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Virtual Console Mondays: November 5, 2007

by Steven Rodriguez - November 6, 2007, 12:56 am
Total comments: 20

Mario! Mario! Mario! Mario!

Remember that two-hour long commercial movie about the Nintendo Entertainment System? Yeah, the one starring Fred Savage. It brought us memorable lines such as “Ahhh! He touched my breast!" and “I love the Power Glove, it's so bad..." Oh yeah, there was that really cool part at the end where Jimmy had to play a brand new game that no one had ever seen before. Nintendo had made a lot of different competition game cartridges for tournaments like the one in the commercial movie, so it probably wasn't anything special.

HOLY CRAP!! IT'S SUPER MARIO BROS. 3!!!!!

If you didn't wet your pants at that moment (I know I did!), you probably weren't a fan of video games. Super Mario Bros. 3 was probably the most hyped and anticipated game in the history of the industry. Not even the Halo-heads of the current generation could have imagined how crazy a time it was when Mario rang in the '90s with a bang. His face covered the globe, for goodness sake!

Anyway, enough reminiscing. Play the 2D Super Mario Bros. 3 this week so you can get it out of the way for the 3D Super Mario Bros. 3 next week. The allure of Kuribo's Shoe is too great to ignore!


Super Mario Bros. 3

SystemVirtual Console - Nintendo Entertainment System

Cost500 Points
Players2
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedFeb 12, 1990

Click here for a video preview

Words cannot describe how much I love, and have loved, this game. Super Mario Bros. 3 is the absolute pinnacle of platforming achievement, it’s just that good. In this meaty offering, Mario must save the seven kings of the Mushroom Kingdom, who have been turned into comical creatures by the Koopalings, who may or may not be Bowser’s kids. At some point, Princess Toadstool is kidnapped while Mario is away on duty, and his ultimate goal, as always, is to rescue that fair maiden. While the basic platforming premise is barely changed from the original Super Mario Bros., the sheer level of variety in SMB3 is staggering. Complex level designs, which incorporate every environment imaginable, branching paths, an overhead map screen, reserve items, mini-games, and the best power-ups to ever grace the franchise all seal SMB3 as the greatest game of all freakin’ time.

I am still discovering new paths, items, and secrets every time I play Super Mario Bros. 3, almost eighteen years after its initial release. That, and the fact that every stage of every level is overflowing with 100% pure, uncut FUN is more than reason enough to buy this game. Even if you already have Super Mario All-Stars or Super Mario Advance 4, the Virtual Console gives you a chance to experience SMB3 in its purest, original form. Buy this game, then get down on your knees and praise Miyamoto-san!

Recommended for Everyone

Alien Soldier

SystemVirtual Console - Genesis

Cost900 Points
Players1
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone 10+
ReleasedFeb 1995

Click here for a video preview

Alien Soldier is considered an import title because it was never available for purchase in the United States; it was included in Sega's doomed download service, Sega Channel, but when that service died so did access to the game. It was released as a Genesis cart in Japan and Europe, with a PS2 version available in Japan as well. Because of its semi-official status as an import game, it costs 900 points instead of the regular 800 for Genesis games.

Like many of Treasure's properties, Alien Soldier is crafted out of the same mold as the perennial classic Gunstar Heroes. The strategic, fast-shooting, side-scrolling gameplay is intact, yet here Treasure has shortened each stage and filled the game instead with boss battles. The bosses live up to Treasure's reputation. As a result, the game is a masterful distillation of everything that makes Treasure one of the world's best game developers. Alien Soldier is very much in line with Treasure's previous games, thanks to its ridiculous plot that has way too much back story, a somewhat complicated control scheme that must be mastered, bright graphics, a strange sense of humor, and a very high level of difficulty.

The game offers two difficulty options, Supereasy and Superhard. When playing on Superhard, aside from having more enemies and more difficult gameplay, the game only gives you three continues and no password option. I posit that it is impossible to beat the game this way. On Supereasy, you have unlimited continues, a password save option, and you can alter the speed of the game to make those tough bosses a bit easier. Supereasy is the only way I could manage to play the game at all, managing to get to stage 10 (of 25) after some dedicated play.

Alien Soldier is Treasure's Shadow of the Colossus. It is recommended for everyone, not in spite of its difficulty, but because of it. This is truly a video game masterpiece.

Recommended for Everyone

- Evan Burchfield



Power Golf

SystemVirtual Console - TurboGrafx-16

Cost600 Points
Players3
ControllersWii Remote,Wii Nunchuk,GameCube
ESRB RatingEveryone
ReleasedOct 1989

Click here for a video preview

Power Golf from Hudson is the TG16's crack at a straight golfing simulator. You'll be able to choose between three different golfers and tee it up on a single 18-hole course. It's got the standard stroke and match play options, but that's about it. There's really nothing more to say about it, other than I got a 73 on my first round. With a 98 handicap. If only the course had some par-13 holes, I might have actually gotten a birdie or two...

This is a terrible, terrible, terrible golf game. It employs the standard power meter that uses timing to determine how strong your shot is and how straight it goes, but there are two fatal problems with it. First, the sweet spot on the woods and long-hitting clubs is so hard to hit, more often than not your shot will careen into the out-of-bounds areas. Secondly, different clubs have different meter scroll speeds. Just when you're close to getting the rhythm for the driver, you'll botch it horribly with the pitching wedge up close. The problems with shooting make the game almost unplayable. Do not download Power Golf, especially when there are two other great games that are worth spending your money on this week.

Not Recommended

- Steven Rodriguez


Thanks to VG Museum for the classic screenshots.

Talkback

The SMB3 section isn't anywhere near positive enough, and I'm only half being sarcastic.

SheckyNovember 05, 2007

Our first Nintendo console was a NES with SMB3 bundle ...

Also, I used to be able to tell anyone who asked (and probably still can to a degree) EACH level's layout based off the numerical value. (ie: 5-1)

It is also the only game that was recognizable by *100%* of random people who took a video game music quiz I once put together. I think about 70 people responded to that.

Needless to say, it's a pretty great game.

KnowsNothingNovember 06, 2007

I never really like SMB3. Huh. Super Mario World is the best in my books, by far.

*dodges garbage*

In a just world you'd suffer a much worse fate than having garbage thrown at you for not liking Super Mario Bros. 3.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 06, 2007

Alien Soldier compared to Shadow of the Colossus now I have seen everything!

Wow... looks like I'll have to get.. wait 1 player? ... recommend the game to my brother.

KDR_11kNovember 06, 2007

Some of those bosses would be way too easy with two players.

*finally back from vacation*

You could have just stolen an excerpt from my mario advance 4 review. Seriously--watch:

Quote

Don’t be alarmed if a grin envelopes your face as you stomp the game’s first goomba—it’s perfectly natural. Super Mario Bros. 3 is the closest thing to Coin Heaven on Earth. With its refreshing power-ups and unrivaled level design, SMB3 remains at the top of its class to this day. The levels, while surprisingly short by modern standards, ooze of creative genius and loving care. Virtually every level has multiple secrets to uncover; adventurous newcomers to SMB3 will rejoice in every invisible 1-up, secret room, and hidden platform they discover, while veterans will get similar pleasure from revisiting their favorite nooks and crannies. It isn’t the prizes that make the secrets so rewarding—those are usually quite ordinary—but the resounding sense of accomplishment, of pride, that makes this game so gratifying. Old codgers like me will exclaim, “Aha! I remembered that!” as they frolic through their childhood memories.


Full SMA4 review can be found here: http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/reviewArt.cfm?artid=4140

If you multiplied the positivity from that SMA4 review by that of the game summary in this article you'd be at about the right level

MashiroNovember 06, 2007

Man the hard on people get for SM3 is scary . . .

GoldenPhoenixNovember 06, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Mashiro
Man the hard on people get for SM3 is scary . . .


Kind of like the ones people get for SMW right? Really though when you have a game that once again redefines 2D platforming, and becomes the best selling game of all time. Not to mention its presentation in a movie causing a stir that we have yet to see again in gaming. Oh yeah and over a decade of admiration for its design, that not even Nintendo could revolutionize again when it comes to 2D gaming, I think people have all the right in the world to love the game.

MashiroNovember 06, 2007

I never got one over SMW, I just said I preferred it over SM3 and so do some others and people get like forum jumped for expressing their opinion.

GoldenPhoenixNovember 06, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: Mashiro
I never got one over SMW, I just said I preferred it over SM3 and so do some others and people get like forum jumped for expressing their opinion.


Then they get forum jumped for expressing an opinion on an opinion. face-icon-small-wink.gif

MashiroNovember 06, 2007

Here is my reply.

I think we can all agree on that no?

GoldenPhoenixNovember 06, 2007

I'm still trying to understand the SotC comparison, so I can't disagree or agree with your post Mashiro, my brain is occupied elsewhere. How the difficulty of SotC (which is debatable in how hard it is) compares to a run n gun shooter boggles my mind!

IceColdNovember 06, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: KnowsNothing
I never really like SMB3. Huh. Super Mario World is the best in my books, by far.

*dodges garbage*
It's cuz you were born too late.

EDIT: And I think we can all agree that out of every single franchise created ever, Mario games age the best. Almost all the platformers have stood the test of time.

that Baby guyNovember 06, 2007

Quote

Originally posted by: GoldenPhoenix
I'm still trying to understand the SotC comparison, so I can't disagree or agree with your post Mashiro, my brain is occupied elsewhere. How the difficulty of SotC (which is debatable in how hard it is) compares to a run n gun shooter boggles my mind!


I was under the impression that the comparison is based on the idea that both games are pretty much boss battles. That's what the review square suggests, I think.

MashiroNovember 06, 2007

Quote

EDIT: And I think we can all agree that out of every single franchise created ever, Mario games age the best. Almost all the platformers have stood the test of time.


Completely agree =)

Ian SaneNovember 07, 2007

"And I think we can all agree that out of every single franchise created ever, Mario games age the best. Almost all the platformers have stood the test of time."

I'll agree to that. Overall I prefer Zelda and Metroid but the first two games in those series are like a severe chore to play today. Meanwhile even Mario Bros (without the super) is still really playable today.

I'm very interested in Alien Soldier, but it may have to wait a few months until I clear this backlog of games.

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