Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
His name is Mario and he is a Tradie.
He doesn't get many pluming jobs, but he doesn't really need them. Pretty much because he spends most of his time not working and collecting coins.
If you were to put every single coin this guy has ever collected in his life, into one area..you would need the whole universe and that's why he doesn't have a business card.
Mario not needing business cards and being a leading pioneer in Numismatics is one thing, but another thing which is similarly related, is a video game Nintendo have just released.
It's called (New)New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
It's based on Mario's life, kind of like a biographical tale. Similar to 'Groundhog Day'.
The main difference is Billy Murray isn't in the game and you get points for jumping on these 'groundhogs'. This time though, you can do it with your friends! ..at the same time.
While this seems to be something that is being flogged to death by Nintendo (with good reason, its amazing).
I'm gonna be talking about; colour theory, dancing, the user interface, 2.5D, character design, referencing, music and their ability to put faces on everything.
The game starts with a nice little intro screen, displaying the four main characters running with a scrolling looped background. It really sets the palette nicely, you get an instant vibe of how the whole game will look and feel. Nintendo has always used Red, Blue, Green and Yellow as their main colours for the Mario games, and how they've carried this over to the graphics of the Wii has worked really well. It's not like Mario 64 where the colours seemed to be over saturated to the point of hurt.
Most of the objects are 3D models (even though it's a 2D platformer (2D+3D = 2.5D)) , so they've been able to take advantage highlights and shadows to supplement alot of the mid-tones, and chucked in little dabs of contrasting colours.
A great example of this is the world maps. There are 8 worlds in total and they all seem to follow slight tonal variations of their main colour scheme. When you get to the desert world, it obviously has heaps of yellow (sand), but they've worked it to be more of an earthier shade so it becomes a nicer mid-tone, with bits of contrasting green, red and blue. Same with the forest; earthy green with red, yellow and blue striking out. One thing a bit different in this map is the purple, it stands out like dogs balls.
This Mario really feels like a mash-up of all of the past games, but mainly 'Mario 3' and 'Super Mario World' (and 'New Mario Bros.' on DS) Most of the music is from the DS version, they have this synthesised singing 'bah' sound, that shows up every 32bars or so. It took me a little bit to enjoy when I first heard it repeating on my DS. But, in this version, the Koopers, Goombers, Yoshi, flowers, fish and other little characters do a little dance whenever that noise is played. Now, while this doesn't sound like a hard-hitting reason to run out and buy this game. It might just be the Nintendo Fanboy in me, but I laugh every time? I find it hilarious.
On the world maps, you an bring up an item menu and load them into your team before you start each adventure. I also never quite understood how having a face on something makes its awesome, it just does. Nintendo seem to bring out so much personality with the most subtle of tricks. A great little visual i noticed is the difference between the Fireflower and the Iceflower - The Iceflower doesn't dance around as much as the fire one. Of course it wouldn't, its cold and probably a bit self-concious about dancing.
The game design is definatly made up of 1%ers (100 to be specific) but it's the majority of these which makes it as great as it is; The continuity in colour themes and structure, bringing back familiars but having them as a nice modern parody instead of just a re-hash, sticking to conventions and learning from alot of old mistakes.
It's amazingly frustrating and great multiplayer, but don't forget to have a wander solo and soak up some of that Mario flavour.