Tag Archives: Super Mario Bros

It should really be called New Coin Battle Mario Bros.

New Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Wii is all about co-op play, as well as co-op murder rampages spawned from the nine-times-out-of-ten frustrating co-op play. But that’s actually only accurate towards traditional co-op. Let me explain further.

Recently, Tara and I visited her brother and played some New Super Mario Bros together. He was Mario, and Tara and I each played as the mushroom dudes. We picked a few levels, and it was clear that we were not destined to get to the flagpole together. Maybe one could make it, but not all of us. We ended up hitting each other with thrown turtle shells or knocking each other down death-holes. Sometimes power-ups would get stolen or friends left behind. It was especially tough on levels that moved, especially ones in the clouds where timing jumps was crucial to survival. Having your co-op partner blocking your way never helped. Eventually, we just gave up on all of this and switched over to the Coin Battle co-op thingy.

In this, the goal was not necessarily to make it to the end, but rather to collect as many coins as possible. Once all players were dead…or all hit the flagpole, coins were counted up and the player with the most won that “round.” We set an attainable goal of winning 11 rounds, and went right to it. Well, first, I switched over to Luigi, but otherwise we went right to it!

Coin Battle can be described in one word: murder.

Yup. Murder is key. Pick up once-your-friend Mario, throw him down a hole, and steal all the coins he was after. Then, if you got more than everyone else, kill yourself and win the round. It was amazing to see strategies forming on the spot; for instance, getting Yoshi can be an extremely winning tactic. That dino you ride can swallow up another player in his mouth until you are comfortable enough to spit them out where they most certainly don’t want to go. This Coin Battle game turned out to be a blast, chaotic as anything, and I think it ended like so:

Sean: 11 wins
Paul: 10 wins
Tara: 4 wins

I’ll win next time, I swear!

But yeah, I have a hard time believing that anyone can actually play successfully the main game with co-op partners. And if they can, well…they deserve a medal.

Five Games I’m Very Thankful For

This week in the United States, it’s all about turkey, parades, football, and family fun. Better known as the holiday Thanksgiving, but I’d much prefer it dubbed Givingthanks, as that’s the point of it, a point which, seemingly, is undermined time and time again thanks to things like tryptophan and Black Friday shopping sprees. We’re supposed to be thankful—for family, friends, love, health, security, and, of course, videogames. Some might even consider them family and friends.

And so, in no particular order, here’s five games I’m eager to give thanks to for a whole bunch of different reasons…


Suikoden was the start of everything for me in terms of roleplaying games. I had sadly—and stupidly—missed the plethora of strong RPGs on the SNES and only dipped my toes into the genre once I got to the PlayStation. Think I tried out Beyond the Beyond and maybe something else before pre-ordering Final Fantasy VII and waiting patiently for it to hit its release date. To help ease the pain of waiting, I ended up picking up this anime-looking RPG called Suikoden for no clear reason I can recall. It just looked…interesting. And boy was it! Here’s what I ate up: a plot brimming with war and family politics and unforeseen death, as well as magic, an awesome castle that grew as your army grew, and a unique—at least to me—fighting system that encouraged combo attacks with like-minded allies. This game was pretty much the opposite of the eagerly awaited Final Fantasy VII; it sported sprites for graphics, focused on collecting 108 characters, and was smaller in scope, and yet I’m more thankful for its existence than that Square blockbuster. In fact, I’ve gone back and replayed Suikoden numerous times while Final Fantasy VII was last touched when I beat it back in late 1997.

New Super Mario Bros.

This one sits extremely close to my heart. See, a few years ago, my mother and I were flying out to visit my sister in Arizona. I had, only weeks before, gotten a Nintendo DS Lite, with two or so games in my collection. The one I was currently playing while sitting next to her on the four hour flight was New Super Mario Bros., and I was actually just toying around with the slew of mini-games included within the main game’s cart. My mother leaned over and uttered some words I never thought to hear: “Can I try?”

So I showed her how to hold the console and use the touchscreen/stylus, and the rest is history. While out in Arizona, she just had to get a DS of her own (a pink one), as well as some games, such as Brain Age and Brain Academy and those kind. She still plays it frequently to this game, having built a good-sized collection of hidden object games, puzzlers, and interactive story-based games. For all I know about my mother, this was the first time she’s ever played videogames, and now we even have lengthy conversations about ‘em!

Super Metroid

Super Metroid is a game that taught me how to pay attention to everything. And I do mean everything. Boss battle patterns, cracks in the walls, tiny crevices perfect for roly-poly Samus to roll through, the undiscovered parts on the game’s wonderfully intricate map. More specifically, I’m talking about that part where Samus has to watch some space alien critters wall-hop up a long stretch of map to reach freedom and then do the same thing herself. That required a lot of paying attention to. As well as trial and error. Still, to this day, I have trouble wall-jumping in that game. I can maybe go once or twice up, but hitting the third or fourth jump really requires a certain thumb-to-button rhythm not found in my veins.

As frustrating as this section was, especially for a young boy on the brink of insanity, I’m more than thankful for what it taught me. Patience and practice do make (almost) perfect.

Shadow of the Colossus

Speaking of patience, enter Shadow of the Colossus. This is the game that stands tall and proud behind the “are videogames art?” debate, as well as standing tall and proud on its own merits because it’s an absolutely phenomenal gaming experience. It’s basically a straight boss run, with each colossus a puzzle of their own. Like Super Metroid, this game really asked a lot out of the gamer in terms of paying attention. One had to first figure out how to get Wander up on the colossi. Then they had to get him towards its weak point, wherever that was, and then they had to stab a bunch of times and pray they didn’t tossed off like a ragdoll. If they did, well…you had to start all over. But each subsequent colossus was worth it, and conquering them was a mix of teenage jubilation and eerie sadness. I’m thankful this game made me feel so confused emotionally, more so than any other at this point, but I’m even more thankful for what it didn’t do. The world within is more or less barren, save for a lizard or eagle, as well as the titular colossi, which meant no mindless sword-fighting enemy troops. It also meant no sidequests or towns to visit or people to converse with. It was just you, the colossi, and the hope of saving a loved one. Shadow of the Colossus gets to the point like no other title.


Without Tetris, high school study hall would’ve been pure torture. Thanks to the power of nerds worldwide, everyone that got a Texas Instrumental calculator—so long as you knew someone who already had it on their calc—was able to play the legendary and seemingly unbeatable puzzle game from Russia. It worked just like the GameBoy version, but I don’t remember it having sound, which was fine and all, considering most of us were playing secretly beneath a trapper-keeper in class. It also helped on the bus ride to and fro. It’s biggest plus was that no one ever beat it; you just played and played the same few levels over and over again, each time differently thankfully enough, and that was all one needed from Tetris.

That’s plenty of thanks from me. Greg Noe, over at The First Hour, came up with a good number of multiplayer games he’s thankful for–do check out his article as well! Do you have any games you’re extremely thankful exist? Speak up!

Excellent memory is Mario’s greatest power-up

Got the yellowing, but still lovely SNES all set up last night, which meant that, naturally, Tara and I played some Super Mario Bros. 3 for a bit. Well, more like an hour and change. Because that’s just what happens. Time flies when you’re stomping goombas, opening item chests, and…playing that memory card mini-game that randomly appears on the overworld maps.

Remember that? You only got two chances to guess, and if both were wrong, well, that was your opportunity swarted. Good luck remembering what cards you flipped and where they were on the playing grid because the next time that mini-game might show up could be much later on. I used to scribble notes down on paper as a kid, crudely drawn diagrams and other rushed recreations, but I really don’t think I ever got to complete the full memory card game before.

Until last night, that is.

Only took three instances to clear the board, too. And for some reason, I really thought you got something special for doing that. A warp whistle, perhaps? I had no idea that you were already gaining items in the process. No idea. Like, if you flip the 20 coins card and match it with another 20 coins card…well, you got 20 coins for that. I was really hoping for an explosion of 1ups at the end of the whole thing. But it ended without a bang, and it was back to tackling level after level for the two of us.

In this time of the Internet, no secret is truly secret for long, no mystery still a mystery. It’s easy enough to look up the answers to all the memory card games online, but that totally ruins the fun. And I never had such an oppurtunity as a little kid on Christmas morning just plowing through the game in a fever of excitement and joy. I just had me and my brain full of Other Things to remember; it was hard going, and I probably only ever matched one or two cards, not even realizing that those items in my inventory were from there. Oh well. Now I know, and knowing is half the battle. We stopped somewhere around World 5, no skipping either, each with about 20+ extra lives already.

Please select player in SPVTWTG

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, or SPVTWTG if you like those easy-to-figure-out acronyms, comes out for the PlayStation 3 network in early August, just a pinch before the movie drops on August 13, 2010. That’s cool, but of course I don’t have a PlayStation 3 and must then wait it out until it makes its way over to Xbox Live. However, if there’s one thing I do know, it is this: I’m playing as Kim Pine. And will most likely have to fight over her with my fiancée as she will want to play as Kim Pine also. No one likes Ramona anyways:

Hmm…does that look familiar to you? It should, n00b. I’ll wait while you figure it out. No, it’s not from the Glee finale. C’mon…think.

Meh, you’re taking too long. It’s an homage to Super Mario Bros. 2, duhhh:

Ha, that means Ramona is really Luigi, and that’s funny because he kicks so goofily when he tries to jump super high. Not sure how Stephen Stills would feel about being compared to a mushroom-head, but I bet he’d not like it. But yeah, Kim is totally a princess. May she float for a few seconds through my dreams night in, night out. I want this game so bad, and dang it, I might have to start considering a PlayStation 3 fund if it takes longer than a few weeks to port over to the Xbox 360.

Super Mario Bros. Crossover is a dream come true

Do you like Super Mario Bros? How about The Legend of Zelda or Contra? Hmm…and Castlevania, Mega Man, and Metroid?

That’s good. I like ’em all, too.

And now, thanks to the Internet, you can play them all, more or less, at once. Introducing…Super Mario Bros. Crossover!

Yup, this little miracle allows you to basically play Super Mario Bros, but with the character of your choice. There’s Samus Aran from Metroid, Simon Belmont from Castlevania, Link from The Legend of Zelda, Bill Rizer from Contra, and Mega Man from, er, Mega Man. And the greatest part is they all play as they should from their respective games, meaning Mega Man can charge up his blaster and Samus can roll into a ball and drop her classic bombs. All while goombas roam the ground and pipes wait to be explored.

It’s silly fun, but also pretty great. Believe the hype.