jdodson1

Joined 01/23/2012

I'm an Engineer and built the video game community Cheerful Ghost and text based mini-MMO Tale of the White Wyvern.

2691 Posts

Quite enjoyed the latest video by MtPain27 where he admits he is Doom Save-Scum. Save-Scum refers to a play style of Doom where you save and reload to complete a level. In some hardcore circles of Doom Save-Scumming is frowned upon as playing the whole level start to finish with pistol start on incredibly high difficulty is seen as one holy grail. MtPain talks about that and admits his Save-Scumness and it's nice to hear because I am too. I don't mind challenging games these days but I play games to have fun and sometimes that means... being Save-Scum.

"Some thoughts on save-scumming, Doom difficulty, and being too hard on yourself.

"I am save-scum. When I play Doom, before, after, and sometimes during big fights, I’ll typically save my game. When I have to do pretty much any kind of platforming, I’ll save my game. When I’m low on health and don’t know if I’ll make it through the rest of the map, but don’t want to overwrite my current save file, sometimes, (gasp) I’ll save in a second slot. Even I’m when playing maps I know like the back of my hand, if I know a hard part is coming up, sometimes I’ll save my game. Why? Because I am save-scum..."
"


Puzzle Quest was one of the first match three games to add RPG mechanics creating a whole genre of games that continue to be very popular. Puzzle Quest: Challenge of the Warlords was the first game in the series that launched at time where mobile gaming was focused to handhelds like the Nintendo DS and PSP. Puzzle Quest also came out on a lot of other systems as well but these days games like Puzzle Quest typically only release on your phone. It's a fun thing to remember a time where mobile gaming meant playing on your Nintendo DS or PSP and I wonder if Puzzle Quest 3 might come out on the Switch as well as phones? Publisher 503 Games is heading up this latest Puzzle Quest game and it's also been announced as a free to play game. It makes sense that Puzzle Quest 3 is free to play but ... I haven't seen a lot of these free to play games work out too well in that the free to play mechanics are very annoying.

Still, I have the original Puzzle Quest on the DS and found it to be one of the better entries on that system and hope Puzzle Quest 3 lives up to the legacy of the original.

https://www.puzzlequest3.com/


I got a lot of Mario gifts for Christmas and one of those gifts was the Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch. To me, having this is a kind of tech is a guilty pleasure because it's a handheld that's primarily a watch that can play only three games. In a world where I have a bunch of clocks at my fingertips and every version of Super Mario Bros. the Game & Watch feels a bit redundant but in the same way many of us enjoy eating cookies. We don't need to eat cookies to survive and many times we should stop at having a couple but we don't because we love cookies even though they are bad for us. Mario isn't bad for us like cookies but somewhere in what I wrote is a point.

The Super Mario Bros. Game & Watch feels a bit small in the hand but I don't find it hard to hold or unreasonably uncomfortable. The screen is plenty bright and the one speaker seems loud enough for me so much so that I've turned the screen bright and speakers down a bit from the factory default settings. The whole user experience of the Game & Watch is well considered and the Game / Time / Pause Set buttons work quite well in navigating it.

The Game & Watch includes Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. The Lost Levels and a digital recreation of the original Mario Game & Watch game. As an acolyte of the first Super Mario Bros. this was the biggest draw of buying the Game & Watch beyond having a fun collectors piece. In a world where one owns a Nintendo Classic, Switch -w Nintendo Online and the original Super Mario Bros. NES cart is there a reason why one would play the game on the Game & Watch? The answer is yes as just yesterday I completed a full play though of each level of Super Mario Bros. on the Game & Watch and I plan on playing it a lot more as a result. My only minor complaint about the Game & Watch controls are that the A & B buttons are smaller than the original NES controller versions. I'm not sure this amounts to really anything significant but those original controls are forever burned in my brain so I notice it whenever I play. Super Mario Bros. itself is emulated on the Game & Watch and it's done so well that I can't really tell a difference in that I don't notice any emulation lag.

The Game & Watch has a lot of fun secrets to it and I've included a link below for you to check them all out. Now that I've beaten Super Mario Bros. I've unlocked the ability to switch into hardmode when I want and start at any level I choose. This is a fun unlockable feature that was available in the original after completing the game but due to no save states would be lost when you reset your Nintendo.

https://screenrant.com/every-secret-super-mario-bros-game-watch/

If you are looking for a fun Mario collectable you'd do well to check out the Game & Watch. It's not particularly hard to find right now and Nintendo will stop manufacturing it on March 31st of 2021 so if you are interested I'd get one while you can. While the Mario Game & Watch came to usher in Mario's 35th anniversary this year will mark the 35th anniversary of the Legend of Zelda. Given how fun this handheld is, I hope Nintendo does something similar for Link!

If you want the IMMERSIVE Game & Watch experience you should consider getting the stand for it. I did and it's a great thing to have hold the watch up on your desk.

https://rosecoloredgaming.com/products/new-game-watch-super-mario-brothers-display-stand-holder-famicom-edition


One of the best parts of playing New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on Switch is playing it alongside my 4 year old son. He gets so excited watching me play the levels and loves talking about Mario even when we aren't playing. Recently I beat the game and decided to take a bit of a break from it because he was talking about Mario a bit too much. As a kid who grew up obsessed with Nintendo, I understand how awesome video games can be to certain kids so taking a break was helpful to get him to focus back on other things for a while. Recently I decided to start playing it again as we took a path through the Cloud level and completed the game that way so now we are coming back to complete Rock Candy Mines.

How Does New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe Stack Up?

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe is the best New Super Mario Bros. game I've played to date. Each game in the series keeps the same core mechanics, Mario 3 styled overworld and item system but U Deluxe kicks things up a notch to a place I appreciate. One difference I didn't like at first was that U Deluxe only allows you one board of items to store. In other games, Mario 3 included, you could bank up to three or more boards of items but U Deluxe only allows one. At first this was annoying because I love banking items that I, generally speaking, never use. One benefit of not allowing you to store unlimited items is you either use them or you lose them which forced me to use items. This has changed up how I play the game in that I actually use items now which makes the whole game feel a whole lot more fun.

Lots of Secrets To Unlock

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe contains a lot of hidden secrets and unlocking them allows you to skip over levels. Just like in Super World there is a Star Road series of levels however to play them you have to find all the big coins in each level. This gives the game a lot of replay ability but is a bit annoying if you just want to jam on to the Star Road levels, like I do.

What's Next?

After completing the main game I'm focusing on completing Rock Candy Mines and then will head back and complete the levels I didn't finish on my first play through. Occasionally there are two paths you can take and I just took the one so I want to head back and complete the other path levels. After that I'm not sure but I think I'll chip away at finding the hidden coins in each level. Some of these coins are hard to get and require some epic platforming but nothing seems impossible.

New Super Luigi U?

One awesome addition to New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on Switch is the inclusion of New Super Luigi U and I plan on starting it up sometime this year. The only thing I really know about the game is that it features Luigi as the main character as Mario seems... missing. It's also way harder, which sounds frustrating but hopefully on the fun side.


How do you keep kids focused on homework and away from video games? Well if it was the late eighties you used a... checks notes... an actual lock. The Gaming Historian is back with a new video covering a very interesting piece of Nintendo Entertainment System esoterica called Homework First that locked kids out of the NES unless they had the code.


Nintendo released a new trailer for the upcoming Super Mario 3D World Switch re-release and showcased more of the Bowser’s Fury addition. I don’t want to spoil it for you so watch it before you read on.

Looks like in Bowser’s Fury you interact in some way with Bowser Junior then Godzilla Bowser and then you become Super Lion Mario? As awesome as this looks I’m not sure what kind of game this will turn out to be so I’m interested in hearing what you think.



Wanted to share this Noclip interview / doc where Tim Schafer outlines the history of Double Fine and it's roots at Lucas Arts. It's fun that it came full circle where Tim could return to the ol' Lucas Arts adventure games and properly remaster them. He also provides an interesting explanation for selling to Microsoft. I don't love seeing huge tech giants own more and more of the gaming pie but on the other hand, Double Fine no longer has to worry about how to fund their next slate of games.

"Tim Schafer explores 20 years of Double Fine Productions by telling us about the design and development of games like Psychonauts, Brütal Legend, Grim Fandango Remastered, Happy Action Theater, Stacking and way more."


One criticism I hear from a lot of folks that played Borderlands 3 is that the games twin antagonists are very annoying and drag the game down. This is an unfortunate thing to hear as, to date, the Borderlands franchise has created very compelling villains. All that to say, over the holidays I found the base Borderlands 3 on a good PC sale for $15 and I picked it up and I've played it a bit so far and haven't experienced the twin villains yet so I can't weigh in on that part but wanted to get a few thoughts out anyway.

Again, I'm quite early in playing Borderlands 3 on PC but I have a few bits to share and also wanted to get your thoughts on Borderlands 3 and what systems you've played it on. Firstly, Borderlands 3 feels like one of the most polished updates to a base game I've played in a long time. Right now, the game shines because of how many little things it updates making the core mechanics feel effortless and fun. I'm not saying it's an easy game, I've died a handful of times, but even so it's not punishing or frustrating it's just Borderlands but that much more fun.

I'd also say tonally it feels like it's heading back to the tone of the original Borderlands, but again, i'm still early days with the game which is why I'd love to get some more thoughts from everyone else.

I really enjoy that I come late to certain games, meaning I can pick them up for a very fun price but historically I've waited to pull the trigger when the base game + major DLC is super cheap as well. That said, I frankly never get to the sea of DLC and barely have enough time for the game itself so I've realized that if I want more, I can come back and get it so might as well just pick up the base game now. By the time I complete it it will be 2052 and I imagine all the DLC won't be hard to come by.


I'm a big fan of the New Super Mario Bros. games and plan to collect, play and beat em' all. This Holiday I was fortunate enough to have been gifted New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe on Switch and have been playing it a lot since that joyful day. Is it a good entry in the series or does it fizzle out and is made ENTIRELY OBSOLETE by Super Mario Maker 2? Read on for the answer...

Is New Super Mario Bros. Obsolete Now?

We live in a hyped social media and hot take first world where the opinions that make it to the top aren't always the best but the most controversial. I suppose it's hard to say what opinions are "best" but we are all driven to serve up our takes as fast as possible and that doesn't always mean things are well considered. Take for example the extremely hot take that SUPER MARIO MAKER 2 MAKES SIDE SCROLLING MARIO OBSOLETE or at least future side scrolling Mario or something? Where as this thought isn't owned by all it seems popular enough and it's not entirely wrong as it's based on some truth but comes to a needless conclusion.

Is Super Mario Maker 2 really good. Hell yep. Are the Nintendo created single player stages contained within Super Mario Maker 2 _VERY_ unique, fun and refreshing? Oh yeah. Are the top of the crop player created levels a breath of fresh air and the inclusion of the Mario World mode that allows you to thread levels together in a pack a Godsend? Yeah it is but all of that being true doesn't mean that a more traditional side scrolling Mario is dead or need not exist.

I appreciate that I played a lot of Super Mario Maker 2 before New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe because I appreciate them both for what they are and it's not at the exclusion of the other. New games that do something unique or even better than games of the past doesn't need to invalidate the past game, it just means we have more good things. I think one aspect of hot take culture is that it likes to dish on the past because saying "old thing bad" is a fun angle. It's often reductionist and simplistic but it's also a lot of fun as being cynical often is.

Thanks For Whatever That Was, Can We Talk About The Game Now?

Sure! We can yadda, yadda our way to the crux of my thoughts on New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on Switch which is "if you enjoy classic Mario side scrolling and want more of that, get this game." Frankly I'm not sure a lot of people really love that formula save for a very focused audience which I am very much part of.

I'd say New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe feels more like a sequel to the Wii version but improves it in a very helpful way. I think the biggest flaw of Super Mario Bros. Wii wasn't that it was challenging but alongside that made the worlds too long. I'm not sure what the proper amount of stages for a Super Mario World zone is but New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe nails it. I found myself VERY annoyed when you'd beat a Koopa Kid boss and they'd rally to the "real castle" and you'd have another half of the World to go. Felt way too tedious and is why I haven't completed the Wii version yet. (I plan to but the Wii game feels like a chore where the rest of the games in the series really don't)

My Thoughts On The Characters in NSMBUD

New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe adds Toadette and Nabbit and that was fairly contentious for a few fans that lamented you _HAD_ to select one of the "easy" characters if you played 4 player co-op. This critique is valid and there is no way to play 4 player co-op I know of with Blue toad meaning you _HAVE_ to pick Toadette or Nabbit and I also don't care. If I was playing couch co-op with hardcore New Super Mario Bros. players and someone had to fall on the sword of an easy character I'd do it. I'm not sure it would be a hard sword to fall on because Toadette is a fun character to play as and Peachette is kick ass even if she is a form of easy mode. From time to time I play as Toadette in New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe and don't care I might miss some secret Mario street cred as she's a fun addition and I love the small changes they make to how she plays.

The Way Things Are Headed

Playing New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe on Switch is a joy and at the moment I'm slowly unlocking all the secret exits for fun. At the rate I'm going I plan on completing each level in the base game. I don't care to collect each levels star coins, but who knows, I may end up doing it. I've never really been a game competitionist but somehow in New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe it just feels like the right way to play it.


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