Tom Chick and Scott Dobrosielsky

Super Mario 3D World: when the end isn’t the end

Tom: Super Mario 3D World has more endings than the Lord of the Rings movies. Just when you think it’s over, it’s not because there’s more to do. And then you do all that, and you get to the end and…well, I’d rather let you discover that. Suffice to say that this game diary probably could have gone for another day or two.

But we set out to write up eight worlds, so let’s write up the eighth world in Super Mario 3D World.

After the jump, eight is enough? Continue reading →

Super Mario 3D World: who’s the boss?

Scott: What’s in that huge castle!? I want to know, but as you can see I need 130 green stars to unlock the super Bowser castle and I only have 114. I guess I need to go grind stars. Do I go back to world one or two? Should I try some of those harder levels I powered through just to get to the end? Is it time to finally figure out what the heck is going on with those Captain Toad levels? Ugh.

Tom: Obviously, I’m better than you at Super Mario 3D World, because at this point I have 124 stars. Of course, I’ve done all the Captain Toad levels as I found them; I enjoy the change of pace of solving a jumpless puzzle that I can turn around in my hands. But, yeah, it’s kind of a dick move to drop a “you shall not pass” in our way this late in the game. With the exception of a few optional levels, I thought I was ahead of the green star curve!

After the jump, what’s in the castle. Continue reading →

Super Mario 3D World: Mario’s two arch nemeses

Tom: So, okay World Six, not bad. You even took a few bits that I thought would be terrible — such as the constantly dropping level where you have to keep jumping up to survive, and the boss monster that keeps splitting into a thousand tiny pieces that swarm me — and turned them into something I liked by the time it was over. I was sitting there playing thinking “ugh, this is going to be awful” and then it was over and I thought “oh, that was pretty cool”.

But it’s time to talk about the elephants in the room. It’s time to talk about a couple of enemies that have a serious impact on this game. It’s time to talk about two of Mario’s arch nemeses.

After the jump, Bowser’s got nothing on these guys. Continue reading →

Super Mario 3D World: kicking it with Mario

Scott: For the most part the social interaction stuff has been harmless. Most folks are content to scrawl a little fun graffiti with their stickers, or comment on such and such level. The Miiverse posts are so antiseptic and innocent, it’s a nice alternative to what we usually see when anonymous gamers share their thoughts. It must be tough to moderate this content considering it’s not just text but also drawings and clipart mashups. What could be a dicey environment for kids has turned out to be pretty pleasant. The nice lady in the above screenshot even helped me spot an easter egg.

After the jump, not everyone is as nice as Amandine. Continue reading →

Super Mario 3D World: too small to fail

Tom: Love the driveable ice skate! Just when you’re on the verge of saying, “okay, enough with the damn ice”, the ice skate comes along and you’re a little sad there isn’t actually more ice.

Scott: The ice skate is a great example of how creatively rich Mario games can be. As far as I can tell the ice skate is confined to one level. The skate is a great nod to Mario fans. I remember a similar level in Super Mario Bros. 3 where you get inside a big boot and stomp around. It only appears in that one level. Bad examples of this are the levels where you ride that seamonster around. Is it supposed to be some Yoshi stand in? Is Yoshi too big time to show up in a Mario game?

After the jump, size matters Continue reading →

Super Mario 3D World: peachy keen

Tom: Hmm, Shadow Play Alley is certainly stylish. And, hey, look, it’s the Mystery House Melee, a sort of quick n’ dirty combat chamber with increasingly difficult enemies. Basically a 30-second horde mode, with a star for each wave you pass. This is more like it. In fact, it occurs to me that short levels always make for a better game. If I don’t like a level, it’s over quickly. If I do like a level, it’s convenient to replay!

But what really won me over was Double Cherry Pass. Who can resist a small army of Princess Peach clones raising holy hell with fireballs? And I even got the sticker to show for it. It’s a picture of Princess Peach with a fireball in her hand. It’s like they knew I was going to take Princess Peach in this level! Here I am, caring about a sticker.

After the jump, Nintendo’s idea of multiplayer Continue reading →

Super Mario 3D World: Nintendcats

Tom: Hey, you don’t have to be Mario! I can instead think of this as Super Princess Peach 3D World. The next two weeks are going to be much easier. Furthermore, it has cat suits. Cat suits! It’s a little weird and I can’t help but think of that scene in The Shining when Shelley Duvall sees people in bear suits or cat suits or whatever doing things to each other, but I’ll gladly take weird over that insufferable little plumber.

Scott: Mario loves getting weird. The cat suit is just the latest in a long line of animal skins: Frog Mario, Racoon Mario, freaking Tanooki Mario (Tom’s previous fave) and that’s just canon. I’m sure there are plenty of bizarro suits in Mario games I haven’t played. It’s surprising it took this long to get to cat. Seems like a massive oversight.

Tom: Nintendo is clearly more of a dog person.

Scott: Or maybe the folks over at Nintendo were waiting for a desperate moment like this — Wii U on the rocks, stockholders getting anxious — to break out the cat.

After the jump, Tanookis explained Continue reading →