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a32bitmint

Reviews

Super Mario Land (Nintendo 3DS)

Decent but rather infuriating

The Good
For being one of the very first Game Boy games, the music in this game is fantastic. Every track (maybe aside from the boss music) is really good and I have fond memories of the first stage music. The music that plays in the third level of each world (incorrectly referred to as Easton Kingdom in the soundtrack) is my favorite. The whole game is very derivative but honestly I kinda like it. Most of the classic Mario powerups and enemies are gone and replaced with unique enemies not found in any other Mario game (don't confuse the Goomba-looking things for Goombas, because they aren't!) and the Super Ball is actually quite a fun powerup that I'm surprised didn't see any sort of reference to until Mario Maker 2, to my knowledge. Also, this game's version of Koopas explode, so that's fun. My favorite part of the game was the shmup sections, which are genuinely quite good and add a bit of a nice break from the platforming.

The Bad
This is where it goes downhill. The platforming is absolutely horrendous. I don't know if it's just me that sucks at it or if it's just bad but it feels very stiff, almost as if you have to stick to your jump (although you don't have to). The enemies can be rather brutal, too, so having a mushroom is key to getting anywhere. I posted this review under 3DS as I played the game through the 3DS's Virtual Console. I'm so glad that I did because goodness gracious, I had to CONSTANTLY use restore points. I got tons of cheap deaths because of the stiff platforming. The bosses are also rather hard, ESPECIALLY the final boss who's constantly firing bullets at you. This is a Mario game, not a bullet hell! The game is also rather short, but in my case I couldn't be happier that it's short because it felt like an eternity to beat.

The Bottom Line
If you're a Mario die-hard, check this game out. It's a unique game in the franchise that broke many of the rules set in place by previous Mario games (being even more deviant than the American Mario 2 in some cases). However if you're new to the franchise and are looking for somewhere to start, avoid this. The brutal platforming and difficulty is infuriating at times.

By a32bitmint on April 25, 2022

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (Windows)

Very much meant for kids

The Good
All-new dialogue was written for this game, and it's pretty darn good. Everyone from the movie reprises their roles here (minus David Hasselhoff, simply showing up as an unnamed human character whose name is represented by dolphin noises), and there are even some new voice actors. The amount of interactivity with people is immense, and there are a lot of linking conversations. A huge plus is that it labels things at the bottom of the screen when you hover over them, removing the need to click around for a long time to find things that may be hidden in plain sight. A lot of the solutions in the game were quite clever and had me stumped for some time but felt rewarding to pull off.

The Bad
The flow is all messed up. Some of the huge moments in the movie are only glanced over by the narrator in the game's MANY full-motion video "slideshow" segments. Also, it's not just the flow that's all messed up, the movement is heinously slow. SpongeBob and Co. walk at a snail's pace, and while you can click again to speed them up, it's only putting a Band-Aid on the wound. The few interactive segments in the game that weren't point-and-click style adventures were quite strange and very boring. The game is semi open world, but walking to and from places during chapters is quite tedious. Another HUGE downside is that while the voice acting is solid and all, there's no way to skip it, and boy do they speak slowly.

The Bottom Line
It's a great game for kids who love SpongeBob, but I'd say it's not worth it at all for the older folks.

By a32bitmint on March 2, 2022

Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (GameCube)

A decent romp but a little underwhelming

The Good
This game has this sort of visual charm to it that I appreciate in early GameCube/PlayStation 2 titles. The music in the game is really good too, especially the theme that plays on the main menu. The game never gets ridiculously hard at any points and for the most part, levels are laid out in a very direct way that ensures it's hard to get lost. The bonus clips and trailers that you unlock throughout the game are a nice touch too, as well as a model viewer and a section where you can see the bio for every character. Also appreciated is the relatively smooth flow of the game, which goes through every major event of the movie and includes as many important points as possible. Nothing feels left out, and even if you do feel like something was left out, a number of clips are included in the extras that can possibly provide context. Also, the game never felt too easy nor too hard during normal game play.

The Bad
The biggest downside to this game is the platforming. It's unreliable at best, and the chances of missing jumps during 2D platforming segments is relatively high. The physics can also be a bit rough too, mainly during the slide segments. The rocket mini game that can be played in every level is VERY tough, which is odd considering that the rest of the game is relatively easy. The pre-rendered sprites used for the pickups have this weird lighting to them that makes them look a little creepy, in my opinion. The models are also pretty low resolution for the GameCube, but that doesn't detract too much from the appeal. Health pickups are surprisingly scarce, which is understandable seeing as the game is pretty easy but it can be a pain if you make many mistakes. One of the biggest letdowns is that there's no credits scene at the end of the game, instead simply booting you back to the main menu. The credits are viewable from the extras menu but it makes beating the game feel unrewarding. Lastly, the game is quite short, only taking me about 3 1/2 hours to beat, but this may be a good thing to some.

The Bottom Line
This is a game clearly targeted towards the younger audience of the franchise, but it's short and easy enough that fans of Nickelodeon games may want to pick it up and try it out. Otherwise, if you're not a fan of Jimmy Neutron, I'd stay away from it unless you want a game that's a good short time-waster.

By a32bitmint on March 2, 2022