there have been quite a few articles lately about how nintendo, with the huge success of the DS and the upcoming wii, is appealing to a wider demographic than the typical hard-core gamers, and what this might mean for the future. this article is pretty typical of what people are buzzing about.
i’ve been playing super mario land 2: 6 golden coins for a while (inc. on the subway during my trip to NYC), but i finally sat down and beat it yesterday. was it just me or was the last level about 10 times harder than the rest of the game? i still haven’t really gotten used to the game boy interface in terms of fine movements, although it’s not a problem for a game like zelda that doesn’t require them. i def. had a much easier time when i played it with my gamecube adapter. does anyone else have this problem?
anyway, the game is def. a good ‘un, although i (along w/ many others it seems) found it to be rather too easy overall. it does have the trademark mario inventiveness (although as with super mario land 1 the mario guru shigeru miyamoto apparently didn’t work on it), and includes such unique elements as: a carrot power-up that provides bunny ears for flying, dripping goo that you have to swim through, one level where you get to use a bubble you can soar the skies in, some bonus stages, a space world, a plethora of hidden levels, and the first appearance of mario’s arch-nemesis wario (who incidentally is going to be making his appearance in the next smash bros. game).
this wikipedia list of mario games places it choronologically after super mario bros. 3 and super mario world (the latter of which i haven’t yet played, although a SNES is high on my list of next ebay purchases). it feels pretty similar to super mario bros. 3, although i found the tightness of the game movement to be noticeably less. haven’t really noticed anyone else mentioning this, though, although people have commented on the fact that there’s noticeable slowdown during crowded animations. those were a bit distracting but not prohibitively.
replayability is surprisingly high, thanks to the non-linearity of the games and the levels. i’m more inclined to replay this than super mario sunshine, actually, or even super mario bros. 3 which even though i haven’t played in years i still am sure i know far too well. a big plus for me was the ability to save, and the hidden levels. i think super mario world also has hidden levels, but this was new for me. i’d found most of the visible extra levels, but this excellent (and mostly spoiler-free) wikipedia article alerted me to the fact there are quite a few that aren’t visible. that page is good if you want to know which stages have hidden levels but you want to figure out for yourself how to get to them. and for a good walkthrough ign.com has a good one as usual.
not sure when i’ll be getting super mario land 1, which from what i remember from trying it out in stores when it came out, is much, much more primitive. but you can be sure that i’ll be playing it eventually.
i won a lot on ebay that includes the first 16 VHS of the first pokemon anime series. rawk! this guide from amazon has been the best i’ve found for figuring out what videos there are. i’m not sure i have really high hopes for the cartoons, but it’ll be fun watching them at least once. i still haven’t quite been able to find out where the movies fit in w/ the anime series, but maybe someone reading this can enlighten me.
finally got around to reading through this great link i came across that goes through every spider-man video game (w/ a follow up article about the spider-man 2 game). pretty amazing. apparently this guy has a weekly column, and has also covered all the x-men games. here’s the link to the column’s archives as well. reading through these descriptions makes me far less obsessive about collecting all the x-men games, especially since i have so many other games stacked up … but i’m still tempted.
finished pokemon yellow the other day. definitely a fun game, and has an inherent amount of replayability. by the time i’d finished most of my core pokemon were around level 46 and i’d only captured about 60 or so. since then i’ve gotten up to 80 or so (w/ the help of ign’s guide). it’s going to be kind of a pain to get some of these you can’t find in the wild in their evolved state (e.g. pidgeot, blastoise), so for some of those i may have to just wait until my next time through. surprisingly enough i find myself wanting that to be sooner than later. we’ll have to see how that goes.
to commemorate my win, here are the 6 pokemon i’d been using (images thanks to the pokemon picture dex).
as you can see, i wasn’t able to evolve graveller OR kadabra b/c i have no friends (awww). victreebell turned out to be a bit redundant since i had gyarados. i purposely chose magneton over pikachu just b/c i wanted to go w/ less obvious choices. next time through i think i’ll focus a bit more on dual forms and see how that goes. may even choose diglett over graveller (which i’ve been using right now post win since as far as i know it’s the only one who has dig).
i have some more comments about the ending (which was rather harder than the rest of the game) that are spoilers, so highlight to read:
i was rather thrown by the fourth battle which was all dragons. i hadn’t seen any dragons except gyarados and aerodactyl (hadn’t realized you could fish in the safari zone, which i had tried a few times but hadn’t caught anything) so i didn’t know anything about them. it took me a few tries b/c my pokemon were a bit weaker than they prob. should have been (not like i would’ve necessarily known that, although in retrospect i suppose i could’ve guessed by the level of wild pokemon on victory road). the MVP turned out to be dewgong who i had kind of kept along just b/c i thought ice was cool. it will def. be interesting to play some of these other games like colosseum which i hear has much smarter opponents so that you actually have to have some strategy. looking forward to it … heh heh.
i haven’t completely finished pokemon yellow, but already my fingers are itching for the next game. sad to say, i’m also planning out my next time through pokemon red/blue/yellow (prob. going to go w/ red next time) using an entirely different team (well, except for geodude of course. he rulez). or maybe i should just skip to the upgraded version for game boy advance: pokemon fire red/leaf green? hmm. decisions … i’ll prob. just move on to the next pokemon game (gold/silver/crystal). ign has an updated chart on what monsters aren’t available in each game (although not updated for pokemon crystal, but that list can be found on wikipedia). it seems that the crystal version, like the yellow version, is a slight remake with some minor additional features, so of those three i’ll prob. go with that even though the completist in me tells me that for a more authentic experience i should go w/ one of the earlier ones (gold or silver) so that when i do go back and play crystal it’ll really feel like an upgrade. but realistically i’ll prob. play through the next series of games (ruby/sapphire/emerald and the forthcoming diamond/pearl) and the n64 games (pokemon stadium 1 and 2) and gamecube (pokemon colosseum which i already have lined up since i don’t have an n64 … yet) before going back and playing any of the other versions.
hmm. i think the above paragraph is proof that pokemania has hit hard. not quite hard enough for me to start buying figurines or anything, but i def. am planning on watching the first DVD at least.
anyway, while i’m at it here are a couple of pokemon links worth archiving: