i’ve been lax in updating b/c i’ve been wasting a stupid (and i mean stupid) amount of time playing fire emblem, a.k.a. fire emblem 7, the first of the series released in the US. i hadn’t meant to start it almost immediately after finishing fire emblem: the sacred stones, but i played through the first few chapters and got completely sucked in by the synapses in my brain firing in such familiar patterns. anyway, i finished it this past weekend and finally have my life back (more or less), but i’ll post my thoughts on it later. i do have to add, however, that i almost got suckered into the exact same thing happening when i got fire emblem: path of radiance a few days ago and played through the first few chapters. but i managed to save myself just in time … or at the very least i’m holding out so far.
i actually finished a game in the brief lull between playing through the two fire emblems, namely the much-loved super mario world. and this is the part of the post where the tomatoes are going to start flying, but i have to say that i found the game overall to be fairly boring. i remember playing the first part of the game in toy stores when it came out, but i don’t remember being that wowed by it even then. in more recent memory i’ve never been very interested in yoshi, and i found the game just didn’t have much of a wow factor. one of the problems is that the gameplay felt too close to super mario bros. 3, which in my mind is one of the most perfect video games ever. some of that opinion may be attributed to nostalgia and i should really sit down and play through the whole thing again, though. there was also a feeling of clutter, e.g. many of the levels seemed uninspired, some of the extra moves with the cape seemed superfluous, and there just didn’t seem to be as much variety as in SMB3. and it’s also worth noting that i didn’t feel the same way about super mario land 2 (granted, it was my first 2D mario game in quite a while). the wikipedia entry says that: “Shigeru Miyamoto stated at the time that because of the very limited production time, the game was not as good as he had hoped.”
the wikipedia article also points out that at the time the game wasn’t an instant best seller, and that it is notable for “giving the player the ability to revisit levels to find overlooked secrets. It was one of the first games to reward the player for ‘getting one hundred percent’ (finding all the secret exits in the levels, many of which lead to secret levels), an idea that has since become very popular.” i appreciate that innovation, although at the same time i decry it for forcing me to waste so much extra time once i’ve finished a game. the game boy advance version improves this aspect of the game as it keeps track of which secret exits you’ve found and which levels you’ve collected all 5 dinonsaur coins on, so if i ever get a hankering to pick this up again i’ll prob. track down that version, despite the more awkward controls. as it was i had to consult this guide at themushroomkingdom.net to figure out which secret exits i was still missing.
that site also has a good general SMW section, including the manual, an interesting comparison between the japanese and english versions, and some animated GIFs. among the GIFs were the ones i used at the top of this post which are of the ghosts in the ghost houses where you have to find the exits (my favorite parts of the game).
in any case i’m still interested in new super mario bros. and looking forward to seeing how it compares. the next mario game i tackle will prob. be super mario 64 though. i find 3D platformers to be less engaging than 2D ones, but i’m looking forward to seeing if this one will sway my opinion.