by Georgia (Geo) Guzman (@NerdSalad)
Over the Thanksgiving weekend my brother came down to celebrate with us. After nerd-raging on Modern Warfare 2 so bad that I slammed by mouse to the desk and broke it, we made the insane trip to Best Buy on Black Friday (It’s a trap!), to get a new mouse. Naturally, whenever surrounded by aisles of geekery, you are bound to look around, and I remembered that we talked about getting the new Super Mario Bros. Wii. The review videos I had seen looked fun, and the multiplayer aspect would be perfect. We grabbed the game, an extra Wiimote/Nunchuck, and raced home with the excitement that can only be achieved when in the possession of a new video game.
Fast forward about 20 minutes, and I am wrestling with the hard plastic case the Nunchuck is encased in, while my boyfriend is fascinated with the game case, and how the game disk pops in and out ultra-smoothly (entranced pushing the button repeatedly), my brother is downing his double shot Mocciato, of which one sip will make you hyper for about 5 minutes, and the cat is burrowing inside the blue Best Buy bag making crinkly noises. After the nunchuck was emancipated from its clear prison, we assumed the position in front of the TV, and prepared to get our nerd on.
Considering all three of us are big gamers, the prospect of Mario sounded like a walk in the park. I mean we were playing Modern Warfare 2 ground wars about 2 days straight before this. I was totally wrong. Wario must have pulled a “Face-Off” because this Mario is an evil plumber with a recipe for spontaneous expletives, Wiimote throwing, and more “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO” yelling than should be allowed.
The very first world, were talking 1-1 here, was a rude awakening in things to come. The level loads, and I hear the familiar Marioesque jingles that make you feel happy inside. We see the regular blocks, and a Goomba strolling around. We rush forward (2 controllers, so we took turns), and we both accidentally bump each other into the Goomba trying to hit the ? block, so yes, we both just died in the first world of the first level in Mario Super Bros. Wii. That was actually pretty hilarious, and after a good nerdy chuckle we go again. The problem though, is that bumping other characters is actually a real problem in the game. Some levels require you to stand in exact places, or face a huge spiky block or lava pit death. One small nudge sent my very own brother, and resident Luigi into a pit of doom several times like this.
Another thing I should mention is this feature, where if you are about to fall to your sudden doom, or walk into something crazy, you can pop this bubble (kind of like a WoW Paladin bubble) that renders you immune to everything. You float around while shaking the Wii remote to hover near your teammate, who can pop you out with a spin. If one of you dies, you also float back into the screen the same way until your extra lives run out. Something sadly funny is the actual death sound in the game. It’s like this “doou do.” very quick sound. Lava? Doou do. Holding a shell too long? Doou do. This is a basic overview of the highly embarrassing, hilarious, and shameful things to come:
7:40 PM: I hum the Mario tune repeatedly in almost a rhythmic trance, as I watch the intro. I bet Princess Peach is on three anti-anxiety meds by now, seriously she cant even go to the bathroom without a risk of abduction.
8 PM: I discover that you can use the bubble feature to avoid a mistake and point that out to my boyfriend by showing him. He then proceeded to try it. Apparently if all party members become bubbled, it’s a game over. A silhouette of Bowser pops onto the screen mocking us. This three seconds into the whole game.
8:30 PM: I’m yelling “PARKOUR!!” as I discover another thing, that you can bounce off of the walls Prince of Persia style, effectively avoiding a nasty encounter with lava below.
8:31 PM: I parkoured my brother into lava. Doou do. This was two screens from the boss room.
9 PM: (We are still in the first world.) Discover that this game has unlimited continues. During a timed obstacle, I accidentally push my boyfriend into a spiky block, as he was jumping off my head, which pushed me down and knocked me into spiky block. We run out of lives, and get a “Game Over”. We then are given another continue and 5 lives as Mario voices “I’ma back!”, which naturally I repeat.
9:30 PM: I find those special blocks where vines grow out and lead to special shiny coin areas. I jumped on top of it and stomped however, resulting in the vine growing down into the earth. Fail.
10 PM: Boss down, and we raise our hands for sweaty high-fives. We finally make it to the second world. This is about three continues each later.
10:20 PM: Doou do. Wii remote kisses the carpet violently.
10:30 PM: We find these barrels that you can pick up and throw at mobs. My brother gets one and runs over to throw it at the boomerang tossing guy, which resulted into him accidentally killing me, as apparently a thrown barrel tossed by your partner is sudden death, but a volley of “fire flower” balls does not. I am out of lives. He gets distracted by my death, in addition to the 1UP from the block, and gets hit with a boomerang. A collective sigh is heard.
10:35 PM: We load up Modern Warfare 2, and take out our aggression.
Although most of the fails were our doing, some of them were total crap, and left me overly frustrated at times. It was boggling my mind how this game was marketed for children when my brother gave a good point, that as we get older we tend to over analyze everything, and kids see things more simplistic. The next time we play, I will clear my mind of all the Dragon Age and Modern Warfare 2 complexities, and reach a level of nerdvana. It is only then, will I be able to conquer it.