The 'Shroom:Issue 131/Critic Corner

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Director's Notes

Written by: Superchao (talk)

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Hello, 'Shroom readers! Welcome to my NEW DOMAIN for right now that is. Anton's quite busy with changing his entire life and moving from the top to bottom of the good old USA, so he's hired me to keep the seat warm and toasty for when he returns. And also to collaborate and collect Critic Corner and make sure all is well, but that's a secondary feature. So just sit back and enjoy some piping hot reviews, fresh off the grill!

Section of the Month

Critic Corner SECTION OF THE MONTH
Place Section Votes % Writer
1st Anton's Half-Baked Reviews 7 23.33% Hypnotoad (talk)
2nd Critic Corner's Review 2017 6 20% Hypnotoad (talk)
2nd Late Night with Nabber 6 20% Nabber (talk)
3rd World Wide Weeb 5 16.67% Freakworld (talk)



Opinion Pieces

It's party time, with parties that never came to pass.
[read more]

A golden experience with candy... Well, not entirely.
[read more]
Reviews

Yoshi876 and Stardust? A better combination than you might think.
[read more]

World War Blue makes Freakworld feel blue.
[read more]

Yoob's big, but not too big for this Character Review.
[read more]



Could Have Been

Written by: Alex95 (talk)

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. This month and next month, I'll be covering the Mario Party series in a grand two-parter! This first month will cover the games that were made while Hudson Soft was heading the series: Mario Party, Mario Party 2, Mario Party 3, Mario Party 4, Mario Party 5, Mario Party 6, Mario Party Advance, Mario Party 7, Mario Party 8, and Mario Party DS. Why cover that many games? Because I feel like covering each one individually would be a rather short article and wouldn't bring a lot of content. This will by far be the biggest article I've written for this section yet, hence the two-parter indication, so let's dive right in and take a look at what could have been (sadly, none of this will explain how Toad got legs).

Mario Party

Mario Party's debug menu

A lot of the unused content in this series revolves around the minigames and a debug mode. The debug mode allows you to cycle through various game settings, adjusting things like character and minigame selection to test out. Mario Party's debug mode gives you a menu with character mugshots in the background. These mugshots are actually unused, with Donkey Kong's being a silhouette with a question mark. This is due to Donkey Kong being half owned by Rare Ltd. at the time, so the rights to use him don't appear to have gone through yet. Through this debug mode, you're able to find minigames that don't appear through normal means in the final game. You can also access a mode called "Random Play" that simply plays random minigames in succession. As far as I can recall, I don't think any Mario Party game uses a mode like this. You can kind of mimic it in free play if you do it right.

"All or Nothing"

Now then, the minigames. Five minigames went unused, trapped in eternal coding limbo:

  • All or Nothing: A pure luck-based game. You are placed in a room with three ? Blocks and you are trying to find the Mario icon within. Finding a Bowser icon will cause you to lose. No idea why this was removed, as it would've fit fine with other luck-based minigames.
  • Tour de Mario: Based on the name, this sounds like it would be some type of cycling minigame (Think "Tour de France"). The minigame preview image is a black screen with red words reading "Now Printing!" and Japanese text reading "under construction" is placed over the minigame information. Obviously, this one didn't get far.
  • Bungee Jump: Unlike the other unused minigames, there's no description or playable version of this minigame. But the text for the controls and the objective are in the code, so we're not totally in the dark. Apparently, you were to bungee jump off of something and press A Button when you're right on top of a Coin, allowing you to collect treasure. Sounds exciting!
  • Same Game: Based on the puzzle game of the same name, this minigame has the player Ground Pound colored blocks beneath them. The blocks of the same color can group together, allowing you to destroy several at once. This game is actually fully functional; it just doesn't have an explanation screen. It's very possible this game was removed to avoid complaints from the original game's designer.
  • Yoshi's Tongue Meeting: As erotic as that sounds, this game's objective is to get a baby Wiggler across a river and back to its mother using a Yoshi's tongue. The Yoshis' tongues extends automatically and quickly, and you must press A Button at the right time to deliver the baby. Too soon and the two won't meet, too late and Yoshi's tongue will knock the mother Wiggler into the bush behind them (I'm sorry, there's no good way to write this). Like with Same Game, it's possible to play this minigame.
NO GAME

A particularly weird quirk in the code is this "NO GAME" scenario. As shown in the image to the right, the player's backgrounds are all yellow, a trait not used in the game. When this happens, "NO GAME" will appear and the minigame portion will be skipped, letting the players move right on to the next turn. Perhaps yellow spaces were in the game at one point, which neither gave nor took coins from the players, and if all players landed on one, the turn was basically worthless. But then, what would happen if only one player landed on yellow? What would a 3 player or a 1-vs-2 minigame look like?[1][2]

Mario Party 2

In Mario Party 2, the same debut menu from Mario Party returns, unused graphics and all, which is…strange. Guess Nintendo just likes reusing stuff.

Unfortunately, there are no unused minigames this time around, but in Shell Shocked, there is a code that can extend your hit points from two to four! I think maybe the game went on a little too long for the play testers, so the amount of hits you can take was lowered. Plenty of minigames has unused Japanese text that, when translated, say something completely different that what they do in the final game.

Picker

There is an unused item, however! This arrow-like thing, called "Picker", would allow the user to pick the minigame that is played at the end of the turn. I guess it was cut because it would seem unfair to other players who haven't played the minigame before or something. Meh, would've made for some good times.

NO GAME returns for some reason, signifying that they were maybe working more on it. There are also regional differences! In the Japanese version of Western Land's ending, the characters use revolvers instead of cork shooters. Professor Fungi used to smoke a pipe, and Mini-Game Land was called "Mini Game Land". We got us a hyphen! [3][4]

Mario Party 3

That debug menu and NO GAME sure likes hanging around.

Locked Daisy and Waluigi

Princess Daisy and Waluigi are known for making their Mario Party debut in Mario Party 3, but it seems they weren't meant to be playable from the start from the…start. Ahem, anyway, there's a code that can force the game into an earlier state, revealing that Daisy and Waluigi were represented by question marks. Funnily enough, the back of the Mario Party 3 box reads "You can even unlock new characters in the one-player challenge." This would've been the first game in the series with locked characters in Party mode, instead, Mario Party 6 holds that honor with Toadette.

Koopa's transition

Of the characters that have a transition screen, Koopa Troopa was also supposed to get one. Since he doesn't host anything, this graphic goes unused. And like with the other characters on the debug menu, Daisy and Waluigi also have some early graphics. In Story Mode, the lowest rating you can receive is "C", though graphics of "D", "E", and "F" ratings exist in the code.[5][6]

Mario Party 4

Pre-release Mario Party 4 boxart
Pre-release character menu

Mario Party 4 doesn't have as much unused content I can find. There is the usual debug menu, but it has the most basic of black backgrounds. What Mario Party 4 does have is a tentative box cover, which uses the Nintendo 64 styled artwork. Even though Luigi and Mario has already solidified their GameCube appearance, no one else had yet (well, Peach, kinda), so it's likely this was just cobbled together until everyone else's art was finalized. This is also the game that marks Peach and Daisy's current appearance debut, so I'm sure the designers took their time with making them look different from each other.

There is also a conceptual character and game settings menu, which looks way cooler than the debug menu.[7][8]

Mario Party 5

E3 Title

When Mario Party 5 was first shown at some E3, it had a title screen that acts similarly to the final version, but the differences are apparent. Like the final game, there are characters running around in the background, but the final game has silhouettes running around behind the file select whereas the E3 version had the characters visible and running around on the title screen. It also had a slightly different logo and the Star Spirits were present as well. The menu was also limited, as per usual for an E3 demo, but I wonder why they changed everything from a bright and colorful tone to a dark one? The original would've fit the dreamy theme of the game more, I feel.

One of the new elements in the game is the use of Capsules (unfortunately, I found nothing on Super Duel Mode). The unused Capsule seem to have been created purely for the use of testing: There are Capsules that allow you to freely move the camera, one to test the warp function presumably for the Warp Pipe Capsule, a Donkey Kong Capsule meant to force a Donkey Kong event or perhaps allow players to place another DK Space, and finally a VS Capsule that could just be a very early Duel Capsule. The Bowser Capsule also has a description that reads "Increases Bowser spaces and is active as soon as it appears.", but since the Capsule is used automatically upon collection, this description never shows.[9][10]

Mario Party 6

Pretty much the same stuff in Mario Party 5 appears in Mario Party 6, unused capsules and all. However, regarding the new Solo Mode, there are several bonuses you can collect, and it turns out that there are a few unused ones! Someone contacted us (a conversation you can read about here) about a few unused bonuses. The unused bonuses are listed between "You conquered all the spaces!" and "You've played all the boards!". Here's a table of them:

Bonus Description
You've got every 4-P game! This is the bonus you receive when you have collected all the 4-Player Mini-games.
You've got every 1-Vs.-3 game! This is the bonus you receive when you have collected all the 1-Vs.-3 Mini-games.
You've got every 2-Vs.-2 game! This is the bonus you receive when you have collected all the 2-Vs.-2 Mini-games.
You've got every Battle game! This is the bonus you receive when you have collected all the Battle Mini-games.
You've got every Duel game! This is the bonus you receive when you have collected all the Duel Mini-games.
You've got every Rare game! This is the bonus you receive when you have collected all the Rare Mini-games.
You've collected every game! This is the bonus you receive when you have collected all the Solo Mode Mini-games.

We're guessing these bonuses weren't used because they would conflict with the way the standard Party Mode minigames are obtained; if you get all the minigames in Party Mode, you won't get the bonus in Solo Mode. An unfortunate happenstance from finding this data is this person found that you don't get a "special gift" from collecting all the bonuses, yet one exists as indicated by a "Special Gift" theme in the sound test. Does this theme actually represent something, or is it a leftover and the actual gift was scrapped? There is a challenge for anyone who wishes to try and figure it out![11][12]

Mario Party Advance

Original logo for Mario Party Advance
Toad Force V icon

Mario Party Advance is the first handheld Mario Party title, but despite making tons of changes to the formula, there's little unused and pre-release content. Several minigame or cutscene backgrounds are different in early Japanese screenshots, and one also shows Bowser with two standard Koopa Kids, though only one appears with him in game (the multi-colored Koopa Kids appear in the final game, however). There are also several icons for unused Gaddgets, one of which corresponds to Toad Force V Gaddget, which is accessed through a different mean.[13][14]

Mario Party 7

Unused Mario Party 7 title screen

Mario Party 7 doesn't have a lot on its own. It has the same debug from the other GameCube titles and some older versions uses Mario Party 5 or 6 assets. But what it does have is interesting. There is an unused title screen that shows Mario riding on a miniature MSS Sea Star as he sails past the other playable characters and Donkey Kong. There is also an unused Mic minigame, where you have to control a mechanical Cheep Cheep and avoid mines. The commands are blank, but they correspond to moving the Cheep Cheep down, up, left, or right, and if the fish hits a mine or a wall, the game ends. It only appears to be in the European versions of the game, however.

A playable Koopa Kid is also accessible through cheats, but several of his icons and sound effects are replaced by other characters', meaning he was likely scrapped early on.[15][16]

Mario Party 8

Demo Mario Party 8 title

Mario Party 8 introduced motion-control to the series, and there are a few unused minigames that were supposed to make use of it:

  • Hammer de Pokari (my best translation being "Top Hammer"): A minigame where you're supposed to whack each other with hammers. Collision is weird and the coin counter doesn't work properly. The game ends when someone is hit five times, and the person who got the most hits in wins.
  • Guruguru Kataduke (my best translation being "Rolling Finish"): A minigame where you have to roll up a ribbon. Yay!
  • Ochiruna Rodeo (my best translation being "Don't Fall Off Rodeo"): A minigame where players have to stay on a mechanical bull by tilting the Wii Remote in the direction of the bull.

There are also unused clips signifying a possible return of Toadsworth and Ztars.[17][18]

Mario Party DS

Beta image of Mario Party DS

The last Mario Party game made by Hudson is Mario Party DS (take a guess at what system this was for). Unfortunately, there isn't a lot here. Player HUD boxes were going to have an "x" in their Star and Coin tallies, which doesn't appear in the final game, and Wiggler's Garden was originally named "Petey's Garden", named after Petey Piranha who needs help dealing with a Piranha Plant traitor.[19][20]

And that's it for part one of our look into the Mario Party series! I hope you enjoyed my long-winded ramblings enough to come back next month for the part two conclusion, which will focus on the Nd Cube games. Until next time, see you around!

References



AntonHalfBakedLogo.png

Written By: Hypnotoad (talk)

Wow hey it’s February and you know what that means?!

Part 1 of Anton’s Half-Baked Pre-Written Reviews 2018 because I’m moving this month and don’t want to do any work! For both this month and March, and probably July and August, I will be posting reviews of things I’ve previously tried (mostly while on vacation) that I just never got around to posting, so I can still provide some kind of content. I’ll likely be back for fresh reviews by April, but we’ll see what happens!

This month specifically will be some variants of snacks I already like, because trying food is a lot easier, cheaper, quicker, and accessible than trying games or shows. I do have some games and shows on my list, I just need to get around to them, but please send in more suggestions because that list is much shorter than foodstuffs!

Reese’s Popped Snack Mix

Hershey’s seems to be on a new product development streak, with Hershey’s Cookie Layer Crunch, Hershey’s Gold, and Hershey’s/Reese’s Popped Snack Mix. I’m a fan of Hershey’s chocolate, and Reese’s, and snack mixes, so the latter of that grouping seemed like an optimal thing for me to test and compare to the tried and true Chex Mix. For $3.99 USD retail for an 8oz bag with no sales or coupons available it better be the best thing I’ve ever experienced.

The bag contains: Small Reese’s Cups, Reese’s Pieces peanut butter candy covered peanuts, pretzels, and chocolate-drizzled popcorn. On first chomp the taste qualifies as “pretty alright”, it’s not an overpowering salt flavor like the Walmart brand snack mixes, and it doesn’t taste like literally nothing like the Target brand snack mixes, so it’s an adequate start. Time to delve deeper, though. Upon completion of my first bag, because of course I destroyed the entire thing in a single sitting, I concluded as much as I suspected: the ratio of chocolate pieces and popcorn is complete nonsense; easily 60% of the entire mix is popcorn, 30% pretzels, and the rest is all of the other chocolate things combined. Rolling with the negatives, I’ll go for those first. The Reese’s Cups are odd, and in a rare occurrence I can say that I would’ve preferred that there were less of them in the bag. Introducing yet another new size and shape to the now limitless library of Reese’s Cup designs, the chocolate layer feels too thick, and the peanut butter with less viscosity, so it feels like an empty pocket and it just feels wrong; like an off-brand peanut butter cup. It’s lacking the recognizable grittiness of Reese’s peanut butter that was brewed in a lab by marketing magicians to satisfy both the creamy and crunchy audiences, and the saltiness of the other mix pieces doesn’t really blend well with the chocolate flavor as well as it probably should since it’s not exactly a wild and crazy combination. I bought Reese’s for a reason and if I have to deal with off-brand quality then I have completely thrown my money away. There’s also like literally 5 or 6 Reese’s Pieces candy-covered peanuts per bag, and I bought 3 bags of this over the like six months it’s taken me to write this particular review so I can confirm that this sample size is enough to make a judgment It’s unfortunate because these are like the best piece in the entire bag, and also made me actually say something positive about something related to Reese’s Pieces in any way, as the base product is bitter over-produced garbage.

The pretzels are really good, though, good size, shape, thickness, saltiness, flavor, they’re perfect. Each individual piece is fine on its own so I don’t feel compelled to grab an entire handful just to get a fulfilling sense which would subsequently drain the bag of pretzels much faster. The popcorn actually isn’t objectively bad either, like it is in general or in other mixes, assortments, packages, flavors, whatever. They really help the pretzels add a salty flavor to the whole bag, and are crunchy, which helps them feel like they actually exist instead of just some airy poof of volume-filling nothingness.

Reese’s Popped Snack Mix has done all in one bag what I thought was once impossible, twisting around my established snacking dogma, making the peanut butter cups regrettable, but the popcorn and Reese’s Pieces a sought after handful. What kept me grounded in this was a consistently delicious pretzel, preventing me from believing I’ve accidentally swapped bodies with someone with bad taste.

Rating: DarkChexMix.png Dark Chocolate Chex Mix

Explanation: A mixture of things that are objectively good (candy coated chocolate, chocolate chex, yogurt covered chex), alongside things that are typically kinda gross (dark chocolate pretzels, whatever those dry excuses for cookies are), somehow rendering the entire mix edible at least for once in a blue moon. Dark Chocolate Chex Mix is a backup plan for if other better flavors aren’t available and your coupon is about to expire.


Hershey’s Gold

This is the first new Hershey bar since 1995, when the Cookies ‘n Creme came out. Hershey’s has definitely released a whole bunch of different chocolate and candy products between 1995 and now all throughout all of their brands, so this announcement feels more just like a hyper-specific technicality to generate hype and prestige, but here I am spending $1.99 USD on it so they’ve got me. I would’ve reviewed this earlier since this has been out since like...December, I think, but I just flat haven’t been able to find it until well after New Year’s, despite everyone telling me that they’ve seen it all over the place. This may be the fault of Artificial Scarcity, which is a capitalist scheme that can create scenarios where the price is jacked up by toying with supply and demand, rather than just letting me buy this stupid candy bar when I want to so I could review it in December instead of February.

So, I finally got one, as is implied by me doing this. Upon opening it I do my usual sense inspection. It smells familiar; I can’t exactly place it, but it smells cheap. Olfactory senses are the strongest so I will not doubt what my nose knows. It’s caramelized creme, peanuts, pretzels. No chocolate. Apparently caramelized creme, or golden creme, hasn’t been explored much as a food concept in the United States, but can be found in European dishes such as crème brûlée. With Hershey declaring that this is the first mass-market golden creme confection in the US, all of these milestones and firsts starting to piling up is giving me the feeling that this is all just a big hype PR stunt. It has a like...Werther’s candy flavor and aftertaste, or like Bit-O-Honey, but the creaminess to it just makes it feel weird. There’s an expectation for caramel to have some bulk or thickness to it, like a chewiness or higher viscosity, due to precedent set by other caramel products, but this one shoots for strictly flavor only. The pretzels and peanuts that are supposed to be in there are barely noticeable. The quantity feels like less than the amount of cookies in the Cookies ‘n Creme, but they’re very finely chopped and don’t provide as much crunch as it probably believes it does.

Now, I always do a little bit of research of other reviews after I’ve gave it my own try, just to see if my feelings fall anywhere near what more established bloggers think. More often than not the other food bloggers just feel to be hawking whatever product they tried, and putting their one semester of community college English major skills to the test with hyping up descriptions of things in a way that only sets up to disappoint, and boy is that what this did. Let me just quote them:

“It's a creamy yellow-gold color, and first bites in the BA office went over well. Like, the bar disappeared, one quick square at a time. There were definite peanut-butter notes, almost a brown butter nutty taste, though it wasn't as chunky in texture as it sounds. Our notes: "It tastes like coffee creamer mixed with salty trail mix, in exactly the way you want it to.""It tastes like it doesn't care that it's not chocolate." "It’s like caramel corn, in a way." The salt from the pretzels was so well balanced you didn't get sweetness overload like you do from say, the Cookies 'n' Creme bar. One staffer even whispered, I think I like it better than Cookies 'n' Creme!”

I hope you’re all as put-off by this as I am. First of all, not much is better than Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Creme, bar the Hershey Symphony Milk Chocolate which is absolute perfection, and it’s irresponsible to make such a swift comparison. “Creamy yellow-gold color” is just a fancy way to say baby diaper brown, and in my own ‘office’ being my living room with captive family members I’m forcing to try it before me, it was universally met with a pretension of fear and then disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, the writers at Bon Appétit are living my fantasy of existing in a casual office setting doing what appears to be just eating food and then water-coolering about it, and their work is inspirational to the world’s most cutest schlub like me who sits mostly alone in his room using a Mario website’s community magazine thing feature to excuse his excessive and impulsive spending as research for a review, but I wish there were more reviews of products that were on the less-enthusiastic end, veering into complacent and negative, because that’s the reality of most things and we instead need to revolt against capitalist hype ventures. Maybe this is my calling!

I’d prefer if it was just chocolate with peanuts and pretzels, like the Take 5 cookie bar but instead as a lighter chocolate bar. Maybe this would be better if there were more or larger pretzel bits to add more crunch between the odd creaminess. The caramel flavor is just too smooth and creamy for what this is supposed to be, and the saltiness doesn’t taste like salt but instead like preservatives, making this feel more like one of those crappy chocolate packs you get on sale at HomeGoods as a present from a cheap uncle. Other reviews indicate that “peanut butter lovers would love this!” which I contest, because I’m probably one of the biggest peanut butter lovers I know, and this tasted absolutely nothing like it and I was quite frankly crestfallen by how little the peanuts added to the mix. The thing that gets me with this, though, is that these other reviews indicating a sense of peanut butter are from people who DON’T like peanut butter, and are thus saying that this Hershey’s Gold bar isn’t for them because of the peanut butter taste. A good portion of the negative reviews even state that it’s because they don’t like the non-traditional non-grid pattern way the candy pieces are split up. Did they even try it?? Are they avoiding it and just writing a fake review anyways to get internet cred??? Are people really this desperate, like, it’s $2 at most and if you don’t like it just throw it at some birds.

Rating: SourCreamAndLies.png General Mills releasing Sour Cream & Onion Chex Mix as a “new” flavor for the 3rd time.

Explanation: Two new flavors of Chex Mix being introduced this month: Sour Cream & Onion, and Honey BBQ. 🤔🤔🤔 The latter is technically new; they've only had "BBQ" in the past, but sour cream & onion is definitely not new and I am UPSET but cautiously optimistic because this could mean a resurrection of Chocolate Peanut Butter Chex Mix. But like, check the image, “new”; I didn't even know this was discontinued, but here they are bringing it back as "new" for the 3rd time because we live in a capitalist hellscape where hype generation rather than truth in marketing drives sales. catch the mother *dolphin noises*'n tea on that. Ms. Mills didn't think I had receipts! 🐸☕ I realize that a majority of my review is based more on the relative comparisons other reviewers have made, as well as the marketing scheme employed by a global behemoth, as opposed to the reality of the situation, and I can’t exactly hold a candy bar accountable for all of that. It’s not bad, but it’s definitely not good. Something about it feels off, with it being boosted and promoted to the ends of the earth, and the quality not matching its title. If you’re a caramel fan and for some reason are too uppity to eat PayDay or Rolos then I guess this is for you.


Tune in next month where I post even more pre-made reviews because I'm busy! 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!



Movie Reviews

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk)

Stardust

Stardust
Stardust.png
Genres Romantic, fantasy, adventure
Release date August 2007
Starring Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Michelle Pfeiffer
Runtime 127 minutes
Ratings PG (UK)

There are some things in life that you assume you won't like, and for me that was Stardust. I was quite young when the film came out, and there was nothing really there that actually caught my attention, or made me want to see the film. So, when it was released, I naturally watched Kung Fu Panda. Fast forward a few years, and for whatever reason I do end up watching it. And that's when I realise that Stardust is one of those other things in life: the thing that you think you'll end up hating, but instead rather quite enjoy.

The overarching plot is a pretty standard coming-of-age film, despite the massive fantasy elements involved. There's nothing really groundbreaking, and if you pay attention, you'll guess the main twists in the tale. And the way that the film moves about effortlessly from scene to scene, you get swept away in the whole thing.

And swept away you will be, as the visuals are stunning. I couldn't notice any issues with the CGI, nor any obvious green-screen moments. And not only are the visuals stunning, but the soundtrack is amazing as well, although any film that manages to work the can-can in, is going to get extra points from me.

With this being a coming-of-age film, there are a few cringe-worthy moments in the beginning, but you really do get to see Tristan progress from nervous shop assistant into a dashing hero, even if the majority of the transformation sequence takes place through the means of a montage – but ask yourselves, is there a better way for films to show a progression than the montage?

One of my main worries coming into the film was that I'd get bored watching it, but even if you're one of those people who bore easily, there are plenty of actions sequences interspersed throughout to keep you entertained. And it's the right amount of action sequences – not too many that the film loses its plot and just becomes fight after fight; but too little that the film feels like it's dragging.

One of the film's strongest points is its characters. In a film with such a large ensemble cast, there's not really any that are unlikeable. No-one seems to be a caricature of a certain stereotype in film, bar some of the minor characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed Stardust. It was not a film that I was ever expecting to enjoy, and yet it blew away my every expectation, and is one of those films that I could put on any day of the week, instead of one of those ones that you only watch when there's nothing else around.




World Wide Weeb

by Freakworld (talk)


World War Blue Review

Disclaimer: The contents of this review do not necessarily represent the actual views of the reviewer(s). There is overstatements around every corner. Do not let yourself get fooled though, your life will still be ruined if you try and wait for episode four.

The Great Console War.

It is the Year 1989. Nintendo is at the peak of its domination over the video game industry. With the on-going success of the Nintendo Entertainment System, and their new handheld, the Game Boy on the way to infamy, it was sure looking as if the light of success would shine brightly for them for all eternity. However, from within the deep, dark depths of Japan, a new threat was on the rise.

At this time, a company called Sega, most famous for various Arcade titles of the time, such as Space Harrier and Hang-On, was also pushing into the console market. And with remarkable success, since their console, the Sega Mark III, more commonly known outside of Japan as the Sega Master System, was doing exceedingly well, however only in such territories as Europe, and Brazil, where it even soared above Nintendo's Entertainment System in terms of popularity.

But times evolved, and Sega was determined to take a bigger market share in other regions from Nintendo as well. In order to achieve this goal, they cooked up a new plan. They would beat Nintendo to the punch and make the move into the 16-Bit era. The Sega Mega Drive, also known as the Sega Genesis in North America, marked the beginning of a hard battle between the two companies. You could almost say, that it was a World War.

These guys are supposed to represent video games or something. I do not even know.

And A Blue One At That, Apparently.

Why am I talking about this? Have I finally gone mental?

Well, yes. But that's not the point. Years after all of this went down, somewhere else in Japan, someone came up with a delightfully devilish idea. What if they took the concept of this console war, and adapted it as a Manga?

And, that is exactly what they did. They came up with a series called Aoi Sekai no Chuushin de, also referred to as, well, World War Blue. Do not ask me who came up with that title please, it sounds stupid.

The main character right here.

A War Of Poor Spelling Mistakes.

World War Blue is set within a fictional, medieval-esque world, in which two major countries have been hard at war. The Segua Kingdom, and the Ninteldo Empire. I swear I am not making this shit up. And it gets better, trust me.

So for all further purposes, I am only going to consider the anime, since the manga does not have any English translation that I am aware of. Essentially, the anime starts off with the Main Character, named Gear, who is really quick and features blue hair, has all of his friends killed, including one who distinctively reminds me of a certain Fox.

Naturally, the ones behind this are the Ninteldo Empire. Going forward, he decides to go to the capital city of the Segua Kingdom and tries to enroll in the army in hopes of getting to kick some Big N ass. However, just as he arrives, he finds out that the Segua Kingdom is basically at their wits end, with how they could defeat Nintendo, er I mean, Ninteldo, and basically they are just miserable and failing at life.

But luckily for Sega, it is the year 1991, and our knight in shining armor appears: Son- Gear! Surely, he and his team of trusty companions, including more game rip-offs such as "Tejirof" (Tetris) would be able to solve the crisis. So after this, there are two more episodes where the new found party goes out to beat up some fake Fire Emblem characters. And that's it!

Of course this series also has its own version of Mario.

Wait, Seriously?

Yep! This anime was cut off after just three episodes due to the fact that about everything about it was average at best. Dumb animation, flat characters, a story that was literally just based off of idiotic references, yadda yadda.

To be perfectly honest, I really do not have anything else to say about this. It was a very interesting concept, but next to nothing was done with it. However, I am going to give it the benefit of the doubt and would probably check out the Manga, should it ever be available in a language that I am able to understand a bit better than Japanese.

For the record, because of this anime being literally nothing basically, I actually gave this the absolute worst rating on Myanimelist, which is 1/10. So yeah, there is no point in watching this, even if it is short. For that we all know, in the end, Sega loses anyways.

This has been World Wide Weeb, signing out.



Character Review

Written by: Yoshi876 (talk) Yoob

For everyone who has ever wondered where the previous 875 Yoshis are, they're in there.

Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time is probably one of my favourite Mario titles. I liked the feel of it, I like the story, and I liked the characters. Most days when I play games, I have a general idea of what's coming up, but I got this game before I even discovered the Mario Wiki, so I was completely blind, and I loved it even more for that.

And because of that sheer unpredictably, when I got to Yoshi's Island, I was massively intrigued, especially by this guy. Yoob is a monstrosity created by The Shroobs – not be confused with The 'Shroom, we're perfectly legit people – and he has a penchant for consuming Yoshis. As a fan of the Yoshis, I was quite saddened to see my brethren consumed, but this only served to give me a reason to want to defeat Yoob.

There's not really a lot to say about Yoob, as the only thing he really does is eat. He eats Yoshis, Kylie Koopa, Baby Bowser, and of course, the heroes. But once inside of Yoob, things turn interesting as it seems that he is simply an egg factory, a place for more Yoobs to be created.

And this is where he turns interesting. Yoob seems perfectly organic, and yet inside he seems to be just a machine. It's something that I wish was explored more in-game. Yes, you see Yoob wincing in pain, as you defeat Sunnycide, but once he's been defeated, Yoob seems to simply power down. It would have been nice to have gotten some clarification on what exactly Yoob is.

Another thing that I would have loved is if you ended up fighting Yoob, instead of Sunnycide. Sunnycide was certainly a fine boss, but with much Yoob was built up to be the main villain of that part of the story, it would have been nice to have had the fight. I imagine it could have gone with something like the more you damaged Yoob, the more Yoshis he'd spit out, and as he spits out more Yoshis he gradually loses power.

Despite the lack of clarification on what exactly Yoob is, and the fact that you don't get to properly fight him, I really like Yoob. Although he is not my favourite character from Partners in Time, he is certainly one of the most memorable, and I wouldn't object to having Yoob turn up in a future Yoshi's Island game.


The 'Shroom: Issue 131
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