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Re: March Together Retro: Arthur, Monkeys!

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:57 am
by prfsnl_gmr
I think I’m going to end up loving Mario vs. Donkey Kong, warts and all. There’s just something about shaving seconds off runs through platforming challenges that just does it for me. I did the same thing when I completed all the content in Rayman Legends a few years ago. (I also really appreciate the game’s weird similarities to SMB2. It’s like all of Mario’s off-brand adventures rolled into one game!)

I actually rolled the credits on Friday, and I thought, “That’s enough. The ending was fun, but there’s no need for me to play through the post-game content. I’ll just try 1-1+ to see how it is...” The way it is, however, is awesome, and what the game should have been from the start. Rather than the awkward, bifurcated levels in the main game, you play a series of short, challenging level with a mini-Mario tracing your steps. It’s breezy, original and fun.

I also thought to myself, there’s no need to go back and get high scores in every level, but just this morning, I obtained high scores on the two levels where I’d missed them during the main campaign. I also have high scores in all of the post game content, and I will probably re-beat the game tonight. After that, it’s on to the twelve “extra” levels I unlocked by getting all those high scores...

Re: March Together Retro: Arthur, Monkeys!

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:43 pm
by Gunstar Green
noiseredux wrote:Played s'more Donkey Kong Country and it's starting to overstay its welcome with me. The pure platforming (IE: running/jumping) is fine with me, but all the obstacle type stuff like the spinning barrels or the ropes that slide you up and down are just annoying to me. I suppose that's what makes this a Donkey Kong game rather than a Super Mario Bros game. But I certainly can see which I prefer. It's interesting to be replaying so much stuff from my youth lately and seeing what really holds up for me (Super Mario World) and what doesn't (this).


I think I've always had similar feelings about DKC. I could never really put my finger on why exactly the game never worked for me because platformers are easily one of my favorite genres and the core gameplay feels very good. It's all the other bits that bring it down. The moments where that well-designed control is stripped from you so that less fun elements can be integral to the level design. It'd be less of a problem for me if there wasn't so much of it I guess.

Re: March Together Retro: Arthur, Monkeys!

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:34 pm
by marurun
So I didn’t get the GBA Mario vs. Donkey Kong. I picked up a later DS title, Mini-Land Mayhem, a game which is a Mario v DK take on Lemmings. You have these little wind-up Mario’s that march through the levels. I cleared World 1 and the world 1 boss tonight. The game has some neat ideas so far.

Re: March Together Retro: Arthur, Monkeys!

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:34 pm
by MrPopo
To me, DKC is almost, but not quite, a puzzle platformer, and that's not a great place to be. Most puzzle platformers put their emphasis on you figuring out how to do something, then executing that. DKC, in a way, reminds me of Battletoads in terms of you need to know to do X then Y then Z in a pretty short timeframe, or you'll get killed by something you either didn't anticipate or didn't react to quick enough.

Re: March Together Retro: Arthur, Monkeys!

Posted: Mon Mar 11, 2019 10:51 pm
by prfsnl_gmr
marurun wrote:So I didn’t get the GBA Mario vs. Donkey Kong. I picked up a later DS title, Mini-Land Mayhem, a game which is a Mario v DK take on Lemmings. You have these little wind-up Mario’s that march through the levels. I cleared World 1 and the world 1 boss tonight. The game has some neat ideas so far.


Oh no!

I jest...I actually pulled my copy of Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (DS) yesterday. Since I mostly completed Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA) tonight...and since it’s still March...I am going to pop that game in next. It looks completely different from its Gameboy Advance predecessor.

Speaking of which...I finished up the “plus” worlds in Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA) tonight. The were solid right until the end, and the last boss was awesome. (It’s basically Donkey Kong x Dr. Wily.) I played a few of the “extra” levels I unlocked by getting high scores in all of the game’s main levels. They are really hard, and they highlight the game’s worst aspects (i.e., controls are that just aren’t quite responsive enough). I’d rather my experience go out on a high note; so, I am putting it aside.

MrPopo wrote:To me, DKC is almost, but not quite, a puzzle platformer, and that's not a great place to be. Most puzzle platformers put their emphasis on you figuring out how to do something, then executing that. DKC, in a way, reminds me of Battletoads in terms of you need to know to do X then Y then Z in a pretty short timeframe, or you'll get killed by something you either didn't anticipate or didn't react to quick enough.


Try Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA) sometime. It’s definitely a puzzle platformer, and just beating it would be incredibly easy. Getting the high scores is really challenging, however, and how you describe Battletoads is a great description of what’s required to get a star on each level.

Re: March Together Retro: Arthur, Monkeys!

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 9:54 am
by noiseredux
Gunstar Green wrote:I think I've always had similar feelings about DKC. I could never really put my finger on why exactly the game never worked for me because platformers are easily one of my favorite genres and the core gameplay feels very good. It's all the other bits that bring it down. The moments where that well-designed control is stripped from you so that less fun elements can be integral to the level design. It'd be less of a problem for me if there wasn't so much of it I guess.


I'm glad it's not just me.

MrPopo wrote:To me, DKC is almost, but not quite, a puzzle platformer, and that's not a great place to be. Most puzzle platformers put their emphasis on you figuring out how to do something, then executing that. DKC, in a way, reminds me of Battletoads in terms of you need to know to do X then Y then Z in a pretty short timeframe, or you'll get killed by something you either didn't anticipate or didn't react to quick enough.


This is exactly it! It's like they're trying to do the single-screen puzzle/platform thing as a scroller and it doesn't translate well for me. If I'm walking down a hill and get hit by a gator cuz the screen is too zoomed in for me to see him coming in time to jump... then I don't like that level design. Games that rely on pure memorization of the levels aren't fun for me. And thus, DKC is losing its charm.

Re: March Together Retro: Arthur, Monkeys!

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:38 am
by BoneSnapDeez
I get what you guys are saying. It's not as "pure" of a platformer as a good Mario game, and there aren't many "straightaway" sections for easy coasting. Lots of barrels, ropes, vines, carts, etc. The game demands the player react very quickly, no doubt.

Of course, I still personally enjoy it, immensely. I would actually argue that all of your criticisms are best applied to the sequels. Any of them, really: the ones on SNES, Game Boy, N64, and the more recent Wii and Wii U titles. Those games really lose their platformer-ness and feel like one "gimmick" after another. As a result, I've never really felt passionate about the series beyond the initial DKC game.

Re: March Together Retro: Arthur, Monkeys!

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 10:58 am
by prfsnl_gmr
Counterpoint: DKCR is a totally awesome game and finely-tuned platformer.

Re: March Together Retro: Arthur, Monkeys!

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:47 am
by alienjesus
I think you're all wrong and DKC 1-3 and DK64 are all excellent. I like the DKC titles more than Mario World.

At least we can all agree that Donkey Kong 94 is fantabuloso though, right?

Re: March Together Retro: Arthur, Monkeys!

Posted: Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:58 am
by noiseredux
alienjesus wrote:At least we can all agree that Donkey Kong 94 is fantabuloso though, right?


agreed, yes.