Total Games Played
Played in 2023
Recently Played See More
Recently Reviewed See More
Mario Bros Wonder is unfortunately an extremely lethargic game that feels like no one working on it was having any fun. It does the bare minimum and then leaves it at that, which for a series that has been bereft of creativity and fun for years does certainly seem like a breath of fresh air, but it needed to be so much more than that. I was genuinely shocked at how unfun this game is.
It sort of says a lot about your series when you feel the need to make up an excuse for you to be creative. Genuinely, a ton of my problems with how this game feels would be alleviated if the dumb flowers didn't exist. The entire point of the game is to be wacky and creative and fun but a lot of that is diminished when you section all of it off. How much more fun would it have been if for one level you're just suddenly controlling a goomba or turned into a ball instead of having to play through the same cookie-cutter levels this series has been churning out for decades before getting to have fun. A lot of spontaneity is lost through only letting the unique stuff happen as a consequence of touching the wonder flowers, and that sort of saps the fun out of it all. I want to be shocked and surprised by the strange ideas in this game but every time it's about to happen I get a big colorful warning.
And the wackiness itself is very underwhelming. The level designs are so often just more Mario Bros junk that it'll feel indistinguishable from playing any other game in this series like 70% of the time. It doesn't help that the abilities given to the player are insanely underwhelming. Your four power-ups are very poorly designed. I don't get what the point of the bubble flower is. There's like 15 badges that let you jump higher and farther more consistently and easily than the bubbles and their other function is killing enemies, which the fire flower already does. Speaking of, that thing has no right being in this game. it feels very vestigial, and doesn't serve much of a function in any level. It doesn't help how similar the bubble flower is to it, but also like, why have it at all? This game is meant to give us something fresh, but its afraid to buck the least consequential tradition? I guarantee you that if they left the fire flower out no one would have cared. The drill mushroom was fun and levels were actually designed around it, although not every level is, and some of them can be cheesed with it pretty easily. But yet again it doesn't really get much to do, you never have to use it in inventive ways and it isn't tactilely fun to use. The Elephant Form is ok I guess. It would be a very middling to forgettable power-up in a better game, but the fact it makes you large it unique enough to make it stand out in this game. But none of these power-ups are ever developed. They don't have a skill set you need to learn or are used creatively in puzzles, there's next to no point in them.
The same could easily be said about the badges. My god. There isn't a single badge that changes up your playstyle enough for it to matter. They're supposed to be picking up the slack of the power-ups but they themselves are so wholly uninteresting that nearly all of them are just straight copied from older Mario games. And worst of all, none of them are fun. I messed around with all of them and never found one that elevated my enjoyment of the levels. Partially because this game's levels are just so boring and aren't really built to accommodate them, but also because none of the badges are that fun to begin with. The rope one was promising but only being able to aim in front of you, especially when the right stick is right there, completely unused, was a real let down. You can play through every level with every badge equipped and your experience every time will be the exact same. Why even have them, honestly? They don't add anything to the experience. They aren't fun, and by god that final badge is so lame and not worth getting. There's just not enough to the badges.
There isn't much to this game as a whole, honestly. Which was pretty surprising for me when I realized it. It's pretty short and all its levels are short as well, which isn't a bad thing, and in fact I hope the Mario series going forward learns from Wonder and doesn't unnecessarily bloat itself with too many levels or collectables, which has been a problem for the series in the past. But, like, it's ending was weird, right? Like it's "final world" is only five mediocre levels without even another Bowser Jr. rematch. More importantly, by the halfway mark I began telling myself "I will still like this game if after I'm done collecting all the Royal Seeds Bowser still gets to make his giant wonder happen". It's threatened constantly and it was the only justifier I could thing of for why all the levels thus far have been pretty mundane and uninteresting. They were saving everything for the final world, or would do something even cooler with the idea of giving Bowser power over all of reality, like having to go through the worlds again but with everything crazy and insane, or having to go through wacky messed up levels to find wonder flowers that would make them normal again. My mind was going rampant, which mostly just goes to show how uninterested I was with the game at that point. What it amounted to, by the way, was a boring final level that used a bunch of the previously done wonder gimmicks and a boss fight that would be a fun world 3-8 boss but is very anticlimactic for a final boss. It just feels unfinished, like there's a bunch missing from the game and ESPECIALLY its ending.
Continuing from the lack of any big moment or gimmick for its climax, this game's roaster sucks. This series has eighty billion characters and you're telling me that the best they could do for playable characters is yellow toad? The prevalence of recolors when there's more than enough Mario characters to fill its roaster is just another sign to me that this game is either unfinished or nobody cared at all while making it. Poor Birdo doesn't get raised out of the Mario Kart void that Daisy's been suck in for decades, but red yoshi gets to be playable? You went to all the trouble to make like 20 badges that suck and nobody will ever use, but you didn't feel like making even someone like Toadsworth or Captain Toad playable? Like if they really were strapped for resources and time then they could have at least made each yoshi its own distinct character. Add a tuft of hair on one of them and call it the Yoshi from ttyd, it really wouldn't take that much effort. Also I refuse to let Nintendo pretend that yellow toad is a real character that people actually care about on the same level as Luigi or Daisy. Stop putting him in things.
I thought this game was going to be the shot in the arm Mario needed to be fun again, but all it really is is New Super Mario Bros but it looks pretty. And, make no mistake, this game's really nice to look at, although I must say that its soundtrack is really bad. Not a single song from this game is going on my phone's folder of mp3s that I use a 3rd party app to listen to. It's all super simple and boring. Like very uncomplex songs with not a lot going on, which for a series that spent the last decade solidifying grandpa jazz as its musically identity is pretty odd. Especially since I'd think they'd want to go really grand for this game since its supposed to be the next era of Mario. Although the hollow music does pair nicely with the empty game design.
Ultimately, Mario Wonder is lucky it exists in a franchise so lacking in creativity and fun that even the imitation of it is worth celebrating.
I downloaded and played this game in high school exclusively so I could force people to watch me play it so they'd think I was weird. Little did I know that I didn't need to performatively play this game for people to think that, since my voltron legendary defender home screen would have been enough to convince them.
Anyway, this game is not very fun, it's mostly just force feeding this poor freak of nature food until he gets enough energy to talk to you seemingly forever. I never saw much of a deviation in gameplay while playing it, although I admit I didn't get super far in it since I'd only ever play it when someone seemed like they wanted to engage with me. I'd pull my phone out, start shoving carrots down my equestrian partner's gullet and making him run on a treadmill, and then angle my phone in such a way that the person trying to make an honest human connection to me would see enough of the screen to ask what I was playing. I would then start a conversation about the game, literally lying about some aspects of it to make it sound more bizarre, not make any new friends, and then feel proud of myself believing to have weirded out one of my supposed enemies.
So, in conclusion, this game is good if you're trying to repel people from you, but not so good for much else. So only really give it a try if you like voltron legendary defender, I guess.
I keep telling my friends the funny joke that the only ps5 exclusive content I've experienced after owning one for half a year is FFVII Remake Intergrade, only to remember around roughly 30 minutes later each time that this game exists and that I bought and played it, which really goes to show how much of an impression it left on me.
Literally nothing made my heart sink more than when I switched to... Rivet? Is that her name? for the first time and her weapons and ammo were the exact same as Ratchet's was at the time. This game would have actually been good despite it's insanely boring story if only the two protagonists were different in any real and important way. Like, the fact they share one arsenal, first off, doesn't make any sense, and secondly, is probably the biggest missed opportunity in this whole series. It really did drain all my interest in the game immediately once I found that out. Usually games don't get ruined just by one mechanic or one design decision, but this one turned what was to begin with a mediocre Ratchet & Clank game into the worst one I've ever played.
Why even have two protagonists if you aren't gonna utilize it at all?
Also, within 5 minutes of gaining control, I got softlocked on the moving platform that takes you to the first battle of the game. Then, during the riding section, I keep going out of the intended play area and just had a blast trying to find the most glitchy piece of collision. This game feels so incredibly half-baked.