Weekly Blog February 21st, 2021: Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Hello Internet!

I hope everyone is doing well and staying healthy! I know all over the US, states have been hit with lots of snow and winter weather. If you are dealing with snow, I hope that you are staying warm and bundling up when you have to head outside. Drive extra safe and look out for your neighbors. Especially people living in places like Texas who don’t usually have to deal with freezing temperatures and snow. Hoping for the ice and snow to clear soon! The two other things that happened this past couple of weeks is Valentine’s Day and lots of published pieces. So let’s talk about both of those quickly before moving on to this week’s Weekly Blog Topic.

Two Sundays ago, I published a Weekly Blog all about doing a Pokemon Ruby Nuzlocke. Now I’ve done a Pokemon Emerald Nuzlocke in the past but I ended up failing it when the Elite Four killed all my Pokemon. Now about six months later I’m taking another stab at it with Pokemon Ruby. I chronicle my entire journey through the Hoen region as I try to become the Pokemon Champion. Do I make it this time? I don’t know. I guess you’ll have to read the Weekly Blog to find out. Then on that Wednesday, I published a Poem titled “Flying High.” Sometimes when you’re looking up in the sky, you wish you were flying on the winds and soaring above the sky. Of course, all things that go up must come down. On that Friday, I published a Writing Prompt Piece titled “A Peaceful End.” A Viking King learns that there is a witch in a nearby village that is a threat to him, so he takes his men to attack the village and find the witch. Through a bloody conflict the Warrior finds the witch but before he can kill her, she curses him with a peaceful life devoid of war. This past Sunday was Valentine’s Day and instead of putting out a Weekly Blog, I published “Valentine’s Day Haikus 2021.” Hopefully everyone had a fantastic Valentine’s Day. No matter if you spent the day with loved ones, friends, family, or by yourself, I hope that it was a day where you felt love and I hope you know that people care about you. Me included! Also an old Weekly Blog about Valentine’s Day absolutely blew up that day so hopefully some of the people who found me by reading that stuck around. If that’s you, “Hey!” This past Friday, I published the latest chapter to my Dungeons and Dragons inspired series “A Royal Meeting.” Last we saw our heroes, they had traveled down into the catacombs under Xylon and found Riffen being held by bandits. They killed the bandits (minus the bandit leader) and saved Riffen just to be thrown in jail. However, Riffen pulled some strings to get them out of jail and they must decide what will happen next. Finally, this past Saturday, I published the second piece of new content which I’m calling Character Creation. This month’s Character Creation focused on Sauler Dawnpelt. The edgy NPC and brother to Maria Dawnpelt. Check out either of those to get a good sense of what this new, monthly content is and how I’m using it to break down characters in a D&D fashion. If you missed out on all or any of that content, make sure you give it a read. 

Wow. That’s a lot. I really need to stop taking weeks off of Weekly Blogs. You can see what happens when I miss one and have to catch up on all the stuff I’ve published. Valentine’s Day kind of messed up the “regular schedule” and it’s going to happen again this upcoming week. On Wednesday, I’m going to publish my 600th (!!!) piece here on WordPress. That’s crazy and it’s all thanks to you wonderful people who read my stuff and support me. I would write this stuff even if I wasn’t getting a single view or Like, but i’d be lying if I said all of the views and likes help boost my motivation when my creativity is bottoming out. But enough of that, we need to talk Mario. More specifically, let’s talk about Super Mario 3D All-Stars.

Now if you don’t know, 2020 was the 35th Anniversary of Super Mario Brothers. Nintendo celebrated this in a big way by putting out Mario merch, Mario videogames, and even by opening a Nintendo section of Universal Studios Japan. Now obviously a pandemic hit which shifted some stuff and shoved back the opening of the Nintendo Theme park and delayed some video games to the later half of 2020, but Nintendo still wanted to celebrate Mario as much as possible.  Another big thing Nintendo did to celebrate all things Mario was take three of Mario’s most popular video games and bring them to the Nintendo Switch as a collection called 3D All-Stars. This package includes Super Mario 64, Super Mario Sunshine, and Super Mario Galaxy (sorry Super Mario Galaxy 2, maybe next time). I’ve played through exactly two-thirds of this collection and I want to talk about it.

First I should acknowledge that I played two of these three games and decided to pass on one (at least for now). If you are a big Mario fan, you might be thinking, “I get it, Allen. Sunshine isn’t for everyone” and uh… I actually played through both Sunshine and Galaxy. I didn’t play Mario 64. This might seem sacrilege at first, but let me explain. I didn’t grow up playing Mario 64 and even though I know it was revolutionary at the time, I just didn’t have any interest in it. I’m not really the best at platformers and the ideas of Sunshine and Galaxy just seemed to speak to me as a player. Most likely I will go play Mario 64 and I might be dead wrong, but for now I’m going to talk about Sunshine and Galaxy.

Now I actually started with Super Mario Galaxy. Growing up I did have a Nintendo 64 and a Gamecube, but I was a part of the only family in the world that didn’t have a Nintendo Wii. In terms of Nintendo consoles, I went from Gamecube straight to Switch (with DS and 3DS in the middle) so I missed out on the Wii and Super Mario Galaxy. Playing through this game for the first time, I was blown away. Obviously I was a big fan of Super Mario Odyssey and you can tell where some of those ideas started. I love all the mechanics that play with gravity and I didn’t find the motion controls to be too bad. I know Nintendo has really been trying to make motion controls big ever since the Wii and that sometimes hurts the overall experience, I didn’t think Mario Galaxy suffers from that. The levels are all very unique and fun with great music and I love that the challenge comments give you a reason to replay the stages. Now the levels are pretty linear and don’t really give you a chance to explore backwards and forwards like Sunshine or Odyssey, but I still enjoyed playing through them. Most of Mario’s power ups are pretty fun to use other than Spring Mario. I know this opinion is not unique but Spring Mario is super janky to control and I do not like it. Bee Mario, sure. Boo Mario, yup. Ice and Fire Mario being limited things, yacht that’s fine. But that Spring power up is awful. Also what’s the deal with not being able to save your lives when you exit the game? I have like fifty lives and then I leave and come back. I’m down to four again. That’s super strange and I feel like that should have been fixed. Oh well. Overall I give Super Mario Galaxy a solid 9 Stars out of 10.

After playing through Super Mario Galaxy, I decided to start playing through Super Mario Sunshine. Unlike Galaxy, I had Super Mario Sunshine and played it a ton when I was a kid. Now, I didn’t actually beat it due to some levels that I wasn’t smart/good enough to beat, but I knew as an adult that I would have no troubles or at least less troubles. Mario Sunshine is kind of the Black Sheep of this trilogy and of 3D Mario Games as a whole. Lots of people were blown away by Mario 64 and then were let down by Sunshine. I didn’t have Mario 64 and loved sunshine growing up so make of that as you will. As an adult I did manage to beat Mario Sunshine but there are still some janky bits that make this game not as good as it could be. A lot of the times this has to do with the camera. Now, it has been awhile since I played the Gamecube version but I do think the Switch camera controls are better, but not perfect. Sometimes that camera really fights you which makes it difficult to transverse through levels. I really do like the hub world of Delfino Plaza and the different areas available to Mario. Even though this whole place is a tropical island, the levels feel very different from one another. The only level/mission I really hated was “The Goopy Inferno.” If you’ve played through Mario Sunshine, you know what I am talking about, but if not, let me explain. Basically one level is filled with this burning sludge. Usually Mario would have his water sprayer named Fludd which serves as the main gimmick of the game, but this level takes it away from you. Instead you are tasked with crawling underneath the city on these hanging platforms to retrieve Fludd and save the town’s mayor from the sludge. This level sucks. Mostly because of jankiness and camera controls make the underground section tough. Also if you get hit once by an enemy, you’ll fall to your death which is really frustrating. I remember that this was a level I absolutely got stuck on as a kid and it almost got me as an adult. Basically I had to find an alternative path by using this small lake. I would jump out of the lake and splash a little bit of water creating a small path through the fire sludge. I didn’t do it the way the developers intended, but I still beat and got to move on. Overall I’m glad that I finally beat Super Mario Sunshine and even though it’s a bit rough around the edges, it was still a good experience to play. I’d give Super Mario Sunshine 8 Shine Sprites out of 10. 

So that was my experience playing through Mario Galaxy and Mario Sunshine on the Nintendo Switch as part of the Super Mario 3D All-Stars Collection. I had a great time playing through both games and who knows, maybe I’ll go back to play through Super Mario 64 one day. If you have a Switch and haven’t played through these games, I definitely recommend picking up this collection. According to Nintendo this is a special anniversary collection that will be gone at the end of March. I don’t know if Nintendo will actually go through with it and pull it off store shelves after March, but if you don’t want to risk it, pick it up before then. Everyone needs a little bit more Mario in their life!

Thank you for reading through that Weekly Blog. If you liked it feel free to give it a Like or you can leave a comment down below. I’d love to know how you felt about this collection and if you have any memories from playing through these games. What do you think about Mario 64, Mario Sunshine, and Mario Galaxy? Should I really play Mario 64 or is it ok if I skip it? Let me know in the comments below. Also if you are new here, I’d recommend Following me here on WordPress. We are nearing 700 Followers and I’d really love it if you joined my community here. I’m trying to build a positive and creative place on the internet and you can help expand that community. All my readers new and old are so nice and supportive. Even my lurkers which I appreciate very much. Plus if you are Following me on WordPress, you’ll see my stuff as soon as it gets published. Like I mentioned, we are nearing 600 Published Pieces here on WordPress so hopefully you’ll stick around to see that milestone and so much more.

Thank you again for your support and I hope you have a wonderful week!

-Allen_The_Writer


Header Photo Credit to Nintendo
https://www.nintendo.com/games/detail/super-mario-3d-all-stars-switch/

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