The 'Shroom:Issue 109/Critic Corner
This past month has easily been the absolute worst month of my life. You're no doubt aware by this point, but long-time Bureaucrat, devoted ornithologist, insightful intellectual, and my best friend, Walkazo (talk), passed away on March 27 in a tragic car accident. It's just complete bullshit, y'know? You take for granted that your friends will always be there for you, that they'll always be around for you to say everything you always wanted to say. I remember that I was working that day, thinking about the Birdie Sanders meme, since I knew she loved birds and supported Bernie Sanders and thus she would've loved the meme... I was going to talk to her about that when I got home, or when I had a day off. Stooben Rooben (talk) messaged me over the Steam phone app, and told me he had something important to talk to me about, but he chose to wait until I was finished with work before he told me... he somehow pretended everything was OK for three hours to continue chatting with me normally until I was back home, ready to take the horrible news. I could do nothing but cry... which I continued to do for the rest of that week.
Even tho it's become easier to come to terms with what happened, I still can't believe it's happened. She was my absolute best friend. She supported me through everything, she was the one I could talk to about literally anything and not be judged for it... she was such a big part of who I was... who I still am. How the hell can I just easily move along in life without her by my side anymore? It's just disgusting, it's completely cruel, to say nothing of what this has done to her family. Pantaro Paratroopa (talk) was strong and gracious enough to let us know what happened the very same day the incident occured, and for that I thank him, and I hope his family is able to move past this horrible loss... If her parents are reading this, just know that your daughter meant more to me than anyone I've ever known in my life. She meant so much more than she was probably ever aware, and I hate myself for not letting her truly know how much I cared for her. We were more than like sisters, we were the sort of best friends that may as well be joined at the hip. I don't know, this is sounding goddamn stupid now.
Fuck, I just miss her so much. Rest in peace, Walkazo, you beautiful, elegant woman... if there is any sort of afterlife - even if it's just whatever the hell makes up our conscious entering the void, as our frequent Rick and Morty discussions led us to conclude - then I hope to see you there when I kick the bucket. If not, well, you'll still be alive in my memory for as long as I have a functioning brain. I love you, and I always will.
Check out the Closing Statement to see more information on our plans for Special Issue 111, which we'll be dedicating to her. Also, if you have any spare time or money, be sure to offer any services or donations to the Tommy Thompson Park Bird Research Station, the institution Walkazo dedicated an intense amount of her time and effort towards to help improve our understanding of avian wildlife and to better improve their lives. It would've meant the world to her to have her loved ones donating to a cause she believed in with the utmost passion, so please think about donating or aiding them in some other capacity if you're able.
Section of the Month
I'd like to make some more in-depth commentary on this, but I just... I need to wallow in self-pity and grief for a while. I'm sorry.
PowerKamek throws a party with this review of Mario Party: Island Tour.
DragonFreak fights intergalactic forces to save MOTHER Earth in this review of Mother.
Frosty the Snowman ain't got nothin' on Yoshi876's subject for this month.
Meta Knight tells you exactly why Bowser knows how to put on a show.
Hey everyone! It’s now April, and I have a feeling that this year is going fast! Anyways, I am going to review the two-year-old Mario Party: Island Tour today!
Mario Party: Island Tour is a great game in my opinion. I have played it many times, and it’s minigames seem to be fun! My favorite minigame is The Choicest Voice. Not only because Birdo’s in it, but because it’s fun using my voice to imitate characters. And yes, I have heard that Jennette McCurdy played this minigame, also!
My favorite board is Star-Crossed Skyway because it is relaxing and peaceful (except when you lose stars from those Bony Beatles). I mainly like it because the goal: to collect the most ministars before the finish line. It reminds me of Mario Party 9, because in that game, you collect the most ministars to win also.
My favorite mode is Bowser’s Tower. I have only played it twice, but I really like it. It has 30 floors, and it gets more challenging as you go up. It does get harder, from the 5th floor being Goomba Tower Takedown, to the 30th floor being Bowser’s Sky Scuffle. Having Green Toad as a companion is so awesome! He will tell you advice as you go along the tower.
I think it’s time to rate this game. Pros: Great boards, fun minigames, and amazing modes. Cons: Not as fun playing as single-player (in my opinion)
Alright, I am going to give this game an 8/10. It is a fun Mario Party, ahead of Mario Party 9.
Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed this issue!
DragonFreak's Review Quest
It has now been ten years since Mother 3 has been released (with absolutely no localization... why Nintendo?) For that reason, I am going to review the first game of this mini-franchise: Mother 1, also known as Earthbound Beginnings on the Wii U Virtual Console.
Mother 1 is an RPG on the NES based on the Dragon Quest (then called Dragon Warrior) series. It is called "Mother" for several reasons, the most prominent and confirmed one is because the creator of the game, Shigesato Itoi, heard the song "Mother" by John Lennon of The Beatles and wanted to express the emotion from when Lennon exclaims "Mother!" Other possibilities include the prominent theme of mothers, the connection to the earth or mother earth, and the fact that the game is more "feminine" than RPGs at the time, including the Dragon Warrior it was based on. You play as Ninten, a young boy who probably has no business being trying to save the world if it was not for the fact that his grandparents had psychic powers who mysteriously disappeared.
Ninten wakes up one day and his house being affected by a strange paranormal force. After defeating furniture and toys, he calls his father who tells Ninten that he has to set off on an adventure to figure out the cause of this paranormal activity happening all over the world. It was the 1980s, things were different back then and kids were trusted with restoring the balance of nature. Shortly after leaving the house, the boy is attacked by people and animals, which he fights back to make them normal or tame. Further investigations lead to a zoo, where in it is an actual alien, calling itself Starman Jr. He reveals he has been controlling the animals in the area, and one can assume that there are many more like him.
After that Ninten goes to a very strange place. Using a mysterious stone, he is transported to another dimension called Magicant. A land that looks and sounds like a dream, ruled by Queen Maria. There she explains what you must do, and that is collection all eight melodies. The adventure will be a tough one. With Ana, Lloyd, and Teddy by Ninten’s side, they will face what can only be described as nightmares.
For being a NES game, you can fully expect that this game is hard. You may have played Earthbound and thought it was fairly easy, but do not expect that with Mother 1. First of all, unlike Earthbound, the melodies are not acquired after defeating bosses, but rather in seemingly random places throughout the land. That alone makes this game what is called a "guide game", where you need a guide to fully enjoy the game. I used a guide to beat this game, but in retrospect, it is very doable to play this game without a guide... problem is, that you may not notice how or why it is doable. Without giving much away in case one would not like to know this knowledge, but there is something in the game that will give you a hint to the locations to all of the melodies. With that and proper exploring, you could easily find all the melodies of the game.
Second, the enemies in the game are ridiculous. The random encounters are high. So high that you would be lucky to go ten steps without entering a battle. Which is not a problem with me since I like all the experience I can get, but I know others hate the encounter rate. The enemies also scale in power much greater than your own. At the beginning the enemies are so much weaker than Ninten, but by the end of the game, the enemies can wipe your team in one hit easily. Grinding does not help at all either.
Lastly, if the party member’s name is not Ninten (and to a lesser extent Teddy), they are weak. Both Ana and Loyd are very underpowered compared to Ninten with not as much attack, defense, or levels. When they join you, they start at level one. You have to grind them and even then they will never catch up to Ninten.
But despite it being really hard, it does have its good moments. Unfortunately, they are so late in the game, I do not want to talk about them in this review. However, I will say that for being on the NES, Mother 1 is just as quirky and touching as both of its sequels. And the music is amazing with underrated songs like Pollyanna and Mt. Itoi. Once again, it is hard to say what I like about some parts of the game, because all of those parts happen in the last one third of the game.
Do I recommend this game? Only if you are a fan of Earthbound/Mother 3 and really want to play the first game in the series. Do not play Mother 1 before its sequels because I do not feel like it is an accurate representation of the series as a whole. Plus, Mother 1 is not needed to play the rest. It definitely enhances the understand and lore, but it is not necessarily needed.
Simple as can be
Seeing as in some places of the world it's probably a time where it snows, I thought it'd be fitting to review this nice little generic enemy from Super Mario 3D World, the Snow Pokey, because we needed to get the desert into the ice world somehow.
Originality really doesn't have anything to do with this enemy as one can imagine. It is literally just a Pokey covered in snow, hence the name. However, unlike Pokeys, they do at least pursue the player, but with the speed that they move at you're only going to get hit if you forgot to hit the pause button when you nip to the loo. Most enemies at least pose some sort of threat, these ones don't actually manage to even do that.
Their general appearance also isn't threatening in any way. I'm sorry, but being chased by a pole like snowman doesn't particularly shout threat. Especially since technically, you don't even need to touch it do defeat it. Just poking its body parts on the Wii U Gamepad will actually damage it, you can nearly defeat it without it coming even close to touching you, and that's just poor design. But at least it's better than the way to defeat it, being that with either projectiles or a swipe of the Tanooki Tail. It's nice to see some creativity in ways to defeat enemies, but needed accuracy when throwing a shell in a 3D game isn't really going to work in any way, sadly.
The Snow Pokey is probably one of the worse reskins for an enemy, in which its annoying to defeat, but really isn't an obstacle at all considering it can be easily avoided, but if it is just a bit too scar at its general size, a few taps will remove all threat from it.
Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews
Greetings fellow boss fanatics! Last time, we took a look at how Yoshi handled Bowser in Yoshi's Island, so this month, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how Mario dealt with the Koopa King. There are many times the pudgy plumber has beat this dude, but I would like to take a look at the fight in Super Mario World. Whether you've taken the many different challenges that await behind the Front Door, or you've snuck in through the Back Door, this is one fight you won't forget.
No matter what door you take, you'll end up in a dark room, where a Question-Mark Block is hit to reveal a spotlight. The player will make a few jumps across lava, and pass some Ninjis and Mechakoopas. The Ninjis cameo is interesting, since not many things from Super Mario Bros. 2 are present in Super Mario World. I also like the suspense that this part brings out. You've made it past a numerous amount of levels, and now its coming to a close. The sequence that follows upon entering the Boss Door is incredible. The thunder strikes, the music rumbles, the Koopa Clown Car slowly makes its descent. Then Bowser is revealed in glorious 16-bit for the first time. The music really sells it for me here. You can hear it build up the reveal of Bowser. It really builds the tension and atmosphere. The way Bowser is revealed is handled brilliantly. In Super Mario Bros., there is nothing shocking about Bowser, and even in Super Mario Bros. 3 he kinda just shows up. This is the first time where Bowser is revealed in a dramatic way, and it really works.
As for the battle itself, this is one of the best times Mario fights Bowser in a 2D game. It's not pathetically easy, but it isn't excruciatingly difficult either. There's a nice bit of progression throughout the fight. In the first phase, Bowser will just casually move back and forth. He then makes villain blunder #41 and gives you ammunition by dropping Mechakoopas for you to throw back at him. Hit him twice, and he will leave the stadium. It starts out simple, which is nice because the player is given time to analyze and anticipate what Bowser is going to do. In this first phase, he doesn't really do anything, but I feel that it is another great way to have the fight progress.
Bowser will then drop fireballs on top of the castle for the player to dodge, and Princess Peach gives a powerup. This actually shows that the princess can be useful, which I approve of. She is able to help out which is nice. In phase 2, the only thing that changes is Bowser now drops giant metal balls for the player to jump over. In phase 3, the Koopa Clown Car is just as angry as Bowser, and it will stomp on the ground in hopes that you will be squashed. Once again, this fight has a great progression, and the music is sure to keep you on your toes. Back in 1991, I can only imagine people being astounded by witnessing this battle on the brand new Super Nintendo. The visuals are great, the tone is fantastic, the music is memorable, and overall, I just think that this is a really good boss battle. An excellent finale to one of the greatest games ever.
The Hallow is a horror film revolving around an English couple who move to a house within the Irish countryside and inadvertently attract the attention of several creatures from Irish folklore who are intent on stealing their baby.
Now, seeing as this is a horror film the immediate question needs to be, is it scary? And the immediate answer is no, not at all. Every single jumpscare that the film tries throwing at you are easily predictable, and this is from someone who is quite jumpy in horror films. The only thing that manage to be scary is the look of the monsters, these things are genuinely creepy, but at that same time they wouldn't look out of place in a Scooby Doo movie; part of me genuinely expected Joseph Mawle's character to take the head off of one of them and unveil the creepy old guy constantly warning them about the creatures. The film's monsters though slightly scary are not threatening in any way, one prime example of this is a scene where they push Adam (Mawle) into his car boot and then wait several hours for him to come round before they attempt to kidnap his baby. Now, yes, these monsters burn in sunlight, but if there is enough shade for them to kick the guy into the car, these is enough shade for them to attempt to kidnap his baby, they're in a bloody forest for crying out loud. However, the forest does work in this horror setting, it always looks creepy, especially when the creatures are advancing through it at night, but its geography leaves a lot to be desired. There seems to be no continuity with it as large open hill lands seem to appear out of nowhere.
I mentioned in the opening paragraph how the plot of the film revolves around a married couple trying to protect their baby from being kidnapped by fairies from Irish folklore, however, when the baby is eventually kidnapped you end up unsure of whether it's because the film needed to move the plot along or if because these people are quite possibly the worst parents in the history of mankind. Adam leads his baby into some creepy abandoned houses he found in the forest and upon discovering a dead deer carcass his response is not to leave and avoid scarring his infant son's mind, but to instead take blood samples from it. Another classic example is that they barricade their baby in a cupboard and Adam assumes the silence over the baby monitor means that he's asleep, rather than potentially missing and he constantly chastises Clare (Novakovic) for thinking otherwise.
As the main characters of the film are a married couple you'd expect some chemistry between them, but Mawle and Novakovic have none, a couple that has just gotten together can show more love than either of these two. All of their dialogue seems so forced and bland, and even their one intimate scene together ends up coming off a bit rapey. Even when they're attempting to save their son it still doesn't seem right. The film did a lot better when the two were apart from each other, and you could see some form of familial bond as each tried to save their son.
The other characters in the film are barely worth mentioning, there's Colm (McEllhatton), a man who had his daughter kidnapped by the creatures and who constantly warns Adam and Clare about them, but as soon as they need his help he refuses to give them any, and there's a police officer whose sole contribution is to tell Adam and Clare that "things do go bump in the night" whilst in Ireland before returning to his car for a two second shot of him relaxing, despite it seeming like he was about to impart some words of wisdom to his partner, maybe he was and the film just did a bad job at editing.
The Hallow is not a good film, let alone a good horror film, and from my reading of other reviews I fail to understand how fans would be clamouring for a sequel on this. The only thing I can see them doing is giving some backstory to the creatures, because unless you know Irish folklore you'll have no idea what the creatures are, as the film does nothing to actually explain their being. So, as I'm sure you can tell I would not recommend this film, it was a slog to get through even at just 97 minutes.