Hiya everybody, welcome to the September issue of the ‘Shroom, and to this lovely, wild, inhabited Critic Corner section! Please enjoy your stay here! If you want, I mean, I dunno, I cannot sue you if you do not :(
Section of the Month
Since there was only one section last month, there is not any Section of the Month! BOOOOOOOOOO. But hey, at least you guys have a wide variety to choose from this time!
Heylo everybody, it's Pyro, back with another issue of Fangame Reviews, now with pictures! I'll basically be doing fangames whenever I don't have a non-Mario game to review - I have yet to finish Shovel Knight, and when I do I'll review it. It's fantastic, but that's a subject for another day...er...issue. Today I'll be tackling two recent Mario fangames, Super Mario Country and Mario Land: Minigame Mayhem, and the new updates on a relatively well-known Mega Man fangame, Mega Man Unlimited.
I lost my Fire Flower in the making of this photo. RIP
First off, Super Mario Country, which is probably what I'd consider the...least good of the things I'm tackling today. The last true Mario game I played was Super Mario 3D World (which is excellent, by the way), and I've been avoiding any and all Mario platformers for a while now because the newest games are getting extremely stale no matter what powerups or pretty graphics they add; and because the only platformers I've been playing recently are Kirby and Mega Man ones, I'm extremely out of shape in Mario. On to the actual game, Super Mario Country is made by DJ Coco, a global moderator on the MFGG forums. The game aims to capture the charm of Super Mario Land 2, as evidenced by its graphical style, use of only the four Gameboy colors and its screen size, and even scanlines. I have to say, Coco did a great job with the authenticity. The game has a few graphical hiccups, however, as can be seen in the images provided. Enemies that weren't in the original Land 2 just have their sprites from World or something and recolored with the four colors available. It looks jarring, but for someone who's played all of the Gameboy Mega Man games it doesn't pop out, considering a good chunk of the graphics in those games are just taken from the NES. The level design is a bit wonky; it's okay for the most part, but there are some unfair points.
THIS ISN'T FUN THIS IS JUST A FUCKING CHORE IT'S LIKE PARATROOPA JUMPING THIS ISN'T FUN AT ALL AUUUUGHHH
I played a good 7-8 levels, and a good chunk had some pretty bullshit parts. There's a level where you ride on a raft and a shark throws Goombas at you; creative idea, but I swear, those Goomba's hitboxes are ever so slightly off and I shouldn't have died three times. The first level of the snow world is the one pictured on the right; it was a pleasant surprise to see old faces from Mario 2 like Panser, Ninji and Flurry, but the level had some pretty dumb parts. You see that picture? That section is awful. There's at least four different spike fields you have to jump across via Flurries (note: Instead of standing on Flurries, you continuously bounce off of them). There's also this ooone jump close to the end of the level where there's two falling platforms over each other, a pipe, and a Ninji guarding a cliff. If it sounds easy, it's not. If the Ninji just happens to not be timed right, you're either going to have to take a hit (or die if you're Small Mario) or just die in the pit. I died to it the first time because it wasn't synced up the way it should be, and on the second try it was. In another level in a zone I don't remember, there was a minecart; its jump curve is just...bizarre; it just feels very heavy. Plus, its hitbox is screwed up; sometimes you stomp the enemy, sometimes you don't. I think DJ Coco realized this as well, because the checkpoint is fairly early on and the level is short in general.
There are also a few other points of bullshit, but I just wanted to point out those instances. I can't say anything bad about the soundtrack, it was all good Gameboy tunage, but the level design really takes it down a notch. I'll give Super Mario Country a 6/10.
Next up, Mario Minigame Mayhem! Wait a minute. It's called Mario Land: Minigame Mayhem, sorry folks! Mario Land: Minigame Mayhem is the brainchild of Kritter. The basic idea behind the game is that Mario visits the Mario Land theme park, filled with booths hosting minigames of all kinds. There's over 80 minigames to play, over 40 tracks to listen to as you walk through the park, 60 figurines to collect from a store, and more. Minigames cost coins, and Toadsworth gives you coins if you don't have any. You can earn coins via completing and winning minigames, and you can spend them on figurines or extra costumes to wear.
Totally Peach here.
Okay, I'm just going to be blunt here. This game is absolutely fantastic, perfect, amazing, awesome, I cannot see it any better! No, seriously, this game is fucking amazing. The graphics are superb; they're Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga sprites, and everything looks clean and pretty because of it. There's a ton of things to do, including 80+ minigames, all well-designed. You can go to an arcade and play Mario-themed remakes of arcade games such as Snake, Frogger and Tetris, and you can go to a "Card Pavilion" to play glorified rock-paper-scissors (an NPC actually calls it that in game) against either Luigi, Wario or Bowser. There are many different standalone minigames as well, such as some platforming challenges hosted by a Thwomp, or a trivia show run by Psycho Kamek. The one bad thing I do have to say about the minigames is that there's a good chunk of luck-based ones; there's a minigame where you pick a card and hope it's not one that makes you lose coins; there's another where you try to dodge Bowletta's flames by picking a wall to hide behind and hoping she won't burn that one; there's one where you bet coins on which minion will win a race; etc. It's not like you're required to win them, though; you have to play them to access a big secret, however. I'm not spoiling it here.
There are 60 figurines of Mario characters & enemies; you buy them via a capsule machine. The best part about it is that you never have to worry about getting one you already own; the more coins you pay, the more likely you are to get one you haven't gotten yet. There's a great selection of figurines, from Mario to Rexes to Lord Crump to even Kritter himself. The descriptions tell you what game they first appeared in, and include a short description reminiscent of Smash Bros. You can purchase extra costumes to wear in the Costume Shop - they range from relatively mundane (Fire Mario, Luigi) to crazy batshit insane (Peach). It's a good selection, and I'm comforted that more costumes are on the way; I'll talk about that soon. There's also a good chunk of achievements in the game, which are easily the hardest part. Some ones I've looked at go into luck-based territory - one requires you to play the matching game and complete it without hitting the Bowser (dud) panel.
Another great part of the game is that Kritter can easily update it via the Updater. The game itself tells you when an update is available, and the updater automatically downloads it without you having to redownload everything. This allows for rapid-fire bugfixes, and thanks to it many, many bugs were fixed, including some framerate issues affecting my computer. The only other thing I've spotted is some typos relating to "i'm" instead of "I'm". And now that the bugs have been fixed, Kritter has promised extra content via the updater, including new minigames and costumes!
If I haven't made it clear enough, this game is fantastic. It's a solid 10/10. Give it a download; it's seriously worth it.
Aaaand finally, Mega Man Unlimited. This game came out...I think last year? Mega Man Unlimited is a very high quality fangame made by MegaPhilX and others that I can't remember off the top of my head. It's infamous for its difficulty being through the roof, sometimes in a good way, sometimes bad, sometimes really bad (I'm looking at you, Yoku Man. Fuck you for all eternity). Over time, updates have made the game less bullshit, and recently version 1.2.0 and 1.2.1 have come out. These versions mostly focus on extra content rather than main game changes, so if you haven't played the main game yet I suggest you either play it or watch a playthrough on YouTube; Heavy Sigh from Something Awful is currently doing a Let's Play that I recommend you watch; it's very informative.
Just another day in Magical Glue Leprechaun Land.
Onto the new updates; it adds a few new things - Endless Attack, Endless Boss Attack, a new stage (Whirlpool Man), and the ability to charge up your buster. Endless Attack is like it is in Mega Man 9 and 10, in that you get every special weapon and you have to traverse sections endlessly, with "screens cleared" as your score. Unlimited's endless attack features areas designed by fans; it's pretty cool. MegaPhilX made a loooad of new tilesets for this and Endless Boss Attack; I think there's at least 20, and they all look fantastic. All of the areas use previous stage gimmicks in creative ways; there's one section that combines platforms that explode when you shoot them (Trinitro Man's stage), and glue enemies that absorb your shots and reflect them back at you (Glue Man's stage); the reflected shots still destroy the platforms, so it makes for some interesting stage designs. My high score is 20; yeah, I suck. Endless Boss Attack is exactly what it sounds like; you fight the ten Robot Masters in a random order, get health refills from each, and get some weapon refills when you defeat every 10. My high score is 12. Oh, and you have the option to charge your buster now. It's Mega Man 4 charging, where you don't lose your charge when you get hit, and the charge shot doesn't pierce very many things. It certainly speeds up boss fights, but I'm sad that the charge shot doesn't pierce the aforementioned explosive platforms; I'd love it if I could just send a charge shot flying through a row of those. EXPLOSIONS.
The big feature of the update is a brand-new stage - Whirlpool Man. You access the stage from the same menu as you do the Endless modes, and you can select difficulty and the ability to charge as if you were starting a new save file. You're generously given all special weapons (I wasn't expecting that) as well. The stage itself is gorgeous in the graphics department, and spikes in the spike department. What else do you expect from a water stage, let alone a Mega Man Unlimited, also known as Unlimited Spikes, stage? There's a bullet hell theme going throughout the stage; the miniboss shoots swirls of energy balls, and there's these destructible walls that shoot out eight shots in the cardinal directions when destroyed. The main gimmick is, surprise surprise, whirlpools that push you up. This is used creatively, especially towards the end of the stage. There's some new enemies, including Tellies from hell - these giant fucking seahorses that only take two shots to kill, but they are a pest, dashing towards you. Also here are the fish from the third Wily stage of Mega Man 2, but now with a fresh new sprite, and scuba Mets. Whirlpool Man himself is an okay boss; the only thing he does is spawn mines and pull them towards you, and when they hit the wall they explode into a spray of bullets. Supposedly he has another attack, but I waited for five minutes and he never did it. Defeating him permanently unlocks a new weapon, the Water Cannon. It's a rapid-fire weapon that has a good amount of ammo, and due to lack of enemy invulnerability that lasts more than half a second it absolutely murders enemies and especially minibosses.
The new content is quite fun and replayable, and the new weapon especially is a fun addition to your arsenal. I give the new updates to Mega Man Unlimited an 8/10.
Breaathhh...Holy shit, I think that's the longest section I ever wrote. I encourage you to check out these games yourself, and if you have a fangame or game in general you want me to check out, tell me at my talk page or shoot me a PM on the forum. See ya!
Pink Gold Peach was introduced in Mario Kart 8 to many people's chagrin, including myself. Pink Gold Peach is basically just the female counterpart to Metal Mario, an addition I thought was bad in the first place. And with this addition many may wonder whether this will open the floodgates to many more metal characters a la Emerald Luigi, Copper Daisy.
His influence is spreading
Pink Gold Peach is made from pink gold, yeah me neither, and this makes her heavy, and basically nothing else. The pink gold is just put on in an attempt to make Princess Peach just a bit more pink, peachy. One of the main reasons she may have been included is to make a female heavyweight, however Queen Bee already that did that, and with a completely original character to boot. This leads me nicely into the main reason I dislike her. The main thing that irks me about Pink Gold Peach is that it seems that she has come into the Mario Kart series at the expense at other, more original characters (okay granted most are generic enemies, but they still have importance). If Pink Gold Peach had come in with characters like Birdo, Dry Bones and Bowser Jr. then it would've been fine with me, yes she'd still be a bland addition to the roster, but at least the people I like are there. And I'm not alone in this view, Pink Gold Peach was written in my large amounts of people for Worst Character in the Awards Ceremony, safe to say her reception has been less than peachy.
The only way he’s getting back in.
Air-to-air missiles may damage the bike, but the mineral girl will remain intact, shame.
However, I don't hate everything about her. Whilst admittedly she is just a metal version of Princess Peach, I do see her becoming a recurring character within the franchise. Like Metal Mario she will likely return in the next Mario Kart instalment bringing along with her the onslaught of more metal, doubt the Karts can handle it. I can also see Pink Gold Peach in the main series, what with Princess Peach’s recent playable appearance in Super Mario 3D World, if she is playable again, the Metal Box could return allowing Pink Gold Peach to stomp some Goombas.
Overall, Pink Gold Peach is an unnecessary addition to the Mario series, more original female heavyweights could've taken her spot. However, with the potential to appear in the main series, she may not be a wasted character. Do I want to see her again though, no not really.
Hiya to you crazy people! I'm that Packy guy. Yeah. That guy.
Anyways, I'm here with quite literally my first written section in about three year, so... go easy on me! I had this grand idea to have a first impressions sort of thing for the new Smash Bros., specifically for the 3DS. Now, before I continue, there will be spoilers about this game, major ones at that, discussing characters and stages and music and such. You have been warneddd!
First off, I want to tackle on the characters, between the newcomers, some of the veterans, the changes, and the cuts. With the leak of information and the release of the game in Japan, we could officially confirm three more newcomers to the roster that had not been confirmed on the Smash Bros site: Bowser Jr., Dark Pit, and the Duck Hunt Dog. Bowser Jr. is a very unique character in the way that he does not fight like his father does; instead, he rides in the Koopa Clown Car and uses the mechanics of the Car to attack his opponents. However, his Final Smash does give a blatant shout-out to his first appearance in any game, Super Mario Sunshine, because it utilizes his Shadow Mario persona, along with the paintbrush that he used to pollute Isle Delfino in that game.
Duck Hunt Dog is truly even more of a unique character and certainly could be the most interesting choice for a newcomer in this game. Officially credited as “Duck Hunt” in-game, the newcomer consists of the infamous dog, a duck, and the gunman from Duck Hunt (the latter of which remains unseen during the game), although the dog does the majority of the fighting. I have not seen too much of Duck Hunt’s gameplay to judge the type of character he is like, but I do know that he uses characters from old arcade games such as Hogan’s Alley and Wild Gunman in his attacks, including his cinematic Final Smash which is reminiscent of Captain Falcon’s.
A little snippet of the arcade characters in Duck Hunt’s Final Smash!
Finally, there is Dark Pit. Ohh Dark Pit… the amount of rage from fans that you have caused. The inclusion of Dark Pit, the third character to represent the Kid Icarus series, has resulted in a landslide of upset fans of characters that were snubbed or cut from the game. For the readers who do not know which characters were cut, then I am deeply sorry if your heart is broken: the Ice Climbers, Lucas, Snake, Wolf, and the Pokemon Trainer (more specifically, Squirtle and Ivysaur) were all cut. Lucas and Wolf were cut for unknown reasons, the Pokemon Trainer was cut due to Masahiro Sakurai not wanting transformations among characters, Snake was cut presumably due to truly not fitting in with the rest of the Smash characters and possibly because of crediting issues with Konami, and the Ice Climbers were apparently cut because of “technical difficulties” on the 3DS. However, Dark Pit made it in. Over massively-wanted characters, including a so-called “Big Three”, put together of Ridley from the Metroid series, Mewtwo from the Pokemon series and also a past fighter in Melee, and King K. Rool of the Donkey Kong series.
So why Dark Pit, Sakurai? Why pass up several wanted characters for a simple Pit clone that is essentially a recolor? Oh, and did I mention his Final Smash is copied off of Zelda and Sheik’s Final Smash? Because it is. Merry Christmas!
To me, personally, I really cannot find much more fault with the roster. It seems balanced and there are certainly enough interesting characters, veterans and newcomers, to keep people playing for a long while. I am looking at you, Mega Man and Pac-Man.
Another very important aspect to me of Smash games are the stages. In Smash 3DS, a handful of stages were picked to return from Melee and Brawl (9 of 34 stages are returning from previous installments). Unfortunately, in my opinion, not all of these returning stages have been great picks. To recap, Mushroomy Kingdom, Yoshi’s Island, WarioWare, Inc., Flat Zone 2, Distant Planet, and Green Hill Zone are the returning Brawl stages, while Jungle Japes, Brinstar, and Corneria are the returning Melee stages. Why, oh why, Sakurai, did you decide to bring Jungle Japes back… again? I don’t mind Corneria because I have always enjoyed the Star Fox stages, even though they have all taken place on the same Great Fox, but Jungle Japes is such a very… simple stage. It is better than Rumble Falls, though, certainly…
What Smash 3DS lacks in great returning stages is made up by the new stages introduced in this game. While it shares a few stages with the Wii U version, the version exclusive stages (at least, we know they are exclusive right now) look absolutely gorgeous, from pictures and gameplay videos. Although it may seem like overkill, the Mario series has been introduced with four great stages, including one of my favorites, the Paper Mario stage. The Paper Mario stage is a revolving stage, sort of like Castle Siege from Brawl, and it rotates around three worlds: two from Sticker Star (which I have never played) and one from The Thousand Year Door, and the stage also has its own Paper Mario Medley as a song, including a great remix of the Rogueport theme! Happy dayyyy!
But out of all of the stages, there have been two that have made me fall in love. Mute City, the new F-Zero stage, is reminiscent of 75m and Mario Bros. in Brawl, in that it is a level based on the 8-bit Mute City track from the original F-Zero game. The track basically follows the route of the other F-Zero stages, in which there are platforms raised above the tracks that are usable. But instead of lowering down into the track at certain intervals, these platforms never drop, and you can actually use the F-Zero machines as platforms. Pretty niftyyy.
Now, the other stage could very well be my favorite stage in any Smash game, and that is the Magicant stage. The Magicant stage is the new Mother/Earthbound stage, and it is based off of the Magicant locations in Mother and Earthbound, and it essentially makes up for the lack of Lucas in these games (and oddly enough, uses elements from both Mother and Earthbound/Mother 2, but not from Mother 3, Lucas’s first game). Magicant is chock full of references to Mother and Earthbound, in the use of platforms and obstacles (namely, the “Octopus Eraser Machine”, Mobile Sprouts, Sky Runner, and Dungeon Man, I love you all!) Also a shout-out to the Magicant worlds in both games is the Flying Men, who are bird creatures with human-like qualities. These Flying Men could be used as allies in the original games, and that is just what they do in this stage! They randomly appear from a house on the right side of the stage and fight the enemies in this version of Magicant. But, none of these things are what make Magicant my favorite. Magicant has the honor of throwing it back to the past in the greatest ways possible. At random moments in the stage, a random rift will appear in the background of the stage and open up, and behind it is a clip of points in either Ninten’s (the Mother protagonist) and Ness’s (the Earthbound protagonist) adventures in their games. So far to my knowledge there have been five different points shown, so hopefully there are more revealed, but overall this is my favorite part of the stage, and it is the main reason why this stage is my favorite.
No Electro Specters to be seen in this wonderful rift!
Finally, I want to talk about what has been experienced in the demo. By the time this issue comes out, the demo in North America will have been released, and many of you will have tried it already. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to be given one of the three offspring codes for the special edition demo by somebody, and thank you so very much to that somebody, I dunno if you want me to mention you by name or not but THANK YOU ANYWAYSSS! <3
Such a nice finger… oh, and a nice demo!
I have messed around an awful lot with the characters, and I have got to say that they are all incredibly balanced and they all play very well. I have never been a Link main, so I still kind of suck badly with him, but they all control nicely and are very easy to use, in my opinion. The five playable characters in the demo, Mario, Link, Pikachu, Villager, and Mega Man, are all classics and so far are very solid. Characters like Mario and Pikachu have been buffed, and I cannot help but think Pikachu is going to be especially wonderful with a faster down-B move (Thunder) and with Volt Tackle, his Final Smash, being a lot easier to control. However, my favorite character out of the five has to be Mega Man. He is a tad bit tricky to use at first with his wide array of moves, but he is well worth it. The only complaint I have with Mega Man is that his down special, Leaf Shield, is a tad bit… worthless compared to his other moves, honestly. I also have enjoyed playing as the Villager, and I must state that his recovery move (Up-b) is incredibly overpowered and easily might be the best recovery move in the entire game, and it also gives a nice throwback to the Balloon Fight game.
Totally shoulda made Mega Man X playable, he IS the coolest one
Overall, to me personally, I believe Smash 4 has the possibility to be the best Smash Bros. game yet. The 3DS version is a very solid and great entry into the series, especially for the first handheld version, and I assume the Wii U version is only going to be better. If not the BEST. So if any of you have not tried the demo yet, give it a shot, go download it off of the eShop, dedicate your life to it, convert and worship it. Forever. Please. You will never regret it. Well, maybe. Dark Pit might have a word with you.
I hope you all have enjoyed this section! I might do more of these, so let me know if you can if you enjoyed this! :) Adios!