Reviews: Platformers

Super Metroid
10Perfect

Super Metroid

Super Metroid is the third installment in the Metroid series of 2D adventure-platformer shooters and is on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The events of the game follow the events of the previous two. The game will explain it at that start, but basically the last Metroid is in captivity being researched by scientist when you, the bounty hunter Samus Aran, receive a distress call from the research station to find the Metroid stolen. After escaping the self-destructing lab, you tail the thief to Zebes and begin your search for creature and its captors. Are you a bad enough babe to save the Metroid? Luckily, the story isn’t terribly important for the gameplay. You can skip the first two games (and even ignore the story at the start of this one) and still play through the game just fine. The reason is because the game is very open-ended. You land...
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Donkey Kong 64
8Great

Donkey Kong 64

Donkey Kong 64 is a 3D platforming collect-a-thon adventure by Rareware on the Nintendo 64. King K. Rool, the croc with the crown, floats his fortress up to DK Isles to finally finish off that meddlesome monkey once and for all. However, his seafaring lair runs into some technical problems, along with his secret weapon that is set to destroy the island. In an effort stall for time and keep Donkey Kong from stopping his plans, he steals DK’s precious hoard of golden bananas and kidnaps the other Kongs. It’s up to DK to save his friends and work together to get back those golden bananas and stop King K. Rool before it’s too late. The game is primarily a 3D platformer, with most characters being able to run, jump, swim, attack, and various other contextual actions. Depending on who you’re using, you may have some slightly different abilities like...
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New Super Mario Bros.
7Good

New Super Mario Bros.

New Super Mario Bros. is a side-scrolling platformer for the Nintendo DS. The Super Mario Bros. series hadn’t seen much in the way of truly new games in quite some time, with their last major installment being Super Mario World on the SNES and not in name since Super Mario Bros. 3 for the NES. So it was high time the brothers jumped back in action. Thus, New Super Mario Bros. was made. It may seem a bit tired now, but let’s take a look back at the one that started this retro revival of mustachioed masters. New Super Mario Bros. plays a lot like other games in the Super Mario Bros. series. You run and jump your way through levels, stomping on enemies and collecting coins in the process. You’ll see lots of familiar things like koopas, goombas, red bricks, green pipes, and even good ol’ Bowser. You’ll just...
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Xeodrifter
7Good

Xeodrifter

Xeodrifter is an explorative 2D run and gun platformer for Nintendo 3DS. It is also available elsewhere, but the version I played was the 3DS download of this indie title. I think many would like to call it a Metroidvania game, but it’s really much more like a bite-sized version of Metroid more specifically. You’re just flying through space when an asteroid hits your ship and damages your warp core. You’ll need to fly on impulse between the four nearby planets in order to look for something to repair it. You can pick and switch between them in whatever manner you’d like, but something tells me there won’t just be a brand new warp core on the surface of any of these places. The gameplay has you selecting one of the four planets to land on and then exploring that planet from the landing zone. You can save and heal...
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Super Mario World
10Perfect

Super Mario World

Super Mario World is a 2D platformer for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. It is the follow-up to Super Mario Bros 3 and is the first of the Super Mario World series. Bowser is up to his old tricks once again of kidnapping the princess. This time he keeps her locked up in a castle on Dinosaur Island, where he has also imprisoned many of the inhabitants, the Yoshis, inside of eggs. Apparently they don’t just hatch from them… but… okay, whatever. It’s up to Mario and Luigi to save the day. This is done in typical Mario fashion. You run, jump, explore, and fight your way through the various levels and lands of the island in order to get to Bowser’s Castle. You have familiar powerups such as mushrooms and fire flowers. You can jump on enemies’ heads. And similar to Super Mario Bros 3, you can pick your...
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Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins
8Great

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins

Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins is a 2D platformer for the Game Boy. It is an entry in the Mario series as well as the sequel to Super Mario Land which is also on the Game Boy. The basic story is that during the events of Super Mario Land, Wario has taken over Mario’s castle. The door to the castle is locked and can only be opened by inserting six golden coins into it. To obtain these coins, Mario must travel to various themed zones, complete the levels, and defeat the six major bosses of the game. With the six golden coins in hand, Mario must storm the castle and reclaim what is his. Pretty simple. You play doing the general Mario things. You can run, jump on enemies, use the fire flower, collect coins, and even do the spin jump to hit blocks below you. As with...
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Super Mario Land
7Good

Super Mario Land

Super Mario Land is a 2D platformer in the Mario series for the Game Boy. There may be a more complex plot in the manual, but I don’t have that so the main plot of the game itself seems to be that you, Mario, are trying to save Daisy. That’s uh… that about all I could gather, but that’s really all you need. Save the damsel in distress. Simple enough. The game shares many similarities with the first Super Mario Bros actually. You run and jump your way through a linear sequence of levels. You can get mushrooms and flowers to power up. You can fight off koopas and goombas while collecting coins and going down pipes to find secrets. You can jump on your enemies or shoot them with the projectile powerup from the flower. And there’s a boss at the end of each world. Beat the final boss,...
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Kirby’s Dream Land 2
7Good

Kirby’s Dream Land 2

Kirby’s Dream Land 2 is a cutesy 2D platformer for the Game Boy. This is actually the third installment in main series of Kirby games. The first game, Kirby’s Dream Land, also came out on the Game Boy prior. It featured the titular character and his ability to walk, jump, fly, and inhale and shoot out enemies and objects. There were also a few powerups present at specific sections to grant invulnerability for a time or to replenish health among other things. The game was linear, with stages leading to various bosses until the final encounter with the series antagonist, King Dedede. The second game in the series, Kirby’s Adventure, was released on the NES late in its lifetime. This game added in an overworld for selecting and returning to levels. It also was presented in color. The most notable inclusion was Kirby’s now-famous copy ability, which allowed him to...
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Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land
8Great

Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land

Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land is a cutesy 2D platformer for the Game Boy Advance. It is a remake of the Nintendo Entertainment System game Kirby’s Adventure, another installment in the Kirby series of games. You’re on a quest to return the Star Rod to the Fountain of Dreams so that people may dream once more. However, King Dedede is guarding the magical item, so it’s up to Kirby to save the day. As always, Kirby can run, jump, fly, and use his patented copy ability to consume foes and use their powers as his own. You platform your way through various stages in seven different worlds, mainly trying to reach the exits. These stages are filled with various enemies, mini bosses, and lots of different powers to try out. There are also some branching paths and secrets to be found that can unlock more areas on the overworld. Each...
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Super Mario 64
8Great

Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64 is a 3D platformer for the Nintendo 64. Princess Peach invites Mario over to her castle to have some cake. Upon his arrival, Mario is informed that Bowser has kidnapped the princess and stolen the power stars, trapping everyone within the castle walls and entrusting the power stars to his minions. It’s up to Mario to jump into various paintings to enter the many worlds within the castle, recover the stars to unlock the doors, defeat Bowser, and save Princess Peach. Thus the game begins. You control the mustachioed protagonist known as Mario. You start the game off with all kinds of moves that the game will slowly introduce to you via signs, but those who know how to play already can cut out the middle man and just jump right in. Mario can jump, double jump, triple jump, long jump, backflip, side jump, ground pound, punch,...
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