Show Posts

* Messages | Topics | Attachments

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - J.J. McCullough

Pages: [1] 2
Mario Chat / Re: Should the 1-Up Mushroom just die?
« on: December 04, 2009, 04:58:53 PM »

If there were no 1-ups, we'd be stuck with the following alternatives:
-Start the game over from the beginning (not really an issue with the way modern games use saves, but think about, say, playing on a GameCube without a memory card)
-Give the player infinite lives a la Super Princess Peach, taking away the challenge for more experienced players
-Make the player go to a far-away area every time they die (think about some of the places in Sunshine for an example)

The current system works fine as it gives a nice compromise between helping out and adding to the challenge--the challenge of the level and also to accumulate these mushrooms is still there, but there are still consequences if the player dies too much.

I think this is a very good analysis. There has been a dramatic increase in the amount of time it takes to truly "play" a game these days, with all the overworlds and portals and so forth. As the poster says, it's very annoying and disruptive to have a steady stream of, say, battles with a particularly difficult boss, suddenly disrupted by having to tromp around the overworld and find the manhole cover to jump back in, or whatever. Yet it's the threat of this annoyance (presented by a finite number of lives) that makes a challenging part of the game more intense to play.

The NSMB-related interview with Miyamoto that was linked on TMK recently is relevant as well. Miyamoto explains that enjoying a Mario game is often a case of having one's emotions manipulated in various ways, especially being manipulated into a state of "nervous excitement," in his words. 1-ups give the gamer a list of "chances," and when we have limited chances at anything in life, we inevitably get more excited and serious. And those are important emotions to feel in the course of playing a video game.

Mario Chat / Re: Armor art for Super Mario RPG?
« on: November 21, 2009, 08:22:28 AM »
I have the Japanese player's guide and it has pictures of all the other armors, too. I will take a photo.

Mario Chat / Re: Miyamoto Hates Stories
« on: August 27, 2009, 05:35:42 AM »
If there is to be no character development or significant continunity in the Mario games, fine.
But what gets me is when you have games like Partners in Time, in which the plot has to basically contort itself in wild and strange ways precisely to avoid the former.

So in any other RPG, traveling back in time to encounter a younger version of the protagonist would reveal all sorts of new and interesting information about his background, upbringing, etc. But not in Partners in Time! Baby Mario, Baby Peach, and Baby Luigi are just sort of... there. Sitting there like props in the Mushroom Kingdom, forever and ever and ever.

I remember in this annotated Calvin and Hobbes treasury, Bill Watterson mentioned how he regretted giving Calvin an extended family, because it became awkward for him to have uncles and aunts who couldn't refer to Calvin's parents by their first names, and keeping Calvin's parents nameless was one of Watterson's most cherished rules of the C&H universe. As the Mario series gets more epic due to new technology, and as the Mario RPG series continues to thrive, Miyamito's "no story" rules become very difficult to enforce in practice.

Imposing no plot on a game that needs one to remain coherent can be enormously counter-productive, if the intent is to keep the franchise dynamic and interesting. There's a reason why we'll never see "Space Invaders Tennis," for instance.

Game Blog / Re: Japanese Mario picture books
« on: March 07, 2009, 06:45:17 AM »
He can make me an offer I can't refuse...

Game Blog / Re: Japanese Mario picture books
« on: March 06, 2009, 04:58:56 PM »
It is very clearly NOT official. There are a ton of unauthorized SMB guides floating around. That one does indeed look Chinese.

And yes, APE, of Earthbound fame, did indeed design all the official Mario player's guides until recently. For the older ones, looking for the distinctive APE logo is how I spot authorized guides, since, no, I actually cannot read Japanese. I think, though that the gold on the SMW guide says something along the lines of "master's guide" or "expert guide" since that's what this is. The one with Mario on the cover was the traditional walkthrough, the Luigi one is all about the secrets and stuff. Incidentally, there may be a few new "unlimited 1-up" tricks in here that I don't believe are very well-known in the west.

Game Blog / Re: Japanese Mario picture books
« on: March 04, 2009, 07:40:00 AM »
Up to a certain point, it seems to have been a tradition for Mario-related player's guides to feature a Miyamoto drawing. The most recent one I've seen with one is the SMW2 guide, which I own, but forgot to photograph.

Almost all have were purchased at various used book stores.

Game Blog / Japanese Mario picture books
« on: March 03, 2009, 05:36:47 PM »
J.J. here, former TMK mailbag contributor, longtime hanger-on.

So I moved to Japan a few months ago yadda yadda yadda you didn't ask for my life story.

Anyway, as a hardcore Mario fan I've obviously been keeping my eyes peeled for anything uniquely Mariotastic that this nation, whose loins birthed Mario in the first place, might be offering.

There is a lot of Mario stuff for sale, but much of it is mainstream and not terribly impressive. Little "capsule" style vending machines are very popular at toy stores here, and lots of them sell Mario key chains of various sorts, as well as Mario-themed DS screen cleaners, or Mario magnets, or other little cheap trinkets of that sort. You also often come across things like Mario pencil bags, Mario pencils, or Mario notebooks for school. Fancier toys are a bit rarer, but one does occasionally see a decent stuffed Yoshi, or Wario, or maybe a small Luigi action figure, or a weird board game. But compared to some of the other video game / cartoon franchises out there, Mario is comparatively unpopular when it comes the sort of intense, thousands-of-toys-of-every-character merchandising that Japan is known for.

Personally, I've been most vigorous in collecting Japanese player's guides. The official ones, produced by Nintendo. Here's my collection thus far:

Japanese player's guides are a tad different than ones in the states. Mainly they're a smaller and thicker. While ours back home tend to be magazine-sized, Japanese ones are about the size of a pocketbook. In terms of content, they're more or less the same. Maps and stuff. The newer ones tend to have rather sterile layouts, but the older ones sometimes have a bit more life, like this Super Mario World one, which contains a few silly little comics.

Yesterday at the used book store I finally stumbled upon something much cooler, however: Mario children's books! They're these thick, cardboard books produced for what I assume are very young kids. Each one has about 10 pages, telling a simple story interspliced with lots of games and mazes and things. There are apparently several different series' of these things, each based on a different game. What I like most about them is the art. While American-made Mario storybooks tend to have weird, Americanized illustrations, the drawings in these books are very authentic-looking, in the style of the art you'd see in instruction manuals and stuff like that. As someone who's always taken a great deal of inspiration from Mario art, these things are quite a find indeed.

For more images, check out my Flickr gallery here:

Game Blog / Yoshi's Island DS: The reviews are in
« on: November 16, 2006, 12:55:20 AM »
Yoshi's Island DS, which came out on Monday, is good but not great according to IGN. Apparently what's most surprising about the game is its lack of surprises:

"Everything about Yoshi's Island DS, from the story, background, player interface, musical theme, visual style and - most importantly - game and level design, is tightly centered around what Nintendo did for the original Super NES game more than a decade ago. [...] The Nintendo DS game takes all of this and essentially rearranges it. It's not so much a "new" game as it is a "rearranged" one."

Though most other critics are generally saying the same thing- that the new Yoshi's Island is so extremely derivative of its SNES predecessor it basically plays more like a level expansion set than a legitimate sequel- the game is still getting quite good reviews on the whole. Metacritic currently has its mean score at 84 out of 100  based on ten reviews, only one of which is decidedly negative (EGM's).

Mario Chat / Re: Worst voice.
« on: September 27, 2001, 10:22:22 PM »
I've always wondered who or what makes that Yoshi noise.

And what genius decided that a dinosaur should make a noise that sounds like a record needle skipping?

Site Discussion / We need Mario RPG screenshots
« on: March 04, 2004, 01:35:26 AM »
Attention forum weirdos: It's me, J.J.

Listen, we need some good emulator screenshots of interesting scenes from Mario RPG for the Mario RPG page, which is currently a bit lacking.

Specifically, I wanna get the following:
-Fighting something on one of those giant leaves, on the way up to Nimbus Land,
-Mario talking to the Chancellor
-Mario near a Wiggler coming out of a stump in Forrest Maze
-Mario standing in front of the Nimbus land caste.

Those four I specifically want for the site, but anything else would be fine as well. If someone can do this to help the site, I would be eternally greatful. I would do anything... like.... draw you or something.



Mario Chat / Mario ads on TV
« on: August 25, 2002, 12:07:27 PM »
Okay, as I'm sure you know we have a Mario Commericals page on the site. Between me and Deezer, we have seen almost every Mario-related ad on TV, hence all the blank squares with descriptions under them.

However, there are a few Mario games which neither of us can remember if there were commericals for. Those games are:

Super Mario World
Super Mario Kart 64
Mario's Picross
Mario Party 2

If anyone has seen any ads for these games on TV sometime in their life, I'm sure we'd appriciate hearing about them.

Site Discussion / Mariopedia
« on: January 27, 2002, 11:15:42 PM »
Any opinions on it?

the DKR characters were sort of "teasers" for future Rare games, too.
Like the way Tip-Tup appeared in Banjo-Kazooie or Krunch in DK64.
Who knows what characters will be returning in BK2 or Conker's BFD.

"Gravity is not only a law, it's a good idea."

Mario Chat / Re: Paper Mario: playable characters
« on: June 24, 2000, 02:25:49 PM »
I think Kameck is in the game, actually.
In a lot of the screens you see Bowser acompanied by a Kameck-ish Magikoopa riding a broom.


"Gravity is not only a law, it's a good idea."

Mario Chat / Re: Paper Mario Question
« on: June 18, 2000, 11:06:08 AM »
yah, there were a few in the first game, some good some bad.
There was another good one that owned that "cross the bridge" mini-game at Land's End.
The bad ones were mostly in Valentina's castle.

"Gravity is not only a law, it's a good idea."

Pages: [1] 2