Gaming: Mario & Luigi Paper Jam

Around the beginning of December Nintendo released a new Mario game called Mario & Luigi Paper Jam. This weekend I found myself bored and at a loss for what to do, so I decided to download the game and give it a try. The idea of the game is pretty simple. The book containing the Paper Mario world was opened and all the characters from that world were released into the “real” world. Now there are two Bowsers and they’ve captured both the paper and real Peach in Bowser’s castle. Mario and Luigi now need to save both the princesses before they take over the mushroom kingdom.

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I found this game to be very different from any Mario game I’ve ever played before. It honestly reminded me of the Pokemon games. You go through the world by following your route on the map to save the princesses. Along the way you battle Bowser’s troops while levelling up Mario and Luigi. The whole battle style is very much like Pokemon battles where you take turns attacking, and you get Exp. for every battle you win. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this at first, but it really works for this game and I found myself enjoying levelling up my characters. There is also an easy mode that you can turn on for battles if you’re new to this type of game or if you’re a younger player. I left this feature off, but I liked how it was there if you need help but it wasn’t forced on you if you didn’t want to use it.

One of the downsides to playing this game on an older 3DS instead of the New 3DS is I can’t really use the amiibo functions they have built into the game. The game allows you to create custom amiibo characters to battle with in the game. I haven’t really looked into the different options and specifics of this feature at this point. I don’t have any amiibo right now anyways so they would be of no use to me at this point, but I’m honestly not going to buy an amiibo reader just so I can use them on my older 3DS.

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All in all I think Mario & Luigi Paper Jam is a really good game even if it isn’t what you’d traditionally expect a Mario game to be like. The one thing I really liked about this game is it does not baby you like I found previous Mario games did (looking at you Super Mario 3D Land). The game is a bit of a challenge which makes it way more enjoyable. Besides, there’s always the option to make the game easier if you don’t enjoy the struggle.

Gaming: Kirby Triple Deluxe

It’s been a while since I’ve done a gaming post. I was really excited when my sister got me Kirby Triple Deluxe for my birthday. I hadn’t bought any new games recently, so my 3DS was sitting idle for a while. I had never played any of the games in the Kirby series, but I always liked playing Kirby in Super Smash Bros. so I’ve been interested in playing a Kirby game for quite some time.

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In Kirby Triple Deluxe there are three different modes you can play when you start: Story mode, Kirby Fighters, and Dedede’s Drum Dash. In story mode you follow Kirby’s adventure as he tries to save King Dedede. It kind of reminds me of Super Mario 3D Land  since there are different islands, and levels within each island. As you go through the levels you need to defeat your enemies while also searching for the sunstones in the level (and collecting keychains). When you complete all the levels for the island and collect enough sunstones, the boss of the island is unlocked. Defeating the boss basically allows you to move on to the next island. The other modes you can play are essentially mini-games.

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Overall I am really enjoying playing Kirby Triple Deluxe. I like how it’s a straightforward game with simple controls, but it’s also challenging. I don’t find I’m zipping through this game as fast as I was with Super Mario 3D Land. It reminds me of the older Mario games that don’t give you unlimited power and hold your hand if you lose too many lives. I also like how there is a lot to unlock in this game. There are two mini games which I am looking forward to unlocking on the home screen. Also, when you’re in Story Mode you can unlock bonus levels on each island if you collect all the sunstones for the particular island. If you haven’t tried out Kirby Triple Deluxe yet, I highly suggest you do.

Gaming: Mario Kart 7 for 3DS

Since Mario Kart 8 is releasing this summer, I thought I’d do a review on Mario Kart 7 for 3DS. I originally started playing Mario Kart on the Wii many years ago. When my husband and I were dating and living on opposite ends of the country, we would arrange times to play Mario Kart against each other online. It was just a lot of fun and the game brings back all these good memories. When I found out they made Mario Kart for 3DS I decided to get it because it had been quite some time since I had played that game, and we never got a Wii when we moved in together.

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I could have reviewed this game months ago, but I wanted to really get into it and try out all the features before giving a final verdict on the game. This game has 8 different cups you can race for in easy (50cc), medium (100cc), and hard (150cc) difficulties. You can also play multiplayer with another person in the room, or online. There are also time trials where you can work to beat your own score, and two different “mini games” where you either try to pop balloons on other cars or collect the most coins during the given time period.

The one thing I really liked about this Mario Kart was how half the cups were actually tracks from previous versions of Mario Kart. Though the new tracks are always interesting to drive, it was lots of fun getting to play tracks that were on the Wii, SNES, etc. versions. I also found this Mario Kart had great multiplayer and worked well when I was playing online or with a friend in the room. There was no noticeable lag or freezing during the game which really made the multiplayer enjoyable. However, I found the controls a bit annoying at first. I was very used to using the steering wheel for the Wii game so controlling the car with the circle pad took some practice. I also don’t really like how you have to hold down the ‘A’ button the entire time for acceleration. Though it makes sense to use the ‘A’ button for acceleration, I find my hand gets sore/tired really quickly from having my thumb jammed down on the button the entire time. Other than the controls, which take some getting used to, this is a pretty good Mario Kart for on-the-go (However, I still slightly prefer the Wii version just because of the ease of the controls).

Gaming: Super Mario 3D Land

I remember playing my first Mario game back in the 90’s. I spent so much time trying to beat Super Mario Bros. Deluxe on my Gameboy Color. I haven’t bought a Super Mario game for a handheld console since, until Super Mario 3D Land.

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Super Mario 3D Land is a game where you get to explore and walk through the different levels. Your goal in this game is to get to the flagpole before time runs out. Of course you have to avoid being hurt by enemies, stepping on spikes, lava, or just falling into the abyss. You can also try to find the three stars hidden in each level. This game does not restrict you to a certain path, but lets you walk freely through the world.

I had never played a Mario game that allowed you to wander through the levels. I am very used to the scroll-screen play where you just jump over things and attack enemies as you go. It was an interesting experience to not have a designated route to take. The game itself I found to be pretty easy, but finding the stars hidden in the levels made the game more interesting. The one downside (in my opinion) is the game will give you a flying, invincible Mario if you lose a life a few times in a row. While this might be nice for younger children, it kind of took some of the challenge away. All in all Super Mario 3D Land was a pretty good game. I enjoyed playing it, but it wasn’t very challenging with the “assists” that the game gives you, and could easily be completed in a few hours (if you aren’t looking for the hidden stars).