Tag Archives: super mario land

Games Completed in 2011, #26 – Super Mario Land

I’m scrunched up in the backseat of a loaded minivan on my way to Walt Disney World. It’s hot and uncomfortable, unpredictably bumpy; something’s jabbing into my ankle, a part of the seatbelt clicker, and there’s only so many ways for a little boy to twist and turn to avoid burning exposed skin on lava-hot plastic. The cup holder next to me is full of lollipop sticks and wrappers, most red- or orange-flavored, their savory candy heads long devoured. My mom is driving, excitement keeping her foot pressed to the pedal; there might be others in the car, but most of this is fuzzy because what I really remember most is the GameBoy gripped tightly in my sweaty hands, my time-passing device. See, I’m piloting an airplane and submarine with amazing skill, murdering everything in my path, all for a princess, a taste of freedom. I’m nine or ten years old, and I’m playing Super Mario Land for the very first time.

The second time I’m playing Super Mario Land? It’s twenty years later, and everything is different. I’m married. I’m a corporate zombie. I’ve gone through high school and college and emerged with very few friends. I’ve tried a number of different, creative ventures, failing all more or less equally. I’ve become even more responsible than I ever believed possible, taking care of everything I want to take care of by myself, because I have to. I’m motherless and crazy sad and grasping for happy straws. But some things are the same. It’s still Mario, tiny, jumpy plumber extraordinaire, and it’s a game still being played on a handheld except I’m in a comfy armchair and not on my back, seatbelt clickers stabbing me with glee. The Nintendo 3DS does a decent job of emulating Super Mario Land, and I do welcome that with the new system, one can save their progress any time they want. Back in the day, if you wanted to complete Mario’s quest and rescue the princess, you had to do it in one large gulp. Which I believe I did do.

Like Super Marios Bros 2, Super Mario Landdoes not feature Bowser as a main villain. Instead, we have the alien Tatanga, who has gone ahead and captured Princess Daisy. To save her, Mario will have to travel across the Kingdoms of Sarasaland, which is basically four worlds with their own themes. And they are…drum roll…

  • Birabuto Kingdom – Desert theme, taking place inside pyramids and so on.
  • Muda Kingdom – Water-themed levels, including an underwater stage where Mario pilots a submarine.
  • Easton Kingdom – Easter Island-themed kingdom, with some underground levels.
  • Chai Kingdom – Asian-themed kingdom, with the final level taking place in the sky.

The game’s easy. I don’t remember it being quite so easy, but then again, as I’m sure many have discovered over time, a lot of levels from Super Mario Bros 3 felt really long and challenging once, and it was always sad to discover how actually short they are and easy to skip through. Even those dancing ninja enemies in Chai Kingdom (seriously, like chai tea?) that liked to hop about were easy to avoid or take down once their pattern became obvious; I remember them giving me a lot of grief as a young plumber. The only trouble I still had many years later were the bosses, piloting plane Mario or submarine Mario to safety.

Super Mario Land was a nice trip down Memory Lane. Unfortunately, it’s not a very long or challenging game, but at least I can always boot it up again and find myself back in that minivan, back on the road, back elsewhere.

A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in

Hey, Grinding Down readers, did I mention that I’m on vacation? Well…I am.

That’s not to say I haven’t been gaming some because vacation, to me, does imply some videogaming, but just not enough to get the creative juices flowing for writing over here. I did end up purchasing two more downloadable titles for my Nintendo 3DS: Super Mario Land and Dragon Quest Wars. I love the former for nostalgia and beat it in one sitting in less than half an hour, and the latter is a little weird and unclear, but I’ll continue to give it a sporting try.

Speaking of sports, I’ve also played some golf while on vacation, and this is real life golf, with real life sweating and real life swings and real life pars. I got par on a par 3 hole, and that’s all I will ever need out of that sport, truthfully. I also ended up winning minigolf last night at the Ocean City boardwalk, using my skillz efficiently and effectively. Going golfing again today; don’t be too jealous.

When not using my Xbox 360 to show my sisters the greatness that is Game of Thrones, I’ve been playing some more L.A. Noire. Closing in on the end of the game, methinks. Hoping it all comes together in the end because it seems more like we’ve already reached the title’s peak, and now there’s nowhere to go but down. Like, I’m still waiting for the newspapers and war flashbacks to click, and then for Cole to make something of himself in Los Angeles.

Naturally, while on vacation, I’m spending some time thinking about what I’ll do after vacation is over. The third DLC for Fallout: New Vegas, Old World Blues, comes out next week, as does Bastion…I think. Too lazy to actually look this up for confirmation. Being a videogame journalist is tough work, y’know. Then there’s the final Harry Potter movie, as well as A Dance With Dragons to zoom through and beginning to slowly move out of the Leaky Cauldron, making for one crazy stressful time upon returning to the real world.

Oh, and there’s been a lot of Munchkin happening in South Jersey. More on that later, but I will say that Munchkin Zombies is particulary fantastic. Mmm brains…

Okay, gotta put pants on to go golfing. The course I’m going to has a strict “must wear pants” policy.

What’s what with the forthcoming Nintendo 3DS eShop

Unless it happens to get delayed again, the Nintendo 3DS eShop will soon be available on June 6, 2011, to all us loyal fans that jumped the gun on getting the system. It’ll be accessible through a system update, much like how we all got that OK GO music video with the energetic dogs. Sadly, once we get the new update, that video is gonna disappear. Not really sure why, but it’s a small price to pay to make the 3DS somewhat relevant again. Here’s what is gonna be available for U.S. gamers at store launch:

  • Excitebike – 3D Classics, free until July 7, 2011
  • Pokédex 3D – “3DSWare”, free
  • Super Mario Land – Game Boy
  • Alleyway – Game Boy
  • Radar Mission – Game Boy

The eShop will, reportedly, update every Thursday, which explains the slim pickings of the launch lineup. One free game, one free app, two games nobody’s gonna want, and a nice stab at nostalgia with Super Mario Land. The addition of an out-of-game Pokédex is nice, especially that it’s free, but it seems like it’s reliant on StreetPass for growing larger and fuller. Fun idea, but probably not plausible. Missing from the list is, of course, Mega Man Legends 3: Prototype Version. Boo to that, as it was gonna be a heavy hitter for the eShop debut, and that’s saying a lot considering it’s not even a finished game yet.

There’s been no word yet from Nintendo about whether next week’s update will include the Netflix app for streaming films/TV, which I’m positive I will try once and not really like considering how quickly the system’s battery life gives out. However, we do now have some details about the free web browser; it’s supplied by Netfront instead of Opera this time around and will not support Flash. The browser will allow you to upload 3D photos you’ve taken with the system’s camera, as well as view 3D images on websites like 3D Porch. Neato? Naaah.

This doesn’t concern me, but many handheld gamers will be pleased to know that you can transfer DSiWare games from a DSi to a 3DS. Except for these titles. However, you can’t transfer files from a 3DS back to your DSi, natch. Some streets are one way only.

Well, at least I’ll have a reason to really use my Nintendo 3DS on June 6, 2011. Here’s hoping this is just the start and slow climb to greatness; I’m now just waiting for a 3D version of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, as well as wondering how payment is going to work.