the GB edition of dr. mario was so interchangeable with the NES version that i thought i would take a peek at another edition i had on hand, dr. mario online rx for wiiware (which, incidentally, is one of the few wiiware titles you can buy outside of nintendo’s eshop via amazon). in doing so i skipped over the SNES and N64 editions, but i was interested in checking out the new co-op and worldwide wi-fi vs. modes.
the review at nintendolife.com provides a run-down of the other modes, which are mostly what you’d expect so i won’t dwell on them too much here, although i appreciated the ability to do a “hard drop” (press up to make a pill drop to the bottom, as in the modern tetris games) and the game also allows you to see the next three pills instead of just the next one. another unique feature is that you can send a demo version to friends so you can battle over wi-fi. i haven’t tried it out yet, but will def. be making use of it. the game is bright and colorful and i appreciated that it doesn’t have the maddening cheapness at the highest levels of difficulty that i mentioned in my previous post and that the viruses are distributed in a reasonable fashion. i also enjoyed the two new-to-me tracks, called “cough” and “sneeze”, which apparently were introduced in the N64 game under different monikers.
the co-op mode is no doubt inspired by the version that appeared as a stylus-controlled bonus in brain age 2. like that version the game features two nice reworkings of the classic “fever” and “chill” tunes, but this game’s mode is designed to be much more fast-paced. the size of the playing field is significantly smaller than the normal modes, and each stage starts off with only one pill dropping down at a time. this quickly increases to two and then three pills at a time, and then things get really hectic. the levels are designed to be short, and i played with someone who actually knew what she was doing and so we ended up alternating turns until the inevitable mad scramble that resulted when three pieces start dropping down at once. this was a fun, if somewhat shallow, diversion and one that would be even more stupid fun with more people.
the wi-fi mode serves as yet another reminder that my video game skillz are sorely lacking when compared to the rest of the world. this shouldn’t be that surprising, since according to the nintendo channel data the average owner of the game has played it for more than 26 hours (now up to more than 27). as with the game boy game, this has motivated me to spend more time mastering the combo system, but i’m going to have to come back to that since for now i think i’ve had my fill of dr. mario madness.
prescriptions filled with these dr. mario online rx links:
– as with other games in the series there’s an ending after beating the highest difficulty at level 20. in this case the credits roll and you see viruses and mario floating around in what is presumably some sort of petri dish.
– the reviews at metacritic seem a bit low, since this is probably the best version of the game yet
– the game was developed by arika, who’s been responsible for many a nintendo remake, including the 3-D classics series
– entry at mariowiki.com
– entry at wikipedia