The random number generator has determined that the next video game I should talk about is the original Mario vs. Donkey Kong for the Game Boy Advanced.
The only reason I played this game was because I’m a completionist. It’s a part of the Mario Series as well as the Donkey Kong series, and by gum, I’m supposed to finish both of those. I have to, because both Mario and Donkey Kong are playable characters in Super Smash Bros.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong is the first in a series of games featuring Mario, Donkey Kong, and mechanical toys depicting various characters in the Super Mario Universe. I have only completed this first game in this series, but there are six more I can play when I feel like it (or when I force myself to).
The premise of Mario vs Donkey Kong is that Mario has become pretty famous in the Mushroom Kingdom, and he starts selling toys of himself. The Toys are so popular that supply can’t keep up with demand, and there are product shortages. This is very similar to what happened years later when there were shortages of Nintendo’s Amiibo toys-to-life products.
Donkey Kong goes to the store, wanting to buy a Mario toy. They are sold out, so he can’t. He goes across the street to a factory belonging to the Mario Toy Company, and he steals a giant bag of the toys. Mario chases after him to try to get the toys back (thus protecting his intellectual property), and the game begins.
The game is pretty fun. You control Mario with the directional pad and buttons, stepping on switches, climbing ladders, throwing objects and hitting things with hammers. It’s similar in some ways to the original Donkey Kong arcade game, mostly in its antagonistic view of said character. He hadn’t really been a bad guy since “Donkey Kong 1994”, which came out almost 10 years earlier.
After some plot, Mario chases Donkey Kong to the roof of a skyscraper. A fight happens, and when Donkey Kong is defeated and dangling from some scaffolding, some Toads stomp on his hand. Donkey Kong appears to fall to his death, and the credits roll.
Once the credits are over, we find out that Donkey Kong is okay because he landed on a truck. Also the truck is full of more Mario toys, which he steals again in order to double the length of the game.
Eventually, Mario has to defeat a giant robot that Donkey Kong has for some reason.
Once Mario wins, Donkey Kong shows remorse and Mario forgives him. Mario then gives Donkey Kong a Mario toy, and the real credits roll.
Although it took a while to convince myself to give it a try, I liked the game when I played it. I am however worried about the sequels, because they are probably going to be trickier to play than this one. In those games, the toys are the protagonists. There’s a higher emphasis on their movement, and unlike in this game where you control Mario directly, you have less control over the movements of the Mario toys. I’ve played a bit of the second game, and to me, it doesn’t feel as satisfying as the original, but I might feel differently once I get into it.
Thanks for reading! =)