Mario Kart 8 is getting its first DLC later on this month, it's coming with brand new courses, brand new vehicles and the return of the veterans we were missing from... oh wait, nope, scratch that last point, we're getting Tanooki Mario as a new driver.
Coming as DLC in 2015
So where do we begin on this? Tanooki Mario is one of the worst editions to the Mario Kart roster and adds absolutely no diversity to an already diversity-lacking roster. The roster now contains four Marios, is this needed? I don't think typing "no" for the rest of this review will accurately portray how unnecessary this edition is. Honestly, they’re really stressing the Mario part in the title of the game. His edition also seems like a big middle finger from Nintendo, as soon as DLC was announced people were excited that they may be getting back their favourite cut characters like Bowser Jr., Birdo or even R.O.B.Petey Piranha, but no we got Mario driving around in a fur suit.
PETA is going to have a nightmare. A man wearing a fur suit driving around in a hollowed-out ladybird
However, Tanooki Mario isn't just a DLC-dream-ruiner, no, he is also an interesting power-up. When the Super Leaf is grabbed Mario dons the fur of a Tanooki and gains the ability to glide, although in older games it allowed him to fly. This ability was incredibly useful in a platformer. You no longer had to worry about screwing up a jump as you had the ability to slow down and change direction meaning that you were able to control where you landed. The power-up debuted in Super Mario Bros. 3, and then didn't appear again until Super Mario 3D Land, where it was promptly used in pretty much every level and had to be used to get practically every Star Medal. Yet despite racking up more appearances than Luigi in one whole game it was still fun to use, and never felt like it outstayed its welcome.
When it arrived as a power-up it was a godsend, made almost everything that was tricky, easy. And yet now it’s being ruined with unnecessary appearances and removing much-loved characters. Keep it as a power-up character, not one who drives around whilst the much more requested characters sit in the rafters.
Hey, everybody, it's Lie-ro! I mean, Pyro! I actually didn't play all the NCFC 2014 games as I said in the last issue, but I have reasons. First of all, I don't like Zelda or Fire Emblem...Oh shit, I said that I didn't like Fire Emblem. Now after this issue, I'm going to have to go into hiding. But anyways, there were a good amount of Zelda and FE games that I decided not to play. Plus, this was a...slow year for NCFC. There weren't as many major games there as there was last year; last year had Toadette Strikes and Mega Man: A Day in the Limelight 3, but neither made an appearance this year. There were also an amount of...average games. Now don't get me wrong, there were some amazing games that showed up this year, but others were just...meh.
First up is Mario and Luigi's Coin Chaos! This is a game built off CatezeeY Engine 7, with some modifications and new powerups added. Now, I really don't like premade engines when it comes to Mario, because they tend to be extremely oversaturated with features and become more of a non-limited level editor. Because they're easy to use and require little effort to make games out of them, there are a lot of clones, which are just games that use the engine as a level editor and don't offer much creativity.
This game does add things, but since I encountered a game-stopping bug in the first castle I didn't get to see much. There were some nice, flashy effects, special coins that I assume can be used in a shop...and that's all I can really remember. I really can't give this game a score because I feel I haven't seen enough of it to really judge it, but the only time I played this was during a livestream and I needed to be playing a good amount of the games. It's not bad, but I'm just not feeling it. *insert Shulk joke here*
Then there's Target Strikers: Deadly Dart, which is nothing more than an endless "get a high score" game. There's not much to say about it. You control a Yoshi who can shoot eggs at blocks to destroy them. There's upgrades. It's kinda hard. The graphics are ok. That's about it. It's fun...so...you know what? Scores aren't going to do any of these games justice...I'm just not going to give them here.
If this doesn't mimic the Gameboy, I don't know what does
Next is Luigi and the Quest For Nothing 2, another CatezeeY Engine 7 game, but for this one, I honestly couldn't tell. This is a sequel to the fairly good Luigi and the Quest For Nothing, which was a cute engine game with some new and fun features. Its sequel is looking excellent - the game seeks to emulate the Gameboy Color, with its specific color, small screen size, and scanlines. There's some very catchy 8-bit music, solid controls, and even a nice wonky camera to add to the Gameboy feel. There's green stars hidden in each level, and overall the game is just solid and fun.
And next is this wonderful game called Blooper's Revenge DX that you should play because it's so totally fun and I totally am not trying to persuade you to play my game, nope nope.
In all seriousness, the next one I tried was Super Mario Dynamo, by...Hello. Boy, Hello. Infamous for the heavily-abused, slippery Mario engines he created (the physics have since been improved, though), he pretty much creates a game every year. Last year, in Super Mario Eclipse, he decided to give us an amazing lights show that may or may not burn your eyes. And his game before that was the hilariously edgy Super Mario: Ztar Turmoil, which had guns of all things as a main mechanic. Dynamo is a combo of these two - a edgy plot about the Mushroom Kingdom "embracing industrialization" and random flashy effects. The game works...it's Mario...but it's too fucking hard. I know at least two other people who couldn't finish the first level. You're thrust into a level of difficulty that would normally be reserved for the Special World in a typical Mario game. It's really not that good - it's just average.
While I'm here, I may as well mention that Abducted Toad received an update recently, and it addressed all of my complaints (besides me not liking Glitch Data and Hot Cold Area, but that's just an opinion)! Yaaaaay!
There was also a small demo of Dairanto!! Mario Bros. DDX that showed up, but it's not much, more of an engine test than anything. It's a bit too slippery, but otherwise it's good.
original character donut steal
I also played one of the Mega Man fangames, entitled Mega Man X Virus. Oh god...this one...this is hilarious. Everything is hilariously broken and inaccurate, there's potential to get stunlocked, and there's a beautiful transformation cutscene which is just fanart strung together via Windows Movie Maker, in which Zero turns eevvvvilll and you fight him and he's totally bullshit! 10/10 would betatest again
Finally, I played two indie games, Bingo the Multiva and Spark the Electric Jester. These were easily the highlight of the entire event. Bingo is a fun, fast-paced, Sonic-inspired game with some original concepts and nice graphics, with levels that aren't too long and infinite lives. It's certainly worth a try and one game I'm going to come back to.
But...seriously...Spark the Electric Jester takes the cake as the best game here. The gameplay is a blast - it's basically a combo of Kirby, Sonic and Mega Man X. The character has an electric, close-range attack not unlike Zero, and you can charge up to fire a big blast, not unlike the Mega Buster. You can dash, like in MMX, and collect weapons that give you different powers, and you lose them if you get hit too much, like Kirby. The game is pretty fast-paced, and the character itself moves quickly. The graphics are beautiful. The music is awesome. The bosses are fun. I honestly can't sing enough praise for this, it's just so wonderful. Give this game a try. Seriously.
And that's it for this issue! Next time, I'll actually be reviewing a game! Tune in next time for The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth! Gasp.