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Forum Home > Reviews > Mario vs. Donkey Kong (GBA)

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Yet another Ambassador title that I played for the first time and can now cross off the list. You've probably heard of this series before, possibly on the DS with the "Mini-Marios" that you control with the stylus. But the "first" game in the series has you controlling Mario and saving the minis. I say "first", because this game is actually a spiritual successor to Donkey Kong on the Game Boy (commonly referred to as Donkey Kong '94). Anywho, lets dive into the review.

I gotta say, I went into this game expecting something fantastic. Heard nothing but good things, a "sequel" to one of my favourite Game Boy games. It was looking great. But then I played it. I'm not about to start hating on the game or something, I did enjoy it. But, it's really just average at best. I'll explain some pros and cons.

Things it has going for it. It looks great for a Game Boy Advance game, that can't be denied. The puzzles are really thought provoking, in case you're not aware while this game has platforming elements it really is a puzzle-solving game, figuring out how to play each level. Lots of new elements as you progress through the levels, and the level design for the most part is well done.

But what killed it for me was the controls. Maybe it was the port to 3DS, but more often than not sometimes I would attempt a jump and Mario would just... not jump and walk off a ledge to his doom. Also what irked me is sometimes I just wanted to fall straight down but the falling mechanics made it so you had to pretty much come to a stand-still first before falling. Most Mario games you have pretty significant control over Mario in mid-air, but this one I would almost compare to the original Super Mario Bros. Not hating on the classic, but SMB3 has been the standard for Mario's jump physics since it came out.

You can do some fancy tricks that were in DK '94, such as the handspring jumps and backflips. But these can pretty crazy too, as your momentum on the jumps can easily make you overshoot into a pit or obstacle. I didn't use them too much, but I would say they were a good addition.

So I only "beat" this game, that is there is another like full set of levels once you beat the final boss. But I just wanted to move on. It's a good play, but I'd say just play it now and again to kill time rather than playing all the way through it. But it's free if you got it with the Ambassador program, so if you have it I suppose you could give it a shot.


March 29, 2014 at 7:45 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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