Oh dear, Nintendo. What have you done? Mario 64 was one of the best games ever created. Better in many ways than Mario Sunshine, even. But this DS port is awful – ruined almost entirely by the dreadful controls. The digital pad is no good for the tight turns and run-speed control required, and the touch screen isn’t responsive enough and awkward to use.
Played it for a good two hours today, and it hasn’t “clicked” yet. I have 8 stars so far, but have run round much of the castle and open levels. I just can’t get into it.
On the plus side, the mini-games are good fun, but ultimately shallow and not worth buying the game for. Oh well.
Had another few goes on this today. It still isn’t much easier! Managed to complete 500m, but only because I bought a “one hit shield” item. Having said that, I had a life spare at the bottom so I could have done it. Unlocked Puchi as a result, and completed 300m with him. Also had a go at Pressure Driller mode, which is even more frantic than Mission Driller. Managed to defeat the 200 ton baddie, and nearly got past the 300 ton one, but died. Again.
But it’s not over yet! I finished the cave with the nasty thing on rollers, which was much easier in the end than it seemed. Got a few treasures in there, but not many. I then went back to one of the first caves I’d done, but not got everything in – Hole of Beasts – and completed it. The amount of treasure I got from there was enough to finish the game!
However, after that, you can carry on playing, and it opens another level up. I had a quick go in there, and found it crammed full of nasty baddies. Not nice. I then went on and did a couple of the Challenge Mode levels.
Finished up the cave I was in previously, defeating some Breadbugs (which were quite bizarre), and gathering a load more treasure. I have 91% of the debt repaid now. Wandered round Perplexing Pool for a bit, getting more berries and worked my way to another cave, which was in the water.
Now, it says at the cave entrance, that I need some of each type of Pikmin, but that clearly isn’t possible as only Blues can get to the cave. Took along 80 Blues, and jumped in. Realised that Blues CAN destroy flame jets (if you time it right), and then a huge watery thing (that looks like Chaos from Sonic Adventure) appeared, on rollers, and promptly flattened all my Pikmin. Tch.
Made a proper start on this DS game today, only to find it really hard. I think I must be missing some gameplay mechanic, as I can’t even do the 500m level, let alone the harder ones! I never was very good at the older Mr Driller games either. Haven’t tried Pressure Mode yet, but that seems like it’ll be even HARDER.
Servers are back up, and I’ve just done a bit more Subway-teaming with two other people. Unfortunately, they were not nearly as good as last night’s team, being unable to heal, and dying on me when confronted with an Infector. Tch. At least I got up to Level 15 now, which makes me a “Devotee”, apparently.
Wandered down to the Subway for a bit, and killed assorted Stim Fiends and Filth Fleas to get a bit of money and XP. Ran over to Old Athen to have a look round, but saw nothing of great interest. Came back to West Athen and bought myself a belt in the shop. I added some Morphing Memory to it, and now I can do more of the things I don’t currently do. Or something. Had to finish up early however, as the servers were going down for maintenance.
Did some more subway teaming today. Delved very deep into some odd looking place, along with four others, all Level 10 to 14. After an hour or so of killing frighteningly hard baddies (which were much easier teamed!), I was up to Level 14 myself. Said my goodbyes and left then. Got to try that again soon, though – it’s the best way to level up, as you don’t need to worry about healing with doctors on your team.
Yay! Up another level today. And I found a decent second weapon, so I have one in each hand. Killed a few more Shadows today too, as they’re a bit easier to bump off now I am TEH 1337 POWAHOUZ. Or not. I joined my first team as well, and went deep into the subway until we got attacked by nasty poisonous thingies. Then my team mates ran away like cowards, leaving me to kill them myself. Which I couldn’t do so I ran off. IN GLORY.
Just had a quick go, working my way to one of the caves at the back of Perplexing Pool, and grabbing some treasure on the way. Got into a cave, seemingly set in a toy room. I’ve done three sub-levels so far, and it seems very easy. There’s not a lot of treasure to be had yet either.
Went back to Perplexing Pool today, and drained a large area of the level. This also provided access to another dungeon, which I went on to complete. There was a boss at the end (as usual) who was tricky to kill (again) until the method of doing so was found. That he was easy. After that, I wandered around Perplexing Pool for a bit, and then got attacked by loads of huge baddies (including the giant spider thing from another cave which just appeared from nowhere) and lost about 40 Pikmin to them. Found a bit of treasure, and rebuilt my Pikmin army then. Up to 78% debt repaid now.
Went back to this for an hour or so, and managed to gain another level. Still not powered up enough for my new axe, but slowly getting there. Made a fair bit of money (for someone on level 11!) too, and did a far-too-easy mission.
Got myself a bit more money, and then decided to see if I couldn’t upgrade some weapons and stuff. And couldn’t, as they’re all far too expensive. So I decided to try the Trade Skill functions, and make myself a weapon instead.
This involved more than I thought – I needed a recipe, a construction kit, and four items. I managed to combine the first two items, but then found my Computer Literacy wasn’t of a high enough level for the next one. Luckily, some helpful person in the shape of a Batmobile combined the last few bits for me. Meijong, I think their name was. Anyway, I have a shiny new axe-that-looks-like-a-sickle, but haven’t got the 1337 skillz to wield it yet. Still, it cost me a lot less than one of similar power, so when I go up another couple of levels, I can use it. Probably.
Finished the dungeon I was in, racking up to 64% debt repaid in the process. Collected loads of Bulborb Pikmin thingies whilst I was down there too, although when I finished the dungeon, they didn’t follow me out. Shame, since they’re everything-proof, it seems. Had a bit of a hard time with the boss of the cave; some huge great slug Bulborb Queen thing, that kept spewing mini-Bulborbs out of her arse, and rolling around flattening everything (mostly my Pikmin). She was defeated eventually though.
Not a great record for the day, sadly, with so many dead Pikmin. Made up for it a bit though by growing some 200 more. Also went over to the third level and did a bit of killing and exploring in the water with my Blue Pikmin.
Am working my way through another dungeon in the Valley of Repose at the moment. Have found some bulb-baddie thingies with leaves on them that seem to like me, and act like Pikmin. Very bizarre. Just as well I found them too – most of my yellow Pikmin got squashed by another rock-firing baddie, and I needed some electricity-proof Pikmin to get through some of the sublevels. Thankfully, these new allies are electricity immune too!