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Saturday, November 21, 2009

22 - Grumble, Grumble #1 - The Irate Gamer's Super Mario Bros. 2 episode

Something a little new that I want to try and this is partly inspired by another blog that I've recently come across a month or so ago. Now you're most likely aware of the concept of the angry video game reviewer; a guy who takes an old game or whatnot and swear constantly while "reviewing" the game. It's a concept that was popularized by James Rolfe a.k.a. the Angry Nintendo Nerd, now known as the Angry Video Game Nerd.

Now, as with any popular fad, many others would jump on the bandwagon and do the same thing the Nerd did. Some did well and made their own name, while others didn't. Of all of these Me-Too reviews, one of these have earned a certain amount of infamy for his content and that person is the subject of today's initial project.

Chris Bores. Also known as the Irate Gamer.

Now I'm not going to dwell on the whole plagiarism deal. Most people have already made up their minds and I'm not going to throw my two cents in there. It's beating a dead horse and that horse is really starting to stink up the joint. Putting aside the alleged copying, when you get right down to it, Irate Gamer episodes tend to be inaccurate in regards to certain details. The most evident of this would be his recent "History of Video Games" in which a great deal of his information is flat out wrong.

Now this is not going to be one of those Anti-Irate Gamer summaries (there's already a good blog serving that role) and it isn't going to be an overview for the most part. This is just some thoughts I've had while watching his videos, along with any additional information I can provide, either through my own personal experiences or from other notable sites with significant information on a particular subject matter.

So without further delay, today's dissociative post will be concerning IG's "review" of Super Mario Bros. 2 for NES. SMB2 was originally released in Japan as a very different game called Doki Doki Panic for the Famicom Disk System, featuring different characters and a couple other elements. Japan did get a real SMB2, which was essentially Super Mario Bros. with a couple minor additions and rock-hard difficulty. When it came time to bring SMB2 over to North America, a decision was then made to convert that Doki Doki game into the SMB2 we all know and love... or loathe in some cases.

Now I'm going to go on a record and say that SMB2 isn't exactly a favorite of mine. In fact, there was a time when I absolutely hated this game. I don't know why; maybe it was the gameplay, maybe it was the letdown I got after playing the wonderful SMB3... I don't know, but for a time, I didn't really like this game. However, playing it recently, most of that hate seemed to have been forgotten, and I consider this to be a great game considering its unique history.

One thing is certain: my brief hatred for this game had nothing to do with the Irate Gamer's video, which was just wrong on a number of levels. So without further adue, here're my thoughts when watching the Irate episode.

It's been addressed by some other YouTuber (I forget his name, sorry) that Super Mario Bros. isn't packaged in each Nintendo system as Irate claims. The proper way to address this would be "packaged most Nintendo systems with SMB." Also, note that he mispronounces the word "mainly" by saying "manly" during this line.

For some reason, Irate thinks that SMB2 sticks out like a sore thumb. Really? I guess Yoshi's Island is too much like Super Mario World to stick out like anything. Also, why a sore thumb? Why not a sore neck? That'd be more noticable than a sore thumb... Moving on.

"Now I don't hate Mario 2, but this game has @$$ written all over it." I simply do not get that. If you didn't hate Mario 2, why would you follow that up with a statement like that? And why did you have to cover the cartridge with many different types of the word ass? Isn't the statement enough? I can think of something else that has ass written over it and it isn't this video game.

IG's complaint that this game was nothing like the previous Mario games that came before it is ridiculous. At the time, the previous Mario games released were the arcade game Mario Bros and the NES game Super Mario Bros - and both games played completely different from the other. Now I suppose if you wanted to include games like Donkey Kong or Wrecking Crew (where Mario was the protagonist), you could, but again, they're totally different games. So I just don't get this. If he wanted to compare this to the rest of the Mario games, he should just say that this game is nothing like the other traditional Mario games.

So Goombas, Bullet Bills, and Koopas hiding in clouds aren't considered oddball? Interesting... also, keep in mind that some of the menagerie of foes featured here such as shyguys, bob-ombs, and ninjis would be featured in later Mario games. In fact, bob-ombs would be featured in the VERY NEXT game and also had a dubious appearance in the Super Mario Bros. feature film, which was a box-office bob-omb that allowed the Nostalgia Critic to do that bob-omb joke in one of his videos.

How is Wart being the final boss a shitshocker? Is "shitshocker" supposed to be surprised? Wart being the final boss isn't a surprise or shitshocker of any kind; he's clearly mentioned in the instruction manual and presumably the intro sequence at the start of the game. Did you not refer to these items before doing your video? No? Oh, okay... next.

EDIT (Nov-25-2009) : I didn't catch this the first few times and it's only when a video of Reviewing the Reviewer by Asalieri covering this video that you paused for a bit after the word shitshocker. May I inquire as to why you did this? Is it supposed to be funny? Because I'm not laughing. Thank god I mainly write my comments and not post them on video... yet.

First off... his name is TOAD, not TOADSTOOL. TOADSTOOL was what they called the Princess early on and in the cartoons. And TOAD is not worthless; he's like the strongest and fastest character in the game with crummy jumping ability being his only drawback. Mind you, I've only used him a few times when I play the game - I tend to stick with Luigi or Princess - but he's far from useless.

Yes, it's a single-player game. So what? Many old-school NES games are single-player affairs. Ever heard of the concept of taking turns? That's what we used to do back in the old days when a bunch of us wanted to play great single-player games like Castlevania or Mega Man.

Also, why complain about health? Did you know that you can find mushrooms that will grant you an extra hit point? And that killing enemies for health is common in a number of titles like... oh, I don't know... ZELDA? Also, regaining health isn't that hard. You kill a few enemies, a heart floats up, you grab it, and voila! All healed up by one point. Simple.

By the way, I didn't complain about the health system when I first played Mario 2 as a kid. In fact, I thought that was a good thing because, unlike the first game, one stupid move DIDN'T kill me on the first hit.

The Starman doesn't really take that long to reach the top - BatDan of the blog Irate Gamer Sucks pointed out in his summary of this episode that the footage was reduced to a crawl to make it appear slower. I hadn't noticed this before, but now that I've seen it... ugh. But really, if you did take a dump while the star rose up, chances are you'd miss it. How long does it take for you to shit and wipe your ass? A minute or two? Star stays on screen for 15 seconds. So that's just wrong.

In fact, my only complaint is whenever the star appears in the subspace areas after picking the last cherry there and you're suddenly ripped back into normal space before you could claim the star. That would be a more legit (but trivial) gripe that most people would seem to have... not that it's slow. Believe me, fifteen seconds is more than enough.

Keep going right? Maybe you wouldn't get bombarded with enemies if you just kept going right or... KILL THEM for that matter. Not too difficult.

His/Her name is Birdo... he/she is not a bird. Also, you're complaining about facing Birdo at the end of every area? Why? You fought Bowser at the end of every world in SMB1, so why is this different?

Yes, it's all a dream. Why is that a problem? Did you read the instruction manual... or read the story that appeared on the title screen? No? I just asked this before already? Oh, sorry.

"I wish I was dreaming this game, because it fucking sucks. Compared to the other Mario games, this is the worst one of the bunch." But you said that you didn't hate Mario 2.

I have to admit that I never understood "The Lost Levels" title either. In fact, the original version on the Wii Virtual Console lists this game as Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels, even though the game itself still retains the original SMB2 title. So why couldn't they just call it SMB2 Japan? Or even Super Mario Bros for Super Players, which is what the GBC game, SMB Deluxe called it?

"SMB2 Japan is the perfect predecessor to the first Mario game?" You mean successor? Also, considering your previous videos (prior to this one and even the ones after, for that matter) where you tend to complain about the difficulty of the games you review, I doubt you're being sincere about the praise you're showering this game with. After all, the whole reason SMB2 Japan never came here was because Nintendo thought it was too hard for us stupid North Americans and that Miyamoto himself preferred converting the Doki game to SMB2.

On a sidenote, our version of SMB2 was then later released in Japan as Super Mario USA. Interestingly enough, Irate never brought this up.

Games don't come out of thin air? Damn, so where did all those NES games come from then? Thick air?

It's not a mystery, dude. This has been common knowledge for years. In fact, certain magazines published at the time of SMB2's release had allegedly revealed the game's dubious origins. So it's not much of a mystery.

So he starts talking about Doki Doki Panic like it's a big secret even though, like I said, just about everyone knew about it and that the topic has been touched upon by a few people already. I mean, I knew about it back when I read it mentioned in an issue of EGM or something.

So he touches on the minor differences between the two games, but really if you want to know how the two games differ, the Mushroom Kingdom site has a good guide on the differences between the two games. Here's the link if anyone wants to check it out.

And since I'm on the subject, I'd like to point out that re-watching the video and looking at said page, I've noticed IG fucked up on the characters. This is something I've commented on in another blog and I'll repost that bit here.

In the video, IG showed the gameplay characters of and renamed them (in order of appearance):

Papa = Mario

Mama = Luigi

Sister Lina = Princess

Son Imajin = "Worthless" Toad

Now IG fucked up here because Papa was actually turned into TOAD (not MARIO as he claims) while Son was turned into MARIO (not TOAD as he claims). In fact, if you watch the clip where Son is picking up the key, you'll note that he's picking it up rather slowly - more like average speed. Now, it's been awhile since I've played Mario 2 (or Mario Advance), but isn't Toad supposed to pick things up super-fast? I don't know about you, but that ain't super-fast picking up the key.

Not enough research, methinks.

“These two games should have nothing in common.” Two words: Shigeru Miyamoto.

“It’s unclear as to why they copied it in the first place, but many have speculated that the real Mario 2 game was too much like the first one.” Really? That didn't stop Capcom from releasing six Mega Man games on the NES that all played pretty much the same way.

Mega Man is awesome, by the way.

He quickly glosses over Super Mario Advance and praises it as a true Mario game, even though it's still technically the same game that was released in 1987. It does include Mario Bros... that might have changed his mind.

I'm not going to comment on the skits... I hate pointless skits in my video game reviews unless they're done well. These skits... are not done well, I'm afraid. Sorry.

So that concludes the SMB2 video. If I see some other video worth commenting on, then I'll post another quick entry. Until then...

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