Welcome back to Negative World March Madness, where our favorite Nintendo games go head to head and only one may prevail. The matchups are as follows:
(1) Metroid Prime (GCN) vs. (5) Donkey Kong Country Returns (Wii) (3) The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (SNES) vs. (2) Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds (3DS)
(1) The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening (GB) vs. (5) The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap (GBA) (3) Xenoblade Chronicles (Wii) vs. (2) Super Mario Bros. (NES)
Vote for the game that you think should win the matchup. Please vote on every matchup. Not having played a game does not disqualify you from voting. Please cast your votes in the format below, bolding the game that you choose to advance, with any comments on your selections placed after your votes. Remember that votes with titles altered from the original format above will not be counted
(1) Game 1 vs. (8) Game 8 (4) Game 4 vs. (5) Game 5
Polls are open until Thursday, March 27th, 2014 at 11:59 PM EST. Enjoy!
Really surprised you guys are pimping Xenoblade so hard over Super Mario Bros, of all things. I think it makes the contest more interesting, for sure, and it says a lot for Xenoblade. But... damn. That's Super Mario Bros you're dusting here.
Our Swedish friend, rhjort put it best. Xenoblade took over my life in a way that I honestly didn't think a video game, particularly an RPG, could do to me anymore. I didn't have to force myself to turn the game on like I so often do today, even though a daunting 150+ hour quest lay ahead of me. Everyday I came home and was genuinely excited to get back into the game's world. As much as I love Super Mario Bros., it never had that effect on me, even as a kid. They're obviously very difficult games to compare, and I am not one to easily push aside the classics, but Xenoblade earned this victory in my eyes.
Personally, I'm not a big RPG player, nor am I particularly interested in games that require a huge time investment. (Actually, those two points are interrelated.) Nor do I have 150 bones to fork over for Xenoblade, because I wasn't there day one. So I haven't played the game, yet. But hearing that it's superior to Super Mario Bros is quite... I dunno. I don't always agree with the consensus on this board, but this is a case where it intrigues me quite a bit.
Yea that is one of gaming's greatest tragedies. I lucked out in that I got a copy for my brother, with little interest in the game for myself. He eventually moved away and had no Wii of his own, so I kept it and decided to give it a go. The rest is history.
I really hope Nintendo finds a way to make it more widely available and soon.
Actually, Newsflash: Xenoblade has apparently come back down in price on ebay. Probably a lot of people have finished it and are trying to make cash back on it, now. Very interesting. Used copies for around 55 - 65 dollars as "buy it now". That's a fair difference from the 100+ prices that they were going for a year ago.
EDIT: Well, it's Reyn time, I guess. I just bought Xenoblade for 60 bucks with shipping. I look forward to not playing it for the next 6 months, like all my other games.
@kriswright I approve of this impulse purchase. Just be aware that the game can appear pretty daunting in scope and complexity when you start. Once you get the hang of how the different gameplay aspects affect the others everything will feel like it makes perfect sense, but don't make the mistake of feeling like you need to understand it all from the start. Just learn the stuff at your own pace and enjoy the ride and things will work themselves out.
To be clear, you can vote based on whatever criteria you want. I certainly factor in a game's impact when I vote, but that's not a requirement by any means. Even when considering that, Xenoblade wins for me.
@Jargon Oh, I understand that. I've certainly been voting based on different reasons depending on the matchup, especially when it came to stuff I haven't played. I'm simply curious to hear about Kriswright's surprise, because I'm the opposite: I'm surprised so many people voted for Super Mario Brothers. I don't feel it stands the test of time like most other Mario games do.
I'm surprised because Super Mario Bros is a really fun game that was, for many of us, a kind of ur-game: The game that defined for us what games were all about. It colonized our imaginations as kids. It launched the most popular genre for a decade, and was rarely topped in all that time. For many of us, it was our entry point into lifelong Nintendo fandom. And I think it still holds up as a fun experience today.
I'm simply surprised that a game as recent as Xenoblade, in the much trafficked RPG genre, could supplant a game like Super Mario Bros in so many Nintendo gamers affections.
But that's all it is. Surprise. I'm not telling anyone they are wrong or suggesting what their criteria for evaluation should be.
You know... let me just get this on the table. Sometimes I express surprise or disappointment in a poll result - maybe a little inelegantly, as here where I probably shouldn't have used the word "pimping" - but I'm not a control freak who wants the board to conform to my opinion. Not even on the Ocarina of Time thing. I tend to take it for granted that you guys know that about me, which is why I feel I can mouth off a little bit (like Shadowlink does back to me, for instance. We're friends. It's a perk of being friends.) I feel it should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway: I want everyone to vote by their own criteria and their own taste. I want them to not give a damn what I think when voting. And if that leads to results that surprise me, I'll probably say something about it. But isn't that sorta the point of these threads, to spark conversation? I'm certainly less interested in the final result than the process of getting there.
With that in mind, I'm intrigued that you think Super Mario Bros doesn't stand the test of time. Certainly graphically it's a little simplistic, compared to later games on the NES. And the first few levels are a little basic. But once you get into it, I think the level design is still really good and a lot of the great features of the Mario series are in place from the beginning. It's also a really well balanced game, where the fire flower is rare enough that you really cherish it when you get it.
I'd certainly say it's one of the most playable games of the era - certainly of the early NES era. And I still think it's a load of fun to boot.
I honestly don't know how soon it'll be before I really jump in. I bought it as a kind of impulse grab because it was the first time I saw it for a reasonable price in a year and a half. I'll have to decide. I have a backlong of about 20 games I want to get to. Not sure if Xenoblade is going to jump straight to the top of my list just yet.
@kriswright Super Mario Brothers was the first videogame that I played, so it does mean something to me. Maybe it's just because I got an NES in 1989 though, that it didn't leave too much of an impression on me, as I quickly played more games after it, whereas if I played it in 1985 (let's forget for a moment how impossible this would have been for me) I would have had to wait for more stuff like SMB3 to be released . So even though it was my first game, I guess it didn't stick with me too much since it didn't have much time to sink in before I played later NES games that improved on everything SMB1 did.
The thing about SMB1 is that its sequels do what it did, except better. You even mention how it contains a lot of what later games built on, so you know what I'm talking about. So everything feels pretty rough in the game now, since it was all made better in sequels, though I also feel like the stiff controls make the game tough to play after going back from smooth controls. That's probably its biggest detriment. I ask myself if I would like SMB1 had I not played it in 1989 and instead played it for the first time today, and I can't help but wonder if I'd say "no." I think games like the original Zelda hold up better because of how the design went off in different directions for the sequels, so it's still a more unique experience to be able to do things like beat dungeons out of order, and completely skip getting a sword. It's easier to overlook some of its primitive designs for those reasons.
Also, I was never all that interested in NES games, as even back then I recognised them as being limited and basic. For me, Super Mario 64 is the game that did what you described: it captured my imagination like no other game, did things I never thought possible, and showed me what games could be and what kind of fun I could have. So I can understand how you feel about SMB1, I just feel it for a different game.
And don't worry, I understand that you're not trying to push people to adhere to your own opinions. I just like to hear people's viewpoints on things, as gathering different people's perceptions is a good way for me to learn and keep an open mind. So that's why I ask things like that. Maybe I could find better ways to word my questions also, as they have no implications, I typically mean them at face value. But I know how questions can be used to try to "trap" people, so I have to show that isn't what I'm doing. But yeah, we're cool. :)
Well, Majora's Mask is definitely on that list somewhere. Problem is, I'll probably have to rebuy the damn thing. My copy is on that Gamecube disc, which is supposed to be a nightmare because of some flaw in the save mechanism.
Actually, thinking about that, is the Wii VC shutting down with the end of the WiFi connection? Can we get Majora's Mask anywhere else right now other than eBay? Is it on the Wii U VC yet? If not, I guess I ought to go ahead and connect and buy that damn thing again, just to have it ready to go.
We're pretty much opposites on these two games. For me, SMB still nails one thing - the controls. For me, it's still one of the most playable games on the NES - an example of getting it right the first time. And, despite my worship of all things SMB3, I'd also raise the question if other games in the series really did everything better. They do many, many things better, true (Graphics, Maps, Bosses). But there are some areas where SMB might outclass most of the sequels (Balance, Challenge). I'm not really arguing SMB is a better game than SMB3 or World. It's not. But I don't think it was left so far in the dust by its sequels that it's deficient.
Mario 64 on the other hand? Yeah, I think it was outclassed over time. In its own way it WAS just as important as SMB and I totally understand why it captured your imagination as a kid. Heck, I was about to enter college when I first played it at my cousin's house and I became absolutely transfixed and played it non-stop for days. Like SMB, it mostly nailed the controls of a brand new genre the first time out. That was no small thing, especially looking back on a lot of other games that tried to make the jump to 3D (Tomb Raider, Sonic). But... I feel time has been slightly less kind to Mario 64. It's hideous, for a start. SMB is simplistic, granted, but I still find it more pleasant to look at than the polygonal mess of 64. I never really did like the jump or flying mechanic in 64 (that goofy winged hat, man). And I'm definitely more a fan of the Galaxy level-based approach over the mountainous jungle gyms of Mario 64.
Also, on a more splenetic note, I'll always hate the Martinet Mario voice. The first time Mario's face burst out and said "It's-a me!"... my reaction was "What the **** was that?!!". Even now, I get a little sad that that's the direction they chose to go. I feel a part of the character I cared so much about died with this particular game. To me, Mario's from Brooklyn and he sounds more or less like Captain Lou. This helium breathing mother is ok, but he isn't the Mario I knew as a kid.
Again, though, I think Mario 64 is a good game. My positive feelings outweigh my negative ones. But I think your feelings for SMB mirror my feelings for 64 in an interesting way. And, again, that's cool with me.
Well, here's a partial list of games I've already purchased that I intend to either finish or get around to starting over the next year:
Tomb Raider (not started) Red Dead Redemption (about half through and love it) Grand Theft Auto 5 (just started. Not digging the characters so I've just been goofing off, doing wheelies off mountains or whatever.) Ocarina of Time 3D (about half through and mixed on it) Pandora's Tower (not started) Pikmin 2 NPC (About halfway through. Loving it.) L.A. Noire (not started) Civilization V (played a little) Bioshock (about a fifth in. Intrigued. But I barely play games on my computer anymore.) Bioshock Infinite (not started. Really want to, though.) Majora's Mask (not started) Doctor Who: The Eternity Clock (playing with Steph) Little Big Planet 2 (building a custom level I designed in 3rd grade that's totally stupid but I want to finish it.) Professor Layton 1 (barely started, but enjoying so far) Final Fantasy VI (first time playing from the start. Watched a friend play most of it as a teenager. Pitched younger than I remembered.) Zombi U (played a bit but got distracted. Liked it. Want to see more.) ...
That's some of them. I'm sure I'm forgetting a few important ones. Well, Xenoblade joins the list now. And Quiz Up. Ha!
Then there are the games I want to pick up that I still haven't - Pikmin 3, for instance.
And then there are dozens upon dozens of old cartridges I picked up back when I was hoarding those that I'd like to dig into as well.
So I'm really set. I don't need to buy any new games for a few years. Which is good, because I'm probably not going to be able to with a baby in the house. This stockpile will tide me over for awhile.
Also: Endless hours of Jerry Rice and Nitus' Dog Football.