Marble Madness (1989) (NES) Review

A NES game about marbles?

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Marble Madness may be one of the most bizarre video games that I own, you play as a marble and the objective of the game is to roll the marble through six different obstacle courses.

all levels

 

You may think that this seems really easy, but believe me it’s not because the controls are very sensitive, one tap on the d-pad can get your marble rolling and then its up to you to carefully traverse past any obstacles,it genuinely feels like you are controlling a marble and because of that reason the game is immensely difficult, anything can happen you can fall into a dip in the course and then you will need to roll around to build up momentum and speed in order to push yourself back to the flat area, you can roll into acid and melt, you can be eaten by a snake, you can be blown off of the course by powerful gusts of air and you can even spin out of control and smash, and while all of this madness is happening you have a time limit!!

depending on how quickly you finish a course will determine how much time you will be given for the next course and once you hit zero seconds its game over and back to course 1.

You have six courses to get through and each course has its own specific design and theme.

Course 1 Practise

practise

This is literally the practise stage, no obstacles just a good way to get used to the controls by rolling to the goal while trying to avoid falling off of the course.

Course 2 Beginner

beginner

Things start to get a little more challenging here, you will now need to travel through a bigger course than before while avoiding those green snakes who will eat you and also staying clear of the mean black marble that will try to knock you off of the edge.

Course 3 Intermediate

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This course isn’t too difficult but it does introduce a new hazard, puddles of acid are now in the game and if your marble touches any of these puddles it will immediately melt, also introduced is a really tough section of the course that requires you to avoid a green wave that will push you off of the edge of the map.

This course also brings back those annoying green snakes and the course in general has many high slopes for you to climb in order for you to reach the goal.

Course 4 Aerial

Marble_Madness_-_NES_-_Aerial_Race

This is where the game gets really tough, in the aerial course you will need to use fast speeds and patience in order to survive, while trying to build up speed to jump large gaps you will be greeted by many air blowers, the air blowers will blast heavy gusts of air at the marble attempting to knock it off course, also some areas of this course will have floors that will raise very quickly often throwing your marble into the depths below

Course 5 Silly

Silly

When you first start the silly course you are made to traverse up some rather steep hills, this is not too difficult to do but it can cause you to lose quite a lot of seconds if your not quick, you are again having to deal with the green snakes and the black marbles but now they are tiny and because of this they are much less dangerous and you shouldn’t have any trouble avoiding them, a new enemy introduced here is the purple birds, these birds are a pain they show up in a flock right at the end of the course and it is your job to try to avoid them while quickly making your way to the goal, it took me lots of practise before I could finish this level.

Course 6 Ultimate

Ultimate

This is the final level of the game and so as you may expect it is really hard, you need to patience, good timing, fast reflexes and constant movement in order to make it to the goal. You will need to get past puddles of acid, the black marble, and an extremely annoying final section that requires you to carefully travel across many disappearing and reappearing sections of a dangerous path and if you fall your marble will smash.

Marble Madness does in fact have a multiplayer mode, if 2 player mode is selected on the main menu, you will need to go through the same six courses from the single player mode, the only difference is that now there are two marbles on the screen instead of just one, Player one (Blue Marble) will need to race Player two (Pink Marble) to the goal, both players will be given the usual time bonus upon starting each course but whoever wins the race will be given extra time on top of the usual starting bonus.

multplayer

The overall winner is whoever makes the most points at the end of the game

Once you select either singleplayer or multiplayer you will be given a choice of either playing the game in 90 degrees mode or 45 degrees mode.

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In 90 degrees mode you hold the NES game pad vertically and you control the marble with all four of the D-PAD buttons

In 45 degrees mode you use all four of the D-PAD buttons but in this mode you need to rotate the NES controller so that the D-PAD looks like an X, some players find this mode easier because while playing the game you will be moving diagonally more often than you will be moving horizontally or vertically.

When I played through the game I realised just how brilliant the soundtrack is not only because the music if super fun to listen too but because of how it evolves throughout each course. In the early stages of the game the music is really fun and happy but when you go to the later stages the music starts to get more intense and crazy as if its warning you of the dangers lurking in the later sections of the game.

Final Verdict

Due to the sensitive controls this game can prove to be very difficult, I see this as positive thing because in reality marbles are round which means that they are very difficult to have control over once they start rolling and also due to their round shape the slightest touch can get marbles moving quite a distance before they come to stop, Marble Madness follows these rules and so it may surprise you that this game is actually quite realistic, its not just the physics based game play that’s impressive its also the way that the music changes with the atmosphere it really helps you feel immersed in the experience and it only goes to show just how special this little game about marbles really is.

Marble Madness is literally Madness, its a fantastic little game which uses realistic physics, has a surprisingly immerserive soundtrack, the game is challenging but still really fun to play I only wish there was a few more levels and maybe some more options such as changing the colour of your marble and being able to play with more than 2 players on multiplayer mode.

Marbles have never been so much fun 8.9/10

Thank you for reading my review of Marble Madness for the NES

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

Nintendo Land (Wii U) Review

A Nintendo amusement park? AWESOME !!!

game case

I remember when Nintendo Land first got announced at E3 back in 2012, I couldnt believe my eyes a Nintendo Theme Park with Attractions based on all of my favourite Nintendo IP’s, I was so excited and even though I didn’t own a Wii U at the time I couldn’t wait to watch people play it on YouTube.

Nintendo Land E3 Announcement

Nintendo Land was a genius idea but I couldn’t help being just a little sceptical because I remembered how excited I was for Wii Sports a game I thought I would love but instead I was bored of it after a week.

so how was Nintendo Land?

Nintendo Land does not really have a plot and I don’t see this as a bad thing because unlike other Nintendo Series such as Metroid and Zelda which have timelines connecting each game in the series, very interesting and epic character developments and some really in depth and well detailed story lines, the story in Nintendo Land is just that you are Mii visiting the theme park for fun and I personally think that as simplistic as this is it works perfectly considering where the game takes place.

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There are 12 attractions in Nintendo Land and each one is themed around a specific Nintendo Character or a Series and has a unique objective and playing style. I will now talk about each attraction briefly while explaining my personal opinion and reasons  why I may like or dislike certain attractions

The Attractions I don’t enjoy

Balloon Trip Breeze

Balloon Trip Breeze Image

I like the idea of this game, you play as your Mii travelling across the ocean via the transportation of floating balloons, the idea of the game is to draw on the Wii U game pad to create a breeze of wind to help blow your Mii out of the way of obstacles. I understand why a lot of people will enjoy this attraction, it’s slow paced and at times it can be very gripping but personally I found it a bit boring and it’s one of the games I play the least often.

Octopus Dance

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Is it just me or does anyone else find this game to be a bit dull?

The idea of Octopus Dance is to copy the dance moves performed by the scuba diver by using the Game Pad’s two analogue sticks and that’s it. This is my least favourite attraction because compared to the other attractions I think its fair to say that its the most unoriginal, also sometimes the Game doesn’t recognise me copy the dance move and I lose a life which is really annoying.

Is anyone else having this issue?

Captain Falcons Twister Race

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I was really excited for this attraction when I first saw it in Nintendo Land because the last F-zero game came out on the Game Cube so we haven’t seen a new F-zero game in a long time, I only have one problem with this and its not even the game it’s self, I hate that I have to look at the game pad while playing and all I can see is a birds eye view of myself and the track, while on the TV it looks like an F-zero game. I do enjoy playing this attraction but it’s the fact that I am forced to look at the game from a different perspective than what is shown on the TV and this factor really helps me too form a not so positive opinion.

The Attractions I enjoy

Animal Crossing: Sweet Day

animal crossing nintendo land

This attraction is a lot of fun especially when you have a bunch of friends over, any players using wii remotes will need to collect as many sweets as they can and drop the sweets into one of the many bowls located on the map, the player using the game pad must control the two guards, controlling one guard with the left analogue stick and the other guard with the right analogue stick. I had a lot of fun playing animal crossing sweet day with my brothers when they visited over the holidays.

Luigi’s Ghost Mansion

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The idea of this attraction is that Luigi is hunting down an escaped ghost in his mansion, all players using the wii remotes will play has the ghost hunters and the player using the game pad plays as the ghost, in order to win the game either the ghost hunters need to drain all 100 of the ghosts health hitting the ghost with the beam of light shining from the flash light or the ghost needs to catch the hunters 3 times. This attraction is really fun especially if you like games which require a bit of strategic thinking in order to catch the enemy when they least expect it.

Yoshi’s Fruit Cart

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In this attraction you need to guide the Yoshi cart to all of the fruit and then to the exit door, you do this by drawing a single route to all of fruit and the exit, the only catch is that on the game pad all of the fruit is invisible so you really need to plan out your route carefully. Later the game gets really tough as it starts adding holes you fall through and by making you collect fruit in a specific order. If you are a fan of puzzle games then you will love this.

My Favourite Attractions

Metroid Blast

Metroid Blast

Metroid Blast is the only game on Nintendo Land that I have actually managed to finish, the idea of the game is that you and a friend need to complete an objective while taking on a barrage of alien foes, these objectives can be anything from defeating all of the enemies on the map, collecting all of the character tokens, protecting civilians or overcoming a challenging boss fight.

The mulitplayer aspect allows you and your friend to fight eachother, one person will take control of the spaceship with the Wii U game Pad while shooting their target from above land and the other players will remain on land and will work together to take down the space ship. Metroid  Blast really is a Blast and it only makes me more excited for a future Metroid game on the Wii U.

Mario Chase

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Mario Chase is very similar to the animal crossing game, the only difference is that this time the objective is to either avoid the Toads or catch Mario. The reason I enjoy this game more than Animal Crossing Sweet Day is because in my opinion Mario Chase has much better maps, the Animal Crossing maps were fun but the Mario Chase maps are much bigger, you are able to pick up power stars, they have obstacles and one of the maps has slides. freaking slides !!!. Mario Chase is a multiplayer only game but everytime you play it it’s going to be heaps of fun.

The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest

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In The Legend of Zelda Battle Quest you and your friends take control over what appears to be the four link’s from the Legend of Zelda Four Swords. The idea of the game is to defeat all of the enemies quickly and strategically until the hero’s manage to reach the Triforce which is located at the end of each stage, the Triforce is sometimes guarded by a boss, the player with the game pad will need to use a bow and arrow for some long range attacks on oncoming foes and any players using the wii remotes will need to attack enemies at close range with their swords. This game is really awesome to play especially with friends, I personally don’t like that its on rails but I understand that this does add to the challenge and many players will appreciate this aspect of the attraction.

Donkey Kong’s Crash Course

 

donkey kong

Donkey Kong’s Crash Course seems to be a very popular attraction among many of the guests who visit Nintendo Land and I think the reason behind this is because the game is very challenging but its also very fun to play which is a perfect combination for gamers of all ages. The idea of the game is to guide a rickety cart through an obstacle course which is filled with many fun puzzles for players to solve. This game is so far the only reason I have had to blow into the microphone on my Wii U game pad, its a quirky little feature that I hope more Wii U titles will implement in the future.

Takamaru’s Ninja Castle

Takamarus ninja Castle

 

Is Takamaru a new IP or have I missed out on a past Nintendo Series?

In all seriousness I don’t know who Takamaru is but I do know that Takamaru’s ninja castle is wonderful. The player needs to turn the Wii U game pad vertically towards the tv, the player will then need to swipe the game pad in order to throw shurikens at paper ninjas who appear on the tv. This game really helps show the capabilities of the game pad and its so intense its bound to get your heart pounding.

Pikmin AdventurePikmin Adventure

 

This is by far my favourite attraction in Nintendo Land, one player will use the Wii U game pad and will take control of Captain Olimar and any players using Wii remotes will play as Big pikmin, The idea of the game is to destroy blocks and defeat enemies in order to collect nectar, the nectar will give your character experience points and after collecting a certain amount of nectar that players character will level up. Leveling up is important as it will make your character more powerful, if you are playing as pikmin your objective is to use your fists to beat up the enemies but the player controlling Captain olimar will need to tap on enemies in order to hurl their pikmin at them (real pikmin not the other players). The goal is to reach the end of stage alive but be warned once all players are defeated its back to the beginning of the stage. I have never played a pikmin game before and after playing this I am detertimed too one day to at least play Pikmin 3.

A small side mission you can do in the game is to use a pachinko machine in order to try and win prizes for your park, these prizes can be any thing from music you can play on the juke box, buttons which can do really cool things such as changing it from day to night and bits of memorabilia from the attractions.

pachinko

while playing all of these attractions you will notice that everything in the game is formed from some sort of hand made material for example in Mario chase the Yoshi Carts are made out of wood and appear to be wind up toys, in The Legend of Zelda Battle Quests everything is made of a cloth like material and you can even see the stitching and in the Pikmin game all of the creatures are robotic and also appear to be wind up toys. I believe this feature helps give Nintendo Land its own charm and it also helps show that all of the games are just attractions and that the player is in no real danger just like in an amusement park.

The Music isn’t all that memorable but I think this is fine considering the purpose of the game, the idea of Nintendo Land is to help player get use to using the Wii U game pad while at the same time showing off some of its key features, so there is no need for epic orchestral masterpieces which you may find in The Legend of Zelda, Metroid and Super Mario Galaxy. The Music in Nintendo Land may not be that memorable but it is nice to listen too and for me that’s good enough.

Nintendo Land is a fantastic game which definitely outlived my expectations, there were some attractions that I personally didn’t enjoy but I had a lot of fun with the attractions I did like. I am really happy that we didn’t get a sports game to show off the Wii U game pad as that was one of my biggest fears as Sports games are not everyone’s cup of tea but luckily Nintendo Land provides a variety of game play styles and challenges and I am certain that everyone will find something they enjoy.

Nintendo Land is a great game for all the family 9.0/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Nintendo Land

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer