I have to admit, I didn’t play the original Mario vs. Donkey Kong, but was struck by how cute the Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2: March of the Minis (Nintendo DS) packaging was while I was looking for a Wii online. We all know how much cuteness means to a game, right? :D Anyway…
The storyline is pretty typical — heroine gets kidnapped, Mario must rescue her. Except, in this case, the heroine is Pauline who I’ve not seen since I was a kid and instead of Mario, there’s lots of Mini Mario toys created in (for?) the newly opened Super Mini Mario World theme park. Tiny little wind ’em up Marios, how sweet.
March of the Minis involves controlling the Mini Marios around puzzle-style levels on each floor using a variety of tools and scenery to help you along. Springs, ‘moveable’ (or should that be tappable?) blocks and a favour baddie of mine — the shy guy. Once you’ve got used to using the stylus for everything (I’m a d-pad girl, go figure) it’s quite fun to race around collecting as many coins and other goodies as possible to try and get the best score. Controlling multiple Minis at once, and getting the gold Mario last in the chain apparently helps too. The higher your score at the end of each level, the better the star you’re awarded.
After you’ve completed all of the levels on a floor, you meet up with DK for the boss battle. Compared to normal style Mario bosses, these are the easiest I’ve come across… but that’s pretty much a theme for the entire game. Easy, fun game-play. Nothing too strenuous on the ol’ noggin. I’m led to believe that this changes at — or near — the end but I’ve not got that far yet so you’ll have to wait and see.
Mario vs. Donkey Kong 2 is not what I thought it’d be when I bought it, but I think it’ll appeal to new and old Mario fans alike. Using the stylus takes a short while to get used but the controls are very intuitive and can be quickly mastered. Once you get the hang of controlling all of them Marios at once, you’re ready to take on the big ape Donkey Kong. It’s a good, fresh game that I’d recommend to all.