Mario and Luigi were just a couple of plumbers trying to do their job. Unfortunately, monsters live in the pipes. Can Mario and Luigi destroy these monsters before they go above ground?
I finally got to play what people consider the very first Mario game. Donkey Kong may have been Mario’s first appearance, but Mario Bros. is the first game where our hero got his name and title. The first game in the series is nothing more than one long arcade game with Mario knocking monsters on their backs and then destroying them. You go through phase-to-phase collecting points by killing monsters or collecting coins. This game also has a special bonus level where you try to collect all the coins before time runs out.
This game is simplistic yet addictive. I give it 5 out of 10; Mario got off to an okay start.
Donkey Kong’s back and this time he’s teaching his son math. Can Junior master his father’s lessons?
After Donkey Kong 3, the makers decided it wasn’t stupid enough and decided to make a learning game. There is no plot in this and the whole purpose of the game play is to add, subtract, multiply and divide various numbers in order to reach the number Donkey Kong holds up. It shouldn’t be too hard if you’ve graduated from Elementary School. The numbers are scattered throughout the screen and you control Junior when you climb the vines to collect numbers. You also jump from platform to platform to collect the right signs.
This game is stupid and boring. I give it 0 out of 10; a horrible attempt at edutainment.
Donkey Kong’s back and this time he’s tormenting a poor gardener named Stanley. Can Stanley keep Donkey Kong at bay while keeping insects from destroying his garden?
Is it just me, or did these plots go from manageable to incredibly stupid? What’s Donkey Kong doing harassing a gardener? I guess it was his day off and he didn’t have anything better to do.
Instead of your typical platform jumping, your primary concern is to spray the bugs and Donkey Kong. In order to get to the next level, you have to spray Donkey Kong enough so that he retreats to the very top. Keep playing, if you care about getting the high score. Since I didn’t, I stopped playing after a few levels. I’ll admit that spraying Donkey Kong consecutively was entertaining.
This game is stupid yet addictive. I give it 3 out of 10; once again, something to do when you’re bored.
When Mario kidnaps Donkey Kong, it’s up to Junior to rescue him. Can Junior free his father from Mario’s wrath?
That’s right, Nintendo made a sequel to the original Donkey Kong and they switched the roles. Donkey Kong’s the good guy and Mario’s the bad guy. Not much else to say about the plot except for one thing. Instead of a hero rescuing his girlfriend, it’s a son rescuing his father.
The game play is similar to the first one in that you have to jump over minions, collect items for points and get to the top to free the captured victim. The only difference is the final stage where, instead of destroying the construction site, you use six keys to unlock Donkey Kong’s cage. If you care about getting the high score, keep playing the same four stages over and over. If you just want to see the ending, quit after the fourth stage.
This game is addictive yet simplistic. I give it 6 out of 10; something to do when you’re bored.
When a mad ape terrorizes the city, he abducts a young girl named Pauline and brings her to the top of a construction tower. Can Mario save his girlfriend from Donkey Kong’s wrath?
This is the old arcade game that introduced not one but two of Nintendo’s iconic characters. This game is third in my Art of Video Games book and was the very first game to have a set plot. The game based its plot on the 1930s King Kong movie where an evil ape goes on a rampage in New York City and abducts the blonde leading lady. Before I get comments telling me that I’ve got it all wrong and King Kong is the good guy, I said that it was the 1930s version. King Kong didn’t become the good guy until the later remakes. This being an old arcade game, the plot is very simplistic and enforces gender stereotypes. The man’s the hero and the woman’s little more than a prize. I read an article once that said Donkey Kong was Mario’s pet ape that he abused. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any evidence to support that, so I’m going to leave that fact alone.
The game play is that of your typical classic arcade game. You jump through a construction site in order to get to the top and rescue Pauline. In the third stage, your job is to jump over small bits of the construction site so you can kill Donkey Kong once and for all. You can collect more points by jumping over barrels and collecting items on your way to rescue Pauline. Did I mention that you play the same three levels over and over? If you’re obsessed with getting the high score, go for it. As for me, as soon as I played those levels I was done. One more thing, if you buy the game on your 3DS, you can create restore points so you don’t have to start the game all over when you get a game over.
This game is simplistic yet slightly addictive. I give it 5 out of 10; something to do when you’re bored.
The Final Fantasy games are some of the most profitable video games you can find. Years ago, Square Enix remade the very first two games of the series for the Playstation. One considered a remake in both Japan and America and the other released for the very first time in the latter.
Since time began, four orbs controlled the elements of fire, water, wind and earth. Now, those orbs fell to the power of darkness. Only four warriors of light, each carrying a crystal, can restore power to the orbs and banish darkness once and for all.
That’s right, the very first game of a plot driven series has little to none of what made the series great in the first place. You never find out anything about the warriors you control, such as how they met or how they came across the crystals in the first place. Every town you drop in has just as much amount of plot and character development. The webcomic, 8-bit Theater, spoofs the very flaws you find in this game. I can’t really fault the writer for that, since everyone involved thought this would be their final game (hence why they called it Final Fantasy).
What the game lacks in story it more than makes up for in gameplay. In the beginning, you name four characters and choose a class for each one. Choose wisely, because, until you get class changes, you’re stuck with these four characters for the rest of the game. You travel the overworld map fighting battles to gain experience points. You also go through dungeons to bring power to the orbs and collect quest items. During your journey, you can visit towns to upgrade your equipment, purchase spells for your mages and resurrect dead characters. In this game, the only way for resurrection is either life spells or visiting the temple and paying the person to revive them. You can also rest at the inn and save your game. The only other saves you can do are memo saves, which is more of a safety mechanism than anything else.
This game is simplistic yet addictive. I give it 6 out of 10; a mediocre plot with fun game play.
Ganon’s back and this time his targets are the descendents of the seven sages. In order to stop him, Link has to travel to the Sacred Realm. Can Link save two worlds from the evil Ganon?
This game introduced me to the Zelda franchise. It also started a trend among the Zelda games, gather a few items, plot twist and then gather another set of items. Since this was the third game, Zelda doesn’t really do anything more special than push objects out of the way. As I said earlier, you have to save the descendants of the seven sages and guess what gender they all are. Ganon trapped each one of them in a crystal and, since this is before the Zelda games would have a day to night cycle, it only takes one day to free them. Still, I do wonder how they’re going to the bathroom if they’re inside a crystal. On second thought, I’d rather not think about it. When you rescue the maidens, each one tells you about the story of Ganon and the seven sages, something you can explore more thoroughly in Ocarina of Time. Another thing I don’t get is why Ganon’s magic would change the fairy into an overweight woman. Wouldn’t an evil man want a harem of gorgeous women or men (whatever suits his fancy)? The only way this would make sense is if Ganon has a fat fetish.
The game play is as fun as ever. You walk around the map destroying enemies for items. Then you enter various dungeons and defeat the bosses in order to collect quest items. You can visit various places in the over world to get upgrades and collect heart pieces. When you’ve collected all necessary quest items, you can take on Ganon.
This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 7 out of 10; the start of the games taking on a darker tone.