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    Feb 10th, 2007 at 02:08:14     -    The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare (SNES)

    Right, so what I covered doesn't sound that fun, and you still don't know how to win. That's what this part is for.

    So after a while of wandering around, you stumble across a page of homework! After getting frustrated about what you're supposed to do with it, you realize that you're supposed to jump on it, as everyone should do with their homework. This starts the minigame sequence, the staple of this entire game. You get a choice of two doors, each one representing a different minigame. There are about 7 different types of minigames in all.

    In these minigames, you have to control Bart around some crazy dream environment to the goal. Fighting off Itchy and Scratchy in the Simpson's home, defeating Homer Kong as Bartzilla, and shooting Mr. Burns out of the sky as a superhero are among these intense minigames. If you are good enough to beat the odds and make it through, then you are awarded a piece of homework and sent back to the streets of Springfield. Losing costs you a few Z's and your dignity.
    The problem is that some of these games are difficult to understand and very frustrating, due to the fact that you rarely win. But if you can keep strong without giving up, you can figure out the tricks to win.

    Thats basically Bart's Nightmare in a nutshell. When you lose, the amount of pages are added up, and the final scene takes place with the Simpsons standing in front of their refrigerator. The more pages you get, the higher the grade on your paper, and the less angry your family is at you. I still don't get why Homer would put your paper up on the fridge if you got no pages and finished with an F, but I guess Bart never really did any better.

    This game is VERY frustrating and doesn't explain itself too much. It's a difficult game to figure out, and, looking back, it's not that good of a game. I was mostly loving the nostalgia from playing a game that I struggled so hard to beat my brother at. At least I know that if I fall asleep while doing my homework, I can still get an A on it.

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    Feb 10th, 2007 at 01:48:49     -    The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare (SNES)

    The Simpsons: Bart's Nightmare is a game made for Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis back in the days of the huge Simpsons hype. It was pretty addicting when I was a kid, and I didn't get to play it often, so I became attached. Somehow I found a friend who had the game, and I decided to pick it up for my gamelog.

    Oh no! Bart fell asleep and lost his homework! It's time to tough up and search the Dreamworld for the missing homework pages before he wakes up and gets a bad grade. You are immediately thrust onto the streets of Springfield, wandering aimlessly, looking for homework papers. Except... they don't tell you that. So if you're not used to the game, you're getting killed by statue heads and three-eyed fish, and getting really pissed off.

    That minor problem aside, this is an addicting game. The street goes on forever in both the left and right directions, looping the background. You can move freely about the sidewalk on either side, and even on the street if you want (watch out for buses), steering clear of Simpson-based obstacles. If you get hit, you lose a "Z" from a little bar at the top of the screen. When you lose all of your Z's you wake up and your grade is pretty much screwed. Don't worry, you can shoot bubble gum at the blue Z's floating around Springfield to add them to your bar (What?).

    Basically, there's no real plot, characters are simply the lovable cast of The Simpsons, and gameplay is very random and confusing. The level is designed very simply, but it's fun to navigate around the obstacles, and you never really have to worry about where you're going. There are even some powerups around that can make you invulnerable, or help you get Z's fast. This game is fun for any Simpson fan, but I can imagine losing interest VERY fast.

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    Jan 31st, 2007 at 21:30:08     -    Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

    Ok, I know you can use the flute to warp straight from World 3 to World 8, but we're not going for speed. All of the other worlds that are typically skipped are the best in my opinion. The secrets become more rewarding and the challenges become more challenging as you get deeper into the middle worlds.

    Every world has its own theme, and being able to experience completely different types of levels every time you move to the next world just adds to the fun. There are limits to how far you can handle the same scenery and the same type of obstacles, and I'm glad to report that each level has a few specific challenges that you aren't quite going to match anywhere else in the game.

    Also, little secret areas are well hidden throughout some of the levels, which can reward you with a few measly coins or a rare and exciting suit to transform you into a new Mario with new powers. These new forms aren't really too important for anything, but it's definitely fun to able to use it when you find it. You are also able to collect some items in an inventory that you can access from the world map, giving you the option to start a level off in the right way.

    What frustrates me in Mario Bros. 3 is how you can so easily lose one of these rare pickups, simply by getting hit by an enemy. Not only that, but some obstacles are just out of sight until there's nothing you can do about them. Sometimes the only way to get through the level is knowing that an unseen problem is right around the corner and that you have to be ready for it.

    Other than that, this is one solid game that has lasted through the ages, and I don't know anyone who wouldn't enjoy playing this game. It is definitely an inspiration to all games that follow it.

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    Jan 31st, 2007 at 02:19:49     -    Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)

    Super Mario Bros. 3 is a game that really takes me back. The first Mario Bros. game was a little before my time, but this game is something I've seen a lot of back when I was a kid.

    Just like a game of its time, Mario Bros. 3 has absolutely no story, maybe you're trying to save the princess. I wouldn't know, that's not why you play this game. The controls are basic: move with the control pad, jump with A, dash/special move with B. Nothing too complicated, so it's naturally been perfected with optimum control and comfortability, while still remaining challenging to master.

    Each level is designed perfectly for the platforming genre that is Mario. Every level is fairly short and has a number of platforms and enemies placed in perfect position to create some kind of challenge for the player to overcome. Nothing too long, so those with short attention spans can keep from boredom. As you progress, you encounter inconveniently placed obstacles and get less room for error, making the game more challenging as you near the end.

    The world map is a new look at the worlds of Mario, where you can move about a certain path on the map, and must go through a short stage when you encounter a roadblock. Sometimes you are given a choice of which path you would rather take, but you still have the option of being a perfectionist and taking ALL the paths. There are also special spots on the map where you can take place in a bonus event, and the reward is almost always worth your while.

    Powerups and items make a huge role in Mario Bros. 3. Of course, you have the classic mushroom, flower, and star powerups: a classic choice. But, in addition to those, there are a good number of other powerups that can turn Mario into a frog or a tanuki (racoonish animal), as well as some items that can allow you to skip levels or entire worlds.

    So far, Mario Bros. 3 has turned out perfectly: the controls work amazingly, and the level design is creative and spontaneous. There is definitely no way of getting tired of this game (unless you lose too much), a key item in the making of a good game. Keeping the game simple, and perfecting all of the aspects can really go a long way; something that I will consider for the making of my game project.

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