By Video_Game_King 8 Comments
Super Mario Sunshine(I have caught up with gaming circa 2002.) I know it doesn't sound like much, but whenever I told people that I never played this game, the expression on their face quickly became this. So I eventually got the game, completely oblivious to the last time this sort of thing happened. To those of you dousing your flaming sticks of hatred in gasoline, let me say this first: I liked the game. It's overrated, sure, but like the also-overrated Final Fantasy VII, I enjoyed it anyway.
The first part of this game I liked was that it admits Mario is part of the mafia. After years of killing Bowser and running various rackets, Mario decides to go on vacation with Peach. However, upon landing at the vacation spot, the locals recognize Mario as the Don of la mafia di funghi and promptly arrest him. However, because the people of Delfino are so stupendously retarded, they sentence him to mere community service. What's more, they give him the F.L.U.D.D., which is basically what happens when a jetpack has babies with a flamethrower. If that sounds too badass to be true, it is; rather than spraying fire or even gasoline, but water. Perhaps I gave the people of Delfino too little credit three sentences ago.
Of course, that's the main feature of Sunshine: the F.L.U.D.D. For the most part, the game uses it really well, allowing you to approach any situation in multiple ways. For example, if you need to spray all the goop off a level, do you run around with the R button held down, or methodically jetpack your way through it all? Do you jump through the level the normal way, or do you blaze through it with the ever-useful "reverse flip, wall jump, jetpack" combo? The obvious choice is the latter, and what should be obvious by now is that both of those examples involve the jetpack. There are other attachments to the thing, it's just that they aren't as good. There's an explosive fart attachment, which is useful but risky to use at times. There's also a turbo boost thing, but I don't see why this is in the game. It doesn't improve your abilities, and I never played a mission where you needed it. Can somebody point me to the part of the game when that becomes useful?
For all the complaints I have/will levy against the F.L.U.D.D., I'd still have it in the game, given what it's like when you don't have it with you. Periodically, Mario will lose his jetpack thing, and he has to do some regular platforming. I have nothing against that, but the execution in Sunshine is just horrible. Part of the problem is that none of the levels have checkpoints; the other, much larger part is that the level designer was apparently Kefka Palazzo. Some of the levels require inhuman levels of precision, and anything less than perfect means death. Oddly enough, anything more than perfect also means death, so unless you have that aforementioned level of precision, you're going to die A LOT. Why, Nintendo? Why did you make these parts of the game not only mandatory, but frustrating beyond belief?
Unfortunately, the frustration doesn't end there; it kinda ends with the blue coins. I didn't have much of a problem with them, despite what everybody else says, but it was annoying to spray an X for a blue coin only to see it appear on the other side of the level. What was the point of that? Was Nintendo at a loss for creative ideas? I doubt it, because there are some pretty cool ideas in this game. Ideas like Yoshi. Remember my E3 blog, where I was in love with the idea of Yoshi in 3D? And you guys told me this game already did it? Well, after playing this game, I can confirm that Yoshi in full 3D is superb. I could list off various reasons why, but there's only one reason I need: he can spray vomit on his foes. Say what you will, like that it's inconsistent or that it has little use in the game, but how can you not love the idea of spraying your enemies with Yoshi puke?
However, there is one thing I didn't like about Yoshi: the fact that 90% of his body is apparently powdered milk. Why does Yoshi dissolve in water (weird, since in his debut, there was a type of Yoshi specifically designed for the water)? And why the hell is he only green when he does dissolve? Where are the Goombas, the Koopas, the horrified Luigis? Why do I get the feeling that this didn't start off as a Mario game? I don't know, I just have this premonition that Nintendo was making another game entirely, but tacked on the Mario thing when they realized that Luigi's Mansion didn't count as a Mario title. However, the feeling remains: this wasn't originally a Mario game. I cite the level themes as evidence: yea, the F.L.U.D.D. is great and everything, but it means that you either make all the levels water themed or fuck things up because you didn't make the levels water themed.
Again, I feel like a lot of you are sticking your pitchforks into your torches to make them seering hot, so let me reiterate: I LIKED THIS GAME. Sure, it has its weak points, but it also had some creative missions, cool boss battles (although not enough of them), and a sex scandal to rock the ages. Actually...that sounds like an awesome line. I'll make note of that for any future reviews. As for this one, I'll give it the Kuja Award for Incredibly Easy Trance Induction and end the whole thing with this.
- The F.L.U.D.D. is a neat feature which, for the most part, makes the game much better.
- You'll die so much in the space platforming levels, you'd think you got Death's teen daughter pregnant.
- If you don't love vomiting Yoshi, then you have no heart. Where will you place the X, you Nobody?
This commercial may look stupid, but you don't know how much American funky action it got me back in the day.
Klonoa(I'm afraid this game brought about a disturbing revelation.) My Wii has Red-Ringed on me. I know that it's an Xbox thing, but I'm using that as a term meaning "to crap your own guts out." My Wii dropped a hint when I tried playing my (used) copy of Sunshine, but it wasn't until this game that the ugly truth dawned upon me. It took quite a few tries before I was able to play this particular game, and I was lucky that this game is incredibly short.
Wow, this is weird. Usually, I open with the story or what I like about the gameplay, but it seems that I've set up the review so that I have to transition straight into the shit. Whatever, I'll just roll with this new style and see where it takes me. Anyway, like I just said, Klonoa is an incredibly short game. I started at around 2 PM yesterday and finished at 11:30, and I'm sure I could've finished much sooner if I did it all in one sitting. There's also very little replay value to be had in the game; I managed to 100% most of the levels on my first try. That brings me to another thing: this game is easy. How easy? Well, in Super Mario Sunshine, I died A LOT in the platforming levels; in Klonoa, I rarely died, and even if I did, the ludicrously high number of lives the game throws at you will make the Game Over screen more of an enigma than the ending screen of Takeshi's Challenge. Speaking of endings, it seems the transition to the Wii kinda screwed up the ending. Yea, it's the same teary-eyed conclusion as in the PS1 version, but.....just look for yourselves.
Of course, by mentioning the ending, I must mention a reviewing stalwart: the storyline. The story follows thusly: you take the role of Klonoa, a cat thing with arms for ears, on a mission to save the Moon Kingdom. Not mine, but a fictional one that's being terrorized by a fictional villain, Ghadius. How will Klonoa stop such a not-real threat? With the help of his friend, of course! He launches his friend (Huepow) at enemies, which inflates them, for some reason. (My guess is that somebody in the programming department misunderstood the phrase "to blow up.") That's pretty much the main gimmick of Klonoa: grabbing your enemies. It's actually put to creative use in this game, from doing multiple grab-jumps to reach a bubble to launching enemies at or away from the screen to hit something in one of those aforementioned locations. Oh, and both of these happen late in the game, so don't get the impression that the creativity takes a nosedive by the time you actually fight Ghadius.
Speaking of creativity, there are a lot of creative things in this game; in addition to "simplistic", I'd use the word "creative" to describe this game. For example, the 2.5D gameplay. Before I actually describe what I like about it, let me say that I don't like how gamers have been using the term "2.5D." While it implies a unique combination of 2D and 3D, you guys usually use it to describe either Paper Mario or Super Smash Bros, both games that could be done on purely 2D system. Klonoa was the first 2.5D game I've played that feels like a proper combination of 2D and 3D; while gameplay is purely limited to a 2D plane, several planes can overlap with each other, and there are often objects placed to the side of these 2D planes that you must interact with...in 3D...sort of. My point is that I loved crap like this.
What I also loved about that battle was that its weakness wasn't given away right before you fought him. Unfortunately, for a lot of the early bosses (and I guess the final boss, sort of), the game blatantly announces how to beat him. "Oh, and Scary Looking Boss Monster, watch out for the soft spot on your head", a recurring villain will announce not to himself. I guess it plays into the easy and simple theme the game was going for, but I'd much rather have the simple part, not the easy part. See, I told you I'd get to the simple part. The controls are basic enough to be mapped to an NES controller, and it doesn't get more complicated than "grab enemy, bounce off them, shoot at enemies." It's easy to just pick up the controller and jump into a session, which makes me see why it was ported to the Wii: you know, that whole "pick up and play" thing Nintendo has been advertising for the past few years. Sure, it may not have motion controls, but regardless, it feels right at home on the Wii...........Damn it, I forgot the award. And that was such a great ending, too. I give it the Ultimecia Award for a Piss Easy Final Boss and order all of you to pretend that I worked that into the previous text, somehow.
- Shorter than this.
- Great use of what it has at its disposal.
- The colorful graphics are perfect for the Wii. Even if they do destroy the ending.