blacklist2021's Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (DS)
| [March 6, 2008 01:21:43 AM]
| Final Gamelog
I played the further into the main game of Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2 and I found that the level got much more complex and that new elements were constantly being added. This had both good effects and bad effects. On the plus side the game was able to remain relatively fresh and challenging. On the bad side the more complex and bigger the levels got the harder the game was to control. It was mostly because the entire level could not fit on the screen and you had to tap the sides of the screen in order to scroll over the rest of the level. This made it much easier to keep track of mini Mario’s and mad it much harder to see the overall picture of the stage. In addition it was harder to control when events speed up because the touch screen was not always entirely accurate or responsive. Despite these shortcomings I actually had a better time playing the later levels and started becoming much more addicted.
The addiction I feel was related to each stage being short and moderately challenging. I really like that the stages were brief because I usually play the DS when I am waiting for something, like for a class to start. Consequently I like it when I can actually play a decent portion of the game without having to dedicate a huge amount of time to it or without having to worry too much about quitting it. Also the fact that the levels were not too hard (unless I was trying for a gold medal) kept me playing because I was challenge, but I still had the feeling that each level was doable and I was never very frustrated.
I also played with the level editor and Wi Fi. First, I discovered that there was a very large amount of unique stages to be downloaded online and I well I didn’t actually play many I feel that the feature will come in handy after I finish the regular levels. As for the level editor I found that it was fairly easy to use and had pretty good results. It seemed you could make a near infinite number of possible levels and you could play test the level with a push of a button. On the downside however, you could only save a small amount of puzzles and if you don’t really have anyone to share the level with it really isn’t much fun to play your own level. However, regardless of any downsides, both the level editor and the Wi Fi are good additions to the game.
One of Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2’s best aspects of design is its ability to create a learning experience. Most evidently, there are new elements being added all the time (like new obstacles) which keep you constantly having to learn and adjust in order to achieve your goal. On top of this the learning curve is not too steep. For example they usually don’t throw more than one thing at you at a time. Also after you are introduced to something new you are usually presented with a basic challenge of the new element first and then once you are used to the element, the challenge level is raised. Furthermore the game offers a tutorial function which you can always reference if you ever forget what a particular obstacle does. This game not only keeps forcing you to learn it also does a very good job of facilitating the learning
Linked to the game as a learning experience is the many ways in which the game challenges you. Most basically you are challenged to get at least one mini Mario to the goal, but the game offers many more optional challenges. For one there are many different ways to raise your score, like never stopping the mini Marios. These many challenges to receiving a high score create somewhat of a proving ground for the better player to demonstrate their skill. Also it is good that the extra challenges are optional because players who don’t care that much about the score can still move on to the next level without having to be stuck on the same frustrating level forever. In this way it is your choice if you want to take on the impossible challenge of getting a gold medal or if you just want to focus on the basics and see what else the game has to offer. This makes the game desirable to a wide audience.
Of course in a way the game does encourage you to take on the more difficult challenges because you are rewarded for completing them. Overall the game offers many types of rewards which help to motivate and engage players. These rewards include rewards of glory like earning medals and high score, rewards of access like unlocking a mini game, and rewards of facility like earning more mini Marios to use in the boss fight.
The level design function is also obviously a very strong asset to the game. There are a wide variety of things to use and an almost endless amount of possible level. The mechanics of the level design could be better, but the DS touch screen does really help because you don’t have to drag and drop things, you can just tap where you want them to be placed. Furthermore the level design does not only spark creativity, but also adds a huge amount of replay value. The Wi Fi features also add a huge amount of replay value to the game. The fact that you can download and share levels adds great replay value to the game and an additional social aspect to the game. Along with this you can say that the social aspect also adds a competitive aspect to the game, because people can compete to see who can make or pass the hardest stages
Finally the graphics and the sounds are a strong point of the game simply because they are executed well. The Graphic are very bright, clear cut, and good looking in general. The sound is also very crisp and good quality. Neither the sounds nor the graphics are very original, but they do a very good job of capturing the atmosphere of Mario.
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| [March 6, 2008 01:20:56 AM]
| Final Game Log: Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: (Nintendo Ds)
Summary: Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2 is a puzzle game in which you use the Nintendo DS touch screen to guide mini Marios to the goal. All the action takes place on a single screen, which contains an environment of obstacles and a number of mini Marios. You use the stylus to start and stop the mini Marios as well as to alter their surrounding environment. The goal is to safely guide the mini Marios to the exit (a door somewhere in the stage). You get more points for completing the goal fast, with all the mini Marios still alive, without ever stopping the mini Marios, and for getting the mini Marios through the exit in a chain.
I basically just got this game because it was a Mario game, but when I played the game I found an experience very different from any Mario game I had played before. At first I was a little disappointed because the game seemed simple and not very lively. After all, each level was only one screen and all the player really did was start and stop the Marios. That’s when I realized that I couldn’t really expect this game to be like a typical fast action Mario adventure, and I started to see it for the unique puzzler that it really was
The first few stages really were not very impressive and I felt bored, yet it still felt good to get gold medals on my first try. Once the learning curve ended however I began to feel the opposite affect; I was now much more involved and interested in the game, but I was frustrated with not being able to get gold medals. I soon realized that the game was deceptively difficult. On one hand it wasn’t to hard to get past a stage because I only needed to save on mini Mario, but on the other had it was very hard to raise my score. The challenge stemmed from the fact of having to strategize quickly and having to multi task. The strategy came from the fact that I had to figure out the best route for the mini Mario’s to go. Simply figuring out the most efficient route was not very hard; however, the fact that I was being timed made me much more anxious to move quickly. This often resulted in me failing a stage because I had started moving the mini Mario’s before I had a good path planned for them. On top of this was the fact that there were multiple mini Marios and many obstacles and enemies in the stage. I constantly ended up with one a broken mini Mario because I had been focusing on another mini Mario in a different part of the stage. Overall after playing the main game for a while I found my mood going from bored to flirting with frustration.
I also played one boss battle and one mini game. To be honest I was not very impressed by either of the levels. The mini game was basically a pop goes the weasel variant which didn’t have much depth. It seemed like the designers just put the mini game just to make it seem like the game had more variety then it really did. In the boss battle basically you had to rotate a cannon to avoid falling objects and shoot mini Mario’s at Donkey Kong. Similar to the mini game the boss battle was not very deep and also seemed to be trying to add some action packed variety. In contrast to the mini game however the boss fight was a lot harder and had more frustrating controls. Essentially the boss battle and the mini games seemed to have nothing to do with the core game elements, which resulted in it seeming like you could master the essential gameplay and still suck at the boss fights and mini games.
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blacklist2021's Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (DS)
Current Status: Played occasionally
GameLog started on: Saturday 1 March, 2008
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