Alex95's Top 150 Games (is now a review thread)

Alex95

The True Power Master
Wiki Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
I'll just make this into a general review thread, I suppose. I beat Odyssey, so I may as well talk about it :P

Super Mario Odyssey
Going in to Super Mario Odyssey, I saw many people saying it was a return to form to the Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy format. Even Nintendo made this connection, separating these from Sunshine and the 3D Land/World games. But after playing even just the first kingdom, I could tell this was just going to be its own thing. There are still end level objectives to collect, in this case being the Power Moons, but they don't behave in the same way. In 64 through Galaxy 2, you are brought back to the hub world after each objective, and going back in will often lead to changes in the level for each mission. Here in Odyssey, almost everything happens at once, and you can keep collecting Power Moons without being brought out of the level. The levels do change after you collect a Multi Moon, however.

The music and graphics in this game are top-notch, some of the absolute best I've ever seen in a Mario game. The controls handle pretty well, and the new mechanic, Capture, let's you control enemies and objects that range from cool to hilarious and it's a lot of fun. You can control returning enemies like Goombas or Cheep Cheeps to things like a freaking T-Rex or a taxi. The kingdoms are all beautifully designed and it never feels like there isn't something to do, ranging from a food kingdom to a frozen desert kingdom to the metropolitan area run by Pauline, who sings the very catchy "Jump Up, Super Star!" And costumes! You can dress up Mario however you want with various pieces of hats or outfits, some even calling back to previous titles. Once I got the 64 Outfit, I never took it off except for when a Power Moon called for another outfit.

The main problem I had actually comes from the Power Moons themselves. In previous games, you hopped into an area, selected a mission with a name hint, and then it shows you were to go. The fun came from finding out how to get there. Super Mario Odyssey does do this, but only for the main missions that happen in a linear progression, which I think happens only, what, twenty times? There are a whopping 999 Power Moons in the game, more than there are Koroks in Breath of the Wild. I don't remember how much you actually need to beat the game, I think 150, which is not anywhere close to the full count. The rest of the Power Moons are scattered, with the only clues you get for them being from Talkatoo, Hint Toad, or amiibo. It quickly became this extravagant fetch quest that I ended up getting very bored very quickly with it after I beat the game (some Power Moons are post-game only, btw). It's the same problem I had with Breath of the Wild, it was a lot of aimless wandering. You are rewarded for the wandering, most certainly, but the game just felt like it dragged on way too long. After 836 Moons, I didn't feel like finding any more.

But regardless of how you feel about how the Power Moons are handled, the rest of the game's content is incredible. I don't think it has Super Mario 64 or Super Mario Galaxy beat for me, but it's definitely deserving of being one of the best Mario titles.

ProsCons
Incredible graphics and soundtrackPower Moon fetch quest
Capture mechanic is hilariously well done
So many costumes to wear
 

YoshiFlutterJump

Power Star
Awards Committee
Should probably mention that there are actually only 880 unique moons, with 999 being the highest the counter can reach by buying extra moons from shops.
 

YoshiFlutterJump

Power Star
Awards Committee
Yeah you have to buy one moon in every kingdom. Any additional moons you buy are still counted in your total but don't count towards the 880.

Anyway you have an idea of where this game would rank on your list?
 

Alex95

The True Power Master
Wiki Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Gone are the days where a Star poofs out of your head when you hit 100 coins.

Anyway you have an idea of where this game would rank on your list?
Hmm, I did enjoy the game a lot more than I thought I would, though the amount of Power Moons feels overwhelming. I don't know if I will ever feel compelled to 100% complete it. And if I do, I don't know if I'll ever try to do it again, like I do for the other Mario games. I certainly enjoyed it more than Breath of the Wild, but I think I'll take Super Mario Galaxy 2 over Odyssey.
That would put the game somewhere between #48 and #29.
 

Koops

Epic
I honestly am not the biggest fan of everyone and their families cranking out these huge games with "super open world giant maps" or whatever, a simple game can be just as enjoyable as, if not more than an open-world game that's too big to fill up. The main issue I have with BotW is that since the map is so big, that means nothing happens most of the time. Most of the time the hard part of a mission is getting there, and it gets tedious when you either haven't unlocked any nearby shrines or all the nearby shrines are far away from the place. I don't mind a big map but just make it better to explore. I love BotW but it's far from a perfect game.

Mario Odyssey has a similar problem, in that it feels like it needs so much moons to be able to go up to 999 (including the 880 actual moons). Honestly 500 moons is not nearly as overwhelming and would still be decently lengthy. But I don't like having a huge amount of content just for the sake of it, I want worthwhile content.

I never 100%ed Odyssey, as a matter of fact.
 

Alex95

The True Power Master
Wiki Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
It feels like they made 999 the arbitrary number to meet and then told the devs "Okay, we need this many Power Moons" and just scattered them all over the place. Don't get me wrong, making that many Power Moons and finding places to put them is impressive, but I think it would've been more worthwhile if they just made the ideas they had rather than do what feels like forcing out more to meet a number.
 

Alex95

The True Power Master
Wiki Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Ranked Super Mario Odyssey at number 36. This puts it between Donkey Kong Country Returns (35) and Portal II (37).

This also makes Super Mario Odyssey my 13th favorite Mario game and my 8th favorite Mario platformer.
 

Alex95

The True Power Master
Wiki Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Super Mario Maker 2
Super Mario Maker 2 is a fantastic expansion from the Wii U's Super Mario Maker. New course elements like the long-requested slopes, expansive updates like the Master Sword and Koopalings, and local multiplayer made this game stand out from it's predecessor. But it also gets hit hard by a very serious problem.

The first Super Mario Maker allowed players to build the Mario levels of their dreams, though it lacked many components. Super Mario Maker 2 adds new items, course pieces, enemies, and obstacles that greatly expand players imaginations. And if you find yourself short on ideas, there's a new story mode that lets you play through pre-made courses of varying difficulty. Even after release, Super Mario Maker 2 got far greater expansions than the original game did, such as World Maker, that allows you to create small Super Mario World-like areas that you can tag five of your levels into. This is truly the definitive level creator. I've seen levels ranging from barren wastelands, haunted castles, upside-down dungeons, poisonous boss battles, and just straight up troll levels. You can even build levels with a partner. Though their menu is more streamlined, they have access to the same materials, allowing both players to work together. Imagination knows no bounds.

But while single player and local multiplayer content is very solid, online multiplayer... is not. There are two modes to this: Cooperative and Versus. Cooperative has up to four players work together to clear a level, and as long as one person makes it to the goal, everyone wins. Versus is a race of skill, the first person to make it to the end of the level wins. Sounds like fun, right? Well... It is at first. You can very easily gain points at the start of Versus up until at least B Rank before things start taking a turn for the worse. Even ignoring lag complications that vary from person to person, there are numerous issues here. First and foremost, it is a race, and with every character having the same statistics, you are either first or not. You must take the lead at the start of the match if you hope to have any chance at winning, and then you have to survive the level. Dying even once can cause you to lose your lead, and you can't rely on other players to follow you to your doom. Throwing clear conditions and keys into the mix just ruins any match, as a single stomp to your head can cause you to lose the requirement to the jumper. And if you think you can get points by simply reaching the flagpole behind the first person who does so, you don't. You actually lose points by making it to the end, there's no reward for second place. And, of course, you have the troll players, which you can also find in Cooperative.

I have never been this infuriated at an online game ever, and at a Mario game no less. My point count was at 3700 a few days ago. It's back down to 3400 because I could not for the life of me gain any lead. It's a race, first and foremost, and it is the most stressful game I have ever played. But at the same time, it is a lot of fun seeing what other people have made, and you can still enjoy these levels for yourself using ID codes or the single player online Endless Mode. As a level creator, Super Mario Maker 2 is hands down the best I have ever seen, and that is where the game truly shines.

I have already rated this game, it's at number 12, as I covered the Super Mario Maker series as a whole there. But it was just before I got Super Mario Maker 2, so this is a more in-depth analysis.

ProsCons
Great game play and level editorInfuriating online modes that rely on too many unknowns
Imagination is endlessRIP amiibo costumes
 
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Alex95

The True Power Master
Wiki Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

It's all Lakituthequick's fault. I had no intention of buying a Switch-expanded port of a Wii U game I already owned, but he had to go and make a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe tournament after I bought a Switch. Thanks, man. /s

For real, though, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a great improvement of the original Wii U title. It still plays mostly the same, and all of the previous DLC is intact and can be unlocked through conventional means. There are also additional characters, such as Bowser Jr., King Boo, and the Inklings. Being able to wield two items at once also returns, which is a welcome addition considering every other game (except Super Mario Kart) allowed for using two items. Battle Mode was incredibly lackluster in the original title, so it's been greatly expanded here, using actual battle courses both new and old.

There were some problems I didn't touch on in my initial Mario Kart 8 review, as I wanted to wait and see what Mario Kart 8 Deluxe did with them. Unfortunately, they are still apparent. The game's physics engine isn't as fun to mess with compared to Mario Kart 64 or Mario Kart Wii. The game even punishes you for taking glitch shortcuts on occasion (which is fine in multiplayer mode) by dragging you back to the main course. You can't drive in reverse. Coins suck and they are pretty useless. I'd much rather horizontal splitscreen rather than vertical, but that's a minor complaint. Some fan favorite characters are still missing, and Mario Kart Tour is doing a better job at bringing them back despite being a difficult game to play.

That's another thing that's odd here. Mario Kart Tour is apparently doing very well for some reason, but Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the best selling game on the Switch. Why isn't Nintendo doing more with it? The most we got was a Breath of the Wild set for Link. We don't have any new race courses.

I ranked Mario Kart 8 at number 60. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is certainly the better version, but it still misses the mark on some points that previous games have done better. With that, I'll place it at number 55, placing it between Final Fantasy X (54) and Mario Party 5 (now 56).

ProsCons
Improved gameplayPhysics engine is too strict compared to previous games
Additional characters and Battle Mode......but is still missing favorites and there are no new race courses
 

Alex95

The True Power Master
Wiki Administrator
Core 'Shroom Staff
WARNING: The following review contains major story spoilers. Read at your own risk.

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition

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Holy crap, you guys. I've seen some bits of Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - Definitive Edition, but avoided most of the spoiler heavy stuff, and this game shattered absolutely all expectations the more I played. Words can't do this game justice, but I'll try.

The story starts off pretty generically. Young hero born to beat a dark one, and all that, and it flows pretty expectedly until you get to the first castle, where you are then thrown into a dungeon for being branded as a traitor to the world called the "Darkspawn". In this dungeon, you meet your first ally, Erik, a down-to-earth thief who helps you escape. You two become buddies pretty quickly as you return to your home of Cobblestone, to find you've been somehow transported into the past and can interact with your dead adopted grandfather. Afterward, you find it's a vision, and Cobblestone has actually been destroyed. It's at this point I thought "The game's going to keep throwing twists at me, isn't it?"

If I try to write out every bit that made this game so surprising, I'd be here all day. Twists and turns galore. You help a girl named Veronica find her younger sister, to find Serena appears to be older and Veronica's age was sapped. You help a desert prince finish a horserace and take on a big scorpion while this bisexual circus clown named Sylvando shows up to help, and he apparently owns a ship that you have to get to after rescuing Erik in a Metal Gear-like stealth mission. You end up in a battle arena and meet a tough-as-nails lady and an old man, while partnering with the previous champion to take everyone down, to find said champion has been taking monster juice as a strength enhancer. You meet the lady and the old man in the ruins of your kingdom, to find the woman is the Princess of Heliodor gone missing and the old man is the King of Dundrasil, your true grandfather. After being attacked by one of Heliodor's knights, you have a new goal: Find the Gems to reach Yggdrasil. You do that, and things take a turn for the worse.

In a world without a hero, Sylvando works to bring smiles on everyone's faces, Jade gets captured by a pervy monster, Erik escapes a battleground with a Healslime who knows more than he lets on, Rab freaking dies but he gets better, and then you have control over your hero again. After returning to Cobblestone, you find your previous attacker, Hendrik, is working on atoning for his mistakes and joins you in an enemy gauntlet to protect the town. Then you go and find your friends, Sylvando joining easily, Jade is brainwashed, Erik lost his memory, and you and Rab learn some new skills. As you make your way back through Arboria, you reunite with Serena... and find Veronica did not make it. The sisters combine their strength and then you go take on Mordegon.

After this, you decide you're not done saving the world yet and want to go back in time to save Veronica. You do this with the help of the little Tockle creatures and The Timekeeper, but in doing so, you unleash a greater evil. You can go back to the towns you've already completed, and they will have new requirements for you, but they seem to be completely optional.

So much work went into this game. Erik is a real bro, Veronica is pushy but she's pretty cool and a great wizard, Serena is just absolutely adorable, Sylvando grew on me after being incredibly weird and invasive, Rab is hilarious, Jade is strong and smart, and Hendrik has a great character arc. All of these characters quickly became my favorites in the series, they are so well-written and the voice acting is top-notch. The game is also meant to be a reference to past games, namely Dragon Quest III, considering the lore around Erdwin, Serenica, Drustan, and Morcant. But there are so many references spread out throughout the game, to a Dragon Quest VIII costume to Erik's single story being a Dragon Quest IV callback.

And exclusive to the Definitive Edition of the game is a handfull of new locations from past games, centered around a place called Tickington. The previous locations have been tarnished, and it's up to you to put them back to normal. As a big fan of the series, I loved exploring everything again. Also exclusive to Definitive Edition is the option to play in 2D, like Dragon Quest IV through VI specifically, but I stuck with 3D. 2D is pretty slow and difficult to strategize with, but it's a familiar setting to fans. In 3D, characters take their turn when it is actually time to do so, and you can run around a battlefield and get special dialogue from your allies based on various circumstances. So many little things helped bring this game alive.

The only real "issues" I had with the game are that Dragon Quest IX did some things better. IX had local multiplayer and a vast character customization that XI did not have, instead XI followed closely to VIII. But those don't tarnish the experience any. Things get very confusing when you go back in time, as certain elements went together beautifully the first time around, but tend to not make sense after revisiting the past. It's noticable, but the series is known for its nonsensical comedy that it also kind of fits.

Even if you're not a fan of how RPGs play, I highly recommend this game just for the story and characters alone. There was so much packed into this game, that it quickly shot up my list the more I played it, so many times I thought the game would end, but nope there's something more! Which means this game fits right in to #3! Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a miracle, and this game doesn't have much in replay value like Kid Icarus: Uprising does, but Dragon Quest XI S (specifically) is an amazing title and I hope everyone enjoys it on the same level I did. This game is just really good, guys, near-perfect.

ProsCons
Fantastic visuals and accompanying musicCharacter customization isn't as robust as IX and X
Characters are the best I have seen in the series, with incredible character arcs......though Sylvando rubs me the wrong way and takes a while to actually like
Story is absolutely incredible and just keeps going, including twists, gut-punches, comedy, and romance
Various well-done callbacks to celebrate the series' 30th anniversary
 
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