Monthly Archives: June 2013

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Tom + Mat Attack 012 – Imminent Death Dialogue

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In this week’s TMA, Mat and Tom do the usual chin-wagging about the games they’ve bought and played, including The Last of Us, Rune Factory and How To Mount Your Friends. Discussions then move to gaming tragedies, revealing some deep issues our hosts have with the Pokémon series. Complete with alerts for Final Fantasy 7 and Chrono Trigger during The Last of Us segment… Yes, we’re giving you a spoiler alert for games that are over ten years old…

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Tom + Mat Attack 011 – A Sucker for a Rabbit

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In this week’s TMA, Mat and Tom babble on about the usual games bought and played. Mat confuses Trader Joes with Best Buy and talks on his injured arm, while Tom voices his objections to Animal Crossing , while discussing if Nintendo played it safe with their E3 Direct Video.

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Tom + Mat Attack 010 – Z3

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In this week’s TMA, we talk about the issues, the hard facts and other rigamarole to do with the E3 conference. We weigh up each of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony’s conferences as unbiasedly (yes we checked, that’s a word) as possible, as well as the usual talk of games bought and played. Oh, and did Mat mention he’s tired?

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Tom + Mat Attack 009 – Dog-loadable Content

On this week’s TMA, we discuss the usual things. What we’ve bought and played. We even hear from our Twitter followers, as  what they’ve been buying/playing! That’s called community interaction folks! We also speculate on E3 a little, and as usual moan about the Xbox One, it’s becoming a trend that we hope to buck after their conference, we swear!

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Super Mario Super Challenge Day 2 – Super Nintendo Bros. Ending and Lost Levels…

Day 2 – The Realisation sets in.

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So after a long day of work, I continued my play through of Super Mario Bros. The game’s difficulty increased, but not substantially  After the rest from last night, I was able to fly through the rest of the game pretty easily. Though I did get a large sense of pride when I finally got to the end of Castle 8-4, as it’s been an awful long time since I saw a chubby plumber get a kiss from a princess!

 

I then began my play through of Super Mario – Lost Levels.While it is really the second Super Mario title in Japan, we Westerners didn’t get it until the Mario Allstars version (which I am playing). Now, there is clear reasoning why the West didn’t get this game (and instead got Super Mario Bros. 2, which was released in Japan as Super Mario USA). In their wisdom, Nintendo of America after seeing the game in action, realised that not only was the game too similar to the original title, but the game was incredibly difficult. NIA thus released that if the game were released in the US, not only would the brand be diluted, but people might not play another Mario game.

If I’m being honest, I am very glad that NIA made this choice (though they made some terrible ones in that era! Namely scraping Mother’s English Translation at the last minute), as the game is one of the most difficult games I have ever played, and while it’s easy to speculate, it could have meant the death of Mario had it hit shelves in the US.

While there are plenty of super difficult games by modern standards, I feel I need to make it clear that while the game is difficult, it is (almost) never unfair. The game was designed for those who had mastered the original SMB, and thus is expected to be a challenge. As it is a Mario game, it doesn’t suffer the same idea of difficulty as say, the NES Turtles game (or in my opinion, Bloody Trapland), in the sense that the game’s controls are perfectly responsive and do not hinder the player. Still, it doesn’t make the title any easier…

In playing Lost Levels, you are essentially signing a contract that you are going to die a lot. Hundereds, maybe thousands of times. Frustratingly high amounts of deaths from turtles. tricky jumps and hammers. Oh, if I ever meet whoever suggested putting the Hammer Bros. in the Mario games, I will gladly force-feed them my controller!  But I persevered.  The game is difficult, but there is a certain level of reward in each level. Finally throwing up your controller in  celebration as your fastidious learning of a level (often the levels go down to muscle memory, it’s that intense), that you have concurred the odds, which as I’ve said, can result in hundreds of deaths if you’re not clinical with your jumps.

I understand to some people that this might seem as fun as putting a fork in toaster, but there is some joy to be had from it, though admittedly it’s a very hard slog. I got to the end of Castle 5-4 (I watched an entire Game of Thrones episode while dying on it…), before I called it a night. I am hitting some serious gamer fatigue, so while I will aim to complete the Lost Levels today (this blog is posted the day after because I had a late night), there will probably be a break from the start of SMB2.

– M

 

Super Mario Super Challenge Day 1 – Super Nintendo Bros.

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So for those of you familiar with our podcast, I have undertaken a mission. I freely admit, it’s a task that would have some people baffled. It’s not to climb everest, nor is it to build a replica of the Eiffel tower out of match sticks, those in comparison, at least  to some folks, might seem a little saner. No, what I  have decided to undertake is not only less artistic, as well as possibly more time consuming than the pre-mentioned flammable French landmark, but it’s something that while it could be conceived as a waste of time, I want to do it. So there.

 

I lay it out here and talk about the challenge. It is simply to play through the Super Mario titles. Starting at Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System, and finishing with New Super Mario Bros. Wii U! That’s a whole 18 titles if one is to include Wikipedia’s chronological list of Mario titles. Where I can, I will endeavour to play the games on their original console (I am however frugal, so won’t purchase anything unless I have to – Be it All Stars or Virtual Console, whatever I have  the game on and is to hand, I will play it on). I will only use the game’s save features (no save states!) and I will also not use warp pipes, warp whistles or any other in game trick for skipping ahead a couple of worlds. After all, where’s the fun in that?

What promoted this you might ask? Well I don’t really know. I guess there’s my boyish pride at wanting to complete them all, there’s also the fact that Tom is currently playing through the Sonic titles, but I think in all honesty what really triggered it was the guys over at Super Rad (episode 3! Go listen to it naaaw!) talking about boss fights, and their hatred of Wart at the end of Super Mario 2. To my knowledge, I don’t think I’ve ever beaten the game, which made me realised I hadn’t beaten most of the series! While I was more familiar with the Super Nintendo and portable titles, I played very little of Super Mario Sunshine, and haven’t even played the Galaxy titles on the Wii!

 

With this in mind, I began my race to the ultimate goal. 18 Mario titles under my belt… let it begin!

 

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Day 1 – To Begin At The Beginning!

 

Day one stated well. Tom and I thought it might be great to play a little 2 player Mario to ween me into the process. Yesterday, I’d played our copy of Super Mario Allstar’s version of the first title up until world 5, so was pretty confident that this would add some fun to the challenge. So after trying and failing to boot up our NES copy of Super Mario Bros. (damn you!), we decided to role with the Super Nintendo version.

We began, friendly enough, some general hints to each other, congratulating each other on an impressively fast run of the first underground level, until Tom’s first death at a tricky jump on 1-3. Then we realised that we both had our own ‘high score’ being logged by the game. Then it became less about fun, more about insulting the other player until they died by hammer throwing turtle or jumping fireball. Suffice to say, the game got sour fast, and competitive Mario proved not to be for the faint hearted. After I stole a late lead (and got into world 6), Tom’s frustrations began to show with the Hammer Bros. of World 5 (not to mention we had company!), and the game was done.

Naturally, being the anti-social guy I am, I then picked up the controller and played by myself, getting to the start of world 7 before calling it a day. Tomorrow I aim to complete the game, and hopefully will get the NES to work so I can see how the original compares to the game’s 16-bit remake.

Two thing I’ve defiantly noticed, that I’d forgotten was the loss of ALL power ups once hit (having a FireFlower doesn’t mean you become Super Mario when hit, but revert back to regular, tiny Mario!) which came as a shock at first, but quickly made the game feel more rewarding (a trend that continued up until Super Mario 3 in Japan!). The second thing I noticed, which felt pretty annoying, was the inability to always run and jump as smoothly while as Super Mario, but it’s something you get used to.

So that’s it. One day down, and almost a full game over. Join me tomorrow when I’ll try and complete Super Mario, and maybe also start Super Mario Land on my commute!

– M

Tom + Mat Attack 008 – Competition Time!

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This week on Tom + Mat Attack, we talk about the usual gaming goodness. Our played and bought titles, as well as the latest gaming news with some brief reflection. Then the moment you’ve all been waiting for! We announce the winner of our Twitter contest for MS Points… Which had all of 7 entries! Oh Dear!

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