in a pool of water – specifically the floating pools of water suspended in the air, rotating between connections with other pools as Mario attempts to swim toward the next checkpoint. Somewhere along the way players will also be hitting switches that alter the directional force of gravity while trying to grab a star, and the significance of a rare second mainline Super Mario title during a single hardware cycle becomes as clear as those small floating cubes of water.

Within Mario’s Galaxy, anything can and will happen. And what’s truly surprising is the depth of logic at play while navigating the sea of sudden possibilities that shows the complete lack of inhibition proving one of Nintendo EAD’s greatest design strengths.

For some a building is a place where action takes place around or within. In Super Mario Galaxy 2, bricks break free of structures to create pathways toward star portals, launching players through the roof and into the sea of stars overhead.

Short on filler and stuffed plump with that type of energy, the results are often extraordinary.


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