Gaming Post 10: New Super Mario Bros. Wii

The random number generator wants me to write about the time I completed New! Super Mario Bros. Wii. I started and completed this game within what I like to call my “Year of Mario” which was 365 days long spanning from November 21, 2013 to the same day of the next year. In those 365 days I beat 26 games set within the Mario Universe, which was on average 1 game from that category every 2 weeks.

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I had borrowed this game from my friend’s brother, and by the time I started the game I was very eager to play it. I was always putting it off to play other games, but it finally became one of the last Mario games I had left to beat, and so it finally took priority.

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New Super Mario Bros. Wii is a part of the New Super Mario Bros. series. They are the modern 2D Mario games that often differentiate themselves with new power ups introduced in each game. I think that New Super Mario Bros. Wii was the first main series Mario game to include the ability for more than one player to play at the same time. I first tried this game out in multiplayer mode with my friend Harlan, and we did pretty well, but we didn’t get too far. The New Super Mario games are honestly much easier to play as single player games.

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The trouble with New Super Mario Bros. is that you’re not allowed to save whenever you want until you’ve cleared the main story, but saving between stages becomes crucial for anyone aiming to complete the game 100%. The real objective for completing these games is to collect all of the Star Coins. There are always 3 hidden in each stage, but they can sometimes be risky to obtain.

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By the time I started this game, I had my strategy for 100%ing New Super Mario Bros. games down to a science.  The first step is to beat the story of the game. You may see Star Coins along the way, but if trying to get them puts Mario at risk of losing a life, strongly consider ignoring it and coming back for it later. The game saves after clearing a tower or castle for the first time as well as if you get shot out of a cannon into a higher difficulty world.

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After beating the story, you can save any time between stages, so save every time you obtain a star coin. It’s totally worth it in case anything bad happens.

Whenever you are low on lives (especially during the story), stock up using this trick.

These “infinite lives” tricks are in basically every recent Mario game. They are so consistently present that I’m pretty sure Nintendo is putting them in each game on purpose. I’m very glad that they’re there. Otherwise, I might not have been able to complete the Super Mario Bros. series.

I played this game in the summer, so I started by playing it outside.

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Go play outside!

Then it eventually got pretty humid, so I finished the game in the cool basement.

The secret final world in the game is unlocked as you collect all of the star coins, and the levels there are pretty difficult. On occasion, it was helpful to obtain a helicopter hat for Mario and save before a difficult stage. If I didn’t obtain any star coins and lost the hat, I would return to my last save and try again.

And so, I eventually finished this game 100%, and it was pretty good.

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Thanks for reading! =D

Gaming Post 8: Super Mario Bros.

I’m having all the luck lately! The random number generator has determined that my next gaming post will be about Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)!

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This is a classic video game. It’s the first installment of the Super Mario series. The objective is to run and jump through levels from left to right, defeat Bowser the Koopa King, and save Princess Toadstool.

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Here’s the world record speed run of the game.

Now, you may have noticed that this game is full of shortcuts. Without shortcuts, the game is 32 stages long.

Because you can not save in this game, I never thought that I would ever beat it. I always beat the 3D Super Mario games, but the 2D ones I considered to be hopeless for a really long time. What changed my mind about it was something called Restore Points, which were introduced for Virtual Console games on the 3DS and Wii U. Basically, with Restore Points, you can save whenever you want, and return to that point if something bad happens. With such a tool, you basically control the flow of time itself. That said, you never want to create a restore point unless you are sure that your character is safe, otherwise returning to that restore point might only result in losing.

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So, I decided to use Restore Points to run through all 32 stages in the game (without using any of the warp pipe level skips). Though I started by only using Restore Points after each stage, I gradually ended up using them during the stages at moments when I felt that Mario was safe. In that way, I completely finished Super Mario Bros in a relatively short amount of time.

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Though the way I did it was probably not the way it was intended, I finally finished Super Mario Bros. and went on to take on the other 2D installments. I figure that since Restore Points have been implemented by Nintendo itself, it is a legitimate method to complete games if it’s available. That said, just because Restore Points are possible to create, it doesn’t mean that it’s always a good idea to use them. I use them in some games and not in others. In my opinion, using Restore Points to beat a difficult old game often outweighs never completing that game.

So, until the next Gaming Post, Thanks for reading! =)

Gaming Post 2: Paper Mario Sticker Star

The random number generator has determined that my second gaming post will be about Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS.

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I grew up on Paper Mario 64 and Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door, so when I heard that there would be a Paper Mario game for the 3DS, I was pretty excited about it. Then I heard that the formula of the game was different from what I consider to be classic Paper Mario, so I didn’t pick this game up until later when I was on a family road trip to Maine.

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Like the classic Paper Mario games, the combat is turn based and includes action elements so that someone who is paying attention will do better than someone who is not. The main difference between this and classic Paper Mario is that in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Mario doesn’t level up, but rather accumulates money, stickers and sticker book pages to hold more stickers. Stickers are used up by attacking. For instance, in order to use the jump attack, you need to use up a jump sticker. Luckily, there are an infinite number of stickers hidden in the overworld, so there are no instances in which it’s impossible for a save file to be beaten. Powerful stickers can be created from objects, and the objects respawn in the locations where they were first found after their stickers have been used.

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Some of the stickers are shiny, and one thing I love about this game is that the gyroscope in the 3DS was used to give the illusion that shiny stickers on the bottom screen really reflect light. Nintendo didn’t have to include that feature for the game to be good, but they added it just because they are Nintendo. Most people might not even notice that it’s there, but for those who do, they get a glimpse at how awesome Nintendo games can be.

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I consider Paper Mario to be a comedic series. Defined that way, Sticker Star could be considered the best Paper Mario game. In this installment, most of the comedy comes from the antics of the toads.

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You want the stuff? Toad can hook you up.

I’m looking forward to the next Paper Mario game, whenever that happens to be. It’s just possible that the next one will be for the Wii U.

And so, I will consult the random number generator yet again to determine the subject of my next gaming post.