Super Talking Time Bros.: Impressions

I played some of this game today! Here are some random thoughts:

1) The more I play around with Super Mario Bros. X (the engine the game was made in), the less I like it. It feels really off-model and not quite right. The physics of Mario and the enemies are just a touch off in most places, and that’s enough to throw me off.

2) On a related note, this probably wasn’t fair of me, but I was kind of expecting everyone else to recognize how crappy Springs and Note Blocks are in this engine and refuse to use them, as I did. They don’t work anywhere close to the way they do in real Mario games, and that’s really annoying.

3) As I’d anticipated, the game is kind of random and disconnected, the varying authors far too evident. Any number of the levels seem to exist merely to say “Look what we can do!” I’m not sure how many Ice Flower levels one game needs, but I’m nearly certain it’s less than what we’ve got. Even NSMBWii, the game that introduced this version of the Ice Flower, doesn’t have any levels that need it. It’s just helpful to have, and if you lose it, no biggy.

4) A couple of the levels have blocks and platforms positioned just awkwardly enough to annoy. This probably could have used more testing. (I’m thinking specifically of the secret star in Pipe Dreamin’, which requires extreme, annoying precision.) Even one of my levels has a couple broken places — but that’s because a beta version was included in the game instead of the corrected version that I posted not five posts later. [/bitterness]

5) I’ll probably get some argument here, but I think there are probably too many secret stars. The best analogue to the secret stars in this game are probably the secret exits in Super Mario World, and those are pretty spread out — probably no more than a third of the levels have a secret exit in that game. In this game, it seems like almost all of them do. For me at least, a lot of the triumph of beating a level is lost if I have to head right back in and start searching for P-Switches and out-of-the-way vines. Moreover, in World, the secret exits have the extra motivation of opening up shortcuts, which they don’t do here. You don’t get your reward for diligent star-searching until the end. I want more carrot, less stick.

I think a solid majority of the levels should be straightforward run-from-left-to-right affairs, and only the most clever and interesting secret stars should be retained. 2-D games simply lack the ability to create expansive playgrounds, and that’s where the multiple-stars-per-level setup shines. Keep the forward momentum going and let short-term victories count for more.

6) Difficulty seems fair so far, at least compared to standard-issue ludicrous romhack difficulty. I’d like to see how someone with little to no Mario experience responded to it, but what are the odds of that happening?

7) I don’t envy the person who has to Let’s Play the game and explain all the ridiculous Talking Time in-jokes.

Needless to say, I gots opinions about how the sequel should be done, if it ever comes to fruition. But that’s for another time, I guess.

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1 Response to “Super Talking Time Bros.: Impressions”


  1. 1 kaisel January 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    “I’d like to see how someone with little to no Mario experience responded to it, but what are the odds of that happening?”

    Heh, while I’m not someone with no Mario experience, most of mine comes from the NES games and Yoshi’s Island. I’ve never beaten Super Mario World, and the last time I played it was at least 10-15 years ago, which I hope should be an interesting test case when I finally get the time to go through this.


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