E3 2005: Chupperson
TMK at E3 2005

NEW Super Mario Bros.

This is the game we've all been waiting for. A true new Mario sidescroller. In the two-player-simultaneous demo I played with Watoad, however, the control seemed a little loose for my taste (especially in a Mario sidescroller), but was still quite playable. From what I remember, the environment is more highly interactive than in previous sidescrolling titles, and reacts much more to your movements and actions, such as the mushrooms which tilt depending where you stand on them. The three vs. mode levels seemed rather low in difficulty also; there were very few pits in which to fall, and most of the terrain was easily crossed. Of course, these are just early demo levels.

An interesting device of the vs. levels was a strange floating blue block. With it, you can bring your opponent to your location. This allowed Watoad to "pwn" me at this game when I accidentally brought him much closer to the goal.

What I really like about this game is its near perfect blend of old and new game mechanics. Not only are there old-school power-ups like Mushrooms and Fire Flowers, but there are somersaults and backflips too. The only thing I found really odd is how you could apparently get a Starman at any time by ducking into a nearby pipe.

All in all, this game should be on everyone's "must play" list.

Dance Dance Revolution: Mario Mix

What can I say? It's a DDR Mario game. I had fun, even though I have frequent trouble with soft DDR pads because I can't find the buttons. Music selection is solid, and the remix quality is good. Mario even looks nice tumbling around on the screen against various Mario-themed backdrops. The apparent adventure mode looks rather interesting and fun, also.

Mario Kart DS

Power sliding feels rough in the latest installment of the Mario Kart series. That was my first impression, other than finding it odd that A accelerates and B brakes. Don't know why I was expecting B to accelerate, but anyway. Items are harsh, and they totally cream you if you get hit. Maybe this is just multiplayer mechanics or something, but it feels very hard to progress down the track at times, mainly when there are five players behind you, shooting various projectiles your way, and you don't have a koopa shell or a banana peel to deflect them. I like the new karts though, and the game feels pretty good aside from the item madness. The mini-hop has returned, which I'm thankful for, but power sliding seems a bit off at this stage, at least compared to what I consider perfection in the Mario Kart: Super Circuit power slide. The boost pads have been enlarged to huge lane-spanning bars, and from what I remember, the boosts acted more like the ones from Super Mario Kart. It seems that all the modern items are here, including the golden mushroom, which didn't really even end up helping me when I played...

I ended up not playing Mario & Luigi 2, Super Mario Strikers, or Mario Baseball, of which I'm really only interested in the first. Strikers at least looked interesting, though. The insanely long "Mario smacks Kremling with soccer ball" cutscenes and such look annoying and yet entertaining at the same time.

I'll have some video of some of this stuff up soon.

The Mushroom Kingdom \ TMK at E3 2005 \ Chupperson