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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ditching Yoshi

Let's be honest; we've all left Yoshi to fall to his doom at one time or another in Super Mario World. Yoshi is so easily spooked that he'll run off at the drop of a hat and this makes me feel less guilty about leaving him when I need to save my own hide. Besides, it isn't like there's only one Yoshi. There's a whole island with Yoshi's strutting around all over the place.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Monkey Stole My Girlfriend!

Last night I completed Super Mario 64 with all 120 Stars. I was so happy because it was the first time I'd ever gotten all 120. I even went and saw Yoshi on the castle roof and got 100 lives for all my hard work. Not only that, but my triple jump had been enhanced! Now that I've gotten that achievement out of the way, I can move on to other Mario titles.

There are numerous versions of Donkey Kong, but by far, my favorite one is the Game Boy version known as Donkey Kong GB or Donkey Kong '94 to eliminate confusion. Just because this game is on a handheld system doesn't mean it's some stripped down inferior port of the arcade and console versions. Quiet the opposite. DK '94 is a beast of a game. It has the four levels from the arcade game (most home versions lacked all four stages for some reason) and 97 brand new platform/puzzle designed stages.

Mario is no longer the weakling he was in the original DK. He can fall from a considerable height and not die. On top of that, Mario has sweet acrobatic moves allowing him to jump higher and deflect certain objects that would otherwise spell doom for him were he standing up right.

The battle field isn't just a conrstruction site anymore. Mario chases Donkey Kong through a cities, forests, jungles, ships, factories, etc. Pauline must be some woman for Mario to be chasing Donkey Kong all over the world.

I think the thing that amazes most people about DK '94 is how well-made it is. Most titles for the Game Boy aren't nearly as long or has as much depth. The stages pack excellent design, the puzzles are clever and the music is pretty catchy. DK '94 is easily one of the greatest Mario games out there. Believe me when I say that this game deserves to rub shoulders with Super Mario Bros. 3 and Super Mario 64. It really is that good.

I'm currently on World 3, playing the game on the Game Boy Player, via the GameCube. Regretabbly I can't take this game on the go because I traded in my GBA SP to get a DS years ago and I found out the hard way that the system was not backwards compatible with original Game Boy titles. The last time I played this title was in 2002 on the original GBA model. Maybe I'm rusty but I died way more times than I should have in the first world. Either that, or GameCube's control pad is just too tiny to play on. Guess it's time to finally put my Super Game Boy back into action. The color on it for DK '94 looks better than it does on the Game Boy Player anyway.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Mario Fever (AKA The Itch Part 2)

As I stated a few entries back, I've been bitten by the Mario bug so I'm knee deep in Mario games. I've already completed Super Mario World and Yoshi's Island. I was aiming for all 96 level goals in World, but the last few level exits were just too demanding. Yoshi's Island seemed to annoy me far more than I remember and I don't just mean Baby Mario's whining.

The last few weeks haven't been spent trucking away for the Power Stars in Super Mario 64. Super Mario 64 DS is a great port/remake. You can play as a few extra characters and the touched up visuals are very nice. Still, I prefer the N64 original so I hooked up my old system and to my surprise, not only does the old girl still work, my saved game from 1996 is still on there. (I left off with 94 Stars in case you were wondering)

Since I began a new game weeks ago, I've reached up to 95 Stars, some of which are Stars I've never gotten before. I actually managed to get all the Stars in Tall Tall Mountain, Lethal Lava Land, and Tiny-Big Island, yes even the 100 coin Stars.

More than 10 years after it's release, Super Mario 64 is still an exceptional title and my all-time favorite 3D platformer. It doesn't get too bogged down with an overabundance of item collecting like other titles on the N64 (and in the genre for that matter) did. The levels are huge but not so much that they overwhelm you. SM64 also has one of my favorite soundtracks from the Mario games, standout themes being "Inside the Castle Walls," "Super Mario 64 Main Theme", Dire, Dire Docks," "Metal Mario," "Koopa's Road," and "Koopa's Theme." Along with all of that, the game is just flat out fun to play, moreso than a lot of game's released today. Now I say a lot of games are fun, but not all games are on the same level of fun (I think you get what I'm saying.)

I'm thinking of putting together my own list of the greatest Mario games of all-time. If I do it, I'll post it up here in my blog. If I choose to arrange them in order (which I really am considering), Super Mario 64 will more than likely rank pretty high on the list.

Monday, August 3, 2009


What's wrong with this picture?