Cityview on Facebook Cityview on Twitter Cityview on MySpace Cityview on flickr Follow Me on Pinterest  
Des Moines Cityview

Sponsored Ad

Sore Thumbs

Dec 1, 2011
Follow Me on Pinterest

By Matthew Scott Hunter

‘Super Mario 3D Land’




Nintendo 3DS

So far, the 3DS has survived on nostalgia alone. Everything from “Frogger” to “Star Fox” to “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time” have gotten 3D makeovers, leaving owners of Nintendo’s new portable system to wonder when they were finally going to get their hands on something original. Well, at long last it’s happened, and oddly enough, the game is packed with more nostalgia than the handheld’s entire bloated catalogue of remakes. With its level-capping flagpole jumps and raccoon-tailed Tanooki suits, “Super Mario 3D Land” is absolutely packed with references to the mustachioed plumber’s lengthy history. The way the game seamlessly transitions between 2D sidescrolling and 3D platforming, you can even feel like you’ve gone from the original “Super Mario Bros.” to “Super Mario Galaxy” in the span of a single level.

But as referential as the game is to the franchise from whence it came, it is a fully new Mario adventure, and such games have a proud tradition of showing developers exactly how Nintendo’s newest hardware is supposed to be utilized. Mario makes the most out of the 3DS’ titular extra dimension with spike traps that thrust menacingly out from the screen and propeller blocks that really do seem to lift Mario to dizzying heights over the colorful backdrop below. Of course, the puzzles would be just as ingenious without the gimmick of virtual depth. The greatest thing about “Super Mario 3D Land” is that you can turn off the 3D and hop on goombas and shoot fireballs just as you have since 1985, and the game somehow finds a way to make it all feel fresh.

‘Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games’





This is the third time that Nintendo’s and Sega’s mascots have headed to the Olympics, so hopefully they’ll test positive for steroids and be disqualified before the fourth. Unfortunately, you don’t really need steroids to participate in, and win, any of the asinine mini-games masquerading as Olympian events. Many of the waggle-control-heavy games are repeats from the original “Mario & Sonic,” and new additions like badminton and soccer don’t play as well as similar Mario-endorsed titles like “Mario Tennis” and “Super Mario Strikers.” Guess he saves his best stuff for when Sonic isn’t around.

‘Need For Speed: The Run’



Electronic Arts

Xbox 360

Copying the latest installment of “Fight Night,” “Need for Speed: The Run” endeavors to add context to all its high-speed mayhem by featuring a story. Unfortunately, during your cross-country commute from San Francisco to New York, the tedious narrative only manages to slow things down. Mob story cut-scenes and flat-footed pedestrian missions will leave you desperate to get back behind the wheel, even though the driving leaves much to be desired. If you’re a fan of the arcade-style racing in “Need for Speed,” buy “Hot Pursuit” instead.

Special Sections


Big Green Umbrella Media, Inc. • 414 61st Street • Des Moines, Iowa 50312 • 515-953-4822 • 515.953.1394 (fax)
©2012 Copyright Big Green Umbrella Media

Sponsored by
Sponsored Ad