Monday, March 28, 2016

MLP:FIM Review - The Crystalling (Season 6 Premiere, P110, OE118/119)

Unfortunately, DeviantArt user pims1978 is no longer motivated to
 make anymore movie-like posters for more MLP episodes,
 so this will just have to do. (Sorry!)

One of My Little Pony's biggest writers Josh Haber hasn't succeeded very well in my eyes when he started with Season 5. In particular though, every episode he's written in Season 4 was admittedly a few steps forward for him as if there was some hope for him later on. The Cutie Re-Mark might be just okay to me for how it's flawed for its rushed plot and redemption of Starlight, but a much bigger disappointment has to be his second two-parter being the Season 6 premiere. And I'm sorry to be offensive, but Haber should be one of the few writers who just aren't needed to write anymore episodes. I will admit that I wanted to be proven wrong with this 9th two-parter, but after one full viewing, I was just instantly unimpressed. And I have no problem explaining why, so, let's get started...

And be on the lookout, because this review does contain a Spoiler Alert!

Part 1

Twilight Sparkle and her friends are invited to the Crystal Empire to attend the Crystalling, a magical ceremony honoring the birth of Princess Cadance and Shining Armor's foal. Twilight brings her new pupil Starlight Glimmer to the empire to reconnect with Sunburst, her estranged childhood friend, as part of her first friendship lesson. Starlight, however, is anxious to have Sunburst find out about her past villainy and tries to avoid the reunion. The two eventually meet, and following a chilly conversation with him, Starlight assumes Sunburst to be a successful wizard who has moved on from their past friendship. Meanwhile, Twilight is shocked to discover the foal is an alicorn, whose cries are amplified by her powerful magic and shatter the Crystal Heart that protects the empire from a deadly winter storm.

Part 2

With the Crystal Empire threatened by eternal winter, Twilight and her friends desperately search for a spell to restore the Crystal Heart. Starlight believes Sunburst is capable of such a spell, but when she goes to retrieve him, he despairingly admits he is not a powerful wizard as she believes, and is jealous of Starlight's pupilship under Twilight. Starlight reveals her own past mistakes, and the two reconcile. Using his knowledge learned from Princess Celestia's academy, Sunburst helps Starlight and the princesses perform the Crystalling, which repairs the heart, staves off the winter storm, and keeps the alicorn foal's power in check. Shining Armor and Cadance name their foal Flurry Heart to commemorate the event.

My Little Pony has succeeded very well with all of its two-parters, albeit the mediocre Cutie Re-Mark as I mentioned, but this episode just did not do well for me. Granted, Shining Armor's and Cadence's newborn baby Flurry Heart was pretty adorable, but was sadly overshadowed by both Starlight (who I'm now neutral towards) and her childhood friend Sunbrust. Princess Twilight Sparkle might have proven that you don't need an antagonist to make a great two-parter, or even amazing action sequences as proven by The Cutie Map, both of which were the previous two-part premieres before this episode, but this premiere of this new season unfortunately wasn't proof of either of those two.

Thanks to sloppy execution and overstuffed moments of both Starlight and Sunburst in its narrative, it sadly falls flat as the weakest two-parter and is rather (what I like to call) "badverage". As I said, Flurry Heart may be preciously adorable, but her overpowered alicorn magic didn't really add anything very exciting to the plot. The most interesting thing about the episode had to be Twilight's and Shining Armor's parents finally getting a speaking role at the very end of the second part. I even prefer Re-Mark over this because of a better concept, not to mention The Crystal Empire (that of which is the obvious 3rd season premiere) did this Crystal Empire-centered plot much better.

The episode's visuals and categories in its sound may be the spot on pros of the entire episode, but the rest of the storyline in spite of a few things I liked (like Spike's part with Starlight and how intense it was for the main characters to try and put an end to that immense blizzard) just didn't stand out well enough, especially Starlight's and Sunburst's parts which didn't help at all since Starlight just has not developed well enough with an obvious backstory that's just too rushed. So to best describe it now; it's bankrupt.

Super Mario 3D Land - Top Five Music Tracks

I'll be doing the same with 3D World some other day since I'm finishing my thoughts on most of Super Mario 3D Land's categories of music and levels (if not bosses), but for this post, I'm looking at my favorite songs from the first "3D" titled game, as with my list on both Galaxy games, joined by 64 and Sunshine as well. I'm judging them based on a mix of how they suit the situation they play in, their catchiness, and more. I've only chosen five since ten would just be really hard for me to decide, and there won't be any honorable mentions... but anyways, let's move ahead and get this over with by starting it off.

#5 - Beach

I really love levels based solely around a beach, and this 3D Land track is just no exception. It's joyful and catchy that it makes me feel like going on a beach anywhere in the world, even if today isn't the best time to go to one since summer is my favorite season of the year (not to mention I was born in it). If this song is ever on my iPod (if I had one) then I'd try real hard to remember to play it whenever I'm hanging out at a beach.

#4 - Snow

Accordions suit pretty much every song centered around a level of snowy environments. This is due to how playful you feel since snow is probably considered by most to be the funnest time of the year for children to play around in. I may like 3D World's remix just a teensy bit better, but all in all, this track is still fantastic and a jolly to listen to in the wintertime.

#3 - Athletic

I'm not a huge fan of jazz music, but between both the main theme and the remixed "Athletic" theme that plays in some levels of the Special World(s), I ultimately went with Athletic because it's just so bouncy in its orchestration and is more catchy. It's even used in the "Super Block Land" level of its sequel, though it's not remixed even more and sounds basically the same as it does here, but you get the idea.

The levels it plays in are all admittedly cool, and overall it's fantastic song for a fantastic game.

#2 - Final Castle

Other final levels of Bowser (like both Mario Galaxy games) have better music tracks due to epic orchestrations, but they by no means put this game's final boss level theme to shame. It's telling you to keep on progressing through this castle and builds up your path to the final battle with Bowser. Number 1 though is just a little more epic with a powerful feel to it as to making this theme of the game only Number 2...

#1 - Final Bowser Battle

Yes, I only prefer the game's final boss theme of Bowser over its final level theme. As much as I prefer Nemesis King Bowser in both Mario Galaxy games over the rest of that series' music tracks, this is the best of the game thanks to its feel of epicness while you're heading towards the second switch (after the first) to try and take down Mario's arch-nemesis. This final boss fight was especially cool considering most battles with Bowser (especially in Yoshi's Island, when he was a giant Godzilla-like kid trying to take down Yoshi) play out greatly with intense satisfaction to them (with the exceptions of both Sunshine and Galaxy 2).

With the feeling of satisfaction you get once you beat the final boss, an intense feel to its tune, suitable situation of its, and and everything else that makes it so awesome, Super Mario 3D Land's final boss theme is easily the best music track it has to offer for itself (if not the series in general).

Do you agree with my list? Which Super Mario 3D Land music track is your personal favorite?

For more awesome posts posted weekly, be sure to tune in to The Super Mario Brony Blog.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, March 11, 2016

MLP:FIM - Spike at Your Service Revisited Again (Final Decision/3rd Take)

Sometimes a much hated episode just needs to be view at least decently when you look only at the pros. Looking back on Season 3's Spike at Your Service, I have honestly been changing my thoughts way too much on it. I know I am about to do the same thing with future episodes (unless I unexpectedly prove myself wrong), but now that I've viewed it in a more positive feeling, I think I should express myself on Spike at Your Service at least ONE MORE TIME just to get everything off the top of my head and finally move on.

I found it to be rather interesting back when I first saw it that I could re-watch some of it, although granted it does get a bit corny at times. So while some might hate it for Spike being at his stupidest and just being OOC, I'll view it as he was at least trying to be of good assistance to Applejack. (Plus, those Timberwolf attack scenes near the beginning and end of the episode where just so awesome.) So I do understand people's hatred for this episode, but in all honesty, I could keep on watching it. Like if you asked me if I wanted to watch Spike at Your Service, I would. I still may have problems with the episode's script from Spike, Applejack and the others, but ignoring how cheesy it still sounds at times, for the most part, I could listen to it while I sit through the episode. Not to mention find it humorous when Spike sometimes goes OOC.

Spike may not be my favorite character of the series, as I still have problems with every character besides him, but for this episode, he wasn't that bad to me now that I change my view on it and view it most positively than I do negatively when people kept ranting about it in their own reviews of it. So all in all, it isn't a bad episode as I first viewed as good when I first watched it, but still not a part of my favorite episodes of MLP.

Final Overall Rating:

Thursday, March 10, 2016

March 10th Special - Happy Mario Day

When you combine this month's name "March" (mainly taking only the first half of it) and the "10" in it for THIS particular day, what exactly does it mean? It means when you put them together to make "Mar10", you spell out the biggest mascot in all of gaming, let alone of Nintendo; Mario! Since today is the day to celebrate the plumber, for this post, I'm taking a look at some of my favorite games of Nintendo's most beloved character in various categories of the franchise.

To start off this post for the name of the post, I'm going to discuss certain games of various categories involving Mario to be some of my favorites, although I won't be including any crossovers (meaning you won't be seeing any Super Smash Bros. games in this post) or cameos like one of his biggest in say any Zelda games. So with that said, let's get down to business with the plumber...

Most Nostalgic Game ~ Super Mario 64 (N64, 1996)

When I first played this at like 3 or 4, I was trying to see just how a video game works. Back in the day when I was a total brat, which I can still sometimes be much of a real jerk nowadays now that I'm almost 22, my mom broke my first copy for not sharing for one of my older cousins to play. What makes this all the more nostalgic for me is how much it reminds me of how much I enjoyed more Mario games, especially considering the fact that, more than ANY other Mario game (and maybe just any video game in general), I could replay this if it was the last game on the planet. It's music and gameplay elements always brings back even more memories for me. The funny thing however, that for like 3 star missions is that I COULD never complete the game when I was younger. But even still, the game is still my most nostalgic of all time more than any other and no matter how many times I keep replaying it, I always have a blast getting it done to a full 100%.

Favorite 3D Game - Super Mario 64 (N64, 1996)

Not only is it my most nostalgic, but 64 also has to be my favorite for its perfect balance of difficulty and for how much fun it is to complete the game via the quest for the power stars and other side quests of getting the highest score on coins for each level. The bosses may be too easy, but all in all, with excellent music and a clever way to fight them, they're all admittedly fun. It may not have my favorite level in 3D Mario history of all time, but thinking of how great it is replaying it, it's always a surprise that it's the one game I just cannot get enough off, besides even multiplayers. The fastest time I could complete the game is at least 4 hours but if I was to take the challenge of trying to complete in less than 2, may seem like an interesting challenge, but at the same time on the flip side isn't something I'd consider doing anytime in my life.

Favorite Mario Kart ~ Mario Kart 8 (Wii U, 2014)

Some sites like WatchMojo would call Mario Kart 64 the best for it's super strong and replayablity in its multiplayer. Others like IGN would call Mario Kart DS the best of the series for its enjoyable single player via the newly introduced VS. Mode and interesting Missions mode for single players to enjoy. As for me, I'd have to say Mario Kart 8, as it's both fantastic in its single and online multiplayer like the great but slightly overrated Mario Kart Wii, re-playable single player, and even it's DLC of 16 other courses, over half of which are new although I haven't downloaded any of them yet since I was focusing on getting every DLC for Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. I haven't played online yet either unlike Mario Kart Wii and I don't really care too much if I do, but with its awesome multiplayer and single player modes and 32 awesome music tracks, despite having a weak battle mode done only on some of the game's race tracks, Mario Kart 8 is my personal favorite and I highly recommend it to every gamer who hasn't had ANY real experience with it, yet.

The soundtrack isn't the best (and not my personal favorite) as I don't really like jazz most of the time, but what else can I say about it that's bad?

Favorite Mario Party ~ Mario Party 5 (GCN, 2003)

I have not yet played EVERY game in the series, and I haven't played every single one with my friends yet, but with awesome-as-usual multiplayer, with over 70 minigames, and awesome dream game boards, Mario Party 5 is my personal favorite that I'd being willing to play with my friends and just anyone else on the world. It isn't perfect because how boring it is to play alone since not one Mario Party game has had an entertaining one, but it's worth only to unlock everything that requires you to do it only on your own, like the story mode. Putting my grudges aside, Mario Party 5 is a game you simple must play with your friends if you ever attend a party or get together that involves playing various multiplayer games.

Favorite Paper Mario ~ Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GCN, 2004) 

Easily my favorite spinoff of the franchise if not my favorite of all time of the plumber, nor of gaming, Thousand-Year Door is the best for its replayablity, enjoyable fetch quests and chapters. Also including various partners, enemies, bosses, badges, and other stuff, this second installment of the Paper Mario series has great challenge to it, like taking the intensely long Pit of 100 Trails quest (which will require a lot of your skill with the game, which I don't entirely recommend taking on it before say Lv. 30 if you're just so new with the game) and even getting a Tattle Log for every enemy in the game completed (but more that stuff someday later in my review of the game). Aside from a few small things and places in the Mushroom Kingdom though, the only thing I missed in the first game that wasn't in this one was access to visit the Mario Bros. house.

So while both games at times are tied for their music, partners, and and concepts, The Thousand-Year Door ultimately comes out on top for all of its quests (in its replay value) if a bit tedious at times...

Favorite Mario & Luigi ~ Bowser's Inside Story (DS, 2009)

Sometimes for me it's a toss up between Partners in Time and Bowser's Inside Story, but since you get to play as Bowser at times, and for featuring greater fetch quests and replay value more than PiT, I chose Bowser's Inside Story for your test of skill when you take the challenges of the Gauntlet room of taking on X versions of the previous bosses beating every class (the last one of which is an unnecessary boss rush) and even cholesteroad where you test your skills with Bowser's and Mario's & Luigi's special attacks. The bosses were all fun besides those that were also X bosses in the gauntlet area for Mario and Luigi (despite the final boss being completely random), as well as traveling across the various areas in both the Mushroom Kingdom for the three main characters and Bowser's body (for the Mario Bros. only). So overall BIS is the best of the series for perfecting every element of an RPG Mario game if not the best of the RPG spinoffs of Mario, and for it's outstanding gameplay of the battle system and normal gameplay of traveling across the Mushroom Kingdom, great sound design and graphics, it's easily one of the best games the DS has to offer.

Favorite Sports Game ~ Mario Power Tennis (GCN, 2004)

Not one sports game of Mario is perfect in my eyes, but if I had to choose just which game is my favorite, I'd go with Power Tennis, even over both the original N64 game and Mario Golf: Toadstool Tour. We have those special shots from every character, those special games involving painting pictures, defeating a giant Mecha-Bowser (that of which is my personal favorite of them all), feeding hungry Chain Chomps, preventing Klaptraps from the Donkey Kong series from popping balloons, you get the idea. So while it's far from perfect, great gameplay, unlockable characters and courts, and great replayablity, you'll sure have a blast and be kept busy for weeks (maybe months) to come...

One other note; though I haven't played it, I've been told the Wii version has extremely poor controls, so whether you're playing on your Wii or old Gamecube from a few years ago, buy the Gamecube version.

Favorite of All Time ~ Super Mario 64 (N64, 1996)

Yup. I like this more than even both Galaxy games. Besides all the nostalgia I've had from playing it (though nostalgia factors aren't really supposed to be why a game's so fantastic) and how much I love its replayablity, like the other games in their specific categories, 64 takes the honor of being my favorite game of the mushroom-devouring, goomba-stomping, joy-jumping plumber thanks to its perfect balance of difficulty. It may not be the biggest game of all time is easy for pretty much anyone complete in less than one day, but for even its soundtrack, levels, and everything else that I think you should already know of, Super Mario 64 is arguably the best of the franchise, my personal favorite Nintendo 64 game (rivaling even the much beloved Ocarina of Time, not to mention 007) and is right behind Super Smash Bros. for Wii U on my favorite video games of all time list as my second favorite (of all time).

Do you agree with my picks? Let know which Mario games of each category are your personal favorites. For more awesome posts posted monthly, be sure to tune in to The Super Mario Brony Blog.

Thanks for reading...and HAPPY MARIO DAY!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Even More MLP:FIM Episodes Revisited

I may have already posted my opinion on 18 other episodes but since there are just so many for me to keep looking on and being a bit less harsh on them, while others still deserve some criticism from me, I'm now giving you another list of ten more episodes I've changed my opinion on for the sake of being more critical. So here's yet ANOTHER list of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic episodes that I've now changed my original general opinion on.

Take note that after this post, I'll also be posting a quickie of this list and the other two lists combined...

Princess Spike,
Games Ponies Play
Swarm of the Century

Princess Spike: A lot people hate most of Spike's episodes for how much humiliation he goes through. When I myself look closer at Princess Spike and cut it a little slack, I'll say that while it may not be as fascinating to me as writer Neal Dusedau's other episode (What About Discord?), I'll agree with those who defend it when I say it's admittedly some good development Spike's character, if still a little OOC at some points. So not necessarily a bad episode, but still not one that makes my favorites category...

Games Ponies Play: Too many people despise this for being stupid in its elements, or even for how bizarre it felt for the most part. Despite this, I must give it a break because I find it watchable if it was ever one of the last episodes that's left of the show (that is when mediocre episodes are all that are left...). After all, it's more humorous when you compare it to Just for Sidekicks (as that's nothing but absolute torture for a beloved character) and if you just give it a better rep you'll see just why it's better to view an episode of predictable irony than torture on a lovable character like Spike, so there's not much else I can say other than that to say the very least.

Swarm of the Century: When I reviewed Swarm of the Century on this blog, I considered it pointless and one of those episodes I should consider awful for all the negative points those haters of this episode make on it. If I could praise it, I'd call it a watchable plot, pointless or not. So there's a lot for me to consider when rejudging an episode but as for this one, I'll cut it some slack for how I can pretty much take any of its pointlessness considered by others.

New Rating(s):

Boast Busters

When I keep rejudging even some of the most hated episodes of the series like Boast Busters, I'm just trying to think more positive about the show than I am negative because it's always best (and better) to be positive most of the time about things than to be negative. So while it still is not average enough to make my good or okay categories, I'll consider myself neutral towards since after an episode's plot when showoffs change for their own good, like what Trixie did at the end, even if Snips' and Snails' moments aren't anything sensical since this more about Trixie than anypony else. I might be just neutral towards her now, but considering her motivations of jerkiness are understandable at times, if not quite as much as Diamond Tiara's in Crusaders of the Lost Mark, it shouldn't necessarily be a bad thing that sometimes (if not always) even those "all's well that ends well" endings are just enough for me to give episodes like BB a break.

New Rating(s):

It Ain't Easy Being Breezies,
Over a Barrel
Apple Family Reunion
Filli Vanilli

It Ain't Easy Being Breezies: During my first few reviews starting off with every two-parter before The Cutie Re-Mark and those that have received so much popularity as to have their own Wikipedia page. Added to them is also the other four episodes involving the Mane 6's treks to collect The Keys to the Chest of Harmony. I may still find it to be a tad bit annoying at points like the voiceovers of the breezies, but for how great even the most annoying of some characters can be after being taught a lesson and (like I said) changing for their own good, it's all been done excellently.

Over a Barrel: Easily the best of all these episodes I'm currently revisiting, Dave Polsky's second episode is prof that he really can learn from his mistakes after the utter disaster of total controversy (religious-wise) that is Feeling Pinkie Keen. Some reviews like Joshscorcher's can make good statements on the episode, and for those good points by him and Lily Peet, I'll give say, it's fantastic with its moral, plot, and great character traits even if I'm feeling just neutral for the buffalo tribe.

Apple Family Reunion: There are episodes that considered to be fairly decent before I rejudged them, like these four. For Apple Family Reunion, I give it more praise and charm for how great of a reunion it looked like the family was having, the events Applejack had the family take part in made the episode very entertaining and un-boring, and Babs Seeds returns, and not to mention Raise This Barn makes for a catchy and enjoyable song. So in the end, even if it isn't very high in my favorites category I'll still give it good praise for all that I just mentioned.

Filli Vanilli: I might still have an itch with Pinkie for her unbelievable attitude towards Fluttershy, but looking past that the extra half star I give it is how catchy the music is and proved Fluttershy to be a greater character when helping Big Mac while his voice was healing. And speaking of Fluttershy and Big Mac, everytime I now keep looking on that connection between them, I'm still shipping them as fantastic couple for a future episode. (A million times more than Marble Mac). Flutterguy still remains funny even after Bridle Gossip and overall, for its memorable songs, great personalities from every character albeit Pinkie's, and good feel of imagining the relationship of FlutterMac everytime I re-watch it, I'll consider one of my overall favorites if not one of my highest...

New Rating:

Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?
Party Pooped

NOTE: Check out my most Top Ten Worst Episodes of the Series (from Seasons 1-6) on Deviantart for actual detail cause it's too much for me to explain here.

New Rating:


#10 - Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?

#9 - Boast Busters

#8 - Swarm of the Century

#7 - Party Pooped

#6 - Princess Spike

#5 - Games Ponies Play

#4 - Filli Vanilli

#3 - It Ain't Easy Being Breezies

#2 - Apple Family Reunion

#1 - Over a Barrel

Do you agree with my new ratings? Let me know what other episodes you've now rejudged. For more interesting posts posted more often, be sure to tune in to The Super Mario Brony Blog.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mario Game Review - Super Mario 3D Land (3DS, 2011)

Of this new decade, being the first 3D Mario game on a handheld console, Super Mario 3D Land is by far one of Mario's biggest handheld. As IGN reviewer Audrey Drake stated "Nintendo has repeatedly promised that Mario's first 3DS adventure would show off what the system is really made of, cementing it as a truly unique and capable platform. The incredible part? The company actually delivered. 3D gaming has never been fully realized before this." So do I agree with this statement and consider it awesome as well?

Well, let's just review it and find out...

Outside Princess Peach's Castle stands the Tail Tree, a Tanooki-tailed tree with Super Leaves on its branches. All of the Mushroom Kingdom is familiar with the tree. One night, a huge storm blows all of the leaves off, as Bowser laughs in the background. 

Later on, Mario and three Toads (Red, Yellow, and Blue) go looking for the princess. Eventually, they discover that she is missing and the Super Leaves are gone too. Yellow Toad notices a hovering letter near the tree, and the group of four goes to investigate. Mario grabs and opens the letter, and a picture of Bowser holding Princess Peach with Super Leaves flying in the background pops out. The message shocks the three Toads and Mario, and immediately, Mario and the three Toads run to save the Princess.

Much like previous 3D installments in the series, 3D Land is a game full of exploration across numerous levels, recycling it from the 2D series though, unlike the 3D games, this game features a time limit for every level. That of which when you run out, you'll lose a life and have to start the level over again via the very beginning or a checkpoint that of which is a Bowser flag much like Galaxy 2 and the New Super Mario Bros. sequels. Speaking of lives, you'll be collecting a whole lot as you play through the game, and with that cheat code on the second level of the whole game (even if it takes upmost of time you have to complete the level), you'll be completing the game even faster once you get all the way up to 1,110/3 crowns in you lives meter.

Getting to the game's other cool features, both the recycled and the newly introduced ones, we have awesome power ups like the old Super Mario Bros. 3 tanooki leafs, the usual super mushrooms and fire flowers, and most newly introduced power up in the game; the Boomerang Flower. Also recycled is the opportunity to playing as Luigi after (Spoiler Alert!) you complete the first extra world. You'll also being recorded on a time limit as you stroll through the game's levels to see just how fast you can beat the levels, much like all of Galaxy 2's missions of its various levels/galaxies. Collecting coins for 1-Ups returns as usual and there are plenty in each level for you to collect as you're 1-Uping yourself.

So Super Mario 3D Land may be one of my favorite games of the franchise, but there are a few small downs despite having more ups to it. Firstly, the task of touching the top of every flagpole of may have some nice replay value to it, but replaying the same levels countless times just to complete the task feels very tedious as much as collect all 120 green stars after the first 120 gold in the second Galaxy game, which is a pretty big peeve for an awesome Mario game. Admittedly though, if that cheat code in the game's second level was non-existent, I would have called that task tedious as well, but thankfully, I'll give it a free pass just for that. So putting those problems aside and focusing on the pros of the game, 3D Land is easily one of the most fun Mario games and in all of 3D platformers gameplay-wise, thanks to the fun-to-fight bosses, fun-to-play-through levels, and good replay value to add after beating the first half of the game.

For a 3DS game, Super Mario 3D Land boasts some of the best graphics the handheld console has to offer. With well-designed levels, smooth animation and textures, and incredible and creative 3D affects, like when Mario jumps toward the screen or even those spiked pillars, this game's graphics truly does show off just what the 3DS can do. Especially since this game is launch title. The concept as always was detailed greatly with impressive layouts to them,... like the gorgeous snowy landscapes, the dark and deep water levels and those super awesome castle and airship levels of the game's bosses, aside from the games enemies. Animation (like most other Mario games) is done well along with the modeling of the characters and everything.

And that's all I have to say about them as they are all done very well for this category of the game...

The game's music is a soundtrack of memorability and I'm happy to say that it does provide some of my favorite songs in a Mario game to date if not the best soundtrack in Mario. From the new main theme and athletic track with a brief remix of that from the Game Boy Mario Land, to the old-school retro main theme of the original Super Mario Bros. (in only two levels in the game), and even the epic airship and boss themes, every music track is suited perfectly and not one of them in my eyes sounds poorly forgettable. So long story short; Every song in the game is up to standard with what Mario game soundtracks should be. So now voice acting and sound effects...

Well, ...there's nothing else for me to say here other than it's all spot on like the music and never gets annoying or repetitive like the music does. What more do I really need to say other than the sound has been done very well? So now for the game's controls...

  • Circle Pad: Move.
  • A/B: Choose level, Jump, Wall Jump, Swim.
  • X/Y: Dash, Shoot Fireballs (Fire Mario), throw a boomerang (Boomerang Mario), tail whip (Tanooki Mario).
  • Hold (A/B): Slow fall (Tanooki Mario).
  • L/R: Crouch, enter a Warp Pipe/cannon.
  • (L/R)+Circle Pad: Crawl.
  • (A/B)+(L/R): Ground Pound, transform into Statue Mario/Luigi (Tanooki Mario/Luigi with scarves)
  • Hold (L/R)+(A/B): Backwards Somersault
  • Reverse Circle Pad+(A/B): Side Somersault
  • (L/R)+(Y/X): Roll, Tail Wag.
  • Circle Pad+(L/R)+(A/B): Long Jump.
  • Circle Pad+(L/R)+(Y/X)+(A/B): Rolling Long Jump.
  • Select/Start: Pause menu.
  • +Control Pad: Left/Right, change camera angle. Up, enter normal view (objects on the screen pop-out more). Down, enter extended depth view (the objects push further into the screen).

Overall, Super Mario 3D Land all adds up to absolute awesomeness in terms of it's fantastic controls, well designed concept, bigger step forward in innovation, and above all else, its gameplay with new elements included. It may not be my favorite Mario game of all time, but I can consider it as a part of my Top Ten of the plumber, and for everything else added to it- meaning with even the special worlds added, making for over 90 levels, excellent replay value, likable side quests for the star medals, it all makes for arguably one of the best video games of all time. The end result is not only one of the finest of the plumber, but easily the 3DS' best game by far.