The 'Shroom:Issue 124/Critic Corner

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Director's Notes

Written by: Hypnotoad (talk)

Issue100 anton.png

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.

Here’s Wario reprising his role in helping me get you all to do the things I say, such as voting Wario in the commercial for Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins.

Section of the Month

Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Anton's Half-Baked Reviews 8 32.00% Hypnotoad (talk)
2nd Countdowns 6 24.00% Luigi 64DD (talk)
3rd Lord Bowser's Inside Story 3 12.00% Lord Bowser (talk)

Opinion Pieces

What’s behind the curtain?
[read more]

Anton starts the summer with a blast!
[read more]

Wii, U, 1, launch! That was a bad pun plz forgive me.
[read more]

Funky reviews In Real Life... on the internet!
[read more]

Kick back with the Captain.
[read more]

Get Inside what’s up with this boss.
[read more]

’Cus you know I’d walk 1000 miles if I could just see Yoshi876…..tonight~
[read more]

Could Have Been

Written by: Alex95 (talk)

Unused level in Super Mario Bros. 3
The waterfall level.

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.

European version of King Koopa's letter, reading "Koopa Troopa" instead, in Super Mario Bros. 3
Bowser decided to let his minion do the hard work in Europe.

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.

An unused level in Super Mario Bros. 3
The ground and water level.
Unused level in Super Mario Bros. 3
The bouncing ice level.

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.

Parts of a tank.
An unused frame of Hammer Mario sliding.
Sliding Hammer Mario.
Unused Desert Land tileset pieces in Super Mario Bros. 3
Unused ladder and block tileset.

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!
Among all the random unused and uninteresting blocks and platforms are a few notable tileset pieces. Grouped with Desert Land's tileset are what appears to be a ladder and some bricks. Both look like they could have gone to the pyramid level, which may suggest that it had a completely different design early on. Grouped with the tank levels in Dark Land are a different set of wheels, but more interestingly, drill spikes! Based on the orientation, they were possibly attached to the front of the tank, which is the end that drives toward the player character. That would've taught ya' to keep your distance!

Toad's grammatically incorrect message in early versions of Super Mario Bros. 3
"Miss twice and your out!"
Japanese version of World 1- in Super Mario Bros. 3
This looks weird to me now.

Now let's get international! In World 1-Sprite of Fortress from Super Mario Bros. 3, 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.
The early releases of the English versions had some grammatical typos. For example, in the card memory minigame, Toad erroneously states "Miss twice and your out!" rather than "Miss twice and you're out!", but instead of just simply fixing the error, the saying was completely changed to "You can only miss twice!" in later releases. The earlier releases also called Goomba's Shoe "Kuribo's Shoe", but the name kinda goes back and forth throughout the series.
In the US, the letter that tells the player that Princess Peach has been kidnapped is signed by the King of the Koopas himself, though European releases just have it signed under a generic Koopa Troopa.

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!


Written By: Hypnotoad (talk)

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 Oreos

Seeing 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.
HalfBaked 124 1.png

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

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.

Rating: SweetSaltyPopped.png Sweet & Salty Chex Mix Popped

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.

Rating: ChexCookiesCream.png Chex Mix Muddy Buddies Cookies & Cream

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!


Written by: Luigi 64DD (talk)

Hello, fellow wikians! I'm Luigi 64DD, back with another huge helping of Countdown fun! Before we get started, thank you for voting me into third in Critic Corner Section of the Month! It may not be much, but it's still encouraging nonetheless. Now, on with the section. Today, we pay our respects to a fallen console, one that had a short, difficult life, but brought us many amazing games. Yes, I'm talking about the Wii 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

So unfair...
Appropriately enough, Mario Party 10 is number 10 on our list. Now let's be honest: this game is not very good. Besides the smaller extra modes, you get three main modes: Mario Party, Bowser Party, and Amiibo Party. To start, I'll talk about Mario Party. This mode is pretty much identical to the car-driven gameplay of Mario Party 9, save for the mechanic of Bowser being released from a cage and forcing you to play Bowser minigames. I already disliked that form of gameplay from the previous entry, and this one doesn't make it any better. You still have to ride around in a car with everyone else, hoping that it'll be your turn when you approach mini-stars, instead of the freedom of walking around by yourself from the older games. Of course, the minigames are what's supposed to make it fun, but I don't really know how good those are since I've rarely had the motivation to play this mode in the first place. The selling point of the game is the new Bowser Party mode, where one player chases the other players as Bowser in an attempt to eliminate their hearts through the aforementioned Bowser minigames. This is kinda fun, but it fails to be something you'd wanna play again and again. Furthermore, it's extremely difficult for the people who aren't Bowser to win, what with Bowser being able to re-roll and some minigames that are virtually impossible for Bowser to lose. There's also little variety in this mode, with only 3 boards and 10 Bowser minigames. Lastly, we have Amiibo Party, a boring, amiibo-locked mode that feels like a lame attempt to satisfy people who miss the gameplay of the first 8 Mario Party games. With the literal board game aesthetic and identical square maps, that attempt falls totally flat. Overall, while this game is not terrible, it is decidedly disappointing and is continuing on the path of mediocrity started by its predecessor, which is why I'm putting it as the worst Wii U game I've played.

9. Wii Party U

Next on our list is another party game (it may not be a coincidence that party games occupy they the lowest spaces). Wii Party U is a nice game to play when you're having a party with lots of people, especially if some of those people may not have played videogames before. The TV Party mode features several variations on the board-game-with-minigames gameplay clearly stolen from Mario Party. These are nice to play with a group of three or four, but what really caught my interest were the House Parties, a set of games that feature more real life interaction. For example, one called Name That Face has one player take a photo of themselves making a face which a prompt on the gamepad screen tells them to make. The other players, not knowing what the prompt was, are presented the photo along with four options to guess what the face is supposed to be. This and other similar House Parties are what me and my family spent the most time playing. There are other modes, such as the tabletop-like Gamepad Parties and the obligatory Minigame modes stolen from Mario Party, but I personally have barely played those, opting to spend my time with this game primarily on House Parties and secondarily on TV Parties. Overall, this is a fine party game that you'll have fun playing with your friends and/or family every once and a while, but will generally be put aside for the more replayable multiplayer games such as Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart.

8. Nintendo Land

Among the titles that were available when the Wii U came out was Nintendo Land, an amusement-park-themed game featuring twelve attractions meant to show off the Wii U's new features, each one being based off a different Nintendo franchise. These twelve attractions consist of competitive multiplayer games such as Mario Chase and Animal Crossing: Sweet Day, cooperative multiplayer games such as The Legend of Zelda: Battle Quest and Pikmin Adventure, and single player games such as Yoshi's Fruit Cart and Captain Falcon's Twister Race. Every one of these minigames provides a solid and fun experience making good use of the gamepad's capabilities. With a group of people, you'll have fun hacking away at stuffed Bokoblins, chasing Mario around as Toads, and hunting for the ghost in a haunted mansion as Luigi. By yourself, you'll enjoy guiding Yoshi towards fruit, balancing the gamepad carefully as you navigate your way through dangerous situations in a Donkey Kong-themed course, and racing though a track at high speeds as a Captain Falcon impersonator. However, aside from the twelve attractions, there isn't much else to do other then play a little minigame with coins earned from the attractions to earn used for decorating the plaza. So, this game serves as a great introduction to what the Wii U can do, but it's still pretty light on content and will take up less of your overall Wii U playtime than several other games.

7. New Super Mario Bros. U + New Super Luigi U

Technically, this game is a combination of two different games: New Super Mario Bros. U, which joined Nintendo Land as a Wii U launch title, and New Super Luigi U, a game that was initially released as downloadable content for the former game to celebrate the Year of Luigi, but was later released individually and finally released together with said game in a retail package. That retail release of both games is what I'm discussing here. First, let's talk about the original game, New Super Mario Bros. U. This is yet another platformer filled with the classic side-scrolling action that the Mario franchise first became famous for. It also, to much criticism, is the fourth game to use the New Super Mario Bros. formula that most fans are now tired of. However, I'm not going to complain about that this time around, as I already did that in the bonus content of my list of the best Mario platformers. At the core, what we have here is a very enjoyable platformer with solid level design and that classic Mario charm. As always, the main story mode is the meat of the game, with a few extra modes to round it out such as a challenge mode. I didn't spend much time on those, opting to focus on the main mode. Now I'll talk about the second game, New Super Luigi U. What sets this apart from the base game is its harder levels and short time limits in addition to Luigi's signature physics differences. While it doesn't change anything aesthetically, it offers fun, frantic, and challenging levels compared to the original's slower-paced levels. With both games together, New Super Mario Bros. U + New Super Luigi U delivers lots of platforming fun that can be enjoyed in single-player or in multi-player.

6. Super Mario 3D World

Coming in at number six, we have the second Mario platformer for the Wii U: Super Mario 3D World. Unlike the previous entry, this is a 3D platformer rather than a 2D one. It follows the action-oriented gameplay of Super Mario 3D Land instead of the more exploration-based gameplay of the traditional 3D Mario platformers. Compared to that game, this one has much more creativity, having a variety of levels with many different aesthetic themes. Furthermore, it adds multiplayer to the mix, allowing you and your friends to run around the landscape together. This feature, however, is one that doesn't always work too well, thanks to multiple controls being mapped to one button (e.g. running, picking another player up, and using your power-up ability are all on the B button for the gamepad), shared lives, and the uncontrollable factor of teammates who are terrible at the game. It's still fun to play, but if you've got four people playing, some of whom are noobs, be prepared to be accidentally thrown off the cliff often and to get game over a lot. Aside from the multiplayer issues and some problems with depth perception, Super Mario 3D World is a great game that takes the concepts introduced in its predecessor and adds to them in many interesting ways. It's the best Mario platformer on the Wii U, or at least the best non-creation-based one...

5. Super Mario Maker

Or of your nightmares.
Out of all the games I've been hyped for in my life, nothing compares to the hype I had for Super Mario Maker. I was so hyped, in fact, that I pre-ordered it and got it on release day. So, what's so great about this game, you ask? Well, simply put, you can make your own Mario levels. It's a Mario fan's paradise! You can spend hours crafting the perfect level in the level maker, or you can choose from thousands of levels to play on Course World. The opportunities are limitless. The game gives you a wealth of enemies and objects to put in any combination to make a level. If carefully crafted, you can make a level that hardly even feels like a platformer! For example, I once played a level that was more like a shooter at an old fashioned arcade. Now, as good as playing the world's Mario levels is, it has its downsides. One such case is when you come across those levels that are just tons of enemies with tons of Super Stars to kill them with. Then there's the over-saturation of levels where Mario moves on his own. It may be hard at times to find a level worth playing. However, There are options that will help you find levels that have high approval ratings, so you only have to worry about badly made levels in 100 Mario Challenge, which randomly gives you levels to play. And even then, if you can't find any good levels, you could craft one yourself and share it with the world. This game is the definitive Mario playground for those who want to make levels and those who want to play them.

4. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U

If you don't short-term memory loss, you should remember that I said that you wouldn't spend much time on Wii Party U compared to other multiplayer games. This is one of those games. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is an intense, action-packed fighting game that is definitely not for people who've never played videogames before. Compared to previous entries in the series, it has tons of playable characters, lots of stages, and way too many Fire Emblem characters! The absolute main mode is standard Smash mode. I've spent hours upon hours playing this mode, beating the crap out of my friends and family (except for when they beat the crap out of me). It never gets old, even though it's the same kind of battle every time. However, I will warn you that this game may have the side effect of being rage-inducing if you lose. I mean, come on, those long, intense 1-on-1s can get pretty suspenseful. Aside from that, you'll have loads of fun with this when played with one to three other people. But what about Eight-player Smash? Well, while it's still fun, it's also really, really chaotic. However, if you're sneaky like me, you can dodge all those attacks and let everyone else's damage go up while avoiding that yourself. There are some single-player modes in this game, but since there's no Adventure mode, I didn't spend much time on those. I opted to spend that time plugging in my Gamecube controller adapter and duking it out in some classic local multiplayer.

3. Mario Kart 8

Now for the other multiplayer game you'll spend way more time on than Wii Party U! Mario Kart 8 takes the Mario Kart formula and perfects to a degree never before reached in any previous title. Not only that, but it adds incredible HD graphics, an outstanding soundtrack, and some of the best courses in the series. Like the previous entry, I've played countless hours of this game and its Switch port in local multiplayer. Unlike the previous entry, I've also played tons of the game in online multiplayer. With the addition of DLC for the first time in the series, an already great game was made even better with new characters and a bunch of new tracks that, in my opinion, are some of the best in the game. Another addition that was free of charge was the debut of 200cc, a challenging mode that I managed to master but with great difficulty. The only major complaints I have about this game is that a few of the characters were not that great and the battle mode was fairly lackluster, but the latter complaint was fixed in the Switch version (not that that affects this game's rank since this is the top Wii U games, after all). If you own a Wii U, this game is definitely a must-have, as demonstrated by the fact that a majority of the world's Wii U owners have it.
2. Splatoon
Inkling trophy from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U
Got Squids?
Back in 2015, my older brother got this game. I didn't know a whole lot about it, but I watched him play it. He said it was a good game, and it looked fun, so I thought I'd try it. After putting it off for a while, I played it, and I fell in love with it. This third-person shooter is extremely unique in that it involves covering your surroundings with ink rather that shooting bullets. And boy, is it fun. Online multiplayer is the main focus of the game as you battle for more coverage of the stage in Turf War and push to gain control in order to raise your rank in Ranked Battle. You can choose from a vast variety of weapons and stat-improving gear to best gain the edge on your opponents. There's many stages to battle on, each with their own quirks and strategies. If you ever get tired of online mode, you can play a single-player campaign that focuses on making your way through stages while shooting enemies. While the gameplay of this mode is not quite at the level of the online mode, it delves into the lore surrounding the Inkling society and provides atmospheric qualities that makes me wish it had an even more developed story. While it doesn't have many modes other than that save for a decent attempt at a local multiplayer mode and some extra amiibo challenges for the single-player campaign, the modes it does have are filled with fun and that quirky Nintendo charm. I strongly recommend this game to anyone who has a Wii U. If you don't have a Wii U but do have a Switch, then do me a favor and buy the sequel that will be coming out just days after you read this. Whichever one you buy, I'm sure you won't regret it.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Guys, the Wii U is dead. It died just a few months ago when the Switch came out. But right before it died, it gave us one last game. A game that had been worked on for the entire lifespan of the console, its true swan song. That game is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This game takes the Zelda series and reimagines it, turning it into an open-world game. With its huge world, you can explore to your heart's content in a vast variety of areas. There will always be something to do in this game, be it fighting enemies, going on sidequests, solving little puzzles scattered throughout the world, looking for food, clearing shrines, progressing in the storyline, or just gazing at the beautiful landscape. It manages to bring the perfect balance of combat, puzzle-solving, and exploration. There's always unexpected things to find, and when you see one, you'll always want to investigate it. Just rushing through the storyline would be a shame, as you would be missing out on what this game was made for. In fact, I've played nearly 100 hours of this game, and I'm only halfway through the story! Now, to be honest, I'm playing the Switch version of this game, but they seem to be virtually identical, so I know what I'm talking about! This game is considered by some to be one of the greatest games of all time, some even going so far as to say the greatest. While I'm not going to make so bold a claim, I can say that it is a truly incredible game, and the best game on the Wii U.

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

Written by: FunkyK38 (talk)

In Real Life
Author Cory Doctorow, Jen Wang (illustrator)
Release date 2014
Genre fiction, graphic novel
Pages 192
Available From

Greetings, book junkies and graphic novel nerds! FunkyK38 here, with your new edition of Graphic Novel Reviews! This month, I’ll be reviewing In Real Life. As this is a Graphic Novel Review, there will be spoilers ahead, so consider this your warning!

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!

Character Review

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Captain Olimar

Artwork of Captain Olimar, from Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.
Little did the Pikmin know, they were never coming back...

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

Written by: Meta Knight (talk)

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.

Dark Bowser breathing fire at Bowser at the top of Peach's Castle
Dark Bowser and Bowser fighting fire with fire.

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.

Bowser versus the final boss, Dark Bowser.
Bowser and Dark Bowser in-battle.

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.

The Dark Star Core exploding in battle during its defeat.
The Mario Bros. defeat the Dark Star Core within Bowser's body.

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.

Movie Reviews

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

White Chicks

White Chicks
White Chicks.jpg
Genres Comedy
Release date June 2004
Starring Shawn Wayans, Marlon Wayans
Runtime 109 minutes
Ratings 15 (UK)

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

Written by: Marshal Dan Troop (talk)

Donkey Kong Jr. Math
Dk jr math box.jpg
Developer Nintendo Research & Development 2
Publisher Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System, Wii, Wii U
Genres Edutainment
Rating(s) N/A
Available From

Wii Virtual Console, Wii U Virtual Console

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!

Who's ready to learn?

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.

Truly a gift from Poochy.

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

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