Video Game Review: Super Mario Land (Gameboy)

Super Mario Land was released in 1989 as one of the launch titles for Nintendo’s first hand held console, the original Gameboy. I think it was the first game I actually played on the platform.

It’s pretty much a standard side scrolling Super Mario Bros. game. It’s similar to the original Nintendo trilogy of games, being closest to the first one in the series.

What I like about it is that it’s really unique in that you don’t fight Bowser but instead, fight a alien dude in a spaceship. You also fight giant flame breathing sphinxes and a lot of other new types of enemies. Plus, everything either has an ancient Egypt or a UFO theme.

While this also has some of the old baddies in it, the koopas in this game are more like a cross between koopas and bob-ombs. Instead of their shells bouncing around as weapons, they now fall and explode.

Ultimately, this was a pretty imaginative Mario game with a lot of cool things that set it apart from the others before it without diverting away from the gameplay style that made the games popular.

It’s a smooth running, energetic game with cool levels, neat monsters and a final boss that was unlike anything else in a Mario game before this.

Rating: 7.25/10
Pairs well with: the other Super Mario games for Gameboy and the original Nintendo.

Vids I Dig 117: Whang!: Who Did Glass Joe Beat? – Gaming Mysteries

Taken from Justin Whang’s YouTube description: Glass Joe is famous for being a terrible boxer and the first opponent in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out!! for NES. One of the biggest mysteries around Glass Joe is that despite being an awful boxer, he has one victory on his record. Who could he have possibly beaten?

Video Game Review: Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! (NES)

I think that Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! is still my favorite sports video game of all-time. Sure, it’s not realistic but it didn’t just give me hours of fun, it gave me decades of fun.

Hell, I still play through the game every couple of months and about a dozen years ago a friend and I made a short film where this game was the centerpiece of the plot.

Someone once asked what my favorite Mario game was and I answered, “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!

But let me reel it back in.

This game is one of the greatest time wasters ever invented. That’s not hyperbole, that’s how I really feel.

You see, it’s pretty limited. You just do one thing in the game, you box. However, each boxer you face has a different style and it’s really a game about timing and pattern recognition. Now you may think that’s easy when a boxer you’ve beat shows up a second time but the patterns you familiarized yourself with change and get more difficult later in the game.

The way this was designed was pretty brilliant. It is also addictive as even in 2019, 32 years later, it’s hard to put down once you fire up a game.

I still play through this game in its entirety a few times per year. That’s staying power.

My only real complaint about the game is that Mike Tyson is ungodly hard. Yes, I can beat him on a regular basis but, as a kid, it took me a long ass time to finally take him out. Truthfully, even if you’ve beaten him dozens of times, as I now have, he’s still a beast and one mistake is pretty much your defeat.

A few years later, Mike Tyson got into some trouble, so he was removed from the game and replaced with a fictional boxer named Mr. Dream. Honestly, Mr. Dream was just a whitewashed Mike Tyson. Play both versions of the game and you’ll see what I mean.

In the end, both NES Punch-Out!! games are the same game. Just one has Mike Tyson and the other has whitewashed Mike Tyson.

Rating: 9.75/10
Pairs well with: all other games in the Punch-Out!! franchise.

Video Game Review: Super Mario 64 (N64)

When Super Mario 64 first came out, I was in high school. The mall across the street had a Sears with a Nintendo 64 demo unit. In that demo unit was this game. I, and several kids, used to rush across the street after school to play this game.

It took several weeks but with the collected effort of nearly a dozen of us, we beat Super Mario 64. It was a cool and fun experience and even if we annoyed the sales staff in our local Sears, at least we were bonding, having a good time and not really harming anything.

In the years since, I always wanted to revisit the game. I never actually owned a Nintendo 64, so I never had regular access to the game. And when I did have access to one, I was working my way through The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire.

Now that I have a Retro Pie and this game is on it, I’ve been working my way back through it.

Playing it now, I can say that it is still a hell of a lot of fun, very imaginative and the level designs are incredible. However, the controls are quite dated and are really the only thing that can make the game seem unplayable at times. Now you do get used to them but even then, there are some situations where the camera angle can screw you up.

Frankly, it’s the controls, specifically the in-game camera, that keeps this game from being perfect. But even with that being said, this is still one of my favorite video games ever made and it is, in my opinion, the best Super Mario game of all-time.

Rating: 9.5/10
Pairs well with: most 3D Mario games.

Vids I Dig 085: Generation Gap Gaming: ‘Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!’ NES Secrets and History

From Generation Gap Gaming’s YouTube description: I still love learning new secrets and history about my number two game of all-time Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Vids I Dig 071: Generation Gap Gaming: ‘Super Mario 64’ Secrets And History

From Generation Gap Gaming’s YouTube description: It’s a Me Mario – Were you obsessed with collecting all the power stars in Super Mario 64 back in the ’90s like me? Then you’re gonna love the secrets, Easter eggs, and history I’m gonna share in this video. Let’s get started.