I just beat __

Whittle

Spiny
Yoshi's Crafted World

Kinda surprised how much I enjoyed it. The level gimmicks were great, co op was enjoyable, and the boss fights were perfect. The story is obviously minimal, but I liked how Baby Bowser were Kamek were written. Some of their dialogue actually made me laugh a few times. It's similar to how Bowser Jr and Kamek were written in Origami King.

Only thing I didn't like was the music. I don't know why Yoshi games are so hit-or-miss with their soundtracks. Yoshi's Island and Woolly World have amazing songs, but Yoshi's New Island and Crafted World's songs suck.
 

Diego Armando

Coffee is the one reliable ally during work…
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He/him
MarioWiki
The Shadow Prince
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Justice For All
This was just a fairly good game but not anything more. There are some new characters it introduced I liked, including Pearl, Moe, and Adrian, but that there are less cases than the first game makes the case I didn't care for due to really not liking some of its characters, Turnabout Big Top, stand out more. This keeps it from being as good as the first game where there was more of a feeling of immersion in its quality as Case 2 - Case 5 each stood out positively in their own ways. That being said, I'd actually call the game's fourth case better than any of the cases in the first game with how suspenseful it is, especially by the second trial of the two. I also think Psyche-Locks are a cool new feature that add tension, especially with their suspenseful music.
 

Smashley

Smasher
Forum Moderator
Chat Operator
Awards Committee
Former 'Shroom Staff
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MarioWiki
Smasher
The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask

100% run, too

another game i've tried and failed to get into multiple times that i finally get to check off my list...i do still prefer ocarina but i was satisfied with this playthrough and i'm happy i finally gave it a real chance
 

zel

actual spore creature
Pronouns
she/her
beat bounce touch for the first time (i was stuck on level 5 previously, which i only got to in 2019, ive been playing the game for way longer than that)
idk what this character on the left is either
so it was way shorter than i expected (theres actually only 8 levels and the last one is a very easy boss fight) but i think its expected for being an old mobile game that i think just came free with nokia phones
pretty fun and charming platformer every level has unique little level elements which is neat. also it was developed by rovio which i will bring up every time. i am bigly thinking about an angry birds game that plays like this
 

zel

actual spore creature
Pronouns
she/her
i beat spore origins... technically twice today, one was just me finishing a playthrough from months ago i got stuck on, and then one was the first playthrough i actually finished in one sitting! and my third overall
the total time was 23:22 according to the game, but it actually took around an hour due to having to repeat levels (bc i kept dying) and also messing around in the editor or just doing other things
this time i learned how the dang parts work so i got all three offensive parts and got a zappy thingy i mostly just used to get other guys away from me, i also got two defensive parts but i didnt get to unlock the third one unfortunately
i also finally saved a high score. the first time i got bluestacks to freeze and the second time i couldnt figure out how to save the high score itself. turns out theres just an invisible button for some reason. ignore the screen being vertical i didnt play like that i just noticed that more ui shows up on the high score enter name screen if the screen is vertical for some reason

highlight of the run:
killed this charging guy by just kind of sitting there with two poison boosts and having the boosts hit it until it exploded into a lot of food cells

i alos zapped it one time
 

BlueShelledKoopaTroopa

BlueShelledKoopaTroopa
Pronouns
He/him
Final Fantasy 9 (PS1) - Finally finished playing this. The story was nice. Some areas were kinda awkward to navigate due to the backgrounds. I had similar issues with FF7. I was stuck on that water boss in the beginning for a bit, but afterwards I didn't have any issues with bosses for the most part until the final boss. Overall the game was fun.
 

BlueShelledKoopaTroopa

BlueShelledKoopaTroopa
Pronouns
He/him
Bowser's Fury (Switch) - This game was really fun. It was so fun I even decided to get all 100 shrines. (Well the game is short enough to justify getting all 100 shrines anyway). Bowser transforming at inconvenient times did get a bit annoying and some shrines did give me trouble. Overall, it's great.
 

Crystal Winter

Live Your Dream!
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She/her
MarioWiki
MiracleDinner
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam (first main story completion)
Well uh, this review is a bit hard to make given that I actually started my first and so far only playthrough over a year and a half ago. I guess just because I got my gaming laptop in late 2021 so my attention was turned very much away from 3DS games. So I didn't play very much of this game for about a year and then went back to it. And today I finally beat the final boss. And that means spending way too much time writing a review (though I've gone off giving number scores these days)

I'm pretty sure I have mentioned this on the boards before but I actually first found out about Paper Jam from a TV commercial in 2015/2016 (so I would have been aged 12/13 at the time) and I thought it looked pretty cool - at the time I didn't know any of the Paper Mario games besides SPM existed and I also didn't know about any of the Mario & Luigi games besides Bowser's Inside Story until that day so I was very interested but didn't have a 3DS then so never gave it much thought until much later when I got my Wii U and 3DS in 2019 (age 16) and started to get through all of the Mario RPGs.

Honestly I quite liked this boss. Without Easy Mode I feel it was around the right level of difficulty, although I think that Bowser's "Trio Hammer" attack was a bit too difficult to dodge. The music was excellent for this final boss (Sorry but I cannot stop listening to this by @Fawfulthegreat64 ) and I do like that in tradition with the Mario RPGs the boss starts off as just Bowser and Paper Jam and then the twist happens and honestly Shiny RoboBowser is really weird in a really funny way; just the concept of him, his name, and the way he looks and acts.

I actually managed to beat this final boss on my first try which I don't think I can say for any other Mario RPG apart from Super Paper Mario and maybe also the first Paper Mario game (can't quite remember that one unfortunately, I think it must've been either my first or my second try) I think the main things that helped me were:
  • I pretty much fought every enemy I saw for most of the playthrough, so I had Star Rank and chose Quick Item for both Mario and Luigi which was a real lifesaver. With enough stock of 1-UP DXs that literally means that if an attack wipes out two characters, as long as one of the surviving characters is Mario or Luigi I can heal both fallen partners with full HP in one turn. It also means that with good stock of Max Mushrooms I can play safe and always heal Mario and Luigi without wasting a chance to attack.
  • You get a lot of coins during the playthrough especially towards the end, so I went back and stocked up on Supersyrup Jars, Max and Ultra Mushrooms, Refreshing Herbs, and 1-UP DXs.
  • Spamming Toad Trail, Mega Thwonk, and (when armour is disabled) Trio Kite

So, pretty much, my opinion on the game is that it is a huge letdown in terms of characters when it could have done so many great things in that department. E.g. Fawful and Dimentio teaming up. Characters from the first three Paper Mario games getting brought back and meeting each other as well as Mario and Luigi characters. I wish that how the Paper Book works could've been explored more and how it relates to the Paper Mario games - does that mean none of the Paper Mario games "really" happened and were just popup books within the Mario and Luigi world? It's basically just used as yet another plot maguffin (something the other Mario & Luigi games are admittedly guilty of too) when it could've been a very interesting and unique plot item e.g. characters using it to hide, using it to imprison characters besides

Paper Bowser at the end

and most interestingly, it would've been cool if it had been used to selectively summon characters from the Paper Mario world.

This game could've made so many great references to the previous games in either series. But no, it's just generic Mario enemies, Toads, and Paper versions of the main characters (and even then, Paper Luigi is just a cameo on the music player. I do know that the game was originally planned for Paper Luigi to be playable in addition to Paper Mario, but that that was scrapped (no pun intended) since it'd have been do clumsy to be in control of four characters. Idk what the game would've been like if they hadn't done that but tbh it was probably for the best.) Even Toadsworth is nowhere in sight. So yeah, it really breaks my heart that they missed the opportunity to blend the wonderful worlds and characters of the first three Paper Mario games and the first four Mario & Luigi games.

Edit: I recall that during the game it seemed to be hinted that the Bowsers were going to betray each other (or at least that Bowser would betray Paper Bowser) but in the end they never actually went anywhere with this as both Bowsers were defeated in the final battle before any betrayal was enacted. It was especially infuriating as right before the final battle, Bowser basically confesses that he was planning to betray Paper Bowser but then he just doesn't get the chance to actually do so, so it really got my hopes up for a juicy betrayal but then I was let down.

This is a big step back from Dream Team where Bowser did indeed get to enact a betrayal against Antasma which was very juicy (though sadly I had been spoiled on it)

The gameplay on the other hand is actually pretty good. Paper Mario's moves in the overworld were not bad, but not as fun as Bowser or Dreamy Luigi. The battlesystem was fairly in line with its predecessors, with Paper Mario being a welcome addition but I do feel Paper Mario was a bit too OP as his flutter jump and repeated hammer when defending make it a bit easy and his Trio attacks are also pretty OP especially Trio Whirligig. I remember that I managed to cheese Ludwig + Larry by letting Mario and Luigi die and then the only remaining attack they can do is Larry's wand which is fairly easy to dodge. Though I forgot to use a double 1-UP to revive Mario and Luigi at the end so I missed giving them XP for that battle. Battle Cards are another very interesting addition and to be honest, I actually like them MORE than the Badges system from Bowser's Inside Story and Dream Team that they replace - one of the few ways that Paper Jam comes out on top against its predecessors.

Another pretty notable aspect of this game are the Papercraft Battles, which serve as the successor to Giant Bowser battles and Giant Dreamy Luigi battles. I think they're kinda fun and interesting, and quite creative given how different they are from Giant Bowser/Giant Dreamy Luigi battles. I do think however that they weren't amazing, as I think they were overall too easy, yet also a bit clunky to control, and the running out of Toad Juice (sorry I couldn't think of another way to refer to that) was just plain annoying. I also very much welcome that Paper Jam doesn't require motion controls like Dream Team did (which is especially tricky on Citra - I've tried a bit of Dream Team in Citra but not yet any Paper Jam.)

The overall difficulty level was pretty nice, unlike my first (and so far only complete) playthrough of Dream Team, I avoided using Easy Mode whatsoever and found it moderately challenging. I do feel the game dragged on a bit longer than I'd have liked but maybe that's because I just didn't enjoy it as much - I do recall that I found Dream Team to be strangely long but didn't mind that at all because Dream Team is just such a wonderful, wonderful game. In Paper Jam I remember

Beating Bowser Jr. and Paper Bowser Jr. and being hyped to fight the final boss only to have to play a few more hours to actually reach the final boss. I was really frustrated that that wasn't the end cause I was getting fed up of this game by then.


Speaking of Dream Team, the graphics in this game appears to be mostly reused from Dream Team and whilst I find that a bit boring I also kinda love it since I remember that when I first played Dream Team, I was AMAZED that a 3DS game could like that good. The music, on the other hand, not so great. I feel like the only standout tracks are the final boss theme (as mentioned previously) and "Good-Bye Sadness" just because it's kind of actually sad but also very funny and great for memes. Some other alright tracks include the main battle theme, the main boss battle theme, Bowser's theme (though I'm pretty sure it's just an inferior remix of Dream Team's Bowser theme which in turn is just a superior remix of Bowser's theme from Bowser's Inside Story so... yeah at this point I'm pretty tired of it especially when the theme peaked with Dream Team), Doop Doop Dunes, File Select, Mount Brr, Bowser's Castle, and Neo Bowser's Castle (though speaking of which I think it's plain lazy that they just reused the name Neo Bowser's Castle from Dream Team). So all in all, I think this is the weakest soundtrack in the series or maybe tied with Partners in Time.

The scenes/dialogue are overall quite well written but not as good as its predecessors. I think in some cases it was kind of funny about how there's two of everyone and the interactions between each character and their paper counterpart, however I think that this punchline was way overplayed and got boring fast, especially as how pretty much every paper counterpart has an identical personality to their non-flat doppleganger.

...

Well with that I've beaten all the Mario and Luigi games, not counting the two remakes which I do still have yet to play (though I did thankfully manage to buy them before the eShop closed)

Mario & Luigi Paper Jam is a sequel that does bear many similarities to its predecessors, especially Dream Team, and does echo some of the things that made those games great as well as adding interesting and creative things. Nonetheless, I am unable to love this game on anywhere near the level of its four predecessors because it is such a letdown in terms of characters which means a lot to me. For a crossover of two series I love so much, it is a true heartbreak that it carries over none of what I loved about Paper Mario and for the Mario and Luigi side, it carries over only half of what I loved (gameplay and graphics but not story, characters, music, worlds, and writing).

So I say that for a newcomer to the Mario and Luigi series: I highly recommend trying another Mario and Luigi game rather than this.

If you're someone who has already played all four other Mario and Luigi games and liked them mainly for their gameplay, then I'd recommend Paper Jam, but otherwise your time is better spent on another game.

Next on my list is Sticker Star (this will be my first playthrough of Sticker Star), which I do have a copy of but don't currently have access to due to my university situation. I'll see if I can get my dad to post it to me. I am of course not optimistic for Sticker Star since I overall (but not entirely) disliked Colour Splash which is widely regarded as an upgraded sequel to Sticker Star. Nonetheless, I'm kinda curious to try Sticker Star. I'm also aware it's one of the shorter Mario RPGs so hopefully it won't be too long before I can move onto the Mario and Luigi remakes and Origami King.
 
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DHP613

Master of Dimensions
MarioWiki
DHP613
Super Paper Mario, I just beat it yesterday, it's very fun.
 

Crystal Winter

Live Your Dream!
Pronouns
She/her
MarioWiki
MiracleDinner
Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (second time)
Finally beat this fantastic game a second time. Last time was in early 2021 so it's been a while. Also, this is my first and so far only playthrough on an actual DS/3DS (my first was on the Wii U Virtual Console; I was able to dump the .nds rom and then run that on my 3DS). I do have to say, it's feels a lot more natural to play this game on a 3ds than on a Wii U, as well as the obvious portability benefit. I did experience occasional lag and even graphical glitches (namely just occasional brief flashes like when entering battle) which I'm not sure is normal.

I still find it a bit dissappointing that the game requires the touchscreen at one point, and literally doesn't use it at any other point. In fact, I actually had to quit the game and recalibrate my 3ds's touchscreen but thankfully that worked so I could progress.

(edit: this is about Elder Princess Shroob, even though technically Shrowser is the final boss)

The final boss was excellent as ever, the music is some of the best, the plot twist is amazing (obviously I knew but actually on a second playthrough it makes it kind of darker which I really enjoyed).

It's also a very good final boss gameplay-wise except for the tentacle spinning attack and very challenging (though on this playthrough, I managed to beat her first try. I believe that in my first playthrough I beat her second try) I was about level 25 for all characters and I managed to beat it first try: what saved me was having the badge from Fawful (I was so careful to collect enough Beans to save up for that but it was sure worth it) that lets you use infinite bros attacks with one character (I chose Mario for that and let Luigi be the healer).

It's a very long boss, I think I was at it for like 45 mins, but there was not a boring moment. Not to mention that it has one of the best final boss tracks among all Mario games.
.

Overall, I am still very much fond of this game due to its great gameplay (as the Mario and Luigi series has always been) but also for its very interesting story and characters and being one of the darkest Mario games.
I very much enjoy that, like Super Paper Mario, the main antagonists' motivation isn't "I'm evil and power-hungry and I want the world all to myself." In fact I actually felt kind of bad for Princess Shroob.

I think Peach's castle served as a good hub world and I also really loved how
The final area in the game is a corrupted version of the hub world.

The interactions between the bros and baby bros were hilarious and adorable.

I still do not feel the story and characters are quite on the level of Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario, but it is still very good. Now I can't stop theorising about exactly how the timeline fits together and wondering about possible theories lmao

Tbh this playthrough reminded me of how much I love Kylie Koopa, I think she's a very great and very underrated original MaRPG character.
A pity we didn't get a proper goodbye with her.

With all that said, I still maintain that I love this game not quite as much as Superstar Saga, Bowser's Inside Story, or Dream Team. Reasons for that include:
  • It is overall a bit too hard
  • It is too short
  • Fawful, one of my favourite characters in all of Mario, has only a minor role compared to SSS and BIS where he had a very major role.
  • The gameplay gimmick in this game is the babies, which while they were fun to play with, were nowhere near as fun as playable Bowser nor the Dream World. I'd probably say they were more fun than Paper Mario though.
  • The Shroobs can't be understood until the end of the game (and this is never really explained).
  • The graphics are just okay really. Not good like Dream Team, not "bad" in a super quirky, fun, and nostalgic way like Superstar Saga GBA version.
  • Despite a few great tracks such as the final boss theme and the Princess Shroob battle theme, and overall being a good-sounding soundtrack, the soundtrack overall is a great deal weaker than SSS, BIS, and DT. Not that PiT had a bad soundtrack, but those three games had fantastic soundtracks. PiT's soundtrack beats PJ's for sure though.
  • I don't really have any nostalgia for it. I have a lot of nostalgia for BIS because that's the only M&L game I played as a small child, a lot of nostalgia for SSS just because I have very special memories of playing it even though I was like 16? Which is only like 1 year younger than I was when I started PiT for the first time, but idk i can't explain why i feel that way
  • Having Bros. Attacks be disposable items is an interesting change (PiT is the only M&L game like this), but I think it's overall for the worse, because it's just another thing to have to save up for and removes the strategy elements of upgrading BP, saving BP, planning when to refresh BP, etc. And I always loved discovering them through like Attack Pieces rather than just finding them in blocks the same way as items.
  • Peach's voice
  • One of the biggest strengths of Bowser's Inside Story and Dream Team is that both games have two very different battle systems that are both really great; Partners in Time, Superstar Saga and Paper Jam don't really have this (I mean you could kind of argue that baby-only battles are like this but imo not really, it's just the same battle system with two characters missing who can die anyway)
  • The gear/badges system is far more boring than subsequent M&L games (and as I mentioned recently, I actually like Paper Jam's battle card system more than BIS and DT's badge system.)
  • Some areas cannot be revisited after the game.
  • Beans being just an additional currency to buy badges rather than ways to strategically boost your stats further. Also I feel like the one that lets you use infinite Bros attacks was just way too op to consider saving up for anything else, and if you're gonna save up for that badge, it's likely going to take most the game.
  • A bit more linear / less explorative, no side content, not much reason to revisit areas once completed like discovering secret Bros. Attacks, no boss gauntlet.

Nonetheless, it is an excellent game that I can still strongly recommend to anyone
 
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Crystal Winter

Live Your Dream!
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MarioWiki
MiracleDinner
Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (main story beaten for second time; Culex beaten for first time)
So, after the new announcement of a remake, I decided to do another playthrough of the original game. But I wanted to make sure I'd have a few months break between playing the original and the remake... so I sorta got hooked on this and finished it in a mere 3 days.

This is only my second full playthrough, my first was about 2 and a half years ago. This playthrough was on PC (specifically, RetroArch with the SNES9x core), unlike my first which was on Wii U Virtual Console. I also had a playthrough on mobile on which I hadn't beaten either the main story or Culex, but I believe I had beaten most of the game, unfortunately I lost that save file before I was able to finish it.

I managed to beat Culex on my first try on this playthrough, whereas on my first I never even reached him at all; tbh I think it's kinda bad how obscure he is because I swear I NEVER would have found this secret boss without the internet. It was a very good boss, hard enough to be entertaining but not frustrating, definitely requires a lot of patience but I beat it without too much struggling. I got the reward but I never really tried out that reward because I beat Culex after beating the final boss so I didn't really have anything left to do. It is really annoying how much Defense the Wind Crystal has. The start of the fight was especially brutal with the amount of strong magic attacks but I managed to survive and it definitely got easier as I got rid of the crystals one by one. Also I guess a major reason why I was able to win fairly after surviving the first part of the battle was because Culex himself and all the crystals ran out of FP (I guess maybe I dragged on the fight longer than the devs thought it'd last?) meaning that none of them could do anything on most turns, though they occasionally did so I had to be prepared for this. Culex himself went down suprisingly quickly once all the crystals were gone.

So, my thoughts on the game after beating it a second time? Honestly I enjoyed this playthrough a lot more than my first. Hard to say why that is I guess, maybe because I found it easier?

The game has plenty of original characters, but for reasons that I find hard to pin down, I never truly fell in love with the story and characters of this game? The main cast consists of Mario, Mallow, Geno, Peach, and Bowser; that is, three mainstream Mario characters and two characters that are original and unique to this game (minus Geno's cameo in Superstar Saga GBA version). I hold the unpopular opinion that Geno is overrated and I can't understand the hype behind him, whilst I enjoyed Mallow much more. I did find Mallow's story fairly moving, especially

The scene on Star Hill where he finds out his birth parents are wishing for him to come back to them.
I do take a little bit of issue with the adoption aspect of Mallow's story. Frogfucious is depicted as wise and kind, even though I think it's wrong for adoptive parents to keep their child's history from them (Frogfucious doesn't tell Mallow about where he came from until the events of the game and even lies to him that he's a tadpole). I also didn't hugely like how the game sorta says that Mallow's birth parents are his "real" parents and the ones Mallow belongs with just because they're his birth parents. Still though, this is what I want from Mario games, I want Mallow, I want species of Cloud people living in an original location, I want moving stories about finding yourself, I don't want unfunny paper jokes about nameless Toads.

The game features plenty of original bosses, which I very much welcome. I kind of like Croco and how he develops from evil to good over the course of the game. Booster's kind of fun too. I think most of the Smithy Gang are just okay, and one major issue I take with this game is that we don't actually get to meet the main villain until the end. Smithy's a just okay main villain, his dialogue is fairly well written, but his personality and motives are a little bland compared to e.g. the Shroobs, Dimentio, Antasma.

The whole business with the factory is kind of cool and I sort of love the mystery behind it. I especially love this fan theory which states that since Mario never destroyed the factory, it's possible that Smithy and his gang could come back one day.

Here is a video on that theory by SwankyBox:


I think the main story is okay, and I praise it for starting off looking like the traditional Super Mario Bros. plot but then quickly revealing it's actually very different (almost like Super Paper Mario,

and indeed like that game, Bowser and Peach both end up joining Mario to defeat the much bigger threat.) Unfortunately however, I really dislike that this game only features Luigi as a cameo in the credits, plus we can read one of his wishes on Star Hill that he wants to be a good plumber like Mario.

Mario himself is a well-depicted character in this game, probably not as great as in some future RPGs (especially TTYD), and I did find it pretty funny when he transforms into other characters in order to mime out scenes. Bowser is also fairly decent, he feels like a bit of a mix between his more serious side and his goofier side. Peach is also pretty great in this game, possibly my second favourite game appearance of Peach after SPM, which as far as I've played so far (and I don't want to be spoiled on those I haven't) is the only other MaRPG where she has an active role (I mean she's kind of active in the first two Paper Marios, and is even playable in both during chapter intermissions, but it's still the case that she remains kidnapped for a majority of both games' stories and rescuing her is a major part of Mario's motivations in both games.)

After unlocking Peach, I stuck strictly to a party of Mario, Peach, and Bowser, mostly just because of nostalgia from SPM since that's the party of playable characters that you have for a big chunk of that game between chapters 3 and 6. It happens to also work quite well gameplay wise, which I'll detail later.

However I feel like the main story doesn't really progress too much after we get the gist of things in Chapter 2, whereas in TTYD we gradually piece things together over the course of the game and it has a few moderately exciting plot twists at the end, and Partners in Time and Super Paper Mario both had fantastic plot twists in the end.

I think that gameplay-wise, this game is pretty poorly aged and I even hold the unpopular opinion that in terms of gameplay, even Sticker Star and Colour Splash were better than this game. The overworld gameplay is awkward with the isometric angle, features no fun abilities such as the partners in the first two Paper Mario games, the bros. abilities in the M&L series, the Luiginary works in Dream Team, the platforming, Flip mechanic and the Pixls in Super Paper Mario. Most of it is just running, jumping, exploring, and talking to NPCs. There are occasional excitements like the challenges in Bowser's Keep and the barrel minigame, but I feel that overall such things are far too few and far between.

The battle system is vastly inferior to its successors. Most attacks are impossible or very difficult to fully dodge, and for many it's very hard to figure out the correct timing to even mitigate the attack (many attacks cannot even be mitigated). It's also not very exciting to dodge/block attacks unlike the M&L series. I feel that the battle system lacks the strengths of both the first two Paper Mario games, which were very fun and interesting because they were strategic, satisfying, engaging, and mostly felt fair, and the M&L series, which was constantly exciting and full of interesting abilities on both sides. The magic attacks are especially annoying and take too long.

I fought most enemies to begin with, and grinded enough for most bosses to be pretty easy. However, I got stuck at the Axem Rangers fight - I think it is ridiculous that despite fighting most enemies, the Breaker Beam could instantly wipe out my party from full health, meaning I was literally forced to go away and grind a couple more levels (I was stuck at level 16 for that fight, and beat it at level 18; I cannot remember the level I was on during my first playthrough but I must've been at least 17 since I don't recall being forced by Breaker Beam to go away and grind.)

Also, unlike my first playthrough of the game, I managed to find the Lazy Shells. These are unbelievably broken.
I gave the weapon Lazy Shell to Mario and the armour Lazy Shell to Bowser. The result of this is a party of three, where:
  • Mario has a ridiculously broken attack power, though it's dependent on how good my timing is.
  • Bowser is effectively unkillable to all except hard-coded OHKO attacks such as Smithy's Magnum (the most anything else ever did to him was TWELVE damage out of his 170+HP)
  • Peach, without even needing any particular gear, has highly broken healing, curing, and revival abilities. If she has a turn, she can do 1 of the folllowing:
    • Spend 2FP to mostly/fully heal and cure one party member of choice, including herself.
    • Spend 4FP to mostly/fully heal and cure all party members, including herself (I literally found out during the final boss on this playthrough that you can press Y at the end of Group Hug to increase the healing power)
    • Spend 2FP to revive a party member (obviously excluding herself, in which case I have Bowser use a Pick Me Up).

This strategy basically means that I can make quick work of all but the strongest foes thanks to Mario, and thanks to Bowser and Peach I will almost never lose (the only way I can is either if a OHKO kills Bowser and separate attacks kill both Mario and Peach in one turn without me getting a chance to revive Bowser, OR if Peach dies and I run out of Pick Me Ups, OR if I run out of FP and FP-restoring items but this one never even came close to happening since I always carried 4 Maple Syrups = 40 Group Hugs or 80 Therapies/Come Backs)

I think that throughout the game, the Timed Attacks are annoying to do and quite hard to judge how right you have gotten them, a flaw that was much improved in both the Paper Mario series and the Mario and Luigi series. Plus, sometimes it's hard to even know if you CAN do a Timed Attack as the game never told me that Group Hug can be boosted with a well-timed Y press, whereas if this was TTYD the game would've listed that action command while selecting the move.

I also dislike how unless you equip Mallow, which I didn't, there's no way of knowing how much HP your enemy has without looking it up online and then keeping track of it, admittedly this flaw was I believe continued in all M&L games but not the first 2 Paper Mario games thanks to the Peekaboo badge, or you can just swap to Goombario/Goombella to tattle once, especially with Quick Change. I feel like overall, the game doesn't really work with trying to do mathematics to precisely calculate your moves which was one of the best parts of the battle system in the first two Paper Mario games.

Pick Me Ups are ridiculously broken especially given how cheap they are and that they can be obtained from Chapter 1.

Aside from the lack of a plot twist, I think the final boss was fairly nice. Smithy's true form with the head switching and the background of loads of discarded Smithy heads is really dark and unsettling in a way that I love. The music for this fight is probably my favourite in the entire game, and the gameplay is engaging with a diverse set of magic attacks, a nice bit of strategy with "do i go for the body or just go for the head" and the different phases mean different strategies (e.g. for the Magic Head you wanna watch out for all those powerful magic attacks, but you can do lots of damage; for the Mask Head you can use that time to heal up; for the Tank Head, watch out for the OHKO, etc.)

I think that the game overall is a bit on the shorter side (unfortunately the game doesn't have a builtin timer, but I believe this playthrough lasted less than 20 hours and my first was about 21 hours.) I believe that Chapter 6 (the quest to get the 6th star piece, so the one with Valentina and the Volcano.) is disproportionately long and also too much of a difficulty spike.

I think the graphics are poorly aged. I think the graphics look old in a plainly bad way, unlike Superstar Saga where the "bad" graphics have their charm (I haven't played the Superstar Saga remake).

I actually now have a much more positive view on the soundtrack then I used to, and the final boss theme is probably my favourite. However, I still feel that the soundtrack overall is far inferior to Superstar Saga, Bowser's Inside Story, Dream Team, TTYD, and SPM. I'm very excited to see how the remake sounds.

The game's writing is pretty great and I loved the Bruce Lee line, Peach's secret item, and the bazooka line.



In conclusion, while Super Mario RPG features a moderately enjoyable story and cast, good writing, and a decent soundtrack, I think the gameplay and to a lesser extent the graphics, do drag the game down a lot for me. Many of these flaws I suppose are related to how old the game is and the fact that it was the first Mario RPG. I therefore hope that the remake will be successful in fixing the flaws the original game had, whilst allowing the story, characters, writing and soundtrack to really shine. In the meantime, I'd say this game is probably about a 7/10 for me, and I'd rank the game far lower than the first three Paper Mario games and the first four Mario and Luigi games, but above Sticker Star, Colour Splash, and Paper Jam solely because of story/characters. I'm not sure about Origami King as I have yet to play that game.

Wow I spent too much time writing this. Sure is fun to be on holiday.
 
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Crystal Winter

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Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures (Nintendo DS version) (any% completed)
I am unable to confirm whether or not this is the first time I've beaten the game any% (i.e. beating all levels in story mode - interestingly, it turns out there is a speedrunning glitch that lets you skip to the final level of each of the 3 chapters but I never used that), since I had this game as a very little kid and then lost it (I'm pretty sure I was like 10 at the most last time I played this, which is literally half my life ago), and only recently came back to it after giving up looking for my old cartridge and just buying a new one (I'm glad I did, I may never have found my original otherwise. I've backed up the ROMs of this and all my other cherished games so it won't happen again). I definitely would've beaten Raiders of the Lost Ark as a little kid since the last level felt familiar to me, and I'm pretty sure I also would've beaten Temple of Doom, but idk about the Last Crusade. On this playthrough, I beat the 3 chapters in order.

I already spent ages earlier writing out my thoughts on SMRPG so I'll keep this pretty short; I had a lot of fun with finally getting to revisit a childhood game and honestly this is a pretty great game for the Nintendo DS. It's not quite on part with its PC/Wii/X360/PS2/etc. version (I have the Wii version, I could buy the PC version too but I honestly don't really see a reason too when, unlike its sequel, I have no issues just emulating the Wii version of this game in Dolphin Emulator.) but in its own right it's still a gem. It's very worth having in addition to the Wii version, since whilst it centers around the same story, the levels are very different.

You can use touchscreen controls for stuff like Indy's whip but I never did since it's just easier to press A. The exception are turning cogs, where you need to use the touchscreen oddly (I wish they'd just let me use A tbh.) and ocasionally access panels, and of course the minigames.

Honestly one of my favourite parts of this game is the inclusion of the backstory level as the first level in the Last Crusade, which isn't present in the Wii version afaik. It's especially nice and very nostalgic the moment Indy gets his whip, though I feel the level is kinda bad in that Herman is literally useless.

I also think the turning into a monkey thing is adorable and very nostalgic since I loved doing that as a child.

It's kind of impressive how they had condensed versions of the cutscenes from the Wii version in the DS version, however I honestly think they look kinda ugly and I'd have preferred the approach that Lego Batman: The Videogame took where it just replaced them with still images like a comic strip, which also helped to give that version of the game its own unique charm.

There are also some interesting minigames which I had a bit of playing around with but not too much. Nice and nostalgic.
 
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Crystal Winter

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Paper Mario: Sticker Star (main story completed for the first time)

Wow, I managed to beat this game in under a month. Just 14 hours and 21 minutes, according to the in-game stats. I'm grateful it was so short because whilst I could tolerate Dream Team's length due to how great that game was, I remember getting tired of Colour Splash and Paper Jam.

I was expecting to hate this game much more than I did Colour Splash, since I'd always heard CS was much better than SS. As it turns out, they're actually pretty close for me. Having played Sticker Star, I can now see that Colour Splash's paint gimmick actually drags the game down (especially when it comes to painting in the cards in battle). I also think the Sticker Album and how it grows with each chapter is better than Colour Splash having a slightly more awkward scrolling of a fixed 99 card limit. Sticker Star has 6 chapters like Colour Splash, and if they were full fledged Mario stories like the first three, I'd say 8 chapters is much more apt, but for what CS and SS are going for, 6 chapters works well. I like that Sticker Star has a clearer divide between the chapters and lists them as e.g. 1-2 in addition to giving them names, whereas Colour Splash just uses their names. The smaller world makes the game more comfortable imo.

Also I think that in Colour Splash, the bosses like had their weaknesses forced so you had to find the weakness, whereas in Sticker Star I could beat the first and fifth chapter bosses without it (come to think of it, I'm not even sure the Chapter 5 boss had a weakness) and likely could have beaten the fourth, sixth, and maybe third chapter bosses without using their specific weaknesses.

I found the battle system actually pretty decent overall, certainly not as great as the first two games but still decent.

(edit: final boss discussion)
Final boss was kinda cool, considering I knew it'd predictably just be the usual fighting Bowser to save Peach. I actually quit and went back partially because I didn't bring the required specifically useful things to beat the battle (Tape for Phase 1, Eekhammer + Tailor Scissors for Phase 2, Fridge for Phase 3, Tail for Phase 4) and partially because I had assumed Bowser was vulnerable to normal jump attacks, so I had to replace those with iron jumps (thankfully I had well over 2,000 coins saved up.) Honestly though the suprise final phase was by far the easiest part, considering you can use 5 stickers at once and can deal insane damage, I was so surprised by how easy it was as I was expecting it to be the hardest phase by far.

Like Colour Splash, the game suffers from the fact that the out-of-combat gameplay is kind of hard, but not really in a fun way. Too much of it is just having to notice a particular secret and backtracking to get the specific item needed to clear something. There are plenty of things I'd never have figured out without having to look it up, I basically had my phone next to me at all times (for example, needing the Goat to eat the garbage.) On a subsequent playthrough I would likely be annoyed by this far less as I'd already know the solutions.

The soundtrack is pretty solid overall, but definitely less good than TTYD/SPM and probably also worse than Colour Splash. No real standout tracks for me honestly.

The artstyle is alright but not as good as the first three games, and the graphics are much less advanced than CS and TOK, so, this is definitely the worst-looking Paper Mario.

Predictably, the story and characters disappoint me greatly. The story is incredibly limited and returns to being a spin on the traditional Super Mario Bros. plot of Bowser kidnaps Peach, but unlike the first Paper Mario game, doesn't give Bowser dialogue, doesn't have Kammy Koopa (Kamek sucks compared to her), and doesn't write and present that story in a way that makes it actually feel dramatic and captivating. The game is heavily affected by character sterilization, with the only original character being Kersti, who I thought was just okay

I found her sacrifice at the end a little moving but nowhere near as good as Huey and certainly not compared to Tippi and Bleck.

Honestly I'm increasingly starting to feel that Paper Mario is like two different series under the same name. Sticker Star, unlike Super Paper Mario, almost entirely disregards its predecessors and throws away nearly all traditions and everything that made them great and memorable.

The game does both Luigi and Bowser horribly, giving neither of them dialogue, and making the former only a recurrent cameo. The tradition of Peach being playable was broken, Mario has no voice clips at all.
Conclusion: I hold the unpopular opinion that Sticker Star actually isn't that bad a game when it comes to gameplay alone. It was severely flawed, yes, but overall still kind of fun. However, the story and characters was extremely disappointing to me and therefore I cannot help but dislike this game.
 
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Crystal Winter

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Mario Party 9 (Solo mode beaten for I think the third time)

Did this playthrough on Dolphin with a keyboard and mouse and it's actually surprisingly fun that way, besides Don't Look not working right.

It looks great in HD even without a texture pack. The music is still fantastic.

I still concede that the game's over-reliance on luck is a major flaw, but I still enjoy the game a lot and I feel the game has more merits than people recognise.

I also concede that the game sadly does suffer from sterilization, but this generally isn't a total dealbreaker when it comes to non-RPG Mario games.

I had to redo Bowser's Station a lot of times due to horrible luck and two fairly hard COMs, but using the tab key in Dolphin to boost emulation speed actually really helps the grinding.
 

Crystal Winter

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Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time (third time)

Feels weird to post about this game in this topic for the second time in less than 2 months, but I just beat the game with one very special condition:

I beat it whilst skipping half the game.

Yes, the time portal to Shroob Castle actually opens up halfway through the game (specifically just after beating Sunnycide in Yoob's Belly, Yoshi Island and just before Gritzy Desert). Normally, the door is locked and you need to get all 5 Cobalt Star shards before you can enter. But there is a glitch that lets you enter the castle beforehand. I also used two other glitches to skip significant portions of Shroob Castle including the entirety of the sewer section and the first saucer minigame. By using these glitches I was able to reach the final boss without having to learn the baby spin move which would require progressing further before going into Shroob Castle.

The glitches:

Ball clip to get into Shroob Castle (you can do this in reverse to get out of the castle)

Out of bounds clip to skip getting Baby Spin


I was surprised to learn that doing this doesn't advance the game sequence to Shroob Castle, so I can't get the Ulti-Free badge without progressing through Gritzy Desert as normal which kinda defeats the point of the challenge (I also can't buy late-game Bros. Attacks in the store). Not having infinite Bros. Attacks was a bummer until I discovered the Hit-Free badge that you can get in a block in Shroob Castle which lets you use infinite Bros. attacks until you get hit. I grinded to level 24 before facing the final bosses. Of course I was severely under-leveled at first so beating the enemies was a real pain especially with the Shroob Rex since its charge attack is unavoidable if it hasn't been jumped on (and they often do this attack before I get a chance to attack). I actually probably spent like 3+ hours grinding enemies but I kinda found that fun.

(I'm on the PAL version btw so the final bosses have less health)

Having done it I think I sort of wish I had saved this challenge to later since I've only beaten the full game twice. PiT is already a somewhat short RPG and also one of the harder Mario RPGs, and this challenge makes the game much shorter and more difficult. But it is really cool and satisfying to just break the game and skip an entire half of it. I think I would recommend the challenge to advanced PiT players looking for a challenge, but not before replaying the game at least 3 times.
 
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Crystal Winter

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Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (Nintendo GameCube)
I started a playthrough of this game to celebrate the fact its getting a remake (a fact that still has me shaking in joyful disbelief) and I got so hooked on it I'm already done.

I've lost count of how many playthroughs I've done so far, but I did this one was a BP-only challenge run (I only upgraded BP whenever Mario levelled up: I never used HP Plus or FP Plus; I did still upgrade partners and use HP Plus P) and I really think that this challenge run is a great way to spice up what's otherwise quite an easy game. I found most of the run fairly manageable (the first half was even very easy) and only game-overed twice during the challenge (once against the Chapter 8 Shadow Sirens battle, and once for the laughs by reading Ghost. T's diary). I would've game overed a lot more if Life Shrooms weren't a thing though, especially against Gloomtail and the final boss, I even backtracked through the entirety of Chapter 8 to make sure I had enough Life Shrooms for the final boss.

Chapter 7/8 was definitely a huge difficulty spike and it was easy for Mario to get KO'd when he only has 10HP.

I guess I could've won far more easily by exploiting stuff like Charge P spam + Multibonk, Mega Rush P + Quick Change, but I wanted to avoid doing that.

Honey Supers (Super Shroom + Honey Syrup) were a blessing as they literally restore all of Mario's HP and FP in a single item under this challenge.

I finished the game at level 27, meaning Mario had 10HP, 5FP, and 81BP during the final boss fight.

Overall I really enjoyed this playthrough once again and it reinforces my feeling that TTYD is probably my favourite Mario game now even above its sequel. Trying a challenge run made me appreciate the greatness of the battle system more. The game has amazing replay value, I'm even considering playing through it again before the remake comes out (maybe on Dolphin as I still haven't played the entire game with the hires texture pack).

Vivian is probably my favourite Mario character right now and I hope so badly that the remake will treat her right in all languages, like the Italian version of the original (Vivian saying she is proud to have become a woman and is correctly gendered by the game menu). Unfortunately, I don't think I can expect as much. I pretty much had her out at all times and made sure to always take her into cutscenes, even going so far as to ensure I end all boss fights with her as the active party member.

The final chapter, final boss, and ending of the game is honestly just perfection. It actually felt so rewarding to beat the game and the credits music is one of the best tracks in the franchise.

It's come to be quite a nostalgic game for me (I was 15 when I first played it and I'm 20 now), and it's been a while since I did a full start to finish playthrough within a short span of time. I thoroughly had a ton of fun almost the entire way (General White quest still sucks and Chapter 6 is a tad on the boring side for me), it still blows my mind to know that next year I'll be treated to a glorious remake of this game on the Switch.
 
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Crystal Winter

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Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga + Bowser's Minions (first time playing the remake but I already played the original)

I feel kinda bad for posting here a lot this year and a lot of my posts are quite long, so I'll keep this concise in a list

Pros:
+ Mostly faithful remake of one of the best Mario games
+ Greatly modernized and more detailed graphics, very impressive for a 3DS game, similar to DT
+ I mostly love the remade soundtrack, now without the GBA's limitations. Cackletta's theme in particular is fantastic.
+ There's now a map on the touchscreen. You can place pins I guess, but I never used this feature
+ Use X to jump/swim simultaneously
+ Cutscenes can be fast forwarded
+ You can save anywhere, but save blocks still exist, like DT.
+ In game music menu, including the original versions
+ The 2nd Fawful battle now uses the Fawful and Cackletta track instead of the Popple battle theme
+ The Koopalings have dialogue and Ludwig's battle is much cooler
+ The final boss is way cooler, has much more impressive intro and death animations, and is color coded to indicate the fire and lightning.
+ Can retry battles. This means you
don't have to beat Bowletta every time you die to Cackletta's soul
+ Some cameos and references added, such as the posters in the Yoshi Theatre referencing the other M&L games
+ Coffee blends and the corresponding E. Gadd scenes and accessories are now much easier to get.
+ Minion Quest gives us more Fawful scenes (I love Fawful), adds more insight to the story of Superstar Saga since it takes place alongside the main story, and foreshadows Partners in Time.



Neutral/mixed:
? The game saves itself after the final boss, but it just seems to take me back to Beanbean Castle Town and doesn't change/unlock anything
? Added Easy Mode. I mean I think it's super unnecessary given how easy the game is already but nobody's forcing me to use it so I'm not angry.

Cons:
- I feel like the uniqueness and charm of the original game, such as in its artstyle and character designs, was not fully preserved in the remake, e.g. Koopas not wearing flight uniforms, Toads are more generic etc.
- I really don't like the new system of switching Bros. moves and much preferred the one in the original game. Switching them with L and R is now far too tedious and I just don't like doing it with the touchscreen.
- A few tracks sounded better in the original such as Teehee Valley and the final boss music.
- The remake is probably easier than the original, which was already too easy.
- Removed Geno and Psycho Kamek
- I didn't really enjoy Minion Quest except for the reasons I listed in the Pros.
- Only 2 save files
- I recall in the original game I always had to survive the 1HP thing for one barrage of attacks in the final boss, whereas in the remake despite being quite underlevelled I got a turn before being attacked so the 1HP thing didn't mean anything
 
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Fizzle1491

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Recently:
200cc Gold Cup on Spiny Cup
100% Yoshi's Crafted World
100% New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe AGAIN.
 

Crystal Winter

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Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (GCN) (100% complete)

After almost 5 years and a total of 80h 38m playtime, I have beaten TTYD to 100% for the very first time, using the very first save file I made when I got TTYD. It was certainly tedious at times (I wouldn't say it was much better than SPM, which is the only other MaRPG I've 100%ed) with the 100 Star Pieces being especially tedious, but it was entirely worth it for the satisfaction of fully conquering one of the best games of all time.

List of 100% requirements in the spoiler tag below, I basically went off the requirements listed in speedrun.com
Required:
  • Beat the main campaign
    • Mario's upgrades are listed as separate targets as some can be skipped with glitches:
      • Ultra Boots
      • Ultra Hammer
      • All 4 Paper Curses
      • All 8 Special Moves
      • All 7 Crystal Stars
  • All 7 Partners upgraded to Ultra Rank
  • All 100 Star Pieces
  • All 42 unique* Shine Sprites
  • Superstar Rank (i.e. reach level 30)
  • All 85 unique Badges
  • All 57 Recipes
  • All 124 Tattles
*using glitches it's possible to get some Shine Sprites more than once, hence "unique"

Not Required but I completed them anyway:
  • All Trouble Centre sidequests completed
  • Top Scores in all 4 Pianta Parlour mini-games
Not Required and I didn't complete them:
  • Reach Level 99 (I finished 100% at Level 49)
 

Fizzle1491

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Oop, forgot something. I recently 100% Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker Switch, including all Pixel Toads in Episode 1-3. I also cleared Mummy-Me Maze Forever with the clear condition, but no DLC.
 
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