journal for 2002-08-31


I’ve been getting back into my love-hate relationship with Mario. His games are awesome; they’re fun, addictive, and creative. Unfortunately, they’re very hard. Sure, Super Mario Sunshine starts off easy, but by the time you’re working on the later episodes and later stages, some of them are just brutal. I’ll sit and lose six or seven lives trying to get through the Secret of the Dirty Lake, and end up ready to throw my Wavebird through the window. So, I take a little break and watch some TV or read the news, and come back later.

The thing is, I’m not dying because I’m angry; I’m dying because I’m not as good as I need to be. That means that when I try, after calming down, I still die, and I get annoyed again. I wish Mario games had a lot more simple quests built into them—even if it made the game longer, or even if they were strictly optional and usually ignored. It would give me something more to do.

Anyway, I’m still making progress. I’m up to forty-two shines or so, and I think there are a few more that I can get without too much trouble. Apart from my own incompetance, I’m really liking the game. There are occasional annoying frame-rate drops and some stupid camera issues, but it’s a great game, otherwise.

I picked up the Versus guide for SMS yesterday. What an ordeal! We were at K-Mart anyway, so I looked, there. They had about ten guides, all for ancient games like Pokemon Gold. It blew my mind that they’d sell every video game there is, but not guides. Then, neither did WalMart. Or KB Toys. They all had games, but no guides! Finally, we hit the mall. I asked the clerk at EBX whether Versus or Prima had a better guide. He suggested Versus, which was OK with me, since I usually buy their guides. I’m thinking, now, that it was a bad choice. There are several basic factual errors in the manual, and it’s pretty poorly organized for using as a checklist. It also cost five dollars more!

As for Super Monkey Ball 2, I haven’t played too much of it, yet. I need to keep earning points to unlock more party games, but it’s hard to do because, frankly, I resent that. I think it’s ridiculous that I have to spend fifty bucks—spent specifically to get the party games—and then I have to play the 1P mode for hours to get to play them. I could probably make some money on eBay selling saves with all the games unlocked!

Written on August 31, 2002