Join us for our playthrough of Super Mario 64, one of THE classic Nintendo 64 titles and the original 3D Mario game! It’s time for us to explore the many rooms of Princess Peach’s Castle and defeat Bowser once again!
The Duck is still working through the 30 day video game posts, slowly, like an unusually fatigued squirrel, with strength left in its fingers only, creeping towards an acorn, thirty acorns. In winter. When they move more slowly. No, it’s reptiles that move more slowly when it’s cold. Never mind.
And today’s topic, only topic 6, actually, which makes me further realize how pathetically slow I’ve been, is on the most annoying video game character, a rather difficult one for me. Some characters are indeed annoying, like Prince Tricky from “Star Fox Adventures”. But, is he annoying enough? Or Kiddy Kong from “Donkey Kong Country 3”, who is actually more creepy than annoying. Or Lanky from “DK64”, who is also creepy, in an annoying way. There are also bossy characters that tell you what to do, like various sidekicks in “Zelda”, or whenever Professor E. Gadd harasses me in “Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon”. Stop calling me, you creepy, old man that looks like a decrepit child!
Well, many people, I’ve heard, go with Navi, the fairy that helps you in “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time”. Probably because hearing “hey!” and “listen!” every time you target an enemy gets old. And there are lots of enemies. But, is she the most annoying character I can think of? Well, as I often do, because I have no life, apparently, I made a list of annoying characters by console. And believe it or not, I came up with one few would think of. (Well, it would be weird if you didn’t believe it. I never lie to you.) And so the character that annoys me the most is…
Mario. Yes, Mario. From the “Super Mario Bros.” games. Why? Two words. Slippery shoes. I hate Mario and his slippery shoes. Never have I played a game where a character has so little traction on their feet. You’d think the soles of his shoes are made of butter or wet soap or a slick sheet of ice. I have so many unhappy memories of playing the old “Mario” games on the Super Nintendo and having teeny, tiny platforms to land on, and I land on them just fine (after dying many times because I kept missing prior to the times I did indeed land on them), and then Mario slides right off. You know how annoying icy levels in video games are, when your character always slides to and fro, and you have trouble getting them to actually cooperate with you? Well, in a “Mario” game, it’s like every level is an ice level. Thanks to Mario. And his stupid, idiot moron shoes.
I’m serious. It bothers me so much. I seem to have much less trouble in newer “Mario” games, but I still can never get over the amount of pain those old “Mario” games have caused me. If Mario wore some nice hiking shoes or even ran around barefoot, perhaps, the games would have been a different experience. But, no, Mario decides that it is a good idea, when embarking on a treacherous journey to save Peach again, to wear shoes that would get you killed walking in your own house, let alone mountains and forests and all manner of other locations that all like to involve bottomless pits and stick-like platforms placed here and there throughout bottomless pits. Does Mario think he’s funny? Does my pain amuse him? Is he that bent on bothering me that he’ll risk dying due to his slick shoes? It certainly seems that way. Few games are more frustrating than the old “Mario” games, and it is all thanks to Mario and his sadistic (and masochistic, as his own poor decisions harm him, as well) choice of footwear.
And yet, Mario is so dang popular, which only makes things worse. It does! Really! There are constantly new “Mario” games. But, do we see new “Metroid” and “Zelda” and other such delightful things very often? No, we do not. Samus and Link have the common decency to wear proper shoes in their adventures, and yet Mario gets the spotlight. Mario gets all the games. Mario gets everything. And this simply isn’t fair. Not to gamers that are not infatuated with this particular plumber. Not to gamers that would like to see characters that give a darn about their fans (by wearing shoes with traction!) get more games. No, this man named Mario has gotten out of control. Someone ought to rein him in. He is a fiend. A fiend, I tell you. That has the nerve to wear slick shoes, and yet he still stays popular in the gaming world somehow, probably only because he has some unsavory connections, which only funds his ‘shroom addiction.
Mario, you annoy me. You really do. Watching you die a dozen times in “Super Mario World”, due to your bad decisions, not mine, annoys me. If I die in a game, I want it to be because of my own mistakes, not those of my character. Perhaps if you wore proper shoes, maybe Peach wouldn’t be kidnapped so often. You probably run at Bowser whilst he’s in the middle of taking the princess, yet miss and slip right on past, while that dastardly turtle gets away with his crimes once again. You should be ashamed of yourself, Mario. You know what, I bet you want Peach kidnapped, so you can have more games. And more coins, that you spend on your unhealthy addiction to fungi.
And so, my readers, do you not see what a most bothersome, most obnoxious, most annoying person our Mario is? And it all stems from his slick shoes. That he bought. With the coins he didn’t spend on ‘shrooms. Hours of my life have been wasted trying to get him to navigate precarious platforms, only to fail because of these shoes. But, I can’t blame the shoes. I blame the man wearing them. I blame you for my problems, Mario. I blame you.
The Duck That Wears Better Shoes Than Mario and Would Make For a Better Platformer Character, in a Game Called “Super Duck…um…Ducks”
I recently decided to replay “Super Paper Mario”, the third game in the “Paper Mario” series. This game took quite a departure from the games that came before it by making major changes to the gameplay, including the ability to flip between 2D and 3D, having four playable characters, and real-time battles unlike the turn-based ones of the originals. This game appeared to be trying to be more like the old “Super Mario Bros.” (hence the “super” in the title, though I do wonder if we’ll ever have an “Ultra Mario Bros.”), while including the RPG elements of the “Paper Mario” series, such as an interesting story and characters and the ability to level-up whenever you get enough points (as opposed to experience). While I found this game to be a rather good time, I have to admit that there were some disappointing aspects to it, some of which I didn’t really notice until my second playthrough.
First of all, I’d just like to say that this is by no means a bad game. It is quite a good game, but I couldn’t help but be disappointed. I love the “Paper Mario” series. These games have such a charming style of graphics, with interesting stories and delightful characters. And they always are tons of fun. And so, when I bought this game, so excited to play yet another “Paper Mario” game, I wasn’t happy to find this game is not the “Paper Mario” experience. Sure, the characters are still paper, but that’s not enough to make it a “Paper Mario” game. If we had a “Metroid” game with a paper-thin Samus, would it be “Paper Mario”? No, negative, and a sequence of head shaking. Obviously, this game isn’t that drastic of a departure from the series, but it differs from the previous games in several important areas.
First and possibly foremost, the battle system has changed. I remember the first time I simply jumped on a Goomba, and I wondered, um, is that it? Several battles later, it was confirmed. Yeah, that was it. This game has real-time fighting, not unlike the “Super Mario Bros.” of old, with the addition of Pixl sidekicks to help you, like one that lets you toss things and another that acts like a hammer. And while I prefer real-time fighting to turn-based, “Paper Mario” games always had turn-based battles and a rather fun version of it, too. And so while this did really make the battles more fun and fast-paced, it really took away the feel that this was a “Paper Mario” game. Maybe I’m just a complainer when I whine that the battle system in this game is more fun, but it’s the fact that this makes the game not feel like it’s from its respective series that saddens me.
Plus, it makes the game much simpler, this form of fighting. This game is just too easy, which is disappointing when the other two games were a challenge. The game is also too short and has too little to do. You can beat the game in 20 hours (I did both times), which is good for the average game, but not for an RPG. Then, when you beat it, there is nearly nothing to do. You can beat the 100 Sammer Guys, which is boring and doesn’t get you an award that makes it worth it (I didn’t prevail in this place, as I got to the 80’s or so before I got a Game Over; I simply looked on the Internet to find what you get). There are also two Pit of 100 Trials, which is fun, but again, not all that worth it. Oh, and you can look for useless treasures and do cooking, when you’d be better off buying items that are more useful than what you can cook.
There are also some minor things. The game is not one big world to explore, but a hub world, with various doors leading to other locations. And I don’t like the new artwork style. They did a good job for some things, particularly the villain, Count Bleck, and his minions, but… I hate those people in Flipside. They did nothing to me, but I hate them and all their stupid, straight lines. Look at me and my straight lines! Boo (not the ghosts, though), hiss, thumbs down!
Ahem. This game does have some good changes, though. For example, I liked that you can eventually play as four characters. Besides the obvious, Mario, we have Peach, who can use her parasol to float and to avoid taking damage, Bowser, who can breathe fire, and Luigi, who can jump high and even damage enemies from below. And Mario is the only one that can flip between the usual 2D of the game to 3D. Now, some people say the 3D landscapes are not as interesting as the 2D, and I agree. But, it is an interesting idea I’ve never seen before, and it has some useful applications. Flipping to 3D lets you see items hidden behind objects. It lets you see paths that are perpendicular to the main ones that would otherwise be invisible in 2D. It also helps you to get hints for puzzles, such as hints that appear on the side of objects or objects that look completely different in 3D. My only problem is it’s a pain in the butt, as you can only flip for a limited time before you take damage, and it makes the game way too easy early on, as every time there is an obstacle that may give the game some challenge, you flip and stroll right on past it. I was tempted not to flip just to make the game harder.
And I have one more thing that is a mix of good and bad. The story and the characters. First off, I really like the characters in this game. Besides the good characters we all like, I liked the villains of this game, Count Bleck himself most of all, and I liked his minions to varying degrees, as well. I can’t say the same for whoever the villains of “The Thousand-Year Door” were. I think one was Grodus, but who was the other? I don’t remember. I also really liked the story my first time through. Seeing as I haven’t told you about it yet, well, the rather dapper and rather strange Count Bleck forces Princess Peach and Bowser to marry. This unholy union of good and evil (not to mention, human and turtle, so I’m not sure which is worse) brings about the creation of the Chaos Heart, just as it was foretold in the Dark Prognosticus, a book that contains the events of the future. The Chaos Heart then creates the Void, a hole in the fabric of all dimensions, that will eventually swallow every world. The story involves love and betrayal and, um, brainwashing, and…well, it’s good.
At least, it was. The first time I played this game, the story was so interesting. I had rarely ever been so interested in a story ever. Throughout the game, there are also these memory scenes that involve dialogue only, a love story between two people that we don’t know who they are until much later in the game. And while I usually do not like romance stuff, icky poo, yuck, I couldn’t help but be so enthralled by this game that I played it constantly in an effort to get through it and find out the identities of these two people. I needed to know who they were! Needed! I loved this game my first time through, loved it so very much with a love normally reserved for brownie edges, as I wanted to know so badly what would happen. And then, something happened. Wait, I just used that word in the previous sentence. Let me try again… And then, something occurred!
I played the game a second time. And it just was not the same experience. At all. Of course, the first time through a game is always the best because everything is new, and you don’t know what will happen in the story. But, for this game, once you find out who those two people in the memory scenes turn out to be… Once you know the plot twists that originally made it so suspenseful… Once you know all these things, it really just becomes a rather simple, rather unexciting story. Like I said, I know this is always the case, but it just was worse in this game. Not to say the story is uninspired. It’s not. It’s still good. It’s just that some games still have complex stories even when you know what happens. This one does not. Not really. Count Bleck creates the Void. His minions try to stop you from stopping the Void. This happens to someone. This person does that. And it’s over, and they all live happily ever after until the next time Peach is kidnapped. There. I’m sorry I spoiled the story for you, but there it is.
So, maybe I’m not making any sense, but this game, for me, was just not the same the second time through. To be honest, I didn’t even care quite as much for the characters I loved my first time through, either, not even Count Bleck, who is just not as delightful and charming as I remember (seriously, he’s a villain who’s actually nice to his minions and talks in third-person, what’s not to like, and yet, I’m not feeling the same affection for him that I once did). And this loss in love for the game saddens me. I loved this game’s characters and story so very much, and to have it become such a flat experience (I didn’t even intend that as a pun, but why not, you may consider it as such, if you would like), it disappoints me. I mean, really, now that I play the game over and know the story, nothing much happens throughout. Not as much as I remember, at least. (Having all worlds at risk of total destruction isn’t as stressful as one would think.) So with the game being so short and simple and the story no longer being anything to get excited and do a jig over, the replay value has gone way down. This was honestly my favorite “Paper Mario” until I played it over, and that is not a good thing.
And so, in short, this is a fun game. It is a good game, overall. And it is quite possible that many of my complaints stem from the simple fact that, after loving the game so much my first time through, I probably had such high standards this time that the game couldn’t hope to measure up. But, few can deny that it really is only “Paper Mario” in terms of style and the fact that it has more of a plot than a “Super Mario Bros.” game. This game could have really been something. If the story had been spiffed up a bit, and the game was more like a regular “Paper Mario”, with an open world and turn-based battle system, and if the game was longer and harder, it really could have been great. And that is what is most disappointing of all. (I wish someday they’d make a normal “Paper Mario” game again. I don’t have high hopes for “Paper Mario: Sticker Star”. Guess which word is bothering me most of all.)
Super Duck Mario
Just recently, I have teamed up with several other bloggers (which I secretly have been calling the Q-Force after Captain Qwark’s team in “Ratchet and Clank: Up Your Arsenal”, well, it’s not a secret now) for the purposes of
world domination getting more views to our blogs. Those other bloggers are the authors of My Two Caps, Recollections of Play, and Planet Zombo (the last of which is not doing this post, though, as it doesn’t fit in with their blog). We have decided one method of making our blogs just that more awesome would be for each of us to write some posts on one single topic. So that’s what I’ll do. Are you ready?
Our first topic is which character would we most like to hang out with. The characters we decided to pick from are the well-known characters from the “Mario” series, Mario, Princess Peach, and Luigi. I am going with the “Paper Mario” versions of the characters myself because I feel those games show the characters’ personalities a lot more. And they’re adorable.
So ahem, time for my choice. The character I’d most like to spend my time with would be Princess Peach, but like I said, the “Paper Mario” version. Whichever princess you’re talking about, Peach is a sweet and kind person that I’d enjoy being friends with. And she even manages to be a princess without being a spoiled brat, which earns her a thumbs up AND a gold star. But, I like the “Paper Mario” version best, for several reasons.
Paper Peach, while still being the victim of frequent kidnappings, is a stronger person in the “Paper Mario” series. No longer does she sit back and wait for someone to save her. In this series, she manages to find ways to make herself useful and actually assist Mario, whether it was from Bowser’s flying castle in the sky or from the X-Naut Fortress. She repeatedly managed to escape from her room and investigate in “Paper Mario”, and in “The Thousand-Year Door”, she was able to talk to the computer TEC and even disguise herself as an X-Naut. In “Super Paper Mario”, she actually escaped from Count Bleck’s castle and didn’t need to be rescued. In this game, she helped Mario with his adventures. She may often be a damsel in distress, but in her very adorable and very thin paper form, she can be much more helpful than many other distressed damsels.
And there’s one more very important reason why I like Peach. The players once had her make a cake in “Paper Mario”. While that ended up being a much harder task than it should have been, I still like a character that makes cake. I like cake. It’s good. We would both make cakes and have great times.
Now as for why I didn’t choose Mario or Luigi, Mario was the first to get marked off my list. While I like him in “Paper Mario” a lot more than in the regular games (once again, paper people are adorable), Mario has always, well, creeped me out. I’m not sure exactly what it is. It could be his bizarre, stumpy proportions. It could be his terrible fashion sense. Overalls, and red and blue? What were you thinking, Mario? It could also be some deep-seated hatred stemming from how difficult the old games were and how stupid Mario slides when he lands after a jump, resulting in much of the crying and yelling I directed at the old games. I know that’s not the same version of Mario, and I shouldn’t blame poor paper Mario for the crimes of his non-paper version, but I can’t help it. I’ve been wronged by that other Mario too many times to trust this one.
And then there’s the issue of Mario’s mushroom addiction. It’s no secret that the somewhat plump plumber has been addicted to mushrooms for a couple decades now, an issue that even appears in the “Paper Mario” series. He is so desperate for the stuff, he’ll even eat those useless dried ‘shrooms! He’s out of control! Do you see the amount of ‘shrooms he consumes (rhyme) in each of his games? No one loves mushrooms that much unless something more shady is going on. That’s why everything has eyes, even the clouds and other parts of the scenery. You’re hallucinating, Mario! Admit it! Just admit you have a problem. You have people that care about you. Not me, but Peach and Luigi. Yoshi, too. Get help. And I’m not going to help you find any more coins. You’ll just spend them on more ‘shrooms.
As for Luigi, I don’t mind him as much as Mario, but I still couldn’t choose him. Nothing against him, really. Not really, really. But, he seriously needs to grow a spine and stop being a wimp. And step out from the shadow of his younger brother. Seriously, Luigi, Mario is shorter than you, how’d you even end up in Mario’s shadow in the first place? Oh, it’s a figure of speech. But, honestly, do something more with your life, Luigi. And stop wearing the same clothes as your brother! It’s creepy. Maybe it was cute when you were children or something, but you’re a grown man, for crying out loud! Once Luigi gets some semblance of bravery or self-confidence, I’ll consider being his buddy. But, for now, Peach and I are going to eat some cake.
And now that you’ve read my thoughts on the subject, why not check out the other two posts. Cary, like I, chose Princess Peach, focusing on the Peach we see in “Super Mario Bros. 2”, whose ability to float using her dress showed her appreciation for properly functioning knees (it does make sense, read the post). Peach is a sensible lady like that. My Two Caps chose our good, old hero, Mario, who may not have as much concern for his knees, but is still someone who gets to go on all kinds of adventures and never complains about always having to save people (*cough* Peach *cough*) time after time. Mario certainly has the more interesting life of the three. As for Luigi, well, no one chose him. Sorry, Luigi. If it makes you feel any better, I did think “Luigi’s Mansion” was fun.
The Duck Who is Eating Treats With Princess Peach
“Super Mario Sunshine” has some nice music, most of which is soothing, island music. While some isn’t. So here are my top five favorite, with links to Youtube.
5. “Mecha Bowser” is a fast song played when you fight Mecha Bowser, of course. I especially like the beginning.
4. “The Manta Storm” is played during the episode of the same name, where the ghostly manta comes to Sirena Beach. It is fast, with a few strange-sounding parts, that fits well with a battle against a spectral sea creature.
3. “Boss Battle” is the music that plays during most boss battles, like against Petey Piranha. It is fast and fits battles well. (My descriptions are getting lazy.)
2. “Noki Bay” is played in the lovely Noki Bay, a bay surrounded by nearly vertical cliffs. The music is fairly slow and very soothing.
1. “Delfino Plaza” is a town by the sea and is the hub level of the game, from which you can get to all other worlds. The music here is very pleasant and upbeat.
Super Mario Shineduck
I recently played “Super Mario Sunshine” yet again. In this game, Mario and Princess Peach go on vacation to Isle Delfino, but lo and behold, there is trouble. Strange, goopy graffiti has been found all over the island, and the Shine Sprites have fled, causing much of the island to be covered in, well, not quite as much sunshine as usual. Worse yet, Mario has been mistaken for the one who’s doing all the vandalizing, a character we later learn to be Shadow Mario. (Even though Shadow Mario is all blue. I guess the island’s resident Piantas aren’t too bright.) So like usual, because Peach sure as heck isn’t going to get off her royal butt and do something for once, it’s up to Mario to clean the graffiti off the island and get the Shine Sprites back.
Luckily, Mario has FLUDD to help him, a device that shoots water, has a hover nozzle for…hovering, and has various other features that you unlock later in the game, like the rocket nozzle. This is very useful for cleaning up graffiti, hovering to places farther than Mario can jump normally, squirting enemies. And for spraying people just to make them unhappy.
As expected, the entire game takes place on Isle Delfino, and so all the levels are island-themed. There’s the harbor, the beach, the fancy hotel. I guess you can say there isn’t as much variety in this game’s levels as other “Mario” games, but I like it. It’s relaxing. Like a little vacation in a game. I love running around on Gelato Beach (when those stupid Cataquacks leave me be). Climbing around the cliffs of beautiful Noki Bay. Looking at the sunset outside of Hotel Delfino, then going inside said hotel and sneaking into people’s rooms because Mario’s a bit of a peeping tom that way. It’s just fun.
Most of the time. The game can also be quite difficult and frustrating. Especially when it comes to these levels that are not island-themed, but are purely platformer-based. There are these dreadful “secret” levels that take place in this big area of nothingness, and you have to cross all these platforms and stuff. Without FLUDD. It can be quite difficult and is the bane of my existence. (Well, except for that one thing with Yoshi, which I’ll get to.) And those areas just plain creep me out.
My other problem is that I don’t like the story. Sorry if I spoil some things, but it needs to be mentioned. Needs to be. Skip this paragraph if you don’t want spoilers. There eventually is this thing where Bowser Jr. shows up and says that he kidnapped Peach because she’s his mom, and she seems to believe it. Really, Peach? I think you would know if you were the mother of one of Bowser’s kids. You don’t just find out one day that you’re the mother of a giant turtle thing’s kid. There are so many horrific events I won’t get into that she would certainly remember if that was the truth. That scene was just plain silly.
But, it certainly isn’t a bad game. Stories have never been that great in “Mario” games. Everything else in this game makes up for the strange story. The game is a lot of fun. It also has very nice graphics for the Cube, I think. And that water. Lovely. And I want to live in Delfino Plaza. It’s such a pleasant place. And another thing is that I like how in different areas, you can see other locations. Like you can see Ricco Harbor from Bianco Hills and such, and for some reason, I always like that in games. I don’t know why, but I always have. I guess it makes the locations feel more real when you can see where the places are in relation to each other. I don’t know. All I know is it pleases this bird.
It’s also worth mentioning that Yoshi appears in the game later on, which is mostly fun. You have to bring the right fruit to the Yoshi egg to make him hatch, and then Mario can sit on poor Yoshi to his heart’s content. And then you can go around making Yoshi squirt fruit juice out of his mouth, which is rather bizarre, unsanitary, and a bit ill-mannered. And when the juice is orange, it’s a bit gross…. While I like using Yoshi, one thing is quite annoying. Yoshi can’t go in the water, which can be a problem when the game takes place on an island in the middle of the sea. This resulted in what I believe to be the worst Shine Sprite in the game ever. It was in Delfino Plaza. Yoshi had to wait for these boats, then, ride it to the next boat, but Yoshi’s jumping isn’t good, so you can guess what happened. It filled me with rage like no other Shine Sprite ever did.
But, despite that one Shine Sprite and those creepy “secret” areas, I like this game very much. In fact, I think I like it the most of all my “Super Mario” games (not including “Paper Mario”). I didn’t realize how much I really like this game until now. For one thing, I like that FLUDD’s hover nozzle kind of gives you more control over Mario’s jumping. You don’t have to be so perfect because that hover ability lets you still reach safety if you jump a little wrong. I’ve always been bad with Mario’s jumping, but FLUDD gives you a bit more security. You make me feel safe, FLUDD.
And another thing. I like that the locations are…normal. Y’know, worlds in “Super Mario 64” were strange. That big lava place. That area where you change the water level. They often weren’t like normal places. “Super Mario Galaxy” was really weird. All kinds of floating, random places. Some levels were normal, most were weird. “Super Mario Sunshine” has a town, a beach, an amusement park. Normal. I can’t even describe the levels of “64” or “Galaxy” in one word because they were, not normal. I don’t know if the duck makes sense, but I like that about this game. It makes this game stand out from the others for me.
But, anyway, I like this game a lot. Other than the story, it’s great. And it’s a challenge, which is nice. I would like to mention that I was able to get all 120 Shine Sprites a couple of times. I almost didn’t make it this time. I searched everywhere for one final Blue Coin (ten buys you a Shine Sprite). I searched for hours, then, finally found it hidden in the sands of Gelato Beach. I celebrated when I found the thing. Victory for the duck! I deserve some baklava! Now somebody make me some!
Super Mario Duckshine