Posts Tagged ‘nintendo’

Greetings mortals, I am DracoJames102 and I am here to give you a review.

Super Mario Bros 3 Title Card

Now believe it or not, I didn’t get to play Super Mario Bros. 3 until a few years ago, but at its time it was said to be the best Mario game on the NES. Super Mario Bros. 3 came out in Japan in 1988 and need I say anything about The Wizard promoting the game to Western audiences. The game then came out in America in 1990 and Europe in 1991. Over twenty years have passed now so as a person who’s only started playing it a few years ago can I recommend it to the gamers of today?

Super_Mario_Bros._3_coverart

Story

The story is a little different than the usual Mario story. Bowser is back and his forces have taken over the castles in different lands. Princess Peach has sent Mario to stop Bowser’s forces and restore peace to each of the lands. However after doing that, Bowser kidnaps Peach while Mario was doing that (I don’t think I’m giving anything away when I say that) so you got to rescue her too.

Super-Mario-Bros.-3-story

Gameplay

Super Mario Bros. 3 goes back to the formula of the first game. You use the D-Pad to move, the A button to jump, hold the B button to run and the Start button pauses the game. The HUD contains your coin count, you life count and your P meter (hee hee) which shows you how fast you were running.

Super-Mario-Bros.-3-gameplay 1

The goal of the game is still the same as before only this game is the first to have the world map feature, where you can access the levels as well as the new item houses where you can get power ups to store for later and live houses where you can get extra lives. If you have a friend, you can play multiplayer mode where the second player controls Luigi and you take turns trying to complete the levels. You need to complete the levels in order to proceed but later on the game does give you a choice in multiple pathways where you can choose which levels you want to complete in order to move on. All of the levels don’t have checkpoints which can be a little annoying for some sections but all the levels are relatively short. I

Super-Mario-Bros.-3-map

Each world of Mario 3 has their unique theme. In fact Mario 3 was the first to introduce these themes before they became overused in the New Super Mario Bros. series. The first world is your basic grassy hill theme and then there’s the desert world with sinking sand sections, water world with oversized cheep cheeps (the scumbags), giant land where everything is giant, Sky land with all the bottomless pits, Iceland which can melt in hell, pipe land (I’m above the drug jokes) and fire land where you finally fight Bowser.

Super-Mario-Bros.-3-ice

Mario 3 not only brings back the classic mushroom, fire flower and invincible star but it also introduces a ton of awesome new power-ups. The most prominent is the super leaf which gives Mario raccoon ears and a tail that makes him fly (you figure out that one but it is useful for platforming sections). The new frog suit allows Mario to have better control swimming underwater but it sucks on land. The tanukee leaf is a rarer better version of the super leaf because pressing down allows Mario to turn into a statue that can crush enemies. One level has you use a big shoe which allows you to stomp on enemies and makes you immune to floor hazards such as spikes and nibbles. The best power-up however is the Hammer Bros. suit which allows you to throw hammers that can kill everything including Boos and Thwomps. It’s even rarer that the tanukee suit so try not to lose it.

Super-Mario-Bros.-3-powerup

Mario 3 introduced a ton of new enemies, such as Boos, Thwomps and Dry Bones, as well as brought back the original enemies from Mario 1. In fact it also introduced different varieties of old enemies such as fire spitting Piranha Plants, homing Bullet Bills and Bloopers that send their offspring after you. Many of these enemies you can find in the new fortress levels, which are like mini castle levels that are challenging but they come with the most pathetic mini boss in all of video games.

Super-Mario-Bros.-3-fortress

Each world ends ends with you invading one of Bowser’s airships which are probably the most dangerous levels in the game. They not only sport cannons and flame throwers there are also bottomless pits and they are all auto scrolling levels which is another concept that this game introduced. At the end of the airships you fight the new Koopalings, Larry, Iggy, Lemmy, Wendy O’Koopa, Morton Jr., Roy and Ludwig Von Koopa. All of them are pretty easy but Roy and Ludwig’s stomps can stun you and Wendy’s rings make her the most difficult to fight.

Super-Mario-Bros.-3-boss

Graphics

The 8-bit graphics still hold up today. The sprites are nicely detailed and it’s a lot more colourful than most of the games you can find on the NES.

Music

The music is pretty catchy and fun to listen to. They added more variety of music to the levels including the athletic theme and the fortress and airship themes really make the levels feel menacing (especially the airship theme).

Control

The control is certainly an improvement over the previous games. Although Mario is incredibly responsive to button inputs and his momentum is fine, his jump feels very floaty and his traction could be a little less slippery but there should never be a time where you are unfairly killed because of control.

Final thoughts

So after over 20 years, Super Mario Bros 3 is still a fun game to play. It introduced a lot of great ideas that will be used in future games, the level design is great and all of the power-ups are awesome. The only problem I think the game has is the difficulty level. It goes up and down like a roller coaster in various places instead of getting progressively challenging like a game should usually do. Despite that though, I still heavily recommend this game to anyone who is curious about it, but go for the virtual console versions as I wouldn’t recommend trying to beat it in one sitting (unless you know all of the game’s secrets such as the warp whistles).

Final rating: 8/10

This review is dedicated to my old college tutor

Simon Gibbs

Simon Gibbs

1963-2015

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Greetings mortals, I am DracoJames102 and welcome back to the Pokemon Marathon.

Pokemon Gen 2 Title Card

Pokemon Generation 1 was a massive success worldwide so naturally a sequel had to be made. Pokemon Gold and Silver were released in Europe for the Game Boy Colour in 2001 with Pokemon Crystal released a few months later. I was exited to play the games after seeing the new Pokemon in the first two Pokemon movies. So does this generation improve upon the first one and does it still hold up?

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Greetings mortals, I am DracoJames102 and I am here to give you a review.

Zelda A Link Between Worlds Title Card light

Last year, I reviewed ‘The Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past’ in celebration for the release of what was considered a sequel, ‘The Legend of Zelda A Link Between Worlds’ for the Nintendo 3DS. For the record, my handheld Zelda experience is pretty non-existent. I think I played Minish Cap on my friend’s Game Boy Advance, but that’s it. Considering the enjoyment I had with ‘Link to the Past’, I was really exited for this one. The game only came out last year and does it manage to expand upon what made ‘Link to the Past’ great and be a great game on it’s own? Well that’s what we’re here to find out so let’s get started.

A-Link-Between-Worlds-US-Box-Art

Story

Now even though this game is considered a sequel to ‘Link to the Past’, we are dealing with a different generation of Link, Zelda and Hyrule. Link was having a nightmare fighting a creature in the shadows when a kid named Gulley, who is the blacksmith’s son, wakes up Link to remind him that he is late for work. Link is ordered by the blacksmith to deliver a minty-fresh sword to the captain of Hyrule’s guard who left for the sanctuary. Upon reaching the sanctuary, Link sees a mysterious wizard by the name of Yuga transforming the daughter of the sanctuary’s sage into a painting. Yuga manages to knock Link unconscious and leaves to further his plans. Link wakes up in his house to find that he has been brought there by this rabbit creature named Ravio who tells Link that he must inform Princess Zelda about what happened and asks Link if he can stay at his house which Link begrudgingly agrees to. Link informs Zelda about what happened and Zelda suspects that Yuga is capturing the descendants of the seven sages who sealed the Triforce away to bring Ganon back to life. Zelda informs Link that he must gather the three pendants to acquire the Master Sword and stop Yuga once and for all.

link story

Overall I find the story more entertaining than ‘Link to the Past’s story. It may be pretty much the same, but the writing manages to make it more memorable and I like more of the characters because of it. In fact, I like how each character you meet along the way has their own identity with my personal favourite characters being Irene, the witch who gives you a lift around Hyrule, and the thief girl when you are traveling through the thieves’ guild. There is a little more to the story and I’ll explain more as we go along, but I’ll try not to spoil it too much for you.

Gameplay

This game has the same gameplay style as ‘Link to the Past’. You move Link around with the control stick and the D-Pad is used to move the camera so you can see what’s up ahead. The A button is used to pick up objects and interact with the NPCs, the B button lets you attack with your sword and the X and Y buttons let you use the items that you assign to them. The R button lets you block with your shield and the L button charges your pegasus boots when you get them. The start button pauses the game and the select button lets you see your items. The HUD contains your hearts meter, your rupee count and a purple bar that measures how energy you have to use items and abilities and will slowly refill if you are not using it. The touch screen contains your map of Hyrule and your item inventory where you can assign your items to the X and Y buttons.

link screen

Hyrule itself is structured almost exactly like it was in ‘Link to the Past’, so players of the SNES classic should be able to know where to go and where most of the secrets are. There are some new landmarks such as the mill in the lake and you can’t access the desert area straight away until you get to the later half of the game so it does manage to separate itself from ‘Link to the Past’s Hyrule a little bit. Your map of Hyrule is just as useful as it was in ‘Link to the Past’ and you can even mark some secrets you found with little pins so if you don’t have the means to get the secret at the moment, you can mark where it is so you can backtrack to get it later.

link secret

After one encounter with Yuga, Link acquires a special ability from the bracelet that Ravio gave him that allows him to merge into walls as a painting. This painting ability is used to proceed further into dungeons and find all sorts of secrets around Hyrule. It consumes energy though so watch your energy meter otherwise you’ll be kicked out of the wall.

link painting

Instead of finding the usual weapons in dungeons such as the bow, bombs and the fire and ice rods, you rent them from Ravio’s shop which he opened in your house. They only cost a small rental fee and you keep them until you die. These items are needed in order to access and proceed through the dungeons. Each of the weapons use up some of the energy bar so once again be careful. Later on you can buy these items so you can keep them permanently, but they cost a lot of rupees.

link shop

Along your travels, you will meet a witch named Irene who will give you a bell so you can ring it and she can give you a lift to a weather vane that you activated anywhere in Hyrule, so backtracking should never be too much of an issue. These weather vanes are also the only way you can save the game and there aren’t as many as you’d think so as soon as you see one touch it and save the game unless you like to put the 3DS in sleep mode so you can proceed another time.

link irene

After you collect the Master Sword, you chase Yuga into the world that he came from. This world is pretty much a dark version of Hyrule named Lorule (get it?). Here Yuga manages to use the seven sages’ power along with Zelda to resurrect  Ganon and fuse with him giving Yuga complete control over Ganon’s body. However Lorule’s princess, Hilda, manages to save in the nick of time from Yuga Ganon and tells you that you need to acquire the Triforce of Courage to match Yuga Ganon’s Triforce of Power by rescuing the seven sages that have been scattered all over Lorule. It is here where the game becomes very open-ended as you can now tackle any of the seven dungeons in any order that you choose with exception to the desert palace where you have to beat the thieves’ guild dungeon to get the sand rod in order to proceed to that dungeon. Unlike the dungeons in Hyrule, Lorule’s dungeons are where you really begin to upgrade yourself. Do you go to the water dungeon to get the blue mail to increase your defences? Do you tackle the ice dungeon to get an increase to your energy meter? Do you tackle the thieves’ guild and the dark dungeon to get two pieces of Master Ore to upgrade the Master Sword’s power? There is so much to consider and this design choice offers a ton of replay value.

zeldatitanmitt

With Lorule discovered, Hyrule has had small dimensional fissures open up in various parts. Exploring Lorule to get to the dungeons and discovering even more hidden secrets is all about finding the correct dimensional fissures with the painting ability. These secrets can range from heart pieces to a ton of rupees. In fact if you know where to look, you can obtain four digits of rupees in no time flat. Another secret you can find around Hyrule and Lorule are baby maiamai which only appear after encountering Mother Maiamai in a cave near Hyrule Lake. There are 100 babies to find and they can be found on walls, in trees and under boulders. Collecting 10 of them will allow you to upgrade your weapons that you bought from Ravio and collecting all 100 gives you a stronger spin attack for your sword.

link maiamai

Hyrule and Lorule also contain mini-games that grant you tons of rupees depending on how well you do. These games can range from a Cuco Ranch where you have to dodge all of the Cucos under a time limit to a Rupee Rush in both worlds where you have to get as many rupees as you can. Honestly the rupee rush mini-game sucks. you have an invisible time limit and you have to talk to the person running the mini-game in order to finish otherwise you lose all of the rupees you collect. You need to collect a certain amount of rupees in order to get a heart piece, but the timing to get it can be strict as heck. But even the rupee rush doesn’t come close to the worse mini-game, Lorule’s baseball game. You use the control stick to change the position of holding the baseball bat so you can hit the ball in a different direction. The control for this mini-game sucks because you have no idea how to hold the bat so you can hit the ball to certain items on the field to earn as many rupees as you can so you can earn a heart piece. At the very least, they should have included an aiming reticle so I can see where I would be hitting the ball.

link baseball

The 3DS streetpass feature allows you to play against other peoples’ Links who take the form of Shadow Link from Zelda 2. You can know where to find them by looking at the bounty signs in Kakariko Village. The objective of the game is to reduce the Shadow Link’s heart meter to zero and doing so will earn you a number of rupees depending on how strong the Shadow Link is. You don’t lose anything if you lose against them and you don’t lose any potions you consume during the battle.

link shadow

Graphics

This games’ aesthetics are pretty great. The colouring is beautiful without being an eyesore, the cartoony character models are structured pretty nicely and it resembles ‘A Link to the Past’ very well.

Music

The soundtrack is fantastic. Not only does this game bring back orchestral remixes of some familiar tunes from past Zelda games, but it comes with some pretty great original pieces. The musical pieces that play when you are exploring Lorule’s dungeon do a great job of giving each dungeon their own identity. This has to be my favourite soundtrack in the series so far.

Control

The control stick makes Link’s control feel a lot smoother than it did in ‘Link to the Past’, mostly due to the 60 frames per second. Link is also very responsive to button inputs so you should never be damaged unfairly.

Final thoughts

Overall, ‘A Link Between Worlds’ is not a good game…it is a great game. Not only does this game manage to maintain it’s own identity to seperate itself from ‘Link to the Past’, but it can be a great starting point for people who want to get into the Zelda franchise. There are some aspects that could have been handled better and the non-linear half of the game can make this game pretty easy. The only challenge you will get is by limiting yourself in terms of items and upgrades or by doing a play-through of Hero Mode which you unlock after beating the game. Yeah it’s not perfect, but this is a game worth adding to your 3DS collection.

Final rating: 9/10

Greetings mortals. I am DracoJames102 and I am here to give you a review.

For my first review on this blog, I am going to review the very first video game I ever played (well the Game Boy Colour port anyway), the original 8-bit Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros. was released for the Nintendo Entertainment System (N.E.S) in 1985 and is considered a classic in the video gaming industry. It is the second best selling video game of all time right next to Wii Sports. But is it as good as it was back then? Well we’re going to find out.

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