New Layout and Date for Next Review

Mario Surprised

Hey guys! Everything is looking different and it’s for the better.

On the right you’ll see the following:

-A quick link to my twitter

-Search bar

-Quick links for Wii U games, 3DS games and Virtual Console games (named Take me Back Tuesdays)

-A link to most viewed articles

-Archives (monthly)

It should be more user friendly. Hope it works well for you guys.

Also, stay tuned for July 2nd! Take me Back Tuesday is coming and Super Metroid is on the way.

New Super Luigi U Review

New Super Luigi U

It’s what all of you underdog lovers have been waiting for. Luigi takes the lead in a Mario Bros. style game. Does he live up to his brother’s image, or does he outdo Mario this time?

Presentation

New Super Luigi U Presentation

New Super Mario Bros U and New Super Luigi U have somewhat identical visuals and audio. The map is exactly the same as the original game but each level is dramatically different. The music gives a more urgent tone to the gameplay. At the beginning of each level you’ll hear the tune to warn you you’re running out of time, and it’s followed by more upbeat music than if you weren’t running out of time.

Story and Gameplay

Luigi Alone

Mario is usually the hero, but for some reason he’s not around when Bowser storms the castle. Luigi takes it upon himself to lead yellow and blue Toad to save the Princess. A new character tags along named Nabbit. He played only an enemy role in the original game, but this time someone playing along with you can choose Nabbit. The perks of playing with Nabbit is that he cannot be damaged like the other players can. The downside to choosing him is that he cannot use items like the fire flower. This is a way for Nintendo to provide less experienced players to join in this more chaotic version of the game.

The main difference, which will be noticed immediately, is that every stage only gives you 100 seconds to complete. The benefit is that the game becomes tougher and provides more challenging gameplay. The levels may feel a lot shorter, but more dedicated players will realize that collecting star coins with this amount of time is a lot harder than in the original game. Not only will you sometimes not be able to come up with a plan to collect an out of reach star coin in time, but sometimes you won’t even be able to find all of the star coins. It’s the same case for secret exits which are still present. Smaller stages make secrets easier to find, but the duration of time available balances this out.

In addition to the difference in time, each level is created to be more difficult than before. This compensates for Luigi’s high jump ability. The other characters will also be able to jump high, but all characters will have a harder time changing directions which is also a trait of Luigi.  A way to counteract the difficulty increase is the increased opportunity for 1-ups. Smaller stages provide for less time and space to collect extra lives, but Luigi has a better chance with each flag pole than Mario does. There are also a lot more 1-up blocks throughout the game. They are made difficult to retrieve because of the 100 seconds and because of the harder to reach places they may be found.

Luigi Castle

Castles provide the most challenge. Each castle is reinvented in a way that has increased the difficulty dramatically. The disappointing side is that each boss battle is basically the same. If there is any difference, it’s hardly noticeable. It would have been interesting and more satisfying to see something different from each boss just to change each fight a bit. Nevertheless, getting to the boss fights is where the real challenge is.

Playing with friends has become even more hectic. With only 100 seconds for each level, there’s no time to wait for someone who is holding the group behind. This could provide for even more competition between you and the other players.

Speaking of more hectic, hardcore players can have their cake and eat it too. Not only are the stages recreated entirely for the purpose of creating a more challenging game, but if you want to take on the stages without the advantage of Luigi’s jump, you can do that too. Once you finish the story, you are allowed to play in the new stages with the old physics. This means that Luigi will jump the same height as Mario. This can create even more of a testing but satisfying experience because some levels are designed to make up for Luigi’s ability to jump high.

Other features

Luigi Swimming

There is something included with each stage that Nintendo did just for fun. In each level, you can find a representation of Luigi in a hidden spot. This aspect can create yet another goal for you and your friends to achieve if you decided. It can also be fun just to find each of these Luigi representations. Some examples:

Luigi Totem

Luigi Wall

There is also an addition to the colored rings that provide coins, colored buttons that provide coins and enemies. One that stood out was the ice bro. He has the ability to freeze you the same way you could freeze him with an ice flower. (EDIT) There is also a mushroom box at the beginning of every stage; however, if you’re already big Luigi at this point, only a coin will come out of this box.

 

Pros Cons Could go either way
-More items are available throughout the game -Boss fights are not different enough to make an impact -With tighter time constraints, the levels are noticeably shorter
-Gives a much fresher feeling to the platforming genre that Mario Bros. relies on   -More 1-ups are available throughout the game
-Even after the rise in difficulty you are given the choice to increase it even more by changing back to the physics of the original game   -Smaller levels make it harder to hide secrets, but time constraints give you less time to look for them
-Provides a multiplayer choice for less advanced players    
-Time constraint increases difficulty and makes the game feel more suitable for advanced players    

 

The Acosta Statement

You did it this time Nintendo! Though the boss battles could have been better, this alternate version of the game feels like a completely different type of adventure. Hardcore and advanced players can finally play a platform that will feel challenging and worth their time. As for the readers, if you didn’t think Luigi could live up to Mario’s standards, you couldn’t have been more wrong. You’ll be able to go through even harder stages without Mario taking the lead. New Super Luigi U is definitely worth the price if you’re going to play to get the most out of the experience; that means finishing the story, collecting the star coins and finding the secrets of the game. I would recommend this to any Mario Bros fan, and I would recommend this to anyone who has been looking to be challenged by a platforming or Mario game.

8/10

Luigi Everywhere

New Super Mario Bros U Review

NSMBU cover

Super Luigi U is upon us. Is it worth it to dive into this adventure with Mario before Luigi jumps into the spotlight?

Presentation

NSMBU presentation

Mario is finally saving the day in HD. From the first moment you’ll notice how good the game looks. This mixes with the catchy music and gets you into the moment. When you put attention into the details you’ll be even more impressed; the background of the levels are well designed, and the music is thoroughly thought out.  There’s enough detail to reveal more about both the design and musical choice when looked at and listened to more closely. Occasionally you’ll see or hear something nostalgic, like a tune at the end of the level indicating you’ll receive an item. You may also notice that enemies, Yoshi and other things in the game have reactions to the rhythm of the music. This throws the enemies’ patterns slightly off but not significantly. It’s also quite charming. There is a good balance in design because everything is mostly new while some things will bring you back to the old Mario days.

Story and Gameplay

NSMBU Bowser Jr

There’s nothing new plot-wise. You’ll be doing the usual save the princess adventure that Mario always gets stuck with. The only thing you’ll find different is that your princess is NOT in another castle, just her own. Bowser Jr. takes on a bigger role than Bowser in this game, but of course Mario’s greatest enemy is still present. The story may not be too intriguing, but gameplay is where Mario games have made their mark.

There are some new enemies like the flying squirrel. It’s obvious its purpose in the game is to accompany the new power up. Mario and friends can use this power-up to glide across the stage and propel upwards once for each time you jump. Another new addition is of small Yoshi replicas throughout the game that have special powers depending on the color. For example, the pink Yoshi will turn into a balloon and bring Mario high into the air. It seems as though many more types of items and Yoshi could have been added, but there’s enough added to the game to make for new gameplay. Don’t worry about your green dinosaur friend, the original Yoshi does show up for some levels.

As is typical for Nintendo games, the levels start off rather easy to finish. You can reach 99 lives quite easily if you’re a veteran of platforming with Mario and his brother. This is Nintendo’s style for introducing younger and new consumers to their products, but it would be nice for more of a challenge (at least enough to make 99 lives a difficult accomplishment). Don’t be discouraged yet because the levels get increasingly difficult. If a level is too difficult, a super Luigi guide box will appear to show you a run through the stage. Star coins and secret stages make an appearance for the Mario players who want a satisfying challenge. Some of these coins will have you thinking for a bit before you can get them. Some of them will require you to have a certain item with you. Secret stages will also take some time to find, increasing replay value for those players who want the most of their games.

NSMBU Luigi

Multiplayer is also available for this game. Three other players can choose between the recently popular Luigi, and a blue or yellow toad. This can be a competitive environment, or other players can cooperate to help you collect those hard to reach star coins. A fifth player has the ability to create disappearing platforms around the stage and stun enemies with the touchpad. This is useful for players who may want to be involved but not completely immersed in the gameplay. Playing with multiple players can sometimes make a level easier and sometimes do the opposite, giving a balance to the choice of adding a friend.

Other Modes

NSMBU Mii

There are other modes for competitive play. Challenge and Boost Rush mode allow for you and your friends to compete in clearing stages with the fastest time, staying alive the longest and other objectives. You can even use your Mii for these competitions. The more competitive players will enjoy these game modes while others may not. Another feature of the game is that the posts of other players around the world who have posted in Miiverse about a specific level will show up throughout the game. This makes you feel more connected with other players.

Pros Cons

 

Has a reasonably good balance for nostalgia -Mario platforming formula still fun but makes for a “play it safe” plot
-New stages, items, enemies and characters give enough reason to play Mario once again -Too easy for more advanced players in the beginning of the game
-Visuals and musical choices are well thought out -Doesn’t realize its potential with the amount of items and Yoshi
-Star coins and secret stages give more advanced players a challenge
-Competitive modes can be fun to challenge others with

 

The Acosta Statement

Come on Nintendo! We know you could have done a lot more here. Yes, the game is fun and could keep us busy for a while until new games arrive, but I see holes that could have been filled until they were overflowing with content. Nevertheless, New Super Mario Bros U is a fun game to play. Some of you will find it worth buying no matter what. But for the rest of you; the question is, is it worth buying along with Super Luigi U? We’ll find out soon in my next review!

7/10

Super Mario Bros U meme

Oracle Review part 2: Oracle of Ages (Just in Time)

Oracle_Of_Ages_BoxArt

So it’s still Tuesday in America you guys. That means I’m in time to post the Oracle of Ages review for Take me Back Tuesday. Let’s go.

This review will be short because for the most part, the game compares to the likes of Oracle of Seasons. In fact, the things that are similar are the following: visuals, gameplay mechanics and the different terrain with animal buddies. This review will talk about what makes it different and why it may be the more superior version.

Story and Gameplay

Oracle of Ages Nayru

This time around Link is going against the likes of Veran who has taken control of Nayru, the Oracle of Ages. You must travel through Labrynna collecting songs and items to allow you to travel more freely around the lands. A big part of the game that makes it so intriguing is that you can change parts of the present by traveling to the past and changing things. This means that there are two almost completely different lands, unlike Oracle of Seasons where there were 4 slightly different lands. Items were just as cool in this adventure. One allows you to switch places with specific objects on the screen, making for greater puzzles.

One thing that makes Oracle of Ages sort of a nuisance is the button scheme for swimming once you obtain a mermaid suit. Repeatedly pressing the directional buttons propel you through the water, but this can get tedious and cause cramps in your hand, especially during the water dungeon. This is the only flaw, but it can be overlooked because of the circumstances the game was made under (limited buttons on the Gameboy Color).

On the other hand, the game is vastly superior to its counterpart. There was a lot more interaction between people of the land, and a lot more work needed to be done between dungeons to get there, making each part of the game feel satisfying. You’ll feel like you deserved everything throughout the game because of this. In addition, each boss fight was much more challenging. The final boss fight takes more effort and you’ll need to learn more patterns to fight her. There’s even a boss fight with a puzzle in it!

Something that stands out also is how many parts of Ocarina of Time this game follows. This is true for Oracle of Seasons too, but it’s not as noticeable. This can be good or bad depending on your preference.

Pros: Cons:
-Some of the coolest items in a Legend of Zelda game as well -Relies on elements of Ocarina of Time.
-Game always on a satisfying level -Mermaid suit has tedious controls.
-Replay value is very high when considering the game can be linked to increase the amount of content, and two game files can be totally different with or without having a linked game.
-Only 6 dollars
-Switches up the items, puzzles, and story enough to make it feel completely fresh compared to other Legend of Zelda games
-Side quests are fun enough to keep you playing outside of just the main story line

 

The Acosta Statement

Don’t let time pass without playing this Legend of Zelda game. It gives more of a challenge than Oracle of Seasons.

10/10

You can find the Oracle of Seasons review here: https://nintendoreviewsblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/oracle-review-part-1-oracle-of-seasons/

Also, for anymore information about Oracle of Ages, you can check this site:

http://zeldawiki.org/The_Legend_of_Zelda:_Oracle_of_Ages

Oracle of Ages Meme

Announcement of “Take me Back Tuesdays”

virtual_console_arcade

 

I’m happy to announce that at least one Tuesday a month will be reserved for the review of a game from the virtual console. This could mean once, or it could mean four times. I just think it would be just as useful as reviewing recently released games because they’re just as available and can be just as valuable. This Tuesday will be the first Take me Back Tuesday! Stay tuned.