Sunday, November 24, 2013

New and improved?


I always say that I'm not a big fan of the New Super Mario Bros. series but I might just be kidding myself since I must have replayed the DS game at least 5 times. My main grudge with the series has probably been its' generic art style and in this aspect the Wii U games has actually been somewhat improved. Thanks to added advanced lighting effects the games look pretty good now. I have also whined about the series being super easy and at least in New Super Luigi U the definitely isn't the case any longer, that is one challenging game. It is not impossible by any standards but it is hard enough that I get some real satisfaction from beating a level.

I shouldn't only talk about what has been wrong with the New Super Mario series (even if the problems mentioned above have been fixed or at least improved), I should also give it credit for what it does right, namely its' fantastic wall jump mechanic. From the first DS game Nintendo nailed this mechanic and it completely changed Mario platforming to the point that I have a hard time going back to 8 and 16-bit Mario games without feeling like something is missing. It is not only that Mario can bounce off walls but also how he can slide down the side of them. It all feels so good and it often gives the player one last chance to save himself after missing a tricky jump. One event when playing through New Super Luigi U really highlighted for me how much this mechanic has changed the gameplay. When I faced off against Bower, you all know the traditional confrontation from Super Mario Bros. when you have to get under Bowser and hit the axe to make him fall down in to the lava. This time I actually waited for him to move more to the left of the screen, then I wall jumped off the wall, using the extra height to jump over Bowser and quickly ran foreword to hit the axe and watched King Koopa fall down in the lava. Just like I have done a million times before only this time I had used an entirely new tactic to beat him.

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