Category Archives: Essay

Super Mario Galaxy – A Gimmicky Masterpiece

Super Mario 3D All-Stars was recently announced and released for Nintendo Switch. It contains Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy, but that’s pretty much common knowledge by now. Super Mario Galaxy was first released on the Wii in November 2007, and it made central use of the Wii Remote. You’d aim the Wii Remote to collect and shoot the newly-introduced Star Bits, and you’d have to shake the controller to perform a spin attack.

Just to clarify — I’m going to be specifically reviewing the version of Super Mario Galaxy included in Super Mario 3D All-Stars. I’m going to assume that not many of you are going to purchase a Wii and Super Mario Galaxy after reading this post, so we’ve got to keep it relevant. Even so, there are a number of differences between the two versions. Do these changes improve the overall experience or do they just make everything more difficult?

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Kirby Fighters 2 – A Promising Step Forward

Kirby Fighters 2 had a strange release schedule… in that it didn’t have a release schedule at all. It popped up on Nintendo’s website all of a sudden, and Kirby fans around the world took notice of its appearance almost instantaneously. And then the game was released quietly just a few short days later. Nintendo didn’t give us much notice on this one, to say the least. But they knew what they were doing: Kirby fans will buy anything with Kirby’s face on the cover, and they took full advantage of this fact.

As someone who’s played and enjoyed many Kirby games, I picked up Kirby Fighters 2 on frame one. But for those who aren’t die-hard Kirby fans, is this game even worth getting? Especially given the fact that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has been available for several years now.

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New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe – As Good as New?

If there’s one thing we can all agree on regarding the New Super Mario Bros. series, it’s that they aren’t all that new anymore. In fact, the New branding is kind of ironic, given that each title in the series is very much the same as the last. New Super Mario Bros. U was initially released as the Wii U’s flagship launch title way back in 2012. Seven years later – in 2019 – the game was re-released for Nintendo Switch as New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe. The release of Super Mario Maker 2 – specifically its inclusion of the New Super Mario Bros. U theme – makes paying $60 for New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe a steep task. All these years later, does this game still have legs to stand on (figuratively speaking)?

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Paper Mario: Color Splash – A Fresh Coat of Pain

Paper Mario: The Origami King was recently released for Nintendo Switch. If you’ve read my somewhat-recent review,really liked The Origami King and felt that it made many improvements on the formula established way back when Paper Mario: Sticker Star came out.

So, Paper Mario on Nintendo 64. That happened. The Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario happened too. But out of all the Paper Mario games that happened, the one that “happened the least” is Paper Mario: Color Splash. In other words, I don’t see anybody talking about this game anymore. It was released in 2016 and was almost immediately swept under the rug. In fact, it’s one of the worst selling Super Mario games to date; if the statistic I viewed was correct, it’s only sold about 800,000 units total. That’s rough by Mario series standards.

Is Color Splash better than Origami King? Well, no. it’s certainly better than Sticker Star, but that’s not exactly a benchmark to strive for. Especially considering the fact that I’ve (accidentally) eaten stale food that wound up being better than Sticker Star. My point is, though, Color Splash never really got the attention that deserved! And I hope my occasionally-coherent writings on this game will give it just a bit of extra attention. Do note that we’ll be discussing a bit of spoilers here.

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Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Bad Ideas, Great Execution

That title isn’t true as a blanket statement, per se — there just happens to be a lot in Mario Kart 8 that happens to fit that description.

Let’s get this out of the way from the get-go: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is (objectively) the strongest entry in the Mario Kart series. Strong track design, clean graphics, a large roster, and solid online play really help build this title up, both on Wii U and Nintendo Switch. That being said, at the time of writing, it’s been over six years since we’ve received an all-new Mario Kart game. Some parts of 8 Deluxe are starting to wear thin. And I take issue with one particular aspect about the game.

That’s the long and short of my incoming analysis. Before I start going more in-depth, I’m going to have to plug some other posts. I’ve written a number of guides on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, including how to win 200cc races, farm coins, and unlock everything in the game. Our amiibo training guides tend to overshadow posts like those, so I figure any additional exposure on my lesser-known “work” is helpful.

Now then! Back to the topic at hand. Mario Kart 8 has a lot going for it on both its consoles. If you’ve read any of my opinion posts, you know the drill: we’re going to break this game apart. What it does well, what it doesn’t do well… and believe me, I’ve got an entire section dedicated to dragging its roster through the mud. Let’s get started!

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