The 'Shroom:Issue 123/Critic Corner

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Director's Notes

Written by: Hypnotoad (talk)

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Hello hello hello, welcome to another month of Critic Corner, this time June! Being just about 25 years since Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, and thus Wario's first appearance, this month is dedicated to him, with (most of) our sections featuring Wario games, characters, or himself!

Congrats to Gabumon (talk) for winning May's Critic Corner Section of the Month! Here's to hoping he'll write more, so please, join me in cyberbullying him to just start reviewing everything. Also congrats to pretty much everyone else writing here who placed thanks to ties!!!

Also for this month we've worked hard to bring to you the Mario Awards polls, celebrating our Wiki's anniversary with a bunch of polls for the best and worst in Mario games, as well as the Community Awards polls, shining a light on the people who make this community welcoming and fun. And there's even more! While a few are already closed and started, there's still plenty of tournaments to join and things to do, all of which you can check out in one convenient place over at Ltq's Anniversary Announcements

Vote vote vote vote vote vote vote!!!
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Section of the Month

Critic Corner SECTION OF THE MONTH
Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Yooka-Laylee Review 9 33.33% Gabumon (talk)
2nd Anton's Half-Baked Reviews 4 14.81% Lord Bowser (talk)
2nd Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews 4 14.81% Meta Knight (talk)
3rd Could Have Been 2 7.41% Alex95 (talk)
3rd Countdowns 2 7.41% Luigi 64DD (talk)
3rd Lord Bowser's Inside Story 2 7.41% Lord Bowser (talk)
3rd Marioverse Reviews 2 7.41% PowerKamek (talk)



Opinion Pieces

Were there more than 6 Golden Coins?
[read more]

What has Anton discovered in this pyramid? Mini-games.
[read more]

Wario himself pays us a visit!
[read more]
Reviews

A quick pit stop while Wario snoozes.
[read more]

~This is the review you're looking for, mind tricks totally don't happen here~
[read more]

A pyramid no Anton is brave enough to enter, so Lord Bowser explores instead.
[read more]



Could Have Been

Written by: Alex95 (talk)

The beta start screen.

Hello everyone! My name is Alex95 and welcome to "Could Have Been". In this segment, I talk about features that didn't quite make it into a game's final release and see just how the cut content would've affected the game. Last month, I stated that in theming with the Wario-theme for this issue, I'd be talking about the cut content of one of my favorite Wario games. Keeping my promise, I'll be covering the content removed from Wario's debut title, Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins! So let's jump right in and take a look at what could have been.

First, let's start at the beginning, and I mean the very beginning, to before you even start the game! The start screen for the game looked very different, but also very similar to how the Japanese title screen looks. The large sign was made even larger to accommodate for the large "2" in the title. So we lost the arrow sign and the Warp Pipe, but hey, we have stars on our sign! Take that, Japan!

Beta
Final
Beta
Final
CHB123SML2SpaceSwim.gif

Pretty much the entirety of the content removed from SML2 are sprites, and Mario went through a few changes himself. The original graphics, seen on the top left, gave Mario a strange face. I say strange because the design of his mustache makes it look like Mario's making that o.o emote thing. And when he dies, Mario receives a comically large mouth. He was also slimmer in the original build, but we can't have a slim Mario, can we, hahaha—oh, wait. Uh… the fireball also changed, too, going from a darker tone to a lighter one. Warp Pipes also went through a change. They were originally thinner, but were widened for the final game, presumably so they could hide Mario as he travels through them when they're laid sideways. The small, white platforms you stand on in the game were also originally thicker, height-wise, which probably made jumping onto them from below more difficult. Also, Mario could swim in space! Supposedly, this animation was used during the second stage of the Space Zone, but in the final game, Mario just uses the simple jumping animation. The animation was finished, why they'd get rid of it? Well, that might have to do with the fact that you can't actually "swim" in space. You can flail around all you want to, but you're not going to get any movement out of it. …Wait, why am I talking about real-world physics in a Mario game? The guy can BREATHE in space, for crying out loud! …And sometimes he can't!

CHB123SML2CastleTiles.png
CHB123Super Mario Land 2 Unused Cloud.png

Ahem…Anyway, let's move on to some maps. If you've played this game, chances are you've seen the castle in the center of, um, "Mario Island" (I guess) and you may have also seen the dark cloud that obscures the top of the castle. Well, did you know that the top of the castle actually has tiles being covered by the cloud? They're there, they're rendered, they just don't show up! Supposedly, the dark cloud would have dissipated after you've defeated Wario, but the game doesn't save after the end credits, so nothing happens. Also, the cave before the castle has a disabled level code, which will make the player stop there when it's enabled. Perhaps there was one final level you had to go through before reaching the final level.
Here's a theory for you guys: A disabled cloud above the Pumpkin Zone looks remarkably similar to the Biokinton boss from the first game. Why is that important? In the first game, Biokinton was the last line of defense before the player has to fight Tatanga, the final boss. Guess who's in Super Mario Land 2? Tatanga! And this disabled cloud is placed above and to the left of the Pumpkin Zone, which is close to the Space Zone, where Tatanga is fought in a rematch. Coincidence? Nope! Why do you think they disabled him? So he wouldn't give away Tatanga's presence in the game if you went through the Pumpkin Zone first!

Well, that's about everything interesting in the game! …Hmm, actually, I feel like I was supposed to talk about something important… or maybe it was someone… Eh, must not have been that important if I forgot about it. Oh, well. If you want to know more about the game's unused assets, feel free to take a look at the page on the Cutting Room Floor. Until next month, I'll see you—

Hey, stupid! This is my month! You can't make a section all about me and then not include me in it! I demand I be put into this segment!

*flees*



AntonHalfBakedLogo.png

Written By: Hypnotoad (talk)

I’m back! I just had to take a little break because things were piling up for me offline and I couldn’t focus on this as much as I would’ve liked. Thank you to Lord Bowser (talk) for filling in for me; he was more than happy to do it after being hypnotized to think it was a hostile takeover. He’s fared better than ‘3k over in Dear Anton, though, who’s been hypnotized since January 2016. Technically I have been, too, since October 2016, but details.

This month, though, I’m satisfying the theme as well as some friends in the community who’ve been wanting me to play Wario Land 4. I also was gonna try out WarioWare: Touched! but I got stingy because I didn’t want to spend the $10 and was also feeling lazy, two qualities that could probably be attributed to Wario by some people who really don’t like him even though they might not exactly be part of his characterization. Look at me being appropriately thematic *pats self on back*. This review is in the same style as my Super Mario 64 review, in that I just rambled notes and thoughts as I was playing each level, and then later slammed them into paragraphs and finished any thoughts I may have had.

Wario Land 4

Intro

Right off the bat the sprite intro looked gr8, but unfortunately I hit a button and it ended it. I thought about giving up right there but I figured that wouldn’t make for too interesting of a review, so I persisted. At the start of the game there’s a cute frog, which immediately wins praise from me. To proceed you have to step on frog to open big swirly hole in the wall, which brings you to the tutorial, Hall of Hieroglyphs. The sprites and artwork for this I can already tell are amazing. They have their own style that clicks perfectly with how quirky the Wario franchise came to be.
whir whir
At the end there’s a frog again that you gotta step on, which I do so because that’s what I did the last time. This time around, though, its eyes start flashing in what I can only assume is an homage to Emmy Award winning Everybody Loves Hypnotoad, complete with it trying to kill you, forcing you to run away and dive back into the hole where more spirals consume you. So anyways moving forward there’s a hallway with like one room so I guess that’s the one to go into--the Mini-game shop. I try out only Wario’s Roulette at the moment, which amused me up until the point where I selected one of the rotating things but it doubled back and gave me the wrong one so I got mad and left. The first boss starts out as some like babby eggplant thing and then suddenly becomes horrifying. I wasn’t sure whether to feel disgusted or put off by it, or admire the spriting abilities of the artists. Before I could decide I killed the thing and moved on with my life, forgetting that this boss existed until I came across this in my notes while putting the section together.

Sapphire Passage

After this Wario breaks into some pyramid thing, where you have to barge into the Crystal Gems’ rooms and steal stuff from them. I chose Sapphire first because I like her the most.

Crescent Moon Village

So here we go with the actual game. I can’t remember if I already said this and checking if it’s in my intro would mean scrolling up and that would break my typing action right now and I can’t sacrifice that when I barely have the energy right now to get up and go to the bathroom even though I have had to for the last like 2 hours because it would mean moving my arms in a way that gets the covers off of me and then roll out of bed, BUT, this now means I’m just gonna roll through the game and provide commentary as I play through each level and then slap an emotion onto it with no real critical analysis until I come up to something that gets my juices boiling, which I hope there is because otherwise this is gonna be a boring review and I can’t win SOTM with that. Right away there’s some flying bone thing that’s really cute, but it was throwing green nonsense at me so I ran away. Totally didn’t expect to be turned into a bat by touching one but ok, and the flying ghost pirate thing is pretty annoying and rude. After just some basic platforming because I don’t know what else I should be doing, I grab the Keyser thing dude and step on the frog. Having to run back through the entire level once you have Keyser sure is a surprise but also kinda neat as a game mechanic. I’m already anticipating puzzles that come out of this, with things being open/closed based on whether you’re coming or going.

Arabian Night

Wowzers a wildly different theme than the last level, this is neat. Good sprite artwork blah blah apparently that cute bone thing turns Wario into a zombie, which I guess is a powerup?? Ok. Als there’s a bee thing that makes Wario inflate. Huh. Time to keep an internal count of fetishes I encounter; so far it’s 3. It’s also at this point where I bounce around to different levels and this stops following a chronological order of when I played them because that’s too hard to remember, and instead will just follow each passage through to its end. Think of it was a Choose Your Own Adventure book but it’s my adventure and I chose it and you just have to sit there and read it.

Fiery Cavern

By now you might be thinking that every level I’m gonna have a huge paragraph written up, but fret not. This level changing into ice on the way back was actually really cool because otherwise the stage seemed pretty boring.

Hotel Horror

I had fun with this level but ???? I’m not sure what to say about it? There were lots of doors and axe people. Seemed like it could’ve had more...stuff...in it..More different stuff. Each floor felt the same, which idk if that was the point to make it difficult to navigate but it just seemed kinda bluh.

Catbat

This was the last boss I faced so I excelled at it rather than suffering and getting angry, so if you want to see that first, skip ahead. I got a Black Dog from the mini-game shop because it clicked that there’s 4 items that cost 10 and they’ve gotta do something different; turns out they each do different damages. I was vaguely excited for Catbat because a couple people in IRC said it was good. Turns out it’s ugly and I killed it pretty much immediately without any effort. I’m not sure why Lord Beerus was piloting it, but that’s probably why it was so easy because he was in there instead of fighting for himself.

Ruby Passage

The Curious Factory

Wario can be flattened and then just floats around like a piece of paper; yet another fetish this game generates.

The Toxic Landfill

Force-fed food to become fat, why am I surprised anymore. Also a spring thing. I can’t ever tell when something is going to kill me or turn me into a fetish, and this is becoming an actual problem and not just silly quips.

40 Below Fridge

Getting Sonic vibes from this for some reason. Bigfoot Yeti whatever freezes you, which I thought would have some application to puzzles in the level but turns out it actually doesn’t and is just an annoying time waster, unlike the rest of the transformations.
I found DragonFreak
The wiki says this ability can be used to glide over spikes without harm, but I don’t recall this ever being presented within the game. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough.

Pinball Zone

Music is way too slow for this kind of level and genuinely kinda ruined the entire level for me. There was hardly anything pinball about it beyond forcing me to roll, either, and the bomb puzzle things were just more tedious and a test of wall clipping than it was any skill. Probably the worst level concept in the game.

Cuckoo Condor

To top off a genuinely well-roundedly bad Passage is a boss that fits the bill. Sure, this may be the second boss I actually encountered in my playthrough, but I didn’t actually defeat it until it was the last thing standing between me and the final level. So, in the first run, I bought a Blast Cannon just to see what it does; just under half damage, not bad. It tries to catch me with a pendulum claw coming out of his flying clock chair suit thing. I let it happen just to see what it does and it does literally nothing more than bump me out of the way. Hitting this thing upwards is also the only way to damage him so like really dude the condor just needs to not drop its useless pendulum and it would be immortal. Once it came out of the clock it murdered me though so I’m gonna grind to get a Black Dragon because that’s the last one on the list of items so it’s gotta be good. It’s neat that the points (money) you earn in the levels actually goes towards something (purchasing mini-games); this is the first game I’ve seen actually do something with that arbitrary counter. Black Dragon did roughy 2/3 damage which is less than what I expected but that’s alright. Still murdered me though once it started throwing eggs everywhere. I had 1 hit left to go, so I’m grumpy now, so here comes the part of my review where I give up because it’s not worth my time or energy. I’d rather not grind mini-games all day just so I can keep losing at the last second on a boss that isn’t even mentally challenging, just a test of dexterity and system controls, since the condor just blasts out 500 chicks onto the ground making it difficult for you to get in a position to lob the egg at its head.

Mini-Game Intermission so Anton can just buy his way to winning despite just saying that he wouldn’t do this

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After realizing that different items do different damages to different bosses I decided to take back that I’d quit this game even though I found that out by coming back to it to play through Topaz and Sapphire but who cares. To grind for the frog coins I played Wario Hop, the best minigame even though my life flashes before my eyes after every jump, with extreme intensity. I stopped breathing, my teeth gnashed, my eyes unfocused, and I entered a trance and astral projected, doubling my previous high score to land a 106. As stated earlier, Wario’s Roulette can be fun until suddenly it decides you should lose by going with something you didn’t pick, and while Wario’s Homerun Derby might have the best point:frog coin ratio there were several times the ball just went through the bat and that’s bad. I did this to get me like 50 frog coins which should hopefully be enough to finish out the game.

Cuckoo Condor again

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Bought a Big Fist which brought this monster to just 1 bar of health left, then I killed it immediately. Very satisfying.

Emerald Passage

Palm Tree Paradise

Wow geeze this level is really super easy. There’s nothing else to say.

Wildflower Fields

I think I fell asleep while playing this level.

Mystic Lake

A water level. Yawn.

Monsoon Jungle

This level deserved to be in a better passage. It had some challenging platforming with punishments you could attempt to escape from instead of being instant. I sat and watched Tobawani swim for a while. One of them saved me when I fell off a platform by jumping up and biting me, launching me upwards and forward enough to make it to the ledge.

Cractus

Perv
This was my first boss fight in my playthrough. I was vaguely excited because I thought the pun would be that it was a cute croc monster, since the preview kinda looked like it, but it turned out to just be a gross plant. Before entering, though, I bought a Vizorman because GBAToad likes him and I figured I should try out something. It apparently did like 60% damage which was a lot more than I was thinking since it was a cheaper item. Defeating Cractus seems simple enough--jump on its head, but it has transformation fetish drool and when it hits you he just sits back and enjoys it like a perv. Waiting on the ladder for him to come by seems to just make him constantly fly back and forth trying to drool on you, so all you have to do to win is just kinda stand in the middle, and when he starts coming around hop onto the ladder, dodge one leaf attack, then sit on his head like 10 times and you’re good to go.

Topaz Passage

Toy Block Tower

For some reason this face reminded me of Turb
I’m not sure why I felt underwhelmed by this level, it had unique mechanics that it introduced appropriately and then utilized in a sensible manner. Maybe it was my future self astral projecting back into my attitude preparing me for the levels to come.

The Big Board

The theming was cute and made me think of like a Yoshi’s Island LEGO set, the board game thing was unique and neat, and it was a generally fun level in concept for the most part. Getting to the end and just slamming the dice thing until I got to the end was cheap, though, and felt like a quick solution to a level that wasn’t as cleverly designed as it could’ve been.

Doodle Woods

Flashbacks to ghost pirate stealing my cash made me a little apprehensive to start, but then I saw him start summoning weird creatures with drawings which seemed a whole bunch more cool. Disappointment quickly followed, since Doodlebob here only knew how to draw 2 things.

Domino Row

I had to repeat this level several times--the first time for any of them--just to get one more of those piece things to get the boss. I feel like this shouldn’t have frustrated me as much as it did because it seems like such a common thing to do and injects a level of difficulty into the game, but with this being the ONLY level that I had to exert any effort to do so, it felt out of place and quite frankly annoying and a waste of time.

Aerodent

Got a Black Dragon because I’m not gonna mess around, which if I were to play this knowing more details I would’ve gotten another item that would’ve done more damage, but, still did a bunch. His name kinda sounds like a carbonated toothpaste brand, but it’s actually an ugly rat that hides inside of a pool toy. He starts throwing down needle things, seems intuitive: grab the needle thing and pop it. I do so and it just descends, ok, seems intuitive. Go to hit the blinking feet since that’s a clear indicator to do a thing to it. Nothing happens. Waste a solid minute and a half trying it but eventually get frustrated and pause to look it up on the wiki here. It says to do exactly what I was doing. Boy am I glad that apparently the hitbox doesn’t exist. Apparently the key to getting this to work is have it confirmed to you by using a guide, signally whatever deity that presides over it to generate a hitbox. After I’ve done that, it becomes super easy and I pummel the ugly rat to death pretty much immediately.

Golden Pyramid

Golden Passage

The level starts with a timer immediately, time for anxiety. The entire level seemed pretty easy until that part at the end where you gotta throw that old dude and it just wasn’t happening, eating up all but 40 seconds of my time. Frantically running back I of course run out, accepting my fate, only to learn that I apparently just start bleeding money to give myself more time.

Golden Diva

I remember people begging for Golden Diva to be added to Favorite Boss Battle in the Mario Awards my expectations are a bit high. The battle starts off with her voring the cat, keeping in tune with the rest of the game. Her attacks all seem to be reminiscent of the other bosses so she’s pretty easy and my biggest worry really was wondering how far along the timer has to go before I start losing treasure chests, but luckily I never found that out and won with them all still there. Cat turns into a beautiful princess thanks to the power of materialism, another example of a transformation fetish, just to tie this game right up.

Summary

People in chat told me that I apparently chose the “last” and most difficult Passage first, but like, there’s no clear direction so how is there an order??? How am I supposed to just know which ones are meant to be harder or not? Rather than be miffed about this, I enjoyed being able to just go down a different passage if I got fed up with another one.
Wario reminiscing about the time he slaughtered GBAToad's people.
Maybe it’s my inexperience with games, but this is the only one that I know of that actually uses the points/coins you get in levels for anything more than a 1-up, and it made it feel like an achievement collecting more. The artwork for the game felt refreshing, even though the game is like 15 years old, but it was unique and had life in it. Alongside the good artwork were ambitious and creative level designs. Not a single level was remotely the same as any other, which is a nice break from platforming games with worlds where there’s 15 of the same theme played out just up until the point that you’re exhausted by it.

Leading off of that positive, the level designs more than often didn’t pan out too well, with an overwhelming majority being lackluster or just flatout bad. I found myself bored with a lot of levels, because while it was neat to see something new and the art design and stuff put into it to make each level special, I don’t think they really set aside any time to have interesting platforming and puzzles. In many of the levels you’re unable to tell which enemies are going to kill you or transform you until you just let something happen, but otherwise everything is really simple and intuitive. I had more fun with Wario Hop than I did easily 2 entire passages, which might be why the WarioWare games came into being.

Bonus points to people who can guess the order I went in because I can vaguely remember it enough to tell someone “yeah you’re right” and allow them to feel like a cool person.

Rating: WhiteCheddarPopped.png White Cheddar Chex Mix Popped

Explanation: They tried, they really tried. A new sub-brand to shake things up, add new flavors, something shocking and exciting, an intelligent approach to an already played-out formula. Unfortunately, in its attempt to be a smart new product, it plays it too safe and predictable. There’s a few sweet parts, but just as many basic. Would I try it again? Sure. Will I scream about it to all of my friends like the modern day lost ambrosia that is Chocolate Peanut Butter Chex Mix, firing off emails to General Mills executives demanding for them to bring it back or at least send me unsold parcels? Nah. Overall it was a good game and the flubs it had can be forgiven by the creativity they put into it. It may be a lower bar since ambition and stretching the limits aren’t exactly what the Mario brand is known for, but I guess that’s why Wario is an inversion of him.


Tune in next month where I review some fizzy things! Also, tell me what to review next! Here’s my Steam Inventory filled with games I haven’t played for some ideas, but things you can tell me to do can also be movies, shows, physical actions, trying new foods, music, literally anything and I’ll cover it eventually if it’s not too ridiculous. Just send me a message here on my talk page or PM it to me on the forum. Don't like what I have to say? That's fine, and probably bound to happen because I've been told about how much people like Super Mario 64 and how they feel about any criticism of it! We at Critic Corner will welcome your alternate review of it as a new section for the next issue!



Countdowns

Written by: Luigi 64DD (talk) and Wario

Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png Hello fellow wikians! I’m Luigi 64DD, and it is my sacred duty to bring you another glorious helping of Countdowns! But this countdown is a little different than the last two. While those were positive and focused on all the good stuff, this one is all about complaining about some bad stuff. What bad stuff, you ask? Why, none other than the Top 10 Worst Mario Kart Characters! In this countdown, I'll be numbering the characters who just shouldn't have been in Mario Kart, whether they're too obscure, too lazy, or just plain ridiculous. Now, this time around I've invited someone else to join me who I think is quite qualified for the job of complaining: Wario! Why don't you say hello to our readers, Wario?
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png How you doin', losers?
Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png Erm, that's not quite what... Well, anyway, with each entry on the list, I will say my opinion, then Wario will give his 2 cents on the matter.
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png WAAAAA!? I have to give them 2 cents!? No way! I'm outta here!
Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png It's just an expression, Wario! *sigh* Anyway, let's get started, and try not to fall off the track as we drift past these bad characters!
10. Funky Kong

Are you having flashbacks of hearing... whatever he says when he gets a speed boost?

Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png We start off our list with a character that anyone who frequented Mario Kart Wii's online mode should remember vividly: Funky Kong. Now, what's wrong with him being playable, you ask? Isn't he a cool guy? Well, while I like the character of Funky Kong, I don't think he is relevant enough to be in Mario Kart. He's usually just a helper NPC in the Donkey Kong Country series, occasionally being playable in some of the lesser known titles Donkey Kong franchise. He's one of the more well-known supporting characters in the Donkey Kong franchise, so it would make sense to have him if this was Donkey Kong Kart. But, this is Mario Kart, so the number of Donkey Kong representatives shouldn't be too high. Now don't get me wrong, another Donkey Kong character after Donkey and Diddy is fine, but someone like Dixie Kong or even Cranky Kong would be better. Even so, Funky Kong is only at #10 in the list because having a weird, unexpected character as a one-time thing isn't so bad and can actually be cool at times, like in the case of R.O.B. It's just when that character sticks around is where it gets bad.
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png I hate this guy. He thinks he's so cool. Doesn't he know that nobody's as cool as Wario? I was racing against him the other day, and he had the gall to throw a Spiny Shell at me, making me lose! And you know what he said to me when I told him off? "Just chill out, man!" What a cheater!
9. Lakitu
Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png "For 19 years, Lakitu served as the starter for races, the rescuer of people who fall off cliffs, and the reminder of the right direction for those dumb enough to drive backwards. However, in Mario Kart 7, he decided to give that up and to take the whee-- wait, what? He's still doing it? Then who's that guy racing? He looks just like Lakitu! Oh, that's his brother. You can tell them apart because Lakitu wears a green shell while his brother wears a red shell." This could be the reaction of a person in the audience of a Mario Kart race. As stated above, Lakitu has always had a specific role in the Mario Kart series, so it's weird to have him be a racer too. Also, they gave the racing Lakitu a red shell to prevent it from seeming like he's bilocating. Who wants to play as a red-shelled Lakitu? There's no such thing as a red-shelled Lakitu! I just prefer Lakitu keeping his normal job without being playable. However, like Funky Kong, this character is not that bad compared to the later entries on this list.
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png This guy is annoying. He tells me when to go, he stops me from going off the cliff, and he says I can't go backwards. What if I don't want to go right away? What if I want to drive off the cliff? What if I want to go backwards? Only I can tell me what to do! ... What's that? It's not the same guy? Well, he looks and sounds dumb anyway.
8. Wiggler

Do I even need to tell you how ridiculous this is?

Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png Over the years, many enemies from the Super Mario series have appeared in Mario Kart, like Koopa Troopa (one of the most iconic enemies), Shy Guy (the most common enemy in Super Mario Bros. 2 and a common character in spin-offs), and Birdo (another enemy from SMB2 who was used as Yoshi's partner). Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Nintendo chose to introduce a enemy as a new driver in Mario Kart 7. They could have introduced a famous enemy like Hammer Bro., Magikoopa, or even Blooper. But no, instead they introduce Wiggler. Sure, Wigglers have appeared in a decent number of games, but they are always uncommon enemies who you don't pay very much attention to. Why they should they be playable over these other more famous and honestly better enemies? That's not all though. Just look at him riding in the kart. His body can barely even fit in the kart, so much so that he has a pair of hands above the steering wheel. And since when did Wiggler have hands!? He has feet, not hands! And just to add insult to injury, they gave him that annoying high-pitched voice. At least give him the voice he had in Super Mario Galaxy! The only thing I like about this character in Mario Kart is that he gets angry when he's hit by an item.
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png Who is that? A caterpillar? Weird. He seems to have a bad temper. Why does he get so mad when I, the rightful victor, am winning? He's a sore loser, unlike me.
7. Honey Queen
Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png We now come to the one of the characters whose inclusion I hate most: Honey Queen. So, let's go over her history. She was introduced in Super Mario Galaxy as the queen of the Bees that appeared in a few galaxies. In order to get the Power Star in one of these galaxies, the player had to help this NPC scratch the itch on her back which is caused by Star Chips. Once this is done, a Launch Star will appear that leads to the Power Star. Honey Queen returns in pretty much the exact same way in Super Mario Galaxy 2. So, in summary, she was an minor NPC in SMG and SMG2 with just about as much relevance as Penguru. How in Poochy's name did they decide she was a good character for Mario Kart!? Not only that, but she's a really boring character. She's basically just a generic queen, with the Royal we and everything. Her voice is kind of annoying too. And just to make things worse, she effectively took the place of fan-favorite Waluigi (not that this is affects how bad of a character she is, it just makes you wonder what the developers were thinking). While I really dislike this character choice, she's only this low on the list since I know she's not as bad as certain other characters.
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png A bee!? First a caterpillar, now a bee! Wait, don't caterpillars turn into bees? What'd you say? They don't? Oh, I knew that, I was only, er, joking. Yeah. Anyway, it looks like she isn't skimpy in her diet! WA HA HA HA HA!
6. Metal Mario

Now here's a version of Metal Mario I can agree with.

Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png Well, we had to get here eventually, didn't we? This is the first clone character on the list, but it most definitely is not the last. So Metal Mario is Mario... except he's made of metal. Creative, no? What's wrong with him is that he's another version of Mario being treated as a completely different character. However, there are a couple of reasons why he is more tolerable than the other clones. First, he had some previous appearances before being in Mario Kart. He was a form Mario could take on in Super Mario 64, he was playable in Mario Golf 64 and Dr. Mario 64, and he appeared in Super Smash Bros. Melee as a boss. Second, he is the only clone in Mario Kart 7, making him seem like this cool special character you could only unlock by beating the hardest cup in the game. However, this was lost when he was added to Mario Kart 8 as just another character. Third, he's kind of portrayed as a mysterious rival to Mario. However, this would have worked better if he was silent or just made metallic noises like in Melee. With his voice just sounding like Mario with a filter over it and him acting like Mario, he really might as well be just Mario with a Metal Cap. Besides, if they want a version of Mario that is a rival to him, why not include Shadow Mario, who already fills that role and is more relevant? Of course, even that isn't necessary, but it would have been better than Metal Mario.
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png WAAA!? Mario can't turn into metal! Only I can do that! Who does he think he is? Is he trying to get rid of me? Oh, I'll show him-- WAAAAA!? There's Mario right there, and a Metallic Mario right there! What's going on here? Maybe I better get my eyes checked!
5. Baby Daisy
Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png If you look back at Mario Kart Wii, you can see that this is where they started running out of ideas. They added Baby Peach, which was perfectly fine, but I guess their OCD forced them to add another baby girl to balance out the baby-male-to-baby-female ratio. Hence the oft-ridiculed Baby Daisy. Now let's examine the baby characters. Baby Mario and Baby Luigi are representatives of the Yoshi's Island series and they were playable in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, so I think they definitely deserve to be in the Mario Kart series (another good reason is that I'd rather not be killed with a rocket launcher by a certain user whom I'm sure you can guess). Baby Peach was a playable character in Yoshi's Island DS and was an important NPC in Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time, so she's fine too. But I draw the line at Baby Daisy. She was literally in absolutely nothing before Mario Kart Wii. They just took Daisy and made her a baby. I mean, obviously Daisy was once a baby, but we don't need to be able to play as her! What's next? Child Yoshi? Teen Donkey Kong? Old Man Waluigi? Okay, I admit, that last one would be hilarious, but my point still stands. And you know what I really hate about Baby Daisy? That whining voice. It's so much worse than normal Daisy.
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png Ohhh, my earrrrssss! Can someone give her a pacifier or something? Besides, why is she here when my baby version isn't? Man, if baby me were here, there'd be no coins left on this track. Heh heh heh!
4. Tanooki Mario

My cousin's reaction when she first saw Tanooki Mario on the character selection screen in Mario Kart 8: "Mario in a bear suit?" She was not impressed.

Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png Now for the second (and last) Mario on the list: Tanooki Mario. The Tanooki Suit is an iconic power-up. It debuted in Super Mario Bros. 3 and made appearances in Super Mario 3D Land and Super Mario 3D World. In those games, it was a form that Mario took, but not a separate character. See what I'm getting at? Tanooki Mario has all the same problems as Metal Mario except worse: he can't really be treated as a separate character. I like to imagine Tanooki Mario as a more cheerful, happy-go-lucky Mario while Metal Mario is a cool, edgy Mario, but at the heart of it this is not the case. He really is just Mario in a Tanooki Suit. Now, I actually enjoy playing as this character; in fact, I play as him more than I play as Mario. But I understand that Tanooki Mario is a bad choice. What I'd like to see is all the clone characters being alternate costumes, i.e., when selecting Mario, a box opens up giving you the options of Mario, Tanooki Mario, Metal Mario, Gold Mario, and whatever other Marios they feel like adding. This would make everyone happy.
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png Another Mario!? How many Marios are there? Mario must have found a way to clone himself instead of just making those Mini Marios. Maybe he used one of those Double Cherry things they found on that adventure they didn't invite me too. Mario's such a jerk... *grumble grumble*
3. Cat Peach
Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png Meow we come to a purrson very similar to the one right befurr her! ...Yeah, that was pretty dumb. Furry jokes aside, Cat Peach is pretty much in the exact same boat as Tanooki Mario (in more ways than one, since they came in the same DLC pack). She's Peach in a cat suit, and that's the long and short of it. What makes her worse than Tanooki Mario? Well, Tanooki Mario is an iconic and famous powered-up Mario from a classic game, unlike Cat Peach. Now, granted, Cat Peach is from Super Mario 3D World, which was new at the time, but gimme a break, okay? They're pretty much equal anyway, so their order relative to each other is pretty arbitrary. I don't have much more to say about her, but I will say it's kind of hilarious to play as Peach in a huge cat suit and making a bunch of cat puns. What's with her horn, though? It almost sounds demonic!
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png Peach in a cat suit? WA HA HA HA! Oh, that's rich. The royal, majestic Peach, princess of the Mushroom Kingdom, stuck in a cat suit! Hey, how many mice did you catch today? Oh, ha ha ha ha... huh? Wh-what are you doing, mouser? *SCRATCH* ...Ohhhh, don't mess with a kitty... Owwww...
2. Baby Rosalina
Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png Did you think Baby Daisy was bad? Well, you haven't seen the half of it. Take everything bad I said about Baby Daisy and you've only got part of the abomination that is Baby Rosalina. When Rosalina was introduced in Super Mario Galaxy, she had a mysterious air about her. Recently, the way she has been portrayed undermines that, and Baby Rosalina is definitely not helping. For one thing, Baby Rosalina existing at all takes away some of the mystery, and the annoying noises she makes hurts it too. But you know what the worst thing is? SMG had something called Rosalina's Storybook. It's the best story element in that game and it tells a tearjerking tale of Rosalina's past. It shows Rosalina as a child depicted with red hair. Baby Rosalina directly contradicts this by making by having platinum blonde hair like her adult form. So they messed up Rosalina's backstory, one of the few story elements that exists in the Super Mario series, just so they could have a baby version of her that shouldn't exist and that hardly anybody wants because they couldn't think of a better character when there's a ton of characters they could have used instead. This is one of the laziest characters ever introduced into the series, and the level of laziness is only topped by one character, the final entry on this list.
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png Oh no, not another baby who isn't me. At least she's quieter than that other one... What, Peach? You want me to babysit all five of the babies!? No! Please! I can't! I'm too busy! Stop! Come back! Don't leave me with them! Help! Oh, the crying, so much crying...
1. Pink Gold Peach

Look at those empty, lifeless eyes. This thing has no soul.

Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png Pink. Gold. Peach. Just let that name sink in. Every entry on this list had a reason they were bad. Pink Gold Peach is every one of those reasons rolled into one rant-inducing package. She is lazy, as she's literally just Peach in pink gold. She is obscure since she has absolutely no previous existence, being made-up just for Mario Kart 8. And last but not least, she is ridiculous, because there's no such thing as pink gold, or if there is, not many people know about it. Why pink gold? They could have just done gold, but she has to be pink, because that fits her better or whatever. She's worse than every single other clone character on this list since she has no reason to exist. The only thing I could even think to explain her is that she is what Peach looks like when she gets a Gold Flower, but guess what. Peach isn't playable in New Super Mario Bros. 2. This is the laziest choice Nintendo has ever made for a Mario Kart character and the worst Mario Kart character of all time. Nintendo, I hope you've learned. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a step in the right direction. Now just keep following that path.
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png Woah! Look at that girl! Not only is she hot, she's also made of SOLID GOLD! I'm gonna go talk to her. Hey, how you doin', babe? Wanna take a ride on my motorcycle? *SLAP* Owwwwww, that felt like a frying pan... can't she see how handsome I am? Ooooooohhhhh...

Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png Well, that's it, folks! Agree? Disagree? Wanna run over me (or Wario) while playing as one of these characters? Whatever the case may be, you can share your thoughts in my Countdowns discussion thread and read some Bonus Content that will be there. Well, I hope you enjoy-- WARIO! What happened to you? You look all beaten up!
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png *grumble* I hope you people didn't enjoy this list, 'cuz I sure didn't! *grumble* Stupid list... *grumble*
Luigi Party 2 ShotMug.png Well. Um, sorry about that Wario. I sure hope you wrote quality content. I somehow doubt you did... Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed this list, and be sure to come back next month for another wonderful Countdown! I promise Wario won't be here next time...
Wario Party 2 Mugshot.png I heard that!



Marioverse Reviews

Written by: Rosalina1999 (talk)

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Hello everybody! It is officially June, the month when summer begins. I am burning up in the sun, as usual. But while I’m burning up, enjoy reading my review of Mario Kart 7!

Mario Kart 7 is the 7th Mario Kart in the series. It was on the 3DS on December 4, 2011. It featured new modes and new courses. I will explain them later on. But for now, let’s get this review started!

I loved Mario Kart 7 when I first got it. It had brand new courses, which I liked. My favorite course is Rainbow Road, because it is the best Rainbow Road ever! I mean c’mon, you're driving on the moon, on Saturn’s Ring, and more! I wasn't to big on the battle courses, but my favorite course is Honeybee Hive, because I liked its design to make you feel like you're in a beehive. Bee Honey Queen and have the bee car and it'll make total sense. There were two new modes, which is Underwater Driving (which allows you to drive underwater, literally), and Gliding {which allows you to glide in the air). I like them both.

I HATED Mario Kart 7 because… well… sorry for the overreaction. The only thing that annoys me is the headaches after the 3D mode. Also, some of the courses seem a little bland, like for example, Toad Circuit. It has not much to offer for fun. But that's it!

I will give Mario Kart 7 a 8.5/10 because it was a great game except for a few minor mistakes. But we shouldn't be too judgemental, shall we?

I hope you enjoyed this issue of The ‘Shroom, and have a nice hot June!



Character Review

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Wario

The perfect specimen of a man. His words not mine.

In case you haven't noticed yet, which is incredibly unlikely, but this month we're focusing on all things Wario. So when it came to deciding who to review, I had a wide range of characters to focus on, but with us focusing on Wario, I thought I'd focus on the big man myself as well.

Wario is the ultimate rival to Mario, even replicating his name, and attempting to take over his castle, even if one of those failed. Wario has similarities to Waluigi, his much better counterpart, and often teams up with him, although it'd be nice to know why. I assume it's because of a shared disdain toward the Mario Bros., but considering we don't even know how they met, their relationship is annoyingly unclear.

Wario's ultimate motivation is greed, and that's evident in his games, and even on the boxart of one of his own games, Wario World. Wealth seems to be the driving force of Wario, but no real reason is ever given why, it'd be nice to know, considering how this is his defining trait. Maybe his family was poor as a child, and he resolved never for it to happen again, or maybe he's just always liked money.

His other key defining trait is his grossness, and this is exploited to its full use. Whether it's picking his nose, or his ass in idle animations. Other pieces of artwork, or even promotional material put further use to this, and it's nice to see them doing so, showing attention to one of his defining character traits.

There is a massive inconsistency with his personality, however, and that's how menacing he is. In Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins he was able to take over Mario's Castle, and have a whole army under his control, in Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, he's outsmarted by Mario, and has his Princess Peach statue stolen. The main thing to point to is his appearance in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, and Mario Power Tennis. In the former game, he's a major antagonist, and is able to get trophies of several characters, whereas in the latter game, the most menacing thing he can do is vandalise a scoreboard with Mario and Luigi on it.

Wario is an interesting character, but could do with a little more fleshing out. He just appeared one day, with no explanation, and although he's a likeable enough character, an introduction, or at least a small bit of backstory would have been very much appreciated.

Another thing to flesh out would be his relationship with the other WarioWare characters. Mona and Dr. Crygor have considerable interaction, but others like Mantis have little to no interaction, and it's a wonder why Wario is even with people like this.

Wario is a fairly good character, and I like him, but he's missing a couple of things that would make him a good character. And unfortunately, I'm not sure we're going to get much more out of him, even though there's plenty that's possible.



DragonFreak’s Review Quest

Written by: DragonFreak (talk)

WarioWare: Touched!
WWDS.jpg
Developer Intelligent Systems
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo DS, Wii U Virtual Console
Genres Rhythm
Rating(s) E

Hello there lovely ‘Shroom readers, welcome back to another round of WadragonFreaks Review Quest! I am so glad for this Wario-themed ‘Shroom edition, because Wario is one of my favorite Mario characters. In fact, the only characters to beat Wario are Birdo, Yoshi, and Bowser. So yeah, that’s pretty high on the list. Now if you know me, you might expect me to review a Wario Land game for this section. Which is a good guess as I completely adore the Wario Land series. However, you would be wrong. Today I will be reviewing WarioWare: Touched! I also have never played this game before starting this review, which makes Touched! the first game I have played specifically for reviewing in DFRQ. Wario is just that important to me.

Before I get into the game, I will quickly go into my general thoughts of WarioWare so far. I have been accused of hating the WarioWare series because I said I greatly prefer the Wario Land series. While that is true, I still think WarioWare is still a very good series. Not liking as much does not mean hating. Look, games that are minigame-heavy are not my style, and yes that includes Mario Party. So of course I would automatically prefer a platformer over minigames, or microgames in this case. With that out of the way, I did play the two Game Boy Advance and watched a let’s play of Smooth Moves, and I really did enjoy them, especially WarioWare: Twisted! If I did ratings, I would give Twisted a 9/10. If you can, buy the cartridge to that game and have a blast.

DFRQ 123 1.png
So now that you know where I am coming from in regards to WarioWare, on to actually talking about Touched! Looking up the history of this game, I found out this game was originally a tech demo for the Nintendo DS. Oddly enough that bodes well for the quality of the game automatically. If you recall, Wii Sports and Nintendo Land were both tech demos of the Wii and Wii U respectively, and both of those are good games. Although, that does imply that the game is largely going to be about how to use the touch screen functionality of the DS, which the gameplay just runs with that.

The gameplay of Touched! is very much like the previous WarioWare games. After an odd cutscene (which I will talk more about later), you have to do a series of microgames, about 10-15 per level. Each microgame lasts about 3 seconds, although some of them last a bit longer. Many of the levels have specific theming when it comes to microgame mechanics. Wario’s microgames have to do with basic tapping, Kat & Ana’s are appropriately about slashing and drawing lines, and Dr. Crygor is all about spinning. There’s also a character who’s microgames involve blowing into the DS microphone, which has never been my favorite gameplay feature of the DS, but luckily it isn’t long or too hard.

Each level you have four times you can mess up a microgame before you game over. At the end of a string of microgames comes the Boss Level, which is a much longer microgame that tests the skills of everything you learned so far. They may seem intimidating, but in this game most of them aren’t that hard. There’s not really a time limit on these Boss Levels, which allows you to stay calm and focus on your task. After the Boss Level is completed, the ending cutscene plays and you can choose another character to play.

DFRQ 123 2.png
The other enjoyment of the game are the cutscenes. Every character as a prologue and epilogue cutscene with the microgames in the middle of both of them. I’m not sure what’s up with Diamond City, the setting of this game, but everything is so unusual. Even seemingly normal scenarios gets blown up to ridiculousness. Like in Mona’s prologue, a show countdowns the top 5 hits. The pop queen who’s number one scooted down to number two and Mona became number one? So what does this pop queen do? She and her minions go on a large flycraft to chase Mona and eliminate her. Yeah I don’t really understand either, but I’m perfectly OK with that. In fact, I love these cutscenes so much I would say they are the one thing that are definitely better than the Wario Land series.

Now how could I not about Ashley specifically? Coming into this game I knew that this is Ashley’s debut game, which I suppose is pretty big considering how everyone goes nuts over her. I know that the whole witch/goth archetype is really popular, even I love it, but does Ashley deserve the popularity? Of course, she’s the best character since 9-Volt in my opinion. She’s really cute and has a great personality and her theme song is the best thing ever. All hail Ashley.

All things considered, WarioWare: Touched! is just as good as all the other WarioWare games I’ve mentioned before, if not a little better. It’s actually now my second favorite WarioWare game, just behind Twisted! It’s fast-paced and weird which makes for a delightfully fun game. I would recommend this to all WarioWare fans if they haven’t played it already, plus anyone who loves fast and intense gameplay.



Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews

Written by: Meta Knight (talk)


Hello and welcome to this month's boss battle! For this month, I needed something Wario related for this special issue but I have not played any Wario Land or WarioWare games. So what did I do? Simple, we're going to take a look at Wario's debuting game, Super Mario Land 2! In this game, Wario is not only a boss, but he's the final boss of this fun little game for the Game Boy.

Artwork of Wario in Super Mario Land 2.

Wario is the last foe that you'll fight, but before you can get to him you'll need to get all the six golden coins and then proceed to get through his castle. The level alone is quite a step up from the rest of the game, as it is much more difficult and somewhat of a gauntlet. There are several sections in the level and if you die anywhere, it's back to the beginning of the stage, including dying on Wario. There aren't any checkpoints in the level either or anything like that. I like that it puts you at the ultimate test, but I feel maybe one checkpoint before Wario wouldn't hurt. It can be annoying if you were on the last phase of the fight and then died.

For Wario himself he has three phases. Each one he has standard attacks for you to dodge, and introduces a new attack. Jump on Wario three times and it will proceed to the next phase. after 9 hits total he will be defeated and you'll win. It's more difficult than it sounds, as Wario is takes up a lot of space on the screen and for me it was hard to tell where I was allowed to jump on him without getting hit. Sometimes I jump on him but it ends up killing me because it was a little too far on the side.

Wario before the fight in-game.

He is challenging if you aren't prepared, but I don't like how if you die you have to clear the whole level all over again. The level is long too, so it's not like you can just quickly get back in the fight. However, the game is forgiving in the sense that after you beat the phase it will reward you by giving you a power-up, which can come in handy. The fight does a good job of keeping you on your toes and that's something I enjoy in a boss battle. Overall, Wario isn't too bad, but can be frustrating and is not one of my favorite battles in the series. I do like the character though, and I'm glad this issue is here to celebrate him.



Movie Reviews

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Rogue One

Rogue One
200px
Genres Epic, Space opera
Release date December 2016
Starring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn
Runtime 133 minutes
Ratings 12 (UK)

I was worried coming into Rogue One, in some of my recent sections, that looked at critically acclaimed films I found them either vastly underwhelming or just plain terrible. I'm happy to report that with Rogue One, this is not the case.

I was annoyed to have to have missed this film when it come into cinemas, especially since all I'd heard all of the good things about it. I was also equally worried, this is a Star Wars film without any Jedi, and only one lightsaber user. My main worry was that this film was going to be a slog to sit through, and although it may have dragged at the beginning, when things started getting gripping, they stayed gripping. This film was perfect at keeping the tension consistent, although at times it did feel like the runtime was being padded. Come on, we know that the rebels are going to get the plans to the Death Star, there's no need to keep putting constant obstacles in the path. Obviously, it's not going to be an easy get, but it seems when one issue is solved another pops straight up.

The main thing to notice about this film is how visually stunning it is, major kudos to the people who designed both Lah'mu, the planet at the beginning; and Scarif, a beautiful tropical world. Jedha doesn't look particularly appealing, but its desert design is spot-on, even if the city seems to be an exact replica of Tatooine, and in all honesty I did actually think they were on that planet until getting it clarified.

Considering I mentioned it earlier, I think it is time to move onto the plot. We follow Jyn (Jones) and a rag-tag band of rebels in their quest to steal the plans for the Death Star, to expose its weakness. It's a plot we're all familiar with, and it doesn't offer anything that changes that particular sub-genre. What it is, however, is a fun little adventure with likeable characters. As aforementioned, the film dragged at the beginning as it was setting things out, but scenes on Jedha and the Battle of Scarif were both brilliant moments of the film, and great to watch. The Battle of Scarif is the best part of the film hands down, switching between the action on ground to the space battles kept it alive rather than being a monotonous one battle in one location. The time we spent in the space battle was often shorter than the ground one, but for the most part the ground battle was the more thrilling one to watch.

Despite these amazing set-piece battles, the characters weren't really done well. Like I mentioned earlier, it's a rag-tag band, and we have all the normal characters there: the male lead, the comic relief, an unbelievably skilled Asian character, and the muscle. The only real way it deviates from this is with Jyn being the main hero, even though everyone still listens to Cassian (Luna). It's a massive shame, considering the rest of the film gets so much right. The villains aren't much better, but strangely they never seem to be after the heroes. The only reason there's any conflict between them is because they end up in the same place.

Another annoyance I have with this film was the digital recreations of Peter Cushing and Carrie Fisher's characters, Grand Moff Tarkin and Princess Leia respectively. The animations are good, but it still feels out of place, and I would have rather their characters left out of it, especially since Grand Moff Tarkin wasn't entirely necessary, and another character could have taken his place.

So, despite the characters being more two-dimensional than Paper Mario, I really enjoyed this film. It's not the strongest movie in the Star Wars franchise, but it's by no means the weakest. For sci-fi fans out there, I recommend that that you purchase this film, because it is most certainly worth the money.



LBIS-banner.png

Greetings, 'Shroom readers. This is Lord Bowser here with a new edition of Lord Bowser's Inside Story for you all! You probably noticed the flashy new banner I have now; this will be present on all of my sections from this point forward! Anyway, let's get to the main course.

In the spirit of the Wario theme going on this month, I will be reviewing Wario Land 4. Upon starting the game for the first time, you are given two game modes to play it in; File:WL4-Normal Mode Sprite.PNG and File:WL4-Hard Mode Sprite.PNG. However, upon completing Hard Mode, you are given an additional mode to play the game in; WL4-S-Hard Mode Sprite.png Mode. S-Hard Mode (short for Super Hard Mode) takes the already quite difficult base Hard Mode even further, often making the game downright sadistic. In a nutshell, S-Hard Mode adds additional enemies into levels, sharply decreases your time limit upon hitting Frog Switches, and starts you off with only one heart on every level. It also makes shop items double in price compared to Normal Mode, and makes the baseball minigame much harder by having the pitcher throw erratically. In two levels, the position of the Frog Switch is changed, leading to actually an increased time limit. It might not sound too bad until you realize that these Frog Switches are both moved towards the beginning (or at the very beginning) of both levels, and in unavoidable locations as well. This means not only is the escape section of the level timed, but the entire level is as well, and even with the increased time limit, it's still a very strict timer.

oh. welp.

These two levels are the Hall of Hieroglyphs and Palm Tree Paradise, which are... the first two main levels in the game assuming you're going in the intended order. Man, S-Hard Mode is so cruel... Anyway, the Hall of Hieroglyphs level isn't very drastically changed itself, though it does feature some more numerous enemies and in trickier positions; this is standard for all levels in the game in S-Hard Mode. As you start off with one heart, this mechanic makes even the tutorial level challenging if you aren't careful. You need to defeat enemies in order to gain back hearts, but be careful around them as well, as a single hit will kill you at first. As previously mentioned, the Frog Switch is moved around here towards the beginning of the level; due to this, you only have 4 minutes and 30 seconds to finish the entire level. Although this is the tutorial level of the game and quite short in comparison to other levels, this is still a very strict time limit and quite difficult to accomplish. In a way, the level being a tutorial level only serves to slow you down even further, as the level takes its sweet time to make you learn about nearly all of the game's techniques once again. At least one good thing is that going past the time limit in this game doesn't instantly kill you, like how it would in a Mario game; instead, you start rapidly losing coins until you reach 0, then you die! This only delays your death by a few seconds at most, but it can mean the difference between a clutch completion and bitter failure. Besides, Wario has more than enough money; I'm sure he wouldn't mind the game stealing his money before it stole his life!

oH JESUS CHRIST HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE

After the tutorial level comes a tutorial boss, as one could expect. Spoiled Rotten's attacks aren't very different; in fact, the only thing that makes this boss fight a dreadful one is the extremely short time limit of 15 seconds. At least you start off with four hearts instead of only one, but the time would probably just run out before you're even able to take four hits, meaning they're kinda worthless in the end. In order to defeat the boss within 15 seconds, you have to just keep ramming and ramming into it as soon as you're able to take control, and hope you get in enough hits before time runs out. All of the other bosses in the game in S-Hard Mode are similar to this; little-to-no actual changes to the boss, and instead going for ridiculously short time limits. This is something that I feel the game could've done better, as just making the time limit shorter is more artificial difficulty, and a rather lazy way to make a game harder; a better way would be to upgrade the old boss and make you fight a harder version of it, similar to the X bosses from the Mario and Luigi series, doing it alongside a shortened time limit (though probably not as extreme). But, oh well. While the lack of innovation in boss battles is somewhat disappointing, the very fast pace of them is still enough to keep you on your toes and make you want more.

This is very Not Nice of the game tbh

After the Spoiled Rotten boss fight comes the Emerald Passage, assuming you're conforming to society and taking the game's intended route. The first level of the passage is Palm Tree Paradise, and as previously mentioned, the Frog Switch is moved here; it is moved directly under the entrance of the level as a sweet surprise. You only have 3 minutes and 30 seconds to rush through the level, get all the Jewel Pieces and the Keyzer, and get back to the vortex. It makes an otherwise relatively simple level a nightmare, since you're under a really strict time limit to get everything. It really gets you antsy to complete it all.

The rest of the levels in the game are more standard-ish, with none of the Frog Switches being moved around. However, you still always start off with one heart, time limits after activating Frog Switches are always much shorter, and enemies are more numerous everywhere. Nearly all of the time limits are cut down by half or more, when compared to Normal Mode, and many more complex enemies are added in stages as well. All of the extra enemies are made much more hazardous by the fact that you only start with one heart, meaning the beginnings of certain levels, such as Pinball Zone from the Ruby Passage, are absolutely terrifying. Some of the Jewel Pieces are moved around as well, meaning you have to explore around a lot more in order to get them all; the Jewel Pieces found before the Frog Switches aren't too bad, though the ones after them can be made far more challenging by the timer. S-Hard Mode does live up to its name by a wide margin -- it's certainly incredibly difficult and probably the hardest challenge in the Wario franchise -- but I still feel like it's kind of lacking more substance. Like I've said before, all of the bosses are the same, only made challenging by the reduced time limits. The levels are almost mostly the same, but they're at least changed up a little by the different enemy positions and the Frog Switches; they add more strategy to the game. I just wish more of that could've been added throughout the whole mode, as it essentially just boils down to speedrunning tactics and "git gud or die". I know that S-Hard Mode is literally just "Super Hard Mode" and isn't meant to be like a totally completely brand-new thing for the game, so I'm probably just being too hard on it, but that's my take on it.

rejected

Anyway, we then eventually clear all the passages and enter the Golden Pyramid. The Golden Passage inside also has a Frog Switch right under the entrance of the level, just like Palm Tree Paradise, though this is also seen in the main game as well, so it's a bit less annoying. However, the main game gives you 9 minutes on Normal, 6 minutes on Hard, and only 3 minutes and 30 seconds on S-Hard... what does the game think we are, marathon runners??? It's nearly impossible to collect all of the Jewel Pieces in this level in one go, due to the sheer lack of time, exacerbated more by the current of water which will take you all the way back to the beginning of the level should you fall in. This is a particularly cruel time limit, but it's to be expected as it is the final main level of the game. After this level is the Golden Diva fight, which like all the other bosses, isn't changed very much aside from the time limit. Thankfully, the developers were somewhat more merciful with the time limit for Golden Diva compared to other bosses; here, it's shrunk down from 6 minutes in Normal Mode to 4 minutes in S-Hard Mode, which is still a pretty decent amount of time to defeat the boss. After defeating the Golden Diva and rescuing YoshiKo-- I mean, Princess Shokora, you're greeted with the credits. The credits flashbacks include one flashback unique to S-Hard Mode;

WL4 - Flashback Bonus 3.png

Damn, Wario, score! More than enough reward for him getting through the pain that is S-Hard Mode.

Anyway, it is now time for a final rating. S-Hard Mode from Wario Land 4 receives a...

7.5/10 (C)

As I've said before, S-Hard Mode more than lives up to its name; just calling it "super hard" would be an understatement. It really makes the game strategic and challenging, and makes you speed up a lot more than what's otherwise necessary. It's a very challenging run, and while its end rewards may be somewhat lackluster, it's still quite satisfying once you've actually beaten it. It can get quite sadistic at times, especially with some of the bosses, and its lack of innovation was a bit of a shortfall, but still, it's a pretty engaging challenge nonetheless.

And that's it for this month's edition of Lord Bowser's Inside Story. I hope you enjoyed reading this review, and be sure to stop by here next month for more! Thanks for reading!




Shoey's Shoetacular Reviews

Written by: Marshal Dan Troop (talk) Edited by Lord Bowser (talk)

Soccer
Soccer-boxart.jpg
Developer Intelligent Systems
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii, Wii U
Genres Sports
Rating(s) N/A
Available From

Wii Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console

Hello 'Shroom readers! Your favorite Goomba wearing a shoe has returned for another round of Shoey’s Shoetacular Reviews! For those of you that don’t remember (so all of you), this is a section where I review video games with a heavy slant towards Virtual Console games. This issue is no exception, because I’m going to be reviewing the NES game Soccer, available for both the Wii and Wii U Virtual Console for the low price of 500 points. Now this is probably the oddest game I’ve got in my virtual console collection. I’m not really interested in old sports games and I’m not sure when I got this. Looking past that however, Soccer is actually a fun game with a killer soundtrack and an altogether enjoyable, if simple, experience.

I’m going to start off by talking about the best part of the game; its soundtrack. This soundtrack is amazing and is truly the highlight of the game. Being a simple soccer game, there aren’t many songs, but the ones they have are good as hell. The music is very fast and high energy and really make the game more exciting. The little beat that plays when you score a goal is great and really makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Honestly every little song fits just perfectly and if nothing else I highly recommend you check out this game's tunes.

HOT SOCCER GAMEPLAY

Now when it comes to the gameplay, well, it’s soccer. You run up the field and try to score goals in nets. Despite how simple it sounds, the game is actually really chaotic and it’s a lot of fun desperately trying to stop the opposing team from scoring. There are five difficulties you can chose from, and let me tell you, after about 3 it becomes rough. I like the different difficulties cause each one handles a little differently, with the opponents generally becoming more aggressive with each one. Each game consists of two halves, with a pretty impressive half-time show splitting them up. When it comes to the halves, you can make them 15, 30, or 60 in-game minutes long. I like to play on the 15 minute period section because it makes the game flow faster; one game lasts about 5 minutes. One thing I like about this game is that if it’s tied at the end of a regulation, instead of going into overtime, you move on right to the free kick period. The free kick sections are fun because you have to outwit your opponent and be able to score more than they can. One thing I don’t like is that there isn’t that much to do; there isn’t a season mode or anything, and instead the game only allows you to play a game of soccer and that’s it. Now there are different teams you can play as, but none of them have any real differences between them besides jersey colors. This game does have a 2-player mode, but that would require having somebody to play with, which I don’t have, so welp.

The controls are pretty straightforward. Assuming you're using a Wii Classic Controller, you use X and A to shoot the ball, B and Y to pass the ball, and the D-Pad as your directions. One interesting thing is that you control the aim of your shots by using the D-Pad, so if you want to aim upwards, you hold up on the D-Pad. This is an interesting control scheme, but it can make shots difficult, because you’re still moving your character while you try to navigate the aim on the goal. Passing also isn’t very good, because it’s difficult to get the game to set on the character that you want to kick to, and it’s hard to pass the ball effectively. The game also tends to set you as the player closet to the ball, which sometimes hurts the flow of the game, because you'd be controlling one guy, then suddenly you'd be controlling another, so it can make playing defense difficult.

The graphics are ehh, but it’s a launch title for the NES so you can’t really expect that much. You can tell what everything is and the players have faces which is nice. The game really only consists of people, the field, and the goals, with no audience or anything like that. But the game does have a bitching halftime cutscene where cheerleaders do a little dance, which is rather impressive for the time. In all honesty, the graphics aren’t much, but what can you really expect.

Overall, this is a pretty fun game. It’s fast paced and chaotic, with a really nice soundtrack. However, the game is dragged down by not-so-good controls and lack of gameplay options. Because of this, while I like this game, I’m not sure if I can recommend purchasing it unless you really want an old-school soccer game.

Final Score: 6/10


The 'Shroom: Issue 123
Staff sections Staff NotesThe 'Shroom SpotlightPoll Chairperson Election
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