Still Plumbing After All These Years

(Editor’s Note:  In anticipation of–finally and yes, really!–the triumphant return of the Noob and Sons podcast, we celebrate our final Mario Monday, in true 2 Guys Gaming fashion, on a Tuesday.  Hey, we finally talk about Luigi in this article, so we call it a Two for Tuesday.)

Yes, Luigi, you finally get your day in the sun. I couldn't, with good conscience, continue to ignore you in favor of your brother. People were starting to get worried that you might hurt yourself.
Yes, Luigi, you finally get your day in the sun. I couldn’t, with good conscience, continue to ignore you in favor of your brother. People were starting to get worried that you might hurt yourself.

Well, we’ve gone from the beginning, through the spinoffs, and landed safely in a new dimension.  Our travels take us finally into the current–though with us that always means not so current–generation of Mario and Luigi games.  We will focus most on Wii U, but I do want to touch on (pun intended) a DS game with Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon and continue to analyze the DS versions when discussing the other titles.

I think that we can forgo the facade that we are doing this for any reason other than to play games.  There will still be analysis of each game, but the page is called 2 Guys Gaming.  We need to be true to the name and spirit of the page.

Luigi's_Mansion_Dark_Moon_(Boxart)

We start with a Luigi game finally.  Sure, he’s been in some of the other games we’ve covered, but this one is all him.  We already talked about this one in the first (and only released so far) episode of the Noob and Sons podcast.  I think I also wrote a companion article back then, too.

I stopped playing the game when I got stuck on the clock part where you have to defeat 12 (or maybe more) consecutive waves of ghosts.  I really need to go back to finish the game.  Life is just too short to deal with frustrating games.  I uninstalled Hearthstone from my phone for that same reason.  Even so, LMDM is a fun game, so I need to endure the frustration for the time that it takes to beat that part.  Liam assures me that it is the hardest part of the game and the rest of the game should go without a problem.

I certainly hope so.  In addition to al of the bargain bin games that I have sitting in the closet and my Steam library unplayed, I also have an ever increasing number of unfinished games.  I need to start checking those games off so that I can attempt to get value out of the games that I haven’t even opened yet.

Super_Smash_Bros_for_Wii_U_Box_Art

To continue with the theme of spinoff games before getting to the discussion of how Nintendo has kept the gameplay of run and jump fresh for decades, we will talk about the Super Smash Bros series next.  I knew of the games, but I’d never played them before last year.  Then, Santa brought a Wii U with the game included and I really had no choice.  I suppose that it could have gone in the “never been played” pile.  Heck, so many other games are there and it grows by the day.

The boys made sure that wouldn’t happen by asking me to play the game with them.  It is impossible to say no to your children when they ask to share something that you are passionate about.  So, we played a couple of games, but it isn’t a game that excites me.  That’s a little strange, because I like all of the characters in the game and I enjoy fighting games, but it’s not two great tastes that taste great together for me.

There’s obviously something to the game.  They wouldn’t keep making them and people wouldn’t keep playing them if there wasn’t.  Having seen streams of the game, I suspect that it is a competitive scene similar to Hearthstone.  People watch players who are very good at the game and play it only to discover that they aren’t as good at the game.

Super_Mario_Maker_Artwork

I’ve also written about this game at least once previously, maybe twice.  What makes this game unique among the games on this list is that I’ve never played it.  Unlike other games that I haven’t played, it isn’t time nor a lack of interest that has kept me off of this one.  In fact, of all of the new Mario games that have been released over the last 10 to 15 years, this is the one that has me most excited.

Some of my favorite games have utilized some form of creative content.  One of the first games that really hooked me to an extent that I wanted to play it to the “end”, DOOM, allowed players to mod the game and even build new levels.  Heck, at least one of those mods became a new game series in HEXEN and its sequel.  More recently, I purchased the PC version of Minecraft because the boys told me that there are mods available for the game.  Some of them do the same thing that they did for DOOM and change the game in fundamental ways.  More on that in a few months when we talk about Minecraft on the podcast.

I don’t think that Mario Maker allows you to fundamentally change the game.  Nevertheless, giving players that power over the history of the Mario franchise opens up so many possibilities.  Granted, this assessment is made from total ignorance because I haven’t even watched videos of the game in action, so when I finally do get to play it, I will be completely spoiler free.  Hopefully that happens soon as I ordered the game from Gamefly but then the game I sent back seems to have gotten lost in transit.

nsmbu

I often make the statement that all Nintendo has to do is release a new Mario, a new Zelda, and a new Metroid and I will buy the system.  Really, though, all they have to do is release a new Mario game and I will get the system.  The other two games are just icing on the cake.  Mmm, cake.  I’ll be right back.

Well, there’s no cake in the house and I’m too lazy to go to the store to buy some.  So, back to the discussion of the game.  After showing everyone how  to make a proper 3D game with Mario 64, Sunshine, and Galaxy, Nintendo has gone back to what made Mario popular in the first place.  2D sidescroller games with the option to play 4 players.  The boys and I have played through the first few levels in the game and I can say, without question, that it is as much fun as it was all those years ago.  Heck, it might be even more fun because I get to share it with my kids now.

The Mario character is 35 years old this summer.  He has outlived Atari, Sega as a console maker and his primary nemesis Sonic the Hedgehog, and shows no signs of slowing down.  Just when you think that Nintendo can’t possibly get more from such a simple idea, they surprise you.  Other than the 3D games, the franchise has never undergone a major redesign and, still, it remains fresher and more fun than  at least half of the franchises out there today.  Can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in the years to come.

One thought on “Still Plumbing After All These Years”

  1. Well That Level in Luigis mansion is the SECOND hardest level in that game. the hardest is the Ice Possessor Level.
    Grumble… stupid Ice Blasts… gr… dumb shooting Physics….. thats what i think when i try to rebeat that Level.

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