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The Ten: Updated Wednesdays-Fridays-Sundays

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Press Right to Win- Or, let's talk about Video Games...

Okay, so after my review of Super Mario 3D Land, I had someone ask me why I hated the game so much and why I hated the Tanooki suit. Don't get me wrong, folks. I don't hate the Tanooki suit. But what I do hate is the reliance the entire game seems to have on it. Everything has a Tanooki tail. I get that it's exciting that Nintendo is bringing back an old powerup, especially one as beloved as the Tanooki suit, but you don't have to build an entire friggin' game off of it. Honestly.

But my main gripe with Super Mario 3D Land was really how much it had in common to a well-known and oft-hated franchise, Sonic the Hedgehog, which always gets points taken away from it for it's shoddy level design and split-second gameplay and imprecise controls. SM3DL had pretty awful controls. The jump button was quite unresponsive, the powerups were hard to manipulate, and the analog control was way too sensitive- I felt as though the directional influence I had when jumping was ridiculous and it often sent me plummeting to my doom. Which is another thing that Mario has in common with Sonic- there were more bottomless pits in this game than I could shake a Tanooki tail at. I mean, what the hell. If you're going to bash one franchise for its overuse of something, please do it for another. Airships, chasms, and flat-out floating bridges and whatnot in the sky, there were bottomless pits all over that junk. But apparently, that's not a problem, since half of the levels utilized cheap tricks to top you from even going anywhere. In one of the three (Four? Maybe I'm mistaken.) Boo Mansions, you literally stand on a platform as it twists and turns through nondescript blackness, with no exploration involved. That's not what I expect from a Mario game. I expect multiple warp pipes that will take me different places, the ability to skip from place to place, and difficulty that comes from level design, not the controls.

The only levels I found particularly challenging were those that involved the jump-flip panels, and that just required a couple of seconds of thought. But really, there's nothing interesting about the game. Now, call me crazy, but that's my opinion and I'll stand by it.

Because I can.

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