The 'Shroom:Issue LXXVIII/Critic Corner
Sleep mode activated.
August Section of the Month
I… cannot be stuffed! To the point; victor was New Super Mario (talk) for his new section Smash Time, which broadly put is discussing his opinions on updates for the upcoming Super Smash Bros. 4 as well as his own personal desires for the game. Good debut there, mate.
Second place was my shitty review of The Last of Us in Crocodile Style Reviews, and third place was New Super Mario again for NSM's Review Corner which covered Pikmin 3. So there you have it, folks; we're getting more votes now, so keep reading and voting, you're doing God's work here!
Get ready to smash with YoshiMonsta's latest music video review.
Non-Mario Game Reviews
Hello! It's YoshiMonsta here with another entertainment review. Today I am reviewing a video that many of you may already know about. The video is "SMASH" by Screen Team, and it already is very popular with closer to 800,000 views and 700,000 likes. Now, I will divulge into the details.
There aren’t many bad things to say about this video, it is very high quality. The costumes are awesome; the song is catchy and has a good beat, though some could use improvement, namely Yoshi. It looks kinda awkward to have a face inside a face, and a tongue coming out of the face inside that face, though the rest of the costumes are awesome. Many people are sorta upset that Wario, Marth, Ike, Lucas, Jigglypuff, Lucario, Captain Falcon, Falco, Wolf, and R.O.B. aren't in it, though characters like Falco, Wolf, and Lucas seem a bit unnecessary.
It also irked me a bit that Sonic was played by a girl. Also Sonic seemed like the least important person in the video, since he never even killed or had a part in killing someone. It is a bit more understandable to have Diddy Kong played by a girl and totally understandable for Pikachu. The actors were very good, though it seemed a bit cheesy when they were knocked off the stage. I think that they should have definitely had Captain Falcon, Wario, and Marth/Ike (take your pick). Those characters just seem quite necessary, seeing as Captain Falcon and Marth have been in for a while. Also, Bowser's stay seemed a little bit elongated, and he took forever to die. Also, I think rather than Snorlax Pokemon trainer should have used Squirtle and Ivysaur.
In the end I do not understand why Pokémon Trainer and Pikachu were not fighting, seeing that this is a free for all. Also, when Mr. Game & Watch attacked Pokémon Trainer and Pikachu he looked surprisingly little 3-D though I can imagine it can be hard to make a 2-D costume. The New Challenger approaching part was kinda cool, though Villager was insane, and carrying a knife. A bloodied knife, if you look closely. And he also looked kinda creepy, when the 3 new people went to the center he looked like he was pouncing on WII fit trainer.
Despite my Criticism in this jumbled up article, this was a very good video, if you like it too give it a like, I will have it here. If you have any other videos that you would like me to review send me a message on the Wiki, or a PM on the forum. Bye!
Hottest Reviews Around
So after slacking off playing The Binding of Isaac for a couple weeks (fantastic game PLAY IT NOW), I realized I had to review something. I really didn't want to do two Edmund McMillen games in a row, so I decided either Spelunky or Fez. They both refused to load because my computer's incredibly shitty. The only other game I had was Mario & Luigi: Dream Team, so I'm going to have to satisfy the raving mouths of the wiki users this month.
Mario & Luigi: Dream Team BROS. is the latest in the stellar Mario & Luigi series, and...really didn't meet my expectations, to be honest. I really didn't feel motivated to play it, because it's certainly one of the most boring games I've ever played. I still feel like I'm in the early game, even though I've gotten I think halfway through Mt. Pajamaja.
What I mean by "boring" is that you can be two hours into the game and still getting frequent tutorials. The highly-advertised dream world doesn't appear for you until nearly one and a half hours into the game, and even then I didn't find the dream world to be as nearly interesting as they made it sound. Most of the gimmicks in the dream world are limited to one area; the drill is limited to Dozing Sands, the vines are limited to P'illo Castle, and the time mess-around bullshit that actually is quite fun is limited to Wakeport. An incredible amount of the Dream World is taken up by the Luiginary Tower gimmick, where you go into a constellation and spawn a tower of Luigis. There's an insane amount of things you can do with these guys...we have spring jumps, ground pounds, spin jumps, and way too much for a Luiginary Work. There could have been some very creative use of the other works that were introduced, especially the time fucker work.
The battles in the Dream World don't work out as they were intended to. In BiS, Bowser's stats were nearly double of Mario & Luigi's stats to compensate for him only attacking once per turn. In DT however, Mario just gets a 20%-ish stat increase in the Dream World, and it seems like it has absolutely nothing to do with Luigi. In general, the battles in the Dream World expect you to have twitch reflexes that are worse than Super Meat Boy, especially those Cocoknights or whatever the fuck they're called. The boosted attacks don't compensate for much, case in point with the hammer. The real world battles are much better.
On that note, battles in general leave very little room for error. If you get hit, expect to take at LEAST thirty points of damage and maybe even fifty in a boss battle. The attacks are not even really attacks; they're really just the game screaming "BOO THINK FAST", except they're so fast that you can't even finish the word "think". Around Dozing Sands this happens, so be prepared. Or maybe the game will go so slow that you will forget to prepare. Fuck, make up your mind, Dream Team.
Another gimmick in this game utilizes the gyroscope of the 3DS. If you've played WarioWare: Twisted (fantastic game go buy-oh wait, I apologize to Europe), then you will come in expecting fluent tilting controls, but you can be as sure as hell they won't be fluent. The Luiginary Ball will randomly just stop working sometimes, and you'll be sent ricocheting off, missing every Luigi. From what I've seen, the Slingsniper requires you to move the entire 3DS around, and that the Zeekeeper battle requires a whole lot of tilting, and they are both bullshit. The horrible sensor is another thing that makes me want to put the game away for a bit.
The game seems like it never gets interesting. So far, I can sum up the plot as...
Not exactly the most interesting plot summary I've seen. Don't trust the wiki, the summary here is one of the longest summaries I can find on the wiki. The Mario series isn't really known for intelligent plots. The deepest plots I've seen in a Mario game were in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (best game ever play now or die alone) and Super Paper Mario (great game must play don't trust anybody who says it sucks). The silliest plot was Bowser's Inside Story, and the darkest was Partners in Time. Dream Team has won an award for being the most boring, because nothing interesting happens, and the new characters are incredibly flat and generic, especially Antasma. Antasma, in my opinion, is really just an attempt at replacing Fawful and a character that is just asking for an uber-stupid fanbase just like Fawful's.
There are three things I like about this game though. One is the soundtrack. Don't need much explaining there. Another thing is that I like how there are a bunch of characters returning from the other Mario & Luigi games, and thank goodness that they're not Fawful or Midbus. We've got Kylie Koopa, Beanish people, the Hooligans, Yoshis, Toadsworth, the Elite Trio (Private Goomp, Corporal Paraplonk, and Sergeant Guy), and my favorite...The Shadow Thief! Popple. I like him as comic relief, and I stress relief because we're safe from the Luigi jokes. Although Wiggler returns, but I didn't hate or like him.
The last thing I do like is the concept of Expert Challenges, as they seem very nice but they're executed very poorly and aren't creative. They're all very tedious (ten excellents and ten dodges in a row in each area), easy to pull off (Bros. Attack excellents), or downright uncreative (do a battle with an enemy without taking damage...ALL OF THEM). The Expert Challenges could have been handled much better. For example, there could be challenges to defeat a powerful enemy like a Flibbee R in one turn, or defeat an enemy while purposefully failing Bros. Attacks.
Overall, the game...isn't something to look forward to playing. It's as entertaining as eating your socks and fair as Super Mario Bros.: The Lost Levels. It's not a disaster like Paper Mario: Sticker Star, but it certainly is a one to skip.
Crocodile Style Reviews
Hey everyone, what's even better than a shitty review of a video game from a cocky bogan who is severely bankrupt for time and creativity? Why, a shitty review of two video games, of course! That's right; it's another double-up of two recent pretentiously marketed indie titles that are only tangentially connected by their presence as XBox Live Arcade titles! Oh wait, State of Decay is stand-alone. Um… Well, they both have the word “of” in their titles, and that's enough of a connection for this production, so piss off. Today I've got in my digital hands State of Decay and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, the former a Grand Theft Auto clone with more motherfucking zombies, and the latter IGF bait.
So let's start with State of Decay, because that's the bigger man of the two and arguably worse off for it. State of Decay is a sandbox game developed by the appropriately named Undead Labs, set in an emerging zombie apocalypse in some unspecified locale of southern United States since we all know shooting things is the only skill they're good at, where the surviving populace in the general area have to carve out a living for themselves whilst under military quarantine and surviving zombie rights parades. I won't bore you with the story details because it's bollocks, but just play one of the seventy billion other zombie games in your collection by now and you already know it basically ends with everything going to shit anyway.
Curiously, the game doesn't have any set protagonist, and instead allows you to alternate between other survivors that you may have picked up along the way, the justification being that spending too much time out in the field exhausts the current player and basically turns them into me when I try to exercise. I don't actually mind this idea in theory since it gives you a reason to plan your trips and strategies carefully so as to not get caught in the middle of a rigor mortis dance party when your liver is about to drop onto the ground, and the roguelike style of permanently killing off the rejects is a nice little touch, but given that you can jump up from a zombie attack at the expense of max health (and you have a lot of max health), it stops feeling like a genuine threat after the character's fourth wind. And really, just get a car and slam it in to a whole bunch of corpses and you're pretty much set for life.
I should probably mention the driving sequences, which I found quite a riot with the terrible driving controls and massive landscape filled largely with fuck all to explore. Oh did I say a riot, I meant the utter epitome of tedium! I know this is just part and parcel of the genre, but at least Red Dead Redemption had the bloody trains for quick travel; State of Decay feels like the really obnoxious roommate that sends you out to the milk bar every half hour to pick up a packet of Mentos. Which is fitting since another absolutely wonderful feature are the endless barrage of radio messages from bored NPCs harassing me to pick up some spare ammunition while I'm travelling or get on with the story even whilst I'm already doing both. As much as I'd love to hear you people bark orders from the safety of your respective hideouts all day long, there happens to be a patch of road that isn't bloodstained yet so I think my services are more direly needed elsewhere.
Combat is derivative, but it does its job alright; you swing or shoot things at the dead guys to re-deadify them, occasionally downing potato chips or popping pills to restore stamina or health in times of desperation, the latter for which the game was honest to goodness banned in my country for a good month because the blood and gore is all fine but oh shit, painkillers; save the children! Scavenging is alright even if stealth is pretty much never an option, and the homebase upgrades give a small sense of accomplishment and purpose to the dicking about, but that's just it; the game is just one big dicking about simulator, especially after the main story is complete and all the scavenged resources have been depleted. Not that I have anything wrong with dicking about, but the idea I always had was that you had to at least be unique in how you dick about and it'll take more than the novelty of hitting zombies with a cane to keep me interested for more than an hour at a time.
On the complete inverse, let's move on to Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, a game of considerably short length that I finished in two sittings because I could barely tear myself away from it. Brothers is an adventure game from the honourable Starbreeze Studios, fresh off their crazy freshman years with the criminal slaughterfest of Pay Day 2 and now buckling up for art school and all the associated beatings that come with the territory. Two nameless brothers set out on a journey half way across the world in search of some magical waters of life to save their dying father, or it could be a random hobo that walked up to their house for all we know because everyone speaks in that Ico-styled blabbering and the game gives you implicit context at best before packing sandwiches and setting you on your way.
But the basis for the story isn't really what's riveting about the game, it's the presentation of it and by now I should turn the arty farty alarm on for anyone with acute pompousness allergies, so here it goes. The best comparison for Brothers would be the aforementioned Ico or Journey' in that they engage through minimalist gameplay focussed exclusively on puzzle solving, exploration, and slapping people's bums (no really, you can do that in Brothers, it's incredible). Brothers involves only the joysticks and the bumper buttons, each one used to coordinate the different brothers' movements and actions at the same time, which gets pretty bloody disorienting when boss fights and asymmetrical puzzles keep getting hurled at you. The canoe area was a nightmare for me because of that, although perhaps I'm just lacking in coordination skills after drowning in shooters for over half a year.
It's probably why the gameplay is so simplistic to avoid any further confusion, which is good because the game really does make the most out of its single action button through contextual design rather than more overt variety which isn't a bad way of designing your game when your entire budget can fit in a cookie jar. Brothers barely sees itself past the trifecta of push, pull, and hold on for dear life over bottomless chasms, but whereas pushing one block in God of War feels like you've pushed them all, the fact that Brothers mixes it up by, for instance, having you push a giant's arm out of the way, or drag giant baby turtles back into the water. It doesn't sound like too much, and it is a bit of an illusion, but it's surprisingly enough to give some feeling of uniqueness to each puzzle, which is supported by each of the brothers having their own differing skillsets that set them apart and are required for combination tactics.
So yeah, you can probably tell this is another game that isn't too much to talk about for gameplay on its own, and it really is something that needs to be experienced firsthand to fully enjoy. Trying not to spoil too much for that very reason, but the game takes you through many locales, scenery, and sub-plots that are capable of being both beautiful and terrifying, all the while breathing life into its characters through gestures and expression alone. It all equates to just a nice little adventure to spend a couple of hours on, culminating in a truly heart-tugging ending. It should be more accessible than Journey for many of you here, given it's on Steam now so this should be an easy sell for you, so I highly recommend trying this pleasant little game just for some nice respite from all the teeth-gritting action I just know Nintendo fans get on a daily basis.
So in very short conclusion! Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons left me enamoured enough to spout artistic drivel all over you once again, so go buy it just to make me stop; State of Decay is a time waster that just left me feeling in a state of dismay.
Hey guys, it’s NSM, welcome to Smash Time! Since the last issue, two characters have been revealed to be back! Yes, Luigi was revealed in a Nintendo Direct and Princess Peach was revealed just a few days ago (or I mean, at least when I was writing this :P)
It’s rather disappointing to see even MORE Mario characters revealed when I would like to see something from series we haven’t seen anything of yet (Come on Sakurai, Fire Emblem!) But anyway, I’ll talk about Luigi first.
Luigi should come as no surprise to anyone since he’s one of the original 12 and it is his year after all! However, I am wondering if he’ll be unlockable this time around. It would be a nice change of pace to see him not unlockable, I think. Sadly, Luigi’s moveset looks unchanged. This disappoints me a lot, since I was hoping for some Luigi’s Mansion inspired moves. Oh well, hopefully they’ll change his final smash up and have him use the Poltergust. Oh, and by the way, his artwork is SO ugly.
Luckily, Peach’s artwork looks AMAZING. It’s just freaking beautiful. We haven’t seen much of Peach yet, but it does seem that one of her new moves involves her twirling a ribbon, and it looks awesome. Too bad it looks like the Toad move is returning though, since I REALLY wanted Toad to appear as a playable character. Ah well, now you Bowser Jr. supporters have my support! Because I mean come on. Waluigi is not happening. No. Not happening people.
For the rest of the section, I’ll be talking about new item ideas that I think would fit really well in the game. We’ve already been shown one item, the X-Bomb from Kid Icarus: Uprising and it looks so cool, so hopefully some other really nice items will be introduced because I use items every time I play. I’ll be picking anywhere 1-3 items per series (for the ones I have ideas for anyway) as well as some items from the three new character’s series.
For the Mario series, I don’t think any new item really needs to be added, but one I think could be cool would be the Wing Cap from Super Mario 64. It’d probably be really overpowered, but flying with characters like Donkey Kong would be awesome.
For Zelda, I think the Whip from Skyward Sword would be cool to see. I think it’d work as a reflector, a weapon, and an item-stealer. Also, a bomb rock! I don’t know why we haven’t seen these, but it’d be a new explosive that would be somewhere between a smart bomb and a Bob-omb.
Kid Icarus has already seen a new item like I mentioned before, but if they added another one; I think Magnus’s huge giant sword would be so awesome to swing around. I’d be a sword with lots of power, but it would take a long time to swing because it’s so big.
For Pikmin, I don’t really know any good ideas, but maybe just crystal rocks from Pikmin 3 that you can chuck around the arena.
Fire Emblem really needs an item, and I have a perfect idea for it. Magic! Yes. You could pick up magic (which would be represented by a book like in the games) and you could pick up Thunder, Wind, or Fire magic. Thunder would have a lightning strike on one random opponent. Wind would change the area and pull wind in a random direction, forcing some opponents off the screen, and Fire would just create a huge inferno near where you used it. It wouldn’t appear very often since it’s so powerful, but it would be so awesome to see.
Earthbound needs Trout Yogurt. ‘Nuff said.
Assuming Sonic does return, I’d like to see an item for his series too, but I don’t know enough about it to name one.
For Mega Man, I really have no ideas since I’m not familiar with it, so send me a PM or something and maybe I’ll credit you in the next issue. Maybe.
Animal Crossing has so many item possibilities. Sadly, most of my ideas were already taken by the Villager’s moveset, but other than that, they could replace the timer with the one from Animal Crossing. Or maybe K.K. Slider CD’s that you can through like blades.
Wii Fit Trainer could have the Wii Fit Balance Board that would act as a sort of “club” like weapon.
Well, that’s it for my item ideas everybody. See you next time on Smash Time! Be sure to PM me on the forums to suggest future ideas or comment about the section!