The 'Shroom:Issue 124/Critic Corner
It's July! Wowzers we’re really burning through this year quickly. This month I’ve got a handful of news to blab about. First, for our lovely Critic Corner here, this month is MetaKnight (talk)’s last Boss Battle Reviews section. Having been a staple here for a while, it’s sad to see it go, but Meta Knight will be off doing big man adult things now (don’t worry, he’ll still be around, of course, just trimmed the excess). Additionally, CC is a little lighter this month than it could be, due to some writers not having time to finish their sections due to life events or other obligations in this community or elsewhere. We still have a good number of sections anyways so that’s !!!!!!!!!!! Also, thank you for voting Anton's Half-Baked Reviews for CC's Section of the Month again! I'm so happy :D
For those who have somehow evaded my constant screaming about this, the Mario Awards polls close on the 17th, which is just a few days from when this will be posted, so vote vote vote there and also vote in the Community Awards polls which cover community features such as The ‘Shroom!
Also, sign ups for presentations have been open, and soon after this issue goes up the Awards polls will close and results will be sent out to present! There’s still, as of me typing this, a few more open spots so if you’re interested don’t miss your chance!
And probably finally before I remember more things, the Art Contest is up! Be sure to vote, and check out everyone’s work before you vote! Each person put good effort into these and I’m super excited about another successful year and also be sure to vote.
Section of the Month
’Cus you know I’d walk 1000 miles if I could just see Yoshi876…..tonight~
Could Have Been
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. One of the projects I've been working on is adding pages for the levels of Super Mario Bros. 3 to the wiki, so I thought we'd take a look at what went into designing some of the levels and other oddities that didn't make it in. So let's jump right in and take a look at what could have been. Oh, also, this segment will be kept to the original NES game. I may cover the remakes at a later date. Now we can jump in.
First off, something we can't quite confirm and I can't find a source for it myself, but I thought it'd still be interesting to talk about. At the early stages of development, ideas for power-ups were being tossed around. Ultimately, the Super Leaf, Tanooki Suit, Hammer Suit, and Frog Suit were introduced as the new power-ups, but there could've been one more! Supposedly, a Centaur-like power-up was thrown around, but dismissed almost immediately. Again, no official source can solidify this claim, but imagine Mario or Luigi being twice as tall and running around on four horse legs, possibly damaging all enemies they run into! 'Course, it was probably cut because they would've been too big and the animation would likely be a pain to animate.
Okay, let's move away from speculation and take a look at what we do know existed or has been confirmed to have once been an idea at some point. Apparently, Super Mario Bros. 3 was going to take a The Legend of Zelda approach and be an overhead adventure. Imagine being a kid and seeing Mario in that light back in 1990, shooting fireballs in a psudo-3D space! I'm glad they went back to 2D, as the new Super Leaf power-up would've made flying look difficult back then. Eventually, Mario did take a hint from Link's adventures in 2011's Super Mario 3D Land and 2013's Super Mario 3D World in a few levels (and Link even went the Super Mario Bros. route in The Adventure of Link in 1988).
Before I move onto the meatier stuff, a question: How many of you played with your sibling and battled each other a Mario Bros.-esque level over their cards and their turns? I certainly have. In that 2-Player simultaneous mode, you have to be the first to defeat five enemies or be the last one standing, and if you take damage once, you're out. But it seems that wasn't always the case. There's a left over code that allows the defeated player to respawn… indefinitely. This causes some strange side effects, though, such as the game not sending out enough enemies to defeat, causing a softlock. You can check out a video of that here.
Now then, to the aforementioned meatier stuff. So much content here, from unused levels to unused graphics to differences between versions (honestly, if I tried to cover everything in these games, I'd probably have my own 'Shroom page). Let's go in that order, why not. There are a total of 17 unused areas left in the game's code. Some of the levels are simply early renditions of finalized levels, but there are a few notable stages. One level is an above ground and underwater stage, though the exit is a little strange: If you enter the pipe at the end of the underwater segment, you'll be brought to another pipe that leads to Coin Heaven, though if you fly up over the structure, you'll find the actual goal. It's a rather short and simple level with an interesting gimmick. Another level is an icy level, likely meant for World 6. The stage moves up and down, similar to World 3-3, has scattered ice platforms, jumping Cheep Cheeps, and flying Flame Chomps which would've made this stage quite a challenge! Interestingly, this level can be accessed through World 1 by using a cheat, so it's possible this was a testing stage of some sort. There's also a short level where you swim up waterfalls, which as far as I know, is a mechanic only used in World 4-1, though it's design resembles stages from Pipe Land. It's so short that it looks like it was supposed to be a part of a larger level, or perhaps a bonus area. That's really the only notable examples, as the rest are simply reskins or are just not at all interesting.
One of the new power-ups, Hammer Mario, usually cannot slide, though he still has a graphic for it in the game data. Despite this, you can still see the graphic in game! Just slide into the power-up in World 6-10 as it lands on Mario and Hammer Mario will slide down the slope! You can't see that graphic anywhere else!
Now let's get international! In World 1-, there's a room where a ceiling with spikes lowers. In international releases, the door to the next room is placed against the back wall, but in Japan, the door is placed away from the wall and the spikes are aligned differently, offering a more challenging…challenge.
There are also a number of leftover minigames with way too many images and information that I can fit into a 'Shroom section, so be sure to check out everything you can over at The Cutting Room Floor. I've been mostly taking a look at mainstream Mario games these past couple of months, aside from Super Smash Bros. Melee, but be sure to tune in next month as I go over what was left behind in a spin-off, not-marked-as-"Super" title! Until then, I'll see you around!
Can you believe it’s summer already?? I can because I’m melting. For this season I wanted to do a particular theme just for July, but I started amassing a bunch of things so it’ll likely be a two- or three-parter and it’s all about BUBBLY STUFF. In the spirit of preparedness so I’m less stressed during the height of Anniversary Awards stuff I’ve been trying out all kinds of carbonated and fizzy things for the past month, and have prepared for this month of July to be vaguely AMERICA themed because July 4th and yadda yadda.
Firework OreosSeeing this item as a thing that existed is what inspired me to use carbonated bubbly things as a theme to begin with. Firework Oreos are just regular Oreos but with popping candies in the cream, like Pop Rocks but without the copyright. The entire first sleeve I didn’t even eat, and instead right after I bought them I drove to the deli I work at and made everyone working try one without me telling them what it was. This gamble paid off as I got to see 6 people all run up to me, excited at the prospect of free Oreos as well as seeing me in my non-work attire which is exceptionally fashionable, only for them to suddenly furrow their brows as I witnessed their visible confusion as to what was happening inside of their mouths. Spoiler alert: their exaggerated reactions set me up for disappointment.
As usual with special limited edition Oreos, the package is like 2/3 the size of regular and costs a bit more. The cream is noticeably thicker than regular Oreos but that’s standard fodder for special flavors. Took my first bite and didn’t feel the popping. Took another and kinda heard it, but the sensation was more alerting my instincts in the way that you feel when you eat a piece of candy and might not have gotten all of the plastic wrapper off and you feel something weird in your mouth and your life flashes before your eyes and you remember horror stories from your youth like how gum doesn’t digest and if you swallow enough you get plugged up and die. It’s a little disappointing until you finish the cookie and all you’ve got left is a mouth of spit and gunk. That gunk is apparently where all of the popping candies are and suddenly your mouth sounds like when you run your fingers across the screen of a dusty crt television.
Rating: 8.75oz bag of Trail Mix Chex Mix that you get at a gas station for $2.19 when you want something more exciting than yet another cosmic brownie.
Explanation: It’s alright, but definitely not worth the price of the gimmick. It’s not even the nice middle ground between a reasonable price and a quality product; it’s a cheap exploitation of a holiday that our society has come to accept and perpetuate. Your money is better spent on getting the peanut butter Oreos which are an actual gift from the heavens.
Pepsi Fire is PepsiCo’s attempt at creating a hot summer sensation. It’s a cinnamon-flavored cola, complete with branding that it’s hot and fiery and spicy and all that, even though after all these years I’m not entirely sure why the cinnamon spice is The One that western society has decided to dub the heat-bringer, especially when jolly old England just a wee century and a half ago was still plundering India and assorted other countries for its spices including cayenne, but whatever. With the amount of ads and promotions and buzz I’ve seen and heard about this I figured it’d be pretty easy to get. Lo and behold, I couldn’t find it anywhere, so it became an epic quest. I checked grocery stores, gas station convenience stores, online markets like Amazon, etc. but came up with nothing, everywhere was sold out or didn’t even bother stocking it to begin with. In a last-ditch effort to save me from having to figure out another thing to try to bolster this July drink theme, I pulled strings at work and got a PepsiCo representative to just hand-deliver a couple bottles to me at no cost.
Expecting the worst because literally every review of it has declared it to be the worst thing ever, including a viral post that’s become a copypasta and I can’t find exactly where it originated, or a place I can easily link to that I’m not too concerned about whether young kids click on it or not, where some dude goes above and beyond, presumably utilizing his dusty English Lit degree for the first time in a decade to achieve this. I’m genuinely convinced that whoever wrote this didn’t actually drink it because the way they described it is literally nothing like how it tasted or felt at all or even without +/- 4 full standard deviations of a sensible reaction. It’s not bad. Actually, it’s kinda good. Perhaps my positive opinion of this drink is buoyed by my intense desperation to prove that that other nonsense ‘review’ of it is nothing more than a tryhard cash grab for viral fame given to a niche society that has no desire to even entertain the concept of learning and displaying critical thinking of even the tiniest semblance of the basic scientific method, but even without that all this is is just pepsi with some cinnamon flavor in it. It doesn’t even taste new or unique; it tastes like a basic mixed drink at literally any bar or party. I’m not sure why it’s a summer limited edition drink when the feeling it evokes most is the outdoor display of a grocery store in winter with the giant stacks of cinnamon-scented pinecones and nonsense. I think it would mix well with vanilla ice cream for a float, but I forgot to bring it home to try and someone else drank the rest. The world will never know.
Explanation: I almost rated this as Hot & Spicy Chex Mix but I felt that was too literal, so instead I went with something similar to a rating from last month. Just like how the popcorn is branded as some WiLd & CrAzY new coolio thing that’s hip to try, it’s just a basic flavoring that probably isn’t appropriate for what it’s supposed to be. Popcorn does not belong in Chex Mix, and cinnamon does not belong in sodas. Does that mean they taste bad? Ehhhhhhhhhhh don’t let some bum on the internet tell you that.
Mtn Dew S A
I saw this while going shopping to get some premade cookie dough squares and I instantly recoiled in horror in sight of this unholy garbage sludge. Mtn Dew S A is apparently a combination of Mtn Dew Voltage, Code Red, and White Out. Doubt. White Out is like a lemon citrus whatever, Code Red is cherry, Voltage is blue raspberry, all three very distinct flavors that wouldn’t mix into a 4th new flavor and instead would just be a sloppy oil-water grey soup. I’m not sure how Mtn Dew did it, because I like each of those flavors a lot in pretty much every other food product, but in these drinks it’s all just instant death, so I’m prepared for the worst since I don’t like regular Mtn Dew, Voltage, or White Out. Code Red gets a pass because it’s vaguely cherry, but I still don’t drink it if I have a choice. Voltage in particular is my least favorite; it smells like the inside of a beer can depository, mixed with a TJ Maxx’s off-brand candy aisle. It’s really hard to describe, but I can say that it reminds me of multiple stories from college and none of them are good.
Smelled it first, and it didn’t smell like anything. It’s a pale purple, kinda scary since that’s not exactly a natural color or anything I’d really link to a particular flavor and instead either medicine or a cleaning product. First sip and I didn’t die, so I got a mouthful to actually taste it. It was hard to place, but it was overly sweet and jettisoned my mind and spirit back to when I was 7 years old. After scouring all of my childhood memories to locate this flavor, I successfully both retraumatized myself and managed to remember what it was--those crappy rocket popsicles. It made so much sense, both are red, white, and blue, and tastes like a childhood where you grew up in a poor household without really any wholesome experiences or memories and a family that didn’t love each other in a failing divorce but were too young to recognize the signs until it’s 4am on a night you need to be up at 8am for work the next day and you’re 23 years old and thinking about what went wrong and why you are the way you are. The more I drank it the more I was convinced they just melted down an overstock of these old popsicles and pretended it was a new flavor combo.
Explanation: It’s not objectively bad, but it’s a flavor that already readily exists in a form that is already wildly successful, so it’s ultimately an unnecessary cash grab making use of the impending patriotic holiday with conveniently color-coordinated recognizable brands to slap on the label to attract loyal customers in hopes that, by the time people start realizing that it’s actually pretty crappy, its life as a limited edition product is up and over. Basically, what Pepsi Fire tried to achieve and lost the PR game to.
Tune in next month where I review more 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!
CountdownsWii U, and to honor this underappreciated console, I'm bringing you My Top 10 Wii U Games. Why, you ask, is it my top 10 Wii U games? Because I've only played about 10 Wii U games, so there are many great games that won't show up on this list simply because I haven't experienced them. Some examples are Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, Yoshi's Woolly World, and Pikmin 3. Another consequence of the fact that I've only played about 10 Wii U games is that the first few games on this list may not actually be very good. I assure you, however, that the ones later on are very good. So hook up your dusty Wii U, turn it on, and get ready for some fun!
10. Mario Party 10
9. Wii Party U
3. Mario Kart 8
Well, that's all, folks! Agree? Disagree? Want to bash me on the head with a Wii U gamepad? Whatever the case may be, you can tell me your thoughts and even come up with your own Top 10 Wii U Games list in my Countdowns discussion thread. I'll also have some bonus content in store there, so watch for that! I hope you enjoyed this list, and be sure to come back next month for another fabulous Countdown! Until then, arrivederci!
Graphic Novel Review
I’ve seen this book on a few lists of graphic novels that beginners to the genre should read, so I picked it up when I was just starting my little library of non-Archie Comics graphic novels. This book has a decent heft. It uses good paper and it’s in full-color, too, something that can be rare when the books aren’t printed on shiny comic paper.
Our story begins with Anda, a high-schooler in a game design course who gets invited to join an all-female guild of players in an MMO game called Coarsegold. She accepts, and creates an avatar to use in-game and begins leveling up. While she’s playing, one of the higher-ranking members of her guild invites her to go on hunts for “gold farmers,” basically, hunting down players who are cheating the system to sell high-leveled profiles and items to other players for money. She begins to go on raids, and soon meets a gold farmer named Raymond, a 16-year-old who lives in China and works for a website that sells profiles and items to players of the game. The two of them form a friendship, as Anda is the only person who has ever spoken the Raymond in-game without being another gold farmer. The two of them form an unlikely friendship, and Anda must help Raymond overcome the poor working conditions at his job. I won’t spoil anymore after that, but honestly, the plot is superb. It delves into the ethics side of online games without getting too technical, so people who have never played an MMO (yours truly) aren’t lost after the first time Anda logs in. The characters are believable and relatable. Lucy, the player who recruits Anda to go on gold farmer hunts, wants to get rid of the gold hunters because she hates how unfair it is that one could pay for experience in the game while she has been working at it and grinding. Raymond is a gold farmer who needs the work for money for his family, but he really just wants to go to school to get out of China. As a result of the excellent character development, there isn’t much of a “villain” in the story as much as it is a clash of different ideas. What Raymond is doing is against the rules of the game, but what Lucy is doing isn’t exactly kosher, either, and Anda is caught in the middle. Doctorow does a great job crafting the story, and it’s such a treat to read.
The art style is lovely. Colors are bright and vivid, and Coarsegold looks gorgeous. The art style is a mix of watercolor-esque art and digital, and the results are stunning. Coarsegold is set with bright, vibrant hues, reds, pinks, blues, while Anda’s world is a bit more of a brownish-drab. The contrast really works, and overall, the book is super pleasing to look at.
In Real Life is a fantastic book that any graphic novel lover should have on their shelf. It’s deep, colorful, and easy to get into for non-gamers. This is one graphic novel you don’t want to miss out on!
That’s all for me this month! Tune in next time for a new Book Review!
When it comes to games with large and varied rosters, I always like picking the zany, unexpected characters. In Hyrule Warriors I favour Agatha, in Timesplitters I'm more likely to play as a snowman than the gun-toting human characters. In Smash Bros. it's no different, which is why I play a lot with Olimar.
Going into Super Smash Bros. Brawl I knew nothing about the Pikmin series, all I saw was a nice little spaceman who threw around sentient plantlife, and I was sold on him. Olimar became one of my Brawl mains, even with his relatively simple moveset. When I did get to look at his series, it's about as good a moveset that they could have given him, which is both a good and a bad thing. It's a good thing because the source material has been used to its full potential, but a bad thing as it means that Olimar's down-B is a write-off.
His up-B isn't brilliant in Brawl either, but it gets a welcome change in SSB4 with the addition of Winged Pikmin, which is again using the source material to its fullest. It's just a shame that Rock Pikmin weren't available, but with the Purple Pikmin already in play, it's not like that's a big deal considering how they'd probably function similarly.
Although it's not Mario related, I am going to talk about his parent series Pikmin for a little bit. Pikmin isn't particularly story driven. You use the Pikmin to get back Olimar's rockets parts in the first game, and then you loot the planet in the second. And then in the third, you loot its fruit. However, at least in the first Pikmin, Olimar's diary is an absolute joy. He talks about what he misses from home, and reveals things that you'd never get from playing the game, giving a real depth to his character, rather than just generic crashed spaceman.
Olimar's interactions with the overall Mario series is limited to amiibo costumes, and in all honesty this is exactly what I want. I like the Villager, but I'm not a fan of him being in Mario Kart 8, on the other hand I absolutely love Olimar's appearance as an amiibo costume in that game, and I think it's probably the best one there. Further costumes in Yoshi's Woolly World and Super Mario Maker were also appreciated.
I like Olimar as a character, he's reasonably well-developed in his game series, and he doesn't intrude in the Mario spin-offs. The amiibo I have of him is probably my favourite design-wise, and if there were any further Nintendo spin-offs, like Nintendo Kart or whatnot, I'd happily play as him in those.
Meta Knight's Boss Battle Reviews
Hello and welcome to the last boss battle review! That's right, I'm resigning from this section. It's been good and all but I have found it difficult to invest time in working on it. That being said, let's go out with a bang and review something from the Mario & Luigi games. Mario always fights Bowser in many different games, but what happens when Bowser fights Bowser? Well in Bowser's Inside Story there is just that. Let's take a look at the final boss, Dark Bowser.
Before the fight begins, there's a very long cutscene that involves Dark Bowser spittig evil purple clouds throughout the sky and the whole world is in a purple mist. Starlow tries to tell Bowser to not forget about them and that Mario and Luigi have been in his body the whole time. This cutscene is honestly kind of underwhelming. Like they even have to say this is the final battle. In addition to that, while I do love his design, it is kind of just a recolor of Bowser with pointy hair. Bowser's cocky yet determined attitude is great to see. After the cutscene the fight begins.
This battle has several segments in it. It starts out with Dark Bowser himself. He has his standard attacks and you'll have to do your best to dodge them. Depending on what your stats and gear are, this fight could be stupidly easy or somewhat lengthy. When Dark Bowser loses all of his HP, he will collapse on the floor. However, because he is being powered by the Dark Star Core, he will be resurrected and turn huge. You will never defeat him if you don't take care of the Dark Star Core.
When Dark Bowser turns huge, you will need to punch Dark Bowser's belly. This will make him turn small again and spit out the Dark Star Core. I do like that they made it so that was the result. Bowser can then use the Vacuum Block to inhale the Dark Star Core to have Mario and Luigi fight it. After a while the Dark Star Core will leave Bowser's body so it may take a few trips.
What I really like about this battle is it utilizes everything you have learned. It includes both Bowser and the Mario Bros. They also both have several different attacks that can do quite a bit of damage if you aren't prepared for them, and it keeps you on your toes. In addition to that, the music is one of my favorites, it's such a great final boss theme. Additionally, when the Dark Star Core is defeated, there is a cinematic ending to the battle, which I found to be cool. Not to mention, playing as Bowser is simply a blast throughout the entire game, and this battle is no exception.
This fight isn't particularly challenging for me, but one thing I should note is that in order to finish the fight, you have to use the Vacuum Block to inhale the Dark Star Core. If you aren't good at tapping the button, you will have trouble and it can be frustrating for you. One other complaint I have is that you don't get any EXP from winning. It's very tough to gain EXP in post game, and you can't grind this boss for it either. This overall is a great fight though and I think it's a fitting ending to Bowser's Inside Story.
I have a confession to make. The first time I watched this movie, I actually kind of enjoyed it. Maybe I was just having a bad day, and any form of humour made it better, or maybe I'd just had one too many ciders, but either way, upon rewatching it, I realised my horrible mistake.
White Chicks is a comedy in name only. I don't think I can think of any joke in the movie that didn't revolve some form of stereotype or unrelatable rich people jokes, but even the latter were over the top. I highly doubt anyone believes that the mispronunciation of the word "quinoa" is a valid diss, what's even more annoying is that it pops up during the mandatory "Yo Mama" section. Going back to stereotypes, it's been about a month since I rewatched this, and I can still remember quite a lot of them, which are: black people are great dancers and great at "Yo Mama" jokes, girls love shopping, guys are dicks, blondes are bimbos, rich people have rich people problems, and although I can't remember it off hand I do there's a Mexican joke somewhere in there, because they had a Mexican character, and they needed to check every stereotype off their list.
Going back to rich people having rich people problems, this is the foundation of the entire plot. The Wayans brothers have to go in drag because two white girls think they might have cuts and a chipped nail, and therefore they can't appear in public, and the villain's motivation is the fact that he and his family are about to go "MC Hammer broke". I understand that he filed for bankruptcy in the 90s, but in all honesty this seems like an excuse for a cheap laugh, and it just leaves the plot looking like one massive unfunny joke.
The characters are just flat-out boring, and I genuinely could not care less about any of their issues. Half of the time I forgot that Marcus (Marlon) was experiencing marital problems, especially since they're way over the top. Seriously, I don't care how much you think your husband is cheating on you, no rational people believes that because he takes 15 minutes to walk home from the bar, he's shagging someone else in those minutes. Kevin's (Shawn) search for love is as generic as any other search for love is. Terry Crews' character is there to be over-sexed, and is supposed to be a source of humour, but that falls flat. And one of the worst is with Karen (Busy Phillips). We're supposed to feel sympathy for her, after she's brushed off by the guy she's been sleeping with, but there's no sympathy to be had, because she knows that he was in a relationship already. Sure, the girlfriend's a bitch to our main heroes, but if you want sympathy for the character, reverse the roles, otherwise it's impossible to have sympathy for her. I think the only other character arc is that one of the female characters thinks she's fat, and that's about as far as it goes.
Moving on to acting, I only have one thing to say. Listening to the Wayans brothers put on shrill, annoying female voices for about three quarters of the film is singly the worst thing about it. There's no humour to be found with it, and it grates so hard on the ear, that it ends up alienating you.
It's not all bad news though. LA is beautiful, and they capture that with both the suburbs, and the beach. The soundtrack is also pretty good, there's lots of decent songs throughout, and they manage to get the songs to fit with the actual scene, instead of just slapping a hit-song on somewhere, and hoping it works.
White Chicks is a film to be enjoyed after a few drinks, and your humour threshold has dropped. Otherwise, all you're sitting through is two annoyingly grating performances from the Wayans brothers, and a bunch of stale jokes with a quarter-baked plot.
Shoey's Shoetacular Reviews
Welcome back 'Shroom readers to the 2nd (or 8th edition) of Shoey’s Shoetacular Reviews! Hooray! Folks, the MarioWiki’s anniversary is upon us, so you know what that means, right? That’s right; it’s time to vote in the Mario Awards! You can still vote for 2 days as of this review. So, in honor of that, I’m going to review a MarioWiki cult classic; Donkey Kong Jr. Math, currently nominated for favorite Donkey Kong game, to help you determine if it’s a game worth voting for.
Donkey Kong Jr. Math was a launch title for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and is a sequel to the hit arcade game Donkey Kong Jr. However, unlike Donkey Kong Jr., which is a platformer, this game is an edutainment game where you solve math equations for reasons. At launch in America, Donkey Kong Jr. Math was not a success, and is commonly believed to be the worst NES launch game. But here on the MarioWiki, it’s a favorite because of popular character Pink Donkey Kong Jr. So, let’s delve into this game and see what we got!
Now first things first, there is exactly zero plot to this as far as I can tell. Donkey Kong just wants to make sure Donkey Kong Jr. has a quality education because he’s a good father. Because there isn’t a plot, we're going to move right onto gameplay. Donkey Kong Jr. Math is a fairly simple game. Donkey Kong holds up a number and you have to use math to equal that number. On the vines, there are numbers 1-9, and on small platforms are the different math symbols. That’s really it; you just do math. All of the levels are the same layout, just with different numbers you have to equal. There are 3 different modes to chose from, but the modes A and B only differ in that mode B has bigger numbers and sometimes negative numbers you have to equal. The other mode is Exercise Mode, where you again have to do math, but this time you are in a different layout. In this one, you are given the math equation, and have to find the answer by again selecting numbers by climbing up and down a vine.
One thing that’s interesting about this game is that it’s a two-player game. Modes A and B can be played with a friend, who gets to play as the legendary Pink Donkey Kong Jr. In two-player mode, you and your friend get to compete to see who can complete a math problem first. One thing that’s interesting is that even in single player, Pink Donkey Kong Jr. still appears; he just doesn’t do anything, so player 1 always wins.
Now let’s talk about the best thing in this game; the sound. There isn’t a lot of music in this game (only about 6 different melodies), but the music in this game sounds pretty good. One thing I like is that when you start Modes A or B, you hear a remix of the melody that plays when you start a level in the original Donkey Kong. Another thing I like is that when playing with a friend, the game has two different melodies that play depending on the winner. Both modes A and B play the same song while you’re doing the level, but Exercise Mode has its own unique one, which is probably the catchiest song in the game.
The graphics are for the most part okay. There isn’t much to the game, so the graphics are simple, but you can still tell what everything is. For the most part, the graphics are pretty par for of a launch NES title. The backgrounds are a little lackluster, with the background for Exercise Mode just being a black screen, which is not very exciting if you ask me.
The controls are functional, but a little sluggish. You press up and down on the D-Pad to go up and down a vine, and right or left on the D-Pad to move right or left. The A button can be used to jump, although jumping isn’t very useful, and is only used to jump onto a vine, and cannot be used to jump between platforms. Like I said, the controls are for the most part functional, but they do seem to be a little sluggish.
Honestly, this game is bad. It’s a boring, simple affair with little entertainment value. There’s only three modes, and two of those are the same, so there isn’t very much variety. What there is though isn’t very fun since it’s just doing math problems, something you could do without this game. I honestly don’t see very much educational value in this game either, since I don’t think kids would be compelled to play this for very long. It would take a lot of stretching for me to consider this a top Donkey Kong game, and in fact, I would probably consider this the worst Donkey Kong game. It’s a slow, repetitive, bland, and boring game that even the biggest of equations fans wouldn’t like.
Final Score: 2/10