Song of the Day
Dire, Dire Docks - Koji Kondo
Progress Report III
(all level images taken from www.mariowiki.com)
Lethal Lava Land
Stars - 7/7
My biggest problem in this stage is the Bullies. One Bully can be beaten no problem, you just have to push it over the edge into the lava. But there's a small section with two of them in this level and for some reason I lost a couple of lives trying to beat them (before finding out I didn't need to...they were the wrong group). The only other star I had any issue with was the last one inside the volcano. All you really have to do is ride two elevators, jump from pole to pole and then jump to the star. However I'm really bad at precision jumps and I always press the wrong button when trying to 'butt stomp'. I don't mind this level, but it's not one of my favourites either.
Shifting Sand Land
Stars - 7/7
I'm not a fan of this level. I don't like how half the ground is an instant death trap and I don't like how half the stars require the use of the wing cap. I don't like that stupid bird that steals my hat, I don't like shy guys, I don't like anything about this level. Inside the pyramid is a bit better since I can't instant die as easily, but getting the "Pyramid Puzzle" star wasn't exactly fun since I fell. Three times. I know I'm a bit crap at this game, but I've learned that if I do something wrong it's not actually my fault. So I'm blaming the Lakitu Bros for being terrible cameramen.
The past two levels I've had to really battle the camera to see what I need to do next, and during the "Pyramid Puzzle" star I basically had to take a leap of faith. Going into 'Mario cam' or First-Person doesn't help much, especially since I can't move with the latter on. Och well, at least they weren't water levels...oh crap...
Dire, Dire Docks
Stars - 7/7
See that whirlpool? In that room you're almost always being pulled into it. If you do it's instant death. For the first star you have to open four chests in order. The one closest to the whirlpool is the last one. Twice I managed to get that chest open (which isn't that easy since you're being pulled away from it) only to be sucked into the whirlpool, at which point the game pauses to tell you "hey, you won the star!" but by this point you can't collect it and you have to start over again.
Also, the third star "Pole Jumping For Red Coins" took me too long to complete...in fact I thought it was impossible. Because it was...you can't beat this star without first beating the second Bowser fight (which is unlocked from getting the first star "Board Bowser's Sub". Once you beat Bowser, the submarine goes away and the second room looks like this:
But I'm an idiot so I kept trying to long-jump to get all the red coins (I got four...) before giving up and looking it up. I felt stupid after that.
There's another trap in this room though. I thought it would take me to another part of the level but NO, it takes you to the moat. Outside the castle. You don't lose a life, but you have to do the whole level again. Dick move, Nintendo.
This level is terrible (I'm fighting with all my willpower to stop myself saying it's "dire"). It's boring, it's mostly underwater which is slow. The poles up there? They move slowly and it's just not fun. I liked the last star though, where you have to wear both the vanish cap and the metal cap at the same time. I like the idea of mixing different power-ups and I don't know many games that do that actually.
But it's not all bad...
Bowser in the Fire Sea
Stars - 1/1
Collecting the red coins here is much easier than the first boss arena because you can't instant-die (just add water) here. In fact falling into the lava just gives you another chance to make certain jumps easier, and there are a couple of 'hearts' lying around (they heal you and are infinite). There's no really difficult coins either, just one that is kind of hidden by the geometry.
Bowser has a couple of new tricks, he can teleport and stomp the the arena to cause you to fall, but he's still not difficult. Just keep running around him, eventually he'll stop keeping up with you to try and hit you with a fireball and from there just grab his tail and...
|So long, King Bowser!|
Star Total - 74/120
Basically I can skip the rest of the game and finish it now...but I've gotten 7/7 in all nine so far...why would I quit now?