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Showing posts from January, 2024

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars: A delightful, quirky, entry-level RPG

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, created through an unexpected collaboration between Nintendo and Square, is Super Mario meets Final Fantasy . The mechanics of an RPG are simplified for a younger audience, then combined with a little platforming and characters from the Mario universe. That may sound like a dubious proposition, but the final result speaks for itself. Super Mario RPG came out late in the SNES's life cycle, just a few months before the N64 and Super Mario 64 . As a teenager, I scoffed at the absurdity of Mario characters being in a childish-looking RPG. (Like many children, I was closed-minded.) As an adult, I learned that the game has an excellent reputation. The recent remastering of the game for Switch prompted me to give the original a try, which is on the SNES Classic. In Super Mario RPG, a gigantic anthropomorphic sword named Exor crashes into Bowser's castle, casting him out and frightening everyone. To banish Exor and the leader of his gang,

Mega Man IV: 30th anniversary

Mega Man IV is the sequel to the Game Boy game Mega Man III . The Roman numerals are meant to distinguish this series from the NES games on which they are based. Mega Man IV follows its predecessors in taking four "robot masters" each from two NES games, in this case Bright Man, Pharaoh Man, Ring Man, and Toad Man from 4 and Stone Man, Crystal Man, Charge Man, and Napalm Man from 5 . The stages are remixed both so as to provide something new and because the Game Boy's small screen made it impossible to reproduce them exactly. As in all Mega Man games, when he beats a robot master, he gets his weapon. My main gripe with Mega Man games in general is the limited usefulness of most of these weapons (except in Mega Man 2, where the Metal Blade is superior). The default Mega Buster, which can also be charged up for a more powerful attack, is so versatile that it's rarely worthwhile to use another, except to exploit a robot master's weakness. Each master is weak to one