shadowvirus's Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (Nintendo DS) review

Annoying Controls and Repetitive Boss Battles the Video Game

Mario vs Donkey Kong 2: March of the Mini's is the second installment in the Mario vs Donkey Kong Series. In the first game on the GBA you had direct control over Mario and had to collect a key to get to the next part of the stage where you then had to free a Mini-Mario in his little capsule. Along the way you could get the three presents in each level which gave you a mini-game to get some 1-Ups. The first game was a fun puzzle adventure, it played well, had good replay value with Expert mode once you complete it. 
In my eyes, this sequel is no match for it's successor. 
 
The game is controlled entirely using the touch screen, although you can move the camera around with the D-Pad. To make a Mini-Mario move you have to swipe the stylus across him in the direction you want him to move, swiping up makes them jump and tapping them makes them stop. 
There is a short instruction video that says you can swipe over multiple minis to make them move together in a block, also if a a moving mini hits a stopped mini, the stopped mini will start moving, and if two moving minis ump into each other they will stop. 
Although when it comes to playing the game these controls don't quite work. 
Swiping over a pack of minis makes the one at the back move, he'll then bump into the one in front of him making him move, but then the original mini starts moving in the opposite direction. This gets extremely frustrating when you have 3 or more minis in a small space bumping off each other, you tap one to make him stop but then another one bumps into him again, it's even more frustrating when a mini wanders off into the path of an enemy and then you need to start the level again. 
 
The levels still consist around 3 switches, red, yellow and blue, instead of making blocks and ladders appear and disappear it makes platforms open and close. As well as this there are removable blocks. Certain parts of the level have block you can click to remove and place them in other parts of the level. Which is an Interesting idea as you have to make bridges underneath minis feet or block of enemies from your path. 
In the first MvDK game, you had a choice of collecting 3 presents for a little mini-game which gave you extra 1ups. 
MvDK2 has the same, each level is a card that you have to collect, there are 9 stages in a world, each stage with a card with a letter on, the letters spell out Mini Mario. The thing is though, these aren't optional. You have to spell out Mini-Mario in each world to unlock a mini game, now, each world doesn't have a new mini game, it's always the same just ever so slightly different. 
Shy Guys will pop out of some blocks and you have to beat the high score to proceed. Now, the high score doesn't get higher with each mini game, it's always 25. 
You have to complete this mini game to be able to fight DK the boss. 
There are 9 bosses including the final boss. But the first 8 are all the exact same, you control a cannon on the bottom screen and aim it at the top and shoot Mini-Mario's out at DK who is hanging around the top screen, although sometimes you have to shoot above DK to get an object to fall onto his head whilst avoiding falling rubble. But it doesn't change anything that the bosses are all the exact same, and none of them are ever any entertaining. 
Before you face these 8 bosses, you must compete the 9 levels before them. But, the final boss, there is no final stages, after the 8th boss you jump straight into the 9th and final boss. 
Now when I saw this, I thought it was pretty cool, it's a remake of the original Donkey Kong (or Dodgy Kong perhaps?) 
You have to control a single Mini-Mario up to the top where Mario will pick him up and through him at DK, repeat this 6 times to win. 
Although, it's terrible easily, you can grab the hammer and are able to climb the ladders whilst using the hammer so you're basically invincible. In fact, the whole game is easy. You may have to get the letter cards in each level but that's no difficult task, the game can take a few hours to complete, unlike the first game which had me stumped at several levels a few times. 
 
Now, this game isn't all bad, the music is old school Mario music as you love, the graphics are as you except, classic cartoon style DS graphics, it all looks very stylish and cute. but that's all, the game isn't challenging enough, the controls are the only thing stopping you flying through that game in about an hour. There's no expert mode once you complete it to challenge yourself. 
 
But, if you want more, there is Construction Mode. I've played around with it a bit and haven't managed to make a decent level, I can only make small gimmicky stages. Each custom made levels has a set amount of block you can use, so when I made big levels, I ran out of pieces to use and just gave up. As you play through the game you'll unlock more title sets from the set worlds as well as some special kits which allow you to have Mini-Toads, Peaches or DKs instead of Mini-Marios. Although you can't customize tile sets with other which would add more customizability. 
You can save and share you levels online with other MvDK2 user, I didn't use this feature but I'm sure people have made some interesting levels for you play on your own. 
 
Overall, Mario vs Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis isn't a bad little time waster, but that's all it is and it won't waste your time for long enough and it'll just work you up when you Minis bounce of each other into a spike pit. 
The first Mario vs DK game in my eyes is miles better, much harder and more challenging with replay value. 
This game features none of that, unfortunately. 

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