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    jp's Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (DS)

    [June 5, 2011 11:54:46 PM]
    Oh, something else I meant to write about... (mostly so I don't forget it)

    Every now and then there are "mega" boss-challenges. These are between a giant (huge!) Bowser and a mecha-castle (one of them is Peach's castle!). The battles aren't that interesting per se, but they really mixed things up by:

    a. You have to turn the DS sideways. This is something that few games take advantage of...which is kind of neat. In fact, it's kind of unusual for games to take advantage of both screens as a single screen either...most show "game" on top and "interface" on the bottom...

    b. Bowser's fireball attach requires that you blow into the microphone. This got really embarrassing on the train, to be honest. I guess it's ok to be "the weird freak blowing at his electronic gizmo" now and then...

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    [June 2, 2011 10:36:29 AM]
    Finished! 23 hours or got a bit long in the end I must admit, but still entirely worth it. It's fun, and funny, and enjoyable in all the right ways...

    Roughly a third of the game takes place inside Bowser. Literally inside him. I was surprised by how the artists were able to really give you the sense of being inside a large organic beast, while at the same time maintaining the "Mario style". Having "organic" levels that aren't gross...when they SHOULD be is hard. Having them also be recognizable as Mario levels is even harder. Things look and sound just right enough to be plausible (in the context of the Mario fantasy). Things are squishy, crunchy, goopy, and more. Incredible!
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    [May 26, 2011 12:16:41 PM]
    I guess I'm always surprised by how much character and personality there is in the Mario games. It doesn't really come across all that much in the usual platformer games, but it really shines in this one. I wonder where it all came from? Do the designers watch all the old Mario cartoons? Are those considered "canon" in any way? (I assume not...) Is there someone at Nintendo who is the "keeper of the lore" and must sign off on anything that goes into these games? (oh, Bowser would never say THAT!) I'm genuinely curious, because my 20+ hrs with this game so far seem so spot-on and consistent in terms of those things. It all feels very "Mario" even though I'm unable to properly articulate what that would mean.

    I'm surprised that these games haven't received more attention as exemplars in game design. I really do...everything is so finely polished and the attention to detail is simply incredible (audio work is also great...). Even though the game isn't all that challenging, it's enjoyable to simply play it... and it rarely feels like you're "going through the motions"...
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    [May 10, 2011 01:07:44 PM]
    I guess I must be on a streak of "alternative" RPGs... First "The world ends with you" and now this one....

    So far, the most enjoyable aspect of this game is the humor in the writing and the characters together with what I would describe as a wonderful sense of deja-vu.

    I've been thinking a lot about that last one, because what I mean as that (so far), playing this game reminds me a lot of the GBA one I played (Superstar Saga?). Different gameplay elements will be introduced and I'll think "oh yeah, I remember that, that was fun/cool/neat". However, I'm also very much aware that this is a new game, with a new story, and some new gameplay (controlling Bowser, adventuring inside bowser, and so on)... The feeling I have isn't one of disappointment (oh, it's the same game with a new skin), but rather one that mixes the old (that I barely remembered) with the fresh...

    I'm having a hard time articulating what I actually mean...

    My experience so far is sort of like the opposite of what you might experience when playing an old game you fondly remember and discovering that you don't like it as much anymore. It's more like having the chance to play something you remember fondly but have that experience be different enough that you can still capture some of the fresh joy you experienced the first time around.
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    jp's Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Monday 9 May, 2011

    GameLog closed on: Sunday 5 June, 2011

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Wow. This is polish and attention to detail. Well worth looking at...

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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