Friday, June 30, 2017

After the Fact - Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch)

It's now been two months since Mario Kart 8 Deluxe got its initial release on the Nintendo Switch. For another a review I'll be making on it now, despite not reviewing the original copy on the Wii U first off, I shall only really be discussing the newly introduced features it added to the game. Gameplay, graphics, and sound design on the basic game itself I shall discuss in my review for it's original Wii U self, but now, on with my thoughts on it...

There have been plenty of new features throughout each new Mario Kart game, and over the course of them all, they've all been welcome editions even if some weren't necessary for anymore sequels (I'm looking at Double Dash!!'s Co-Op feature). From stunts you can perform for major boosts to gliders and anti-gravity racing, they're all great. The new features here though are more weight classes than in the original throughout the three different primary classes; light, medium, and heavy. It's not necessarily anything new, and doesn't add anything to the game really, but I don't mind it. We also have the smart-steering antenna used to help you not to fall off courses to avoid losing coins, but at a price, it also means you can't do risky stunts, so that's really not much help either other than for any TODDLERS who are playing the game. You also have the Ultra Mini-Turbo boost you get if you keep steering long enough after the orange ones, but only if you turn of the unnecessary Smart Steering. Other features like the fire hopping mechanic (where you jump left and right simultaneously) has been removed, but with 200cc driving in Time Trail mode for a faster drive, then that's where I don't mind this mechanic being scrapped (and besides, I hardly ever find it useful in the first place).

For the most part, there's really not much I can say about these particular features since they really don't feel that new, but this IS a direct report of the original Wii U title after all. But for now, let's discuss the other features the game fixes up.

Now this is the mode the Switch remake has completely improved upon the original. As with every other Mario Kart game, Battle Mode has been handled very simply because instead of battling it out on tracks, with balloons, or collect coins, or holding a shine sprite for the longest time possible, you're in arenas INSTEAD of the game's ordinary race tracks. I don't know exactly what Nintendo was thinking when using race courses in the battle mode at first rather than arenas like stadiums and stuff, but that was what clearly effected the potential perfection for the game's reception. But now that the remake has been made, I can forget the original version's flaws.

There is of course the usual Balloon Battle where you pop as many balloons from your opponents as you can, Coin Runners, where you grab and collect as many coins as you can within a time limit against your opponents, but we're also brought back Bom-omb Blast and Shine Thief (both of which were originally) from Double Dash!!. Although Bom-omb Blast is super fun when you bomb your rivals endlessly, I really would've prefer Shine Runners from DS to be brought back instead of Shine Thief, but it is understandable that Thief was used here instead, considering it would've been just like Coin Runners except if you replace the coins with Shine Sprites of course, but anyway.

So while Shine Thief isn't exactly the most interesting of the mode, the rest (especially Balloon Battle especially win me over in the mode with great passion as to why I prefer the remake over the original.

There have been so many fantastic racers that have been a blast to choose from throughout each Mario Kart game after Super Circuit (since the libraries got bigger and bigger - primarily on the home console games though), but none of them have been quite as attractive of a roster as the 8th game's redux. New ones like the Tanooki Mario and Cat Peach were already introduced in the original game via one of its two DLC packs, not to mention Link and the Animal Crossing characters, but with the Inklings, that's a fantastic new edition of racing characters to come. It's cool that charcters from previous games like Dry Bowser and Bowser Jr. were finally brought back, but the great thing about the roster is that they're all already unlocked bar Gold Mario who is unlocked by completing every single Grand Prix cup on every difficulty level.

My main flaw with this particular character roster though are all the Koopalings (that really seem to cram too much of the roster up) and a lack of newer Mario characters, not to mention a few from Donkey Kong's games, but that's something I'm hoping will be done greater with in every sequel after this; especially the potential 9th game on the Switch sometime later. So no roster in the franchise is perfect by my standards, but what's more important is all the fun you have while playing as them... assuming you're okay with playing as one character or another in the library.

Whether you prefer to buy the remake on the Switch or not if you haven't already for the past two months, you at least shouldn't deny that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has certainly done the original justice with everything I just mentioned here. So while some great throwbacks like items from the previous games coming back is good, along with bringing back Battle Mode's classic perfected roots back, there's a lot of hope to have for the 9th game on the console (possibly), but that's not to say this remake of the originally Wii U outing is bad whatsoever. I didn't have much to discuss with the new controls to the game as that's for me to discuss on the console itself in general, but with everything good I've considered about it, Deluxe is one remake you simply must own at all costs.

Monday, June 19, 2017

MLP:FIM Review - Not Asking for Trouble (S7, E11, P144, OE154)

Party Pooped is arguably one of MLP's worst efforts based on its offense stereotypes of bizarre characters that are the yaks (apparently they're a part of Equestria's royalty, and that makes no sense by my standards), particularly the leader of those stereotypical yaks; Prince Rutherford. By now, it's been two years since they've made an appearance on the series, and with Not Asking for Trouble, I feel their factor and status of characters has not changed at all whatsoever. So my question for Hasbro is; what were they seriously thinking?! (Now I may have said plenty of great things about every previous episode, but don't expect to show any respect towards Party Pooped's sequel here)

Pinkie Pie is invited to the rustic village of Yakyakistan, where she partakes in the yak holiday of Yikslurbertfest to prove her understanding of yak culture. During their customary stomping ritual, Pinkie and the yaks accidentally cause an avalanche that buries the entire village in snow, leaving them without food or shelter. Unable to dig the snow away on their own, Pinkie offers to gather her friends to assist the yaks, but the proud Prince Rutherford stubbornly rejects any outside help and opts to wait for the snow to melt instead. Pinkie disregards the prince and rallies her friends to secretly remove the snow while they sleep. Awakening the next morning to find the snow gone, Rutherford and the yaks commend Pinkie for helping them without their asking, and make her an honorary yak.

Once again lacking anything the from the good episodes of its own particular season, Trouble goes down as one comes off as one of Friendship Is Magic's terrible efforts for more than just the reason of those horribly unlikable yaks. For one, the plot makes for one of THE most boring I've ever had the opportunity of sitting through as I never feel entertained whatsoever. I mean yes, characters like them need backstories to develop more, but even still, their's was of no interest to me, and Pinkie making up a similar situation of story as to how she and her friends can help the yaks without them rejecting it doesn't seem at all bearable. And I have nothing to say about Pinkie and her part here (not to mention any of the rest of the Mane Six) as she (and her friends) makes the overall plot lead up to basically nothing just like she did in the yaks' debut episode which once again adds nothing.

Another one of my major grudges with the episode is especially the yaks' dialogue and feels equally as cheesy and terrible as their's in the episode's predecessor. It doesn't help that the humor feels rather forced and random, not to mention it makes no sense whatsoever since this is the sluggish plot we're focusing on. Need I mention that there's no real moral and most definitely when I'm trying to figure what it clearly is only confuses me? I mean if someone can tell me what the actual moral is, then maybe I'll try to see just how it feels that way in NAfT, but if nobody knows, then I don't care at all. Whatever the case, it'll be hard for me to understand anything Trouble tries bring across via its storyline.

Here's one of the first things I have to say about my final thoughts as a message to Hasbro: "Please DON'T bring back any detestable characters who have been dead on arrival." I mean why on earth did newbie writer May Chan think bringing the annoying and stereotypical yaks back to develop them in the same manner would ever be a good idea when Nick Confalone already tried and literally failed at it only two years earlier via Season 5's Party Pooped? Because now we have a sequel that's equally awful based on that factor. I know some people with rant about me for panning Not Asking for Trouble strongly, but the way I see it, characters like the yaks have no potential hope in the future.

Being Season 7's one and only bad and unbearable episode so far, Not Asking for Trouble ranks among my Top Ten Worst Episodes of the Series in general (at least if I'm not including any of the EG spinoff films). I know not even Season 4 comes off as perfect with only three episodes I don't favor (with only one making my least favorite episodes category), but NAfT in the end results in another installment that lacks heart, watchability, or complexity, and if I were Hasbro and wanted to keep giving this fourth generation more and more potential, and if Chan wants to go from a terrible start to a more tolerable newcomer for the show's crew, I would in no way bring the yaks back for a sequel or follow up episode.

May Chan may have made Not Asking for Trouble very brightly colorful and spot on in its sound design - the yaks' voiceover roles and especially the dreadful dialogue not withstanding - but the graphics and sound departments are just about the one and only thing she ever gets right about the episode.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MLP:FIM Review - A Royal Problem (S7, E10, P143, OE153)

It's a major statement among me that Starlight Glimmer is doing much better in Season 7 than she ever was in Season 6. It's not all too surprising, but at times not really that expected either that she would get her own Cutie Map-themed episode where a Mane Six member or two travels across someplace random in Equestria in order to solve a friendship problem. At first glance, I didn't think of it as that tolerable when I thought of it as another Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep?, but after a discussion I had with Zack on the overall plot, whereas it's far more of a Freaky Friday than it is a Magic Sheep?, I considered giving A Royal Problem a rewatch and have a different standpoint on everything one could find good about the episode; Especially considering that if Joanna Lewis & Kristine Songco were the writers of a certain Starlight episode, I'd consider giving it at least a fair amount of rep after how mediocre All Bottled Up turned out to be.

Starlight Glimmer is summoned by the Cutie Map to solve a friendship problem between Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, who feel unappreciated by each other. When both sisters argue that their royal duties are more difficult than the other's, Starlight impulsively casts a spell that switches their cutie marks and abilities, intending to make them swap roles to change their perspective. The sisters agree to Starlight's idea, initially confident in their new responsibilities before quickly discovering their respective hardships: Luna finding it taxing to keep up appearances in public throughout the day; and Celestia realizing the loneliness of guarding Equestria at night. While surveilling her subjects' dreams, Celestia finds Starlight suffering from a nightmare where her impulsiveness has escalated the sisters' feud into a battle between Nightmare Moon and Celestia's own evil alter ego, Daybreaker. With both sisters admitting their jobs are equally challenging, Celestia dispels Starlight's nightmare with Luna's support before their original cutie marks are restored, finally ending their feud.

Due Starlight better development in the season than Season 6, and helping Celestia again get better rep after the surprisingly incredible Celestial Advice, A Royal Problem comes out as an admirable installment with flawless pacing as it never gets boring nor anything that leaves more than enough to be desired like The Cutie Re-Mark. The plot works as brilliantly as Celestia's and Luna's chemistry as sisters and their sibling rivalries based on what their duties in Equestria are like, and how Starlight ended up switching their duties around via her magic of switching their cutie marks around. It only adds to how brilliantly Celestia portrayed herself as a sister who trying to be as realistic as possible, and with her relationship with her younger sister Luna, I'm sure it's one many can identify with. Luna hasn't exactly changed as a character as I feel nothing has and ever will make up for her derailing portrayal in Magic Sheep? (and I have Scott Sonneborn to blame for that obviously), but she still comes out as a fairly well done character here as she serves a purpose and her parts only makes the plot seem more realistic in every sense of the way how a plot is paced out.

Twilight lacks anything interesting in herself as she comes off as petty at times, but at least she was nowhere near derailed as she was in Season 6 at most (hey there, No Second Prances). She especially makes the ending not all too perfect as she was rather weird and a little crazy as she was in Lesson Zero, but the strong ending of how the sisters formed back together that seems almost as relating as Sisterhooves or Brotherhooves Social more than makes up for that. Speaking of things that make up for any of an episode's flaws, the epic action between both sister's counterparts Nightmare Moon (for Luna) and the newly introduced Daybreaker (for Celestia) is another welcome edition to some of the show's best moments ever, and despite still seeming as a little unoriginal, their action and brawl between each other make the episode better than it would've been if it lacked that kind of awesomeness.

While things like Twilight's part don't entirely add much to A Royal Problem's awesome factor after the opening act, the awesome action, the expertly paced storyline, and of course two more fantastic morals of bravery and what life's like in someone else's shoes (or hooves in Celestia's and Luna's cases), it's another installment of pure awesomeness that does a better job of giving Season 7 great quality than the preceding episode (soon to air for the US this Saturday, but more on it next week). It isn't perfect, but Starlight Glimmer's characterization seems to be getting better and better as she gets more good development in all the episodes she plays a major role in, and A Royal Problem proves that for underrated characters like Celestia also, there's more potential in store for undeveloped characters, poorly written characters, and Friendship Is Magic's quality itself in general.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

MLP:FIM Review - Honest Apple (S7, E9, P142, OE152)

Rarity and Applejack are often considered a shipping (which most of the time I don't even see why), and usually get more collabs as a Mane Six duo than any of the other four main characters. After their successful portrayals in Simple Ways and Made in Manehattan (while also having respectable roles where they're supporting characters in other installments like Sisterhooves Social), they've been greater characters if slightly underrated at some point. With Season 7's Honest Apple however, I feel that while they still remain admirable characters (especially considering Rarity was derailed slightly before Season 6 ended but not before getting back to her sane character with this), they've kinda lost that underrated factor and their collab feels a little overrated nowadays just cause I feel one or two episodes for them both together as a duo is just about enough. Regardless of that, I wouldn't describe Honest Apple as anything unremarkable.

Rarity selects Applejack to serve as a judge for an upcoming fashion show. Applejack accepts, figuring that she simply needs to give the contestants her honest opinion. Before the show, Applejack is mystified by the other judges and stylists' fashion sense and heavily criticizes their design choices, bluntly telling them her belief that fashion is ridiculous. The offended fashion ponies storm out, forcing the show to be cancelled. When Applejack tries defending her opinions, Rarity takes her to a pony who unapologetically disregards apples, making Applejack realize how hurtful her own comments were. Gathering the fashion ponies, Applejack manages to get the show uncancelled. When given the deciding vote during the show, Applejack finds new admiration in the stylists' hard work and names all of them the winner.

Rarity seriously plays a mean guitar, doesn't she?

When it comes to characterization (even if Spike's and Pinkie Pie's don't really add much to the story in general since this does focus on the episode's two titular characters after all), Honest Apple does it exactly right thanks to keeping Applejack as her usual honest self, while Rarity remained generous as to give her honest friend a chance at judging the dresses. It should be noted that Applejack's hurtful honesty though does make the overall pacing not too watchable as harsh moments are uncomfortable for me to sit through, but harshness here at least serves a purpose like Green Isn't Your Color did. Plenty of other good scenes add to the episode's charm even if they don't entirely make up for Applejack's hurtful honesty - Rarity's mean guitar solo, anypony? The moral's been done well too as every other character's portrayal was as well; Hoity Toity and Photo Finish specifically are more admirably interesting than they were when they were first introduced (which I think their chemistry in working together in this episode does make for a potential shipping), but anyway.

In the end, Honest Apple is still an enjoyable installment for all die hard Applejack and Rarity fans (besides those Rarijack shippers), but by my standards, doesn't quite meet up with the previous installments they've done as a duo. Applejack's hurtful honesty doesn't make its rewatchable after one viewing, but rewatchability isn't everything you need to make an episode good, as long as the story's stellar (and that's what's important). And I feel Honest Apple delivers exactly that. With only one black sheep in the season after Honest Apple's followup episode A Royal Problem (more on that another day...very soon) known as the Party Pooped sequel Not Asking for Trouble, Season 7 has certainly proved to remain stellar even if Honest Apple is nowhere near an absolute masterpiece.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Blast to the Past - Top Ten 3D Super Mario Levels

It's been over a whole year (and an extra month and half a week) since I posted my favorite levels on the 3D Mario games. And since it's a Thursday, I thought I might do a little throwback out of total boredom. But here, I've decided to change things up a bit with both my photos, all while adding more detailed descriptions on my entries on the countdown since it basically hasn't changed. Whether or not you feel there's a point to re-post this when there's no change in it whatsoever, I thought I might also look back on my favorite levels of the 3D games before the next installment on the Nintendo Switch; Super Mario Odyssey finally hits stores from around the world, so there's more than enough reasons for me to look back on one of my favorite posts I've ever had fun making. Without further delay, let's now look back on my favorite levels of the series...

I tend to enjoy a lot of lava or fire-themed levels in video games like Metroid Prime's Magmoor Caverns and especially the Fire Temple of Ocarina of Time. With Mario however, there's a lot I can enjoy so much. While I could've gone with 64's Lethal Lava Land, or Galaxy 2's Melty Monster Galaxy, I chose Melty Molten Galaxy of the first Super Mario Galaxy for it's more challenging missions, and Fiery Dino Piranha boss battle. There is of course the rolling ball section that could often drive you to insanity what with the annoying controls of only tilting the Wii Remote around and around while avoiding giant holes in the rotating tunnel of lava, but other missions like the galaxy's boss, and planets where you either have to climb a giant spire to get one of the level's stars, or even the starting planet what with the big volcano at least make up for that. A small planet of Thwomps and a U Tower planet also add to the level's creativeness, not to mention a Hungry Luma that can form into a Lava Sea Planet (where you collect five Silver Star pieces to collect one of the level's stars) when fed enough bits, but that's not to say the rest of Mario's lava levels throughout the series (and the franchise in general) are bad as pretty much any level with that theme is good.

The level's music is especially epic and more than backs all of Melty Molten Galaxy's cool factor, so there's more to a great level than just how fun it is to play throughout.

Snow levels have to have the most beautiful environments of their respective games they come from, and this fifth level of 3D World's sixth world is no exception. You begin the level platforming on a snowy mountain, avoiding being blown off by big Ty-Foos in the process. And I strongly suggest you hitch a ride in a big Ice Skate by defeating the Goombas riding in them first before collecting the green stars and the stamp within the level because they involve platforms with spikes that pop out often (fast or slow), and you wouldn't want to lose your power-up while making your way through the level (not to mention having to risk your spare power-up just to survive random enemy attacks from the ice skating Goombas). And prepare to encounter annoying walleyes along the way as well cause while they are annoying enough to try and block your path, they're pathetically easy to get past when you quickly run the opposite direction of them (just like tricking Wallops in Super Mario 3D Land by jumping up right before you make your way around them).

Its music is beautiful too, but it IS a remix of the Snow Theme from 3D Land however so that really isn't say much. Whichever version you prefer of the song, you're still to get a kick out of the levels the theme itself plays in. Enough's been said about this awesome level from me, so let's move on...

Pinna Park is easily the best level of possibly the most divisive game of the whole franchise of Mario in general; although that really isn't saying much either. But getting back to the level itself, Pinna Park is the very best for many reasons I think any of you can name by now. The Mecha-Bowser boss battle, the secret hidden within the Yoshi-Go-Around, those spinning ship rides, the Ferris wheel that spins around like crazy during the level's 5th mission to collect the Shine Sprite, and the catchy music that plays when you enter the park. The second and fourth missions aren't as interesting as the rest since that's when the park's closed and you instead have to either help a bunch of sunflowers, or defeat a monty mole in a cannon, but all other good things considered, this Disneyland of Mario levels is a bundle of fun from start to finish.

I'd just like to forget about those cutscenes both before and after you fight Mecha-Bowser because based on the dreadful dialogue and acting, they're nothing but cringe-worthy and unwatchable on a personal level.

Chain Chomps are some of the most frustrating enemies in Mario history, and it's not hard to see why; they chase and bark at you like a ferocious dog, and they rang in different sizes (from large to small) - not to mention sometimes you can't defeat them (at least depending on which Mario game you're playing)... With Chompworks Galaxy however, they can be useful to help you get from one galaxy to another. It does lose a few points of awesomeness for that annoying Spring Mushroom mission to get the second star, but when you have to guide a Golden Chomp to another hole by activating platforms for a short time (to either rise up or drop down briefly) to get a star on a chomp-shaped planet, you have something innovative within this level to look at.

The level's music track tends to be a bit overshadowed, but by no means does that diminish the galaxy's "awesome" factor. Still, with or without the Spring Mushroom power up, I just can't help but give Chompworks Galaxy a major honor for 3D Super Mario level.

Circuses are so much fun to attend (even though I've never had the chance to, but I'm sure to experience one someday), and the same can be said for playing a lot of particular levels in games of various genres. With Tricky Trapeze Theater in World 5 of Super Mario 3D World however, there's more than enough fun to be had. There are plenty of enemies that populate part of the level; from those electric Fizzlits appearing just before a bunch trapezes that you must swing on to make it through the level, to over a dozen Piranha Plants on a big platform (that spins around very slowly) after you reach the Flagpoint - which you can defeat them all very quickly by grabbing the Mega Mushroom in the middle of the rotating platform in a hidden block, there's more than enough excitement to feel when playing through this funland.

With even a song that varies its tune depending on where you progress in the level as you eventually reach the end, its hard not to enjoy listening to the music track itself. What more do you need to make such a colorful and innovative level that's pure eye candy so good?

Even if I'm more of a kid than I am a full grown adult, toys are so much fun to play with and look back on. You have toy trains you must board when you start (at least) the first mission of the level, another giant Mecha-Bowser you must climb to the top of and destroy to get the very first power star, and an 8-bit Mario Bros. planet consisting of a lava-tiled Mario sided with a poison water-tiled Luigi where you either collect five silver stars or collect 100 purple coins (each for a power star obviously). And though we also have another lame Undergrunt Gunner for a boss fight (that fires electricity instead of water bubbles) after the first one in Golden Leaf Galaxy, there's still more charm and awesomeness to it even if the Spring Mushroom sections feel just as annoying as the rest of the same thing throughout both Galaxy games.

The music track - acting as another remix of the main Super Mario Bros. theme, may not be anything new (which also happens to be remixed a little more in Supermassive Galaxy in the preceding game), but with more awesome missions and so much exploration throughout them, it's just so much fun to play. Man, just talking about this makes me wanna go play Super Mario Galaxy again right now!

One of the very first few levels/galaxies of the game, Yoshi Star Galaxy is a high entry on this list since you get to play with my favorite character since he comes in handy at anytime you saddle on him. Although you may not get to squirt juice from the adorable dinosaur, nor do a high jump after two straight jumps doing three in a row on the last one like Super Mario Sunshine, you still get to use Yoshi's handy tongue to grab things like all the big berries (to collect more star bits...obviously), swing off Flower Grapples, and obviously swallow enemies. With another fun boss fight consisting of Giga Lakitu (who looks very similar to that of Lakithunder from the first New Super Mario Bros. game), even if the boss himself gets a little frustrating on the last hit, and a fun mission of taking out tons of Spinies via an invincibility Rainbow Star (within a time limit... not surprisingly), it just makes it hard for me not to enjoy this second level of Super Mario Galaxy 2.

The green stars you have to collect in a random area, as with every last level before the Grandmaster Galaxy at the end of the game, are completely nonsensical no matter how much it's required to complete the game, but with fun missions, another awesome song that seems as bouncy as Super Mario World (and its music), a fun boss battle, and of course Yoshi himself, Yoshi Star Galaxy is just impossible to dislike as a level...

I always seem to have a thing for rainbows and the most colorful levels ever in gaming. And while it's not entirely something like that of Mario Kart's Rainbow Road tracks, Rainbow Run, acting as the very first level of the special world, is certainly a blast to play through. When you start it off with traveling down a path of colorful yarns that resemble a rainbow, you have something clearly special on your hands to say the very least. With all three green stars to collect, you start with the first one by climbing up a wall, assuming you're powered up with a Cat Bell, to a room where you must revenuer balls to goals on each side of the room with two different P-Switches. After you ride Plessie across a pool with colorful panels at the bottom, you must fire up two torches with fireballs via a Fire Flower, then be blasted out of a cloud canon and light up a ton a floor tiles in order reveal an 8-bit Link of The Legend of Zelda series to get the second green star. And after activating the Green Star ring, you must collect all eight green coins (much like red coins in both 64 and Sunshine) in order to get the last. Hands down another great moment in the level comes from a coin shower that allows you collect any coins you can grab whenever you're under it (I know it's impossible to get all of them, but it's still cool)

The song that plays in it is yet another Super Mario Bros. theme remix that also plays in two other retro-themed levels in 3D Land, but with tons of coins, a colorful layout, and a sprite that pays homage to The Legend of Zelda series as I said, there's no way you CAN'T have fun playing this stage.

And here we have my favorite level from my favorite video game of all time, let alone that of the plumber. Tiny-Huge Island may take place on the same island with the only difference being the size of them both when jumping in the warp pipes scattered around the level, but by no means is it not good fun. The enemies themselves obviously range from big to small as well depending on which island you jump to from pipe to pipe, there's that tunnel near the top of the island with a giant Wiggler for a boss, there are secrets hidden throughout the smaller part of the island that lead up to another power star, and there's even Koopa the Quick in the third mission whom you must beat once again after the first time (on the second mission to obtain a power star) in Bom-omb Battlefield. It's all very satisfying to be stomping on your enemies and trouncing them, huge or tiny, and even with the red coin mission in Wiggler's cave, you're sure to be having lots of fun completing the level with all it's missions of power stars.

Not surprisingly (at least nowadays it isn't), it's the level with the most coins to collect at a high score (with a total of 192 if you count two invisible coins you collect in a particular sense or two), and that backs up more than enough of the Tiny-Huge Island's "awesome" factor. Insert the same catchy song that plays in a few other levels (besides Bom-omb Battlefield of course) beforehand into the mix...

Before I get to my top pick, here a few

No surprise that neither my top favorite level nor any of these entries on my countdown (as I said), let alone my Number 1 haven't changed even in the slightest, right? But looking back on my favorite level of the 3D Super Mario games only (go figure), I can still enjoy playing it. I pretty much love everything about Space Junk Galaxy to be precise; its missions consisting of even more boss battles (between both a giant spider-like Scuttlebug Tarantox, and a big purple female Magikoopa Kamella) and a bunch of pull stars that help get you from planet to planet - insert some awesome cosmic comet missions into the level also (consisting of both collecting purple coins in one mission, and a speed run on the other). Add to that the planets you platform on, like a rocket, and those planets shaped like a T, or even that inner, glassy, crystal orb-surfaced maze - which, by the way, also features a Hungry Luma who will transform into a planet the shape of Yoshi's head filled to the brim with furious Goombas that you must take out in order to nab another secret power star.

Let's also add that its song is very beautiful and soothing so much that it fits the beauty of space perfectly (which I myself wish I could experience the depth of space someday), it's replayable what with all the fun missions besides just the bosses and the comet stars, has enough calming environments within all the planets you platform on, with or without the small amount of enemies you can defeat while progressing, and makes you feel as if you yourself are really in space when you're so gripped on it. So with every great thing I just mentioned about it, it all adds up to my favorite level of the 3D games in the main Super Mario series even to this day,...and I'll just have to see if something from Super Mario Odyssey later on this year can beat it out.

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