Tag Archive | wii u

Power Up Review: Mario’s Mushrooms

The Super Mushroom*, one of gaming’s greatest icons. Unfortunately, this classic middleman to the good power-ups has been cast down into the pits of disgrace.

The Super Mushroom came onto the scene back in the original Super Mario Bros back in ‘85. Back when that game was kicking my ass, the Super Mushroom was a dear friend, helping me stave off death for just a few moments more. 

For all you kids who can regain health just by standing behind a crate, you have no idea how valuable being able to take one extra hit can be. 

Unfortunately, the humble mushroom is no longer the powerhouse it once was. Once SMB3 came onto the scene, there became frequent ways to bypass the mushroom. Just blow by that thing and get to the real shit like the frog suit!

In today’s power-up mad world, I give the Super Mushroom, D. It should fail, but dammit, it tried hard enough to pass.

*Yes, I know it was originally called the Magic Mushroom in the NES guide. Think I don’t read?

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Rhythm Heaven Fever on Earth

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Will someone please use all the amazing beats and rhythms from this game and rap over them, mash ‘em up, funk them out. This series, and especially this iteration deserve way more musical attention than it has gotten.

The world of original music in rhythm games was over before it even began. Parappa, Um Jammer, Gitaroo, all niche titles due to their funky art style and oddball original music. Of course those were also the reasons they were so amazing.

After Guitar Hero and Rock Band saw the light of day, this niche genre exploded. Those games were fun, but original they were not, especially when compared to the artsy freewheeling associated with the creation of Parappa the Rapper and Gitaroo Man. Nintendo SPD continues on in the same vein. the SPD devs have been working the OG rhythm game genre for years now, but Rhythm Heaven Fever was the teams big console break.

Sadly the Wii was already on the way out, and the already hard to place style of Rhythm Heaven Fever went largely unnoticed, likely more than if it found it’s way into the Wii line-up circa 07-09. This is unfortunate because if anyone can breathe some life into this style of rhythm game play, it is Nintendo. 

They could probably do so very easily by simply making some kind of Rhythm Heaven Super Mario with remixed songs and such, which would be awesome considering the zaniness of the Nintendo SPD developers. I would love to see Nintendo SPD cobble together a wacky parody Super Mario musical adventure. Well that idea is both awesome, and money in the bag for Nintendo, I still have to say that I would much prefer wacky originality over wacky re-imaginings as far as rhythm games are concerned. 

Slice it from any angle, and I want to do more rhythmic tapping of the A button along with pea stabbing forks, golf playing baboons and racquetball batting cats and dogs. Truly, this is what we should all want.

Something I haven’t seen anyone asking about Nintendo

That thing is release schedules. Specifically, no one has been talking about how Nintendo will keep up with releases on two systems that require so much energy to develop for. Perhaps we are feeling it already as the Wii wimpers and the 3DS slowly ascends to prominence.

Once games began to come out for the 3DS there has been a very noticeable lack of first party games on the Wii. Though the beginning and end of hardware cycles are hard to quantify, it will be interesting to see how Nintendo handles so many expectations to deliver Nintendo quality content across two large scale platforms (the Wii U and the 3DS) with heavy development time and costs.

What I want to discuss is basically the ideas surrounding these questions.

  • Can Nintendo create great experiences across two platforms that require such a large amount of resources to develop for?
  • If so, how will they do it?