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    Sep 13th, 2009 at 21:55:29     -    Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

    MUSIC---===

    This game is probably the most memorable of all Mario games in terms of the music. It brought the world the beloved underground “Duga-Duga-Duga… Duga-Duga-Duga” theme. The popularity of this one song can be seen throughout the world, as people use it for backgrounds for various videos, and occasionally even attempt the song on their own instruments on YouTube. The game’s music also set a standard along with Zelda at the time for longest composed midis for video games, particularly on the SNES. The game also provides the player with loveable and memorable songs such as the initial music played in World 1.

    The music of each stage and each world aids the player by seemingly personifying the mood that the stage generates. In the earlier worlds, which could serve as an introduction, the game plays relaxing melodies composed of softer sounding beats. Boss stages seem to contrast this with sharper, quieter melodies which are interrupted by startling breaks and hits which simulate the fear Mario must possess in traversing a dark castle.

    MULTIPLAYER---===

    The game, like nearly all Mario games before it supports Multiplayer capabilities. Firstly, two players can compete by taking turns during the main story of the game. This is an easier way for a single player to have extra attempts to complete the game by himself, as both players are granted 5 lives, giving a single player a total of ten if he decides to solely control Mario and Luigi.

    The game also reintroduces a versus mode created in the original Super Mario Bros. Here, Mario and Luigi battle it out in a sewer to obtain coins, and kill the other player be hitting them with downed sewer enemies. The victor of this game is completely determined by skill, as the different characteristics between Mario and Luigi which were presented in Super Mario Bros. 2 have been erased.

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    Sep 13th, 2009 at 21:50:57     -    Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

    Super Mario Bros. 3
    Super Nintendo Entertainment System

    SUMMARY---===

    How and where could one possibly start with one of the best installments in the Mario Franchise? Could it be the vast amount of power ups offered? Or could it be the return to a similar style of play as Super Mario Bros. 1? Regardless, this game will be revered in my eyes as one of the best games of all time, and one of the best games of my childhood.

    The Super Nintendo reigned when I was about 6 or 7 years old, and I ensured that I played it well into the days of the Sega Genesis, but I was almost required to release it upon obtaining a Playstation. The Super Nintendo harbored several good games, most of them reputably being from the Mario franchise. Super Mario Bros. 3, from the Super Mario All-Stars cartridge was a good example of the great engineering for the Super Nintendo at the time. It’s revised form for the Super Nintendo seems considerably better than the version originally released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, despite slight graphical and audio upgrades. Nonetheless, I will stop my incessant praising and will proceed to the evaluation.

    GAME PLAY---===

    The game returns to the style of the older Super Mario game, and strayed away from the more “relaxed” style of Super Mario Bros. 2. This game introduces the concept of maps, in which playable levels are located. This gives the player the opportunity to occasionally decide between which levels they want to play. Who doesn’t love the opportunity to choose between a high-jumping cliff bouncing stage, or the symbolic underground stage which left us all with a catchy and easily recognized tune? The stages themselves seem to all possess a different theme as well, despite most being in a world with a pre-established theme. It is clear to say that no two stages will play the same. The designers clearly took the most varied of their ideas to place into the game world. For example, when the player arrives in the desert world, they will face different challenges such as navigating through an above ground pipe maze, and eventually racing the sun to the finish!

    The game also introduces several powerups such as the token feather, which grants Mario the ability to fly (and the still unexplained raccoon tail), and a frog suit that makes the underwater portions of the game considerably easier to navigate through. These items are offered so frequently, that it is common for players to choose to lpay the game with their preferred style.

    Some of the purpose for the creation of these items is obviously the tons of shortcuts placed in this game. There are several opportunities which generally utilize the powerups which grant a player special items, such as the flute, which possess great abilities. The flute, which grants the player the ability to choose which world to play, can only be accessed in certain locations, and by fulfilling conditions which players generally would not do regularly. For example, the first flute to be obtained in World 1 can be accessed by going into the last layer of the game screen, by crouching on a gray block for about 5 seconds, then flying up and behind the ending screen, and dropping. Normally, people don’t randomly crouch on blocks, and thus would be exempt from obtaining this coveted item. This seems to indicate that the game seems to promote intuitive or abnormally adventurous play. The game is filled with areas that are accessible only through flight, or placed in locations outside of the normally assumed places. This encourages a player to play differently on their second or third attempt to discover all the secrets of the game!

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    Aug 24th, 2009 at 22:34:57     -    Mario Kart (Wii)

    Again, I’ll reiterate the simplistic fun of playing this game. The theme is so simple, but yet various effects add to the simplicity that is presented to make the game even more fun. I believe that Mario Kart is fun overall and will continue on as long as the progression from each game in the series comes with subtle, but powerful improvements.

    GRAPHICS---===


    Generally, it is unfair to criticize the graphics of the Wii… But in comparison to the well-rendered cel-shading of games such as MadWorld, Mario Kart Wii could stand for improvement. However, it is understandable that the bikes don’t have chrome-plated mufflers considering the amount of detail on the race tracks. Maple Treeway seems to have an unquantifiable amount of leaves scattered throughout the course.


    ENGINE---===

    The game runs very smoothly as well, considering that the machine is required to keep the location of 12 high speed vehicles, and the random items they can obtain. But again, with games which literally keep track of thousands of items rolled onto a giant Katamari, it is rather unimpressive. The one thing that could be said in defense of them not incoroporating airplanes or other vehicles (a la Diddy Kong Racing N64) is because the system does not particularly require it. It accomplishes the goals of having lots of vehicles, and being able to race well with those vehicles.


    MUSIC---===

    Generally, music is an extremely important factor of games to me. If the music is too dark and brooding, I may approach the game with a more melancholy attitude, opposed to a light and bouncy atmosphere caused by happier music. Mario Kart Wii's music is nice, but it is practically overlooked. As I am typing, I am struggling to remember any memorable piece of music. The only sound that I can particularly remember is the startup sound of the stop light, signalling me to begin and obtain a victory. Perhaps the lack of memorability comes from the concentration on the race. That's what I'd attribute it too.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Aug 24th, 2009 at 22:40:42.

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    Aug 23rd, 2009 at 23:05:40     -    Mario Kart (Wii)

    Mario Kart Wii
    Nintendo Wii

    SUMMARY---===


    A beautiful addition to the (thankfully) never-ending Mario racing franchise! Mario Kart Wii delivers as expected a beautiful array of new stages, as well as reviving some older favorites from the N64, NDS, and even the SNES! A large assortment of cars and the inclusion of motorcycles adds for an even greater choice of driving! Along with the largest amount of vehicles and stages in selection in the franchise's history, there are characters that span the entire Mario universe! Racing with your friends is even more fun, as competitions to prove who is the "better" character, and who drives the "better" bike are guaranteed to ensue! Overall a wonderfully balanced (with the exception of the Red and Blue Turtle Shells) game, which truly allows any player to race like those in the Indy 500.


    GAMEPLAY---===


    Since I am actually acquainted with the Mario Racing franchise, I do often play this game for enjoyment. This game opposed to other racing games such as Gran Turismo and Need For Speed draws me for the light-spirited elements which it possesses. Albeit driving the latest Ferrari, I will be unable to traverse a mystical, multi-colored road in the depths of space. Neither will I be able to use Banana Peels to my advantage.

    When I play, I generally do tend to play with a group of friends. And I generally win with this group of friends! Despite not being as serious in terms of physics, or being the best graphically, it is still fun to attempt your best and win in this game. Even though it seems to be intended for a more lax audience, people (like myself) can and do play this game seriously and utilize all forms of hardcore racing skills to obtain a victory. Well, hardcore may be a little exaggerative, but it is easy to win often when you become accustomed to certain maps, and learn special techniques that will allow better racing performance. It always makes me happy to win consecutive first place victories, and when being accused of cheating, (as is the loser's common resort to accomodate for their sad disposition) simply respond with, "Sorry. It's skill!"

    And I will be man enough to admit that I do play all Mario games with Peach. Perhaps it is the belief of other players that a petite princess could not possibly win, or perhaps it was the amazing down-smash and aerial recoveries in SSBB that drew me to her. But I think that will have to wait for another Log!

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