Welcome to a new on-going series here at Gaming Rocks On. It's a pretty common thing, listing the games we're playing in forum posts or in forum signatures, but I'm the kinda guy that likes to go into some detail about the games that are occupying my time. Not the same depth as, say, a review, but more along the lines of impressions and personal thoughts. Well, time to get this show on the road.
New Super Mario Bros. 2
One level. That was all it took to put a huge smile on my face. This game has been called a number of thing. Short, and retread are probably the most common words thrown around. While it may very well be deserving of those labels, I can say with full assurance that NSMB2 is a ton of fun.
Mario, Luigi and I go way back so for me, a Super Mario game (or any Mario game for that matter) is a no-brainer. Getting lives for me has only been difficult in a Super Mario game when I first started playing them, so I really can't complain about the overabundance of coins. Coin-Rush Mode is getting very addicting and even though the reward for getting a million coins blows, I think I'll still try to achieve it. I do wish there was some new music rather than just slight alterations of existing themes. Don't get me wrong, I love the "Wah!" voices of the NSMB games, but I'm hoping to hear something fresh for New Super Mario Bros. U. That's probably my biggest gripe I have with this game.
Mario Kart 7
The third portable entry in the Mario Kart series and it's only the seventh game (not counting the two Mario Kart GP arcade racers). 50cc was a cakewalk and 100cc stepped things up about. On 150cc, every other racer is out for blood. It's a struggle to hold on to first place, and that's even when I'm not getting hit with that freaking Blue Shell. Oh, but the Mario Kart 64 version of the Blue Shell is here, too! And 9/10 times, I get hit with it because by the time I hear it coming, I'm already rolling over, losing coins. At least with the winged version you can hear it for a few seconds even though there's very little you can actually do about it.
Blue Shell aside, I'm really liking this game. The new tracks are a joy to drive on, especially Neo Bowser City, DK Jungle, Wuhu Loop, Maku Wuhu, Rock Rock Mountain, and Shy Guy Bazaar. The selection of retro courses are pretty nice, too. I was always fond of Koopa Troopa Beach and thanks to the gliding, getting that short cut is a lot easier.
Being able to customize your carts is a welcome feature. I'm very fond of the Koopa Clown kart. At first I was like "The thing Bowser used to fight me with in Super Mario World? Seriously?" But then I took it for a spin and was surprised at how well it controlled. The Koopa Clown is officially my favorite kart of Mario Kart 7.
Kirby's Dream Collection: Special Edition
The only two games on this compilation disk that I don't own are Kirby's Dream Land 2 and Kirby's Dream Land 3, the later of which, I've never really played much of. Seeing as how all of these games are out on the Virtual Console, I'm a bit surprised Nintendo allowed them to be released here. Maybe they made an exception since it's Kirby's 20th anniversary.
It's been a mostly pleasant trip down memory lane for me. Some of my favorite Kirby games are present and accounted for. Kirby's Adventure was one of the last great NES games and it still holds up remarkably. Even though there's arguably a superior version of Kirby Super Star on the DS in the form of Kirby Super Star Ultra, it's nice to be able to play this game on the big screen again. I only played through Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards once so I can't say that I have many memories of it.
Kirby's Dream Land 2 isn't a bad game and I want to like it more but it doesn't have the same solid level designs of the first game. That and Kirby's animal friends make him an even bigger target. And WHERE are my dashing and sliding abilities from Kirby's Adventure?
I finished Kirby's Dream Land and played the Extra Game. CEEEEERIPES! I know they wanted to make the game more challenging, but that was overkill! I actually got a game over! A game over in a Kirby game! That hasn't happened to me since I was a kid! Kracko, a boss that was already a pain becomes wildly unpredictable and barely gives you any time to hit him!
The Challenge stages from Return to Dream Land were a great idea and it's nice to see a fresh set of stages in Kirby's Dream Collection. There's even one that has Kirby using his Smash abilities from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Magolor also seems pretty friendly here, which causes some confusion. Was he being controlled by the crown in Return to Dream Land? He fully recalls his actions in that game and expresses guilt by presenting Kirby with the Challenges present in Dream Collection. Even the ending to these Challenge games has me scratching my head on Magolor's true personality. Ah, well.
As I said in my unboxing post, the extras on this anthology are very nice. Maybe we have HAL to thank for so much effort put into this collection rather than Nintendo. I'm taking my time going through the Celebration Book, finding out things I didn't know about the series before. I'd love for future anniversary collections published by Nintendo to be put together with the kind of thought and care that went into this one.
So that's what I'm currently playing. What about you?