By HallwayGiant 2 Comments
This is what happens when you are in fact not playing any games, no blog posts, not that it all that important, but still!
Right, so a video game that I actually have been playing recently is Bowsers Inside Story. Not that I have a particular love for the series, but I seem to recall enjoying Super Star Saga and to some extent Partners in Time though admittedly (and as pointed out in one of my Giant Bomb lists actually) I've never beaten PiT due to the final boss sequence. Not that I've touched it anytime recently, but still, worth noting I guess. Point being I'm ready for some more of that, and it is more of that, thankfully.
Actually it's not more of that because it doesn't really take much from Partners in Time gameplay wise at all. If anything they really went back to what made Superstar Saga so enjoyable aka freeroaming Mario world (complete with backtracking) with colorful enemies and challenging combat featuring a bunch of well written characters. Of course this is before the inclusion of the Bowser element which is actually pretty significant because he is basically a third protagonist who has his own completely different move-set from the Bros. Furthermore their is a fairly even split in playtime between the two which might surprise some fans of the series. Also Bowser has his own (for lack of a better term) superbattles which are so super that they require the player to play the DS book style while super Bowser takes on the various giant enemies of the game (and I wouldn't call that a spoiler because footage of that was shown the first time the game was revealed at E3 09) Overall the inclusion of Bowser is a good one and I didn't find anything particularly wrong with it since the back and forth between the two stories is well done and Bowser is a nice counter to the Bros. story.
What I did have a issue with though was that this game kind of doesn't know what it wants to be. On one hand it is very much a return to form for the series as already mentioned though the first maybe 30+minutes of the game is a pretty painfully slow tutorial section that is explaining EVERYTHING to you that you need to know. While I understand that Nintendo has exposed quite a few more people to its system since PiT was released it's still fairly annoying as a fan of the series to have to go through the intricacies of the game when, honestly, the game is pretty straightforward as it is. Also I just have to say on that note the game also has quite the odd difficulty curve. It starts off wtih the mind numbing tutorial section and then proceeds to plop you into some fairly challenging boss battles not long thereafter. At the same time though you find "Retry Clocks" scattered throughout the world which are glorified 'do-over' buttons which restart the current battle. That said the game is generally easier than past entries. The fact that I died only a handful of time and beat the final boss my first time through speaks volumes (about the game or my gaming prowess I'm not sure).
I guess I had some other issues but those are fairly nitpicky in a otherwise incredibly solid game. It charms you to death even in its uneven difficulty, and has some really great combat sequences from top to bottom.
Well, that was a lot of text, and it wasn't even really a review, but that's about the most your gonna get outta me these days.
Edit: I just have to mention this. One of the odder moments in the game (about 15+ hours in) is where Bowser hurts his back the Bros. help him by doing their 'drill move' into his lumbar or some equivalent which then for triggers a conversation from Toadsworth which suggests that you take a 'tea brake' and come back in a few minutes. Again, 15 hours in, and this is the first time this has happened, the game is giving you a Wii Fit like message about how you should take a break. I appreciate the gesture, but I'll never get those minutes back. :P