This week, as the next issue of Nintendo Power I’m covering is a strategy guide, I’m going to do a review of the guide and then a review for that game. Now, I’m not going to necessarily do full playthroughs of all these games, particularly since some of these are RPGs (and thus entail grinding), or are just really long. I’ll do what I can, though. Usually these games are classics as well, so the reviews will more be my impressions about the game and general remberances. Due to length issues, I probably won’t have YouTube videos for these reviews, as I suspect my coverage will be longer than YouTube’s 10 minute time limit. We’ll see.
Well, the guide itself is shorter than we normally consider strategy guides to be – only 85 pages long. However, considering the length of the game and the size of the levels, this isn’t too unreasonable. The guide starts off with techniques first, before moving on to the level maps. We get information on Mario’s various moves & power-ups. The guide poo-poos the over-world items of the Anchor (which makes the Koopa’s airship stand still) & Music Box (which makes the Hammer Brothers stand still) though, which I disagree with. I’d spent a few occasions desperately chasing down the Koopa airship after having beaten all the levels, unable to catch the bloody thing. Similarly, I’ve had a few occasions where I really didn’t want to fight the Hammer Brothers, and found the Music Box very useful at avoiding them (or getting them to hold still so I could catch them if I wanted to take them on.)
We also got a few techniques for grinding for one-ups, including the taking a location where you’re getting a group of enemies that are endlessly re-spawning and you can get a shell to bounce endlessly, and then dumping a koopa shell in there and eventually getting 1-ups (and then making a break for it before you get over 99). You can also use the racoon tail or Tanooki suit to squash a bunch of Goombas without touching the ground, but that takes considerably more skill, and ultimately requires you to split your attention between your life total and what your character is doing. We also get the Mario Bestiary (all the enemies you face in the game – alas, Shyguys aren’t returning). We also get all 8 boards for Mario’s Matching game. The similaraties are just minor enough that you can figure out what board you’re at on your first miss (or match).
We also get the key for the World Data box and then move on to the maps. The maps are pretty comprehensive, with most of the items, and opportunities to do tricks like the Unlimited 1-up trick are pointed out as well, and what items are in what Toad House.
All in all, while I normally don’t find guides for platformers necessarily useful, this one works – particularly with all the hidden areas that you normally can’t get to without the use of the Leaf or the Tanooki suit. I was pleasently surprised by this and I’d generally consider this a decent guide.
Alright then, so, tomorrow I’ll do either an audio recording or YouTube video review/discussion of Super Mario Bros 3. This is probably the first classic I’ve reviewed in this fashion so – it’ll be probably favorable as we all know this is a good game, but I still want to share my thoughts anyway.