Meanwhile, elsewhere

I have reviewed Super Mario 3D Land. I have not read the comments following the article, but I don’t need to; one thing I like about the 1UP system is that when the number of comments greatly outstrips the number of thumbs up, you can be certain there’s nothing pleasant lurking in the responses (unless you delight in peevishness and vile-mannered personal attacks). t knew this one wouldn’t go over well as I was writing it… and rewriting… and rewriting. I ended up doing five revisions on this piece to try to get the text to line up with the score I originally intended to give the game, because I had a lot of fun playing through the game (especially the ridiculously challenging “second quest”). I really wanted to temper my criticisms to avoid seeming like I was just trolling for hits. But every time I revamped this review, all my complaints kept bubbling to the surface, and ultimately I just had to accept that this is one of those instances where the divide between critic and fan is an agonizing gulf and adjusted my rating to reflect my duty as the former despite my feelings as the latter. Anyway, B+ is a really good score regardless, even if I did have my hopes set for something higher; please feel free to punch anyone in the stomach who makes some inane remark like, “Well I guess this game sucks, thanks for saving me $40!” That kind of nonsense is rank. It is a good game. If you like Mario games, you will enjoy it. The end.

Also: In the morning, I’ll be tag-teaming with Thierry Nguyen to live stream Skyrim for several hours. You can watch it on 1UP! We will do our darnedest not to spoil anything important. I’ve been meaning to experience an Elder Scrolls game since Morrowind, and I hope you will enjoy our video as much as I’ve enjoyed finally dabbling in what Tamriel has to offer.

26 thoughts on “Meanwhile, elsewhere

  1. I could see the conflict in the writing. The earlier passages are rife with complaints, but then the end kinda peps everything up. I suppose that’s Super Mario 3D Land in a nutshell – initial disappointment that turns into joy.

    • Yeah, the post game is way more fun than the “real” game. But it absolutely lacked the sense of, “Wow, I’ve never seen this in a Mario game… or any game!” that made the Galaxy duo so great.

    • Yeah, I could definitely sense the conflict in the writing – it seemed like two different reviews mashed together.

      I honestly don’t care about scores – though it’s a little odd that Metacritic turned Jeremy’s B+ into an 83 (?) – but I did voice (politely) a concern I’ve had for awhile – should Jeremy be reviewing 3DS games without properly being able to see the 3D effect? Having said that, his reputation as a retro guy made him pretty much the prime candidate to write this review.

      Jeremy, what are your thoughts on this?

      • I think 3D is hardly necessary for these games at this point, since most people are ‘over’ it so to speak. Personally, I can see it, but I choose not to use it, because it just seems to inconvenient.

        Well-used 3D effects should be praised; poor 3D should be disregarded because it’s completely and utterly (literally, for some people) inessential to the game. If 3D is necessary to the game (for better or for worse), then it should be noted, at least; at most it should be regarded as a con.

        Then again, I’m no reviewer.

        I normally love Parish’s reviews, but I thought this one was a little rambling, inconsistent, and had the LOTR effect of not knowing when/where to stop. But boy, some of those comments made were pretty idiotic and unnecessary. I like 1UP – it’s my favorite video game news/features/reviews site – but for a place that emphasizes community, comments are generally moronic. Like, youtube-moronic. Maybe it’s just because the divide between well-written material and idiotic comments is so vast, I start to wonder why/how these people even read the reviews anyway.

        (Or maybe they don’t read them at all. I think it’s time to do away with the score system – give it the Retro Roundup treatment i.e. worth playing or not.)

      • I completely disagree with you with regards to the 3D – this game was clearly designed to make use of it, for instance – and I’ve grown to love it so much that I begin to resent that my DS games are not 3D. Apparently I (and another guy I know who works for EA) an the only person in the world who loves the 3D and always play with it maxed out…it took some getting used to at first, but now I have absolutely no problems with it.

        With regards to the rest of your comments – yeah, as I mentioned, the review itself seemed a bit off – the individual chunks it was made up of were well written, but it didn’t flow well, and I usually love reading Jeremy’s work. And as for the commenters…well, what are you going to do? People are idiots, and they’re always going to be, especially when they can hide behind a computer.

      • But if the 3D becomes necessary, then it should at least be noted – as Parish did. That pretty much excludes people who can’t see it, which is pretty counter to Nintendo’s more friendly philosophy.

        At most, I can’t imagine necessary 3D is a good thing either. As I said, once I tried the 3D for myself, my enthusiasm completely and utterly vanished – I just wasn’t impressed, and I just don’t find it convenient to keep the system so still. In either case, it’s definitely pretty silly for commenters to claim that because Parish can’t see the 3D (which was never said… he just said it gives him a headache), he shouldn’t be reviewing 3DS games. Especially in the light of Nintendo’s post-price drop commercials, which didn’t even so much as mention the 3D effect.

      • @turkish101 Perhaps we’ve all been mislead – I thought I read in the Pilotwings Resort review that Jeremy can’t see the 3D, but looking back, that’s not the case – perhaps it originated in the comments. Bob Mackey did respond in the comments to the Mario review that he wasn’t sure how he felt about someone writing the review who couldn’t see the 3D…either way, we all love Jeremy, his writing is incredible, and that’s why we’re here, so, whatever. I’m looking forward to this game dropping Sunday, and I’ll be playing with the 3D all the way up. :)

      • I believe I may have responded to your comment on the site. I have no vision in one eye, and therefore I cannot see 3D.
        However, I can play, enjoy, and critique any 3DS game just fine.
        The fact that the 3D itself is completely unnecessary seems to be one of the reasons the system is having a relatively rough time picking up steam.

  2. B+ is a good score! It’s probably where I’d put NSMB DS and Wii, for example. Or maybe A-. Oh well, haters gonna hate.

  3. I thought the majority of the comments seemed pretty, dare I say, sane? Anyway, as ever, a fair review. Not that it’ll make a difference, but I think it’s about time Nintendo got called out on these repetitive (albeit super polished) franchise iterations, particularly for a $40 3DS asking price.

    • Yeah, when I looked at the comments today, they were all fairly positive, which was shocking to say the least. One in particular I agreed with is that this review sort of echoes the one you gave New Super Mario Bros. DS, and that sets the bar for my expectations just right. I should be able to thoroughly enjoy the game but not expect to much and get disappointed by the results.

      • Oh, it’s better than New Super Mario Bros.; the remixed levels redeem it in a way that NSMB desperately needed. It’s just that Galaxy and NSMBWii set the bar so high.

        I do take some comfort in the NSMB comparison. People raked me over the coals for that review, but now — having played the much better Mario games released since — quite a few have come around to share my opinion.

  4. When is 1up’s review going to go up? I don’t like how so many games embargo the reviews until the release date. Ebert would have given them the “Wagging Finger of Shame”.

  5. Honestly, I’ve never understood why 1up allows comments for reviews anyway. Allowing someone on the internet to post their opinion on your opinion in a thread is almost always going to lead to disaster/idiocy (and, more importantly, opinions on people’s opinions on your opinion, etc.). I can enjoy those threads it in a detached “wow, people that play games nowadays are kinda stupid” type of way but it does so happen that they are commenting on YOUR work and after such hard work, that just has to be a bummer. Just keep in mind that the hundreds of people who read that review and DIDN’T feel like they had to post a comment probably enjoyed it. I know I did.

    Now, can I have a new episode of Games Dammit, please?

  6. Don’t read those comments, Jeremy! They will hurt your soul. Instead, allow me to summarize. Ahem…

    Internet: “*click*…buh?….BUH??….BUHABBAAARAAAA!!!… *scrolls* RRRRRRRR *starts typing* RRRRABAHAAAA! *presses enter* *checks back every 4 minutes to see if someone agrees*”

    • Yeah, I checked them just now and I wasn’t pleased. :P Jeremy’s review sounds pretty good though. It kind of echoes an impression of the game I had (though I haven’t played it yet). I suppose it’s true not many games could ever measure up to the innovation of Super Mario Galaxy.

  7. There’s a surprising amount of comments about how your inability to see 3D should make your review invalid.

      • As somebody who lacks stereo vision I appreciate that the review made clear exactly what I’d be missing out on. I got very apprehensive about 3D Land when previews (and comments from Nintendo) kept trying to play up the stereo as an integral part of the experience.

        Also, can we please stop using the “3D” misnomer?

      • Forget reviewing, he shouldn’t be allowed to make it. Down with people who don’t have flawless physical perception! Weakling freaks!

  8. I appreciate that you are willing to review Zelda and Mario’s new iterations on their own merits, rather than their paternity.

    Personally, my favourite aspect of gaming is as a method for creative storytelling, and because of that the Nintendium franchises don’t quite work for me, but I’m in the minority.

  9. There are certainly some reasonable comments there, but some of the discussion ends up being people feeding one particular troll that seems to pop up these days whenever anything related to Nintendo is posted. That dude needs to get a life.

    Unfortunately, I was one of those in a large comment thread on your unboxing of Skyward Sword. :P

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