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Which Console Did You Buy/Receive Over The Holidays?

Xbox One X
Nintendo Switch
PlayStation 4

Game Profile
Nintendo Software Technology
GENRE: Platformer
September 25, 2006
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More in this Series
 Written by Chris Reiter  on September 18, 2006

Final Glimpse: The Marios go marching one by one. Hurrah! The Marios go marching two by two. Hurrah! The Marios go marching three by three, but the little one stops to pee. So the rest all ditch him to play with their own Wii.

Save for the motion picture debut of Bob Hoskins as gaming's most recognizable icon, we see Mario do everything BUT plumbing. If he's a plumber, why doesn't he act like one? No matter, it's not that big a deal. The importance lies in seeing to it that in whatever crazy mixup Mario's into next, that the powers and situations he acclimates to are par for the course. Two years ago Nintendo released a modest puzzle-filled action title for the Game Boy Advance called Mario vs. Donkey Kong. This September, Mario and his oldest nemesis are back for more monkey business on the DS. But this time Mario won't be calling the shots. This time the drummer beats to the March of the Minis.

What does Mario do with all those coins he's picked up over two decades? He opens Super Mini Mario World, a theme park. And who should happen upon the park's grand opening? Why it's Donkey Kong, who after being rejected by Pauline for not accepting his mini Donkey Kong gift, grabs her and runs off into the amusement park. When Mario finds that he's unable to hop his way to the rescue, he sends in the clones. Those miniaturized toy Marios from the last game are many. Donkey Kong is one. What could go wrong?

Like its predecessor, March of the Minis will follow the route of an action/puzzle game that revolves around several ascending constricted stages where a certain point in every new room must be reached while trying to overcome its hurdles and nabbing its treasures along the way. Rerouted from the Game Boy Advance now, Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2 steps into DS territory, which means touch-based capabilities for its own unique functionality. With the sequel, players instead control the mini Mario squad in a Lemmings-style format. Tapping an idle mini Mario by using the stylus will wind it up to get it in gear for instance, where swiping the pen sideways can get it to move in that direction or upwards for a boost another way. Grabbing essential items scattered around each map will play heavily into all this: of hammers to smash enemies, blocks to build bridges, and special letters that when all paired up spell out MINIMARIO for bonus material.

Taking advantage of the DS's Wi-Fi technology, Nintendo's online strategy for Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2 might be a tiny bit upsetting considering it has nothing to do with a multiplayer mode. Just don't cry yourself to sleep yet, baby. Actually, the game will allow for its players to create customized levels, which in turn can be uploaded to a holding place online. Here, DS owners can download the user-made maps to their system for play to rank and reward their owners with points. The more credits you get, the more you'll be able to unlock further goodies within the game. Not bad, eh?

Slightly different from the first Mario vs. Donkey, a visual upgrade is showing that the graphics this time will use a hand-drawn quality. Colorful Mario-themeD backgrounds feature faded crayon-like art, wherein the foreground objects will appear much sharper as if stenciled on top. There won't be any 3D to find in this 2D series, but that's okay because it doesn't need them in the game's simple ways of capturing players in closed off sections of complex ideas, not actions.

Final Thoughts
When Mario vs. Donkey Kong first debuted in the fall of 2004, it became one of those smaller games overshadowed by the flood of the fall. Big titles rolled on by, and those were the games the majority of the gaming population had gotten during the time. Even the DS itself was the prize-to-be handheld owners had their eye on that season. Now that the DS is comfortably in its chair as the king of portable gaming, the sequel to the simple but fun puzzle-based actioner has a fighting chance of being one of this fall's important titles to get. If you have a DS, you should do yourself a favor and start looking for Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis later this month.

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